Life is a Sport

From intramural athletics to extracurricular activities to group case study classes and in-class team projects, it seems that everywhere you turn, you’re asked to interact with other students. The truth is, more than ever, life is a team sport. Whether it be in college or the world of work, teamwork is current trend. Given this, recruiters today are looking for candidates with Group Skills for their organizations. It’s one of the Winning Characteristics upon which interviewers make hiring decisions, so you’ll want to be able to prove to them that you are strong in this area.

Extracurriculars are an excellent way to develop and sharpen your Group Skills. They almost always involve teams of students working together over a number of months to complete large, complex projects. The key here is that if you’re going to develop and be able to demonstrate that you have Group Skills, you’ll need to go a step beyond just joining the organization. You’re going to have to actually get involved after you do.
Fortunately, if you pick an activity that you’re genuinely interested in, from theater to student government, you’ll enjoy the experience rather than considering it work. You’ll learn from the interaction with the more experienced members who will be managing the projects. And, if you do a good job, you’ll earn the respect of others in the group, giving yourself the opportunity to take a leadership role in the organization. Leadership is another of the Winning Characteristics.

So, get involved and get a head start toward getting the job you want.

A 4.0 Just Isn’t Enough

Wouldn’t life be great if you could just get a 4.0? You’d graduate with honors and find a long line of recruiters waiting to hire you for your dream job at a dream salary. A 4.0 is a ticket to Easy Street.

Or is it? Anyone who thinks that a 4.0 is enough to get a great job is in for a rude awakening in the interview process. Yes, academic achievement says a lot about intelligence, logic, effort, and organizational skills, all of which are attractive qualities. But recruiters are looking for much more. The best candidates for almost any job display broad range of “Winning Characteristics” including those above and Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Group Skills, and Communication skills. Candidates who have used their college years to build this critical skill set, in addition to getting good grades, have a significant advantage in the job market.

Even in more technical fields such as engineering, accounting, and architecture, employers look for well-rounded employees who can work well with clients and co-workers, take charge of complex projects and produce results. Let’s face it, you won’t see a job ad like this: “looking for a candidate who will sit quietly at a desk, take notes, and complete reading and written assignments, study alone, and correctly answer written questions every six weeks.”

Don’t miss the point here. Good grades are important in the job market. A consistent C student will have difficulty getting interviews while a 3.3 student with a 3.6 in his or her major will get quite a few. But once an interview starts, attention will quickly turn to extracurricular involvement, leadership, and work experiences. A 4.0 is a tremendous achievement, but slightly lower grades coupled with internship experience, a solid list of extracurricular activities and good communication skills will probably be more attractive to a manager with an important job opening.

So work hard to get good grades. But also put effort toward other activities and work experience to make the most of your college experience.

New Habits for a New Year

Before the academic year gets too far along, this is a perfect time to make some “new year resolutions.” What adjustments can you make to make the year really count?

Here are some resolutions to help you Make College Count:

  • I will go to all my classes, even the early ones.
  • I will study between classes.
  • I will learn what resources are in the library and how to find and use them.
  • I will stay away from the television set.
  • I will make a concerted effort to get involved in several extracurricular activities early in the year.
  • I will make my study time count by studying in the quietest, least distracting setting I can find.
  • I will learn as much about the internet as a business tool as I can.
  • I will record all of my assignments and exams in my planner so I can foresee and survive the “crunch times.”
  • I will get to know my professors.
  • I will have a great time socially, but not so great that my college record suffers.
  • I will avoid all-nighters because they create more problems than they solve.
  • I will add at least one meaningful “success story” to my resume every semester.
  • I will learn about the career placement center long before senior year.
  • I will be the first person I know to look for a good summer job.
  • I will read at least one major newspaper or new magazine on a regular basis.
  • I will Make College Count.

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!

The Social Media Impact

As I am sure you are aware, social media has an impact on most of us each day. But did you know that colleges, graduate schools, and potential employers are checking up on your social media life to see if they want to grant you admission or employ you?

Whether they do it themselves, or pay professionals to do it, schools and companies are snooping around the internet to see what kind of person you are like. They read your blog, they view your facebook page, they read your twitter, look at your tumbler, and see who is in your google+ circles. When all is said and done, they may know more about you than you know about yourself. And this is how they want it. Read more

Ads You’ll Never See for Jobs After College

JOB ADVERTISEMENTS YOU’LL NEVER SEE FOR JOBS AFTER COLLEGE

Wanted: One-Dimensional Student. Successful applicant will sit in uncomfortable desk and take notes. Compensation based entirely on monthly essay exams and pop quizzes.

Wanted: Computer Pro. Must have over 500 hours playing Call of Duty in the last year. PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox experience also desired, but not required.

Wanted: Intramural Sports Star. Must be able to fit at least seven intramural events into every week, even if academics must be sacrificed. Applicant to provide all necessary equipment.

Read more

You Get What You Give for College Success

You Get What You Give to Achieve College Success

You always hear it said that college can be one of the best times in your life. I am certainly loving my experience, and I would venture to say that all of my friends do too. But just showing up to your campus does not mean that you will instantly have a wonderful time. There is a bit of work involved in achieving college success.

Just as in anything in life, you get out what you put into it. To make the most of college, you can’t just sit in your dorm room everyday between classes and your time in the dining hall. You have to get out there and get involved. Did you always like music? Go to the campus radio station and see if you can be a DJ. Want to learn about another culture? See what is going on at the international student center. There are endless opportunities for involvement and leadership, no matter what you want to do, whether it is playing video games or stage managing a play. But if you never get out there and get involved, you will probably not have a good experience.

So to make college count, you need to get out there and get involved. If you do, you can achieve college success and make college one of the best experiences of your lifetime.

Jam Your Way to Jobs After College

JAM YOUR WAY TO JOBS AFTER COLLEGE

Here’s an unconventional way to improve your prospects in the job market: start a band. Maybe your parents think it’s just a bunch of terrible noise, but forming Tofu Deluxe or Crooked Smile Dentist can be a great way for you to demonstrate your value to potential employers.

You don’t have to be the next Lady Gaga to make this work for you. The idea here is to make the most of the non-music aspects of forming and managing your own band. Putting together even a third-rate band takes a great deal of Effort, Organization, and Entrepreneurship. These are all “Winning Characteristics” employers will appreciate, even if they prefer Beck over Green Day. Read more

Campus Safety and College Success Go Hand-In-Hand

Campus safety may not be the thing you are most concerned about when you are looking at where to attend college, or while you are along for the college selection journey as a parent, but it is something you ought to consider. If you are not in a safe and welcoming environment, it will be much harder to achieve college success.

While you are on campus or looking at a college’s website here are some tips regarding what you should look for in campus safety. Read more

Study at the right time for college success

IT’S SIMPLY A QUESTION OF WHEN

If you’re one of the rare breed who gets great grades without studying, you’re either very gifted or you’re attending a school that’s too easy for you. But for us “regular” people, studying is a key ingredient in college success. Good study habits have an obvious impact on grades, but also affect how much free time you have to enjoy the non-academic side of college. Effective studying will make a major difference in the quality of job you end up with after graduation.

An important piece of the puzzle is when to study. Let’s start with when not to study. Studying all night is never the right choice. College is probably the only environment where it is accepted, even trendy, to stay up all night when trying to get something important done. When the sales executive has a big client meeting the next day, does she stay up all night to prepare? Of course not. Star athletes don’t stay up all night before big competitions. People need sleep, even college students. It’s just not productive to trade sleep for study time. Read more