Tag Archives: Dena Ogden

Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Danke…

Confession time: Despite being a member of Generation Y, there are some things about me that, by most definitions, are a bit old school. Examples: I love me some Otis Redding, I have never read a book on an e-reader, and I am a big fan of both Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell (Just kidding. Sort of. That’s a different kind of Old School).

But, most importantly, I firmly believe in the value of good ol’fashioned thank you notes. Not emails, not re-tweets, not shout-outs in the comments section of a website, but short & sweet, personal, handwritten notes that make the back of my pinky turn black with ink as I write them.

Like this

That said, thanks to our director’s willingness to let me try new (or old!) things, I recently spent some hours compiling a list of employers in a particular field that had utilized our services last year, and then hand-writing them thank you cards. In an era of email-blasts and tweets, I encountered some raised eyebrows at this project. However, guess what happened!

…Okay, you don’t have to guess, I will tell you: among those who have received the cards, feedback has been very positive! Responses have included a LinkedIn request, emails of appreciation, and job postings for which they’d like to recruit more UCI students (in my field, this is one of the best responses possible).

So, the reason I share this experience here is that perhaps this story may strike a chord with some of my fellow old-schoolers and/or note-writers. Take heart…you are not alone! Send that thank you card with pride! Get some ink on your hands! Lick an envelope!  And, then, feel good about your effort because people will notice it.

With that, hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. Until next time…

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How do I reach out to more students/alumni about my job opportunity? (FAQs, Part 3.0)

What a good question, I’m so glad you asked! For the sake of conversation, let’s assume that you have already posted on ZotLink when you’re asking this.

The good news is, the Career Center offers a number of opportunities and recommendations to help you in this area. While some of our services do have various charges attached (reminder: ZotLink is not one of them), there are some things employers can do with a $0 budget to help your recruitment. Let’s begin with those, shall we? 

  • Use resume books
    When employers have a position available, they are welcome to request access to UCI resume books to actively view and search resumes of students (who have opted into the collection). Interested employers can contact me for questions and access at dena.o [at] uci.edu.
  • Volunteer with the Career Center
    We love our employer volunteers! There are opportunities available throughout the year for employers to come speak on a panel, perform resume reviews, offer mock interviews, etc. All of these opportunities allow for direct interaction with students which, as we all know, can help with recruitment efforts. Volunteer opportunities do tend to be in high demand by our employer friends, so if this is an area in which you are interested, it’s best to let me or one of my colleages know, and we can go over what we’re looking for with you. Space is limited, and we also like to be clear on the kind of information you’re providing to ensure that it doesn’t conflict with our values/mission.
  • Reach out to student orgs
    UCI Student Organizations are listed online here, and the site allows viewers to look up clubs and contacts. It is free for employers to find student groups that may be interested in their organization (there are hundreds of clubs, dozens of which have a professional focus).

That said, my colleagues and I are here to ensure that you are maximizing your efforts (and, not paying for things that you don’t need). Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you are interested in any of the above options: dena.o [at] uci.edu

On that note, Happy Friday, all! Enjoy your weekend!

-DBO

Nice to meet you, please look at my pictures.

Friends and readers, I think it’s time I share some of my wedding pictures with you. Well, sort of.
 
See, we welcomed a new team of student employees to the Career Center a few weeks ago. From what I’ve seen so far, they are a rad bunch, and we wanted to ensure they got properly introduced to the professional staff. One of the ways we made this happen was by sharing collages. Yes, collages…as in, the glue-y messes we made in elementary school. But trust me, after this exercise, collages are one of my new favorite communication platforms (right after text messages, and owls).

Employers, I present to you my own collage, and the suggestion that those charged with getting to know lots of people (or ensuring that lots of people get to know one another) use a similar tool. Nothing is more awkward than being asked to “introduce yourself to the group” without having anything prepared. This way, we all had something to talk about, and we were each in control of the topics we shared. Perhaps this could work for a new class group of interns or new hires?

Yes, the bottom image is of a lop-earred rabbit standing on his hind legs printed on powder blue paper. It's a long story.

 On that note, I wish you all a happy weekend!

-DBO

Job postings: Good vs. Great (2 of 2)

You may recall this posting that first introduced the topic of good vs. great job postings. It’s time to dive a little deeper…
  • Be up front about key information. I know that there are times when it is in the poster’s best interest to leave out the name of the employer (confidential searches, third-party recruiters, etc.) but for the majority of posts, it is best to fill in every space on the form. Waiting to hear if the position is in the LA or the Dallas office?  Don’t put “nationwide.” Wait until you find out before you put the post up.
  • Know the difference between “job function” and “industry.” For example, if a circus is hiring a web developer, the job function is “Web Development,” while the industry is entertainment. Answering this question properly will help ensure that students searching the database are finding you.
  • For salary level, putting “Paid Internship” or “DOE” isn’t technically wrong, but including “$14-16/hour” is much more helpful. It’s also a possible way to save some time in the long run, as student can self-select in or out of a search based on pay.
  • Let the details sell the position. For example, instead of just listing duties as “General Reception responsibilities,” let them know that “a typically day may include greeting clients, calendaring, research and front office support”
  • Has your organization received any awards?  Has someone on the team been featured in the media lately?  Include some recent accolades. Just be sure these kinds of details don’t overwhelm the rest of the information, as it should supplement, not dominate. Something like, “Our organization, which was just listed as the Top Company at Writing Job Postings on Dena Ogden’s LiveFromOC blog, is hiring for a front office assistant. Duties include…”

Please don’t be shy if you have questions. Most universities employ at least one person like me, who is available to help employers recruit students. We WANT you to hire our students, and we’d like to make the process as smooth as possible.

If the above info doesn’t get you excited to hire students, perhaps these photos will…I took these last week, right before and during our Work Study and On-Campus Employment Fair, a small event (yes, this is small for us) that we host during Welcome Week. As you can see, students are back on campus and looking for work!

Before

During

During (another angle)

 
 
-DBO

Where’d you hear THAT? Top 3 Myths about Interns

This is my "interns are serious business" pose

All right friends, I’m sure some of you (especially those the read my last post) knew this day was coming. Let’s explore some intern-related assumptions we have seen from employers. Even those with the best of intentions are sometimes sadly misinformed about interns, and it is time we shed some light on common myths. 

Myth 1 – Interns…that’s just another word for free labor, right?
Actually, no. It’s definitely not. There’s quite a bit more to it than that. In fact, there are a number of national organizations (including the Department of Labor and the National Association of Colleges and Employers, NACE) that have weighed in on what interns can and cannot do for free. I highly suggest anyone considering interns check out, print out, and even memorize DOL Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In addition to supporting the DOL standards, we at UC Irvine subscribe to following NACE principles:

1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.

2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.

3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.

4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.

5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.

6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.

7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
source: http://www.naceweb.org/about/membership/internship/

So, the short answer is, if your opportunity does not meet the above criteria, it may not be viewed as a legitimate internship. As a result, you could find yourself with, at the very least, unhappy interns (and concerned Career Center staff) who are questioning your ethics and work environment.

Myth #2 – If an intern is showing up at my office, their school will automatically give him/her class credit, right?
I wish it was this easy!  UC Irvine is unique in that we don’t offer an internship program that covers our entire campus. Instead, different academic units have programs that suit their specific curricula. Students and employers should both be proactive to ensure that the internship lines up with a program’s standards, and if so, that all of the proper documentation has been completed for the student to earn credit. It is in no way an automatic process.

Myth #3 – I had to lay off our ______, so now I can get an unpaid intern to fill the role, right? Ouch. No.  For those who followed the DOL link, you may have seen these two criteria:

The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff

The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded

So, the short answer is that unpaid interns cannot take over the duties meant for a paid staff member. They can be guided, mentored, and they can often be helpful when they work with the staff duties, but they should not be solely responsible for a traditionally paid position (IE, receptionist, clerical, business development, sales, etc.)

These areas in particular often comes with a lot of questions. As always, let me know how I can help!

-DBO

Lessons from the cocktail table (3.0) – Or, how I learned to love networking.

Picture this: eleven sorority sisters descend upon the Deschutes River in Maupin,OR for a rafting weekend to celebrate their ten-year anniversary of pledging together. Kind of a big deal, right? Yes, you are correct. It was.  Though, while on this trip, I learned a valuable lesson from a river rafting guide, and it wasn’t just how not to drown  if/when I fall out of our raft on a class 4. 

picture credit: http://www.asrk.com. (Yes, that's really our boat!)

In between rapids, we were able to enjoy some gorgeous scenery, glassy water, and conversation that ranged from life updates to mindless chatter. At one point, our guide inquired about what sort of work we were all in. We took turns explaining, going around the boat and offering up our titles and (if necessary) brief descriptions of what we did. I thought nothing of it, figuring he was just making conversation.

Someone commented to our guide about how cool it must be to meet so many different people in his job.  He responded by whole-heartedly agreeing and acknowledging that when he asked us what we all did, he was networking.

Wait, what? Cue the record scratch.

I didn’t think I’d hear that word this weekend!  What do you mean, you’re networking?  We’re on a boat!  We’re wearing life vests!  I smell like sunscreen!  You’re trying to network with me?

Turns out, he wasn’t just trying, he successfully did it. It wasn’t formulaic, it didn’t feel obvious or forced, it was just people getting to know each other in an enjoyable setting. That can technically count as networking, right? It opened my eyes a bit (okay, a lot).  Lesson learned: networking can come in all shapes and forms and it doesn’t have to include a nametag, business cards, or a handshake.

Side note: I wonder if I can convince our director that I should go “networking” again this weekend on the Deschutes…

We're smiling because we survived.

-DBO

6 months, by the numbers!

Hi all!

For those who were in the UCI Career Center yesterday, you may have seen Michelle and I in our matching tiaras. This week officially marks our 6-month anniversary on campus, a mini-milestone of which we are slightly proud. It’s also given me a few reasons to reflect and come up with….drumroll, please…a list of numbers!  Here is what the first 6 months as a brand-new Employer & Community Outreach Specialist can look like:

  • 1340 sent emails
  • a bunch more received…many have been re-sorted and/or deleted so a grand total is not available. We’ll just go with “a bunch”
  • 23 networking events
  • 41 employer meetings
  • 9 days of conferences/travel/off-sites
  • 279 Tweets
  • 24 blog posts
  •  Plus, many hours dedicated to training, research (on both the employment community and UC Irvine), meetings, and getting up to speed on best practices

I’m not what numbers in other jobs look like, but I see this list and feel okay – I think they represent a good start, but more room to grow (side note: these numbers should be fairly exact, but I reserve the right to claim a margin for human error). 

Michelle is away from her desk currently, so I wasn’t able to grab her for a pose. But, here is proof of the existence of our “6 mos.” tiaras...

...Not to be confused with “lo mos” tiaras, which is what one colleague thought they said. Though, BabelFish tells me that lo mos is Spanish for “the mos”. I never knew the mos was a word, and dictionary.com tells me that “mo” is short for moments. So, in a way, our Tiaras said “The Moments.” I am okay with that.

-DBO