Staying Productive Amidst a Pandemic

July 7, 2020


Did your summer internship get cancelled due to COVID-19? Not sure what to do? Don’t worry I got you covered! I was in the process of applying to internships and preparing for interviews when this pandemic hit. Here are some things that I’ve been doing to stay productive and keep me on track for when everything returns to “normal.” 


  1. Attend virtual panels and Zoom webinars – Follow Instagram pages related to your career interests to see if there are opportunities in which you are able to learn from industry professionals. 
  2. Set up informational interviews – I typically use LinkedIn to find professionals who work at a company I’m interested in to see if they have time for a quick chat. Form a genuine connection with them and keep in touch because networking is key! 
  3.  Sign up for Skillshare –  Skillshare has so many classes and workshops ranging from business analytics to graphic design.  There’s so many topics to choose from and the best part is you can go at your own pace!


Amy Dang
Amy Dang
BA Communications/Entertainment



4 Tips for Securing a Job after Graduation

June 30, 2020


  1. Carefully read job postings and ensure your resume includes key terms from these postings.
  2. You got picked for an interview? Great! This is your opportunity to demonstrate what you can bring to the table. Know your worth, you qualified for an interview!
  3. Ask questions after the interview and ask for a business card. Don't forget to ask when you should expect a response back to make sure the employer knows you are interested.
  4. Send out a thank you letter to the employer for the interview with details about your qualifications. You can attach your resume for reference.


Jacqueline Garza
Jacqueline Garza
CSUF Class of  2019 - BA Accounting



Pandemic, But Make It Positive

June 25, 2020


It’s summer! I mean, sure, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and, yes, this season has looked quite different than it ever has before, but it’s still summer!! So scream and shout and dance about because there are still ways to put in the work despite most of our world being put on hold.

How many times throughout this past school year did you ask (maybe even beg) the Universe for a break? “I have way too much going on and I just need some time to chill.” Does this sound familiar? If you’re anything like me this is a question that you know a bit too well, but once quarantine began you found yourself almost envying the times when you were busy as a bee.

Things have changed, and the world continues changing, but that doesn’t mean your life needs to be put on hold! Let’s talk about the ways we can make the most of these unprecedented times:


1.  Take the time to organize.

And I mean really organize. Clean until you know where anything and everything is or how to get there whether that be your workspace, your bedroom, your assignments, or all of the above. Taking control over those things/events that may be causing you to stress will help create room for other activities that fill you up.

Which brings us to #2…


2.  Pick up a new hobby! Or an old hobby! Or a forever-hobby!

I want you to think about all those things you said you were going to learn how to do at some point in your life. The activity you wanted to spend more time doing, or the project you swore you were going to get done… but never got around to completing (or even starting). Well, good news! You now have the time to turn yourself into the next Beyonce or Gordon Ramsey, after you tackle everything else that’s on your plate of course.


3.  Get to know yourself.

A lot of us have been spending more time than we are used to with ourselves. And this is probably a good thing. I’d like to encourage you to pick up a couple of notebooks (maybe decorate them with magazine clippings or stickers- whatever makes you feel like you) and jot down any feelings or dreams. Keeping a journal of daily activities can give you better insight into what it is you actually spend your time doing throughout the week letting you know how to manage your time the way you want to. And who knows? Maybe through this median of self-expression, you will learn things about yourself you didn’t know before.


4.  Spread love.

Check-in on a friend or a family member and remind them that you care about them. Make cards full of kind words for your teachers or for local business owners. Pick some flowers for your neighbors. This Earth is the only one we have, we should treat her and all lives with the respect and grace deserved.


It is okay to feel lost. Just remember that you are never alone. As the world changes, so will we. And change can be a beautiful thing. In this season, be kind to yourself, and be kind to others. Everything will unfold the way it is supposed to. We are all in this together, Titans!





We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell.


Katie Klein
Katie Klein
CSUF Class of  2023 - BA Theatre



Just Keep Swimming with Three Tips to Stay Motivated

June 23, 2020


The title says it all. When it comes to internship and job positions, there will be many no responses and rejections before we hear and get the one that changes our lives. As an official alumnus (Class of 2020 grad, Woo!), I have been through my fair share of the uphill battle. Surrounded by peers with accomplishments left and right, I was feeling defeated when I was searching for a summer internship going into my senior year. I applied and reached out to a number of different internship positions and I either heard back from none or was rejected. Then after months of applying, I heard back from a few, did some interviews, and was offered an internship. Throughout it all, there were three little nuggets of advice I kept in mind: 


  1. My time will come. Everyone’s time will come. Don’t compare yourself to anyone around you. YOUR journey is unique from your peers. Be patient and know your timeline is different and has yet to be written.


  1. Rejection is redirection. See the rejections and no responses as a win. It means that the company was not right for you. It is redirecting you to the company that will see YOUR VALUE, YOUR SKILLS, AND YOUR TALENT. The bumps are only bumps to help you reach what is meant for you, what is destined for you. 


  1. It only takes that one. After speaking to two of my professors, they gave me the same advice. It only takes one. There will be a company that will take a chance on you. Out of all the rejections, there will be that one will see you and all the work you put into finding an internship or job will be worth it and fall into place. 


Stay positive and as Dory says, just keep swimming!


Melina Chow
Melina Chow
CSUF Class of  2020 - BA Business Administration



4 Ways You Can Create Change

June 18, 2020


Considering the current social climate, you might be asking yourself what can I do to create change?


Here are 4 ideas that you can start doing now. 


1.  Volunteer:  Research opportunities to volunteer in your local community. Volunteer with organizations that share similar values and interests. Opens in new window  or Opens in new window  are great websites to check out and identify an organization that needs your help!


2. Take Action: Write a letter for change by finding a reasonable improvement that could be made in your community and make an effort to change it for the better. Find your  local representative Opens in new window  and write them a letter. 


3.  Leadership: Coordinate with your peers the opportunity to come together and discuss class topics and/or social climate issues. It’s a great way to gain leadership experience, hear different perspectives while meeting and learning from one another. 


4. Share: Social media is a powerful tool, share the great positive things that you are doing for your community, create a #, Tweet about it, or create an IG Live. This can help motivate and empower others to do the same. 


Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of  Career Education and Campus Engagement



What Are Informational Interviews?

June 16, 2020


Informational Interview is a great opportunity for you to interview someone in the industry or career that you are interested in working in. This is not a formal interview, however it’s a great way to get further insight in the industry and the career path you need to take to get the career of your dreams. Also, it is a fantastic way to meet new contacts to add to your network.  Keep in mind that this is not an interview to obtain a job (although it could lead to one in the future).


Who Should I Ask?

  • Ask someone you already know
  • Ask your friends, family, professors, or peers if they know anyone
  • Research your alumni network on LinkedIn or the CSUF Alumni Association

Once you have confirmed an informational interview now what?


What to Ask:

  • How did you get started in your career?
  • What does a typical work day look like?
  • What skills or experience would be helpful to have in this field?
  • What trends or new trends do you see in this industry?
  • What are the greatest challenges/rewards for your positions?
  • Do you have any advice for me?
  • Are there any resources you would recommend for me to use?


Now that you have found a few people to reach out to, now what? You can use the email template below to help you reach out to inquire about scheduling an informational interview .


Informational Interview Email Template

To: Mr. Damon (

From: Taylor Smith (

Subject: Informational Interview Request

Dear Mr. Damon,

My name is Taylor Smith and as a current student at CSUF in the College of Communications, I am very interested in working in television production after I graduate. My friend, Jennifer Ashton, is a current intern with your company and suggested I reach out to you based on my interests and your current work in the film and television industry. Would you possibly be available for an informational interview? I would love to hear more about what you do, and how you got your start in television production. Please let me know if you are available for coffee or lunch sometime next week. Or if that is too much time, even 10 minutes on the phone would be great. I’m sure you are very busy, so please let me know what is most convenient for your schedule. I look forward to hearing from you.


Taylor Smith | 555-555-9000

Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of  Career Education and Campus Engagement



Letters of Recommendation: Who and How

June 11, 2020


Are you thinking or currently in the process of preparing to apply for graduate school? As part of the application process, you will need letters of recommendation, are you confused as to where to start or how to ask for one?

First, only make request to individuals that will be willing and be able to provide strong letters for you. Letters of recommendation should be requested from professors, advisors, employers or other individuals who are familiar with your work, undergraduate preparation, commitment, motivation and/or potential.


Second, allow plenty, ask for a letter of recommendation at least 1 MONTH IN ADVNACE!


Lastly, you must provide your recommenders with the following documents, in order to give them an overview of our qualifications:

  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose Draft
  • Career Goals Outline
  • Instructions on submission of letter of recommendation from the institution


Remember, the recommenders are taking time out of their busy day to help support your career goals and future next steps. They are happy to do so, but please be mindful that they do need all the above to best provide you with the strongest letter of recommendation possible.

Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of  Career Education and Campus Engagement



How to Write a Professional Email

June 9, 2020


Writing emails is part of our day-to-day, you might not put so much thought into how you go about sending an email to your professors, colleagues, supervisors, but wither you’re a student or an up-and-coming young professional you have to know what a great email looks like if you’re going to write one.


Every email you write has the same basic structure: Subject line, greeting, email body, and closing, not sure what to include in each section, read below!


Subject Line

 This could be the most important part of the email; your subject line can entice people to open the message as well as set expectations about what’s enclosed. A poorly drafted or generic subject line (ex: HI) discourages the reader to open up your email.



 You’ll want to include a quick greeting to acknowledge the reader before jumping into your main message or request ( Ex: Good morning, Good afternoon… Hope that this email finds you well..)



 This is the most important part of your email message; it must have a clear and specific purpose. It should also be concise; this will incline people to read it rather than skimming it and risking missing important information. 



 Your email started great with a greeting, make sure it also ends well, add a friendly sign-off (Ex: Sincerely, Best, Regards, Thank You, etc.)


Remember, writing an email is part of your professional growth and branding, so before you press that send button next time, make sure to review your email.

Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of  Career Education and Campus Engagement



Top 5 Qualities Employers are Looking for in Your Resume

June 4, 2020


Are you in the process of putting your resume together? Don’t know what skills are important to highlight in your bullet points?


Well according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2020 survey, it found that beyond a strong GPA, the top two attributes employers are looking for in a candidate are strong problem-solving skills and the ability to work in a team.


91% of employers that were included in this survey, reported that they are looking for these top attributes when reviewing a candidate's resume. For a complete list please visit

Problem-solving skills 91.2%
Ability to work in a team  86.3%
Strong work ethic  80.4%
Analytical/quantitative  79.4%
Communication Skills (written)  77.5%


Next steps to take, review your bullet points, make sure that you are highlighting these key skills, and explaining how you have been able to implement and utilize these skills in your work experience, volunteer work, leader opportunities, etc.


Need further help? Check out the Career Center website for samples of resumes

Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of  Career Education and Campus Engagement



Summer Virtual Plans

May 28, 2020



Are you not sure what your summer will be looking like? Need some summer ideas?

3 Things You Can Do This Summer

  1. CSUF students have accesses to  LinkedIn Learning, an online educational platform that helps you discover and develop business, technology-related, and creative skills through expert-led course videos. You can discover over 5,000 courses related to your field and interests. After completing these courses you it to your LinkedIn profile.


  1. Always wanted to learn a new language? download and use the DuoLinguo app


  1. Listen to a Podcast- Best Podcast for College Students


Summer Virtual Plans

Lastly, the Career Center is open all summer and here to help, schedule a Zoom appointment online.


Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of Career Education and Campus Engagement


Approved COVID-19 Virtual Academic Internships

May 26, 2020


Looking for an academic internship during this pandemic?  Don’t know where to start? CSUF Career Center Titan Connection has approved COVID-19 virtual academic internships. Titan Connection is our online database where you can find, not only virtual academic internships, but full-time/part-time Jobs, on-campus jobs and volunteer opportunities.

4 Easy Steps to Access Titan Connection:

  • Titan Connection
  • Login with your CSUF CWID/Password
  • Titan Connection Home Page
  • Click on “Search Jobs & Internships”


Now you are ready to search away!



Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of Career Education and Campus Engagement


Companies that are Now Hiring During COVID-19

May 21, 2020


Seniors, are you still looking for a job? Don’t worry, 90+  companies are still hiring, check-out the The Muse for a complete list.

Wait! Don’t click the apply button just yet! Before you apply, have your resume reviewed by the Career Center or utilize our online resume review system VMock.

Don’t stop there, after perfecting your resume, make sure to practice for the interview. The Career Center has great interview tips and opportunities to practice via InterviewStream or by scheduling a behavioral mock interview with a Career Specialist.


Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of Career Education and Campus Engagement


3 Easy Steps to Find a Remote Internship

May 19, 2020



  1. Remote Work Internship Sites

Companies that are advertising remote internship opportunities are less likely to cancel the internship regardless of upcoming COVID-19 rules. Check-out the following sites for remote internship opportunities,  The Muse, BuiltinLA, LinkedIn and of course your CSUF Career Center job search database, Titan Connection


  1. Use Social Media


Already using social media?  Use it to your internship search advantage, follow HIRING20 on Twitter for the latest on which companies are still hiring interns and new graduates.


  1. Making Networking Your New Thing!


You might have some hesitations on networking but let that be out the window during this pandemic.  Now is the perfect time to reach out to family, friends, peers, previous co-workers, faculty etc. and let them know you are searching. When reaching, start off with sharing your situation, asking them for advice or people they might recommend to connect with.  


Marcela Rojas
Marcela Rojas
Assistant Director of Career Education and Campus Engagement


Improve Your LinkedIn Profile with these 5 Tips!

May 15, 2020


LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. It is mainly used for connecting with past and current colleagues, getting to know new professionals, and searching for jobs and internships. With over 500 million users in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for building your professional network. Not sure where to start? Here are 5 simple tips to improve your LinkedIn profile and grow your network!


  1. Fill out as much of your profile as possible.

Include all previous work / internship experiences, any volunteer / community involvement, past and/or current education, skills, accomplishments, interests… all that you can! And PLEASE have a professional headshot for your profile photo. First impressions matter. It doesn’t have to be taken in a studio but be sure it’s a current, clear photo where you’re dressed nice with a simple background. (Yes, that rules out that Coachella pic from 2 years ago)


  1. Keep it professional.

 Duuuude, avoid slang. This isn’t Tinder or Instagram. Write as if you’re emailing a professor or supervisor. It’s okay to have some appropriate non-work-related content (professionals are people, too) but most of your posts and comments should be related to your field (current articles, big work events or projects, academic achievements, etc.) You can grow your network by posting and also by liking and commenting on other posts! 


  1. Polish up your “About Me” section.

 The “About Me” section is one of the most important aspects on your profile, as it tells other professionals who you are and where you’re going. It should mention your education and past relevant experiences that align with your career goals. New professionals should not only explain their career goals but mention what they’ve done so far to reach those goals. Keep this section about 2-3 short paragraphs and write in 1st person!


  1. Have a strong headline.

Even if professionals aren’t connected with you, they can still see your profile photo AND headline. Make sure your headline is clear, short, and to the point. It can be a current title (job title or student) and/or what you’re aspiring to do.


  1. Make connections!

 LinkedIn is all about connecting with other professionals. Connect with past coworkers, professors, or classmates, or reach out to new professionals by explaining your common ground. When connecting with others, always include a message if you can. This is where you can briefly introduce yourself and explain why it makes sense to connect (maybe they are in the same industry that you’re pursuing, or they work at a company you hope to work at some day). Don’t be afraid to connect with others even if you’ve never met them, this is how you grow your network! Just be sure they know why you’re connecting with them.


For additional questions or individual help with your LinkedIn profile, make an appointment here. Let’s stay connected, the Career Center is here to support you!


Natalie Azzouni
Natalie Azzouni
Career Coach

Virtual Interviewing Tips: Before, During, After

May 12, 2020


  1. Set an Alarm: Just because we don’t have to plan to drive to a destination doesn’t mean you get to sleep in a little longer. Remember to set your alarm and don’t forget to allow time for internet connection issues.
  2. Dress the Part: Make sure to wear an outfit you would wear in person to an interview. Just because they cannot see your full attire does not mean that you should not dress head to toe in professional clothing. This will also boost your self-confidence and can help you ace that interview.
  3. Find a Good Spot: Make sure that you find a convenient, comfortable, non-distracting place with good lighting to conduct your interview. You want to make sure that your entire focus is on the interview and that you look great doing it.



  1. Silences are OK: Sometimes we may think that a pause or a silence might be taken as a lack of signal or nervousness. It is better to pause before you answer than to ramble during your response so take the pause. If the interviewer is silent it does not mean that things are going wrong; it may mean that they are taking notes or simply reflecting on your answer.
  2. Make Eye Contact, Smile, Be Yourself: Make sure that you do not get distracted by looking at yourself on your screen. Eye contact is just as important virtually as it is in person to build rapport and make that connection. Be yourself, be friendly, and smile to provide them with a sense of who you are.
  3. Notes, Bullet Points and STAR: It’s okay to have notes with you during your interview to reference specific points you want to make. Make sure to use the STAR Method for your answers (Situation, Task, Action, Result).



  1. Reflection and Thank You Emails: Make sure to reflect on strengths and areas of improvement. Also, remember that the interview is not one sided. Therefore, make sure to take some time to reflect on whether you can see yourself working in that company environment and with those individuals that interviewed you. Don’t forget to send Thank You emails to the interviewers to thank them for their time.



Practice! Practice! Practice! Set up an appointment with a Career Coach or Specialist on our website.


Analia Cabral
Analia Cabral
Career Coach

Quick Graduate Tool Preparation Tips

May 8, 2020

Why are you pursuing a Graduate Degree?

This is your moment to reflect and decide your reason for pursuing this graduate degree. Is it necessary for your career goals? Are you doing it because your peers or siblings did it? Really take time to assess why you want this degree to make sure it is worth your time and money before you commit.


Explore your options

Research the schools and programs you are interested in and review their curriculum. Although programs have similar titles, their curriculum will show you what courses are taught. This is your opportunity to eliminate schools that do not align with your developmental and career learning. Create some sort of matrix table to include prerequisites, deadlines, etc. 
(see examples below)

Institution & Program Deadline Requires GRE Cost
CSUF M.S. Education
Concentration in Higher Education
February 2021 N/A 2 Years


Make Connections

Attend information sessions. This is your opportunity to network with faculty members, current students and alumni to gain more insight on the programs of your interest. An alternative consists of reaching out to current students or alumni in the program through LinkedIn or contacting the program coordinator to initiate that connection. These individuals can serve as mentors throughout your career and help you decide what program is right for you.


Letters of Recommendation

Start thinking about who can write you a strong, solid letter of recommendation. Think about supervisors or professors who know your abilities and can further highlight them in your letter. Allow your recommenders 2-3 months of anticipation to write your letters. Other students might also be requesting letters. Be prepared to provide them with assignments, resumes, a draft of your personal statement (or statement of purpose, letter of intent, etc.) or anything they require on your behalf to incorporate keywords in your letter. However, know that your recommenders might not request these documents but it is a good idea to send them regardless because it will help them write a stronger letter that is more tailored to the program.


Believe in YOURSELF!

Believe in your capabilities to succeed as a student. Graduate school is an opportunity for educational growth but also the time for self-discovery. You got this!

Monica Quezada Barrera
Monica Quezada Barrera
Career Coach

Cover Letter: Paragraph Breakdown 

May 4, 2020

Paragraph 1:

This is your introduction to the company. Think of it as if you are meeting them for the first time in person. Set the foundation and find commonalities. Start by introducing yourself with your name and major. State what you are applying (position title) for and explain why.

Consider: Why this specific company? Why are you passionate about the field. What skills do you already possess that make you an ideal candidate?


Paragraph 2-3:

What 2 or 3 skills does the company really need from someone in this position? SHOW (don't list) previous work experiences that demonstrate your capability of meeting the positions expectations. Remember to be specific and always connect  your experiences to the position.


Paragraph 4:

Conclude your letter by summarizing why you are a good fit for the position and thank them for their name and restate where they can reach you for an interview.


Make sure you do not forget your letter formatting. See our career guide for reference (page 36-37).


  Analia Cabral
Analia Cabral
Career Coach


May 1, 2020


Some repetition in your resume is unavoidable; however, this does not include your action verbs. If you happen to have repetitive action verbs, below is your FIX.

Do not fear - the CSUF Career Center is here [to help]. Our Career Guide has an ENTIRE page of action verbs for you to reference.
Check it out: CSUF Career Guide


Applying to multiple jobs is hard work. Although it may be tempting to use the same resume for every application, don't do it. When submitting your resume electronically, job databases review your resume before recruiters do. Using the same resume for every job application may prevent your resume from EVER getting in the hands of a recruiter.

The hard work is worth it. To make the process easier, below are two  pieces of advice:

  • Keep a MASTER resume.
    • This means, keep an organized resume of everything you've done - education, work experiences, internship experiences, volunteer experiences, memberships, honors and awards, skills, course projects, etc. When I say everything, I mean...everything. 
  • Print job descriptions, highlight keywords and include those terms in your resume. 

Do this, present yourself as an indeal candidate, and PASS the electronic screening. 


Did you really spend nine months as an intern for Queen Elizabeth II? Did you really increase your TikTok account by 8,000 followers in just a day? If you have to reference your resume to answer these questions, you're not being honest. Remember your interview begins the moment you hit submit, and recruiters can call you at any time to hold a phone screening.

It's simple, be honest.

If you don't find the mistakes in your resume, hiring recruiters will. So, make sure a family member, friend, [maybe a Career Coach - I don't know; just a thought; we're available] look over your resume.

Remember, your resume, as well as your cover letter and supporting documents, are your ticket to an interview [that's the point...right?]. Don't risk losing the opportunity!

Schedule an appointment.

Marlee Rangel
Marlee Rangel
Career Coach



5 Technology Tips You Need To Know

April 28, 2020

Since classess and everything else has been converted to an online format, it can be difficult to manage. In this Blog Post, I will give you 5 Technology Tips You Need to Know to be successful in an online format. 


What 5 Technology Tips You Need to Know?

  • Go For The Electronic Textbooks: Students still insist on paper textbooks, but trust me, electronic textbooks are cheaper, available instantly and can be downloaded to multiple devices. You can notate, bookmark and highlight them just as you would a hard copy. You can also perform keyword searches - a feature that has saved me an incredible amount of time writing research papers.
  • Really Utilize Your Smartphone: Smartphones allow us to access course materials such as e-books, lectures, articles and discussion boards from anywhere with cell service. Turn your waiting time into extra mini study sessions. 
  • Manage Course Materials With Technology: The organization of class materials is needed to be a successful student in and out of the classroom. Each day, students are responsible for the organization of physical materials, such as pens, papers and assignments.

Google Drive: It is important to have an organizational system for digital materials. Google drive allows for the creation of unlimited color-coded folders and documents. Providing you with models and instructions about how to organize their electronic materials is important to increasing independence.

Dropbox: Similar to Google Drive, Dropbox allows for storing, synching, editing and sharing of documents that were created using a variety of programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. A Google account is not required to use Dropbox.

  • Use Grammarly: Take your grammar to the next level. Grammarly checks spelling errors, makes suggestions on correcting grammatical errors and even looks for accidental plagarism. It is cloud based so you can log in to any computer to continue writing where you left off.
  • Check Your Email Daily: Email inboxes, similar to social media apps, are also easily cluttered. It's easy to just leave messages unread and not open one's inbox. However, you should learn to free your inboxes from clutter. Forbes suggests setting up a priority inbox and creating filters, among others. 


Derick Prince
Derick Prince
Career Coach