Expand Your Connections: Badger Bridge

By Kavya Rathi (CALS Career Services Communications Intern)

Struggling to expand your connections on LinkedIn? Not finding your perfect job or internship on BuckyNet? Need some advice from experienced Badgers? Check out Badger Bridge!

Created by the Wisconsin Alumni Association® (WAA), Badger Bridge helps build connections with UW-Madison Alumni at top notch companies and communities around the world. It is a professional network where UW graduates and students come together on a mutual platform to offer help in accomplishing career goals and exploring professional opportunities.

Why should you join Badger Bridge?

  • Allows you to re-connect
  • Opportunity to give back
  • Expand your professional network
  • Advance your career

This can be your go-to resource for connecting with alumni and gaining professional advice, making a change in your career, and connecting with alumni in your city or cities across the world.

Follow this link to join the community: www.badgerbridge.com

Instructions on getting started: https://www.uwalumni.com/services/alumni-directory/getting-started/

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Students and the federal hiring freeze

Introduction by Jordan Gaal, CALS Career Services Peer Advisor
Post information provided College of Letters & Science Career Services and Marie Koko

Students at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, especially seniors, will possibly be affected by President Trump’s federal hiring freeze ban. This means many federal agencies that may be of interest to CALS students such as the United States Department of Agriculture and government research programs may not be hiring at immediately now. There are some important things to consider including exceptions from certain agencies and many internship programs are still hiring.

Here is some detailed information for students provided by the College of Letters and Science Career Services and Marie Koko, Career & Internship Specialist: Government, Politics, Policy and Nonprofits (find more information on their website):

As one of his first acts in office, President Donald Trump on January 22 issued a memorandum to freeze federal hiring. This action halts the hiring of new federal employees, applies to executive branch agencies and aims to reduce the size of government. The freeze impacts hiring for civilian federal employees and exempts the military as well as national security and public safety positions deemed essential.

The hiring freeze is not indefinite. The presidential memo directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), to recommend a long-term plan in 90 days to reduce the size of government through attrition. The current hiring freeze will expire once this plan is in place, although it is possible the plan could continue a hiring freeze for certain positions until the size of the workforce is reduced. Several agencies – such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense – also have released their own specific guidance on exemptions. Please note that there may still be uncertainty at some agencies as federal leaders determine how to apply aspects of the hiring freeze to their workforce.

Should students continue applying for federal jobs?
Yes! The freeze will eventually end and at that point applicants will again be considered for and offered positions. This may or may not occur in 90 days, pending the Office of Management and Budget and the Budget and Office of Personal Management plan. Many agencies may continue reviewing applications and conducting applicant assessments during the hiring freeze, although they cannot officially make offers until it ends.

What if an application is currently under review?
Students are encouraged to follow up with the HR contact listed on the job opportunity announcement to see where they stand in the process; however, many federal HR employees are waiting for specific agency guidance and may not be able to provide any additional information now.

What if a student has a job offer on the table?
Job offers made prior to January 22 with a start date before February 22 will be honored. Offers made prior to January 22 with start dates (confirmed or unconfirmed) after February 22 will be decided on a case-by-case basis and must be reviewed by the agency leader. Students in this situation should reach out to their federal HR point of contact for more information.

Are certain programs exempted?
Agency leaders can exempt positions deemed necessary to national security (including foreign relations) and public safety (including essential activities to the extent that they protect life and property). These exemptions will be decided on a case-by-case basis and students should check with agencies. Students who take unpaid internships may not be impacted by the freeze since they aren’t being brought on as full-time employees, but they should verify that with the agency. A more complete breakdown of relevant exemptions are noted in this article.

What about the Pathways Programs? Are they still hiring?
Pathways Internship and Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) programs are exempted from the freeze – great news for students and PMF finalists! These appointments are still provisional and conversion is not guaranteed, as noted in the OMB/OPM guidance. Pathways Recent Graduate positions are not exempted and are still subject to the hiring freeze.

Current employees under the Pathways Programs are still eligible for conversion to full-time positions. For example, a Pathways Intern or Recent Graduate currently serving in government can still be converted while the hiring freeze is in place, since these jobs often begin with a temporary appointment that is later converted to permanent.

I heard that national security and public safety careers aren’t affected. Is that true?
Positions related to national security and public safety may be exempted from the freeze and are determined by agency leaders. Students should check with agencies to determine if hiring still is taking place for posted national security and public safety positions. More specifically, federal civilian personnel jobs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency are exempted from the freeze, meaning they are still hiring – good news for students interested in intelligence and cyber careers!

Some students are now questioning whether they want to go into government. What can I tell them?
Our government hires for every skill and background imaginable – from engineers to nurses to zoologists to scientists to computer experts. There is a place in government for talented young people, and their impact serving our country can last for decades to come. Through administration changes and beyond, government will continue to need smart, strong and dedicated people to deliver important services for the American people. After a heated election season, emotions are high on both sides of the aisle, but our democracy is greater than the rhetoric and politics. Now, more than ever, is the time for millennials to join in as public servants.

Attend the following workshops which are part of the Spring Government Career Workshop Series to learn more about careers in government. All workshops take place in Union South (TITU).

Part One – Find & Apply for Jobs/Internships with State Government Agencies
Learn how to find your fit with the many opportunities available in Wisconsin state government agencies, how the hiring process works from an insider’s perspective, and gain some tips and tricks for making the job search easier.  NOTE: The basic concepts taught in this workshop are applicable to a state government agency job search in most US states.

—-Friday, February 17th 12-1pm with Q&A to follow—-
Led by Lisa Dally from the WI Department of Administration

Part Two – Find & Apply for Jobs/Internships with Federal Government Agencies
The Federal Government offers a multitude of career and internship opportunities, but most students are frustrated by what is often a very lengthy and confusing application process. Whether you have already targeted the federal government as an employer, or know absolutely nothing about Federal opportunities yet, this is the workshop you need to attend.  You are guaranteed to gain an understanding of: the best way to navigate and apply on USAJobs, Federal Pathways opportunities for both interns and recent grads, the different types of Federal hiring, and much, much more!

—-Friday, February 24th 12-1pm with Q&A to follow—-
Led by Marie Koko, Career & Internship Specialist at L&S Career Services

Part Three – Write a Winning Federal Resume
The content, style, length, and formatting of a successful Federal resume is quite different from the resume style you use outside of government. This workshop will teach you the tips and tricks that will help your resume stand out to Federal hiring managers.  We’ll talk about KSAs (What are those? Come and find out!), keywording, and how to properly match your skills to the position you seek.  NOTE: It is helpful to have attended the Federal Find & Apply workshop on 2/24, or have some familiarity with Federal hiring.

—-Friday, March 3rd 12-1pm with Q&A to follow—-
Led by Marie Koko, Careers & Internship Specialist at L&S Career Services

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Career Fairs, Preparation Events, Resume Reviews. A message from CALS Career Services

Career Fairs, Preparation Events, Resume Reviews: Early spring semester career development events

  • Weekly Resume Review drop in times
    Tuesdays: 12-2pm
    Thursdays: 12:30-2:15pm
    Location: 116 Ag Hall
    Please bring a printed copy of your resume.
  • Additional Pre-Fair drop in Resume Review hours – January 25 and 31
    January 25 and January 31, 1-3pm
    Location: 116 Ag Hall
    Please bring a printed copy of your resume.
  • Preparation Workshop: Career and Internship Fair – January 31
    Tuesday January 31st:  4:30-6pm Career Fair Prep Workshop
    Steenbock Library, BioCommons, Lower Level
    Career Fairs provide a great deal of opportunity in a very short amount of time. Learn how to maximize your results when meeting with employers who are interested in hiring college graduates. This workshop will give you tips on how to successfully navigate a career fair with time tested strategies on how to put your best professional foot forward.
    Questions: Contact career@cals.wisc.edu
  • Preparation Event: Career and Internship Fair Prep Night – February 1
    Wednesday, Feb. 1, 6-7:30 pm
    Pyle Center, 1st Floor Alumni Lounge (OPEN TO ALL MAJORS WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY)
    Drop-in format for students to come anytime during the event to visit several student-lead stations to polish their skills for the career fair. Outside of the stations the main feature will be our resume review/elevator pitch area where students can meet 1:1 with an employer.
    Co-Sponsored by the College of Letters & Science Career Services and Wisconsin Alumni Student Board
    Questions: Nate Doolin ndoolin@wisc.edu
  • Spring Career and Internship Fair – largest career fair of spring semester – February 2
    Thursday, February 02, 2017
    The Kohl Center
    Network with over 200 national and local employers seeking full-time and internship positions. Employers are looking for qualified UW-Madison students and recent alumni.
    Sponsored by: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, College of Letters and Science, School of Business, School of Human Ecology, School of Education
    List of employers and details: https://bus-wisc-csm.symplicity.com/events/b738fad8081506fb4e48821f03cd3ba4/overview

Visit us online for BuckyNet, resources, resume review hours, info to schedule advising appointments, blog posts, and events! www.cals.wisc.edu/careers. Email us at: career@cals.wisc.edu

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UW Students Grow Through Agriculture Future of America Conference

afac_logoStudents today are the leaders of agriculture tomorrow. Agriculture Future of America (AFA) builds bridges for young leaders to foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture. AFA advances this mission through several core programs that engage future agricultural leaders from communicators to crop scientists. For students, AFA offers a Leaders Conference focused on building necessary skills for future trailblazers in the agriculture industry as well as five institutes focused on food, technology, policy, animals and crop science. This year, UW-Madison students took part in two events with five students attending the Leaders Conference and two going to the AFA Crop Science Institute.

Leaders Conference Builds Future Agriculture Front-Runners

Pictured left to right: Sara Griswold, Abigail Martin, Mariah Martin, Debbie Machuca and Jessica Wendt.

Pictured left to right: Sara Griswold, Abigail Martin, Mariah Martin, Debbie Machuca and Jessica Wendt.

AFA creates connections between students and professionals across the country. At the Leaders Conference, Debbie Machuca, a freshman studying dairy science, says that her most memorable experience was connecting with students from around the country interested in the same field as her.

“It was eye opening to hear about the backgrounds and lifestyles of other students,” says Machuca. “Growing up in Chicago, I haven’t gotten the chance to connect with others that have grown up on farms and are from a long generation of farmers, so it was a humbling experience.”

Sara Griswold, a junior Life Sciences Communication major, agrees. “Throughout all three of my years attending AFA I think that my favorite part continues to be the people,” she says. “I love getting to meet new people each year, growing the relationships with people from UW-Madison and being able to connect with several industry professionals.”

Many students at the conference are paired with companies that align with their future career goals. Griswold was partnered with Cargill Animal Nutrition and had the opportunity to attend dinners and breakfasts with the company and learn from several employees. Machau was offered an internship with Monsanto in their Seed Production Plant in Kearney, Nebraska. This conference’s foremost goal is to prepare students for their future education and career.

“There are many pieces of knowledge, advice and experiences that I can take away from AFA into my education and future career,” says Mariah Martin, a junior studying Life Sciences Communication. “The speakers allowed me to think differently about many aspects including professional development, personality strengths, managing change, and preparing the next generation of leaders for the vast amount of change that will be taking place in the future.”

Crop Science Institute Offers Networking and Career Experience

Pictured left to right: Susan and Clare Gietzel.

Pictured left to right: Susan and Clare Gietzel.

Clare Gietzel, a junior studying agronomy, and Maria Weber, a junior studying plant sciences, attended the AFA Crop Science Institute in Sacramento, California this past July. The Crop Science Institute is held in a variety of locations year to year to allow students to experience the breadth of the industry.

“I took networking skills and valuable connections away from the event and gained exposure to many jobs in agriculture,” says Weber.

The Crop Science Institute allowed students to tour corporations such as Syngenta and Valent to gain a direct insight into industry practices. This year’s tours in the Sacramento area gave participants an understanding of the production of crops such as grapes, almonds, and olives.

“I now have a broader understanding of the crop science industry and was alerted to different production and outreach issues in other parts of the country that could very well be the basis of study for obtaining a graduate degree,” says Gietzel.

Gietzel’s experience at the Crop Science Institute strengthened her motivation to work in the industry. “We were all able to share goals for the future, both personal and industry wide.” says Gietzel. “It is hard to describe the feeling I had being surrounded by successful individuals with similar aspirations to mine. Feeling everyone’s passion for agriculture and their desire to make impactful changes in the industry was so incredibly rewarding.”

Both the AFA Crop Science Institute and the Leaders Conference offered CALS students a chance to explore their passion and develop essential skills for the workforce. These students have grown in their fields and many of them look forward to attending the conference and institutes next year to further develop as individuals in the field of global agriculture.

The entire group that participated in AFA’s Crop Science Institute in Sacramento, CA.

The entire group that participated in AFA’s Crop Science Institute in Sacramento, CA.

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Making Use of Winter Break Effectively: Get a Jump Start on Your Career Development

So, the hectic papers, projects and finals are finally all over and you’re just sitting around with all this free time, what do you do now?

Give yourself some time off and catch up on your sleep! Spend time with your family and eat some good homemade food that you have been deprived of all semester long. Sit back and watch some Netflix with the family or do something that you enjoy doing. But with all good things, you have to do it in moderation.

comicEven though spending most of your break catching up on T.V shows sounds like an amazing idea, you need to utilize this time usefully.

Here are some things that I recommend Badgers with plenty of free time on their hands on break to do:

1) Brush up on your resume!
Resumes are a pain to update but it is an important document that you will use over and over again no matter your age. Once the semester starts, it will become hard to find time to update your resume, so do it now while you’re questioning yourself, “What should I do today?”

Drop by your friendly neighborhood CALS Academic Affairs Office in Agricultural Hall for some helpful advice and resume building guides before you leave for home. (See cals.wisc.edu/careers for spring semester drop in resume review times.)

2) Apply for Internships!
Use this time to find internships that you might be interested in applying for. A useful site to help you find jobs and internships is our very own BuckyNet. This is a cross-campus platform that most schools use to post jobs and internships. It’s a great place to start looking for jobs and internships if you don’t know where to look.

3) Learn something new!
The University spends a lot of money for Badgers to have free access to Lynda.com, so use it while you can! Lynda offers various software tutorials that are helpful and easy to learn! For example, you can learn how to use Adobe suite! Adobe suite is an array of programs that includes Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere and many more as shown below. If you are interested in the design, learning these programs will give you a huge head start in your classes or when applying for a job.

Lynda also can help you with school! Lynda has tutorial videos for class materials so if you’re taking a challenging class next semester, you can get a head start! They offer tutorials in marketing, web design, business, CAD, photography and MORE! Utilize this resource while you can because once you graduate, it won’t be free anymore so check it out!

4) Clean-up/Update Your Social Media
We all have pictures on our social media that we wouldn’t like employers or our grandmas to see, so take this time for some social media cleansing. Start off by removing inappropriate and embarrassing photos or statuses from your profiles.

This would also be a good time to update and freshen up your LinkedIn account. If you haven’t made one yet, this would be a wonderful opportunity to do so! LinkedIn is a professional social network that connects you with employers and peers. You can also find job opportunities posted by companies that you wish to work with in the future! I highly recommend everyone to be on LinkedIn and start connecting now.

Also, join the university’s very own social network, Badger Bridge, that connects alumnus from all over with students! This is a great way to see what alumnus from the University of Wisconsin – Madison are doing with their degrees. Also, being a fellow badger, you can find mentors who could possibly help you find jobs and internships! Connect today!

So, while sitting on the couch or in bed during break, why not tidy up your social media or learn new skills that will make you more marketable in the future? I know break is a time to get away from school but don’t waste your time bumming around (unless you’re on Lynda). College is short so do something worthwhile that will prepare you for the future. Key takeaway: Relax but not too much! Start marketing yourself during break!

Take care and stay warm!

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