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).

COSME’S PRODUCTIVITY TIP OF THE DAY

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 MHearn@stfrancis.edu. If you would like to schedule an appointment at the center, please follow this link: calendly.com/usfcareer  

Cosme’s productivity tip of the day!

By: Cosme Lozano

I touched on it in my previous blog, and I want to bring it up again…

Tip: Use the Canvas app to stay up to date in your classes, and more importantly, to get ahead!

Seriously guys, I cannot stress this enough. USE THE CANVAS APP AND ITS CALENDAR!!! It will save you a lot of stress, and you will avoid that dreaded feeling when you’re in class, and you realize you didn’t see the assignment that was due that day.. Don’t be that person, trust me.

Welcome back to school Saints!

Written by: Cosme Lozano

                “Dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same.” – Thanos, Infinity War, 2018. Well folks, that quote right there is a sentiment that I’m sure a lot of people feel when going back to school. You shouldn’t have to dread going back to school though. Back to school time is a great time to hit the reset button, and start clean. You have a whole new blank canvas of a school year to work on. If there were any studying tips or habits you wanted to implement, now is the perfect time to do so! Do not be afraid to try new things. It is easy to want to fall back or hide when you have an avalanche of information being dumped on you those first couple of weeks. I want to challenge all of you though to break away from this and just try to get out there. Whether that’s volunteering in your class, joining a new club, or organizing study sessions with new classmates, just try something new.

                Going back to that avalanche of information.. The first couple weeks can be hard at keeping track of everything. For students at USF, I highly recommend you stay up to date and download the Canvas app on your smartphones. With the mobile version, you can always stay up to date by checking your “to-do list” on the app. This list tells you what upcoming assignments are due and when. I have been using this since freshman year of college, and I think it’s safe to say that I check it every day, multiple times. Also, do not be afraid to actually explore Outlook outside of your emails. The calendar function on Outlook can be really helpful at keeping up with meeting times and dates. Most clubs and organizations use Outlook to schedule their meetings, so this can be of great assistance.

                Most importantly, take a step back and breathe. You can be starting your first day of college as a freshman or going into your senior year, it doesn’t matter. We all need to take a step back from time to time and just chill out. Everything may seem crazy and a little confusing right now, but trust me, everything almost always sorts itself out. Do the best you can and enjoy the ride while you’re on it.

                And as always, feel free to come on down to the USF Career Success Center! We are open Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm. We offer a multitude of services such as resume assistance, job or internship assistance, interview prep, and much more! Students are free to come in and schedule an appointment at any time. I Hope to see you there!

Cosme’s productivity tip of the day!

Written by: Cosme Lozano

We are back at it again ladies and gentlemen, it is time for Cosme’s productivity tip of the day!

Tip of the day: Do your hardest tasks first!

Its pretty straight forward. Do the hardest things first. By doing the hardest thing first, it makes all other tasks feel easy and way more approachable. It can be hard to initiate but trust me, once you do, you will be so glad you did. The rest of the day will feel a lot lighter and you will be thanking yourself!

Finding balance in college

Written by: Cosme Lozano

            When I started college, I really wish someone would have told me how busy you can be.. Sure, as a kid growing up, I had always heard crazy stories from my dad and his time in med school. Going into college, I expected to have eight hour long study sessions, and mountains of homework; like my dad would always tell me. While I have had some intense study sessions and my fair share of homework, it hasn’t been all that bad. One thing my dad never mentioned to me though was managing extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. As a communications and media arts student, extracurricular opportunities are everything. They are valuable opportunities for you to learn and enhance your skills in media production, all before you go out into the real world. While those of you reading this may not be communications students, I am sure you can relate to this sentiment within your own major. In today’s college world, having good grades is still crucial, but employers also want to see you be busy and get experience within your field of interest. Today I want to talk with you about finding balance in this crazy, crazy world we call college.

            When trying to gain more experience in your field, it can be easy to lose focus on other aspects of your studying. Because of this, I advise that you start with what you can manage at first. If you can do a lot, great, more power to you. If you can only do a little though, there is no shame in that. Again, it is crucial you do what you can manage. Do not push yourself too hard, because when you do, you limit your ability to find stability and balance in all the other aspects of your life. By starting with a little, you get to ease yourself more into the role. This can most notably be seen when joining a new club, society, etc. Being ambitious and wanting to be president of your club is great. But if you are just starting out, maybe taking time to see how the club runs and how the president does his job can be more beneficial to your success in the long run. Stick with the process, and eventually you will end up where you want to go!

  • Do what YOU can, and do not push yourself past your limit. We don’t want short term burnout ruining long term goals!

My final topic on the matter has to deal with internships. Whether you like it or not, an internship undoubtedly helps people get a foot into their field of interest. Ideally, you want to start looking for your internship in your junior and senior year of college. Freshman and sophomore year serve as great launching pads for you to get experience before you go out for your internship. Once you have secured an internship, it is important to take inventory of what you are doing and what you are involved in. For me this summer, I have been working at my new job. It was initially meant to be just an internship, but they decided to hire me part time. Upon learning this, it was absolutely necessary for me to sit down and reflect on what I am involved in. I had done a lot to get to this point, and it was time to start reflecting on what I need to step away from. While in the first topic, I suggest going out and joining new things, this topic kind of deals with the opposite. I say this because you do so much work to get to this point, to have an internship or experience opportunity with an employer, and it  can be hard to keep it all up while then also managing the new opportunity. Sometimes there are things you have to step away from. This all a part of the process of finding balance in your school life, but also life in general. Sometimes to a do job well, you have to step back and let someone else help out or take over. This then allows you to focus on what you need to focus on, and make sure you can do it a high level. You have to prioritize what is important to you, and the future of your career. There comes a time when the best way to help yourself out is to step away from other things, and focus on what’s truly important for you.

  • Recognize when it’s time to step away or to take on less. Just because you do this does not mean you are going backwards. Sometimes the best way to go forward is to put your focus on what can truly help you out and advance you to where you want to go!