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Articles by Amanda Bergeron

Just in Time!

As I finish up my third year here at DePaul, I have visited the Career Center a total of 10 times. Some meetings were more successful than others in terms of actually finding internships I am interested in. Most of the time I just went to talk to an advisor about possible things coming in the future so I can stay on track and not lose sight on why I am even at school – to get a job that fulfills me.

Something I am looking forward to participating in is the Just in Time Fair. This career fair happens every year directly after graduation. This gives students the much needed opportunity to come face-to-face with employees of all kinds and learn about the application process and job descriptions. Of course technology has to play into this somehow, they also made a Career Fair Plus App!

This app features the ability to plan out your trip and become familiar with the employers that will be showcased. It also shows an interactive floorplan, event details, real time updates, and tips for those needing to better prepare. Along with this, the Career Center​ gave their own insider tips. 
  • ​​​​​​Research companies you’re interested in and come prepared to ask specific questions that reflect your knowledge of that company.
  • Attend the How to Work a Job Fair & Internship Fair workshop. Learn how to effectively showcase your skills and abilities at a fair.
  • Have your resume reviewed. Is your resume error-free and ready for employers? Visit the Peer Career Advisors for a resume critique.
  • Practice your 30-second pitch. Your pitch is how you introduce yourself – it’s a brief overview of you, your background and career interests. An engaging pitch and firm handshake can help you market yourself and stand out to an employer.
Even if you’re not graduating you should still check out the App and the employers list so you can get a sense of the type of companies and non-profits that are looking for fresh faces!


Handshake at DePaul

Although I have about two years until graduation and the big job hunt begins, I thought I would begin to look a little deeper into what DePaul has to offer in terms of helping students find post-graduation work.

This inquiry came at the perfect time because DePaul just launched a new program called Handshake. The DePaul Career Center​ tries to showcase opportunities for meaningful connections between students, alumni, and employers. Handshake is a very very up to date program that is basically just like any other social networking site! The good thing about Handshake is that it is custom built for the DePaul Community AND is great on mobile devices for all you people on-the-go.

I haven’t gone too deep into the program yet because I am still working on my resume and noting down my work experience, but after playing around with it for a while I figured out that the questions they ask you at the beginning of the log in process are there to help pin point which area or real world job would be best suited for you. The more of your profile that you honestly fill out, the better the program is at making sure you see the job information that is most relevant to you. Eventually, Handshake learns what your major is and makes sure you see relevant listings that pair well with your professional skills. I am known to stress out a bunch about career matters of the future, but it’s nice to know DePaul has my back and is looking out for me and my prospective career.  

Thinking about robots taking over the world is scary and all, but this high tech program makes sure DePaul students don’t go without a job (which is even scarier).

If you’re interested in taking a peek look no further!

http://www.hiredepaul.org/employers

Happy job hunting!


Sister Helen Prejean

One of the best things about DePaul is the mass amount of speakers and established socialites that come and discuss their ambitions and lives with the students. Most of the time you do not have to RSVP to events but if the flyer asks for than it is a must! Most of the events I’ve attended were in the Student Center conference room or Cortelyou Commons​. Both of these facilities can hold many many people, and the events I’ve seen stem from a gender quality activist to a student run amateur drag show.

One of my goals for this quarter as well as upcoming school year is to attend more DePaul events. The most recent one I have seen was on a whim, but I’m more than glad that I attended. I had the honor of being in the presence of Sister Helen Prejean​. Although at first I did not recognize this name, once I looked deeper into who she was it hit me that she is a very influential person in the subject of the death penalty. She wrote Dead Man Walking which was turned into the award winning film featuring Sean Penn. Although this topic was pretty heavy for a sunny weekday afternoon, I knew that this was a prime opportunity to learn more about a subject that I am not well-versed in.

Before Sister went on stage there was an exhibition. The room was filled with hand written letters from the Stateville Correctional Center​. This series of letters was called “Why My Life Matters”. Most of the letters were background information about the convicted person, and appeals to bring back the parole board. Many of the letters were very well written and extremely thorough. This in particular gave me a huge reality check because the letters were written a month ago behind bars while I stand and read them sipping on a latte with the freedom to walk right out of there if I wanted too. On the floor of the room was scotch tape outlining the actual length and width of a prison cell. Just another tid-bit of information that further makes me realize the conditions prisoners live in.​

Sister Helen Prejean spoke for less than an hour, but she was extremely adamant about cultivating conversation about the topic with us, instead of just talking AT us. She had a panel discussion and invited people from the audience to come up to the microphone and answer questions. After a question had been asked she didn’t straight out answer it, but rather asked other members of the audience what they thought. I thought this tactic was warm and inviting and made everyone comfortable with talking about such a dark topic.

After the session as over, I felt like I knew more about the morality of punishment and the United States’ justice system. Sister Prejean has not only inspired the film industry, but also inspired conversation and change in the way people view the death sentence.

More events can be listed at the site here​.

Afterwards I bought a copy of her book and had it signed! Talk about an evening well spent. ​


The Harrowing Tale of a Retail Worker

In hindsight, rolling pretzels in high school at the age of 16, all to save up for college, was actually the first step in preparing me for my future career and I didn't even know it. No, I don’t want to make pretzels a full-time career (unless it is consuming them), but the skills I have learned from working in customer service has molded me into the employee and teammate I am now.​

Four years after experiencing the greasy lifestyle of being a pretzel wench, I am now a sales associate at a women’s clothing store called Anthropologie. Valuable lesson numero uno: working in retail isn't a job for everyone. A job in customer service (or really any job where you have to interact with humans) takes patience, a friendly personality, and the oh so useful ability to smile when someone is yelling at you because a specific candle isn’t in stock.

Retail work is sometimes mind numbing and dull, but at least it continues to teach me that mastering the ability of managing time makes a world of difference. When it comes to reaching a goal, I now understand the importance of doing tasks in the most efficient way possible. I spend hours upon hours doing shipments, putting on sensors, restocking the merchandise, and every single day I find a quicker way to do it. Now, whenever I wrestle tasks at my internship that have seemed to be done inefficiently in the past, I find a way to make a more economical and better use of time.

Working with customers is also great practice at making first impressions. Coming in contact with hundreds of people a day has trained me how to read body language as well as become a master at dealing with other people’s needs and emotions.  These interactions will make working/meeting future clients or co-workers a breeze. In my experience, I now know that when someone starts to get defensive with their tone or body language it usually means that they feel attacked or overlooked. This is when you take a moment to listen, show that you value their opinion, and try to have a calm discussion about the issue. I learned all this just by helping a customer return a pillowcase.

My current retail job has also made it clear that networking yourself is the key to making big things happen. For instance, a co-worker of mine made it known that her boyfriend was a producer at The Second City Network. TSCN is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge deal to me because Saturday Night Live was made possible by the comedians that performed there and I am just in love with the plays and improve shows they create. I got the producers email and asked if he needed an intern to do some grunt work around the office. 3 weeks later, I started my first internship at one of the most well-known comedy clubs in the USA. NETWORKING, PEOPLE, NETWORKING!

 Sometimes when you’re looking at things close up you can’t tell how big of an effect they have on your life. In retrospect, the time I’ve spent working in retail has helped me foster skills that I know I will use in my future career and interactions with people. 

Desk Blog

In between inhaling cheese fries and making elevator rides as awkward as possible, I juggle 3 jobs and a full course load of school work. Trying to balance multiple jobs and school is a reality for many students. Anything from a fun night out with friends to paying for books, the money has to come from somewhere. If you are fortunate enough to have some of your spending money supplemented by your family, I still believe that having a job can expand your social network and communication skills.

Luckily, I landed a job as a desk receptionist at the DePaul dorms. The shifts are 4 hours in duration and it is very easy to trade shifts because, as we all know, sometimes plans happen spontaneously. What especially rules about this job is that not only do you get paid to sit down, but you get to make friends with people you normally wouldn’t run into. This job has made it easy for me to stay in touch with the campus community even with my tight schedule.

Truth be told, the highlight of working the desks at a college campus has to be all the connections you make with the food delivery people. I’m pleased to say that not ONCE have I purchased Insomnia Cookies because the delivery people are so dang nice. Now I’m not saying that if you become a DR (desk receptionist) that you will automatically get free yummy things, but if you be genuinely nice the world will do you a favor sometimes. I don’t even have a huge sweet tooth but the fact that it’s free makes all the difference for a typical money-less college kid like myself.

Another perk to this job is that it gives you time to get homework done. For example, I am literally writing this blog while I man the desk at University Hall. Also, I suffer from chronic procrastination and if I am just sitting at a desk and the only thing I have in front of me is my sociology textbook I’ll just suck it up and read. Although internet access is limited, a four hour timespan creates a sweet environment to get some easy reading or journal entries done. Research papers or other types of assignments that might need to be supplemented by the internet are a little more difficult to get done.

I honestly suggest looking into getting a job on campus such as desk reception (or at least be a delivery person and hook ‘em up with some food because hunger is real during those shifts).

If you’re interested in finding an on-campus job or how to prepare for a position…check out the site below.

https://studentemployment.depaul.edu/find_a_job/

JOB HUNTING!

​THE STRUGGLE! All 4 years of high school, I had a job. I was gettin’ that cash money and saving MOST of it for school. Once I enrolled at DePaul I decided to take a quarter off of work and get assimilated with new friends and a new city. I don’t regret it at all- taking the time off, that is. But the time has come to get my bum back in gear and get a cash flow once again. 
 
My suggestion to you job hunters is to take a gander and what DePaul Jobs has to offer. Positions may be scarce, but if you get in there early in the year you will have a better chance and grabbing something. Campus jobs are convenient and flexible and the students are limited to only 20 hours per week so that they can keep up on their homework as well. With a DePaul job you will be able to get your foot in the door right at the beginning of your college career. Who knows, you might meet managers, coworkers, and supervisors that could help you climb up the employment ladder if you show the initiative. Check out the link below for more deets.


If you strike out, there are outside jobs all over the city! Hit up Craigslist for possible positions. Many employers are looking for young, energetic students that need the money. Also, if you can tolerate small children/dogs/cats…check out www.care.com  You could be a dog walker… a little poop cleanup never hurt anybody. Plus, dog walking pays pretty good. These people are desperate to find someone to take care of their dear old poodle while they’re at work.

Good luck, fellow job hunters, good luck

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