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Preparing for Success: Career Opportunity Fair

DSC04600The Career Opportunity Fair, hosted by the Graduate Business Career Services Department, will provide direct access to over 40 top employers for undergraduate and graduate level business students at the University of St. Thomas.  These top recruiters are seeking top talent from UST for internship and full time positions.  Tom Colosimo, Career Coach Specialist, details the best way to ace any Career Fair, but most importantly the Career Opportunity Fair, held next week in the Law School Schulze Grand Atrium on Friday, November 15th.

Prepping for a career fair can be nerve-racking and frustrating but it certainly does not need to be and it is very important.  If you go into a career fair prepared and with the right attitude information you should do well.  It’s all about knowing what you want, what they need, and creating your story to align to these variables. Many people go into a career fair with little or no preparation and come out thinking it was a waste of time.

The key elements to remember are:

Know what companies are going to be participating in the fair

  • Know the companies that you are most interested in; focus on your top 5
  • Research these companies – know their current activities and products
  • Know what initiatives they may have for the future
  • Get a handle on how your skills and experience align to their needs


Appearance is important for your brand and for that first impression

  • Be sure to have the ‘look of business’ that means business
  • Suite and tie for men and a nice dress suite for women
  • Error on the side of dressing conservatively; no wild colors or short skirts!
  • Do not overdo the colognes and perfumes; a nice scent is welcome but don’t overpower your environment and chase people away from you!
  • Smile!  It can mean so much when meeting people
  • Be genuine from hand-shake to tone of your voice
  • Practice your pitch so that it’s natural when you are delivering it to the recruiters

When you arrive at the fair, survey the flow of the attendees and be sure to identify where your companies are located right away. DSC04603

Start out by approaching companies that you may not know that much about and try your pitch on them to work out the kinks and get into your groove.  Do not approach your top companies right away since you may not be at ease yet.  Practice makes perfect.

If you get the business card of the recruiter or company contact, connect with them and thank them for the time they took to chat with you reminding them about your skills and interest in their company and WHY! Reach out on LinkedIn for that connection as well.  Many recruiters spend much of their time on social media looking for that next candidate.  With that in mind, make sure your LinkedIn profile sends the right message about your focus to solidify your brand.


Have fun with it.  Be yourself and be on your game!

To register for the Career Opportunity Fair, click here.

EveningMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

How a Psychology Major Changed his Career with an MBA

Quinten McGruder

Quinten McGruder ’04, ’07 M.A., ’11 M.B.A.

Quinten McGruder ’04, ’07 M.A., ’11 M.B.A. had never taken a business class when he entered the Evening UST MBA program. With an educational background in psychology, McGruder was counseling at a charter school by day and attending MBA classes at night in order to expand his window of professional opportunity. And though he knew a career change was likely after the program, he didn’t expect it upon graduation – it was a St. Thomas connection who helped him step into the world of marketing and into his current role as director of business operations at REAL Insight Inc. Continue Reading

Career Services, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom

Job Search Reality Check – 5 Tips for Success


Searching for employment – be it the dream job or the next step on the corporate ladder – can be exhausting.  There are many other choice words I could use to describe this laborious process such as demeaning, grueling, time-consuming, frustrating, and in my history, each job search is its own monster.  As a career coach, I seek to assist those during this difficult process, either as a resource or just an ear to vent to.  What I have realized from my own personal experience and that of others, is that a job search doesn’t truly become successful until a ‘reality check’ ensues.  For those new to the job search arena, or the seasoned vets, it may be time for a reality check, to ensure each individual has a realistic approach to their career goals. Here are five tips for a successful job search. Continue Reading

Admissions, Admissions, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Ask Michael Scott: In the World of Business, an MBA Matters

Earning an MBA… even Michael Scott, notorious Scranton branch manager of fictional paper-producer Dunder-Mifflin, knows it’s a game-changer for business leaders, career advancers or career changers.  It’s particularly important for those of us not gifted with enough athletic prowess to enter the NBA directly from high school.

So, how can you get a leg up on the rest MBA applicants?  What is the best way to start researching business schools, learning about application requirements, preparing for the GMAT, and connecting with students and alumni at the schools to which you are applying?  The University of St. Thomas Evening MBA and Full Time MBA programs have your answer:  The UST MBA Forum, Saturday, October 12 from 9 a.m. – noon. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom

It Really Is Rocket Science—Mike Nesnidal, P.H.D., Evening UST MBA Student

Nesnidal_MikeAs someone who studied microelectromechanical systems and diode lasers in graduate school, took a company public with godfather of telecom startups Milton Chang and now works full-time while running his own company creating solar cells under contract with NASA, Mike Nesnidal is not your typical business school candidate. But with an end goal in mind of starting another company or furthering his current one, Nesnidal is eager to gain a new kind of knowledge in the entrepreneurial track of the Evening UST MBA program and apply it to his future.

Hailing from inner-city Chicago, Nesnidal obtained his B.S. in physics from Lawrence University in 1989 and moved on to study materials science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working up to his M.S. in ’92 and Ph.D. in ’97. From there, Nesnidal went to work for TRW Inc. (succeeded by Northrup Grumman and Goodrich Corporation), a space systems company in California. He had developed high-power, III-V diode lasers for his Ph.D., the kind of technology used for optical pumps in optical fiber systems used to support Internet traffic, which helped keep signals going across the country and the ocean. At TRW, Nesnidal’s work was related to that, but for defense applications. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, OCB Commentary, UST MBC

Margaret Murphy ’00 M.B.A. on Clients, Creative and Connections

Admissions Transfer Student Portraits

Evening UST MBA alumna Margaret Murphy, president of OLSON and its subsidiary 1to1, understands the importance of these three C’s of her business. We’ve taken some excerpts from her interview with B. Magazine in Fall 2011 to share here. 

“Our objective is to build and activate brand communities from the masses down to the one-to-one level for our clients,” stated Murphy, reinforcing the company mantra “Connection is all that counts.” The goal is then to tailor the interactions and communications to benefit the consumer, such as offering timely information and special offers most relevant and valued by each individual, which in turn drives business for the client.

“I get a lot of energy from ‘solutioning’ around our clients in a creative way,” remarks Murphy, “whether that’s actual design or just how we creatively solve a client’s problem.” Great creative design and clever messaging will always be a core part of advertising and marketing, but to strategically build and execute a campaign across several channels and platforms simultaneously (print, PR, online, mobile, etc.) requires a “line-blurring agency” according to Murphy. Continue Reading

Admissions, Admissions, EveningMBA, Newsroom

Hindsight is 20/20: 5 Things to Do While Completing a Graduate Degree

UST Photo by Mike Ekern.

UST Photo by Mike Ekern.

It’s back to school time, but for the first time since 2005 I am not going back to graduate school this fall. After completing the Evening UST MBA program in 2009, I continued taking classes through the business communication certificate program until I finished itthis spring. With eight years of classes under my belt, I feel like this is a good time to reflect on what I would do differently if I could hop in a time machine. If you are starting a graduate program this fall or thinking about it in the near future, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and have an ever better graduate degree experience than I did. (Although, mine was pretty great!)

  • Build your network. Social media provides a very easy way to keep connected with classmates.  Each semester, go through and add your classmates on Linked In. Make note of which class(es) you took with them in case it is helpful in the future. You never know when having a connection at xyz company or remembering the name of someone you were in class with will be helpful. Connecting with a classmate on Linked In, Twitter or Facebook is one thing. Actually getting to know them is another. Take the time to get to know some of your classmates well. Don’t just talk with them in class. Even though it is late, take the time to grab a drink after class. Set up a quick dinner or happy hour before class with friends you met in past semesters. If you are doing things right, the better you know others in the program, the more advocates you will have moving through your career. Continue Reading
EveningMBA, Events, Newsroom

Surly Intersections Event Double-fisted Business Practice with Theory

Omar Ansari, left, founder of Surly Brewing Company, talks with Alec Johnson, right, OCB entrepreneurship professor, in Schulze Hall Auditorium on August 14, 2013, at the Intersections of Entrepreneurship discussion. Photo by Mark Brown.

Omar Ansari, left, founder of Surly Brewing Company, talks with Alec Johnson, right, OCB entrepreneurship professor, in Schulze Hall Auditorium on August 14, 2013, at the Intersections of Entrepreneurship discussion. Photo by Mark Brown.

Serial entrepreneur John Osher, whose SpinBrush sold to Crest for $425 million, said “I don’t look for what’s on the shelf. I look for what’s not on the shelf.”

When Omar Ansari visited Minnesota liquor store shelves prior to 2006, he found very little craft beer. Fueled by a passion to “make beer for people who don’t know they wanted it”, he retooled his family’s abrasives factory into a brewery and spearheaded a bill to allow on-site pint sales at breweries.

Ansari, founder of Surly Brewing Co., teamed up with Opus College Prof. Alec Johnson Aug. 14 for an “Intersections” that double-fisted business practice with its theory. Continue Reading

Admissions, Admissions, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom

Now you can try the GMAT before officially taking the test

Applying to business school is typically associated with a lengthy checklist of items to submit for evaluation – an application form, application fees, several essays, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and the age-old favorite… GMAT scores.  The GMAT is consistently the most asked-about item on the University of St. Thomas (UST) Full-Time and Evening MBA application checklists.  Questions from prospective students such as, “how should I prepare for the GMAT?” and “where can I access test-preparation tools?” are fielded by UST admissions directors on a daily basis.

As such, the Evening and Full Time UST MBA admissions teams are excited to share a new resource that is available for GMAT preparation and practice.  The Opus College of Business now offers three GMAT test simulation tools for verbal and quantitative questions.  The tests include a Micro Test (20 minutes), Mini Test (75 minutes), and a Full Test (150 minutes).  At the end of the Mini Test and Full Test, participants will receive a GMAT score estimate, as well as a list of questions answered correctly and incorrectly with corresponding explanations. Continue Reading

Admissions, Admissions, Newsroom

Getting ready for the GMAT: Why Preparation Beats Practice

GMAT prep

One of the big components of an application to a business school program is the often-dreaded standardized test. The GMAT, for most applicants here, is by far the most-taken test. We often are asked about how to prepare for these tests and how much time to spend studying. Of course, the answer is different for every applicant, but there are some generalizations that apply. I often suggested planning on devoting about 100 hours to test preparation. The next question becomes: how should you spend those hours? Reading vocabulary cards, taking practice tests, studying algebra textbooks? The Bell Curves Blog recently posted some interesting advice that helps to provide an answer: Continue Reading