Category Archives: Success Stories

Success Story | John Thomason, Business and Marketing Education

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John Thomason
Senior | Business and Marketing Education
ShopNBC | Customer Relationship Marketing and Online Programming Intern

How did you learn about your internship position?
The University of Minnesota’s Job and Internship Fair.
What are your key responsibilities?
Basically I help the Marketing and Programming departments with whatever tasks they have to do. Primarily I have been doing research. Most of the areas I have been researching I am familiar with due to my classes here at the U.
What steps did you take in the application process?
After joining numerous internship-search websites and attending many career fairs, I put together a list of potential positions I was interested with. For most of these positions I was able to meet recruiters and talk to them about the position and the company offering it. From there I applied for 15 to 20 internships and made sure to send thank you emails to the recruiters I met. This is when I started using Career services to have them check over my resume as I searching.
Once I applied to all my target internships, I was forced to wait for responses back from my potential employers. However during this time I was constantly looking for new opportunities at act as back-ups in case these positions didn’t work out. Eventually towards Spring Break I heard back from employers and started setting up interviews with them during Spring Break. To practice for these interviews, I went to Career Services for mock interviews.
During Spring Break I had an interview each day, Monday through Thursday, three of which were on site and one was a phone interview. They all went well and I made sure to said a thank-you email to each person I met. From that point on I waited for responses back and continued searching for new opportunities. Then one day I heard back from ShopNBC to do a second interview with them, which I did on the phone. I talked with three of their top management in separate interviews and all of them went well. Finally, hours after my third interview, I got a call from ShopNBC’s Human Resources department saying I had gotten the position! I was very excited that day.
How did you help yourself stand out from all the other applicants?
The first thing I did was adhere to a strict image of professionalism. Before every interview I made sure I dressed up in a suit and tie and that I looked good. I also made sure to arrive on time to any meeting I had and that I had everything I needed with me. I brought a briefcase with me at all times that had my resume and other important papers and items in it. I also used Fed-Ex to make my my own business cards that I gave to every single living thing I met, saw, or even glanced at. Having such cards is important as it gets your name out there as well as they make you look professional. Finally, I had Career Services look at resume so that it looked professionally up to date and organized.
The second thing I did was I made sure employers knew I was enthusiastic about the position I was applying for. This wasn’t difficult for me as the positions I was applying for were ones I had researched and wanted because they looked like so much fun. Employers really like seeing excited applicants and they remember those types of people. Smiling and asking lots of questions goes a long way.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship search process?
Having access to all the different resources to that I needed to succeed was really helpful. This includes Career Services, who helped me prepare for my interviews, looked over my resume, and provided me with dates and information on upcoming career fairs.
My parents were also a great deal of help. They often would email me links to internships that they thought would interest me. They even helped update my wardrobe for my interviews! My Dad gave me a DVD called “Getting that Job” by a college education group called Standard Deviants. I recommend everyone see this video as it gives very important tips to secure a job and it’s presented in a humorous way. Most importantly, my parents gave me advice and encouragement during my job search, which really helped me.
The final resource I found helpful was the internet. As well as provide me information of the different companies I was applying to, I found many websites and articles that gave me excellent advice on how to do a job search, what to look for, and of course find internships.
What have you learned this far from your internship experience that you have found to be the most valuable for your professional development?
Being prepared is crucial. Having a plan to do something as well as the knowledge and skills to support that plan is vital in any professional setting.
Do you have any tips to share with others about your experience?
1. Apply for multiple positions. A bare minimum number is 15 or so. The more the better. It will take a lot of time to fill them out but you need to do it.
2. Research! Not only should you look at the companies you are applying to but also look at websites and articles that deal with job searching.
3. Use the Career Services here on campus. they are free, here to help you, and do a great job. Did I mention they were free?
4. Everything about you should be professional. This includes not only your attire but also your resume, other paperwork, business cards, brief case, attitude, walk, etc.
5. Go to the University of Minnesota Job and Internship Fair. It’s free and they even drive you there.
6. Respond with a thank you note to each person you meet/interview with.
7. Be on time. Arrive within 10 minutes of any meetings/interviews you have. If you don’t know where you are supposed to go, drive there beforehand.
8. Don’t be cheap. Spend the money to make businesses cards, have paper for your resumes, attend career fairs, and upgrade your wardrobe. It is worth it.
9. Have a plan.
10. Don’t worry. You will find a job.

Elisabeth Charboneau, Secondary English MEd/ILP, shares her success

Name: Elisabeth Charboneau
Licensure Program: Secondary English (Communication Arts/Literature); Completed ILP June 2010
Employer: Spring Lake Park High School
Position: English Language Arts Teacher
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Job Search
How did you learn about your current position?
I used websites, such as EdPost, to find out about the job I’m currently teaching.
Describe the application and interview process.
I applied at the end of August, just before school started. I wasn’t called for an interview until a few weeks later. The school was waiting for approval from the state to move an English teacher into an instructional coaching position and they were hiring someone to fill that vacant English position. I was interviewed by two associate principals and two English teachers at the school. I was called a couple of weeks later by the principal and had a brief phone interview with him before being offered the position. After a brief transition, I took over teaching classes about six weeks into the school year.
How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
I think I made myself stand out during the job search by researching a lot of information about the school system. I found on their website that they had recently restructured their grading system, so I made sure to ask questions about that in the interview to show that I was well informed.
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
I think being diligent and optimistic was the most helpful thing during the job search process.
What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a teaching position?
Even when everyone around you seems to be getting jobs, never give up because a great job could be posted at the last minute.
Teaching Position
Describe your current position.
I am a full-time English language arts teacher at Spring Lake Park High School. I primarily teach 10th grade language arts, but I have also taught women’s literature and theater.
What do you most enjoy about your position?
I enjoy the collaboration among my colleagues. We have time set aside for meeting with other teachers every day, which is a huge advantage for a first-year teacher.
What are some of its challenges?
Classroom management has been my biggest challenge this year. It is not something that can be learned ahead of time and you have to figure out pretty quickly what your non-negotiables are.
Please share your advice to students entering the teaching profession.
Try to have a sense of humor about things–it makes even your worst days better.

Success Story | Caity Sweet, Kinesiology

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Caity Sweet
Kinesiology | Clinical Movement Science
Spring 2011 Graduate
Northwestern University
Doctorate of Physical Therapy Student

How did you learn about your graduate program?
When I was researching physical therapy programs I found a number of schools around the country that I was interested in. After looking into the schools I decided to apply to Northwestern because of their great facilities, faculty members, clinical opportunities, and reputation in the field of physical therapy.
Describe your graduate program.
The DPT program at Northwestern University is a 3 year program, for the next year I will be studying anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and clinical decision making processes while working on a research project. The second year of school I will study a variety of clinical management courses specific to different types of injuries and illnesses. The final year of school I will be placed full-time in physical therapy clinics completing 2 clinical internships.
What steps did you take in the application process?
I applied to a number of schools through PTCAS, the centralized physical therapy school application system. In my application I included transcripts, GRE scores, 3 letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. After applying some schools offered interviews or require a supplemental application.
How did you help yourself stand out from other applicants?
To make myself stand out as a competitive applicant I made sure I had good GRE scores and grades. All of the schools I applied to require that you have shadowing hours so I obtained a variety of experiences in different types of settings. During my time at the U of M I made sure to get involved on campus in a variety of ways. Working in CEHD Student Services the past 4 years has taught me how to work in a professional environment, develop conflict fluency, and maintain professional relationships. Through my campus involvement, physical therapy experience, and time spent studying abroad I was able to draw from a lot of experiences to make my personal statement unique and memorable
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during the graduate school application process?
The Academic Health Center on campus has a great online course called ‘Personal Statements for a Health Program’ that prepares you to write your personal statement. The course had a number of worksheets and tools to help me organize my thoughts. The APTA and PTCAS websites had great information as well. They had information about applying to each specific school and the program requirement as well as basic information such as location, cost, and size of the different schools.

What did you learn during the graduate school application process?

Through the application process I’ve learned a lot about myself including my strengths and weaknesses, why exactly I want to pursue a career in physical therapy, and what in physical therapy gets me excited. The self-awareness I gained from the application process helped me to choose the school that fit me the best.
Do you have any words of wisdom to share with others about your experience?
I would start studying for GRE early! Summer is a great time to take the test. I also recommend getting a variety of physical therapy experiences starting early. Getting to know physical therapists and your professors is important; you’ll need recommendations from them. And remember to ask earlier rather than later for recommendations.
Did you utilize career services? If so, what was your experience like?
I met with Angie in career services to go over my personal statement and then again before an interview. She was so helpful in organizing my thoughts into a cohesive statement. We also did some mock interview questions that helped calm my nerves and gave me practice!

Success Story | Ann Peckskamp, Family Social Science

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Ann Peckskamp
Family Social Science, Senior
Family Communication Project
Assistant Project Manager

How did you learn about your internship position?
It’s a long story – My advisor, Bibiana Koh, works as the recruiter for the project, so at my Family Social Science orientation meeting she asked if anyone would be interested in a position. I’m lucky that I was in the right place at the right time, otherwise I would have had no idea that this project even existed. I applied for the only open position of coder. How the project works is that families come in and are video taped doing a variety of activities. Then, a coder watches the video and assigns codes to different types of behaviors or interactions (e.g. how well the father communicates with the daughter, or how good the parents’ relationship is).
After both the preliminary and second interview for the position, Bibiana decided that my personality and skill set would be better utilized in a different area of the project. She recommended that I contact the assistant project manager (who would be leaving the project soon) and ask her to interview me for her position. So that’s how I ultimately found out about my current position.
What are your key responsibilities?
Administration: Taking minutes, writing agenda’s for meetings
Finances: Keeping track of budgets that are used for the project expenses, doing purchase orders, keeping in contact with the FSoS accountant to make sure her accounts line up with ours
Website: Being the liaison between the web designer and the project in order to keep the website updated
Miscellaneous: Making copies, going to the reuse center to pick up free office supplies when needed
Advisory board: Communicate with advisory board members about meetings, setting an agenda, and working with researchers about what information they want to present and getting it ready
What steps did you take in the application process?
First, I e-mailed my advisor (who told me about the position) asking for more information about the position. Then I updated my résumé so that it was current and reworded or modified my previous experiences so that they were more relevant to my prospective position. I wrote a cover letter highlighting my strengths and how my skills from previous experiences could be transferred to the coding position.
I had a first interview, and was informed that I might not be a good fit for the position, but that I would still be advanced to the second interview. After the second interview, Bibiana was confident that coding would not be a good match for me, but she felt strongly I should find a way to become involved with the project. So, she recommended that I talk to Emily Becher, the assistant project manager (see question #1). Emily and I communicated via e-mail to set up a time and place to meet so that she could interview me. We met at Caribou Coffee and discussed what the position entailed, how I could benefit the project, and how the project could benefit me. She offered me the position at the end of our interview.

How did you help yourself stand out from all the other applicants?

As a former elementary education major, a lot of my previous volunteer experiences weren’t relevant to my new position. While I was worried that this might make me a less desirable candidate, I worked really hard to show how my skills were transferable – and it actually worked to my advantage. It made me unique and it showed that I could bring things to the internship that other people couldn’t.
I’ve had some really good jobs with a lot of responsibilities, which most other undergraduates just don’t have. I’ve worked in a professional office and I also teach ACT test preparation for the same company. By having two positions in the same company, it shows that I’m loyal to my employers and that my employers believe that I’m a valuable employee, capable of accepting increasing responsibilities. I’ve made conscious efforts to grow my résumé with the most impressive positions that I can. It would have been easier to just get a job at a coffee shop or something, but in the long run, it’s paid off that I’ve made getting valuable job and volunteer experiences a priority in my life.
During my final interview, for the position that I actually accepted, Emily said that the one thing a lot of applicants had had trouble with, was articulating how the position would benefit the applicant. It’s unpaid, so she said that she wanted the position to go to someone that would get something out of it too. I said that I had gotten where I am today by means of making connections and knowing the right people, and that this position would give me access to a wide network of professors, professionals, and other students who could help to further me in my future careers. She seemed pretty impressed by that answer, so I would encourage other internship seekers to think about how they would answer a similar question.
What did you find most helpful during your internship search process?
Keeping myself on my future employer’s radar. I made sure to follow up with Bibiana on the same day that she presented the position to me. After I sent her my résumé, I contacted her a couple weeks later to see if I would be able to have an interview. After she told me that I was not right for the position, I asked what my other options were, and I contacted the people that she suggested right away. Just being very proactive was the most helpful thing that I did.
Do you have any tips to share with others?
Take advantage of your resources! I made an appointment with a career services counselor and I found practice interview questions, cover letter templates, and action verbs to strengthen my job descriptions on my résumé all on the CEHD Career Services website.
Don’t forget, your resources include people too! Build a network. I am friends with someone already working as part of the research project so I asked her what they look for in applicants. My advisor was the recruiter, so I made sure that I took the time to get to know her. I had my sister, an English major, read my cover letter and résumé. Anything that can give you inside knowledge or help to make connections will definitely make you stand out.

Kate Meier, Art Education MEd/ILP, shares her success

Name: Kate Meier
Licensure program: Art Education; Completed June 2011
Position: Art Teacher
Employer: Los Lunas High School, Los Lunas, NM
Job Search
How did you learn about your current position?
I learned about my job through an exhaustive internet search of school district web sites.
Describe the application and interview process.
I wrote dozens of cover letters, resumes, and applied online. I had to be persistent. I made follow up phone calls after I sent electronic copies of my resume and cover letters to principals. The key is to get noticed. When you send your information to Human Resources, you get lost in the mix. A follow up phone call is a way for the principal or assistant principal to start to get to know you better. I had a lot of success with this, and had a series of phone interviews because I was living in Wisconsin at the time. I decided, however, that for the jobs I really wanted I would have to be there in person to have a chance. I flew to Albuquerque, NM and had two live interviews, one of which was in Los Lunas. Considering how short my job search was (about 2 months while I was finishing school; very early in the hiring season), I was very fortunate to have had so many interviews.
How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
In the Southwest, many teacher candidates do not have an M. Ed and a B.A. in their field. I think I stood out because of my educational background, as well as my online portfolio, where I posted photos of myself in the classroom, my students’ work, and kept a sort of virtual resume.
What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a teaching position?
I would recommend looking at a move if jobs in the area you are searching aren’t plentiful. It can be short-term, just enough to get you the experience. I would also recommend applying for at least one job a day, and keeping track of each job you apply for in a spreadsheet, so that you can follow up with a phone call within 5-7 business days. If you call and get an answering machine, call back again. Talk to someone live. Be persistent, and be careful. Making a simple grammatical or spelling error on a resume or cover letter can take you out of the picture before administration even considers your experience. Rather than coming in for an interview with a bulky portfolio, bring your laptop with your online portfolio ready to go. I also found that the Job Search Handbook we received at the Professional Practice Seminar was imperative to my preparing for interviews. I looked at all of the sample questions and prepared written and oral answers for each of them.
Teaching Position
Describe your current position.
I am the sole art teacher at a high school with a population of 1,400 kids in a town of 24,000. There are two high schools in our district. I teach students in grades 9-12. I have one advanced class and four beginning art classes. In my beginning art classes most of the students are in 9th and 10th grade. My curriculum is based on three major art practices, drawing, painting, and sculpture, as well as an emphasis on art history, aesthetics, and art criticism. My students are of predominantly Hispanic and Native American descent.
What do you most enjoy about your position?
I enjoy the individual relationships I build with students as I watch their artistic talents mature.
What are some of its challenges?
Classroom management can be a challenge in classrooms with 35+ students who are mostly freshman and sophomores. It is important to establish yourself as a teacher who is firm but fair. I also recommend making a seating chart after you get to know the students to avoid major classroom disruptions.
Please share your advice to students entering the teaching profession.
After a year and a half of training and experience, I am still new to the teaching profession. I am always learning more about how I can become a better, more effective teacher. It is important to think of yourself first as a student and second as a teacher. Success came to me through hard work, persistence, and being in the right place at the right time. It is important to be open to those opportunities if they present themselves.

Arika Traiforos, Elementary Education MEd/ILP, shares her success

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Name: Arika “Simone” Traiforos
Licensure program: Elementary Education; Completed ILP June 2011
Employer: Minneapolis Public Schools (Emerson Immersion)
Position: 3rd grade teacher
Job Search
How did you learn about your current position?
I attended the Minnesota Education Job Fair in April of 2011. I gave my resume to about fifteen schools/districts, including Minneapolis Public Schools. At the MPS table, there was a sign that listed the high need areas in the district. One of these areas was Spanish. In addition to having a Spanish minor, I speak Spanish at home. When I told the district representatives that I am bilingual, they signed me up for an interview at the job fair.
Describe the application and interview process.
I was not sure what to expect of a job fair interview. There were two people interviewing me; a principal of an immersion school and an administrator. The interview was conducted in English and Spanish. They asked questions about lesson planning, technology in the classroom, how to engage all students in learning and many other questions. The interview lasted 20 minutes then I took the ACTFL, an oral Spanish language assessment. I actually did not feel incredibly confident about this interview. There were hundreds of people at the job fair and I thought, “I haven’t even finished student teaching yet!”
One month later, I received a call (while I was student teaching, actually) offering me a position with Minneapolis Public Schools as a bilingual/bicultural teacher. I signed the contract within a week. It is interesting that I was hired in the district but I still had to interview with schools. I went to about five interviews in the district and ended up at Emerson.
How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
I mentioned my love of the Spanish language and spoke about travelling to Mexico, minoring in Spanish at the University and speaking Spanish at home with my fiance from El Salvador.
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
Attending the Job Fair. Had I not gone to the job fair and shook hands with so many people, I likely would not have ended up with a job with Minneapolis Public Schools. They hired me based on my interview and resume. Had I just send in an application online, I probably would not have been hired. Also, I interviewed with a school in the Richfield district after meeting the principal at the job fair. He called me to set up an interview two weeks after I gave him my resume at the fair. The job fair is a great place to get your name out there, hand out your resumes and practice your spiel (“Hello. Firm handshake. My name is ______. I attended the University of Minnesota and graduated in ____ with a degree in ______. [INSERT WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT]. Big smile.”)
Did you utilize career services? If so, what was your experience like?
I utilized the website and the links about writing resumes and preparing for an interview.
What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a teaching position?
Don’t give up! I attended many interviews and believed that no one would want me. Be brave, exude confidence (but not cockiness) and believe in yourself. Sure, it sounds cliche but it is good advice in any situation.
Also, if [during an interview] you are not sure of an acronym (there are so many in this profession), tell them. During one of my interviews, they asked how I would incorporate something I had never heard of into the reading curriculum. I started blankly at them for a second then confessed with a smile that I was not sure what that meant but I was willing to learn.
Teaching Position
Describe your current position.
Starting at the end of August, I will be a 3rd grade teacher at Emerson Immersion. I will teach in Spanish for a portion of the day and in English for the other part of the day.
What do you most enjoy about your position?
I have seen many children that come from Spanish speaking homes “lose” their language as they grow up. I am so proud to be teaching in an immersion school because I will encourage students to maintain their home language and I will hopefully be able to instill a sense of pride in being bilingual.
What are some of its challenges?
I have not started yet but I anticipate a challenge in making my room look welcoming because I am a new teacher with limited resources. I have been stocking up on all the free teacher stuff I can get my hands on.
Please share your advice to students entering the teaching profession.
Soak up knowledge, hang on to your text books, keep taking language classes if they interest you and ask others for help if you need it.

Jane Dolan, Communication Arts/Literature MEd/ILP, shares her success

Name: Jane Dolan
Licensure program: Masters of Communication Arts and Literature, 5-12; Completed ILP August 2010
Employer: Northfield Public Schools
Position: Long term sub -1 semester at Northfield High School (10th and 12th grade); 1 semester at Northfield Middle School (7th grade).
Job Search
How did you learn about your current position?
I found it posted on the Ed post website….or rather, my mom found it!
Describe the application and interview process.
As a new teacher with very little teaching experience, you have to keep applying, applying, and applying for jobs! Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged. You have to know that your U of MN degree speaks volumes and that the right job will come along.
How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
As dorky as it sounds, I practiced my interview responses in front of a mirror. I made a list of potential questions and committed myself to practicing. I also tried to appear as professional as possible–a nice outfit, a polished credentials folder, a strong handshake and a smile on my face. Beyond that, I was myself. I like to laugh and I told related stories from my student teaching during the interview. For this particular interview, my personality just meshed well with the hiring committee. I knew when I walked away from the interview that if I were offered the job, it would be a good fit. I felt comfortable from start to finish.
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
Be open to all possibilities. You never know what type of school will ultimately be a good fit for you. If you had asked me a year ago if I could see myself long-term subbing in Northfield, I probably would have said “no.” However, my response probably would have been rooted simply in that fact I had never really been to Northfield prior to my interview. As I drove through Northfield headed to my interview, I thought “I can see myself here.”
What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a teaching position?
Be professional, be prepared, be yourself, and choose the job that feels like the best fit, even if you have to wait a little bit to find it!
Teaching Position
Describe your current position.
The first semester I taught at Northfield High School, I had two sections of 10th grade American Literature, two sections of 10th grade Advanced American Literature, and one section of College Prep Writing. Second semester I taught 7th grade, all day! The fact that I was able to long-term sub in two different buildings in the district was actually a blessing in disguise. I had the opportunity to experience both high school and middle school. I also had the opportunity to coach middle school track! And the added surprise? I was just offered a permanent job for next year–I will be teaching 8th grade English!
What do you most enjoy about your position?
I got into teaching because of my content area, but more importantly because I want to see young people succeed. There can be days in teaching when you think to yourself “Why do I do this job?” But, the vast majority of days are great. I feel like I am positively affecting students, they are equally impacting me, and I know I am helping these students develop both the academic and social skills they will use their whole live.
What are some of its challenges?
Teaching, like any job, brings its own challenges. For me, the greatest challenge as a new teacher has been finding a balance. As a new teacher, there is a never-ending need to lesson plan. To be honest, it’s a lot–planning, writing assessments, revising your plans, making sure you have an end goal, etc. Furthermore, there seems to be an endless amount of papers to grade, especially as an English teacher! Therefore I have made a rule: Saturdays are my no school, no grading, no lesson planning days! This rule helps me feel like I can rest and do fun activities all day! Plus, I go into the next week far more mentally and physically rested than I would if I worked all weekend.
Please share your advice to students entering the teaching profession.
Obviously, as a teacher it’s important to have significant quality time in class for teaching content area. However, I would argue there needs to be a certain amount of fun in class too, for the sake of the students and for your sake as well! It’s amazing how much more the students learn when they feel invested in you as a teacher and when they feel like they can approach you. At first I thought I shouldn’t show the students my silly side, but it’s such a part of who I am. My students now know about my weird obsession with llamas, my Jonas brothers calendar, and my awesome (or perhaps, they would argue, not-so-awesome) dance moves. I think it’s these quirky things about me that have made me seem human and approachable to my students.

Morgan Koth, Youth Studies Graduate, offers some good advice

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Morgan Koth
CEHD Degree program: Youth Development & Research
Graduation Year: 2011
Employer: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota
Position: Community Giving Intern (Development Department)
How did you learn about your current position? I learned about my current position on the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Job Board ( . I had been checking the site quite religiously looking for an opportunity that would help me develop skills that I didn’t gain from my degree.
What are some of your key responsibilities you have been charged with? In my role, I have had a broad exposure to various tasks in the Development Department. So far, I have worked on creating a comprehensive database for the Seasons of Wishes campaign. I have also been researching potential vendors for the Delicious Wishes event, written scripts for media personnel headlining our Walk for Wishes, generating community relations by contacting wish families and creating verbiage for donors to be used on the MAW website and print media. This internship is giving me great opportunities to expand my skills in event planning, fundraising development and communication.
What steps did you take in the application process? How did you help yourself stand out from all the other applicants?
Immediately after seeing the job posting on the MCN website I began creating a resume with a style that highlighted past-positions and experiences I had that were relevant to what MAW was looking for in a candidate. I also submitted a cover letter that allowed me the opportunity to give the hiring committee a better idea of who I am, what my past experiences have taught me and how passionate I am about Make-A-Wishes’s mission statement.
After I submitted my application, I was invited to a phone interview with the Development Supervisor. The phone interview went well, and I was invited to attend a final interview at the MAW office in Minneapolis. Immediately after the interview I sent my interviewers a thank you letter–thanking them for their time, and their consideration. I made it personal by mentioning particular things I learned through the interview process, and highlighted how I felt I would be the perfect candidate based on my experiences, passions and career goals.
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
I set aside time every week to job search, write cover letters and research potential career options. With all of the free time a new grad has making weekly appointments to work on the job search and application process really helped me to find a job early. I also checked the job board often and applied to positions as soon as they are posted. Often jobs listed on websites receive applications on a rolling-until-filled basis so it is to your advantage to get a high-quality application in really soon.
What have you learned this far from your position that you have found to be the most valuable for your professional development?
If you have a desire to pursue a career in a field or capacity different from your degree, pursue opportunities to educate yourself and gain that experience volunteering or working as an intern. A degree is just a degree at the end of the day, but valuable experiences relative to your goal-career is key to unlocking future opportunities.
Do you have any tips or words of wisdom to share with others?
Be intentional about your job search–identify your passions and find a job that utilizes your passions. Don’t apply for a job because of the salary, if it isn’t what you are passionate about you most likely won’t be happy. Do yourself a favor and apply for the jobs that excite you–they’ll be worth getting up every day for.
Did you utilize career services? If so, what was your experience like?
A week before my interview with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I met with Angie. She was incredibly helpful setting me up with various resources to prep for my interview. What amazed me the most about my experience at Career Services was that I felt like an individual and that someone cared about me on a one-on-one level. It is difficult to find at the U, but at Career Services it’s possible.
Morgan’s internship with Make A Wish will be finishing soon and so if you would like to connect with her, she has provided her information.
“I would love to connect with you! Follow my blog contributions throughout the summer at Or connect with me on LinkedIn: or Twitter:!/4goodmn

Meghan Walter-2011 CEHD graduate offers career advice

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CEHD Degree program: BME and HRD
Graduation Year: May 2011
Employer: Braun Intertec Corporation
Position: Human Resource Coordinator
How did you learn about your current position?
I learned about my current position through Braun Intertec reaching out to me. My resume was posted on a professional organization website along with other HR professionals in the Twin Cities area.
What are some of your key responsibilities you have been charged with?
I perform a variety of HR Generalist functions including working with new hires, payroll, compensation (benefits-401k plans etc), recruiting, training/development programs and safety.

What steps did you take in the application process?

After Braun Intertec reached out to me for a short phone screen interview, I did a great amount of research about the company and if it would be a good fit. I then went to the corporate office for an in person interview. After the interview, I sent a thank you email expressing great interest in the position too. Within two weeks Braun called and we made arrangements with a lunch meeting in their HR department. It was very informal but helpful because I was able to get to know the people I would potentially be working with on a more personal level.
The following week I heard back with the job offer including salary pay and benefits. I did not accept the offer right away; I expressed high interest and asked when I would have to accept by. This gave me time to consider all my options and what was best for me. I called within about a week accepting the offer. I did have to negotiate with the employer on the start date, which they were flexible with and we met half way with a date.
How did you help yourself stand out from all the other applicants?
I really stressed my work experience, campus involvement and career goals-long and short term. I maintained a professional tone throughout the entire process and really was just myself.
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
Doing mock interviews at the career services was very helpful because it prepared me for when I had actual interviews. I also utilized the career page for many tips about searching for a job. In addition, I spoke to other professionals in the HR field about my potential position and whether this would be a good entry-level position.