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What’s the Big Deal with Job Shadowing?

By: Rebekah Parker

  • What is job shadowing?

Job shadowing is a great way to investigate career fields, clarify your career goals and build your professional network. Keep in mind that all job shadowing opportunities are unique, and depending on your Sponsor and their work environment, you may have the opportunity to participate in a number of professional activities. These activities can include observing a professional in action, conducting informational interviews, sitting in on staff meetings, touring the facilities and meeting professionals in your field of interest, and learning about the organization and occupational trends.


  • Why is it important?

In today’s job market we continue to hear “it’s not what you know but who you know,” which is so true when job hunting. This is where job shadowing can be very handy. While job shadowing is normally only a matter of hours or day, the experience can allow students to network and get their foot in the door for an outstanding job opportunity. Take a look at a number of benefits that can come from job shadowing, like exploring different career fields, observing a professional work environment, establishing a network of professional mentors, getting a head start in marketing yourself for internship and full-time job opportunities, and finding out if you are studying for the right career. Since job shadowing is a short-term, low-commitment option, it’s a great tool – in particular – for students who are still trying to decide on a major or career. Unlike internships, during which students commit to an entire  semester with a certain company, job shadowing gives students the opportunity to see what a job entails and understand if they would work well within this type of position in just a day or two.


  • How can I get started?

The Career Prospector program links students with alumni and other professionals who are willing to provide job shadowing opportunities. The first step is to meet with your career advisor and talk about the Career Prospector program. Once you have completed the orientation for this program, you can begin searching for opportunities on NinerJobNet and getting plugged in with companies all around the Charlotte area. You can schedule an appointment by calling 704-687-0795.


Apply for a $6,000 scholarship to work a

Apply for a $6,000 scholarship to work and take classes in DC for a semester. Programs details available soon. Deadline to apply April 15th.

What Internship Week has to offer!

What Internship Week has to offer!

By: Stephanie Wimmer

Internship week is the week of February 4th– 8th this semester.  Internship week offers special programs on finding an internship, what to expect from an internship, what internship opportunities are out there, and more.  To find the times and locations of these events, check the online events calendar, on career.uncc.edu.   

Having an internship or multiple internships should be a must in everyone’s college career.  Don’t take the opportunities lightly.  Part-time internships can offer the same benefits as continuing to pursue your current job; however, with an internship you would be able to develop professional experience in a field more closely related to your long term career goals. Also, if you are thinking you would take on an internship, but you need the pay check from your current job, think again, because a lot of internships are paid!  Students who can list internship experience on their resume are preferred to those who cannot when it comes to landing full-time careers post-graduation.  Gaining experience through an internship is an invigorating experience. In a sense, you are having a trial round to see if this is the industry you want to continue working in.  It is also great to know that you are not stuck there if you decide something else would be better. The sooner you get hands-on experience, the better.  Participating in 2 internships and taking Chemistry courses my freshman year of college and realizing that was the ultimate wrong field of study for me was perfect timing. On the other hand, if I had waited until my senior year to test the waters with an internship, it is extremely likely that I would be in school an extra two years beginning a new major. I was able to redirect my course schedule, visit the career center, and get on my new track without delaying my graduation. Quite possibly a full-time position could be offered with the same organization post-graduation, pending the completion of your internship.  Taking the time to participate in internships before you graduation could save you a couple years of searching.  Consider an internship an educational opportunity outside of the classroom. When you begin, go in open-minded, and note that no matter what you learn about yourself, good or bad, hate the internship or love it, you’ll still complete it knowing more about yourself and your work environment interests than you did before you began.

New Classes, New Semester, New You!

New Classes, New Semester, New You!

By: Stephanie Niten

Well it’s that time of year again, where we all make those New Year’s resolutions and keep them for a few weeks, and then we just give up on them.  Anybody ever done that? I know I sure have!  With school, work, clubs, and any other activities that we have to keep up with these days, it may be hard to keep some of those resolutions, so here are some New Year’s Resolution Tips that I hope may help you keep your current resolutions and maybe even make some new ones!

  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself!- I know that I am very bad for this, I try to make too many resolutions and say that I am going to do a million things each year, but then only end up doing maybe half of them because I have put too much on my plate!  I know that school takes up most of our time, but it is always good to have a part time job if it is possible.  It may not seem like much now, but once you land that first job and start gaining that experience in the working world, landing other jobs in the future will be so much easier for you.  To help you balance everything, start with the small things and work your way up; don’t try to do too many things at once! Leave some wiggle room for those unexpected events that may occur.  It is better to accomplish a few tasks and do them well rather than trying to cram in too many tasks and do them just to “get them done.”  This way, you can avoid disappointing yourself and maybe even boost your confidence level!
  2.  Don’t set the “all A’s” goal- We all want to do better in school, however we do have other things in our lives besides the classes that we are enrolled in.  Setting the goal that says that you are going to make A’s in every class is a very high and almost unrealistic goal to set.  For most people, this is a setup for disappointment.  Spread out your time evenly among all of your classes and give equal study time for tests and quizzes and don’t stress about the little things. Give it your all and your best work will show!
  3. Don’t be a procrastinator- For some of us it may seem like test time is weeks away, but really it will be here before you know it! I don’t know about you, but it is not my favorite part of school and I am not really a big fan of cramming in all of that information the night before a test, or trying to complete a project the night before it is due.  How do you prevent that? Well, reading the chapters that your professor is going to cover in class is a good way of getting a head start on the material before class and it will help you to understand it better when the professor goes over it.  Along with classes, it is also not a good idea to procrastinate on searching for jobs and internships.  There are so many opportunities out there that you may miss if you wait until the last minute!  A good resource that you can use to keep up to date with new opportunities that may come along is NinerJobNet.  Not only can you view jobs and internships and apply for them, it is also a good way for employers to view your resume!   It is never too early to start looking for those great opportunities and planning your future.  I know this may seem like a lot of work, but hey this is college and let’s face it, this is no picnic!   

These are just a few of the many tips that you can use to help you set successful goals for yourself in all aspects of your everyday lives.  I wish everyone good luck this semester in their classes and job searches and I hope that these tips have helped you!

How to survive your senior year of college: Seniors, your final semester is quickly approaching and this advice is perfect to include in your New Year’s Resolutions!

By: Stephanie Wimmer

Do not overuse the internet!
• With continuing advancements in electronics, our generation tends to become prone to using the internet above and beyond what is necessary to ensure career success. Even though many companies require online applications, don’t become resistant to making an impression in person or by phone contact. Online applications are submitted every day and standing out amongst the clicking madness is essential when determining whether you will be granted an interview. Students often aren’t aware that the best experiences attained generally come from networking. If your friend had a positive internship experience within a company that is of interest to you, ask them for a recommendation before submitting your application. You never know what might come from just having a mutual contact with the hiring supervisor for that organization. If you wait to be contacted by an employer you might fall into a slump of thinking that employers are not hiring which will prolong your wait for a career post-graduation.

Don’t limit yourself!
• We would all love our dream career making six figures and living it large as soon as we graduate, however, the reality is this is typically not the case. When contemplating different options, don’t turn down an opportunity or be unwilling to consider anything. Often we think we’re so certain of our likes and dislikes that we’re not willing to experience something we “know” we won’t like. However, just like when trying new foods, how can you be so sure that you don’t like something until you try it? When contemplating career possibilities be an open book. If you discover you don’t like the position after you have tried it, that’s one more thing you have learned about yourself that you didn’t know previously.

Utilize the Career Center!
• We say it over and over again. The career center is an excellent resource to use for professional development in the work force and senior year it is more important than ever before. When thinking of life after graduation there are several things to consider such as where you want to live, who you want to work for, how much money you want to be making, and how you can find a career that fits what you have chosen to major in. The career center is your one stop for career success and it is free (included in your tuition) to utilize all of the resources. Students who use the career center when preparing for interviews, writing resumes, and any other career development are more likely to land the job they have been seeking post-graduation. So next time you think you can do it just as well yourself, note there is always room for improvement, and come in and visit the experts. You’ll be several steps ahead when it comes to the impression you make towards potential employers!

4 Ways to Have a Productive Summer

Summer will be here before we know it and employers look to see how students spend their time over the summer. Do you already have a plan to stay busy this summer? If not, here are four great way to spend your time, but also beef up your resume.

  1. Internships: Obtaining an internship for the summer is a great way to stay busy. With an internship you gain career-related experience while also networking with professionals in your field. Other benefits to having an internship include clarifying your future career goals and improving post-graduation job prospects because you develop the marketable skills employers are looking for. A great way to find a quality internship is through NinerJobNet, the University Career Center’s job database. The employers who post with us are looking for UNC Charlotte students and you won’t spend your summer making coffee runs; you’ll have actual work to complete and by the end of the summer you’ll have learned key information that will help you later on in your career! To get started complete the online orientation for NinerJobNet http://career.uncc.edu/njn-orientation and make sure to apply for the Experiential Learning Program http://career.uncc.edu/students/internships-49erships-co-ops/experiential-learning-el-orientation. NinerJobNet is not the only place to search for an internship, stop by the University Career Center and meet with your career advisor to come up with the best plan of action for you!
  2. Part-time Job: If an internship isn’t for you quite yet, then a part-time job is another option for your summer. Some great benefits that come with working throughout the summer are earning extra money, developing transferable skills to put on your resume, gain valuable professional experience, and connect with local employers. NinerJobNet is a valuable resource in finding a job, just like when searching for an internship. Employers are looking for student workers to do various jobs, whether it be working retail, waiting tables, or working within a corporation. There’s a vast variety of opportunities for you to choose from. To get started complete the online orientation for NinerJobNet http://career.uncc.edu/njn-orientation and then make sure to complete the JLD application http://career.uncc.edu/jld-registration.
  3. Study Abroad: For those who want the experience of studying abroad, the summer is a great time to do that. Yes, it’s for a shorter amount of time than a regular semester but it may have less effect on the time it takes you to graduate. Some benefits to studying abroad are knocking out a course or two while experiencing another culture and obtaining an experience that many others will not have.
  4. Summer Classes:Summer classes are another positive way to stay busy over the summer. If you need to catch up on credit hours or want to graduate early, summer classes are definitely something to consider. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the classes I’ve taken over the summer. Yes you have to go to class almost every day, but you also get the course(s) out of the way in five weeks versus four to five months during a typical fall/spring semester.  Another thing to consider would be how challenging the course material is for you.  Often students will take a rather challenging course over the summer because it will be easier to focus on that course’s work specifically versus during a regular semester where you might be juggling four other courses.

When deciding how to spend your time over the summer remember this, from an employer’s perspective finding a way to maximize your down time in the summer is valued higher than a student using “summer break “ as a reason to take an exceptionally long break … and the time to start planning for it is now!

How Reading Can Improve Your Image in Professional Environments

–     By:  Stephanie Wimmer

When preparing for a career, individuals have to possess the ability to present themselves in a manner that is attractive to their audience. Whether than is a potential employer, a professor, or a group of peers, we would love to see our professional careers run as smoothly as in the movies.  What better way to prepare for a career than to put yourself in the story line.  Reading, yes for fun, not textbooks for class, assists in developing our cognitive complexity by having our minds race with imagination and by exposing us to vocabulary we might not have been exposed to if we didn’t pick up those “ancient” chapter books. This increased vocabulary will encourage not just how you think, but how you speak, and being well spoken while others are evaluating you is extremely important.   

Self-confidence is essential to developing a positive relationship with employers, especially when conducting an initial interview.  Reading is an active mental process than increases your attentiveness and temperament, while increasing your self-confidence and creativity.  Self-confidence leads to successful leadership and being able to embrace your “A-game” throughout interaction with career professionals, professors, and amongst other peers, is definitely a positive attribute. Individuals who read on a regular basis have the ability to adapt to different conversational styles and find it easier to develop small talk or continue conversations in a professional manner. A confident candidate will portray themselves as a more suitable candidate for the job, a more suitable person to lead a class project, or even a more approachable person in which to develop a friendship. 

Everyday life can be hectic, especially in the lives of college students, and we are constantly seeking ways to relieve stress or avoid it all together.  Next time, instead of going for a run or taking a nap, try picking up a book!  While reading, the reader more frequently than not, is inspired to put themselves into the story, making the story come alive.  What better way to escape the cram studying, work overload, and other pressures of college life than by temporarily forgetting it all.  Give it a try, next time you can’t fall asleep at night or just need a break from studying, instead of reaching for the remote, grab a good book, and instead of getting behind, you will be setting yourself up for future success!

Etiquette Tips

By: Stephanie Niten

Throughout our regular daily activities, we use our etiquette skills in everything we say and do.  Now, usually when I say the word “etiquette,” not many people know what I am talking about.  So if you had a confused look on your face when you read that word, let me clear up the definition for you.  Etiquette is like the “rules of society” that we go by to help us interact with those around us.  These “rules” help us to be more aware of the people around us and their actions and feelings.  However, many etiquette tips have been pushed aside and forgotten by most people, so here are 5 etiquette tips that I think everybody should know:

  1. Arriving on Time- This is one of my pet peeves; if you are going to be late, then just let me know! I cannot stand it when people just show up late to events and don’t even call ahead to say that they will be late.  It is common courtesy to at least have the decency to call! My advice-always arrive on time! I know that there will be things that will come up that will occasionally cause you to run a little late to some events, but at least call ahead to let them know that you are on your way.
  2. Writing Thank-You Notes- I know that this sounds outdated, but thank you notes are actually essential.  They are good to use when you want to thank someone for a gift that they gave you or thank an interviewer for taking the time to interview you.  Thank you notes show people that you appreciate them and the efforts that they have made for you.  Since technology is so advanced in this day and age, thank you emails are also acceptable.   
  3. Email Efficiency- Even though email is a main medium of communication, you would not believe the number of people that do not know how to use it properly! A few quick tips: don’t overuse the high importance option, answer all of the person’s questions that you are emailing, do not overuse the cc. field, and try to get right to the point when emailing someone: nobody wants to sit there and read pages worth of information in one email!  
  4. Phone Manners- Not many people anymore use the phone to actually talk to people; it is mainly used for texting these days.  However, I still think that it is important to have good manners when those rare moments come when you do need to actually use the phone to talk to someone.  A good example would be when you know that you are expecting a call from an employer.  It is best to answer the phone with a pleasant greeting such as, “Hello this is (insert name here).”  In my opinion, a greeting like this is good for the start of any phone conversation.  It starts the conversation out on a good, professional note and it boosts the confidence of both you and the other person. 
  5. Table Manners- This is something that gets overlooked because most of it is common sense.  Children especially do not follow some of the basic table manners, and you don’t want to look like a child!  Some of these are: no elbows on the table, chew with your mouth closed, and don’t speak with your mouth full.    

These are just a few of the many etiquette tips that are important.  For more details on these and more etiquette tips, visit the Career Center website (link below)!  http://career.uncc.edu/students/effective-interviewing/professional-etiquette-tips#TOP

5 Insight Tips for Career Success At UNC Charlotte

I’ve written many blogs over my time frame as a PCA and with this being my last, I really wanted to make this special. So, I compiled a list of what I think are the five most important steps for career success at UNC Charlotte. This is made up of the steps that I have taken, my friends, and other PCAs’ experience and general observations during my past two and a half years here.

1.)The first is making regular appointments with your Career Advisor. This is just as important as checking in with your academic advisor. Building a relationship with your career advisor will help them understand who you are and what you are looking for while assisting you in discovering what is available. This is the first thing I did when I transferred to UNCC.

2.)The second is taking the Strong and MBTI self-assessments. They help you realize what majors/careers you most likely will fit into as well as give insight into your personality that will help you when you start your first internship/job.

3.) Sign up for NinerJobNet/Experiential Learning and attend those Career Expos.  NinerJobNet is your internship kingdom. Get your resume critiqued, upload it on NJN and start applying. Career Expos are your one stop shop for recruiters. Over a hundred recruiters consistently come to the Career Expo’s to meet UNC Charlotte students and hire them.   I started following this my sophomore year and so did many other PCA’s and it helped us out when it came down to senior year and needing a job. The earlier you start the best chance you will have when you graduate.

4.) Practice, Practice, Practice at those mock interviews. There is no reason why you should go into an interview unprepared. The Career Center hosts a mock interview day with real-life recruiters in the spring, as well as offers mock interviews with graduate student interns and advisors. Also, there a tool on the website called Optimal Interview that allows you to watch yourself in a mock interview. Interviewing is an art and the more practice you get the better you will be when it counts.

5.) Always send a thank you! Many students do not realize the importance of a thank you card. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy- even a simple email.  By sending a thank you to recruiters that interview you or even the ones you meet at Expos, you are recognizing the time they are putting into the interview as well as keeping a positive note about yourself in their mind.


Thank you for reading my blogs throughout my time here and I wish you all the best in your career success.


Mercedes Fiorillo

Time to do some Major Thinking!

– by: Stephanie Niten

Are you undeclared? Are you thinking about adding a major, minor, or thinking about going a different route with your education? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then Majors Day is where you need to be! On Wednesday, October 24, all of the undergraduate majors will be set up in the Lucas Room of the Cone Center from 10AM-1PM to discuss with you what their department is all about! They will be ready to answer any questions that you may have about the major they are representing, so be sure to come with questions!

 It is ok to be unsure of your major, especially if you are a freshmen or sophomore, but if you are a junior or a senior, then that is ok too! I didn’t decide on a major until the end of my junior year (last semester) and I have just recently changed my mind on my minor! Students are constantly changing their minds about their majors and minors, and some even decide that they want to go for more than one! It is a known fact that a typical college student will change majors at least once within their college careers, even the ones that think they know which field they want to go into.  So whether you are an undeclared student or you think you know what you want to do with the rest of your life, I would highly recommend you attend Majors Day, even if for nothing more than to just see what other possibilities are out there!

 If you are considering attending this event, but do not know what types of questions to ask, then here are some basic questions that you could use to get you started:

  • What kind of job can I get with this major/minor?
  • What kinds of prerequisites are required for me to get into this major/minor?
  • What types of courses will I be taking within this major/minor?
  • Will this major fit with this minor? (or vice versa)

These are just a few of the many questions that may come to mind when you are thinking about declaring a major or minor.  So start thinking now about what you are unsure of and what departments you might like to learn more about, and be sure to come to the Lucas Room on Wednesday, October 24th! See you there!