Monthly Archives: September 2015

Why Intern? Ask a Disney Character

Many of us millennials grew up watching Disney movies, playing the soundtracks over and over, and dressing up like our favorite characters for Halloween (or, if you were like me, you did this way more than once a year). As college students, we also have been told by family, peers, academic advisors, and professors how important it is to have an internship in college. It’s a way to gain real experience in your field and reaffirm you’re headed on the right career path upon graduation. Did you ever think that your favorite Disney characters could want you to land that internship, too? Here’s why!

“I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream!”

blog1Rapunzel has a dream, that’s for sure, and you do, too! Start by thinking about what your dreams and aspirations are for your future employment. What kinds of tasks do you want to do throughout your work day? What types of companies interest you? If you don’t have any specific career goals to work from, think about your passions and how you can connect them to the job opportunities that are out there. Internships are a fantastic way to explore all of your options and start to figure out what you want and what you don’t want, and what you’ll need to do to achieve your dreams.

“There’s a thousand things to see…”

Much like Aladdin and Jasmine on their magic carpet ride, there are so many new magical things to see blog2at an internship. You get to meet new people, explore a real company’s workspace, sit in on exciting and important meetings, and immerse yourself in a company culture that is nothing like a classroom. If you take a step out of your comfort zone and enter the workplace as an intern, you will have so many new experiences and will be amazed by what you find. You can gain a new perspective and point of view on a field that you might want to pursue upon graduation.

“You’ve got a friend in me.”

blog3As an intern, you could be lucky enough to form relationships with your supervisor, fellow interns, and co-workers that is as strong as the bond between Andy and his toys. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate on projects, get to know employees personally and learn from them professionally, and even network with individuals in your company’s industry. The connections that you can make as an intern have the potential to land you an awesome recommendation letter or even get your foot in the door for a full-time job. Never underestimate the power of the people you know!

“What’s a fire and why does it, what’s the word, burn?”

Hopefully your questions at work are a little more career oriented than Ariel’s questions about the human world, but think about all of the things you can learn on the job! blog4You finally have the chance to take the topics you study in the classroom and apply them to a real world setting at your internship. You’ll also gain new knowledge about your field from the projects you work on that can’t be taught in the classroom. On top of all of that, you can even learn how the people with whom you work ended up at the company and what kind of path they took on their career journey. This knowledge can benefit you in so many important ways.

While Disney characters may have some great reasons why you should give any internship a try, the Career Center has the experts and the resources to help you make it happen! Explore the resources by major pages, search for internship positions on Hire@TU, or make an internship search strategy appointment.

Finally, take the initiative to attend Internship Week events from October 5-9 and finish off the week strong with the Fall Career and Internship Fair on Friday, October 9 from noon-3 pm in the West Village Commons Ballrooms. Network with 90+ employers and make the connections that can land you an internship experience you will never forget.

As Walt Disney himself would say, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

For more information, visit the Career Center’s website or call us as 410-704-2233.

Good luck!
Rachel Ungvarsky
Marketing Intern
Career Center

How to Avoid Having the Wool (sweater) Pulled Over Your Eyes

When I was a teenager, I always looked forward to fall back to school shopping. My mom and I would blog1go to my favorite stores in the mall and I would revel in finding the latest must-have for that season. Before we got to the register though, my mom insisted on looking every item over very carefully. She always took her time, examining each item for spots or damage or just ridiculous pricing to the point of holding up the line at the checkout. In those days, I would just roll my eyes, but I have come to realize that what she did made a lot of sense. Now I apply her tactics to how I evaluate the information I encounter every day.

It didn’t matter how much I loved the store we were in or how many fantastic pieces I had already purchased from there, my mom always insisted on spot checking every item before we bought it. She didn’t automatically trust the seller. Now I try to do the same with the information I consume. When I encounter a new piece of information, especially on social media, I ask myself, “What does the information provider have to gain if I believe what they are saying?” Sometimes it’s obvious. If Kim Kardashian is professing wonderful things about a medication, it is probably likely that she was paid to do so. Other times it is a bit more complicated. What about when a friend asks you to like a non-profit on social media that you’ve never heard of before? Even if you know the messenger and actual money isn’t involved, it is always a good idea to take the time to look over the information carefully before you buy into it. Just by sharing or liking a piece of information, you are, at least to some extent, suggesting that you think that information is worthwhile. blog 2

So how can you tell if a piece of information is legitimate? When it came to clothes, my mom always looked for how well the garment was put together. Were there any loose threads? You can do this with information too. From the longest article to the shortest hashtag, every piece of information has a context. No information exists in isolation. The more you understand that context, the better you will be able to judge the information. Sometimes the information creators make it easy to get to that context—they provide links or citations to where they got their information and you can judge credibility based on their sources. A giveaway that an information source isn’t the best is when they only provide links to their own material, as many of these rogue Facebook sites do. Other times it isn’t that easy and you have to do a bit more research. Even though it does take time, there are tools to help you uncover the true origins of a piece of information, like Google’s reverse image search and even your friendly librarian. Just as a shirt is only as strong as its fabric, so too is information only as strong as its sources.

Does this mean that you have to be skeptical about every piece of information you encounter? It depends. I once awoke at 2am to find a bat in my bathroom so I asked Google how to remove it and the wikihow site (complete with pictures) worked just fine. When it comes to academic papers and any personal decisions that matter—like information involving your health, your money, and your reputation—you’re going to want to be skeptical and invest the time to do your research. While there is a return policy for most bad fashion choices, bad information choices can live forever in our social media world.

Learn more from a librarian and many other academic services on campus at this semester’s Academic Resources Fairs this week!

Academic Resources Fairs
Whether you need help with your paper, a tutor for your class, or help choosing your major or study abroad program, the Academic Resource Fair has you covered! Stop by the library and learn about the many resources and tools available for your academic success.  Prizes will be given away!  Stop by for 10 minutes or stay the entire time!

Monday, September 21st
Tuesday, September 22nd
12-2pm

Joyce Garczynski, Cook Library

The Truth About Graduate School: A Realistic Approach

The graduate school application process often can become overwhelming, especially if you feel like you are completely on your own. If you are graduating in the next year, you’re probably asking yourself, “Does my desired career require a graduate degree? What kind of graduate program should I be researching? Do I want to apply to an in-state or out-of-state school? What happens if I don’t get accepted into my desired program?”

As a graduating senior this year, I am asking myself all of these same questions. To help ease some of your stress and anxiety, I want to share with you a student success story about my former coworker from the Career Center, Shane Henise.

Shane graduated from TU last May with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in LGBT studies. He is a very outgoing individual and passionate about research, especially in regard to the LGBT community. Shane wanted to pursue a career in research after obtaining his Ph.D., so he only applied to schools that offered his desired programs.

“The graduate application process is long and frustrating at times, but reaching out for support was absolutely essential to ensure that I was putting my best self forward,” said Shane.

Before applying to graduate school, Shane had several advisors from the Career Center review his resume, personal statement, and personal essay for each and every school for which he submitted an application. It is essential to tailor each item you submit to the specific university program to which you apply.

To say Shane would have been completely optimistic and hopeful throughout the application process would be a lie. After submitting all of your applications, perhaps the most stressful part isn’t meeting the deadlines, but instead the suspense of waiting for the universities to accept or decline your application. Unfortunately, all of Shane’sStudent Success Story- Shane Henise Ph.D. applications were denied. When this happens, it can be extremely disheartening. One thing Shane learned from this process was the importance of having a back-up plan. Shane was very thankful he applied to a Master’s program as well, which offered him a spot in their program. While Shane was still disheartened that his dream Ph.D. programs did not work out as planned, the Career Center helped Shane through this stressful process by giving the support he needed. Shane learned that things often have a way of working out. Although Columbia University declined his application to the psychology research Ph.D. program, they offered him a spot in their Master’s in Psychology Research program, as they felt this was the better fit for him. Shane already started the program this fall semester.

Some advice we can take away from this story is to begin the grad school process early. Make sure you research your desired schools and programs and be sure you have a range of schools in mind, including your dream (or reach) school(s), your middle option(s), and your safety or back-up plan. For everyone, these plans will be different.

My grad school options are more limited because of the program I wish to pursue, so I will be applying to Loyola University and Johns Hopkins University for their School Counseling Master’s programs. My back-up plan is to find a job after graduation if graduate school does not work out next year. It is important to figure out your options now and remember to keep an open mind. The purpose of this story is not to dissuade you from applying to grad school, but instead help provide you with a realistic insight that sometimes things do not work out as planned. Even if you aren’t accepted into your dream program for some reason, something else will work out, perhaps maybe even for the better!

The Career Center understands how stressful the grad school process can be. Advisors in our department went to graduate school and now have master’s degrees. No matter where you are in the graduate school process, the Career Center staff is here and wants to help you! In addition to online resources and the graduate application appointments offered at the Career Center, there are some upcoming events to help prepare you for the application process. Check our calendar of events for more information on How to Finance Your Grad School Education, How To Write A Killer Personal Statement, and How To Stand Out From The Crowd In The Grad School Admissions Process.

Good luck!

Amanda Sands
Marketing Intern and Public Speaking Intern
Career Center

Starting Your Semester Off Fresh!

1The start of the semester is here and hopefully by now you have figured out where all of your classes are.  Now you need a few tips on how to get your semester off to the right start.  We hope to help you make the most of this fresh start with tips about planning/scheduling, studying spots/groups, making the most of your resources on campus, and getting involved.

You’ve spent the past week being bombarded by future assignments, projects, and paper expectations from every angle, and now it’s time to organize that information.  Before you find yourself in class, panicked that you missed your first assignment or that you have a paper due next class and you don’t know the topic, find a way to organize all your assignments into one place. For some people, this means writing everything down in a planner. Color coded with stickers emphasizing importance.  If the thought of a color coded planner makes you sick, that’s OK. Find something that works for you. Use google calendar, an app on your smart phone, or even a white board hanging up in your dorm room.  Have one place to keep all your due dates as a reference to keep yourself on track. Not only will this help you stay on top of your school work, but you can also see some free time in your schedule, where you can plan to go out and have some fun.

A successful study session begins with where you choose to study. Picking a study spot is an important first step in making the most of your study time. If you are finding that your study habits aren’t effective, you may find that changing your study spot will bring better results. Need some ideas other than your dorm room? Try out the Cook Library, Student Union, or Starbucks if you need a change of scenery for productive study sessions.

Now that you have your study spot, it’s time to think about who you may want to study with. After you spend some time studying individually, you may find it is helpful to talk through the material with a study partner. This partner doesn’t have to be your best friend or roommate. In fact, sometimes it’s better to not be best friends with your study partners so you won’t be easily distracted. Find one or two classmates who are looking for study partners and team up!qqi8v

Now that you have a planning method and a study spot and group you need to start using all of the campus resources that are available to you.  The biggest resource on campus that is underutilized are your professors.  They should be the first person that you go to when you have a question about your course, because they are the ones teaching the material and grading the assignments.  They know what you need to be doing more than anyone else.  There are also a lot of other resources on campus that are free to students such as tutoring for courses in the Academic Achievement Center and in the Writing Center.  There is also free help with resumes, finding internships, and interview preparation at the Career Center.  There are an abundance of resources on campus that are free of charge that you should be taking advantage of, they are just a quick “Towson Search” away.

As a freshman or transfer student, it’s very easy to walk around campus and think that you don’t know anyone. Getting involved in student organizations is a way to form new connections and friendships. There are many ways to get involved on campus. From club sports to special interest and service organizations, there’s something for everyone at Towson. Not only does getting involved give you something else to do besides classes, but it gives you an opportunity to meet people with common interests. Getting involved helps give you some sense of belonging. You have the ability to make a difference and have fun doing things with people from all walks of life. Some of the people you meet in these organizations will turn out to become lifelong friends.

Now you have the keys to making the most of the fresh start of the semester.  Planning is key and it is important that you track your coursework somehow.  Next you need to find a place to study that you can make your own and a group of people that will help you achieve all of your goals.  You also want to be taking advantage of all of the resources available to you on campus.  Lastly, get involved on campus in either a club, group, or on campus job, it will help you form friendships that could last a lifetime.

Graduate Students
Kristy Gustavson, Steven Hand, & Marissa Insinna

Learning Specialist
Jeremy Boettinger

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