|| HELP ME FAIL FORWARD Written by Mackenzie Kruger - February 8, 2016
Cam Newton's pity party after loosing Superbowl 50 has been a topic of conversation and it became evident to me that as millennials, the concept of failure is foreign to my generation. Failure is something that I can honestly say I haven't experienced enough and I wish I had.
Throughout the past twenty-two years of my life anytime I have felt unstable and near failure, someone (usually an adult) was there to "save the day" and prop me back up...for years I've been thanking my family, coaches, teachers, etc for this act but today I want to ask for you to please, let me fail.
Many instances come to mind in which failure hasn't been allowed in my life. I.E: trophies given for participation in every sport. Regardless of the differing levels of dedication and commitment to the sport, each of us are given the same reward. Is this really teaching what we should be learning? I argue no.
Let me fail so I can learn to handle it with grace and appreciate those who have put in the effort and dedication. 90% of the time failure is not fatal and it will allow for me to become a more humble individual. Further, failure hurts. Allow me to truly and deeply feel the pain and even embarrassment of failure, for this feeling will spark in me a desire to never feel it again.
So to all my esteemed mentors, I challenge you to help the millennial generation fail so that we may learn to be strong and persevere as your generation has done so gracefully.
|| CAREER FAIRS Written by Alley Calkins - February 1, 2016
As most of us are students attending scalable four-year universities, the resources at our disposal are so abundant it can be difficult to know where to begin. In my three years at UW, I have realized that opportunities don’t magically knock on your door, you have to put yourself out there and go get them. What's the best way to do that? Go to a Career Fair and network until you’re blue in the face– It’s as simple as that. Here are some helpful tips to maximize your experience:
Arrive early. No explanation needed.
Research, research again, and then research some more. Perhaps the No.1 complaint employers have, especially after strenuous career fairs, is that students didn’t take the time to learn about their company and its opportunities ahead of time. Don’t be that kid who asks, “So what exactly does your company do?” Do not, I repeat – do not – ask questions you can find the answers to online.
Dress the part. They say it takes about 7 seconds for someone to form a first impression, and often times this is done before you even get the chance to say “Hello.” By dressing the part, you will not only naturally feel more confident but you will also automatically develop credibility in the eyes of your audience.
Go your own way. Anxiety is a real thing when walking into a career fair, but don’t succumb to the pressure by holding on to your best friend’s hand. By approaching recruiters in a large group, you significantly lower your chance of interacting one-on-one with a company. Take a deep breath and separate yourself from your friends…You won’t look like a loner, you’ll look confident.
Know your “why.” It’s natural to spend more time talking about what we’re selling and how we intend to sell it, rather than why we are selling it in the first place. When approaching employers at a career fair, try starting the conversation with why you’re interested in their company and its opportunities. This will set you apart from the rest right off the bat.
Resumes are a must, business cards are even better. How many students do you know with professional business cards? Exactly. There is this predetermined notion that one must be established, employed, or at least a junior in college to have a business card - I don’t buy it. Standing out is key to a great first impression and this will absolutely do the trick.
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” –Peter F. Drucker. Studies show that nonverbal cues including eye contact, blink rate, facial expressions, posture, handshake, etc. directly affect the impression you leave on someone. When you introduce yourself to a recruiter, shake their hand firmly and look them in the eye – And don’t forget to appear excited about the information they present, even if deep down you really aren't. After all, you can’t redo a first impression.
Perfect your Elevator Pitch. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter; by the time you finally get to their table, they’ve probably already spoken with a hundred students just like yourself. Set a new precedent and capture their attention with a concise, unique, and impactful introduction.
ALWAYS follow up. Career fairs are all about personal touch and fostering valuable relationships. Send a thank you card or email to the companies you really enjoyed talking to, you’ll be surprised just how far this goes.
Be yourself. Putting yourself out there is absolutely frightening, especially if this is your first career fair. Just remember this: At the end of the day, a company is looking for someone with strong character – Not a fancy degree and not a ridiculously high GPA. People hire people.