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March 6, 2007

Interested in a career in the sports industry?

Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, the group that manages the Minnesota Wild, the Swarm, and Houston Aeros, is hosting a career day for students on Saturday, April 14th.

From their representative:

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience what a career with the Minnesota Wild, Swarm and Houston Aeros is all about. On this special day, there will be seminars hosted by MSE Leaders, networking with employees in all departments, and a "behind-the-scenes" tour at the Xcel Energy Center (Home of the Minnesota Wild). Please feel free to contact eiversen@wild.com or 651-312-3456 to register or if you have any questions about the event. First 100 will receive a complimentary gift of the Minnesota Wild.

Online registration: https://secure.xcelenergycenter.com/GT/default.asp?Group=MSEC96492

I understand that space is limited, so if your student is interested in attending, encourage him or her to register sooner rather than later.

March 5, 2007

Paid Congressional Internships available in DC or Minnesota

From the CCLC Pre-Law Listserv:

PAID Congressional Internship Program next school year: Currently enrolled University of Minnesota undergraduates are eligible to apply for this internship program offered through the Department of Political Science. Interns work closely with the congressional staff in both the Minnesota and Washington, D.C. offices. Students who receive an internship are paid a stipend of approximately $1,200 per month by the congressional office. This internship is available to students in all majors. A total of eight interns will be selected (four will work in Minnesota and four in Washington, D.C.). Applicants must be degree-seeking students on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. These are full-time, 40-hour per week internships. Students must register for a minimum of 4 credits in the Department of Political Science but may register for up to 13 credits for this internship. Applications will be invited to an on-campus interview on April 10 with a representative from Congressman Ramstad's office. Application materials may be downloaded from the web at http://www.polisci.umn.edu/ugrad/intern.php. The deadline to apply is March 23, 2007 Questions about the internship program may be directed to either Rose Miskowiec, Undergraduate Adviser, (612/624-8517, r-misk@umn.edu) or Professor Paul Soper, Internship Director, (612/626-1002, psoper@umn.edu) in the Department of Political Science

February 27, 2007

This may seem obvious, but...

From today's Star Tribune:

Piercing and office may not mix It's no longer unusual for college students to flaunt multiple body piercings. But some say young job-hunters need to tone down their look to be successful in the workplace.

By Cati Vanden Breul, Special to the Star Tribune
College student Jordan Schoephoerster is obviously a big fan of body modification. She started two years ago with a tattoo of a double helix on her lower back. In May last year, she got her nose pierced and wears a ring through the septum. Soon after, she pierced her tongue and wrist.

But when she's waiting on tables at Applebee's, the University of Minnesota junior hides all of that with a clear retainer in her nose piercing and a wristband covering the barbell in her wrist. And until her internship with a high school biology teacher next fall is over, Schoephoerster will hold off on getting her lip pierced.

"I kind of just have to adapt to whatever I'm doing," she said. "Do I always want to be the person I am when just sitting in class, or do I want to be able to do what I want to do later in life?"

Like many young job seekers, Schoephoerster, a genetics and biology major, will have to make a choice between indulging in her personal sense of style and fitting into a traditional work environment. For some college students on the job hunt, leaving a diverse campus and entering the real world can mean hiding a part of who they are -- at least from 9 to 5.

There are no steadfast rules when it comes to piercings in the workplace. Employers' tastes vary and some might not have a strong opinion on body jewelry or tattoos, said Paul Timmins, career services director in the university's Career and Community Learning Center. That's why it's important to research a company's policies before you schedule an interview, he said.

In the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2006 survey, a majority of prospective employers said a weak handshake would influence their hiring decisions more than a piercing would. Thirty-three percent of employers ranked an applicant's handshake as a strong influence, while only 31 percent said a body piercing would have the same effect. Employers cited overall grooming (73 percent) and interview attire (49 percent) as the physical attributes they paid the most paid attention to.

"Every student hoping to make a good first impression needs to realize that everything about their appearance could count," Timmins said. "This could include piercings and tattoos, or things we don't even think of as much, like a handshake or eye contact."

People who view their piercings as an important expression of who they are should talk to prospective employers about company policies and explain their feelings, Timmins said.

"Everyone has to keep in mind that a job interview is a two-way street. We're trying to make the employer pick us, and at the same time, as a good job seeker, we should be evaluating the employer," Timmins said. "Is this a place that would allow me to be myself? Would it allow me to express myself the way I want to?"

As piercing becomes more popular and the workforce younger, employers might become gradually more tolerant, Timmins said.

"It is something that could change over time, but change on things like that does happen slowly. A lot of people doing the interviews have been in the workforce for quite a while and this is all new to them," he said. "They haven't had to consider these questions before as much."

But in the past decade, piercings have become less of an alternative style and more of a mainstream phenomenon, said Alex Levine, owner of the Axis Body Modification Studio near the university's Minneapolis campus. Levine, whose interest in piercing surfaced at age 8 when he decided he wanted to get his ears pierced, has been working in the business almost 10 years and has seen its evolution.

"Piercing has become more accepted, just like tattooing has. It's not as gang-related or drug-related, or whatever people used to associate it with," Levine said. "It's more fashionable. Just in the last three years, you've seen it more in magazines and advertising; before, models wouldn't even be able to wear their jewelry."

On average, six people per day are pierced at Levine's studio, most leaving with a new nose or belly-button ring. Piercings represent different things to different people, he said.

"Some people will do facial piercings as an accessory; they'll get a jewel to sparkle a little bit more," he said. "The ones who have all sorts of spikes in their lip are probably doing it to show that they don't want to fit into society and [want to] go against the grain."

Although piercing has become more of a general trend and is becoming more accepted in some areas of the service industry, Levine said he understands why some employers would take issue with their employees overdoing it.

"I know I'd take someone more seriously if they didn't have six rings around their lip," he said. "A little jewel on the nose or lip is fine, but eight piercings just on your face -- that's distracting."

Schoephoerster is aware of others' perceptions and adjusts her look accordingly. She said she wants to come across as professional in the classroom during her upcoming internship. "I'm supposed to be a role model for these students, and parents have a certain idea of what that role model should look like," she said.

At her waitressing job, she knows her appearance might affect tips and she is afraid of turning off customers by flaunting her piercings. She doesn't feel the need to hide her body decor, however, at her other job as a research assistant in a University of Minnesota genetics lab.

"That kind of environment is way more accepting because I'm not really working with the public," she said, "although I think I might scare my boss sometimes."

Cati Vanden Breul is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.

January 8, 2007

Environmental Careers and Internships Fair

Students interested in careers with employers in fields related to:

* Environmental Education/Engineering/Sciences
* Environmental Policy and Management
* Conservation Biology
* Fisheries and Wildlife
* Forestry
* Horticulture
* Recreation Management or
* Water Science

should plan to attend the Environmental Internships & Career Fair on Tuesday, February 6, 2007 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the St. Paul Student Center. For more information, click here.

January 4, 2007

U of M Job and Internship Fair

The state's biggest student career fair, the University of Minnesota Job and Internship Fair, will be held on Monday, February 12, 2007, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis. Tell your students to mark their calendars and log on to www.umjobfair.org to register for the fair and to learn which organizations are attending and to get some great preparation tips.


December 18, 2006

Course offers students credit for career planning

A 1-credit course offered by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences helps students from any major prepare to search for a job or internship. Here's the description for CFAN 4201:

Want to get ahead of the competition when searching for jobs and internships? This 1 credit course is ideal for undergraduate and graduate students in any major seeking internships and/or full time work. It is recommended that you have 45+ credits before registering for this course. This course covers topics that will prepare you for your job/internship search including skills assessment, resume writing, interviewing, job searching and salary negotiation.

December 14, 2006

Career preparation high on students' list when determining the value of their college education

Story from the The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Students entering their first year of college consider career preparation the most crucial factor in determining the value of their postsecondary education, according to a new report from Eduventures, an education consulting firm.

Of 6,200 traditional-age college freshmen surveyed, 72 percent said "professional preparation" was very important to them, while 62 percent ranked the "strength of the academic program" in the same category. Almost half, or 47 percent, said affordability was very important, according to the report.

"Many enrollment managers assume that students will equate academic strength with career preparation in determining the return on investment for their education," said James Quinn, a senior enrollment-management analyst for Eduventures. "But as tuition rates rise and the amount of debt students take on increases, they're looking at a lot of other factors beyond that when choosing their college."

Students in the survey said they viewed programs and services that would assist them in career-development efforts as the most likely indicators of a college's commitment to professional preparation. The three most significant factors that convey that commitment to students are the opportunities a college provides for internships, the quality of its career office, and job-placement records of its graduates.

Although many admissions officials are aware of the importance students place on career preparation, Mr. Quinn said few institutions provide significant data on the success of their job-placement efforts. Most remain focused on marketing their institutional success in terms of the grades and test scores of the students they attract, he said.

"Enrollment managers have the opportunity to lead the industry by shifting their priorities in terms of what they measure," said Mr. Quinn. "The colleges and universities that provide that data will be ahead of the curve."

A major factor influencing the emphasis students assign to career placement is the rising cost of attending college. A college senior's average debt burden had more than doubled from 1993 to 2004, according to the Eduventures study.

Furthermore, the affordability of a college education has become an important factor for a growing spectrum of students. According to the study, more than half of students whose families have an income greater than $150,000 said the cost of attendance was "very important" or "important" to them.

The report, "Key Drivers of Educational Value: The Emergence of Educational ROI," is available only to members of Eduventures' Learning Collaborative Program in Enrollment Management. More information about Eduventures is available on the company's Web site.

No link because this is the entire story.

December 7, 2006

Employers, law enforcement may be checking out students' social networking sites

We've addressed this before in this forum, but it probably bears repeating, especially for those students who are now in the job hunting phase of their college career:

Do not put information about yourself on the internet that could damage your career prospects.

Today's Minnesota Daily has a story illustrating that employers do indeed use the internet and Google to find information about prospective and current employees, even though many students believe this violates their privacy:

A survey conducted by The Minnesota Daily revealed that 31 percent of University students who responded still believe their Internet activities are anonymous.

The survey also asked students whether it is an infringement of privacy for employers, University officials and police to monitor social networking sites. Members of these sites were more likely than non-members to consider these activities violations.

Eighty-five percent of students reported having visited a social networking site and 73 percent of respondents said they are members.

Seventy-two percent of University students consider it a violation for an employer to use social networking sites - like Facebook or MySpace - to check out potential employees. Of those, 20 percent considered it a major violation of privacy, according to the survey.

Although the University does not have a policy of viewing social networking sites for information on students, the University Police sometimes use the sites for identification purposes. In related news, the proposed new student conduct code will go before the regents for a vote tomorrow. There's a story in the MN Daily about it, but it isn't up on their web site for some reason.

November 9, 2006

Daily round-up, Part II

Students are taking advantage of a buyer's market in real estate near the U, says the Daily:

High rent near the University drove finance and entrepreneurial management junior Alex Ablamunets to take out loans and make a joint purchase of a Riverview Tower condominium on the West Bank in September 2005.

Ablamunets and his roommate were able to get low financing, making his $450 monthly payments comparable to average rent.

A high number of homes for sale on the market and near 40-year-low mortgage rates are attracting buyers who may have previously rented.

That means for some young, first-time buyers with money in the bank - or with parents who have some - now looks to be the time to buy property.

The shift toward a buyer's market comes after a five-year housing boom in which buyers were attracted by low interest rates and sellers and developers could demand higher prices.

Tom Blomberg, a broker for Prudential Sundial Realty Incorporated, said from a practical standpoint, the real estate market turn-down is fairly minor.

"It's made pricing for buyers better. It's made competition better," he said. "So, I think in the end, it helps to give the market some strength from which to start going back up again."

Another housing option for students is serving as a Community Advisor in one of the University's residence halls:

Housing and Residential Life now offers a spring, summer and fall opportunity to submit applications to be a community adviser - a live-in student whose job is to create a sense of community and to be a role model for residents.

Previously, the application process occurred in the spring. Summer and fall deadlines are in May and October, respectively. Accepted students receive a room, a meal plan and a stipend.

The application process is quite in-depth. Applicants

must complete a five-week, eight-session leadership workshop as part of the application process, which Anderson said lets housing officials learn more about the candidates than in the one or two interviews they had before.

He said though the workshop is time-consuming, the applicants who participate seem more serious about getting the job.

It also shows candidates more about the job than they could learn on paper, he said.

"To be sitting in a job you don't like two weeks after starting is a horrible place to be, especially when your housing is tied to the job," Anderson said.

Before the workshop, Anderson said there were more applicants, but they seemed less prepared for the job, and more community advisers would leave in the fall because the job wasn't a good fit for them.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart offers some sobering advice about personal safety for students living near campus:

Large house parties not only attract students from high schools and other college campuses, but also attract people to the area who have more sinister motives. For these folks, alcohol-impaired students wandering in the dark represent opportunities - opportunities for robbery, assault and other crimes, which are more difficult to get away with in the sober light of day. Alcohol is all too often a factor in assaults on students. Alcohol impairs judgment so students might pay less attention to their surroundings or decide to walk home alone - actions that can make students targets for criminal opportunists.

We ask students to keep personal safety in mind as they go about their daily lives. Students can review safety tips at the UMPD Web site at http://www1.umn.edu/police/prevention.html.

Not everyone who becomes drug- or alcohol-impaired is going to end up in the hospital. Our research shows that the likelihood of injury, assault, or sexual violence is much higher for students who report binge drinking than for those who abstain or drink in moderation. As one of the Boynton Health Service posters says: Alcohol is the most common date-rape drug. Of course, for students under 21, there can be additional consequences related to having a criminal record. This isn't rocket science - getting drunk and getting into trouble go hand-in-hand.

We are pleased that thousands of students are choosing to participate in Gophers After Dark and other fun, safe and healthy activities. And we want students living in our communities to be able to enjoy their freedom and privacy without having to worry about "getting busted." Our expectation is that students will use common sense, respect one another and their neighbors, and act responsibly. We are sure that these expectations can be met while having fun and having lively social gatherings. It is simply a matter of maintaining some balance between the exercise of personal freedom and individual responsibility

Timely advice; there was recently another late night assault near campus:

Two University alumni returning to campus for homecoming festivities were brutally attacked early Sunday.

George Miserendino, 26, said he and a friend called it a night at about 1:20 a.m. and started walking home when they noticed three men following them in the 1700 block of University Avenue Southeast.

A verbal confrontation ensued, which quickly came to blows, he said.

Miserendino said the attackers knocked him unconscious while hitting his friend several times. The friend managed to tackle one attacker and held him down until police arrived, he said.

"These guys were looking to hurt somebody," Miserendino said. "There're sick people out there."

Miserendino suffered multiple injuries, including a broken nose in two places, a fractured skull and eye socket, a concussion and a separated jaw, he said.

An ambulance transported him to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment, according to the police report.

So far, police have arrested one suspect - the man Miserendino's friend held down - for felony assault causing significant bodily harm, Minneapolis police Lt. Greg Reinhardt said.

No further arrests have been made, but the investigation is ongoing, he said.


November 6, 2006

Employment opportunities with FBI

Short notice, but this Wednesday, a recruiter from the FBI will speak about career and internship possibilities with the agency.

Date: Wednesday, Nov 8
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Place: Law 25

Is your student interested in health careers?

The Health Careers Center offers 1 credit courses for undergraduates interested in exploring careers in the health sciences.

Students can enroll in online or classroom-based courses that will allow them to:

*assess their career interests, values and behavioral styles
*explore professionalism and ethics in health care
*learn about health-related majors and career paths, and
*create their own career and academic action plans

Encourage your student to visit the Center's website for more info.

October 27, 2006

Author offers advice for student success-seekers

On Sunday, November 19, Dan Harbeke, author of Get In! How to Market Yourself and Become Successful at a Young Age, will speak to students about how to chart a successful course in their lives and careers.

Date: November 19
Time: 1:00 - 2:45 p.m.
Place: Coffman Menorial Union, President's Room (3rd floor)
The event is free and registration is not required

harbekecover1.jpg harbekeabout1.jpg


Harbeke will share his advice on

*the keys to a successful job search
*networking and getting your foot in the door
*balancing personal and professional achievement
*leadership

October 12, 2006

Event for jobseekers on the St. Paul campus

The St. Paul Career Center asked me to put out the word about a job fair on the St. Paul campus next week:

Are you interested in learning about career opportunities in banking, retail, commodity trading, food industry, human resources, sales and marketing, bio-based products, animal and plant industries?

Plan to attend the Applied Business and Agriculture Job and Internship Fair
Tuesday, October 17
10:00 - 2:30
St. Paul Campus Student Center Ballroom

Open to all University of Minnesota students!

September 26, 2006

Pre-law event next week

Panel Discussion: Wide Road to Law School Thursday, October 5, 2006 4:00pm-5:45pm UofM Law School, 50 Mondale Hall

Thinking about law school? At this panel discussion, get your questions answered by a practicing attorney, law school admissions staff, law students, and CCLC's pre-law advisor, Angie Schmidt Whitney. Topics to be addressed: the decision to attend, recommended pre-law coursework, and the application process. For registration and additional information click here.

September 12, 2006

University's health careers fair

Sponsored by the U's Health Careers Center, the fair will be held on September 28th, from 3:30-6:30 p.m in Coffman's Great Hall.

Visit the Health Careers Center's website for more info.

Career fair for students with disabilities

Students with disabilities can meet with recruiters from local and national companies on Wednesday, October 4th at the City Center Mariott.

Attendees will:
*Learn about career opportunities, internships and work experiences
*Hear from nationally recognized disability leaders and authors
*Find resources and information that can them to career success

Register online by September 27th here.

August 29, 2006

Interested in a career in the sports industry?

The Minnesota Wild and Swarm are holding a career day for college students of all majors. Every department--including marketing, management, IT, human resources, sales/service, finance, and others--will be represented.

The date is September 30th, attendance costs $20 (that includes a ticket to a Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks game), and--as they say--space is limited. Here's a flyer with all the info:

Download file

August 25, 2006

Annual etiquette dinner prepares jobseekers

Sponsored by the college career offices, the Career Development Network, and the Alumni Association, the annual etiquette dinner teaches students how to professionally handle a wide variety of dining situations.

This year's dinner will be held Tuesday, October 10th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in McNamara Alumni Center's Memorial Hall. Sign-in begins at 5:00. The registration costs $14 and includes a three course meal so that students can practice what they learn.

Registration opens August 28th at http://alumni.umn.edu/etiquette. Students are encouraged to register early as space is limited and this dinner is popular. The dinner is open to University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students.

August 14, 2006

Student involvement opportunities

Encourage your student to attend the Community Involvement Fair, Wednesday, September 20th, from 10:30 a.m to 3 pm in Coffman Union's Great Hall.

Students can learn about internshp and volunteer opportunities at more than 80 local organizations working in youth education, political organizing, teaching English as a Second Language, health education, homelessness and other important issues. The event is free, and attendees can register at the door to win a $100 gift certificate from the University Bookstore.

For more info and a list of organizations attending this year's fair, go to www.cclc.umn.edu/CIF.

May 30, 2006

Unpaid internships--one twentysomething's perspective

My younger sister has just arrived in New Orleans for the summer after her freshman year at Yale. She will be consuming daily snowballs, the local icy treat, to ward off the heat, volunteering to help clean up neighborhoods damaged by Hurricane Katrina and working part time, for pay, at both a literary festival and a local restaurant. Meanwhile, most of her friends from college are headed for the new standard summer experience: the unpaid internship.

Instead of starting out in the mailroom for a pittance, this generation reports for business upstairs without pay. A national survey by Vault, a career information Web site, found that 84 percent of college students in April planned to complete at least one internship before graduating. Also according to Vault, about half of all internships are unpaid.

I was an unpaid intern at a newspaper from March 2002, my senior year, until a few months after graduation. I took it for granted, as most students do, that working without pay was the best possible preparation for success; parents usually agree to subsidize their offspring's internships on this basis. But what if we're wrong?

What if the growth of unpaid internships is bad for the labor market and for individual careers?

Read the rest of this opinion piece from The New York Times.

What has been your family's experience with paid or unpaid internships? Post comments below.

Teach for America competitive for top graduates

From Inside Higher Ed:

Law school or Teach For America? Wrede Smith, a DePauw University political science major, weighed his options this spring as graduation loomed. Acceptance letters arrived from two of four law schools, and he received his invitation to enter the teaching corps in April.

In the end, Smith chose to enroll in the most competitive of his options — the one that accepts less than 20 percent of its applicants (hint: it has nothing to do with torts or criminal procedure).

Many students like Smith enter their final term in college facing the grad school vs. service program question. And if recent numbers from Teach For America are any indication, the latter option is faring just fine. A record 19,000 people – roughly a 10 percent jump from the previous year – applied this academic year to the program that places students from top colleges in classrooms in disadvantaged school districts for a two-year assignment. The program allows the students to begin teaching just months after graduation while they work toward their teaching certificate, instead of having to wait a year or more to get into the classroom.

Teach For America accepted about 3,300 students this spring — fewer than one in five of those who applied — and roughly 2,400 are expected to begin teaching in the fall, according to Todd McGovern, a Teach For America spokesman. The program, developed by a Princeton University alumna, Wendy Kopp, as her undergraduate senior thesis in 1989, has become a popular option for aspiring educators and those looking for a meaningful first job. It has also drawn its share of skepticism, as detractors question whether a beginning teacher with often just a few months of training can be effective in the most challenging and lowest-performing schools, and whether program participants are in it more to pad their resumes than to become teachers.

Read the rest of the story and other readers' comments.

May 2, 2006

State Department official to discuss careers in diplomacy

The timing may not be the greatest--during finals week--but next Monday students will have an opportunity to hear a State Department employee talk about careers and internships overseas and in Washington DC:

Careers in the State Department Monday, May 8 3 to 4 p.m. Nicholson Hall, room 125

Learn about careers in the U.S. Department of State -- representing America abroad, participating in foreign policy formulation at home, and experiencing foreign cultures and languages first-hand. The session will include information about full-time careers and about internships overseas and in Washington DC. The presenter is Tony Benesch, Diplomat-in-Residence at the University of Chicago. In a long career in the State Department, Benesch has served in numerous locations, including Brazil, Morocco, Egypt, and Washington DC.

April 17, 2006

What are the best jobs in America?

Curious about salary and job prospects in the field of study your student has chosen?

Money Magazine and Salary.com have come up with a list of what they consider to be the top 50 jobs in the US. Potential salary and job growth were included in their calculations, as were less tangible factors such as perceived stress levels, flexibility in hours and working environment, creativity, and ease of entry into the field.

March 30, 2006

Employers finding creative ways to access Facebook

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I post again about Facebook.

Today's Star Tribune reports that employers are accessing students' Facebook profiles in ways that seem a bit, well, sneaky.

You see, part of the reason that students feel so comfortable posting on Facebook is that they believe their profiles are visibile only to other students from the same school; to view U of M profiles, for instance, a viewer would need an e-mail address ending in umn.edu. But employers are finding a couple of ways to get around that requirement:

One tactic is for employers to take advantage of a growing trend among colleges and universities to offer campus e-mail addresses to alumni.

Now that they can get the same ".edu" e-mail address that students have, these alums can search their alma maters' Facebook. Another tactic is to ask students who already work for an employer to look up fellow students who apply for jobs.

and another tactic is for employers to ask employees or interns who are recent grads or current students to look up profiles for them:

And as the parent of college-age children, Macalester College assistant dean for student services Denise Ward said she knows of one intern who was approached to eavesdrop -- not a Macalester student.

"It was proposed casually enough that the student felt OK saying, 'I'm not comfortable doing that,' " she said.

"Students have told me that recent graduates who are working in different places have 'Facebooked' potential interview candidates," said Heather Fredrickson, interim director of the University of Minnesota campus career center in St. Paul.

So now campus counselors are adding Facebook to the same advice they have given about personal websites, blogs and even phone answering-machine recordings: Assume anyone can see and hear them. Take a warning from a 2005 survey of executive recruiters, they say: 26 percent told ExecuNet that they have eliminated job candidates based on Internet searches of them.


March 27, 2006

2006 grads finding themselves in demand in job market

BusinessWeek online finds this to be the best employment market for graduating seniors since the dot.com bust.

University of Wisconsin Business School senior Joe Jennings is kicking back, enjoying his last few months of college life. And why shouldn't he? Jennings received four job offers by the end of the fall semester and accepted a position at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Chicago in late November.

Jennings says he was surprised by how easy it was to land a job. "It was awesome," he says. "I got offers from companies I'd never even heard of -- extremely painless." The 23-year-old, who will earn a starting salary of $53,500 with a $2,000 bonus, is not alone. This year's job market for undergraduates is the strongest since 2000. These job-market improvements are the most dramatic -- and in some cases extreme -- in years.

"There were a few employers that reported some pretty large increases, and I even called a few to see if there were mistakes," says Andrea Koncz, employment information manager for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a group of recruiters and university career services officials that researches workforce trends. Recruiters, some of whom had been missing on campus in recent years, have returned -- and they're seriously competing for top talent.

ATTRACTIVE SALARIES. The numbers paint a pretty picture. Undergraduate hiring is expected to increase by 14.5% this year over last, according to a September, 2005, survey of 256 companies by NACE. The services sector, at 21.6% expected growth, posted the most dramatic increase in the study. Within that sector, computer-software development, financial services, retail, accounting, and engineering are showing marked hiring increases, consistent with the sector overall.

Read the whole story.

March 22, 2006

Goldpass is live

Goldpass is an online database that lets student search for jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities posted in any of the University's career offices. They can also post their resume and create profiles for employers to view. Students and alumni with University e-mail accounts can register here.

A couple more career items of interest:

Students interested in service learning, internships, volunteering or community-based research will find a wealth of information at Community-University Partnerships open house on Wednesday, April 5, from 4-6 p.m. in Coffman Union's Great Hall. No registration required.

And, finally, students who would like to make service learning a formal part of their education can attend a Community Engagement Scholars Program information session. The program allows students to simultaneously pursue their academic interests and make a difference in their community through integrating community engagement into their program. Participants not only receive special recognition from the University when they complete their degree:

Official Recognition:

-A certificate of recognition from the University of Minnesota
-Community Engagement Scholar notation on official academic transcript
-Acknowledgement of accomplishment listed in the commencement program
-A cord of distinction to be worn at commencement
-A special recognition reception honoring Scholars Program participants

...but also learn how to develop a structured approach to making a difference in a community; enjoy many opportunities to connect with other students, community organizations, faculty, and staff with similar interests; develop skills that will serve them throughout their career; and engage in career exploration and development.

Learn more about the Community Engagement Scholars Program here.


March 14, 2006

Revealing too much online can come back to haunt you later

I know, I've posted on this topic before. But a recent St. Paul Pioneer Press article reveals the real impact that posting too much personal information on an online social networking site like Friendster, Facebook, Xanga or MySpace can have on your student's future:

Three-quarters of 102 executive recruiters surveyed last fall by ExecuNet, of Norwalk, Conn. said they use search engines as part of the process to uncover information about job candidates. More than one in four said they have eliminated candidates because of what they found about the person on the Internet.

There's an explosion in the amount of personal material being launched into cyberspace by people who seemingly have no qualms about revealing details of their sexual escapades or not-so-hidden desires.

They'll carry digital cameras to bars and parties and post photos of drunken friends to their Web pages and to those of their friends. On one MySpace posting, a 19-year-old Wisconsin woman writes about her pastimes: "I def. like to party … I don't smoke but I drink a lot … like a lot."

In a few years, Internet searches on job candidates will become even more commonplace, predicts Minneapolis employment attorney Tamara Olsen. She advises those who bare their souls and, um, other things online should consider the consequences.

"The Internet is like a billboard or painting on the side of a building," said Olsen, who advises companies on electronic communication issues. "But because people are doing the communicating from a computer in their bedroom, they think of the Internet as private. Right now we are in a funny place where people are posting private things and they have no idea how public it really is."

In Minnesota, it is generally not unlawful for an employer to take into account personal information found on the Internet in making hiring decisions. Of course, it's illegal to make hiring decisions based on sex, race, color, religion, or national origin. In most cases, job candidates will never know the reason why they were turned down or that the employer was looking at their postings in the first place.

Students may need parental guidance to help them understand the possible consequences of exposing their behaviors to the entire world. I leave you with this quote from later in the article, from an 18 year-old college student:

"Whether or not they are going to or not, that's fine but I don't think it's any of their business...You get to the point where, then you have to start watching what you are doing in your private life. It just seems ridiculous."

March 2, 2006

CNNMoney.com sees hot job market for '06 grads

With a strong recruitment push, higher salaries and in some cases, multiple job offers, all signs are pointing up for the class of 2006.

Read the article.

Like most years, engineers have been in high demand, while finance and accounting degrees are also getting their fair share of offers.

While those students tend to be in specialized fields such as information system management or civil engineering, there is hope for English majors too.

Nowadays, career counselors say companies are taking a good look at the liberal arts field for candidates who have the ability to communicate, lead, think critically or simply adjust to the job demands.

March 1, 2006

Roundup of career stories from today's MN Daily

Job- , internship-, and service opportunity seeking students will find several items of interest in today's Minnesota Daily. First up is a story addressing the impact that a student's criminal record can have on his or her employment prospects. The gist of the article is summed up in its headline, "Employers say felonies, usually not misdemeanors, will prevent getting jobs," but it also lists some commonsense exceptions to the rule:

For example, drug charges would impact a job in nursing or the medical field and theft, swindle or fraud would affect the law field.

Many programs now require students to complete an internship before graduation. Read about students completing internships in the neighborhoods around the U.

And, finally, a student laments the defunding of the Americorps NCCC program in an opinion piece titled "What happened to Bush's call for service?":

NCCC is a unique program that provides benefits to America, providing for trained, rapid-responding and organized emergency service manpower during natural disasters. NCCC is the only national service organization that was directly mobilized by AmeriCorps to provide relief. Other AmeriCorps workers are on hand.

Researching potential spring break volunteer opportunities in the Gulf Coast region, I came across dozens of organizations of young people looking to help rebuild New Orleans in whatever way they can. Like the young people following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, they, too, are motivated by the horrific media images to help out in whatever way that they can. Why is the president denying them the opportunity? Where is that strong call for national service that followed Sept. 11? Our young people are ready; you just need to tell them where to go.

February 17, 2006

Career and academic program exploration event

Is your student still trying to decide on a major or a career path? A free event offered by the Career and Community Learning Center in the College of Liberal Arts will give your student an opportunity to learn about majors available at the U, talk to advisors, take a career interests quiz, and learn about off-campus programs. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 1, from 10 am - 2 pm in the Great Hall of Coffman Union. No registration is required and the event is open to all U students. Click here for more info.

February 9, 2006

Housing and Res Life offering summer positions for students

Attendees at numerous summer conferences and events held at the U will be staying in the residence halls, thus requiring summer assistants to see to the visitors' needs. Summer assistants will receive a single room, paid flex-dine meals, and a stipend of $290 per week, the Minnesota Daily reports. Students can find a link to the applicant information package here.

February 8, 2006

Job and Internship Fair for U of M students

Current U students and recent alumni are invited to attend a Job and Internship Fair on February 20th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Registration is free and available online.

This is the biggest student career fair in Minnesota, and it is held exclusively for U of M students. Nearly 200 employers will be attending--preview a list of them here.

February 7, 2006

Learning abroad workshop is now online

The Parent Program and the Learning Abroad Center teamed up over winter break to hold a workshop for parents of students considering studying abroad. If you were unable to attend it live, watch it now from the comfort of your own home.

Our mental health workshop and off-campus housing workshop are still available for online viewing. Be sure to fill out the evaluation form after viewing any of these presentations--your feedback helps the Parent Program plan and improve future programming.

February 2, 2006

Employers reviewing Facebook profiles

Your student's classmates may not be the only people interested in his or her Facebook profile---employers are increasingly savvy about reviewing the online networking activities of potential employees, as this article from the University of Wisconsin's Badger Herald illustrates.