Internship and Career Update: UC Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees

UC Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees

The University’s Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) program educates California’s future leaders by preparing promising students for advanced education in STEM. The program identifies upper-division undergraduate students with the potential to succeed in these disciplines who have experienced situations or conditions that adversely impacted their advancement in their fields of study.

UC LEADS Scholars embark on a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual faculty mentors. They explore disciplines, experience research environments, and improve their opportunities for future study. Scholars gain valuable educational experience and are better prepared to become well-educated future leaders. Their “Action Plan” includes:

  • Academic year research.
  • Paid summer research experience.
  • Participation in the University-wide UC LEADS Symposium.
  • Attendance at professional or scientific society meetings.
  • Professional Development and Leadership Opportunities.
  • Academic enrichment activities, including preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Internship and Career Update: Undergraduate Research – Something for Everyone

Internship and Career Update
By Ken Barnes

Undergraduate Research – Something for Everyone

Most students consider undergraduate research to be strictly for STEM majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), but students from all areas benefit from this unique opportunity – including liberal arts majors. With UC Davis being a world-class research institution, it behooves your student to consider participating in undergraduate research opportunities:

  • Enhances learning through mentoring relationships with faculty
  • Expands knowledge and understanding of chosen fields outside the classroom
  • Increases enrollment in graduate education and provides career preparation while developing skills
  • Develops critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills
  • Develops advanced laboratory skills and an understanding of research methodology while integrating theory and practice
  • Promotes innovation

UC Davis students can participate in basic and applied research with faculty on campus, at the UC Davis Health System (UCDHS), and in local companies. Typical research internships are 10-12 hours per week with multi-quarter commitments. Many full-time research internships are available during the summer, and research internships may be voluntary or paid.

Laboratory research positions are posted in Aggie Job Link through Student Employment (typically listed as Student Assistant II or III positions), and by local biotechnology companies. Clinical research opportunities are available on campus and at the UCDHS. Students in clinical research may assist with enrolling patients in studies and/or gathering information from medical records. Summer research opportunities are available all over the country and abroad. Applications for summer internships are usually available starting January – March, so be prepared to apply early.


Let’s talk look at campus undergraduate research programs your student should know about and take advantage of.


Parent to Parent: Don’t Wait

Parent to Parent
By MJ Lemire

Don’t Wait
As with my previous Parent to Parent essays, this one is based on my perspective as an Aggie mom. The difference this time, however, is that when this is posted for you to read, I will no longer be the mom of an Aggie; I’ll be the mom of an Aggie alumnus. Austin will have finished his last undergrad class at UC Davis. Then, in May, Faith will finish her last undergraduate class, too. My time as a parent of college kids is coming to an end.

I appreciate how the past two years of my In the Know posts have allowed me to revisit some long-ago memories (toddler Austin waiting at LAX, six-year old Faith skimming across a Slip-n-Slide), as well as record more recent events (Austin’s first apartment, Faith’s study abroad experience, Austin’s freshman move-in day).  I’m reminded how, after moving freshman Austin into his dorm, my husband and I decided to step back – way back – so we didn’t intrude on his new life in college.  When Austin commented that we stepped back a little too far, I sought out ways to be involved at UC Davis. I discovered many opportunities existed to help parents connect with the university and other Aggie families, as well as to share experiences with their college students without intruding.

If you don’t live in Central California, I realize it’s more work to access some of these opportunities. We have a similar challenge because Faith’s college is 400 miles away. We’ve visited her school only once a year but stay connected by other means. Like at UC Davis, we’ve met parents through her college’s parent Facebook page, their parent and family council, and at events they’ve hosted near and far. Also, like UC Davis, Faith’s college has a website for families, a college newspaper, and a monthly newsletter I read to stay up-to-date on topics Faith and I talk about. While it takes more time and effort if you are an out-of-state or international parent, there are still ways you can stay connected with your student. At UC Davis, Claudia Capurro is a member of the Parent Council’s Out-of-State Committee, which helps with both national and international connections. You can email her and read her post here. Because I’m a member of the Traditions Committee, I am partial to this page where you’ll find that 10-15 of Authentic Aggie Traditions can be done from the comfort of your home, wherever you live.

When you can visit UC Davis, remember that the Traditions page is a one-stop resource for many Aggie activities. At #47 you’ll see this month’s Picnic Day listed, an event I strongly recommend attending; it offers so much to see and do. While you’ll want to spend as much time as possible with your student, find out in advance how much time s/he will be available. Then spend the rest of your trip getting to know UC Davis – this place that’s now your student’s life.

Our kids’ college years go quickly. Don’t wait another day to choose something at UC Davis to put on your calendar to do soon.

Like me, in no time, you’ll find another chapter of parenting – our kids-in-college chapter – coming to a close. Many thanks to the UC Davis staff who helped with my research and special thanks to the people who played a role in Austin’s success at UC Davis. And to Austin and Faith, thanks for letting me include your stories here. You’ve both made these past five years one heck of a fun ride.

If you’re interested in reading more about raising an Aggie – see my essay here.

Parent Giving Update

Parent Giving Update
By Eric Gifford

This Picnic Day, join us for a new tradition – UC Davis Give Day 2017, Every Aggie Counts

Starting at noon on April 21 and concluding at 5 p.m. on Picnic Day, you are encouraged to participate in a new Picnic Day Tradition: UC Davis Give Day! Every Aggie Counts, so our goal is to encourage as many Aggies (parents included) to celebrate each other, and our community, by giving to an area of UC Davis that is important to YOU. Join the leadership of the Aggie Parent & Family Association by supporting the Parent Council Scholarship, or give to any area across campus.

Visit the Give Day website to learn about the many opportunities for giving and, starting at noon on Friday, April 21, make a gift to support UC Davis. You can also participate by volunteering as a Social Ambassador, at a location on campus during Picnic Day, and even by joining us in the Picnic Day parade on Saturday, April 22. Information on all of these opportunities is available here. Together we can do great things for our students, and that is why Every Aggie Counts!

The UC Davis Parent and Family Program was created to foster a sense of community among all UC Davis Parents. The parent council within the program fundraised to help establish the first scholarship in honor of the Aggie Parent and Family Program. Second, third or fourth year students are welcome to apply for this one time scholarship opportunity. For criteria and application information, please visit our website. The application deadline is Friday, September 29, 2017.

March Career Corner:  Standing Out From the Competition

By Ken Barnes, Assistant Director, Internship and Career Center

Writing Samples Made Easy

Applications often require writing samples. These simple but crucial components can make or break an otherwise impressive application. Helping your students understand the significance of things like this in the job search process can save them a lot of time and improve the probability of getting an interview.

Writing samples ascertain whether applicants have the necessary writing skills to do the job. If asked to submit one, here are some tips to help prepare a good sample.


  • First and foremost, make sure the sample is well-written and of the highest quality! Ask if the sample has a clear, well-articulated thesis, is concise and to the point, follows a logical structure, and can be easily understood and followed by the reader. Double and triple check for errors.
  • If sending a graded paper, make sure the student received a decent grade, but do not necessarily rule out “B” papers. Some “B” papers have significant potential if revised. If other publications were cited in the sample, include the bibliography.
  • Unless otherwise stated, a good length is 2-5 pages.
  • Only provide original work; if it was a collaborative piece, make sure the student states so and indicates which parts were written by them.
  • Choose assignments related to the industry or subject matter. This can significantly aide a person’s job search.

Preparing Samples

  • Make sure your student puts their name on all materials. Don’t assume handlers will be organized enough to keep everything together.
  • Don’t try font or margin tricks to make samples look longer.
  • Submit a clean copy without the professor’s grades or marks.
  • Include a brief note about the context of the sample. Here’s an example: “This writing sample is an excerpt from an essay I wrote for my Women’s Studies class: ‘Gender and American Society.’ I worked with a partner on this assignment, so I have included only the section of the paper on ‘Gender and the Family,’ which represents my individual work.”

On rare occasions employers request specific types of writing sample. If your student has to create one, stick very closely to the guidelines above (especially with regards to length). Lastly, encourage your students to develop a portfolio of well-written pieces to use as needed. Have them select pieces that show their full range of talents. Samples may include summaries of complex ideas, research papers, editorials, articles, journals and blogs.

Parent Council Perspective

By MJ Lemire, UC Davis Parent Council Member

Figuring it Out
“There’s so much college information to sort through,” my friend tells me over coffee. “We’re trying to help Emily figure it out, but how do we know what’s best?”

It’s that time of year when college admittance decisions are in the mail. Not long ago, I was the mom on the other side of the table, asking questions. I remember both the excitement and the apprehension back then as my husband and I stood beside Austin and Faith, helping each sift through the cavalcade of college material. It seemed impossible that, at seventeen and eighteen years old, they were about to take that first step towards adulthood by enrolling in college.

Several years earlier, when Faith and Austin were just two and three years old, I thought, “This is their best year right now. I wish I could stop time.” While I’ve echoed this sentiment almost every year of their lives, the years have not been without struggles. Like every family, we’ve had our share of challenges.

And the college years have been no different. During these university years, we’ve had to grapple with finances, distances, and misunderstandings. There were illnesses and accidents, failed friendships and failed classes. Yet, while the college years have had struggles, there has been this sense of wonder as we’ve watched our kids grow into themselves.

It seems like only yesterday Austin was new to UC Davis, meeting his freshman roommate on the third floor of Wall Hall. Now he and his sister are standing in the wings, soon-to-be college graduates. After Austin and Faith receive their degrees in engineering, one will start a career in engineering and the other, surprisingly, may not. As these college years have progressed, my husband and I have had to learn to stand less beside our kids and more behind them. To support their decisions, not direct them. It isn’t an easy role-shift to make –stepping back – and we’ve been far from perfect at it.

As in all years prior, parenting during the college years has been about adapting. Along the way, we’ve learned from parents who have gone before us, as well as shared experiences with those navigating the college years with us. UC Davis provides a wealth of opportunities for parents to connect with other parents, the university and their kids. Seek these opportunities out. Join the AFPA, attend Picnic Day and walk the Traditions. Learn about UC Davis, this place that’s now your child’s life. A great starting point is CAAA’s and APFA’s website.

“So, based on your kids’ college experiences,” my friend says, “how do you determine what’s best for them?”

Best for them? I realize that I don’t have that answer.

Based on my kids’ college experiences, I can tell her this. Be there for your student. Don’t lose sight of the person you raised; they are there at the core. Listen. Acknowledge their maturity. Understand their choices. Teach them tenacity. Celebrate their successes. Accept their failures. Praise their perseverance. And pat yourself on the back.

As the next four years progress, I’ll tell my friend to take a step back and marvel at her daughter’s growth. Then, I’ll tell her, “Marvel at your own growth, too.”

March SAA Update

Special Student Life Membership offer: New and current parent members receive a $40 discount on a Student Life Membership! Sign-up today
The Student Alumni Association (SAA) will help your student build their Aggie Network through various student-alumni networking, professional development workshops, community service, and traditions event on-campus! Give your student a gift of life membership that will be invaluable to their future success!

Update: Interview with an Aggie
Our Student Alumni Association’s winter signature event, Interview with an Aggie, was a success! Over 80 SAA members and alumni participated in mock job interviews, assisting the students to be better prepared for their upcoming job searches. Alumni provided feedback to the participants after the interviews and then the event concluded with a networking reception.  SAA’s next signature event, Take an Aggie to Work, will be during spring quarter. Take an Aggie to Work provides an opportunity for SAA members to job shadow Aggie alumni. Encourage your student to sign up for SAA by visiting here.


Parent Giving Update

By Eric Gifford, Director of Development, Parent Giving, Development & Alumni Relations

Join the Parent & Family Council to support UC Davis Give Day 2017!
UC Davis’ first Give Day will be held on Picnic Day to encourage support from parents, faculty, staff and Aggies around the world, as they celebrate the university’s most beloved event.

UC Davis’ Parent and Family Council encourages your participation in supporting students for UC Davis’ Give Day. The council members have established a scholarship to benefit students exhibiting exemplary community service. Keep watch for more information on how to give to this fund on April 21! You can give at any level to help benefit UC Davis students.

Give Day will run for 29 hours, from noon Friday, April 21, until 5 p.m. the next day, Picnic Day. Donors, scholarship recipients and faculty members who have been supported by philanthropy will participate in the Picnic Day Parade, to illustrate philanthropy’s impact on UC Davis; and a text-to-give campaign will be promoted at various Picnic Day events.

The Give Day theme is “Every Aggie Counts: Together, We Add Up!” — encouraging all members of the Aggie Family to support the university. Grateful patients of UC Davis Health will be encouraged to give to programs that have made a difference in their families’ lives, and likewise for pet owners grateful for UC Davis veterinary services.

“Give Day events like this one are part of an important national trend that encourage both new and longtime donors to join hands in supporting their university,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations. “UC Davis Give Day will be an exciting opportunity because, for the first time, Aggies will be able to come together in support of UC Davis and witness in real-time the incredible impact philanthropy has on our community.”

CAAA March ITK Parent and Family Update

Dear Aggie Parents,

It was wonderful to see many parents at our Winter Parent & Family Day on February 25. We hope to see many more of you on campus for UC Davis’ 103rd Picnic Day next month – on April 22! Come visit the Walter A Beuhler Alumni Center – we will have have a special VIP zone for members of the Aggie Parent and Family Association. Cool off with a soda and a complimentary slice of pizza and join us for a special authentic Aggie scavenger hunt, as well as numerous other events and experiences.

Picnic Day Highlights in and around the Alumni Center:
UC Davis Give Day
– Join us April 21 to 22 for the inaugural UC Davis Give Day, celebrated both online and on the ground during Picnic Day. Every Aggie Counts.
Alumni Wine Program – Friday, April 21, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Raise your glass and celebrate the night before Picnic Day! Enjoy an evening filled with Aggie camaraderie while tasting exceptional wines produced by local alumni vintners paired with delicious hors d’oeuvres.
Picnic Day Parade – Aggies, friends & family members are welcome for the annual Picnic Day Parade! We will show our Aggie pride by being represented in this annual tradition. See here for parade information and details.
Authentic Aggie Traditions – Earn Authentic Aggie bragging rights! We will offer an abbreviated version of our popular Traditions program. Anyone can complete it while on campus for Picnic Day. Stop by the Alumni Center for a brochure, choose and complete 10 options and collect your Authentic Aggie completion prize (quantities limited).
Authentic Aggie Zone 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Join us outside Buehler Alumni Center for live music, food for purchase, a festive atmosphere and giveaways from our participating sponsors and departments.
Members reception in AGR – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Buehler Alumni Center – Alumni (CAAA), parents (APFA) and student association (SAA) members are invited to visit the Cal Aggie Alumni Association Member Lounge at the Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center for refreshments, relaxation, and to reconnect with other Aggies. This year the lounge will include a live stream video of the Doxie Derby! Not a member yet? Join here!
Moss Patio reception – Everyone is invited to enjoy ice cream and activities for the whole family.
CAAA drone photo – 1:30 p.m. on Vanderhoef Quad – It’s our first ever Aggie Drone Photo! We hope to get as many Aggies, friends and family for a photo showcasing all Aggies at Picnic Day. Join us for this inaugural event!

Campus parking is free all day on Picnic Day. We encourage you to park in the Gateway Structure on the south end of campus for easy in-and-out access.

March ITK Student Affairs Update

By Debra Cleveland, UC Davis Content Specialist

Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference
Sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Center, the annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference, April 28 to 29, is a great way for students to see what their peers have been researching and meet the faculty members they’ve been working with. Approximately two-thirds of students presenting are seniors, which means faculty may be looking for undergraduates to replace those who are leaving. URC Assistant Director Tammy Hoyer emphasizes that students presenting at the conference represent a wide range of majors. “The prevalent notion is that research experience is only for students in the sciences, which isn’t the case,” says Hoyer. Parents are encouraged to attend the conference with their student to see the array of research possible at UC Davis. For presentation locations and a detailed conference schedule, visit here.

UC Davis Powwow
The 45th Annual UC Davis Powwow is scheduled for April 14 and 15, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., on the UC Davis Quad. The event is free and open to the public, celebrating the traditions and contributions of indigenous cultures through presentations of Native music, dance, art and culture. The Powwow also provides an opportunity for the campus and local Native communities to build connections and address social, cultural, historical and political issues facing the Native American community. For more information, visit the Cross Cultural Center website.

Spring Internship and Career Fair
The final Internship and Career Fair of the 2016-17 academic year will take place April 12, with a wide variety of employers attending. If your student is a graduating senior, the fair is a great way to meet employers who are specifically looking to hire UC Davis graduates. For students interested in a summer job or internship, the career fair is also an excellent way to connect with companies that want to fill those types of positions. Encourage your student to attend a “Prepare for the Fair” workshop to learn how to effectively present themselves and get an early start on launching their career. For more information visit the Internship and Career Center.

Stride for Aggie Pride
Register by April 7 for the fifth annual Stride for Aggie Pride 5K for a discounted entry fee. The April 30 race is a fundraiser for our student-run philanthropy causes We Are Aggie Pride and ASUCD Awards Endowment.