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May 5, 2006

Feature/Jobs

Your summer job may keep you busy, but it probably doesn’t have you working for the dead. But that’s exactly what UMD Freshman Alexandra Evens get her summer cash from just that, working for the deceased.
If there is one thing a college student is, it’s busy. Even though they aren’t going to be any term papers to write, the work isn’t over. They trade in their books and backpacks for hairnets and little plastic name tags. That is, unless you’re like Evens and a few other students.
“When I tell people I design tombstones, they look at me like I’m joking,? said Evens, a Graphic Design major. “But seriously, that’s what I do.?
More specifically, Alexandra draws out, with a fine tip black marker, a picture that someone has requested go on their tombstone.
“I do a lot of farms, houses, and pets,? said Alexandra.
The drawings are impossibly detailed and she uses a light-up drawing table to help her with accuracy. They are then sent to the granite company that she works for and are then etched into the granite by another person or sometimes by a computer.
“It’s nice,? said Alexandra. “I work on my own time at home at my own pace.? Her job also pays a solid hourly wage of ten dollars.
Alexandra isn’t only a rare case because of the fact that she’s drawing grave markers, but also because she actually likes her summer job. This is not the case for a lot of students, like Lindsey Hippen.
“I cleaned hotel rooms,? said Lindsey, another UMD Freshman.
She calls it the job from Hell, Hippen was expected to thoroughly clean each room with a smile on her face. Each room was a whole new experience said Lindsey. While some were politely rumpled, others were completely trashed from the ceiling to the floor with puke caked along the bathroom floor from partier guests
“My mom called it a character building job,? said Hippen. “I don’t think I can handle anymore character.?
Even though her job required her to endure the most disgusting of situations, like finding human feces outside of the toilet, at demanding hours, every weekend 6am-5pm with only a half an hour for lunch, her paychecks left much to be desired. At minimum wage it was hardly worth her trouble.
“Quitting that God awful place was probably the single greatest day in my entire life,? said Hippen. “I don’t care if I end up working at McDonalds, it has to be better.?
Some students are going outside of food service and retail and they’re doing internships over the summer. Jonathan Mayer is one of these students.
“I’m doing research with one of my professors this summer,? said Mayer. While he is excited to branch out from his normal landscaping jobs, he still needs another source of income.
“I’m not sure exactly,? said Mayer. “It has to have flexible hours; that’s the only way it will work out.?
“As much as I just want to hang around the beach all summer, that’s not an option anymore,? said Jonathan. “I’ve so much crap going on all the time, and it all costs money.?


I looked extensively online to find job statistics of college students, but I could only find job opportunities and internships for students. I couldn’t find any information about how many students work in certain jobs.

April 20, 2006

profile

Melany Mayers
Profile
Maria Vuldjeva

Ten years ago Maria Vuldjeva left her home in Bulgaria for a short summer exchange program in the United States. She’s still here. Her patients through difficult times and dedication to education have allowed her to make a career out of encouraging people to do what she did, study abroad.
With a flight from her home country, Bulgaria, to New York and 40 hours of driving on five different buses from New York to Minnesota, Maria had made her way to Tofte, Minnesota.
“It was the worst trip in my life,? said Vuldjeva. “Unless you’re four feet tall and the bus is almost empty, there is no way to be comfortable.?
The initial trip had Maria second-guessing her decision to come to America.
“I looked out the bus window and just thought, ‘that’s not what the brochure looked like’,? said Vuldjeva.
In the 4 months following her arrival Maria’s life didn’t get any easier. She lived and worked as a waitress and housekeeper at a hotel in Tofte with other foreign exchange students. The student’s hourly wage was set at $2 an hour. The apartment that she was living in was in the basement of the hotel and was shared by all of the exchange students working there.
“We were foreigners,? said Vuldjeva. “We didn’t know any better.?
After those long months, Maria transferred to UMD from her university in Bulgaria, and continued with her education. While attending UMD Maria worked at the Glensheen Mansion as a tour guide and she got married. It was two years before Maria was able to make it back home to Bulgaria with her husband and visit her family.
“I had some culture shock, since I had been away for so long,? she said. “I was very happy to rediscover the beauty of my country.?
Maria graduated from UMD four years after she enrolled with a communications major and even though she didn’t have the smoothest transition into American society, she says she doesn’t regret it one bit. However, there are some things that she misses from Bulgaria
“Food. That’s number one,? she said. “Well, no, family. My family is definitely number one, then it’s the food.?
Currently, Maria works in UMD’s International Education Office as a program coordinator, where she speaks to students about the importance of studying abroad. She’s the head coordinator of the Study in England Program and is beginning a new short summer study abroad program in her home country this summer.
“I’ve come a long way from being an underpaid housekeeper, I mean, look at my office,? she said, spreading her arms out and slowly spinning around in her chair, admiring her surroundings. It’s a roomy office with large windows, and the walls are adorned with world maps and flags.
Maria’s job doesn’t leave her with much free time during the day. She’s continuously meeting with prospective study abroad students, or giving informational presentations to selected classes about the Study in England Program. She’s also in charge or organizing the preparatory meetings that help students who are studying abroad to know what to expect when they go over seas. She’s who the students contact when they have a question regarding the program. Even though Maria is consistently busy, she’s very happy here.
“I strongly agree with my profession,? she said. “Study abroad.?

April 6, 2006

Meeting

Mayers/Meeting

Last weeks Student Association’s meeting tried to tackle a relatively unheard of issue, as well as putting some old business to rest. The new topic of discussion was the controversy over the new dean for the College of Fine Arts.

“There are students protesting over it,? said Senator Chris Brinkman. “I’m just not real clear on why.?

It was the first time anyone in SA had heard of the conflict and it was decided that some things had to be taken care of before they took an official stance on the issue, or weather they would decide to shy away from the topic all together.

“We’ll have to do some research,? said Josh Breyfogle. “Before we do anything, we’ve got to get the facts.?
Breyfogle said that the SA had to be really careful on making a stand.

“We can’t just side with the students and we can’t just side with the school. Each side has to have their own reasons,? said Breyfogle.

Right now SA is still in the research process and hasn’t made any public announcements on the new dean.

“At this point in time, it’s too many opinions,? said Breyfogle. “On such a touchy issue, we’re going to try and stay out of it.?

The SA also discussed the progress of the new Bulldog Taxi Program that had finally been put into action a few weeks previous.

“It’s nice to finally see it working,? said Jeni Kiewatt. “For a while there I thought it was never going to happen.?

The program struggled finding the proper insurance coverage with the taxi provider, but with the hard work of Kiewatt and other members of SA the program has gotten off the ground.

The new Bulldog Taxi Program gives students the option to call a cab for rides around campus for a mere 2 dollars per person and is designed to cut down on the number of intoxicated student drivers.

“The program is up and running now,? said Kiewatt. “But for it to stay that way, the students are going to have to really use it.?

March 7, 2006

St. Judes

Mayers/Event

In the poorly lit Kirby Game Room filled that’s filled with dingy pool tables and the smell of fresh pizza, UMD students are working together to the beat of a hired DJ. They’re working to help raise money for St. Judes Children Hospital.
Seated at tables in the back of the room participants and volunteers feverishly addressed and wrote letters to their friends and family asking them for donations for St. Judes.
St. Judes Children Hospital helps treat children who have been diagnosed with cancer.
“It’s a pretty organized event,? said Jenna Carlson, a freshman at UMD participating for the first time. “It felt good to help out, and eat pizza at the same time. I also won a work out DVD, which is a pretty unique prize.?
Carlson wrote letters to her parents and other older relatives.
“I have a feeling that they’re going to be much more generous than my friends.? Carlson said.
In addition to the money that St. Judes is hoping to receive from the letter responses, they also raise money by auctioning off items.
“We took in $100 from a single pair of Wild Hockey tickets,? said Ashlee Hunter, who was in charge of organizing the event with UMD’s Up ‘Til Dawn club.
“It went over pretty well,? Hunter said. “We had over 20 volunteers today.? In fact, the event went over so well that they actually finished early. Scheduled to go until four, all the prizes were cleaned out before three.
“Everyone filled out their letters really fast, and the prizes went just as quickly,? said Hunter. “It was good to see that everyone was so eager.?
The event usually averages about $3,700 in total revenue. Since all the prizes, which included: t-shirts, DVDs, magnets, bags, computer software, and food were all donated, it’s 100 percent profit.
“I love kids, I’m an Early Childhood Development major and it feels good to help out,? said Hunter.
Up ‘Til Dawn usually only holds the St. Judes fundraiser once a year, but since the event went over so well first semester, they decided to try it again.
“I feel that we did our part. Now we have to wait and hope that the letters get to generous hands,? said Hunter.
“It’s a long process figuring out how much money we raised. We have to send the letters, wait for replies, and then get the figures back,? said Hunter. “It takes some time.?
The organization is hoping to raise more than the average $3,700 this year, and with the addition of the second event, it looks quite promising.
St. Judes is grateful for all the effort put forth.
“We could use every dollar, and every dollar is important,? said a St. Judes correspondent.

February 12, 2006

Speech

“Don’t expect to get a job offer,? said Janet Prival who has been helping students prepare for various job fairs at the U of M for 17 years.
In a speech given last Thursday Prival said regarding the up coming job fair, “Job offers are extremely rare as are direct interviews with employers. Your main goal is setting up contacts.?
There are possibilities receiving job offers. If you find yourself in that situation you don’t have to make up your mind right away. It’s business standard that you have two weeks to make up your mind.
Though one on one, professional interviews aren’t very common, there are many possibility to have short, public, informal interviews with employers that last don’t last longer that 15 minutes.
“These short meetings are where you start the process of making contacts,? said Prival. This is where you get a chance to make yourself known to an employer and where you have the opportunity to ask any questions about the company that you may have.
“Don’t ask any questions about the company that you could have answered by visiting their website,? Prival said. Employers don’t want to waste time interviewing people who aren’t really interested. “Prepare for those little interviews by visiting the websites and learning about the companies, so when they tell you to go online, you can tell them, ‘I already did’,? This shows that you’re eager to be employed.
The speech covered the many aspects of preparing yourself for the job fair, from the obvious to the usually overlooked details.
Some of the obvious things that Prival went over were the things you need to do before you are allowed to even step foot in the job fair. You must first visit the website, which is http://careers.d.umn.edu/, and register yourself. Any unregistered students will not be allowed to take part in the job fair.
Another obvious task is transportation. The website is linked to maps that show you how to get to the Minneapolis Convention Center and where the nearest parking lots are, or there is a free bus. The bus leaves Duluth at 8 a.m. on that Saturday and will arrive in Minneapolis around 10:30 a.m. and leave at 4 p.m.. Though the bus is free, you are required to put forth a $10 deposit to reserve a seat.
Prival went into the details of preparation, talking about everything from ways to stay cool and collected to what would be the proper attire.
“Take a break between every employer,? Prival said. This allows you the time to take down some notes and keep your head straight. “Employers won’t run together in your mind this way, they’ll stay separate.?
It’s very important says Prival to, “stay calm?. You don’t want to be nervous. Where clothes that are professional, but make sure you’re comfortable.
For more information on how to prepare yourself for a job interview Prival recommended the book, “Knock ‘em Dead?, saying it gives “wonderful? advice on how to stand out in interviews.