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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICING FOR INTERVIEWS


There is a saying that says “practice makes perfect.” I believe with anything that you want perfected, whether it be a singing performance, a skit role, or playing in a band, practicing is a key component to perfection. Interviewing is also a skill that can be perfected with practice over time. Interviewing does not come natural for everyone, but very few people practice so that they are prepared before the interview is conducted.
Preparation before an interview is important because it can help to reduce stress and anxiety and you can now begin to boost your confidence. By having confidence, you will perform better in an actual interview.  These are the following things that you can do to prepare. First start with writing down a list of commonly asked questions. Secondly, prepare to answer the questions, especially the questions that are considered uncommon, such as “If you were a tree (or animal) what kind of tree (animal) would you be?”

To identify areas where you can improve, you have to get an outside opinion.  Mock interviews are a good way for someone that does a lot of interviewing to assess your performance. The interviewer should select the questions so you do not know what to expect.  This will force you to improvise as you would in a real interview. The interviewer can then assess the impression you give.  The feedback you receive will be invaluable to your interview performance and your job search.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Job Fair is Only 1 Week Away!!!



Are you ready?!!






Visit us in C-102 to prep for the job fair and for a list of companies!



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Communicating Effectively with Your Professor


What are some effective ways to communicate with your professor?  Why does this matter?  These are questions we’ll address in this post.  



 

Why is effective communication with your professor important?

 

Your professor has the power to give you a grade, yes.  Most importantly, though, you can maximize your learning experience beyond grades by staying in step with instructors regarding their expectations and understanding all you can about the course.  This all starts with communication.

 

Just Ask

If you’re confused about what an assignment calls for, or you’re not sure about the grading system, attendance policy or anything else on the syllabus, ask your professor.  Be pro-active and make sure you understand what’s expected in the course early on.  

 

Do you need additional time for an assignment, have to take an extra absence, or know you’ll be late because of a work obligation?  Approach your professor, by email or in person, with the request.  Realize that they do not always have to agree to your request.  However, giving them as much notice as possible, providing valid reasons and keeping requests to a minimum may make them more willing to agree.  

 

Notify your professor of urgent matters or emergencies.  Even if you are unable to tell them in advance, notify your instructor as soon as possible about any missed classes or missed assignments and fill them in on some of the relevant circumstances.  

 

Email like a pro.  Impressions made in email count, too.  An email is more likely to be taken seriously if it is written professionally and politely,  including attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  Make sure you proofread before sending.  

 

Help them put a face to the name.  Instructors may have dozens of students across multiple courses.  It may take them weeks to identify whose name they’re calling for attendance or when they hand back assignments.  Stand out by asking questions during class.  If you’re shy about speaking up, try approaching them before or after class.  They’ll be more likely to remember you if you talk, rather than sitting back.  

 

Attend office hours.  If possible, save the more complex questions and topics for the professor’s designated office hours.  This is your chance to bring up any questions or confusion you have about the subject, the readings or assignments.  Office hours generally give instructors and students more time to address matters that require more in depth conversation than things that can be noted before or after class.  


Remember, as a college student, you’re building your knowledge toward your future, including your future career.  Your professor can be a source of experience, knowledge, encouragement and even a part of your network.  If you do well in the class and have a good relationship with that professor, they might become a recommender for schools, scholarships and internships down the line.  Communicating with respect and professionalism with your professor can help you go further in school and in life.  


                                                                                                                                   ~ Yee Ho

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Finding Your Place in The Job Market


While spending the first 1-2 years in college, drowning in academic assignments, many students tend to avoid thinking about life after college, (yet, it is approaching). We spend resources and dedicate time to evaluate our own interests, values and skills in pursuit of our career aspirations. However, at times understanding the jobs’ market and the potential future growth in a specific career is just as important when choosing and beginning a career.

The job market in 2017 is better than it has been in years. Unemployment rates are slowly dropping and employers are having hard time finding qualified candidates given the shortage in the job seekers market. This reality provides recent college graduates (potential employees) with an advantage. In comparison to previous years there is less competition on every job offered.




Like most career development preparation assignments, the market research begins with your own evaluation. Once you evaluated your interests and have a career path in mind you can begin planning to find a job match for your aspirations. Apart from your interest it may be beneficial to consider more practical, market related factors that are likely to have a significant impact on your career. They include the level of competition in the field of choice (how many jobs are open per college graduate), the future market growth, the compensation levels and more.


By examining the markets, you may construct powerful conclusions regarding your career of choice.  
Essential aspects for consideration:
1. Location after college – your city, state and overall job market location may have a dramatic impact on the level of competition you are expected to face right out of college. For instance, there are 4 available positions for every unemployed resident of Salt Lake City, UT, whereas in New York City the statistics show only one available position per unemployed. Given these numbers an individual is up to four times more likely to get a job in Salt Lake City, UT rather than in New York.  For the full statistics: https://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/unemployment






2.  Growing Fields – Some fields are expected to experience far greater growth rates in the next 5-10 years as opposed to others. Fields with high growth rates tend to provide college graduates with better chance at getting a job right out of college. The increase in demand for such employees is also likely to cause an increase in the compensation in the long run. Thus, it may be beneficial to plan your career ahead based on market growth. Fields such as IT, Medicine and Engineering are expected to experience the highest growth rates. A full list may be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm


3. How Narrow or Wide is your field of interest? – How flexible is your degree of choice. Many degrees do not correlate with one specific occupation (Liberal Arts, Business Administration, and Finance) but rather cater to larger fields. A Liberal Arts student can go into the business filed, education or even law. Degrees in nursing and accounting however, are very specific in nature and lead to a specific occupation.


4. How fast can you progress? Starting fresh out of college you would probably get an entry-level job. Nevertheless, it is important to evaluate how fast you can move up the ranks to secure a senior position. Research should also be done to determine what steps you would have to take achieve that progress, it may be in the form of an academic degree, years of experience or licenses.


5. Compensation – look up the average salary paid for an employee working in the field of your interest to determine whether such salary level satisfies your compensation aspirations.




Thursday, February 16, 2017

First Job? Time to Manage Your Budget


Getting your first job offer is exciting, it comes with a sense of accomplishment realizing that your hard work at school has finally paid off. Yet, according to the (2016) national statistics the average college student graduates from college with a $37,172 in debt while the average entry level salary is $48,707. These numbers emphasize the necessity of a well-planned budget to account for monthly expenses, debt payments and savings. A good budget serves as a powerful tool to provide an insight as to where your money is invested and setting up large future purchasing plans. Given the breakdown of your spending it may also be easier to see where you may cut expenses to achieve your savings goals.


Creating a Monthly Budget – Income vs. Expenses
  1. Come up with a calculation for all sources of income: this item includes your salary, students’ scholarships as well as financial support from your parents.
  2. Make a detailed list of your expenses: the list should provide a breakdown of all expenditures on a monthly basis. A complete list is made out of your essential items such as housing, food, commute and utilities as well as those items you may consider cutting in case of a need. The more detailed this list is the easier it is to track and make the necessary changes.
  3. Your Cash Flow: The difference between your total income and total expenses serves as an estimate for your cash flow. Using this estimate you may make projections and plan saving accounts for the upcoming year. It is a good idea to go back to your budget every month, make adjustments and make sure you are sticking to the planned budget.
  4. Keep Track: Create a monthly excel sheet to document all your projections
When planning your budget it is important to understand the true after tax value of your salary as well as the tax deductible benefits such as the 401K accounts. The after tax monthly salary value of the national average salary ($48,707) in New York City is: $3000. Every dollar spent towards your 401K account will not be taxed and may be very useful for your future.



Tips for Healthy Budget Management


  • Automatic Savings – It is highly recommended to allocate 10-15% of your monthly paycheck to a saving account.
  • Safe & Liquid Investments
    • Guaranteed Certified Investments – rather than letting your savings sit in your account you may choose to invest in GCI which are slow-growing but very safe and are guaranteed to provide a return for your investment.
    • High Interest Saving Accounts – These accounts do not have any debit card associated with them. However, they are fairly accessible as it takes only few days to transfer money back to the checking account.
    • RRSP – If you are planning on investing towards purchasing your first home you may consider utilizing a Registered Retirement Savings Plan which will allow you to take a tax free loan of up to $25,000 towards a down payment.
  • Build Your Credit – having a credit card can be a useful tool for building your credit by paying your balance regularly and on time. In addition, many credit cards provide users with rewords and points you may use for personal spending.
Sticking to your budget requires efforts and dedication but in the long run it pays off as you plan ahead for the future.