Apr 30, 2013

UC Alumni Give Career Advice to New Graduates

The past weekend the University of Cincinnati awarded more than 6,000 degrees. On the UC Alumni Association's Linkedin group and Facebook page, we recently asked our alumni to offer up their best advice for new college grads.

Below is a sampling of career advice from our alums. If you have any tidbits of your own you'd like to share, please feel free to comment below, or join in on the actual discussion on Linkedin!

"My career advice is to remind yourselves daily that learning is what life and work is all about. Continue to foster that interest and curiosity in the work world each day like you did through college. You are not expected to know or pretend to know everything, only continue to be interested and learn so that you can apply what you learn in the best manner possible. All of us live life and work each day. How we approach the way we live can be by design or by default (allowing life to happen to you). I recommend choosing to live it by design rather than default." - Janine Melink-Hueber

"Make your first priority finding a great company even though you may not start out with the perfect job. Then do fabulous work and spend time networking so you'll be in line for future promotions toward that dream job." - Debbie Kibler Speer

"Stand tall, be proud, your degree means as much and more than degrees from the'Elite' schools...you are ELITE!" - Robert Buchholz

"Create long term goals for yourself before beginning your job search. Write them down, and look for opportunities that will only assist you in achieving those goals! Good luck Bearcats!" - Joe Cafferty

"Your first job may not be your ideal job but you have to start somewhere!" - Kathy Imhoff-Witt

What career advice do you have for new graduates? Share your suggestions by commenting below!

Apr 29, 2013

First Generation Student Reflects on Time at UC

Obye Davis served as a Student Orientation Leader at UC,
which is one of his favorite memories. 
As one of the first students from the Gen-1 House, Obye Davis, prepares to graduate, he recently shared how his UC experience transformed his life. From his coursework within the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and his communication major, to his multiple internships and extracurricular activities, Davis credits his education for enabling him to achieve his goals.

Attending a university that embraces diversity helped Davis step outside of his comfort zone. In 2010, Davis became a Student Orientation leader for the University - an experience that changed his life.

“For the first time, I was able to talk to people not like myself, and I was forced to flourish in areas different than what I was used to,” Davis explained. “UC furnished the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, and it changed my life.”

Davis became a leader in the ADVANCE program, which aids African American students in making the transition from college to professional careers. He also became active in the Student Alumni Council, Student Development Council, Student Government, Collegiate 100 Honorary, NAACP, and the United Black Student Association (USBA). Davis was also a founding member of GQ, which is a group dedicated to increasing the graduation rate of black males at UC.

Davis gained valuable experience working for
the mayor of Cincinnati's office.
When reflecting about his time at UC, Davis recognizes many moments with these student activities as some as his favorite. “There’s a tie for my favorite UC memory. It’s between my entire summer spent being a Student Orientation Leader, and being initiated into the Collegiate 100 Honorary,” Davis said. “My experience as a freshman in the Gen-1 house will also be a memory I always cherish.”

Davis worked multiple jobs while attending the university to help pay for school, and received  valuable professional experience from multiple internships. One of his most treasured experiences was the opportunity to work in the mayor’s office of the City of Cincinnati.

“I had the opportunity to plan and execute the Mayor’s 8th Annual Youth Jobs and Opportunities Fair,” Davis said, “I organized press conferences and created press kits. I gained lots of experience and even received a job offer!”

As Davis prepares for the next chapter of his life, he credits his involvement at UC for helping him understand others. “Because of my involvement, I gained an understanding the different of the shoes others walk in. I think the one thing I stress to others is to have the ability to step in the shoes of others and understand their point of view,” Davis explained. “I am Proudly Cincinnati because I realize the struggles and triumphs of others.”

While Davis does not have any concrete plans after graduation, he’s still weighing his options. A year ago he was uncertain about his job prospects, but now has various offers from a few different companies.

Congratulate Davis and all of the other seniors with a comment on the blog below!

Apr 10, 2013

Former Bearcat Brings Gourmet Grilled Cheese to Cincinnati

Emily Frank, owner of C'est Cheese
 In the past few years, food trucks have popped up in cities across the U.S., including Cincinnati.  An alumna from UC recently started her own food truck – one specializing in gourmet grilled cheese called C’est Cheese (pronounced say cheese).

After working in the corporate industry in Chicago, Emily decided to leave the Windy City and start her own business in 2011 in the Queen City. “I loved the idea of a food truck because it can reach an entire city versus a single brick and mortar location,” Emily explained. “This is how C’est Cheese was born.”

As a student at UC, Emily was involved with a sorority and student alumni council. She credits these groups for teaching her how to be a leader and providing her with skills to manage a budget.

Emily’s undergraduate experience isn’t her only connection to UC. Many of her biggest customers are UC grads, eating up the most popular menu item, the bee sting – a sweet and spicy combination of mozzarella, pepperoni, basil-infused honey, and chili flake butter.

Emily in the C'est Cheese bus
“I’m proud to be a part of such a diverse and accomplished university.  I love that we are famous for our top-notch schools such as DAAP & CCM and our athletics,” Emily said. “Going to UC is a family affair for us. I’m proud of my grandfather for being in the first class to earn a degree in broadcasting from CCM, and my sister for earning her undergrad and masters in education.  Hopefully, my nephews are future Bearcats!”

C’est Cheese occasionally stops close to UC’s campus, and even parks outside of the UC Alumni Association before all home football games, bringing cheesy goodness to alumni tailgating at the Bearcat Blitz. To find out if C’est Cheese will be in your neighborhood, visit her Facebook and Twitter pages!

Did you start your own business? How did your UC connections help you get started?