Orientation week is over. Your dorm room is unpacked. The dust has settled.
Only about a month into school, it can be easy to quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of activities, work, and responsibilities you are slammed with thus far. College.usatoday recently published a great article that all incoming freshman should be keeping in mind when considering their personal and academic success for their first year at college! Read the helpful tips below. They might seem obvious but it’s never too early in the year to gain some clarity and order your priorities when life become stressful.
And don’t forget! The CDO is always here to support you. Whether it be through resume/cover letter advising, career/major exploration, doing one of our protected personality tests, or just coming in to have a chat we are a support system that is here to help you achieve greatness!
1. Manage your time intelligently
Poor time management is one of the greatest sources of stress in the lives of college students. Purchase both a day planner and a monthly calendar to track your short- and long-term deadlines and events. By recording these important dates, you will be able to better plan your time.
2. Set reasonable goals
Goal-setting is an excellent way to create an instant sense of motivation. However, setting goals that are unrealistic can tire you, resulting in nothing but frustration and disappointment. Instead, establish goals for yourself that are challenging, yet reasonably attainable. Write down your goals and check them off as you accomplish each one. This will help you stay motivated and on task.
3. Establish an effective study strategy
From flashcards to online quizzes to textbook outlining, there is certainly more than one way to study. The key to studying effectively lies in learning how you review best. Try a variety of studying methods, and continue what works. Ensure you allow yourself ample time to review, as cramming or understudying will only result in stress and poor results.
4. Take care of your body
You have likely heard of the “Freshman 15,” or the fifteen-or-so pounds that some college students gain during the course of their first year. Eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get adequate rest. With a healthy body, you will be able to think more clearly, avoid stress, and feel better as a whole.
5. Keep to-do lists
If you are feeling overwhelmed by college assignments, extracurricular activities, and personal responsibilities, it can be difficult to begin addressing any task. Though it involves effort, prioritizing tasks before you try to accomplish them can assist you. Develop a to-do list, and focus on completing one item at a time.
6. Aim for simplicity
Remember: no one can do everything. Before you take on a new responsibility, consider whether or not you will have sufficient time to properly commit to it. Though you may find it difficult to turn down various opportunities, it may occasionally be necessary to say “no.”
7. Break large tasks into small portions
Think about the task you must finish. Then, estimate how much time you will require to complete it, and divide it into more manageable chunks. For instance, if you think it will take six hours to write your paper, schedule three two-hour sessions over several days. This is especially key with particularly daunting assignments.
8. Forgive yourself small mistakes
It is always admirable to strive to do your best. But, say you make a mistake—you forget an assignment deadline or receive a low grade. In these cases, it is natural to feel upset or disappointed. But allowing yourself to become distraught over every little mistake will only lead to more stress, which will make you less productive, less happy, and more likely to commit another misstep.
9. Reach out if you need help
Colleges are full of individuals who can help you handle any issues you face. On campus, you can count on professors, mental health counselors, health professionals, and academic advisers for assistance. Do not be ashamed to turn to these people for help if you need it; they exist to help you do and feel your best.
10. Know when to fold in certain areas
If life simply seems too busy or too difficult to enjoy, it may be time to reevaluate your various activities and responsibilities. Ask yourself what is most important to you. You should consider dropping anything that causes you stress or that you are not deeply invested in. Remember—school comes first. If your involvement in outside activities causes you to perform poorly in your classes, you should contemplate reducing these commitments.
Erica Cirino is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a technology platform for private academic tutoring and test prep designed to help students at all levels of education achieve academic excellence. (http://college.usatoday.com/2014/08/19/how-to-achieve-life-balance-as-a-college-freshman/)
The Fab Five: The Network Everyone Needs
by Alexandra Moncure
The importance of finding strong mentors, leaders in your field who have both the professional and personal experience to advise you in your career, has been a hot button topic for some time. However, Cindy Pace
, the current Director of Change Management & Strategy Integration at Pfizer and the future AVP of Diversity & Inclusion at MetLife, views mentors as just one part of the puzzle. She sat down with Levo League during Office Hours
to share the importance of building a strong network among your colleagues.
Pace emphasized the important role networks can have in your development as a leader and your development as an influencer. She thinks of her network as five concentric circles, or the Fab Five, made up of true friends, mentors, advisors, sponsors, and colleagues. Each circle adds value to your professional life in may ways, but Pace argues that the people who know you best as a professional are the people who work alongside you every day, your colleagues.
Co-workers can become your allies and act as advocates on your behalf. Developing strong connections with your current colleagues can lead to a strong professional network in the future.
Connecting with your co-workers does not necessarily mean getting into their personal business by sharing drinking stories or personal dramas. Pace advocates what she describes as a “pleasant distance” until you have ascertained the relationship. Your colleagues are people that you work with, not your best friends, and they are also your competition. Be cognizant of this and show discretion in the type of information you give out and the relationships you try to build.
It is also important to respect everyone that you work with, regardless of your personal feelings towards them. Find something about them that is unique and special that they bring to the table, and by no means should you burn bridges. The fact that you personally don’t like someone does not mean that you won’t have to work with him or her. In fact, that person could one day become your manager.
Get to know the essence
Take the time to get to know what motivates your co-workers, what they enjoy doing, and what kind of projects they engage well in and can become an integral part of. By identifying the strengths each of your co-workers posses, you will be better able to leverage your network in the future and possibly act as a connector or maven.
Pace recounted instances in her career in which her co-workers acted as advocates on her behalf and connected her with job opportunities that she would not have otherwise aware of. Her network of colleagues, who she refers to as her allies, identified her strengths and matched them to specific career opportunities for which they thought she would be a good fit. They also acted as connectors by making personal introductions.
Be a team player
A connector does not mind building relationships and making connections for others. It’s a reciprocal process and by providing others with the opportunity and information they need to get ahead, you have set in motion the law of reciprocity. Although it might not come back from the same person you gave it to, it will come back to you. By acting as an advocate on behalf of a co-worker, you set yourself up as a team player and show comradery and a willingness to help. “[Potential sponsors] are watching you and they want to support people who support others,” Pace explained.
Pace also discussed coping with failure and explained that she is herself recovering from fear of failure. “I wasn’t moving,” she said. “If it wasn’t the way I wanted it to be, I wouldn’t act on things.” She now endeavors to maintain an “I can come back” mindset—look at failure as information and consistently ask for feedback from which she can learn.
As she transitions into her new role with MetLife, Pace discussed how she has set out goals and steps for success in her new position. She has also identified success strategies for herself as a woman of color, or a self-described double-outsider, by being a high performer, having confidence in the face of fear, building confidence through wins, leveraging her network, and controlling her exposure.
Above all, Pace wants to impart the power of authenticity. “Don’t over edit yourself,” she said. “Sometimes we think we have to be something else to be accepted in certain environments.”
Sourced from Levo League (http://www.levo.com/articles/office-hours-recaps/get-personal-with-your-network)
We hope that all of you had a wonderful summer and that we will see you in the office soon!
Make sure you comment below by September 12th about the career related experiences you’re excited about this year! Once you comment, you’ll be entered to win prizes from the CDO. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to enter.
Throughout the year the Career Development Office works to verify employment and internship opportunities for you in order to ensure that each opportunity we post is truthful and enhances your skills and experience. Every so often we locate a scam or are notified by another local college about a possible employment scam. Although we screen all postings to Goucher Recruit, it is also your responsibility as the job seeker to practice vigilance before applying. For this reason we want to ensure that you are taking the measures necessary to identify job scams before they become unfortunate situations.
Tips for Identifying Job/Internship Scams
- Research the company and job. Can you locate the company and does the job posting seem to fit?
- The posting focuses only on the benefits, not the actual requirements
- The employer asks you to deposit a check for them once you are hired
- The employer requires you to pay money up front or to use your bank account
- The email address associated is not the same url associated with the company
- When you contact the employer/are hired, the job requirements aren’t what was stated in the ad
- If it seems too good to be true, it just might be
Protecting Yourself from Scams
- Bring the posting to the Career Development Office for review if you’re uncertain
- Search for the email address/phone number/company online- does the company come up in your results? Is any of the information reported as a scam? Does the posting seem to fit with the companies mission?
- Do not provide any personal information unless you feel 100% comfortable with your employer
- Check their references just as they may ask to check yours – Ask to speak with current or previous employees
If you learn about a job scam please report it to the CDO at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on job scams or to report a job scam, visit the Federal Trade Commission.
The summer is a great time to meet new people. Maybe you meet someone new in the airport, walking through your neighborhood, through that volunteer opportunity you’re working with this summer. Either way, each time to meet someone new you have the opportunity to network and make a great first impression. Having your elevator pitch prepared and perfected will help you make the best first impression possible. Elevator pitches can take many forms- it can be as an introduction in a pre-scheduled meeting or interview, or maybe you have a chance meeting on an airplane. It’s your chance to tell someone who you are, your strengths, and your passions in under 60 seconds.
The CDO has wonderful handouts to assist you in your networking endeavors here. Check out the “30 Second Pitch” handout for examples of elevator pitches. Also, Interview Stream has put together a great infographic on utilizing your elevator pitch for an interview. Check it out here!
Sourced from Interview Stream.
When applying for a job or internship, marketing yourself to employers, and making new connections, you’re focused on your technical and industry related skills. But what about your soft skills? These skills are the ones that many employers note as equally important when reviewing applicants. They are also the skills that most employers note applicants could strengthen to be more marketable and competitive. Take a look at this article from US News and World Report to learn about various soft skills. Have any questions about soft skills? Contact the CDO! email@example.com
Soft Skills: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?