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Graham Sibley

Sunny Days in Cobberville!!!

Posted in Graham Sibley on April 26th, 2012 by gwsibley – 1 Comment

In March we had this super beautiful weather. It was in the 60’s and 70’s and I wore shorts. It was warm enough outside that I was convinced that Spring decided not to show up this year, and that Summer was already here. Then April hit. April brought the weather that we usually see in Spring, and it was awful. Luckily summer found its way back to us, and once again it’s sunny and gorgeous outside.

On these particularly nice days there are two things that happen. 1) Sheldon, the campus photographer, emerges from his office in the Physical Plant to snap as many pictures of us lovely Cobbers as he can find. 2) Everyone, including the students, staff, professors, and surrounding residents make their ways to the beautiful green grass of Concordia. You can find tons of students strewn about the campus laying by Prexy’s (if it’s not windy), sitting on picnic tables, or simply stretched out in the grass. You will see classes being held on top of Olin Hill simply because the students couldn’t stand to be inside anymore.

This weather is also perfect for outdoor activities of all sorts. From Frisbee, to Hacky-sack, Lacrosse, to Sun-Tanning. I love this weather and the happiness it brings this whole entire campus.

Concordia at its finest… summer time!

What a blessed life.

Posted in Graham Sibley on April 18th, 2012 by gwsibley – Be the first to comment

Six weeks ago I was at a coffee shop with several of my friends when I received a text from someone about a Youth Directing position that opened up at a church in Fargo and they told me I should apply. The next day I ran into two more people who I have known through various church events that this position was indeed open and that I should apply for it. In a matter of 20 hours I had three people encouraging me for this position.

Being a Youth Director has always been a goal of mine. I landed my first Youth Minister job in 2009-2010 when I worked at Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria, MN (Go Cardinals!). The next year, when I came back to college, I began work at New Life Lutheran Church in Rothsay, MN (Go Tigers!).

This is one my kids and me playing softball in Rothsay (Go Tigers!)

 

I have been there for two years, loving every minute of it. This suggestion of applying for this job did not come as a big surprise for me… it just complicated things a bit.

As you all know I am graduating in two and a half weeks with high expectations for my future. As of late I have imagined myself moving out of the Fargo-Moorhead area to some part of the county where I can change lives in dramatically large ways. It seems the more I dream these plans, the farther out of reach they become. I have searched for jobs across the country without much luck. Fargo just won’t let me go…

I have lived in Fargo since I was four, graduated from North High School (Go Spartans!), and headed exactly seven minutes away to go to school at Cobbtown. While I have spent the majority of my life in a twenty block radius, I am beginning to see how blessed I really am.

In my years in the community I have been involved in many activities that have given me a vast network and many social ties. This network is the reason that I heard about the position at the church so quickly. The thing I often forget is that this network did not happen overnight. It is because I have lived and been involved in this community for so long that I have these connections. I’m lucky.

Most graduating seniors are applying for jobs in a down economy with a high unemployment rate. Their hopes of achieving dream jobs at this point seem bleak.  I on the other hand, have an opportunity most would only wish for. These past few weeks I have been ungrateful for the opportunities I have been given, but I fully inted to change that. I know that I live a blessed life that has given me substantial and unique opportunites. Even though my dreams of moving away are not yet happening, I know that this possible job is a stepping stone for my success.

In the next couple of weeks I will find what my future holds. I have my third (and hopefully final?) interview next week and I hope that I am the right person to fill the position. Be grateful for the life you lead… you only live it once!

Ugh… the dreaded interview.

Posted in Graham Sibley on April 14th, 2012 by gwsibley – 1 Comment

There are only 3 weeks left in my school year, and I’m preparing to graduate, with hopes of landing a full-time, real-person job. This means that I have to bust out the nice clothes and start revising my resume because it’s time for interviews!

One of the greatest skills I have developed in college is how to manage an interview. I have applied for several positions on and off campus that require a  formal interviews, and I have had to learn how to hone my skills.

Interviews are never easy and never the same, but it doesn’t mean you can’t practice and prepare for them! Unfortunately with interviews you never get a second chance, so it’s important to “wow” them with the first go-around. There are three crucial skills that you need to develop. 1) Know and describe your strengths. 2) Prepare a professional and tailored resume. 3) Know the company/group/club you are applying for.
For every interview you go to you should know the top 3 to 5 skills you possess and give great examples to prove it. One of my strengths is my ability to connect and develop relationships with people, so I tell the interviewers that and then explain to them that I have developed relationships with a number of youth at the job I have (I work as a youth minister), almost tripling the size of my youth group over two years from 10 kids to 30 kids.

The second  task is to work on a resume. There is no one way to craft a resume, so you might want to head to the Career Center for help with this, or look on-line at different lay-outs. Some highlights that you want are your past working experiences, any volunteer experience you’ve had, and a list of well-picked references. A resume is a very important tool in obtaining a job, and it’s imperative that it’s professional and free of errors. It never hurts to craft a resume later and revise it every 3-6 months as you get to know yourself more and get more job experience. Have your resume reviewed by as many people as you can, making sure they are spotting any errors or discrepancies.

The final tip is to know the company and job you are applying for. This might sound simple, but it’s important to take 20 minutes sometime before your interview to know as much about the company or group as you can. Know their mission statement and their values so you can talk with them about it. Also know your job description. Make sure you understand what you are being asked to do, and what skills it will require. This knowledge will allow you to focus your interview so you can align it more closely with the organization.

There are so many more tips and skills that one should know about interviewing, and the best way to learn these are through practice. While in college apply for positions that require interviews such as Orientation, Res Life, or Homecoming. These opportunities give you real-life experience. Another incredible resource is the Career Center. Make an appointment with the Career Center to review/write your resume, learn tips for interviews, and even set up practice interviews with their staff! You can never have enough experience with interviews, but any help you can get is valuable. Interviewing is one of the most crucial and important skills you can have in today’s competitive job market!

Good Luck!

Oh no…Vampires!!!

Posted in Graham Sibley on March 29th, 2012 by gwsibley – 2 Comments

Ha… just kidding. They aren’t vampires. Although they are willingly taking our blood!

This week at Concordia is a blood drive hosted by CSC (Campus Service Commission) with the help of United Blood Services. Twice a year, United Blood Services comes in and steals a couple conference rooms and constructs a mini-blood donation center. Students and faculty sign up during the week and give a pint of blood.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, blood donation is extremely important. To keep up with the needed amount of blood, 38,000 donations are needed… DAILY! This means that YOU need to help. Donating is a safe and simple process that requires only a half-hour. The process does scare some people, but the product of your donation is of vital importance for the lives of many people.

Every year since I was able I have made a point to donate blood on my birthday! It’s a tradition of mine that originated from the idea that on my birthday I was so blessed that I should give back in some way. This is an easy way to give back, takes only an hour of my day, and saves lives of individuals in the midst of tragedy.

Donate blood today…I know I will!

Procrasti

Posted in Graham Sibley on March 26th, 2012 by gwsibley – Be the first to comment

I’ll finish the title later.

I mentioned this quickly in my last post, but in this one I’ll be slightly more in-depth… and try to tackle the issue at hand with some simple solutions.

At this very moment I am 11 hours away from a deadline of a 7-page paper worth 15% of my grade in a class. Have I had time to work on it? Yes. Am I stressed? Yes. Is this my own fault? Yes.

Even after my 4 (or maybe it’s 5?) years of college, the plague of procrastination follows me around like a shadow. I am quick to say short phrases such as: “I”ll do that tomorrow.” “That won’t take too long.” “I think I’ll go to ____(insert some fun activity)____.”

I often fall victim to the thought process that there will always be time later. Which is often true… just not every time.

So in my attempt to help you out of those silly procrastination habits here is my top-ten list of ways to avoid procrastination.

1. When you first get your syllabus for the class, re-write all the major due-dates so that they are some period of time (three days or greater) before they are due.

2. Get a planner.

3. Use your planner daily.

4. Start that 7 page paper a week ahead of time… that way you only have to write a page a day.

5. Make your friends hold you accountable for your work. Ask your best friend to make sure you complete your assignments at least 2 days ahead of time.

6. Don’t let yourself put anything off. The email that you read that you don’t want to respond to? Do it immediately. The reading that you will put off tomorrow? Do it now.

7. Make a daily list of all the things you HAVE TO accomplish that day. Don’t let yourself do anything fun until you complete it.

8. Tape a list to the inside of your mail box at the beginning of every week. That way when you go to check you mail every day you will be reminded of the things you need to accomplish.

9. Eliminate simple things if you miss a deadline. For example if you wait to do that paper until the night before, take away dessert for yourself the next week.

10. Repeat steps 1-9

You should probably stop reading this post and get back to that paper! Good luck!