How I used my College Network to Land a Job (Plus: Advice on how to reach out to Alumni!)

With summer officially here, it’s time for our Tigers think about what opportunities are available through LSU. Tiger alumni stretch from local to worldwide, so it is important that students use their connections in the right ways in order to land a job. In today’s society, networking is the best way to get your foot in the door. The experiences and professionalism student’s gain from LSU is what will land them the job! Check out some tips below to share with your student to encourage them to network their way to a great first impression.

  1. Evaluate what you’ve accomplished and create a strong resume. Resources at the LSU Olinde Career Center can help you impress your potential employer with a great resume. Professional development classes, such as HRE 3331 here on campus, will help you kick start your resume to look its best. According to Michelle Sprawls, a student at LSU, “Your resume is the first thing that employers look at. So, if it is not absolutely perfect, you don’t have a chance of getting an interview.” Upload your resume to Handshake to have it reviewed for feedback from the LSU Olinde Career Center staff before applying for that dream job.
  2. Consider Informational Interviews. Informational Interviews can be very helpful for individuals looking to learn more about a potential field. It also shows employers that you are willing to take time out of your day to gather more information before rushing into a new job. Students can apply online or even email individuals/companies directly to set these interviews up. They do not always lead to a job in that moment, but they open the door for follow up and future opportunities. Click here for a list of questions to consider asking during an informational interview.
  3. Create a LinkedIn account, or update if necessary. You want to make sure your LinkedIn account is ready to be looked at by potential employers, same as your resume. Having a clear, organized and up-to-date LinkedIn account will help you make a great first impression when you connect to LSU Alumni through the LSU Alumni database! To access the database just go to Louisiana State University’s LinkedIn, and click See Alumni. You can then search by location, company or job title! Ms. Sprawls notes that it is an extremely useful resource that many students at LSU are not aware of. She adds, “A common misconception is that you shouldn’t add people you don’t know, but I’ve had a lot of success doing this.” By connecting with people you don’t know you are able to create new connections for future networking opportunities, as well as learn more about their field if you are interested. Pages 32-33 of the Student Career Guide provide an overview of how to make the most of your LinkedIn networking experience.
  4. Join student organizations professional associations. Joining different organizations and associations while on campus is vital to finding a job once you graduate. Employers are interested in students who have extracurricular activities and are active throughout campus. Mayilyn Weller, another student at LSU, has acquired an internship through a fellow sorority sister. Not only are these groups fun to be a part of, but they create strong ties and provide great networking pools for your future.
  5. Stop by the LSU Olinde Career Center! The LSU Olinde Career Center offers a variety of resources to assist students in every step of their career journey; from career exploration and choosing a major, to preparing for networking, a job search, or application to professional schools. In addition, LSU students and alumni have access to Handshake, an online career platform for job searching, learning about career events, and accessing career resources. Handshake uniquely tailors information to each LSU student and alumni, and houses employers who are specifically interested in hiring Tigers. Handshake boasts thousands of available jobs and internships on any given day and recommends these opportunities to students based on their interests and skills. The LSU Olinde Career Center is conveniently located in 158 LSU Student Union, next to the ATMs.

Tips on Reaching Out to Alumni:

  • Business Card Program: Students can request and print up to 20 free cards through the LSU Olinde Career Center to have on hand when networking. The Business Card Program is generously sponsored by LSU Student Government.
  • Alumni and Networking Events: “If I’ve learned anything from job searching, it’s that LSU alumni want to help other LSU students/alumni.” – Michelle Sprawls. Use the opportunities LSU has given you to make your connections today!
  • Other
    • LinkedIn Messaging: Don’t miss out on messaging potential leads!
    • Calling Professionals: It is always nice to hear an individual over the phone, let them know you are serious!
    • Emailing Professionals Directly: If you don’t have a direct number for them, make sure to email them. Don’t forget to always email, or send a letter, after they take the time to speak with you.
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Preparing for your Tiger this Summer

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With the end of the school year fast approaching it is time to start getting ready for your Tiger to come home. It is important to remember that your student has lived almost an entire year as an independent young adult, and that they might have different habits and routines then they did last year. These changes can be nerve-racking but should also make you proud as a parent, knowing that they are becoming the responsible young adults you have brought them up to be! For some tips on how to adjust to your new lives with your Tiger, please see below 🙂

  1. Discuss a general schedule for the summer. This will help you set the groundwork for the entire family. Remember, communication is key to a happy household so whether they are working or not, it is important to figure out things such as. (but not limited to):
    • When will you or your Tiger definitely be gone for the day?
    • Are you sharing a car?
    • What time do they need to be up by?
    • Do they need to text you throughout the day/night?
  1. Schedule time together. With all the excitement of coming home they will surely be very busy with a job, volunteering and/or spending time with family and friends. It is important to schedule a time for the family to spend together. You could offer to bring them to their favorite local restaurant or go get their favorite desert. This is a great opportunity to discuss the rest of the rules for living at home (see Tip #3). Respecting each other’s time by scheduling family events in advance is a great way to start off your summer together.
  1. Set rules/chores. It is unreasonable to think your Tiger will have the same rules as they did in high school, but your home is not a hotel either. Curfews are important to discuss as well as communication methods if they are out with their friends. Do you want them to call or send a text message when they are on their way home? Will you require their friend’s phone numbers in case you cannot get in contact with them? In addition, do they have chores around the house like washing the dishes or taking out the trash (in addition to any job or volunteer work they might be doing)? These rules and chores are important to discuss ahead of time with your Tiger so you are on the same page throughout the entire summer.
  1. Give your Tiger some space. This goes against the very nature of being a parent because you want to know what the year was like as well as what experiences they had, but it is important to give them some space and privacy too. Try not to collect piles of their dirty laundry or go in their bedroom without them there as they have learned to manage on their own for almost a year. It is important to give your Tiger room to breathe as well as time to get acclimated to their new life at home.
  1. Show them the love. Most of all, your Tiger is excited to be home with you and is probably ready to tell you about their experiences at LSU. Cooking their favorite meal, stealing hugs and kisses as well as watching a favorite show together will create lasting memories for the summer.

These tips will quickly get your family adjusting to life together again! Remember, every family is different and that these are general tips of what to expect this summer, but you know your Tiger best.

What experiences have you had before with your Tiger coming home? We would love to hear your tips in the comments!

Trick-Or-Treat Down the Row

headshot-2Camille Beste is a senior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is an active member of Greek Life, serving as the current Panhellenic President and has held positions on the Greek Board of Directors, as well as within her own chapter. Her favorite spot on campus is the fourth floor of the Student Union (shhhh it’s a secret spot).

One of the most popular traditions of LSU Greek Life is the annual Trick-or-Treat Down the Row sponsored by the LSU Panhellenic Council (PHC). Held the Sunday before Halloween, this event brings hundreds of families to campus. West Lakeshore Drive, also known as Sorority Row, is blocked off for this two-hour event. Children can go door-to-door to all of the sorority houses and get candy from chapter members. Most sororities even threw in a theme. These ranged from Luau to Decades. Houses also have crafts, face-painting, and photo booths. This year, the costumes were awesome! There were lots of little Golden Girls walking down the row, as well as quite a few Ghost Busters and Wizard of Oz characters. Some families even bring their dogs; Chewbacca stood out the most to me. Overall, this event brings lots of joy to sorority row at a time of year when school is often getting the best of students. This year was a special year, as LSU Athletics got on board and brought some of LSU’s top athletes to the row to take pictures with Trick-or-Treaters. That was certainly a huge treat for all members of the family!

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Trick-or-Treat Down the Row is not just limited to the housed sororities on West Lakeshore. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) posted up in front of the LSU Systems Building. IFC Exec members handed out candy and learned quickly this year that it is very easy to underestimate the amount of candy needed for the event. Sigma Alpha and Sigma Lambda Gamma, Panhellenic’s two un-housed sororities, were stationed along the row as well to hand out candy. Several fraternities that are housed on West Lakeshore also participated. Phi Kappa Psi truly was the life of the party. These men jammed out to a wide range of (family friendly) tunes. There was a line down their driveway, onto the row, as children lined up to give their best shot at the dunk tank. It is such a treat to see fraternity men and sorority women thoroughly enjoying their time with kids of all ages. I think I can speak on behalf of the entire Greek Life community when I say that I still believe I am young enough to be one of the kids trick-or-treating.

One incredible aspect of this event is that it is truly geared toward the Baton Rouge community. It is not limited to Greek members, like many Fraternity and Sorority events are. Word is spread to LSU faculty and staff members, as well as in many elementary schools in the surrounding areas. Families look forward to this event every year. Maybe it’s the fun that comes with the day, or maybe parents are looking for another chance to get some wear out of those costumes that can certainly cost quite a bit of money. I’m going to say that the event itself is the main draw for most families. Growing up in Baton Rouge, I attended this event many times as a child. Being on the other end of the event and helping to facilitate it is like a full-circle journey for me.

This year, Panttdtr-2-copyhellenic collected monetary donations at each trick-or-treat stop for their local philanthropy, Live2Serve. These monetary donations will be used to purchase clothing and toys for children from at-risk families who are not able to provide gifts for their children during the holiday season. This is an ongoing campaign for all of the Panhellenic sororities, and Panhellenic was thrilled to be able to involve families from outside the Greek community.

I think it is certainly safe to say that everyone who participated in Trick-or-Treat Down the Row, from the sorority women and fraternity men, to the families who came out to gather some candy, cannot wait for next Halloween! If your Tiger is a member of a Greek organization, encourage them to get involved with this event next year. If you are from the Baton Rouge area, I highly recommend that you check this event out; the costumes seem to get better and better each year, so start planning now!

LSU Homecoming Court 2016

drakeDrake Boudreaux serves as a student assistant for Parent & Family Programs.  Drake is from Lafayette, LA and pursuing a degree in Mass Communication-Digital Advertising.

Serving as a senior class representative on LSU’s 2016 Homecoming Court is, without doubt, one of the highest honors I’ve ever received. Representing the university in such a unique way has allowed me to reflect on everything the university has done for me. In my past three years at LSU, I have found myself being molded in to a more rational, confident and enthusiastic leader and community member. LSU taught me to be open-minded, in all aspects of the phrase, and that open mindedness is the foundation upon which my LSU experience was built.

With a population exceeding 30,000 people on campus, LSU brings together students and faculty from every corner of the world. Stepping on campus for the first time, I was immediately exposed to viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures and beliefs that were completely foreign to me. It was in this unfamiliarity that I learned how important it is for students keep an open mind, because only then are we able to truly recognize that our differences are what make us both unique and beautiful. Whether I was encountering thousands of incoming students and their parents at orientation or studying abroad in Greece, LSU afforded countless opportunities to me to expand my perception of the world and discover new facets of myself in the process. As a result of these new opportunities and relationships, I was challenged to find the confidence to pursue excellence. The students at this university are confident in their decisions and hold themselves to a higher standard. Being surrounded by such an ambitious group of peers instilled in me a stronger sense of conviction that has allowed me to go beyond my comfort zone and fearlessly explore undiscovered capabilities.  Never in a million years did I think I would have the confidence to speak in front of hundreds on behalf of the university or even sing a solo on the Union Theatre stage, but LSU empowered me to do so.

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Another thing I gained from my LSU experience is wholeheartedly displaying unwavering and relentless passion for the university. There is a raw spirit that emanates from the students, faculty and staff that is truly indescribable. I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous organizations that not only call for this passion in their members, but who also strive to fuel that passion around our campus community. Whether I was happily losing my voice cheering along participants at STRIPES or representing LSU’s unique spirit before other universities at regional conferences, I have appreciated the unique chances that I’ve had to display my passion for this place. I believe LSU instills the mentality that we are here to walk across a stage in four years and receive a highly respected degree, but we are going to passionately enjoy the unique time we have here. I have embraced that mentality. Needless to say, attending LSU has transformed me in to an individual that I am very proud to be and to represent a school that has done so much for me at such a special time has been a truly incredible experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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Perhaps one of the most rewarding parts of the experience was that I got share the day with my family. While I have enjoyed being extremely involved at LSU, unfortunately it has prevented me from spending as much time as I would like in my hometown, Lafayette, with the family that has made it possible for me to be here. Regardless of how many birthday parties, crawfish boils, or weddings that I’ve missed over the years, my family’s relentless and unwavering support has absolutely been the reason I’ve been able to accomplish everything I have at LSU. So this past Saturday when I was able to treat them to such a special event for LSU, it made the past few years of stress and many sleepless nights all worth it. Their attendance gave me a chance to immerse them in the culture that I’ve fallen in love with over my time here, and for that I am

In addition to all that mushy gushy stuff, being on LSU’s Homecoming Court is just a really cool experience. The process began with an extensive application, being invited to attend an interview, participating in an interview and finally being selected to be a part of a group of 16 of LSU students from all over campus. Getting to know all the members of court and share in the unique experience with them was really so much fun. I was honored to spend my last homecoming alongside some of the universities best and brightest.

drake-2In addition, Campus Life does an amazing job filling homecoming week with a ton of exciting events that get students engaged in addition to giving back to the community. All these events culminated on Saturday, the day that hosted most of the events for court. We began with a parade that wrapped around the exterior of campus. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to ride in a corvette and throw beads at tiger fans screaming “Geaux Tigers!” as if their lives depended upon it? We then attended a luncheon with our families in the student union, with Miss LSU and the past LSU Homecoming King and Queen as guest speakers. One of my favorite parts of the day was marching down victory hill behind the Golden Band from Tigerland. Our day concluded in Tiger Stadium watching the tigers take on Missouri and walk down the 50 yard line at halftime to crown this year’s king and queen. Being on LSU’s Homecoming Court truly was an unforgettable experience and one that I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of.

Study Hard. Study Smart.

kolbyKolby Ledbetter served as the Orientation Leader for undeclared students for the past three years. He is a senior from Marshall, TX and is majoring in English with a concentration in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. He is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Student Government, the STRIPES program, and is a former Supplemental Instructor for the Center for Academic Success. His favorite spot on campus is the first floor of Middleton Library, across from CCs.”

 

Hey tigers and tiger families!
Everyone’s ~favorite~ week in October is right around the corner. Midterms.
This is my seventh round of midterms coming up, so here are a few pieces of advice from a graduating senior on how to destroy those midterms like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.

#1: Start studying NOW.
Can you tell me the basic concepts that you covered in your classes during the first and second weeks of school? How about how those concepts connect to what you’re learning this week?
Every day, after every class, just that 15 minutes to debrief the information you learned. Reviewing it while it’s fresh on your mind will help you compartmentalize it and organize it better.

#2: Do not pull an all-nighter in Middleton.
I know the CCs is open until midnight, and that is truly wonderful. They have muffins. Believe me. I understand.
But putting your mind and body through the stress of an all-nighter, drinking huge amounts of coffee, and staying in one spot for hours is not going to get you anywhere. Not only is it bad for your body, it’s bad for your working memory, an apparatus in your brain that moderates between what is going on around and what information has already been stored in your mind.
Coming from a former (okay, current) procrastinator, start early and get sleep. Sleep is so important and beds are so comfy. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep before those tests. Your body, your mind, your sanity will all thank you later.

#3: Study in chunks and give yourself breaks.
I’m not suggesting that you study for 15 minutes and reward yourself with an episode of Parks and Rec. But keep in mind that your brain might work better in sprint-and-rest mode. Not marathon mode. Give yourself chunks of times that are for a break and find something constructive to do – walk around for a minute or text a family member that you love them.

Lastly – take advantage of the resources around you. If you look at something now and don’t understand it, visit the Center for Academic Success in Coates or Middleton, email your professor or TA, visit office hours, and go to SI sessions. These programs are put on campus to help you succeed. You pay for them, so take advantage of that fact!

Most importantly, remember that your value and worth is not defined by a number or letter that you get in a class. If this midterms week doesn’t go well for you, remember that there is always time to bounce back. Making mistakes is okay. Our brains are wired to work that way!

Good luck tigers!

GEAUX Get Your Tiger Involved!

lindsey-blog-photoLindsey Powell served as the Orientation Leader for the University Center for Advising and Counseling this past summer. She is a sophomore from New Orleans, LA and is majoring in Biology for Pre-Pharmacy. She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Student Government, Pre-Pharmacy Club, and Greek Life. Her favorite spot on campus is her sorority house.

This past summer I served as an Orientation Leader here at LSU. One phrase I told to all of my students coming through was “Get Involved!” My students heard it from me, other leaders, upperclassmen friends, and all of the speakers they listened to in those two days. There are so many reasons to get involved in college; Mainly, because it helps students meet so many new people and it brings them countless opportunities.

I think the reason I harp on getting involved so much is because the organizations I’ve joined since I’ve been at LSU have impacted me to a point that I don’t know where I’d be without them or the people I’ve met while being involved in them. Take it from me, since my freshman year I have joined three major student organizations. I became an LSU Ambassador, I hold a position in student government, and I am part of a Greek organization. The coolest part about all three of these organizations is that it brought me to people and gave me friendships I probably would not have had otherwise. I’ve gained best friends, study groups, and even roommates from these organizations. Of course, your student doesn’t have to join every organization that interests them. If they attend a meeting for an organization they think they would like, even if they don’t join it in the end, they may make meaningful connections or gain useful information they never would have without attending.

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Here at LSU we have over 400 student organizations. There is something here for everyone, no matter race, religion, personal interests, or talents. We have clubs for just about every major, if not all of them.  Joining that could help your student for the sole purpose of always having a study group. The people they will meet in those major-based clubs will be taking the same classes as them throughout their time at LSU. Or, like me, being a part of the Pre-Pharmacy club allows me to hear from representatives from different universities across the country about their Pharmacy programs and what they have to offer. My membership in this club is opening doors for me by giving me the opportunity to talk to representatives and figure out if one of those schools is where I would like to eventually study.

I wish every freshman tiger could read this, and even the upperclassman that haven’t found their place on campus yet. Meeting people different from yourself and surrounding yourself with people who are both similar and different from you helps you grow as a person. It helps you figure out who you are and find yourself, as well as learn about those who are different from you.

So, while you read this and hear my story, think about your tiger moving away from home and starting a whole new chapter in their life. Encourage them to get involved and to not only make those life-long friendships, but to also open those doors to new opportunities they didn’t get in high school.

So Long, Farewell, to You My Friend!

Graduation Close Up

Meet Meagan Johnson, a Senior majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. She is also minoring in History and Political Science and is from Hackberry, Louisiana. Meagan is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Collegiate 4-H, University Baptist Church and served as a Parent Orientation Leader this past summer.

Louisiana State University has become more than just a school for me. It is a place I call home and a place that has given me more than I could ever give in return. With my last finals week at LSU coming to an end, I have begun looking back on my time here. I can see all of the opportunities LSU has brought into my life from life-long friends, impacting professors, the opportunity to study abroad, life changing organizations and memories of it all to last a life time. It is really hard to believe that my time at LSU is coming to an end, but I am looking forward to the last experience I get to have at LSU with many of my closest friends dressed in caps and gowns.

In many ways, it is surreal to me that I will actually be getting a diploma next week. I have dreamed of this day for many years and now that it is here I have mixed feeling about it. I am excited that all of my stressing, studying, late nights and prayers are about to pay off as I officially earn my degree. However, I will miss all of the memories I made here and the people that have made my time at LSU so special. I am a very lucky girl to have had so many great experiences here and I do not want it to end just yet.

I cannot express how grateful I am to everyone that has helped me through this experience. I would not be graduating or attending law school in the fall without the constant support and guidance. Getting to have this last experience with my friends that started with me in 2012 is the perfect way to end our journey at LSU. We can look back on this experience with a smile and look ahead to our adventures to come!