Monthly Archives: April 2014

Things We Learned at the University of Michigan

Throughout your time as a UMich student you learn plenty of lessons in the classroom on multiple subjects to help prepare for your future. However, the University of Michigan has many traditions that students learn outside of classes and lectures.  Here’s our list of all of the things students learn in their four years (or more) here- feel free to add yours in the comments!

1. A walk in the fountain makes us an “Official Wolverine.”

At orientation we walked through the fountain outside of the Michigan League. The tradition says to walk towards the Diag and campus, and upon graduation, walk through the fountain the opposite way toward Rackham, joining the graduate, or professional world.

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2. Don’t step on the M!

The myth says, if you step on the brass M in the center of the Diag you will fail your first blue-book exam, but fear not! There’s a way to reverse the curse. If you do happen to step on the M, you must run naked from the M to the pumas that sit in front of the Ruthven Museum of Natural History at midnight, within the time it takes the Bell Tower to strike midnight. However, since the bell tower no longer rings at midnight, the only true way to avoid this curse, is to avoid the M.

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3. Stacks is where one goes to be productive.

Whether The Stacks are our go-to or they’re saved for midterms and finals, this prison of shelves was the place to go when we need to be productive with promised peace and quiet.


4. Places called the “Ugli” and the “Dude” are actually great places to study.

No, Ugli is not an insult, and the Dude is not a person. If we’re looking for a place to study, the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, affectionately called the “Ugli,” and the Duderstadt Center, better known as the “Dude”, are great places to pull an all-nighter.

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5. Singing “Hail to the Victors” with 109,901 of our closest friends is an experience unlike any other.

This fight song is embedded into our minds, and we look for any opportunity to pump our fists with pride while screaming that we are the “Champions of the West!”

6. Winter is not 3 months long

Especially after the polar vortex of 2014, we learned that winter is in fact, not 3 months. It is 6 months. We also learned that you need about 5 jackets, including an extremely warm winter coat, plus a variety of light and medium jackets for the 30, 40, and 50 degree weather. We learned that the only good to come from the polar vortex was that this winter we had the first snow day in 30+ years.

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7. Kissing under the West Hall Engineering Arch is forever.

If you kiss someone at the stroke of midnight under the West Hall engineering arch, you are destined to marry. Many alumni have confirmed this to be true – maybe it’s in your future.

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8. Mason Hall is stressful

Before walking up what feels like 90 flight of stairs (just take the elevators-trust us) we were bombarded with the farmer’s market, an entire tree’s worth of flyers, and 30 other student organizations- including the various dance groups we have to maneuver through without being trampled.

9. Sava’s is the go-to birthday restaurant

Want something that’s not cheap but not too expensive with a nice atmosphere and delicious food when celebrating a friend’s birth? Sava’s is the place to go.

10. The #2 at Zingermans is a crowd pleaser

This world famous deli is so good even the leader of the free world, Barack Obama, decided to eat there this spring. His favorite? The #2 Reuben, of course.


11. The Law Library is basically Hogwarts

A beauty that is possibly the most Instagrammable scene on campus is the one and only Law Quad. The Hogwarts-esque quad is home to law students and undergrad students fitting in a study sesh. Just be sure to keep quiet, we’ve heard they even kick people out for sneezing.

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 12. Painting the Rock is a student org must.

The tradition of painting the Rock that sits at the corner of Washtenaw and Hill has been around for years. However, if you participate in painting the Rock, you should not expect your artwork to last long- as it changes almost every day.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.47.28 AM 13. Ricks, Skeeps, and Charley’s are go-tos for undergrads.

We learned throughout the years that Rick’s is for upperclassmen, Skeeps is for underclassmen, Charley’s is for everyone. We may learn in the future that Rick’s is also for returning alumni during visits hoMe.

14. The intelligence and talent at this university continues to amaze us.

Our world-class faculty are award winning and teach us to believe in our potential. We are certain our fellow classmates are going to do incredible things, and a few have the possibility of ruling the world.

15. Michigan Time is perfect for the fashionably late.

The 10-minute grace period in between classes allows us to get to and fro. It also gave us that extra 10 minutes to sleep in. We adopted Michigan Time and are consistently 10 minutes late for everything, yet still feel on time. We don’t know how we’re going to transition to the real world when 10 minutes late to work is no longer going to fly.

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16. The Arb is a magical escape.

We learned that the Arb is beautiful and peaceful. It is the perfect place to walk around when we want to escape from the day-to-day stresses of classes and homework. It’s also very easy to get lost!

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17. The Diag (in the fall & spring) is not just a shortcut, it’s a destination.

During the long winter months, The Diag is a simple cut-through to the other side of campus, however, as soon as the sun comes – The Diag becomes a playground. Laying in the grass, tight ropes, hammocks, puppies, yoga, dance classes, protests, high fives, squirrel feeding – you name it, The Diag has it.

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18. The squirrels are hungry.

Our squirrels are not like your squirrels at home. Our squirrels are fatter and happier than those other squirrels. They became this way from us humans feeding them, and stealing the occasional slice of pizza from someone’s backpack.

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19. The Cube powers our campus.

“The Cube” sits outside of the Union and you’ve heard (and believed) the rumors. It is said that President Mary Sue Coleman spins the cube every morning to keep our campus running. See for yourself:

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20. Our “House” is “Bigger” than yours.

Whether you’ve cheered on the greatest football team in the nation to victory or attended other events here, the Big House hold a special kind of magic. It’s the magic that connects us all as we proudly adorn ourselves in maize and blue.

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21. “The” Ohio State. Enough said.

Ohio State is not our friend. It’s not even our acquaintance. It’s our biggest enemy, the fuel to our fire, the evil in the world. If there’s one thing we know leaving Michigan, it’s the disgust we feel with the color combination of scarlet and grey.

22. North Campus is another world.

We learned that North Campus is actually beautiful, and it’s nice to get off central campus if only for an afternoon to see the nature. North Campus is home to engineers, art students, drama majors, music majors, architects…and lots of deer. Nicknamed “Narnia,” North Campus makes us feel like we’re in a different world, which is a beautiful thing when we’re trying to escape the hustle and bustle of Ann Arbor.

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23. Seeing Mary Sue Coleman makes us more star struck than any celebrity sighting could.

You learned that President Mary Sue Coleman is arguably the best person on campus. If you are lucky enough to run into her, it’s necessary to take a picture- or even a selfie and tell all of your friends. She will leave a great legacy this July,  and will be greatly missed. However we must remember the words she is known for, “For today, goodbye. For tomorrow, good luck. And Forever, Go Blue!”

24. This is the best four (or more) years of your life

Whether you take a bit of extra time, or stick around for a graduate or PHD, the time spent as as student at the University of Michigan is proven by almost all of our alumni, to be the best time in your life. So good, that our alums continue to return for homecoming, commencement, and football saturdays for years to come.

25. Being a Wolverine lasts a lifetime

We’ve all been there. You’re somewhere across the globe, thousands of miles away from Ann Arbor, and you see someone wearing a Michigan shirt and cannot help but shout “Go Blue!” The connections that our Wolverines have, in the classroom, at work, or while traveling, is a special bond you share with over 500,000 friends. For those who leave Michigan, but for whom Michigan never leaves, this will always be where you belong.


Congratulations Class of 2014!




This post was written by Alexandra Fotis, Communications & Statistics student- #UMSocial Strategy & Analytics intern. #StaySocial with her: @sisterfotis

Commencement Spotlight: Mary Barra

She ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazines’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” and 35th among Forbes magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Last week, she joined the likes of some of the most well known celebrities, entrepreneurs, athletes, and philanthropists after being named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for 2014. Who is she? Her name is Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors and our 2014 commencement speaker!

Find out how a career that began at age 18, flourished into a role as the first female CEO of any global automaker:

Mary Barra grew up in Waterford, Michigan in a General Motors family. Her father, a tool-and-die maker, worked at Pontiac Motor Division for 39 years. Her own automotive career began in 1980 as a General Motors Institute co-op student.

With a career that has spanned decades, Mary has contributed to GM in many roles. From plant manager at Detroit’s Hamtramck Assembly to vice president of global manufacturing, vice president of global human resources and senior vice president of global product development.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, she served as executive vice president of global product development and global purchasing and supply chain, responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM cars, trucks and crossover vehicles around the world. Strengthening General Motors’ product development and championing fuel-efficient engines and lighter-weight vehicles.

Her vision, business acumen, engineering skills, leadership and passion for automobiles, as well as her strong support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education has won her recognition across the globe. Please join us in welcoming Mary Barra to commencement this Saturday! You can follow the conversation online with #MgoGrad, and via livestream on!

Source: University Record

What To Expect From Your Career Services Advisers


The Chronicle of Higher Education spoke with several Career Services Advisers, including Amy Homkes-Hayes from UMich! Find out what you can expect from a career services appointment:

By Julie Miller Vick and Jennifer S. Furlong

Julie: In the recent conversation about career outcomes for Ph.D.’s, much has been said—both positive and negative—about the role of the campus career-services office. To help graduate students understand what to expect, and what not to expect, we talked with some of our peers in career services across academe.

Jenny: Most of the graduate career advisers we know work with Ph.D.’s in an extremely wide range of fields, from anthropology to zoology, you might say—in other words, with people who have a wide range of career goals. Even those of us at more specialized institutions, such as medical schools that grant doctoral degrees in the life sciences, see students pursue a wide range of careers, including venture capital, high-school teaching, and government work.

Although many career counselors have strong knowledge about each of those career paths, we do not have the same depth of insight as those actually working in the profession. That’s why a good career adviser will help you to connect with people working in your areas of interest. And that’s why career offices work so hard to bring guest speakers and employers to campus (and are sometimes disappointed by low turnout at those events). We like to give you the opportunity to learn and ask questions about a variety of careers.

Julie: Most career offices don’t require graduate students or alumni to have prepared application materials (like a CV or a cover letter) before making an appointment. “In fact, we have found that advance preparation can serve as a barrier to using our services for some students,” said Kamilah McCoy of Northwestern University’s career services. “The student then becomes too focused on having everything ‘in order’ prior to scheduling an appointment with career services and can miss important information and deadlines. We take more of a ‘come as you are’ approach. Each student has a different starting point, and we can begin at that place.”

Jenny: In using career services, doctoral students and alumni are often concerned about confidentiality. They fear that our offices report the names of students who come to us back to their academic departments. Let me assure you: That is not the case.

We do keep track of how people are using our programs. Like all campus offices, it’s important to know who uses which services, and when, in order to allocate resources effectively. But we don’t do that in order to report on individual students or alumni. Most career offices report statistics in a general way (i.e., humanities students make up 38 percent of our one-on-one counseling usage) or in the aggregate (i.e., during 2012-13, 57 social-sciences doctoral students attended panels and workshops).

Cynthia Fuhrmann, assistant dean of career and professional development in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, stressed how important confidentiality is to her when working with students. “I will keep our conversations confidential,” she said, adding that students “don’t have to worry about me making any judgments. And I am happy to discuss a wider range of issues they are facing, from deciding between two job offers to considering whether their current lab is a good fit.”

Julie: That nonjudgmental approach is one of the things that students and alumni find most helpful about campus career offices. As career counselors, we don’t have a stake in whether you complete your Ph.D. program (or not), or whether you pursue a tenure-track position (or not). We know how harmful the rhetoric of failure can be to students or alumni who have chosen a nonacademic or nonfaculty path. We want to help you make a choice that is in line with your own definition of success—whatever that may be.

Jenny: Career advising is a conversation, and conversation involves two people. One of the most challenging expectations that students often bring to career advisers is the belief that there is a predefined list of nonacademic or alternative-academic (commonly called alt-ac) jobs for their field. As Amy Homkes-Hayes of the University of Michigan’s career center noted: “Many times, a student will sit down in my office with the expectation that I will read to him or her from this list and he or she will then chose and move on.”

Career advisers find that it’s most important to let the students and alumni do the talking. We want to know things like why they came to graduate school, why they chose their current field, what they plan (or once planned) to do when they finish, what they’ve liked about graduate school (and hated), and what they’ve done for their job search so far. This helps us to get a sense of where they are in their career decision-making process and helps us to assist them in moving forward in a positive direction.

Julie: I also like to ask people interested in nonacademic or alt-ac fields to tell me what their career goal was when they started their doctoral program and what has shaped their current goals. As we talk I can often get a sense of skills that have been developed and interests that have been piqued which can be helpful as we work together to develop their next step.

Jenny: Working together is a big part of what we do with students when they come to us for help. The first visit to the careers office, said Amy Pszczolkowski, assistant director of graduate-student career counseling at Princeton University, “is the start of many future conversations we may have. For future appointments I may ask them to prepare a résumé, cover letter, or other job-application documents (an essay for a consulting position, for example). Often they leave with assignments or expectations of what they will do before we meet again.”

When I meet with students, I also like to point them toward other sources of information, including websites such as Versatile Ph.D., Ph.D.’s at Work, or My IDP that can help students to get ideas for moving forward. It’s also important for students to seek advice from fellow Ph.D.’s who have been through this process.

Julie: Having assignments can help students feel that they are making some progress. However, it can also convey the mistaken idea that a job search is linear—that is, “if I just follow the steps I’ll get a new career and job.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

If anything, figuring out which career path you want to follow and applying for positions requires frequent interaction, revision. and reconsideration. Nonacademic job searches are almost never straightforward. Every Ph.D. has to find his or her own path.

So what can Ph.D.’s realistically expect from a career-services office?

Jenny: You can realistically expect to:

Have continuing discussions about your career decisions and job search with a career adviser.
Be strongly encouraged to attend panels, job-hunting workshops, career fairs, and employer presentations.
Learn about your professional options and determine which ones resonate with you.
Interact with people in a variety of fields.
Develop a network of contacts.
Identify people to connect with via informational interviews and networking.
Receive a constructive evaluation of your job-application materials.
Gain advice on finding job announcements and potential employers.
Practice for interviews of all kinds including via Skype.
Get assistance with developing your “elevator speech”—a quick statement of your career goal.
Find help with negotiating offers or planning the your next job search.
Here’s what you should not realistically expect:

A list of predefined career paths for your field.
A quick answer to the question of, as Homkes-Hayes put it, “what should I do with my life now that I don’t want to be an academic?”
A list of Ph.D. alumni in every career field that can be instantly supplied.
A placement service with a list of job openings that match your Ph.D.
Julie: While we don’t divulge the personal information we hear from students, they should understand that we do try to work with their academic departments and schools. We reach out to graduate chairs and deans to inform/remind them of our services, and to offer to speak to their faculties and present to their students.

Jenny: Leonard Cassuto’s recent article “More Than One Possible Future” argues for greater cooperation between campus career services and academic departments (and highlights the terrific work of a colleague at Michigan State University, Matt Helm). We couldn’t agree more and regularly work to create relationships with faculty members at our own institutions.

Julie: Departments can work with the campus career office to keep track of Ph.D.’s who are in various career paths, and to jointly sponsor events bringing in Ph.D. alums in nonfaculty careers as guest speakers. We encourage faculty members to reach out to the career office at their institution. Help us to help your doctoral students.

Julie Miller Vick recently retired as senior associate director of career services at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jennifer S. Furlong is director of the office of career planning and professional development at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. They are the authors of The Academic Job Search Handbook (University of Pennsylvania Press).


Commencement Gets #Social

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For the second year, the University of Michigan’s spring commencement has a strong social component. Last year, we were fortunate enough to have Twitter CEO and UMich grad Dick Costolo speak, which pushed us to get creative with how we shared commencement content.

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Overall, the hashtag #MgoGrad was used over 5000 times on Twitter, and in close to 1000 Instagram photos. This year, we’re hoping to continue to bring the graduates a memorable, social experience. What can you expect?

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Your Tweets – BIG

We’ll be showing your tweets AND photos on the big screens during commencement. Use the hashtag #MgoGrad, and you could see yours on display!

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Share your photos on Instagram, and check all of these off of your list before graduation! We’ll be sharing our favorites on the @uofmichigan Instagram and our Facebook page.

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Commencement HQ

You may have noticed, got a makeover! All month, we’ve been sharing commencement stories, photos, and tips for our graduates. Keep checking back for more content, and get excited for this weekend!

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As one of Mary Sue Coleman’s last speeches before she retires, we’ll be thanking her and showing all of the photos you submitted on the big screens! Share your memories with #ThankYouMarySue


The University of Michigan has been on Snapchat for a few months, and now, we’re taking it to commencement! Stay tuned for fun challenges on the day-of, and be sure to snap us your best #selfie at uofmichigan!

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Hashtags and more hashtags

The official commencement hashtag for the large commencement is #MgoGrad. Many departments and units also have their own commencement hashtags, like #umichengin14 and #LSAvictors. Be sure to follow your schools & colleges to get the latest updates and #staysocial!


What is an Honorary Degree?


At each commencement, the University recognizes accomplished individuals from varying fields, whether it’s law, biology, performing arts, public service, or business, by awarding and presenting the scholars with honorary degrees. Even though it remains an important tradition for each graduation ceremony, and one of the most prestigious recognitions within higher education, the process behind finding degree recipients, and what an honorary degree actually entails, can be a little unclear to students.

Since beginning in the 1800s, over 1,000 people have been awarded an honorary degree at UMich. This means that instead of receiving a degree through credits and academic achievements, recipients are granted degrees based off of their post-graduate accomplishments. Among them, Henry Ford, Albert Kahn, Margaret Bourke-White, Arthur Miller, Robert Frost, Dick Costolo, Michele Norris, Spike Lee, Barack Obama, and Ruth Ginsberg.

To make the search for recipients a little easier, former President Harold T. Shapiro created an Honorary Degree Committee in 1986, whose job is to recommend and review nominees for each ceremony. When selecting candidates, the committee looks for individuals whose accomplishments stand out within their fields, and also tie into the University’s core values.

Six individuals were recommended to receive honorary degrees at the spring commencement ceremony on May 3. Per tradition, the speaker is usually awarded an honorary degree, alongside the other qualified candidates.


Mary Barra

This year’s speaker serves as the Chief Executive Officer for General Motors, making her the first female CEO of a major automotive company. She is recognized for her contributions to manufacturing and engineering, as well as her support of science and technology education. Barra ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2014.

Adele Goldberg

Goldberg is known for her innovations in the computer science field, including programming and the development of the personal computer. In 1967, she earned her degree in mathematics from UMich, and currently acts as the director of Neometron Inc., a consulting firm.

José Antonio Abreu

Pursuing careers in both music and economics, Abreu founded the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela in 1975. Since its establishment, the program has trained over a million Venezuelans, and has inspired UMich’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance to launch a pilot version at Mitchell Elementary School in Ann Arbor.

Dr. James L. Curtis

After completing medical school at UMich in the top fifth of the class, Curtis worked as a clinician and educator. He is the author of “Blacks, Medical Schools and Society” and “Affirmative Action in Medicine: Improving Health Care for Everyone.” He has spent his life focused on social justice and increasing opportunity for those struggling in poverty.

Daniel Okrent

An accomplished journalist and author, Okrent has served as editor-at-large for Time Inc., editor-in-chief at Harcourt Brace Inc., as well as managing editor of Life magazine, alongside other positions. In 1980, he invented Rotisserie League baseball, which prompted the fantasy sports craze that remains popular today. He will be the keynote speaker at Rackham’s Graduate ceremony on May 2.

Marshall Weinberg

Weinberg is recognized for his commitment to philanthropy, human rights, and women’s reproductive justice. Along with serving on the Dean’s Advisory Committee and Honors Program Advisory Committee, he has sponsored various fellowships and prizes for accomplished students. He earned a degree in philosophy from UMich in 1950.

Don’t forget to join the commencement conversation online with #MgoGrad! See you Saturday!

#5 Things You Need To Know in Social


Edition 1: April 25, 2014


Few things move at a faster pace than Social Media, in fact I remember speaking in a session one day and saying “while I’m standing here, a new network could be popping up” and then leaving to discover MySpace had official relaunched. To aid ourselves, and those of you intrigued by the social sphere, we’re introducing a new weekly feature: “#5Things You Need To Know in Social.” Each Friday we’ll recap the week’s hottest Social Media topics and publish them here. Join the conversation with us on Twitter using #5Things.  ~ Nikki


  1. New Twitter is Here
    Twitter’s recently unveiled new layout design officially starting rolling out this week. For those of you still awaiting its functionality here is what you have to look forward to:
  • Larger profile photos: 400 pixels by 400 pixels
  • Customizable header image: 1500 pixel by 500 pixels
    Tip: While your current header image may fit, the new scale could leave it distorted. No header photo? Now’s the time to get one!
  • Best tweets: Twitter will now enlarge your most popular tweets inside your stream of updates.
  • Pinned tweet: Similar to Facebook’s Highlight feature, you can now pin a favorite tweet to the top of your profile.
  • Filtered view: See what you want when visiting someone else’s profile, choose from tweets only, tweets plus replies, or tweets with photos or videos.
  • Grid view: No more infinite scrolling through your followers. See who you’re following and your visual content in a Pinterest-esqe display.
  1. Ding, Dong the +1 is dead
    Yesterday Vic Gundotra head of Google+ announced his departure, prompting rumors that the struggling social platforms future may be uncertain.
  1. More People Own a Mobile Device, Than a Toothbrush.
    Just let that sink in for a moment…then see this and other mind blowing social statistics in Erik Qualman’s highly anticipated 2014 update to his popular Socialnomics video.
  1. More than 1/5th of U.S. adults use Pinterest—greater than Twitter or Instagram, and a 6% jump from 1 year ago
    Additionally, consumers spend more money when converted from Pinterest than any other social referral. On average, Pinterest equates approximately $80.54 compared to Facebook’s $71.26. Read the complete Pew Research Study.
  1. What has Facebook bought this week?
    In what seems to now be a regular occurrence, Facebook has decided to sweep up yet another social rising star. “Moves” joins the likes of WhatsApp and Oculus VR in the Facebook standalone app repertoire. The popular fitness tracker boasts over 4 million downloads and is currently available on iOS and Android.

Utilizing Social Media in Your Job Search

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As commencement nears, all graduating seniors are likely thinking about the same thing: finding a job. Whether you’re thinking of moving out of state or staying close by, utilizing social media can improve your personal marketability, and help you score your dream job! Not sure where to start?

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 12.16.50 PMGoogle Yourself. Chances are, your potential employers are going to be doing this too. Although you may be unable to change aspects of your online presence, knowing what is out there will allow you to be proactive, instead of reactive, if you are in an interview and get asked. Additionally, you can remove any profiles that may be outdated or inactive. If you don’t have any results, you may want to consider creating a Linkedin Profile or page to populate search results. I’ve even been in interviews where they’ve Googled me during the interview to go over my online presence, so it’s always necessary to know you’re up against.

*Pro Tip* Google yourself from a computer you don’t normally use, or an incognito window. If Google is your primary search engine, your results may be customized based on your previous history.

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Update Your Linkedin. 97% of recruiters say they use Linkedin to find job candidates. Furthermore, 67% say they solely use Linkedin for recruiting. If you don’t have one, now is the perfect time to create your Linkedin profile. Linkedin has a great step-by-step tutorial for filling out your profile, and tracks your profile strength, plus tips to help you get noticed by recruiters. Aside from connecting to recruiters, previous employers and coworkers, and classmates, utilize Linkedin Groups to connect to Michigan alumni, and others with similar career interests. Networking with other professionals, and connecting with those who have viewed your profile (which Linkedin lets you see), will help you make the most of your professional network. As the above graphic states, be sure your profile is displaying the proper information about your professional qualifications via your summary and skills, that you have a professional profile picture, and have the correct privacy settings to display the information you want potential employers to see. Linkedin has a mind-blowing 260 million users, so it’s a great place to connect!
*Pro Tip: Ask previous employers from any of your jobs and internships, your mentors, or professors to write you recommendations on Linkedin. These help build out your profile, and are like mini letters of recommendation.

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Take Advantage of the Alumni Association. Every new graduate receives a free, one year membership to the Alumni Association. Take advantage of it! With over 500,000 living alumni working everywhere from Silicon Valley to the White House, India to Australia, never underestimate the connections you can build as a Michigan Alumnus. The Alumni Association offers career services for members, and has their own job portal, in addition to the University Career Center job boards. You also have access to digital learning resources, and get some pretty sweet discounts!

*Pro Tip: Feel free to reach out to Michigan Alumni via social media, or contact your local alumni association group if you are planning to move after graduation. Often times, this connection will spark a conversation, and will maybe even lead to a job connection!


Check Our Job Posting Sites. Don’t wait for a job to come to you, go find it! There are hundreds, if not thousands of job posting sites, and many offer alerts that will email you lists of jobs every day. It doesn’t get any easier than that! A few job sites to note: Indeed, Simply Hired, Monster, Career Builder, Doostang, Glassdoor, Idealist (for non profits), (for start-ups).

*Pro Tip: There is a market-specific job posting site for almost ANYTHING. Do a simple Google search of ‘[industry] jobs’ and you should be able to find one. You can even search jobs by cities using this method.

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Create a Website. What better way to show off your expertise and talents than with a site that’s all about YOU! For those without web development or design skills, there are several sites that allow you to create websites using templates. Squarespace,, Wix, and Strikingly are a few good examples for portfolio-type websites. You can also host your resume and contact information here. It’s best to have the URL be the closest to your first and last name as you can, so if a potential employer Googles you, your website will come up.

*Pro Tip: Starting a blog on a service like Medium will allow you to show off your knowledge about the industry you want to work in. It’s also a smart idea to follow industry professionals and brands you respect on blogs and Twitter, so you can stay up-to-date with the news, offer your opinions, and maybe even find a job!

Searching for a job can be a stressful process. We hope these tips help make your search a little bit easier! If you have any tips to add, leave a comment, or Tweet us @umich!

Guest Post: Engaging the Next Generation

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We’re very excited to share our first guest blog post! If you or someone you know is interested in being featured on, Submit your content or ideas to


Engaging the Next Generation

With new reports reflecting Millennials spend on average 18 hours with media each day, and other higher education institution using video, e-mail and personalized ads to recruit today’s media savvy teenagers, the University of Michigan Office of Undergraduate Admission (OUA) is no stranger to the value of conversing in the digital space. Active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, they engage daily with new and potential wolverines from across the globe. Recently, nearly a year’s worth of discussions regarding hosting Live chats via Twitter came to fruition. Below is a reflection of their efforts by OUA Communications Specialist Jaime Sharer.

“This winter, OUA held two separate one-hour chats for admitted students – an inaugural chat in February, and a follow-up event in March. Both chats proved to be successful, resulting in a constant flow of questions, answers and engagement – and providing OUA with a public platform to deliver useful information and resources in real-time. Although marketed very similarly (see chart below), the data reflects more students participated in the second chat. Additionally, while the overall number of students who asked questions was not exceptionally high, the number of active and engaged users was extremely impressing.

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Collectively, we had nearly 150 students asking questions, retweeting, or favoriting tweets. Which to OUA means there were a lot of eyes on the chats. So we have deduced many students were getting questions answered even though they were not necessarily the person asking them. It’s also important to note that the students who did ask questions usually asked more than one—sometimes up to half a dozen.
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Throughout the year, there are several traditional ways students can contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with questions, our call center, regional territory counselors, and of course, social media. Each provides the same resources and information, but lack the immediacy the Tweet chats afford. Perhaps that’s why our two Twitter chats grew so quickly in popularity with admitted students. For one hour, they had our undivided attention and an open invitation to ask as many questions as they wanted.

One of the most appealing business aspects of a Twitter chat is that it costs absolutely nothing. All pre-event marketing was done via email and social media – also free. With that in mind, it’s likely we’ll offer this again in the future. In fact, we’ve already seen inquiries about upcoming dates from interested students. To capitalize on the success, we are also contemplating hosting similar opportunities for prospective students in the fall.”

On the central UMich social media accounts, we receive dozens of admissions questions, typically via Facebook and Linkedin. For the most part, international students reach out to us about our admissions requirements and don’t reply once we send them information from the admissions website, but sometimes, we have fantastic interactions with students and can see we make a difference in their day, just from a simple reply:
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What these students may not know, is that helping them makes our day!



Infographics: The Rise of Artistic Data

When most people think of data, the last thing that probably comes to mind is artistic expression. In fact, it may be hard to imagine how someone can make seemingly “boring” statistics fun to look at. However if you have been following our social accounts (or if you have opened a magazine recently) you’ve probably come across some creative forms of data presentation. An infographic uses illustrations to present data in a way that is visually appealing and easy to understand. They aim to put an end to the lackluster bar graphs and pie charts that we’ve all become accustomed to since grade school. Used in a number of ways, they are ideal for anything from presenting statistics to raising awareness for a cause.

As a recently hired graphic design intern here at #UMSocial, I have spent my first few weeks inadvertently studying and practicing the art of infographics. From the colors to the clever use of symbols, an infographic essentially makes it easier for the reader to take in the information at first glance. If I have learned one thing, it is that each one must be tailored and creatively customized to the content being presented.

An infographic highlighting the social media rankings of the University of Michigan and our competitors.

When to use an Infographic

Presenting Statistics and Analytics

Far and wide, one of the most common uses of infographics is to present statistics and analytics. It is a tool that is often extremely useful for brands (such as the University of Michigan) who are constantly striving to grow and retain a level of excellence. Whether you’re a university highlighting student statistics or a small business focusing on your role in the community, infographics benefit virtually every market. They not only work as public content but also serve a very important purpose behind the scenes. Infographics can be added into weekly, monthly, or annual reports, making it easier to visualize and improve growth.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, analytic infographics can also be used to engage your audience and build your fan base. It is key to know what your fans most identify with in order to craft an infographic to reflect their interests. For example, we recently posted a “mini” infographic on Facebook geared towards “beating OSU” in Facebook followers. By playing off our sports rivalry (something our followers are very passionate about), the post reached fans who had not already “liked” our page. It not only helped achieve the direct goal (within a few hours) but also garnered 9,130 likes and 23,631 shares to date. Adding a graphic element not only gets a message across quickly, but also gives the fans a visual “goal” or idea of the information being presented.

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Celebrating Achievements or Making a Change

Many institutions, organizations, and corporations also use infographics to highlight achievements and/or celebrate a public figure. A good example of this would be an infographic geared towards specifically showcasing accomplishments or awards. These graphics integrate well into social platforms and websites for the simple reason that they build brand moral and pride. What better way to boost your brand than highlight its strengths?

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Finally, another key reason to utilize the graphics is for the purpose of raising awareness for a charity or cause. Major charity organizations such as Unicef and United Way, have created infographics to effectively communicate issues and ideas for change. Notably, they have been used to highlight issues regarding natural disasters, human trafficking, and water shortages (just to name a few). It proves to be a simple and visual way to present often complicated ideas and issues to the general public. In this case, Infographics can essentially help motivate and show people how their donations will be used.

What makes a good infographic?

1. First and foremost it’s important to keep things fairly simple. Don’t over complicate it with endless text. Keep your font cohesive and simple to read and have some fun with your title.

2. Use symbols and imagery that relates to what you’re presenting. This goes for your title and content. For example if you’re talking about revenue you can can use numerous dollar signs placed beside each other in place of a bar graph.

3. Pay attention to space management and formatting. If presenting a number of points pertaining to one another simply use lines to link them rather than text. Or if comparing two ideas (or brands), add them into one graphic element (i.e. the heart in the graphic at the top of this post). Ultimately it will be more visually appealing and save you a ton of space and time!

4. Know your audience. This is very important because it will ultimately determine the success or failure of your graphic! You don’t want to present them with data that doesn’t engage thier interest.

5. Get creative, there are very a few rules! The great thing about infographics is that no two should be the exact same. Create custom illustrations, shapes, and don’t be afraid to use color!

Need some inspiration? Check out this great example from the web:


To conclude here are the top reasons to integrate infographics into your brand:

  • They get your message across quickly while adding a visual element to your page.

  • Infographics help organize information efficiently, saving you time.

  • Gives fans an idea of where you stand as a brand.

  • They can lead to big results! Whether it’s raising money for a cause or gaining followers.


This post was contributed by Ahmed Ghani: Graphic Design Intern and Film Major – @amesghani