By Jasmeen Wellere, Pullman Scholar.

“ScholarCon was one of the best experiences I have ever had!” This is what my National Collegiate Scholars chapter president, Jamal Sims, explained to us during my first chapter meeting. I was somewhat exposed to ScholarCon through a flood of emails when I joined the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) as a freshmen and I just wrote it off as spam mail. During Jamal’s presentation about ScholarCon is when it became “real” to me and not just a stream of emails. As our chapter became more active I began to seriously consider ScholarCon as an event I wanted to attend.

Unfortunately, the cost was overwhelming and our fundraising attempts failed, so I had to cross ScholarCon off my to-do list. It was disappointing, but my thought was that “there’s always next year.” Surprisingly, that opportunity resurfaced sooner than I expected! I received an email from Robin Redmond, executive director of the George M. Pullman Educational Foundation, stating that they were able to fund a trip for two Pullman Scholars to attend ScholarCon. I was flabbergasted and I just knew it was meant for me to go—I mean, what are the odds that this could be happening to me twice? I replied immediately and just prayed that I would be chosen. (more…)

Billy Leung, Pullman Scholar, University of Michigan, ’16

In my senior year of high school, I remember being constantly stressed trying to figure out how I was going to afford a college education. Thankfully, my high school counselor told me about the Pullman Foundation. With the Pullman Foundation’s generosity and support, I’m glad to say that I have just completed my junior year at the University of Michigan.

The support I’ve received from the Pullman Foundation has been more than just financial assistance; the Pullman Foundation has also provided the resources to help me succeed in and outside the classroom, manage my time effectively, and reach my career aspirations. In addition to using the many resources on the Pullman Foundation’s website, e-mails, LinkedIn blogs, and Facebook page, I had the opportunity to attend the Pullman Scholar Symposium, where I got to meet other Pullman Scholars and Pullman Alumni.

At the symposium, I attended a personal finance crash course, where I learned the intricacies of creating a personal budget, saving for retirement, and building credit. There was also an etiquette seminar, where I was able to learn proper networking and eating etiquette. This came in handy as I had to attend networking events and dinners during my internship search this past fall. Finally, I was able to listen to a panel of four Pullman Alumni speak about their experiences from college to their current careers. After listening to the panel, I was surprised (and relieved!) to learn that life really has a strange way of working out. Some of the alumni ended up in careers related to their college majors while other alumni ultimately ended up in positions completely unrelated to their college majors. The Pullman Alumni taught me that it’s okay to not have the future completely planned out. (more…)

The Foundation was featured on NBC 5 Chicago’s Making a Difference segment with LeeAnn Trotter.

nbc-video

Bonnie Miller, the Foundation’s board president, was featured as March 2015’s Remarkable Woman in the Chicago Tribune. Read the full article here.

“Before Bonnie became president, we were doing good work,” said Robin Redmond, the foundation’s executive director. “But she had the foresight to see a greater potential. Now, we can help more students.” Bonnie Miller is a hands-on president, she added, known in the boardroom as “a sharp cookie with a wicked sense of humor.”

Whether college is a new acquaintance for you or an old friend, here are nine tips to help you stay safe on campus as the new school year begins:

1. Get to Know Your Campus

Start exploring! A strong knowledge of your surroundings may make you feel safer on campus. Learning the locations of campus emergency phones/buttons, security, etc. and reviewing the safety information your college provides are great first steps in becoming acquainted with your campus.

Pullman Scholars

 2. Safety in Numbers

The old adage, “Safety in numbers,” is important to keep in mind. Walking with a friend from the library, class, or a party is a smart idea. If there isn’t anyone to walk with, don’t hesitate to call campus police for an escort.

Speaking of numbers, it’s also helpful to add the phone number of campus police and a local cab company to your contacts. That way, you’re always prepared!

3. Be Alert

In our digital world, it’s easy to get lost in checking texts, posting on Facebook, or rocking out to the latest hot jam on your phone.  It’s important to pay attention to what’s happening around you. As you are walking, consider putting away your cell phone, taking off your headphones, or keeping the volume low so you can hear what’s going on.

4. Lock your Door

It’s great to feel comfortable in your dorm room or apartment. At the same time, you don’t want your comfort to interfere with your safety. Be sure to lock your door(s) and window(s) when you’re sleeping or away to keep yourself and your valuables safe.

5. Be Aware of Strangers

Meeting new friends is awesome, but remember that it’s important to get to know someone fairly well before you let them hang out in your dorm room. This will ensure that you and your things stay safe!

6. Riding with Drivers Under the Influence is ALWAYS a Bad Idea

Accepting a ride home from a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is unacceptable in any situation. Always say no to drivers under the influence and don’t hesitate to stop a friend from driving while impaired. Walking with friends or calling a cab are go-to options.

Sober Driver

7. Don’t Take Drinks or Food from Strangers

In a social situation, it’s best to know what’s in anything you are about to consume. Make your own food and drink or watch a person until they’re finished. If you set down a drink for any amount of time, get a new one.

8. Let a Friend Know You’re Leaving

If you’re heading out with different people than the ones you came with, let your friends know you’re leaving, where you’re heading, who you are going with, and when you plan to be home. It’s always helpful (and considerate) to keep everyone informed!

9. Avoid an “It Couldn’t Happen to Me” Attitude

Whatever college you are attending, whatever state you are living in, your personal safety needs to be a priority. Staying alert, being prepared, and taking your safety seriously are important.

More Resources

  • Check out your school’s website to find your campus’ specific safety information.

 

Whether college is a new acquaintance for you or an old friend, here are nine tips to help you stay safe on campus as the new school year begins:

1. Get to Know Your Campus

Start exploring! A strong knowledge of your surroundings may make you feel safer on campus. Learning the locations of campus emergency phones/buttons, security, etc. and reviewing the safety information your college provides are great first steps in becoming acquainted with your campus.

Pullman Scholars

 2. Safety in Numbers

The old adage, “Safety in numbers,” is important to keep in mind. Walking with a friend from the library, class, or a party is a smart idea. If there isn’t anyone to walk with, don’t hesitate to call campus police for an escort.

Speaking of numbers, it’s also helpful to add the phone number of campus police and a local cab company to your contacts. That way, you’re always prepared!

3. Be Alert

In our digital world, it’s easy to get lost in checking texts, posting on Facebook, or rocking out to the latest hot jam on your phone.  It’s important to pay attention to what’s happening around you. As you are walking, consider putting away your cell phone, taking off your headphones, or keeping the volume low so you can hear what’s going on.

4. Lock your Door

It’s great to feel comfortable in your dorm room or apartment. At the same time, you don’t want your comfort to interfere with your safety. Be sure to lock your door(s) and window(s) when you’re sleeping or away to keep yourself and your valuables safe.

5. Be Aware of Strangers

Meeting new friends is awesome, but remember that it’s important to get to know someone fairly well before you let them hang out in your dorm room. This will ensure that you and your things stay safe!

6. Riding with Drivers Under the Influence is ALWAYS a Bad Idea

Accepting a ride home from a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is unacceptable in any situation. Always say no to drivers under the influence and don’t hesitate to stop a friend from driving while impaired. Walking with friends or calling a cab are go-to options.

Sober Driver

7. Don’t Take Drinks or Food from Strangers

In a social situation, it’s best to know what’s in anything you are about to consume. Make your own food and drink or watch a person until they’re finished. If you set down a drink for any amount of time, get a new one.

8. Let a Friend Know You’re Leaving

If you’re heading out with different people than the ones you came with, let your friends know you’re leaving, where you’re heading, who you are going with, and when you plan to be home. It’s always helpful (and considerate) to keep everyone informed!

9. Avoid an “It Couldn’t Happen to Me” Attitude

Whatever college you are attending, whatever state you are living in, your personal safety needs to be a priority. Staying alert, being prepared, and taking your safety seriously are important.

More Resources

  • Check out your school’s website to find your campus’ specific safety information.

 

Whether college is a new acquaintance for you or an old friend, here are nine tips to help you stay safe on campus as the new school year begins:

1. Get to Know Your Campus

Start exploring! A strong knowledge of your surroundings may make you feel safer on campus. Learning the locations of campus emergency phones/buttons, security, etc. and reviewing the safety information your college provides are great first steps in becoming acquainted with your campus.

Pullman Scholars

 2. Safety in Numbers

The old adage, “Safety in numbers,” is important to keep in mind. Walking with a friend from the library, class, or a party is a smart idea. If there isn’t anyone to walk with, don’t hesitate to call campus police for an escort.

Speaking of numbers, it’s also helpful to add the phone number of campus police and a local cab company to your contacts. That way, you’re always prepared!

3. Be Alert

In our digital world, it’s easy to get lost in checking texts, posting on Facebook, or rocking out to the latest hot jam on your phone.  It’s important to pay attention to what’s happening around you. As you are walking, consider putting away your cell phone, taking off your headphones, or keeping the volume low so you can hear what’s going on.

4. Lock your Door

It’s great to feel comfortable in your dorm room or apartment. At the same time, you don’t want your comfort to interfere with your safety. Be sure to lock your door(s) and window(s) when you’re sleeping or away to keep yourself and your valuables safe.

5. Be Aware of Strangers

Meeting new friends is awesome, but remember that it’s important to get to know someone fairly well before you let them hang out in your dorm room. This will ensure that you and your things stay safe!

6. Riding with Drivers Under the Influence is ALWAYS a Bad Idea

Accepting a ride home from a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is unacceptable in any situation. Always say no to drivers under the influence and don’t hesitate to stop a friend from driving while impaired. Walking with friends or calling a cab are go-to options.

Sober Driver

7. Don’t Take Drinks or Food from Strangers

In a social situation, it’s best to know what’s in anything you are about to consume. Make your own food and drink or watch a person until they’re finished. If you set down a drink for any amount of time, get a new one.

8. Let a Friend Know You’re Leaving

If you’re heading out with different people than the ones you came with, let your friends know you’re leaving, where you’re heading, who you are going with, and when you plan to be home. It’s always helpful (and considerate) to keep everyone informed!

9. Avoid an “It Couldn’t Happen to Me” Attitude

Whatever college you are attending, whatever state you are living in, your personal safety needs to be a priority. Staying alert, being prepared, and taking your safety seriously are important.

More Resources

  • Check out your school’s website to find your campus’ specific safety information.

 

How to Write a Professional Bio as a College Student.

A well-written bio is a great tool to have in your professional toolkit. Whether for a job application, networking event, or as an introduction for future employers, your bio is a great way to share who you are and highlight your accomplishments. It can also be a great addition to your LinkedIn profile’s “Summary” section.

Depending on your year in college, your biography will vary in length and topics. For example, a senior may have more work or internship experience to write about than a first-year student, and can describe his/her job roles, skills, and professional interests. On the other hand, first-year students could focus their bio on their background, educational goals, and hobbies. In both cases, your bio should craft an engaging narrative that emphasizes your interests and personality.

Format

Bios are written in the third person and are typically one or two paragraphs, depending on your level of experience. Your bio should start with your name and a quick sentence that describes your basic background. This can include your college, year in school, academic focus, and professional interest. Your bio should be brief, concise, and clear.

Establish a Background Story

Highlighting your background will give the reader an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your personal narrative, which may not be evident on your resume. Also, consider including recent events, such as studying abroad or volunteering. Find a couple of moments in your life that have impacted your identity or interests, and briefly, mention them. This will personalize your bio and help you stand out from your peers.

Explain Your Interests

Next, you will want to elaborate on your interests. For students with a significant amount of professional experience, this will focus more on career goals. If you don’t feel you have enough job experience to write about or are not sure about your professional goals, describe your academic or extracurricular interests. Feel free to add any hobbies that highlight your uniqueness, such as painting, running marathons, or cooking. Remember, your personal biography is an area to describe your personality that is not as easily communicated on your resume.

Emphasize How You Can Add Value

Lastly, you want to end on a high note by emphasizing how you can add value. Depending on where you use this bio, this sentence or two can refer to adding value to a company, team, or event. Highlight your unique talents and skills that would interest your audience. Rather than explicitly stating, “I can add value by…,” share this message subtly. You want your reader to understand that you are a well-rounded individual and professional who can contribute significant knowledge and experience.

There is no order to include all of this information. Play with the format and see what works best for your narrative. Although it can be difficult to summarize your life in one paragraph, this is a useful tool for crafting a positive image of yourself for potential professional networks. Below are two examples:

Example 1 (for first-years and sophomores):

Alison Johnson is finishing her first year at DePaul University where she is interested in business. Although she has yet to declare a major, she’s considering finance or marketing. After watching her parents run a restaurant for years, she knew at a very young age that she also wanted to go into business. In high school, Alison waited tables at the family restaurant during the summer and was fascinated by the many working parts it takes to operate a successful business. From this experience, she learned the value of hard work, efficiency, and communication. In the future, she hopes to continue her parents’ legacy and run her own five-star restaurant in downtown Chicago. Alison spends her spare time singing in her church choir and cooking for friends and family.

Example 2 (for juniors and seniors):

Jared Smith is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he is majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Latin America. His interest in international development began during the fall semester of 2012 when he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru. He learned about the inequalities affecting indigenous communities, experienced the Peruvian culture, and became proficient in Spanish. Inspired by this international experience, Jared interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America. Jared aspires to pursue a career in international development and write policy for a government agency. When he is not busy reading about current affairs in Latin America, he enjoys playing intramural basketball and training for the Chicago marathon.

 

More Resources

4 Steps to Writing a Professional Bio, Huffington Post

How to Write a Professional Bio, PROF KRG

6 Must-haves for Writing a Compelling Professional Bio, People Results