Thursday, January 31, 2013

Um, like, ya know!

During an interview or just speaking with a potential employer it is imporant to communicate clearly.  Poor communication skills can kill a first impression.  Check those lazy habits of "like", "um", and "ya know", and pay close attention to how you are speaking!

Monday, January 28, 2013

How do I dress?

With all of the upcoming Career Fairs and Networking events this week it's good to know exactly what you should wear, particularly as a STEM major.  It is important to make the right first impression on recruiters by being appropriately dressed.

Make sure you post any other recommendations that we might have missed in the comments section!

General Recommendations:
  • Always aim for a non-controversial, traditional overall look; when in doubt, choose the more conservative dress option.
  • Good grooming and general cleanliness—including clean hair, teeth, and nails—are critical to a professional image.
Professional Attire for Men

  • Choose a dark-colored business suit in wool or a wool blend. The best colors are navy blue, dark grey, black, or chocolate brown.  Make sure the suit fits properly! There are several places in State College that will tailor your suit to perfection.
  • Under the suit jacket, choose a pressed button-down cotton-blend shirt in a light solid color (white, blue, etc.). If you will be wearing a white or thin shirt, add a plain white undershirt. Be sure to tuck in both your shirt and your undershirt.
  • Your tie should be conservative in style, with a small pattern or stripe, and properly knotted. (
  • Your suit pants should be worn belted at the waist (not below); pant legs should be creased, with the cuffs breaking at the shoe tops.
Accessories and Footwear
  • Your belt should be leather or leather-like, in black or another dark color that coordinates with your suit.
  • Your socks should be thin and in a dark color that coordinates with your suit. Do not wear white athletic socks.
  • Shoes should be clean, polished, and conservative in in black or another dark color that coordinates with your suit.
Personal Grooming and Style
  • Hair should be freshly cut or trimmed above the collar, if short. If you have long hair, wear it pulled back and out of your face.
  • If you have facial hair, make sure it is neatly trimmed and clean. A traditional mustache, beard, or goatee is acceptable; think twice about more trendy facial hairstyles.
  • Remove visible piercings, don't wear more than one ring per hand.
  • If possible, hide all tattoos.
  • Go light on the cologne, if you wear it at all. Keep in mind that many people have allergies to strong scents.
Professional Attire for Women
  • Both skirt suits and pants suits are acceptable for job interviews or career events.
  • Whatever type of suit you choose, make sure it is of high quality, in wool or a wool blend and in a dark color. 
  • Make sure your suit fits properly—employers often complain that female candidates' skirts are too short and jackets too tight.
  • Skirts should be about knee length, and should cover your thighs and almost touch your knees when you are seated. Remember that your goal is not to look cute, but to look professional, so seriously think about whether your skirt is too tight or short.
  • A jacket is too tight if the buttons appear to be straining when you close them!
  • Under your suit, choose a light-colored button-down blouse or a shirt with a rounded or high v-neck. Tops should not be tight, sheer, lacy, or low-cut, and there should never be visible cleavage.
  • If you wear a skirt, be sure to wear neutral-colored pantyhose (even in the summer!); if you wear pants, thin trouser socks are your best choice. Pant cuffs should always break at your shoe tops.
Accessories and Footwear:
  • Shoes should be clean and polished, in a color that coordinates with your suit, and with a low or medium heel.  They should be closed-toed.
  • Your purse or portfolio should be made of leather or another good-quality material, in a neutral color.
Personal Grooming and Style:
  • Hair should be neat and out of your face, regardless of its length.
  • Keep makeup low-key and natural.
  • Your nails should be neatly manicured and not too long; if you wear nail polish, choose a light-colored shade. Make sure your polish isn't chipped!
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum—one or two rings per hand, one earring per ear, and one necklace.
  • Remove visible piercings other than earrings.
  • If possible, hide all tattoos.
  • Avoid perfume if possible, since many people are allergic to strong scents.

The Engineering Career Week is coming up on January 29-31st. Check HERE for a schedule of events.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Listen for the questions!

At the Career Fair, while waiting in line of companies that are at the top of your list to work for, listen to the questions that the recruiters are asking the candidates ahead of you.  Recruiters tend to stick to the same general questions to ask all candidates at a Career Fair.  If you want have a good idea of the questions they will ask before getting in line here are a few ways of doing that:

1.   Approach the booth casually and to listen to the questions. Then write them down. Next, go to the end of the line and while you are waiting, formulate your answers.

2.  After listening to the questions, walk to a quiet corner of the room and formulate your answers.  Then, get back in line and practice them until you are next.

3.  If you are uncomfortable with either choice 1 or 2, get a friend to do some reconnaissance for you or hire a freshman to go up to the booth and ask recruiters what questions they normally ask candidates.

No matter what which route you choose, be prepared with your answers, dress professionally and bring LOTS of copies of your resume!

The Engineering Career Week is coming up on January 29-31st. Check HERE for a schedule of events.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How strong is your resume?

Your resume is an instrument to help you obtain interview for internships, co-op experiences, and full-time position.  It should be a summary of your educational and professional qualifications that will inform a prospective employer about your education, work experience, professional qualificiations and relevant skills.

Follow these basic tips to create a strong resume that will help you grab the attention of your potential employers:

1.  Use bullet points, not paragraphs; in general, each bullet point should be at least five words and no more than three lines long.

2.  Résumés for undergraduate students should not exceed one side of one page in length; résumés for graduate students can be two pages long, if needed. If you are using a two-page résumé, be sure to fill the second page to at least 75 percent.

3.  When printing your résumé, use high-quality white or off-white paper.

4.  Choose a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial) for your résumé and use it throughout.

5.  Explain any acronyms you use in your résumé the first time you mention them, unless the acronym is widely known (e.g., NASA).

6.   Look over your résumé several times, and have at least one other person look over it as well.

7.  Make sure that your spelling and grammar are perfect, and that your writing style is consistent.

8.  Text size should be 10–12-point; your name and headings can be larger.

9.  Be cautious about overuse of italics and boldface, and be consistent—if you use boldface type for one previous job title, do so for all previous job titles.

10.  Avoid the use of trite or clichéd résumé phrases (e.g., "self-starter", "team player", etc.). Try to be more original with your choice of words, using action words whenever possible.

11.  Have several peers/mentors/faculty/recruiters provide feedback and suggestions for the improvement of your résumé. This document should be consistenly updated and improved throughout the year.

Check out the Engineering Career Resources website for suggested layouts and sample resumes!

The Engineering Career Week is coming up on January 29-31st. Check HERE for a schedule of events.

Monday, January 21, 2013

MEP Night Spring 2013 Schedule

Tuesday, February 5th - 220 Hammond Building
Benefits Package: How to Secure the Best Deal

Thursday, February 21st  - 258 Willard Building
Graduate Student Panel

Tuesday, March 12th  - 220 Hammond Building
Effective Communication within Engineering

Thursday, April 25th  - 220 Hammond Building
MEP End of the Semester Ice Cream Social!

All meetings start at 6:00pm. 

Look for reminders on Twitter (@PSUEngDiversity) and Facebook (Penn State Multicultural Engineering Program) leading up to each meeting.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect!

When studying for Math practice make perfect!  You can't study for your Math class like you would English.  Simply memorizing the formulas and equations won't work, you need to use them. 

Here's a great website with videos to help you review all types of math concepts:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why do an Internship?

Here are three great reasons to do an internship:

1.  Gain Work Experience: First and foremost, internships and co-ops help you gain experience. Classroom knowledge is important and makes you competitive for internships, but practical knowledge in an industry is what attracts employers. Think of it this way: who gives you more bang for your buck – a recent graduate with little to no experience or one with three or four solid internships on their resume?

2.  Decide if a Field is Right for You: You can research the industry, but there is no more effective way of finding out if you like something than actually doing it. You also get all of your questions answered by industry professionals while being immersed in the field.

3.  Develop your Resume and Build Confidence: A robust application (often a resume and cover letter) and a powerful interview are ultimately what set successful candidates apart in the job search process. Internships help you prepare both by giving you the experience and skills to build a strong resume and the confidence to give an outstanding interview. When you discuss your knowledge, skills and abilities, you will speak from experience, not conjecture.

The Engineering Career Week is coming up on January 29-31st.  Check HERE for a schedule of events.

More reasons for doing an internships can be found here :

Monday, January 14, 2013

WEP Wednesday Spring 2013 Schedule

January 16th: "Internships and Co-ops"
  • Get the scoop on how to apply your classroom genius in the "Real World!"
  • Meet the director of Engineering Cooperative Education
  • Get Ready for the Spring Career Fair on 1/30/13
February 13th: "Social Networking for #Winning"
  • Two WEP Alumni discuss how to leverage your social networking for professional success (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

March 13th: "Choosing YOUR Engineering Major" WEPO '13 Logo voting!
  • With a few engineering classes under your belt, which major is for you?
  • Explore engineering majors in small groups led by senior women engineers in each major

April 17th: "Year End Picnic in Foundry Park!"
  • Farewell to Graduating WEP Seniors!
  • WEPO '13 Logo winners and WEPO '12 Outstanding Mentors annouced!

All meetings are held in Kunkle Lounge, 1st Floor Hammond Building at 5:30pm.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Write down everything!

Write down everything in one place. (Having multiple calendars just gives you more to do amidst an already tight schedule.) Schedule when you plan to sleep, when you are going to do your laundry, when you're going to call your parents. The crazier your schedule gets, the more important this becomes.

Find more great Time Management tips for college students HERE.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Facilitated Study Groups and AEC

As we start the Spring 2013 Semester it is important to start studying for your classes early and often so that you have a good understanding of the material before the exams start rolling in.  Through the Office of Engineering Diversity we have two different tutoring options available:

1. Acadmic Excellence Center (AEC) -
  • The AEC is a peer tutoring center in 323 Sackett Building.
  • This FREE tutoring program is offered by the Office of Engineering Diversity and is available to all students taking Math, Chemisty, Physics and Engineering Mechanics.
  • Tutoring is offered for the following classes:
    • CHEM 110, 111, 112, 113, 210, 212
    • ENGR MECH 210, 211, 212, 213, 315, 316
    • MATH 140, 141, 220, 230, 231, 250, 251
    • PHYS 211, 212, 213, 214
  • Walk-in Hours of Operation (come in as you need!):
    • Mon - Thurs: 5-10pm
    • Sunday: 2-9pm
  • Questions? Contact:

2. WEP Faciliated Study Groups
  • WEP Faciliated Study Groups teams small groups of 1st and 2nd year engineering women. enrolled in the same course with an upper-level engineering facilitator who has proven success in the course.
  • Study group members meet with the facilitator at least once a week to go over homework problems, discuss concept questions, study for exams and help students succeed in that course.
  • This is a FREE serivce provided by the Women in Engineering Program, space is limited so  sign up HERE by January 14th!
  • The following course study groups are being offered during the Spring 2013 Semester:
    • CHEM 110
    • CMPSC 201 C
    • EMCH11
    • MATH 140,141,250, 251,230/231
    • PHYS 211, 212
  • Questions? Contact: