Thursday, March 27, 2014


So over the past few years, I have had many interviews, and throughout these interviews I've noticed a few things that are most useful to me, even if they aren't highlighted the most on any "advice pages".  So here are some pieces that I have found more useful to me than any other advice I have read:

  1. Stay Relaxed:  Most of the time, it seems that interviews aren't nearly as stressful as what many people make them out to be.  Its better to just be calm and treat the interview as more of a relaxed situation than a stressful one.  Interviewers are looking at whether or not they can see working with you and so its important to build a relationship with those potential colleagues.  
  2. Take a Deep Breath: (before answering any big questions)  I know that oftentimes when I'm in an interview, it can be really difficult to stay calm and I will talk too quickly, making it too difficult for the interviewers to understand what I'm really trying to say.  So I've found it best to, after any question is asked, take a deep breath, and intentionally speak a lot slower as I'm answering the question that they have asked so that my point will get across accurately and efficiently. 
  3. Know your Resume and the Position:  Know what it is that you really want the interviewers to know about you before even going in.  That way, you can highlight pieces of your resume that you are qualified and excited about, which makes it a lot easier to convince everyone that you are right for the job. 

Well good luck in your job search Hawks!  I hope that my little pieces of advice that I've shared can be minutely helpful in  your next interview during this "interview season" for all those summer internships and final jobs!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Growing Up

From the Rockhurst Twitter (@RockhurstU)
Last Thursday night and Friday was Rockhurst's official groundbreaking and a presentation to honor donors for the new academic building, named Arrupe Hall.  Thursday night was the presentation titled "Wisdom and Leadership Depicted Through Humor" by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau which was intended to honor the McMeel family, donors to the new building.  I attended this presentation and greatly enjoyed a chance to hear Mr Trudeau speak.  The presentation truly seemed to follow the title of the presentation, beginning with stories of coming into adulthood, moving into the story process ("humans are hardwired to create and process stories") and following with speaking on the topic of comedy ("the opposite of comedy is not seriousness, it is despair"), entertaining us the entire way through.  While he questioned his own ability to speak on the topic of wisdom, I found the whole presentation to be captivating.

Countdown we made at my high school for graduation
My favorite quote from his entire speech though came toward the beginning, and I found myself reflecting on it throughout this week.  As Mr Trudeau was speaking on his own coming of age, he spoke of navigating the "uncontrolled skid that is adolescence".  As I prepare for my own graduation from college in a mere 8 weeks of classes, I cannot help but reflect on the huge impact the past 4 years of my life will have on me and how quickly it has gone by.  It seems like just yesterday I found out that I received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Rockhurst, and now I'm in the final weeks to graduate.  Four years ago today I was working on projects for high school Spanish class and beginning a countdown bulletin board for graduation from high school (see above) with many of my closest friends, excited and nervous to take that huge step of moving away from home.  I never could have imagined what lie in store for me throughout these past four years, but that only points toward what little I can expect to know for the future.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Foreign Aid and Political Issues

Photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal
One issue that I have found very interesting recently has been involving the recent Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act that has been passed and how it has affected foreign aid to this developing country.  This issue has caused organizations to make a decision regarding their guidelines for providing aid.  Many organizations give aid to this country due to the low GDP and to assist the nation in its continuing development efforts.  However, many organizations have felt that the enactment of this new bill does not line up with the values of the organization and have expressed a desire to withhold aid as a result of the passage of this law.  This article by the UN News Centre sites public health as a huge concern due to the high level of people living with HIV/AIDS in the nation.  With 1.5 million people living with HIV in Uganda, treatment is a huge concern due to studies that show that "when gay people face discrimination including abuse, incarceration and prosecution, they are less likely to seek HIV testing, prevention and treatment services" (UN).  The World Bank has postponed a $90 million loan to Uganda for maternal health, newborn care, and family planning due to the enactment of the new law.  The organization has concerns that the new law will "affect our projects and our gay and lesbian staff members" (BBC).  

Photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal
The backlash experienced by this issue however, seemed to be anticipated by the lawmaker who first proposed the bill.  Overall, this bill was widely liked by the citizens of the nation, and the lawmaker believes that these withdraws of support are worth the preservation of the nation's moral values.  Whether a person agrees with the new law or does not however, I believe the most important thing to look at is how the average citizen's life will be hurt or made better by the enactment of the law.  Nonprofits and aid organizations additionally have to evaluate how their organization's values fall into line with any decision the government has made.  These widespread implications make politics and aid interesting topics to dig deeper into and to continue to follow closely.