Maggie Tomas – Opus Magnum
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Maggie Tomas

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Say Goodbye to the Balance Burden

Maggie Tomas of UST’s Graduate Business Career Services office recently wrote this post on the Women of HR Blog.

“The balance what?” you ask.

I am referring to the burden and guilt trip we give ourselves each day over our attempt, and quite often failure, to balance all aspects (mom, caretaker, professional, student, friend etc.) of our lives.

I call it the Balance Burden and, truly, I spent my first year and a half of motherhood often riddled with guilt because I couldn’t seem to juggle it all. It wasn’t until the birth of my second daughter (18 months after my first) that I finally threw my hands up and admitted defeat.

With the slow realization and acceptance that balance was unattainable came a sudden relief, and the mommy baggage was quickly lifted off my five-foot two-inch frame.

In the days (specifically 20 months) since becoming a mom of two amazing, extremely energetic, and willful little girls, I have learned a few things about the best approaches for me to manage my multiple roles. I learned most of these lessons the hard way, as in coming home from work stressed about an undone project, only to be a bit cranky and short-tempered with my family followed by a sleepless night feeling downright crummy for not being a better worker, spouse, and namely mom.

Through trial and error I have discovered that these tips work for me and I hope they are of value to you. Read the tips on the Women of HR Blog »

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Life Beyond the Midwest

As a non-native Minnesotan one thing that strikes me is how loyal Minnesotans are to this land of 10,000+ lakes.   Don’t get me wrong, this state, specifically the Twin Cities, has much to offer from boasting home to 20  Fortune 500 companies (third largest of any U.S. metro) to an array of outdoor adventures appeasing any REI enthusiast.  However, having grown up and spent most of my adult life on the west coast, I find this geographic devotion unusual.  Many of the friends I grew up with have traveled outside of CA for work and accepted job transfers to other regions in the US.  This readiness to relocate is not typical of Minnesotans and according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, this unwillingness to take your job search national might not be the wisest decision, particularly if you are a recent graduate.

With an unemployment rate that is improving but still hovering around 9%, being open minded about location is wise for a job seeker.  The number of workers who relocated for work was at a record low in 2011 (11.2%), down from 20% in 1985. Yet 32% of companies say they would be willing to pay for relocation expenses for the right hire.  So why the disconnect?  There are several reasons why many Americans stay rooted ranging from fear of the unknown to family obligations.

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Career Services, Newsroom

A Recruiter’s Guide to Job Seeking

Ever wanted to get inside a recruiter’s head? What is he or she thinking when you are relaying past experiences and attempting to answer those behavioral interview questions succinctly with the right amount of detail and passion? What do recruiters deem the greatest interview mistakes and how are they using social media these days? These are a few of the questions that were posed to the recruiters from Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, Moneygram, Datacard and CMD Associates at the Recruiter Panel lunch event held by Graduate Business Career Services on March 6th.

Jennifer Finkelson (Buffalo Wild Wings), Dana Schulz (Target), Stefanie Haglend (Moneygram), Twanda DeBorde (CMD Associates), and Julie Serlin (Datacard Group) spent an hour and half with the full time MBA students providing interview tips and answering an array of student questions. Here is a quick summary of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to applying and interviewing at these top corporations. Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Career tip: Target Companies that Value Your Competencies

There are a couple of routes to take when job searching.  The most common and least effective route involves scouring the job boards and applying (along with the thousands of others) to the jobs posted.  The method most career coaches recommend is to create a marketing plan that includes your summary/pitch, objective, competencies, and target companies.

Once you have established this plan you can then focus your job search on making connections within those targeted companies and eloquently stating your objective (pitch) when you begin to meet with people. Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Use Simple Language to Make Your Message Spread

A plethora of academics use baroque vernacular to articulate significance. Huh?  Let’s try that again.  A large number of students use big words to try to sound important.  Does it work?  Not really, according to   The reason you should probably ditch your thesaurus? You want your writing to be inclusive and appeal to a large audience.

Using unnecessary big words can often hinder your message from spreading because readers want to read something quickly and easily.  They do not want to pull out their dictionaries to decipher what was said. Continue Reading

Centers, Health Care MBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Can Health Care Take Tips From the Marketer’s Playbook?

The last two days of February finally brought some long awaited (or not, depending on who you ask) snow. The snowfall didn’t stop marketing professionals in the health care industry from coming on campus for a MN AMA Healthcare SIG event focusing on the impact of health care reform for marketers.

This second in a three-part series featured a panel of health care/marketing professionals including Rich McCracken, account director at Haberman, a full-service marketing agency; Kim Wiese, vice president of marketing at Optum; and David Moen, M.D., president and CEO at Fairview Physician Associates. Daniel McLaughlin, director of the Center for Health and Medical Affairs at the Opus College of Business, moderated the panel and facilitated the conversation, which touched on the overall mind shift that is necessary in the U.S. culture, in terms of health care.

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Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Are you the Smartest Guy in the Office?

Smart GuyThink it pays to be the smartest person in the office?  Think again, says Author Joan Lloyd discusses the dismay/confusion a consistent over-achiever felt when passed up for a team leadership role.  The reason this “smartest guy in the room”  wasn’t the obvious choice?  He was too arrogant, not collaborative, and quick to dismiss others’ ideas.  All his  life he was praised for his intelligence.  Things came easy to him, and perhaps a bit too easy.  He never learned the social art of interpersonal skills, teamwork, and motivation, all which are key attributes in  any effective leader.

As I read this article I was reminded of a conversation I recently had with a hiring manager in which he relayed his interviewing experiences with college grads.  He noticed that many were quick to show confidence, had answers for every problem, but lacked any true personality.  When it came time to discuss teamwork examples, many candidates fell short or used words like “I” and “me” when discussing team successes.  A definite red flag to any hiring manager or recruiter is when a candidate doesn’t share the victory with others.  Make sure when interviewing you come across as a genuine leader by: Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

How to Become Beyond Average

In Graduate Business Career Services we have long been addressing the importance of differentiating, standing out, and making yourself desirable to prospective employers. As we continually invite professionals on campus to provide insight on hiring practices and share professional development tips, we repeatedly hear that today’s MBA and MBC students need to be educating themselves beyond what is taught in class and gaining experiences over and above what is learned in classes like Applied Business Research.

Marketing guru Seth Godin, provides additional evidence that in today’s tight job market, the job seeker who is comfortable shooting for “average” isn’t going to make the cut. As Godin frankly states: Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom

Picturing Success

Inc. magazine recently featured an article titled “How to Excel at Anything.”

Author, Jeff Haden offers a clever comparison between sports and work, detailing the steps one needs to take to master a specific skill.  He provides 4 tips to mastery; Go Fast, Go Slow, Go Piece by Piece, and March to a Different Drum.  All valid tips that allow you to take a fresh look at how you approach the skill at hand.  I would like to add another step that athletes perform to excel.  Envision yourself succeeding.

Picturing yourself accomplishing a task and accomplishing it well provides you with confidence and makes the actual carrying out of the task a bit easier.  I once thought this was sports jargon until I attempted to learn tennis.  At age 24, having never picked up a racket outside of the required PE course in Jr. High, I was a tennis novice to say the least.  What looked like an easy sport, wasn’t for me.  After months of going to the local community center court I continued to frustrate my partners by my lack of skill, or to put it simply my lack of ability to rally.   For any of you who have ever tried to rally with an unskilled tennis player, you know how frustrating it can be.  I spent the majority of time running outside of the court and picking up the stray balls that I had hit into the bushes. Continue Reading

Career Services, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Reading Outside of the Classroom

images[9]Learning is life-long; take it from leading business thinkers and strategists.  The Wall Street Journal recently posted thisarticle where notable business professors such as Warren Bennis, from USC and Jeffrey Pfeffer, from Standford, shared what books top their lists as must reads for anyone seeking success in the business world.

Research and acquisition of new knowledge should be sought long after the MBA is earned and  the desired position title is landed. Continue Reading