Tag Archives: Career Center

MPACE pictures, part 3 – BTW, or Bears, Trees & Wires.

And, finally, as promised – the final round of MPACE pictures, including the social. We spent the last evening of the conference at the World Forestry Center, which had great exhibits, yummy food, tasty drinks, and Voodoo Doughnuts. No complaints here.

Indoor tree, and an indoor (pretend) owl. The tip of the iceberg of the "northwest-y" decor.

Getting back to my Pacific Northwest roots, posing with an old friend.

Wires from the Canopy Lift Ride - meant to simulate going to the top of a forest.

Did I mention that I'm afraid of heights? That's me and my courageous colleague, Michelle, braving the ride.

It went about twice that high, at a death-defying speed of (I'm guessing) 12 miles an hour. Then, we dangled at the top for eternity.

We're smiling because we survived.*

Birds-eye view of the band rocking out

Very Merry Northwest Christmas decor

Simulated rafting photo. There's me falling off the side, my colleagues saving me, and a constituent from CSULB assessing the situation. Apologies for the blur, but at least it feels like an action shot... right?

ROAR. Last shot of the night.

Bonus photo: I think I was one of the few who took the train out of Portland. I couldn't find Platform 9 3/4, so I took a picture of some windows instead.

*A references to a previous post I did where I got to use the same caption after a real-life rafting expedition, with pictures almost as intense as the one here.

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The internship opportunity I’m offering is unpaid, so that means you’re given my intern credit, right? (FAQs, 5.0)

This question represents the tip of a very, very large iceberg. For the sake of our readers, I’m going to cover some basics in this post, but I can promise that this isn’t the last time we’ll discuss paid vs. unpaid interns on this blog (anyone else still following the Black Swan case?)

For the most part, I encourage employers to seriously consider paying their interns.  Internbridge has some great data available on all the reasons why paying interns usually leads to a more positive and successful experience for both the student and the employer. Some of it is really eye-opening. And remember, payment doesn’t have to be hourly – sometimes a stipend or a project-based wage can be a good fit, too.

That said, I understand that it’s not realistic for every company, non-profit, or start-up that needs/wants interns to have the budget to pay them. However, it’s imperative that the employer takes ownership over facilitating some kind compensation for the student.  It’s not enough to just declare that the student can get credit for the internship…it’s actually not up to you. If you want your intern to get credit, you must ensure that your opportunity actually will fit their university’s requirements.

Take UCI, for example. At the Career Center, we love to see students pursuing internship opportunities. Love, love, love it. Though, we are not an academic unit, and we can’t offer credit simply because you hire them.  We will, however, help you get in touch with one of our academic departments that will consider your opportunity to see if is appropriate to enroll the student in a credit-based program that coincides with their role at your organization. (Examples of UCI programs offering credit for internship opportunities are available here.)

That’s right…your opportunity has to be reviewed by an academic department to ensure that the student is doing work the meets set criteria, which varies from department to department. 

The good news is, if an academic unit feels it’s appropriate to grant credit to your interns, the university will help facilitate it. Your involvement will vary depending on the program in which your student is enrolled.  

Yes, it can take time to get in touch with the right folks and follow the right steps to give the intern credit. Though, the steps aren’t difficult, they are there to help our students (and you).  Isn’t that what internships are all about?

Stay tuned for more on this down the road.

Have a great week!

-DBO

6-month blog-aversary!

In honor of our 6-month blog-aversary next week, I’d like to re-share the top 6 posts to date (as indicated by reader hits over at the previous address).

  1. Watch out! Texas, here I come!

    Please allow me to show you some posts

  2. Behind the scenes at a Career Fair (one of my personal favorites)

In other news, our first few days at this new URL have gone swimmingly, which is such a relief, and something for which I’m very grateful. As you may have guessed, there was a lot of work involved with getting the update off the ground.  The timing of this change was intentional, as these next few weeks are shaping up to be quite busy (MPACE conference in Portland, multiple employer meetings and community events, Career Center Fall retreat, etc). I’ll have some good stories and updates coming your way, and I look forward to using this new platform to share them.

In the meantime, please enjoy the highlights and have a wonderful weekend!

-DBO

Wise words on Employer branding…

My, my, my…that word ‘branding’ gets thrown around a lot these days, doesn’t it?  In a few minutes I’m going to an Events Council meeting to learn more about it, so it’s been on my mind today.

Here at the Career Center, we are certainly not immune to the power of branding. We’re conscious of not only our own brands (on-campus and off-campus), but also the brands of our employers. On that note, I wanted to share some words of wisdom from my colleague Michelle Foley (who single-handedly ran Employer Relations AND OCI before I came on board), who recently said that “Campus recruiting has a lot to do with building a brand.  At UCI it takes employers engaging in at least one activity per quarter a full academic year to achieve student recognition.  Once recognition is achieved the activity level should be maintained for another academic year to solidify the reputation.”

Something to think about, right?  The main idea here is that steady, long-term involvement can lead to recruitment success. Keep in mind that this is a suggestion for employers who expect to do consistent hiring over an extended period of time, and who want to build a solid pipeline of candidates from UCI. I realize that can sound like a lot of work, but the good news is we have staff members dedicated to helping employers develop and maintain a level of involvement that is appropriate to them and their business needs (ahem…I am one of those staff members).

Either way – let me know how we can help. That’s what we’re here for.

See? We really are helpful.

Until next time,
DBO

PS  – There is absolutely still hope for employers who do not hire as frequently. Many can often still find success while maintaining a smaller presence on campus. Some quick, inexpensive ideas can be found here

Why aren’t more students applying to my posting? (FAQ’s 4.0)

This question helps me revisit that childhood dream of becoming a detective, since there is never a clear, one-size-fits-all answer to give.  It usually takes a little bit of digging to determine how to answer this question. Here are some of the many things we have to consider when someone brings this topic up:

  • What time of year/academic quarter is it?
    Indeed, there are times of the year when ZotLink is quieter. Midterms, finals, spring break, summer term, the list goes on. All of these shifts in the calendar mean that students are either busy or away, and that they are checking ZotLink less often.  There are also times when recruitment season is in full swing and it’s busier on ZotLink, meaning that you will have more competition with your posting.
  • How much (and what kind of) information is in the posting?
    Our students are very savvy. Clear, concise, error-free descriptions that demonstrate your company’s professionalism are going to be appreciated. Blank sections, vague information, or unclear messages will deter applicants.
  • How is the position described, and named?
    I can certainly understand the desire to stand out and showcase your company’s personality, though if you have a creatively-named position, be aware that not everyone will understand it.  Calling a Sales Representative a “Life Changing Relationship Builder” may match your company’s values, but it won’t make sense to those who aren’t as familiar with your lingo or personality.
  • What type of position is it?
    There are some types of opportunities that are simply more popular among our student body than others. Personally, I believe that nearly every internship, entry-level or junior position has a spot on ZotLink (we have over 40,000 students and alumni registered), but that doesn’t mean students are equally interested in all of them, unfortunately.
  • Is the compensation fair?
    There are a number of things many people (students or non-students) expect to get paid to do. Calling the experience an “unpaid internship” does not change that, and might lead to a less-enthusiastic applicant pool. On a related note, if your position is unpaid, but it shows up next to four identical opportunities that ARE paid, that will affect someone’s decision whether or not to apply.
  • What else do students know your company (from online sources, the news, word of mouth, etc.)?
    You could have the most perfectly-worded, perfectly-timed, well-compensated position in the world, though if a student knows someone who had a miserable internship experience, or who doesn’t like working with your organization, that may inhibit their application. In addition, if your organization has received bad press or has negative reviews online, that will also be a factor. 

Please keep in mind that you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself – my colleagues and I are here to work with employers and ensure that your recruiting efforts are going as smoothly as possible. I’ll gladly talk to anyone wondering how to maximize a posting.  Deep down, I like that detective feeling!

Until next time,
DBO

Top 5 Career Fair tips (for recruiters)

All right friends and readers – here it is! Now that our Fall Career & Graduate School fairs have wrapped up, I can share the Top 5 Tips I learned (for recruiters)…

5) Wear (or bring) comfortable shoes
Seriously. You might be standing for 5+ hours. When hosting tables during a previous job, I often wore sneakers or flip-flops that weren’t visible to anyone else (thank goodness for floor-length table cloths). Then, I changed into my stiff shoes for the walk to lunch or to my car. Most people had no idea I did this…until now.

4) Bring reinforcements
You do not need to take on the entire fair by yourself! It’s not uncommon to see two, three, four, or more representatives at one table. See if there are any recent college graduates in your organization who can spare a few hours to relate to the students. Or, better yet, see if there are any alumni in your company who can come represent (we’ll give them special nametags and pins)

3) Understand where the students are coming from
Please take a moment to remember what it’s like to be in a student’s shoes juggling career fairs and job applications with classes, homework, club meetings, group projects, study dates, internship hours, academic planning, home life, etc. Some students may be able blend right in with the experienced candidates you work with, others are still learning about what it means to be professional. Don’t be surprised if you encounter some of each.

2) Care for yourself
Take advantage of the tea and water available to you, or bring your own throat lozenges if you prefer. You will likely be talking a LOT.

1) Let staff know if you have any questions or concerns
There is much we can do to help you have a smooth and successful fair experience. Need water or a snack? Check. Want a quick route to the bathroom or to a coffee stand? Check. Have a question about our student body, or academic programs? Check. Is your table wobbly, or do you need another chair? Check. We can help with all of these things, if you ask us in time. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything we can do if we don’t find out about an issue until you give us your evaluation at the end of the fair. So, please don’t be shy. You will see dozens of us circulating at the fairs – let us know what you need!

Looking forward to seeing you next time!

-DBO

Highlights from Fairs 3 & 4

Hello again!

For those keeping track, we are now through four of our five fall fairs – the Work-Study and On-Campus Employment Fair, the Engineering, Science and Technology Fair, the Fall Career Fair, and the Graduate School Fair.  Big day! Time sure flies when you’re having fun, right? All that’s left for this quarter is our Law School Fair (next Monday, October 31). Hopefully many of you enjoyed the first unofficial pictorial posted back on 10-14. In that same vein, here are some more photo highlights from our events on 10-20 and 10-24 for your viewing pleasure…

As it turns out, the Fall Career Fair had many things in commong with the Engineering, Science & Technology fair held the week prior...

...including location, steady student traffic and strong employer representation.

Though, grad fairs look a little different. This is a "before" picture of yesterday's event, which had over 100 graduate schools represented.

Here's a "during" shot, with table tents and students as far as the eye can see.

Graduate School Fairs are also a bit more casual.

Though my unbiased (ahem) professional opinion is that you'll still find that staff is friendly and professional...

(As are our new friends tabling)

...especially after we've had our coffee (seriously. This part is important)

Lastly, I think this one speaks for itself - two our fabulous Peer Advisors helping with take-down.

photo credit: All photos courtesy of our fabulous marketing guru, Joanne.

I’m looking forward to reporting back after we finish our final fair fair on Monday – Until next time!

-DBO