Center for Leadership, Activities, and Career Services (CLACS)

 

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Benefiting More Than Just the Community. By Katie Nimtz (Ferris State University, PR Student)

Volunteering, the word sparks images of raking leaves on a senior’s lawn, packing lunches for local elementary school children, or walking dogs from the animal shelter who are looking for their forever home. Volunteering benefits everyone in the community, including yourself.

Volunteering is good for both your physical and mental health. The act of volunteering helps lower stress and anxiety levels, combats depression, and can lower blood pressure. Volunteering connects workers with others and leaves individuals with a feeling of being something larger than themselves. Volunteering can also help you discover passions and explore career ambitions.

Although there an hundreds of volunteer opportunities at Ferris State University, the two largest student volunteer initiatives are Relay for Life and The BIG Event. Both these campus-wide events promote students to get up and move. Individuals stay up all night walking and donating money during the Relay for Life event in memory or honor of close ones who have been affected by cancer. During The BIG Event groups of students work as teams to assist Big Rapids residence in their outdoor spring cleaning. Teams will do anything from bagging leaves, to cleaning gutters, painting fences, to picking up and breaking down sticks and tree branches.

Within the Big Rapids community there are opportunities to help over twenty-five local service organizations.  Everything from stocking food pantries, assisting with the homeless shelter, tutoring school children, or using your creative side to help with local festivals and events.  To discover meaningful volunteer opportunities or help with one of the large campus events, please contact the CLACS Volunteer Center at CLACS@ferris.edu or 231-591-2685. Taking the steps to helping others may be the right steps to helping yourself.

Recognizing Job Search Stress: Watching for the Signs. By Katie Nimtz (Ferris State University, PR Student)

You are sitting at your desk in front of your laptop screen clicking to see if there will be anything on page number two of your search. As you scroll down to look for those two words ‘Now Hiring’ your neck is tense from sitting for so long and your eyes are strained from the backlight of the screen. You try a new search, trying to rearrange the words to bring up something new; job openings near me, career opportunities near me, jobs, who’s hiring, where can I find a job, need job, how to not be poor. After hours of searching and filling out the same information about a hundred time in slightly different ways, you receive a couple of interviews, and you attend each one not thrilled. They weren’t the ones you really wanted, and find yourself right back at the beginning again searching the internet. Why does finding a job have to be so difficult?

Many students feel pressured into finding the best job possible during their last summer and post-graduation. This self-expectation of perfection leaves individuals unfocused, doubtful in their own capabilities, and many times unmotivated. Alexander Graham Bell wrote, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” In the same way, it is important for individuals to realize that finding a job takes persistence, dedication and grit. The best way to overcome the stresses of job searching is recognizing the problem.

 How are you supposed to keep your sanity during the hunt? Understanding the causes of the stress is a great way to combat it. Students are constantly put into time sensitive situations and are generally capable of handling the crunch for time. However, the vast array of options and possibilities can cause some individuals to freeze up in their hunt. In Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he explains the philosophy of starting with the end in mind. Finding a job should not be a last minute decision, giving yourself plenty of time to find and hear back from the potential employer. An individual needs to be actively strategizing their next move in their career path. This doesn’t mean to obsess over a particular job, try read between the lines of a bad-news letter, or feel over confident in yourself. Find your dream job and start making a long term game plan by identifying the steps that will take you to your goal. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”

It can be difficult to recognize that even with a great education that first ‘adult job’ may not include being a manager, having your own office, or include the best hours. What matters is understanding how the job fits into your career path. It is important to identity and utilize your resources to lessen the effects of stress. Rejection is hard to take, but equipping yourself with the a top of line resume, cover letter, interview skills, professional demeanor, and positive attitude will get you closer to the goal. Students can reach out to professors, industry professionals, the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services, and even First Lady’s Attic for ways to prepare and be less stressed during the process.