Missouri State University
Life After Missouri State
Helping students navigate the hurdles to career success!

Fall Opportunities from the Career Center

Just thinking about the amount of work that goes into entering a career field after college can give a student a headache. Fortunately, there is an office on campus that is solely devoted to making sure Missouri State University students have the best opportunities possible to be successful after college. The Career Center offers a variety of services, events, and activities to students that can help making the jump to a professional career simpler.

I recently sat down with Caleb Jobe, a graduate assistant for the Career Center, to discuss the services that the Center provides students, and also the upcoming events the office is putting on to help prepare students for their career. The main upcoming event is the Fall Career Fair, which will be held on September 25from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in JQH Arena. The event will feature over 80 employers and is open to all students.

Jobe did mention specific tips to help ensure that students better prepare themselves for the upcoming job fair. He said it is paramount that students bring at least 12 copies of their résumé that has been reviewed and worked on, so that you can ensure that employers are seeing the highest quality version of your academic and work background. He also advocated for the printing of business cards, because it gives a small reminder to employers of who you are. Another important tip is to bring a small pad of paper and a pencil or pen to record names and information from employers. Jobe feels this is important, because the last thing he would want a student to do is forget the information for an employer that he/she was very interested in working for.

Another important tip he gave was to dress professionally. A business suit should be worn by all attendants of the career fair, which is required for the College of Business career fair. This shows employers that you are serious about your future and the opportunities that an employer may have for them. Another equally important tip is to act professionally. Don’t walk around with headphones in, don’t be chewing gum, and don’t engage in other activities that could give employers the impression that you aren’t entirely interested in being there.

Although the Career Fair is the largest event the Career Center puts on this fall, there are other important events that can help students get on the right track towards a great career. These events include an etiquette dinner, where students are walked through basic dining etiquette by a Career Center representative, and a mock interview day, where students can sign up to undergo practice interviews with campus officials, to better hone their interview skills. The etiquette dinner will be held on October 23, and the mock interview day is October 24.

The Career Center also offers a variety of services that students can take advantage of throughout the year. Students can schedule appointments with Career Counselors to go over any topic they may need help with from résumé and cover letter construction, to information about internships and job opportunities. They also have walk-in hours from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 10:00AM to 1:00 PM on Fridays. If you choose to walk-in, you can discuss résumé and cover letter construction with a student peer advisor who can offer you quick tips.

At this point, you may be asking yourself when the right time to start working on résumés and looking for internships. Fortunately, Jobe helped outline steps students should take to stay prepared. It’s never too early to start thinking about your career, according to Jobe, and he feels that students should take time in their freshman and sophomore years to learn how to correctly construct résumés and cover letters, take time to create a “master list”, which includes every relevant activity a student has done, including high school work such as service and mission opportunities, and students should also register for JobTracks. JobTracks is an interactive network run by the Career Center that posts jobs and internships for students at Missouri State University. For freshman and sophomores, internships can be an important tool to gain experience in the field you may want to go into. JobTracks offers a variety of internship opportunities both locally, and in areas such as Kansas City and St. Louis.

Juniors and seniors need to work on honing specific skills so that they may be as desirable as possible to potential employers. Jobe listed important skills such as writing, critical thinking, personal communication, and interviewing skills. There are also skills that are growing in relevance, like the ability to social network through sites such as LinkedIn. Having a strong background in these skills will make you more desirable to future employers and make your path to Life After Missouri State that much easier.

 

The Career Center can be reached at their website, their Facebook page, their LinkedIn profile, or their phone number, (417) 836-5636. Their office is located in Carrington Hall, room 309.

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Don’t Just Eat Cereal: Eating Right After College

When you think of your life after college, many things probably come to mind. These things probably include getting a job, meeting a significant other, maybe even starting a family, but how you will eat probably hasn’t crossed your mind. It was easy during high school. The restaurant of mom and dad probably served a nice meal (except on meat loaf night) at around six each evening. It was even easier when you started in the residence halls, because the dining centers had convenient hours and a wide array of options for any diet. Now that you are entering the “real world” you must fend for yourself, and these important steps can ensure that you don’t eat cereal for every meal, or worse, starve.

1. Eating out is a luxury, not a necessity

When you start out on your career path, the last thing you want to do when you get home is cook a nutritional meal. What you will want to do is simply drive to the nearest fast food restaurant, drop 7 bucks on a combo meal, and enjoy. Not only is this bad for your health, it’s bad for your wallet. Think about it: if you spend 30 dollars a week eating out, that’s over 1500 dollars a year! It may not seem like a big deal on a weekly basis, but it adds up quickly, especially when you are just starting out.

2. Focus on staples

Make sure you have the basics for cooking in your kitchen. When it comes to appliance, get things you know you will get use out of. A few pots, a few pans, a few knives, and things like spatulas, whisks, and large spoons can go a long way. Plus, it is often much cheaper to buy these items together than it is to buy them apart. Make sure to buy basic spices and oils that are called for in many recipes, like olive and vegetable oil, salt, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, pepper, and garlic. Pick up basic meats and pastas that you can interchange with each other to make different meals that you won’t tire of quickly. I always keep chicken breast, hamburger, and fish in my freezer because they can be cooked on their own, or in other meal ideas. I also like to keep pasta and rice on hand because they go well in meals, and also as a side for many meals.

3. Do all you can to have a fruit/vegetable with meals

I realize that it is much easier and much cheaper to simply skip the fruits and veggies when you are starting out, but they are such an important part of a well-balanced diet. Try and pick up a fresh fruit or vegetable that you like and can see yourself eating on multiple occasions while at the grocery store each week, or consider frozen fruit and vegetable options that will last longer; just make sure that they aren’t full of added preservatives and sugars, because that eliminates much of the nutritional value that is present in the food.

4. Start paying closer attention to food labels

Many feel that a happy medium between eating out every night and cooking a well-balanced meal is purchasing frozen meals. While these are often tasty and much easier than putting in the time to cook, they can often be very unhealthy. To keep them fresh in frozen packaging, companies often load these meals with extra sodium and preservatives. Even the options that are toted as healthier often contain very large amounts of salt. In ration, salt is healthy, but too much can lead to high blood pressure and can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Chances are, when you start cooking for yourself, you will make at least one recipe that tastes absolutely horrible. Although this can be disheartening and make you want to eat frozen pizza for every meal for the rest of your life, but don’t give up. There are many outlets to find good recipes that you will use for years and years. First of all, ask your family. There may have been recipes that you enjoyed as a kid that were incredibly simple to make. Not only will you enjoy these meals more than a cup of ramen noodles, but they can bring back good memories of home. Secondly, ask your friends. Many of them are probably in a similar financial place as you, and many of them have probably had the same experiences with food as you. They may have good, simple recipes that have helped them get through their first months or years as an adult. Lastly, don’t be afraid to consult the internet. There are many great websites with recipes for all cooking skill levels.

 
I hope these tips will help make eating after college easier for you, and I hope you come back next week to see what other tips we can provide for you to make transitioning to life after Missouri State easier!

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Welcome to the Life After Missouri State Blog!

The Dean of Students Office is very excited to announce that Life After Missouri State will now have an online component! While many students are interested in getting more information about the transition from college to the “real world”, we understand that many of you simply don’t have the time in your schedules to attend events that may cut into classes, study time, or work. To address this need, we plan on giving you more resources in a manner that’s available 24/7. There are many topics that we hope to provide information on, including:
– Budgeting
– Building a Social Network
– Dress to Impress
– The Importance of Insurance
– Dining Etiquette
– Graduate School
– Volunteering
– Gap-Year Programs
– Alumni Interviews
– Being a Life-Long Bear
– Studying Away
– Campus Resources for Post-Graduate Success
– Job Tracks
– Local Employer Spotlights
– Skype and Phone Interview Tips

If you want to stay up-to-date on what we are doing, please follow us on twitter: @MOstateDOSO, or continue to check back weekly as we try and provide new and relevant information to help you land that perfect job when you graduate!

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