Business Dining Etiquette

Meals centered on business are very common today in the work world, but many people are unaware of the unwritten rules that can lead to a successful business meal.

The first rule is punctuality. Being late to any sort of business function sends a message that the other person’s time is not as valuable as your time.  This can set an undesirable tone for the remainder of the dinner. If tardiness is unavoidable, attempt to call and alert the person you are meeting, and apologize sincerely.

The next rule is table manners. The standard rules apply, such as chewing with your mouth closed, not putting your elbows on the table, and don’t reach across the table, but there are a few other rules that convey good manners as well, especially during a business meal; For instance, if you are a guest, it is not polite to bring up business matters before the host does and using both your knife and fork to cut your food, not just cutting the entire meal up at once.

Some general rules of business dining are as simple as turning off your cell phone before the meal, keeping elbows off the table, and having good posture are all subtle signs of respect and good manners. Also, taking small bites, pacing yourself while eating and not chewing with your mouth full are respectful and polite as well.

There are many more tips to a succesful business meal, UWGB students should look into attending the annual etiquette dinner. Information is as follows: Thursday April 1st 12:30-2:00pm, Phoenix Room B, University Union. Click here for more information: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Etiquette_Registration2010.htm

Student Webinar Details

Webinar Blog

We’ve already talked about internships, why they are important, and how to find the right one for you.  Now there’s a unique opportunity that is taking the internship search to a whole new level.  A ‘webinar’ is exactly what it sounds like, a seminar that is attended via the internet.

The Internships from Accounting to Zoology webinar features internationally known author and speaker Donald Asher.  Asher is highly knowledgeable in the field of career development and has written numerous books, contributed to newspapers and magazines, and is a consultant for top MBA programs and undergraduate institutions nationwide.   

This webinar is an exciting chance for students to get tips from a professional on how to land beneficial internships before and after you graduate. The program will touch on the number of internships you will need, when to start your internship search, and what to do to get the most out of your internship.

Another aspect that the webinar will touch on is virtual internships. Virtual internships are becoming more popular in the college world today.  ‘Virtual’ means that you don’t ever have to set foot in an office building.  This new type of internship opens many more opportunities to students.

The Internships from Accounting to Zoology webinar will take place on January 28, 2010 from 12:00-1:00pm in MAC Room 137.  There is no RSVP needed, just show up ready to learn.  This webinar is a unique opportunity for students to get expert advice from a professional in the Career Services industry.

Make sure to visit http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/ for more detailed information on what the webinar will be covering.

Writing a Professional E-Mail

In this day and age, situations in which face to face communication is considered necessary are becoming less frequent. We live in a world dominated by alternatives such as texts, video chat, and Facebook.  Although each of these serves its purpose, the most utilized communication tool in the business world today is e-mail .  Composing an acceptable business e-mail is somewhat of an art that few college students learn before graduating. 

Let’s start at the top and work our way down. The first thing that anyone will see of your e-mail is the subject line.  The subject should make it obvious to the receiver as to why you are writing. An example might be “Application For Position XYZ.” People everywhere are busy, and with no subject line your

e-mail is more likely to get written off as having no importance. In retrospect, do not mark e-mails as “high importance” unless they truly are of high importance. That just gets annoying.

Next, we have the greeting.  The greeting should be the exact same as it would be in a cover letter.  Also, the overall feel of the body of the e-mail should be treated just as a cover letter or thank-you note would be, but keep it brief and focused.  Spelling and grammar checking are musts. Simple spelling and grammatical errors can be seen as unprofessional and careless, two things you do not want to convey.  Last but not least, re-read your e-mail carefully; the tone of e-mails can often be misinterpreted.

Another thing to watch out for when writing a professional e-mail is slang.  With texting and instant message becoming more common every day, written slang terms are used sometimes without notice.  However, “LOL’s” and “TTYL’s” and any other abbreviated slang terms are unacceptable in a professional e-mail, they tend to portray laziness and incompetence.

Lastly, the closing of a professional e-mail should include a polite closing such as “thank you for your time” followed by “Sincerely, John Doe.” This is more or less a statement of respect for the recipient’s time and attention.  After the signature, it is acceptable to put your e-mail, place of work, and contact phone number.

Many people think that the first impression they give someone takes place when they meet face to face for the first time, however, you can begin molding your first impression in an e-mail correspondence.  If these few helpful hints are heeded, you will be well on your way to doing just that.

For more information please visit http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/

Interviewing Tips

One of the most important steps in getting a job is, of course, the interview process. Your interview with a potential employer can make or break your chances of getting hired. You only have one chance to make a good impression, so here are some key points that will help you do so.

Understand your skill set. In an interview, you need to figure out a way to best market yourself and your many talents. In order to do this, it’s helpful to complete a self-assessment. It will be difficult articulating your skills to the interviewer, but it will be much easier if you take the time to review them with yourself first.

Know your employer. The person who is interviewing you belongs to an organization that is unique in its own ways. Knowing what the organization does before you go to the interview will show preparation on your part and will let the interviewer know that you are a serious candidate. Essentially, if they are taking the time to interview you, you should take the time to learn a little bit more about what they do.

Be able to assert your interest in the field you are interviewing in. Potential employers will ask you about your interest in their particular career path. Doing some research of the career online or in a library can help you to better answer that question, but don’t forget about the most important reason, yourself. Equating your interests and values with that of the career you have chosen is a great way to show an interviewer that you would be great for the job.

Practice interviewing. Whether it’s with a friend, parent, or teacher, practice really does make perfect. Have your fake interviewer ask you questions that would be frequently asked by a real prospective employer. Putting in yourself in an interview-like situation, even if it is fabricated, will prepare you for the real thing.

The last thing that is key to having a good interview is your appearance.  You cannot go wrong with business attire. Try to avoid flashy colors, low cut shirts, or wrinkled clothing.  Also, for women, don’t overdo the perfume or makeup. For men, a clean-shaven face with moderate cologne or aftershave is the best way to go.

To sum up, an interview is a very important part of the job process, perhaps even the most important. A first impression really sticks with a person, so it’s imperative that you make a great one. Spending time preparing and making sure you have a great interview is almost always worth it.

 

To learn more interviewing tips, please visit

 http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Interviewing.htm

Some Words About Internships

In college today, it is important to get as much experience as possible. Obviously, all of the classes you take will allow you to gain useful information and knowledge about your career, but it won’t get you valuable field experience that could be the difference in getting a job once you graduate. Internships will be that difference.

What is an internship? It’s a work-related learning experience for individuals who wish to develop hands on work experience in a certain occupational field. Usually internships last a semester, or sometimes even a year.  Interns typically work between 8-20 hours per week with either pay or college credit. They allow students to determine if the career they have chosen is truly the right one for them.

Why should you do an internship? That’s easy- Automatic ‘A’! No not really, but you can get academic credit for your internship, with the potential to earn a good grade depending on the quality of your work. Also, you can gain invaluable work experience and make professional contacts in the field of your choice, once again NETWORKING! In some cases, an internship could lead to a job with the company after graduation.

There are plenty of places to search for an internship. The biggest library of internship choices for UWGB students is Phoenix Recruitment Online, or, PRO. PRO is a comprehensive database of internships that are posted by companies all over the nation. This is the easiest way to find an internship that might be suitable for you. Another way is to talk to the advisor in your academic program. Usually this person is well connected in the field and will know about quite a few places to intern.

Doing internships are important and they will help you get a job. Work experience, whether it is paid or unpaid, will make you more employable. Internships are also meant to be a learning experience, so in order to be successful at your internship, or any job for that matter, you must open yourself up

For more information, please visit

http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Internships.htm

Choosing a Major

Where do you go to school? How do you like it? What’s your major? These three questions will be fired at students in rapid succession for the better part of their years spent in college. Asking about your school and your major is an easy way for people to start a conversation with you, but if you don’t know what your major is yet, saying “I’m undecided” can get old pretty fast. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to figure out the right major for you. 

One of the first and easiest ways to get a general idea of what you might want to do is to take a career assessment test. These tests will ask you multiple choice questions regarding your interests, competencies, and preferences and will then generate a few careers that you may be interested in.  You can also narrow the search to show you results that just include majors in the UW-System.

Another step that you can take to determining your major is taking a career planning class, offered at UWGB in both fall and spring semesters.  The one credit course is designed to help you focus on both short and long term goals in terms of your career and life in general. It will help you assess yourself and explore career and major options.

Once you choose a major, the next step in the process is to figure out what you careers you can do with it.  Typically, each major can be associated with multiple careers. Example: with a degree in business administration you can do accounting, financial services, economics, or personnel resources.  A lot of majors allow you to select from a variety of concentration within your selected major which makes for a more specialized degree.

When you talk to someone who knows exactly what they want to do with their lives, don’t be fooled, most incoming freshmen have no idea. In fact, some may say its better not to know right away because then you are more open to the possibilities of finding something that you may really enjoy.

For more information on choosing a major or career visit http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Career_Exploration.htm

or call and make an appointment with an advisor at

920-465-2163

Are You Thinking About Graduate School?

For a lot of college students, the natural step after graduation is going out into the world and experiencing the job force.  Some graduates aren’t aware that there is a different path they can take: Graduate school.

 What is graduate school? It’s a way of furthering your education so you can become more qualified for a job in your field of study. Getting a graduate degree is useful for many reasons; career advancement and better salary are just two of the main benefits.

 Graduate school isn’t for the faint of heart, depending what degree you are looking for, Masters or Doctorate, you’ll probably be in school for at least three more years. It’s quite the undertaking, and you have to be prepared to study, study, study. It requires an intense commitment of time and money, and generally, a 3.0 grade point average is expected.

 Attending graduate school right after college makes the most sense for some people. These people must be passionate about their subject and ready to enrich themselves in it. Attending grad school immediately can also be good because students are already used to being students, their study skills are sharp and they have momentum.

 On the other hand, some people considering grad school go out into the work force for a year or two, which is also a viable option. Continuing school is a big decision, and taking some time to think about it can save you money. Also, if you gain some work experience, you will have a more mature and broad outlook on school and work. By waiting a few years, you will have more time to grow as a person and figure out what you really want.

 All things considered, attending graduate school can be one of the most enriching experiences of your life, if you are ready to take it on. In today’s modern world that is so focused on competition, especially in the work place, it might not hurt to have the extra education and experience to gain a slight upper hand.

 

Visit  http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/GraduateSchool.htm to learn more about selecting, applying, and getting into graduate school.

Why Job Fairs Are Beneficial To You as a Student

Being a college student, you are bombarded every day by one daunting concept: Your Future. Questions about your future can become monotonous, especially when you don’t know the answers. However, if you want to get some ideas about your future, a great place to start is a job fair. 

Even though it sounds simple, a certain amount of preparation is needed to have successful job fair experience.  Finding out information about companies that will be at the job fair beforehand is key; you want to know what a company does so they know you are sincerely interested. Also, you will need to prepare a resume, proofread it multiple times for errors, and make sure it’s clear and concise. Proper wardrobe is also part of preparation, as is with any interaction with a potential employer. Some other items to bring: pens, notepad, prepared questions, work samples, transcripts, and references.

Job fairs are useful for many reasons, but the simplest reason is that they help you get your foot in the door of the career you want. Talking with professionals gets your name and resume out there.  If you make a great first impression at a job fair with an employer, and later apply for a job with them, you are more likely to get hired because they will remember you.

As we talked about previously, networking is important and vital to beginning a career and job/career Fairs are the perfect places to start. At a job fair, everyone that you need to meet is brought into one place at one time for your convenience! There’s no down side.

For further information on Job Fairs and Preparation, please visit the following links:

http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Programs.htm

http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Get_Noticed.htm

Networking As a Valuable Tool

You might have heard it said that it’s not what you know it’s who you know. Now, while that’s not entirely true, who you know is a very important factor in career success.  Basically, even if you are the most intelligent person in your field, you won’t go anywhere if nobody knows you exist.

Even though networking is more important today than it ever has been, the majority of college students today do not use it to their advantage. There are so many reasons why knowing people can aide in your success, it’s hard to know where to begin.

First, in today’s economy, it’s difficult to find a job in any field, let alone the specialized field of expertise you have once you graduate college.  But if you’ve done even one internship or attended as little as one job fair, your chances of finding the type of employment you want are greater. This is because you have had the chance to interact with people who are already successful in their careers. Those people might be able to alert you of a job within their organizations or others, and if not, once you find a job that suits you, they can be a valuable resource and reference.

Second, by getting to know professionals in your intended career, you can get an accurate feel for what the job might be like.  You can ask questions and get to know the specifics of the job as well, that way when you have interview in your field, you will know what you are talking about

Lastly, even if you don’t keep in touch with every professional you meet, it’s smart to at least get your name out there. Even if you can do that, you will be one step ahead of the competition.

 

For more information on upcoming opportunities to network, please visit:   http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Programs.htm

NEWS FLASH: Employers Researching YOU on Social Networking Sites!

Often times for college a student, the ‘day after’ hangover is enhanced by all of the pictures from last night posted on Facebook or Myspace. These pictures have many purposes; they can be funny to some, perhaps embarrassing, and for most college-age adults, they provide some answers to the common question “What happened last night?” 

But what if the manager from that great job you applied for saw those pictures? What if you don’t get the job because you were doing a beer bong while giving the middle finger to the camera last week at a party? That sounds pretty far-fetched right? Wrong. 

The fact is that 22% of employers use social networking sites as a valuable tool when evaluating potential job candidates and 9% intend to do so in the near future, according to a survey done by CareerBuilder.com. Thirty-Four percent of those hiring managers chose not to hire a candidate based on profile findings. The greatest reason for dismissal is information about the candidate drinking or doing drugs.  Other reason that employers have opted out of hiring certain people based on their profiles are lack of or lies about job qualification, evidence of poor communication skills, and negative comments about a former employer.

Our advice to you? Get rid of your digital dirt. You don’t have to completely erase everything. Employers like to see someone who is outgoing, cultured, and professional.  Just be careful of what you post and what friends post about you.  Your social network profile should be a helpful tool, not a blemish on your polished resume.

Visit  http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/ and click on “Career Spots” to learn more!

 

 

(Source: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.social.networking/index.html)