Make the most of your holidays!


Right before winter break began, Amy Cavanaugh, the Director of Career Services at UP, hosted a workshop about networking, “Make the most of your holidays: Network your way to an internship or job.”

We know that many of you were busy with finals and last-minute travel plans, so you may have missed this super informative presentation. We decided it would be beneficial to share it on our blog. Below is that presentation – we hope you find it helpful!

Career Services will be closed from December 24th through January 1st, reopening at 8:30 am on January 2nd. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.

What does “good fit” even mean?

finding-the-right-fit-for-your-teamAs a career counselor, I often tell students and alumni to make sure that the positions and organizations they are targeting are a “good fit” for their interests, skills, personality and values. Recently, one of my clients asked me exactly what I meant by that. Luckily, Dawn Shaw, a career consultant in MPA Career Services at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin, compiled a list of questions for you to consider when evaluating if a company is a “good fit” for you. The following post was originally published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.


What Is a “Good Fit” and Do You Have It?

by Dawn Shaw

How do you know if you’re a good fit for a company or if a company is a good fit for you? Here are a couple of things to consider:

  • Culture: Think back to all the encounters you have had with a potential employer. Think about the e-mail correspondence. Think about how you felt at the interview—not how you did, not how your performance was evaluated. Also, think about how everyone else was acting during the event. Did you like the recruiters’ responses? Did you feel uncomfortable? If you judged them on their performance, what grade would they get? Also, keep in mind that office visits can give you further information if the company is a good fit or not—go to office visits to help you decide.
  • Priorities: Part of finding the right fit is knowing your own priorities. Create a priority list before the recruiting process even begins. Write down what matters to you: Flexible schedule? Location? Team culture? Open to ideas? Future career opportunities? Rank them. Match the ranking against what you think the job can offer you. Also, be mindful of what you are doing now that affects your future career transitions.
  • Take an Inventory: A right attitude can be the first step in being part of the good fit. Do you have a habit of talking about what irks you to anyone that will listen? If so, this could easily disrupt a team dynamic and distract from the work you do. Consider what you can give before you judge what you get.
  • Ask Real Questions: You have an opportunity during interviews and office visits to get as much information as you can before having to make a decision. Do you care about the management style of your direct supervisor? Do you want to know how work is evaluated in the company? Ask! Many times your authentic questions show your sincerity and real commitment to the potential employer. And guess what? That is what makes you a good fit!

Dawn Shaw is a career consultant in MPA Career Services at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The Great In Between

By Sam Johnson, senior Biology major

I have come to terms with the fact that I refuse to acknowledge that I will be graduating next semester. Not only am I telling myself that I have endless amounts of time before I have to get into the real world, but that I won’t have to walk across a stage in May, shake a few hands, and say goodbye to my undergrad life.

I was telling a friend the other day that I remember when I was younger and how I thought that there would never be a time when I would go to college, let alone be in college, and then to top it all off, graduate from college. The whole concept of college seemed so far away and unattainable, but the time has come and I can hardly believe it.

So what’s the game plan? In my mind I’ve crafted this giant list of goals that I have planned for the trajectory of my post-undergrad life. Like anything in life, all of this is tentative, which makes planning for anything difficult because who knows what could happen! Anyways, here is the maybe-could-happen-please-happen list of goals that I have for my life so far.

  1. Post-grad service - I realized that I was going to have to take a year off (and wanted to take a year off) after senior year before I went to grad school. It’s important to me that I make sure that I’m putting that year off to good use. Community service has always been a huge part of my life (thank you 16 years of Catholic school education), so I knew that looking into service organizations would be my first route. I had some older friends who were looking into post-grad service and one of my bosses (at Career Services) mentioned the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I have a list of 4-5 organizations that I’m applying too, but my number one choice would be JVC North West (the dream people!).
  2. Grad School (PA) - My next goal (after post-grad service) is to get into Physician Assistant (PA) School for my graduate education. That involves a lot of researching schools, getting letters of recommendation, taking the GRE, and doing patient contact hours. I’ve been looking at schools all over the US and hoping to go somewhere I’ve never been before to try it out for a couple of years. The first hurdle is (obviously) getting in!
  3. Life - If I make it through PA school (hopefully) I would love to go back home and work there for a while. Pay off all of my student loads, save some money, hang out with my super cool parents, visit friends, and do some traveling!

The hard thing about getting out of college is that there really nothing else that you “have to do”. Technically you don’t have to go to grad school, or do post-grad service or anything really. There are people you can model your career and life after, but at the end of the day it’s all up to you, which makes is scary and exciting all at the same time. Most importantly, I know that what I am choosing will make me happy, give me a direction, and hopefully some purpose! So while I’m stuck in the in between of undergrad, grad school, and life I’ll remember my goals and those will hopefully inspire me to keep working hard to get where I want to be.

 “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

–Abraham Lincolncrossing-the-divide


Check out the two PAID internship openings with the Portland Timbers, forwarded to us recently by a UP alumna. These opportunities are listed on UP’s college central network under JOB ID 3755437 and are looking to be filled ASAP. Visit Career Services for help on your application before the holiday!

The Portland Timbers have two Administrative internships available! As an intern with the Portland Timbers you have the distinct opportunity to be part of our team as we take part in our 2015 MLS Season. Internships are open to current college students or recent college graduates. Interns are paid $9.10 per hour, plus overtime. Selection for an internship will be made based on applicable skills, experience and area(s) of education. Be sure to clearly demonstrate your skills, experience and area(s) of interest in your application. Duration of internships will be based on performance and/or business needs.

The two Administrative internships are:

-Accounting Focus: The Portland Timbers have an internship opportunity in the Administration/Finance Department with a focus on Accounting. This internship opportunity will assist the administration & finance department. Intern will work on data entry, generating reports, payment transactions and miscellaneous projects as necessary. The internship will also be responsible for assisting the Executive Assistant with administrative projects. Reception coverage on game days and during the week as needed is another aspect of this internship. They will report directly to the Office Manager.

-Administrative Focus: The Portland Timbers have an internship opportunity in the Administration/Accounting Department with a focus on Administration. The administrative intern will be responsible for supporting the Executive Assistant by performing a variety of administrative tasks/functions (i.e. maintain reception calendar) as well as providing coverage for reception and logistics areas as needed. They will also have the opportunity to work with the finance department with on-going projects such as data entry. The ideal candidate should be friendly, personable and have excellent customer service skills.

Primary Responsibilities

• Provide support to Admin/Finance department

• Reception coverage on game days and week days as necessary

Basic Qualifications

• Have strong written and verbal communication skills

• Must have basic computer skills and experience with Microsoft Office programs

• Superior organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects

• Strong attention to detail and ability to work independently and within a team environment

• Must be able to attend all Timbers and Thorns matches

Preferred Qualifications

• Considerable knowledge of soccer, the Portland Timbers and MLS

• Positive attitude and a willingness to learn

The UP Timbers connection is going strong since the announcement of the formation of T2, a professional soccer team to compete in USL PRO which will play home games at Merlo Field! Let’s show the Timbers that we know how to be great interns as well as play soccer! Go Pilots!

The Life of a Nordstrom Employee, part 2.

By Emily Neelon

The woman across the counter was growing increasingly frustrated as I explained to her for the third time that I couldn’t return her merchandise without proof of purchase. As her face reddened and she let out of a stream of profanities, I became aware of how little space separated me from the customer and her clenched fists.

My transition from an intern to a cashier was anything but a smooth one. I went from working with very little customer contact to working directly with customers for my entire shift. As a cashier, I was responsible for dealing with all customer purchases, returns, exchanges, and alterations. I was also in charge of answering phones and organizing and remerchandising the accessories in the department and cash register area.

I found it really difficult to manage all of these tasks at once, especially during weekends and sales when the store became very busy. During the holidays and big events like our Anniversary Sale, lines would meander out of the department and into the walkways. By the time I interacted with each of the exasperated and tired customers that had been waiting in line, I received the brunt of their anger and exhaustion.

No amount of training could prepare me for many of the interactions I had with customers. I was forced to rely upon my critical thinking and the skills I had acquired as a communication major. As a very sarcastic person, it was hard for me to remain professional when attacked by a sassy teenager or condescending mother. Additionally, as the youngest non-intern employee in the department and store in general, I was often treated unkindly by both coworkers and customers, someone who could not possibly know what they were saying or doing because of my age.

I worked as a cashier from June-August 2013, December 2013, and May-August 2014. Each time I worked in the department I experienced new challenges and triumphs. I had lows: getting verbally abused by an angry customer using counterfeit cash, as well as highs: having a customer write a note expressing her gratitude for my assistance. Although cashiering was a demanding position, it taught me so many important customer service, multitasking, and merchandising skills.

I learned to think on my feet, to be strong when I wanted to break, to work through chaos and confusion. I learned to talk to strangers, to be personable and polite, to take direction, but also exhibit initiative and independence. I learned these things whether I was ready to or not, whether I wanted to or not. And I am better for it.


INTERNSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Catholic Charities Oregon & Comcast SportsNet Northwest

By Emily Neelon |

Calling all students interested in marketing and communication: Here are two spring internships you NEED to apply for. Are you super passionate about service and social justice? Apply for the Marketing and Communications Internship with Catholic Charities Oregon. Maybe you’re more of a hardcore sports fan. The Marketing/PR Internship with Comcast Sports Northwest will be perfect for you. Happy applying!



Company: Catholic Charities Oregon

Catholic Charities Oregon is a non-profit organization based out of Portland that “brings hope, resources, and advocacy to the poor and most vulnerable around us regardless of faith, race, marital status, or condition of life.” With beginnings in 1838, Catholic Charities partners with clients to achieve their economic and educational goals as well as support their physical and emotional wellbeing. To date, the organization has 25 programs, 20 grantee agencies, and four agencies and serves over 100,000 people a year.


Position: Marketing and Communications Intern


Job Description:

-Manage and enhance Catholic Charities’ social media presence on various platforms.

-Write press releases, media advisories, and announcements for Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Portland.

-Assist the Marketing and Communications Manager in research for the development of the Catholic Charities website.

-Update information on

-Find stories about the organization that can be featured and shared with internal and external audiences.




-Minimum eight hours per week beginning in January 2015.

-Preference given to juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing degrees in marketing, business management, management communication, organizational communication, or communication.

-Must have taken marketing/communication classes previously.

-Strong written, verbal, interpersonal communication, and time management skills

-Understanding of various multimedia platforms and their marketing tools.

-Experience preparing written public messages such as press releases, brochures, flyers, or newsletters.

-Familiarity with and support of the mission, teachings, vision, values, and structure of the Catholic Church.

-Ability to speak Spanish preferred, but not required.


Compensation: Unpaid, possible academic credit.


To Apply:


Catholic Charities will be accepting applications through December 5th, 2014. Interested students can submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample relevant to the position to Alice Lundell, Marketing and Communications Manager, at The contact for this application is Charities of Oregon, 2740 SE Powell Blvd. #5 Portland, OR 97202.





Company: Comcast SportsNet Northwest

Based out of Portland, Comcast SportNet Northwest is an American regional sports network owned by NBC Sports Group. The network covers various sports at the professional, collegiate, and high school levels, mainly the Portland Trailblazers and University of Oregon Ducks.

Position: Marketing/PR Intern

Job Description:

-Contribute ideas to optimize brand exposure as well as potential story ideas.

-Observe each live show or show recording and take pictures on set.

-Watch programming and transcribe best-of quotes and timing.

-Record event/promotion details on event recap sheets.

-Provide support at live events/promotions through manning booths, passing out flyers, etc.

-Assisting Marketing Manager with planning and implementing said events and promotions.

-Working on other assigned duties and tasks required of the Marketing/PR department.



-10-15 hours per week with availability during evenings, weekends, and holidays starting in mid-January 2015 and ending in April 2015.

-Minimum 3.0 GPA.

-Must be at least 19 years old and at least sophomore status.

-Enrolled in an accredited institution in pursuit of an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree.

-Authorization to work in the U.S.

-Extensive knowledge and interest in Pacific Northwest sports.

-Good communication skills, positive attitude, and willingness to learn.

-Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.


Compensation: Paid

To Apply:


Comcast SportsNet Northwest will be accepting applications through December 3, 2014. Interested students can send a resume and cover letter to Jaimee Bremner, Marketing/PR, at

Read on for UP student Katie Dunn’s marketing internship experience at Comcast SportsNet Northwest:

Informational Interviews: What, Who, and How-To

By Emily Neelon

YES, you’ve finally picked a major! But the anxiety you had about what to major in has only been replaced with anxiety about what to do with said major after graduation. I’m right there with you. Communication Studies is a super broad field of study and I still have no idea what direction I want to pursue within it. Should I be a journalist? Should I work in public relations? What about in radio or social media or human resources or in the non-profit sector? I literally have NO idea. But that’s ok because there’s this magical thing that you and I can do to help narrow down our options, no matter our career goals: informational interviews.

What’s that?

Informational interviews are casual conversations you can have with professionals out in the workforce. These interviews are great opportunities to learn more about a position in a particular industry and can help you figure out whether a certain career will be the right fit for you.

Another perk to informational interviews: NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES. If you’re anything like me, the word “networking” sends you running in the opposite direction. I literally get stressed out just thinking about talking to strangers, let alone doing it. Informational interviews are a less awkward way to get your face out there and your foot in the door.

So you may be asking how do you do one of these “informational interviews”? Here are some tips I’ve picked up from Stanford’s Career Development Center and our own Career Services office:

  • Get into contact with the person you want to speak with. This will require YOU reaching out to THEM, not the other way around. If you are able to get ahold of their phone number, give this person a call. I know this sounds straight-up terrifying, but it’ll be worth it! Introduce yourself and ask this person if they can spare thirty minutes to talk with you and give you advice and insights into their job because you are interested in possibly pursuing a career in the same field. Remember that you are looking for guidance, NOT a job. Offer to meet them at their workplace or wherever is most convenient for them. You can also take them out to coffee or lunch. If you don’t have the individual’s phone number, another option is to email or reach out to them over LinkedIn.
  • Treat an informational interview like you would a job interview. Prepare what questions you’d like to ask, show up five-ten minutes early, dress appropriately, and make sure to speak and act with confidence and courtesy. Upon meeting, reintroduce yourself and the reasons why you hoped to meet with this person. Give them your academic and work background and then ask them questions. You have the power to control the conversation, so use it to your advantage. At the end of your conversation, ask them if they would be able to refer you to other individuals who would have additional advice to give. Make sure to thank them for their time.
  • Within in one day of your meeting, send them a hand-written thank you letter. Make sure to include your contact information in case they want to get in touch with you.

For more tips of informational interviews and sample questions to ask, visit: