The Strommen Center for Meaningful work is committed to helping you identify the paths that will help you find work that is meaningful to you – work that sustains and fuels you – and that aligns with who you are, your needs, and your situation. It is for these reasons we are proud to present FOCUS 2 CAREER!
FOCUS 2 CAREER is a career & education planning system that guides you through a reliable, intuitive career & education decision making model to help you choose majors offered at Augsburg, explore occupations & make informed career decisions.
You also have access to five reliable and valid research based self-assessments. Your assessment results are matched to occupations and supporting majors at Augsburg.
It is important to build your skills and knowledge even if you are not able to get a job or internship over the summer. Learn how to code, write short stories, or join a professional network. Whatever you decide to do this summer it will be important that you are able to articulate what you did, learned, and developed to future employers. When they look at your resume they may ask you “what did you do during the 2020 COVID-19 summer?”, be sure to have an answer ready for them.
Here are the Strommen Career & Internship Center’s top recommendations for self-directed and directed learning this summer:
Focused Reading – Research and read the books and journals suggested that everyone in your profession should read, ask faculty members for their recommendations.
Explore your creative side – through photography, writing, sewing, knitting, website design, painting, baking, cooking, music, etc.
Start a blog or podcast – Improve your oral and written communication skills, explore topics of interest, partner with a friend or try it out on your own
Volunteer – Consider volunteering virtually with Catchafire. Catchafire strengthens the social good sector by matching professionals who want to donate their time with nonprofits who need their skills.
If you have questions or need help, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Strommen team. You can always make an appointment with our coaches on Handshake and you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Strommen Center for Meaningful Work is proud to present CareerShift!
CareerShift is a set of integrated job search tools that allows you to search, select, and store job listings from job boards and company job postings including H1B Sponsorship jobs and companies. CareerShift provides an easy-to-use approach for cracking the “hidden job market” and for managing your job hunt all in one place.
You have access to approximately 7.4 million jobs in the US and over 10 million jobs globally. Users can also get up-to-date contact information, including e-mail addresses, for millions of companies and access in-depth information about contacts and company postings.
Given the current historic unemployment levels because of COVID-19, the Strommen Center wanted to provide students and alumni with as many resources and tools as possible to be competitive in this job market. With grant funds from Wells Fargo, the Strommen Center is able to provide CareerShift to all current Augsburg students and alumni.
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.
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”.
Career Readiness and Professional Development Programs Launched this Fall
Augsburg University’s Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work is leading the way in preparing and empowering a diverse group of future workers through critical career readiness programs to meet the demands of employers. In 2018, Augsburg University President Paul Pribbenow and the Board of Regents launched the Strommen Initiative to usher in a new era of career services that builds on the hallmarks of a liberal arts education. 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.
Through a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Strommen Center is launching two campaigns, Augsburg Works and Auggies Explore, during the 2019 and 2020 academic year focused on internships, post academic employment, and career exploration.
71% of employers are hiring now for 2020 interns and employees, Augsburg Works helps students understand recruiting timelines for 2020 jobs and internships as well as connect them to the career readiness programs they will need to be successful candidates.
Highlights of Augsburg Works
Resume Round-Ups to assist students in developing their resumes.
Part-Time and On- Campus Job Fair to connect students to employment and professional opportunities on and off campus.
3M Innovation Center Site Visit to hear from a panel of professionals on what it’s like to work in technology at 3M.
Latinx Professional Panel hosted by Augsburg’s Latin American Student Organization to hear about navigating careers as a Latinx professional.
Intro to Resumes hosted in partnership with Augsburg’s Trio programs to support students who are developing their first resume.
Accounting and Auditing Conference connecting students to professionals and opportunities in financial services.
On-Campus Career and Internship Fair connecting nearly 200 students with 38 employers to secure 2020 jobs and internships.
Employer info sessions held in classrooms to help students understand organizational culture, recruiting timelines, and tips on applying for positions.
Twin Cities Startup Week Job Market connecting students to entrepreneurs and local startups to find internships and jobs.
Speed Mock Interviews to help prepare students for their job or internship interview.
Queering Career in partnership with Augsburg’s LGBTQIA+ student services hear from a dynamic panel of LGBTQIA+ professionals about their professional journeys as queer identified people.
Minnesota Department of Human Services providing panelists from a variety of human services fields to speak to students about careers in this sector.
Government and Nonprofit Job Fair connecting students to jobs and internships in these sectors.
Professional Networking hosted by Augsburg’s Latin American Student organization in partnership with UpTurnships.
Internship Peer Panels with students who have completed successful internships hosted by Augsburg’s Business Organization and in partnership with UpTurnships
We also know that 61% of employers want to hire employees with relevant work experience. The second part of Strommen’s new campaigns is Auggie Explores which focuses on career exploration and helping students understand potential career pathways. Career exploration is a critical component to the career readiness journey. According to a recent Gallup report that surveyed over 2,020 college students, 637 hiring managers, and 1,037 parents, it was reported that students wait too long to begin their career exploration. 82% of respondents noted that it is important that their work fits with their values. Gallup also found that employees with a high sense of purpose are more productive.
Auggies Explore is a spring initiative to help students learn about companies, career opportunities and pathways, and connect to professionals in the field. This program also provides companies with an opportunity to educate students on the culture, values, and opportunities within the organization.
Augsburg students will be travelling to Chicago for the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) National Conference to network with professionals and students from across the United States.
Alumni will be hosting students from Augsburg’s Business Organization in Chicago over spring break and speak to them about their careers and professional journeys.
Augsburg’s LGBTQIA+ student services will be bringing students on a number of site visits to queer owned businesses to speak with entrepreneurs about their business and career.
And there is more to come! The Strommen Center is excited to be working with employers on additional programming for students to help them explore careers in many industries and sectors.