written by: Cosme Lozano

We have had a blast hosting our first couple Coffee and Careers, and we hope that you are all enjoying them as well! Again, they are events that are meant to help students get connected with possible employers in fields of their interest.

Most recently, we hosted the Illinois State Police Department for our second Coffee and Careers. Today, I would like to go over some of the insight with Illinois State Trooper, Omoayena Williams.

Here is what Trooper Williams had to say in regard to career struggles she has had to overcome..

In the recording above, Trooper Williams expresses how it was hard for her to start her new job with the police, while finding out she was pregnant. While this exact situation may not be the same for everyone, I am sure a lot of us can relate to the overall feeling. There is likely a time(s) where you have started a new job or position and it was stressful. Then on top of that, life seems to enjoy throwing a wrench in the rest of your plans. This is where we have to be at our best when it comes to time management and organization. Trooper Williams also mentions how her family really helped her during this time. I truly love to see this, and it is something I recommend to people – find a support system. Whether it’s a person, parent, or your pet goldfish, find someone who you can confide in. Life is tough. We all know this. Sometimes you need someone there for you during your most challenging times, and Trooper Williams is a testament to this.

After, Trooper Williams shared with us some of her own career advice she would give to students..

Trooper Williams shares a message that has been preached hundreds of times, yet it still holds true every time it is mentioned. KEEP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CLEAN! I understand the desire to share your life on social media, but you don’t have to share everything. Like she mentions in the clip, once you share something online, its out there. You can’t bring it back or truly delete it. Guys, don’t do it for me or for the center. Do it for your future self. There have been so many stories I have heard where someone was a prime candidate, and then the company did the social media background check… Please please please do not ruin a golden opportunity for yourself, just because you wanted to post that crazy picture from the weekend with your friends. In this social media age it is often for the “clout”, and trust me, the clout is never worth it long term. Long term job sustainability and success will always trump social media clout.

Thank you Trooper Williams for sharing these wonderful responses! If you would like to talk to people like Officer Williams, come on down to our next Coffee and Careers! We host our next event on Friday, October 8th. We hope to see you there!

SECOND COFFEE & CAREERS – Illinois State Police

We want to wish a big thank you to all the students who stopped by our offices last Friday (09/17) for our first ever Coffee and Careers! We are pleased to announce we will be hosting our second Coffee and Careers this Friday, September 24th. The event will take place at the same time, from 10 am till 11:30 am. We will be hosting The Illinois State Police, so we highly advise all criminal justice majors or anyone else interested in police work to stop by our offices at N204 in Tower Hall. As always, there will be complimentary donuts and coffee for all who stop by. Jump start a future career for yourself THIS FRIDAY! We hope to see you there!

The Pursuit of Happyness – How a films simple message goes a long way

written by: Cosme Lozano

                The 2006 Will Smith drama, The Pursuit of Happyness, is a classic movie for some people, myself included. For those who have not seen the movie, Will Smith stars as real life entrepreneur, Chris Gardner. The movie depicts struggling salesman, Chris Gardner, and his struggles as a single father in San Francisco during the 80s. In the movie, we see Chris Gardner (Will Smith) get knocked down time and time again, only to come back even stronger next time. This movie is truly amazing and worth the watch, and I consider it a media piece that changed my view on life. The Pursuit of Happyness deals with a multitude of heavy themes, but its most prevalent include never giving up on your dreams and always staying determined in the face of insurmountable odds.

Chris Gardner faces setback after setback, which ultimately sees him wind up homeless as a single father. He is faced with the realization that despite his effort to improve his life, life is still tough and frequently unfair. These experiences humble him, and ultimately strengthen his resolve to want to succeed even more. We can all learn from this and take knowledge from our hard times. It is easy to lose faith in yourself and your goals when you are in your most challenging times. I want to challenge you though to view these stressful times as moments where you can really test your resolve and learn new things. Life will sometimes be tough, but you got to roll with the punches. If you are ever feeling down on yourself, take those emotions and harness them. Take that energy and re-channel it to create meaningful change and opportunities for yourself, like how Chris Gardner did.

Without spoiling the movie further, one can see that life got really tough and really bleak for Chris Gardner. One might even say his life was literally falling apart. The feeling of everything going the wrong way or falling apart is common for people who are chasing their dreams. Not everything is going to go your way, and you have to just deal with that. Sometimes, things are going to get bad but you have to make sure you stay relaxed and calm. Chris Gardner could have easily abandoned his son and fled town to try restarting his life, after everything he had done prior was failing. He didn’t though. Sometimes it matters more how we face adversity, rather than the adversity itself. Chris Gardner knew his situation was not good but by remaining calm and sticking to his work ethic, he was able to safely navigate him and his son out of crisis. Things might be bad for you right now as you read this. I have had my fair share of bad times and I often thought they would not end. You have to remind yourself everyday though to try your best, and to remember that these hard times WILL pass.

Expanding on these themes, everyone can take something from them and apply their principles into their own lives. If you truly want career success, it requires hard work and chasing after what you want even if you are steered away.  Life is unpredictable, but we can control how we respond and what we do in the face of our greatest challenges. We should all strive to face adversity like how Chris Gardner faced his in the movie. For those wondering how things turned out for Mr. Gardner, well, they turned out pretty well. Today, Chris Gardner is an entrepreneur and inspirational speaker, and is estimated to be worth over $70 million dollars. He is a living model as to why you should never, ever, ever give up on your yourself or your dreams. I will leave you with a quote from one of the film’s most emotional scenes, “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves they tell you, you can’t do it. If you want something go get it. Period.” (Will Smith, 2006).


written by: Cosme Lozano

Tip of the day: Remember to take notes! It doesn’t cost you anything!

As my good friend SpongeBob would say, “WRITE THAT DOWN! WRITE THAT DOWN!”

A lot of people do not realize, or forget, that you can take notes.. for literally anything! Living your day to day life, you can lose track of certain things especially if you are a college student or have a family. Folks, I’m here to tell you that your phone has the capability to record video or write down notes, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! Some people have really good mental databanks which is great, but relying on it too much may cause you to get things mixed up or forget entirely. Don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself or your mental. Writing things down or even recording the information offers you an archive that you can always go back and refer to; that is truly invaluable.

Stop by the Career Success Center for our FIRST EVER Coffee & Careers!

Written by: Cosme Lozano

Come one, come all! This Friday, September 17th 2021, we will be hosting our first ever Coffee and Careers event! The event will be held in Tower Hall N204 Career Success Center and we will have guest speakers from the Joliet YMCA as well as FedEx. The speakers will begin their presentations at 10:00 am, and it will run till 11:30 am. Attendees will be given the opportunity to sit down, relax, and learn from local business leaders. Coffee and donuts will be provided as well. After the event, students will have the opportunity to meet and connect with the speakers. This serves as a great opportunity to promote yourself for any potential job or internship openings. If you would like any more information, please feel free to stop by our office to learn more. We hope to see you this Friday!

WE HAVE A PODCAST! – Straight Up Success

written by: Cosme Lozano

Big things are taking place at the USF Career Success Center. Apart from our usual responsibilities, we have also decided to launch a podcast! This podcast will be called, Straight Up Success, and it will be hosted by myself and Codi Cabay. With this platform, Codi and I hope to interview students and professionals who have career advice they want to share with the public. The intent with this podcast is for our listeners to listen and learn, and then implement the advice and succeed in their fields. We hope you tune in!

If you would like to be on the podcast, or if you have someone you would like for us to interview, please send your inquiries to CareerDev@usfcareersuccess

If you would like to listen to our first episode, please follow this link

What We Do – The Career Success Center 2021

Written by: Cosme Lozano

With a new school year underway, we at the center feel now is a great time to go over what we do and the services we provide.

  1. Resume & Cover Letter Assistance – One of our primary services at the center is resume and cover letter assistance. Students who are working on existing resumes, or need help creating one, are encouraged to stop by the center and receive help. With our qualified and trained staff, we make it our priority that your resume is where it needs to be, for when you go out for job or internship interviews.
  2. Interview Preparation – In addition to helping students build resumes, we also help students prepare for job interviews. Students will have an opportunity to sit down, and go over any questions or concerns with our team, before they go out for the real interview. On top of that, we also conduct mock interviews, where students can get a feel for how a real interview would go down.
  3. Career Assessments & Interest Inventories – We offer the STRONG inventory assessment for all students. Freshman are expected to take and complete the assessment in their first year. For students who have still not taken the assessment or want updated results, we encourage to stop by the center.
  4. Job Search Assistance – With our large pool of former alumni and connections, we are confident in helping students get connected with possible employers or connections.
  5. Internship Information – In addition to helping students get set up with job opportunities and connections, we also help students who are seeking internship opportunities.
  6. On Campus Recruiting Events – Throughout the course of the school year, the center likes to bring in job employers to talk about their experiences and go over advice. In addition to that, we also help run the USF Career Fair.

The Career Success Center is located on the second floor of Tower Hall, on the main campus of the university. Our offices are open from 8 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday. If you would like to receive more information, please send an email to the Career Success Center Director, Maribeth Hearn, at If you would like to schedule an appointment at the center, please follow this link: