Got an Interview? Check Out These Tips!

"Career Fair at College of DuPage 2014" by COD Newsroom, Flickr Creative Commons
“Career Fair at College of DuPage 2014” by COD Newsroom, Flickr Creative Commons

With spring in the air and summer getting closer (it’ll be here soon – I promise!), you may be wondering, “What am I going to dooo this summer?” For those of us graduating in May (congrats!!), the somewhat daunting search for a job may already be on your mind. And for those of us who still have some time left here at Carolina, maybe you’re thinking about finding a summer job or considering doing an internship once classes end. If jobs or internships are part of your summer plan, this probably means that you’ll have to do some interviews! If just reading that sentence made you a little nervous, this blog post is for you. Interviews can definitely be a little nerve-wracking, but they can also be a great learning experience! Here are some tips that will help you tackle your interviews with confidence and hopefully will help you land that job or internship you’ve got your eye on!

"Interview! White Background" by One Way Stock, Flickr Creative Commons
“Interview! White Background” by One Way Stock, Flickr Creative Commons
  1. Do you research. Wherever you’re interviewing, read up on the organization/company. Go to their website – look at their mission and vision, look at the different services they provide – try to find out as much as you possibly can about the organization and what your job or internship might entail.
  1. Come up with two or three questions you can ask your interviewer. There is usually time at the end of an interview for you to ask questions – this is a time to show the interviewer how well prepared you are! Do you have questions about specific duties of the job or internship? Ask! Do you have questions about the office environment? Ask! Interviews are also a time for you to find out if the job/internship will be a good fit for your needs and skills, so take this time to figure that out.
  1. Before your interview, make a list of questions you think the interviewer might ask you. Try to anticipate what you think they want to know about you, and try to think from their perspective. Is there a past internship you think they might have more questions about? Are there skills they are looking for that you can highlight in your responses to their questions? Once you have your list, practice your answers to these questions! Write your answers down, practice your answers with a friend, or practice your answers in the mirror! This will help you feel confident and ready for anything the interviewers might throw your way.
  1. During the interview (and when you’re practicing your answers to potential questions), try to think of concrete examples of things you have done or learned in past jobs or coursework to strengthen your answers. Be as specific as possible! For example, when asked about your strengths, rather than saying you’re a good public speaker, talk about your strong public speaking skills and give examples of times when you have given presentations or facilitated group discussions.
  1. Be aware of your body language. Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with the interviewer while you’re talking, and try not to slouch back in your chair. This will show the interviewer you are engaged in the conversation.
  1. Be honest, and be yourself. You’re awesome and qualified – let that show!
  1. Be sure to take advantage of campus resources when you’re prepping for your interview. UNC’s University Career Services has some amazing resources to help you prep for interviews on their website, and they also host a TON of great workshops that will help you with your job search. And guess what?!?! They are hosting an Interview Tips and Strategies workshop on February 12th from 3:30-5:00pm in Hanes Hall, room 239B – be sure to check it out!
  1. One final tip to keep in mind when interviewing is to be sure to thank your interviewers. This can be done in many ways, but one suggestion is to send each person you interviewed with a personalized email (or hand-written thank you card if that’s your style!) thanking them for taking time to interview you, and reiterate your enthusiasm about the internship/job and why you think you’d be a good fit.

Good luck in your search for that perfect job or internship! And for those of you graduating, be sure to check out one of our blog posts from last semester about for some additional tips. Do you have any additional interviewing tips you’d like to share? Feel free to comment!

10 Tips on Avoiding the Flu this Winter!

Flu Vaccine Clinic by Lower Columbia College (LCC), Flickr Creative Commons
Flu Vaccine Clinic by Lower Columbia College (LCC), Flickr Creative Commons

Want to avoid catching the flu this winter? Here are ten quick tips to help you stay healthy and flu-free in 2015.

  1. Get the flu shot! It’s not too late. Call Campus Health at 919-966-2281 and make an appointment to get yours today! ****Note: As of 1/13/15 Campus Health is out of flu vaccines. Check out this link to Locate available flu vaccines in your area.
  2. Wash your hands vigorously and frequently with soap and water.
  3. Avoid commonly touched areas (doorknobs, faucets, keyboards at the library, etc.) as much as possible, and wipe them down with sanitizing wipes often. Carry a pack of sanitizing wipes with you so that you’re always prepared.
  4. Make sure to get plenty of Vitamin C each day, which is found in oranges, grapefruits, red and green peppers, broccoli, and many other fruits and vegetables!
  5. Get plenty of sleep! Your body needs to be well rested to fight off the flu.
  6. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as much as possible. This will help stop the spread of germs.
  7. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. This is how the flu spreads.
  8. Clean and disinfect frequently used areas in your dorm room/apartment/house. For example, clean your kitchen countertops and bathroom sinks regularly. Disinfect your laptop keyboard, doorknobs, and appliance (e.g., microwave, oven, and refrigerator) handles with sanitizing wipes frequently.
  9. Carry hand sanitizer with you throughout the day for those times when you aren’t able to wash your hands with soap and water.
  10. Check out Campus Health’s information on what to do if you do get sick or visit the CDC so that you’re prepared. And be on the lookout for the flu’s most common symptoms: cough, fever, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, chills, body aches, fatigue, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Questions? Need more information? Think you might have the flu? Contact Campus Health at 919-966-2281 or visit

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Logo from National Alliance for Mental Illness:
Logo from National Alliance for Mental Illness:

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), around one in four adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness each year – that’s about 61.5 million people. Furthermore, one in 17 adults is living with a serious mental illness like major depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Given these statistics, it’s likely that mental illness affects the majority of us in some way. Yet, it’s a topic that is often misrepresented or ignored altogether in the media and within our society as a whole.

To work towards changing this, Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) was created in 1990 – Each year, the first full week of October (this year, October 5-11) is designated as MIAW. So that’s happening next week! You might be wondering: what exactly is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and how can I get involved? Keep reading for answers to these questions.

NAMI explains that during Mental Illness Awareness Week, “we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.” As NAMI’s definition states, fighting the stigma surrounding mental illness is one of the main objectives of MIAW. According to a study done among students at UNC, 11.3% of Carolina students surveyed said they agreed with the following statement: I would think less of someone who has received mental health treatment. Furthermore, 19% of students surveyed agreed with this statement: I feel that receiving mental health treatment is a sign of personal failure.

As these statistics show, stigma surrounding mental illness in our community is a real issue. For more information on stigma and how to combat it, check out Stigma Free Carolina – a group on campus working to fight stigma and raise awareness about mental health issues in the UNC community.

"People in the summertime," by Gonzalo G. Useta, Flickr Creative Commons
“People in the summertime,” by Gonzalo G. Useta, Flickr Creative Commons

There are a bunch of great events happening at UNC for Mental Illness Awareness Week – if you’re interested in learning more, get involved with some of these opportunities! Here’s a schedule of events for MIAW (and beyond):

  • Mental Health awareness event in the Pit – sponsored by Stigma Free Carolina
    • October 3, 2014 from 12:00-2:00pm
    • Location: the Pit
    • Trivia questions and prizes!
  • Rethink Psychiatric Illness training – sponsored by Stigma Free Carolina
    • October 4, 2014 from 2:00-6:00pm
    • Location: Student Union, room 2423
    • Register here
  • Redefining Mental Health panel discussion sponsored by Stigma Free Carolina
    • October 6, 2014 from 5:30-7:00pm
    • Location: Carolina Inn
    • Register here
  • Interactive Theater Carolina performance on mental health issues
    • October 7, 2014 from 6:00-7:30pm
    • Location: Student Union, room 3203
    • Register here
  • Mental Health 101 training
    • October 9, 2014 from 6:00-8:00pm
    • Location: Student Union, room 3408
    • Refreshments served!
    • Register here
  • Rethink Psychiatric Illness training
    • October 25, 2014 from 12:00-4:00pm
    • November 8, 2014 from 2:00-6:00pm
    • Register here

For more information on mental health services on campus, including individual and group counseling, check out UNC’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

9 Ways to be a More Conscious Volunteer

A few weeks ago, I sat down to start writing a blog post on volunteering, including the many opportunities we as Carolina students have to volunteer. As I started researching the topic I came across a number of websites on the benefits of volunteering, and I noticed that on many of these websites, most or all of the reasons given on why to volunteer were focused on the personal benefits that can be gained through volunteering. For example, I found numerous lists of reasons why people should volunteer, and resume building, developing new skills, and networking were some of the most common (and sometimes only) reasons given. This surprised me, and ultimately rubbed me the wrong way. While these things are all great aspects of volunteering, I think that if our only reasons for volunteering are self-serving, this can be problematic. And thus, a new blog topic was born: how to be a more conscious volunteer!

Photo (Volunteers planting a rain garden 3) by (Chesapeake Bay Program), Flickr Creative Commons.

Volunteering can be a great part of one’s undergraduate or graduate experience at Carolina. I highly encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way(s) they are able. But as we embark on our journeys as volunteers, I would like to challenge us all to be conscious, mindful, and respectful throughout the whole process – from our reasons for why we volunteer to where we volunteer and what volunteer work we choose to participate in.

If you accept this challenge (and I hope you do!), here are some tips for all of us to keep in mind as we venture out into our communities to volunteer:

  1. Define for yourself why you volunteer. Maybe you volunteer because you feel strongly about a certain issue facing our society, or because you want to positively impact your community. Whatever your reason is (and I again challenge us all to identify reasons beyond things like resume building), remind yourself of it often. Let it serve as an inspiration for you.
  2. Do your research! Find an organization you’re interested in that does work in an area you’re passionate about, and volunteer with them as regularly as you’re able. Get to know the staff and clients. Find out what the organization really needs help with, and offer to help them with those projects that are perhaps not the most glamorous (like shredding paper, sealing envelopes, or filing).
  3. Talk to members of the community where you volunteer. Spend some time critically thinking about the volunteer work you are doing, and how community members perceive it. Is the volunteer work you’re providing something that the community feels is important to improving their community, or is it just something that someone outside of the community decided was a good idea?
  4. Volunteer as regularly as you can. While one-time, once per year service days are great, the more regularly you can volunteer with an organization, the more they will get to know you, and be able to really utilize your many talents to help further their mission.
  5. Be consistent and reliable. Whatever commitment you make to an organization to volunteer (be it weekly, monthly, four times per year, etc.), honor it. Remember that the organization and the community it works with are counting on you to fulfill that commitment.
  6. Be knowledgeable about and respectful of the communities you’re volunteering in. Be aware of the disparities that exist in our society (racial disparities, income disparities, health disparities, etc.) and how they might be impacting the community you are volunteering with. Be aware of your privilege as a volunteer coming into a community, and how that dynamic might be impacting members of the community. For more information on different neighborhoods and communities in Chapel Hill, check out the Town of Chapel Hill’s website as a starting point.
  7. Don’t view your volunteering as a way to “fix” people and the communities they live in. When you go into a community to volunteer, consider the community members the experts. They know their community best, and they know what their community needs. When volunteers see their role as “fixing” a community, that mindset can be both disrespectful and harmful to the community and its residents. Instead, when volunteering in a community you’re unfamiliar with, think of yourself as a partner to community residents – be ready and willing to listen and learn. For more information, check out a previous Healthy Heels blog post that talks about savior complex and the effect it can have on communities.
  8. Spend some time volunteering in your own neighborhood. Think of ways you can positively impact the community you live in (trash pick-up, building a community garden, advocating for an issue in front of local government, etc.). Check in with your neighbors – see if you can get a group together to work on a project that will benefit your neighborhood and get some of your friends or neighbors together on a Saturday to work on a project that you all think is important for your neighborhood.
  9. Have fun, learn something new, and gain new perspectives!

Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities while at UNC? Check out some of these websites:

Apples Service Learning Courses

Volunteer opportunities in Chapel Hill

Interested in learning about volunteer options for after graduation? Check out these opportunities:


Peace Corps






What’s for dinner? How about one of these recipes?!

We’ve all been there – it’s Wednesday night, you just got home from a long day of class, work, and studying on campus, and you’re exhausted. Then it hits you – you’re really, really hungry. Now you’re faced with a decision – should I go out to eat? Or should I make something at home?

Now, I’ll be honest. More often than not, the LAST thing I want to do after a long day is cook something for dinner. I can’t decide what to make, I don’t have the ingredients I need, and I just don’t have the time or energy to pull it all together.

I know from first-hand experience that it’s pretty easy to get into the habit of eating take-out or going out to eat – especially during a really busy week. To try to break this cycle, I have been looking for recipes that are easy to make, only have a few ingredients, and sound delicious. Here are two of my favorites:

Asparagus and Salmon Foil Pack

(Adapted from:


  • 5 oz portion of salmon*
  • 7 asparagus spears
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • One piece of aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Snap or cut the ends off asparagus spears. Spray the center of a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place your piece of salmon in the center of the piece of foil. Put the asparagus spears on top of the piece of salmon, and drizzle the lemon juice on top of that. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top of that to taste. Then fold up the sides of the foil to seal everything inside, making a nice foil packet (be sure to leave a little room for air to get inside the packet). Place your foil packet on a cookie sheet and cook it in the oven for 15-18 minutes.

*If you don’t like salmon, you could totally try this recipe with a chicken breast instead!

**To make this a complete, balanced meal, you can add a grain like rice or quinoa!

Photo (asparagus asparagus can you do the fandango, itsjustanalias, flickr, creativecommons)
Photo (asparagus asparagus can you do the fandango) by (itsjustanAlias), Flickr Creative Commons)

Brown Rice, Tomatoes, and Basil (Vegetarian)

(Adapted from:


1 cup brown rice

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil


1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large bunch of fresh basil, chopped

*You can get some of these ingredients from the Carrboro Farmers’ Market!


Boil 2 1/4 cups water. Add the brown rice and 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water. Bring the water and rice back to a boil, then cover and simmer (be sure to turn the heat down to low) for 30 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Once the rice is ready, put it in a big bowl. While the rice is cooking, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, remaining teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Pour this mixture over the rice. Then add the diced tomatoes and chopped up basil to the bowl. Let the mixture cool a bit, and then enjoy!

You might be thinking to yourself, “this all sounds great, but WHY should I cook for myself when I can just go to Chipotle and pick up a burrito in less than 10 minutes?” To that I say, good question! Here are some of my thoughts on the topic:

  1. Consider your financial wellness! Going out to eat and/or ordering take-out can get expensive. If you spend around $8 on a dinner for yourself at Qdoba, Noodles, etc., five times in one week, that would be $40! In contrast, cooking for yourself can cost as low as $20 per week! When living expenses are tight, cooking for yourself is a good way to cut down on your food costs.
  2. And how about your physical wellness?! When you go out to eat, you don’t always know exactly what you’re eating, so you’re less able to make sure what you’re eating is balanced and healthy for you! When you cook for yourself you know all of the ingredients, and so you can make sure what you’re eating is balanced, and will give you the nutrients and energy you need to go about your daily business.

Here are a couple tips that will help make the cooking process easier:

  1. Plan ahead! On Sunday, plan out your dinners for the week. Pick out the recipes that you want to try and then go grab the ingredients you need at the store. That way, when it’s 8pm on Wednesday and you’re exhausted and hungry, you’ll have EVERYTHING you need to make yourself a yummy meal!
  2. Keep it simple! Pick recipes that you think sound good, and that you’re comfortable with!
  3. Use your resources! See something in a recipe that you don’t understand (for example: what on earth does “minced” mean??)? Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or consult the internet! You can find all sorts of recipes and tips on Pinterest, and there are COUNTLESS cooking-related tutorials and videos on YouTube that will take you step by step through a particular cooking technique.
  4. Have fun! Cook with your friends, cook with your roommates, or surprise a special someone with a delicious home-cooked meal. Cooking is a learning process, so there will be bumps in the road – don’t be afraid to make mistakes! If you mess up a recipe, keep trying it until you’ve mastered it!

For more information:

Cooking for yourself on a budget:

Recipes you can make in your dorm room: