To support our students in meeting their career goals, we often recommend strengthening your “brand” or professional reputation through active engagement in professional associations. By active engagement, we are referring to going beyond meeting attendance to showcase your knowledge and skills through presenting, getting published or assuming a leadership role.
The Walden Career Services team “walks our talk” through active participation in our local professional association, the Minnesota Career Development Association. Our involvement has included delivering conference sessions, serving as a conference sponsor, and coordinating and facilitating their RoundTable Discussions for professional development. For the 2013 MCDA conference last month, we delivered conference presentations on”Quality Assessment” and “Delivering Dynamic Virtual Presentations.” Additionally, Career Services Advisor Andrea Obrycki is currently co-directing their Mentoring Program.
With this article, I’ve posted photos from the 2013 Conference.
Lisa Cook, Career Services Director
Have you attended a Career Services webinar and gained new insights into your career or job search? Jo is a M.S. in Psychology student who attended the webinar, “Building Your Academic Reputation in Higher Education,” listened to our panelists’ advice, and took immediate action. In less than 24 hours, she was hired to teach GED classes at a community literacy program!
With over 20 years of experience as a financial analyst, Jo decided to enroll in the M.S. Psychology program to contribute back to her community. She attended the webinar because of her interest in teaching at the community college level. During the webinar, our faculty and alumni panelists shared their experiences and tips for transitioning into higher ed teaching, administration, and consulting. One of the panelists suggested contacting community literacy programs to build experience teaching adult learners. Jo suddenly remembered seeing a donation box for the literacy council at a local store. She picked up the phone, called an adult literacy program in her area, and was asked to come in for an interview the next morning!
Jo needed to create a great resume for her interview. What better way to make her updates than through the Career Services’ OptimalResume system? She registered on the system, reviewed several resume templates, and used the Resume Builder to create a sharp, organized document. The next morning, she met with her interviewer and was hired “on the spot.” In her new role, she will prepare adults for GED exams, helping to increase literacy in her community while building classroom teaching skills.
Jo utilized career advice and resources in order to pursue her passion for teaching and helping others. Her goal is to continue into a doctoral program where she can further develop as an educator and social services professional. Jo said, “I know that I would never have had this opportunity [to teach GED prep] if it hadn’t been for Walden University.”
We encourage you to also take an active role in your career. Here are a few resources to help you get started:
- View our Archived Webinars page;
- Register on and use our OptimalResume system to create resume, cover letters, career portfolios, personal websites; and practice interviewing skills;
- Utilize the many career resources on the Career Services Center website;
- Let us support your efforts through career advising appointments.
Written by Career Services Advisor Dina Bergren
Nathaniel is in the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology program. While he was in his 1st residency, he met individually with a Career Services Advisor to discuss strengthening his curriculum vita and continuing to build his reputation in research. As they discussed the Publications section on his CV, Nathaniel brought up the research he did for his master’s thesis and his interest in publishing it, but his advisor had passed away so he never pursued publication.
Even though he completed his thesis in 2008, he believed that his research on women’s health in the area of obesity was unique and still had value and significance. With encouragement from the Career Services Advisor along with motivation for attending the Career Services webinar Career Opportunities in Public Health, Nathaniel submitted his master’s thesis for publication. His first attempt to publish was denied due to an APA formatting issue in his citations. He updated his citations, resubmitted his research, and it was accepted for publication!
- As you complete your coursework, note any journals that you think would be a good fit for a submission.
- Use Ulrich’s Periodical Directory in the Walden Library to determine if the journal is peer reviewed.
- Read the journal’s advice and policies section for submission.
- Look for opportunities to present at poster sessions.
- Submit selected Walden assignments to a peer reviewed jounal (i.e. Nathaniel is currently submitting an assignment for publication on HIV and Aging).
View Nathaniel’s document.
Written by Career Advisor Denise Pranke
Did you know your professional brand impacts how others perceive you? If you have yet to identify your brand, you can create and manage your brand at any point in your career journey. Whether you are job searching, seeking advancement, or simply managing your career, it is always important to promote and strengthen your brand.
How do I identify my brand?
- Make a list of your strengths, values, personal attributes, qualifications, and passions related to your career field. How do these qualities make you unique from other professionals in your field?
- Keep your audience in mind— what are the qualities they seek?
- Develop a tagline for yourself without using a job title.
How can I develop and enhance my brand?
- Create an elevator pitch highlighting your brand and use this when networking and interviewing.
- Take your brand online by creating a professional website, blog, or Twitter account.
- Utilize LinkedIn by joining groups in your career field and contributing to discussions.
- Present at local conferences or submit articles for newsletters.
- Be a mentor to showcase your brand and expertise.
What branding resources are available?
- Watch Walden University Career Services archived webinar Building Your Professional Brand.
- Read Me 2.0 by branding expert Dan Schawbel.
- Visit Quintessential Careers and view the personal branding resources.
- Read StrengthsFinder 2.0 and take the quiz to learn your strengths.
- Take the 360 Reach branding assessment to obtain feedback from colleagues.
Now that you are on your way to becoming a branding expert, which of these taglines is stronger?
- Experienced Project Manager
- Accomplished Project Manager known for educating clients and bridging project gaps.
Written by Career Services Advisor Andrea Obrycki
Are you unsure of the next step in your career? Daniel is a BSBA student who worked as a server for a large hotel chain. He was interested in management, but was unsure of how to get his foot in the door. Although he applied for numerous positions, he was not selected for interviews. After attending the Career Services session during an Undergraduate Connection Day event and working with us through several career advising appointments, Daniel landed a hotel management position with a large hotel chain where he now supervises up to 50 people.
What strategies contributed to Daniel’s transformation? Here are a few highlights of how Daniel applied the Career Management process to achieve career success:
• Self-Assessment: He worked with Career Services to clearly define his career goals. Through this process, Daniel realized that he enjoyed fast-paced, client-focused environments and had many transferable skills to contribute to the hotel industry.
• Research: He researched hotel chains for potential opportunities and reviewed job postings to identify transferable skills he could highlight on his materials.
• Resume and Cover Letter: He worked with Career Services to improve his application materials by re-organizing past experiences and re-structuring the format.
• Networking: He contacted friends and former co-workers who work at large hotels. Through his networking efforts, he was offered several positions but they were not the right fit. Finally, he reached out to a former boss, who currently works at a large hotel chain, and clearly articulated his career goals. His former boss told him, “We can use your unique skills over here,” and contacted him when a manager position opened up.
• Interviewing: Daniel utilized resources on the Career Services Center website to prepare for his interview, including watching the Interviewing archived webinar: http://careercenter.waldenu.edu/921.htm
He aced his interview with professional attire, confidence due to his thorough preparation, a strong introduction, ability to articulate his management style, and the following bold statement at the end that surprised his interviewer, “So, when do I start work?”
Daniel said that Career Services helped him focus on his goals and build confidence to impress employers. He said, “Walden’s Career Services Center has all the materials to advance my career; all I had to do is my homework.” He encourages other students to take initiative and start working with us to achieve their goals.
We wish Daniel the best as he continues to build his management skills, inspire other employees, and make his customers happy!
Written by Career Services Advisor Dina Bergren