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A message from graduating senior-Alexa Dickinson

June 19, 2017

In the fall of 2013, I came to UCSB undeclared and without any ideas about what major and career I would pursue. As all current and former college students know, people start asking you questions about what you’re going to do with your life about a month before you graduate high school and don’t stop until you have a full-time job. This was rather troublesome for 18-year old me, as I didn’t have a clue where I was headed.

Now, I am finally about to walk across the commencement stage and can give a definitive to all the people who asked me what I am going to do with my life. Starting this summer, I will be doing marketing for T-Mobile at their headquarters in the Seattle area. My path from “what the heck am I doing” to “okay I know what I’m doing” was very complicated, somewhat stressful, and a lot of work, but here are some of the key things I learned along the way:

Be Fearless: College is a time to try new things, take chances, and make mistakes. I would have never guessed that I’d end up in marketing, but I decided to be bold and open in my search for a major/internship/job. When I applied to Career Services, I didn’t think I knew enough about careers to get the job, but I applied anyways. When I applied to my first marketing internship, I felt like I didn’t have enough experience to work at a big corporation, but I still talked to recruiters. When I declared the communication major, I only had one class under my belt and was unsure what the rest of the pre-major would be like. In all these cases, I put myself in positions that were out of my comfort zone and ended up succeeding.  Don’t hold back because you’re afraid, be uncomfortable sometimes and push yourself to try new things. Every situation has two outcomes: you succeed or you learn something. Neither of those should scare you that much.

Ask for Help: I didn’t start finding a major or career direction until I started working at Career Services and began interacting with resources. This isn’t just a shameless plug, I really think that the resources and services offered in the Career Center are integral to both self-discovery and career planning. Some students are scared to come in because they don’t know where to start, but those are the students who could benefit the most. As a career peer, I was trained to handle everything from “I have no idea what to do-please help me” to “I applied to X and have a specific question about Y,” so don’t worry about what stage you’re in, come get help every step of the way.

Network Constantly: When I started college I didn’t know anybody, so I decided to get involved so I could meet people. I joined a sorority and started volunteering, both of which led me to where I am today. The more involved I got, the more I met people who connected me with other opportunities. I got my job at Career Services because a sorority sister showed me the application, I got one of my internships after going to office hours for a professor who is connected to local companies, and I’ve had countless informational interviews with UCSB alumni. Get involved on campus, go to networking events, and utilize your connections while you’re in college. This is the ultimate time to build your network, as you’re surrounded my smart and ambitious people who want to see each other succeed.

Don’t think you have to figure out your plans right away or that you have to do it alone. Be strong, be open to new people and new ideas, and utilize the university setting as much as possible. Best of luck, Gauchos!

Alexa Dickinson is a career peer at UCSB Career Services

Congratulations to the 2017 Internship Scholarship Program Award Recipients!

June 12, 2017

Career Services and the Internship Scholarship Selection Committee are thrilled to announce the six recipients of the 2017 Internship Scholarship Program and to celebrate the career ambition and accomplishments of these undergraduates as they surpass barriers towards professional success. The 2017 award recipients for both the Career Catalyst and Dream Awards have landed impressive summer internship and research positions that will expand their professional network and career opportunities.  The program promotes attainment of professional preparation and provides scholarships of $1,500 to make necessary experience more accessible by offsetting financial hardships associated with unpaid internships.


2017 Career Catalyst Award Recipients & Summer Highlights

Sydney  — B.A. in History— Intern with the UC Office of Federal and Governmental Relations
“I applied to the University of California, Washington Center Program (UCDC) with the hopes of gaining experience beyond what is offered in California.  When I was accepted, I was ecstatic and excited to venture on this journey to our nation’s capital.  My acceptance to UCDC proved to me that my background does not define me and that I have the ability to achieve my dreams…As an aspiring lawyer, I have applied to legal internships…to gain early experience before applying to law school…My professional and career goals center around helping the communities that cannot help themselves and my criteria for an ideal internship takes this into account.  I take any opportunity and treat it as a learning experience, and this internship is no exception…I will create a space for myself of learning and scholarship.” – Sydney

Damaris  –B.A. in Sociology, minor in Education Studies —Intern with the Santa Barbara Education Foundation
“The Santa Barbara Education Foundation invests in the community’s public education by promoting educational equity within all schools in the Santa Barbara Unified District.  As a Development Intern…I will be responsible for helping the Development Officer with fundraising, data entry, projects, marketing and event planning…By interning for SBEF, it would be an amazing opportunity to give back to the community while continuing while continuing to motivate students from Santa Barbara Unified School District…My interests circle many areas such as Assessment and Evaluation, Equity and Diversity, Marginalized communities as well as the student population as a whole.  I would like to gain a better understanding of these areas and share insights with professionals at SBEF.  I am looking forward to meet(ing) new people, learn(ing) more and improv(ing) my skills…” – Damaris

2017 Dream Award Recipients & Summer Highlights

Maribel — B.A. in Environmental Studies, B.A. in Spanish— Intern with UCSB Sustainability

“I am excited to be a part of the group of interns as we get to put into practice what we learn in class and work on projects on campus.  I hope to improve my networking skills at this internship through constant networking that I will be doing with students and staff.  I would like to become an environmental planner and one of the most important things is being able to connect with the community and…I will get to hear and voice concerns of student organization leaders and serve as their representative.” – Maribel

Rony — B.A. in Sociology, minor in LGBTQ Studies — Intern with the National Center for Transgender Equality

“At the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) in Washington D.C., I will support the commitment to create visibility, policy change, equity and equality for Transgender People in the United States.  There is urgency to create change and change policy to best serve the lives of Transgender People at the state, local and federal level.  I am extremely honored to have been chosen by NCTE to intern in the Summer of 2017 through UCDC at UCSB.  This internship will allow me to engage in critical dialogue, challenge existing policies, and bring back knowledge and wisdom to create local change in the community at UCSB, especially for Transgender People on our campus.  As an Undocumented Queer Student of Color, I feel supported by the community of faculty, fellow students, friends and people who continue to support Dreamers to reach their goal of obtaining an education.  I am thankful to the Career Services Team and Undocumented Student Services for creating new roads to success for Undocumented Students at UCSB.” – Rony

Abdelaziz — Pre-Biology, B.A. in Music— Actively seeking a laboratory or volunteer opportunity

“I am definitely in need of financial support in order to help me through my plans this summer…The money graciously granted from this scholarship would allow me…to work with my professors.  My plans for this summer are to aid a professor or…a professional researcher on campus with their research…I am tirelessly working to meet that goal.” – Abdelaziz

Janeth — B.A. in Anthropology — Intern with CAUSE

“I believe that this summer internship will allow me to use skills I already possess such as organization, problem solving, and public speaking to grow as a leader and community organizer.  After I receive my B.A. in Anthropology, Cultural Emphasis from UCSB, I plan to attend Law School and learn about Immigration Law to…help the undocumented communities and Latino communities…I look forward to interacting with the Latino and undocumented communities in the Santa Barbara area and learning about how I can help them now and in the future.” – Janeth


Program Overview

Internship Scholarship Program recipients are selected based on demonstration of financial need, impact of scholarship award, and justification of how the internship supports career interests and professional growth.A special thank you to the Internship Scholarship Selection Committee for their dedication during the competitive blind-review process and commitment to the success of UCSB students!

2017 Internship Scholarship Selection Committee

  • Malaphone Phommasa, Transfer Student Center Director
  • Diana Valdivia, Undocumented Student Services Coordinator
  • Jo Ann Villanueva-Salvador, Career Counselor
  • David Lee, EOP Counselor
  • Tracy Smith, Career Peer, B.A. in Psychology

I’d also like to especially recognize the efforts of Diana Valdivia and Undocumented Student Services at UCSB, who generously funded four of the scholarships for this year’s recipients.  Thank you for your service and partnership!

Consider partnering with Career’s annual program to sponsor an award and help students gain necessary experience to prepare for opportunities beyond UCSB. For more information about the program please visit the Internship Scholarship Program webpage. To get involved, please contact Amanda Asquith, Student Experience Coordinator and Career Counselor ( & appreciation to artist Erin Ryan!


College Graduation is a Time to Start Fresh

June 5, 2017

Be respectful to everyone. Don’t be condescending to those without college degrees. Anyone at an organization longer than you, has more experience. Learn from them.

Do everything to be helpful. Not in your job description? Do it anyway. If you don’t, there are plenty of candidates for your entry-level job who will. (Exception: don’t get pressured into doing anything illegal or unethical.)

Pay attention to your table manners. Sit up straight, don’t use your fork as a shovel, take bite-sized pieces and don’t talk or let your mouth fall open while chewing. I have plenty of stories about people not hired or passed up for promotions because their sloppy eating habits would have been an embarrassment to an organization.

Graduate to a working wardrobe. Even in a casual work environment, avoid flip flops, maxi dresses and the rumpled little boy look. If you can wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to work (unless you work at the beach.)

Leave childish college binge drinking behind. Celebrating birthdays, job offers or because it’s the weekend, by getting drunk, is a road to nowhere. There may be hard choices ahead about leaving behind former drinking buddies. They’re not looking for your friendship. They want you as an enabler. If you can’t drink responsibly, don’t drink at all.

Beware the office gossips. They are not looking for your friendship either. They are priming you for material, to be later used against you.

Come early and stay late, without complaint. Don’t be a clock-watcher. If work begins at 9 AM, get your coffee before 9 AM. If work ends at 5 PM, do not start packing up at 4:45 PM.

Always look forward. College was fun, but look for the fun in your future.

©2016 Culture and Manners Institute | 2500 Woodland Avenue, West Des Moines, IA 50266 |

Can You Change Your Mind About a Job After You’ve Accepted?

May 22, 2017

Kayla Villwock is the Intern Program Manager for SAS.

After interviews with several top companies, you accept a job offer from Corporation A to begin a week after graduation. Then, XYZ Startup, a company that just began recruiting new college grads, interviews you and offers you a job to begin a week after graduation.

You want to work for XYZ Startup—but what will you do about the job you’ve accepted at Corporation A?

No big deal? Companies hire and fire people all the time, you think. You’ll just let Corporation A know that you’ve changed your mind.

Before you pick up the phone to renege on your job with Corporation A, consider this:

  • The job you accepted with Corporation A may have been someone else’s “dream job.” By accepting the job, you’ve taken that opportunity out of the job market.
  • Telling Corporation A that you’re not going to show up for work may have an impact on your future career.
  • Backing out on the job you’ve accepted may hurt the future job prospects of other students and alumni at your school.

What Happens to the Job When You Renege?

Many times a renege comes at the tail-end of the college recruitment season—April and May.

  • The position may go unfilled and the budget set aside for that position may be allocated for other purposes. One job lost to the college job market.
  • Final hiring numbers are lower for the employer, which may affect the company’s hiring numbers next year. (Meaning, fewer job opportunities for future new grads.)
  • The now-disappointed (and frustrated) employer may choose to not interview students or new grads again.

Your Choice Today May Ruin Your Choices Tomorrow

Truth: Some employers keep a running list of names of students who renege after they’ve accepted a job offer—a “do not call” list. Even without a list, recruiters will remember you.

If you are offered a job, it’s because you stand out in the crowd of applicants. The recruiter and hiring manager see and hear your name over and over during the interview and hiring process—in e-mails, on your resume, and in discussions with other employees.

Someday, you may want a job at Corporation A. Or, you may run into the same recruiter at a different organization where you want to work. Plus, recruiters talk to each other about students who back out on a job acceptance.

And, even if you seem to have a good reason for reneging on the acceptance—“personal reasons” or “to travel abroad”—your profile on LinkedIn will show that you’ve lied when you list the job you take.

You May Lose Alumni Privileges

Universities value their corporate partnerships, and they do not want to risk having companies stop recruiting new grads and alumni. That means, if you renege on a job acceptance, your name may end up on a “no services” list. If your school finds out that you’ve reneged—and they will—you may be denied access to university job boards and alumni career services when you need help finding your next job.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

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

May 8, 2017

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.

Making College Pay: A special blog for parents

April 24, 2017

How can your son or daughter get the best return on your investment in their college education—a good job and launch into their first career?

Good grades and the right major are important blocks in the foundation of finding a job after graduation. There are, however, other steps students can take to increase their value to potential employers.

  • Do an internship. Maybe the most important thing a student can do is find an internship—get real work experience in the field. Many employers look within their own internship programs when they need to fill entry-level positions.

That means, if a student does a good job while in an internship, he or she may get a job offer from that organization. And, while an internship could be the foot-in-the-door that a new grad needs, it also gives a student a realistic look at the prospective job, company, and career.

  • Go to the career center. Research shows that tapping into the resources offered by career services can increase the likelihood of getting a job offer.

While career counselors won’t “place” a student in a job, they teach students skills that will help them find their way onto and up the career ladder. They teach students how to put together winning resumes and cover letters, how to interview successfully, and how to dress professionally. They critique resumes, practice interview techniques, and field job listings. Most services at the campus career center are free.

Plus, career counselors know the employers that hire on their college campuses—they work with them on a regular basis—and can put a student in touch with the organizations looking for new hires.

  • Start the job-search process early.
    • Find the right major and start to plot a career path during the freshman year.
    • Start exploring internship opportunities. What’s better than an internship the summer after junior year? Multiple internships. Freshmen and sophomores may find internships too.
    • Get ready to be recruited in the fall. Employers do many of their on-campus interviews—for internships and entry-level positions—in the fall. And while employers interview in the spring, it’s best to be an early bird.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder.

Recruiter’s Perspective: Yardi Systems

April 14, 2017


Why do you enjoy recruiting Gauchos?

I am a little partial to recruiting Gauchos because I am an Alumni of UCSB myself! I also find that the students graduating from UCSB are very conscientious and are well prepared for their careers after graduation. UCSB also offers majors that are well aligned to the positions we have available at Yardi that develop and support our software.

What’s tips would you give to students to be successful at the career fair?

I would suggest coming to the event prepared. This would include bringing plenty of resume copies, professional dress and ability to shake hands! Also, students should do some research before attending the career fair. It will be helpful to understand which companies are the right fit for your career search and generally hire for your major. Lastly, be ready to have a conversation with a recruiter. Most likely, it will not be extremely in-depth at the career fair, but it is your first impression, so you should be friendly and professional. Also remember, often, managers that are hiring for positions may attend as well, so this is a great opportunity to get some face time with them.

 What tips would you give to students about how to be successful in an interview?

Be prepared! Do your homework and research the company you are interviewing with. Make sure you understand the position you are applying for so you can review the requirements and correlate your experience or educational background to that role. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, interviewing is not a one way street. Interviewing provides a great opportunity for you to have dialog with hiring managers and determine whether the company/position fits with your career goals. Questions also demonstrate that you have taken the time to think about the company/position and show your interest level. Lastly, always be respectful, actively listen, maintain eye contact and smile!

What type of opportunities are available at your company?

We are definitely in growth mode at Yardi which is an exciting place to be! We are currently hiring for Associate Technical Account Managers to implement our software. These roles are a great fit for Economics, Math, Statistics, or IT majors. We also have opportunities for Software Engineers which would align with Computer Science or Computer Engineering with a software focus.


Jules2Julia Hardcastle-Leitch
Recruitment Manager
Yardi Systems