What Are Employers Looking For?

Regularly, we get an email with articles from our friends at Education Week. They share wonderful insights on the education job market, and tips on how we can best help our education students succeed in their job search.  Last week, there was a very pertinent article about what employers look for in a candidate, and I liked that it was relevant to all job seekers, regardless of their major!  There are three categories that job seekers should focus on as they prepare: their confidence, their appearance, and their work ethic/team player ability. The article also stresses the importance of showcasing these qualities in all aspects of the job search – from networking events, to scheduling with the administrative assistant, to the final interview.  What do you think? Are there other qualities a job seeker should highlight for potential employers? Employers, is there anything else that isn’t on this list but you feel is important in a high-quality candidate?

You can read the full article here: http://blogs.edweek.org/topschooljobs/careers/2014/10/what_do_employers_look_for_in_.html

Amy Rader, Paris, France

My one month in Paris mark has come and gone.  I’m living my dream, and it’s starting to feel like an actual reality.  Since my last blog, so many things have happened.  Stressful, incredible, inspiring, creepy, beautiful things are happening to me everyday during this journey.

Our fourth roommate has moved in, and we are all adjusting to another human being taking up space in our pretty small apartment.  We all get along great, but sometimes it feels like there is no where to be alone in this big city.   And other times, nothing feels lonelier.   Since I’ve been here over a month now (which was the full length of my Madrid travels) I am starting to feel the homesickness.  During the day when I am busy with school and exploring, I’m alright, but at night, when I look through my Facebook newsfeeds, I miss my family, friends, sorority sisters, and of course, my boyfriend even more.  It is a hard feeling to comprehend.  I am in one of the biggest and most beautiful cities in the world.  And I’m sad about it.   But I remind myself, with help from my friends, that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Everyone will still be there when I return.

Last weekend, I visited the city of Collioure in the south of France.   So far south, it’s close to Barcelona.  It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen in my entire life.  I did not want to return to Paris after that.  I swam in the Mediterranean for the second time in my life and hiked along the coast on the Pyrenees Mountains.  We visited a fortified city that was protected in the history of time, that land had belonged to Spain and France.  Everyone in the cities seemed calm and relaxed and stress-free.  I would love to return one day.

Collioure at night.

The coast of the Mediterranean

I have also been attending different events to improve my French.  It is hard, but I know it is getting better.  Some days,  All I want to do is speak French, and other days, I want nothing to do with it.  Its a daily battle, but I’ll get there.  I read and watch Breaking Bad on Netflix in French.  It feels like a little taste of home with a French twist because so many of my friends love that show and it reminds me of them when I watch here. I also have 18 hours of class a week all in French and that can be exhausting.

I have also been doing some more touristy things.  I visited Saint-Chapelle Church, the Concergierie (an old prison), the Catacombs, the aquarium, and a few other places.  I was nervous that I would come to Paris and miss something so I made a list of 50 things I want to do before I leave.  This helps me focus on my daily life and now the homesickness.

Saint-Chapelle(top left) Marie Antoinette’s room in the Concergierie (bottom left)

L’Arc de Triompe, Les Champs-Elysee, Le Tour Eiffel

Laduree, and the Catacombs

This past weekend, I went to Normandy.  I visited Mont Saint-Michel, which on some lists, is considered one of the seven wonders of the world, Omaha beach, and other D-Day sites.  It was incredible and tragic to see an American cemetery in another country.  However, this proves that there really is no race, no difference in nationality.  People should be there for others, no matter what.

Mont Saint-Michel

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

I have one more week of school and then a week of holiday break!  I will be visiting a friend in Lisbon for the entire week and I can not wait!

More to come!

Amanda Kopil: My next steps after graduating from Albright

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Midterms have come and gone and this semester seems as though it is doing the same. I feel as though I have not been on track lately with my homework. This usually happens to me once a semester because I get in this great workflow and then I sort of get tired of it and fall behind. It is really difficult to keep your head up and maintain a great work ethic because there is always more then just school going on. It seems as though if someone is doing well at one aspect in life, another is falling short. My assistantship has been fabulous! I love it so much and everything I do is going well and smoothly. Because of this, however, school has been the last thing I have wanted to do. This is not because I do not like what I am doing it is just because of the way I am spending my time and effort. Like I said, this happens to me every semester around midterms so I am quite used to it. I know that I will bounce back and get into tune with everything in my life but as of right now it is difficult.

Stress can really make you want to just quite everything and go the “easy” route. Mitigating these emotions is something that does take practice. College has really helped me with this and I have had a lot of practice! If I feel as though the stress is getting too much, I will take a deep breath and go for a run or walk. This helps me clear my mind and then come back to reality to face what I need to accomplish. Having time to you is a very essential part to making it through stressful times. Just make sure you can always have your goals at the end of the tunnel and constantly work towards them.

Make Small Talk, Expand Your Network!

One of our biggest events every fall is So You Think You Can Network.  This gives current students an opportunity to network with professionals and recent alumni. It is a chance for students to practice dressing professionally, use their elevator speech, and establish connections both in and out of their anticipated field. While the majority of our students walk away from the event feeling more confident about themselves, it is usually a huge source of stress before the event kicks off.  One of the most common questions we get beforehand is simply “how do I network?” Students don’t realize that they network all the time with their friends, family, community members, and faculty, simply by communicating with them on a professional level.

Our friends at the Culture and Manners Institute (http://www.cultureandmanners.com/) recently shared a wonderful anecdote about what networking means, and how important conversational skills are while job searching.

“The Etiquette Tip of the Week is a little late this week, as I am just returning from a trip to Japan.  On the way home, on an airplane between Baltimore and Chicago, I sat next to a gentleman in commercial real estate. I asked him what he looked for in job candidates right out of college.’ The main thing I want to know,’ he said, ‘is can they carry on a conversation?’  This is important he explained, because they have to be able to communicate with clients. He said he looks for eye contact, whether they researched the company, if they showed an interest in the company by asking him questions and if they can do all of this without checking or answering their cell phone. Practice your conversation skills.  Strike up a conversation with people around you while you are waiting in line, riding an elevator, waiting for a train or bus, or flying on an airplane. Dive into business networking events offered by your local chamber of commerce or your college alumni organization. Being a good conversationalist is simple: ask questions of the other person.  My conversation with the gentleman on the airplane began with some small talk about air travel.  He said he travels a great deal for work.  So I asked, ‘What do you do for a living?’ Some people will be very easy to talk to, while others will be like talking to a brick wall.  Don’t be discouraged, because it is good experience and part of your process.  The other benefit is you meet some interesting people and sometimes make a good business connection.”

We urge you to take advantage of any opportunity you can to improve your communication skills and feel more confident in your ability to network.  Force yourself to go for an afternoon without even checking your cell phone.  Take time to ask your professors questions during office hours or after class. When you visit a friend’s house, ask their parents about their work and what advice they have for upcoming graduates.  These small gestures will go a long way in helping you present yourself better while networking!

Alexio’s Update from Edinburgh

Hey Everyone,

Just to begin, Scotland is amazing! It has been such an incredible trip so far. Class-wise I’m finally getting used to the UK academic system. It took a little while, but it feels good to get a grip on it. I thought I felt independent by being at college for two years at Albright, but here this is almost real independence. Energy conservation is a big thing here, while in America we kind of just use it haha. But here, you have to pay attention to the lights you leave on, how much power your drawing from the outlets to your laptop, and others. You always have to pay attention to your refrigerator. You have to check what’s getting low, what’s going bad, what necessities do you need to stock up on, and if you have all the ingredients for your meals. Oh and how can I forget money, wow it can go quick if you don’t keep your eye on it. Between paying for food, souvenirs, gifts, school books, transportation, trips, dates (if possible lol), experiences with friends, oh and especially drinks. Because you are able to drink here at the age of 18 and because it is just common culture to go out to a bar with friends and have a pint, money on drinks can make you pretty broke. And its not in order to get drunk and crazy, its really just a social thing… to sit at a nice pub, watch the football game on the telly, and drink a nice pint of beer.

If I was to name the top 5 places in Edinburgh, Scotland that are my favorite places, they would be: 1) Teviot – the student communal center that is really big, has a nice vintage/collegiate look to it. 2)The Meadows – the large park in the middle of the city where me and my friends play football every weekend. 3) The National Museum – the biggest museum in the city that shows artifacts from around the world from all different periods and cultures, a natural history section, a new age science section, and my favorite the Scotland through the ages section. 4) The Royal Mile/ Edinburgh Castle – yes it is the tourist street and attraction but hell I am a tourist and I just love the look of it and the old world feeling of the whole street, and especially the shops. 5) Finally Edinburgh’s Underground – This is where the old city really is. It was buried long ago to stop the spread of the plague, now you can go to the ancient part of the city and venture around the ruins.

Bellow (Oscar and I chillin next to Dolly the first cloned animal ever!)

Along the lines of traveling, I haven’t been able to do too much recently. In my scholarship program its not exactly a study abroad type of program, it is more like I am directly enrolling in a University over seas for one year. So the work load is the same just as anyone else’s. So its up to me and my friends to free up our schedules and finish all the work before hand in order to get some free time to travel. Some trips I have planned are: 1) to do a World Wars battlefield tours, where it will pretty much be me and my buddy traveling to Northern France and Belgium to visit the battle sights of both of the world wars. 2) A UK trip, to visit a few key cities in the UK 3) To get to Ireland to visit my cousins and two of my friends who came to study abroad at Albright College for one year 4) My friend from Spain wants to host me at his house anytime before I get back to the states. 5) Lastly is my Eastern Europe trip, where my friends and I are hitting up Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Kharkow in Poland, and ending off in Ukraine. So there are many trip to be planned and many experiences to be had!

Cheers, Alexio

Midterm Mind Break

With midterms in progress, we wanted to break from our traditional posts and share some study tips.  Please feel free to comment and share what helps YOU study best, too!

1. Take short, frequent breaks.  Scientists have determined that studying for 20 minutes and then taking a 5 minute break is more effective than studying for an hour straight and taking a 15 minute break.  It’s easier for the brain to compartmentalize and “file” information into your memory after shorter periods. Same for writing- your brain is less likely to hit writers block!

2. Write it out.  By hand-copying your notes or outline, your brain will focus more on the material than if you just typed on a computer.

3. Use music. Find a music genre that helps you focus- from classical to Beyonce- and use it to keep your focused while you study, since the sound will block out other distractions.

4. Don’t be a night owl.  Many, many students pull all-nighters in an attempt to cram before their exams or write their papers.  Unfortunately, that just reduces your brain’s performance as you go longer and longer without sleep.

5. Learn what works best for you.  Not only in finding the perfect music to get you in the zone, but also what time of day, what smells you need, the perfect location, and what you need to do to get your mind focused. All of these things will come together and help you be ready to ace your midterms!

Amanda Kopil: My next steps after graduating from Albright

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This is the office that I work at and inside… this is a good friend of mine, Morgan that works as a student worker in the office! Morgan is an awesome worker, student, and friend; I really enjoy working side-by-side with her, we both learn a lot from each other :)

Amanda Kopil: My next steps after graduating from Albright

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I never thought that 6 weeks could go by as fast as it has! To give a little bit of an update so far, I have started my first two assistantship projects at work and I’ve started on major projects for my courses. My graduate assistantship has been great, I really couldn’t have asked for a better work environment. In the office, I work closely with student workers (undergraduates), administrative assistant, administrative manager, and the dean. In about a month and a half the Science Lectureship will be here and I cannot wait! The lectureship is an event where two students from surrounding high schools engage in a collaborative exam involving all fields of the sciences. Seeing everything that happens behind the scenes for an event is very overwhelming! I just started working on the registration list and confirmation letters for the various schools that plan to attend. I have never used so many sticky notes and small reminders on my computer then I have for these events! Also, some advice, when doing an annual event for the first time there is usually always prior year’s information somewhere that can be extremely useful. Another thing; always ask questions! I know this seems simple but even the slightest mistake can change much more than expected.
My classes are going much better than I would have ever expected graduate courses to go. What I mean by this is that I really did expect my classes to be much more difficult than they really are. Not saying that they are not challenging and that I am not learning anything, just that I am more calm and collected! It is quite possible for Albright to have really prepared me for graduate school and made me an all-around better student. I don’t mean to boast but since graduating from Albright and attending a new university, I feel very confident in myself and my choices. My courses are more discussion-based then my undergraduate courses; I think that is the biggest difference. I really like this type of learning because it allows for all of my classmates to get to know each other. This all goes for my two online courses as well. We have to “meet” online every once in a while and it is not lecture-based it is mainly discussion. I think this is because my professors now expect the students to sort of learn the material in our own way and independently. Either way, I like the way this is going!

Thinking about Grad School? Know your resources!

This week, our Center had three events related to graduate and professional schools! Wow! We had a great response from our students, and it’s great to see so many are considering attending graduate school at one point or another in their life. We’ve talked before about how the decision to go to graduate school is not to be taken lightly.  Once you make that decision, there’s a lot of things to be crossed off the to-do list as you get ready! Today, we compiled a list of links to help you prepare for all aspects of the application process- from finding a school, to writing a personal statement, to preparing for admission tests.  Don’t forget to use your resources, such as your career center, faculty members, or the admissions office of the school you are considering!

http://www.gradschools.com/

http://www.petersons.com/graduate-schools.aspx

http://www.albright.edu/elcdc/cd/pdf/The-Graduate-Application-Process.pdf

http://www.albright.edu/elcdc/cd/pdf/Writing-Your-Personal-Statement.pdf

http://www.albright.edu/elcdc/cd/pdf/Graduate-and-Professional-School-Testing-Info.pdf

http://www.kaptest.com/

http://www.ets.org/gre

http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/about-the-lsat/

http://www.mba.com/us

http://www.pearsonassessments.com/postsecondaryeducation/graduate_admissions/mat.html

Life and schooling in Edinburgh, Scotland

Hi all and hello again from Scotland,

So it’s October 1st today and that’s already one month down of the ten I got here in the United Kingdom. Being here a month already and have seen loads of differences between the United States and the United Kingdom. The small stuff are things like there are so many more types of garbage cans, I know it sounds a bit goofy, but there are different “bins” for different types of garbage There are like three different bins for different recycling and then the bin for landfill garbage. I find myself on many occasions standing in front of a line of bins trying to figure out which I should be putting my trash, I mean “rubbish” in. There are other small things like how their outlets all have switches on them to turn off the outlet, their paper towel roles are a bit smaller too. These are all small things, the biggest change is the classes and academic differences.

I’ve been finding the transition from American educational system to that of the UK’s pretty difficult. There is much more of a hands off approach over here. Lectures are more impersonal in the UK unlike at Albright where you can ask questions and clarification. I think that is mainly due to the Lecture halls having 200 students or more as opposed to Albright classes with max 40 students. That closer more intimate approach to learning is something I really miss about home. Those types of questions have to wait for tutorial groups that meet once a week in groups of 12 or so. They are much more discussion based, but you only have them once a week. Also you are only graded on maybe two assignments for the whole year, so if they aren’t good you’re pretty much done for. Whereas in the states we have many little small projects and essays, here in the UK it is just these two essays and you are graded on attendance, doing homework, or participating either so it gets to be very tough.

Now I really don’t want to scare anyone from traveling abroad to the UK, because it really is an amazing adventure that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, but I do have to say that it is very different from America and it takes a bit of getting used to. By far the biggest thing I love about being over here is the people. The conglomeration of cultures and languages and customs is mind-boggling and breathtaking. I’ve made so many friends from places around the world and they’ve taught me so much already about their cultures and languages. I’ve been able to work on my German and Spanish with two friends of mine, and I’m even learning a bit of Italian with a friend I made from Sicily. A hard decision I have to make is where I want to stay for Christmas, because I’ve gotten five offers from people. One to Cambridge, one to Malaga, Spain, two from Ireland and one from Italy. I have also made a really awesome group of friends that I couldn’t have imagined to have found. They are really helping me a lot with everything and transitioning, we’ve cooked awesome dinners every night and I really love their friendship. Even though it’s been only a month, I know that I’ve found a group of guys I’ll never forget and always be friends with.

Give yourself an adventure you’ll never forget!

Cheers, Alexio

Me with my group of friends about to head to the Fresher’s Ball

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