Introspection and Networking Leads to Career Gold

Career Development Center Helps Find The ‘Perfect Fit’

by REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Intern

Who are you? Why are you here? Where are you headed? Staff at the Minnesota State Career Development Center suggest students begin with these questions when searching for their ideal career path.

Matthew Carlson, Acting Director in the CDC, feels self-knowledge helps students find a career that provides happiness as well as a paycheck.

“’Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I want to go?’ It’s hard to get there if you don’t know where you want to go,” Carlson said. “And the fourth question—’How do I get there?’—is relatively easy if you know the answer to the first three. There are employers, there are jobs, there are qualifications, there is experience you need—there is a match out there. If you want to be a doctor, there is a recipe. If you want to be a chef, there is a recipe.”

In the past, the CDC simply lined students up with a job and hoped that it would work out, but things have changed. It’s all about finding the perfect fit.

“We are more in the developmental side of growing a career. It’s not enough just to get a job—we want you to get the thing that is just incredible,” Carlson said. “Go for the gold, man—plan A. You can have more than one goal, but aim for plan A, whatever that is for you. It may not work out, but you’ll lose nothing by trying.”

‘It’s not enough just to get a job—we want you to get the thing that is just incredible. Go for the gold, man – plan A.’ – Matt Carlson

A large part of finding that “plan A” job comes from collaboration and networking. Rather than hoping for the perfect job to fall from the sky the CDC teaches student to build relationships with prospective employers.

“We are trying to teach people job search skills so they can help themselves and others in the future,” Carlson explained. “If I can teach you how to network and connect with employers, you’ll be able to do it the rest of your life. I could just give you a job and you’ll be happy for a short amount of time, but then down the line when you’re ready for a different job, there won’t be anyone there to help you.”

Everyone knows that a solid resume is a great tool in finding a job—but filling in the white space can seem daunting. The CDC is connecting students with opportunities and experience to make a strong resume.

“The kinds of doors that open with employers are internships, any kind of experiential learning where you maybe take an entry-level position that might open other opportunities,” Carlson explained. “The university itself opens lots of ideas on what you may be able to do, but the employers are the ones financing it. Employers have problems, and they pay people to fix them. The way you fix them is with your skills, knowledge and experience.”

The CDC can help with anything from resumes to job searching to interview preparation. If you need career advice or simply want to bounce your ideas off a trained career counselor, stop by the for a drop-in meeting Monday-Thursday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Or schedule an appointment at:

One Team = 80 Events

Student Events Team Builds Memories and Traditions

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

Last years Special Events Chair, Bailey Hofmeister will lead the Student Events Team as the 2018-19 President. The team’s busy year starts with Welcome Week, Aug. 23-26, with a host of events for greeting new Mavericks to campus.

Who creates events such as Kato Ninja Warrior and the fall Foam Party? Who organizes next week’s Eric Paslay concert? Who plans Homecoming? Who schedules Stomper’s Cinema? Who brings eagles, exotic animals and live reindeer to campus? Which group is leading the way in creating memories and traditions for fellow Mavericks.

Of course, if you answer Students Events Team to all of those questions (and more) you would be correct.

Dedicated to a mission of producing “fun, interactive, educational events where students make lifelong memories and celebrate their Maverick pride,” the Student Events Team is led by a group of 12 students responsible for mobilizing student volunteers for more 80 events a year.

Among the biggest events, Homecoming is already in the works with a week of activities planned Sept 24-29 to get students and alumni into the Maverick spirit. This year’s team will also be working with the University’s Sesquicentennial Committee as the expanded Homecoming Parade moves to downtown Mankato

Another major undertaking is concert planning as the team seeks to find an artist that is both appealing and affordable. Ongoing activities include Stomper’s Cinema. A recent student survey showed free movies are the second most popular activity (behind career fairs) in the CSU

With Kato Ninja Warrior and the Eric Paslay Concert rounding out this year’s Student Events Team events, the team will be back in force starting with Welcome Week, Aug. 23-26, where activities will include Club Maverick and Cosmic Bingo.

During the academic year, students can learn and share event ideas during weekly Tuesdays at 4 sessions by the Student Events Team. Students interested in joining the Student Events Team must fill out an application and go through an interview process with a panel that includes past members and Student Activities staff.

The 2018-19 Student Events Team will be led by returning member Bailey Hofmeister, President. Other members of the team include Spirit & Traditions – Brandon Weideman; Homecoming Competition – Kylie Morton; Homecoming Promotions – Ella May; Concert Company – Alex Schauer; Stomper’s Cinema – Alex Fry; Speakers – Lydia Jagodzinski; Mavericks After Dark – Lucas Arndt; Special Events – Miranda Magnuson; Public Relations & Social Media – Abuzar Iqbal; Marketing – Brienna Schleusner; and Business Manager – Arnavee Maltare. Advisor for the Student Events Team is Bill Tourville, Student Activities assistant director of campus programs.

Newly elected Mavericks After Dark chair, Lucas Arndt, says that he can’t wait to build relationships with the new team and is excited to bring unique and fun events to campus.

“We each bring something different to the table, and I think we will be able to have well thought-through ideas,” he said. “A lot of us have been involved with the team before and understand the mission that Student Events Team brings to campus.”

If you have any suggestions or want to get involved with Student Events Team, visit

Brother & Sisterhood Spikes GPA

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

Semester after semester, MSU fraternity men and sorority women set the bar high for academic standards. During fall semester, the Greek community on campus maintained a 3.13 grade point average surpassing the university’s accumulative average GPA of 3.03.

Each fraternity and sorority member has to maintain a GPA requirement for membership. However, if a particular GPA goal is reached on an individual level, chapters give incentives and rewards to those who go above and beyond.

The Fraternity & Sorority Life community also likes to reward their members with an event called “Pie for Pi,” in which members who reach a 3.14 GPA or higher are rewarded with a piece of pie at the first “All-Greek” meeting of the semester. Also, they receive recognition in the MSU newspaper, The Reporter.

“Fraternities and sororities become a mini support system for studying and are great motivators,” said Jordan Schindler, VP of Member Development and Education for Fraternity & Sorority Life. “You step into a network of diverse students on our campus and are most likely to find someone in the same major or classes as yourself and they are more than willing to help you out.”

With leadership and scholarship being two of their four core values, the Greek community is always raising their goal to set a higher GPA. This year, they hope to maintain an All Greek Average GPA of 3.14.

“I believe this goal will be reached by our amazing fraternity men and sorority women,” Schindler said. “Greek Life is life training that helps people learn how to set and reach goals on a deadline, take on leadership positions for a group of people and are always striving to improve the community around us.”

For fraternity and sorority members, maintaining good grades comes before anything else. Some chapters even require midterm checks—a required meeting with their professors about their grades halfway through the semester. This not only helps with seeing where they stand in class, but it also offers facetime with their professor, which can be a rare opportunity for students. Schindler says that midterm checks are beneficial because “executive members are able to catch problems before it is too late to help members be more successful in their classes.”

She mentions that members are motivated to get good grades because if the standards aren’t met, the opportunities and friendships that come with Fraternity & Sorority Life are in jeopardy.

“Having others look out for your success helps in the end,” Schindler added.

To learn more about Fraternity & Sorority life on campus, visit

‘Embrace Your Voice’ Is Theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Taken from March 28, 2018, University Media Relations News Release

Focusing on the national theme of “Embrace Your Voice,” a month of programming during Sexual Assault Awareness Month is planned for April by the Violence Awareness and Response Program at Minnesota State Mankato.

According to Laura Schultz, VARP coordinator, a series of events throughout the month are planned on campus to raise student awareness about sexual violence and prevention of sexual violence. Programming provides tools and resources needed toward ending sexual violence.

Recognizing the power of one’s voice can range from practicing or providing consent to speaking out against stereotypes or gender biases, she added.

All the events are free and open to the public. Events that require an RSVP are noted on the month’s schedule. For more information, contact Laura Schultz at or 507-389-5127.

Healthy Eating: A Way of Life, Not Just a Fad

Photo credit: Medical News Today

by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

As healthy eating and active lifestyles continue to sweep the nation, Minnesota State University, Mankato is doing its part to help its students and staff lead healthier lives.

“Nutrition and eating habits play a large role in your overall health,” Lexi Cournoyer, MSU campus dietician, said. “I think it is important for college students to develop healthy eating habits that they can carry throughout the rest of their lives.”

According to research conducted by Havard Medical School, eating healthy food can contribute to not only better physical health, but also mental health. This is due largely in part to a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which is lined with nerve cells. These nerve cells produce the serotonin and they function better when good foods and “good bacteria” pass through them. They send signals throughout body and help your body and brain to feel better.

Cournoyer says that some foods that people should try to consume more of, if they’re trying to eat better, include whole grains, lean proteins such as chicken, fish, turkey, beans and legumes, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

“It’s important to that everyone finds a positive relationship with food and understands that everything can be enjoyed in moderation,” she said.

Good nutrition can also help students succeed academically.

“Having a good breakfast can help increase your concentration and focus in class,” Cournoyer said. She also added that smart snacking can aid in memorization.

Food shouldn’t be consumed whenever someone feels like it either. Cournoyer said that everyone is different when it comes to how many times a day they eat. Some people can eat three larger meals and some snacks, others benefit from five to six smaller meals and less snacking.

“To find out what works best for you, try and really listen to your hunger cues and eat only when you are hungry. This can help you figure out how often you should be eating throughout the day,” she said.

MSU has expanded health food options it offers both in the University Dining Center (UDC) and in the MavAve food court. The UDC has expanded the salad bar and added a cold vegan bar, which has lots of plant-based proteins. Cournoyer said that each day a lean protein, hot and cold vegetable options and fresh fruits are offered. She added that Sodexo, the food provider for the UDC, has a wellness platform called “Mindful,” which features healthy entrées that the UDC incorporates into their menu cycle.

“Our campus also meets ‘Mindful Gold,’ which is a standard set by Sodexo focused solely on healthful options. Our campus now having a dietician is a great step forward as well,” Cournoyer said.

MavAve is ramping up their efforts for healthy options as well. For entrées, Cournoyer said places like Toss, Star Ginger and Garbanzo offer great options with things like fresh vegetables and lean meats. She also highlighted the various healthy snack options ranging from fruit and vegetable cups to Baby Bell Cheese to Kind bars. These products are all listed under “Dietician’s Choice” labels indicating they’re a great option for people who are watching what they eat.

MSU is also working on increasing programming that focuses on nutrition and wellness. Cournoyer said MSU expands the number of events each year that focus on health. National Nutrition Month, which takes place in March, is one of the major events. She said they have lots of things planned that students and staff can look forward too.

To stay up-to-date on things happening with Cournoyer and university dining, you can follow @rdmnsu_ and @maverickdining on Instagram.

Fitness Goes Interactive As Students Connect

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

Are you sick of your daily, strenuous routine at the gym? Switch it up and try an interactive group fitness class!

During the school year, Campus Rec offers 22 group fitness classes on campus each week. Classes range from yoga, meditation, core conditioning, Zumba, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Thai dance, cardio-based classes, hip-hop, circuit training, strength training and stretching classes.

When speaking with Carly Hopper, fitness and wellness program coordinator at Campus Rec, she explained how unique and versatile the classes are for students with busy schedules. She says the Group Fitness classes provide an opportunity for friends to get active together and also provides an opportunity to meet new people who share the same interest.

Apart from getting socially and physically active, Hopper mentions that the Group Fitness classes are beneficial for those who don’t know “how to develop a safe and effective workout or which machine to use or for how long. It is already done for them when they attend a Group Fitness class. They simply have to show up with a positive attitude, participate, and most importantly, have fun.”

“Going to the group yoga classes on campus allows me to connect with my fellow students in a very relaxing environment,” said Mahala Wolff, MSU senior. “The class allows me to clear my mind and set my intentions for the day.”

Another senior student, Margaret Winter, explained, “I look forward to having an hour of peace after a long day and these classes are the perfect way to have it.”

If group fitness isn’t your forte, Campus Rec offers other options that are bound to get your blood flowing – intramural sports, sports clubs, adventure programs, Maverick Adventures pilot programs, indoor and outdoor climbing walls, a “Health in Every Aisle Tour” at the Hilltop Hy-Vee Monday, April 9, the MSU sprint triathlon Sunday, April 29 and more.

Hopper suggests that studies show that students who are physically active have a higher retention rate in schools versus those who are not. Studies also suggest that physically active students have a decrease in depression and anxiety problems.

“Anybody and everybody, regardless of their health, fitness level, experience or lack of experience is welcome in Group Fitness classes,” Hopper said. “We hope to see you in class!”

Campus Rec is always developing new, creative ways to keep up with MSU’s physically active and collaborative community. For a full list of offered fitness classes and events, visit and follow the Campus Rec Facebook page for event notifications.

Stay Connected on Campus When You’re a Commuter

by REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Student Intern

If you live off campus during your first couple years of school, you may miss out on valuable social growth. There are many financially beneficial reasons to live at home, but the connections made while spending more time on campus can be invaluable. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay connected on campus in order to build long lasting relationships with fellow students, even if you live out of town.

Get an on-campus job.

Deeper pockets aren’t the only reason to find a part-time gig at MSU. Spending hours with other people at work is bound to strike up some common interests and a bond. There are a variety of employment opportunities for students at MSU. Visit Handshake (MavJobs) to learn more.

Buy a meal plan.

Not only will you save money in the long run by purchasing a meal plan and eating in the residence halls—it’ll give you the opportunity to eat with people you meet from class who live on campus. What better way to connect with someone than to chop it up over some grub?

Join an RSO.

With student organizations ranging from marketing, to music, to math, there is a group fit for anyone. Joining a club full of like-minded students is the perfect environment to build friendships with people who have similar goals. Browse the countless student organizations at MSU to find a match for you.


Preparedness Still A Solid Defense Against An Intruder

By REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Intern

The recent school shooting in Florida once again has people wondering, “what should I do in that situation?”

Some think school faculty should carry guns—some think that’s the wrong place to start.

“The argument for teachers and professors carrying firearms is that this possibility would cause someone contemplating violence in a school from carrying this out,” said Sandi Schnorenberg, head of campus security. “First, carrying a firearm is very big responsibility and not one everyone is willing to accept. You first must ask yourself whether you would be mentally and emotionally able to point the firearm at another living person and pull the trigger.”

Carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility, especially when you’re expected to use it to protect other people.

“Once you have answered the question about whether you are mentally capable of owning and using a firearm, you must then decide whether you are willing to practice with your firearm so that you become familiar with and proficient in the use of the firearm,” she said. “Without doing so, you become a hazard to many others should you have to use the firearm for protection.”

Campus security is constantly working to further develop a solid defense against an intruder.

“We have layers of systems in place at the University to reduce the chances of a shooting incident. We have staff here 24/7 patrolling and monitoring campus, prepared to intervene if we encounter suspicious or concerning behavior (which is a common precursor to violent incidents),” she said. “We encourage our community to let us know if they see any suspicious or concerning behavior, and have staff available 24/7 to follow up on reports.”

MSU campus security are unarmed. They collaborate with the Minnesota Department of Public safety to help come up with a game plan in an active shooter situation.

“I meet with DPS (Department of Public Safety) frequently and we will participate in training and exercises with them to further define what our roles will be if an incident happens on campus. DPS actively trains and drills for active violence incidents and are part of a regional public safety group that are working together to prepare themselves should an active violence incident happen here or in the community.”

One thing anyone can do, is notify authorities whenever you hear about a possible threat.

“What strikes me about the Florida incident is the number of people that knew that this particular student was capable of and had threatened violence.  We all have a responsibility and a duty to come forward when we see someone who is displaying violent tendencies.”

Students and faculty can report information about a possible threat by calling (507) 389-2111.  If they wish to remain anonymous they can report a threat at or make a Silent Witness Report at

It’s True. Hunger and Homelessness at MSU

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Student Intern

It may not always be visible, but students at Minnesota State University, Mankato go hungry and homeless.

Nearly one-third, or 31.4 percent, of Minnesota State University, Mankato students missed nine or more meals this past semester according to statistical results of a recent student survey.

In a recent Centennial Student Union survey*, 574 students responded to a question about food insecurity that asked the number of meals a student reduced or missed due to lack of food or funds. Of those responding 12.2 percent indicated they had skipped 25 or more meals. Student ratios showed 8.2 percent missed 13-24 meals, 11 percent missed or reduced 9-12 meals during the past semester. Remaining results had 12.9 percent of students missing 4-8 meals and 18.1 percent missed 1-3 meals.

The majority of responding students, 216 or 37.6 percent said they did not miss any meals due to food insecurity.

The survey question by the Community Engagement Office sought to determine students facing hunger issues at Minnesota State Mankato. Karen Anderson, CEO director, said she’s seen nationally food insecurity statistics among students on college campuses ranging from 25 percent at the University of Hawaii to 59 percent at the University of Oregon.

Along with food insecurities, student homelessness is a concern for her’s and other offices on campus. She said she couldn’t comment too much more on campus homelessness “without breaking confidences.” She added those numbers are part of a state count collected each January. Actual numbers that include students may be skewed since many homeless find a shelter, are “doubling up” or are couch hopping.

Campus and Community Resource

The good news for students are the various university and community programs that help students dealing with tight budgets, shortage of food and homelessness.

Anderson wanted to make students aware of the Campus Cupboard, a free food shelf for University students. A student-organized food shelf that operates out the Crossroads Church campus ministry across the street from Wissink Hall at 331 Dillon Ave. Campus Cupboard is open Tuesdays from Noon to 3 p.m.

“Usually when you use a food pantry you might need to show proof of need or income, etc.,” she said. “Because we have a high percentage of students eligible for Pell Grants, Campus Cupboard has worked it out with Second Harvest that our school population qualifies without showing proof. Anyone with an MSU, Mankato student ID can get food on a weekly basis.”

In addition, Crossroads Church also offers $1 lunches every Tuesday. These lunches are open to the campus community.

Individuals can also provide financial support to Campus Cupboard by visiting its online donation page.

Anderson also wanted students to know about REACH, a local drop-in shelter for homeless Mankato youth between the ages of 16 and 24. The shelter is operated by Lutheran Social Service (LSS) out of St. Paul, which according to its website, “Helps thousands of young people every year, providing them with the support and resources they need to launch into a productive, healthy and independent life.”

The Mankato shelter is located at 125 East Liberty St. and is open Monday-Thursday between noon and 5 p.m.

Emergency Grant Program

Minnesota State Mankato now offers an Emergency Grant Program, highlighted in this week Serendipitous Moments video this new program offers emergency assistance through a grant from Great Lakes Higher Education.

University students with financial aid on record can apply for the grant when encountering a non-school related financial emergency. Visit the Emergency Grant website and click the Apply Today button. More information is available in the University Admissions Office located in the Taylor Center.

* The Centennial Student Union’s 2018 student survey randomly selected 3500 students. This year’s survey concluding March 1, 2018, had 24.6 percent response rate with 862 students taking the survey. 

What Can You Do For The Winter Blues?

Finding Your Personal Remedies

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Student Intern

Winter in Minnesota seems to get colder and snowier by the day. When winter seems never ending it can hit us non-winter lovers especially hard.

So when winter drags on what do you do when you’re feeling blue?

Here’s my top 3 things that I do when I’m feeling the “winter blues” and need to stay in good spirit:

1. Mark my calendar with the things that I’m looking forward to. Crossing off days in my calendar and making countdowns gives me satisfaction and happiness knowing that I’m inches closer to something that I’m excited about.

2. Play music throughout the day. Growing up, my mom always had fun music playing throughout our house. It was very calming and it helped release the tension that was built up during a long day. Coming to college, I had a hard time playing music because I didn’t want to interrupt my roommates and their studies. Just recently, I’ve been testing the waters and playing music in our kitchen during dinner and on the weekends. It’s helped us bond and smile more frequently because we usually end up dancing and laughing as we belt out the wrong lyrics.

3. Eating well. Every single day, I start my day with a chocolate protein shake full of vitamins and an egg. Starting my day off with nutritional value creates a mindset of wanting to eat right the rest of the day, which ultimately gives me the energy to get throughout the rest of the day.

Though we’re nearing the end of the cold months, it’s important to find things that make you happy and that can help lift your spirits.

Taylor Zenz

Public Relations Intern