In this extraordinary time, the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work is committed to serving Augsburg students through delivering career readiness services and professional development. We are prepared to provide many of our services remotely and are working closely with our employer partners to help keep you informed of their plans. Here are some of the ways we can work with you remotely:
Appointments – Our advisers are taking appointments each week. You can choose to make an appointment by phone or via video conference. Schedule your appointments in Handshake as always, and be sure to select your preferred medium.
Same Day Virtual “Drop Ins” – Starting Monday, April 6th, you will be able to make same day virtual drop-in appointments. These 15-minute drop-ins will be available as an appointment type in Handshake and will be conducted by Google Hangouts or Zoom.
Handshake – Apart from making appointments with our staff, check Handshake regularly as employers continue to post jobs and message students. You can also search for any virtual events that employers may be hosting!
Document Review – We are continuing to review resumes and cover letters. Please have your resume and cover letter as a Google doc and during your appointment you will share it with the coach you are working with in order to review and edit it in real time.
Digital Resources – Visit Strommen’s Community Moodle site for online resources as well as Strommen’s website for links to valuable information.
Augsburg students attended the 2020 United States Hispanic Leadership Institute in Chicago and Barbara Sabino Pina offers this reflection on the importance of professional conferences for students.
Barbara A. Sabino Pina
Class of 2023
Attending events such as conferences, seminars, symposiums, workshops, among others, present two great opportunities for your professional life: updating knowledge and networking.
Staying abreast of new trends in your professional field is more than essential in this globalized era where everything is constantly changing and innovating. Attending events with professionals from your industry and all over the country and from other countries and world gives you a great opportunity to expand your network of professional contacts. Aspects such as networking and efficient contact management are essential tools today to evolve as a professional.
Our success as professionals depends on two factors:
Your own knowledge and experience
Your ability to relate to people, inside and outside your company, job, and/or school.
Here come into play conferences and specialized professional events that reveal the main industry news on which the theme of the event deals and where the vast majority of attendees are professionals from the same sector.
One of the first reasons why you should attend a conference is networking.
As a collaborative culture, creating professional synergies through networking is one of the main reasons to attend a conference. These types of events usually include a networking time which was the case at the USHLI Conference. You can also take advantage of the breaks between the presentations to make new contacts. It is a perfect opportunity to generate leads and meet potential partners, event sponsors, or future employers.
Learn from great professionals
Another reason why you should attend a conference is to learn from great professionals. Rubbing shoulders with professionals is easy at a conference. Normally, these events are attended by speakers of great national and international prestige, giving you the opportunity to learn from their experiences and advice and use it to your advantage.
Meet the competition
Another of the great advantages of attending a conference is that the most influential people in the sector are concentrated in one place. Pay attention to their presentations, if they attend as speakers, or try to strike up a conversation with them to learn more about their business and strategy. These speakers most likely attract attendees who are seeking similar job opportunities or business opportunity which gives you a chance to meet and analyze your competitors. The more you know the more you can stand out above the rest.
If you are a student, school is only a part of what you need to be thinking about, you also need to be thinking about your professional career. As students we must do well at school, and it is easy to get stuck in our routines and focused solely on our academics. Professional events are you’re a way to shake this up and get out of your routine and out of your comfort zone. It is a great way to refresh your mind and bring up new ideas.
Conferences cover the latest topics in specific sectors. So if you want to be aware of the latest news, there is no better place than this. You will know all the current and future trends and how to put them into practice in your own career. Although it may seem very obvious, take note of the most important aspects of each presentation. Also, ask without fear anything that you do not see clearly or that you think can help you. Take advantage of the fact that there are professionals in the room, take advantage of their experience and knowledge, and apply them to your situation.
Build a community
Finally, attending a conference is a good way to develop positive relationships with other people. Good relationships are fundamental to your professional journey and the work you do. It is necessary to understand that each of us is part of a whole and that if someone fails, this will affect the overall result that will be presented at the end of the project. In conferences you often have the opportunity to work with other people, and participate in activities that will require you to work as part of a team instead of as an individual. This is great practice for how you might operate on a team in your future job.
This professional opportunity for Augsburg students was supported by the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work and a grant through the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Eight Augsburg students were accepted into the 2020 Capitol Pathways cohort. Since 2016, the Capitol Pathways program from the Citizens League places college students of color in paid internships with government offices, nonprofits, corporations, and law firms where they can gain experience and build relationships in and around the Capitol.
Each year during Minnesota’s legislative session, interns can expect to accomplish several things that will help them in their future careers:
Build relationships with established policy leaders
Gain exposure to various kinds of careers in government
Get real-world experience in career fields they would like to learn more about
Get to know the Augsburg students who are part of the 2020 Capitol Pathways Cohort.
Internship Site: Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
In’am Al-Hammouri, a senior at Augsburg University, is majoring in psychology, with an aspiration to attend law school. In’am has been serving on the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota for two years as a cabinet member. In’am is committed to creating equitable policies and outcomes for women throughout the state of Minnesota. Additionally, she is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In’am’s passion lies in Women’s rights, giving women and girls a voice. She is also passionate about Middle East conflicts. In’am served in various positions, including volunteer work at Unity Hospital, providing aid to abused women.
In’am assisted in refugee camps in Jordan, lobbied, advocated in Washington D.C, and worked with elected officials on campaigning prior to elections. In’am was an intern at Barnes & Thornburg LLP. Then, she transitioned with her mentor to Hutton Kluz Evans LLP, where she is currently expanding her knowledge and experience in the area of law. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and trying new foods.
Estefani is a second year student at Augsburg University. She is majoring in Public Policy and Accounting. Estefani is a first generation college student and hopes to pursue a career in Public Policy, advocating for marginalized and underrepresented communities. She is a TRIO/SSS student, a program that helps first generation students and low-income students overcome class, social and cultural barriers in order to complete their college education. Estefani will be interning at Catholic Charities where she will serve those that are in most need and advocate for justice in the community.
As a student at Augsburg University, Estefani has served in many leadership roles. She served as a representative in the Augsburg Day Student Government as a Class Senator. Other campus activities include being a Resident Advisor where she advises 34 first-year students and serves as a role model. Estefani also volunteers at Banyan Community which is a program designed to develop youth, strengthen families and create communities. Her passion for social justice drove her to apply to Capitol Pathways and saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and the power that communities can have. She aspires to continue being a leader in the Latinx Community and continue making a pathway for those that come after.Through her experiences, she aspires to grow and a lead a fortune 500 company and eventually become an entrepreneur. She hopes to open new opportunities for women and first generation students.
Ivonne is a Junior at Augsburg University majoring in Political Science and International Relations. Prior to attending Augsburg, Ivonne received her Associates of Arts Degree at Minneapolis College where she served as a Secretary for the student organization, Raíces Unidas, and as a Director of Diversity for the Student Senate. Currently, Ivonne holds a position as a Youth Program Specialist with the nonprofit organization, Pillsbury United Communities. Ivonne loves her job because she can see the great things that youth are capable of when they are given the opportunity. Ivonne and her team focus on several opportunities to better
serve middle school and high school aged youth, some which include internships, civic engagement, goal setting, workshop presentations, and entrepreneurship learning.
As a student of color and a first generation college student, Ivonne recognizes that she has limited resources and networks to provide her with the tools that she might need to succeed after college. This is why Ivonne applied for the Minnesota Capitol Pathways Internship program. Ivonne is very excited and proud to be a part of this cohort. Ivonne has been placed with Ewald Consulting for the Spring 2020 legislative session. During her time at Ewald she will work closely with the Government and Media Relations team by monitoring committee hearings, attending floor sessions, and working on weekly articles and social media platforms. Ivonne is very excited and looking forward to strengthening her knowledge around public policy, and creating long lasting relationships.
Ahlam is currently a sophomore at Minneapolis Community & Technical College and will be graduating at Augsburg University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Pre-Law Concentration and a Communication Studies minor. She is exclusively a member of the Phi Kappa Theta Sorority and has been a part of different minority-based advocacy groups and organizations. She has centered a lot of her volunteer work in her own community of Cedar-Riverside, being the voice to both the youth and elders in this East African based community. As a first generation college student of two immigrant parents, she has decided to pursue a career in civil and immigration rights. She has joined the Capitol Pathways program to broaden her aspects on the kind of work she wants to do post-grad, whether it be policy work or otherwise. She plans to attend law school straight out from undergrad and utilize her J.D. to make a change on behalf of minority backgrounds and immigrants. Currently, Ahlam is interning with Fredrikson and Byron and representing clients to campaign for certain bills as she learns the policy making process.
Abdulkadir Sharif is a graduating senior at Augsburg University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Public Policy. At Augsburg, Abdulkadir has been involved with the pan-Afrikan student union, student government and residence life. He is also a Bonner Leader Scholar where he has interned with the Minneapolis Public Schools, Trinity Lutheran Congregation, Pan-Afrikan Center and the Environmental Stewardship Committee. Additionally, Abdulkadir was awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship to study in Tanzania, is a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to South Africa and Namibia and was most recently a Public Policy and International Affairs fellow at Princeton University. Abdulkadir hopes to one day pursue a career in foreign policy, focusing on economic development, conflict resolution and security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Abdulkadir applied to the Capitol Pathways program to better understand the legislative process, Minnesota politics and how to effectively advocate for marginalized communities. Abdulkadir will be interning with Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P this legislative session.
Lay Lay Zan
Internship Site: City of Minneapolis
Lay Lay is a Karen, third-year student, and Act Six scholar at Augsburg University majoring in International Relations with a concentration in pre-law and minoring in French. Lay Lay is a 1.5 generation immigrant and a first-generation college student, and she aspires to become an immigration lawyer for the Karen community in Minnesota. As a student at Augsburg University, Lay Lay has served in leadership roles. She was the relations and Marketing officer for the Augsburg Asian Student Association (AASA), and a food coordinator for Campus Kitchen and Campus Cupboard. Her interests and passion for social justice and civic engagement led her to be a part of the of the LEAD Fellows (Leaders for Equity, Action, and Democracy) program that is a part of the national network of Bonner Programs, that has allowed her to serve and engage with her campus community.
In her home community, Lay Lay is passionate about advocacy and development for the Karen community. She is a board member of the Karen Football Association, a non-profit organization that is the official governing body of the Karen Women’s and Men’s National Soccer Teams, with the purpose to promote gender equity. This experience has only increased her passion to serve underrepresented communities, and this is why she applied to the Capitol Pathways program. It is imperative for students of color to be involved at the capitol, because government should be representative of our communities.
Original source for bios: https://citizensleague.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/CP-Cohort-2020-Bios.pdf
Abdulkadir A. Sharif is part of the Citizens League Capitol Pathways program and a senior at Augsburg University, studying Political Science and International Relations. He has specialized in public policy, international development, and conflict resolution. Mr. Sharif has participated in multiple leadership opportunities that have allowed him to gain a wide range of skills.
At Augsburg University, he has been involved with the pan-African student union, student government, and residence life. He is also a Bonner Leader Scholar where he has interned with the Minneapolis Public Schools, Trinity Lutheran Congregation, Pan-African Center, and the Environmental Stewardship Committee. Mr. Sharif was awarded the 2018 Student Leader of the Year at Augsburg University. Additionally, he was awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship to study in Tanzania and is a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to South Africa and Namibia. While in Namibia, he interned with the Namibia Institute for Democracy as a research assistant focusing on civic engagement and anti-corruption mechanisms in the country.
Most recently Mr. Sharif was a Public Policy and International Affairs fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He hopes to one day pursue a career in international development focusing on economic advancement.
Mr. Sharif has joined Lockridge Grindal Nauen (LGN) state government relations team for the 2020 Legislative Session.
Original source: https://www.locklaw.com/lockridge-grindal-nauen-welcomes-amy-zhou-and-abdulkadir-sharif-to-state-government-relations-team/
Written by: Matt Lubega ‘ 20
Communication Studies Major | Leadership Studies Minor
Civastina Kyewaa, is a fourth year student majoring in Mathmatematics and Mathematical Economics with a minor in Statistics. Civastina interned at Wolters Kluwer as a Business Analyst Intern during the 2019 summer.
A typical day at Wolters Kluwer for Civastina consisted of creating excel sheets to analyze data and shadowing other colleagues in her office. Civastina enjoyed being able to shadow her colleagues because she was able to get exposure to different projects, work-styles, and ways to solve problems.
Civastina describes that finding her internship can be difficult and overwhelming sometimes. She suggests for students to “Reach out to the Strommen Center or any career resource programs.” and “Make sure your LinkedIn and Handshake accounts are up-to-date because you’ll never know who’s going to view you.”
Civastina’s biggest advice to be successful throughout an internship is to “Make sure to remember names! You’ll never know how someone can help you find your next step and it would be unfortunate if you didn’t even remember their name.” and “Immediately get to know the people you will be working with and don’t be afraid to ask them questions regarding careers.”
“Not only did this internship help me figure out what I want to do for a career. My experience at Wolters Kluwer prepared me for my current internship in the Information Technology department at Fairview health and Services”.
Written by: Matt Lubega ‘ 20
Communication Studies Major | Leadership Studies Minor
Faiza Jama, Third-Year majoring in Computer Science with minors in Management Information Systems and Mathematics. In the summer of 2019, Faiza interned with Thrivent Financial as their Marketing and Insights Intern. A typical day in this role was working on various projects that consisted of gathering beneficial information and data for Thrivent.
Faiza was excited about this internship because she got to learn new tools that will benefit her in a future career. She learned tools like Python, which is a programming and coding language that is used for website development. Faiza had little experience working with Python entering her internship, but at the end of her internship, her Python skills improved tremendously.
Faiza related her struggles with the internship, “This internship was challenging but in a good way! Don’t be discouraged, struggling on projects can also be a form of learning. So any student who is looking for an internship or career that involves data should be prepared to find outside resources to support you throughout your work. It sounds weird, but a lot of YouTube videos on coding and research helped me out through my projects this summer.”
She also mentions the importance of problem-solving in an internship as “Your supervisor will be impressed with you if you’re able to problem-solve on your own. So utilizing your outside sources may be better than constantly asking your supervisor how to fix or do things. Still don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor questions or guidance if you’re stuck!”
After this internship experience, Faiza realized that coding daily may not be the best thing for her, but she enjoyed the market research aspect of this internship.
When asked about advice for students during the beginning of their internship Faiza states:
“Try to get to know the people in your workspace, You’ll never know which people can help you succeed or who could be a great resource. Also, you can meet life-long friends with other interns or staff!”
Faiza is a 2019 recipient of the Augsburg University Endowed Scholarship.
Find your own internship opportunity through Handshake or one of the many career fairs that are hosted throughout the year.
Written by: Matt Lubega ‘ 20
Communication Studies Major | Leadership Studies Minor
Alexandria Avre is a Fourth-year majoring in Communication Studies. Alexandria is the current intern for BestPrep, which is a non-profit that provides students with career and financial skills. Alexandria is their Communication and Events intern for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.
A typical day in this position consists of creating clever social media posts, editing photos, and attending team meetings. Alexandria has always loved event planning, and this internship is aallowing her to gain real experience in planning, facilitating, and coordinating events for a larger audience. When events are approaching, Alexandria’s days can switch from social media related tasks to developing plans for decorations, food, rentals, and creating promotions for the events.
So far, Alexandria has assisted with two major events for BestPrep which was a luncheon and a fundraiser. This is where she was able to leverage her communication skills by coordinating and promoting the events. This allowed her to communicate internally and network with employees of BestPrep. The fundraiser event is where she put her social media marketing skills to the test to help promote the campaign.
Alexandria shares how she got this internship by volunteering for BestPrep during one of their summer events. This example shows how important networking and volunteering can be towards your future career. As she was actively seeking an internship and received a recommendation after volunteering.
When asked about how this internship would affect her future, Alexandria states: “Being an intern at BestPrep made me reconsider where I may end up in the future. Before I started, I had no idea how I would apply my major in the workforce or the route I may take. During my time there I came to realize I enjoy being on the developmental side for events and value the concept of teamwork.”
For opportunities to explore careers and find jobs and internships visit Handshake.
In recent years top occupations in the region’s finance and insurance industry have grown by 5.9% and these employers are looking to engage with Augsburg University in order to recruit much-needed talent.
While 70% of employers recruit during the fall semester, only 15% do all of their recruiting during that time. There are still plenty of internship and job opportunities open and they are looking for students from a wide variety of degree programs. In fact some banks are considering themselves tech companies that happen to do banking. If you have not considered a career in the financial services industry you have a few opportunities in February to explore what your career pathway could look like.
Employers on Campus
Employees from four different financial institutions will be on campus to tell you about their professional career pathways, what it is like to work in their respective organizations, and what opportunities they have for you.
Tabling in Christensen Center
Northwestern Mutual will be tabling in the lobby of Christensen Center on February 5, 10 AM – 12:30 PM
Wells Fargo will be tabling in the lobby of Christensen on February 19, 10 AM – 12:30 PM
Stop in to chat with their representatives.
You can get an in depth look into the Financial Services sector by attending the February 18th panel discussion with U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise Financial, and Northwestern Mutual. This panel will be moderated
by the director of Augsburg’s Urban Investors program, Mike Christenson. You can read his bio below. This conversation will be in the Marshall Room from 12 PM – 1:40 PM. Register on Handshake.
Find an Internship and Job
You can find additional opportunities and talk with more employers at the February 27th Minnesota Private College Career Fair at the Convention Center. Over 280 employers will be present. Through the support of the Wells Fargo Foundation this fair is free for students to attend and there will be a complimentary shuttle every 30 minutes leaving from Augsburg to the Convention Center. Go to Handshake to find more information and to register.
Mike Christenson Bio:
Mike Christenson serves as program director for the Urban Investors program at Augsburg University, a partnership with the Strommen Career Center for Meaningful Work and the Sabo Center. Mike has led workforce development at Hennepin County and Minneapolis College, served as director of the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development and at the Allina Foundation. Before that, he was a partner with the Popham Haik Law Firm and served as the chief executive of Metro Transit, where he led an effort to turn around a historic decline in ridership.
Mike has been president of the Citizens League and an organizer for partnerships that sought to lift up challenged neighborhoods like Phillips, Cedar Riverside and the Northside of Minneapolis. He has chaired the boards of LISC, the Day One Project, and St. Matthew’s church and has served on the boards of Sunrise Banks, the Community Reinvestment Fund, the Project for Pride in Living, St. Matthew’s, and Aeon Capital Campaigns.
Mike helped launch the Phillips Partnership, the Minnesota Justice Foundation, the Day One Project, Power of You, Hennepin Career Pathways, Team Transit, the State Fair Shuttle, Midtown Global Market, and the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center. He played a lead role in City government on the Cedar Riverside Plaza renovation, the Coloplast headquarters, McPhail Music Center, the Fairview and Children’s Hospital expansions, and Close the Gap—a successful effort to close the unemployment gap between the City and the metro area.
Mike believes the true economic development aims at raising incomes by building earning capacity and wealth for immigrants and those left behind by economic forces. Minneapolis has proven that challenged neighborhoods and households can turn around. That is economic development and that, in Mike’s words, is truly “the Minneapolis Miracle”.
In 2009, the Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work was established to recognize Mr. and Mrs. Strommen’s personal commitment to creating meaning and purpose in work and life. The Strommen Center became the fourth of Augsburg’s Centers of Commitment that lift up our core values and live out the institutional vocation. The four Centers of Commitment include the Christensen Center for Vocation, Center for Global Education and Experience, Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and the Strommen Center for Meaningful work.
On Give to the Max Day 2019 we are continuing Clair and Gladys Strommen’s legacy by supporting Augsburg students as they develop personal and professional skills and enter into the world of work.
The 21st century workplace is looking for candidates who think critically, work in teams, process information, communicate across differences and cultures, and are technically proficient. These skills are attained by every liberal arts student during their undergraduate studies. However, new integrated systems of learning that connects the student experience in and outside of the classroom to career readiness are necessary to ensure acquisition of professional skills, understanding of potential professional pathways, and organizational fit. The career center is transforming into an agency that creates partnerships and programs to ensure professional development is fully integrated.
I came to the career fair to solidify my future career
Hasna Ali ‘20 said about the fall Career and Internship Fair, “I came to the career fair to solidify my future career and with all of the amazing employers I met today I believe I achieved that goal”. Nearly 200 of Hasna’s peers joined her to engage with employers like Best Buy, U.S. Bank, 3M, Travelers, and Wells Fargo to search for their next internship or job at the On-Campus Career and Internship Fair hosted by the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work and supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Employers at this career fair are intentional about partnering with the Strommen Center and recruiting Augsburg students. Many of the employers participate in programming and events throughout the year to provide additional value to students by hosting discussions about career choices, offering technical training, and providing helpful tips about interviewing.
The career fair is also an opportunity for students to explore career options and open up additional possibilities they were not considering or did not even know about. Reggie Agyen-Boateng ‘21 reflected, “I came in looking for internships related to Sociology and I realized that I can apply the skills that I have learned in my Sociology courses in other disciplines such as Marketing or Human Resources”. Engaging with employers is one way that students are able to identify jobs they might be interested in. Alumni and professionals coming to campus to speak to students also helps students explore career options and understand how their degree can lead to many different types of jobs.
I learned how to represent myself
The Career and Internship Fair also helps students grow as individuals and practice new skills. Ma’Rissa Rowe ‘21 said “Not only did I learn about internship opportunities I learned how to represent myself and be more confident in front of employers”. For many students, this event is the first time they have to present themselves in a professional setting to other professionals. It can be an anxiety provoking experience as noted by Simone Rask ‘20 who said, “I was super nervous at first, but I used the Strommen Center’s resources and prep video to prepare myself to give my best first impression to employers”. Following the Career and Internship Fair students completed 88 on-campus interviews for jobs and internships with these employers. For students who have an interview coming up they may want to take a look at the interview prep resources on the Strommen Center’s website (https://www.augsburg.edu/strommen/interviewing/).
Even though 71% of employers are recruiting right now for 2020 jobs and internships there is still time to find an opportunity. Visit Handshake to see open internships and job opportunities and mark February 27, 2020 for the Minnesota Private College Career Fair.