June 24, 2011 - 5:25 PM
My internship in Portland is rapidly passing by. With all of the conference calls, team meetings and the meet and greets throughout the different departments I have realized one thing; University of Oregon ducks and Oregon State beavers are everywhere. What is even more astonishing than that is the friction continues as time passes. During my two weeks at Regence I have met three ducks and two beavers that work here. The ducks have welcomed me with open arms and stories about their time at our alma mater. The beavers have been all together friendly and pleasant, but you can tell there is something there still. I will always get a comment on "Oh, you're a duck?" or an "Hmm, well I guess I will give you a chance, even though you went to that school." All of this is said in good fun mind you, but it still proves that there is something there.
There is no ill will coming from the beavers (at least I hope so). It isn't the fact that University of Oregon and Oregon State alumni can't stand each other, it's the favoritism they show other members of their college. I thought about this and decided how dangerous it could be when I apply for jobs after graduation. UO and OSU are the biggest schools in Oregon, it only makes sense that they would be filling the offices of Oregon corporations. What I'm discovering is when I go to an interview where my boss would be a beaver, if I am interviewing against another beaver, my chances of obtaining the job our slimmer. Is there a way to rectify this situation? No. Ducks love other ducks and beavers love, who knows. I do know that this time next year I will be finding every University of Oregon alumni I can and asking them for a job. Duck's fly together after all.
June 23, 2011 - 11:59 AM
I started my college career when the recession changed the job market drastically. Not only were college graduates not getting their desired jobs, they were not getting any at all. To say the least, I was thankful I was in school. Fortunately, the economy has started to pick up however; it has left its mark on the work place. Now, obtaining that desired job out of college all starts before graduation day with an internship.
Majoring in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Business, there is no ifs, ands, or buts about it; an internship is a necessity in my field. Before you graduate college, you need a minimum of one internship to get hired; the more ambitious students have close to three. Finding companies willing to take on free help is easy. It is finding a prominent company in your field of interest to possibly hire and pay you is the hard part. How do you start? Ask your family's and friend's connections of course. Did I have any? Nope. I started my hunt at the University of Oregon's Career Center website.
The website was surprisingly easy to navigate. I could search through my field of interest and up pops 20 plus options. I applied to seven of them. Out of those seven, I had four interviews. I narrowed down my choices between two and choose where I am at today, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon in Portland. I am working in the Strategic Communications department in downtown. I am completely happy with my decision to spend my summer here at Regence, but it was not an easy task getting here. The interview process alone was harder than some of my classes.
First, I filled out a 5 page application online, which was tricky in itself. I attached a resume and a cover letter as requested. I received a phone call a few days after and had an impromptu interview in an open study room in the library. I was asked to have two writing samples, one a feature story, done by the following afternoon. Keep in mind, I was at the library when I was told this studying for a midterm I had the next day. Nonetheless, I quickly wrote my two writing samples and sent them in the following afternoon. A few days after that, I received an email asking if I could schedule a one-hour phone interview at 9 a.m. the next Wednesday. I obliged and spoke to my now supervisor for the whole hour. We talked about my writing samples and she asked if she could read my blogs, and she did. (I also believe she was following my Twitter, but I have no evidence to prove that.) After that interview I received a request a week later to have another one-hour, phone interview. This one was a conference call where I was speaking to three interviewers; two of them were in Seattle. The call went well enough, as confusing as it was speaking to three people I had never met. I left on a school related trip to Seattle a few hours after the call was over. I then received an email asking me to take a writing test for Regence. I had one hour to write a feature story with the information provided to me. After the long drive to Seattle, checking-in at the hotel and eating dinner, I had opened the email at midnight. I panicked and quickly wrote the article and sent it in before 1 a.m. explaining my situation. One week later, I was hired.
Getting to where I am this summer was a difficult task. There are no doubts in my mind that this opportunity is going to help further my career once I graduate in a year. My summer has just begun, and yet it all started in May, with the University of Oregon's Career Center website.