Friday, February 22, 2008

So It Begins

All right guys, it's time.
Be There or be Square

Thanks to all who have helped to make DECaF happen. Without you, this event would have been nothing.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A bevy of much needed updates...and Salmon

All right guys, t-minus 2 days and counting. We're halfway through E-Week and all the events have been truly amazing. E-Games was on Tuesday and it was fun, exhilarating and hilarious, we experienced some great team bonding as well as some great designs! Check out the E-Week blog at! Enspire went smoothly and we definitely inspired the 8th graders from Gompers and Pershing Middle Schools to consider engineering as a career! Check out their blog at All we have left now is DECaF and Impulse. All our resources are now going to be pooled toward the career fair. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS??? BECAUSE WE ARE!!!!


1. The Dining Etiquette Workshop last Friday, February 15th went smoothly and we got some great feedback from the students who attended as well as the faculty and staff who participated in the mixer simulation. Thank you to all who attended! We ordered way too much food, which is rather ironic...since when did we ever not run out of free food? So lesson learned.

Sidenote: I love Salmon. And Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Delicious and exciting.

Some highlights: Assistant Dean Liora Gutierrez was an engaging and welcome speaker who drafted students from the audience as examples. We learned how to shake hands as well as basic etiquette techniques and skills. Students really enjoyed the mixer simulation, they got a great chance to speak to professors and staff.

Check out more pictures from the mixer at

2. ViaSat Resume-Critiquing Workshop on Tuesday, February 19th also went smoothly. It was an exciting event where we had 3 representatives from Viasat come to give quick 10 minute critiques and advice to students who were seeking to improve their resume. They were very accommodating on such a short notice and we really appreciated their help. We got some great feedback from the students and we hope to work with Viasat again next year!

Pictures will be available soon.

Sidenote: I totally did some awkward introductions to this workshop. Note to self: work on introductions. Note to future self: Make sure you have an introduction ready.


I may have mentioned this a couple times but we're extremely lucky to have such a dedicated and excited DECaF Committee. Their enthusiasm for the event have made such a big difference in the efficiency of our planning as well as the rate at which we're getting things set and ready for publicity and the big day! Each one of us will be volunteer heads on the day of DECaF, basically we'll be trying to minimize as much as possible the stress on the three DECaF Chairs as well as to keep the career fair running smoothly. Three cheers for our amazing team! You've been great in all the planning! DECaF this year will be an amazing event and it could not have been done without everyone's commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication!

Sidenote: It may be a great idea to invest in walkies like the ones they have in Borders. They're legit and super fun. Definitely a good investment in DECaF day-of stress management. Plus...who doesn't want to wear a walkie?

4. DECaF Volunteer Meeting and Logistics:
Today, February 20th we gave a quick and fast volunteer orientation for the students who will be working DECaF. There was a ton of information but we will be handing them out when the sign in so that students won't forget.

Here are the volunteer opportunities for the day of DECaF:
Parking Attendents
Welcome/Ballroom Committee
Registration Committee
Floor Committee
Prep Room/Green Room Supervisors
Lunch and Drink Distribution
Day-Of Advertising

We are giving them awesome volunteer shirts so look out for them if you have questions or want to learn more about DECaF! Get Excited!

5. Thursday Set-Up
A group of us will be setting up tomorrow in the Price Center Ballrooms and preparing the room for the massive amount of activity on the morrow. And we'll also all be there to stand in awe of the Navy's display, which arrived today complete in a 10ft x 10ft x 20ft crate. Seriously. We'll be stickering, name tagging, putting out signs, mugs, displays, etc. In addition, we'll be doing a dry-run of the event. More updates on the morrow.

All right guys. I'm exhausted. But don't worry! We're all going to be revved and ready for DECaF! GET EXCITED! FINALIZE YOUR RESUMES! GET READY FOR 90 COMPANIES! Cuz whether you're ready or not, DECaF is in less than 2 days!!!!!

PS--if you're bored on Friday, I know a really good event that's going on that you should go to. It's the Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair. Just thought you should know. I'm really excited about it.

PPS--if you're really bored, you can count how many times I said "excited" in this post.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Toast to eating less like a pig...

Don't lie, we all know you eat spinach artichoke dip with your fingers.
Be there or be square.

Extra Details: Liora Gutierrez, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Revelle College is hosting this etiquette event for us and we'll be learning about industry-mixer style dining etiquette. These skills will be important for future networking events and will also help prepare students for the post DECaF volunteer mixer. Liroa will present for 20-30 minutes before we adjourn to the patio outside the Fung Auditorium for the mixer simulation. The patio is separated into 5 blocks so we'll be separating the participating faculty, staff, and students among them.

Set Up Timeline:
10:00am: Open room, open patio doors, move tables to outside patio, set up table for sign in, explain sign in procedures and nametags etc..
10:15-10:30am: Catering arrives to help set up on the tables, we'll set up drinks.
10:30am: Liora arrives. Organize handouts on sign in table, organize room, Set up a mic
10:50am: Students and faculty and staff start arriving, hand out nametags to faculty staff, make students sign in and take handouts and sit
11:00am: Brief Introduction and we begin!

See you all there!

Apologies and Happy Valentine's Day

Apologies apologies apologies. This is midterms week and we're finalizing tons of plans for E-week, so I apologize that I haven't posted anything for a couple of days. Look forward to a flurry of posts in the next couple of days talking about volunteers, the committee meeting, Professional Workshops, and exciting pictures.

And to leave you off, since humor seems to be the theme of today's post, here are a couple of insights by Ambrose Bierce, excerpts courtesy of his novel, The Devil's Dictionary.

Ability (n.)-The natural equipment to accomplish some small parts of meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones. In the last analysis, ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity. Perhaps, however, this impressive quality is rightly appraised; it is no easy task to be solemn.

Eloquence (n.)-The art of persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.

Heart (n.)-An automatic, muscular blood pump. Figuratively, this useful organ is said to be the seat of emotions and sentiments--a very pretty fancy which, however, is nothing but a survival of a once universal belief. It is now known that these sentiments and emotions reside in the stomach, being evolved from food by chemical action of the gastric fluid.

Happy Valentine's Day!

ps--In something more related, come to the Dining Etiquette Workshop tomorrow at 11:00am in the Fung Auditorium. Find out more information at

pps--Disclaimer: The statements in this post do not necessary reflect the beliefs of this author.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Wonderful Thing About Mail Merge

So I'm not a big fan of Microsoft Outlook. For some reason I've always found it annoying and I hate how it HAS TO BE THE DEFAULT EMAIL PROGRAM ON WINDOWS EVEN THOUGH YOU'VE OBVIOUSLY UNSELECTED THAT OPTION. Don't get me wrong, I like many aspects of Windows. For example, the DELETE button is something that gives me great sadness every time I use a Mac. But for some reason Outlook sucks. Anyway, I have discovered myself slightly wrong because it seems like Outlook (or rather Outlook+Word+Excel) may have ONE redeeming quality: Mail Merging.

So what is mail merging you ask? Imagine having 200+ professors that you want to personally email to invite to an event of yours, like the Dining Etiquette Workshop. And you obviously don't want to start out "Dear Professor" because then they'd just write you off as another one of those "generic email writers." What can you do? Mail Merge lets you write and format an email invitation in Microsoft Word, personalize that email to a specific professor that you've listed in Microsoft Excel, and it emails your invitation to every email on that Excel Document through Outlook! Ingenious I know. So you're like "So What? I don't really think professors care that much about having a personalized email, what's the point?" Well imagine having a gazillion industry representatives and recruiters and officials whom you want to email to come to DECaF. Yes, let's just put ALL their emails in one "TO:" box and send it out. Yaknowadimean?

Anyway, Mail Merge has been a life saver in sending out Professor Confirmations, Student Reminders, etc and etc. You should all try it out. Mail merge your friends! It'll seem like you're writing a personal and happy email, they'll never know =P

PS--Career Services is hosting a Resume Writing Workshop for Engineers. Very important for ya'll out there looking for an internship or summer research position. Especially important since its catered for engineers. I mean it is Engineers Week that's coming up, right?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Really Big Numbers

Hey guys, I'm sick so to make me feel better, we're going to play a game. You can count how many times I say "big," "number(s)," "90," and any synonym of "amazing" and I'll have fun writing things like 90, that's an awesomely big number.

Haven't really talked about the main event which is coming in, oh let me count, (90-77) days! So you're going to get a crash description of DECaF starting...(90-90) minutes...aka now.

90 companies. That's right. It's big, it's awesome and yes, I'm going to say it, it dominates. We have industry folks coming from all aspects of engineering, from Apple, Viasat, BAE Systems to Boston Scientific and Pfizer! Each and every one of these 90 companies is unbelievably excited about meeting our engineering students and recruiting from an extremely talented group of students. I remember when we pitched DECaF to companies who came for the Career Services-hosted Winter Job Fair, recruiters were continually impressed by the quality and capability of students who had gone through previous internship programs. We are definitely going to keep that fantastic tradition and confirm to industry that the Jacobs School engineering student body is one of the best around! Not only that, we have close to half of the engineering school in attendance, not to mention all 16 engineering organizations working together to help make sure the event runs smoothly! We're talking 2,000 students in and out of the Price Center Ballrooms within the space of a couple of hours. Plus 90 companies. Did I mention that those are really big numbers?

While DECaF is running, we will also be operating a Prep Room where students can do some last minute editing of their resumes with a Career Center Peer Resume Adviser in attendance. We want this to help students make any necessary revisions to their resume so they are more prepared for the career fair. We are also providing laptops, printers and resume paper for the students.

This year, we're also giving back to the volunteers who help make DECaF happen by inviting them to an exclusive post-DECaF mixer at the Faculty Club where they will have the opportunity to speak to industry representatives in a more casual and intimate environment. This is going to be awesome and exciting! We're bringing in a live jazz band! Check them out at Plus, we're talking about some nice Faculty Club appetizers and desserts. Think classy and stylish, not your average run of the mill mixer. Over 70 recruiters have signed up for this event so volunteers will essentially be speaking to them one to one! That's a pretty good ratio...scratch that, it's a magnificent ratio.

So guys, let's give a round of applause to the DECaF Chairs: Sammy, Habib, and Scott who made this happen. Our DECaF committee is also amazing and kudos to all! We still have two weeks to finalize and tweak details but things are looking great! Remember, 90 companies are coming! DECaF is going to be BIG, AMAZING, AND FANTASTIC!

Did you have fun counting? Because I sure had fun writing! Well here you have it folks!

The Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair
Friday, February 22, 2008
Price Center Ballrooms

Be There or Be Square.

Check out a video from last year's fair!

Friday, February 8, 2008

BAE Systems Professional Workshop!

Well...let's just say we had about 40 students at this event. I'd say that was a success, what about you? =D

Sabrina, the DECaF Publicity Chair, went all out and bought some amazing snacks and refreshments for the workshop. We also had a great group of volunteers who helped set up the adjoining kitchen as well as the audio/video equipment for Debra's computer. All in all, I think it was a great presentation; students were engaged, asked questions, handed their resumes, and were attentive. Debra was very pleased that her audience had their full attention directed at her. Although we didn't have slide handouts and examples for the students, she was kind enough to email it to us so we'll be distributing that out to the attendees sometime this weekend.

Funny anecdote: Habib, Debra, and I got into this hilarious conversation about turning the BAE Systems Workshop into...drumroll...The BAE Systems EXPERIENCE! Kind of like the Terminator 3-D show in Universal Studies fit with 3-D glasses, fog machines, laser lights, and Debra moving across the stage. And it all started with the guy in the white body suit with the yellow checkerboard. Engineers have fun too!

Here's an overview of the presentation:

11:00 am- Introductions and we begin!
11:12 am- Why do we need a resume?
-To impress the recruiter, to get a job
-Covered resume formates, sample action words, and a sample resume
-Good to have a generic resume that you can tweak for a specific job or company
11:20 am- Why do we need a cover letter?
- It's an indication of your sriting skills--important in the email and communication age
-Also acts as an explanation of your credentials
11:25 am- Questions
- When submitting to a search engine, use generic greetings
-If you receive a business card from a recruiter, send a followup email and the body of the email is your cover letter. ***B e careful what you write in email, the company is still observing you in different environments
11:28 am- Interviews
-Go to mock interviews and interview sessions for good practice!
- Research the company and the culture (BAE Systems is business casual)
- Know yourself, describe yourself--"Why should I hire you?" Focus on what you can bring to the table and what your aspirations are for the position
-Think Positive and Speak Positive!
-Scope out the area, come early, observe and watch
11:35 am- Appearance
-First impressions are lasting impressions
-Well groomed, leave the cell phone (you can survive for an hour without it)
11:50 BAE Systems overview
-Candidate has afew weeks to decide to take a position
-If you have multiple job offers, it's polite to let them know that you're considering and will get back to them

And there you have it! Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this happen. The Henry Book Room was amazing and a great venue for our workshop. Pictures are below!

Sammy and I are waiting at Debra's Parking Spot (yes Sammy you can order one when you graduate I suppose)

Look at all the people who came!

Sammy, Habib and I in front of the Henry Booker Suite and with Debra Roy.

It was a great workshop and we all had a lot of fun! Hopefully this will continue as a new DECaF Tradition!

90. That's a really big number.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

'Nuff Said.
Be There or Be Square.

Some more detailed information:
Who: Debra Roy from BAE Systems is coming to speak about Resume and Cover Letter Writing as well as Interview Techniques. They'll also give a brief info session about the company.

Setup Timeline:
10:30am--Sammy and Katherine will be meeting Debra at the parking lot next to EBU1
10:30am--Habib, Jeff, Sabrina, Emily, Chris, and Pavitra will be available to help set up the room and make sure things are in order. Feel free to grab some snacks when you need to leave for class =)
10:50am--Students start arriving, prepare sign in sheets and volunteer sheets for DECaF, maybe we'll also set up nametags.
10:55am--Last minute A/V check
11:00am--Introductions and we are ready to rock!!!

Check back here soon for pictures and an update!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

While looking on Wikipedia and trying to find the origin of that phrase, I discovered that it apparently is also a song by Fall Out Boy (who by the way offense). But more importantly, we're at a lull right now where everything seems to be working just perfectly and we're kind of strolling along until the storm hits.

One thing that gave me the chills today (in a good way I promise) was something that Jeff Mounzer, the President of TESC, mentioned today at the TESC GBM. E-Week here at UCSD is being called "one of the biggest and most magnificent Engineers Week celebration IN THE COUNTRY." Booya! That is freaking amazing and I'm sure it's lifted the spirits of every single person who is involved with all the planning and preparation like to the max. Honestly, when you think about it, what other school in the nation has 90 COMPANIES...i repeat...90 COMPANIES coming to an engineering career fair to recruit from their engineering student body? Not to mention more than 70 RECRUITERS coming to meet and speak with the volunteers who helped make that happen? Um...lemme other? Seriously, there is no competition. I think all the other schools should just bow down to our dominion.

Updates from the DECaF GBM:
-We're very lucky to have a DECaF team that is great and dedicated to the event, without everyone all the planning would have been a success! We're getting ready to appoint volunteer "head" positions for the big day to help supervise the massive amounts of volunteers that will be helping out on the day of DECaF. Our "day-off" pamphlets are being revised, all the food is ordered, the prep room is ready, and all we have to do is run the event!
-Publicity is going to be a major focus of the next couple of weeks. Volunteers and the committee members are going to go out and chalk boards, speak in classrooms, hand out pamphlets, flyer like madwomen (and men), and eat dessert while talking about DECaF with their friends. We have flyer parties every Monday to blanket the campus with flyers about E-Week. And the scary thing is, some engineers just walk on by without ever noticing that there is a whole culture on campus celebrating how amazing and awesome engineering is! So the motto is "more is better." The more we advertise the better turnout we'll get and the bigger the engineering school culture will get.

See you all again soon! Don't be afraid of pitching DECaF to your friends and random people on buses! Think of it in terms of self-fulfillment; the more you pitch, the more people will come, the bigger the event will be and the bigger the success and the more happy you are! Really, it's all basically a circle of happiness.

Are you ready for Professional Workshops?!?!?!?!

Because I am!

Hello everyone, as a brief introduction, I'm Katherine and I'm the DECaF Professional Workshops Chair. I've been working with the DECaF team the past couple of weeks to set up some awesome and amazing professional workshops in preparation for DECaF and you should all come and check them out! I'm a 2nd year Bioengineering-Biotechnology major and a Public Health minor. I'm also the TESC Liason for the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and I act as a representative from my org to the Triton Engineering Student Council (TESC). I love helping people out and being a part of the DECaF team because we're basically helping our student body find jobs and improve on their professional lives. I also love dessert and anything fruit-related. Anyway, you'll see me here or there blogging about how DECaF and all things DECaF-related is coming along!

Whew these past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind blur. I can't imagine it was literally only about a month ago when the DECaF team came up with the idea to host professional workshops in preparation for DECaF and look at where we are now! Week 5 and our first workshop is this Friday!!

Debra Roy from BAE Systems is coming to speak at UCSD about resume and cover letter writing and give us the 101 on Interviewing this Friday, February 8, 11:00am-12:00pm in EBU1 2512. We have been in contact with the industry folks at BAE since the beginning of this quarter and through a couple of weeks of communicating we are all set and ready to go! Hopefully it will continue as a new DECaF tradition!

See you back here tonight when I give an update on our DECaF Committee Meeting. The Career fair is in two weeks!!! Get excited!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008