Prepare for Next Fall: Tips and Resources to Help you During Course Request

It is that time again; time to start thinking about next semester and to start developing your class schedule for the fall. At the moment, it may seem that next fall is so far away and we are not quite sure what next semester will entail. During these stressful times I wanted to write about resources I found that helped me create my schedule for the next semester. The process can be stressful because you feel like you don’t have time to see your advisor while trying to create the perfect schedule with no time conflicts. I know many of us are organized students and I am sure some of you may already know these things, but I wanted to put all of the important information in one area for anyone that has questions or needs more guidance! I hope you find this helpful and hopefully by the end of the article you will feel confident, or more confident, in creating your schedule for next fall. I hope by next semester we will all be back in Blacksburg and attending the football games!

course requestThe first thing we should start with is where can you find out when Course Request opens, and when does it close. The best place to receive this information is on your Virginia Tech email. Typically, your advisor will send out an email the day course request opens. In that email it will say when it will close and resources you can use for help. The image on the left is taken from the email that my advisor sent me with the course request information! Since Virginia Tech has moved classes online, your advisors should be offering 15 minute Zoom virtual meetings. If you would like to schedule a Zoom meeting, you need to reach out to your advisor in order to know their availability. This may not seem ideal for some, and some of you may like seeing your advisor in person, but each of Virginia Tech’s colleges will help you in any way that they can considering the circumstances. Otherwise, if you have any questions I would recommend you simply just email your advisor. Your academic advisor is the best resource to start with if you have any questions or concerns regarding your academics. Thankfully, they have given us two weeks to complete Course Request instead of one, so you don’t have to feel rushed or pressed for time! Another resource with useful information regarding Course Request is from the daily emails from each of the colleges (i.e. Pamplin or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will send daily email updates with on-goings related to the specific college your major is in). They may feel monotonous, and I know that in the past I disregarded these emails and just labeled them as spam, but they have useful information such as event dates and information regarding academic advising. I would suggest reading these emails if you aren’t clear about something.

The best resource, once you have figured out an idea of what courses you should be taking, is the TimeTable of classes. This is used to look up courses in the fall and see what times they are offered. This is a great resource I like to use because it will give you the CRN number of the classes you look up, and this is helpful because for Course Request, you only type in the CRNs for all of the courses you would like to take. This is also where you can see at what times the courses you are interested in are offered and from here you can start to piece together your schedule with ease! The next resource to go to is your four-year plan schedule that is typically made by your advisor. This has been one of the most helpful things for me when I am trying to plan my schedule for the next semester. I am a visual person, so it is nice for me to see my four year plan laid out in front of me so I can physically see what each semester of mine will entail. Another helpful thing about this is it provides the course number, which you need for Course Request and it will also inform you of particular classes where you need to get a C- or better in. Personally I always like to make sure which classes are the ones where a C- is required for planning purposes.

My last tip is to talk with your peers, friends, and professors. This can be helpful if you want to know for example, if there is a certain professor that is recommended for a specific class. This has been helpful for me in the past and has made my class schedule a lot better. A great resource especially for CWIB members is to consult your peer mentor if you have one. Do not hesitate to reach out to them with any quesImage2articletions or concerns, because I am sure they would be willing to help as much as they can, and I say this because I am a peer mentor myself and I always like helping as much as I can! In the past, I have also used my friends for help, as we try to plan out our schedules so we request certain classes together. It is always nice to have a friendly face in your classes! In the last article I wrote, I discussed the benefits of studying with friends. Having classes with your friends is always helpful and has helped me so far in my six semesters at Tech. I don’t know how I would have gotten through certain classes without having the help of my peers.

As said earlier, I am sure most of us know how this process works and are very apt in doing it with no help, but I remember my freshman year when I was stressed out because I was worried I would forget about Course Request, or I would  not complete it correctly, so I hope that someone in CWIB finds this helpful. Lastly, I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe especially during these difficult times! Like I said earlier, hopefully we all find each other back in Blacksburg in the fall!

By: Ashley Mattson

Business Fashion

When entering the workforce for the first time or switching jobs, figuring out what to wear and when to wear it can be a struggle! Work attire can differentiate between companies, job types, seasons, and occasions. In this article, we will explore 4 different business fashion dress codes and when to wear them.

Casual

Casual business attire might be worn if you work in an informal office where many of your co-workers may wear t-shirts, jeans, etc. However, even if your workplace has a casual dress code, you should avoid dressing down when meeting with clients or in interviews. Things you can wear in a casual work environment include: t-shirts, blouses, sweaters, jeans, cropped pants, or khakis. Shoes may include sneakers, low heels, or sandals. Casual does not mean inappropriate or sloppy, so make sure to avoid wearing stained, wrinkled, overly revealing, or offensive clothes. The following pictures show two examples of casual attire.

Smart Casual

Smart casual is another form of casual business attire but with a stylish twist. This dress option incorporates trendy pieces to elevate a casual outfit into a more semi-formal one. This dress code is often very similar with casual and business casual attire, however the main difference is the incorporation of trends and statement pieces  for jewelry/accessories, as this makes you look cleaner and more put together than casual, while allowing more flexibility than business casual. Smart casual is a very versatile dress code with lots of options! Some items include dresses, sweaters, trousers, skirts, blouses, heels, flats, jewelry, and scarves. Footwear can remain casual as well — flats and open toed shoes are appropriate.

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Smart Casual attire

 

Business Casual

Business casual is very common in many offices and is a great default dress code when unsure what to wear to a particular setting. Business casual is a step down from a business professional look but is still very polished and professional. Business casual is suitable for luncheons, meetings, and the like. It is often seen at technology companies, as well as marketing or public relations departments. Common business casual clothing items include dress pants, khakis, blouses, and tailored blazers that achieve a balance between professional and relaxed. In terms of footwear, stay away from open-toed shoes and stick with either flats or low heels. Opt for neutral colors such as in a business professional dress code, but you can add small pops of color through accessories.

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Business Casual attire

 

Business Professional

Business professional attire is generally a more conservative and formal look to portray yourself in a professional manner. This dress code is more traditional and is very common in industries such as accounting, banking, finance, government, or law. Typically, women can wear a skirt or dress of appropriate length with pantyhose, a neat top, a blazer, a pantsuit, appropriate heels (typically no higher than 3 inches is a good rule of thumb), or tidy flats. Minimal jewelry and belts can be used to accessorize! When dressing in business professional attire it is recommended to stick with more neutral colors such as black, grey, tan, navy blue and white. This dress code is very typical for interviews and high-level meetings.

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Business Professional attire

Generally, an interview calls for business professional attire. The more important thing to consider when you’re dressing for a job interview is that you need to look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you’re seeking. As college students, this is very important because it shows that you know how to behave professionally. How you dress yourself for an interview will give off a particular first impression and you want this to be a positive one! I’m sure you all have heard the saying, “Dress for success,” or “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Keep these in minding when deciding upon your interview attire.

Now that you know the different kinds of business dress codes, you may be wondering how do I know which to follow? After being hired by a company the easiest way to figure out the dress code is to just ask! It may feel awkward, but feel free to ask your interviewer, supervisor, or human resources representative because it would be a lot more awkward showing up underdressed or overdressed!

As more and more companies switch to telecommuting many interviews may take place over zoom or videoconference. Remember, you still need to look professional even if it is just what is seen on the screen. For example, sweats and slippers on the bottom are okay, but you need to retain a professional, clean, showered, and polished look on top as you would normally. However, if an interview is taking place over a video conference it is most likely unnecessary to wear business professional attire such as wearing a full suit, but you must still look presentable by wearing a nice blouse and some jewelry.

As members of CWIB, we are so lucky to have a big, supportive group of women to back us up and give us advice. If you’re still feeling unsure about your workplace attire, don’t be afraid to ask anyone with job or internship experience! Reach out to friends and co-workers to get their advice on which styles would help employers perceive you best when interviewing or at various business events! Don’t forget to have fun with your personal style! Personalize your outfits in ways that represent who you are, while sticking to the guideline presented in this article.

By: Lindsay Barnes

 

 

 

 

Power Panel Update: Your Guide to CWIB’s Biggest Event of the Year in the Face of COVID-19

I’m sure you all were excited to attend Power Panel, may this be your first or final experience. Rest assured that although the rest of our semester will not look like what we hoped it would, CWIB is hard at work to ensure Power Panel 2020 will still occur, even if we cannot meet together in person at Virginia Tech. Our amazing members deserve to hear the empowering stories of our panelists and should be able to learn what “She Is” means to them in their respective careers. While the event experience may not be the one we expected, I can promise you it will not be one you want to miss.

Since we cannot hold Power Panel on campus this year, the leadership team has opted to transfer the event to a virtual platform. There are several possible platforms being discussed such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live. In the big world of technology we now live in, our options are endless for being able to connect with the panelists. We are confident that whatever platform we choose to utilize, you all will be able to effectively hear the panelists and ask any questions that may arise. We want to confirm that the platform used can accommodate as many attendees as possible, so you all will be the first to hear “where” Power Panel will take place once it is decided! Power Panel will still occur on Wednesday, April 8th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

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One big shout out goes to Abby Riggs, our VP of Showcase. You all were probably not privy to see all that she did behind the scenes of organizing Power Panel. Between reaching out to numerous women to gain their interest in being panelists, to contacting the Inn at Virginia Tech with our menu preferences, and creating a promo video for the event, Abby put her heart and soul into making this event one we would all find so empowering, inspiring, and fun! We definitely shouldn’t discount all the hard work she put towards a successful Power Panel, so here’s a big thank you to Abby! We know Power Panel will be just as empowering and exciting as she planned it out to be.

For an official update on virtual Power Panel, I have included the statement from CWIB’s Facebook post:

We will be sending out a virtual invite for Power Panel in light of COVID-19. We will be sending out more information soon!

In the hopes of empowering, preparing, and connecting women, Collegiate Women in Business hosts our annual Power Panel. Our panelists will discuss a wide range of topics from how to start your career, to advice about navigating your path as both a woman and a businesswoman, to even personal stories about rising above their most difficult challenges. Each year, our panelists serve as an amazing support system and a great resource to learn more about pushing past adversity in the business world.

Featured panelists include:

Jill Mills; 737 Captain — United Airlines

Christina Daves; Publicity Strategist — PR for Anyone

Vicki Petrides; Principle Research Statistician — Abbot Laboratories

Admission is free and all are welcome. No advance registration is required.

We are still more excited than ever as this years’ Power Panel will be another one filled with uplifting, inspirational testimonies from successful women who were once where we are now. We can’t wait to see you all tuned in to the event! Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for Lauren’s Power Panel Preview article where she interviews the panelists and gains insight into their personal and professional endeavors. She introduces them to us so we can get a feel for who we will be hearing from at Power Panel. From steps they took to reach their goals to fun facts, you won’t want to miss out on meeting our panelists! While Power Panel will be set up differently, the benefits reaped from this event will be unlike any other. Keep an eye out for more updates to come and make sure not to let the unsettling times during COVID-19 keep you from doing your part to better yourselves, continue your learning, and help serve as a reminder to make our world a safer place in any way we can.

By: Emma Harwood 

 

 

 

 

Job Hunting: “Where Do I Start?”

above the problem

The Problem

Need some extra cash? Looking to build experience? Trying to land that dream job? Job hunting can be motivated by a variety of factors, each of which contribute to the level of urgency and professionalism needed in your search. Once the need to find a job arises, you may want to get started right away, but find yourself overwhelmed and confused. Knowing where to look, how much to ask for, and how to find the right fit for you is not always obvious, especially for first-time job-hunters. While looking for a job is not the same process for everyone, there are some key steps you can take, resources you can utilize, and general information everyone can benefit from. By acquiring some tips and tricks, you can become more confident and comfortable with pursuing this process. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and work for what you want!

above first steps

First Steps

The very first step you can take is looking inward. You can’t start looking without knowing what you want! Good questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Are you motivated by money or experience?
  2. How quickly do you need a job?
  3. What kind of work are you comfortable doing or would like to do?
  4. Do you have any skills or preferences that are applicable to a certain line of work?
  5. How often and for how long are you available to work?
  6. How much effort are you willing to put into your search?

If you already know the answers to these questions, or have a dream job in mind, that’s great! If not, in addition to asking yourself these questions, you can take some time to fill out some free assessments online that may help to match you with a certain career path. This “career cluster” interest assessment is just one of the many free online resources that can help you understand your preferences a little better if you are pursuing a full-time career (https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip). If you are making big decisions about what career you would like to pursue, doing thorough research about the field of your choice is also crucial. This includes understanding potential growth in that field, average pay, typical working hours, and much more.

Here are some reliable resources to aid your research:

Once you have a general idea of the direction of your search, the next best step is to make a plan. This plan may be more structured if you have time constraints or need to find a job quickly. Utilizing a planner or your phone calendar to map out your next moves can help you use your time more efficiently. Action items you should consider including in your plan are creating or updating your resumè, investing some time looking on popular job search websites, contacting any LinkedIn connections for prospective job openings, and scheduling interviews and informal meetings.

To find part-time or  full-time jobs near you, you can easily browse some popular job search sites, like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor. Companies will post positions they are looking to fill along with their respective responsibilities and wages. People who have worked at these companies in the past can leave reviews, which helps you choose a work environment that suits you best. Creating or updating a LinkedIn profile is also highly suggested for anyone looking to enter the workforce.

These steps may seem easy upon first glance, but this process may take some time. It is important to try to maintain a positive attitude and to stay patient during your job hunting experience because it can be easy to become demoralized by lack of positive responses. Keeping your chin up and persevering until you find the perfect opportunity for you will make your success even sweeter in the end!

above tried and true advice

Tried and True Advice

For college students in particular, there are some specific pieces of advice that can be especially helpful. Your school recognizes the need for resources dedicated to job hunting, so there will most likely be career fairs and networking events you can attend. Networking can include connecting with recruiters, alumni, and even your professors. If you excel or have an interest in any particular subject, your professor may be a great resource for job opportunities, research programs, and references for your resumè.

Additionally, keep an eye out for recruiters or recruiting events hosted by certain companies. These opportunities can be a direct pipeline to a full-time job! Networking is truly a key opportunity for college students to take advantage of whenever possible. Remember, networking is not only limited to high-ranking professionals; it is good to connect with anyone who can help you get where you want to go.

Furthermore, your campus most likely has a career services office, or something similar. VT certainly does! The career services office will host events to build students’ professional skills and knowledge and can be a good place to visit if you need career counseling or help with job hunting. You can ask questions and personalize your experience to suit your needs.

In terms of finding a quick part-time job, finding a position on campus that is easily accessible is usually very beneficial. You can play a contributing role in your school’s daily functions and acquire some student discounts, while being only a stone’s throw away from your classes. Working on campus can be a great way to explore different careers if you are fairly new to the working world, as on-campus jobs can include anything from food service, to retail, to graphic design.

above ready for takeoff

Ready for Takeoff!

Pursuing a new job or career path is tough. It takes persistence and strength to put yourself out there to new people, especially those you wish to impress. But, do not let it intimidate you! Someone out there is looking for someone just like you, with your unique skills, background, and personality. Just remember to utilize all of the resources available to you, take advantage of opportunities that come your way, and be confident in yourself because only you can make it happen!

By: Lauren Miles 

Wisdom for the Workforce

Over winter break, many students finalized their internships or job offers for the summer. For those who haven’t, fret not as there are countless opportunities still out there for grabs. You can find these offers on Handshake, LinkedIn, or any other job board such as Glassdoor or Indeed. For those who already have their summer plans set, it can be an overwhelming time as you anticipate what’s to come- especially if this is your first internship. However, Collegiate Women in Business and other resources on campus offer many resources for students to utilize to help ease their adjustment to their new jobs.

CWIB Events

One such resource is the Campus2City event on Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00 pm. Campus2City is a new Collegiate Women in Business sponsor who is hosting a workshop to help students who will be relocating to New York City after college. If you are busy worrying about your job duties and responsibilities, Campus2City will help take some of the load off of your back by answering all of your questions pertaining to New York relocation for your job. The event will consist of real estate practices and insight on what a career in real estate would look like. For those interested in the area, there will be job opportunities if you are still looking! Even if you are not a Real Estate major, expanding your interests to explore different career opportunities while getting involved is a good start to figuring out what you may want to do in the future. You may even fall in love with a new potential career path! If any of this sounds interesting to you, come out and enjoy some Chik-Fil-A while learning more about the Campus2City platform!

Another Collegiate Women in Business event coming up is the Dress for Success workshop, which will be hosted by Loft. The event will take place on Tuesday, February 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Loft on First and Main Street. It can be hard to figure out what to wear for a job, especially when there are countless types such as business casual, business creative, or business formal. During this event, Loft will help assist members on determining what kind of business attire is appropriate for different kinds of settings. The clothes you wear can impact your job greatly, since confidence in your appearance can also make you confident in the work you do. After you leave the Dress for Success workshop, you will feel much more informed on what kind of clothes you can wear to different business settings and how you can feel your prime during your job. After the workshop, Loft will stay open after hours for members to shop with an exclusive discount. Light refreshments will also be available, so show up to Loft on First and Main Street for a good time!

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Our Monthly Meetings are just about the best opportunities to hear from professional women in the workforce about their experiences and how we too can achieve our goals. I hope you all made the February meeting yesterday where we heard from the amazing Lindsay Burton, CEO and founder of Kayo Conference Series. Her inspiring story of her transition from Wall Street to starting her company gave us all insight into how we can be just as courageous in our professional endeavors. She stressed how women should not be afraid to be entrepreneurs as we all bring special skills and passions to what we choose to pursue. As Lindsay said, combining a passion, skills, and a way to make money is crucial in your professional success. As you determine what passions and skills you have, the money will come; it is important to focus on ambition over prestige when starting out in your company.

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Job Fairs

For those who have not secured an internship yet, Virginia Tech offers many job fairs for students to explore different companies and what they offer. On Wednesday, February 18th, The Career and Professional Development department is hosting a job fair at the Commonwealth Ballroom from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. There will be more than 125 companies represented at the fair offering positions from co-ops to internships, or even full time jobs. Examples of employers who will be at the event include the CIA, Geico, and the Peace Corps. Make sure to research the company before you arrive, and carry your resume and cover letters in a padfolio so you aren’t scrambling for papers.

Before heading to a job fair, ensure that your resume is updated and as professional as it could be. Virginia Tech often hosts resume workshops throughout different organizations. On Monday, February 10th, come to the Career Course 101: Resume and Cover Letter Basics events at Smith Career Center from 2:30 to 3:00 pm. You can get all your questions about your resume answered, as well as receive extra advice on small mistakes you might not have even been aware of. Make sure to RSVP on Handshake, if you plan to attend, since resume workshops are limited space. CWIB puts extensive efforts into conducting resume workshops, networking events, and publishing articles like this one intended to help you at job fairs! Keep your eyes open for these opportunities before the next job fair.

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Part Time Jobs

If you are unable to find an internship or want to take some time off before entering the workforce, finding a part time job can also be a great option for gaining experience in vital skills such as customer service, teamwork, or sales. Many students, especially those studying business, prioritize internships above all else and do not consider a part time retail or restaurant job when making summer plans. However, all job skills are transferable, and as long as you learn valuable lessons that will help you in the future, it is easy to express how integral part time jobs were in building your career.

College is often the first time students are exposed to the professional workforce. To help ease this transition, Virginia Tech and the Collegiate Women in Business offer many resources. Make sure to prioritize attending these events and workshops since gaining new skills and networking with professionals are invaluable to employers. CWIB sincerely appreciates our sponsors and members for taking the time out of our busy schedules to make the most of these events!

By: Gyu Ri Kim