Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Partnership with UNL Career Services: Promoting Your Professional & Financial Success

To Negotiate Or Not To Negotiate?
(And if so, how?)

You get the call and the offer for the job. It is tempting to say “I’ll take it!” immediately, but with a gracious thank you and an, “I am excited about this opportunity,” step back and think, “Is this the right offer for me?”

Let the employer know that as it is an important decision, you want to make the right one for both yourself and the organization. It is not inappropriate to request the details of the offer in writing With further information, you will be able to make a better decision so you do in fact find a fit and an offer that will work for you. To determine if you want to negotiate the offer, and if so, how, here are a few guidelines:


Determine your own financial needs as well as the typical salary range for the position, all relative to the cost of living for the area in which you will be living and working. Housing, transportation, and student loan payments are only a few of your expenses to calculate. To research salaries, tools such as the UNL Career Service Salary ReportNACE salary calculator and Glassdoor can help.

Evaluate too, the complete offer. Keep in mind that your annual compensation is more than just your salary. It can include other benefits, such as health, vision, and dental insurance and retirement plan contributions.

Consider also your employer. Non-profit and government organizations are often not able to negotiate beyond the original offer. Your research will help you determine if negotiating is typically not an option with the offering employer.

If you determine you want to negotiate salary or other aspects of the offer, know what you will accept and not accept. You can pitch a reasonable ideal, but be prepared for a counter proposal and ready to respond.

At this point, you need to develop your proposal. While online tools can be useful, you must also consider your unique qualifications for the position. You may want to seek advice from faculty, career counselors, or alumni for insight beyond online resources. Keep in mind also, that salary may just be one negotiable part of an offer. For example, you could request an early review with the possibility of an increase at that point if your performance indicates such would be appropriate.


In beginning the negotiation, again thank the employer for the offer and reiterate your interest in the position. You may want to introduce the question of negotiation by introducing your research, “Based on my research of similar positions in this location an offer closer to (your identified proposed figure) seems appropriate to me. Is there any room for negotiation in your offer?” Approach negotiating a job offer as a professional conversation en route to a win-win situation. When you decide the offer is acceptable, whether it has changed or not, you may at that point verbally accept it, but request for the details in writing again.

For assistance on evaluating and preparing to present a negotiation, contact Career Services:

 Career Services
230 Nebraska Union
20 Minute Walk-Ins M-F, 10 AM-4PM
By appointment, M-F, 8 AM-4 PM
402.472.3145 or through MyPlan

Career Services at CBA
138 CBA

Career Services East
303 Nebraska East Union

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Money Fitness Challenge 2014

Happy 2014! It’s time to start fresh! Think of all the things you want to accomplish this year. Do you want to graduate debt-free (or close to it!), or buy a car? Because it’s all possible!

The main thing you can do TODAY is stop overspending and start saving money and/or paying down debts. It doesn’t need to be torture. Make it a game, a challenge!

While everyone has their own version of what being financially fit is, the main thing is that it is a fun challenge. Do you think it’s possible to find extra money in your already tight college budget?

Use our Money Fitness Challenge form to easily plan your own challenge!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013



Let's face it we're college students and when we don't have money we rely on two things our parents or our credit cards. And since most of us are too prideful to ask our parents for a little more help we turn towards the credit cards. But that my dear friends is why we are poor in the first place.


Credit cards are the easiest way to get yourself into trouble. You think that you can just use it and then pay it off but pretty soon it's maxed out and your paying the minimum payment and it's racking up interest as we speak!

The best way to use a credit card is to ONLY use it when you have extra money put aside that you can immediately pay it off with. Doing that will save you money AND help to improve your credit all while avoiding those stupid interest fee's.

Also, a good way to use your credit card is to only use it for one thing every month. Like using it for gas only or for paying off a certain bill every month. It's best to use it for something that you can pay online that way you can leave your card at home in your bills folder. Then you won't be tempted to use it when you are out with your friends. "Out of sight, Out of mind!"

Stay classy, Sassy, and Spend less!
xoxo Sera

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Christmas Time!

It's Christmas time and we all know what that means! Spending all your money on presents, cramming for finals, and NO sleep! As for your finals and sleep from one student to another I say good luck guys! But for spending all your money on presents I have some ideas!!


It's easy to get caught up in this seasons sales but if your going to spend you might as well save while your at it right?! So, how about we start with the easy ideas! First off if you have a smartphone or ipad or tablet you NEED to get "Retail Me Not"!! It is an app full of coupons that you can use in store OR online.  It also notifies you of stores in your area with sales going on. Can I get a hell yeah!

Secondly, keep it simple. For the girls in the family make crafts, buy cheap picture frames, or buy in bulk from Bath and Body (they almost always have buy 3 get 3 free on soaps, lotions, and perfumes). For the guys go on eBay and buy a phone case of their favorite sports team, or buy them a shirt on sale at their favorite store. 
It's important to remember you don't have to get them the most expensive present in the world for them to like it! Just stick with the things that you know about them and their likes and interests and look around for something cheap and unique! 

Watch for sales, use those coupons, and for goodness sake try and get some sleep during dead week! 

                                                                                                    Stay classy, sassy, and spend less.
                                                                                                               xoxo Sera 

Monday, November 25, 2013

College Life: Because We're Poor

We, as in my fellow college students, all know that while you go to college you can expect to eat mac and cheese or ramen noodles everyday of your life until you finish with your masters or doctorate. And why is it that we have to eat the cheapest food from the grocery store? Because, we are poor. It is so difficult to go to make time for classes, studying, activities, AND a job!

So, those of us supporting ourselves through college live on the bare minimum and study our little butts off until we can walk away with a paper in our hand that states; “YOU SURVIVED COLLEGE! GOOD LUCK WITH LIFE!” ….. Ok, so it doesn’t exactly say that verbatim (I only used that word because I’m a college student now and that’s what we’re supposed to do right? Sound smart and use “big” words...) But that’s clearly beside the point.  The point is… we are going to be poor for the next 4 to 8 years. So, now that we have accepted that, how do we plan on surviving?

Well let’s start week 1 with; RULE #1: AVOID EATING TAKEOUT AT ALL COSTS.

I know what you’re thinking and it’s something along the lines of “HA! This chick is crazy!” But let’s be honest, you can pay $5 or above for one meal when you can buy groceries and have a $1 pizza instead. We all know take out is generally faster and always less work, but us poor students have to pinch our pennies. Plus the less money you spend on take out is more money you can spend on going out with friends! No argument necessary for that one.

Now, let’s not forget an even better reason to avoid take out… Freshman Fifteen. That’s not a joke people! We all know in high school we never truly believed in the myth of the freshman fifteen but then we spent our first year in college and by summer time we were looking down wondering “When the hell did I got a muffin top?!” The important lesson in that is freshman fifteen is not specified to JUST freshman! So, let’s not turn into the Sophomore Sixty and instead start buying some salad and chicken instead of Whoppers and Big Macs.

I think that’s point made on rule #1 in surviving college as a typical poor college student. Eating take out is a no’s goes. Tune in next time for rule #2!

Stay classy, sassy, and spend less.

xoxo Sera

Monday, November 11, 2013

Applying for Veterans Education Benefits

In honor of Veterans Day, we talked to a group of veterans about money management. Some had not yet applied for education benefits.

Thus, we compiled information about resources available to veterans to help cover their education expenses. The following information was obtained from the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs can help veterans cover the cost of furthering their education and skills through benefit programs that may pay tuition, housing, training, and other costs.

We found a surprising statistic - more than 60% of Veterans have not applied for benefits. VA's education and training benefits are provided through these key programs:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Montgomery GI Bill
  • Survivors' and Dependents' Assistance
Veterans can use this Benefit Comparison Chart to determine the right benefit for you.

Once you identify the right benefit for your needs, apply. The Veterans Affairs website states that it only takes 30 minutes to apply online.
(See if you are eligible for one-on-one support, counseling, and training to boost your skills and build your career by reviewing VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.)
Applying for education and training benefits is a three-step process:

  1. Collect and prepare the necessary paperwork, including:
    • Copies of your discharge or separation papers (the DD-214 or equivalent)
    • Documentation of an enlistment incentive or College Fund—sometimes called a "kicker"—although this isn't required to apply for the GI Bill
  2. Select a school.
  3. Apply.
Other tips given on the Veterans Affairs website include:
  • Plan ahead and apply early—benefits can take a few weeks to process.
  • To secure housing benefits, plan to attend school for more than half time (e.g., seven out of 12 credit hours per term).
  • To attend a private or graduate school, inquire about the Yellow Ribbon Program. (VA benefits may not cover all expenses—under the Yellow Ribbon Program, schools make up the difference.)

In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides the interest and aptitude assessment tool known as CareerScope at no cost to all eligible benefit recipients. CareerScope has been used frequently by Veterans to determine the best career path for transition to civilian life.