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Success Story | Mykenna Yesnes & Whitney Zahn, Elementary Education

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Answered By: Mykenna Yesnes (Right in picture) and Whitney Zahn (Left in picture)

What are your positions? What school is it for?
We are currently practicum students in Clara Barton Open School in Minneapolis.

How did you learn about this opportunity?
Three practicum blocks are required for the undergraduate Elementary Education program. Next year as seniors, we will finish the other two practicum blocks (reading and special education). For placements this semester, we ranked schools we preferred to work at. Mykenna knew the principal of Barton and really wanted to work in his school.

Describe your positions.
As an introductory practicum, we don’t teach in front of the class yet, but rather act as a cooperating teacher when there is work time. Students see us as another instructor in the class and ask similar questions that they ask their teacher, Penny. Much of the introductory practicum is about observing the main instructor and getting a feel for classroom.

What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
The kids are hands down the most enjoyable part of this position. Being able to help students find the answer to a difficult math problem or work through a paragraph they’ve been slaving away on is the most rewarding feeling…cliché, I know! But, it’s so true! Often times, students forget my role as a teacher and treat me more as a friend. When I come in the morning and when I leave in the afternoon, many of my girls will race over to hug me, which is not how they would treat their teacher. It’s difficult to maintain a professional role in the classroom while creating relationships with the students we have come to know over the past couple months.

How does your position fit with your long-term career goals?
Mykenna: This position directly reflects what I imagine myself doing down the road. I’m currently placed in a mixed 3rd and 4th grade classroom, which is my ideal grade to teach in the future. I absolutely love the school I’m placed in. Barton is one of the best elementary schools in Minneapolis and I’d be extremely lucky to work in a school of its caliber in the future.
Whitney: My experience at Clara Barton elementary school has been rewarding in a variety of ways. I have become more aware of the variety of schools I have the potential to teach in and the different goals each school has set for their students. Working in a combined third and fourth grade classroom was quite daunting at first but I have become accustomed to the classroom environment and could not imagine helping out anywhere else. In my future classroom, I hope to work with 3rd or 4th graders because of my experience at Clara Barton. I have gained a great deal of confidence from this semester in the classroom and I look forward to the experiences and challenges that lie ahead for me.

During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
Fortunately, when being placed at a school site for each practicum, there isn’t much competition between other undergraduate students. Generally speaking, students are able to work at their 1st or 2nd preferred school site. However, in the future when applying for jobs, it will be extremely beneficial having the amount of experience the University of Minnesota has provided their undergraduates. After graduating from the masters program, University of Minnesota students are somewhere between 5-7 times more qualified than others due to the rigorous and integrated program.

Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
Bring a notepad to school and take notes! It is a great gift to be able to observe teachers who’ve been teaching for 20+ years and you’ll want to document it. Ask for their advice and insight, as they’re the best resource for your future. Create great relationships with your cooperating teachers, so you can revisit their classroom in the future or gain more knowledge from them!

Success Story | Austin Kennedy, Park and Leisure Studies

IMG_0137.JPGWhat was your position? What organization is it for?
Craft Immersion Internship Position, at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

How did you learn about this position?
I found out by word of mouth. I had previously been to the school and heard they were offering new internships opportunities.

Describe your position.
North House Folk School’s Internship program is dedicated to preserving the future of traditional craft by nurturing an interest in craft education & hands-on learning. Interns increase their awareness of and exposure to various responsibilities involved with non-profit education and program management. Interns play an active role in the day-to-day campus coordination, public outreach, administrative support, and the developing of traditional craft skills.

What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
I greatly enjoyed the connections I made with the students. As an intern I support and participate in the mission/vision of the North House Folk School: “enriching lives and building community by teaching traditional northern crafts in a student-centered learning environment that inspires the hands, the heart and the mind.” The ideals of teamwork, dedication, responsibility, efficiency and creativity are central to the success of the organization.
The internship’s work schedule and time commitments are divided among various roles, each of which is directly connected to the daily affairs and educational vision of campus. It is a long dedicated commitment but the reward of doing such wonderful work in unhindered by its challenges.

How does your position fit with your long-term career goals?
I plan to continue down the road of Outdoor Education, and this hands-on experience gave me the skills that will prepare me for the work in my field. I believe in the connection of nature and preservation, whether it’s crafts, skills, relationships, or the natural world.

During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
I took great strides to ensure that my personality resonated through my entire resume and cover letter. I dutifully went through the job description and the history of the organization to entice my interviewers to understand my passion and desire for the intern position.

Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
Do your homework, prepare for interview questions based on the job descriptions. Rework your resume with help from Career Services, use the tools and resources you have available to you while at University. Above all, be yourself, show your personality and be confident.

Success Story | Nathan Jobe, Sport Management

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How did you learn about this position?
Each year, the Minnesota Twins provides a career fair for individuals who aspire to have a career in the sports industry. During my senior year, I attended the career fair in the fall of 2012 to learn more about current positions with the Minnesota Twins. I also reach out to my teachers from the Sport Management program, which they informed me the Twins were hiring.

Describe your position.
I help assist with the management and execution of core programs within the Twins Community Fund (TCF), a 501c3 nonprofit organization that benefits children and their families in the surrounding Twin-Cities. To be more specific, coordinate community and cause-related events that align the Minnesota Twins’ focus areas, such as health, education, ballpark renovations, and player appearances to create awareness and involvement of the TCF.

If you have ever celebrated your birthday/anniversary at a Twins game, I manage the scoreboard message requests and ensure they are displayed correctly and promptly. Also, I assist with game-day duties, including military recognitions, check presentations, and national anthem performances.

What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
Working for the Twins in the Community Relations department; it’s such a rewarding job each day. From sending an in-kind donation to a charity, displaying a scoreboard message to inviting kids to Target Field to meet the players, it never gets old. Choosing to have a profession in sports, plan on working long hours. There are days where you work 12 hour days if not longer.

How does your position fit with your long-term career goals?
Landing this position right out of college, I’m motivated to become a better professional and leader within the sports industry.

During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
While filling out the application, I used key words from the job description and placed them in my resume and cover letter. I also reached out to individuals – professors, faculty, coaches, peers – who have current relationships with the Twins Staff.

What are you doing today to further your career?
Do not wait until you are a senior in undergrad to start your professional development. During your undergrad, set up informational interviews, research organizations, type your resume, practice interview questions-all very helpful. You have plenty of resources and faculty that want to help you grow professionally at the University of Minnesota – use them!

Success Story | Hayley Freeman, Human Resource Development

Human Resource Development Intern at Coenen Bros.
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I attended the Human Resource Development recruitment event that took place October 2012. I made an effort to meet with the Coenen Bros. partners at the recruitment event.

Describe your position.
I worked with pro-active people with public accounting backgrounds to explore other great options within Finance and Accounting. Most of the people the company represents are not actively pursuing a new position, but are open to hearing about great roles in industry. Coenen Bros. specializes in working with Top Talented professionals from the larger public accounting firms, Deloitte, PWC, EY, KPMG, McGladrey, Grant and Larson Allen. Coenen Bros. find jobs within Tax, Tax Managers, Audit, Audit Directors, IT Audit, SEC reporting, SEC reporting Directors, Financial analysis, Finance Directors, staff, senior, mgr, senior mgr and director levels for mid to large sized companies interested in people with public accounting backgrounds.

What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
I really love recruiting! Coenen Bros. helps people find that work-life balance and enriches their lives by assisting them in the search for that perfect opportunity in their professional career. I love working with people and this is a different way of interacting. I am excited for this experience! It is challenging getting the hang of talking on my feet and asking continuous questions. I often get anxious to talk to someone on the phone, but I know my nerves will only last so long- I need to experience all types of situations to feel more comfortable. I like feeling prepared before I go into situations!

How does your position fit with your long-term career goals?
This position falls under the realm of Human Resource Development, which is my major. Recruiting is one industry in the HRD field that I find very intriguing. I am grateful I had an experience like this so young in my career.

During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
I try to be as honest as possible. I wanted employers to know that I even though I am young, I am looking for new opportunities to help expand my professional outlook. I am always up front and I know how to sell my brand. I have great emotional intelligence and I use that angle to help my employers get to know me in a different way.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship/job search process?
I had the help of family and friends that have had similar experience in this field. I also had their support which is always a plus! I came prepared this gave me confidence to success in interviews and my internship search. It was also very helpful that the U of M set up a HRD recruitment event!

Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
I would advise other to not pass up opportunities that are presented to you just because you think you do not fulfill the job prerequisites. Everyone has to start somewhere, and building your resume starts with experience! Do as much as you can while you’re in college, it will benefit you in the long run. You do not want to look back and think ‘oh I wish I would have done that’! I went to the recruitment fair kind of on a last minute whim. I saw it in an email and thought “hey maybe I find something, maybe I don’t”. Always try and go into those kinds of things with an open mind and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You will be glad you did.

Success Story | Ingrid Bergquist, Business and Marketing Education, Human Resource Development

Marketing Intern at North American Sports Group
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How did you learn about this position?
I learned about this summer internship opportunity when two representatives from North American Sports Group came to my Teaching Marketing Promotion class. I learned about and then went to a walk-in interview they were hosting that same day. After the initial in person interview, I had an interview over the phone and a final interview via Skype.

Describe your position.
The other marketing interns and I were in charge of managing of all social media platforms for the company’s various sports entities. This included running the company’s Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Instagram, and Pinterest efforts. I got the chance to create Google Ads and monitor the analytics. At the events, I took photos and videos then edited and posted to them social media platforms. I also conducted surveys, tabulated the results which were then used in a variety of ways.

What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
I greatly enjoyed getting the chance to help run the Kick It 3v3 soccer tournaments. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to improve my customer services skills. It was challenging, yet thrilling, to move to a different part of the country for the summer.

How does your position fit with your long-term career goals?
Long term I want to focus on marketing, product development, management as well as communications. I aim to become a multi-faceted marketing professional; North American Sports Group helped me gain experience and confidence in communications, marketing, branding, sales, public relations and project management.

During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
After I was hired, my employer mentioned that I was one of the few students who had demonstrated great positivity and enthusiasm throughout the interviews. My advice to other students is to show the employer that you are interested and have a desire to be in the position they are offering. Let the employer know why and how you could be an asset to their organization.

What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship/job search process?
GoldPASS is a great resource for students to utilize. GoldPASS is the U’s online database to help connect students and alumni with employers, volunteer organizations, and internships across the country. My employer contacted GoldPASS to set up walk-in interviews. After the brief interview, I went on GoldPASS to learn more about the company and finish my application process.

Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
Make the most out of every interview, internship and job experience you get. Sometimes it takes learning what you do not want to do career wise in order to find what truly interests you.

Employer Spotlight: Youth Enrichment League

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Youth Enrichment League is an after school and summer camp enrichment provider for kids across Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, and Colorado. We believe that each child has certain gifts and abilities they are given, and by providing quality enrichment to those children we can then nurture those gifts and abilities.

What do your employees enjoy about your organization?

Youth Enrichment League’s Three Pillars of Excellence

  1. Influence – Make a difference in a child’s day.
  2. Implement – Your yes is your yes, and your no is your no. If you agree to a class, schedule, sub assignment, we take you at your word that you will honor your commitment. The other facet to this pillar is implementing the curriculum and guidelines we have given.
  3. Individuals – Children are gifts to their parents, their schools, and their communities. YEL teachers should interact with each child as a distinct, unique student.

YEL employees are bubbly, energetic, sincere, and truly have a passion for working with children. Our office staff strives to ensure that each teacher is fully prepared for each class that they teach. If any issues arise our teachers know that they can call our office and get help in any situation immediately.

What are some challenges they face?

The biggest challenge our employees face is classroom management. Working with children can be stressful, and managing a full classroom with up to 20 students on your own can be difficult. We need instructors who understand children, and know how to command a classroom and be able to teach a class while still allowing the kids to have fun in the process.

When you are looking for new employees, what do you search for?

We are really looking for individuals who want to make a difference in a child’s life every day they go to work. Our employees are reliable and dedicated to the students that they teach. They also have excellent communication skills, and reliable transportation.

What does a typical hiring process look like for your organization?

The first step of our hiring process is to go to our website, www.youthenrichmentleague.com, to fill out an application. After we have received your application a member of our staff will place a phone call to the applicant to answer any questions they might have about the position and set up an interview. After the interview a decision will be made within two business days.

Employer Spotlight: KForce

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Kforce (Nasdaq:KFRC) is a professional staffing firm providing flexible and permanent staffing solutions in the specialty skill areas of Technology, Finance & Accounting, Government Solutions and Outsourcing Solutions.  With over $1Billion in sales, Kforce operates 63 offices in 41 markets bringing the value of over 50 years of experience.  Kforce works with 70% of Fortune 100 companies in the U.S.

Please describe your company culture. What do your employees enjoy about your organization? What are some challenges they face?

Kforce offers a very competitive compensation package including base salary, monthly commission, healthcare, dental, vision, 401K, employee stock purchase program, PTO, performance incentive trips and other employee discounts.  We offer multiple career paths in recruiting, sales, operations and leadership.  Last year, over 500 employees were promoted to new positions.

Our core values of respect, integrity, trust, exceptional service, commitment & fun and stewardship & community make Kforce a fun, energetic culture that truly cares about being a “team”.  Employees enjoy the involvement in community organizations from Feed My Starving Children, Toys for Tots, making sandwiches for the homeless, helping at Second Harvest and much more.   We also enjoy numerous other team building events and incentives throughout the year.

Working at Kforce can be challenging as it is a results-driven environment.  It is very goal oriented and requires commitment and dedication to excellence.

When you are looking for new employees, what do you search for?                            

Kforce is seeking individuals who are looking to make a career in recruiting and sales. The individuals we hire are hard working, competitive, goal orientated, team orientated and results driven.

What does a typical hiring process look like for your organization?

The hiring process starts with a phone interview from one of our internal recruiters to discuss both Kforce and the individual’s background and career goals.  This is followed by the candidate filling out an online application and personality assessment.  Once complete the individual will come into our office for an in-person interview with our team.  Finally, selected candidates will be offered the opportunity to shadow existing team members to learn more about our team, office and culture.  Throughout this time every candidate is in contact with our internal recruiter who is making sure they are well prepared for each step of the way.

What tips do have for students and alumni who are looking to enter your industry?

The recruiting and staffing industry is at an all time high right now.  With low unemployment rates in both the Technology and Finance & Accounting sectors that we work in; our industry is more valuable today than it ever has been.  Industry experts agree that it will only continue to expand even further.

 

Barnes Kiven | Job & Internship Fair

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Barnes Kiven (pictured on right) is a freshmen at the University of Minnesota in the College of Education and Human Development. On Friday February, 20th he attended the UMN Job and Internship Fair. He shared with us his experience at the fair!

What inspired you to attend the UMN Job and Internship Fair as a Freshman?                  

I am currently pursuing a career in the business world. Knowing how competitive it will be, I know that I have get a head-start. I have to find a way to distinguish myself from all other students. Hence, I attended the job fair because I want to get my name out there to different employers in Minnesota. I wanted to start building a steady network.

How did CEHD Career Services help to prepare you for the fair?
CEHD Career services offered various events that helped me prepare for this fair. Two weeks prior, they hosted a Kinesiology and Sports Management fair. This was a smaller event and it helped me assess what to expect on the bigger career fair. CEHD Career Services also held a resume critique workshop which helped me shape my resume into an accurate reflection of my abilities.
What were challenges you faced at the fair?
What challenged me most was the fact that being a freshman, most employers were not interested in me. They were mostly looking for juniors and seniors who are soon to be graduates in the workforce. I struggled to point out reasons why I was equally a considerable candidate for internships or summer jobs.
Overall, how was your experience at Fair?
Overall, I was satisfied with my experience. Not only was I able to distribute my resume to employers, I was also able to built my network with employers and added a few LinkedIn connections.
What tips and advice do you have for other students planning on attend a job fair?
Do a little research prior to the fair on the employers that you are interested in. This will help you to easily open up a dialogue with an employer as you already know what they are looking for. Even if you are not familiar with the company, still walk up to them. There were some employers that I was reluctant to visit, but eventually greatly benefited from our conversation. Be professional!

Employer Spotlight: One Heartland

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One Heartland is a national nonprofit whose mission is to serve children, youth and families facing significant health challenges or social isolation. At the core of this mission are the camp programs at our flagship facility in Willow River, Minn., as well as those in New York and California. We provide over 500 camp experiences every year, and because the majority of program participants live below the poverty line, we rely on donors to make our camps a reality.

Please describe your company culture. What do your employees enjoy about your organization? What are some challenges they face?                                                                           Our summer camp staff members are fun, energetic, accepting, creative and compassionate. The staff enjoys the fun activities, great campers we serve, and friendships developed in 2 short months. The biggest challenges our staff encounter are the long and chaotic days of summer camp.

When you are looking for new employees, what do you search for?
We are looking for positive, enthusiastic, fun, open-minded, hard working and team players for the summer.

What does a typical hiring process look like for your organization?
To apply interested applicants will go to OneHeartland and complete step one of the process.

What tips do have for students and alumni who are looking to enter your industry?
I would recommend those interested in this field to get as much experience as possible because it will help secure your first job.

Employer Spotlight: ACR Homes

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ACR is a group home company that provides care for adults with disabilities all throughout the Twin Cities. Voted #1 Workplace by the Star Tribune, ACR hires students to help them gain experience for their medical careers by offering a wide variety of training and internships.

Please describe your company culture. What do your employees enjoy about your organization? What are some challenges they face?                                                                   The culture of ACR is defined by our core values: Acceptance, Communication, and Respect. Everything that we do revolves around having the best quality care for our residents. Our staff love the personal care aspects of the job where they can build relationships with the residents, help them reach their goals, and simply be a friend to them while also learning to provide medical care.

When you are looking for new employees, what do you search for?                                           ACR is always hiring for our direct care Program Counselor position because we have over 60 homes (and still growing) that all require 24 hour care. We care about helping students gain experience for their careers, and we will place them at a home where they can get that experience. Our internships also go hand in hand with the job, so students can be getting a paycheck and building their resume at the same time! We simply search for competent people who care about helping people in need.

 What does a typical hiring process look like for your organization?                                    We first schedule applicants to come in to our office on University Ave. for the testing and interview process. They bring in their application with them, and they don’t need to prepare for anything beforehand. There they will go through a few computer based quizzes including some personality tests and situational decision making, and then they will have the face to face interview after that.

What tips do have for students and alumni who are looking to enter your industry?       You must have a driver’s license and be able to make at least a 6 month commitment.