Can your Campus Job Improve Your Resume?

As the beginning of the new academic year approaches it’s time to think about looking for an on-campus job that could add more experience to your resume. Here are some things to think about once you get hired for your not so dream job on campus that may help you get that big time adult job after graduation.

A Good Starting Point

You are working toward that PR degree so your first job in college obviously will have to be in social media or design right? Not always. Although you may be learning skills super important in class that will help you with those jobs in the future, companies may not think you are qualified if you want to jump straight into an industry position with no previous job experience. This is why those on-campus odd jobs are perfect. They help build your resume outside of your high school experience and show future employers that you have work ethic outside of what immediately interests you.

If you have the option, try to find jobs that sound like they could be somewhat relevant to your area of study. For example, if you are studying a subject where your future career will be mostly spent in an office, try applying for positions like “Office Assistant”, “Front Desk Associate”, or “Secretary”. You may not have the option to chose anything besides working at the library, but if you do have the option try that method.

Recommendations are Important

No matter where you get hired on campus, it is guaranteed that you will be working with and for other people. This gives you a great opportunity to make positive impressions on these people who could make the difference when applying for your dream job in the future. Entry level positions for college grads most definitely will ask you for recommendations from your place of study and having an on campus job gives you the opportunity to build a list of people who can vouch for you outside of academics. A great recommendation letter can make the difference between you and another candidate with the same skills and education.

Transferrable Skills

Whether you are working making smoothies during the semester or as the dean’s personal assistant, you will be learning soft and hard skills that will appeal to future employers. These skills include things like: managing a team schedule, pricing product, working under pressure, handling confidential information, and more. These skills are transferrable (fancy word for applicable) to multiple jobs you will have throughout your young adult life. You may not think of these types of skills when first applying for the job; but if you think about this as you are job searching, it will help you find the best position that will be of greatest benefit to your future career.

Mastering the Art of Customer Service

If you are taking a job on campus, it is very likely you will be talking to students and visitors each day. This daily interaction is called customer service; and it is gold for employers. Being able to positively communicate with customers is a huge benefit for a lot of jobs and shows that you are able to handle yourself in a professional environment. For example, if you are working at the student bookstore you most likely will encounter upset and stressed out customers. If you tell a future employer after college that you dealt with that, it will show a lot of great things about your ability to handle stressful situations making you a prime candidate for the job.

Learn What you Don’t

By having a job on campus you will learn industry lingo and important info you would have never known without taking the job. As a secretary, you could learn how a certain department operates and become a mini expert on that program. If you work at the school cafeteria, you will learn how large food operations work and other processes meant for a scalable business. This knowledge could come in handy someday for a job that is more closely related to what you are studying and could show how you are a more well rounded candidate to future employers.

Now accept that on-campus job offer with pride! There are serious benefits that I’m sure you will see later on after graduation.

Lastly, reach out to your campus’s Human Resources to find out what part-time student positions are available.

Source: Chegg

Understanding Scholarships

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition, fees, room and board, for undergraduate students attending 4-year degree-granting institutions, ranges from $19,488 for an in-state student attending a public institution, to $41,468 at a private institution. Financial aid is available for students who need it, but most often this comes in the form of loans, which eventually need to be repaid with interest.

What are scholarships and grants?

In its simplest form, a scholarship is a monetary gift that an organization gives to an individual based on a set of standards. The term “grant” is often used interchangeably, but generally “grant” is used to denote a need-based monetary gift which takes into account you or your family’s financial situation, whereas a scholarship award is based on merit. In this guide, we’ll cover the latter.

Scholarships vary in their distribution, though most are intended to apply directly to funding education. More stringent scholarships may come with a contingency that the award money be only used toward tuition, whereas more lenient scholarships may allow award money to be put towards books or living expenses while you are in school.

What about the “scholarship trap”?

There is a common cautionary tale that a scholarship award might actually reduce the amount of money a student will receive from the school’s own grant program. Indeed, federal rules require schools to factor in outside sources of financing—scholarships included—when determining a financial aid package. As a result, when a student wins a private scholarship from an outside source, the school could reduce the financial aid package by the amount of the award. This is usually referred to as an “over-award” by schools or “displacement” by scholarship providers.

Though you may find such policies unfair, you should not let over-awards dissuade you from applying to scholarships. Depending on the school’s policies, an over-award might be remedied by shrinking the loan portion of a student’s financial aid package, as opposed to the grant portion. You should check with your school to know what to expect.

Who is eligible for a scholarship?

Perhaps you’re worried about competing against other students who may have better grades, higher test scores, or more impressive extracurricular activities. If so, there is good news for you: merit is a broad and subjective term. Merit-based scholarships are indeed awarded to individuals who best meet given qualifications, but merit can be measured in countless ways and applied to a wide range of activities. “Meritorious” really just means “deserving;” you are “meritorious” in many ways. Your job in the application process is to identify your merits and put them on display.

Remember, scholarships generally have a narrow focus, seeking to reward certain accomplishments, fund particular projects, assist a group of people, or identify and promote specialty niches. Some common targets include:

  • Older and returning students, or adult-focused education
  • Athletes (offered by the National College Athletic Association, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and by individual schools, to name a few)
  • Minority groups (as in the United Negro College Fund, the American Indian College Fund, etc.)
  • People with disabilities
  • Religious groups
  • Women
  • Students of military families (offered by the Veteran’s Association or the Department of Defense)
  • Foreign students wishing to study in the U.S.
  • Domestic students wishing to study internationally (this type of scholarship is typically offered by the student’s own school)
  • Need-based or financial aid
  • Special skill or academic focus (art and music, for instance)
  • Community-based
  • Career-specific

Where can I find scholarships?

The financial aid office at your school is likely equipped with tools and resources to help you or your child apply to scholarships. It may have libraries of books, catalogs or postings of scholarships, and computers you can use to search or prepare application materials.

There are also many websites devoted solely to searching for and finding scholarships, with a vast range of features and databases. It is useful to conduct a few broad searches on large government-sponsored databases to get an idea for the types of scholarships available, but remember that the goal is to find scholarships that are looking for applicants like you. If a website or search engine offers advanced search functions, do limit your search terms, but be creative as well: think of synonyms for terms you search and try multiple combinations of words and phrases depending on your output results. (If, for example, you are looking for scholarships that give money to young equestrians, you might also try “horseback riding,” “rodeo,” and “jockey.”) It can’t hurt to consult a thesaurus for synonyms just to be thorough. You might even reveal niche scholarships you’re eligible for that you hadn’t thought of in the first place.

An often overlooked method of finding scholarships is to actually take the initiative and ask around. Member of a club or association? See if they offer any scholarships. For example, your school’s alumni association may be inclined to help those from their alma mater. How about your employer? Ask HR to see if there is a tuition assistance program in place or if the company would be inclined to sponsor your education if it benefits the company. Lastly, anyone who is familiar with your personal strengths such as an advisor, teacher, or family friend is a great source as well.

Finally, be wary of scams that you may come across in your scholarship search. Some red flags are websites that “guarantee” you’ll receive a scholarship with their aid, have scholarships with no qualification requirements, or charge you any type of fee for their services. A true scholarship-giving organization will not expect you to pay money to receive an award.

How should I organize my scholarship search?

You’ll be working with an immense amount of information and it is crucial to stay organized. By writing down important dates, deadlines, and contact information as you go, you avoid having to go back and re-gather these often tricky-to-locate little tidbits. There is no wrong or right format to use to stay organized, just be sure to choose something that works for you. Your tracking sheet should include sections for:

  • the name of the scholarship
  • application requirements
  • the preferred method of submission
  • contact information
  • deadlines
  • columns for tracking progress
  • notes or any research that you have done on the scholarship or scholarship committee

How do I apply for a scholarship?

Most scholarships will require the student to complete an application form, write an essay, or even complete an interview. Here’s what you can expect.

The Application Form

This is the easy part – if you’ve done your research, all you need to do is put in the time, and follow directions.

  • The schedule: Since the process of filling out applications can be time-consuming and possibly daunting in volume, be sure to use your centralized tracking sheet to prioritize. You should take into account the amount of effort required for each scholarship, your propensity to win, and of course, deadlines. Follow a schedule, and then concentrate on one application at a time.
  • Follow directions: This is important. As mentioned above, scholarship applications are very particular in their requirements. You must provide exactly what they ask for, or you may be disqualified and your hard work will be wasted. Remember, committees are faced with the task of choosing one or a handful of winners from a large pool of applicants, and it makes their job easier if they can eliminate entries from the slush-pile for failure to conform. It is well worth your time to read and reread directions carefully.
  • Formalize your tone: Whenever there is an opportunity to write a response to a question (as in a short answer section, apart from the main essay), mirror the tone and language of the scholarship. The reasoning for this is twofold: not only does it require you to read the application and directions thoroughly and critically, but it also conveys to the scholarship committee (if only subconsciously) that you are an applicant who fits in with the culture of the organization.
  • Answer all optional questions: If a scholarship application gives you the opportunity to present additional information about yourself, take it! By taking the time to answer questions that are “optional” you have doubled your chances at winning a scholarship compared to students who skip these questions. A scholarship committee will obviously look more highly on the applicant who takes the application seriously and puts in the extra work. Also, you have the opportunity to present a tidbit or two about yourself that would be absent from a bare minimal application.

Writing the Essay

  • Brainstorm ideas: Scholarships occasionally ask pointed essay questions, but more often the prompts are designed to allow for a broad array of acceptable responses. Students who have difficulty writing are welcome to be creative here—use whatever method you need to get your mind moving!
  • Research: Before writing, you should research the scholarship advisory board or awarding body. Go ahead and google members of the committee for personal details— it can’t hurt to know your audience. Research past winners—their essays are sometimes posted, and reading through them can give you a good idea of what the scholarship committee is looking for.
  • A Note on Conformity: It can be tempting to stand out from the crowd by crafting an untraditional essay. This is ill-advised. Your individuality should show forth in the content of your essay, and not in the structure. Wacky formats come off as gimmicky and can underscore your professionalism. Whenever possible, stick to a standard essay format (introduction, well-organized body paragraphs, and a conclusion), and reuse the essay when possible, but not without but a bit of customized tailoring.

Editing

Once you have a solid draft of your application put together, get some critical feedback. If you can recruit a friend, fellow student, co-worker, parent, or teacher to look at your application, they might catch something you didn’t—this can be as mundane as a grammatical error, or as subtle as an undesirable message you might be sending unintentionally in an essay answer. Some individuals might have great skill at proofreading, and some might offer excellent thematic or structural suggestions for your essays, but not everyone is equally skilled—it is good to have multiple opinions and to consider them critically, but trust your judgment.

The Interview

Highly competitive scholarships may include an interview as part of their application process. If you make it to this step, congratulations! You are likely a top-tier candidate. In preparing for the interview, consider the following tips.

  • Research the organization thoroughly, including its members, its mission statement, any publications it may have produced, and any recent press or media attention it may have garnished. You’ll want to incorporate some of this knowledge into your responses in order to demonstrate that you are serious about the organization and that you are in line with their values.
  • If possible, try to figure out who your interviewer or members of the interviewing team will be, so you have an idea of what to expect on the day of.
  • Practice answering interview questions. You can find commonly asked questions from various interview-prep materials, but don’t be surprised if you hear a wild card or two. Interviewers will often throw a fun or random question into the mix to gauge your reaction under pressure.
  • Prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer as well, not only to demonstrate your interest in the organization, but also to show that you’re thinking critically.
  • On the day of the interview, dress professionally and be personable.

Happy scholarship hunting! Be sure to cast a wide net and apply to as many scholarships as you feel you are reasonably qualified to receive. The results just might surprise you, and even small awards can add up to taking a big bite out of the amount you might otherwise have to borrow to pay your tuition.

iGrad offers a scholarship search tool go to their website iGrad Scholarship Search Tool.

Source: iGrad

6 Tips for Internship Hunting

Are you stressed about not having a job after graduating with your college degree? Well searching for internships while you are a full-time student is key to landing your dream job. According to National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2018 Internship & Co-op Survey Report,

  • In 2018, the offer rate for interns is 59 percent, the acceptance rate is 77.3 percent, and the conversion rate is 45.6 percent. The acceptance rate increased from last year, while the other two figures dropped; this could be due to the state of the hiring market or the high number of eligible interns reported this year.
  • For co-ops, the offer rate is 34.6 percent, the acceptance rate is 80.3 percent, and the conversion rate is 27.8 percent.
  • The retention rate for intern hires after one year is 70.6 percent for those with internal experience (internship experience within the hiring organization) and 65.8 percent for those with external experience (internship experience with another organization). The retention rate for co-op hires with internal experience is 47.3 percent; for those with external experience, the rate is 46.6 percent. Meanwhile, the one-year retention rate for hires with neither internship nor co-op experience is 46.3 percent.
  • After five years, the retention rate for intern hires with internal experience is 50.2 percent and it is 52.3 percent for those with external experience. The five-year co-op retention rates are slightly lower than they are for the one- year rates (internal experience: 36.7 percent; external experience: 37.4 percent). The rate for no internship or co-op experience is 41 percent.
  1. A Not-So-Relaxing Caribbean Cruise 

    Ships are supposed to be majestic carriers, taking you on a journey across rolling waves and sun-drenched currents. Slap the word “intern” before it, and suddenly you feel sick and worried, cause that kind of ship (particularly finding one) isn’t always smooth sailing. Internships fall into that paradox of being abundant and rare simultaneously. There’s so many options, but that doesn’t mean every single one is for you. Paid or unpaid? How many credits? Part time or full time? College-affiliated or going rogue? You’ll spend hours thinking over the logistics. Then, you’re tasked with having to pick the industry, department, and actual position. Sounds fun, right? After you’ve narrowed down exactly how you want to spend a few months of your life for “the overall experience” (aka “something great to put on your resume”), you have the daunting task of actually applying.

  2. Try Not to Panic at the Intern Disco

    A common mistake people make is “panic applying” to internships just for the sake of applying. Take your time when applying. Don’t just apply to anything and everything if it’s really not something you’re interested in. You don’t want to be stuck with an internship you’re indifferent about. It’s okay to play the field, just make sure you have moderate interest. Explore your potential!

  3. Skills Pay the Bills! 

    Unique skills! Embrace them! Avoid comparing yourself to your peers; you may have an affinity for something that others wish they had. Think about it, someone applying to a communications internship probably has developed rhetoric skills comparable to a numbers genius applying to an engineering internship. Just like his or her respective interests, every student is different. Cliché alert: celebrate your individuality! Use your cover letter to highlight your strengths. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between humility and bragging, but don’t be afraid to build yourself up. There’s no harm in showing a little swagger.

  4. There Are No Meaningless Experiences

    What’s your worst-case scenario? You take an internship that maybe you expected to love, but end up dreading. The ending date can’t come soon enough. That’s not a worst-case scenario; that’s a gift. Wouldn’t you rather find out that perhaps this industry isn’t what want now instead of after accepting a job offer post-graduation? Or, look at it from the other viewpoint: maybe you take an internship that you thought you would hate and end up finding your calling! No matter the outcome, every internship and experience gives you a deeper insight into the person you want to be.

  5. No Sane, No Gain

    Remember, internships don’t exist to torture you endlessly through your college years, as hard as that is to believe. They’re a lot more than a skillset on your growing resume. Take a step back and regain perspective. Losing your sanity over application season is the easiest way to drive yourself into exhaustion. Keep a grounded head on your shoulders and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are tons of resources out there specifically dedicated to helping students find their perfect internship.

  6. There’s Light (and Snacks) at the End of the Tunnel!

    Take a second, breathe in, and smile. Because as intimidating as internship hunting can be, it presents you with the amazing opportunity to find your interests, practice your skills, and direct you on a path to post-grad happiness. Not to mention, the free intern snacks…totally worth it.

HAPPY HUNTING!!!

Source: Chegg

Check out Chegg internship search engine here.

6 Splurges That Make It Difficult to Payback Student Loans

It’s exciting getting your first job out of college! You probably have the largest paycheck that you’ve ever received in your life, and nobody is there to tell you how to spend it. So it’s easy to go a little crazy with that new income and forget about those pesky student loans.

Let’s look at six areas in which college students and recent grads often splurge and discover some real-world examples of how to combat that spending impulse.

  1. Dining Out: This splurge is probably the biggest culprit of fun, but unnecessary, spending. I know once I graduated, dining out suddenly became a possibility with my full-time salary, and I started eating out much more than I ever had growing up or in college.

    And it’s great, even healthy, to eat out every so often, but watch how frequently you’re doing it. If you’re grabbing a $10 lunch at the Panera right next to your work every day, that’s $50 a week, $200 a month, and $2,400 a year!

    Cutting down to just 2 lunches out a week would be $20 a week, $80 a month, and $960 a year. That’s almost $1,500 in savings!

    Consider spending the $1,500 you’d save on prepaying your loan. Most loans don’t require you to start paying on your loans until six months after graduation. You could have a good $750 paid down in those six months by just eating out twice a week for lunch.

  2. TV Expenses: We all love to come home and turn on the TV, eat some food, maybe pour a glass of wine, and relax. But it can get really expensive!

    According to recent reports, the average American spends $85 a month on cable!1 That, of course, doesn’t include Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and all the other streaming apps. It’s very likely that you probably are spending $200-$250 a month if you have cable and other streaming apps.

    Now if you’re feeling really drastic, you could cut it all, but I’d encourage you to start by cutting one or two. Cable might be your best choice, as it’s often the most expensive, and let’s be real: we don’t watch most of the shows anyway.

    If you’re a football fan like me, you could consider downloading the NFL app, looking into other streaming options, or going to a bar in town to watch the games.

    Let’s do the math on how much you could save. $85 a month is $1,020 a year, so just by cutting cable, you could save $1,000 a year. And you could use that money to pay the interest on your student loans so that you can pay them down faster.

  3.  Cell Phones: Phones can be pricey, especially if you get a new phone every two years and choose an expensive plan. But if you look into alternatives, you can save a lot of money on your cell phone.

    Prepaid plans are normally the best way to go, and what some people don’t realize is that most major cell phone carriers provide them.

    One option through a major cell phone carrier would be T-Mobile, which has a variety of prepaid plans that range from $3 a month if you don’t use your phone very much to $70 a month for one line.

    Another option is Verizon. With a prepaid plan through Verizon, you can bring your current phone, so you don’t have to worry about the cost of a phone.

    At Verizon, a 3GB prepaid phone plan costs $40 a month. That’s $480 a year. A 4GB (prepaid has odd; regular has even) phone plan costs $50 a month plus the $20 a month device cost. That’s slightly over $840. With a prepaid plan, you save $360 a year!

    If you’re still in college, $360 is about the amount you’d spend on books for a semester, so instead of pocketing that money, why don’t you put it toward the books you’ll need for your education? Plus, when you sell back your books at the end of the semester, you’ll still have some money left over for the next semester!

  4. Alcohol and Bars: When you’re a 20-something, the way to meet people is often at bars or social events that include alcohol. It’s just a part of the culture. But alcohol can get really expensive if you go out a lot.

    I’m not suggesting that you become a teetotaler (although I have several friends who are due to family history, and I have great respect for them). If you’re looking to save money on going out, you could consider setting a limit on the amount of money you plan to spend while out.

    Let’s say that you spend $25-$50 a week on alcohol between going to hang out with your friends and getting some wine to drink at home. That’s $100-$200 a month and $1,200-$2,400 a year! If you cut down your alcohol expenses to $10 a week, you’ll save a minimum of $60 a month and $720 a year.

    You could use this additional $720 to pay off your loan quicker, but be sure to check that it’s okay for you to do that. Or you could put it toward an emergency savings fund (where you have 3-6 months of income saved for any unexpected expenses).

  5. New Expensive Car: You probably drove a pretty old car in college, and it didn’t matter because everyone else did. But now, you might be a recent grad, and all your coworkers have nice, new cars. Since you can afford one now with your full-time salary, you might be tempted to buy one too, but don’t do it just yet!

    New cars can be expensive, and they depreciate in value very quickly. If you can—wait until you’ve had a chance to work a couple years, pay down (and maybe completely pay off!) your loans, and then trade in your old car for a newer vehicle.

    If you do really need a new car, I’d recommend getting a used car in great condition. It can save you a lot of money. See if you have any relatives who might want to sell a car or check out a site like CarMax.

    Used cars can get a bad rap, but often times, they are really a good deal. My fiance purchased a GMC Sierra truck for a ridiculously good price, and you can’t tell that it’s a couple years old. It looks brand new.

    If you want to get a new car, you might be spending around $525 a month2, which is $6,300 a year. 6k is a pretty substantial amount. If you have the average amount of debt of around $25,000, that’s about 25% of your loan before interest. In one fell swoop, you can tackle 25% of your loan by not getting a new car.

  6. Credit Card Interest: This splurge can apply to everyone because we all have material possessions we would like to have. For some people, it’s clothing, makeup, and accessories. For others, it’s books, fancy pens, and notebooks. And for still more, it’s firearms, power tools, and recreational vehicles.

    And it’s easy to see your credit limit of let’s say $3,000 and think of all the cool things you could get for yourself. Plus, if you use your credit card, you just have to pay it off slowly so it won’t really impact your loans, right? Not quite.

    Interest (if you’re paying it) is the worst way to splurge. Don’t pay more than you need to for a product, and if you buy it on credit, you are.

    Recent reports found that the average credit card interest rate is around 16%.3 That means that if you make a $1,000 purchase and just make the minimum payments on your credit card, you’re actually spending $160 more on that purchase alone.

    Now let’s consider how much you spend over the entire year, probably $30,000 for the average 20-something. If you purchase all of that on credit, you’re spending an extra $4,800 on all your expenses for the year.

    That’s almost $5,000, which again is 20% of your average loan. If you decide to forego the new car and don’t spend money on credit card interest, you can have almost half of your loan paid off just through these simple two steps.

    You also could put that money through an investment (where you’ll earn interest!), such as a retirement fund. Your future self will thank you!

    In sum, it’s important to think carefully about your spending and use your money wisely. Don’t forget the future in the midst of your exciting new job and full-time salary. The sooner you pay off your loans, the more money you’ll have to save for your dream house or ideal vacation, invest, or save for your retirement and your own kid’s college education!

See the full article here.

How To Stop Selling Yourself and Start Being Yourself In An Interview

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, over 60% of people are not engaged at work. This is possible because people are not in the right job and are only collecting a pay check. Organizations and teams with higher employee engagement and lower active disengagement perform at higher levels. For example, organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors. Compared with business units in the bottom quartile, those in the top quartile of engagement realize substantially better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability. Engaged workers also report better health outcomes.

Take the time to articulate what drives you.

Your values are likely what motivate you, so share with your interviewer how you will demonstrate your core beliefs in the role you seek to fill. For example, if you are leading a team for the first time, will you seek to build trust among your team and be clear enough in your vision so that you can hold one another accountable to achieve collective results? Can you listen to your team members in a way in which they know they have been heard?

If you can truly articulate how you will show up in your new role, there is no stronger demonstration of your leadership style. You should be able to describe to the hiring team how you will show up every day to execute on the role. Give them the ability to imagine you performing (and excelling) at the job. If you can do this, I believe you will make a lasting impression on the interview team.

Create your own set of questions for the interview team.

This helps you decide whether the role is a good fit for who you are. You should be ready to answer the questions you know will come to you, but it’s also important to spend time asking them what it feels like day to day to be in the role for which you are being considered. Don’t stop your questioning until you have a good understanding of being in the position. This is the only way to affirmatively determine if you will find yourself in the right seat.

Roleplay.

I suggest that you spend 20% of your prep time on articulating why you are a subject or function matter expert. Spend 80% of the time finding the right words to communicate who you truly are and how that would look on a day-to-day basis in the role for which you are interviewing. You might be self-aware, but a gap can exist between knowing who you are and articulating who you are in a way that’s authentic and succinct.

Let go of the results.

If you show up in the interview being exactly who you are, know that you have presented yourself authentically, answered all the subject matter questions to the best of your ability and asked all the questions you can to help you ascertain whether the role fits you, then you’ve had a successful interview. If you have done these things, then the result — no matter which way it goes — will be the exact right one. If you do not get the job, it was likely because the fit was not right. If you do get the position, there is a much greater likelihood you will find yourself in the right seat.

For information or to see similar articles check out Forbes website.