Category Archives: Success Stories

Valeria Sinelnikov | Business and Marketing Education, Talks about her Job Fair Experience

Valeria Sinelnikov
Business and Marketing Education

Why go to the job fair?
There are a couple of really good reasons, and in my opinion the main one is the face to face experience. Because candidates today can apply to practically any job online, employers will appreciate individuals who took the time to come in and meet them in person. Another great reason is the practice. At the job fair, you can practice your networking skills and work on overcoming the initial fear of approaching someone that you never met before in a professional setting. Also, introducing yourself and talking to company recruiters is a great way to repeat your elevator speech and work on your interview skills.

Who do you think should attend the fair?

Some people may think that the job fair is only meant for juniors and seniors. However, this is not true at all. My first time at the job fair was during my freshman year, and even though I was not looking for a job at that time I still learned a lot. For example, I got familiar with a large number of companies that I have never heard about before. Had I not gone to the fair, I would have limited my job search in the future only to the companies that I was familiar with. Therefore, it is wise to spend some time at the job fair learning about the business of different companies. You will be surprised how much you can find out about new opportunity that best match your needs.

What do you recommend doing before attending?

I think that a couple of things are critical before attending:
– Make sure that you look at the list of companies attending and choose the ones that you want to speak to their recruiters. Take some time to research them, so you can have something to talk about to their representatives. Remember that the few minutes that you spend with the recruiters can sometimes be critical.
– Print a couple of copies of your resume. Make sure that is it the most updated copy, and if needed visit the career services for advise!
– Practice your elevator speech, or at least make sure that you have an appropriate opening line to introduce yourself. Also, practice your handshake if you are uncomfortable about it.
– Relax, and set yourself reasonable expectations. You may not get a job offer on the spot, but you for sure will be one step ahead in your job search only by attending. Remember that the job fair is for creating the initial contact with employers and learning about new opportunities. As long as you come to the fair feeling comfortable and with an open mind, you will have fun.
– Bring a binder for the business cards and other materials that you will receive. You do not want to walk around with a pile of papers in your hand. Also, bring a pen so you can write on the back of the business cards some of the things that you talked about with the recruiters. The notes will be useful when thinking about how to begin a follow up email.
Finally, what to wear?
At the fair that I attended, I was impressed that students who wore a business attire rather than casual looking clothes appeared to make a better first impression. Since a job fair is a professional event, definitely go with the business look.

Success Story | Yifei (Duke) Lu, Human Resource Development

Thumbnail image for duke success story.jpgYifei (Duke) Lu, Human Resource Development
Internship Assistant | Minnesota Historical Society

Describe your position.
My position is Internship Assistant, and I am working for the Minnesota Historical Society.
What do you enjoy most about your position? What are some of the challenges?
The thing that I most enjoy is I am working for a great manager. My manager always gives me clear goals, work orders, and schedules. In fact, she helps me to focus on my job and give me less pressure in my work. On the other hand, I also think she can always teach me a lot of things. She is a steady and careful person. I am enjoying working for my manager.
I think what is most challenging is that I need to learn how the American workplace operates. This is my current challenge as an international student, but it is also a great chance to learn.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship/job search process?
Networking. I believe the networking is always very important to every job candidate.
During your internship/job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
Being confident. I think this is the very important for a job interview. I think people need to get enough sleep before a job interview, because high quality sleep can help you save energy and this can help you look more confident during a job interview.
Researching the position is the best thing to make a job candidate stand out. They have to show that they know more details about the job and they have their faith to do a better job than other people. Also, if job candidates do research for their positions, it can prove that they really understand the duties of the position and that they are the right person for the position.
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
Create Your Own Resume and Cover Letter. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready and bring them with you the first day you begin your job search. You never know who you will meet and who maybe able to help you. You may change the content and tailor your resume and cover letter to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won’t need to be changed.
Be Sharp in Your Professional Dress. First impressions last, and it always very important to be you!
Use Job Search Engines. GoldPass, LinkedIn, and They are always very useful.

Success Story | Amanda Rydberg, English Education ILP

Name: Amanda Rydberg amanda head shot.jpg
U of M program: English Education
Graduation Date: May 2013
Employer: Colegio Inglés, Torreón
Position: 6th Grade Teacher
1. How did you learn about your current position?
I attended the Minnesota Education Job Fair and met the director of my school there. There was an entire row of international schools at the fair, and I went there right away. I researched all the schools that I was interested in the night before and had a cover letters prepared for the fair addressed with the recruiters’ names and specifically addressing their mission.
2. Describe the application and interview process.
Since I met my supervisor at the job fair, I scheduled an interview with her for later that day. After the initial interview, she encouraged me to apply online. One important thing that she mentioned was to upload a picture with my resume and application materials to help her remember our interview and who I was. I also thought it was interesting in the interview and application that they were asking about things such as marital status and any health issues- those are generally things that U.S. employers are not allowed to ask or discriminate on. International schools might do things a little differently. [It is common practice for international schools to require a picture and personal information such as marital status.]
3. How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
I always researched the school ahead of time if possible, or used the interview to find out what they valued in teachers. In the case of Colegio Inglés, they are looking for teachers who really understand child development. I emphasized my experience with children, which goes back farther than my teaching experience, and I had no international experience to talk about. I included work with summer camps, volunteering, and tutoring. During the interview, I also had some stories that I had prepared which highlighted my understanding of and experience working with kids.
4. Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
I talked to people who I wanted as references early on. I asked right away if I could put them as references and let them know what kinds of jobs I would be applying for. I invited them to observe me in student teaching if they hadn’t already. Since they are all busy people, I was glad I scheduled that time sooner rather than later.
My cooperating teacher was especially helpful as a mentor during my job search. She gave me advice on what to talk about during interviews and shared the wisdom that she gained from her own experience landing a teaching job.
It also took me a long time to get psyched up for the job search process, so I’m glad I started back in January adding a little bit to my cover letters, resume, and searches every day. That way it wasn’t so overwhelming by April. One thing that really helped when writing cover letters was to read the teacher job description for schools that really inspired me and craft my teaching philosophy around those descriptions.
5. Did you utilize career services (on-campus interviews, career events, appointment(s), online resources)? If so, what was your experience like?
I registered for the job fair through CEHD career services/GoldPASS. I also used some of the campus interview events as both networking and practice interviewing. It was really helpful to interview with schools before I even started seriously searching. It helped me figure out what my teaching practice was about and what I should focus on in interviews.
6. What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a position in another country?
Be ready for anything because International schools run on a much different schedule and have different expectations. I was offered this job before most school districts had even started emailing candidates and it was a hard decision whether I wanted to accept a job before I had any other offers to compare it to. I also really had to manage my expectations of what the school would be like because the only information I had was from flyers/videos and other promotional materials. I couldn’t go see it for myself so I had to be comfortable with some things being unknown.

Success Story | Razia Shariff, Elementary Education ILP

Name: Razia Shariff 2013-10-14_1030.png
U of MN Program: Elementary Education ILP, MEd
When did you graduate: December 2012
Employer: Saint Paul Public Schools, Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet
Position: 6th Grade English Language Arts Teacher
1. How did you learn about your current position?
I learned about it from the principal. After I graduated (in December), I decided to substitute teach for the remainder of the school year and look for something permanent for the following school year. I used that time while substitute teaching to network as much as I could and work in different schools in a variety of positions. I wanted to gain as much experience across the elementary spectrum as I could, so I took jobs in grades K-6, as well as special education and gifted specialist positions. I had substituted at Capitol Hill a couple of times and kept in touch with teachers and administration in the building, and I found out about the opening when chatting with the principal. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself and chatting, as you never know where it might take you.
2. Describe the application and interview process.
I had my portfolio, resume, and cover letter ready to take to the job fair in April. Going to the job fair was essential to my job search process. I took an unpaid day off to do it. I had my heart set on Saint Paul Public Schools, but it was a tough year to get an elementary position with them (due to changing 6th grades to middle school and many teachers staying in elementary positions). I interviewed with two districts that day and got my name out to a lot of others. My interview with Minneapolis Public Schools that day was scheduled towards the end of the day, and consisted of meeting two representatives in a curtained room in the back of the auditorium. During interviews, I am truthful and authentic. Nothing is more boring to an interviewer than someone giving you canned answers and a fake smile. They are looking for people who make them excited, because those are the ones who will make students excited in the classroom. Make it genuine and give a great reason for why you want to educate. I was offered contracts with Minneapolis Public Schools and a charter school the following week.
3. How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
One thing I was nervous about at first was having a master’s degree before I came into my own classroom. I asked a couple of teachers and administrators for advice if I should wait to pursue the final degree before I had my first job. The feedback I received was ultimately, principals and districts are looking for a quality teacher, and they will pay if they believe you are the right fit. Having a master’s degree and a master’s project I strongly believed in was something that helped me to stand out (I completed my final master’s project on the SEM-R reading program). I also prepared a lot for the job fair, by taking the advice of the online resources to prepare for interviews, and researching some of the different districts and schools I knew would be there (specifically their philosophies and curriculum). Finally, I followed a teacher’s advice and had some personal business cards printed up to hand out (I also handed these to schools and teachers I substituted for). When I was designing these, I nervously took her advice and put a headshot of myself on the card. I felt a little silly doing it at first, but it was something that made me stand out a lot, especially while networking and interviewing. One of my interviewers at the job fair remarked that it helped her to remember who I was during the day, since she had met so many potential applicants already. I’m glad I decided to do it!
4. Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during the job search process?
Networking as much as I could was the best thing I had done. I kept in touch with many people over my years in school, and I pitched in at times when they needed a hand. Any time you do that, it will be remembered! A teacher whose room I had volunteered in a few years ago introduced me to her colleagues and principal after school one day to pass out business cards and get my name out there for sub assignments. The school I did that at is my new school, and I have the privilege of already being acquainted with many of my new colleagues.
5. Did you utilize career services (on-campus interviews, career events, appointment(s), online resources)? If so, what was your experience like?
I used a couple of different career services resources. I scheduled a meeting to evaluate my resume and cover letter, which was extremely helpful. I thought I knew how to do it, but I really needed help with streamlining and lingo. I was shown how to structure a resume for the world of education, what to highlight, and how to word it. I was able to present a clean and to-the-point resume, cover letter, and portfolio based on this advice. I also found some online resources (on the Career Services website) to be very helpful, especially during the interviewing process. I put a lot of energy into preparing for the job fair, and took in as much information about it to prepare.
6. What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a position?
Have confidence in your abilities and your answers. This program is so well rounded and prepares you so fully for teaching. It’s totally natural to have butterflies about it all, but have confidence in what you’ve learned and how to apply it; time and experience will fill in the rest. Remember too, every student that walks into your classroom is someone’s treasure. Someone told me that years ago, and I tucked it into my pocket. If you remember those two things, your sincerity in educating will come across and you will land that position!

Success Story | Reid Anderson, Art ILP

Name: Reid Anderson977012_4659257211429_1920464999_o.jpg
U of M program: Art Education
When did you graduate? Summer 2013
Employer: Eagle Ridge Academy (Eden Prairie, MN)
Position: Full-time K-6 Art Teacher
1. How did you learn about your current position?
I learned about the job before it was posted through a contact that I had within the school, and once I saw the official posting on EdPost and on the school’s website, I applied.
2. Describe the application and interview process.
I started frequently checking EdPost, K12JobSpot and district websites in March, but I got serious about applications in May when I was done with student teaching and had all of my letters of recommendation in hand. I attended the career fair at the convention center in April, and while that did not directly lead to any job opportunities, it gave me the motivation that I needed to finish my portfolio and gave me valuable experience interviewing and giving my “elevator speech” to district representatives. This experience was helpful, because I was able to anticipate the types of questions that interview committees would be asking and I also tweaked my portfolio after the job fair.
3. How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
If you are looking for your first teaching job, it can be hard to stand out because employers are looking for “experience”. Beyond my student teaching experiences, I highlighted teaching-related jobs and volunteer experiences in my resume. The hiring committee noted an interest in my experiences as an undergrad with the Children’s Theatre Company and performing in puppet shows for kids at the Minnesota Zoo. I made my experiences relevant to teaching and showed an ability to be versatile, which they liked. Beyond that, I think that the U of M 5-year path that I took helped me stand out. As an undergrad I majored in art and was in DirecTrack to Teaching, and in my 5th year, I was enrolled in M.Ed. coursework.
4. Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
I talked with a lot of current teachers. They helped me to understand the general hiring timeline of school districts and also gave me some ideas of what to highlight in my portfolio and in the interview. When I got the interview for this job, I researched the school’s website, Facebook account, teacher websites, and principal blogs. I also consulted a job search handbook that I received at a career services event, which had a lot of sample interview questions. Because of my thorough (at times crazy) research and preparation, I felt confident during the interview and was able to anticipate some of the questions that they asked me. Preparation is huge.
5. Did you utilize career services (on-campus interviews, career events, appointment(s), online resources)? If so, what was your experience like?
I frequently consulted the career services website when constructing my resume and writing cover letters and thank you emails to interviewers. I also had career services review my resume with me, which was a huge help.
6. What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a position?
Be confident in your education, your abilities, and your experiences. For every position there will be a lot of great applicants, but YOU are one of them…don’t forget that. Think about the things that make you unique, appear versatile and willing, and be persistent. The only jobs that I heard back from were the ones where I emailed principals and stayed in communication with the district. Of course, there is a fine line between being annoying and persistant, but a follow-up email/phone call 5-7 business days after applying is usually acceptable.
Also, if there is a school or district that you really want to work for, keep your eyes on their website, and if at all possible, make an inside connection. Some postings never make it to EdPost, and staff within the district always know about job openings before they hit the general public.

Success Story | Said Ali, Business and Marketing Education, Human Resource Development

Said Ali, Business and Marketing Education, Human Resource Development and Leadership Minor
Executive Team Leader | Target

How did you learn about your current position?
I learned about my current position by going to the employer recruitment event that came to STSS which was on campus. I knew that Target was going to be there and I have been preparing for Target for a long while so I knew that this was my chance to get to know more about them and see if they had any positions open. They had a Position open which is Executive Team Leader. So I applied for the position and did a round of 5 interviews and got the job.
Describe your position.
I will be working at Target as the Executive Team Leader. This position is kind of assistant manager and manager at the same time. I will act as the manager in different roles and will be the assistant managers at other roles as well. I will be out in the store helping out customers, working in a team with team members, and doing different task at a daily level.
What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
I really like the idea that I will come every day doing something new and challenging at the same time. Coming to work and knowing that you will be doing the same thing over and over again can get boring at times but at the current position I will be doing something new daily which is something I enjoy. There are many challenges some of them are making decisions on the spot, trying to get the best quality to meet guests exceptions, and making sure everything is going fine at work with team members.
How does your position fit with your long term career goals?
It does fit with aspects of HRD. Recruiting is one industry in the HRD field and it is a different and intriguing in my opinion. I am grateful I can have an experience like this so young in my career.
During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
I try and be as honest as possible. I want them to know that I am still inexperienced and I am looking for new opportunities to help expand my professional outlook. I am always up front and I know how to sell my human capital. 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 also was prepared because I have gone on interviews in the past and using my past experiences always helps me be better prepared. It was also very helpful that the U of M set up a HRD recruitment event in which great organizations attended!
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
I would give this advice: don’t pass up opportunities that are presented to you just because you think you don’t have the experience or 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 don’t 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 | David Davoudlarian, School Counselor

Name: David Davoudlarian DaveD.jpg
Licensure program: School Counseling
Completed ILP: 2009
Employer: North Slope Borough School District, Alaska
Position: School Counselor
1. How did you learn about your current position?
I went to the (MN) Education Job Fair at the Minneapolis Convention Center and learned about jobs in Alaska. I filled out the application, which is universal on the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) website. The position I was offered was originally offered to another person who decided at the last minute they did not want to go so far north. So the Principal started looking at profiles and liked what she saw in me and contacted me.
2. Describe the application and interview process.
Alaska has a universal application site to help educators find jobs in Alaska. Many interviews are held at job fairs around the country. When they cannot meet the applicant in person, interviews either happen via Skype or an old fashioned phone interview. My interview was over the phone and was relatively short. The process usually involves multiple people, mine was with only my Principal, but that is by no means common. Also most if not all educators in Alaska have to work in the Alaska “Bush”, basically not on the road system. Road system jobs are very hard to come by even for experienced educators. I work in a fly in only village of 250 people.
3. How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
I sold myself. I am my own biggest advocate and I made sure that my personality, while large, was not overwhelming but at the same time I was sincere about who I am. Follow up on your job search. If you have placed an application with a school through ATP, make sure you call the school and introduce yourself. Speak clearly and enunciate your words. Phones in Alaska are not always reliable and there might be as much as a 5 second delay.
4. Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
Don’t get frustrated. I placed approximately 50 applications around Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska and only had 4 interviews. The local (MN) Education Job Fair was great.
5. Did you utilize career services (on-campus interviews, career events, appointment(s), online resources)? If so, what was your experience like?
Career services set me up for the (MN) Education Job Fair and was very instrumental in directing me to the different locations who were looking for a School Counselor.
6. What advice would you like to share with others about your experience?
Don’t give up. I almost did, I won’t lie. Also keep your mind open to other places. I did and now I live in an awesome 100% Alaska Native (Inupiat) village that has opened my eyes and broadened my my mind. Yes, it gets bitterly cold (-80 with wind last year), yes you have culture shock, yes you might be away from your family like me (they are about 1000 miles away), you might have to fly in a single engine, 9 seater plane (watch Flying Wild Alaska, they fly me). But you do it anyway for the kids. I have 71 students from K though 12 and I know each of their names and I know their parents. I am Counselor Dave to them. They have embraced me and shared their culture with me.

Success Story | Alexandra Vujovich, English ILP

Name: Alexandra (Ali) Vujovich Ali Graduating (1).jpg
Licensure program: English Education
Completed ILP: Spring 2012
Employer: Minneapolis Public Schools – Southwest High School
Position: Ninth Grade English teacher
1. How did you learn about your current position?
I did my student teaching in the Minneapolis district, which was great because that was the district I ultimately wanted to work in. My cooperating teacher and a few of my teachers and supervisors from the University were really great about helping me navigate the system and talk to the right people to line me up with this job.
2. Describe the application and interview process.
I won’t lie; the application process was something I kept putting off. My cooperating teacher kept telling me to start the MPLS application but on top of student teaching four classes (2 preps) each day, I was exhausted. It was really something I had to make myself do. The interview process was an interesting one. I was labeled as an excessed teacher. So my interviews were called “matching” interviews to find the best spot for me in the district. I had half hour interviews lined up all day, but I only made it through two before Southwest offered me the job. Going into the interviews I was pretty terrified, but the questions are things that this program prepares you for really well. One HUGE piece of advice, don’t let your first interview be with the school you want to work with. My first ever teaching interview was that morning and I was so nervous that I could barely think of reading strategies to provide. Let yourself practice a few first. I had a friend who went to the job fair and she was much more ready to interview than I was.
3. How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
I really tried to put my all into student teaching because I was student teaching in the district I wanted to work in. My unit plan that I wrote for the program was 79 pages long (and everyone from my cohort makes fun of me, but it really was worth it)! For the first part of spring semester while we were still in classes I was going to my site three times a week (on top of taking twenty credits) and the requirement was to go once a week. I started teaching on my own fourth quarter, but third quarter I think was really what made it for me. I was always there collaborating with my cooperating teacher and asking to plan lessons and observing other teachers. I really wanted to be known in my building and I think all this work paid off. When it comes down to it, you can work and work and work, but a huge part of it is about the people you know. I put in all this work and my cooperating teacher saw just how serious I was about this. Developing a really deep, authentic, and lasting relationship with my cooperating teacher was probably the most important thing I did because then she really helped get me in the right places to meet the principal, vice principal, and people in the district and that was got me labeled as excessed and able to land this awesome job at Southwest!
4. Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process? Quite honestly, I didn’t fully invest in the job search process–not nearly as much as some of my fellow cohort members. I knew that I wanted to work in Minneapolis for the public schools and I was sort of resigned to long term sub for the year (I had something lined up in the school I was student teaching at) to get into the district and then next year I could apply and interview earlier. I won’t say that my parents were too thrilled about that option, but I knew where I wanted to go and what I needed to do when I got there. I think the most helpful thing during my brief job search process was, again, my cooperating teacher. She was telling me what I should bring into the interview (things that would normally make up a portfolio), what I should make sure I clearly articulated, and things that I should ask after the interview was done. Clearly, I owe a HUGE thank you to her because not only did she help me prepare for the interview but she really helped line me up to interview in the first place.
6. What advice would you like to share with others?
Meet lots and lots of people. Work hard at what you do in the classroom so that when you meet these important people you have something to talk about. Talk to your principal at your site. Ask your cooperating teacher lots and lots of questions (even if you’re not necessarily meshing with them). I don’t think I’d be working as a first year teacher in Minneapolis if I didn’t try to meet and talk to as many people in the district as I could have. Most importantly, have fun. I know finding a job is really terrifying, but if you genuinely love what you do when you’re in the classroom, some principal or assistant principal or teacher who is interviewing you is going to see that in how you talk about your experiences and they’re going to want to bring that spark into their school.

Success Story | Asja Karic, Family Social Science

Asja Karic, Family Social Science
Advocate | Lewis House Domestic Violence Shelter

How did you learn about your current position?
I learned about my current position through the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website. I saw a position I was interested in and sent in my resume. I received a call a week later saying that the position was already filled and asking if I would be interested in interviewing for a part-time Advocate position that has not even been posted yet. I agreed, as I really wanted to be a part of this organization. A few weeks into my work as a part-time Advocate, my supervisor called me saying I have been doing an excellent job and offered me a full time position. I accepted!
Describe your current position.
I am currently an Advocate for Lewis House domestic violence shelter. I provide direct care, advocacy and crisis intervention to families experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault. A big part of my position is to ensure that the women and children at Lewis House receive all the resources and assistance they need in order to be self-sufficient and stay out of abusive relationships when they leave the shelter. I also provide crisis counseling in person and over the phone and facilitate a support group for women who have experienced domestic violence.
What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
Every day when I drive home from work I feel accomplished and I know that I made even a small impact in ending the cycle of violence that so many women are stuck in. The most satisfying part of my work is interacting one-on-one with families and serving as a support for women who don’t have that elsewhere.
The most challenging part of my position is turning someone down for shelter. We have been packed over the limit almost every day since I have started. When we’re full, we have to refer people to other shelters and sometimes homeless shelters that don’t have the resources to support a woman experiencing domestic violence. It is certainly difficult to come to terms with the idea that I can’t help everyone.
During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
I was told by a career adviser from CEHD Career Services that having a portfolio of my past work relevant to the position would be a great asset. I really believe that this set me apart from many applicants. Even if I didn’t get a position, interviewers were impressed and enjoyed looking through the portfolio during the interview. In the interview for my current position, the person interviewing me actually asked to have a copy of some of my work in the portfolio to show other staff!
What did you find to be the most helpful during your job search process?
I really took advantage of Career Services at the U of M. As soon as I graduated, I made an appointment and improved my resume with a lot of help. I also gathered all of the information on interview questions and practiced my answers many times.
I joined LinkedIn and that opened many doors and connections. Throughout my job search, it was extremely helpful that I had built good relationships with my volunteer and internship supervisors in order to get great letters of recommendation of my work.

Success Story | Ryan Mintz, Science ILP

Name: Ryan Mintz Ryan Mintz.jpg
Licensure program: Science (Physics)
Completed ILP: May 2012
Employer: Internationella Engelska Skolan i Uppsala
Position: Middle School Science Teacher
1. What interested in you teaching abroad?
I had always wanted to travel abroad, but different circumstances during college prevented me from participating. It had always been in the back of my mind to experience life somewhere besides the United States. Sweden just happened to be the first place to come calling, so I jumped on it.
2. How did you learn about your current position?
The career services office had set up an interview day with Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) and the head of the Science Education Program (shout-out to Barb) sent an email to our cohort. I figured it would be a good practice interview, so I sent my resume along.
3. Describe the application and interview process.
After sending my resume and a cover letter through GoldPASS in October, IES scheduled an interview time for me when they would be on campus at the end of January. During that interview, I met with the head of academics for the whole company, and we talked for a bit. To me, it seemed pretty informal, with a few interview questions, but mostly just information about the company/schools, and the kind of people they were looking to hire. At the end of that interview, I was told to fill out the application online, which I did, and then I was put in touch with principals of two different schools. After a few very early morning Skype sessions (thanks to the 7 hour time difference), which were more formal interviews than the first in person meeting, I was offered a position as a teacher.
4. How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
You have to play up your extra curricular activities. Join a club. Get involved. I am fully convinced that my experience as a member and president of the U of M Rugby Club is what landed me the job. Whenever I hand somebody my resume, that is the first thing they ask about. You think your degree and teaching experience make you stand out? Guess what. EVERYBODY else applying for that same job has a degree and teaching experience. Find something that sets you apart, and ride that as far as it can take you.
5. Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
The most helpful thing for me was talking to the people around me. My cooperating teacher and fellow student teachers were a great support in organizing and composing myself for interviews. The people in class around you are a great resource. They want to be teachers because they like to help people. Let them help you.
6. Did you utilize career services (on-campus interviews, career events, appointment(s), online resources)?
Career services set up the initial in person interview, which was great. Nothing is better than meeting in person, and if it had been an entirely online process, I probably never would have followed through. The way that career services made the application and interview process was smooth and easy to use.
7. What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a teaching position?
Don’t be afraid of failing. Throw your resume everywhere. I was applying for what I thought was a practice interview, for a job that I would never get, and it turned into the beginning of my career.