Four Saint Mary’s alumnae visited their alma mater Monday to talk about professional networking and social media at a panel discussion in the Student Center. The panelists were Janelle Schenher, a 2000 alumna, Angela Rupchok-Shafer, a 2003 alumna, Meaghan Veselik, a 2011 alumna and Corrie Mieszczak, a 1997 alumna. The Career Crossings Office sponsored the discussion. Mieszczak, owner of Soaring Winds Marketing and a marketing manager for Chicago-based consulting firm Aptude, recalled her college years without some forms of modern communication and social media. “I didn’t have email when I was in school,” Mieszczak said. “I didn’t make one until grad school.” Compelled to reenter the job hunt after having her first child in 2011, Mieszczak said she realized she needed to acquaint herself with the modern job search. “People were finding work in an entirely new way,” she said. “These days, companies use technology as a recruiting tool.” Mieszczak explained the importance of using potential employers’ websites to determine if they reflect personal values like social responsibility. She reminded students networking is key in cultivating new relationships and encouraged utilizing social media outlets like LinkedIn and Twitter. Schenher, an account manager at Chicago-based marketing firm the Weinstein Organization, said as members of a younger generation, current college students have an incredible advantage once hired. “You guys can teach your elders,” she said. “You have no idea how lucky you are. This stuff is free. There’s no excuse to not use it to your advantage.” Veselik, a communications assistant at Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, said for those born into the Internet generation, “using LinkedIn or Twitter comes pretty easy. It’s almost intuitive.” Even a basic knowledge of Facebook makes a person employable, Veselik said. “Half of what I do for my job is on my iPhone,” she said. Veselik said she was initially unsure how effective establishing a Twitter account for the University’s School of Architecture would be, but she deemed it successful after an influx of alumni began following it. “Social media allows potential employees to hear about you and look for you,” Veselik, whose boss found her through LinkedIn, said. “My boss was a Saint Mary’s alumna and she wanted someone with the same education background and values as she.” Rupchok-Schafer, a social media and constituent engagement manager at Church World Services in Elkhart, Ind., said social media aptitude is a necessity in the current job market. “If someone doesn’t have a Twitter handle, I won’t even consider employing them,” she said.
If you don’t plan to grow a fall garden, fall can be the perfect time to inspect, repair and clean your gardening tools. “As a gardener, nothing is more frustrating than to pull gardening tools out in the spring and find hoes that are rusty or broken, a tiller that won’t crank or an irrigation system with a blown gasket,” said Bob Westerfield, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension consumer horticulturist. Irrigation* Drain irrigation lines and clean and inspect for cracks before rolling up. (Store these out of the sun in a shed or garage.) * To keep insects from hibernating in hoses, connect hose ends. * Do not hang hoses directly on a nail. The weight of the hose will create permanent kinks. Nail a coffee can or other round form on the wall. Then roll the hose around the form. * Inspect and lightly lubricate sprinkler heads. * Clean and dry out the water timer. Tomato cagesClean off tomato cages and stack them out of the way.Repair any cages that have been damaged. Shovels, hoes and other tools Sprayer* Fertilizer or pesticide sprayers should be triple-rinsed with water or a little ammonia. * Check the hose tip for debris before storing the sprayer for the season. Westerfield and Johnson offer the following checklists to follow before packing away garden tools for the winter. Johnson also uses the fall to take an inventory of gardening tools and supplies. “Then I have a head start on my Christmas list,” he said. Tony Johnson, the horticulturist at the UGA Research and Education Garden in Griffin, Ga., agrees. Johnson helps UGA scientists maintain their research plots. He does it on a limited state budget. “Gardening tools and supplies are expensive,” Johnson said. “With a little care and forethought, you can help your tools last from season to season.” Westerfield plants vegetables gardens at work for research and at home to provide his family with fresh fruits and vegetables. “When I get calls from gardeners, most likely I’ve faced the problems they are facing either in my research plots or at home,” he said. * Thoroughly clean all tools with soap and water. * Sharpen blades. * Clean metal parts with steel wool, wipe dry and apply a light coat of household oil. * To save time in the spring, sharpen tool edges. * Smooth wooded handles by sanding them with sand paper. Then coat handles in linseed oil or paint them to preserve wood. * Store all rakes with the teeth pointing down. Stepping on an exposed rake can be very dangerous for children and adults. Tiller and mower* Empty the garden tiller of fuel or add a fuel stabilizer. * Check the spark plugs, change the oil and clean the air filter. * Clean the underside of the mower’s deck with a pressure washer and scrape off any old grass and debris.