Professionalism Priorities

Wondering where to focus your professional development time and energy? A recent survey of human resources and line management professionals ranked the most important professionalism skills:

#1 Interpersonal skills

#2 Appearance

#3 Communication skills

#4 Time management

#5 Confidence

#6 Ethics

#7 Work ethic

#8 Knowledgeability

Click here to see the full story and here for a summary infographic.

Great Books to Read

Bob Sutton's blog is one of those feeds any business professional can use.  He's updated his list of 11 books every leader should read.  For anyone interested in personal development these are great picks.  For current PRP participants looking for outside activities, don't forget that reading a book is a traditional---and still very useful---method of learning! 

Mini Internship Opportunities

No time to take a semester long internship?  Don't ignore the value of short term projects, shadowing opportunities, and community service.  These can get you some important job-related experience, and they look just fine on a resume. 

The Spring Break in the Cedar Valley program is a great example.  As an intern with a business in the Cedar Valley you'll spend one intensive week shadowing company executives, putting your professional skills to practice, and building your network.  It's a great resume builder without the expense of travel or out-of-town living arrangements.

Spring Break internships are available with three companies this year.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance (GCVA) focuses on expanding and diversifying the economic base of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa metropolitan area. Learn the ropes of economic development from the staff of the GCVA. A student with interest in marketing, sales or communications is preferred.

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., a Wolsely company, is the largest wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies in North America. At the company’s Waterloo distribution center you'll gain experience in inventory management, supply chain, or warehousing/distribution. Supply Chain majors are preferred.

At the Target Distribution Center you'll work alongside a group leader on the front lines of a critical supply chain network, leveraging cutting-edge logistics technologies to help drive sales profitably and deliver on the brand promise. Freshman or sophomore preferred.

To apply, send your resume to Katie.Hillyer@uni.edu with a brief explanation of which organization you would like to spend your week with and why by February 28, 2013

Career Fair Crowds

The record number of employers at the UNI Career Fair last week made the news.  This is great sign of the returning health of the Iowa economy.

Here's the story from the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.  We were pleased to see that four UNIBusiness majors were quoted in the story, and check out the photos of Brandon Honeyman and Erin Schon!

Of course, I like sophomore Paige Snyder's comment the best:  "I was a lot more nervous last time.  This time, I know the ropes, and it's not as nerve-wracking." 

She didn't mention that she was required to go as a freshman, which is probably a good thing considering she was talking to a newspaper reporter, but that is exactly the result we're hoping for!

Post-Career Fair tips:  It's never wrong to send a thank you to a recruiter for the time he or she took to talk to you. Email is fine, and you should refer to something specific or personal about the conversation you had.  You might have a follow-up question or some additional information to send.

Career Fair: Best Impressions!

Monday's Career Fair promises to be LARGE and thus exciting. 

Once again, we have more employers coming, and we've already heard that they feel they aren't getting enough applications.  This is shaping up to be a great year for job hunting, but don't think that means you can ignore the Career Fair. 

This is where the employers are, and now is when they are making decisions. Don't waltz in next May and expect to get anything but leftovers and crumbs!

 

*** Name Tags ***

***A brand new service from the Professional Readiness Program***

To go along with your spiffy coat and tie, elegant blouse, tasteful pumps, or classy haircut, we have made arrangements to provide UNIBusiness students with professional, printed name tags.  If you are currently enrolled in Business 1000 or Business 2000, you don't need to do anything else.  A name tag will be waiting for you at the PRP Table.

If you are in Level 3 or 4 (or beyond), you may contact us by FRIDAY, and we'll add a tag for you. (Reply to me, or send email to prp@uni.edu; give your full name and major.)

 

A few useful refreshers:

~where to wear that great name tag: Click here

~proper attire refresher: Click here

~planning your tour around the Fair: Click here for a list of employers with booth locations

~When and Where:  McLeod Center, Monday 2/18, 11 am to 3pm.  Be there!!

 

Courier Highlights PRP

The Professional Readiness Program is making a difference in the Cedar Valley!  This week the Courier highlighted the efforts of UNIBusiness to make graduates READY for the professional world.  Take a look at the Courier article here.

Picking University Electives

Every semester, the lists of available classes go out at registration.  Posters start to appear on the bulletin boards.  Maybe you'll even see an email or twitter announcement.  How do you choose? 

For many business majors, the top reason is eventual employability.  A skill (language, writing, communication, presentations) that can add something to the resume often rises to the top of the list.  Today I heard from UNI's Professional Writing Program where writing projects are done for real clients...always a good resume item...and pre-requisites can be "easily waived."  If you've got a professional skill area that you'd like to develop, be proactive about finding ways to get 'er done!

But, don't ignore other aspects of your personality.  Global corporations also appreciate employees who actually understand world history, international politics, and non-Western cultures.  Manufacturers like to hire folks who have a basic understanding of the science that goes into making their products.  A sales professional will certainly be more successful with a grasp of principles taught in basic psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology courses.

In fact, a course in personal wellness that teaches stress reduction or healthful nutrition might make a big difference in your professional attitude!

Good News from the Career Fair

By all accounts, last week's Career Fair was a huge success.  As always, the Professional Readiness Program staff enjoyed meeting everyone one-on-one, and we thought you looked great.

Here's the great news though.  First, there were almost forty new employers recruiting this year, which is a very good sign for those of you looking for internships and jobs.  Second, several of the returning employers commented on how sharp the business majors looked and how polished they sounded when introducing themselves.

For those of you who practiced your pitch and made the effort to dress up---it worked! 

On Line Resources

First, a quick welcome to this year's new Professional Readiness participants!  If this is the first blog entry you've received, you might want to take a look at some of the earlier posts...especially those from our new alumna blogger, Brittany Covert.  She's reporting on her transition from UNIBusiness accounting student to young professional at Deloitte & Touche, LLC in Minneapolis. 

Today's news is that we're finally adding the on-line resources to the PRP website.  This will be an ongoing process, so as each segment comes on line, I'll announce it here.  The first section covers First Impressions, with sections on body language, professional handshakes, and business attire. 

As you'll see, much of the material has been covered in one or more meetings.  These on-line resources are meant to provide a quick place to review and refresh your memory.  However, you'll also find additional detail, extra hints, and sometimes links to other useful resources.

Hope you find this to be a useful resource in your ongoing professional development!

Welcome Brittany!

We’re excited to welcome a new blogger, our very recent graduate, Brittany Covert. She’s going to be reporting on her transition from college student to accounting professional with Deloitte and Touche, LLP.   Her start date is September 17 and she’ll be joining the Minneapolis office audit team.

“I am proud to be a UNI graduate, especially because attending UNI has helped grow so much as a person,” said Brittany, when asked whether she’d be interested in joining the Professional Readiness Program effort.  She jumped at the chance “to stay involved through blogging to help the current participants.”

Her goal will be to share the experience of starting a career, providing insights on what she took from her college experience.

Brittany is originally from West Des Moines.  She graduated with honors from UNI in December, 2011 and sat for the CPA exam in May 2012, passing all four sections.  Prior to graduation Brittani worked at John Deere Engine Works and was active with Alpha Phi as well as the UNI Accounting Club and the Professional Readiness Program.

Brittany plans to blog once a week or so as she makes the college-to-career transition.

My Biography

First and foremost, hello!

Before I begin to blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Brittany Covert. I am 22 years old and am originally from West Des Moines, IA. I graduated from Valley High School in 2008 and began my undergraduate that fall at the University of Northern Iowa. I studied accounting and graduated with my bachelor's degree in December 2011. In the spring of 2012, I continued my studies at UNI for their CPA Review classes. I took all four sections of the CPA exam in May and thankfully passed! I will begin my career on September 17th at Deloitte & Touche, LLP as an auditor in the Minneapolis Office. 

I am sitting here attempting to write about myself and at this point in my life, I do not feel very different from you. Being a recent college graduate, I still have the mentality of a college student fresh on my mind. And after all, we both decided to attend UNI. We both have chosen business as our field of study. We share a commonality. We share our alma mater.

I am excited about this opportunity to blog for the PRP.  I am here to share my experience of starting my career and insights on what I took from my college experience. Feel free to interact with me. I am more than willing to share my experiences!

Brittany Covert

Professional Development Never Stops!

Kim Recker, Program Manager at UNI's Executive Development Center called the other day with information about some upcoming professional development opportunities: three-day seminars in July and September that lead to certifications in Project Management. 

The interesting part of the conversation was her target market.  She assumed that recent graduates with PRP certifications would be the "right" kind of young professionals: people interested in professional development opportunities.

I hope she's right!  There's no way a college student can possibly learn everything there is to know about career management, organizational politics, strategic communication, or innovative problem solving.  But, those who've taken full advantage of the Professional Readiness Program should at least realize that taking proactive professional development steps will always lead to greater career success.

By the way, if a PMP or CAPM certification will help get you READY! for the next professional step, more information is HERE.  

Read your transcript!

In case you hadn't heard, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is now the former CEO.  He was inaccurate about the exact degrees he earned in college, and that is, as they say, a firing offense. 

Students can take away two important points in this story.  First, Thompson is not unique. A recent Wall Street Journal article named seven other CEO's and CFO's with the same outcome.  The damage of a fudged, inaccurate, or non-existent degree doesn't go away after the first job.  Even if it takes 20 years for a disgruntled stockholder to look up the truth, you're out.

Second, little discrepancies can be just as bad as big discrepancies, especially when there's a disgruntled stockholder involved.

  • A double major in Accounting and Computer Science is not the same thing as a degree in Accounting plus a minor in Computer Science.
  • A degree in MIS is not the same as a major in Management with all but one of the courses required for an MIS degree.
  • A degree in Human Resources is not the same as a degree in Management with an emphasis in Human Resources.
  • A degree in Business Administration is not the same as a degree in Management with an emphasis in Business Adminstration.
  • A double major in Finance and Real Estate is not the same as a Major in Finance and a second degree in Real Estate.

Don't laugh!  These are just a few of the errors we've seen on UNIBusiness resumes. Simple mistakes, you say?  Tell that to the disgruntled stockholder. 

Not just for seniors!!

You're starting to see notices for the upcoming Class of 2012 Graduation Celebration.  This is not just for seniors!!  Come on down! Bring your friends! 

Very nice snacks will be served.
Very smart people* will be speaking.

Even if nobody makes you go, this is your chance to "dress to impress" (business casual attire is a good thing), meet a few very interesting UNIBusiness alumni, and have an informal chat with your favorite business professor.

Need some extra motivation?  This is a PRP event for ALL levels, including previous semesters!  Need a makeup for any meeting?  This panel counts!!

Got a calendar?  Enter this now: April 12, 6-7pm, John Deere Auditorium (mixer at 5:30, Hall of Flags)

 

*2012 Alumni in Residence:

  • Accounting: Brenda Clancy (Accounting ’75), COO, Transamerica
  • Economics: Jeff Scudder (Economics & Finance ’03), associate, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
  • Finance: Ben Fogle (Finance ’99), director of capital strategies, Jasper Stone Partners
  • Management: Kate Washut (Psychology ’90, MIS ’98), vice president, Far Reach Technologies
  • Marketing: Mary Mehrtens-West (Marketing ’81), president, The Roy West Companies

Internships Won't Wait for You!

Just about this time last year, we had over a hundred job and internship postings that expired before UNIBusiness students got around to applying.  Don't get left in the dust!  You KNOW you need an internship on your resume. Go to career cat today, and apply for one of these great internship opportunities:

Communication, Marketing, & Public Relations

  • Communication Intern, Kum & Go (West Des Moines)
  • Promotions & Sponsorship Intern, Kum & Go (West Des Moines)
  • Outreach & Event Intern, Alzheimer's Association (Cedar Falls)
  • Marketing & Communication Intern, LSI (Waverly)
  • Social Media Intern, American Marketing & Publishing (IA)
  • Marketing Assistant, Waterloo Leisure (Waterloo)
  • Marketing Intern, Power Engineering (Waterloo)
  • Design & Sales Intern, Splendor (Cedar Falls)
  • Marketing Intern, Hansen Dairy (Hudson)
  • Marketing Intern, Iowa Golf Association (Urbandale)
  • PR & Marketing Internship, ASPIRE (Cedar Falls)
  • Marketing & Communication Internship, Science Station (Linn)
  • Multimedia Internship, College of DuPage (Glenn Ellyn, IL)
  • PGA Internship, Iowa PGA (Riverside) 
  • Project Management Intern, City of Dubuque (Dubuque)
  • Promotions Intern, KZIA (Cedar Rapids)
  • Marketing Research Intern, Kinze Manufacturing (Williamsburg)
  • Marketing Intern, Lansing Housing Products (Lansing)

Event Planning/Recreation

  • Intern/Head Counselor, YMCA (Albert Lee, MN)
  • General Intern, Hartman Reserve (Cedar Falls)
  • Event Planning Intern, Dan Gable Museum (Waterloo)
  • Disney Internship, Disney (FL/CA)
  • Recreation Services, Americorp (Waverly)
  • Leadership Mentor, Iowa 4-H (Boone)

Human Resources

  • Training & Development Intern, Principal Financial (Des Moines)
  • HR Internship, CBE Group (Cedar Falls)
  • Human Resource Intern, Kum & Go (West Des Moiens)
  • HR Recruiting, First Heartland (Clive)

 Retail Management & Sales

  • Retail Management Internship, Dillards (Waterloo)
  • Summer Intern, AFLAC (IA)
  • Management Trainee Internship, Enterprise (IA)
  • Account Manager, Main Street Mailers (Cedar Falls)
  • Mortgage Intern, Wells Fargo (Des Moines)
  • Sales Intern, Uline (MN)
  • Sales & Management, Buckle (Cedar Falls)
  • Sales & Leadership, HON Company (Muscatine)

Other

  • US Senate HELP Committee, US Senate (DC)
  • Senator Harking Internship x2, US Senate (Iowa/US)
  • Resident Assistant, Friendship Village (Waterloo)
  • Field Operations Intern, FedEx (MN)
  • Research Intern, Merritt Research (Cedar Rapids)
  • Financial Advisor, ING (Des Moines)
  • Quality & Process Intern, Kum & Go (West Des Moines)
  • Haiti Intern, World Wide Village (Haiti)

The short internship solution

What if it's a choice between doing an internship or graduating on time?  What if an internship means paying for rent on two places?  What if family responsibilities just don't leave time for a commute?

If you realize an internship is a crucial piece of professional readiness but can't afford the full summer or semester-long experience, consider a short internship! 

UNIBusiness coordinates a program, Spring Break in the Cedar Valley, to place students into week-long internships with local businesses. Stay in your own campus housing, don't lose a bit of time toward graduation, and still gain the benefit of an internship. 

To apply (or just get more information), email Katie Noonan, Corporate and Community Relations Coordinator, at katie.noonan@uni.edu.  Send your resume and a brief explanation of why you'd like to work with one of these great organizations: Ferguson, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance, John Deere, or Veridian Credit Union.

Resume Tips

A good resume uses "hot button" words that hiring managers recognize and respond to.  Now, resume writers also have to think about words that resume screening software will recognize!  Check out this Wall Street Journal article  for an update on these tools and some tips to avoid the "black hole" of resume oblivion. 

Free Wall Street Journal!

If your new year's resolutions involve staying on top of the business news, take advantage of a free copy of the Wall Street Journal for the first two weeks of the semester.  Stop by the Professional Readiness Center to get your copy. 

From 8 to 10am each morning, staff will be available in the conference room (CBB 7) to chat about the news.  If you've felt like you don't quite know where to start, this is a good opportunity to learn some tips for staying ahead of the curve on economic developments, industry trends, and your own personal career management.

Things to tell your interviewer

“Set yourself apart” is standard advice for business graduates.  Especially in a tight economy, it’s important for prospective employers to know how your contribution will be special. 

If you are completing all four levels of the Professional Readiness Program, you have a lot to say!  Even if you finish only the two required levels, you’re better prepared than most university graduates.  Don’t be shy about your accomplishment!

Here are three things you can (and should) tell interviewers about your UNIBusiness preparation:

1. In addition to a rock-solid business degree, you have learned how to apply that knowledge in a business environment. No other university in the country requires every business major to develop the professional attitude, communication and presentation skills, writing and reasoning skills, and organizational awareness that allow you to contribute to an organization right away.

2. Your professional development activities have introduced you to the perspectives of every business discipline.  The business knowledge gained through your major reflects the expertise of just one specialty, but UNIBusiness provides both a core-curriculum of essential business principles and a Professional Readiness Program that guarantees you access to professionals in all areas of business.

3. You’ve had the opportunity to evaluate your own skills and abilities and to develop in the areas that are most important for your own career plans. Any student can participate in extracurricular activities, but the Professional Readiness Program provides feedback, resources, and mentoring to make sure you’re getting the most out of those experiences.

Your professional readiness sets you apart.  Make sure the topic comes up by putting your accomplishments on your resume.   Here are a few ways that might look:

Certificate of Completion, Professional Readiness Program, Advanced Level

Professional Readiness Program, Completed Levels II and III

Professional Readiness Program: Completed with Advanced Level projects in Leadership, Presentation Skills, and Entrepreneurship

Thinking twice about that missed internship?

After I wrote about missed internship opportunities last spring, quite a few students admitted that they really should have applied for one.  Well, here’s your second chance!  As of today, there are nine internship openings for the Fall semester, right here in the Cedar Valley:

Outreach Intern, Alzheimer Association
Community Relations Intern, American Cancer Society
Business Co-op, Denso
HR Recruiter, GMAC Mortgage
Real Estate Appraiser, Mike Lockey & Associates
Media Intern, Mudd Advertising
Financial Representative, Northwestern Mutual
Executive Intern, Target Distribution
Event Manager, Veridian Credit Union

Check in at Career Cat for details!

Just in case you hadn’t heard about the importance of getting at least one internship on your resume (and preferably a couple), here’s a short list of the reasons your professional success depends on it:

1. Internships are crucial for developing the professional skills employers expect of business grads.

A recent study done by Iowa State* showed that entry level jobs now require professional savvy that used to be developed in the first few years of a job. These days, the first promotion typically comes after just a couple of years with a company, rather than five.  In essence, new employees are expected to act like the third year employees of the 1980’s.  The difference is internships, where college students are now expected to learn the ropes.

2. Internships are crucial to the job-hunting process.

Companies that offer internships consider them to be their #1 recruitment tool, and nearly 80% of all companies offer internships. Yes, it is still possible to get a job by answering an ad or attending the career fair, but personal networks and internships are the path toward good jobs.  An internship is the best way, by far, to start a successful career.

3. Internships are the first step in building a professional network.

Building a circle of professional contacts is something a lot of students don’t realize is an important task to be accomplished during an internship (the topic of another recent blog).  Some of the people you meet will continue to be your business associates, and these will be the people you’ll call for advice, references, and resources as you get your career going.

4. Internships teach you what you really want to know about the prospective employer.

Even if you just find out that the industry or job is not for you, that knowledge will help you get on the right career path.  No recruiter can ever give you first-hand knowledge of the organizational culture, co-worker personalities, or day-to-day frustrations of the business. An internship is the only ethical way to test-drive a potential employer.

5. Internships are crucial to your own competitive position.

The real bottom line is that an internship makes you competitive in the job market. More than half of all new hires have an internship on their resumes.  If you expect to be competing for a better than average job, you’ll need a better than average resume…and that means you need to be in the top half, which has an internship listed. Even better, be one of the smaller, more select group that has two!

*Hanneman, L. and Gardner, P. (February 2010) “Under the Economic Turmoil a Skills Gap Simmers” CERI Research Brief 1-2010

Getting the most from your summer?

Getting the most from your summer?

A month ago you started your summer with a plan, and whether you realized it or not, an opportunity for professional development.  If you have an internship, you probably went into this with your eyes wide open.  There’s plenty of advice around, although mid-summer is a good time to refresh your memory and enthusiasm with these recent articles from Money and Quintessential Careers

If you’re spending the summer working at your “regular” job or engaged in a study or service project, you might not have thought much about the professional development aspects.  Now that you’re half way through the summer, you might be realizing there’s a lot going on.

Take a minute for this mid-summer review, and make the most of this checklist to reach your long term professional goals.  If you have questions, comments, or advice from your own summer experience, register now and post a comment!

*****

__Have you found a mentor?   You will learn the most from any activity if you have someone to tell you the “hidden” rules and show you the “secret” tricks—or just give good advice.  If you haven’t already found a supervisor, co-worker, or older worker who’s taken you under his or her wing, now is the time to identify someone.  Don’t be shy!  Just think of a question, and ask that person for a minute to “pick her brain” or “run something by” him.  People love to give advice, and next thing you know, you’ll be getting a lot of it.

__Have you become part of a peer network? Some of the people you meet this summer will continue to be your business associates, and you are creating a professional network of people that you can trust—and who can trust you.  These will be the people you’ll call for advice, references, and resources when you get your first job and need to “hit the ground running.”  Make sure you’re keeping track of names, phone numbers, and email addresses.  If you don’t already have a solid method for saving contact information, buy a system now.

__Do you like the job? Whether you answer yes or no to this question, you should be thinking about why you answered the way you did.  What are you learning about the company, the industry, the job, and your boss?  What are you learning about your own personality, preferences, and skills?  The answers become a blueprint for things you need to do or learn next year.  Whether you decide to change majors, read a book on dealing with difficult bosses, or just brush up on your office manners, you will have learned something from the summer experience.

__What are the company’s expectations of professional behavior? Sometimes you learn the most from mistakes, but even if you are getting lots of positive feedback, take a little inventory of the communication skills, organizational awareness, reasoning skills, and attitudes around you. 

  • What kinds of communication skills are expected?  Does everyone seem to know how to give a polished sales pitch? Are active listening skills something a new hire should have?  What are the non-verbal messages being sent by attire, postures, manners, and vocal habits?
  • How much organizational savvy does it take to be successful? Are there a lot of unwritten rules and unstated assumptions?  How and why do people get rewarded? What does a person have to pay attention to in order to be successful?
  • How do decisions get made?  What kinds of evidence and reasoning are used to convince others? Do people write convincing memos or comprehensive white papers?  Are decisions made alone, by committee, or on the shop floor? What does it take to get what you want?
  • What kind of attitude do professionals have?  Are they going the extra mile, or only doing the bare minimum to keep the job?  Do successful people have a positive, optimistic attitude or a negative outlook?  Do letters, worksheets and reports get sent back for corrections, or do folks take the time to submit their best work from the start?

What's in YOUR profile?

We heard a great talk from Wade Arnold the other day, and he had a few thought-provoking things to say about a job-hunter’s on-line presence.  Wade is CEO of T8 Webware, a growing Iowa company that seems to be in perpetual hiring mode.  Like many executives, he recruits from his network, but what happens when he does get a resume in the mail?  He checks the candidate out on line!  If a person doesn’t “exist” on Linked-In, the bulletin boards for the local professional groups, or perhaps with a portfolio in a Google search, the resume goes in the trash. 

These days, a person who can’t be “found” on line isn’t someone to consider for a job.    

Students hear so much about the dangers of having a negative on-line presence, you might not realize it could be just as bad to have no presence at all.  The world is changing.  It’s not enough not to have a negative image.  Professional success requires a positive, professional, and engaged on-line persona.

How to create that professional image? 

  • First, do create professional Linked-in and Facebook profiles.  These should not be hidden from the world.  Instead use your privacy controls to make sure the public page is crisply businesslike, informative, and professional.
  • Next, Google yourself to insure that you do show up in positive contexts.  Your grade school soccer matches might show up, and that’s quite all right.  Tagged photos with your drinking buddies?  Not so much.
  • Most important, start to get involved in the professional groups that pertain to your own professional path.  Not only can you learn a lot about the field, but you’ll be building the best network possible.  Get involved in projects and on-line discussions to demonstrate your great attitude, work ethic, and desire to learn.  You don’t need to be an expert to get involved, but staying involved will eventually make you an expert.

Get Credit for Helping Out!

A big part of professional success is often called “organizational citizenship.”   People who are contributing members of the team are generally happier with their jobs, and they are also the people who get selected for leadership roles, stretch assignments, and promotions. 

This week UNIBusiness is frantically looking for more students to participate in focus groups for an important marketing project.  As with most corporate focus groups, the participants even earn rewards—in this case a Panera gift card!    If you are willing to help out, please send an email to Reilly Zlab at reillyzlab@gmail.com.

So, how does something like this translate into professional success?   Word gets out.  Your co-workers, bosses, and customers see you going that extra mile.  They’ll assume you’re the kind of person who can be trusted to do the right thing.  Next thing you know, you’re getting some kind of reward, extra responsibility or promotion.   Career progress is being made!

In this case, all three PRP coordinators are aware of the dean’s last minute efforts to collect more data.  If we find out from Mr. Reilly that a PRP student had helped the college, we will all be very happy to consider a request for a meeting make-up at Levels I and II or an event credit at Levels III and IV.

Is this still an opportunity for organizational citizenship?  Or, is this now a bribe?  Is an offer of PRP credit just like an offer of “extra credit” in a class?  So many students refuse to budge unless they’re offered some sort of reward.  So do a lot of corporate workers.  For these anti-citizens, the only important reward is an extra few points on the grade sheet or an extra few dollars in the paycheck. Even when they see something that needs to be done, they wait to be bribed.   So, why is an expectation of a good review at the next appraisal so different from asking for money in the paycheck instead?  Why is asking for that extra bonus a sign that the employee is a slacker, while doing the work with an expectation of bonuses to come is a sign that the employee is a rising star?  It’s all about citizenship--helping out because the group needs your help, not just for your own personal gain.

Last week, a surprising number of UNIBusiness students refused to help our corporate guests, Lee and Kathy Rainey of C-Level Consulting in Minneapolis, with a short demonstration.  Would they have done the job if they’d been bribed with extra credit?  Who knows, but we do know that the students who stepped up made a much better impression on these potential references and took another short step toward a successful professional career.

Today you have another chance to help out. The boss (in this case UNIBusiness Associate Dean, Leslie Wilson) has asked for help, and the professional answer is yes!  Don’t ask for a bonus (although there is a Panera gift card in it for you).  Don’t ask for a favor in return (although Smothers, Langley and Cyphert have already agreed to give credit).  Just be a good professional citizen and help the organization get the job done. You’ll be happier for it, and yes, good career rewards will come your way.  Email Reilly Zlab at reillyzlab@gmail.com right now!

Can you afford not to apply for an internship?

Last week, 103 job and internship postings on the CareerCat system expired,  It’s too late to apply, but you missed a real opportunity.  Nobody at all applied for 73 of them, and YOU would have been at the top of the list!  What were you waiting for?

This is a serious question, and I hope you'll comment.  Internships are important for UNIBusiness students, and they're important to UNIBusiness's reputation with the business community.  If there's something getting in the way of your career success, we've got a problem to solve!

First, let's make sure we're all on the same page as far as the importance of internships to your success. They are crucial for developing professionalism, as networking opportunities, and for gaining knowledge about a prospective employer.  The real bottom line, however, is being competitive in the job market.  The numbers go up every year, and now more than half of all new hires have an internship on their resumes* .  Even more to the point, a whopping 87% of those who graduate from college with a job in hand have done an internship.  So, if you expect to be competitive on the job market...with the desired mix of professionalism, business knowledge and experience... you pretty much have to do an internship before you graduate.

The other half of the partnership is our reputation as a place to recruit great employees. The companies that offer internships consider them to be their #1 recruitment tool. This means a company that offers an internship to UNIBusiness students but gets no response will conclude there are no students available.  Next year, that company will recruit somewhere else.  But wait for this: nearly 80% of all companies offer internships. This would be like having a Career Fair with only 20 booths, with all the great companies recruiting elsewhere! UNIBusiness has a serious responsibility to provide business talent for the State of Iowa.  If we produce no students who want to be recruited, we've failed in that mission.

So, let's talk about this!  Register for the blog, and leave a comment.  Did you already have an internship lined up?  Have you won the lottery and are no longer looking for a career?  Did you look at the internships offered and decide you didn't want to work for Aegon, HyVee, Target, or Nestle? Taking so many summer classes you can't work?  Heading off to a study abroad instead?

Our corporate partners are asking...what is the answer?

 

*All the figures here are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and US News

© 2011 University of Northern Iowa College of Business Administration Contact Blog Owner