A different kind of relationship building for February 14th

By Natalie Hansen

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and your time is probably spent thinking about what to do for that special someone. If you’re single, maybe you’re more focused on taking the day for yourself. Regardless of your love life status, as a business student you should take this time to reflect on a different type of relationship – the kind that sets you up for success.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s all about who you know” more times than you’d like to remember. Cliché or not, it’s true – your education and work ethic are your solid (and necessary) foundation, but your network is how you eventually land that dream job, according to LinkedIn. Take this Valentine’s Day to implement the top five ways the CSU College of Business has developed to strengthen your network and lay the groundwork for your future:

1) Send “thank you” cards to professors, supervisors and other professionals who have helped you grow.

Network

Networking expands your support system.

You’ve hopefully been able to use your college career to build relationships and find mentors whom you admire. It’s not only about who you know – it’s also about who THEY know. Professors you’ve connected with, bosses who taught you valuable skills, and professionals you’ve met through classes and recruitment events all know numerous other people who may be your ticket to a great job. These are also the folks you want on your side when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation. Choose a few who’ve made a great impact on you, and send a thank you card letting them know how they’ve helped you. Try for a hand-written note instead of an email. They’ll remember you and be willing to put in a good word for you when you need it.

2) Learn how to use LinkedIn to your advantage and update your profile.

LinkedIn is a necessity in your social media repertoire. Even when you have a steady job, maintaining your LinkedIn page can connect you with numerous other professionals. Those leaders you sent thank you cards to? Make sure you’ve added them on LinkedIn, and ask for a recommendation on your page. Use the site’s tools to upload examples of your work to your profile. Undercover Recruiter recommends staying active in groups and discussions, having a professional (no bathroom pictures, no pictures with pets) photo, and personalizing your URL.

3) Bring treats to work on Friday and show appreciation to co-workers.

Valentine’s Day is a source of major sales for the candy industry – Business Insider notes that Americans will spend over a billion dollars on sugar and chocolate this week. Use the excuse to indulge and bring treats to share with your co-workers. Co-workers can often be valuable references when applying for jobs. When they have a successful career, they’ll be able to connect you to valuable resources. Show your co-workers how much you appreciate them and make an impression by bringing in cookies, candy or baked goods (bonus points if they’re homemade).

4) Take care of yourself.

Taking time to de-stress is important; it can help make sure you’re in top form for your classes, internship, job and networking events. If you’ve been wanting to splurge on a massage, now is a great time. The Student Recreation Center has some affordable options. You can also treat yourself to weekend excursion out of town, extra time at the gym, your favorite dessert or even just some alone time with a good book. Whatever it is, carve out some time to relax.

5) Learn how to talk to recruiters on Thursday, Feb.13.

Students and recruiters mingle at the 2014 Spring Job and Internship Expo.

Students and recruiters mingle at the 2014 Spring Job and Internship Expo.

Knowing how to present yourself to recruiters and potential employers can be intimidating. You only get one chance at a first impression. Understanding how to put your best foot forward is important. The College of Business Career Management Center is offering some tips this Thursday, Feb. 13th. Learn how to talk to the companies and recruiters that visit campus at the Bohemian Auditorium in Rockwell Hall West from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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As business students, the relationships you have in your network can make all the difference in your career. During this holiday for relationships, make time this week for your professional connections. What networking tips and tricks have you discovered?

Posted in Career Development

Cracking the Glass Ceiling

A move in the right direction for women in business

By Natalie Hansen

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Mary Barra, GM’s new CEO

It’s well known that women only make up a small percentage of leaders for the country’s major corporations – as of this month, only 23 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list have a female CEO. Progress to crack the so-called glass ceiling has been slow, but it is happening; this year, the number of women in a CEO position jumped 4%. Women are slowly but surely breaking into more business positions where they can take the reins. Most recently, Mary Barra was chosen to be GM’s new CEO and made history as the first female CEO of a major American auto company.

 

Barra previously served as the company’s vice president of global product development and, while not a sure bet, was in a great position to move onto CEO.  Barra called the move a “natural progression” and said young women (and men) aspiring to a similar position someday just needed to “do great work” in order to get noticed. Barra has been with the company since 1980, and has made headlines by taking up the leadership mantle in a highly male-dominated industry.

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Marjorie Scardino

Elsewhere in business news, Marjorie Scardino was appointed Twitter’s first female board member, after several months of backlash against the social media outlet for not having an all-white, all-male board. Once the board’s makeup had been made public knowledge, Twitter users responded in force with requests that Twitter immediately hire a female member. Twitter’s CEO initially resisted the criticism, and said that choosing a woman for the board would simply amount to “checking a box.” His mind has since changed, or Scardino impressed him enough to consider otherwise.

This attitude, in essence, is why women struggle to climb to the top. While progress is being made, there’s still a long way to go before women don’t feel the need to compensate for being female just to earn a corporate leadership position. Tom Falk, CEO of Kimberly-Clark Corp., says that most companies likely aren’t putting a focus on diversity in their boards and leadership. While they may be considering all applicants equally regardless of gender, the “boys club” that has already been established at the top makes it difficult for women to even get there to begin with. Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane of The Thirty Percent Coalition, a group that seeks to ensure women make up 30% of board seats across public companies by 2015, says that board term limits are a major issue. When board members only rotate out once every ten to twenty years, it makes it difficult for women to find available positions to work towards. Laurent-Ottomane also acknowledged that diversity quotas for boards (“just checking a box”) were likely not helpful either and may even be counterproductive.

Still, the small progress that has happened is promising for the future of women in business. As the push for diversity continues, and women like Barra and Scardino become role models for girls and women in the field, more women will follow them and squeeze through the cracks in the glass ceiling. Boris Groysberg, who teaches a class at Harvard on how women can further their careers, said in a CNN article that he has high hopes for the next generation of women in business. “I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that I helped build companies in 10 years that will be much, much more receptive to my daughters than the companies that I know exist in 2013,” he said.

Posted in Miscellaneous

Count Your Blessings, and Then Buy Some More

What retailers gain and lose when they open their doors on Thanksgiving

By Natalie Hansen

As Black Friday has grown, and competition for consumer dollars has exploded, deals and sales have spilled over into Thanksgiving Thursday. Increasingly, major stores have chosen to open on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump on the Black Friday crowds. When customers started lining up Thursday night to be first in line Friday morning, stores saw an opportunity to draw those people in even sooner and boost sales by opening in the evening. Where these openings used to happen after dinner time, some stores are now extending the shopping to the early morning hours on Thursday – meaning some stores are open for nearly two days straight.

Kmart turned heads earlier this month when they announced that they’ll be opening at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving. This means by the time the doors finally close on Friday night, the stores will have been open for 41 straight hours. Kmart stated that this choice was black-friday-macysmade to reach out to consumers who would just be shopping online anyway if the stores were closed that day. Other retailers, including Macy’s (in a major first for them), Walmart, Target, JC Penny’s, and Kohl’s have chosen to wait until after customers have had their turkey and will be opening at 6 p.m. or later, and stay open through the Friday frenzy. Opening earlier allows retailers to draw in consumers who are likely off from work anyway, and stress that the choice to open on the holiday is due to consumer demand. Some shoppers have even made lining up early and getting the best deals possible onBlack Friday a family tradition. If the shoppers don’t mind stores opening on Thanksgiving, what is there for retailers to lose by doing exactly that?

Potentially, good will and reputation. Despite crowds showing up in record numbers on Thanksgiving itself and Black Friday last year, there has been massive outcry after announcements by more stores that will open on the holiday this year. Some Kmart employees have claimed that they are not allowed to even request Thanksgiving off to be with their families. A “Save Thanksgiving” petition, which demands that all retailers stay closed on Thanksgiving Day, has gathered over 200,000 signatures. The petition signers are horrified that a holiday meant to show thankfulness, already unfortunately followed by Black Friday, is now becoming a day centered on materialism. The internet’s reaction to Walmart’s choice to open earlier than ever at 6 p.m. ranged from complete disgust and sympathy for the employees to worry that the best deals would be out of reach for those choosing not to shop on Thanksgiving. Certain retailers, such as Nordstrom, have attempted to boost their reputation by making a point of staying closed on Thanksgiving Day. Companies’ images have been tarnished in years past thanks to mob-induced injuries and worse. Riots, over-the-top fights, and a trampling death in 2008 (which Walmart has still not paid the fine for) scare some shoppers away from Black Friday festivities all together. And despite all the craziness, Black Friday is not even the biggest shopping day of the year in America; that honor typically goes to the Saturday before Christmas.

Despite that fact, it appears that the Thanksgiving/Black Friday debate will continue black-friday-shopperslong into the future. Unless sales are far below expectations on Thanksgiving, stores will continue to open earlier and earlier to compete for the most shoppers. If shoppers want to get the best deals, they will have to show up earlier and earlier. So, where is the line drawn for a business debating being open on Thanksgiving Day? Is the public backlash worth the revenue gain? For a struggling business, the answer could be yes, even if there is employee outcry – extra revenue means they get to keep their jobs. But the financial damage done by a tarnished reputation is real as well. As consumers, we also have to decide what’s most important for us. Is it spending time with our families, or making sure we can get them the best gifts possible to show our love? Will the next generation even have time to count their blessings at the dinner table before rushing off to buy more?

Posted in Miscellaneous

Sweet Servuction: Discovering the Business Behind a Corn Maze

By Ali Fisher

Halloween is a time filled with costumes, candy, and corn mazes. The Dean’s Student Leadership Council decided that visiting a local maze would be a fun first outing to work on team building and to have a little fall fun.

As we approached the line for the corn maze, we noticed a sign, “Corn Maze – Your Future Business.” Until that Saturday, the idea of owning a corn maze had never crossed my mind; however, when accompanied by a group of business students and a wait time of nearly 45 minutes, the conversation quickly went in that direction. Here’s what we determined after reflecting on our experience:

Your experience as a corn maze customer is a result of four components, known as the Servuction Model.

SModel

Other customers. By separating customers into smaller groups, it exposes consumers to two things —emotional behavior and bottlenecks. Before explaining that this buildup of people creates unnecessary time constraints, let’s examine the three types of emotional behavior exhibited from customers at corn mazes:

  • Emotional Involvement: These consumers are invested in the experience, actively engaging to prolong activity, and enjoying suspenseful areas throughout the maze.
  • Emotional Expressiveness: These are consumers who might scream, yell, or maybe even laugh outwardly to perceived scary and suspenseful events. Other consumers in this category may regret spending money on such childish activity and express regret in superficial emotion.
  • Emotional Intelligence: These consumers might as well give you a tour of the maze. They know when and where a service personnel is going to jump out and attempt to scare you. They can easily control their ability to be scared, but may take the fun out of the experience.

cornBottlenecks. Have you ever gotten stuck behind a group of slow individuals just when you were starting to figure out the right path? These are the bottlenecks. And this buildup of people is bound to impact your experience, according to the Servuction Model. They slow your experience right when you are on the edge of your triumphant finish. Is that the dilemma of the owner of the maze, or is it your problem? The company might want to consider making wider paths, admitting fewer people into the maze at once, increasing acreage and therefore expanding the maze, or reviewing the maze patterns to filter consumers in different areas using service personnel as key influencers.

Servicescape. This refers to the environment designed for the service. It includes two features — ambient conditions and physical evidence.

  • Ambient Conditions: Includes features such as the lighting, temperature, smells, sights, music, etc., by providing fog lights, ghost music, and increasing the specific aromas such as apple cider, the servicescape adds to the service experience of the consumer.
  • Physical Evidence: Encompasses features like signs, symbols, and artifacts. Objects such as the ticket booth, the website, and the design on the tickets need to clearly convey and enhance the maze operations; otherwise, discrepancies between the message provided and the message received may be a result of the servicescape.

Servicescape varies between corn mazes, but overall the components should seek to clearly align with the mission of the corn maze. Use this as an opportunity to set consumer expectations from the very beginning.

Service Personnel. This is what keeps people coming back and spreads positive word of mouth for a corn maze. If employees are not in character and do not scare customers, then they do not effectively accomplish the service paid for by consumers. Do they live by the mission of the organization? Do they live up to the level of fear one could expect when experiencing the maze? Service personnel not only interact with the consumers, but serve as an important source for product differentiation.

Organization and Systems. The rules, regulations, and processes implemented behind the scenes determine whether or not consumers will have a positive experience. This includes the proficiency of finances and how they are managed, whether or not human resource areas are controlled, the level of organization in the company’s systems, and performance standards that are in place. These components are not visible to the consumer, though they have a significant effect on consumers’ service experience.

With these four concepts in mind, consumers form perceptions regarding their corn maze experience. Are they satisfied, based on their expectations coming into the corn maze? As an owner, if you create a positive service experience,influential word of mouth, and buzz marketing campaigns, you can increase revenue as a result of increased customers.

Through this experience, I learned that business principles can be applied to everything – even corn mazes. With the right team and the right tools, any venture can be a successful one.

Special thanks to Marketing Professor, Doug Hoffman, for showing us all the power of servuction.

Happy Halloween, Business Rams!

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Posted in Business in Action, Campus Life and Academics

Benjamin Franklin gets a Face Lift

By: Annie Burnham

Despite the partial shutdown of the federal government, the Federal Reserve still released its new $100 bills Tuesday, Oct. 8. Armored trucks delivered the bills to banks, and customers began seeing the bills by that afternoon. The Federal Reserve printed 3.5 billion new notes.

According to the Federal Reserve, these bills have been 10 years in the making. The complexity of the bills has created many setbacks, which is why it has taken so long to produce them. In 2010, a billion of the first printed bills had unwanted creases. Later, in preparation for releasing the bills in 2011, they had to halt the release due to smearing ink on the bills. They are now confident the problems have been solved.

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1996 $100 bill redesign
Wiki Commons

This is the first redesign of the $100 bill since March 1996. According to Slate.com, in 1996, the bills new features included “an oversized, off-center portrait of Benjamin Franklin, a ghostly watermark of that same portrait, hard-to-duplicate fine-line printing in the background, and optically variable ink in the bottom-right corner that shifted color from green to black.”

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2013 Redesign of $100 bill
Wiki Commons

This is the final part of a large plan, called “The New Color of Money”, by the Federal Reserve to redesign all the bills in order to better protect from counterfeiters. The first bill redesigned was the $20 in 2003. Benjamin Franklin will still be the face of $100, Independence Hall will still be on the back of the bill, and there’s a new feature that makes the Liberty Bell disappear when tilted. There is also a bright blue security ribbon interwoven with the paper of the bill.

“The 3-D security ribbon is magic. It is made up of hundreds of thousands of micro-lenses in each note,” said Larry Felix, the director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in an article on CBS news. “This is the most complex note the United States has ever produced.”

The complexity of the security ribbon has been added in an effort to prevent counterfeit production of the bill. The $100 bill is currently the most counterfeited bill outside of the U.S. due to the bill’s large circulation overseas. North Korea has the highest number of counterfeiting cases due to the highly impoverished population. Because of the large number of sanctions on North Korea, there is a high demand for solid currency.

“North Korean forging prowess is so advanced that U.S. law enforcement officials have dubbed the fake, “nearly perfect” $100 bills “supernotes.” According to a 2009 Congressional Research Service report, at least $45 million in supernotes of North Korean origin have been detected in circulation, and Pyongyang may earn between $15 million and $25 million a year from counterfeiting,” said one article in the Christian Science Monitor. “According to the Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo, one North Korean embassy in Eastern Europe generated US$30 million by exchanging counterfeit notes a year.”

In light of the new security features, the new bills will still retain the signature of former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Once the current supply has been put into circulation, current Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew’s signature will appear on the bills.

Sonja Danburg, program manager for U.S. currency education at the Federal Reserve said that half to two-thirds of the existing $100 bills are in circulation outside the U.S. One U.S. News article said that “Federal Reserve economist Ruth Judson estimated that up to 70.7 percent of all $100 bills are abroad.”

There are currently $900 billion worth of $100 bills in circulation that will slowly be phased out over the next couple years as they grow worn and torn. To learn more about the new features of the bill and hear a message from the Federal Reserve about the bill’s new design, visit www.newmoney.gov. Colorado should expect to see the bills by the end of this week – keep an eye out for them and post your pictures below!

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Posted in Business in Action

On Floods and Family

How you can help with the ongoing flood relief effort

By Natalie Hansen

One of the best things about being part of Ram Country is the camaraderie among students and the community. People from all walks of life attend Colorado State University, and the Fort Collins community at large is amazingly supportive of the University and the students. When tragedy strikes, Rams can be counted on to pull together and put in effort to solve the problems at hand and assist their fellow Coloradans.

Shortly after school started for the fall semester, our state was hit with what some are now calling a “100 or even 500 year storm.” The rain seemed pretty innocent when it started on Sept. 9; it was deemed a sign of fall’s arrival, and maybe even a welcome change of pace from the 90 degree temperatures that had decided to hang around well into the end of summer. Even when water began to build up, people could be seen splashing and playing in the new mini lakes. But by days two and three of the now relentless rain, it became apparent things were not looking good for those near water sources in Colorado. President Obama and Governor Hickenlooper declared a national emergency, and sent members of the Coast Guard and National Guard to help with evacuations and rescues.

By the time the storm finally moved out on Sept. 15, roads had been destroyed, citizens of some mountain towns were cut off from communication and fresh drinking water, lives had been lost, and thousands had been evacuated from their homes. According to the Cooperative Research Institute for Environmental Sciences in Boulder, the Front Range area experienced 10+ inches of rain fall during the seven day period of flooding, with Boulder seeing nearly 17 inches of rain. Around 80 buildings on the CU Boulder campus suffered damage, and more than 400 students were displaced during flooding. The flood area encompassed 17 counties and 1,918 square miles.  9 News states that as of Sept. 20, 82 people are still missing in Larimer County, 5,900 across the affected area are still under mandatory evacuation and eight people were killed. The recovery effort will cost millions and will take years.

CSU is no stranger to the havoc a flood can cause, due to the 1997 flood. Fort Collins was again affected by the 2013 flooding. and the community spent a few days under essential lockdown with I-25 and all bridges over the Poudre River closed. Luckily, the CSU campus area remained safe with no damage. School was cancelled on Friday, Sept. 13 due to the road closures, and many students and faculty who live away from the center of Fort Collins were evacuated and experienced loss. However, it didn’t take long for CSU to come together to start contributing to the flood relief effort.

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Delta Sigma Pi members at the flood cleanup. Photo courtesy of Evan Fuellenbach and Delaney Hunt

The CSU Rams football team wore special Colorado flag decals in the shape of a raindrop on their helmets during their nationally televised road game against Alabama on Sept. 21. Head Coach McElwain and his staff wore the decals on their clothing as well, to help raise awareness of the tragedy back home. CSU Cares, a fund formed after the 2012 High Park fires to help those in the CSU community affected by natural disasters, has designed t-shirts featuring the raindrop logo. The $10 shirts come in green or Aggie orange, and will be available at CSU Bookstore locations beginning Sept. 27. All proceeds directly benefit flood relief efforts.

Delta Sigma Pi, the College of Business’ fraternity, wasted no time getting their hands dirty for flood relief. The Mu Rho chapter at CSU helped out with cleanup efforts in the area shortly after the initial flood.

With the long road ahead, it’s important that every Ram help the relief efforts in any way they can. It can be as simple as purchasing one of the orange CSU Cares shirts from the bookstore and wearing it to the Orange Out football game against University of Texas at El Paso this Saturday, Sept. 28. You can visit the Colorado Flood Relief Facebook page to find opportunities to donate time, money or food to victims of the flood. This particular outlet is a great chance to help other affected areas in Colorado outside of Larimer County. Help Colorado Now has drop-off locations in Loveland for material items like clothing, hygiene products and cleaning items. If you know of a fellow Ram displaced by the flooding, you can offer a couch to crash on, or your own two hands to help them move or clean up their damaged home.

Always check that you are donating to a reputable agency if you choose that route, and keep in mind that volunteers will be needed for relief efforts long past the end of the year. Thankfully, a good number of us in the CSU community were spared from the major tragedies the past few weeks, but not all were so lucky. Across the state, other Coloradans are facing an uncertain future in terms of a place to live. This includes our family at CU Boulder; a sports rivalry has never precluded either of us from supporting the other when they need it the most. Every little bit you can provide will help the relief effort. Here in Ram Country, we take care of each other and put others before ourselves. Even in the face of disaster, this is what makes Colorado and CSU a great place to be.


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Posted in Miscellaneous

Internships: More than Copy Machines and Coffee Makers

By Courtney Grogan

The cool, fall breeze signals the beginning of football season for many people. For me, it means continuing the internship of a lifetime. This will be my second season working with the Denver Broncos.

CourtneylinkedinAt the end of my sophomore year, I was browsing CareerRam for a summer internship. I thought it seemed too good to be true when “Denver Broncos Marketing and Promotions” appeared on my screen. After submitting my resume, I soon forgot about the job, thinking that it would be a complete long shot. After a couple of months, I received an email asking if I was still interested, and would I like to set up a phone interview for the job. I wondered if anyone would say no to that. That afternoon, I had a phone interview with the Promotions and Marketing Coordinator and nervously waited for a response for over a week. After a long finals week awaiting a phone call from the Broncos, I finally received an email asking me to be part of the marketing and promotions team.

The 2012-2013 season was a legendary one for the Broncos. It was Peyton Manning’s first season with the team, taking them all the way to the playoffs. Many said that the team was Super Bowl bound; the only team standing in the way was the Baltimore Ravens. It was -10 degrees on the field during that game, but everyone was so excited at the prospect of advancing in the playoffs that they didn’t mind. The game did not go as eager fans had hoped. The devastating loss to the Ravens that night was one of the top five worst days of my life. Seeing the team and staff work so hard all year, only to have it end so suddenly, was difficult to experience. We all left the stadium in silence and hoped that the following season would be better.  The experience showed me what it is like to work for an organization where everyone is completely invested in its success. The same principle can be applied to any company, sports related or not.

So far, the 2013-2014 season has been shaping up to be another big year for the Broncos. I was chosen to do the Coca-Cola Coin Toss at each game, which involves escorting a special guest as well as an alumni player out on to the field for the coin toss. Staying professional and keeping my composure is a huge part of my internship.

Terrell Davis signing an autograph for a fan

Terrell Davis signing an autograph for a fan

A lot of people ask me if I get player autographs and pictures, but I think the best part is being able to see behind the scenes and talk to players as people and not celebrities. Meeting and escorting Broncos legend Terrell Davis during the NFL season opener versus the Ravens was a huge moment. The Broncos won the game and gave the organization the redemption it had been craving for eight months.

The College of Business Job & Internship Expo is this Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 18 and 19.  I encourage you all to go out and talk to companies that you might not usually consider. Internships can be more than making copies and getting coffee for the office. Your personal interests can lead you to a rewarding internship that makes you look forward to going to work each day.

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Posted in Business in Action, Career Development

8 Reasons to Attend the College of Business Job & Internship Exposition

By: Annie  Burnham

Welcome back, College of Business Rams! I hope your summer was relaxing, productive, and that you set and met some short-term goals. Now that the new semester has started, setting a few more short and long term goals (even if they are just in your head) is important to your success this semester.

One of your long term goals is probably to get a job after graduation. Well, there’s no time like the present to start working toward that goal. And here’s one of the best ways you can start – the College of Business Job & Internship Expo.

This event will be held on September 18 and 19 from 4-6 p.m. in the foyer of Rockwell West. The event is taking place two days in order to split up the concentrations. Marketing, Management, Master of Management Practice, Master of Business Administration, Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Master of Business Administration students are invited to attend the Wednesday session, and

Computer Information Systems, Accounting, Finance, Real Estate, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Science in Business Administration for Computer information Systems, and Financial Risk Management, students are invited to attend Thursday. Register with the Career Management Center today.

Now, why should you go to this event, you ask?

The Career Management Center has eight good reasons students should attend.

  1. You can increase your network. 80% of jobs are found through a personal or professional connection. What better way to start making those connections than in an environment designed to cultivate those relationships? LinkedIn is a great vehicle for these relationships to be formed as well. The COB Job & Internship Expo hosts more than 50 employers and a number of great contacts that are looking for someone like you.
  2. It gives you a reason to dress your best. Your professional appearance makes a difference. Put on your nicest business attire to make a lasting impression. It is always better to be a little overdressed and show that you want to make a good impression rather than look like you decided attend this expo last minute.
  3. It is an opportunity to learn about a variety of companies. Take every opportunity to attend company or industry meetings, conferences, and events. The Job & Internship Expo provides you with a unique opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with a number of recruiters who can tell you firsthand what working with their organization is like. Come prepared with questions and research companies beforehand.
  4. Get a job/internship.  More than 50 employers will be in attendance. They are all seeking College of Business students. Start the career process early and meet with a number of companies one-on-one.
  5. Employers want to meet you. This one goes with No. 4. These employers will be prepared to conduct on the-spot interviews with the candidates who offer the best value to their organizations.
  6. Get a professional photo. Have your photo taken by a professional photographer to use on social media sites like LinkedIn. This is another reason dressing your best will be important. Your selfie in the bathroom mirror should NOT be your LinkedIn profile photo.
  7. Gain experience in career fair settings. Careers fairs can be intimidating – start early in college and learn the best ways to attract employers attention. You can also watch others interacting with employers and take some mental notes.
  8. Discover new companies and opportunities. Chances are you will not have heard of every company that is in attendance. This is a chance to find some companies that you might want to research later on about employment opportunities.

Although you might be a few semesters away from graduating, it is never too early to start thinking about what you want to move on to next. The Job & Internship Expo is a great way to meet new people and learn about opportunities to take advantage of now.

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Posted in Campus Life and Academics, Career Development

How Studying Abroad Changed my Perspective on Communication

Guest Post By: Ali Fisher

Ali in Prague

First day in Prague

June 19, 2013 was the first time I needed a translator. I had arrived in Prague, Czech Republic to begin my summer education abroad experience through the Colorado State University’s Central and Eastern European Studies Program.  I had no idea what any of the signs said, what the numbers meant, or what social norms were encouraged for effective communication. Before my arrival, I had the privilege of speaking only English and had successfully communicated with nearly everyone in the United States. I had never been challenged to learn another language or taught the keys to communicating with people of different cultures. Reflecting on my experience as an English-speaking individual in a non-English speaking country, here are a few tips for those of you who plan to travel abroad.

Understand that people generally want to help you. 

When I registered at the University of Economics dormitory, the advisor’s response immediately indicated that she did not know English. I had been told that citizens would tell me that in order divert conversation barriers. In need of keys, contracts, and program information, I initially regretted not studying in an English speaking country; however, she went out of her way to pull up Google translator to communicate with me via computer. Throughout my education abroad experience, I encountered this same experience in restaurants, the university, the public transportation system and various locations outside the capital. I learned that if you take the time and brainstorm resources to understand one another, foreign-to-you language speakers will try to be of assistance.

Don’t assume everyone will adapt to your language. 

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Kaufland Shopping Center

It was very easy to assume Czech speakers would try to understand me, but I quickly realized that I needed to understand their language as well. This required knowledge of Czech words, which I had zero background with. I invested in a small dictionary and would learn a few words every night. In the three weeks that I was there, I obviously did not become fluent, but it helped to show Czech speakers that I wanted to understand them. It made it even more helpful when shopping at “Kaufland,” the local market. All the food packaging was written in Czech, making milk even difficult to locate. One time my roommate and I purchased yogurt as a mistake because it was packaged in the shape of a milk carton. Since the store did not accommodate English speakers, we were unable to purchase our desired item and have made the similar mistake on various occasions.

Use gestures for further clarification.

I learned that communicating involves more than talking. The uses of pointing, hand expressions, and facial reactions have sometimes been the most effective. I was in the train station in Venice, Italy, for a weekend trip when I realized I had no idea where I was going. With my address and map in hand, locals were able to draw out which route was most appropriate. Being approachable and open to alternative conversation methods enabled me to connect with German-, French-, Deutsche-, Italian-, Croatian-, and Czech-speaking individuals while abroad.

 Be patient.

First day of school

It took studying abroad to realize how impatient I have been when overcoming language barriers in the United States. When I didn’t understand someone, it was almost guaranteed that someone close by could help me. But while abroad, this wasn’t likely. During school, I was challenged to present a business plan in a group of Spanish-speaking and French-speaking students. We experienced three language barriers and a set time limit, which led to frustration. After multiple attempts to finalize our project layout, we realized lack of patience in understanding each other’s goal was the only thing hindering our success. Allow time to understand one another before initiating action.

Studying abroad gave me a deeper understanding of the definition of communication. I have learned that English is not the only way to communicate with others. Differences in communication styles, culture, and language can produce barriers, but through patience, you can overcome them.

 

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Posted in Business in Action, Study Abroad