Advisement Day Advice

Annalise MarkAdvisement Day is Tuesday, March 31, so I sat down with Tamara Brantmeier, an adviser, an associate professor in her 11th year and director of the School of Art and Design. In other words, someone who knows a thing or two about how Advisement Day should go.

So, as you head to your Advisement Day meeting, consider taking Tamara’s advice to heart. Also, feel free to leave a comment below.

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So, what’s the purpose of Advisement Day?

Well, I think there are a couple of things. For one, I think students need to be responsible for knowing their program requirements and for planning out their schedules. The advisers get to do things like see red flags, like when (students) are digging themselves in too deep. Maybe taking too many intense courses at a time, or they’re taking something out of sequence, or reminding them of a special topics course. Our job is to just make sure they’re on track and to offer solutions or suggestions to round things out — to help them stay balanced toward a particular goal.

How can students prepare to make sure they’re productive during their advisement meeting?

Come prepared. And so what does prepared mean? That means what I just said — knowing your program requirements, but also there’s the eight-semester sequence on the back of every single program plan. And so to literally have a piece of paper and check things off as you go, and if you take things out of sequence know where you need to catch up. So, I just always tell students, my advisees, approach fall semester with their ideal class situation and then have a plan B and even a plan C. I encourage them to register for and schedule their major courses first and then their general education courses around those core classes because there are often several sections. So yeah, they should come prepared with a plan, always have a sense of where they are on their “quest for graduation.”

So what are some common questions students ask?

Students ask about studying abroad. A lot of students worry about the cost. So I tell them they’re never going to regret the investment and that financial aid will cover it if they need. I’ve helped students develop rationale for their parents too. When students ask about (studying abroad), often the next question is, “Will I still be able to graduate in four years?” So, I help them problem-solve around that. With some majors, their only (study-abroad) option is summer. If you want to go for a semester or year, that’s a different story. I get questions about what professors are “the best.” I feel a little funny saying that, but what I do is reflect back on comments I’ve heard about professors from students. It’s not my preference; it’s what I’ve heard from students.

What’s something you wish every student would think about before their advisement meeting?

Really, it’s about 30 percent of students who come thoroughly prepared and have mapped out their classes through graduation. I want students to keep their eye on the big picture, like their whole time here, not just getting through the semester and “what do I have to do next?” Always think about it in the bigger context. And it’s hard because our students work so hard and are so busy. They’re working jobs and it is hard to remember the big picture. I try to hold that out for students, “OK, it’s just a moment in time right now, I bet you’re overwhelmed, but you need to think about the whole thing.” The choice you make right now for fall has ramifications, both good and bad. And that’s where advisers get to say, “You know, I don’t think you’re thinking this through. Look at your sequence, look at what’s recommended.” Our job is to kind of steer and help guide. I really just want students to take ownership, and maybe that’s just because I’m more type A and I was like an “uber planner.” I still am and I always have goals; not everybody is built like that. But I think it’s a skill that can be learned.

How many students do you advise?

I advise anywhere between 23 and 27. So, a lot. Pretty much everyone in the School of Art and Design has a full roster of students like that.

Do you get a lot of students using advisement day for vacation?

Oh, don’t get me started! “I missed the group session,” “Oh, I register in an hour, I need to see you now.” I can’t even tell you. It’s just like, I’ll reply to your email tomorrow. I’m not going to drop everything because you didn’t want to wake up, you know? See, that’s a respect thing and I feel utterly disrespected when students don’t show up for advisement day and want me to drop everything. I want students to take ownership. Again, it’s a life skill. I’m going to hold them to that expectation.

So what if someone actually can’t make it to the meeting, can they still get the same help as they would on Advisement Day?

Advisement Day is on the academic calendar a year in advance — seems like you could get the day off of work. If you know you’re going to miss it, for “work” then you should set up an appointment before Advisement Day. You should try not to play catch up. It’s kind of like when you know you need to miss class. You contact the instructor and say, “I have to miss next Wednesday for whatever reason, how can I work ahead?” Proactive — that would be a one-word answer to that question.

Why do you think Advisement Day is specifically important for freshmen?

It gets them connected with someone who’s going to be a resource for them. Whether it’s their first-year advisers in the fall, or especially the semester in the spring, they’re meeting their person in their major. And so, it’s a connection point. It’s a resource; they shouldn’t miss out on it.

How is the day different for sophomores, upperclassmen or nontraditional students?

It’s that touch point, right? Your adviser is someone who has watched your progression as you’ve gone from semester to semester. They know the idiosyncrasies. Maybe you decided to take this class early and another class later. So we can help you kind of work through it. We also know, hopefully, what your goals are, and we know you want to try and get an internship as soon as possible. When we can’t be a resource because we don’t know something, we know who to point you toward. I think for those upperclassmen it’s all about that connection and that relationship.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

Oh, I take that question very seriously. It’s easy to say I’d like to fly, but part of me wishes I had the power to be invisible whenever I wanted to. I would love to listen in on conversations. Oh gosh, I want to know so much. I would love to be invisible and I would use it for good, not evil. I would use it to gain insight.

Is there anything you’d like to add about Advisement Day or just about being at UW-Stout in general?

I could leave you with one thing I sent my advisees this semester. It’s often hard to get seniors to come to advisement day because they think they don’t need it. They’re often the students that, I’m like, “Are you sure you don’t want me to look over your degree audit to make sure you are on track to graduate?” or “are you really sure you don’t want that assurance?” I told my seniors to just come in and give me a high-five then. Come in, I’ll look at your degree audit, we’ll high-five and you’ll be on your way in three minutes. And I also said, we could use 15 minutes and proofread your cover letter. We have this day off of classes; let’s figure out how we can use our time wisely.

Tamara Brantmeier

5 Steps to Writing an Awesome Resume

BDDYoungA couple of weeks ago, a group of Writing Center tutors I work with put together a resume writing presentation for one of the classes on campus. That got me thinking: shouldn’t everyone have this information?

As a student at UW-Stout, you have multiple opportunities to perfect your resume. Whether it’s the Career Services office, which will help you build an amazing document with their nine resume handouts, or if it’s coming in for some one-on-one work in the Writing Center, UW-Stout is equipped to build you the strongest resume possible.Careerslogo_2

But here, I’ll give you five easy steps to build a stronger resume yourself.

Step 1: Know the different types of resumes

I can just hear people saying “Whhaaaat?!” I know, it’s super exciting. Let me explain three types of resumes that will start you down the path of versatility.

  • Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.40.46 PMEmployment resume: This is your standard resume. It focuses on your past employment and leaves some room for things like education and objective statements. These can be used for your standard job, something for which you have experience or education.
  • Skills resume: This is where you try to downplay the fact that you are not experienced in the field per say, but you have a skill set that makes it possible for you to be an eligible candidate. This resume highlights relevant classwork and any skills that are worth highlighting. Examples could be computer programs or machinery knowledge. You will still want to add employment history to your resume, but it simply won’t be as significant a section as the skills portion.
  • Design resume: Design resumes can be employment or skills-based resumes, but they look much fancier. These resumes incorporate color and give a personal touch to the document. Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.41.42 PMWhile most art or design students will have customized their resumes, I don’t think business students should necessarily shy away from this type of resume. You are going after a job. It’s a competition. Anything that makes you stand out is good. And a well designed resume that is informative as well as attractive will get you noticed. I actually spent an entire career fair just asking employers what gets a resume noticed, and the one thing I heard over and over was something eye-catching. Content is important, but if you make it look good, you’re golden.

Step 2: Know your audience

Hello and welcome back to English 101, where we discuss understanding your audience. Trust me, that was an important lesson. When it comes to writing a resume, there are few worse things you can do than generalize your document. Every company is looking for something different. Your standard resume may not fit all of them, but the good thing is that you can remake this document as much as you want. Know what your employer is looking for by thoroughly reading the job description, do research on the company on their website and through other online sources and then mimic the language you see in those places within your resume. You can also highlight the pieces of your resume that you believe will associate you best with said company.

 Step 3: Complete a master resume

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.38.32 PM“Master resume” sounds incredible and awesome. It’s a concept one of my co-workers introduced me to and requires the writer to be aware of the breadth of their skills. A master resume is a compilation of everything you have ever done. You must record all past experiences, education and achievements in resume format. This document can be as many pages as necessary; just fill it with any information you could possible see yourself using on any resume, ever. Once it is completed you can use all the information to easily tailor every resume you create to its audience, also known as your potential employer.

 Step 4: Power verbs

This phrase has been matched withScreen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.11.47 PM resumes since you first heard of them, so believe in their power. These “power verbs” are meant to make your summer of scooping ice cream more appealing to the employer, (but don’t say things like “controlled the ice cream counter on busy days”) because all employers get from it is, “Hey look, his guy can make ice cream.” Use the power verbs to propel your thoughts to the skills you gained in your part-time job such as “Inventoried weekly shipments of 100+ products.” I promise, no matter how painful the job was, you learned something. Figure out what it was and let power verbs express it for you.

Step 5: Proofread

Nothing is less impressive than someone asking for a job with a mistake-ridden document. That’s all I’m going to say on this.

Logo-snapshot-1So there you have it — five steps to make your resume shine. If I were to add a sixth step and make this a strangely numbered monster list, I’d tell you to be sure to visit Career Service’s website and pay a visit to the tutors at the Writing Center (second floorof the library). Both offices are more than willing to give you a second opinion.

Getting jobs is nothing new, so use your resources.

Good luck with resume writing!

Designers on Tour

Annalise MarkWith spring break right around the corner, it’s hard not to get excited about the warmer weather and day dream about summer plans. Some people have started looking for summer employment, planning a big vacation, or checking out the summer classes offered. For UW-Stout freshman Ann Storlie and Megan Sandheinrich, spring means gearing up for their big entrepreneurial debut at the renowned summer music festival known as Vans Warped Tour.

As a way to combine their artistic abilities and savvy business sense, Ann and Megan started up a t-shirt business by designing their own product line in 2013 on Etsy.com, called Carrion Clothing.

Carrion LogoThe shirts consist of simple, playful designs and splashes of color through the tie-dye technique. They have reached new heights by selling internationally to countries like Brazil, Australia, United Kingdom, Spain, Singapore, France, Ireland, and more.

I sat down with Ann to ask her some questions about the business, how being a UW-Stout student has helped expand business, and Vans Warped Tour.

Q: How would you describe your designs?

The designs are reflections of our personalities and tastes. They’re unique and make strong statements.

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Q: Has being part of the UW-Stout community helped business?

Yeah, I’d say so. There are some pretty diverse majors here. I’ve met some really creative people who always keep me thinking. There are so many people here who are supportive of what Meg and I do and so that’s a lot of fun. Oh! I almost forgot. I’ve also been able to market our merch to bands who come here on Thursday nights for concerts. I freaked out when I saw the lead singer of a band post a picture wearing one of our shirts on social media and saw how many people liked it.

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Q: So what are some challenges you’ve faced moving to college and keeping up with business?

Not enough space. We used to work out of my basement. Ha! I can’t get to my clothes in my closet because there are three huge boxes in the way. Also, time. Definitely time. It take a long time to dye each shirt and occasionally, by the time I’m done with homework, I’m too tired to make the shirts.

Q: Okay so, now let’s talk about Vans Warped Tour. What are you most excited about?

Meeting and making new customers and meeting people who have sold [merchandise] on the tour before — veterans. And meeting band members, of course! Also, being part of a scene that inspired me to start the brand.

Warped Tour

Ann and Megan will be representing UW-Stout during three dates of the tour:

  • Chicago, IL- July 25th
  • Shakopee, MN- July 26th
  • Milwaukee, WI- July 28th

Watch for their photos on Instagram with #UWStout.

Who is Anna DeAnn Brown?

BDDRyanIt’s my turn to interview someone! Sticking to my roots of getting out there on campus, I chose to talk to the first person I ran into on my walk outside. Guess who I ran into? One of my best friends, Anna. She lives on my floor and is on the basketball team here at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Anna has the best outlook on life and never ceases to make me smile. Enjoy Anna’s stories of her time at UW-Stout.

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Q: Where are you from?

I am from Wausau, Wisconsin.

Q: How did you end up at UW-Stout?

I toured most of the UW schools and I just loved everything about Stout. I loved the amount of people and the distance away from home and how people treated you here. It just clicked.

Q: What was the best day that you have ever had on campus?

Just the first few days in general. Everyone was super open and everyone was on the same level of not knowing anyone. It was just great to have the same feeling of being new like everyone else.

Q: How did you meet people?

When I first started meeting people I told them my name was Kiki. I also told people my name was Pheobe. I don’t know why I did it; I just wanted to be different because everyone has the name Anna where I am from and it’s really boring. I just wanted to be different!

Q: What happened when people found out?

There was a group of guys that found out my name was Anna so they called me Kiki-Pheobe-Anna for like a week, and then that was my name.11031965_1082838621731485_1955190975_o

Q: How did you meet your best friend?

My best friend from Stout is named Haley. We are in basketball together. The day we met is actually pretty funny. We met at one of the preview days or orientation, something like that. We were sitting right across from each other, not knowing we were on the team together. We both had that thought in our head that we both looked liked basketball players, but we never said anything. Then our coach walked around the corner and asked if we sat next to each other on purpose. My coach went to hug me and she spilled her smoldering hot coffee all over me and Haley probably sat there thinking, “I’m glad that wasn’t me.”

Q: Have you had any moments at UW-Stout that have reassured you that you picked the right school?

I was talking to my coach about how he would set me up with a job shadow with his sister. He was just going out of his way to help me. It’s crazy! There have been so many people around campus just like that, and I think it’s great that people help so much with some of the littlest things. There is free hot chocolate on Thursdays in February. I love Stout.

Uncommon Commons Eats: Loaded Cheesy Fries

BDDYoungMy friend Sam introduced me to the brilliance that is chili-cheese fries at Merle M. Price Commons. It simply requires chili, cheese and fries. It’s perfect for those days when you’re in need of some comfort food, but there is one flaw: It can only be done on days when chili is served. I have been waiting for weeks now, and the serving has never lined up with my schedule so I’ve finally lost my patience and decided to do my own cheesy-fry concoction. Here it is: the Loaded Cheese Fries.

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First, stop at the Broadway Grill and get a plate of fries. The rest of the ingredients can be found among the salad and sandwich fixing bar. For the fries you’ll need cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions and bacon bits (they’re in a canister that looks like a salad dressing dispenser and, yes, I’m positive they’re not real.)

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For the sauce, which is completely optional, you’ll want to decide what kind of mood you’re in. Do you want a sweet barbecue, spicy buffalo, tangy balsamic or just the classic ranch?

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For each sauce, aside from the ranch, take equal parts mayonnaise and your flavor of choice (barbecue sauce, buffalo sauce or balsamic vinegar) and mix them.

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Once you have all of your ingredients you can check out and sit down. This requires a little piecing together. We’re going to be using a new implement this week, the microwave. MAKE SURE TO GRAB A PLATE FROM BESIDE THE MICROWAVE. This is really important because those multicolored plastic plates will probably make you grow extra limbs if you microwave them. So grab one of the microwave-safe ones.

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Once you have the plate put your ingredients on it starting with fries, then cheese and finally your veggies. I decided to cut my vegetables because there is no way a flimsy fry is going to be able to hold an entire tomato slice.

Once that’s done you can nuke it. I suggest putting it in for about 30 seconds. Any more than that and you’ll end up with a congealed mess.

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Viola! You have delicious cheesy fries. Now you can pour the sauce on top or just dip it in, your choice. Either way, yum, these fries have all of the unhealthiness and deliciousness you could want.

Feel free to spruce these up with your own twist of toppings, sauce or even seasonings. There are tons of options, so just follow your taste buds, Stouties!

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As always, special thanks to UW-Stout Dining Services for making this possible.

Have a great week Stout!

Interview: Holly the Hall Director

Joylin Baranick

My time finally came to interview someone on campus and I instantly knew who I wanted to interview! I decided to interview Holly Rice, a student and new Hall Director here at UW-Stout. I have known Holly since fall semester of 2013 and we are great friends! She is a very energetic, driven, and smart person who can always make you laugh.
So, here is my wonderful and hilarious interview with Holly!

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Q:What do you do at UW-Stout?

I am currently the Hall Director of Tustison-Oetting in CKTO, a full-time employee of University  Housing that supervises the RA staff and meets with on-campus students on a daily basis. I am also a senior on campus and will be graduating in May with a degree in Science Education with an emphasis in Biology and Chemistry. I have been here for 4 years and I love it!

Q: Favorite place around campus/Menomonie?

I really like the Red Cedar Trail that goes down by the river and by the Passover Bridge. Walking on the path during any season is really pretty, especially in the fall. I don’t ever walk the trail in the winter but everybody during every other season I do!

Q: Would you rather swim with sharks or get stung by a jelly fish?

I guess it would depend on the information. Like if I was in a cage, I would swim the sharks and if someone was with me if I got stung by a jellyfish and they could pee on it, then it would be ok. There are stipulations with both but I would rather swim with the sharks.

Q: What was the best first date you’ve ever went on?

In my home town there is a ridge that overlooks the whole city, my fiancé and I drove up there, packed a lunch and enjoyed a picnic together. Then we watched the sunset, it was beautiful.

Q: If you could have one superpower for a day, what would it be and why?Joy and Holly

Ooh! I think I’d have a superpower where I could snap my fingers and whatever I want would appear. It would be awesome because then I wouldn’t have to get up to do anything. Like in Harry Potter when they say “ackio” and something just comes to them! That would be great!

Q: If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mashed potatoes. I really enjoy them and since they are versatile, I could eat them with every meal. I can mix them with chicken, corn, gravy, anything. I like them a lot!