All posts by Jeannie Stumne

Success Story | Andrew Plovanich, Business and Marketing Education & Human Resource Development

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Andrew Plovanich
Business and Marketing Education, Human Resource Development
HR Representative | Case New Holland

How did you learn about your current position?
I interned with Case New Holland during the summer of 2011 and the winter of 2011/2012. I learned about the position because CNH is one of the largest companies in the area of my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Describe your position.
I will be a HR Representative for Case New Holland in Burr Ridge, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. I will be on the Construction Equipment Product Development team conducting various Generalist duties such as recruiting, employee relations, and performance appraisals.
What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
I have not started my full time position yet, but during my internship I enjoyed being a part of a team that was not only concerned about the growth of the company, but also their employees. One of the highlights of being the HR Intern was being involved with the college relations program which included help running the overall internship program and prepare for the next intern season.
One of the challenges was interviewing hundreds of students and choosing which individuals would be the best fit for our highly respected and successful internship program. This was great experience however because it gave me the experience to interview those in search of full time positions.
How does your position fit with your long term career goals?
My long term goal is to become a HR Manager. I was able to accomplish my first goal within CNH when I became the HR Intern. Next, I was able to obtain a HR Representative position that will give me the skills and tools to someday accomplish my long term goal of becoming a HR Manger.
During your internship/job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
I was able to work very closely with CEHD Career Services to perfect my resume as well as interviewing skills through mock interviews. I also interned with Vic Massaglia, a career counselor within the University of Minnesota Law School. During my time with Vic, I was able to not only help other students with Career Development, but also apply the tools to myself. Networking was also a large part of separating myself from other students.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship/job search process?
Visiting Career Services and networking was most helpful during the internship/job search. While visiting Career Services, I was able to become more confident during interviews as well as giving the employeer a well constructed resume. Also, networking gave me an insight of things that I may or may not want to do as I start my professional career.
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
Networking is one of the most important thing that students must do to find an internship/job. This will give students a better idea of what they would like to do, but also give them the opportunity to get to know other professionals in their field and may be able to get interviews through them or their connections.
Anything else you woud like to share?
All students should take the time and visit Career Services on a regular basis. I began visiting them during my Sophomore year and it was one of the best career decisions that I have made. While visiting with both Angie Soderberg and Jeannie Stumne, I not only became a better candidate, but a better overall person.

CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Michelle Hobbs, Elementary Education Foundations

At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.
What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top 5 talent themes are Positivity, Developer, Belief, Maximizer, and Responsibility
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
My strengths play a part in my everyday life and they are really what shape me as a person.
My Positivity strength is what keeps me motivated and energetic in all of my daily activities. I am able to find the positive in any situation and I focus on what is going well. It is easy for me to get other people excited and I often find myself motivating and encouraging others. In a group, I am always the one who is smiling, laughing, and boosting the spirits of others.
With my Developer strength, I really focus on other people and strive to help them realize their full potential. This theme fits nicely with my major of Elementary Education, because my life goal is to become a teacher and help others be the best they can be. Other people come to me when they need help, and I take great pride in the fact that people count on me and trust me. I get so excited when I see someone reach their goals, and this is what drives me to help them.
My Belief strength is interesting to me. When I first heard of this theme, I assumed it had to do with religion, and this confused me because I don’t consider myself particularly religious. However, after learning more I realized this strength definitely fits me. I have a core set of values that define my purpose in life and drive me to do the things I do. I will not compromise my values, and I consider myself to be honest, loyal, and trustworthy. My values provide me with a sense of security and stability, which allows me to be a great leader.
Maximizer is the strength that really pushes me to get things done. I am always looking for how I can help things improve. I don’t like to settle for what is average, because I know there is always room for improvement. This helps me in my academics because I push myself to do the best I can. Other people appreciate this as well because they know I will always give 110% to anything I commit to.
I use my Responsibility strength every day because I am extremely dedicated to the things I have made a commitment towards. I know that people are counting on me to get things done, so I always follow through with what I say I will do. I am involved in a great variety of activities, but this does not mean I am only half-committed to some of my activities. I take ownership for all my actions and I take my leadership roles seriously.
How have you worked to develop your talent themes?
I am extremely involved with Housing & Residential Life here at the University of Minnesota, and this is where I have had the most experience with StrengthsQuest. I have been given the opportunity to attend StrengthsQuests workshops and trainings, and these have taught me how to develop my strengths as a leader. I think an important part of developing my strengths comes from realizing how my strengths work together with the strengths of others. I have learned that there are both negative and positive ways to live out my strengths, and I strive to always live them out positively. It is amazing how accurate StrengthsQuest is, so a lot of my strengths development just comes from being aware of my strengths and noticing how they play out for me. I am also fortunate to have many great advisors and coworkers who are trained in StrengthsQuest, and I enjoy engaging in dialogues with them about how Strengths play a part in my life.
What surprises you about your talent themes?
The thing that really surprised me is how accurate my talent themes are. After getting my results, I realized that I live these things out every day, but I just had never thought about them. I am a huge fan of StrengthsQuest because it is so personalized and really gives you an insight into how other people see you and how you thrive as a leader. The only theme that originally surprised me was Belief, but that was only because I didn’t know the full meaning of it. I assumed it was religion-based, but this isn’t necessarily true. Some people live out their Belief theme in a religious manner, but everyone has different experiences and connections with their talent themes. For me, my belief shows through my core values and commitments I make. After reading about all 34 themes, I was a little surprised that I didn’t have Includer or Harmony, because I think these also describe me. But I have learned that people actually tend to live out their top 10 talent themes.
Which of your talent themes fit you best and why?
I have noticed that all of my themes actually fit very nicely together. At this point in my life, I believe my Developer strength really combines with my Maximizer strength to drive me and make me be a strong leader. I use my Developer all the time through my involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters, America Reads, and my current practicum experience in a local 2nd grade classroom. I notice that everyone has potential, and they just made need some help to realize it. This is also where my Maximizer theme comes into play because I want to help everyone improve and learn to never settle for “good enough.” If you asked this question to anyone else, I’m sure they would say my Positivity fits me best. People always tell me they wish they could be as happy and as excited as I am, and they don’t know how I always stay so positive. This is something I really value and I see myself as a role model in this aspect.
How have your talent themes helped you as a student in CEHD?
My talent themes have helped me both academically and socially as a student in CEHD. My Responsibility in particular has helped me maintain a great GPA while being so involved in other things. I take my schooling seriously and put my academics first. With my Responsibility, I hold myself to a high standard and I don’t let myself slack off or get lazy. Developer is a great strength to have as a CEHD student, because I am constantly working with other people and helping them succeed. As a future teacher, I will be using Developer in everything I do, so it is nice to know that this is already something I know how to do. Overall, my talent themes allow me to interact with others in a positive, effective way. They drive me to be the person and student I am today. I am so fortunate to have such extensive experience with StrengthsQuest because it has taught me so much about myself and has helped me develop into a stronger leader.

If you are a CEHD student, staff or faculty interested in being featured in the CEHD Strengths Spotlight e-mail Jeannie Stumne at

Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!

You’ve Graduate, What Now? | Job Search Intensive Seminar

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Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
3rd Floor Science Teaching and Student Services Building (STSS)

This intensive seminar will equip you to search for a job in a recovering economy.
Get the scoop on how to conduct a creative job search, craft an outstanding resume and interview effectively.
Gain LinkedIn knowledge and networking tips from Judy Zimmer, an engaging and candid effectiveness coach. Plus – practice networking with actual employers!
This is a special event for all U of M, Twin Cities seniors and recent grads who are serious about their job search. (You can attend if your graduation date is between December 2011 and August 2012).
$10 to participate and lunch is included.
Registration is required and space is limited – sign up via GoldPASS– click on “Career Events” and search for “What Now”.
Questions? Contact CEHD Career Services or Emily Loudon at 612-626-4482.

CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Kayla DeVries, CEHD Student

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At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.
What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top 5 themes are harmony, responsibility, includer, futuristic, and consistency.
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
I have noticed that I do use each of my strengths every day. I always get my homework done on time and go to class or work which demonstrates responsibility. I always like to include people because I don’t like it when others feel left out, and I like to treat everyone the same. This demonstrates includer and consistency. On a day to day basis I am always planning out something new whether it be future plans or what classes to take and when. This represents futuristic. And last but not least, I hate conflict. I can’t stand it. This is where my harmony strength comes into play. I try to avoid conflict at all costs.
I do each and every one of these things every day. I think taking the strengths assessment has made me realize these strengths but they were definitely prevalent beforehand. I just didn’t necessarily consider them to be strengths.
What surprises you about your talent themes?
I was overall surprised by how accurate the strengths finder was for me. I found it very interesting that just by answering the questions in the assessment, it could know so much about me. I think that all of my strengths fit me really well, so I was happy with my results. It was very intriguing to read what the test thought about me, and then try to relate what the test was saying to my life. More times than not, the test was accurate.
Which of your talent themes fit you best and why?
I would say that futuristic is the best fit of my top five strengths. This is because I am always planning things out for the future and thinking about what could be. I find this to be a very useful strength because I always have a goal and an idea planned out about how to reach that goal. This is especially useful as a student because I have a clear plan on how I want to reach my goal of graduation. This helps to prevent surprises in the future.
How have your talent themes helped you as a student in CEHD?
My talent themes have certainly helped me by allowing me to better discover things I’m good at. I think this is important because I now focus more on the strengths than I do on my weaknesses. This helps in class because when working on group projects I now know ways to include strengths in deciding which group members do which tasks. This makes for the most efficient group work.
I have also found strengths useful in my work as a receptionist at the dance department here on campus. My supervisor had each of the student employees take the strengths finder. We then divided up tasks to complete based on our strengths. I think this is important because it gives me a chance to develop some of my strengths in a work environment. Talking about strengths is also a good way for me to get to know my coworkers better.
If you are a CEHD student, staff or faculty interested in being featured in the CEHD Strengths Spotlight e-mail Jeannie Stumne at
Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!

Success Story | Ilan Sinelnikov, Pre-Kinesiology

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Ilan Sinelnikov
First-Year Student | Pre-Kinesiology
Soccer Coach | Seward Middle School

How did you learn about your current position?
As a freshman, during the year I became more aware of the different services that the university offers. In addition to academic resources, I heard from my advisers that the U of M has offices that can help students with finding employment. I learned about the career services in STSS building, and about the websites “” and “GoldPASS“. At the beginning of the spring semester, when there still wasn’t a lot of school work assigned, I took the time to search GoldPASS and I found a position that fits my interest and my schedule.
Describe your position.
I am a soccer coach at Seward Middle School in Minneapolis. I coach fifth to eight grade boys and girls for three hours at the end of the school day. During practice I work with the children on the principles of the game, as well as on leadership, responsibility, and morality.
What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
The part that I enjoy the most about my position is that I do something that I love. I’ve been playing soccer since I can remember myself, and two years ago I got my coaching certificate. I love to coach kids because I teach a new generation of athletes, and to be a soccer player is first of all to be a good person. I haven’t had any challenges so far in this job and I hope it will stay like that.
How does your position fit with your long term career goals?
This position fits my long term career goals because I plan on coaching soccer in the future. I currently have my Minnesota Youth Soccer Association “E” and “D” licenses, and I also recently found our that the university offers a minor in coaching, which I want to apply for. This position provides me with more coaching experience, and it also provides me with the opportunity to work with kids from very different backgrounds, which will help me work with diverse communities in the future.
During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out?
I made myself stand out to employers by providing them a good resume that I created in the CEHD career center with the help of career service staff. Then, if there was an email account listed under the employer’s contact information I emailed them a few words saying why I am the right person to work for them, and letting them know that I just applied to the job which they posted. I think that it helped because my current employer responded to my email and asked to contact me for an interview.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your search process?
The most helpful thing during my job search process was to receive help while writing my resume and cover letter. It is not always clear what you are expected to include in those documents, and I received a lot of positive (and well, some negative) feedback that I used later on.
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
My experience of finding a job through GoldPASS was great, and it was probably even easier than applying to many places through separate websites. My tip to students is to use the services that the school provides, because it is nice to know that you have the support of your college and you have someone to answer your questions and guide you through the job searching process. Also, start early! It takes some time to find a job, and the earlier you begin your search the higher your chances are to get a job by the time that you planned on starting it.
Anything else you woud like to share?
The U of M has many services that can help you with finding a job. There is also a great chance that you can find something that fits your major or interest, because the employers who post the jobs are interested in college students and specify the majors that they need. Just take a look at GoldPASS, and check it every week or two because there are always new postings about positions. Also, go to the career center, they have helpful materials to use. If you do all that- you got a good chance to get a job!

CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Elizabeth Nelson, Upward Bound

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At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.
What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top five talent themes are Empathy, Achiever, Harmony, Includer, and Discipline.
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
I have discovered that I have all along been using my talent themes in everything I do every day.
I use the Empathy talent theme when I notice someone is not being heard. I relate my experience that resonates with their sentiment or add the various outcomes based on the long standing history with an event or individual and their ups and downs.
I use the Achiever talent theme constantly in work, home, volunteer, and at play. In my job, I work hard and diligently. At home, I continue working hard doing chores, making food, encouraging my children to do better, tutor my children and their friends, and try to keep peace in my home on top of my many volunteer activities. Looking at the Gallup Strengths Quest Reference Card, it says that people with this talent have a great deal of stamina. I guess I have been hardwired with a lot of stamina. My family knows I have a lot of stamina because I would wake them up in the morning before we would go to work in the cotton fields of Texas or the sugar beet fields of Minnesota by singing, “It’s time to get up, It’s time to get up, get up, get up.” They, like my husband, did not fancy that but we have a lot of fun laughing about it now.
I use the Harmony talent theme through and through. I dislike arguing so I have recently started asking more questions for clarification to understand where they are coming from and then Empathy kicks in. Before I would just withdraw because I do not like when my opinion or the opinions of others was not recognized or heard.
I use the Includer talent theme to bring in those whom I have noticed were left out. This is where Empathy, Harmony, and Includer work hand in hand to make an effort to bring them all in. These three talent themes are espoused in my life.
I use the Discipline talent theme to structure my day. I enjoy the routine I create and checking things off my to-do list even when it is a simple task. This is where Achiever is espoused with Discipline to help me accomplish a lot as I break my day down to pre-morning, morning, lunch, afternoon, supper, and evening. This helps me fall asleep quickly and very deeply so that I can be rejuvenated for the next day. My profound sleep pushes the re-start button of my stamina tank to begin a new day.
How have you sought to develop your talent themes?
The best thing that I have found to develop my talent themes is to keep using them, read more information about them, and attend other StrengthsQuest trainings. One of the things that I disovered is that Gallop’s StrengthsQuest is culturally diverse and available in over 20 languages. As a tri-lingual (Spanish, English, and American Sign Language) individual, I am excited that Gallop is in the globalization arena. This is where Includer is part of my nature.
If you feel you have a weakness, here are six ways to deal overcome it: 1. Be open to share concern and receive feedback. 2. Take trainings that will improve this area. 3. Use your other talent themes to leverage the desired talent. 4. Use other support systems to build you up (similar to the 360-degree). 5. Form complementary partnerships with others who have the desired talent. 6. Adjust or change your role to others which will give you more time to develop your strength talent themes.
What surprises you about your talent themes?
I was surprised when I first took the Clifton StrengthsFinder, and saw that Harmony was my top strength. I thought, “Why and how did this 45 minutes survey where one had to respond to each statement within 20 seconds know me?” I decided to make some changes after reflecting on my lifestyle. The second time I took it, Empathy become my top strength and Harmony was still in my top five talent themes. This showed me that now I was no longer avoiding conflict but actually embracing it in a tactful manner.
Which talent themes fit you best and why?
I ascertained that strength is the culmination of talent (recurring pattern of thoughts, feelings, and actions), and skills (steps of an activity), and knowledge (factual and experiential knowing). For me this just means that because I have been a people person since a young age, Harmony, Empathy, Relator, and Consistency will always be a part of my top ten talent themes in how I respond to people around the world no matter what their status maybe. These talent themes fit me like a glove because I enjoy (talent) empowering (skills) people and helping (knowledge) them see their talents and abilities to go beyond their limitations when it is solicited. I found my top five talent themes to be in the Relationship Building and Executing Leadership Category. I also realized that I too envelop leadership qualities. I am appreciative to have had this wonderful opportunity to become self-aware via Gallop StengthsQuest.
Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!

Success Story | Leah Martin, Youth Studies

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Leah Martin
Junior | Youth Studies
Student Office Assistant | Career Services Center

How did you learn about your current position?
I learned about my current position through the job postings on the U of M’s Student Employment Website. The Student Office Assistant position appealed to me because I had taken a Career and Major Exploration class with a career counselor my freshman year and had found it very helpful. It was an office that I felt was a positive resource for students, and I wanted to be a part of it.
Describe your position.
I work in the Career Services Center for CLA, CEHD, and CDES as a Student Office Assistant. My job is multifaceted. On the surface, it may look like I simply answer the phone, schedule appointments, and grab resumes from the printer. Though I do all of those things, my main job is to be the first point of contact when a student walks into the Career Center. It is my job to ask good questions so that I can figure out where the student needs help, so I can get them the resources and services that will most benefit them.
What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
Something I enjoy in my work, are the interactions I get to have with the students. There is a great satisfaction that comes with leading students to resources, organizations, and programs that fit their needs. Being a person who is passionate about working with people, it is hard sometimes to sit behind my desk to do some of the more tedious tasks, but the face time I do have with students, makes the boring parts worth it.
Another thing I love about my job is the sense of community at the Career Services Center. My supervisor Juan is a great example of someone who builds community. He and all of the Career Services employees, genuinely want to know the student workers’ hopes and dreams for their future. They value our input and are invested in helping us grow in our position, and more importantly in our lives outside our work there. Coming from other positions where supervisors were disengaged and uninvested, it was wonderful coming to work knowing Juan wouldn’t just let me coast through my job. He pushes me to get the most out of the position.
How does your position fit with your long term career goals?
Youth work is one of my passions. Long term, I see myself developing and enhancing programming for organizations such as camps, non-profits, or schools. The skills I have learned while working for the Career Center are definitely transferable to my future jobs. What this job has taught me about time management, asking thoughtful questions, and always looking for what I can improve will stick with me in whatever job I take. Having worked here, I have also developed a much better understanding of how to form resumes, interview effectively, and actively search for jobs. These are tools that make me confident for the post graduation job search.
During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out?
While forming my resume and preparing for my interview I made sure to think of work and volunteering experiences I had that really fit the job I was applying for. I had a lot of volunteer experience, but I think what made me the best fit for the job was that I really understood the goals of the Career Center and how I fit into what they do. I was able to express that understanding eloquently and passionately, which made me stand out in my interview.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your search process?
Something that helped in my job search and continues to help, is using the resources available to me. I took the connections I had made with professors and past bosses and used them to point me in the direction of jobs. I had friends, professionals, and peer advisors look over my resume before I sent it out. There are so many people who are willing to help you in your job search. All you have to do is ask.
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
Look for a job you can be passionate about. Or at least, look for an organization you can be passionate about. I would not be able to do my job as wholeheartedly if I did not believe that the students were really benefitting from the Career Services Center.

CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Carole Anne Broad, Academic Adviser

At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.
What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top talent themes are Relator, Connectedness, Includer, Positivity, and Woo.
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
As an adviser, I have many opportunities to use my talent themes each day. When I meet one-on-one with a student I am building a relationship that my Relator talent theme enjoys and values.
I use my Connectedness to help me make sense of the world and feel compassion for all people, in my daily work or even on the other side of the world. I distinctly remember when 9/11 happened I stopped what I was doing and tried to connect with all the suffering people on that day. In general, my Connectedness helps me see the bigger picture of any situation. With students, I hope I help them see their immediate struggles as part of their college experience so they feel less stress.
My Includer theme comes out best when I am in a group or meeting. When I notice someone who is not contributing or I think they may feel left out, I will make an effort to bring them into the conversation. Positivity is definitely my natural way of being. I like to feel good and full of energy. When I focus on what’s right in any given situation I just feel better. This doesn’t mean I can’t feel down or sad. It means that when I do feel that way, I have many tricks up my sleeve to cheer myself up. In terms of working with students, I think my Positivity helps me to see their strengths, even in the most difficult of situations.
Having Woo as a talent theme means that I like meeting new people so working with incoming freshmen each year is always an exciting time I look forward to. In general, all my themes work together to keep me happy to be alive and grateful to be working with such wonderful colleagues and students.
How have you sought to develop your talent themes?
I am lucky in that my work as an adviser taps into my talent themes each day. I feel I am constantly developing these parts of myself. In addition, I am focusing on developing some of my other talents that aren’t in my top five like Strategic and Analytical. These are two talent themes that I see as very useful in my work but don’t come as naturally to me. I’m trying on new ways of looking at issues, data and complex systems using these two talents themes.
Which talent themes fit you best and why?
Relator fits me especially well with the high value I place on all my relationships. I have a few very close friends that I cherish and make time for on a regular basis. I get to know my advisees well by talking about more than just academics. I’m interested in their lives outside of school like their family, friends, jobs and travels. Each person in my life is a unique being with much to offer.
The other talent theme that feels very much like me is Connectedness. I see things as interconnected and that events happen for a reason. Here’s a good example of how this works for me. If I want to stop at a certain store on my way home and I can’t find a good parking spot, I say to myself, I guess I am not meant to go to that store today. It’s an easy solution that feeds my positivity as well.
Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!

Success Story | Addisalem Tesfaye, Human Resource Development and Business and Marketing Education

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Addisalem Tesfaye
Junior | Human Resource Development and Business and Marketing Education
Work Effects | Human Resources Development Intern

How did you learn about your current position?
I received several emails from the department of Organizational Leadership Policy and Development. I also saw the posting in Goldpass.
Describe your position.
Here are some of my responsibilities:
-Developing Leadership Development Curriculum
-Creating Leadership Development advertising video
-Creating Leadership Development guidebook in collaboration with intern team
-Contacting academic institutions to sell Leadership Development program
-Writing articles for our company blog
What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
I enjoy the variety of projects that I’m assigned within my role. The internship provides me with flexibility and gives me creative license to develop within my position. We also have a very collaborative team that has a wealth of knowledge in different areas.
A good challenge within my position is the opportunity that I have to sell our leadership program to MBA institutions. I possess some level of expertise in sales through my course work in my second major-Business and Marketing Education, but its time to apply all of the concepts and take it out of the classroom. It’s an exciting challenge because I’m using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for this project, which is a great learning opportunity.
How does your position fit with your long term career goals?
I have a couple of long-term plans. One of them is to be a consultant preferably combining Human Resources and Business Management. This experience being my 5th internship, 3rd one in HRD, it’s providing me with additional experience that I need to be equipped for the next stage in my life.
During your internship search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
There were a couple of things that I did intentionally during my recruiting process to increase my chance of obtaining the internship. Here are some examples:
-I did a lot of research regarding the company and all of their products and services, so I was able to confidently answer questions about the company during my interview
-I asked a lot of questions at the end of my interview regarding the future of the company inducing expansion, which generally showed my interest in the growth of the company
-In hopes making a great impression, I went to the info session dressed in business professional clothing even though it was an informal event.
-I knew the importance of the question “”Why do you want to work for our company”” This is an interesting question that I feel is tricky to many candidates even though it’s a simple question. Interviewees usually use this question to illustrate their genuine interest of the company and all it has to offer to them. In my opinion, that’s not a great way to answer the question. People need to keep in mind that companies recruit for the purpose of filling a business need; not so they can fulfill the dreams of potential employees. So, the answer needs to encompass not only the benefit you (as the employee) would get from the company, but also exemplify how they (employers) can use your talent and expertise to fill in those business needs.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship search process?
I think what helped me the most was all the different postings on Goldpass and also the emails I received from my academic and departmental advisors regarding the position. There were even some of my professors that encouraged me to apply.
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
Here are my tips for all students striving for success:
Know who you are or at least attempt to find out.
– What are your passions?
– What are your strengths?
– What is your long and short-term goal(s)?
– What does success look like to you?
– How do people commonly perceive you? Do you like it? If not, how can you change that?
-Get a business card- even as a student
-Create a LinkedIn account that reflects a professional image
-Make sure all of your social media sites i.e Facebook are appropriate- What you put online is permanent- you may think you have deleted it, but it’s publicly stored
-Attend networking events & make meaningful connections
-Create and compile a list of references- you never know when you will need it next
-Perfect your resume & cover letter
-Google yourself- you & employers may be surprised by what’s out there
-Seek professional help- the career service centers aren’t free- we pay for them as part of our tuition and fees, so utilize them
-Sharpen your interviewing skills– this is a must
-Get feedback from those that know you most (friends, peers, professors, and mentors
Anything else you woud like to share?
“It’s not what you know, but who you know” – Wrong statement in my view.
It’s about what you know, who you know, and most importantly who knows you. Think about it…

CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Rachel Fritz, CEHD Student

At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.
What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top talent themes are Positivity, Empathy, Adaptability,
Connectedness, and Developer.
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
Positivity is something I strive to incorporate into my everyday life. When something bad or negative happens I always try to look on the bright side and treat it as a learning experience that will help make me a better person. I believe that everything is what you make it, and if you can make the absolute worst situation into a better one then you will be a much happier person.
Empathy is an important talent that has driven my career path of wanting to become a social worker. I have always been the person to turn to in my group of friends when they are having a bad day or problem because they are most comfortable talking to me. I am in tune with people’s feelings and I love when people trust me with their secrets and problems. I can easily put myself into their positions and have an understanding of the emotions their experiencing, good or bad.
Adaptability is closely incorporated to positivity and making the best out of every situation. I don’t mind a change in my surroundings, in fact new opportunities allow me to thrive. I live in the moment and enjoy being spontaneous instead of planning everything out. I go with the flow and don’t let petty things stress me out by letting life come as it is.
Connectedness is spot on because my personal mantra in life is “everything happens for a reason.” I believe that everything that each person experiences in life is meant to be and there is a specific and sometimes unknown purpose. I accept all sorts of different people into my life and believe that each person is put into my life for a different reason. To learn something from them, engage in a deep relationship, or even learn something new about myself. I often sense bonds with particular people and strive to connect with those that I lack a bond with.
Developer is one of my strongest talents and traits. I tend to always see the good in people and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I see potential in everybody because we are all unique individuals with a great amount to offer. I often place others before myself and have a few close friends with very strong bonds versus a lot of friends with weaker relationships.
How have you sought to develop your talent themes?
After reading and learning about each of my themes I began to think about the ways in which I could contribute my strengths in this world. I am definitely a people person and my relationships that so deeply connect me with others have helped me to realize why I was put on this earth. Learning more about myself has only reiterated my dreams for becoming a social worker and touching others lives.
Which talent themes fit you best and why?
Empathy most definitely fits me the best and was actually my number one strength. I am always trying to relate to other people which is part of being empathetic and feeling what others feel. I always think about others and I cause people to easily open up to me because I am a good listener.
Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!