Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Reflections and Accomplishments from Spring 2014 Interns

The Power of Ten Award is given to the College Financial Representatives that write ten insurance policies through the course of the internship. Once a College Financial Representative achieves Power of Ten, they are given even more opportunities to be successful at Northwestern Mutual.” – Andrew Gregory 
                        Only 10% of interns receive the Power of Ten award, out of a pool of 3,000.

“This internship has made me develop my networking skills. As a Volunteer Coordinator I am able to meet different people, invite people to volunteer, brainstorm how to get people involved through various networks, and challenge people to relate to our cause. In this picture I am meeting with the Volunteer Committee chair Rose Hernandez. Not only is Rose a chair of my committee, she is also a board member, and a homeowner of a Habitat house of two years. We were discussing how to develop and structure our newly formed committee, and what our goals are going to be over lunch in a nearby local bowling alley.” – Kristine Vainovska

“The best part of my day is clearing the SMF Watch List Screen!” – Lorena Llano


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beginning the Job Search

Experienced worker seeking a career transition but now sure how to proceed?  Graduating student taking that first step past university life but unsure what is beyond?  Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin your search.

Know who you are! If you do not know who you are or what you are seeking, you surely will not be able to convey that to a prospective employer.  Take time and figure out what you want to do and where you want to do it.  Complete a career interest inventory assessment.  Job shadow someone in your chosen field(s).  The more you know about yourself, the more focused you can be with your search.

Be professional! With everything you think, say and do, always present yourself in a professional manner.  Change the name of your email address and voice message to something that represents you as a professional.  Proofread all correspondence (twice!) before you hit send.  Make sure your resume is perfect, no errors!  Always answer your phone as if this is the call that could change your life.  Dress appropriately.  It is better to be over dressed than under dressed.  Employers want to hire someone who will represent their organization well and hit the ground running.

Practice your interview techniques! If you want to be a better golfer, what do you do?  Practice!  The same is true with interviewing.  Practice your elevator speech, that 45 second intro that provides an overview of who you are and what you are seeking.  Understand yourself, what do you do well and where are you improving.  Provide detailed examples of your successes and challenges.  Emphasize what you can do for them … not what they can do for you. 

Use all resources available to you! Network with family and friends.  Utilize all web based resources, I recommend LinkedIn.  Connect with Career Services.  Join professional organizations, attend networking events.  Do not be afraid to introduce yourself and let people know you are seeking employment.  Keep your network updated on your progress.  The more opportunities your create for yourself, the better chance you will have landing that ideal next step.  Write thank you notes to everyone.  You never know when you might need their assistance again or you can help them out. 

Be confident! Believe in yourself and your abilities.  If you don’t ... who will?
by Mike Theobald

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Interning at a Medical Research Lab

Undergraduate research sparks curiosity, fulfills intellectual discovery, and provides an outlet for creativity. As an undergraduate researcher at medical research lab in Kansas City, my classroom knowledge is reinforced, and I am given an opportunity to apply that knowledge - Nicole Nuckolls

Interning at a Major Accounting Firm

My name is Christine Tonnies and I am senior at Rockhurst working towards my degree in business administration with a major in accounting. This semester I am doing an internship at a major accounting firm in tax.  I have always felt that tax is what I wanted to focus on with my accounting background. My dad did taxes for years and loved it. Since we are very similar, I assumed I would too. My first day was January 20 and by the 21st, I was in love with it.
Each day I arrive between 8 and 8:30 A.M. The first thing I do is check my email and see if I was assigned any returns to do. If I have been, I work on those, and if not, I pick a return from the prep pool and complete it. While to most people, the idea of sitting at a computer all day and looking at a bunch of numbers and doing tax returns sounds incredibly boring; to me it is so much fun.
Learning about taxes in class is one thing, but actually getting to do a real return that is filed and submitted to the IRS is such an amazing thing to be able to do. One of the first returns that I did has already been filed and I get the biggest sense of pride. To me, it is such an incredible feeling to know that I did something for the “real world.”

 If I could give any advice to other students looking for an internship, it would be to not give up and to be persistent. I was dead set on working for a different company and when I didn’t get an internship from them, I was crushed. However, if I had gotten that internship I would not be at the firm I am at now, which is the best thing that could have happened. I cannot imagine working anywhere else.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Introducing Yourself at a Career Fair

When you go to a career fair, job interview or meet with a potential employer impromptu, you will be expected to introduce yourself and be able to talk about your strengths. Commonly referred to as the elevator pitch, this is a 30-60 spiel on who you are, what your skills are and what stands out about you. Imagine you are in an elevator and a hiring manager or top person in the company steps in with you, and you only have the time it takes for this person to get to their destination to make an impression.

This gives you a chance to tell YOUR story. What sets you apart? What unique experiences have you had and what did you learn from them? What are your strongest skills? What made you decide on the major or career path you chose? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself when developing your pitch. It is much easier to have this on hand, ready to go when you need it, rather than waiting until you are in a situation with a potential employer. Whether it be a chance encounter or a networking/career event, your initial introduction gives you a chance to make a memorable impression.

Here is an example of a pitch at a career fair:

Hi, I’m Sarah Smith. I am a junior studying accounting. I have been interested in financial analysis, numbers and strategic planning ever since I took a business course in high school. I have always excelled in mathematics and currently maintain a 3.65 GPA in my major. Does your company offer internships in this field?

For examples, watch this video

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Building a Network with LinkedIn

Do you know there are several ways you can use LinkedIn to directly connect with employer contacts in the work place?  Here are a few things to consider. 

When you are on the main page, click on the Advanced button on the top line of the menu bar.  From there you will see a variety of options.  On the left hand column you will see various fields that you can use when searching for connections.  For example, keywords, first name, last name, etc.  What I like to use are company and school.  Type the name of an organization and insert Rockhurst University in the school field.  A list of Rockhurst University alumni and/or former employees who are/have been employed with that organization will show.  What is better than connecting with someone who shares a like experience with you? 

Introduce yourself to your possible connections and start a dialogue, ask them to connect with you.  Remember, this is the first step.  Do not rush or be pushy.  You are wanting to gain insight on the organization to see if this might be a good fit for you.  Ask questions about the company culture, entry-level opportunities, tips on networking with others, etc.  As the conversation progresses, see if they might be interested in helping you connect with human resources.  Each person you connect with respond differently, do not be surprised if you do not hear back from someone.  Do not take it personally … it’s just business.   

Use all of the features on LinkedIn to your advantage and start making your career connections today!

Submitted by Mike Theobald

Friday, November 22, 2013

What Fall 2013 Interns Are Saying


Here is an update from some of our interns in the Cooperative Education Program this semester. Students either submitted a photo with caption or a reflective statement about their experience.
Here I am targeting prospective clients who are within 5 to 10 years from retiring to send out introductory information explaining who we are and what we do – John Bahlinger
It is great to see that the extra effort I have put forth in my finance courses has paid off. The new insight I have acquired in the last couple of weeks is that the task assigned does not have to be overly complex or challenging for me to learn from it. The simplest of assignments can be great learning opportunities, as I can always take a closer look. – Rodolfo Guato-Mariotti
 Working on my 11am deadline – Loreno Llano 

I am sitting at my desk in a downtown loft. In the photo, I am working playoff ticket sales
 –James Malle

My internship gives me the ability to use the knowledge I've gained at Rockhurst in a real world setting
 – Margaret O’Connor