Monthly Archives: October 2016

Considering Your Major

When you’re a college student, the first thing you’re asked is always a variation of “so what major are you?”  This can be pretty uncomfortable if you haven’t selected a major, or have a major but aren’t sure if you like it.  If you’re in “major limbo,” it’s absolutely ok! Research has shown that, nationwide, over 75% of college students either come into college undecided or change their major at least once. To help you make your decision, the ELCDC has many resources available.  Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Remember that even though you’re choosing your major, you aren’t choosing your career.  It’s important to take ALL of the skills you learn from your major and determine how you want to apply them to life after graduation.  You could be a History major that goes into technical writing.  You could be a Theatre student that goes into Human Resources.  You could be a Marketing major that goes into travel and tourism.  There are so many opportunities out there that will be a perfect match for you no matter what your major is.
  2. Consider your skills, values, personality, and interests.  It’s always important to know who you are and what you want to contribute to the working world. There are many assessments to help you determine these areas and help you self-reflect.
  3. Eliminate what you know won’t work.  Yes, it’s important to keep an open mind, but you also don’t want to spend 4 years studying in a major you know you won’t enjoy.  Don’t like math? You can eliminate accounting.  Don’t like biology? You can probably also take out anything medical related.  Life is too short to devote your college tenure to a major where you dread going to class!

Choosing a major can be a stressful process with a lot of hard decisions.  Keep in mind that you can always talk about your options with your friends, family, professors, and career counselors.

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Put Your Best Email Forward

Email has become the most efficient way to communicate in the real world.  It’s instantaneous, available worldwide, and accessible on a computer, tablet, phone, and watch. However, just because it is efficient doesn’t mean it’s ok for it to look like it took two seconds to type.  There’s still important things to consider as you build professional relationships over email.

 

  1. The Exclamation Point.  People want to be liked, and since it’s hard to interpret tone in email, it seems common sense to add an exclamation point so we seem friendly and outgoing- Hi Joe! So good to hear from you! On the other hand, it’s important to remember that you’re building a professional relationship, not a personal/friendly one, so hold back on the “!!!!!” whenever you can.
  2. The “They Said WHAT?” Sometimes you will get an email that you don’t want to read. It’s mean, or demanding, or demeaning.  Before you respond, first take a deep breath. Remember from our point above that tone can’t be interpreted solely from words.  Then, respond back with a focus on “we.” “Let’s work together so we can provide the best plan possible for our clients.”
  3. The Follow Up. No one ever wants to seem pushy. But sometimes you just have to send a reminder. Keep it short and friendly, and specific. “Hi Sam, I wanted to know if a date had been set for our fundraiser in the spring. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. I’m looking forward to working with you on this.”

 

Career Contessa has other wonderful, helpful professional email tips.  You can read them here: http://www.careercontessa.com/conversations/quit-the-bad-emailing/  What other email suggestions do you have?

More Than A Vacation: Benefits of Study Abroad

This semester, many students have expressed an interest in participating in at least one study abroad opportunity. We’re setting up new exchanges and finding new scholarships to make this a reality for our students, and we’re excited about their excitement!  One thing we hope our students recognize is just how much they will get out of their time abroad.  Not only will they grow academically, but also personally and professionally. InternationalStudent shares 10 benefits of study abroad, and here are five of them:

  1. Take In A New Culture- You will have the opportunity to try new foods, hear new music, participate in new holidays and traditions, and get a feeling for a new history.
  2. Developing A New Language- Although the language barrier is often a fear for students, it can be a great opportunity to hone and new skill and break out of your comfort zone.  Even if you are going to an English-speaking country, there may be new dialects that you can learn.
  3. Personal Development- Study abroad provides an infinite number of possibilities to strengthen your professional skills. Through study abroad, you will gain an understanding of how culture impacts work life, the importance of communication, critical thinking skills, and remaining calm even when an experience is overwhelming.  These skills will be incredibly beneficial for you in the world of work.
  4. Education- Teaching styles and class structures vary from country to country, so you will have to learn to adapt and how to balance your time between doing well in classes and allowing time to explore your new host country.
  5. See New Worlds- Depending on the location of your study abroad experience, or even the program that coordinates the experience, you may have the opportunity to explore not just one country, but many!

To see the many other reasons why you should consider taking part in a study abroad experience, check out InternationalStudent at: http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/guide/ten-benefits-to-studying-abroad/ . What are other benefits of study abroad that you think should make the list?