Washington Semester Program

wsp-email-newsletter-headingThe Washington Semester Program at American University is Illinois Wesleyan’s premier off-campus opportunity in the nation’s capital.  Meet leading professionals in your field of study, and work in a professional internship that will open doors for your career.  You will do all of this while earning a full semester of IWU credits.

But don’t just take our word for it.  IWU junior Melissa Guzman is here for the spring term, taking part in the Journalism and New Media concentration. Here is what she has to say:MelissaGuzman

“We’ve been to some amazing places like the Supreme Court, the press galleries at the Capitol, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the National Press Club. My professors have introduced us to some of the city’s brightest journalists and members of the media community.

 I am interning at Running Start, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that works to encourage and train young women to run for office. Running Start has allowed me to explore different areas of nonprofit work.  I’ve been doing some research for them, writing for their website, preparing press releases, handling their social media accounts, and meeting some great women leaders in office and in their communities! My internship makes me feel like I am making a difference in the lives of young women interested in politics, and it’s extremely gratifying.

I would highly recommend American University’s Washington Semester program to anyone interested in learning more about politics and government. The internship opportunities available in Washington, D.C. are incredible. There’s something for everyone here.”

For more information, visit the Washington Semester website: http://www.american.edu/spexs/washingtonsemester/index.cfm

And talk to Laurie Diekhoff at the Hart Career Center (diekhoff@IWU.edu) or Prof. Greg Shaw in the Political Science Department (gshaw@iwu.edu).

11 Email Etiquette Rules Every Professional Should Know

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This compilation by Business Insider is aimed at professionals in the workforce, but honing email etiquette early is an important skill. The tips below will help you be a better communicator as a student and a professional, and are invaluable for graduates who are soon to be employed.

 

1. Include a clear, direct subject line

Examples of a good subject line include “Meeting date changed,” “Quick question about your presentation,” or “Suggestions for the proposal.” Keep it concise and to the point so people know what they are reading.

2. Use a professional email address

This rule really applies when you are not working with a campus email address, but with a personal email account. You should always have an email address that conveys your name so that the recipient knows exactly who is sending the email. Never use email addresses that are not appropriate for use in the workplace.

3. Think twice before hitting “reply all”

No one wants to read emails from 20 people that have nothing to do with them. Ignoring the emails can be difficult, with many people getting notifications of new messages on their smartphones or distracting pop-up messages on their computer screens. Refrain from hitting “reply all” unless you really think everyone on the list needs to receive the email.

4. Use professional salutations

Don’t use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, “Hey you guys,” “Yo,” or “Hi folks.” “The relaxed nature of our writings should not affect the salutation in an email,” she says. “Hey is a very informal salutation and generally it should not be used in the workplace or at school. And Yo is not okay either. Use Hi or Hello instead.” She also advises against shortening anyone’s name. Say “Hi Michael,” unless you’re certain he prefers to be called “Mike.”

5. Use exclamation points sparingly

If you choose to use an exclamation point, use only one to convey excitement, Pachter says. “People sometimes get carried away and put a number of exclamation points at the end of their sentences. The result can appear too emotional or immature,” she writes. “Exclamation points should be used sparingly in writing.”

6. Be cautious with humor

Humor can easily get lost in translation without the right tone or facial expressions. In a professional exchange, it’s better to leave humor out of emails unless you know the recipient well. Also, something that you think is funny might not be funny to someone else.

7. Know your audience

Miscommunication can easily occur because of cultural differences, especially in the writing form when we can’t see one another’s body language. Tailor your message depending on the receiver’s cultural background or how well you know them. A good rule to keep in mind, Pachter says, is that high-context cultures (Japanese, Arab, or Chinese) want to get to know you before doing business with you. Therefore, it may be common for business associates from these countries to be more personal in their writings. On the other hand, people from low-context cultures (German, American, or Scandinavian) prefer to get to the point very quickly.

8. Reply to your emails — even if the email wasn’t intended for you

It’s difficult to reply to every email message ever sent to you, but you should try to, Pachter says. This includes when the email was accidentally sent to you, especially if the sender is expecting a reply. A reply isn’t necessary but serves as good email etiquette, especially if this person works in the same company or industry as you. Here’s an example reply: “I know you’re very busy, but I don’t think you meant to send this email to me. And I wanted to let you know so you can send it to the correct person.”

9. Proofread every message

Your mistakes won’t go unnoticed by the recipients of your email. “And, depending upon the recipient, you may be judged for making them,” Pachter says. Don’t rely on spell-checkers. Read and re-read your email a few times, preferably aloud, before sending it off.  “One supervisor intended to write ‘Sorry for the inconvenience.’ But he relied on his spell-check and ended up writing ‘Sorry for the incontinence.'”

10. Add the email address last

“You don’t want to send an email accidentally before you have finished writing and proofing the message,” Pachter says. “Even when you are replying to a message, it’s a good precaution to delete the recipient’s address and insert it only when you are sure the message is ready to be sent.”

Go to website to see article in full:

http://www.businessinsider.com/email-etiquette-rules-everyone-should-know-2014-9

Guest Blogger Cameron Leberecht: Hooking Up With a New Career

It’s a blog takeover today at the Hart Career Center! A fellow Titan, Cameron Leberecht ‘16, is here to tell you about an exciting new website, Intern Rocket, he has been interning with this year.

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College students are constantly asked one annoying (and for many, impossible) question: “What do you want to do when you graduate?” The answer: most don’t have a clue. According to recent research, nearly 80% of college students change their major at least once, and, on average, college students will change their major three times. Yes, three times. Despite this, you’re still expected to make career and life-defining choices about something you hardly understand. Good news! There’s a way to get around that. It’s called internrocket.com.  internrocket.com, a new internship finder, is approaching internships from an entirely new perspective. Rather than requiring users to manually search through hundreds, if not thousands, of varied internship opportunities, internrocket.com uses match algorithms to pair internship seekers with companies. Think of it like a dating website for your career. Hopefully, this information will allow you to gain insight into exactly what your dream job may be, allowing you to make an educated investment in your education.  internrocket.com’s goal is to make the process quick and easy. On signup, this internship finder will ask you a series of questions that help build a profile. Akin to Twitter, they keep it short and sweet. You have 130 characters to write your summary and 110 characters to submit your One-Line, both of which are visible to companies searching for interns. There are also options to include Bragging Rights, job history, and the opportunity to tag certain skills, similar to LinkedIn, that you can offer potential employers. Upon login, app users can browse internship optScreen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.52.25 PMions, “favoriting” companies and users that interest them and “following” businesses they wish to hear more about. internrocket.com compiles this data into one social feed, giving prospective interns one convenient location to keep track of their “favorites” and “follows.” The more you interact with internrocket.com the more effective the matching algorithm becomes, eventually helping to match you with companies and opportunities that best align with your internship vision and offer immediate real-world work experience. The best part? Unlike other traditional job and internship sites, you don’t need to know what career path you want in order to land an internship, and you don’t need to worry about committing to a bad career relationship for months at a time. To combat these common problems, internrocket.com offers a series of micro-projects and micro-internships posted by different companies. Lasting anywhere from five hours to a week, these micro-projects function almost like speed-dating, allowing you to quickly determine whether that company or type of work matches the trajectory of your planned career. Of course, you aren’t limited to just micro-internships with internrocket.com’s internship finder. You also have the opportunity to match with part-time and full-time internships, summer internships, and, in some cases, work abroad programs.

Take advantage of the resources and opportunities in your college town. Don’t commit to an internship you’re not absolutely sure you’ll love. Explore your career opportunities, step outside your career comfort zone, and get involved in the local community. Expand your career network and improve a bare resume quickly with a diverse set of experiences that match the liberal arts philosophy at IWU.  internrocket.com will help.

Alumni Interview: Katie Heaney

By Maggie Zeisset

Majorkatie_heaneys: Political Science, Hispanic Studies

Graduated: 2009

 

What were you involved in on campus (Greek life, RSOs, academic work with a professor, etc.)?

Pretty involved! I was a tutor at the Writing Center from the second half of my freshman year until I graduated, and a Spanish language tutor and Political Science Research Assistant for the latter two years. I played on the tennis team sophomore through senior years. I was also a member of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance for sophomore through senior years, and president for the first two years.

How have you used your liberal arts education in your career? What specific skills have been valuable to you?

I think that my writing-focused coursework (no matter the subject) and my work as a writing tutor is probably the most directly helpful in my career, but learning how to do good research, and how to understand and use language, all of that’s helpful too.

Your major isn’t necessarily typical of someone in your career field, how has your major benefited you in your career?

I have to say, my majors don’t really affect my career in any specific way that I’m aware of. My career came more out of something I’ve always been interested in, which is writing. I loved the majors I chose, and I’m sure I would be happy had I ended up working with them more directly, but I don’t think they’re necessarily as important as the skill sets I got just from going to such a good school and working hard in general.

What experiences did you draw from to create your book Never Have I Ever?

Just my real life! I mean, it’s a memoir, so I was just retelling everything as best I could remember it. Several of the friends I made at Wesleyan are my best friends to this day, and play a prominent role in the book, and they helped me both directly (like by remembering little details in certain stories) and indirectly (by being my friends, making memories with me, influencing the way I write) too.

How did this idea come about?

I was contacted by a literary agent after publishing a few things online, and they were really conversational and kind of about both friendship and dating, and I knew that I was in the somewhat unique position of being the age I was then without having really done much/any dating. And I thought I could make that funny.

What was the process like to get your book published?

Much easier than I had any right for it to be. Like I said, I was contacted by my agent, who is wonderful, and I wrote the book during my second year of graduate school (I was getting my master’s degree in public policy), and sold it shortly after I graduated to a really wonderful editor and publisher. It was so unexpected and exciting.

Do you have any advice for students aspiring to write a book and then publish it?

Yes—get online. I sort of think you have to have (or, well, you don’t HAVE to have, but it certainly helps and I don’t know how people sell books without it) Twitter, and maybe a Tumblr, and you have to get some smaller things published on websites if you can. Name recognition is huge, and though I didn’t have much of it when I sold my book, even the little audience I had built by then really helped make a case for me and my book.

You have different types of work that you’re doing (BuzzFeed, author, blogger, etc.); can you talk about the realities of balancing those different types of work? What steps did you take in order to get where you are in your career?

I’ve at various points balanced book writing with internet writing, though right now I’m pretty much just focused on my full-time job at BuzzFeed. I would like to write another book, but it’s definitely hard to write all day every day and then want to go home and write more. It’s tough. I sometimes feel like I have to use my vacations for that. But I know it’s possible to write a book when you’re largely focused on something else, because I did it in grad school.

What would you suggest students get involved in now in order to be successful later in a similar career as yours?

The Writing Center is great I think, whether you’re a tutor there or just making use of the fact that it’s there to help you. I am going to be honest: I read a lot of bad papers when I was there. And Wesleyan is such a great school! But I don’t think students are taught how to write early on enough, or well enough, and it’s possible to get through school without ever getting good at it. But the tutors are there to help, and you can learn a lot from them. Learning to write and communicate is essential for a job like mine.

Can you talk about your typical day at work?

I get to work a little before 10, and usually spend the first hour or so of the day kind of looking around the internet for post ideas or talking them over with coworkers. We bounce a lot of ideas off each other, and we’re organized into little groups, so I spend a lot of time talking to my group about how to make our post ideas better and stronger. I typically publish about one post a day, unless I’m working on something longer, or just stuck. We all have days where we just can’t find ANYTHING. It’s part of the reality of working in a creative field I think.

What is the best and worst thing about your career?

The best part is getting paid to do something I love, which is writing and trying to make people laugh with writing. It’s hard sometimes, and I think it’s a job that can burn you out easily, but finding new ways to do it and be weird and creative makes it continually interesting and fun. And BuzzFeed is a really fun office to be in.

Nursing Industry Review

Want to know what the career outlook in your field is this year? The Career Center blog will try to take the heavy lifting out this process and be your personal curator of outlook data in your field of interest. Take a look at the resources below to learn more about what’s predicted for the nursing field in 2015.

Here the diagnosis on careers in Nursing in 2015:

http://www.nursezone.com/Nursing-News-Events/more-news/Top-10-Things-Nurses-Can-Expect-in-2015_42417.aspx

http://www.nursepractitionerschools.com/blog/nursing-trends-2015

http://blog.healthjobsnationwide.com/top-5-in-demand-healthcare-jobs-in-2015/

http://www.times-herald.com/local/20-percent-nursing-shortage-expected-by-2015-35675

Also check out these nursing blogs:

http://digitaldoorway.blogspot.com/

http://blog.diversitynursing.com/blog

http://thenerdynurse.com/