Foolishly, when I was younger I was not a very big fan of books or reading in general. Looking back I would have loved to have gotten into reading more at an early age, but it is never too late to start.
Recently, I have found that reading books on topics that interest me is a better tool for learning than K-12 and college courses. Why do I think this? Reading has no boundaries and for that reason, an individual can take several books and learn as much as they want about different topics. Take myself for example; I want to learn more about Venture Capital – essentially the art of funding startup and early- stage growth companies. In order to learn more about this topic, I have checked out to see if there are any reoccurring courses available on websites like Coursera and Udemy (there are courses that are reoccurring by the way). However, ultimately reading several books on the topic is probably going to be my method of learning this topic in more detail.
I think it is important for individuals to plan what books they want to read over the next 6 months, year, 10 years, etc. A great website to use that helps readers stay on track and bookmark books that they want to add to a reading list is www.goodreads.com. I just began using this site and I must say that it already has me excited to start reading a ton of books because now (thanks to this site), I am able to see the big picture of just how many books I want to read, what books are on my list, and how many different topics I am interested in learning about.
I urge people to check this website out (I have no affiliation with them, I just really like the website) and start reading more books about topics that interest you! Currently, I have about 15-20 books that I want to read in my free time. Hopefully all of you have a similar goal in mind, but even more important than the goal in this situation is just getting started. Some of you may have loved reading for years and others may have just gotten started, but that doesn’t matter. Get out there and start reading some more and you would be surprised how much you are learning in no time.
Good luck to you all on your reading adventures!
I realize that this is most likely a major opinion, but I still feel there is some truth that many people are scared of interviews and the whole process that is necessary to get one. I just want to say that regardless if you don’t like public speaking, or just get nervous in certain situations; interviews are not as scary as many people make them out to be. Now the fear of public speaking is certainly a real thing and unfortunately, it is something that people need to work on so that it is no longer an issue. I cannot offer advice on how to 100% get over your fear of public speaking (if you have one), but I can offer solid advice on how to ace an interview once you get one. There are several key points to make note of:
Prepare for the interview, before the interview! Too many students and other working professionals wonder why they did not get a job in some situations and fail to realize that maybe their preparation for the interview had something to do with it. I cannot stress enough how people need to know the ins and outs of a company, watch any available company videos, and look up what the hierarchy is at a company – who’s the CEO, CFO, President, etc. If you know a lot about the company, it will certainly show the interviewer that you took this opportunity very seriously.
2. Good Eye Contact
This tip much like the first tip seems obvious right? Good, it should be, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that most people still don’t follow it. Good eye contact in an interview gets you major bonus points with the interviewer and yet some people for whatever reason feel the need to look down at the ground or look to the side during the interview. When you do not show the interviewer great eye contact, it can often make them wonder how or if you will be taken seriously in any public situation. Practice good eye contact with family, friends, etc. and it should certainly become second nature by the time of your interview.
3. Don’t Act Like You Know Everything & Ask Questions
Listen, I realize there are many people in the world that may have done phenomenal research about a company and the subject matter that they would be dealing with if they got the role that they applied for, but the thing is that it is important not to come off as a no-it-all. Instead, make it known that you studied a lot for the interview and subject-matter, but you still can learn a lot more. Companies often like to hear this because it lets them know that you did your homework and there is room for the company to help you grow. It is also crucial that you ask questions during the interview. Ask questions about what you may ask? Ask the interviewer about the company culture, benefits, and the day-to-day role of your position. Your employer will surely be impressed with your interest in the company. Also, these questions help you map out if working for this company is something that makes sense for you.
4. Be Confident, Not Cocky
Many people probably see this phrase and say “What’s the difference?” There is a big difference between the two. Confident shows the potential employer that you believe in your abilities and want to be successful. Cocky shows them that you are just full of yourself and no one really wants to work or deal with someone that is cocky.
5. Follow Up Properly
It is important to follow up properly after an interview because 1. It’s polite and 2. It can often set you apart from the competition. Writing a thank you letter or email to the interviewer shows them that you really do care about getting the position. As easy as it is to do this, I still don’t hear about too many people doing it. It is a crucial last step in the interview process because it allows you to thank the interviewer once again (always thank them after the interview as you are leaving as well), state the reasons that you would be good for the position (once again), and end it with a great closing statement that makes the employer say “Hey, I want this person working here!”
Good luck to anyone that is interviewing for a position now or in the future!
College is a great learning experience. Students get the opportunity to learn more about their career interests, important topics, life, and most importantly themselves. A great professor can have a major impact on a student’s future, but sometimes professors take their jobs a little too far and discuss their opinions with a class. In moderation this is okay, but I have seen instances where the professor thinks their opinion is the only right opinion. Please BEWARE of this! A student should learn the facts and be able to have their own opinion towards them in a class. Do not let a professor’s opinions become your own. You are you and never forget that.
During my sophomore year of college, I had a professor that liked to discuss his opinions on politics (too much). It became a problem for many students, but unfortunately, no one brought up the issue in fear that the professor would give them a bad grade (if anyone tells you this is not true, they are lying). Professors (especially ones that have been at a school for a while) could slightly grade your papers or tests for the worse throughout the semester and boom, what do you know, now you have a much lower grade than you would have if you didn’t say anything at all. It really bothers me that this seems to be the case at many schools and I hope that one day in the near future a solution can come into place so that this never occurs. Colleges need to realize that their students are their “customers.” What’s that old saying again, oh yes, “the customer is always right.” I realize that there are circumstances when the student is in the wrong, but in situations like this, I feel as though the student’s concerns should be a high priority.
Overall, many professors are very in touch with their students. Hopefully, when you are at school, the majority of your professors match this mold.
Life for students and young working professionals includes a lot of required reading for studying and other learning purposes. However, how often do you hear about individuals reading books that align to achieving their goals and become better at their job? My guess is the answer is not often.
It is important to read books that will help you learn the skills necessary to be better at your job, learn to invest, flip houses, etc. The last two are totally up to you, but I highly suggest individuals involved in any field learn more about those topics since they could help you achieve a more financially sound future. Are books your thing? Good, then choose to learn through them. What about e-books and online publications like Flipboard and the new Apple News app? Great, then use them! There are so many ways to learn more about a variety of topics through reading, so take advantage of them and get ahead of your peers and most importantly improve yourself (this is perhaps the most important reason to read more).
There’s nothing like a quick, short post to end your Wednesday night and perhaps start your Thursday morning. What are you doing still reading this post? Start looking for more interesting topics that will help take you one step closer to a successful future (also continue to read these posts since they are a great way for you to gain an education, career, and life advice)!
I find it incredible how there are many college seniors throughout the country that have either had minimal internships or have never had an internship. Now, this is just what I have noticed from people I have met and known over the last few years and should in no way be deemed as a fact (although it probably is).
Students of all ages need to realize the importance of internships and how even the unpaid ones are valuable (although always shoot for the paid ones if you can). By the time I accepted my job 1 month before graduation, I had held several internships dating back to my Senior year in High School. Each one utilized a different area of my skill set and helped develop me into the professional that I am today. Not only did these internships look good to me, they also looked great on my resume. Clubs, numerous internships, awards, and other accolades are what helped me land a great job without going to an Ivy League or another top school. I am proud to say that I was able to get a job as an investment banking analyst, through hard work and not just because I went to a top school like many other students who get these type of jobs (nothing against those people, kudos to them for getting similar jobs through their own path!).
I urge high school and college students to always be on the lookout for an internship. Why mow lawns or scoop ice cream during the summer, when there could be a great internship opportunity near you that pays well and that would look great on your resume! Take a look at www.internships.com and many other internship sites to see what is available (simple Google search will give you a ton of options). Always start early because many internships fill up quickly and like the saying goes “the early bird gets the worm.” In this case, the worm also has to nail the interviews and beat out the other candidates ;).
Try to find an internship that aligns with your interests, career path, and major. Although don’t rule out other internship opportunities that could also provide a plethora of knowledge and skills that could impress a future employer.
Hope this brief post helps spark some urgency in students to go out and start looking and applying for internships to bolster their resumes and better their futures.
Parents who support their kids deserve a round of applause. However, there are also parents who feel the need to support their children no matter what. An argument can be made that that isn’t always what’s best for them. I can understand full support when a child is between the ages of 1 to 8 years old, but after that I feel as though constructive criticism is good in moderation. I realize that many parents may disagree with me on this issue, but I assure you that over supporting a child is only helping the child think everything they do is great, which in turn allows them to develop into a young adult that often thinks too highly of themselves.
I have seen many instances in which too much support at a young age has had a negative effect on a child as they became older. The instances are all around us. Relatives, television shows, movies, etc. all have examples of how this parenting strategy often does not work. Now, I am not saying be hard on your children and tell them straight up when they have a bad idea. One of the best strategies when something like this occurs is to use the “hamburger method.”
What do I mean by saying the hamburger method? Parents should give their child a little good with the bad. Using a business idea as an example, let’s say your 12 year old son or daughter is very driven and comes to you with an idea for a business. The business lacks planning and doesn’t seem like it will succeed. It is crucial not to shoot down the idea, but instead give praise for the creativeness of the idea and then provide some constructive criticism and some advice to make it better. I still recommend that the parents encourage their child to try and start the business, since it would be a great learning experience for them. If failure occurs, then this is not a bad thing. Failure is often what teaches us to become better as a person, business person, leader, etc. Help your child learn, but do not coddle them and tell them their idea is “the best thing since sliced bread” (many parents out their use that strategy).
During my life my parents were very supportive. I have had many business ideas and tennis tournaments that they have always been there to show praise. However, I respect them not so much for their praise, but instead for their constructive criticism. Every lost tennis match, non-structured business idea, etc.; my parents were always there to tell me the truth, rather than coddling me and telling me everything that I do is great. Parents, I urge you to take a page out of their book and show your children criticism, but only if it will help them grow as a person (never completely shoot them down). It is their constructive criticism, along with lots of hard work that has made me into the man that I am today.
Since many students recently returned or started college earlier this month, it only seems fitting that students who have yet to go college know some of the much-needed items that they should bring. Most of the items that are often needed are somewhat obvious, but having this list should be useful for students.
Some people may view this as one item that is not super necessary thanks to the library and the available computers there. However, there are some nights when a student may want to work out of the comfort of their home or dorm and in that case, a laptop would be very useful. Also, a laptop is great to have because it has all your work on it and can come in handy as an alternative to taking notes by hand during class (if the professor allows you to use it). Typically, a good laptop should range between $400.00 and $1,200.00.
With college comes many books and many books causes the need for a backpack to hold them all. Do yourself a favor and get a backpack! No one likes to try and lug all their books around by hand. Plus, a backpack makes it very easy to bring your laptop with you to class. A solid backpack should cost between $40.00 and $110.00.
Paper and Other Materials
Many colleges and professors have gone the route of being “paper friendly” which means that the majority of courses don’t require excess printing or the use of paper. However, in most scenarios paper is still very much needed. Students should have notebooks, binders, and other forms of paper when they begin college. Pens, pencils, and mechanical pencils are also essential items that will most definitely be needed. The price of these goods is not as important, though since the majority of those items are very cheap.
Everyone knows that college is a major expense, but many seem to overlook the expenses that come before you actually start. Begin planning early and get the much-needed items (especially the electronic items) so that you are familiar with them and don’t need to worry about getting them last minute.
*There are other items that will probably be needed (look at your syllabus or talk with your professor), but the point of this post was to state some of the obvious items (besides books and other things) and why they are important.
It seems as though today, college is necessary for many to achieve the life that they one day want. However, even college doesn’t seem like it’s enough anymore. Graduate degrees are becoming more and more popular and many employers are looking to hire individuals that have one. Currently, I have only received my undergraduate degree, but I plan on one day getting a graduate degree (most likely in business). However, I have taken advantage of the available, free online courses that are offered by many websites - my favorite is “Coursera.” Coursera has a variety of online courses, many of which are available on demand, meaning that they can be taken at any time. I strongly recommend students and adults seriously look into taking one of the many free, online courses that are offered by Coursera, edX, Udemy, etc.
Why should an individual look into some of these courses? I believe there are two main reasons why an individual should look into taking free, online courses (along with college or some other form of education). Perhaps the number one reason an individual should is due to the fact that they are FREE. Oh come on, who doesn’t love the sound of that word? There are not too many things in this world that are free so why not take the plunge and take a course or two. There is a vast majority of courses to meet almost everyone’s needs. The courses that I have taken have been finance and business-related. My personal experience with Coursera courses was that they were very well structured, informative, and not overly time consuming.
The second reason why you should consider looking into the courses is because of how much it could benefit you and your career moving forward. Pick a course that interests you and start learning. Maybe you want to get a nice understanding of accounting or law? Perhaps medical-related courses interest you more? Good news, Coursera and other sites offer courses that deal with those topics. The point here is, if you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic and want to learn in a class setting rather than reading a book, then try some of the free, online courses offered throughout the web.
,A student's freshman year in college is often exciting; a new experience that involves either living away from home or commuting. Students who live on-campus either adjust well to this new atmosphere or don't feel a fit and end up transferring or dropping out. There are several problems that may arise during a student's freshman year.
Unfortunately, this is one of the problems in this list that is the most likely to occur. When a student attends college for the first time, more often than not they will not know anyone on campus (this is normal). If that happens to be the case, chances are they will probably select the "random roommate option." This option is when the student elects to be placed with a random roommate. There are cases where a great match could be made here, however, that scenario is highly unlikely. Let's say hypothetically a student receives a bad match for a roommate. What are some of the ways to go about making this scenario much more favorable? A few options are to talk with your residential director to see if you can get a roommate change, become friends with others and move in with them, or have a talk with your roommate about any concerns you have about the living arrangement (in a professional and kind manner). If all of those options don't work, then stay at the library longer, workout at the gym longer, do something productive and make the best of a bad situation. My sophomore year of college, I had a horrible roommate situation during the first semester and the only way I composed myself in that situation was by studying longer, working out more, and being with my friends who helped me not worry about the situation as much.
A bad roommate is never a good problem to have to deal with at school, but it is still not as bad as the financial concerns that many freshman and other college students have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Paying for college is no easy feat and it is certainly not any fun. However, it is a necessity in today's world and one that often comes with a financial burden (college loans...yuck!). My only brief advice on this matter is to constantly save money for college (even before freshman year arrives), be wise with what you spend your money on, and always (at whatever age) be thinking about your future and how you will plan to pay off any loans that you may graduate with.
Stress, Health, & Time Management
I chose to bundle these three problems together because I feel like many of these go hand-in-hand. Stress is something that not too many students are used to, until they arrive at college. College does bring many positive experiences, but stress isn't one of them. Stress comes as a result of having to do too much in short periods of time (sometimes stress comes from students who over think certain situations as well). Stress can be fought by taking time during your day to just relax for a bit and do something that interests you (ex. go for a jog, read a book, watch a movie, meditate, etc.). Some stress is even caused by weight gain, which is often inevitable for freshmen. This is where the health issue comes into play. It is crucial for freshman and other college students to make exercise and healthy eating (or moderately healthy eating at least) a priority. If students take a little time out of their day to go to the gym for a quick workout; it could certainly help their weight and stress levels. One of the other problems many freshman and practically every student on the planet faces is time management. Time management is often a skill many are born with since in my opinion there are many people around the world that like to procrastinate (everyone does it every now and then just try not to make a habit of it). However, time management is something that can be taught and when properly utilized could provide big dividends for the person that masters it. By utilizing time management, freshman and other college students will be able to prioritize tasks and get work done more efficiently.