We’re back and ready for a fantastic Spring semester. In this week’s (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer we are interviewing from the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence (CAEE), Luis Castillo, the Student Development Manager and Tiffany Reardon the Assistant Director of Retention Programs. Both of them have planned some great events (Cupcakes & Headshots, Etiquette Dinner) to kick start your professional development and have more information about academic and student organization services offered by CAEE.
- ESS event information and registration links: engineering.berkeley.edu/essevents
- Contact Tiffany Reardon
- Contact Luis Castillo
LAURA VOGT: Welcome back to the spring semester and this is our first episode of 2018. We’ve come back for another year to the Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. My name is Laura Vogt and I’m the communications manager for engineering student services in the College of Engineering and today joining us are Tiffany Reardon and Luis Castillo from the Center for access to engineering excellence. Welcome and thank you for being here and for being my first guest of 2018.
LC & TR: Thank you for having us.
LV: Tiffany why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.
TR: Ok so my name is Tiffany Reardon and I am the assistant director of attention programs in the CAEE.
LC: And Luis Luis Castillo the development manager at the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence.
LV: So Luis can you tell me a little bit more about what the Center for access to engineering excellence is.
LC: Well the Center for access to engineering excellence is a physical space in which students can come build community, get all sorts of help with tutoring and just pretty much a quiet space for them to study in. And then you know our location is an Bechtel and the room so we currently use is Room 240 and 227 and the students when they come in they have an access to 30 tutors were open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursdays and on Fridays we’re open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. And we also have a line in the library in which we have clickers calculators and safety cameras and all sorts of different stuff the students can request.
LV: What type of courses are you covering?
LC we’re covering most of the core courses and some of the division courses as well.
LV: When you say that you were covering core courses, what type of courses are those?
LC: Well we have a wide range. It can be any from the basic requirements MATH 1A/1B Chem 1A/1B.. So it’s a wide range. CS/ME/EE Basic requirement courses. It’s a lot of the core courses we host here. If you see a core course if you know if you don’t see your core course that you’re taking and you need help with it make sure to let me know and I’ll be more than happy to make sure that we expanded those courses
LV: and you have a tutoring calendar so what’s available when, available online.
LC: Exactly. So you’re able to see when we’re having tutors for a specific course. That way you can you know schedule out your time that you’re willing to come in and look for help and that’s engineering.berkeley.edu/CAEE.
LV: Tiffany let’s talk a little bit about the professional development services that we have.
TR: Well sure as you know we are in mid recruitment season and so in response to that just as ESS has a drop in career counselor on Wednesdays, the center we also have professional development events so some upcoming events that I’d like to tell you about. We have the cupcakes and headshots event. Basically what is cupcakes and head shots. That is an event where you come in and you get a cupcake and you’ll get a portrait taken of professional quality portrayed that you can use for your LinkedIn and profiles for bios for other things. Nowadays students need to have a professional you know whether it be a website or a LinkedIn account. And so those can be quite costly. Students can get that for free. And that’s going to be on February 8th at 2 o’clock at 2pm and just prior to that event, we will be having a LinkedIn workshop. So if you have a LinkedIn account come, you know, we’ll we’ll give you some tips on how to make it the best. If you don’t have one. No worries. Bring your laptop and we will get you started on making it great. Aside from the cupcakes and head shots we also have a professional etiquette dinner. I know a lot of companies will do interviews in meal settings and you know it’s nerve wracking enough as it is to do an interview. Now imagine you know at a four star restaurant where you have a lot of silverware and you’re like oh my gosh I don’t know, You know what do I do with all this silverware. In addition to that the professional etiquette dinner and I would just mention it does fill up. It always fills up so you want to make sure that you register as soon as possible for that event.
LV: And also on February 13th
TR: Yes. And you want to make sure that you sign up for that because it also has a networking event as well. A lot of students say you know I don’t feel comfortable you know introducing myself for networking. Many students say that they’re shy. I guarantee you after this event you will go through any setting meal setting and it will be a breeze.
LV: You know I’ve been to this etiquette dinner a couple times and one of the things that I really like about it is that networking part because they actually have you stand in groups and practice walking into a group that you’re not necessarily part of. And introducing yourself into a conversation and being comfortable with that.
TR: Absolutely. This is a great opportunity for students to practice that in a safe environment. The presenter is phenomenal. She’s worked a lot with engineering students and I’ve never had students tell me that they regret doing it. In fact I’ve had students that have want to do it multiple times because they really do enjoy it. And that when there is a small fee for it there is a very very small fee but you know it’s worth the fee and mainly the fees just to you know kind of secure the headcount. you do get a meal you get a full course. three course meal I believe. Yeah. So you get a three course meal for a very small amount and drinks.
TR: something I’d also like to mention as well that really goes into alignment with the cupcakes headshots, and the etiquette dinner. We also have a success closet now. Success closet is something that we just launched last spring. And this is if you have an interview and you don’t know what to wear. We do have a whole closet we have sizes from size zero to size 14. This is a success closet where you can borrow free of charge a shirt you know a suit to wear. Because sometimes students will go to a career fair and then they’ll get an interview the next day. Right. And with our students Berkeley schedules. Who has time to go shopping. So come on over to Bechtel 227 and check out our success closet
LV: Are they geared towards any particular age of students like do you need to be a freshman/senior. Anything in between.
TR: Oh no no no not at all. You know freshmen actually freshmen might be thinking oh I don’t need a LinkedIn or I don’t need to go the career fair. No you do, believe me, a lot of companies are recruiting freshmen, and I was talking, I was actually meeting with the student this morning, and we were talking about the whole interviewing process. The more interviews that you get under your belt the better. So go to all of these things even if you’re planning on taking classes this summer, go to these things I guarantee. Companies are eager to get you know freshmen, sophomores, and then of course students that are graduating. I’m assuming a lot of you are looking for full time enrollment or maybe you’re looking at grad school. I will tell you if you’re looking at grad school you still need to have LinkedIn. It’s very important that you have that.
LV: So Luis going back to the center and the tutoring that you have.Who do you have working there like who are the tutors
LC: All of our tutors are Berkeley students and we’re always looking for new students that can tutor. So if you have any specialty which you focus on any course you’re very proud of your achievement and make sure to let me know that you’re interested in tutoring and then I’ll follow up with you either in person or via e-mail and ask you to submit a cover letter, resume, and an unofficial transcript. And then from then on we can schedule a phone interview and see where that can take us.
LV: But outside of what the center does for events, and the tutoring, are there any other things that you do to work with students or student groups.
LC: Oh yeah we work close with student groups. certain things like the funding of any particular way that their org might want to go or if they want to collaborate with any org or any industry partner.
LV: So at the end of this year we’re going to have an Emerging Leaders Brunch
LC: yes and we will be bringing on all returning students that are coming back as leaders in their student orgs, and we put on an event where we welcome them and give them a few tips and strategies as to how to come about (being a leader) and hone all the skills they have to be great leaders for the student orgs.
LV: It’s also a good way to start with networking early. Tiffany what about you.
TR: So I worked really closely with our PREP, T-PREP engineering scholars program. But aside from that. I work with students on finding research opportunities specifically our use and finding research on campus. Any student that’s interested in grad school I would love to talk to you approaching faculty, utilizing office hours, scholarships, and internships. You know my official title is assistant director and retention programs and part of that is to make sure that you maximize your experience here at Berkeley and how ever we can help you. We’re always eager to meet with students and make sure that they are on track.
LV: And so let’s recap for just really quick the event specifics that we need students to know about or going to have to register for at some point that we have coming up that we have dates for.
LC: So just remember that there’s always tutoring other than that we’re having a LinkedIn workshop in February 8 from 1 to 2 p.m., cupcakes and head shots on February 8 from two to four. The etiquette dinner on February 13, 6 to 8 p.m. and then paws for finals on May 2nd 12-2 p.m. So make sure that not only are you taking care of your academics your professional development but also of your self care. That’s why we have events like Pause for Paws before finals and so on.
LV: Any of them and all of these events you can find out the rest of the information for them on engineering.berkeley.edu/ess and from there to lead you to either the registration page or if you want to know a little bit more information. And is there anything else you want to add that we skipped now.
TR: I would just say Come say hi Luis and I, we’ll be at all of these events, and we’d love to meet with you
LC: and make sure they come to cupcakes and headshots where Laura will be taking your pictures. And how do you know so much about the website.
LV: I am the well communications and marketing so it’s a little bit of all I do. I take pictures.
TR: So I actually use my headshot as my professional headshot. It’s very very good quality. You’ll be very happy with the portrait that Laura does, such a fantastic job
LV: Thank you I really enjoyed it’s one of my favorite events that we get to do because who doesn’t like getting a free cupcake and you get a nice picture with it.
LC: How many pictures do you usually take Laura
LV: Usually about 150. Wow. And it goes pretty fast so we end up with a line down the hallway but we try to move people through pretty fast and now because we have the success closet. Last time were able to put on nicer shirts with ties or a collared shirt.
Some of the women were able to put on jackets.
LC: what if I don’t know how to comb my hair. Does anyone help me with that
LV: Oh this last time we actually had Jane Paris who’s one of our advisors came in and she helped fix people’s hair make sure that you weren’t too shiny. It made it so it was a little bit more professional. Which is what we wanted. It was quite fantastic. Thank you for asking. And I’m pretty sure Jane going to be doing it again this time. So if not, Jane will definitely get somebody else to come in and help with the little things make her necklaces or straight kind of stuff. So thank you. Thank you very much for coming in and talking to us today. I’m excited about our spring semester and I’m excited that we’re still doing these podcasts and make sure you tune in for our next episode this semester.
We’re going to have episodes about time management. What to do if you think you’re in the wrong major. How do you connect more with your faculty adviser, which adviser do you see when, so should you see your ESS advisor or department adviser or faculty advisor. I know you have so many people here that you can work with, and support you so we’re going to help you find the right path to get the most information. So we’ve got some great topics this year and I’m excited for it. So thank you very much and thank you for tuning into the Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. Thank you!