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Skills

4 Steps to Planning a Career When Studying Abroad

Career planning is an often-neglected aspect when students are looking up top universities abroad, or in their locality. Properly deciding on a career path, and hence selecting the right universities that could bolster your chances of success is crucial to your long-term success in life. The following is a four-step method of finding the right career path for you:

  1. Knowing Yourself
  2. Exploring Careers
  3. Short listing Decisions
  4. Taking Action

Step 1: Knowing Yourself
On a piece of paper, draw two parallel lines across the page, dividing it in two. Next, further divide it into three equal portions such that the paper has 6 boxes. Mark them as “past”, “Where I am now”, “Where I want to be”. Start working on where you want to be based on your passions and your dreams. Ask questions such as:

  • Where do I want to be?
  • What do I want out of a job or career?
  • What do I like to do?

Write short answers to these questions above the line. Next move to the current “where I am now” and answer the following:

  • Where am I at now?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What is important to me?

Using these answers, you can easily search for various occupations and find the skill sets that they demand, or look for, in their employees. This will greatly help you select the right universities and university programs to build those skills.

Step 2: Exploring Careers
This step is about exploring the occupations and learning areas that interest you, and which you have stated in the previous step. The occupational preferences that you have gained from the research will tell you the required skills you have to work for now. Ask the following questions:

  • Where do I lack?
  • What skills do I need?
  • Where is the work?
  • Do my current academic and financial options limit my choices of universities?

At the end of this you will have a clear idea of the skills that you have to focus, the specific university options that you should be looking for (types of scholarships etc).

Step 3: Short Listing Decisions
This step involves comparing your options and narrowing down your choices. Ask the following questions:

  • What are my best work/training options?
  • Are they realistic: How do they fit with the current market?
  • What will help and what will hinder me? Moreover, what can I do about it?

This step will give you a laser view of the options you should focus on and have more of an idea of what you need to do next to help you achieve your goals.

Step 4: Taking Action
By now you will have researched about different facets, so ask yourself:

  • What actions/steps do I need to take, do I need professional assistance?
  • From where can I get help?
  • Who will be able to support me?

Now, compile all the work into a comprehensive plan. Then check out the top undergraduate universities on www.scoolist.com

6 Tips to Nail That Internship Interview

Finding an internship that you want to take part in is easy to do when compared with completing the interview for it. You’ve got to ace your internship interview if you even want to be considered for the internship that you are interested in. You can certainly use a number of pointers to make your interview work out right. It is all so you can get the internship you’ve always wanted.

Summarize Yourself In A Few Seconds

The odds are your interviewer is going to ask you to say a few words about yourself. The interviewer will do this to get a closer idea of who you are as a person.

Create a personal summary of yourself that you can run off in less than 60 seconds. Your summary should include details on your education, your overall background and why you are interested in the internship you are applying for.

Explain Your Desire

Your interviewer will certainly ask you about why you are interested in one’s company. The interviewer may also ask you about what you know about the industry you’re interested in. Think about your desire to work at a place and come up with a way to explain everything in simple terms. Show your knowledge of the company you’re applying for the internship with and explain that you are fully aware of how the industry works. You have to be specific if possible so your interviewer will take you seriously.

Consider Your Future

Think about your future based on the internship you’re participating in. Think about how you plan on using the skills you will learn in your internship to succeed well off in the future. Your interviewer will want to see that you are committed to whatever you are interested in and that you know what to do well off into the future.

You don’t have to be too far off into the future when doing this. Think about where you might see yourself five to ten years from now so you can show you have an idea of what you want to get out of life.

Research Your Company Of Interest

You should not go into your internship interview without understanding anything about what the company does. Look up as much information on the company as you can. Check on its financials and look for the most up to date information and news about the company as possible. See if there’s anything about the company that matches up with your values or beliefs.

Use the Past To Your Advantage

The resume that your interviewer reads will certainly have information on the jobs you’ve had in the past. Use the past experience you have by explaining to the interview why you’re the right candidate for the job at hand.

Manage a Good Follow-Up

One of the best tips to use is one that can be used after the interview is over. You have to arrange for a follow-up with your interviewer. You should send a thank you message by email the day after the interview. The email should be professional and should express your gratitude for the interview.

This not only shows how prompt and professional you are but also shows the interviewer your interest in the internship. It may help you get the internship by showing that you greatly care about whatever is being offered to you.

Be prepared for your big internship interview. You might be amazed at how well it will go if you use the tips listed here.

5 Tips for Comparing Majors in Your School

Choosing a major can be a challenge to do. You have to compare the majors that are available in your school carefully so you can choose the right one. You don’t want to get into a situation where you might regret the decision you make. As a result you should see what types of majors are available at a school and use these particular parameters for finding one that’s right for you.

Look At the Courses

Take a look at the coursework that will be required of you in different majors. Various majors will have their own coursework standards that must be followed. Some majors in the field of science might focus more on math-related courses than computer-related ones, for instance. Check to see if the major you want to take has courses that you might actually be interested in.

On a related note, think about the particular internships, student groups and other resources available for you based on the courses you are taking. You might find different groups that have interests that are similar to you based on whatever you want to study.

Consider Your Talents

Take a look at whatever talents you might have. Perhaps you are a good speaker or you have strong writing skills. Take a look at those talents and see what particular majors in your school might be right for you. A great writer could major in journalism, for instance.

What Everyday Skills Are Involved?

The skills you will learn in your major go well beyond just what is needed for you to be successful in a particular job. Everyday skills may also play a big part in your major.

Many majors will entail courses dedicated to solving complicated problems, how to communicate with others and even how to speak particular languages. The variety of skills that you might learn in your major will certainly make a difference.

Look Beyond Salary

While you might hear stories about the amounts of money people with certain majors make, you should ignore those stories. There is always a potential you could earn more or less than whatever someone says your major is worth. Your total earnings will be based heavily on the market you are in, how experienced you are and whether or not you are an efficient worker.

Don’t Think You’re Limited

The last tip is to avoid thinking that there are limits as to what you can do with your college degree depending on the major you are in. The major might help you get into various jobs but that doesn’t mean your future is limited to just those particular jobs.

Try and compare majors based on the specific types of jobs or lines of work people have gotten into. A person with a mathematics degree could be in a sports-related field or in a space-related industry, for instance. You might be surprised at the jobs that are available to you based on a particular major. Therefore, feel free to look around to see what types of jobs you could get out of your particular major.

You should think carefully when you’re trying to find a major that you can be comfortable with. Comparing college majors doesn’t have to be too hard to do if you use the points listed in this guide to help you along. Take a look at as many of these majors as possible and you’ll see that you might get a great total going for your studies.

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.

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.

Networking

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.

Exploration

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.

Skills

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.

Summary

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.

What employers look for in graduate candidates

For graduate students, one of the most frustrating things about preparing for an interview is knowing what attributes and skills employers are looking for. The competition is quite high for graduate jobs so it is important for candidates to stand out from others. Most employers today look for the below mentioned attributes in graduate students to ensure they’ll be a good fit for their organization:

Qualifications

All employers look for good academic qualifications. They check the level of education achieved and grades to ensure that your qualifications will be suitable for the role you apply for. Graduate students do score extra points with employers in comparison to candidates that do not have a graduate degree.

Extra-curricular experience

It is important for students to ensure that their CV lists their extracurricular activities and work placements. Employers appreciate well-rounded candidates. Showing that you are proactive and that you participate in social groups, volunteering activities and student unions will set you apart from others.

Attention to detail

Take the time to present yourself well to the interviewer to make the right impression. A resume and cover letter with grammatical errors or wrinkled clothing will give an impression that you are indifferent and this can turn-off most employers. Double check all your documents, dress smart and research well before you go for the interview. The job application you send in should also be targeted for the role you apply for. This will show employers that you’ve done a lot of research and taken the time to learn more about what the job entails.

Soft skills

Qualities like team work, communications, problem solving and self-motivation will show that you have skills that will help you go a long way. Employers appreciate candidates that demonstrate the core values that all employers look for in an ideal candidate. Learn more about the work ethics and corporate culture of the company so you can show the employer that you will be a good fit for the organization.

Enthusiasm

Employers love candidates that show enthusiasm for the opportunity presented to them. Your interview will be the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this enthusiasm. Provide real life examples and evidence that back up your skills and strengths. Extra qualifications, volunteering and internships that show your work in the industry are great examples. Ask questions about the organization and the role you’re applying for to show that you are truly interested in working for them.

International Experience

Employers also value graduate students with some international experience. If you’ve studied or worked abroad, include it in your resume. Your cover letter should mention the lessons and insights you gained from your international experience. If you’ve learned a second language during your international experience, it would provide you an edge over others. However, it is important that you talk to potential employers about how this experience will help you fulfill the duties of the role you’re applying for. Employers like candidates that can show them how well they fit the role in question.

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