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A Balancing Act Between Prestige and Preference

     There is nothing wrong with being career driven, in fact it is admirable and encouraged to have a goal that you are actively working towards achieving. Taking every opportunity that you come across and seeking out ways to make yourself stand out as a candidate when applying for positions, through your education and experience demonstrates an immense amount of motivation and dedication. However, while this “do whatever to be successful” mindset can be very productive it can also be detrimental, as one may become too robotically focused on what will “look good” on their resume, resulting in an unintentional ignorance towards equally beneficial opportunities.

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Build Your Brand: A Website

websitesIt seems like everyone’s got a website these days. Every company, every organization, they all got one. It’s not just a fad, more and more personal portfolio websites are popping up too. A personal website is a great way to showcase some of your works and interests, and with some tips you can really “wow” employers. Here are some things I learned when building my website.

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Acquiring Reference Letters

Ref Letter

Getting your hands on solid reference letters can be one of the most challenging aspects of the application process to navigate. Nevertheless, it remains an indispensable element of any application. The prospect of acquiring references can be so daunting, it’s often difficult to know where to begin. In my own experience, I’ve questioned everything from how many references I should list, to who I should ask, what qualifies as a legitimate reference, will so-and-so agree to be my reference, what if their letter is negative and so on and so forth. As time progressed and I began submitting more and more applications of various types, I’ve grown to appreciate the art of acquiring references. Along the way, I received tons of advice from friends and peers as well as having learned a thing or two on my own. The time has come for me to pay it forward and share the knowledge I’ve accumulated with you all.

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T-A or Not T-A

TA
As I was lounging around and enjoying my break during the summer, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I should apply for some sort of TA, RA or grading position. I immediately started e-mailing all of the professors whose classes I particularly enjoyed and whose research work I found especially interesting. After a couple of weeks of radio silence, I slowly started receiving responses. To my dismay, none were positive. The bulk of the e-mails informed me that the department was responsible for assigning TA positions and applications had already passed. But one reply, from a professor I had briefly served as a research assistant in the past, explained that while she would not be teaching the course this semester, she would contact me in the winter to discuss a grading position. Thankfully, she forwarded my information to the professor instructing this semester and as it turns out, he was in need of an extra grader, which is how I ended up with the job.

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Start Summer Planning Now

summer-hd-wallpaper-660x330One of the hardest things to do when you’re in undergrad is balance the present with planning the future. But I find that one of the best ways to come up with strategies is to be efficient about your summer planning. The competition for summer jobs and internships starts now and though it may feel like you have a ton of time to figure it out, the reality is that the deadlines are right around the corner.

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Getting Ready for the Next Job

 

new-job-2

Welcome back to the school year. So I just finished a fun summer working and I’m feeling ready to settle back in my study routines. Not just yet though, there are a few things I’m doing to get prepped for the job opportunities in the upcoming year.

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How to get that internship?

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.50.28 PMAs the new semester starts more and more internships positions becomes available… But after spending from 1 hour to a couple of hours applying, the wait begins! And if you’re lucky enough you will get called for THE interview.

So here are 3 helpful tips to prep and prepare yourself for an interview:   (more…)

Considering Grad School? Tips for Application!

gradThe month of January has so many implications…it’s the start to a brand new year, it’s when we set our new resolutions and point out things we’d like to change and it is also the month when many programs have deadlines for applying to grad school.

When it came time for me to apply to grad school, I was quite intimidated…I didn’t have an extraordinary GPA (it was quite average), I didn’t remain on great terms with my professors (really, who does…they’re our teachers, not our friends) and I was uncertain of the competition that stood ahead of me. Nevertheless, I got the courage to begin writing my statement of purpose. As I went through the information regarding the application process, I realized that this information would have been a lot more useful had it found its way to me during my undergraduate.  So, if you are pursuing your undergraduate right now, hopefully these tips will be of assistance for you!

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Career Opportunities Are In The Air

careerfair

 

October…the time we begin to bundle up and slowly make our way into hibernation mode due to our hectic schedules, demands, deadlines and of course, midterms! This is the time of month when studying and preparation take precedence over enjoying the last few rays of sunshine that peek through the autumn sky. October is a month of anticipation, a month of thanks and of freight…filled with many upcoming career-related events. Other than Thanksgiving and Halloween, another important event to incorporate ourselves into this month would be to participate all the career opportunities that surround us.

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The Silver Lining of Missing Out

5149283023_2f41929ebaI believe there’s already a post geared towards the benefits of volunteering, but since that’s what I’ve been doing during my French classes, it doesn’t hurt for me to talk about my own experiences.

But before I get into the bulk of this post, I’d like to publicly admit (more…)

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