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12 Rewarding Careers in Medicine

Medical careers are among the most financially lucrative professions. They also offer rewards in the form of job satisfaction, because health-care providers are in a position to help patients live healthier, fuller lives.

High school students interested in becoming medical professionals are advised to take multiple science and math classes. They include anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and algebra.

Most medical careers require bachelor’s degrees in some type of science, with a pre-med concentration. Students are advised to make sure they attend accredited four-year colleges or universities. Courses include biology, chemistry, English, math, physics, the humanities, and social sciences. On-the-job experience may be gained by volunteering at medical facilities during undergraduate school.

Students studying to become doctors also must obtain degrees from four-year medical schools. Internships, residencies, or fellowships also may be mandatory. State-issued licenses and board certification are required for many health-care jobs.

These 12 positions are among the rewarding careers in medicine that students may want to consider.

Anesthesiologists are doctors who sedate patients and monitor them during medical procedures. They are trained to administer the proper doses of drugs, to minimize a patient’s pain and discomfort. Postoperative care includes prescribing medication, and assessing patients to detect complications or reactions to drugs. Anesthesiologists help create and implement pain-management plans.

The first step to becoming an anesthesiologist is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. That must be followed by four years of medical school, which involves two years of classwork and two years of clinical training. In addition, a one-year fellowship and a three-year residency program are mandatory.

Audiologists help people suffering from hearing disorders and related balance and coordination difficulties. They conduct examinations and diagnostic tests, then provide the appropriate treatment.

A bachelor’s degree in a life science and a doctorate degree in audiology are mandatory to practice in this field. Training is provided while in medical school, and during internships following graduation.

Brain Surgeon
Operating on the nervous system, including the brain, to correct disorders or extract diseased tissues is the challenging task of a brain surgeon. These doctors, also called neurosurgeons, conduct complex operations like removing tumors and transplanting organs. They also make minor nerve repairs and perform elective surgery.

After undergraduate college and medical school, the next educational requirements are an internship and residency of three to eight years (depending upon the medical speciality).

Cardiology is a speciality in the field of internal medicine. Cardiologists are doctors who treat diseases, disorders, and injuries involving the heart and blood vessels. They examine patients and perform diagnostic tests to identify the nature of ailments. The next steps are determining, and conducting, the appropriate surgery or other medical procedure.

Educational requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a science like biology or chemistry, completion of a four-year program to become a doctor of medicine, and as many as eight more years of internships and residencies. This entails a significant investment of time and money, but cardiologists are among the highest-paid doctors.

General Practitioner
General practitioners, also called family doctors, are often the first medical professionals patients see when symptoms of illness appear. These doctors must be familiar with a wide range of ailments, diseases, and disorders. They also treat patients who have suffered injuries. General practioners conduct examinations, make diagnoses, provide a variety of treatments and therapy, and refer patients to specialists.

A bachelor’s degree and completion of medical school are required. Some medical schools have programs that take six or seven years to complete, combining a bachelor’s degree with a doctorate in medicine. GPs also must complete residency programs lasting three to seven years (depending upon whether a medical specialty is being pursued).

Obstetricians and gynecologists, also called ob/gyns, are doctors who provide medical care to women. They perform surgery and prescribe treatments for diseases and illnesses. The position entails attending to women’s reproductive health, from counseling them about pregnancy to delivering their babies.

A bachelor’s degree in science, completion of medical school, an internship, and a residency program are required. This education and training lasts 11 to 16 years, depending upon the speciality.

Neurologists are concerned with the health of the central, peripheral, and automomous nervous systems. They diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the brain, head, spinal cord, and associated muscles and blood vessels. Some of these doctors specialize in performing surgery.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, including a pre-med program, students studying to be neurologists must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination and complete a one-year internship. That is followed by a residency program, which lasts three or four years.

Oral Surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental specialists who perform operations on various parts of the head and neck. Oral surgeons treat diseases, deformities, and injuries of the mouth, including teeth and gums. Maxillofacial procedures involve the head, face, jaw, neck, and sinuses.

Becoming an oral or maxillofacial surgeon requires two years of predental education in undergraduate college, completion of a four-year program at an accredited dental school, and four to six years of residency training.

Plastic Surgeon
Plastic surgeons perform operations to repair and alter various parts of the human body. Most conduct either cosmetic surgery, to change a person’s appearance; or reconstructive surgery, to correct damaged or malformed features. Specialties include burn treatment, microsurgery, laser surgery, pediatrics, tissue transfers, and body contouring.

A bachelor’s degree, a doctorate in medicine, and completion of a five- to seven-year residency program are mandatory. Surgeons may then undergo fellowship training to become more skilled in their specialties.

Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory therapists work under the supervision of doctors to treat patients who have breathing problems and cardiopulmonary ailments like asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and cystic fibrosis. They conduct tests to diagnose ailments, then provide therapy to relieve patients’ symptoms and restore their functions.

To practice respiratory therapy, the minimum education requirement is an associate’s degree. It is mandated by nearly all states and employers. This degree is provided by universities, community colleges, technical schools, and vocational institutions. To work at a hospital or in emergency medical services, a bachelor’s degree is usually needed. Master’s degrees may be necessary for those who wish to become administrators or independent respiratory therapists.

Trauma Surgeon
Trauma surgeons perform operations and other procedures to help people with severe injuries and illnesses. Many of these doctors work in hospital emergency rooms. Special training is needed to be able to cope with high-pressure situations.

A bachelor’s degree in science, following by four years of studies at an accredited medical school, are the preliminary educational requirements of this position. Residency training of three to five years, as well as a fellowship program lasting one or two years, also must be completed.

Urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases, disorders, injuries, and deformities of male reproductive organs, as well as both genders’ urinary tracts. A urologist is a surgeon who conducts operations, and performs various other treatments, on the bladder, kidneys, prostate, uterus, urethra, and adrenal glands.

Following undergraduate and medical school, a prospective urologist must complete a residency program of at least five years.

These are just a few of the numerous rewarding careers in medicine. Getting high grades, and performing well on tests, as an undergraduate student make it easier to get accepted by an accredited, four-year medical school. Competition for spaces in their programs can be intense.

Manual dexterity and attention to detail are crucial for doctors and other medical specialists. Physical stamina is needed to stand through lengthy operations. Doctors should have a good bedside manner with patients, providing reassurance while projecting confidence and strength. They must be good listeners who can show empathy and provide support. Good communication skills are need for dealing with medical and administrative staff, as well.

The stress can be severe. Surgeons are under a lot of pressure to not make any mistakes, as they literally hold patients’ lives in their hands. They must be able to perform efficiently under these conditions. The working hours can be long, and doctors may be on call to respond to emergencies.

Those who feel they can handle the pressure and requirements of a job in medicine have many choices of fields in which they can specialize.

Internships – It’s Not Just About the Money

Turning in a resume that boasts a GPA of 4.0 is something to be proud of, but it’s not enough to make you stand out in a job interview. When you’re ready to start a career, there’s something that matters more: experience.

Survey Says

Nine out of ten employers look for students who completed an internship. Internships lasting at least three months are the most desired. College seniors who interned accepted higher salaries after graduation than those who did not intern prior to graduation. Recent trends show internships are on the rise.

Internships are quickly becoming the new interview. If you secure an internship with an organization, you have taken the first step towards getting a job there. You should consider each day you walk into the office another interview.

A good company recognizes interns as the future. If your skills and attitude meet expectations, and they have already invested time in teaching you about the company, you are likely to fair better in a post-graduate interview than someone who never interned at the company.


Working in a professional environment has its perks, and one of them is free training. You may learn to use a program or earn a certification that others would typically have to pay for in order to add to their resume. Internships allow you to take advantage of free training that you won’t find in your college courses.

Interview Ammo

The more interviews you complete, the more confidently you can answer interview questions. When an interviewer asks you how you handle certain situations, or inquires about a specific skill set, you have the ability to show how you used certain skills in a professional environment. This speaks volumes for what you are capable of. Experience and confidence are a winning combination.


Connections are important in any industry. If you aren’t offered a job at the company you intern at simply because there aren’t any openings, use the connections you made as references for other employment opportunities. In addition to asking for references, ask your boss if he or she has any connections they might be able to put you in touch with.

Choosing a Career Path

It should be said that internships can also help you determine what you absolutely don’t want to do. You may be thrilled that you were hired as an intern, only to find out a few weeks later that the company or the job just isn’t right for you.

Internships enable you to test the waters before jumping too far in. You may even decide to change your major or try new courses as your interests change and develop.

Special Opportunities

Interns often get special perks you wouldn’t get at a normal student job. You may be offered a travel opportunity, VIP passes or other free items. While these won’t help your resume, they’re a nice perk. Just be sure you’re on your best behavior when receiving or using them. Remember, your internship is an interview.

Completing an internship provides you with experience that a classroom simply cannot. Take advantage of this stepping stone while you’re in college to open more doors and gain a better understanding of the path you want to take as a graduate.

8 Critical Factors for Choosing a Study Abroad Destination

For many students, studying abroad is the way that they choose to gain an education. The reasons why one might choose to study abroad are many. Common reasons include wanting to gain a certain licensure (I.E., the fact that medicine degrees in the states are highly valued) or simply the wish to go out and experience a part of the world that one has never seen before. There are many different schools that cater to international students. The factors as to why many students choose certain international destinations.

Some of the international destinations include major cities such as New York. New York is packed with brilliant schools such as The New School, and Columbia University. The US News and World Report recently released a ranking that stated that 29% of The New School’s student population was comprised of international students. Soka University is comprised at about 39% international students.

Here are some factors to consider when applying for school abroad:

1- Special Admission Requirements

Does the school have any special admission requirements for international students? Check with a counselor from the school to make sure that you meet all of the literacy and education requirements necessary for admission to the school.

2- Location

Is the school in a good location? Are you more comfortable living in the city or the country? Such things are often considered by most college students and not just international ones. However, international students may find that living in a city will give them access to more resources that will help them better adjust to life away from home.

3- Transportation

How close is the school to a major airport? Is it easy to get around campus? Since you will likely be attending school without access to a car these will all be important things to consider.

4- Student Body

How diverse is the student body? While some people are comfortable being the only one of their ethnic group in the entire school others may not be so comfortable, particularly if this is their first real time away from home. Having other international students that you can connect with will help you adjust.

5- What is the reputation of the Institute in your specific discipline of study

A lot many students make the mistake of going by generic rankings, remember institutes have different ranks in different disciplines of study, rankings for a specific discipline or department are based on numerous criteria like on-going research, quality of the faculty, amount of industry funded projects in progress, Number of international students etc. So before making a decision make sure you have all the relevant data specific to your discipline for the institute in question.

6- Placements and industry tie-ups

Ongoing research in a university or institute is a very good indicator of the institute’s accomplishment and reputation in industry circles for a specific discipline.  A little known fact is that usually job placements from a department are intrinsically linked to the number of funded projects in progress within a department.

7- Financial Aid or On Campus Job options

As an international student you will be looking to recover a part or – in an ideal situation – all of your education expenses through RAs TAs or on campus jobs. Check out the following factors number of RA or TA positions granted within your department, total amount of money distributed as aid, and finally percentage of students who is granted financial aid in any given year.

8- What Do I Want to Study? Can I use my degree back home?

Certain degrees are very specific to the country that they are earned in. For instance, the medical licensing requirements in the US are different from those in France because the US is generally more permissive when it comes to alternative medicine such as Osteopathy.

Another example is a law degree. Many countries have differing requirements for the education of lawyers that have to be met.

Some choice destinations for international college students are not only schools in New York but also schools in other city centers such as Washington DC, San Francisco, and Boston. Choice destinations for international students also include The College of William & Mary in the small town of Williamsburg, Virginia. William & Mary is known for the large amount of students from china that it attracts due to its’ magnificent law school and excellent science programs.

William & Mary also boasts a unique claim to fame: it is surrounded by a 300 year old city where the revolutionary era way of life is preserved, making it an excellent opportunity for students who also study history or the arts.

In short, there are many different factors that determine what the best destination for an international student is. The main factor is you. Make sure to use these tips but remember: you are not going to school for the sake of someone else. You are going for the sake of yourself and the most important thing is that you make yourself happy.

How to Recession Proof Your Career

The one overriding concern that has occupied the thoughts of professionals across the globe over the past few years has been the Damocles sword of possible redundancy. Whereas most of us– as individuals – feel somewhat powerless before the vagaries of the market, the right career choices (or at least career decisions based on the right logic) can go a long way in ensuring that we can as professionals make ourselves recession proof.

To understand the whole process in a logical flow we do a top down analysis of what it takes to be “recession proof”. These guidelines will be specifically useful for parents whose wards are in high school; and are on the verge of selecting a career and a college.

  1. Good times or bad, nothing lasts forever. Just as growth, periodic recessions are an integral part of any economy. Accepting this truth is the first step.
  2. Understand the psychology of organizations. Organizations incur a substantial cost in recruiting and training people, so retrenching human resource is usually a last resort. However during financially tough times when reducing overheads becomes a necessity, the hierarchy of redundancy is determined by the specific personnel’s cost to the organization (CTC) vis-à-vis their direct or indirect contribution to the “bottom-line”. So the best way to ensure continued relevancy in an organization is to stay ahead on the productivity curve.
  3. How to stay Productive? Being Passionate about what one does = Being good at what one does. In other words make sure you have chosen a career for the right reasons. The ranks of redundant workforce usually comprises of those professionals whose choice of a specific discipline was dictated by what – is/was “in demand”; or the “financial prospects” or the “glamour”; or “respectability etc – i.e. almost every possible reason other than the all important one – “whether they were passionate about their chosen career. A great rule to go by – when extraneous factors threaten to cloud your judgment about a choice of career – is that “It is always better to be the best in a mediocre field, than be mediocre in the best field”.
  4. Have a career NOT just a job. Your career defines who you are; it is your value addition to the organization you work for; and in a larger context your contribution to the society at large. The definition of a career is far broader and goes beyond just the “job” you hold, your designation in an organization; or the size of your pay-check – these are but some indicators of your degree of success in your chosen career.
  5. Make changes for the right reason: It is an accepted fact that your priorities in life and career will change, however it is imperative that you make a change for the right reasons, i.e. not just based on – “well meant and practical advice” from well wishers or “the frequent gold rushes” that grip the certain industry sectors from time to time.
  6. A good education goes a long way in “recession proofing ones career”.  Whereas most of the aforementioned aspects can be addressed and influenced entirely by your approach to career in general, making the right choices about your higher education provider is crucial, because – you cannot influence or change the quality of education an entity offers; but you do have the power to make the right choice at the onset. Remember it is a choice you will be “stuck with” possibly for the rest of your life.
  7. Understand what a good education entity is supposed to be: What constitutes a good educational entity is often misunderstood, and is solely based on infrastructural accompaniments (like laboratories and classrooms) that an entity possesses –these are aids to enhancing the quality of education provided. The most important factors that an education provider should be judged on is its emphasis and ability to create an environment that encourages or in fact demands -a genuine passion about the chosen discipline from students and faculties alike, a continuous exchange of ideas, a research oriented, knowledge seeking mindset among its students and a renowned faculty that is actively involved in research while pursuing active ties and collaboration with respective industry segments.

Though it is never too late to take stock of one’s career, ideally this is a continuous process and the sooner one starts at the  formative years of one’s career, during high school or right after it.

Be Employable - Stay Smart

How do you define being smart? For most people, it is a mixture of several positive attributes like intelligence, foresightedness, quick-wittedness and being a fine performer. Apart from this, smart people have smart ways of getting things done. That said, the question that now remains is what you need to do in order to stay smart in college and beyond? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking along these lines.

No Alternative for Books

Contrary to popular belief, smart gadgets do not make you smart – knowledge does! If you are hoping to become smart, be prepared to read through different books and educational resources that enlighten you with different possibilities and existences. Books or resources do not imply your course work. There is a world beyond your school curriculum that is waiting your perusal. Read about things that interest you and be open to learn new things. Such a mindset usually gets you further than your fellow mates.

You can begin by developing a habit of reading thirty minutes before getting into bed. Regardless of whether it is literature, stories, fiction, history, geography or any other genre for that matter; just pick up a book and read it for thirty minutes before getting into bed. This does not only mean whatever you read remains with you for long but also that you will be reading about things you would otherwise not be familiar with.

Best Use of Modern Gadgets

Smartphones, tablets and other similar gadgets have become more of a need of today’s world. If you are fortunate enough to have such devices, put them to the best possible use. The best part about Smartphones is that there is an application for every task. So if you like taking notes at random or you would like to record every idea that crosses your mind, there is an application just for it. Moreover, you can even read books (eBooks to be more appropriate), articles, magazines and other resources on your phone. This not only reduces the weight of your baggage, it also makes reading possible anywhere and everywhere!

Updated With Current Events

Smart people know what is going on around them. So it is best not to lock down your sensors to your surroundings. Read the news regularly and find out details about things that are of interest to you. Even though there are aspects of your surroundings that you may not be willing to research (for instance, some people may find politics quite disturbing), it is best to read a little about it nevertheless. This keeps you updated with the current information.
On a technological note, there are applications that help you sift through news from different publications on the same platform. As said previously, make the best use of technology that you are in possession of!

Playing Intellectual Games

It is not possible to remain surrounded by literature all the time. You need to relax every now and then in order to prevent a burnout. However, you can make the most of this time period by playing intellectual games. Go for crosswords and Sudoku instead of racing and/or fighting games. Look for games that require strategy and mind skills. So even in your leisure time, you are learning something through games!


It has been scientifically proven that meditation does not only help you in relieving stress and clearing your mind but also promotes the development of new brain cells. Meditation can help you in improving focus, attention span and memory. Consequently, you will be able to remember and retain more information and thus get smarter by the day. Reserve at least thirty minutes of your day for meditation – you will see noticeable improvements from the first day!

The scoop on Journalism Schools

Numerous universities offer bachelor’s degree and graduate programs in journalism. Several of them have won acclaim for their academics, placing high in rankings compiled by various organizations.

All the schools on this list are recognized by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. A degree from one of these prestigious institutions may qualify you for a job with a leading newspaper, magazine, or broadcast company. Numerous graduates of the top-ranked colleges and universities have earned Pulitzer Prizes, Peabody Awards, and Emmy Awards.

While there is no definitive list of the best journalism schools, some programs have been received high praise from multiple authoritative sources. Here is a look at those that have placed high on several lists.

University of Missouri at Columbia

The first journalism school in the world, established in 1908, is the University of Missouri at Columbia. It topped a list of best journalism schools (published in December 2013 by NewsPro Magazine) that was based on a survey of 1,321 members of the Radio-Television Digital News Association. The school was third in rankings by Education Portal.

Missouri-Columbia placed fourth in a survey of 400 news professionals that took into account admissions standards, faculty quality, campus media outlets, professional publishing opportunities, and internships. The university’s journalism program was rated sixth-best in the country by College Magazine.

A staggering total of more than 30 undergraduate degree programs, more than 20 two-year master’s programs, and six doctorate degree programs are available. A pair of master’s programs are offered online.

Prospective students, to qualify for admission, must meet one of three requirements: placing in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, scoring 29 or higher on the ACT, or scoring 1,290 or higher on the math and verbal portions of the SAT.

Missouri-Columbia is famous for teaching the Missouri Method of journalism, which combines classwork with practical experience. Students work at the Columbia Missourian, a community newspaper and online news outlet; the nation’s only university-owned community television station and major network affiliate; and an FM radio station.

Northwestern University

The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University has operated in Evanston, Ill., since 1921. Its graduates include more than 40 Pulitzer Prize winners. The school ranked second on the NewsPro Magazine list and in the survey of news professionals. College Magazine placed it eighth.

In addition to an undergraduate program with multiple majors, the college awards more than 250 graduate degrees annually. Master’s program concentrations include interactive publishing, magazine writing and editing, reporting, and video-broadcast. Graduate students receive a year of practical experience in newsrooms in Chicago, Ill., and Washington, D.C.

Northwestern’s Global Residency Program, which involves more than 150 media partners, provides full-time employment and training for reporters and public-relations specialists.

University of Georgia

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia has been graduating journalism majors since 1915. It is the home of the Peabody Awards, the top honors in electronic journalism. Grady was third on the NewsPro Magazine list and second in College Magazine’s rankings.

The school offers bachelor’s degrees in advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism, mass-media arts, magazine journalism, public affairs, publishing management, and visual journalism. Master’s and doctorate programs in mass communication, as well as a new-media interdisciplinary certificate program, also are available.

The Grady College is a leading research institution, featuring studies in health and risk communication, political and policy communication, narrative storytelling, critical studies, and sports communication.

Syracuse University

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, founded in 1934, is one of the more exclusive journalism schools. Typically, only 350 of about 4,000 applications from prospective students are accepted. About 225 people apply for 800 spots in master’s degree programs each year.

This school placed first in the survey of news professionals, was ranked fourth by NewsPro Magazine, and came in 10th on the College Magazine list. About 1,800 undergraduates annually pursue majors in newspaper and online journalism, TV-radio-film, advertising, broadcast and digital journalism, magazines, graphic design, photography, and public relations. Students have opportunities to perform internships and study abroad.

Newhouse offers master’s of arts degrees in advertising, audio arts, broadcast and digital journalism, documentary film, print and online journalism, media studies, public diplomacy, and Tv-radio-film. There are also master’s of science programs in communications management, media management, photography, and public relations. In addition, Newhouse provides a doctorate program in mass communications.

Arizona State University

More than 1,600 students are enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Phoenix. It was rated fifth-best by NewsPro Magazine and placed sixth in the survey of news professionals.

ASU features a student-produced television news broadcast, which airs on PBS; the Cronkite News Service, distributing multimedia news stories to more than 30 professional outlets in Arizona; a Washington News Bureau, providing opportunities for students to report on public-policy issues; a fellowship program, partnering with the Washington Post and NBC News; the New Media Innovation Lab; and a Public Relations Lab.

Nearly 600 internships are provided each year for Cronkite School students, whose instructors include award-winning journalists.

Columbia University

Ranked first by Education Portal, third by the surveyed professionals, and sixth by NewsPro Magazine is Columbia University in New York City. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report rated CU the fourth-best university overall in the United States. This is the institution that awards Pulitzer Prizes.

The Ivy League school was the first U.S. institution to award graduate degrees in journalism. Students choose from among master’s of science programs in journalism, which consist of classes, seminars, and workshops; master’s of arts journalism programs; and a doctorate of philosophy in communications.

University of California-Berkeley

The highest-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report, is UC-Berkeley. Its journalism school was rated second-best by Education Portal and placed eighth in the survey of news professionals.

Master’s program journalism students enter one of 13 tracks of study that include business, environment and science, international news, investigative reporting, newspapers, magazines, new media, politics, and radio and television.

Ohio University

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, boasts 13 Pulitzer-winning alumni. It was ranked fourth by news professionals, seventh by NewsPro Magazine, and ninth by College Magazine.

Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees in journalism are available. Internships are required. Students get experience working for thc campus newspaper, television station, and AM and FM radio stations. Academic tracks include advertising, broadcast news, magazine journalism, news writing and editing, online journalism, and public relations.

Other Universities

Placing eighth through 12th on the NewsPro Magazine list were the University of Florida, the University of Montana, Lyndon State College, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland in College Park, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Among those making the top 10 in the survey of news professionals were the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, New York University, and George Washington University.

College Magazine ranked the University of Florida’s journalism school No. 1. Indiana University was third; the University of Kansas, fourth; the University of Maryland at College Park, fifth; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, seventh.

These are the most respected universities from which to receive degrees in journalism. Tuition varies widely, with some institutions charging high rates. However, scholarships and other financial aid are available.

Many factors need to be taken into consideration when deciding where to go to college. Students planning to pursue careers in journalism may want to put these schools on their lists of prospective universities.

The Benefits of Volunteering as a College Student

You may have done some community service as a high school student to improve your application for college, but why should you continue to volunteer in college? Believe it or not, surrendering some of your free time to serve others can benefit you as you prepare for a career.


People of all ages, cultures and industries, volunteer. Depending on where you serve, you will have the opportunity to interact with others who are active in the community, which will enable you to learn more about local companies, popular industries and other networking events. You could end up standing right next to a CEO. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Get to know them and let them get to know you.

Don’t discount the staff at nonprofit organizations either. If you do a good job, you’ll earn their respect and they can serve as references in the future. They may also have important contacts they can refer you to when you’re ready to begin job hunting. Nonprofit board members are often company and community leaders.


Volunteering gives you the opportunity to try out new jobs. You may realize that you want to use your degree to pursue a career different than the one you had in mind. You are rarely locked into a volunteer position the way you are a job, so use your time to explore interests. Offer to help out in different areas that interest you.

Volunteering abroad has become very popular. You can volunteer internationally for as little as 1-2 weeks, and many international volunteer programs include language classes or tours as part of your trip. Volunteering in a new place shows that you aren’t afraid to try something new to support a cause you believe in.


Volunteering is a great way to learn skills you wouldn’t otherwise. You may have the opportunity to write, learn computer programs , manage a marketing campaign, or plan an event. These are all skills that will be incredibly valuable to a future employer and the hands-on experience you gain through volunteering will not go unnoticed. These experiences can be used as examples in future interview situations.

If you notice another volunteer or a staff member doing something you’re interested in, ask them if you could spend an extra hour shadowing them to learn that particular skill. See if there’s a class you could attend or a certification they recommend. You’ll likely impress them with your eagerness to learn.

A greater purpose

Your volunteer role doesn’t have to be all about the future. It can benefit your life the day you start, simply by giving you something to focus on outside of school. It’s unhealthy to focus so intensely on grades that you forget the world around you.

Use your volunteer time to lift yourself up. As you begin to interact with those you’re serving, notice the difference you’re making just by giving your time. Is the event you’re serving at raising money for those in great need? Is the food you’re passing out nourishing bodies? Is tutoring providing an underprivileged child with the hope that he or she also can go to college one day? Allow yourself to feel good about what you’re doing and to realize that you can in fact make a difference.


Volunteering may ultimately be about serving others, but the work you do will always benefit you as well. Use the valuable time you are given as a student to learn more about yourself and the world around you.

Careers in Fine Arts

The term “starving artist” may apply to some painters, sculptors, illustrators, and other fine-arts professionals. However, many creative people have found highly successful careers in a wide range of fields.

About half of those who make their living in the fine arts are self-employed. A large portion of them produce works of art for sale. Their customers may be individuals who buy single pieces, or store owners who purchase artwork in bulk for resale. Artists exhibit their creations in museums, display them in galleries, and sell them on the web.

Other fine artists work for private companies or government entities. Some of these positions require fine-arts degrees. Government officials have projected that the job-growth rate for fine artists will be just 3 percent from 2012 to 2022, far less than the average for all occupations.

Traditional Artists

When most people hear the term “artist,” they picture painters and sculptors. These are the most traditional of art jobs, with histories dating to many centuries ago. This category features those who actually produce the art; the talented people who conceive and create works that have aesthetic value. Other examples include printmakers, illustrators, cartoonists, and video artists.

The Art Business

Many fine artists, or visual artists, find work in the art business. Some are art appraisers, brokers, or dealers. They assess, buy, and sell pieces of work. Auction houses, art galleries, and art museums hire artistic people to perform a variety of duties.

Corporate Art Careers

Large businesses need art directors to design visual concepts for promotions and advertising. These professionals are responsible for how printed materials, videos, ads, and web pages are presented to the public. It has been estimated that nearly half of fine artists have this type of job, which is near the top of the pay scale for all kinds of artists.

Art directors supervise multimedia artists, animators, and artists skilled in the use of technical equipment. The staff of a large company’s advertising department may include copywriters, creative directors, illustrators, and photographers.

Illustration and Drawing

Without artwork, magazines and books would not be as visually appealing to readers. Publishers need fine artists to create illustrations, drawings, and designs for printed materials like calendars, greeting cards, stationery, wallpaper, and gift-wrapping paper. The designs of T-shirts and other clothing also display the talents of fine artists.

Sketch artists, those skilled at re-creating a person’s likeness, are employed by police departments and news media. Medical illustrators are specially trained to render anatomically accurate drawings that portray how surgical procedures are to be conducted. They do this by hand, and use computer technology to create animations and three-dimensional images. Scientific illustrators depict plants and animals, molecular structures, and geologic and planetary formations. Their work appears in professional publications and is used to educate students.

Art Education

A degree in fine arts, along with a teaching certificate, can qualify an artist for a rewarding career in education. High schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions employ art teachers. Other jobs involving education include art museum curator, archivist, art critic, art consultant, lecturer, art historian, and art therapist.

In your search for a job in the fine arts, do not be discouraged by those who insist there is no money to be made in the field. There are hundreds of occupations for visual artists, offering employment in myriad specialties. If you research the options, and honestly assess your own skills, you just might find a career that matches your passion with your need to earn a living.

Playing Politics - Careers in Political Science

If you are interested in politics and public policy, and have a passion for changing the world for the better, you may want to consider pursuing a degree in political science. This sort of education could qualify you for a wide variety of intriguing careers.

Political science majors study the operations of governments, and the making of public policies and laws. They also are experts in the facets and strategies of electoral campaigns for public office.

Specialities include political theory, political processes, international politics, state and local government, public administration, and the judicial system. While pursuing their studies, students are advised to gain practical experience by volunteering in government offices or on political campaigns.

Internships and research opportunities are available. Graduate programs allow students to concentrate on public policy regarding business, law, diplomacy, or other areas.


Many positions are offered by municipal, county, state, and federal government agencies. Political science majors may apply for jobs in administrative offices, on the staffs of state legislators and members of Congress, or as public-policy researchers.

Intelligence analysts working for the FBI, CIA, and other operations assess safety needs and security threats. Students who focus on international relations may pursue careers as foreign service officers. They also serve on diplomatic staffs and work in embassies around the world.

Analysts, researchers, archivists, historians, and others work on public-policy issues for the U.S. government. An education in political science may help prepare you for such careers, though specialized training and experience are typically required.

Electoral Politics

Those seeking to win elections need campaign managers and staff who are trained in political science. This work entails identifying voters, targeting those who might vote for a candidate, persuading voters to choose the candidate, and turning out voters to the polls.

Jobs on political campaigns include consultants, speechwriters, spokespeople, analysts, fundraisers, and pollsters. Major political parties, on the state and national levels, employ similar kinds of professionals (in positions that do not end on Election Day). Candidates themselves benefit from having received an education in political science, as it aids them in understanding voters.

Nonprofit Organizations

Thousands of nonprofit organizations work to influence government agencies and officials in regard to public policy. These groups represent a wide range of interests like business, labor, education, the environment, and human needs.
Lobbyists, organizers, speakers, writers, fundraisers, and others work for such organizations. The directors of advocacy organizations often have political science backgrounds, as they need to know how to influence the public as well as policymakers.


Large corporations have a lot at stake when it comes to governmental laws and regulations. These companies employ people with political savvy to promote, shape, or get rid of public policies that affect their finances and other interests. Speakers, writers, analysts, and other types of policy advocates are needed.

A poli-sci degree also is relevant for sales and marketing positions, as the skills needed to influence how people vote may be applied to selling products and services. International marketing, translating, research, and media-relations experts are hired by corporations.


Many of the politicians holding office in the United States are lawyers. Their education gives them an understanding of the law, and how statutes are created in the political process. Numerous lobbyists also have law degrees. A lawyer who becomes a judge may be in a position to overthrow or uphold a law.

Among other law-related jobs for which a poli-sci degree may prove helpful are paralegal, consumer advocate, public-policy analyst, mediator, criminologist, labor relations specialist, and labor union officer.


A political science degree, along with writing ability and journalism experience, are qualifiers for some careers in print publications, television and radio, and online news and opinion writing. Editors and reporters must comprehend the political process, and work with public officials on a regular basis.

You may get a job as a reporter, covering electoral campaigns, legislative sessions, political issues, and public-policy debates. Broadcast news analysts, as well as print and online columnists, offer their opinions about the news of the day. Some businesses and organizations need editors and writers for publications concerned with political issues.


It has been estimated that three-quarters of political science majors become professors at colleges and universities. This, of course, requires satisfying other requirements, such as earning a teaching certificate.

You may begin as an assistant professor, later obtaining a doctorate degree to become a full professor. You could teach law, politics, or related subjects. Public-policy research positions also are available at some universities.

Fewer than 7,000 people in the United States have the job title “political scientist.” About half of them work in offices of the federal government, analyzing data and writing reports. A master’s degree in political science, public administration, or a related field is necessary to get one of these jobs. The average annual salary, in 2012, was $102,000.

Most political science majors use their degrees to obtain other types of employment. Many possibilities exist, offering opportunities to pursue various specialties. This type of work requires advocacy ability, writing skills, and other talents. Most of all, political science professionals must possess a strong interest in making a difference in how the law and public policies affect people’s lives.

A Peek at Your Future - Informational Interviews

It’s very common to experience feelings of uncertainty or even fear when you prepare for the beginning of what will be your career after college. An informational interview is an interview where you seek advice on a career or industry of interest, rather than a job position. It enables you to sit down with someone who is working in your area of interest and ask them questions about their career.

Informational interviews should be taken seriously because you will be making contact with a professional that may be able to help you in the future. You should be well prepared and professional.

Making Contact

Begin by visiting your university’s career center. Many times alumni will volunteer to speak with students, so ask an advisor if there’s anyone available from your industry of interest. You can also use LinkedIn alumni groups to locate alumni in your field. Busy professionals are often more willing to speak with someone they have something in common with.

If alumni groups leave you empty handed, turn to the web. Search for companies you want to eventually work.  If the company is small or locally based, a phone call is usually well received. If it’s a larger company, use the best email contact you can find, preferably an email for a specific person in your department of interest.

Word Wisely

By phone- Briefly introduce yourself and explain that you’re a student interested in learning more about the company and a career in the industry. Ask if it would be possible to set up a time for an informational interview with someone there.

By email- Use an appropriate but direct subject line such as, “(Their Name)-Informational Interview Request” or “Question from (Your University) Student” if their name is unknown. You want to get their attention. Close your email by thanking them for their time. Include your LinkedIn profile and contact information in the signature.

Regardless of how you make contact, be clear that you want to know more about their career, their experiences and their company. This is not the time to ask for a job or sell yourself; and doing so will likely turn off a future employer at this point. Explain to your interviewee that you will take no more than 30 minutes of their time.


Research the company more to gain a better understanding of its culture and history. If you are conducting the interview in person, you should select appropriate attire. Dress like you would for an actual interview. Write down your questions on a notepad in a portfolio. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What skills do you find most useful in this position?
  • What college courses helped you to best prepare for this job?
  • What is your schedule like?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement in this company/industry?

Take the portfolio with you to record the responses. You may also take a copy of your resume, just in case they ask for it.


If interviewing in person, plan to arrive five minutes early and behave as if you were on an actual job interview. Ask the interviewee if they are comfortable with you recording some notes regarding their responses.

When the interview is complete, thank the interviewer and ask if they have any other advice for you. Ask for a business card so you can follow up with a thank you email.


Informational interviews are one of the best ways to learn about a company and a particular industry. Conducting these interviews will enable you to make more confident career decisions, while making important professional contacts.