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MY VISIT TO SKECHERS (Manhattan Beach, CA)

January 9, 2017

skechers-couple skechers-relaxing24 years ago an exciting idea became a reality when Skechers was officially incorporated in Manhattan Beach. Business was conducted from a beach house and the only style available was a practical work boot. Now the 2nd largest athletic shoe retailer (behind Nike), the company is on track to have 1,600 locations globally and has grown from that beach house to 4 large buildings in Manhattan Beach, with significant expansion coming in the near future.

Skechers has made its brand on having shoes for everyone, toddlers, children, teens, working folk, parents and grandparents. They are broadening significantly and are entering some very high-end markets, including men’s dress shoes, performance walking shoes, basketball shoes, cleated shoes and the list goes on. They are also entering the apparel market and will be bringing lines of athletic gear to their stores.

Skechers is looking to recruit UCSB students and bring them into the company in pre-management and management roles. They are open to different majors depending on the position, but are interested in those with creative backgrounds (design, marketing, and advertising), business backgrounds, technical expertise, and sales/retail experience. This year they will be adding UCSB to their formal summer internship program which brings together a cohort of 8 – 10 interns to the Manhattan Beach headquarters to fill various roles depending on organization need for a 10 – 12 week structured experience. Please find their listing on GauchoLink.

Additionally Skechers is always interested in hiring college students during the academic year, school breaks and the summer at their retail stores where skills in customer service and management are readily developed. Obviously experience in the retail industry and Skechers specifically is highly desired in the hiring process.

Blog written by Diana Seder, Employer Relations Manager, UCSB Career Services,

Top 10 Career Strategies for Freshmen and Sophomores

January 2, 2017

You control your career destiny! Just going to class and picking up your diploma after four years doesn’t cut it. You need to become active on and off campus.

Becoming marketable to employers or graduate schools is a four-year job. Here are the top 10 things you can do during college to make yourself marketable at job-search time. In fact, if you do all 10 of these, you’ll be unstoppable:.

1. Keep your grades up

Employers and graduate schools want candidates with good grades. That will probably never change. Doing well academically not only proves that you have a good knowledge base, but indicates a strong work ethic—a trait that employers value.

2. Identify your interests, skills, values, and personal characteristics

The first step to clarifying your career goals is to go through a process of self-assessment. Visit your career center and take advantage of the self-assessment instruments it has to offer.

3. Actively explore career options

You owe it to yourself to find a career that enriches your life, not one that brings you down. Actively exploring careers means talking with professionals in occupations of interest and observing professionals on the job. Your career center probably has alumni and other volunteers who are willing to talk to you about their careers. Also, attend any career expos, career fairs, and career speaker panels that are offered.

4. Become active in extracurricular activities and clubs

Active involvement in activities and clubs on campus is highly valued by employers and graduate schools. Joining a club is fine, but becoming active within that club is what matters most. Become a leader, hold an office, or coordinate an event. You will develop your skills in leadership and teamwork—skills that recruiters covet!

5. Get involved in community service

It’s important that you begin to understand and appreciate the importance of giving back to your community, and that you live in a larger community than your college or hometown. Typically, students look at community service as a chore. After they’ve served, however, it’s usually one of the most rewarding experiences they’ve had! Recruiters love to see that you’ve volunteered to help in your community.

6. Develop your computer skills

Take advantage of the computer courses and workshops your college offers. You can also learn a lot by just experimenting with different software packages on your own. Finally, you should learn how to develop your own web page or web-based portfolio. There are many web-design software tools that make it real easy to develop your own web page! Contact your college’s information technology office to see how to get started.

7. Develop your writing skills

Over and over, company and graduate school recruiters complain about the lack of writing skills among college graduates. Don’t avoid classes that are writing intensive. Work at developing your writing skills. If there is a writing center on campus, have them take a look at your papers from time to time. Remember, the first impression you give to recruiters is typically your cover letter or personal statement.

8. Complete at least one internship in your chosen career field

More and more, internships are the springboards to employment and getting into graduate programs. Many recruiters say that when they need to fill entry-level jobs, they will only hire previous interns. In addition to making yourself more marketable, internships also are a great way to explore careers and determine whether or not certain careers are for you. When you work for a company as an intern for three to four months, you get a really good feel for whether the field (and company) is one in which you want to work day in and day out!

9. Gain an appreciation of diversity through study abroad, foreign languages, and courses

We are now, more than ever, working within a global work force. For you to be successful at work and in your life, you must stretch yourself, and learn about people and cultures different than yours. Take advantage of the wonderful study-abroad opportunities and the courses relating to diversity. This is your time to travel! Most people find it harder to take time to travel as they begin their careers and start families.

10. Use the career center all four years

The college career center can help you throughout your entire college career. Here is just a sampling of what your career center can help you do:
◦    Choose your major and career direction,
◦    Explore career options,
◦    Obtain an internship,
◦    Write a resume and cover letter,
◦    Develop your interviewing skills,
◦    Identify your skills, interests, and values,
◦    Develop a job-search or graduate school plan,
◦    Connect you with prospective employers (career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and more), and
◦    Connect you with alumni mentors.

Remember, you control your career destiny. Don’t wait until your senior year to start realizing your goals. Your career train is on the move. Jump on board now so you can reach your destination!

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


December 16, 2016

NuVasive Inc., based in San Diego, California, is a global medical device company focused on transforming spine surgery by empowering surgeons with technology to approach procedures in the least disruptive way possible. NuVasive’s solutions include access instruments, implantable hardware and software systems and reconciliation technology that center on achieving the global alignment of the spine. NuVasive has 1900 employees globally, has offices in 30 countries and is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ (NUVA). They are the #3 player in the $9 billion global spine market.

During my visit to the San Diego headquarters site, I was toured around a very current, comfortable, and forward-thinking organization. Particularly interesting was the on-site cadaver lab in which exploratory surgery and training is done using the techniques, devises and software being developed. The San Diego site also houses a manufacturing facility for the instruments designed and used in their surgical procedures.

NuVasive will be posting a variety of internship positions on GauchoLink starting in January 2017. They are targeting students with a variety of majors and interests.

Internship Program Details:

  • The NuVasive Summer Internship Program takes place at our headquarters office in San Diego, CA
  • Intern candidates must be currently enrolled at an accredited college or university pursuing a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. program
  • Students must have successfully completed 2 years of undergraduate studies with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Candidates are responsible for their own housing and transportation during the internship
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States (CPT is OK).
  • Summer intern positions are normally full-time (40/hrs.) week for 10 to 12 weeks with a flexible start date depending on the academic calendar.

Interns have access to the lab as part of their summer experience and will be exposed to cutting edge technology, research and systems design in addition to business and management best practices, leadership and networking activities.

NuVasive internships often result in exciting career opportunities, challenging leadership experiences, and rewarding projects. Interested students should create a profile on the NuVasive career site to ensure that information is on file with the recruiting team,


Blog written by Diana Seder, Employer Outreach Manager, UCSB Career Services, diana.seder@sa.ucsb.edunuvasive-surgeons-and-interns


A Career Planning Course for Parents

December 12, 2016

Your son or daughter just left for (or returned to) college but doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what he or she wants to major in, let alone choose as a career. Don’t worry, this is not unusual, although you might wish your child had a little more sense of direction.

Choosing a career is a process students need to go through—and they go through the stages of this process at different rates of speed. The steps include:

  1. assessing skills, interests, and abilities (an important first step to choosing an appropriate career);
  2. exploring majors and career options;
  3. experimenting with possible career options; and
  4. organizing and conducting a job or graduate school search.

You can assist and support your child in each of these stages. But what can—or should—you do?

Here’s your own career planning timetable.

Careers 101—for parents of first-year students

During their first year or so of college, students will be involved (formally or informally) in assessing their skills, interests, and abilities. They will do this through finding success (or failure) in courses they take, involvement in campus activities, discussions with their friends and faculty, and by being exposed to and trying out different ideas and experiences.

Most students enter college with a very limited knowledge of the vast array of courses and majors available to them. When they begin to delve into studies that are new to them, even those who entered with a plan may be drawn to different options. This is an exciting time for students.

What you can do to help

  • Support your child’s exploration of new areas of study and interests. This, after all, is what education is all about.
  • Affirm what you know to be areas of skill and ability he or she has consistently demonstrated. Sometimes students overlook these and need to be reminded.
  • Talk with your son or daughter about the courses and activities he or she is enjoying. Students discover new things about themselves throughout the college experience. Your willingness to listen and be a sounding board will keep you in the loop.
  • Don’t panic if your child is excited about majoring in something like English, history, or art. These can be excellent choices, particularly if they are a good match for a student’s interests and skills.
  • Support your son or daughter’s responsible involvement in campus activities but urge this to be balanced with maintaining achievement in the classroom.
  • Urge your child to seek assistance in the campus career center. Most institutions have assessment instruments and counselors to help students to define their skills, interests, and abilities.

Careers 201—For parents of second-year students

Generally, during the second year of college, a student begins to explore majors and career options more seriously. Many colleges and universities require that new students take a broad range of subjects to promote this exploration.

What you can do to help

  • Don’t insist upon a decision about a major or possible career choice immediately. If you sense that your child’s indecision is a barrier to positive progress, urge that he or she look for assistance in the career center. Students often have difficulty making a “final” choice because they fear they may close off options and make a wrong choice.
  • Suggest that your son or daughter talk with faculty and career advisers about potential choices.
  • Direct your child to family, friends, or colleagues who are in fields in which he or she has an interest. “Informational interviewing” with people can be extremely helpful at this stage.
  • Steer your child toward a source of information. Many campuses have a career consultant or mentoring network of alumni in various career fields who are willing to share information with students about their careers. These resources are invaluable both in this exploratory stage and later as students are seeking internships and jobs.

Careers 301—For parents of “mid-career” students

During the sophomore year and throughout the junior year, it is important for students to experiment with possible career options. They can do this in a variety of ways: internships, cooperative education programs, summer jobs, campus jobs, and responsible volunteer experiences both on campus and in the local community. This is a critical time for your support and understanding.

What you can do to help

  • Encourage your child to use the resources available at the campus career center. Experts there can assist your child in preparing a good resume and finding opportunities to test career choices. Most career centers are in direct contact with employers.
  • Tell your child that you understand the importance of gaining exposure to and experience in his or her field of career interest. Broadening experience through involvement outside the classroom is a valuable use of time.
  • Internships or summer experiences may be non-paying. Also, a good opportunity may be in a distant location. Discuss your financial expectations with your child before a commitment is made.
  • Don’t conduct the internship or summer job search for your child. It’s a great help to provide networking contacts or names of people who may be helpful; however, making the contact and speaking for your child deprives him or her of an important learning experience—and may make a poor impression on the future employer.

Careers 401—For parents of graduating seniors

The senior year is when organizing and conducting a job search or graduate school search begins in earnest. It is also a time when students are heavily involved in more advanced courses and often have more responsible roles in campus and/or volunteer activities. Balancing these important pursuits and setting priorities is a constant challenge for seniors.

You are probably anxious for this young adult to make a decision—and yet, he or she may be moving toward closure more slowly than you would wish.

What you can do to help

  • Suggest that he or she use the campus career center throughout the senior year. These offices provide assistance in preparation for the job search. Offerings may include:
    • Workshops and individual help with resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and other job-search skills,
    • Individual and group career advising,
    • Job-search resources,
    • On-campus interviewing opportunities, and,
    • Alumni career consultant or mentor programs.
  • Don’t nag your child about not having a job yet. This will often have the reverse effect. Use positive reinforcement.
  • Offer to assist by sending information you may have found about your child’s target career field and/or job listings that may be of interest. Listen for indications from your child that you are getting carried away—and back off.
  • Don’t call potential employers to intervene for your child. Contact with potential employers is the candidate’s responsibility.
  • Be prepared to support your child through the ups and downs of the job and graduate school search. It can be a bumpy road—not every desired job or graduate school acceptance will come through. Your student will need reassurance that for every door that closes, another opens.

Final Thoughts

The college years are a time of exploration, experimentation, and learning on many levels for students and their parents! Some student challenges may seem more positive than others, but all contribute to the educational outcomes of the college or university experience.

Throughout these years, students are developing a “record of achievement” that will be evaluated by employers and graduate schools as they move beyond college. There are several pieces of this record:

  • Academic achievement. The grade point average (GPA) is one factor considered by competitive employers and graduate schools. It is one of the few tangible indications of a student’s ability to learn and perform effectively, at least in the academic environment. Therefore, students need to do as well as possible in the classroom, especially in courses in their majors.
  • Responsible work experience. In today’s competitive employment market, many employers seek students who have related internship, summer, cooperative education, or part-time job or volunteer experiences. In fact, employers often look to their own such programs as primary sources for their new hires. These experiences are particularly critical for liberal arts students whose majors may not appear to be directly related to their areas of career interest.
  • Responsible involvement outside the classroom. Extracurricular activities provide the opportunity for students to gain many valuable and career-related skills, such as the ability to work effectively with others in a team environment; leadership; planning and organizational skills; and priority-setting and time management. These are part of the package of skills employers seek in their new hires.

Best of luck to you in navigating the challenging waters of parenting a college or university student.

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

Develop Your Career Goals Holistically

November 28, 2016

Many undergraduate students start the career decision-making process by selecting a major based on the subjects they enjoyed in high school. For example, you may have chosen to major in engineering because you were “smart” in high school or strong in math and science, but you really don’t know much about the engineering field. And then, you wonder why you’re not more interested in the engineering coursework and field experiences.

The problem isn’t engineering. The problem is that you’ve formed career goals in isolation. You didn’t consider the environment you would be working in, the physical location of the organization you might work for, the skills you want to develop and build on, or the way you hope to grow a professional.

Dan Blank, a career coach who works primarily with creative professionals, offers the following advice in his webinar “Take Back Your Creative Life.”

“Career goals should not be formed in isolation. You must take into account all of your responsibilities (personal and professional), and be sure to account for your own well-being. This includes physical and mental health.” Blank encourages his clients to integrate their career and personal goals in order to set themselves up for success.

Career goals, increasingly, need to be formed holistically. Gone are the days when choosing a career was simply a matter of matching your best school subject to an industry. The market is volatile; new opportunities are being created and other avenues are becoming less viable. A law career isn’t the safe choice it once was, and the nonprofit world has expanded to include diverse organizations tackling new social issues. It’s more common that professionals will relocate to a new city for a job opportunity, and more workers than ever are changing jobs and moving to new sectors over the course of their careers.

Students are facing the so-called “paradox of choice.” Research has demonstrated that if you are presented with more opportunities, decision making becomes more difficult and satisfaction less likely.

When you step into a career development office today, you’re faced with a much broader set of options than you would have been 30 years ago. You could go to medical school in your hometown or spend two years in the Peace Corps and teach grade school students in Lithuania. You could go to graduate school for computer science or launch a start-up with friends based on ideas for a new app.

In order to make these decisions, you must consider not only what talents you have, but what kind of life you want to lead.

Here are a few questions you should consider during the career exploration process:

  • What skills do I have and want to develop?
  • What type of work environment might best fit my temperament?
  • What type of diversity do I hope to have in my work environment?
  • How is the industry I’m considering expected to evolve in the next few decades?
  • What city, state, or country might I want to live in?
  • What have my career goals been and how have they changed?
  • What role would I like technology to play in my career?
  • How important is stability to me and how willing am I to take risks?

Each of these questions will take time to answer as you develop more clarity in your identity and values. Attempting to build your life looking only through a narrow lens of career is bound to work against your happiness. Look into internship and co-op programs that allow you to get full-time work experience before graduation so you can test your interests in specific careers.

Melanie Buford is a writer and career counselor who has lived and worked on both American coasts and abroad. She is the program coordinator and an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati. Melanie writes both fiction and non-fiction, and is in the process of developing a 70,000-word fictional novel.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Feeling Lost? The Best Careers Change and Evolve

November 14, 2016

A senior psychology major came into my office the other day. She dropped her bag, plopped down into a chair, and said “I’m lost!”

With relatively little prompting, the story came out. She already knew her long term goal: to be a child and family therapist. A faculty mentor had recommended a graduate program for her, and, doing very little of her own research, she applied to the program and turned her attention back to school. She was accepted, fortunately, but upon learning more about it, she realized that it was a business focused program, not a therapeutic one.

“That’s disappointing,” I said, “But it sounds like you have a good sense of what you’d like to do in the short term—graduate school—and the long term—child and family therapy.”

“No,” said the student, “you don’t understand. I’m lost. What will I do now? Program deadlines have passed. I can’t go to graduate school now. I have to wait a whole ‘nother year!”

How often does “I’m lost” mean “things didn’t turn out as I expected?”

Here’s the thing, and it’s something I tell students over and over in spite of the fact that it doesn’t reassure them at all: The best careers, just like the best lives, aren’t linear.

So many people are paralyzed by the idea of choosing a career—at the age of 20—that they’ll have to spend the rest of their lives on. This is entirely reasonable. And yet, students seem equally intimidated by the idea that their career will change and evolve in natural and unpredictable ways.

Very few people look up as a junior in college and plan out a 40-year career during which everything happens exactly as they expect it to and they are perfectly successful and satisfied. How incredibly uninspiring that would be. The purpose of college career goals isn’t to remain unchanged for half a lifetime, but instead, to interact with the world and be changed. Our mission is to let the world change us, not to make it to the finish line exactly as we started.

The most interesting people will tell you that they never could’ve predicted where their careers would end up. This is why their stories are interesting, and this is why people want to learn from them. We are inspired by people who are open to life and let it change them, people who evolve in unexpected ways.

We instinctively know this is true. Most of our career advice has this idea at its core.

Take the somewhat controversial mantra— “follow your passion.” Cal Newport* and others have come to challenge this advice as, at best, misleading, and, at worst, harmful. But there is wisdom embedded here and it isn’t “ignore practicality,” but rather, “be open to inspiration.”

The near universal emphasis on networking is yet another example. Yes, networking is indispensable in finding a job in your field of interest. This is undeniably true. But the hidden value of networking is to expose you to people and ideas outside of your comfort zone. Your family and friends typically want to help you achieve the goals you’ve identified right now. Networking exposes you to people who don’t know your background, your goals, or the ways that you may already be limiting yourself. This opens you up to serendipity, and serendipity will push you to evolve.

“I’m lost” can be the beginning of amazing things but it’s not a place of comfort. It can, however, be a place of humility. It is often when we’re most unsure of ourselves that we’re most open to new directions.

This was the case for my senior psychology major. After a full session during which we discussed several possible options for her newfound open year, I brought her focus back to the long-term goal of becoming a child and family therapist.

“Did it occur to you,” I asked, “that many of the clients you will work with as a therapist will have come to you because they’re feeling disappointed and lost? Might this experience of disappointment, and perhaps a few more down the road, help to make you a better, more empathetic therapist?” Her nod was reluctant.

Our lives are full of surprises. If, as a young professional, you’re struggling with the overwhelming task of figuring out your future, I encourage you to tackle it one step at a time. If you’re still in school, focus on creating a plan for what you’ll do the year after graduation, rather than what you want to do with the “rest of your life.” Go to workshops, meet new people, travel if you can. These things will inspire you to set new goals. Most importantly, be patient with the process.

Embrace your failures and “lost” years as something inevitable and challenging. Delays to your plan can be opportunities to improve and refine it. Don’t waste these opportunities. Take full advantage.

*Newport, C. (2012). ‘Follow Your Passion’ is Bad Advice [Video file]. Retrieved from
Melanie Buford is the Program Coordinator/Adjunct Instructor in the Career Development Center at the University of Cincinnati.
Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers

Gaucho Intern Spotlight: Featuring Career’s Internship Scholarship Program 2016 Recipients

November 7, 2016

scholarship program bannerStudent Name: Katrina Miller

Expected graduation date: Winter 2017

Major(s): Aquatic Biology
Organization Name & Internship Title:

Location of Internship:

UCSB – SBC MBON, Dr. Robert Miller Lab

Tatoosh School – Coffman Cove, Alaska  (focus of spotlight)

  1. Briefly describe a typical day at your internship, such as the type of training you received or project you worked on. Any highlights or favorite moments?

This summer I spent six weeks in Alaska learning about the ecology and environmental policies of the Tongass National Forest and performing monitoring research on a watershed that had undergone restoration work by the Forest Service. A typical day during my time in Alaska would start waking up in my tent, preparing breakfast on portable propane burners on the beach, gearing up for the day’s objective whether it take place in the forest, a steam, tidepools, or out on sea kayaks. Then, I would spend the better part of a long Alaskan summer day alongside colleagues and fellow students collecting data, monitoring wolf cameras, identifying flora and fauna, and collaborating with local interest groups on how to promote environmental stewardship in Alaska’s growing communities and economy.

  1. How did this internship or research experience help you to explore and prepare for your career goals? (i.e. consider the biggest take-away(s) or skills from the experience that will help you in the future; or valuable connections you made along the way).

Being someone that has always been science minded and research oriented I appreciated the opportunity to practice and hone in on those skill but I left the Alaskan wilderness surprised to feel the most gratitude for the unexpected and drastic shift in the way that I will now approach environmentalism. Through talking with members of the Forest Service, owners of local logging operations, fishermen, hunters, members of the Tlingit tribe, and local community members I gained an understanding that most people, despite their background, desire thriving communities and ecosystems and that opinions only vary on the understanding of how to accomplish such. This is critical because it showed me the importance of developing relationships of mutual respect and the power of collaboration, rather than opposition, in creating progressive social and environmental change.

  1. In what ways did Career Services’ Internship Scholarship award help you to participate in this summer internship?

During the school year the majority of my time is split between school work and my internship with the Santa Barbara Channel Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (SBC MBON). I love the work that I do through this internship, the people I work with, and the opportunities it provides. I’m currently completing my scientific diving course so that I can begin SCUBA diving for SBC MBON and hope to continue research diving into my professional career. However, because my current internship is unpaid, receiving the Career Services’ Internship Scholarship has alleviated my financial stress just enough to allow me to continue my internship at UCSB, do research in Alaska, and get certified as a scientific diver, all of which I don’t believe I could have done without this generous scholarship.

  1. What 1-2 pieces of advice would you give to fellow Gauchos to help them find and apply to this specific internship, or a similar internship?

Go into the Career Services and talk to some of the staff members! They are all very friendly and helpful and can help direct you towards how and when to apply for the Career Services Internship Scholarship or others like it! The Financial Aid Office is another great resource to help discover various scholarship opportunities.