Get Out Of Your Room

Welcome back fellow NAU Students! As we begin this new school year, there are a lot of fun and exciting events happening on and around campus. While it may be tempting to snuggle up in your room and catch up on your favorite Netflix/ Hulu shows, we want to encourage you to GET OUT OF YOUR ROOM! There’s no better time to make new friends than at the beginning of the year during welcome week. Don’t know what’s going on on-campus and around the beautiful town of flagstaff? No worries. We have compiled a list of events that you should definitely attend while enjoying the fresh air of the mountains and meeting new people!

president's BBQ

Welcome Week Event

Study abroad Fair

pitch perfect 2

County fair

First Friday

Labor Day BBQ

  • Labor Day BBQ: Monday, September 7, 2015 4:30pm-6:00pm @Campus Ministry Center

Community Fair

  • Community Fair: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 9:00am-3:00pm @ Union Pedway


*Another great way to get out of your room would be by joining a club and getting involved on campus! Be sure to drink a lot of water to keep from dehydration and be friendly to strangers. Go kick axe, Lumberjacks!

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Meet Our SmartAxe!

Ever wonder who creates these fabulous tidbits and features that help you connect college to career?  It’s our very own April Canseco. April joined the CareerJack team here at NAU Career Development at University College last spring. She was born in Indio, California, and grew up in Mesa, AZ where she graduated from Skyline High School. April is a junior this year, and she is studying criminology and criminal justice with a minor in psychology.


April is building up transferable skills as an integral member of the Career Development team. She is in charge of our social media campaign for CareerJacks Club and the Career Team. She creates content for the Backpack and Briefcase newsletters, organizes and curates content for Facebook, including our Job of the Day series, and facilitates Instagram and Pinterest campaigns, and manages @naucareer on


April is a member of the Latin@ Campus Working Group, and she is a Cuentos de Exitos project leader this fall. The CdE project is Spanish language event aimed at connecting Spanish speakers on campus with community mentors and leaders in order to highlight the benefits of being bilingual. April is passionate about promoting Spanish as a legitimate professional and academic language. So many Spanish speakers forget to even highlight their language skills on their resumes! She is hoping to raise awareness of the opportunities that open up to bilinguals in the career world. She will be writing a monthly Spanish blog series this school year with this goal in mind, along with her regular weekly features in English for SmartAxe.

Career Jacks
April is Vice President of the CareerJack Club, where she works with peers to connect college life to post graduate careers.  She has also been involved with MECHA and La Fe on campus. April spends her free time reading, baking, playing video games, watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, and wishing her dog, June, could move up the mountain from Mesa.

April 4

She wishes she had more spare time, but she is so busy encouraging herself to get out of her room and enjoy the many opportunities to get involved that it can be really hard to get enough binge watching time!

We hope you enjoy following April’s career advice here on SmartAxe. She is ready to help you create connections between college and career that will help you maximize your choices in the future and take charge of your life from semester one.

To connect with April at any time, or request coverage of any college career connection on SmartAxe, be sure to leave a reply here!

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Who is Coming to the Part-Time Job Fair: List of Employers

Apr 17 2014 061

Northern Arizona University Part-Time Job Fair 2015

  1. Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation
  2. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff
  3. Arizona Snowbowl
  4. Academic Transition Programs
  5. Youth in Action, Americorp
  6. CIE
  7. Follett (NAU Bookstore)
  8. Performance Staffing
  9. Little America Flagstaff
  10. Auto Owners Insurance Company
  11. Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock
  12. Grand Canyon Railway
  13. Civitan Foundation Inc.
  14. FACTS After-school Program
  15. SUN Entertainment
  16. Marc Community Resources Inc
  18. NAU Athletic Department
  19. Sprouts
  20. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
  21. Deckers
  22. Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona
  23. Sears Holdings Corporation
  24. LOU Corporation
  25. HotFoot Recruiters
  26. Civic Service Institute
  27. Sodexo/NAU Campus Dining
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5 Simple Tips on How to Navigate the Part-Time Job Fair


As you begin your Fall 2015 semester here at Northern Arizona University, you may be on the hunt for a part time job. Maybe you want to have a little extra cash in your pockets for your fun night out, or you have bills and rent to pay. Maybe your parents are pressuring you to get a job to start building up your resume. No matter the reason, searching for a job can be tough. Fortunately NAU Career Development is hosting a Part-Time job fair on August 28th from 1pm-4pm! This event will be free to all NAU students. So if you’re looking for a part-time job while you attend school, this is the place to be! There will be on-campus as well as off-campus jobs waiting to be filled by our very own Northern Arizona University Students! Employers at the Part-Time Job Fair are likely to hire on the spot so be sure to bring your A-game. Here are some tips to help you navigate the PTJF like an expert job hunter!blog2

  1. Spice up your Resume! You may have a resume on file already, but when was the last time you looked at it? It’s important that your resume uses up to date formatting and make sure it looks neat, organized and easy to read for employers. You don’t want to see any mistakes on your resume. Employers will receive several resumes, so you want to make sure that your resume stands out! One way to do that is to check out our Professional Development Guide which has several tips on job search strategies as well as resume examples! Once you have your great looking resume ready, be sure to print out a few copies and bring them with you to the PTJF!blog3
  2. Research which Employers will be at the PTJF! If you see an employer that you know you would like to apply to, be sure to research them; know their mission and goals. You will have the opportunity to speak with the employers face to face at the PTJF, and if you know a lot about their company you will leave a great impression! They will be sure to remember you and take a look at your application!blog4
  3. Prepare your Elevator Speech! Don’t know what an elevator speech is?

“It’s the 30-second speech that summarizes who you are, what you do and why you’d be a perfect candidate.” -Nancy Collamer

Your Elevator speech can help you land the job you’re looking for. Make sure that you prepare yourself to pitch it to potential employers.blog5

  1. Dress to Impress! You don’t have to show up in a suit and tie. We know college students have a tight budget… however showing up in a nice dress shirt and pants can definitely help with your first impression on employers.blog6
  2. Be Confident! You got this! This is the moment where you are going to land that job. Have a great attitude going in and create positive vibes. This is the perfect opportunity to network with several employers and land a job at the same time!
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Busted: Career Myths

Myth: My major limits me to jobs in only a few fields or industries.

Yes, some fields require professional degrees, and yes, some fields are only open to people with a certain major. (For example, to work in a research lab you typically need a science degree, although there might be flexibility about which one. Brain surgeons will always need an M.D. and years of residency, thankfully.) Many fields and organizations, however, are open to people from any degree.

Especially in entry-level positions, many of the required technical skills are taught on the job, so employers are looking for transferable skills such as motivation, analytical ability, and teamwork. As long as you can demonstrate that you have the transferable skills necessary for success, you could be a candidate regardless of your degree.

So, next time you’re walking through a career fair, don’t be afraid to talk to any employer that catches your attention. Share your career interests and how you’ve used your time on campus, and ask how someone with your background could get started in their organization. You might be surprised by what you hear!

Laurah 1

Myth: Employers are mainly interested in my major.

On-the-job success requires so much more than a major, and employers know it!

Many organizations are looking for “T-shaped” people, who have both the technical knowledge and skill to meet the requirements of their position, and a breadth of interests and experiences to contribute fresh perspectives and ideas. Imagine working on a team where everyone had only the same knowledge to draw from. How would a problem ever be approached from a new angle?

Invest your time wisely, so you can show employers how you’ve gained a  range  of experiences. Did you study abroad? Did you gain leadership experience in campus clubs? Do you speak more than one language fluently? Have you volunteered for a cause you care about? The perspectives and skills you gain from these experiences will make you stand out.

Laurah 2

Myth: My parents want to know my career plans NOW!

Students often think of their “career” as one, continual event that happens after graduation. Realistically, your career is more like a series of long semesters…each one is different, brings its own challenges, and builds on the one before it.

For example, over time one career might include getting a few promotions, taking a lateral move to learn a different skillset, pursuing a graduate degree, taking a radical sabbatical, taking time out of the workforce for family, changing industries or fields, and then pursing an encore career. Do you think you could plan out these twists and turns ahead of time? Do you know what you will eat for lunch four years from today? Probably not, and it’s just as unlikely that you could predict all of your future career moves the day you graduate.

So, what does this mean? First of all, save yourself the stress and anxiety of trying to plan out your “career.” Instead, focus your energy on planning your first step. Research organizations where you might want to start. Invite professionals from related careers for informational interviews. Do internships to “reality-check” what you think you’d like to do. These practical steps will help you make an informed choice about where to start your career. Then, you can think about your next career move.

Laurah 3

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Leap Forward with Lumberjack Alumni Series: William Ladley, Class of 1973

William Ladley, Class of 1973

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Organic Chemistry

President of Freiborne Industries Inc.

William Ladley

What was your career plan during college? Did this change once you graduated?

“Original plan was to become an illustrator for science/science books. I started out with a major in art and a minor in biology. This changed as I witnessed how difficult it was to get funding.”

How did NAU prepare you for your career?

“Having instructors that always seem to challenge the status quo.”

Where are you now? Please tell us about your current career, job location, and pros/cons.

”Being from Arizona, I never thought that I would end up in the Detroit metro area, by way of Iowa. I was working as the Operations manager at the Arizona Snow Bowl until I left in 1977. I spent 25 years at Henkel (Global chemical company) with my last ten years as a business director. I retired in 2008, but by 2010, decided that I still wanted to work. I joined freiborne (regional chemical company) in January of 2011 as their Sales Director and became their president in 2013. Have always loved the challenge of building a business and helping others through their career path, but this also adds quite a bit of stress as well.”

What advice do you have for current NAU students?

“Get as much real world experience as you can. Success goes to the strong, well rounded people that learn quickly and can apply what they learn. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, we all do, but the key is not to repeat them.”

What was your favorite part about NAU Flagstaff?

The fun I had with the people that I met…Especially Steve Vaughn, Tony Czak, and Jim Carney

21 ways to Get Involved at NAU!


Your first year at college can be exciting but a bit intimidating, especially if you don’t know a single soul and you feel like everyone else seems to know one another already. We’ve all been there, and here’s what we have to say … Get Involved! College is the time where you get to meet a variety of different people and make new friendships that could last a lifetime. It is also the time to explore new things and figure out what you like or dislike. Take the time to figure yourself out. In that process, you have to get involved. Not sure how? Have no fear, we have compiled a list of clubs and organizations that could help you on your journey to discovering your passions and staying connected!

Peer Jacks

  1. Become a Peer Mentor : Connect with first year students as you become their mentor for their transition into college!


  1. Become a Resident Assistant : RA’s are a great resource for our residential students living on campus. You can also get the chance to create energetic and supportive communities where students get to know one another!

Edge Leadership

  1. The Edge Leadership Experience : Develop personal leadership skills and make meaningful connections as an incoming first year student through The Edge Leadership workshop! This is a great opportunity to apply a great transferable skill to your resume.

Legislative internsip pic

  1. Legislative Internship : Get the opportunity to work with the Arizona State Senate, Arizona House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Governor’s Office, as well as the Arizona State Supreme Court!


  1. CSI : The Civic Service Institute provides an extensive variety of volunteering opportunities for students! Meet the needs of people and neighborhoods throughout Arizona and fortify them through service and volunteerism.


  1. Green NAU : Support sustainability! Join NAU’s Student Environmental club and become a Green Jack or volunteer through a variety of their community programs!


  1. FACTS : Work with children ages 5-13 through this community-wide before and after school program and get a chance to provide academic and enrichment opportunities!


  1. Gilman Scholarship : Receive a scholarship to pursue an Internship abroad and further your skills to work in this global economy and independent world.

study abroad

  1. Education Abroad: Build up your global skill set by going abroad and learning to navigate in a multicultural environment, meet new people, and see the world through the Education Abroad programs!


  1. Undergraduate research: Enhance your education by participating in research in your field or major. This is a great way to learn invaluable skills that can be applied to your resume!

nau quidditch

  1. NAU Quidditch Club : Yeah we’ve read the books and seen the movies… and you can finally play without having to go through Platform 9 ¾ All you have to do is show up to practice, pay a small fee and compete in the National Quidditch Association all while having fun with your teammates!


  1. Jobs for Jacks : Another way to get involved is by using Jobs for Jacks, NAU’s online employment database for students, graduates, and alumni! Create an account with Jobs for Jacks and you can have access to a list of employers, internships, and full-time job positions looking to be filled by you!

Archery Action EDITED

  1. Northern Arizona University Archery Club : If you have the urge to learn about archery, this is the club for you! Whether you are a skilled archer or you’ve never shot an arrow before, you can join and it’s FREE!


  1. Residential Learning Communities : Join a RLC and live in the same residential hall with students who share your major! Participate in activities organized by your RLC and form strong connections between students, faculty, and staff! This is a great way to meet new people as well as receiving support when it comes to your academics.

KA sorority

  1. Greek Life : Are you thinking about rushing for Greek life? Sororities and Fraternities are another great way to get connected on campus by getting involved in leadership, community service, and friendships that will last a lifetime all while learning invaluable skills that could give you the edge when looking for employment!


  1. M.E.Ch.A : Are you looking for a group that strives for the empowerment and liberation of Chicano/as in higher education? This is the club for you! M.E.Ch.A has a whole group of students who make every effort to promote the Chicano philosophy, and you don’t have to be any specific gender, nationality, or orientation to join this club!


  1. HAPA : The NAU HAPA Hawaiian Club helps Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian students with their transition into college and gives them a sense of engagement and belonging on campus. This is a great way to get involved and help other students feel comfortable at NAU along the way!


  1. BSU : The Black Student Union is another great way to be involved on campus! BSU strives to keep their students involved and active in the community and aware of the issues around them. They build up professionalism, community, and promote black culture at NAU.


  1. Sports Clubs : NAU has a great variety of sports clubs on campus, including Men and Women’s Lacrosse! Get involved on campus by joining a sports club and competing with your team!

NAU Outdoors

20. NAU Outdoors : NAU offers trips and classes that allow you to experience the outdoors in a whole new way! Some of the adventures include backpacking, hiking, and white water kayaking. Don’t pass up these amazing opportunities that you can take advantage of right in our backyard!


21. True Blue Connects : Still haven’t seen something you’re interested in? Go to True Blue Connects to find a list of resources for more student organizations to help you get involved! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, start your own club! You only need four friends, a faculty or staff advisor, and a constitution detailing your clubs purpose.

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Leap Forward with Lumberjack Alumni Series: Rachel Theron, Class of 2005

Rachel Theron, Class of 2005

Bachelor of Science in Journalism

Owner of Lekka Media Design

Rachel Theron

What was your career plan during college? Did this change once you graduated?

“My career plan during college was to be a journalist or photojournalist. After graduating, I gravitated toward careers in marketing and management.”

How did NAU prepare you for your career?

“NAU helped prepare me for my career by fostering independent thinking and intelligent risk taking.”

Where are you now? Please tell us about your current career, job location, and pros/cons.

“After graduating from NAU in 2005, I lived in Cape Town, South Africa and Portland, Oregon before deciding to move back to Flagstaff, my beloved mountain town. In 2013, I launched Lekka Media Design & Marketing, LLC. Based in Flagstaff, we offer website design and online marketing solutions for individuals, non-profits, and the small business community. Pros of owning my own business are a sense of fulfillment and freedom. Any perceived con is heavily outweighed by all the pros. :-)”

What advice do you have for current NAU students?

“My advice for current NAU students is to be extremely active with the NAU and local community. Not only does it look great on a resume, but life is really about networking, and the more substantial contacts you have, the better off you will be professionally.”

What was your favorite part about NAU Flagstaff?

“My favorite part about NAU was the gorgeous campus, the professors, and the lifelong friends I made while there.”

The Life of a True Blue Ambassador

tb1Elizabeth Aiello-Coppola just recently graduated from NAU and received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. During her time here, she worked as a True Blue Ambassador. The True Blue Ambassador program first piqued her interest when she came to Orientation as a freshman. After she saw the True Life play during her orientation session, she told her mom she had to get this job and be an ambassador herself. Elizabeth started working as a True Blue Ambassador during her sophomore year after an extensive hiring process. She had to pass an application review, succeed in a group interview, and then present herself well in two individual interviews.

As a True Blue Ambassador, Elizabeth and her fellow Ambassadors give tours of NAU to prospective students throughout the fall and spring semesters. They also answer questions about NAU from prospective families and students via phone and email, and staff DNAU events. During the summer, the ambassadors run Northern Arizona University’s Freshman Orientation. As Orientation Leaders they each work individually with groups of 15-19 students. Elizabeth said that being an Orientation leader has given her the opportunity to be a mentor for each new tb2freshman. She loves being part of a team working to make good things happen for other people. The ambassadors give the new students a chance to see what it is like to be at NAU. During orientation these students discuss the situations presented in the True Life play with their groups, and occasionally they get really deep and share sensitive personal stories. Orientation leaders use this time to ensure that these incoming students feel safe about being a college student.

I sat down with Elizabeth recently to find out more about what it is like to be a True Blue Ambassador. Would you like to join their team? Read on to see if it sounds like a good fit for you!

What is your favorite thing about being a True Blue Ambassador?

“I like seeing how excited students get about NAU. I love NAU and I want them to be happy and love NAU too. What’s cool is that sometimes I’ll see my orientees passing by during the school semester and they smile at me or some even come up and hug me. It’s the best feeling ever.”

tb3How do you bond with other True Blue Ambassadors?

“We have multiple retreats throughout the year. There, we share a lot of things, get really deep, and bond. We even take a class together during the Spring Semester, EPS 415 & 416. We also have a 10 day training and camp where we get prepared for Orientation. We all live in the Wilson Residence Hall over the summer and work in the administration office together too.”

tb6What kind of skills does being a True Blue Ambassador teach you?

“Speaking in public, personal skills, and knowing how to sell the school. We are also taught great work ethic. For example, if we have a meeting at 6:30 and someone is late, then we push the meeting up to 6:15 the next time. We are taught how to follow while being a leader at the same time. But most of all, we learn to have fun!”

What kind of relationships do you form with students that you meet during Orientation?

“It varies, sometimes I won’t have a connection. There have been other times where I had students tell me, ‘You helped me break out of my shell!’ One student told me that I helped them not be shy because I forced them to talk and be social with the other students. You just form these connections that you’ll never forget. I’ll recognize them even when I see them around campus during classes.”

TB5What are your plans now that you’ve graduated?

“I’m going to stay in Flagstaff for another year to work and save up money to travel. I want to go back to Ireland and visit places like Europe, Japan, Greece and the Netherlands. I’m buying a one-way ticket and seeing what happens.”

TB4It sounds like Elizabeth has definitely learned how to have fun, work hard, and take risks as a True Blue Ambassador. If you are interested in following her lead, check out the True Blue Ambassador Application process and talk to one of the ambassadors you see giving campus tours in their snazzy blue and yellow polo shirts.


Leap Forward with Lumberjack Alumni Series: Sarah McGee, Class of 2007

Sarah McGee, Class of 2007/2011

Bachelor of Science in Interior Design

Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities with an Emphasis in Sustainable Architecture and Design

Business Manager for SappSuperStarSports

Sarah in 2007 while at NAU

Sarah in 2007 while at NAU

What was your career plan during college? Did this change once you graduated?

“My mind seemed to change daily about what career path I wanted to take when I was in college. I alternated between Interior Design/Architecture and the world of Fitness/Athletic Training/Physical Therapy. I ended up graduating with an Interior Design degree and then went on to pursue a second degree following the Architectural/Design industry. I worked as an Architectural Designer for many years (about 8 years), while pursuing fitness and personal training as a hobby or side job. I was a Personal Trainer and Dance Instructor on the side for many years because I still could not choose between the two worlds indefinitely!”

How did NAU prepare you for your career?

“NAU helped me with my professional and academic writing, it taught me how to present and speak publicly with confidence, it taught me how to think critically, network with other people, be creative and open minded, and how to efficiently manage my time.”

Where are you now? Please tell us about your current career, job location, and pros/cons.

“I live in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and I am the Business Manager for SappSuperStarSports, LLC. ( SappSuperStarSports is a Sports Promotion and Management Company. We represent and work with a lot of NFL, MLB, and NBA athletes to help them secure endorsement deals and/or find opportunities for marketing, sports events and entertainment for them. We also work with outside consultants and businesses to do their sports marketing for them. I also still teach dance on the side.”

What advice do you have for current NAU students?

  • Be open to networking and meeting new people. I have always obtained jobs quickly because of the people I know and the connections they have.
  • Have tremendous initiative and be a self-starter. This shows people that you are able to make key decisions on your own and that you are a leader. It has been my experience that no one will make the opportunities come to you, you have to actively seek them out!
  • Learn from other people’s mistakes and always stay coachable.
  • Don’t be afraid to try to new things! This makes you more marketable and valuable to employers if you have a wide array of different skills.
  • Take as many continuing education classes as you like!!! Learning and knowledge is the key to molding a better world for yourself.
  • Lastly, I find inspiration in everything and keep a log or journal of things that are memorable to me. I’ve been able to track my progress over the years and I can see how far I’ve come, which gives me great motivation to keep going!!

What was your favorite part about NAU Flagstaff?

“My favorite part of NAU in Flagstaff was the charm of the campus and it’s evolution of it’s architectural history portrayed. The different architectural vignettes provided a perfect landscape for learning and inspiration. The campus exudes happiness day in and day out.”


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