A Global Days of Service Story

Global Days of Service poster

As a Ph.D. in Human Services student at Walden University, I recently participated in a local Global Days of Service event in St. Paul, Minnesota.   First of all, I received an email inviting me to partake in a Walden University service event at Harriet Tubman, a crisis center committed to providing safety, hope, and healing to families.  I gladly responded to the email because I have been inspired to engage in service work after my experience with the organization, Feed My Starving Children, years back. Also, I have worked several years in the mental health field, which gave me an understanding of the struggles many individuals face in their lives. After registering for the event, I received an email with directions to the volunteer site, and I decided to invite my girlfriend, who is a social worker, to come along with me.

When we arrived at Harriet Tubman, we registered and took pictures in the main hall, and connected with other volunteers from the Walden community.  After refreshments, the Harriet Tubman staff introduced themselves and explained the organization’s mission.  We were then divided into several groups and assigned tasks including tending the garden, packing boxes, assembling items, and others.  I happened to choose the furniture group.  Our five group members moved furniture from a large storage area to a parking lot, for pickup by another nonprofit organization. Moving furniture was not easy, but due to our collaborative effort, we managed to complete our tasks early.  I enjoyed working with selfless people who want to contribute to their communities and people in need.

The amazing part of my volunteer experience was that the president of Walden University and faculty rolled up their sleeves and worked alongside everyone in unity.  I even had the opportunity to take photos with faculty members and the president, an experience I will cherish forever.

Would you like to expand your social impact?

Read about Walden University’s Social Change vision
Watch Career Services’ Social Change Series webinars
Visit the Volunteer Opportunities page

Written by Ph.D. in Human Services Student, Isaac Allotey

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Edited by Associate Director of Career Services, Dina Bergren

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Career Services Welcomes Our New Internship Advisor!

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Katy Peper

The Career Services team would like to introduce Katy Peper, who recently transitioned from her prior role as an Academic Advisor, into her new role as an Internship Advisor. Katy brings 10+ years of professional experience in higher education, with experience in career advising, academic advising, teaching, and residence life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University.

Would you like to know more about Katy? Read the interview below!

Dina Bergren: What are you most passionate about working with Walden students?

Katy Peper: I love working with Walden students because they come from all over the world and from all walks of life. I never know who I will meet and what I will learn from each new person I talk to.

Dina Bergren: How would you describe your greatest strengths?

Katy Peper: My greatest strengths are my ability to analyze as well as my strong sense of responsibility. I find it easy to evaluate situations and think through all of the possibilities. A sense of responsibility also comes naturally to me, and I take ownership of what I say I will do.

Dina Bergren: What career development activities have you engaged in?

Katy Peper: I love attending professional conferences to continue learning and developing my skills. Right now, I am on the 2017 fall conference committee for the Minnesota College Professional Association. Life-long learning and staying current on issues facing students is highly important to me.

Dina Bergren: What career advice would you give students seeking career advancement?

Katy Peper: My number one piece of advice is to start early and not wait until graduation! Whether you are continuing in your current field or switching fields, find ways to get involved through volunteering, professional associations, and other experiential activities. You never know when a new opportunity will present itself.

Dina Bergren: What are you most excited about in your new role as Career Services’ Internship Advisor?

Katy Peper: I am excited to see how my role will develop over time. I hope to create new career resources and improve processes. To me, that is very exciting!

Dina Bergren: What do you enjoy outside of work?

Katy Peper: I enjoy spending time with my family and volunteering with greyhound adoption through Greyhound Pets of America, Minnesota. I also enjoy being outside (no matter the season). My favorite activities are camping, hiking, and gardening. I would love to try snowshoeing in the winter!

Would you like to learn more about how the Career Services Center can assist you in reaching your career goals? Visit the About Career Services page!

Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services, and Katy Peper, Internship Advisor

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Dina

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Katy

Three Reasons to Attend the Walden Social Change Networking Hour

“Conversation is the vehicle for change.” – Terry Tempest Williams

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To continue in the spirit of Global Days of Service, the Walden University Career Services Center is hosting the Walden Social Change Networking Hour on Thursday, October 26,
7:00 p.m. ET. During this hour-long online networking event, you will have the opportunity to make up to six new contacts and share ideas on how to improve human and social conditions. Here are just a few reasons to register now for this exciting global event:

Meet New People

The Walden Social Change Networking Hour is a unique opportunity to connect with students, alumni, and staff to spark meaningful conversation.  As an online student, it can sometimes be difficult to build meaningful relationships with fellow students and alumni. During this live event, you will be able to chat with Walden community members from all over the world who share your social change interests. The Walden Career Connections platform saves a transcript of your chats so you can follow-up after the event. Exchange contact information or connect on LinkedIn to continue the conversation!

Share Your Passion for Social Change

As Walden University President Jonathan Kaplan said, “Every day around the world, Walden students, alumni, faculty, and staff serve their communities in many ways large and small. This continual commitment to service is not only a reflection of our mission, it is a part of our DNA.” We know that you are passionate about making a difference in your community, your profession, and the world! Support your peers and collaborate as you share causes, organizations and volunteer experiences. Prepare to inspire and be inspired by the innovative ways Walden’s community members are using their skills to address challenges at the local level.

Practice Networking

We all know that networking is important to professional development, but many people find it intimidating and awkward! The Walden Career Connections platform is designed to make networking easy, fun, and painless. The chats are timed and text-based, which ensures that conversations are focused, and you always have someone to chat with. Best of all, you can attend the event from anywhere with an internet connection – even from your couch! If you are looking for a comfortable way to practice your networking skills, The Walden Social Change Networking Hour is a great place to start.

We look forward to networking with you!

Walden Social Change Networking HourOctober 26, 2017, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET.   Register for the event here.

Would you like some tips on how to prepare? Read Three Tips for Maximizing Our New Online Networking Tool, Walden Career Connections!

Written by Angie Lira, Senior Career Services Advisor

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Simple Self-Publishing Strategies Using Kindle Direct

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As life-long learners, many Walden students spend a great deal of time applying their critical thinking and writing skills. The skills they acquire from this process may result in work to share with the world in the form of papers, textbooks, works of fiction, or even children’s books, and all can be self-published on Kindle Direct!

In my youth, I often wrote short stories and even a couple of novellas. However, in those days getting published was daunting, and rejection was common. Even if accepted, the process was slow and laborious. Times have changed! Now publishing an eBook or printed-on-demand paperback on Amazon is a matter of hours, not months or years! I recently spent several months writing a Sci-Fi novel, and from start to finish on Kindle Direct Publishing, my eBook was published within two hours, and for sale online in twenty-four hours. Let’s go over the basics and get you published!

File Formats for Kindle Direct Publishing

What are the basic file formats to use with Kindle Direct? While popular formats such as Adobe PDF and Apple’s ePub are accepted on the Kindle Direct Publishing Platform, Microsoft Word is recommended in either the Windows DOC format or the Apple Mac DOCX format. Best practices include avoiding special fonts, using the Word “insert” feature for tables and images, and using JPEG images inserted in a center alignment. Every chapter end should have a page break inserted, and always use the spell checker!

Proofreading Tips

One of the most challenging parts of publishing my book was the proofreading.  I enlisted several friends to help, and everyone caught errors I missed! However, rest easy, a big advantage of publishing on Kindle Direct is that your text, and your cover image, can be updated at any time after publication. Kindle Direct also offers various third-party experts to assist along the way.  For most books, the process in Kindle is straightforward: you see your book laid out just as it will be in eBook form, and you simply review the pages, formatting, and overall look. Once you are satisfied, finalize your product, and your book will go live!

Setting up an Amazon Account

To get started, go to the Kindle Direct Publishing website and set up a free Amazon account. After you set up your account, you will be directed to upload your manuscript.  Once you approve of the layout and cover, you will be guided to select royalty options. You also will be able to set up ad campaigns using ads placed strategically by genre or through keyword searches.  Ad campaigns can be monitored, adjusted, or cancelled at any time.  Sales can also be monitored.  Your eBook will be for sale in the Kindle store on the Amazon website.  Sales potential can be enhanced with a paperback and audiobook, and good reviews are great for sales!  Seeing your book online for the first time is very rewarding!

For more information about Kindle Direct Publishing go to https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634280

Written by Technology Graduate Assistant, Martin Culberson

Martin Culberson

2017 Global Days of Service!

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It’s Global Days of Service this week at Walden! Students, alumni, faculty, and staff around the globe will be participating in community service activities to make a difference to others.  Volunteering is a wonderful way to learn about issues facing your community, meet new people, have new experiences, and most importantly, contribute to positive social change. Our planet is facing many challenges. As members of the Walden community, we have a wide range of knowledge, skills, and energy to contribute. Here are some resources to help you find a volunteering opportunity that fits your values and interests this week and beyond:

Volunteering resources on the Career Services website: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/volunteeropportunities

Archived webinars on the topic of social change including Maximizing Career Success Through Strategic Volunteering: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/careerwebinars/socialchange

Join the Social Change Networking Hour on October 26th at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time to learn about how others contribute to positive social change and share your experience. You can register at:  http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/careerconnections/events

Written by Denise Pranke, Senior Career Services Advisor

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Dan’s Take: Grammarly

Graduate Assistant Dan demonstrates how to use Grammarly to improve your everyday writing. Improve your cover letters and emails to employers by using this free writing tool!

For information on how to access Grammarly please visit these resources:

Walden’s Writing Center Grammarly Resources
Grammarly Website

A Doctoral Student’s Tips for Life Balance

Blog A Doc Student's Tips for Life Balance

An exceptionally challenging part of my life as a Walden student has been maintaining a healthy balance between school and career.  Like many Walden students, I have work and family obligations, and I must carefully structure my daily routine to accomplish the sometimes overwhelming amount of work and study.  Let me share four time-saving strategies I use to maintain a healthy balance.

Organize Space to Stay Focused
I’ve found that having a specific space set aside for my course studies works well.  While most of us don’t have the luxury of having a personal office and a work or school office, there is a trick I use to make it seem like two offices.  I have a folded sign that reminds me of my end goal of earning my doctorate, which is located next to my computer monitor.  When it’s time to study, I stand up my sign with “Dr.” in front of my name; when I’m at my desk working on non-academic projects, I fold it down.  This simple step serves as a powerful reminder of why I’m studying so hard and helps me stay focused on achieving my long-term goal.

Manage Time Wisely
Focusing on the here and now is the most important habit I’ve cultivated.  Some call it mindfulness, a habit of disciplining the mind to focus on what is in front of you, not the past or the future.  This takes practice!  One tool to help with this task is the Pomodoro technique, a popular way to give yourself a break and refresh your focus.  While it’s common to use 25 minutes of study and breaking for 5, you can experiment to find what works best for you.  On days when I feel sharp and on my game, I like to study for 30 and take 5.  On days when I feel sluggish, I may go 20 and 10.  Learn how to get started with Pomodoro to save time and get more done.

Maximize Technology Tools
Technology provides many great tools to assist with time management.  I prefer to use Evernote to organize my research, and Nozbe to manage my busy schedule.  Learn more about these tools to determine if they are right for you!  I have also found that using technology effectively requires personal habits that reinforce the strategies.  In other words, these tools will work only if you stay truly committed to your goals.

Say “No” or “Later”
I also consider a part of staying focused is being willing to say no when necessary.  If a friend wants to go out on Saturday night when you have a big paper due on Sunday, you may have to politely decline.  You can always tell her another Saturday night will work, but you need plenty of notice to organize your week in advance.  This approach will enlist your friend as part of your support group, an important strategy to help leverage your efforts.  Rewards, whether a night out with friends or a piece of chocolate for a great study day, are also great motivators to keep you energized.

I have discussed time management and technological tools to assist you in creating a productive space, rewarding yourself for work well done, and enlisting your support network for leverage.  Whether you are balancing your academic work, professional career, busy personal or family life; or a combination of all these factors, these tools can help you stay on track for long-term success. My final recommendation follows from the successful implementation of these ideas: enjoy the process!  Learning is a joyful experience, like feeling the excitement grow every day as you take small steps toward the finish line.  Deploy the strategies, enjoy the journey, and success will follow!

Written by Technology Graduate Assistant, Martin Culberson
Martin Culberson