How to Write a Graduation Gift Thank You Note

So you received a graduation gift. Now what? It’s time for the dreaded writing of the graduation gift thank you notes. Here are a few tips and tricks for writing an easy and customizable graduation gift thank you note.

  • Say “thank you”- It may sound silly, but in a graduation gift thank you note, you need to say “thank you.”

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Making Finals Week a Competitive Advantage

Two weeks a year. They can be the difference between success and failure in college.

Twice a year, for one week at the end of each semester, you have to opportunity to make a dramatic impact on your G.P.A. Unfortunately, all too often, the “impact” is in the wrong direction and an entire semester of hard work suddenly seems like a tremendous waste of time. Read more

Open the Checkbook—It’s Time to Join Campus Organizations

Picture with me a not-so-unimaginable scenario. Your caller ID tells you that your college-age son or daughter is calling. You are ecstatic because he or she does not always remember to call as often as you would like. But after the little niceties that begin your conversation, your college student asks you for money. It’s time to join campus organizations and they need a wad of cash to cover all the dues. Read more

If it’s news, it’s for you

You need more to read. That’s right, the thousand pages per week your instructors lay on you isn’t enough.

Some of the most valuable reading you can do doesn’t appear on any of your syllabi. You’ll find it instead on the local newsstand. Being conversant in the news of the day can be a big advantage when you interview for internships or full-time jobs. It is a way to show your college success both inside and outside the classroom.  Interviewers will be impressed with someone who knows what’s going on in a particular industry, and the world in general.

Say you’re interviewing for a job as the manager of a clothing store. When you ask if recent economic upheavals in Asia have affected the cost and availability of merchandise, you’ll stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, not being in touch with the news can be a major minus on the interview score sheet. If a real estate recruiter says, “Pretty incredible interest rate situation we’re in, huh?” you’d better have some idea whether rates are high or low these days (they’re low).

You don’t have time to read more than one or two periodicals, so be choosy. For general interest fields such as journalism or public service, consider the New York Times. Business students can’t go wrong with reading the Wall Street Journal a couple times a week. If you’re headed to a more specialized field, such as education, venture to the library to read journals in your field. Don’t forget the internet is a great source of news. Many publishers offer on-line versions of their papers and magazines, often at no charge.

And for the reading-adverse, there’s always the national news on TV. Better yet, National Public Radio is one of the truly premier sources for news. It covers business, politics, and international news extremely well, plus it hits social issues in more depth than almost any other media. Your campus station may even broadcast NPR news in the morning or evening. If so, take advantage of it.

So download a podcast, pick up a paper, or tune in to the evening news on TV. Wherever you find your news, absorb as much as you can—it can lead to success in college and beyond.

College Success – Redefining Leadership

What is leadership? Chances are, you need to redefine your initial thoughts. This video shows that the right kind of leadership can result in college success. Get great advice like this in Making College Count–a great high school graduation graduation gift!

College Parents Should Keep a Healthy Distance

Each week it seems like college officials are coming out with new words for parents. We started with “helicopter parents,” who hover about their students even when they don’t need or ask for it. Then we added “blackhawk helicopter parents” to describe the attack style of parents overly protecting their kids.

 

I have never liked those styles because it seems to negatively affect everyone around the parent and student, including the student himself/herself. Well, now there’s a word for that too. College officials are apparently now calling students “teacups” to describe how they are extremely fragile because they are overprotected. After those fragile, overprotected students are pushed too hard and become burned out, they are then called “crispies.”

 

Parents, I know you love your children, but there are things you need to let them do for themselves.

  • Application Process– Don’t fill out your kids’ college applications for them. Let them know you support them and will provide help like proof reading, but don’t do too much more than that. Read more

Graduation Prep

Chances are you’ve already purchased/rented your cap and gown and are getting ready to send out your graduation invitations. You may even be planning graduation parties and are looking forward to some graduation gifts. Or you may be the friend of a soon-to-be graduate. You could be the one receiving the graduation invitation, throwing the graduation party or the one having to purchase the graduation gifts.

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College Success Through Internships

If you think that interns only work in hospitals, you may be missing out on one of the greatest opportunities open to college students.

Internships are available in many fields, from computer science to botany. Some are paid positions; others pay only in experience. Some earn course credit; others do not. Some fall in the school year; others in summer. Some lead to permanent positions after graduation; others do not. Regardless of the particulars, internships provide hands-on experience in real world applications of what you study in class.

Many people think that the most important reason to take an internship is to build a resume. That is a great reason, but far from the only (or the best) one. An internship is a two-way test drive. The employer provides you experience and evaluates your abilities. You provide your talents and evaluate the career.

The chance to work in a field before entering the interview market represents a huge advantage. Two or three years studying law enforcement will teach you a lot about the criminal justice system, but a couple months as a clerk in a sheriff’s office will provide a much more vivid picture of a career as a police officer.

Internships teach a very valuable lesson: theory and practice aren’t always identical. For instance, after an internship in a software company, you may decide you’re more interested in selling than in writing code.

Internships offer tremendous experience. For that reason access to them is highly competitive. If you have any interest in an internship, learn everything you can about the application and selection process well in advance. Apply early and follow up on your applications. And if no internships are offered in your field, consider creating your own. Find an employer that would take you on for a semester, and take the idea to your department head. It can’t hurt.

Your internship might be just what you need to boost your college success!

High School Graduation Gift Alternatives

It’s high school graduation gift season! You are probably the kind of person who wants to get your graduate a gift they will enjoy instead of an ill-thought-out gift card. So I have compiled a list of great high school graduation gifts I would like to receive that are a bit outside the box.

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How Much to Spend on a High School Graduation Gift

You are looking to give a high school graduation gift, but have no idea where to start.  You don’t even know how much to spend on a high school graduation gift.  Sure it’s the thought that counts when it comes to giving a gift, but you want to give something meaningful too.  As I wrote about in Not Again Part 1 and 2, you may want to go with some not-so-common gift ideas, but even so, how much do you spend?  I’ve broken it down by degree of relationship here. Read more