If it’s news, it’s for you

You need more to read. That’s right, the thousand pages per week your instructors lay on you isn’t enough.

Some of the most valuable reading you can do doesn’t appear on any of your syllabi. You’ll find it instead on the local newsstand. Being conversant in the news of the day can be a big advantage when you interview for internships or full-time jobs. It is a way to show your college success both inside and outside the classroom.  Interviewers will be impressed with someone who knows what’s going on in a particular industry, and the world in general.

Say you’re interviewing for a job as the manager of a clothing store. When you ask if recent economic upheavals in Asia have affected the cost and availability of merchandise, you’ll stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, not being in touch with the news can be a major minus on the interview score sheet. If a real estate recruiter says, “Pretty incredible interest rate situation we’re in, huh?” you’d better have some idea whether rates are high or low these days (they’re low).

You don’t have time to read more than one or two periodicals, so be choosy. For general interest fields such as journalism or public service, consider the New York Times. Business students can’t go wrong with reading the Wall Street Journal a couple times a week. If you’re headed to a more specialized field, such as education, venture to the library to read journals in your field. Don’t forget the internet is a great source of news. Many publishers offer on-line versions of their papers and magazines, often at no charge.

And for the reading-adverse, there’s always the national news on TV. Better yet, National Public Radio is one of the truly premier sources for news. It covers business, politics, and international news extremely well, plus it hits social issues in more depth than almost any other media. Your campus station may even broadcast NPR news in the morning or evening. If so, take advantage of it.

So download a podcast, pick up a paper, or tune in to the evening news on TV. Wherever you find your news, absorb as much as you can—it can lead to success in college and beyond.

List Making

I make lists all the time. What I need from the grocery store, who to invite to dinner for a friend’s birthday, the homework I need to do this weekend, my goals for my student organization’s charity auction—all of these things and more make it onto my lists.

Whether you are in high school or college, lists can be your friend, provided you have them at the ready, and work toward crossing things off. Lists are key to achieving college success and high school success. Here are some ways to keep a list:

 

  • Pocket/purse sized notebook
  • App on your smart phone
  • Scraps of paper you always have in your pocket
  • Sticky notes
  • Notes stored on your computer

Of course there are more ways to keep lists, but you get my drift. Now think what kinds of things you need to put on your list and get going! Make a list of colleges and universities you would like to get more information about, of goals for your summer internship, of things to add to your resume, or application deadlines.

Do you need help coming up with ideas for your list? Making College Count is a perfect place to start.  It is filled with great advice for college and can help you developing goals and good habits that will help you achieve college success.  With your list in hand, you are now organized and ready to tackle your tasks.

How to Write a Graduation Gift Thank You Note

So you received a graduation gift. Now what? It’s time for the dreaded writing of the graduation gift thank you notes. Here are a few tips and tricks for writing an easy and customizable graduation gift thank you note.

  • Say “thank you”- It may sound silly, but in a graduation gift thank you note, you need to say “thank you.”

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How Much to Spend on a High School Graduation Gift

You are looking to give a high school graduation gift, but have no idea where to start.  You don’t even know how much to spend on a high school graduation gift.  Sure it’s the thought that counts when it comes to giving a gift, but you want to give something meaningful too.  As I wrote about in Not Again Part 1 and 2, you may want to go with some not-so-common gift ideas, but even so, how much do you spend?  I’ve broken it down by degree of relationship here. Read more

Graduation Prep

Chances are you’ve already purchased/rented your cap and gown and are getting ready to send out your graduation invitations. You may even be planning graduation parties and are looking forward to some graduation gifts. Or you may be the friend of a soon-to-be graduate. You could be the one receiving the graduation invitation, throwing the graduation party or the one having to purchase the graduation gifts.

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Graduation Gift Thank You Notes

It’s graduation season! Congrats to all those who will be walking across the high school graduation stage this year. As you prepare for this exciting time in your life, you are probably getting several graduation gifts from friends and family members who want to wish you well on your journey to college. While it is great to get tons of towels and photo albums, never forget that receiving the gift is not the end of the story.

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High School Graduation Gift Alternatives

It’s high school graduation gift season! You are probably the kind of person who wants to get your graduate a gift they will enjoy instead of an ill-thought-out gift card. So I have compiled a list of great high school graduation gifts I would like to receive that are a bit outside the box.

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College Success – The Interview Question

Go the Extra Mile with Extra Classes

Whether you care to admit it to your parents or not, some semesters are just not as academically demanding as others. Some schedules actually give you a little breathing room.

 

You need to make the most of these stretches, because they don’t come along very often. Light semesters provide a great chance to work toward college success as is often discussed in this blog. You can get involved in a club, take a part-time job, start searching for a killer summer job, or even start your own small business. There’s another option as well, one that few students take advantage: auditing classes.

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Preparing for Letters of Recommendation

Many graduate schools and jobs require letters of recommendation before they will seriously consider you as a candidate for admission, scholarships or employment. A great letter of recommendation can really make the difference. Conversely, a poor letter can also make a negative difference. So in order to get the best letter possible, you need to do a little work first.

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