Hired from the Hilltop

A Blog by Career and Professional Development at St. Edward's University


Graduate & Professional School Fair Prep

The Graduate and Professional School Fair is an opportunity for students and alumni to learn about the various graduate school programs available in their areas of interest.  If you are thinking about going to graduate school, attend the event to learn more about what options are available to you. You will meet with school representatives face-to-face, allowing for personal interaction in asking questions of a specific school. At the event, you can:

  • Explore the possibilities of graduate and professional education.
  • Learn about the requirements for programs.
  • Get detailed information about various schools and their programs.
  • Gather materials to review later.

Students are encouraged to visit Hilltop Careers on Handshake to see what schools will be attending.

How do I prepare for the fair?

Do you have questions about graduate school or want to chat with a counselor about graduate programs? Prior to the fair, be sure to:

What should I ask the recruiters at the fair?

An informed and focused set of questions will convey to the representative that you are truly interested in graduate school. Your questions allow the representative to avoid generalities and treat you as an individual. Here are a variety of questions that should help you get the most out of the conversations.

  • What do you think is unique about your program?
  • Are students admitted in both fall and spring semesters?
  • Is it possible to work full-time and complete the degree as a part-time student?
  • How much does the program cost (tuition, student fees, housing)?
  • What types of financial aid are available (fellowships, assistantships, scholarships, loans)?
  • Could you tell me more about student life on campus (student organizations, housing, support groups, diversity of the students)?
  • What is the location surrounding the school like (mountains, ocean, rural, city)?
  • What are the admission requirements (deadline, GPA, undergraduate coursework, entrance exams, experience, interview)?
  • What resources are available to help students find positions after graduation?
  • Would it be possible for me to arrange a campus visit in which I could meet with admissions representatives, current students, and faculty?
  • May I contact you if I have additional questions?

What do I do at the fair?

  • Come dressed in business casual attire. You want to make a good first impression, and you want to project an appearance that says you are mature and serious.
  • Visit the schools you are most interested in first.
  • Stop by other schools to learn more about opportunities available to you.
  • Look for useful printed materials to take with you: business cards, brochures, handbooks, etc.


After the Graduate and Professional School Fair, join us for a panel discussion with admission counselors from the top law schools as they tell you the secrets of developing a successful application.  Recruiters from participating law schools include:

  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  • Oklahoma City University School of Law
  • University of Oklahoma School of Law
  • and more!
Monday, October 4 | 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Fleck 314


What do you want to be when you grow up?

Dianey Leal ’15 Political Science & English Writing & Rhetoric

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” – the dreaded question everybody gets asked at some point in their lives. At age eight, I said an “actress,” at age 12, I said a “teacher,” at age 18, I said a “lawyer,” and at age 21, just a few months shy of graduating with my bachelors, I said “I don’t know.”

The question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” carries an enormous amount of pressure to “find yourself” at an early stage in life. Ideally, choosing a profession should be about your interests and passions and what you love doing the most, but in reality, these “interests” and “passions” change as you “Take On Your World.” Read More


At The Capital Factory Job Fair

Adrian Ramirez, Associate Director

In June, Career and Professional Development took a group of St. Edward’s University students to the Capital Factory 2017 Summer Job Fair in downtown Austin. During the event, students enjoyed opportunities to meet representatives of Capital Factory’s member companies, learn about available jobs and internships, and build their professional network.


Read More


Farewell to 1L: Getting Into (and Surviving) Law School

Brittney Justice ’16

I am currently a 2L at The University of Texas School of Law. I am also a St. Edward’s University alumna with a BA in Global Studies. Towards the end of my senior year I came to a fork in the road – either to continue working in the political field, or going to law school. I dragged out this decision as long as I could. Although I had been accepted to multiple schools, I did not actually decide to attend law school until a few days before the commencement ceremony. Looking back now, my choice to attend law school was the single best decision I ever made.

Law school is more than an academic experience; it becomes your life. The environment, the content, and the studying is completely different from what you experience in college. That being said, St. Edward’s did a great job at offering courses which gave me a solid foundation for law school. In order to become more competitive for law school, I made sure to pick an undergraduate major that exposed me to different governmental and political structures, pushed me to study abroad, and which required me to learn a different language. I also made sure to pick courses which would improve my writing skills, and expose me to legal writing. For example, my Civil Liberties course with Dr. Nunes required me to read and analyze landmark Supreme Court cases. Coming into law school understanding how to brief a Supreme Court case put me ahead of many students who had never read a 20 page opinion before. Further, since it was taught in the same manner as a law school course, I was able to find out if I liked (and could bear) such courses. Read More


20 Suggestions for Incoming College Freshmen

Sally Perez-Ramos, MSD ’14
Manager of Communication and Online Programs

As you prepare for this exciting new chapter of your life, it is imperative you take the time to sit and reflect on the upcoming year. I tell incoming students every year, do not overwhelm yourself your first semester.  Take the time to adjust to this new change in your life, this independence you are now experiencing, this inside look into the world of “adulting”. I really appreciated the article, Twenty Suggestions for Incoming College Freshmen, because it outlines 20 suggestions for freshmen to consider – such as taking advantage of everything the university has to offer.

I encourage all of you to take advantage of the resources that are at your disposal – stop by Career and Professional Development, utilize the Writing Center, partake in Student Life activities, start familiarizing yourself with all the student services available to you at the university. But most important of all, take time for you. Take time to stop and smell the roses, to get a good night’s sleep, exercise your mind, body, and soul, and recognize your study habits and what works best for you. We look forward to having you on campus this fall and can’t wait to meet every single one of you!



Companies Offering Student Loan Assistance

Emily Salazar, Career Counselor

Hey, recent graduates searching for jobs: What benefits are you looking for when you conduct your job search? Is it salary? Is it long vacations? Is it flexible hours? We understand why these things would be important to you, but what would you say if we tell you that there are companies that help you pay down your student loan debt? There aren’t many, but they do exist.  Glassdoor.com recently put together a list of companies that offer student loan benefits AND they are hiring right now! Check out this list of 10 companies that offer this special benefit.



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Advice from me to you

Andrew Harper, ’03, MLA ’08
Manager of Employer Relations

In March 2003, I sat in Moody Hall 134 as I listened to longtime career counselor Emily Salazar explain why I needed to tailor my resume, and why I needed to start networking. Each piece of advice made sense, but each recommendation only made me more anxious. For each recommendation, I kept thinking to myself, “When will I add that additional detail, when would I able to set-up all those informational interviews?”

I continued to have this conversation with myself thinking, “I am so behind on turning in my latest submission for Professor Loughran’s Capstone course. If I don’t finish, I don’t graduate. But if I don’t take Emily’s advice, I won’t have a job and I won’t be able to pay the rest of my lease out.” I continued to fret, thinking, “There is so much I have to accomplish, but there are only a few weeks left until graduation! How am I going to get through this?”
I dealt with the anxiety gripping me and began reaching out to every person in my small professional network of past part-time job supervisors, faculty, and student organization advisors. I carefully tweaked my resume 100 times for each position that interested me. After many sleepless nights, I finally landed my first professional job 22 weeks later. That same week, I received my first bill to repay my student loans. Every adult told me, it would work out, but did this process have to be so stressful?
I had thought I had done everything right. I was Student Ambassador Coordinator in the Office of Admission, completed an internship at a local nonprofit, chaired the Student Leadership Team and served as president of small student organization while maintaining a grade point average above 3.0 in a skill specific major. Yet, the job search processes was not effortless and lead to months of unemployment after graduation and borrowing money to pay my rent. What went wrong? The answer: I had not engaged in the career exploration and job search processes soon enough.
The experience so profoundly affected me; I have so far dedicated most of my professional career imploring college students, especially fellow Hilltoppers, to start thinking about networking and gaining professional experiences as soon as they step on the Hilltop. What could I have done differently? Here is the checklist I wish I had used:
  • Visited the career center before my junior year and started conversations about finding competitive internships, especially ones outside of Austin.
  • Started conducting informational interviews with professionals doing the jobs I thought I had wanted.
  • Attended every career panel and fair on-campus and introduced myself to the employers that attended.
  • Followed up with those employers from those career events and used those connections to explore careers through more internships.
  • Developed confidence to take on the entire job and internship search process by repeating the checklist above.
Would you like to avoid the stress I experienced? Then start engaging with the career exploration and search process. Visit our event calendar and make it a goal to attend as many networking events as possible and when you have questions, stop by the office during walk-in hours or to schedule an appointment. Walking across the graduation stage and moving beyond the Hilltop may seem far off in the horizon. However, that moment will come sooner than you expect. Be prepared and start exploring all of the exciting career options available to you NOW!
Andrew Harper, 03, MLA ’08 has been empowering students to discover their career interests and connecting them to employers for more than a decade, primarily through St. Edward’s University’s Career and Professional Development as Manager of Employer Relations. In addition, to his work on the Hilltop, Andrew is an advocate for the career services profession representing Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana on the Cooperative Education & Internship Association (CEIA) Board of Directors and as Programs Chair for the upcoming 2017Southern Association of Colleges & Employers Conference (SoACE). He is also a past president of the Texas Cooperative Education & Internship Association (TxCEIA) and completed the Management Leadership Institute through the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE). Andrew proudly earned both his undergraduate degree in writing and graduate degree in liberal arts from St. Edward’s University.




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