The University of St. Thomas
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Doing Some Thanksgiving Career Research

Published on: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

written by: Amber Bieneck-Thom

You know how your career counselor is always telling you to do informational interviews to find out more about the careers you’re interested in? Well, the Holiday season is the perfect time to get started!

Ever wondered what Uncle John’s job as an accountant was like?  Considering a career as a physical therapist and always meant to ask Cousin Sue what PT school was like? Always have a hard time finding time to ask those questions? What better time than at Thanksgiving as you’re all sitting around waiting for the turkey to be done?! Let them know that you’re considering majors and careers, and are wondering if they’d be willing to tell you a little more about their job – I bet they won’t say no!

To get you started, here’s a great list of common informational interview questions and topics to have on mind:

  • What is a typical workday like for you?
  • What are your responsibilities?
  • What experiences, skills and education are necessary for a person who wants to do this job?
  • Do you feel your academic background was a good preparation for the work you’re doing?
  • What do you like most about your position? Least?
  • Your undergraduate major was _______. Is that typical for people in this position?
  • What are the pressures, problems and challenges for a person entering this career?
  • The skills I’m most interested in developing are  ________ and _______.  Is this a good field/company to be in for someone with interests in those areas?
  • Are there some types of people more likely to find success than others?
  • How did you enter this field?
  • Is your career path typical?
  • How competitive is this field?
  • What are the types of organizations that hire people in this field?
  • What are the emerging trends or challenges you’re facing?
  • What professional associations do people in this field belong to?
  • Are there certain professional publications or websites you’d recommend?
  • Are there other occupations/organizations that you might suggest I look into?
  • Are there other people you know that I might speak with to learn more?

So, if there’s anyone in your family or close to home that you know you want to do an informational interview with, but have been putting it off, do so no longer! The Holiday season is the perfect time to check some of those interviews off of your list, and I guarantee your curiosity and interest will make you a popular person with the fam! (And having something to talk about might just make things a little less awkward too!).


A short week – #USTCareerScoop

Published on: Monday, November 24th, 2014

Career Scoop from the UST Career Development Center

…from the Career Development Center

The Career Development Center wishes you safe travels, good eating and relaxing times with family and friends during this Thanksgiving week.

Seminars this week:

Job and Internship Fair Orientation: Monday, November 24 at 12:30 and Tuesday, November 25 at noon both in 124 Murray-Herrick Campus Center. You will need to attend this seminar if you plan to register for the Minnesota Private College’s Job and Internship Fair, if you have not previously attended a Fair.

Got Down Time?

With some of your “down” time over the holiday weekend you could…

A couple of thoughts about cover letters…

Published on: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Typically, there are many applications for any one position.

One of your goals is to get noticed as something more than “just another applicant” in a giant stack of paper or pile of data.

A few small touches can sometimes help a lot.

So, here are a couple of thoughts on cover letters:

1)      Send one! If an ad states only the instruction “send resume,” figure that somebody either forgot to type the words “and cover letter,” or mistakenly assumed you would send one anyway.

If there is any way possible to send or attach a cover letter- whether it’s as an attachment to an e-mail or as an insertion into the employer’s website template- do so!

2)      Take a few minutes to attempt to find the name and title of the person most likely to be the hiring manager. Sometimes this can be done with a phone call, sometimes with a bit of research on the employer’s website. This can be more challenging in larger organizations, though a bit of light Linked-In networking might yield a good guess. Some recent studies suggest that even if you get the wrong name (e.g., a person in the right department, but not the actual decision maker) employers notice the effort you have gone to and consider it a plus.

In short, if it’s at all possible, do your best to avoid “To Whom it May Concern.”

A bit of effort to get a few of the smaller things right is a positive sign to the employer that an applicant is serious and interested.


Planning ahead – #USTCareerScoop

Published on: Monday, November 17th, 2014

Career Scoop from the UST Career Development Center

…from the Career Development Center

iExplore and iPlan (First-year and Sophomores)

As you register for J-Term and spring classes you may need to think about choosing a major and find it useful to get assistance with how-to decide.  Career Counselors are available for individual appointments to discuss ideas and refer you to services that may aide in your decision making process.  We offer vocational testing, websites and resources to conduct informational interviews to gain insight into jobs and career fields.  If you have selected a major, the next step is to begin building your resume by developing related experiences.  Career Counselors can share ideas on ways to have a professional development plan.

iFocus and iExcel (Juniors and Seniors)

The pace of the semester is picking up with papers, projects and tests.  However, keep in mind that employers are preparing for next spring and summer recruiting NOW for internships and full-time positions.  This is the time to squeeze in a seminar, appointment or register to attend the job fair if you want to secure an early offer.


In addition to individual appointment times and pop-in hours the following seminars will be offered this week.

Upcoming events including the MN Private College’s Job and Internship Fair – #USTCareerScoop

Published on: Monday, November 10th, 2014

Career Scoop from the UST Career Development Center

…from the Career Development Center

MN Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair

You heard it here first! Registration for the MN Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair is now open!  You have 38 days to turn in your registration form and fee.  If you have previously attended the MNPC Fair you can stop by the Career Development Center, 123 MHC to pick up the registration packet.  If you have not attended the Fair you will need to attend a Job and Internship Fair Orientation session prior to registering.  A list of employers registered is available, with new organizations adding until the date of the Fair.  We are anticipating over 200 organizations representing business, nonprofit, social service, government, technology and biosciences recruiting for internships and full-time career positions.  The fair is open to currently enrolled UST sophomores, juniors and seniors.  Gain more details on the Fair, the registration process and videos of past student and employer participants on the webpage.

Seminars this week

Events this week

Women in Finance Forum

Piper Jaffray will host a select group of top-performing women on Thursday, January 8, 2015, 3:00-7:00 p.m.  Spots are limited and advanced selection is required by submitting a resume to their website by December 12.

How can participating in clubs and activities help my internship/job search?

Published on: Friday, November 7th, 2014

You never know who you will meet?!  This article is just a reminder that helpful information and helpful people are everywhere, you just need to keep your ears and your mind open!

Volunteer/community service activities –

  • You can learn about jobs/careers you never knew about if you ask questions while volunteering.
  • You may be inspired by the work you do as a volunteer and find this as a first-job home?

Student clubs & organizations –

Many organizations bring in guest speakers to meetings.  If you are an active member and show up, you will be exposed to many different potential employers and learn about lots of different careers.

When you are really excited by a speaker, collect their business card or contact information and ask if they are open to giving you an “Information & Advice Interview.”  You can be the interviewer in this situation and ask the questions:  Why did you choose this employer/line of work?  What do you like about it and what challenges exist?  What skills and personality traits make someone successful in this job?  Advice about how to break in?  Does your organization offer internships, how can I apply?

The beauty of participating in organizations like this is that these folks are coming to you, right here on campus, so it takes very little effort on your part.

For the same reasons that it’s vitally important to show up for career fairs, attending Employer Information Sessions sponsored by the Career Development Center and participating in student clubs affords you the opportunity to meet with professionals in person!   Ever apply for anything online where you know no one?  That can be a frustrating experience, so take advantage of any opportunity to get face-time with potential employers!

Just a couple of involvement examples are cited here, but any type of campus activity, arts, sports, recreational, and leadership opportunities can reveal a lot to you about what careers are out there, and potentially put you in touch with people that can assist you in the future!



Career resources to keep an eye on – #USTCareerScoop

Published on: Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Career Scoop from the UST Career Development Center

…from the Career Development Center

This email is sent weekly to provide information on upcoming career events and services for students.  In addition to this email, you may also want to connect with us through one or more of our social media outlets.  We push out timely information, last minute updates and content that may be useful for students or serve as reminders for the day.  Choose from any/all of the following.

Facebook  / LinkedIn / Twitter

Seminars offered this week:

Looking for a part-time job, internship or full-time position? 

TommieCareers is an extended job and internship search site for UST students.  Use the Job Listings tab, scroll down to TommieCareers.   You can customize your search using the Advanced Search feature and save your search for notifications when positions meeting your criteria are posted.  To learn more about this site and how to save your search refer to the handout.

Wondering what you can do with a major in [insert your major here]?

The Career Development Center surveys alumni to find out where they are working after graduation, their job titles and where they did an internship.  Use the handouts for each major to explore ideas for information about majors, sample job titles and companies. You can find out what to do with your major by visiting the “What to do with” section on our website.

Move your career planning to the next level – #USTCareerScoop

Published on: Monday, October 27th, 2014

Career Scoop from the UST Career Development Center

…from the Career Development Center

With first semester half-way over you are moving along to complete maybe your first or possibly last semester at UST.  Wherever you are in the process, the Career Development Center provides services and resources to assist with your career planning.

First-year (iExplore) and Second-year (iPlan)

Are you feeling stuck about what major is the right one?  Before you register for J-term and spring classes schedule an appointment to assess yourself and explore options that would be possible.

Juniors (iFocus) and Seniors (iExcel)

Take steps to look and apply for internships or full-time career positions or research professional/graduate school options and prepare applications.  Schedule a time to meet with a counselor to discuss your next steps.

Seminars this week

Employer and Graduate School Fairs

Career and job fair opportunities this week and next – #USTCareerScoop

Published on: Monday, October 20th, 2014

Career Scoop from the UST Career Development Center

…from the Career Development Center

As you move into mid-term with a fall break day on Friday there are plenty of opportunities offered by the Career Development Center.


Employer Information Session

Career and Job Fairs

Government and Nonprofit Career Fair
Friday, October 24 from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Visit with representatives from a variety of government branches and nonprofit organizations.  Attend seminars to hear more about federal employment and careers in non-profits.  Visit to see a list of employers and workshop schedule.  Fair is free and walk-ins are welcome.  Bring a copy of your resume. Dress is business casual.

BioMed Virtual Career Fair
Wednesday, October 22 from 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.

Minneapolis Career Fair
Thursday, October 30 from 10:00 a.m.-2: 00 p.m.

Deadline for Wells Fargo Sophomore Leaders and Summer Conference Programs
Friday, October 24

Video Blog: One Simple Tip To Remember for the Vitrual Career Fair

Published on: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014


Whether it is an in-person job fair, a virtual job fair or a face to face interview your task is going to be the same.

Use the opportunity to get across what you – your talents, your education, your job and internship experiences- will bring that is going to be an asset to the employer.

In the attached video, above, a recruiter gives a simple recipe for interview preparation.