Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Parents at Lake State

Career Concerns

It’s never too early to start thinking about the future

Many students don’t set foot in the campus Career Center until they’re a senior, frantic to get their résumé critiqued so they can find a job. It’s wise, however, to visit this helpful office early on—even during the first year—because career counselors can help students get on track and explore career options they may not have known about otherwise.

Jobs within Different Majors. For instance, many career offices offer helpful lists of “What You Can Do with a ____ Major.” If your student is a biology major, does she know about options beyond the lab? She can work for an environmental group, take a job in a zoo, teach, be a science writer and so much more.

Personal Career Inventories. Your student can also take a career inventory or two to identify possible interests. Many of these personal surveys can be done online, right in the career center. And the trained professionals within the office can help students go over their results and determine their next steps.

A Career File. Opening a career file makes sense, too. This is a way for your student to develop a relationship with one of the career counselors and to start a personal paper trail. This file might include letters of recommendation for summer jobs/internships, inventory results, résumé drafts and more. Why not start now?
Resources Aplenty. The career center is also chock full of resources! Spending an hour in this office flipping through books, magazines and journals is time well spent.

So, encourage your student to make an appointment at the career center this semester. The earlier the better, before the center gets bombarded with juniors and seniors in a frenzy. Help your student not be one of these frantic upperclassmen. Instead, he’ll be a well-informed, well-prepared student taking control of his own destiny.

Job Prep

To prepare for filling out job applications and preparing a résumé, students should be able to:

  • List their previous employers with contact names, addresses and phone numbers.
  • List their dates of employment in chronological order.
  • List the accurate names and dates of awards they’ve received.
  • List various community service/volunteer efforts, along with accurate dates and agency/organization names.

Having these pieces of information readily on hand will help your student be able to easily fill out an application at a moment’s notice.

Fisheries and Wildlife Mgmt...

Thaddeus Lewandowski

Thaddeus Lewandowski
Fisheries and Wildlife

"The opportunity at LSSU to do research is amazing. This past summer I motored through coves and islands with Prof. Garvon surveying water birds for the affects of pollution. I spent the other part of my summer on the shore of Lake Superior monitoring nests of the endangered Piping Plover."

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