A Growing Opportunity

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Viafield is a member-owned farm cooperative with locations in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.  They specialize in feed, energy, agronomy, and grain marketing and serve a variety of customers throughout their areas.  They are a well-respected company that continues to grow in order to meet their customers’ needs and allow them to reach their production goals. 

I had the opportunity to do my business major internship at the Viafield location in Clermont, Iowa, as the Agronomy Intern.  I worked primarily with John Swehla, the main agronomist, and Lonny Johansen, also an agronomist.  The Agronomy department offers chemical and fertilizer application, seed sales, nutrient testing through tissue sampling, and soil sampling, as well as several other services.  I also shadowed Chris Bausch, the location manager.

I was asked to participate in a number of tasks including:

  • Counting seed inventory
  • Visiting local fields to perform stand counts to calculate the amount of plants per acre
  • How to bill fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia and other services in the Oakland computer system
  • Scouted fields for weeds, identified plants, described weed pressure and height in field and issue a spray ticket based on the chemical recommendation by the co-op agronomist
  • Scouted field for insects and diseases
  • Gathered tissue samples in a corn field to test for available nutrients
  • Gathered a sample area for a soil test in a few CRP areas to see what types of fertilizers, if any, should be applied

Along with scouting and billing, I was able to get in on a special project.  The leadership team at Viafield heard that I was a pilot and asked me to help them figure out how to implement an aerial scouting program into their services.  We looked at the equipment that would be needed and decided a foam remote controlled airplane could be used with a Go Pro camera and GPS equipment to fly over the fields.  The video from the plane will be recorded and have GPS coordinates available so someone could go to the problem area to take a closer look.  Technology will also allow Viafield to use first-person goggles, making it feel like the person wearing them (whether it be the farmer or the pilot) is actually in the airplane.  The video will be broadcasted back to a television or computer so that the farmer and other individuals can watch real time.  The plane could be used to take infrared photos of a field, thermal imaging, scouting for washed out areas or places that may not have been fertilized correctly and to see where a waterway or tile-line may need to go.  I felt honored to be involved with this awesome project.  Viafield is planning on getting this project started in the spring of 2014.

I learned a lot during my summer at Viafield and utilized my education that I have received so far at Upper Iowa University.  I think that this experience has helped me grow as a person and allowed me to get a better handle on the agronomy field.  I can see myself working as an agronomist in the future and using my experiences at Viafield to help me succeed at a future job.  There is always something new happening and things change every day.  Agriculture is an unpredictable field.  You can never depend on the weather, insects and diseases can show up in a day and change your plans for a particular field, machinery can break down and depending on who calls in, your day can change in a flash.  It is important to be organized and flexible in order to meet producers’ needs in a timely fashion and keep a positive relationship with growers.  

Over the summer, I made a lot of useful connections in the agricultural and agronomy world which I plan to utilize and I met a lot of great farmers who I plan to keep in touch with in the future.  Viafield’s motto is, “Growing Opportunity,” and I definitely felt that I took a wonderful chance by accepting their intern position.  They allowed me to grow my opportunities for the future.  I am looking at Viafield for a potential employer after graduation in May.

~Regina Hoffman
Agricultural Business and Environmental Science, Senior

Connect with the UIU Office of Career Development:

WebpageFacebookLinkedInTwitterPinterest
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center, 225
563-425-5229

A Summer Experience

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This summer I interned at Ledgeview Dental Care in De Pere, Wisconsin to get a feel for the field of dentistry. To me, it was important to be actively involved in the dental care atmosphere to figure out if a career in dentistry would still be something that interested me. I hoped to gain some knowledge for the career, as to what an average day would look like, as well as the types of procedures and tasks that were undergone. I knew a little about the field of dentistry, but didn’t exactly know what a career in this field would entail.  By spending the time observing and helping, I really got the feel of what being a dentist would be like.

I was able to observe various dental procedures that were being done that day, along with how to file patient charts, and learn the administrative side to running a dental office. Throughout my internship and job shadow I got to experience the side of dentistry you don’t normally see when you are the patient.  By being in that environment it simply intrigued me even more! It was important that I got this glimpse into the world of dentistry and I hope to do more internships and job shadowing opportunities as I progress throughout the year.

My goals for the future are to spend more time in the field of dentistry and then attend dental school and potentially the field of orthodontics after that.

I think it is really important for students to get out and do an internship (and even job shadow) because it helps students determine what really interests them.  It isn’t until you are physically doing that job that you can truly envision yourself in that career path and I think it is extremely helpful when deciding what to do after graduation. Even though I am only a sophomore, it is never to early to start exploring what is out there, as well as networking for connections that are important as you move along in your schooling.  

~Sydney Cyzon
Sophomore, Biology and Chemistry Major

Connect with the UIU Office of Career Development:

WebpageFacebookLinkedInTwitterPinterest
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center, 225
563-425-5229

An Internship Experience

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Completing an internship is definitely the best way for students to test their abilities and knowledge before entering the real work environment. It also helps them explore and learn more about their careers so they can make sure that what they are studying is what they want to do for the rest of their lives. The material learned in the classroom can be a lot different from the responsibilities of a real job. Therefore, having some hands on experience before joining a company is a huge advantage. 

Last summer, I decided I wanted to do a marketing internship in a multinational company because I wanted to personally experience the challenges that a big corporation can bring. I worked for ArcelorMital, the world’s largest steel and mining company. I was part of the Sales office in Houston, which is a strategic location for the Tubular Products branch of the company. This division works in selling tubes and pipes for the oil industry to allow it to grow exponentially in the Texas area.

As a marketing intern I worked directly with the sales representative of North America in the development of a marketing research plan about the offshore oil drilling market in the Gulf of Mexico. This represented one of the priorities of the company, since there was a huge demand of offshore rigs and platforms. Companies like Chevron and Anadarko had projects that needed to be supplied with some of products ArcerlorMital manufactures, creating a big opportunity for the company. I spent a lot of time learning about the industry and collecting information about the target market. I was required to visit some of the company’s customers and develop relationships from which I learned tremendously. I utilized a lot of interpersonal skills and realized it is one of the most important skills in the work place. Effective communication and team work skills are highly important when executing projects.  

It was very exciting to work and see how my contributions affected the outcome of a real business project. I developed a whole marketing research plan and presented it to the office. I included a SWOT analysis and explained the opportunities the company had to enter the market. These particular activities helped me gain confidence and allowed me to test my knowledge in the “real world”. I am happy to say that I now feel confident enough to work at any company. I truly believe the experience of dealing with legit projects has further enhanced my development for working in business. I also came to realize that marketing is definitely something I enjoy and want to pursue a career in.

I deeply recommend all students to take part in an internship to have a taste of what it feels like to be part of a company before actually getting a job. The best way of learning is by doing, I strongly believe that students with internship experiences are more likely to be hired and succeed than those who decide not to.

~Adrian Sanchez
Senior, International Marketing and Business Major

Connect with the UIU Office of Career Development:

WebpageFacebookLinkedInTwitterPinterest
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center, 225
563-425-5229

Keep calm and find a job

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As an intern for the Office of Career Development at Upper Iowa University, I have been exposed to a lot of material on many different resources. These resources included all kinds of tips on networking, personal branding, writing and presenting professional credentials, college-job transition, and many other career-development-related topics. Because of this, I engaged myself in a lot of research about the job search process and found several articles, resources, and tips on this particular matter.

During my research, I was able to identify certain key terms in the job search process. Terms like resume, cover letter, networking, internship and many more were commonly found. However, I found a common theme throughout my research that happened to be in several articles: Frustration. YouTern’s The World’s Best Responses to “You Don’t Have Much Experienceand Business-2-Community’s How to handle rejection during your job search are two great examples of articles that were based on job seekers’ frustration.

Everywhere I looked; it seemed to me that I was eventually going to become extremely frustrated with my job search. Realizing that frustration is such a big theme among job seekers like me, I made a list of three things that help me keep frustration away:

1.  [A lot of] Employers will reject me: Understanding that employer rejection is a normal occurrence in the job search may be one of the most useful things to know when trying to stay positive. By no means would I encourage anybody to apply to a job with a negative attitude of “I’ll apply but I know they will reject me”. By this, I mean to encourage people to not take rejection as a negative thing; but instead, as normal. Remember that finding employers is much like finding the right shoe size; you just have to find the right one.

2.  Find a job that suits me: The one thing everybody should understand during the job search is that applying to as many jobs as possible can become a very frustrating process because numbers will drown you and time will consume you. Also, applying for jobs that do not fit you make it more difficult for you to create an effective resume/cover letter because you will lack experience or interest in the qualifications. It will be much easier to apply for a job in a field in which you already have experience, or in which you are very interested in. That way you already possess the information, you just have to organize it into a resume/cover letter.

3. Put time into the job search: Numbers, numbers, numbers…. Just like applying for a million jobs that don’t suit you and getting three responses that do not turn into job offers, putting only two hours per day can be numerically frustrating. If you do not put time into the job search you will not be able to find the job that fits you the best, and therefore not receive very many answers. Take the job search as a full-time job (or, as part-time if you go to school/work part-time).The effectiveness of your job search will go up and your frustration will go down.

These three tips have helped when I needed to keep my head up during job search and I am sure they will continue to do so as my job search prolongs. My tip is to always look forward to each application you have next and to keep your head up, the right job is just out there waiting for you to find it.

Samuel Vivas Imparato
Marketing Intern, Office of Career Development


Connect with the UIU Office of Career Development:

Webpage, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857
~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center, 225
563-425-5229

Benefits of Optimal Resume

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As a senior I knew the next step would be finding a job, but I was nowhere near being prepared to start the process. After meeting with Darren Noble, he asked for an updated resume, which I had not even thought of at that point. Upon receiving an email from him with tips and resources to fix up and update my resume, I ended up using Optimal Resume. Since then, I have recommended it to many different students because it is so easy to use and is very helpful.

Optimal Resume offers many resources such as:

  1. FREE – Provided by Upper Iowa University (take advantage of it while you can)
  2. Resume Builder
    * Provides examples on how to create your resume and make it professional
    * Different styles from which you can choose
    * Action verbs available, so you’re not always using the same ones
    * Downloadable versions, very accessible
    * Options of having multiple resumes for different jobs 
  3. Skills Assessment
    * Not sure of what you want to do? Optimal Resume provides a skill assessment to help you decide which skills would be necessary for the jobs you’re looking for and also how you have applied them
  4. Letter Builder
    *
    Cover letters are just as important as resumes, and Optimal Resume provides examples and guides you to produce a professional letter
  5. Interview Prep
    * Provides up to 20 questions [for a] practice interview
    * Very helpful in preparing what you are going to say and being able to hear yourself

In conclusion, this is a very helpful resource that is provided by the school, so all students should take advantage and use it while they can!

Danielle Gernes
Marketing Intern, Office of Career Development


Connect with the UIU Office of Career Development:
  

WebpageLinkedIn Group Facebook Group, Twitter, Pinterest
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA  52142
Student Center (225)
563-425-5229

Importance of LinkedIn

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I have been using social websites such as Facebook, Instagram or Yahoo chats as tools to stay connected with my friends since I came to the United States. As I got closer to graduation, and started my internship with the UIU Office of Career Development, I realized the importance of networking—especially, social networking on the internet.

The internet has made the world smaller. We can find any kind of information under our fingertips. Therefore, the internet gave us an opportunity to save a lot of time and resources to get what we need. I will not talk about the negative results of the internet because I personally believe that people can choose how to spend their time on the internet. For example, it is my choice whether to spend hours on Facebook or read articles related to my major and work fields in the future. The internet has made it easier to market ourselves to our future employers. As a college student, all you need to do right now is to start improving your social network profiles, especially in LinkedIn. A business-oriented social networking site, LinkedIn allows you to stay connected with your colleagues or co-workers. Also, you will know once you open an account that LinkedIn is a very professional networking site.

Below are five key reasons to have a professionalized LinkedIn profile:

·         You get to tell your own professional story.

·         You are more easily recruited.

·         Opportunities through degrees of separation.

·         A tool for managing your internet reputation.

·        And you don’t want to NOT be found on LinkedIn.

The UIU Office of Career Development provides assistance on how to develop your professional profile on LinkedIn that will help you catch recruiters’ sights. Again, do not miss the chance!

Billie Tuvshinbayar, UIU Office of Career Development Intern

Connect with the UIU Office of Career Development: 

WebpageLinkedIn Group Facebook GroupTwitterPinterest
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA  52142
Student Center (225)
563-425-5229

As a Senior, What Should I Do?

As a senior, what should I do? This question has been rolling around in my mind since last summer. I always asked myself: What am I going to do once I’m done with school? Am I going to be okay? Will I even find a job? I know I’m not the only one to have these thoughts. I am Matin, a senior marketing major with a minor in human resource management, and I’m currently an intern with the Office of Career Development under the supervision of Darren Noble. I would like to share some of my experiences and what Darren has shared with me about how juniors and seniors can calmly handle this issue.

First of all, it is important to remain calm and relaxed in order to think clearly about the problem. Everyone has worries, but remember that it can be very difficult to resolve an issue when we are stressed. As a senior, a student should have completed an internship or currently be doing one. Also, don’t forget to check with your advisor to ensure you have completed general educations requirements and verify how many credits are left for you to finish before graduation.

Senior year is the most stressful year for many students. It is crucial not to isolate yourself from reality. This is the last year for you to socialize frequently with many of your friends. Become active with a club and, if possible, participate in school activities. These kinds of activities can greatly help polish up your resume; however, as a senior and a friend, everything you do must have limits. The important thing is to know how much time you have and to manage it wisely.

Seniors, start working on your resume and set up a LinkedIn account. This will help you to not forget important things you have done in the past. Not only that, but start to plan your future. What kind of company would you like to work with? Do some research about the company and think about what can you offer the firm that will make you different or stand out from others.

To everybody, I wish you all the best in your future!

Matin Abdul Alim
Marketing Intern, UIU Office of Career Development

Do you need to create a resume, search for a job, practice interviewing, or learn about other career topics? Be sure to check out our resources below:

Webpage, LinkedIn Group , Facebook Group
www.uiu.edu/careers
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center (225)
563-425-5229

Career Awareness

Making the Right Network Work for You

We all know how social networks work by now. As a senior, it has finally dawned on me the professional importance of how to utilize social networks and make them work for me. Demonstrated efficiently, Facebook and Twitter are great ways to expand socially and professionally. An additional way to connect is LinkedIn, which is a social media website to improve one’s professional network. More than 80 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn (Joshua Waldman, 2011). Identifying and determining the audience you wish to reach is important, but more importantly is what communication style they prefer. LinkedIn can be one of the audience’s choices; if chosen to utilize here are some ways to get the most out of Linkedin:

  • Completion of your Profile. Tutorial guides are available, which can help maximize the potential for your profile. Uploading a resume and a short summary is extremely beneficial for self-representation and exposure.
  • Professional Expectation. Keep things classy and review in detail what you are about to post to the internet. The internet is written in pen not pencil, so always think twice.
  • Quality over Quantity. In the professional world it isn’t always about how many people you know, rather than how well you know them. A few personal letters of reference is always more accredited than several non-personal reference letters.
  • Consistent Monitoring. It is not important to stay on the website all day every day. What is important is ever so often (Once a Day) to keep things fresh and attempt to post or send request for website recognition. Efficient ways to Monitor

Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender, there is no greater investment.

Matt Treybig
Marketing Intern, UIU Office of Career Development

Webpage, LinkedIn Group , Facebook Group
www.uiu.edu/careers
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center (225)
563-425-5229

Credit/Resources:
www.humanresources.com
Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age (www.roberthalf.com)
www.careerenlightenment.com
Build-A-Professional-Profile.pdf
Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies (2011), by Joshua Waldman, MBA

Senior Checklist

May is rapidly approaching, and for a senior that means graduation is right around the corner. As a senior myself, I began to think what can I do to prepare myself for life after graduation? Am I prepared to go into the so called “real world”? I concluded that there are five main things you can do in order to prepare yourself for Corporate America.

  1. Fine tune your resume. Meet with Darren Noble, UIU Director of Career Development to review your resume and make sure that it looks organized and professional! Don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today!
  2. Make sure you are familiar with writing job-search letters. Did you know that there are various types of job-search letters? It is vital to employers that you know how to communicate clearly and professionally. If you need to freshen up on your writing skills check out this article.
  3. Practice your interviewing skills, especially if you have never completed an interview before. There are certain criteria you should be aware of before you go into an interview, such as knowledge of the company and how to dress. You never get a second chance at a first impression!
  4. Purchase interview attire. It is essential that you look neat and professional when you go into an interview. If you look good, you feel “good” and confidence is a key part of your interview!
  5. Clean up your cyber-self. This means not only removing unprofessional party pictures from your “glory days” but also establishing yourself as an emerging professional by joining LinkedIn, which is a 100 percent professional network.

Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail!

Sara Vance
Marketing Intern, UIU Office of Career Development

Webpage, LinkedIn Group , Facebook Group
www.uiu.edu/careers
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center (223)
563-425-5229

Additional Resources:
Jobweb.com
Quintcareers.com
CareerOneStop.org

Networking Your Way to an Internship

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“Career experts estimate that the vast majority of job openings are never advertised or publicly announced, but filled through word-of-mouth or networking – known as the ‘hidden job market.’ The likelihood of a job opening not being advertised at all increases with the level of the job. Yet, even with this knowledge, most job seekers fail to fully utilize networking for all it’s worth.”
– Randall S. Hansen, PhD, Founder of Quintessential Careers

Certainly networking is a critical job-search strategy. I have read numerous studies that report more than 80 percent of successful job seekers say networking made all the difference in their searches. Career professionals know that most jobs aren’t advertised, and this fact is even more severe regarding internships; therefore, it’s imperative to utilize networking to find internship opportunities.

Here are six effective networking practices you can use during your internship search:

1.) Do a self-assessment of your interests, skills, and experiences. Think about what you want from your internship (responsibilities? compensation? experience? other goals?).

2.) Have a resume that has been well-crafted and is targeted toward the type of internship being sought. Our office uses Optimal Resume, and UIU students are developing more competitive resumes and other documents (we’ve recently added “Letterbuilder”) as a result of using this professional system that is FREE to students and alumni.

3.) Networking should start with getting in touch with those individuals in your circle of influence (family, friends, coworkers, professors, students, administrators, alumni). Many times when I speak with internship seekers about their search they’ve overlooked this easy approach. If individuals don’t know, they can’t be resources during this process. For example, you may desire a finance internship, and one of your contacts knows a hiring manager in this industry. What if another student’s brother works at the company where you’d like to do an internship?

4.) Get involved in a local or regional professional association in your field of study. Student memberships are often very inexpensive compared to memberships post-graduation. Attend a workshop or networking event; volunteer to help out during a local conference. Here are some examples of professional associations in Iowa:

Iowa Corn Growers Association (Student Membership)

American Marketing Association Iowa Chapter (AMA Collegiate Membership)

Iowa Association of Nursing Students

Iowa State Education Association (Student Membership)

5.) Conduct informational interviews and job shadows. You can benefit greatly from meeting and speaking with professionals in your field(s) of interest. I recommend you conduct an informational interview or job shadow each term. Through these experiences you’ll be introduced to professionals, and your network will grow.

6.) Utilize the UIU Office of Career Development and attend events throughout the year. Examples include “Pizza Chats” on various career-related topics (RSVP to the “Networking & LinkedIn” Thursday, 2/9 @ 12:10), The Big Dream™ Gathering (2/23, @ 6:00pm), and our Internship & Volunteer Fair (forthcoming Fall, 2012). Also visit our job/internship posting system, Peacock Career Network, and our Facebook group page, to view internship opportunities. Stay posted for future online events as well …

Here are some other practical networking tips: create a business card, have an organized database/file system to use during your internship search, meet individuals for coffee and ask questions, go out of your way to meet new people, send thank-you cards (more impactful than emails) after each meeting, be a good listener and take a genuine interest in others, get off campus occasionally (e.g. Pavo Blue or Victories), develop an elevator speech, and finally … practice.

We invite you to call/e-mail/drop by our office if you have any questions; also, contact us to schedule an in-person, phone, or email appointment to discuss networking, internships, or other career-related topics.

All the best, and go Peacocks!

Darren L. Noble, M.A.
Director, UIU Office of Career Development

Webpage, LinkedIn Group , Facebook Group
www.uiu.edu/careers
careers@uiu.edu
P.O. Box 1857 ~~ 605 Washington Street
Fayette, IA 52142
Student Center (223)
563-425-5229

*Additional Resources:
Jobweb.com
Quintcareers.com Internship Resources
CareerOneStop.org