The field of law can be very exciting and paralegals play a vital role! Whether a paralegal is working in a law firm, on a corporate legal team, or for a government agency, his/her job duties will vary from day to day. Daily tasks can include investigating the facts of a case, conducting relevant research on legal precedents, writing reports to help lawyers prepare for trials or drafting legal correspondence. If this type of dynamic job sounds like a good fit for you, starting an associates degree paralegal program is the best first step to launching a legal career.
But, before you get started you may want to know more about the field. Below are three things you should consider before enrolling in an online school for paralegal studies.
Online school vs. traditional school
Selecting a school is a very personal choice. Considerations should include available time, the degrees a school offers as well as personal learning styles. For many, an online degree program can be the right option because it allows for a great deal of flexibility. Additionally, at an online school classes can be taken 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which could help students balance school work with an existing job as a legal assistant or legal secretary.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment of paralegals is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2020. The driving force? Budget conscious employers recognize the value in hiring paralegals. The advantage they see is paralegals can perform a wider variety tasks at a less costly rate than lawyers. But, as job opportunities continue to grow, so will competition for open positions. The BLS suggests that because of this competition formally trained paralegals may be hired more frequently than those without training and paralegals with experience and specialization will have more opportunities in high-demand practice areas. The bottom-line is paralegals with a degree increase their chances of being hired.
Skills to Improve Employability
While earning an associates degree, paralegal students will gain several critical job skills, the ability to analyze cases and prepare legal documents. In addition to these degree-related traits, a successful paralegal career requires another set of qualities to improve an individual’s employability. Critical thinking skills, information literacy, organizational skills and strong communication skills are all highly desired by employers.
Bryant & Stratton College Online has an associate degree paralegal program that emphasizes degree-related skills as well as fosters other characteristics in students that help them gain a competitive edge in the marketplace through its Employability Series. If you’d like to learn more about earning a degree in paralegal studies visit online.bryantstratton.edu.
Hot damn, you’ve survived the holidays! (Okay, let’s say we’re working on recovery….) Now it’s time to take a quick look backward and a bit of a longer look forward to keep moving forward toward your career goals.
Looking back at 2012, ask yourself what went great and what went, ah, not so great. On the “what went great” list, think about the why of these successes.
What had you done that lead to a great outcome? Had you spent some time brainstorming a new idea? Reached out to someone who helped you? Read a book or magazine article or blog post that sparked a creative solution to a problem? Analyzed a company process until you found a more streamlined approached? Built a rapport with a company client that caused them to spend more money with the company?
Pay attention to the things that you did before that moment of success, then find ways to ramp up those activities even more in 2013. You’ll be building not only greater success for your company, but also a higher level of professional performance – which is one of the best long-term career investments you can make.
Next, check out any failures you had in 2012, the more spectacular, the better. The good news about looking at the “what went not so great” side is that this is where you can really learn and grow. The often-repeated quote that we learn more from failure than from success is true – your job is to look beyond that cringe-worthy moment(s), step back from the emotions involved, and clearly assess what you could have done differently to possibly produce a different outcome.
Could you have spent more time preparing? Could you have vetted your assumptions with a senior colleague? Could you have done more research about a potential customer, vendor, or partner? Could you have used better people skills to manage a difficult staff situation? Would your presentation have been more compelling if you’d had better knowledge of the presentation software? Would your budget have had a better chance of being approved if you’d been more effectively able to use an Excel spreadsheet to more effectively lay out your department finances?
Yep, giving yourself a debrief on all the things that didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped in 2012 can be a bit of a downer, but only if you don’t recognize how valuable this information is for you in terms of creating your 2013 career agenda. By taking responsibility for what went wrong, you also have the opportunity to change the outcome next time by improving what you need to improve and learning what you need to learn.
And if you didn’t have any failures in 2012? Then your career goal for 2013 is to push yourself out of your comfort zone and start taking on new challenges. To quote automotive industry pioneer Henry Ford, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Here’s to a 2013 filled with lessons learned, challenges embraced, and new opportunities to grow.
About the Author:
Acclaimed Career Coach, Kim Dority is a frequent presenter for Bryant & Stratton College Online. Dority is an information specialist, consultant, career coach, published author and adjunct professor at the University of Denver in Colorado. She has written extensively on career development for students and new graduates and is a frequent presenter, lecturer and panelist on career-related topics. Kim’s areas of expertise include professional branding, career transitions and career sustainability.
Choosing to pursue an online accounting degree is an excellent first step toward a career in accounting. According to recent statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the job outlook for those with an accounting degree is expected to grow at a rate of 16% until 2020. This growth will result in the need for an additional 190,700 professionals in the same time period.
This increased professional demand is just one of several reasons choosing an accounting degree may be ideal for you. Other reasons to consider pursuing your accounting degree online include:
Choosing to pursue your accounting degree online will give you the necessary knowledge and training to seek a career that is both rewarding and in high demand. A degree in accounting is the perfect next step to your future career.
When you’re working with recruiters, it really helps if they already understand your industry, your job title, and the nature of the work that you do. (To put it bluntly, they can sell you better to a potential employer if they understand what they’re selling….) That means you need to find a niche recruiting firm or recruiter who specializes in your field, rather than one of the generalist companies that do placements for all industries.
The following free directories of recruiters will help you find the ones that are likely to work best for your particular area of interest:
Career Portal Online Recruiters Directory
Directory of recruiters and search firms, but with limited interaction – you can submit resumes to participating recruiters, but not click through their listings for more detailed contact information. However, this information is fairly readily available with a bit of online research.
Find A Recruiter: The Guide for Employment Search Professionals
Search for local recruiters or ones in the area where you’d ike to live/work, using your field of interest plus preferred location. Clicking on entries of interest will also bring up jobs that recruiter is currently trying to fill.
Net-Temps Staffing Agency Directory Listings
Browse by state, major metropolitan area, or alphabetically by company name.
Oya’s Directory of Recruiters
Free directory of recruiters searchable by keyword or browsable by location or specialty.
According to this Top Echelon Network resource, the recruiters listed on the site “possess an average of over 15 years of experience, have earned high-profile industry certifications, belong to state and national associations, won numerous awards, and earned various accolades.” Searchable by keyword and location, with profiles and areas of specialization for each recruiter or firm listed.
Recruiting Life > The Career Seeker
Resource provided by the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) to connect job seekers with recruiters appropriate for their needs. All recruiters listed are NAPS members; the database is searchable by firm name, state, or professional specialization.
And don’t forget to search LinkedIn to find a recruiter as well: go to the Advanced link next to the Search People box, type “recruiter” in the keyword or title box plus your area of specialization, then your zip code into the zip code box. LinkedIn will return a list of recruiters whose profiles and company pages you can check out for recommendations and to see where they’ve placed previous clients. If you like what you see, reach out and make that connection!
About the Author:
Acclaimed Career Coach, Kim Dority is a frequent presenter for Bryant & Stratton College Online. Dority is an information specialist, consultant, career coach, published author and adjunct professor at the University of Denver in Colorado. She has written extensively on career development for students and new graduates and is a frequent presenter, lecturer and panelist on career-related topics. Kim’s areas of expertise include professional branding, career transitions and career sustainability.
A healthcare administration degree is one of the most sought after professional diplomas by hospitals, medical clinics, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and insurance companies. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that between 2010 and 2020, medical and health services positions will increase by 22%. That’s remarkable news in an era where employment opportunities are shaky at best. If you’re considering a career in health care administration, or you’re currently employed but desire further educational and career training, you may be wondering what types of classes health care administration programs provide.
What will I Study to get my Healthcare Administration Degree?
Health Care Administration involves a wide variety of skill sets and knowledge bases. Not only do candidates need to have a passion for the field of healthcare, they must also have an inclination towards critical thinking, organization, strong leadership acumen, and the ability to think quickly and effectively in high pressure situations. These skill sets are taught and cultivated by the dedicated faculty at Bryant & Stratton College.
Specific study areas include:
Health/Medical Related Subjects. Because your degree will allow you to work in a diverse range of healthcare-related industries, it’s imperative that you have a basic knowledge of human science and medicine. Your courses will include:
These classes will allow you to speak fluently with medical professionals across all aspects of healthcare, and will provide a deeper understanding of your observations as you move through various medical settings.
Management Classes. As a manager, you must be able to think critically, juggle scheduling constraints, understand legal policies and procedures, as well as how to lead your diverse team(s) of employees. Classes to help you hone those skills provide:
Numbers. Creating and balancing budgets and managing financial constraints are areas in which managers are always held accountable. Hence, we stress the importance of:
Technology: Technology will continue to evolve at a rapid pace which is why our healthcare administration degree emphasizes the importance of coding and classification software, as well as the latest developments in Electronic Health Systems (EHS).
Critical thinking. In addition to classes specifically geared towards excellence in health care administration, our program encourages students to think outside the box in terms of problem solving. Students will understand how to create and implement a disaster plan and understand the complexities of long-term healthcare.
The best healthcare administration degree doesn’t just teach students; it actively engages students to work in their field, encouraging them to bring their questions and experiences back to the classroom where they can learn and grow as well rounded health care administrators.
As the American job market evolved over the past few centuries, the need for a skilled and educated workforce has become more and more important. In 1940 only about 1 in 20 Americans held a bachelor’s degree. By 2018, 63% of jobs will require some form of higher education. This timeline looks back to early American careers and the skills necessary to fill them, how the need for education has progressed through modern times, and where job growth is moving from now until 2020.
If you think being information literate is only for librarians or academic researchers you could be costing yourself a better grade, a better job or even a better understanding of the world around you.
While information literacy may seem like a nonsensical term your instructors made up for their own enjoyment, it is actually a very valuable core skill. At Bryant & Stratton College Online, we value it so much that it is one of the 10 core skills we expect students to attain before graduation.
Why are information literacy skills so important? The internet has made information more accessible, but that does not mean that all of the information available is accurate or reliable. All of us have seen how quickly fake “facts” or misinformation can spread online; you may have even unknowingly helped spread the incorrect information yourself! Mastering the skill of information literacy helps you learn how to more easily verify, analyze and summarize that information from a variety of sources.
As a student, information literacy plays a big role in your assignments and coursework. But the skill is not limited to writing term papers. You use information in all aspects of earning your degree. Improving your information literacy skills can help you in a variety of classes including math, science, English and degree-specific courses.
For example, since reading is largely emphasized in an online degree program the ability to process what you read, assess it, then apply it to online discussions, class assignments and tests is very important. Learning to master the ability to translate information in this way can help you improve your grades and demonstrate your understanding of subjects better.
Additionally, information literacy skills continue to be highly sought after by employers across all fields. Information is part of all jobs these days and employers are looking to hire individuals who can competently identify, locate and access information then articulate that information for the benefit of the company. From administrative roles to executives, having information literacy is key at any level.
Most importantly, information literacy helps us gain a better perspective of the world. Possible sources of information are multiplying faster than anyone can count, so how do you know what is accurate and what is fabricated? Understanding the basic elements of information literacy can help you be a savvy information consumer and more easily identify the right facts from the wrong ones.
So in your online degree program, be sure to pay attention to the information you are being asked to consider. Starting to look critically at the facts presented to you today will help you after graduation and for the rest of your life.
Are you looking to gain the skills to take a project from start to finish? Do you want to obtain the ability to do so on time and within a budget? Look no further, the Introduction to Project Management (BUSS230) is where to begin. Organizations are looking to create more efficient work environments and this is especially felt by project managers. The efficiency is reviewed from a standpoint of how one can ensure project managers are working efficiently in a business that is thriving based on the production of work performed
In BUSS230 will start with the project management training basics but will hone in on ensuring that you become an efficient project manager capable of using the resources at hand to achieve goals. A good fit between the project manager and the organization creates a meaningful work environment thus allows the project manager to feel satisfied and capable of succeeding; furthermore, increasing industry success.
Today’s global economy not only requires well trained project managers to improve communication, and increase team-building but also continue progressing professionally in an attempt to identify strengths and weaknesses, thus enhancing skill sets.
For more information on Bryant & Stratton College Online’s BBA in General Management with a specialization in Project Management contact the admissions department today.
Hope to see you in class!
About the Author
Rebecca Lauterbach, MBA is an adjunct professor for the on-line campus teaching business, project management, and office technology courses. For the past 12 years Rebecca has also worked professionally for a major communications company. Rebecca is currently completing her D.B.A. online.
While contemplating, deciding, entertaining, and fathoming the thought of going back to get your degree is one thing; but thinking about which platform accommodates you and your family’s expectations and needs, is quite another decision that has to be carefully considered and evaluated. Personally, I know from first-hand experience what it is like to go and participate in an online school classroom and the traditional classroom (on-campus) learning environments. As a student investigating the advantages and disadvantages what may or may not work for my family and I, taking the proactive approach versus reactive which led me to make the ultimate decision that had worked out for my own particular situation; which, may not always be the best for you and your family’s needs, but the decision is yours. Many of us are conscious that online schools are gaining momentum versus the traditional classroom learning environment, as was the trend back in the day.
Here are some of the advantages associated with the online school learning environment:
I want to be clear that the online school learning environment is not for everyone. We all have different learning styles. Below are some questions that you should ask yourself to help decide between the two environments.
As I have mentioned before, the choice to go back to school is yours along with the decision of obtaining your degree through the online school environment or through the traditional classroom, but do your homework into which method may or may not be a benefit to you and your own learning style(s). Remember that your education doesn’t have to be a “one size fits all,” you do have options. As a prospective student, you just have to evaluate what works and does not, but put 100% commitment and time into your final decision.
About the Author:
Carrie E. Wittke is a part time instructor teaching business at Bryant & Stratton College Online. An alumnus of Bryant & Stratton College Online, she enjoys working with students, and spending time with her family and friends. In her spare time Carrie enjoys drawing, painting, traveling, and watching football.
Kimberly Baker is the Career Services Manager at Bryant & Stratton College Online. She has been with the College for six and a half years and has a passion for helping students be as career ready as possible upon graduation.
What can students expect from Career Services?
We are here to offer support with job search assistance, including where and how to look for jobs, writing cover letters and resumes, and how to prepare for an interview. Our services are free to any student as well as alumni.
What are you hearing from employers about who they’re looking to hire?
Employers are doing less on the job training so they are looking for future employees who are career-ready. The ability to demonstrate in an interview that you’ve done applicable work is key, which is why we emphasize portfolio development as part of the curriculum here. Equally important are “soft” skills. We’re hearing more and more from employers that they are looking to hire people who can demonstrate emotional intelligence, critical thinking and information literacy.
How does the Career Services Department help students prepare a portfolio?
Developing a portfolio has been an important part of the curriculum for graduating students but recently we’ve been working on ways to integrate career services in to the whole life of a student. Now starting in their first year students will take a special one-day course once a year dedicated to portfolio development. The courses will examine strategies such as what to put in a portfolio, resume writing tips, advices for preparing for an interviewing and how to negotiate a salary. To complete the portfolio students will still be required, as part of their capstone, to have their resume and portfolio evaluated by an outside source. This last step has been incredibly helpful for some students, some of who have gotten a promotion after making changes to their resume based on feedback from the external review.
What are students most shocked by when it comes to entering the workforce?
One of the most common things I hear from students is they are surprised that looking for a job is a full time job in and of itself! In this competitive job market getting an offer takes some work. Students need to diligently search for positions, but that’s only half the effort. Once they’ve found something to apply to they need to make sure their cover letter, resume and portfolio are customized to match what is in the job posting. And, if they land an interview more time is needed preparing for that opportunity – don’t forget to grab a friend or family member and practice answering key questions. Last but not least of all, don’t forget that thank you note! Following up with a potential employer to thank them for the opportunity to interview for the position does not go unnoticed.
For more information about Bryant & Stratton College Online’s Career Services Department call Kimberly Baker at 1-800-836-5627 ext. 220.
Fall is a season that represents change and transition. It is a season that brings about football, all-things pumpkin and a fresh school year. Students from third grade through doctorate studies are a few short weeks away from starting classes and heading back to college for another year.
For many, this isn’t just back to college but it is the start of a new journey. Students entering their first semester of college are entering a new atmosphere that, in many ways, will be foreign to them. For some, it means moving away from home and into a dormitory for the first time. Others are learning to find a schedule that will balance work, family life and classes as they prepare to return to college – perhaps even in an online setting.
What is most important to remember, for all students, is to be prepared for the unexpected and to adapt to the inevitable hurdles you will need to clear. For some, these hurdles probably are in the form of piles of toys in the living room.
Every student faces challenges during their time in school and those first few weeks back in college are often choc-full of new experiences that you may or may not be fully prepared for. Just bear in mind that there are people and resources available to you as student. Ensuring that you take the proper steps to take advantage of these resources will help to build success for new and returning students.
About the Author:
Christopher Ostrander has been a part of the Admissions Department at Bryant & Stratton College Online since 2010. An avid hockey and lacrosse fan, Chris was also the sports editor of The Carroll News and the 2009 National Lacrosse League Team PR Representative of the Year.
If you’re like the average student, you probably end up sitting a bit more than nine hours a day. The average person spends 9.3 hours a day sitting and the average student spends 4-6 hours a day on the computer; which can be counterproductive to developing good posture.
We’re now learning that sitting is likely to have some damaging effects on your overall health. Sitting for long periods of time can increase your mortality rate exponentially. It also puts stress on your spine that restricts respiration and compresses organs that were designed to function best while you are upright and in motion; which is normally the correct body position for good posture.
Your body is highly plastic and molds to the activities that you do most often. Continuing to reach forward (at the computer, in the car, picking up kids) without reaching back in the opposite direction to exercise the muscles that hold them up, creates imbalances and faulty posture.
Sitting with poor posture stimulates a sympathetic, “fight-or-flight” state that creates an increase in daily C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is produced in the liver and rises when there is inflammation throughout the body. This can significantly slow metabolism, negatively impact our cardiovascular health, immunity and digestion.
Here are some suggestions that can help develop good posture:
Developing good posture will require dedication, effort, and time. Learning to relax your muscles and correct your posture will be very beneficial to your overall health.
About the Author
Dr. Kristi Perillo-Okeke, has been teaching as an Allied Health Instructor for over two years at Bryant & Stratton College. She is a licensed chiropractor, has mentored several new instructors and loves teaching human anatomy & physiology.
When you’re new to the workplace, it’s normal to try to avoid making mistakes – after all, you’re working like crazy to impress people with how professional you are! But the reality is, everyone you work with has made tons of mistakes, from your boss to the company president. So instead of focusing on never making a mistake, shift your framework to what you can learn from your mistakes. That’s how you grow.
For example, assume you’re stepping up to a new professional challenge, such as giving a workplace presentation for the first time. Even though you’ve done the appropriate research and preparation, perhaps with this first presentation the outcome is completely, unpredictably awful – a stunning failure. Your smart move here? Focus on what you can learn from the mistakes you made during your presentation. it.
Then focus on laughing about it and realize you’re going to be able to tell great stories about this for years!
All professional growth involves doing something you’ve never done before, which pretty much guarantees that you’re not going to do it perfectly the first time (okay, or maybe even the second or third or fourth time). Take it from someone who has made their own mistakes: it’s a small price to pay for the career opportunities it may open up for you. To quote Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Go for it!
About the Author:
Acclaimed Career Coach, Kim Dority is a frequent presenter for Bryant & Stratton College Online. Dority is an information specialist, consultant, career coach, published author and adjunct professor at the University of Denver in Colorado. She has written extensively on career development for students and new graduates and is a frequent presenter, lecturer and panelist on career-related topics. Kim’s areas of expertise include professional branding, career transitions and career sustainability.
From hailing a cab to buying your friend coffee to tracking your sleep patterns, mobile applications have become part of nearly everything we do. This means the demand for mobile apps – and the professionals who create them – is on the rise. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of applications software developers is expected to grow 28 percent by 2020. As part of our commitment to offer our students the most current and in-demand degrees, Bryant & Stratton College Online is excited to announce a new Information Technology Online Degree with a focus on Mobile Applications Development Associate of Occupational Studies degree.
This degree will prepare students interested in an online IT degree to write programs for mobile applications for use on contemporary mobile devices. If you’ve ever thought of a great idea for a mobile app and have an interest in the being part of one of the most vibrant niches in the technology industry, then this degree program could be for you.
Mobile app developers work in a variety of settings. The IT with a focus on Mobile Application Development degree will prepare students for entry-level positions with software development companies, business environments and corporate training development organizations.
Plus, first time students can now apply for the new Technology Scholarship in the following amounts: Full-time students ($1000), ¾ time students ($750), half-time students ($500).
Before enrolling in this online IT degree program , here are a few things to consider about the mobile app development field:
The job market for Information Technology is expanding rapidly. If you are looking for an exciting career opportunity that allows you to hone many skills and keep you expanding your knowledge for years to come, check out our online IT degree for Information Technology with a focus on Mobile Applications Development.
One of the first steps to increasing your own personal financial situation is increasing your marketability! If you work for a large company chances are your employer will cover some if not all of your tuition expenses. That is if your degree or certificate program relates to your current position. Having an employer pay for your tuition benefits you in several ways:
REMEMBER: Your employer will most likely expect you to commit to a short contract requiring that you maintain a certain GPA. Other clauses might include that you must stay employed for “x” years after completing your degree otherwise you may be required to pay some if not all of the tuition bill back, and your employer might require you to pay the tuition upfront reimbursing you back after you complete the course.
Tuition assistance benefits are part of your compensation package. Make a list of your educational goals and what you want to gain from accomplishing each goal; decide whether utilizing your company’s tuition plan is the right choice for you.
So what if your company does not offer a tuition assistance plan to employees? Is it hopeless that you could change the policy? In an answer, no! Start thinking about how receiving an education could help you improve or change your current work environment for the better. Perhaps communication channels could be improved. Could you verbalize to your employer how a degree could enhance and benefit the organization?
You are your own best advocate! Be ready to defend why your employer should invest in you! Make it happen! Self improvement is in your hands. How will you make a difference in your future?
Contact Bryant & Stratton College’s admissions department to discuss the many certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs that are offered.
About the Author
Rebecca Lauterbach, MBA is an adjunct professor for the on-line campus teaching business and office technology courses. For the past 12 years Rebecca has also worked professionally for a major communications company. Rebecca is currently completing her D.B.A. online.
Recently I came across a book titled SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best. I’ve no doubt it’s an excellent book written by a very competent author (Laura Stack) who probably accomplishes more in one balanced day than the rest of us do in a week.
However, as anyone who’s spent time combining work, college classes, and, often, parenthood can testify, when it comes to managing school, a job, and everything else that falls under the heading of “life,” balance is rarely part of the picture.
The thing is, that’s okay.
By choosing to pursue your degree, and commit to the effort that that decision requires, you’ve already demonstrated that you’re an amazing individual. If you’re also juggling a job and/or family responsibilities, you’ve automatically ascended to hero status. (And if one of those family responsibilities is a teenager, you’ve just qualified for sainthood….)
So you have nothing else to prove to anyone at this point, and can instead focus on how to navigate your multiple roles in ways that keep you as sane and calm as possible. The following suggestions may not qualify you as super-competent, but they’re guaranteed to lower your stress level and up your self-acceptance factor.
What can you drop without the world falling apart? No one will die if the sheets aren’t changed every week, the kids live on pizza for two years, and you gain five (okay, ten) pounds. Consider dust bunnies to be a sign of mental health. Skip the mass holiday card mailings while you’re in school; you can catch up once you’re through the program. Lighten up, cut yourself some slack, and for the time being only jump in on those items that are truly life-threatening.
Make the most of your student status. As a student, you have great excuses for saying “no” – an assignment that’s due, a online class that’s scheduled, a committee project that requires a 6-hour conference call, a meeting with your instructor…. The list is endless, and tailor-made to help you help you either stay focused on your “must-do” list or give you some much-needed, precious downtime. Remember: “no” is not only a complete sentence, it’s an important life skill.
Lose the guilt. Getting your degree means two things: 1) you’re making a huge effort to improve your life (as well as those around you) and 2) those lives around you are probably going to be more concerned about the fact that they’re now responsible for their own laundry than that you’re an amazing role model. Assume this is very understandable human behavior, and then ignore it. You have serious goals to meet, and learning independence is good for kids, spouses, parents, and siblings. In-laws, too.
Applaud yourself. Yep, when you’re trying to achieve work/life/school balance, it’s important to eat as healthy as you can, fit in regular exercise, and get enough sleep. Think of it more as a balancing act, perhaps. But whether or not you’re able to accomplish these feats on any given day, you are still amazingly worthy of applause. You’ve committed to a very challenging goal, and every day you do the best you can to move closer to it. To paraphrase author John Barth, you are the hero of your own life story. And as that hero, you get to make the choices that will keep you from losing your balance. Trust us: you’re worth it.
About the Author:
How hard can it be to lead, manage, or be part of an effective team? Pretty darn hard according to best-selling author Patrick Lencioni (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, 2002), who stated:
Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.
It comes as no surprise, then, that so many employers list “ability to work effectively as part of a team” among their most desired employee characteristics. Needless to say, you want to be able to mention your strong team-participation skills when interviewing for a job, but you also want to actually be a great team member, able to contribute your skills in a way that boosts the overall effectiveness of any team you’re part of.
Reliability. Team members have to be able to rely on each other. That means they need to know that if you commit to something, you’ll follow through, meet deadlines, and produce whatever is needed at a high level of quality. (And if, for any reason, you’ll not be able to make a deadline, a great team member lets everyone know immediately about the delay, and when completion can be expected.)
Active listener. As basic as this seems, great team members actively listen to each other’s comments, questions, and issues in order to fully understand all of the potential issues that may derail (or enhance) a project. If team meetings end up being nothing more than verbal power plays between a couple of key participants, the entire team loses an opportunity to perform at a high level.
Ability to support team decisions. Because it’s made up of unique individuals with specific skills and points of view, a team necessarily will be dealing with lots of different opinions about the best way to do things. In fact, part of your job is to contribute your best professional opinion based on your skills and experience. However, once the team leader has made a decision, your job is to support that decision to the best of your ability.
Willingness to help others. Being a great team member means that you not only actively support the team’s goals, but are also willing when occasionally necessary to help other team members meet those goals. (Of course, if this happens regularly, it’s a sign that the team leader may need to allocated additional resources for part of the project.)
“Collaborative” attitude. Organizations tend to be made up of departmental “silos,” where, for instance, people in the marketing department tend not to reach out to people in engineering. The impact is that information and expertise gets locked up within departments, when instead it could be contributing to the overall success of the organization’s goals. So someone with a collaborative attitude is more likely to break down those artificial barriers and find ways to bring together shared knowledge and information for the mutual benefit of the team. A great team member is one who actively shares information, and encourages others to do the same.
If you want to be known a great team member, start seeking out opportunities to demonstrate these characteristics to your team leaders (and boss). You’ll quickly develop a reputation as a terrific company resource, and will have solid examples to give potential new employers should you find yourself interviewing for a job.
About the Author:
Hospitality is an ever growing, trendy industry. Here at Bryant & Stratton College Online, we understand the need to follow the current industry trends, and to supply our students with the most current and in-demand degrees. This is why we have added an AAS in Hospitality Management-Restaurant and Hotel Services degree. The Hospitality Management– Restaurant and Hotel Services Degree offers a broad educational approach to a career in the global hospitality industry. Samples of the classes you will be taking in the program include Principles of Hospitality Management, Technology in the Hospitality Industry, Hospitality Services Management and Convention and Event Management.
How do you know if you’ll like hotel or restaurant management? While ultimately you’ll know best what industry will suit you, below are some questions to consider:
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then a career in restaurant or hotel management might be right for you.
There’s a lot of flexibility in the restaurant and hotel services industries, which is a plus if you’re someone who wants options. If you choose a career path in one of these industries you could find yourself working in a variety of settings from hotels to the food and beverage industry, travel and tourism, entertainment and sport venues, resort and spa services or a casino.
But, the food and lodging industry is not all fun and folly. The dedicated professionals in these industries can be responsible for several areas of business including marketing, management, sales, operations and finance. Additionally, you are in charge of making sure guests have the best possible experience. Whether you are in the “front of the house,” interacting with customers and attending to all their needs or in the “engine room,” making sure everything is operating smoothly, this industry will keep you busy. But, for the people who have these jobs it’s all worth it when you’re able to help someone enjoy their vacation, their night out or celebrate a special occasion.
Another aspect to consider is the future of these industries. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, there’s good and bad news for those considering careers in food service and lodging. By 2020, employment of lodging managers is expected to grow eight percent, but employment of food service managers is expected to decline three percent. There is a silver lining though. In both cases, those with a college degree in hospitality, restaurant or food service management can expect to have the best opportunities for employment.
Some people are born leaders. But, most of us develop into leaders over time. The core of that development is understanding some of today’s common leadership theories. But, you don’t need to wait until after you graduate to start learning about leadership and what makes a good leader. Starting to understand different leadership theories now will help you identify them and use them once you enter the workforce.
Weber: Leadership is Situational and the Best Leaders Uses a Variety of Styles
Weber (1948) describes three types of leaders, bureaucratic, charismatic, and traditional. He was the first leadership theorist to recognize that leadership is situational in nature and that leaders need to move from one leadership style to another to remain successful. [i] He also viewed leadership as two paradigms in which leaders work. These two paradigms are transactional and transformational. Transactional leaders, also referred to as charismatic leaders, usually approach things from different perspectives. In Weber’s theory they used charm and charisma to help them achieve their goals. [ii]
Burns: Moral vs. Amoral Leadership
Burns’ (1978) leadership theories add further insight and align with some of Weber’s thoughts on transactional and transformational leadership. Burns’ theories included a dimension of moral vs. amoral leaders. Burns’ characterizes transactional leadership styles into opinion, bureaucratic, party, legislative and executive. He further characterized transformational leaders into intellectual, reform, revolutionary, and charismatic. [iii]
Coleman: Emotional Intelligence and the Characteristics of a Leader
Coleman’s leadership theory of emotional intelligence attempted to answer the questions of what elements characterize a leader. His approach was more of a behavioral approach to describing leadership than either Burns’ or Weber. Coleman studied what behaviors made people effective leaders. His emotional intelligence is sometimes referred to as intelligence quotient or IQ. He believed that intelligence was not the sole character of a leader and that emotional intelligence is what separates leaders. Today’s leadership theories build upon principles of earlier theorists. Leadership abilities stem from the sum total of things learned. [iv]
Northouse: Ethics and Leadership
Northouse (2010) talked about the early writings on leadership in a set of working papers brought together by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. In the papers, scholars examined how leadership theory and practice could be used to build a more caring and just society.[v] Northouse wrote, “In regards to leadership, ethics has to do with what leaders do and who leaders are,” (2010, p. 378) and explains that ethics direct the choices of decision-making, which affect a leader’s behavior.
Making sure you are up to speed on the different kinds of leadership theories and what it takes to be a good leader is an important starting place on your road to leadership. Below are a few key steps to becoming a good leader, according to the Executive Leadership Newsletter, published by the National Institute of Business Management (n.d.).[vi]
Leadership ethics are an important part of the leadership equation as recent as 1996.
These theories and steps can serve as a starting point as you visualize and develop your own leadership style. To determine your own leadership style, ask yourself the following questions:
About the Author:
Robin Laukhuf is an college instructor, entrepreneur, and designer. Currently she is working towards a Doctorate in Business. She has enjoyed working at Bryant and Stratton College for over 11 years. Her designs and articles have been published in many industry magazines.
[v] Northouse, P. G. (2010). Leadership theory and practice (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[vi] National Institute of Business Management. (n.d.). Executive leadership. Retrieved from, http://www.ExecLeadership.com/
Here at Bryant & Stratton College online, we have been undergoing some exciting changes, especially with our technology degrees. Not only is this an exciting time for us, this is all an exciting time for any new student interested in a technology degree. For the September enrollment, we are offering a new Technology Scholarship!
The Technology Scholarship is available to new students (not previously enrolled in any academic program at the college) who enroll in one of our technology based programs. The Technology Scholarship is a one-time scholarship awarded during your first semester, and is available in the following amounts: Full-time students ($1000), ¾ time students ($750), Half-time students ($500). The following programs are all eligible for the new Technology Scholarship:
If you have been thinking about coming back to school for a technology based degree, there is no better time! To take advantage of this great opportunity, go to http://online.bryantstratton.edu/technology-scholarship/ to apply! Just follow the steps on the page, it’s a simple as 1,2, 3!
One of the challenges of job-hunting (and, hopefully, landing) is trying to figure out if your future colleagues and company executives are going to be great to work with, or if you’re instead about to land in yet another toxic workplace populated with evil co-workers and sociopath bosses. So it would be nice if there were some way to get at least a bit of an inside scoop on the corporate culture before you make the leap and become part of it.
Happily, there are, in fact, a number of ways to do this.
For example, you could check out the company on one of the anonymous review sites that have current and former employees evaluate the employer in question. (Needless to say, always keep in mind that the individual writing the review may have formerly been one of those evil co-workers, so be prepared to filter any information you read.) The best sites for this approach are CareerBliss.com, CareerLeak.com, and GlassDoor.com.
Another way is to check with your personal and LinkedIn network to see if you or any of your connections have contacts at the target company with whom you can do an informational interview. You’ll need to frame your questions very carefully and diplomatically, so that the person you’re interviewing doesn’t feel awkward discussing the company with you. Some potential questions might include:
You can also check on LinkedIn for former employees of the company, who may be more comfortable talking frankly about the pros and cons of their previous work environment.
Keep in mind as you do your research that especially in large companies, the “corporate culture” may vary from department to department. Often people will hate or love their jobs because of their specific managers, rather than because of the company as a whole. So as you get feedback from individuals about their insights about a given organization, try to determine how much of their responses are based on their boss versus the company. Also keep in mind, however, that a company that allows a toxic manager to stay in place is, by default, making a statement about how much – or little – it values its employees’ well-being.
About the Author:
As I sat at my desk processing new hire paperwork, I was wondering if I was dreaming. Did I really hear a cat on the second floor of the suburban building my office was located in? Thinking I must be hearing things I continued to work on my paperwork. What I should have known is in the world of Human Resources, there is no typical day and that day was no exception.
Eight years earlier, on a hot and muggy day in Bowling Green, Ohio, I was sitting on the floor with a college catalog. I was struggling to figure out what career I would pursue after I graduated with my undergraduate degree. There were so many options available and it was easier for me to create a list of what I did NOT want to do, then create a list of careers I would enjoy. As my roommates were teasing me for being uncharacteristically indecisive, I found an advertisement for a Human Resources internship program at Six Flags. The brochure listed the internship’s job duties and for the first time I was excited about a specific career. I eagerly filled out an application and rushed to the local post office to mail my application. The bad news is I was not selected for that internship and the good news, no great news, is I had finally found a career path!
After graduation I moved home and worked as a temp in the HR department for a large hospital system. They had 50 young, eager, new college grads sitting in desks with blinders (the adult equivalent of standing 2 folders on your elementary school desk so you couldn’t see your neighbor’s work!) We spent half of our days photocopying employee files and the other half data entering those same files into the new Human Resource Information System (HRIS). If we performed particularly well on those tedious tasks we were promoted and would conduct reference checks and type new hire letters on a relatively new program called Microsoft Word. I learned many things at my first HR job including how to handle the press when a famous baseball player’s girlfriend worked in the same office and that I was allergic to the toner used in copy machines – it made my eyes swell shut!
I’ve had many other adventures in my HR career. Thankfully most of them have been fun and interesting. Human Resources is an exciting field that requires a diverse set of skills. To be successful you will need soft-skills like the ability to work on a team with a diverse group of people and the ability to work in a fast paced environment while applying knowledge to new situations.
Since HR professionals work in most career fields it is essential to learn about your specific employer’s business and understand your role in their processes. While working for an insurance company I completed basic insurance courses so I could understand the business model I was supporting. This helped to make me an effective interviewer because I could identify candidates that had the skill-sets we needed for our open positions.
One year I was responsible for recruiting over 300 new employees to staff a new location. I interviewed local candidates to fill entry-level positions while working with a national search team that enticed a highly regarded medical professional to move from the sunny land of California to cold and snowy Cleveland. The team worked with this professional to secure a job for her spouse and help ease her fears of moving 2 elementary age children across country to a city they were unfamiliar with while leaving friends and family behind. I held days-old babies as the beaming new parents filled out paperwork to add their bundle of joy to their insurance plans. One of my favorites was celebrating the professional accomplishments of my coworkers– any excuse for a break and a yummy homemade snack!
You are probably wondering what happened with the meowing I heard…
A few minutes later someone stopped in my office and asked if Mary had told me she was keeping kittens in the mail room. I am sure the perplexed look on my face quickly told my coworker her answer. I wandered over to the mailroom and found a cardboard box and lifted the lid to find 6 adorable kittens. When Mary came back, she explained Sarah was taking these kittens home that afternoon to be adopted by several different families. Since Mary and Sarah lived an hour apart they decided Mary would bring the kittens to work, keep them quiet in the mail room during the day and Sarah would take them home after work. There was not a specific policy in the employee handbook to guide me on what to do. After taking a few minutes to gather my thoughts (and play with the kittens) I spoke with Mary and Sarah. I explained I understood they had the best intentions and unfortunately it would not be appropriate to keep the kittens in the box all day in a mail room. Instead, I gave Sarah the afternoon off so she could take the kittens to their new homes. Mary and Sarah were both apologetic and Sarah worked through her lunches the rest of the week to make up the time she missed. At the end of the day, the kittens had a new home, Mary and Sarah felt they were treated fairly and they continued to be exemplary employees for our company.
As for me – I went back to my office to process more paperwork ready to handle whatever new adventure would come my way!
Completing Bryant & Stratton College’s Human Resource Specialist program is one step along the life-long learning journey in the exciting field of Human Resources.
About the Author:
Tracy Sedor is in her 10th year as an Instructor for Bryant & Stratton College. She started on campus and has been online for 7 years. Ms. Sedor earned her Master’s degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources from Cleveland State University. Her extensive background in Human Resources as a practitioner and in management helps her to connect with students interested in the HR field by challenging them with real-life scenarios.
The terrific news: you’ve been offered the job. The high-anxiety news: now it’s time to talk money. Being able to negotiate for yourself when it comes to compensation (salary, additional income such as bonuses, etc., and benefits) is, for most of us, one of life’s ongoing challenges. The potential employer holds all the cards, right? Not according to authors Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, who gained fame with their first book Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation – and Positive Strategies for Change (Bantam Dell, 2007).
In Women Don’t Ask, Babcock and Laschever pointed out all the ways women unconsciously undermine themselves in all types of negotiations, but especially starting-salary negotiations. That well-known pay differential between men and women? Often, this is the place where it starts. Essentially, the authors found that the vast majority of women always accept an offered starting salary, while the vast majority of men successfully negotiate for a higher amount. Additionally, the authors’ research indicated that senior-level women who consistently negotiate their salary increases earn at least $1 million more during their careers than women who don’t. Talk about an incentive to improve your skills!
In their follow-up work, Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, the authors focus not just on recognizing self-defeating patterns of negotiating behavior, but also on practical strategies and tactics for replacing those behaviors with specific, learnable alternatives. The chapters focus on various aspects of the negotiating process, grouped into four key concepts: everything is negotiable, lay the groundwork, get ready, and put it all together. (Note to self: rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.)
Think of Ask for It as the coaching and insider information you always knew you needed, but never knew how to ask for. And make sure your sisters, mom, daughters, nieces, girlfriends, and any guys you know who need to build up their negotiating muscles read it, too….
Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Bantam, 2008. 324p. ISBN 9780553383751.
About the Author:
Don’t wait until graduation to start preparing yourself for a career change or advancement. Start taking small steps while you are still in school. This will better prepare you and can help build your career more effectively after graduation. Here are a few actions to consider that can help make you more desirable in a tough job market:
Research what you can do with your degree. As a Bryant & Stratton College student, you have access to a number of research and information databases that are not free to the public. While you are a student, take advantage of this access. Use the Virtual Library outside of your classwork. Research articles on job advancement and placement, different positions requiring your degree, and labor statistics and data in your area.
Build a resume. If you haven’t already, start building your resume. Adding to an existing one after graduation is quicker than designing one from scratch. Take advantage of the Career Services Department and your Career Management Seminar to perfect resume building. The Optimal Resume program available to Bryant & Stratton College students is the perfect place to create and store a developing resume.
Add more to your resume. Consider seeking out supplemental experience to enhance your resume. Volunteer at a local organization, research professional groups or societies online, or look into certifications that will improve your marketability. Talk to successful people or employers in your field and ask them what they look for in potential employees.
Practice Interviewing. Ask a friend to go over a mock interview with you. Have them ask you questions that you are not expecting and did not prepare for beforehand. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will be!
Work hard to achieve good grades. Making Dean’s List or qualifying for the Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Society looks excellent on a resume.
In a tough economy, these small steps can add value to your degree. Don’t wait until graduation to start thinking about your career and how to be successful in it!
Why is technology so complicated? I don’t understand it already, and I haven’t even gotten started! My kids know more than I do, and I stay away from it so I don’t look ridiculous. It changes so fast, how can anyone keep up?
I recently visited the Kennedy Space Center. Talk about a fish out of water. I don’t understand the aerodynamics of flight. How is it possible for man to go to that dark, vast, cold place and see remarkable things and return safely to Earth? Talk about team work. How are so many minds able to work together for a common goal without the whole project going haywire? I’m intimidated by all the knowledge in a place like this. As I walk among the buildings seeing what my fellow countrymen have created, the dreams and aspirations they have realized, astound me. Everyone here didn’t get to walk in space, visit the space station, or have the fame of being the first to walk on the Moon. But everyone did work together realizing that the mission to space was bigger than just one man, or one team, or one department of NASA.
I can relate these feelings of intimidation back to my own classroom, to my own students here at Bryant & Stratton College Online. I see many comments from students saying they are afraid of technology. I hear you and I feel your pain. It wasn’t that long ago for me, and I can still imagine what it is like to open up Excel and stare at a blank spreadsheet wondering what you are supposed to do with each of those little squares (cells). Students know they can perform magic and do powerful things, but it takes knowledge to get there. And it is intimidating when you know the power, but not the process. I know the power of space flight, but not the process. Not yet, anyway. I have never forgotten my days as a new user of technology and software. Yes, today I am technically savvy, but I wasn’t always. Like you, I had to start somewhere. I remember those early days of being a computer technician working for Kodak in its heyday. I made a lot of silly mistakes. When I would embarrass myself by a mistake, I always swallowed my pride and kept moving forward. I learned from it. I made lots of mistakes, but tried hard never to make the same one twice. Nothing is too big to understand if you just ground yourself and take it one piece at a time. I can still remember my mother telling me that you can even eat an elephant, if you do it one bite at a time. The imagery was awful, but the message was true. You can conquer anything if you break it down into manageable parts.
The best instructors and teachers are those who never forget where they came from, and the journey they took to arrive at the present day. If you can muster up enough inner-strength to make the determination that you will not let defeat rule the day, you can master anything, even Excel spreadsheets or Access databases. They are actually pretty cool, once you become comfortable with them.
Technology isn’t going away. If anything, it will embed itself deeper into our lives, our automobiles, our entertainment, and our very clothing. We can be left behind, we can be intimidated, we can stand here and wring our hands, or we can choose to take the smallest steps in understanding those little pieces we use daily, our smart phones, our computers, and other peripheral devices. As we explore our world and really take a solid look at all the technology everywhere, we realize a choice must be made. Embrace the pieces we choose to use, understand, explore, and experiment – even if we make mistakes.
As my students comments ring in my ears it dawns on me that I am so fortunate to see the transformation from the first weeks of class to the end of class. Most students learn as much about themselves as they do about technology. They realize that technology isn’t to be feared and it was their own misgivings that were standing in their way. Most want the class to continue for several more months so they can learn everything once they have mastered a few new skills. I get great joy out of watching this transformation. I am a witness to the journey; the journey of education, the journey of self-realization, and the journey of a thirst for knowledge. The best part about teaching technology isn’t the technology itself, (although I love that aspect of teaching), it’s watching the student triumph over something that used to hold power over them and intimidate them, and now is nothing more than circuit boards and software in their eyes. That is the ultimate rush.
I believe I need to come back to Kennedy Space Center next year. I need to learn more. I need to understand the process of space flight. I’ll never be a pilot, and it isn’t the marvel of engineering, or the mathematical calculations that I need to understand. It’s the drive, the desire, the passion to make a difference, to achieve, to receive knowledge and mostly to learn about myself as I travel on my journey.
About the Author:
Ellen J. Divens, MSEd, is a full time instructor at Bryant & Stratton College where she specializes in Technology & Communications. In addition, to holding a Masters in Adult Education, she also holds a Second Masters in Communications & Information Management. She has been teaching online for five years and began her educational journey as a Bryant & Stratton College alumna, earning her Associates in IT in 2001. She is heavily involved with industry associations with a focus on Information Technology, Information Management, and Communications.
Yes sir, the light was green, I am positive…or was it yellow….maybe it just turned yellow….ok, now I am not sure…..
The exciting field of criminal justice is all about dealing with people; whether in the course of an investigation, arrest, court proceeding, or corrections setting. One of the most frustrating aspects of this occupation is attempting to gather facts in the course of ones duties. I cannot recall how many times I have performed interviews from seemingly reliable individuals, only to find later that their factual account of an incident was incorrect?
Sometimes we are lucky and find those “ideal” witnesses, who seemed to have a clear, unobstructed view of the event, and appear to be completely unbiased, yet when interviewed, they falsely recount even the most simplest of facts. One such investigation comes to mind that stemmed my interest in this topic area of research. I was performing a field investigation of a possible “jump in” in the claimant’s vehicle. The claimant was receiving aggressive medical treatment, yet my insured and the police report did not place him in the claimant’s car. I located two eyewitnesses to the event who were standing on the exact corner of this intersection accident, both with a clear view of the loss, and of course the claimants car.
These were ideal witnesses, both were college educated, presented themselves well, and were unbiased, yet when I interviewed them, they could not even provide the correct color of my insured’s car, which was a distinctive yellow hue. Some of the seemingly “simple” questions appeared inaccurate- weather, clothing etc…Immediately I thought of how unreliable these reliable witnesses were and wondered why they could not provide a clear account of the simple facts of loss.
The reliability of eyewitness testimony is not a new topic of research; it has been explored for more than a hundred years by psychologists and legal experts. Let’s take a brief look at the historical development of eyewitness reliability to establish a foundation for our topic.
In his seminal book, “On the Witness Stand” (1908) Hugo Mu¨nsterberg questioned the reliability of witness testimony. He is considered one of the early pioneers of research and development in this topic area of law and psychology. His early research has shown itself to be applicable to many contemporary situations involving testimony. Mu¨nsterberg performed a significant study which supported his theory of witness unreliability. In the study he had a sample group of children and adults view pictures of a farmer’s room, immediately afterward they were asked a mixture of leading and objective questions. These studies revealed that the adult sample was highly misled by leading questions, but the children were not. The younger group seemed to be less resistant to suggestion than adults. Contemporary researchers such as Roberts & Schneider (2000) have also supported these findings.
Can we infer from these studies that the younger witnesses provide more accurate testimony? The research suggests that we can. A similar study by Valentine, Pickering, and Darling (2003) studied the identification accuracy of 640 witnesses from 314 lineups conducted in London. The researchers categorized the age of the witnesses and correlated their findings to accuracy. They found overwhelmingly, that the age of the witness had a significant effect on identification accuracy, with a rate of 48% accuracy in the under 20-year old group as compared to 28% in the 40-plus group.
How about the testimony of the claimant or insured, we would think that someone directly involved in the event would be able to provide a clear recount of the occurrence. However, studies have proven otherwise. A significant study performed by Patricia Tollestrup, John Turtle, and John Yille (1994) focused on how individuals acquire and retain information from an occurrence. They studied specific cases where a suspect confessed to a crime and also involved eyewitness victims and bystanders. The study revealed that bystanders had a more accurate memory of the crime scene than the victims involved. Victim accuracy rate was 40% lower than that of the bystanders. The most significant aspect of the study surrounded the findings that both the bystanders and the victim eyewitnesses chose the right criminal only 48% of the time in a lineup. This study illustrates that eyewitness testimony is very weak and unreliable. It also shows that if the eyewitness was directly involved in the crime, chances are their testimony is even weaker because of many factors that bias their memory.
In the early 1990’s the development and use of DNA evidence in criminal cases was a significant “eye opener” in eyewitness reliability. The revisiting of cases across the world revealed the many criminals that were initially convicted by eyewitnesses were exonerated by DNA evidence. This caused new found interest in reliability. Tests by psychologists using mock crime scenes has revealed that eyewitnesses are incorrect approximately half (50%) of the time. In 1996, the Department of Justice assembled a panel of leading psychologists to address this reliability issue and develop strategies to assist with gathering more reliable information. They concluded that the interview format can often times have an affect on the outcome of the testimony. That is, they recommended asking very open-ended questions, so as to extract a more unbiased account of events. They also recognized that the less time that elapses between the interview and the occurrence can also have affect on accuracy.
So what can we conclude from this research. Many of the studies overwhelmingly revealed that eye witness testimony is highly unreliable; approximately 50% of the time their testimony is inaccurate. The message gleaned from this article should not be to discount all eyewitness testimony, instead to use the testimony as part of your overall investigative strategy.
Actually sir…now that I have thought about it I am sure the light was yellow…I think……..
About the Author:
J. Michael Skiba, MBA, is a full time special investigations unit manager for a large financial company where he specializes in financial fraud investigations. In addition, he has been an adjunct instructor at the campus and online level for approximately ten years. He is a regular presenter and publisher of fraud related topics, and is currently pursuing his PhD in criminal justice. He is heavily involved with industry associations and holds several executive board seats, including acting President of the New York State Association of Special Investigative Units.
Think of an elevator speech as a 30-second explanation to a complete stranger of what you do (or what you would do amazingly well if given the opportunity) in language that’s clear, concise, and conversational. It’s an essential part of your professional brand, and yet often it’s one of the toughest things to come up with.
Based on the idea that you’re in an elevator with someone who asks you what you do and you’ve got the length of the elevator ride to dazzle them (or at least pique their interest), your elevator speech should focus not so much on what you do, but on the benefits of what you do for your employer, customers, patients, or perhaps clients.
Putting Together a Great Elevator Speech
As noted, you want your elevator speech to explain not just what you do, but also the benefits those skills provide. So, for example, your elevator speech may start out with a statement similar to one of these:
Notice how each of these statements “positions” you to your fellow elevator rider: you’ve expressed enthusiasm for what you do, you’ve indicated that you’re an engaged professional, and you’ve demonstrated that you’re sufficiently confident to be able to talk to a stranger.
In addition, each one of these statements gives your companion an opening to ask you more about what you do. It’s almost as if you’re providing the opening line of an interesting story. If you’ve expressed enthusiasm for your work (or potential work), people are likely to want to hear more, which gives you an opportunity to talk a bit more about your career and/or career aspirations (with the goal of demonstrating your value and contribution). If asked, you can give an example of something your skills enabled you to do that you’re really proud of, or think especially interesting.
Always Reciprocate – Ask Them What They Do!
This is the element of an elevator speech that people often fail to mention: always reciprocate! With genuine interest, ask them to tell you about their work or career.
This provides you with two benefits: 1) you don’t come across as a self-absorbed, boring jerk, and 2) it tells you whether this conversation might develop into a valuable professional connection for one or both of you.
Perhaps the Best Payoff of a Good Elevator Speech….
And just in case you’re wondering if working on a killer elevator speech is really worth the effort, keep in mind the other really important benefit you get from this: your folks/spouse/in-laws/kids will now have something they can tell people when asked what you’re up to!
About the Author:
You probably already know that two of your most effective techniques for exploring career options are informational interviews and job-shadowing. Both put you in positions where you can ask questions, discuss alternative career paths, get insights from insiders on job and industry pros and cons, and in general figure out if this is a career path of potential interest to you.
And you know that you never, ever use an informational interview or job shadowing as a sneaky, sideways approach to landing a job interview (basically, that’s the fastest way to get bounced out the door….)
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t reap other cool benefits from your informational interview or day(s) spent job-shadowing. For example,
Build your professional reputation. Both informational interviewing and job shadowing give you an opportunity to impress someone with your professional, mature demeanor. So be prepared with thoughtful questions, be on time if not a few minutes early to your meetings, dress professionally, take notes when your contact provides you with advice and counsel, listen way more than you talk, and always follow up with a thank-you note.
Build your professional network. Every time you come into contact with someone in your profession (or the profession you’re working towards), you want to capture that connection. That’s how you start building the professional network that will sustain you over a multitude of career changes, and potentially open up a similar number of career opportunities. So after you’ve impressed your contact with how professional you are (and sent your thank-you note), follow up shortly with a request to connect on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch.
Learn how the company hires. One of the most important questions to ask in an informational interview or job shadow is “how did you get your job?” If you’re potentially interested in working for the employer in question, this will give you an indication of how they hire (for example, through a recruiter, based on resumes submitted online, via internal referrals, etc.) for future reference.
Get a sense of the company culture. When you ask people what they like most/least about their job, their answers may have more to do with their employer than the actual work they do. Try to distinguish between the two, so you can understand what responses indicate a positive or toxic organizational culture if you’re potentially interested in this employer. (However, keep in mind that in large companies the “corporate culture” can vary by department and by boss.)
Get a broader sense of the industry – and additional employers/job opportunities. One of the questions you can ask during an informational interview or job shadow is who your contact sees as his or her employer’s main competition. Although you would never disclose any information about the company that your contact shared with you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use what you’ve learned to understand what type of job or career you might want to pursue with a different company in the same industry.
Ready to start exploring your career options? Now’s a great time to start lining up some informational interviews and job-shadowing opportunities!
About the Author
As a Math major, I spent eight years of training at a University where I learned all the intricacies of how Mathematics works. Throughout that time, I had the same question many of you currently have i.e., how does math fit into my career?
Two weeks after I graduated, I started working for a large insurance company just north of San Francisco, California. I spent almost 17 years working for that same company. Six of those years were in a field called Management Information Systems, and I spent almost 11 years in business management and business development for the same company. During those years, I spent considerable time using all the math skills I built up in my university training. What I found is that there are three specific areas that you will continue to use the math skills you learn in college:
When you think about the skills that you learn in your math classes i.e., Analysis, Problem Solving and Logic, each of those are easily applied to investments, financing, business, the medical industry and any field that requires these skill sets. So, the next time you’re in a math class at Bryant & Stratton College, remember, you’re not just working on skills to get you through a class, but rather you are building skills to make you successful in your career.
About the Author:
Hector Valenzuela, M.A. is a Math Faculty member at Bryant & Stratton College – Online. In addition to his work in the field of applied Mathematics, he also spent 17 years in application areas of: Management Information Systems, Business Finance and Business Development
The “Exploring Career Options” webinar provided tactics and information resources to discover a variety of professional paths to attendees. The presentation also enabled attendees to:
Acclaimed career coach Kim Dority lead the webinar. Ms. Dority is a frequent presenter for Bryant & Stratton College Online and has been writing about and teaching courses on career training for more than a decade.
“Several careers can stem from every degree, but it can be difficult to figure out what possibilities exist. There is both an art and a science to translating knowledge from a degree and personal experience into a variety of careers,” said Dority. “This webinar will provide practical step for job seekers and students wondering what career options are available to them.”
As a paralegal student, or as a student who needs to cite a case or a statute in a paper, you may be wondering how to get started. It may seem overwhelming to have both the Bryant & Stratton College APA Style Guide and the Bluebook sitting in front of you when you do not know which one is applicable to your paper.
The first thing you need to know is that the Bryant & Stratton College APA Style Guide controls the vast majority of your paper. It will assist you in setting up your margins, spacing your paper, and in creating the basic in-text citations and references you will need, among other things. The only time you need the Bluebook is to cite primary legal materials.
What are primary legal materials? These include cases, statutes, and administrative rules and regulations. For everything else, use the Bryant & Stratton College APA Style Guide.
How to Cite a Case in the References page:
The Bluebook will show you how to cite a case. Rule 10 in the Bluebook teaches us that the basic triad of a case citation is the volume number, the reporter abbreviation, and the page number. You need these three components to cite a case even when you locate the case online, such as through WESTLAW or via a webpage. A case citation triad looks like this: 544 U.S. 1, where “544” is the volume number and “1” is the page number. (Yes, we do mean the 544th volume on the shelf! ) [***NOTE: I am looking for some photos I took of the local law library to include here.***] “U.S.” is the reporter abbreviation. You may find reporter abbreviations in Table 1 of the Bluebook.
The next piece you need in a case citation is the parenthetical. The parenthetical tells the reader the year and may also share the court and jurisdiction of the case. A parenthetical can look like this: (S.D.N.Y. 2000) or like this: (2012).
Finally, you will need to lead off with the party names, such as Tenet v. Doe. Italicize the names; do not underline them. Use “v.” but never “vs.” or “V.” Rule 10.2 of the Bluebook goes into great detail as to how you should shorten the party names down from something like “George J. TENET, Individually, Porter J. Goss, Director of Central Intelligence and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and United States, Petitioners, v. John DOE, et ux.”
When you put these components together, a case citation looks like this:
Tenet v. Doe, 544 U.S. 1 (2005).
Once you have your case citation, it should go into the references page along with all of your other references.
How to Cite a Case as an in-text citation:
When you are discussing your case in your paper, you will need an in-text citation for it, the same as you would for any other source. For the in-text citation, simply use the party names and the date.
Tenet v. Doe (2005) has held that spies cannot sue the CIA to enforce espionage contracts.
In Tenet v. Doe (2005), the court wrote, “We think the Court of Appeals was quite wrong in holding that Totten does not require dismissal of respondents’ claims” (p. 8).
In later blog posts, we will go through how to cite statutes and how to cite administrative rules and regulations. I hope that this first part will help you to understand the role the Bluebook plays in your papers. Far from being a competing guide, it is a vital supplement that will allow you to cite legal materials in your papers in a standard, professional manner.
If you have any questions about this post, or about citing legal materials in general, please contact me at email@example.com .
About the Author
Brandy Kreisler has taught online for more than six years, and is passionate about legal research and writing. Ms. Kreisler holds a law degree from Texas Tech School of Law and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington, where she specialized in legal research.
In today’s internet-age information is so readily available, causing an increase in instances of plagiarism – especially accidental or ‘responsible’ plagiarism.
The webinar Citation: Using APA & the Bluebook Together helped attendees identify instances where citation is necessary and what reference materials to use and how to properly cite information.
Presented by Brandy Kreisler , Online Instructor at Bryant & Stratton College Online, the webinar specifically covered different field-appropriate citation styles as well as the importance of citation.
Additionally, the webinar highlighted:
If you live your life by the old saying, “those that fail to plan, plan to fail,” there’s an emerging career you may want to check out – Project Management.
What exactly is project management? The Project Management Institute, a globally recognized professional organization, defines it as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” That’s a good start, but let’s use an example to bring this definition to life.
Let’s say you are looking to make some home improvements. Whether you want to renovate the kitchen, put on a new roof, or re-carpet the living space, you have to weigh all the alternatives against the timeframe, available budget, and other limiting factors. Once you’ve decided on what you want to improve, you’ll need to plan. Your plan will need to include all the steps to complete the project,, a schedule of the work to be completed, evaluating and hiring contractors, getting building permits, and determining a final budget. The next stage is executing the plans. Plan execution can be an exciting time as you are coordinating all the activities and resources as well as monitoring the progress and making adjustments for the changes that are bound to happen. When the project is complete you can enjoy your improved home and revisit your plan to see what went right and what you might change for next time.
From this simple example, you can see that project management involves initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure of an effort with a defined set of goals. To do this successfully, you have to use your knowledge of the problem, skills in planning, tools for estimation, and techniques for supervision.
Is project management right for you? There are several personality tests available to you today that may help you evaluate whether you want to go into project management. The most famous is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) test, developed during World War II by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers to help women entering the workforce identify jobs where they would be most comfortable and effective.
You can find more information on the MBTI here, or use one of these free alternatives:
However, don’t rely solely on personality tests to determine if project management is for you. These types of tests can provide some general direction, but a variety of personality types have found success in project management. A true assessment should include both a personality test as well as talking to people who are already in project management to find out if it would be a good fit.
What does it take to be a project management professional? If you are still interested in project management, you may be wondering how you can acquire the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques you need to be successful. Earning a degree with a specialization in project management is the best place to start and this is where Bryant & Stratton College can help.
Bryant & Stratton College has a new curriculum for the General Management BBA Program Specialization in Project Management. Starting as early as January of 2012, students enrolled in the General Management BBA program will have the option to specialize in Project Management. The curriculum combines the majority of the courses from the General Management BBA program coupled with the following Project Management courses:
If you’re interested in learning more, check out this link to request information, get a brochure, or apply today
About the Author
Ron Torres, PMP is an adjunct professor for the on-line campus teaching the capstone course in project management. Ron has also worked professionally for an international electronics manufacturer, a leading employment website, and a not-for-profit research and development center.
Study Tips from Academic Advising
Good study skills can help with even the most difficult classes. See what tips and techniques our advising staff has to offer and try to utilize them this fall!
“Go into your Introductory Folders for each of your classes and thoroughly read, print and post all of the course document information. The Supplemental Syllabus, Course Policy, Tracking Calendar and Rubrics include a plethora of information that students must be aware of and understand to be successful in their courses. If there is something that you don’t understand, ask!” -Lynn Bala, FYE & Orientation Instructor
“Make a weekly plan for yourself as to when you can work on assignments. Also, post your discussions as early as possible so you have more time to concentrate on discussion responses and other assignments.”
-Rick Kraft, Admissions Representative and Current Online Master’s Degree Student
“When taking online classes, treat the situation as if you were taking classes at a campus. Dedicate specific days/times to attending classes and stick to your schedule. Make sure to check the directions and due dates for assignments first be-fore making your study schedule.”
-Kim Valachos, Academic Advisor
“Spread it out. Make sure you divide your studying time over a number of days, rather than leaving it all for the night before. You may come across questions that you need answered by your instructor. If you leave it until the night before the test… you may not get the answers you need in time. (It’s unlikely your instructor will be answering your questions in the middle of the night).”
-Rachel Mehltretter, Continuing Student Advisor
“Take 5-10 minutes before getting started to quiet your mind. Take some deep breaths, close your eyes and take your-self to a happy place and relax your body. It doesn’t take long to get the mind ready to absorb new information. A little soft music in the background helps too.”
-Denise Broadwater, Continuing Student Academic Advisor
“Treat your college education as if it were your job. Write professionally, schedule time to be in your classes and keep your advisor and instructors in the know if you are not able to be in class for a few days. This will ensure that you have dedicated your time, energy and effort into being successful.”
-Jennifer Ruhland, New Student Academic Advisor
About the Author
Kathryn Grow, Registrars Office
Are you looking for a great New Year’s resolution this year? If so, how about going back to college? Learning something new is frequently in the top ten on the New Year’s Resolutions list. With the recession still plaguing us, many people have found themselves unemployed. Continuing your education can help you regain many choices for a future career. Setting yourself apart from the crowd is a great way to find a new job when times are tough. Going back to school is one way to achieve this.
If you ever thought about going back to school but haven’t, one thing that probably stood in your way was time. You didn’t see a practical way to work it into your schedule. This New Year’s, it is time to take full advantage of the opportunities that online education offers. With access to the online classes, you are no longer restricted by time. Your classes will be available at any time of the day or night. You won’t have to step out of your home to pursue your education. Try online courses and learn at your own pace from the privacy of your own computer. Online classes are one New Year’s Resolution that is flexible and attainable enough to keep.
Start your New Year’s Resolutions with a great start this year by picking the degree that best fits your goals. Visit our website and take a look at our different programs. Our admissions representatives are available to review our online programs with you, and can get you started with enrollment. With our next start coming up January 11th, you can start the New Year off right, by registering for online classes and begin on your path to further your education and new and exciting career choices.
About the Author
Brooke Urban is an adjunct instructor at Bryant & Stratton College Online. Currently completing her PhD online, Brooke also works in the online admissions department. Prior to Bryant & Stratton College she has worked in the business world for 8 years as a manager and corporate trainer.
Research shows that salaries and success in a career are directly correlated with levels of education. It is important to take time while you are in school to research what it takes to be successful in your field. Sometimes, this means continuing on with school after you obtain your first degree. If you are interested in continuing your education, planning should start prior to graduation. Bryant & Stratton College Online currently offers four Bachelor’s level degrees in dynamic and growing fields. Many of our current Associate’s degrees transition into a corresponding Bachelor’s degree. Because of this, you could finish a Bachelor’s degree in two years following the successful completion of a related Associate’s degree!
Contact your Academic Advisor and have a discussion about your educational options following graduation; whether it’s a Bachelor’s degree with us or a higher level degree elsewhere!
Bryant & Stratton College Online currently offers the following Bachelor’s degrees:
BSCJ: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (not available in NY or AR)
BBA: Bachelor of Business Administration in General Management (not available in AR) Specializations in eCommerce, Marketing, Human Resources and Project Management are also available.
BSFS: Bachelor of Science Financial Services (not available in NY , OH or AR)
BSHSA: Bachelor of Science Health Services Administration (not available in NY or AR)
BBA in ACCT: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (not available in NY, OH or AR)
About the Author: Kathryn Grow, Registrars Office
Before you start applying for jobs, it helps to know as much as possible about the types of jobs that will best fit your skills, and to get the broadest-possible frame for how many ways you might develop your career. Happily, LinkedIn has been developing a terrific tool to help you do just that.
It’s called the “Skills & Expertise” section, and you can find it by clicking on the “More” tab at the far right end of the LinkedIn tabs shown across the top of the page. This will bring up a selection of options; you want to click on the one that says “Skills.”
This will bring up a page with a Search box where you can enter the career title or skill or keyword you’re interested in, and then all sorts of cool stuff will be presented for you to explore. For example, you’ll see information about:
Career description. In the center top of the page, there’s a description of that role, and the primary industry of which it’s a part (keep in mind, however, that these career profiles/descriptions are taken from Wikipedia, so some of them are right on target while others, shall we say, miss the mark?). In the description box, there’s also a small arrow pointing up or down with a number; this indicates the amount of growth (or contraction) going on in that career.
Related skills. To the left of the description is a list of “Related Skills” that like the career description, are a bit diverse in how on-target they are (for example, a search on libraries brings up baths, closets, and model homes as related skills in addition to other very relevant terms). Essentially, this section generally pulls up other careers that use skills similar to the ones in your search term, so you can see a potentially broader universe of opportunities for your skills.
LinkedIn members whose jobs include your search term. Doing a search on the term nursing, for example, brings up a list of “Nursing Professionals” on LinkedIn, so you can check out their profiles, where they work, what their career track has looked like, and what keywords they use to describe themselves and their work (to help you determine what keywords you want to use in your profile and search on for additional career info). You’ll also be able to see if anyone you know or are connected to through LinkedIn shows up in this list (LinkedIn will point them out for you).
The relative growth of this career path. Located at the top of the search-results page is a box that provides information about what aspects of the profession are growing or contracting. In the results for nursing, for example, two areas of better-than-average growth are midwifery and nurse practitioners.
Major employers in this field. Under a section title “Related Companies” (right-hand side of the search-results page), you’ll find a list of the major employers in your area of interest. Click on their name, and you’ll be taken to their company page, where you can explore more about them, their career opportunities, and job openings.
LinkedIn groups related to this career path. Most major professional associations now have LinkedIn groups where people can exchange information, talk about trends and issues, and connect with others in their field. Under “Nursing Groups” (lower left side of the page) you’ll find four groups: American Organization of Nurse Executives (3,837 members), Nursing Network (7,449 members), The R.N. Network (6,337 members), and the American Nurses Association (4,515 members). This section tells you a bit about the LinkedIn group then provides a “Join” button so you can join the group. Why join groups like these? To learn more about what people in this career do, where they work, what their concerns are, and reach out to them to start building your professional network.
Job listings. You may not be ready to apply for jobs yet, but there’s still great value in reading about various job descriptions in your potential career path. You have a chance to see what skills are expected, what aspects of the work are likely to appeal to you (or not), what employers look like they offer the best/most interesting opportunities, and what keywords seem to be used most commonly, so you can be sure you have these in your LinkedIn profile.
If you’re just starting your career, the LinkedIn “Skills & Expertise” section provides a great place from which to launch your career-exploration efforts, both in what potential job opportunities might look like, and who might be able to help you go after some of those opportunities when you’re ready to do so. If you’re already well into your career, this section can help you decide how to keep growing in your existing area, or learn more in preparation for a career change.
About the Author
As job-search efforts ramp up across a battered economy, job-hunters need every effective tool that can find. LinkedIn is one of the most robust tools available, with a wealth of tools, resources, and processes to help connect you with the right job. Best of all? It’s free, and really easy to use!
During the presentation, acclaimed career coach Kim Dority shared her unique perspectives on just how to utilize LinkedIn for your professional needs.
Kim also covered how to :
Kim’s Key Take-Aways:
Kim’s Recommended Resources
Build Your Career Opportunities on LinkedIn, by Kim Dority, http://online.bryantstratton.edu/webinar/
How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Other Social Networks, by Brad and Debra Schepp
Job Searching with Social Media, by Joshua Waldman
On this Veterans Day, I can’t help but think of the family members like you that support modern day heroes, and all the sacrifices you endure. To honor all military spouses, Bryant & Stratton College is recognizing the spouses of those that serve by increasing the Salute to Spouses Scholarship Program to now include National Guard and Reserve spouses. The hardships they bear when their husband/wife deploys from their home community is just as difficult as the hardship experienced by spouses of active duty service members. At Bryant & Stratton College we appreciate those sacrifices, and want to give back to those who give. We are proud to extend the scholarship to all spouses and hope that it will make a college education possible for more of you since the scholarship is for online programs, which can be completed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
I would also like to take a moment and thank all of our military spouse students for the great work they have done over the past year. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to teach several courses, and have had many spouses in my classes. They have been some of my best students because of the experiences, perspective, and effort that they put into their coursework. I hope that the expansion of the program to now include National Guard and Reserve spouses will increase the number of great students that we have at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
As a final thought, in celebration of Veterans Day today, and everyday, we offer the sincerest thanks to all who serve and their families. Thank you for all you do to make this nation and the world a safer place.
Roger Maris, a famous baseball player, once said, “You win not by chance, but by preparation.” The same is true for college; planning for success is a huge step in reaching your goals, and being successful in college. As an online instructor I am often asked, “How do I prepare for online classes?” Online students don’t need to go brave the crowds for a new outfit to wear on the first day, yet, there are a few things online students should do to prepare for the start of class!
Creating long-term and short-term goals is essential for success. Linking your long-term goal of graduating and advancing your career with your short-term goals of being successful in each class will give you the opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments on a regular basis. Establishing study times is another way to prepare for online classes. Many students are working full time, have families, and other personal responsibilities, so establishing a weekly schedule with consistent blocks of time each week for working on your online assignments is one strategy for success.
Having an effective study area is another step in your online success program. This environment should be a quiet place where you can concentrate, as well as where you have access to the Internet. In your study environment you want to eliminate any online distractions, do not be logged into any chat or social media tools while working on your coursework. Concentrate on one assignment at a time. Jumping back and forth between assignments will decrease your ability to comprehend the material and successfully complete your assignment.
Familiarizing yourself with the course design is another strategy for online success. You will have access to your course syllabus and a tracking calendar. Take note of your instructor’s email address, when are assignments due, how your assignments needs to be submitted, course policies (late policies and attendance), what textbooks are required, and where to get technical support. Once you are familiar with your course you will be able to set that worry aside and be prepared to start your class and be successful. Familiarize yourself with your support services. You have access to an online library with a librarian available 24 hours a day, as well as tutoring. Understanding where you can find these support services will help relieve any stress you may feel when you come across a point where you need support.
Having a technology contingency plan is another strategy for online success. We have no control over what may happen that may stand in our way when we are trying to achieve our goals. Unfortunately computers and Internet access will inevitably fail, and always when we can least afford it. Having a plan for this is essential. Identify alternative access to computers, whether this is a local library, or a friend or family member’s computer. Have your instructor’s contact information as well as the technology support services written down. Ensure you have a plan for backing up your work. Too often things can go wrong, computers can crash, work is not saved, and having a backup plan for your work will help to eliminate this type of distraction.
Taking college classes online gives you a great opportunity to reach your goals. Your journey to success in college will be filled with many challenges; however, creating a plan for success and being prepared for any situation will help you overcome these challenges, and help you reach your ultimate goal!
Brooke Urban is an adjunct instructor at Bryant & Stratton College Online. Currently completing her PhD online, Brooke also works in the online admissions department. Prior to Bryant & Stratton College she has worked in the business world for 8 years as a manager and corporate trainer.
Bryant & Stratton College has changed a lot throughout its 157 years of operation, but a few things have remained the same. We have always put student success and preparation for a career as our top priorities. One of the ways we are helping to add value to your education as an online student is a process called Portfolio Development Seminars (PDS), which are modeled after Portfolio Development Days held for our campus students.
This process includes four career preparatory seminars that all Bryant & Stratton College Online students will eventually take as they progress through their respective programs. Three of the four seminars will be attached to three general education courses: SOSC102: Introduction to Sociology, PHIL250: Practices in Analytic Reasoning & Critical Thinking, and the Capstone course unique to each major. The fourth Portfolio Development Seminar stands alone in the form of the Career Management Seminar, which is meant to be taken before a student enrolls in their Capstone course. The launching of Online’s Portfolio Development Seminars started about a year ago when the Career Management Seminar was introduced for the first time. The second installment will commence this fall with the first PDS attachment to SOSC102.
The goal of these seminars is to help students prepare for their career by building portfolios in the Optimal Resume program, creating and updating a resume, learning job searching and interviewing skills, as well as many other subjects to increase your chances of job placement and advancement after graduation!
Kathryn Grow, Registrars Office
The longer you work, sooner or later it’s going to happen to you: the major mess-up. You did something that was the result of perhaps not quite paying attention, missing a major detail, skipping a step in a work process to beat a deadline, or figuring that it wouldn’t really make that much difference if you just relied on someone else’s information rather than verifying it for yourself. The result: a classic screw up, the kind that’s going to be embarrassing at best, send your boss through the roof at worst.
It’s happened to all of us who’ve spent any time in the workplace, and after being read the riot act several times, you realize that the best way – in fact, the only way – to handle this type of career crisis is head-on. As soon as you realize you’ve made a mistake that may have an impact on the company, you want to pull together the following information, and be prepared to lay it out for your boss:
Your goals in mastering your “I screwed up” statement are to make it clear to your boss that you know you messed up, and you intend to take responsibility for it (thus building your boss’s confidence in your honesty and reliability). Also, you want to make sure that you’re the one delivering this information rather than the woman three cubicles down who’s got it in for you.
So start rehearsing your speech now: “Boss, do you have a moment? I need to tell you about a situation that came up and how I’d like to handle it if this meets with your approval….”
About the Author
BUFFALO, NY — Bryant & Stratton College Online announced today that it has again been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine. Only 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools are awarded this distinction. The list was created so that service members and military veterans can easily find schools that offer the best education, value and welcome. The G.I. Jobs list includes state universities, private colleges, community colleges and trade schools. Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from schools across the country.
“We are humbled to be again named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine, especially since this year’s list considered veteran feedback,” said Scott Traylor, Associate Campus Director for Online Education at Bryant & Stratton College. “We feel that it is our duty to do what we can to help service members, military veterans and their families receive the education they need to succeed, in an environment that understands their unique circumstances.”
G.I. Jobs Magazine selected schools following extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 8,000 schools nationwide. Bryant & Stratton College Online was selected because it offers scholarships and discounts, has a veteran’s club and a full-time staff member dedicated to helping students with military experience. Examples of ways Bryant & Stratton College Online supports its military students and their families are below: Read More
“Negative workplaces often frustrate managers, disengage staffers and generally demoralize the entire group, causing an uncomfortable and low-performance work environment,” said Scott Traylor, Associate Campus Director for Online Education at Bryant & Stratton College.
Acclaimed career coach Kim Dority discussed in depth, multiple strategies to help managers and staff work together to improve workplace morale with acclaimed career coach Kim Dority. Kim is a frequent presenter for Bryant & Stratton College Online and has been writing about and teaching courses on career training for more than a decade.
Registrants who attended this free event learned more about the best practices on how to improve the workplace, including assuming personal responsibility, engaging with fellow colleagues and creating strategic plans on both the individual and team level.
This webinar will enable attendees to:
Kim’s Resources from the webinar for High-Performance Contributors, Managers, and Workplaces:
Buckingham, Marcus and Donald O. Clifton. Now Discover Your Strengths and Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance.
Dorsey, Jason R. Y-Size Your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business.
Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ and Working with Emotional Intelligence.
Lencioni, Patrick. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
Pink, Daniel H. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
Allen, David. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
Leeds, Regina. One Year to an Organized Work Life: From Your Desk to Your Deadlines, the Week-by-Week Guide to Eliminating Office Stress for Good. (The “Zen” organizer)
Levit, Alexandra and Julie Jansen. They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World.
Klauser, Henriette Anne. Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want and Getting It.
Tracy, Brian. Goals! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.
For more recorded webinars or to register for our next event click here!
Considering a job or career change? If so, you may want to invest some time in identifying your work preferences first to ensure the change you’re making turns out to be a great fit. To start developing a solid picture of what your ideal work situation might look like, consider your responses to the following either/or combinations. Naturally, for some choices your responses may be more of a mild preference than a strong response, but this still gives you useful information, by telling you that this particular issue isn’t a deal maker or breaker for you.
Nonprofit vs. for-profit: Nonprofits may include political and religious groups and professional and trade associations as well as socially beneficial or community-based organizations, but they are usually mission- rather than profit-driven.
Technology-focused vs. technology-neutral: Technology-focused organizations assume and demand a high level of tech expertise, and necessitate an ongoing commitment to staying ahead of the technology curve.
Emerging industry/discipline vs. established industry/discipline: Organizations based on emerging industries and disciplines tend to offer exciting and challenging opportunities, while those in established or maturing disciplines often provide saner workplaces.
Large organization vs. small: Large organizations generally bring the tradeoff of stable job expectations vs. rigid management structure, while smaller organizations may tend to be more responsive to new ideas but offer less direction and management control.
Established organization vs. start-up: Established companies can usually offer superior benefits, while start-ups may be more willing to negotiate other perks such as stock options and flextime in lieu of traditional benefits.
Local or community-based vs. national: Local or community-based groups often invest more in being good community citizens, but are prone to mirror the ups and downs of the local economy, whereas national organizations may have less of a commitment to your community but are also less damaged by its economic woes.
Structured vs. unstructured workplace: Do you do your best work in a structured environment, or thrive in its absence?
Formal vs. casual: Organizations vary immensely as to their tone and expectations of their employees. Do you feel more comfortable with established standards of dress and behavior or prefer a week of casual Fridays?
Hierarchical vs. flat organization style: This choice is about how decisions are made. Hierarchical enterprises are primarily top-down, flat ones more likely to distribute decision-making responsibilities (which may impact quality and speed of decisions).
High accountability/reward vs. more moderate accountability/reward: The former usually is found in the for-profit world; although it can be financially lucrative, it can also carry a substantial stress factor.
Project-focused or consistent workflow: Projects are typical of client-focused work (for example, in a marketing firm), while a consistent workflow is usually found in more traditional, structured environments.
Established hours vs. flexible or nontraditional schedule: If you prefer a traditional Monday-Friday, eight-hour-a-day work week, avoid jobs that put you on the front lines with customers (for example, any form of customer service/support).
Family-friendly vs. family-neutral: Depending on your life circumstances and what personal responsibilities you are juggling, this may be the most important consideration for you.
Think of these questions as a starting point to better understand your preferred work style, then incorporate that information into your career-change choices.
In case you missed the “Career Change: Getting from Here to There” webinar, watch the recording now! – Career Change- Getting From Here to There . The “Getting from Here to There” webinar provides advice and tips on how to create and execute an effective career plan, including information on strategic planning, targeted goal setting and identifying valuable contacts and resources.
The “Getting from Here to There” webinar provides advice and tips on how to create and execute an effective career plan, including information on strategic planning, targeted goal setting and identifying valuable contacts and resources.
The webinar will enable attendees to:
Career Change- Getting From Here to There - Watch the recorded webinar NOW!
Kim’s Take Away Resources: “The Classics” for Exploring Personality and Career Matches
Career Match: Connecting Who You Are with What You Do What You’ll Love to Do. By Zoya Zichy and Ann Bidou. AMACOM, 2007.
Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You through the Secrets of Personality Type, 4th edition, revised and updated. By Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron. Little, Brown and Company, 2007.
Finding Your Perfect Work: The New Guide to Making a Living, Creating a Life. By Paul and Sarah Edwards. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2003.
I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What it Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It. By Barbara Sher. Dell, 1995.
The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success. By Nicholas Lore. Touchstone, 1998.
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2012: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. By Richard N. Bolles. Ten Speed Press, 2011.
Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design, expanded and updated. Laurence G. Boldt. Compass, 2009.
“Students are always concerned about how to finance their education and if the program will be affordable and worth the investment. They often inquire about program length, whether or not there is an application fee and what the job outlook for their chosen field of interest is currently.” – Sean Kennedy, Senior Admissions Representative
2. What kinds of higher education questions should be asked by prospective college students?
“Students should absolutely make sure they are asking about a school’s accreditation. Choosing a school that is regionally accredited is very important to ensure their degree is recognized everywhere. Surprisingly, a regional accreditation is higher ranking than a school with a national accreditation – Brooke Urban, Associate Admissions Representative
3. What are the college admissions requirements at Bryant & Stratton College Online?
“There is a 5 step admissions process. First students will fill out a free online application for the program they are interested in. Secondly students will fill out their financial aid application or “FAFSA”. This way financial aid can begin building the student an award letter to show them exactly what aid they are eligible for. The 3rd step is to draft a short admissions essay describing themselves, what program they picked, why online education works best for them, and how they plan to be successful in the online environment. The 4th step is to fill out a transcript request form for every any high school or college the student attended. This gives us permission to obtain their transcripts, which we will do for the student at no fee. The 5th and final step requires students to complete two placement exams in Math and English to. help us schedule the student in the correct classes.” – Don Lando, Associate Director of Admissions
4. What are the three top qualities you need as a student to succeed in your college courses?
“Motivation – College is not going to be walk in the park. It’s a challenge, but once you earn a degree your life can change tremendously.” – Ricky Braun, Senior Admissions Representative
“Communication- stay in contact with instructors, advisors and fellow students to help keep you on track and connected.” -Sean Kennedy, Senior Admissions Representative
“Organization- Designate a study area in your home” – Don Lando, Associate Director of Admissions
5. What is your advice on how to balancing coursework and a full-time job?
“Set up a schedule designating a specific amount of time towards each class on a weekly basis. Do not procrastinate!” -Ricky Braun, Senior Admissions Representative
6. How can Online Learning Fit into a student’s already busy schedule?
“Online learning affords the students the flexibility of working on their school work anywhere and at any time, 24 hours a day. There is no specific time our students are required to log in for class, which gives our students the flexibility to manage their busy schedule and school.” - Brooke Urban, Associate Admissions Representative
7. Any final tips for success you can share with us?
“Attitude is just as important, if not more so than aptitude. If you are committed to your success you will overcome any obstacle along the way!” – Sean Kennedy, Senior Admissions Representative
The internet and multimedia needs continue to grow at an incredible rate; from web site design and implementation, email blasts and web landing pages, new media marketing and presentations to the blending of video and audio on the World Wide Web. Often people think of video games when they hear interactive media. Video games are just the tip of the iceberg. When someone says “there’s an App for that” those applications on an IPhone are products of interactive media as well. Every day, it seems more jobs are created in the interactive universe.
The demand continues to outpace the supply as new media outlets are born at an amazing rate. Once you’ve earned your Associate Degree in Interactive Media Design from Bryant & Stratton College Online, you can apply at web development firms, advertising agencies, production companies, and corporate interactive departments to name a few.
Our Interactive Media Design Degree program is the right choice if you are looking to combine your individual artistic abilities with complex technological skills. This program was created from the insights of both local and national employers who keep us current on the latest technical skills and professional competencies they expect to be displayed by their employees. You’ll learn first- hand from renowned industry professionals who have practiced what they teach. The program integrates the elements of audio, video, still images, animation, text and data for the delivery of interactive content.
I Don’t Have the Time. Are Online Degree Programs Convenient?
Life happens. From work to family; we understand that your schedule is already packed. Earning your education online allows you to work at your own pace and on your own schedule. Bryant & Stratton College Online offers the flexibility to work on your degree when it works best for you. There is no scheduled class time, except for project due dates, and it’s up to you to log in and work on your assignments at your own pace
You may earn a fully accredited Associates Degree in less than two years! That means that a better future is right around the corner. Bryant & Stratton College Online has a unique three-semester calendar; that means you can earn your Associate Degree fast – often in as few as 20 months. These shorter times to graduation are possible when you attend full-time for consecutive semesters.
So what are you waiting for? Research our Interactive Media Design degree program today and get a clearer vision of your tomorrow.
Bryant & Stratton College Online would like to take a moment to thank those in our student community that currently serve, have served, and those who support our military as the Memorial Day weekend comes to a close. We greatly appreciate the commitment, dedication and service of our military students, and we are proud to have them as part of the Bryant & Stratton College Online community.
“For me, Memorial Day is an important tribute to those men and women that made America what it is today through their sacrifices,” said Ed Dennis, Military Relations Manager. “Although we are an online campus, I have gotten to know some of our military students very well and continue to be impressed with how they balance their school work with their military service.”
“I couldn’t possibly list all the achievements of our students, but would like to recognize a few,” Ed went on to say. “Jennetta, one of our spouse students, is a great student that is not only a mother, but a full time student who consistently receives an A in her courses. I had the pleasure of meeting her, and was truly impressed by her drive to excel in school. Ryan, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, provides inspiration for others by truly leading by example. He is not only an NCO responsible for completing his duties, but made the choice to move from being a part time student to full time this semester while serving active duty. Lauren provides a great example of our National Guard Soldiers that continue to manage their families, work, and college. She is on track to be our first National Guard Online Campus Graduate. A couple weeks ago, I was able to meet Shay, a veteran and student, for the first time in person. She is very passionate about achieving high grades in the classroom and setting up our Student Veterans Group. Anyone who has the chance to talk with her will quickly realize that she is very driven and wants to be a force for positive change. It is an honor to get to know each of you.”
From all of us here at Bryant & Stratton College Online, THANK YOU for your service!
Christopher “Chrissy” Miller
Students create network to help online military students, veterans and their families find success in school and the workplace
BUFFALO, NY (May 31, 2011) – Bryant & Stratton College Online announced today the formation of Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online, a support network for students who have served in the U.S. military, are currently serving, their families and civilian supporters. The student-led group will focus on building upon available resources that make success in the classroom and workplace more attainable.
The group is being started by student and veteran Shay Leech, who served in the U.S. Navy. Leech saw the opportunity to start a peer-to-peer network that would provide resources, support and advocacy to her military classmates and their families. She is currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Medical Reimbursement and Coding at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
“Too often veterans who start college drop out because of a lack of support. While Bryant & Stratton College Online already provides resources to help military students and veterans continue with their education, I wanted to form a group so veterans and active duty students would have a community where we could support each other as well,” said Leech. “In my experience it is hard to be in college as a mother, but it is even harder to be a veteran, since it is difficult for others to relate to what you’ve been through unless they’ve gone through it too. Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online will provide that extra fellowship and understanding for students who know what it is like being active duty or veterans.”
The goal of Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online is to assist and guide military and veteran students through their education and career. The group’s meetings will focus on advocacy, social opportunities and recreational activities as a means of fostering camaraderie among the students. Student Veterans will also work with the college administration to meet the needs of current and prospective student veterans as well as increase community awareness of veterans’ experiences. Students interested in becoming members are encouraged to join the group on LinkedIn, which is where Student Veterans will be connecting online.
“We are committed to supporting our military and veteran students that have given so much for this country,” said Ed Dennis, Military Relations Manager at Bryant & Stratton College Online. “Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online will be a touchstone for these students, a support network they can count on to help them succeed.”
Once Student Veterans of Bryant & Stratton College Online is established, Leech plans to apply to make the group an official chapter of Student Veterans of America, a coalition of student veterans groups on college campuses across the United States.
Bryant & Stratton College Online is proud to support the troops and their families. Last fall, G.I. Jobs Magazine named Bryant & Stratton College Online a 2011 Military Friendly School. As a member of the Service members Opportunities College (SOC) consortium*, Bryant & Stratton College is also an approved institution for the training of U.S. veterans and their family in accordance with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Bryant & Stratton College Online is CLEP, DANTES, ECE and other SOC Colleges approved.
In April, Bryant & Stratton College Online launched www.SalutetoSpouses.com, a career and education information resource website for military spouses. SalutetoSpouses.com is the home of the college’s Salute to Spouses Scholarship, which awards $6,000 towards a Bryant & Stratton College Online degree to spouses of active duty military personnel. The expansion of the site builds on the success of the scholarship and increases the resources available to military spouses interested in earning their degree or building a sustainable career. The content on SalutetoSpouses.com, includes how to articles, tips, advice columns and personal accounts and is created and edited by military spouses.
Bryant & Stratton College was founded in 1854 and is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. For more information about Bryant & Stratton College and its online degree programs, visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu.
*The Bryant & Stratton College-Virginia Beach campus is also a SOCNAV and SOCAD consortium member.
To view the full press release, click here.
Recently, Bryant & Stratton College Online hosted a series of three Career focused webinars which were presented by KimDority, president of Dority & Associates and writer on career topics. Below is another take away from the series that Kim has provided on how self proclaimed introverted students can approach career branding. She offered the following tips .
Personal branding – showcasing your professional strengths – is one of the most important aspects of building a resilient career. However, if you’re an introvert, the idea of telling others about yourself can be unnerving at best, nausea-inducing at worst.
So what if your “elevator speech” generally consists of a muttered “which floor do you want?” The good news is that you’re living in the right era, because these days you can do a major portion of your brand-building online.
In fact, resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer an invaluable opportunity for those of you likely to be hiding your light under a bushel, if not in a cave. These social communities and communication sites allow you to connect with the world without actually having to talk to it. Blogging or creating a personal website is another great way to get the word out, as are the online communities of professional associations.
LinkedIn. The fastest way to get your professional brand visible is via LinkedIn, the online professional community that enables people to create profiles (basically, your resume on steroids) that highlight areas of expertise and interest.
In addition to the standard information about your current job, you’re able to not only create a showcase for past projects and engagements, but also provide a summary of your most outstanding career highlights, areas of expertise, and “specialties.” In the Experience section, you can post information about previous jobs and/or projects, but then can enhance that information via “recommendations,” statements about the amazing wonderfulness of your work posted by colleagues, bosses, clients, etc. You may need to request these from your contacts, but most people are happy to oblige (and of course you’ll do the same for them).
What if you’re a student just starting out in your career and don’t have a lot of job experience to list? Then look for other evidence of your potential value to a prospective employer. Are you doing interesting projects or research in one of your courses that relates to your career interests? Have you volunteered with an organization in a way that lets you point to leadership skills or personal initiative or community impact? If you find that you don’t have any items to describe that indicate your value, then you’ll know this is an area you need to focus on.
Also, whether you’re a working professional or still a student, consider joining the LinkedIn groups that relate to your field, and posting a helpful comment or question now and then. You may never be one of the people who are contributing all the time, but even occasional participation will help establish your professional presence.
Blogs and websites. Blogs and websites can be a great way to let the world – or at least potential employers – know about your areas of expertise by writing about them. You might want to comment on key trends you’ve read about in your profession, or on books by industry thought leaders. Or, if you’re a student, you could discuss interesting aspects of what you’re studying in your courses or research/assignments you’re working on. The point is to demonstrate your engagement with your chosen field, and your enthusiasm for exploring and contributing at a professional level.
In addition – or as an alternative – to having your own blog, you can identify and monitor the best blogs in your field and then post thoughtful comments about the ideas or information being blogged about. Again, this helps to establish you as an individual who is interested in your field and its issues.
Associations. Joining the key professional association(s) in your discipline will not only help you stay current, it will also help you build your career network and can provide you with an opportunity to connect virtually and start building your professional brand via the group’s online community if they have one (most do).
Although you may be tempted to “lurk” rather than participate in the discussions, try to start contributing questions, answers, or resources after you’ve gotten used to the flow and format of how people communicate. Remember, everyone now contributing to the conversation was a newbie at one time, too.
In her wonderful, wise, and empathetic book Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead (McGraw-Hill, 2010), author Nancy Ancowitz notes “While the inward-facing nature of introverts can be a source of strength, if we neglect to reach outward, we miss out on the richness that human interaction can bring – not to mention the career advancement associated with our increased visibility.”
Start easing into that “outward reach” by using online tools to let the world – and potential employers – know how terrific you are.
Title: Tune Up Clinic: IT industry Trends, More Than Just Technology
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
The demand for information technology professionals continues to grow, as companies begin to embrace new technologies in this ever-evolving 2.0 world. Now more than ever, IT professionals must be able to demonstrate that they have a command of these new skill sets needed to update a company’s technology capacity.
This tune-up clinic will help participants remain current and learn about the latest developments in the industry . The webinar will touch upon four areas of focus:
“The modern IT technician has transcended the stereotype of someone sitting at a help desk wearing a pocket protector. This new breed of IT professional is responsible for implementing new technologies and helping companies adapt in the ever-evolving 2.0 world,” said Rick Moore, Online Senior System Administrator at Bryant & Stratton College Online and presenter of the webinar.
The online clinic is open to IT professionals and Bryant & Stratton College students and graduates, as well as prospective students considering a career in information technology.
Register now at http://online.bryantstratton.edu/webinar/
Ed participated in the 2011 Storm the Hill as an individual veteran, not as a representative of the College. He was part of a select group chosen from hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans across the country that applied to participate in Storm the Hill 2011. The group was made up of individuals with a diverse array of military service and personal experience who offered lawmakers a unique understanding of the issues facing the veterans’ community. Bryant & Stratton College Online is proud of his dedication to the veterans’ community as well as active-duty and military students.
Read more about his Storm the Hill 2011 experience below:
I just returned from actively participating in Storm the Hill 2011: (www.stormthehill.org) which is sponsored by IAVA, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of today’s veterans, as part of an advocacy team focused on veterans’ employment issues. In 2010, the unemployment rate for veterans was 11.6 percent, compared to the national average of 9.7 percent.
The event discussed IAVA’s 2011 Policy Agenda, which addressed the most urgent challenges facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. IAVA annually surveys 90,000 Member Veterans and drafted the priorities from the survey results as well as in coordination with partner Veterans Service Organizations and community-based nonprofits nationwide.
As an Iraq war veteran, I feel fortunate to have participated in this great event to increase awareness with our nation’s leaders about the unemployment challenges facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Times are tough for everyone, but veterans are more likely to be unemployed than Americans as a whole. Education and employment opportunities are essential for today’s veterans to be the next ‘Greatest Generation.’ Unfortunately veteran unemployment has been above the national average for a couple of years. If this trending in the unemployment rate continues, we will fall behind our peers and the leadership and management abilities gained by those who served our country won’t be maximized in order to take America out of our current financial crisis.
- Ed Dennis , Military Relations Manager
Just in time for Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which is Friday, May 6, we are excited to announce today the expansion of our website www.SalutetoSpouses.com, as the new go-to resource for education and career news for military spouses.
Home of the college’s Salute to Spouses Scholarship, which awards $6,000 towards a Bryant & Stratton College Online degree to spouses of active duty military personnel, SalutetoSpouses.com is now also an online community that spouses can join to read the latest articles on careers and education as well as participate in a wide variety of forums.
Edited by a military spouse, with contributing writers who are military wives as well, SalutetoSpouses.com is sponsored by Bryant & Stratton College Online’s military relations department and features weekly polls, how to articles, tips, resources, advice columns, personal stories, and financial aid options for military spouses.
“As military spouses, we understand the challenge of earning a degree or navigating the competitive job market while caring for your military family,” said Allison Perkins, Editor at SalutetoSpouses.com. “SalutetoSpouses.com is a community where military spouses can find support, information and resources tailored to their unique needs.”
SalutetoSpouses.com will engage its user community on a variety of topics through forums and blogs. Registered community members will also be able to receive a monthly newsletter that keeps them aware of new content that has been added to the site that month.
Bryant & Stratton College Online created the Salute to Spouses scholarship after the U.S. government temporarily suspended and later reinstated a restructured MyCAA in 2010. The expansion of the site builds on the success of the scholarship and increases the resources available to military spouses interested in earning their degree or building a sustainable career.
“We understand the commitment and sacrifices that military spouses make. We are proud to support them with the Salute to Spouses scholarship and now with SalutetoSpouses.com, which will help by providing critical information on career and education issues specific to their experience as a military spouse,” said Ed Dennis, Military Relations Manager at Bryant & Stratton College Online. “Creating a portable and sustainable career is incredibly important for military spouses and often requires advanced education, but a college degree is now more accessible than ever to military spouses.”
For more information about participating in the Salute to Spouses community and applying for the scholarship visit www.SalutetoSpouses.com and take a look around!
Ed Dennis joined Bryant & Stratton College Online in June 2010 to lead the Military Relations Department at Bryant & Stratton College Online. Prior to this, he served for 21 years in the United States Army, starting as a Private and retiring as a Major. Throughout his career he used the Army Continuing Education System to continuously develop himself personally and professionally. His extensive knowledge and first-hand experience with the armed forces brings invaluable expertise to Bryant & Stratton College to support the needs of active duty , veteran and military spouse students.
Tell us about your military background.
ED: I entered the Army as an enlisted military policeman in 1989, and served in four different units before attending OCS (Officer Candidate School). Upon completion of OCS, I was commissioned as an Ordnance Officer and served as a maintenance officer for four years before attending EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) training. I spent the remaining 9 years of my career as an EOD Officer both overseas and in the United States until I retired in 2010. In that time, I served in leadership positions from team leader to Commander, with three years as an Instructor/TAC (Trainer Advisor Counselor) for LT’s and CPT’s in the Ordnance Corps. I found joy in teaching others, and now continue utilizing that passion as an Adjunct Professor for Bryant & Stratton College Online.
Upon retirement from the Army, I wanted to enter a career that assisted fellow veterans and provided a sense of fulfillment. I had already served 21 years in the Army, and respect the work that is done by the Department of Defense Civilians, but wanted to apply my skills in the private sector. Throughout the job search process, I had to choose which path I wanted to take. My interview with Bryant & Stratton College Online really impressed me and the following dialogue with senior managers reassured me that this was the direction that I wanted to pursue.
Tell us about your work in the Military Relations Department at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
ED: Bryant & Stratton College Online understands that military servicemen and women have unique lifestyles and that they need personalized attention. They looked to me for guidance on how to help meet those needs. I approached this with three goals in mind: continuously improve our internal procedures, provide staff education and training, and form strong relationships with ESO’s (Education Service Officers). Since I served for more than two decades in the military, I know first-hand that career and education are two important (and often challenging) issues for military students and their families. I first took a look at the internal procedures and policies currently in place and how it related to the process military members use to request tuition assistance, in order to make that process as military friendly as possible for them. In addition, I looked at the policies for withdrawal, deployment, and any other unique circumstances service members could face.
I then worked with the senior leaders at Bryant & Stratton College Online, to update the policies to benefit service members, family members, and Veterans. Based on the new changes, classes were developed and staff training began. My goal was to not only inform the staff of the new changes, but also give them a lesson in Military 101.
Finally, once our internal procedures were in place and the staff informed about military affiliated students, I started to work on building relationships with the ESO’s by attending service level education events to meet with Education Service Officers and share with them the opportunities for service members and families at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
How can you help not only military service members but also their families in their education journey?
ED: With the high OPTEMPO (Operational Tempo), the military focuses much more on families than they did when I started in 1989. This is because it is not only the service member, but the family that endures the hardships of deployment. There is a very valid concern among spouses that they may need to enter the workforce at some point due to family support issues, or they desire to enter the workforce for personal and family goals. I think that in many cases it is harder for spouses during deployments, so I treat them the same as I would a service member or veteran when providing assistance.
Why is Bryant & Stratton College Online perfect for military families?
ED: Bryant & Stratton College Online provides a high level of support to all students and strongly believes in personalized education. This fits well with military families because there is accountability at every level. Students are not referred to a bank of “Academic Advisors,” but instead they are given an assigned Academic Advisor who focuses on guiding that student in achieving their personal career and educational goals while they are enrolled with Bryant & Stratton College Online. In addition, we are a career college that focuses on high academic standards. For students this translates into being better prepared for the career field they want to enter, and a higher degree of success. Finally, we offer several portable degrees that adapt well to the constant moves that military families face every couple of years.
On April 1, 2011, The LA Times ran a special Online Education section produced by MediaPlanet. We are very proud to have online student Marlena Unz, featured.
In April, Marlena Unz will be a college graduate at age 46, earning her associate’s degree online from Bryant & Stratton College Online as a medical administrative assistant. While for many of her classmates a college education was a way to gain the skills and training required to get a job, for Unz it was also an opportunity to prove something to herself and her children.
A stay-at-home mother, who ran a small in-home daycare, Marlena lost her husband just a few months shy of their 25th wedding anniversary unexpectedly. Since her husband worked to provide for the family, it was now her sole responsibility to create a financially secure future for her family.
Click on the thumbnail below to read more about Marlena’s courage.
Going back to school can be quite overwhelming. One of the biggest obstacles new college students face is managing their time appropriately. Time Management can be particularly tricky for online students because although you have the flexibility of logging into your courses at any time, many of you will be working full-time jobs and have family obligations that you must fit your schoolwork around.
So how do you get into the groove of being a new online student? It all starts with making a conscious effort to use your time wisely. It can be as simple as placing Post-it notes around the house so that you are consistently forcing yourself to be conscious of time. Another option is to keep a journal to log what you are doing with your time throughout the day.
Keeping a time journal can be very eye-opening. You might find that the time you spend on the sofa watching television each night adds up to over 12 hours each week! Or you might find out you spend too much time on Facebook, playing Xbox, surfing the web, playing FarmVille or even sleeping. Don’t panic- I am not saying to give any of these things up. I am trying to help you be more conscious of how you are spending your time, so you can manage it better and also keep up with your schoolwork.
There is nothing worse, or easier, than procrastination. Admit it. You have been there at some point in in your life. The evening is dwindling away; your assignment is due at midnight and you are thinking of all the other times that you could have (and should have) been getting your assignments done. By making an effort to be aware of how you are spending your time, you will be more likely to plan ahead so you don’t end up a victim of procrastination.
It is important to remember that to be successful at managing your time, you will need to reward yourself. Set your boundaries and make sure that for so every so many hours you spend being productive, you also allow yourself an hour to do something you truly enjoy. I hope this helps you get on the right path to being more productive and having less stress in your life.
Please add any additional questions, comments or tips that you have about time management in the comment section below.
The “pay it forward” movement is not a new concept. According to Wikipedia, it dates all the way back to 317 BC where it was used as a key plot concept for a play in ancient Athens. There are small documented events of the “pay it forward” notion throughout history; however, it became a widely popular concept after the 2000 movie of the same name, which was based on the novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
The simplest way to define “pay it forward” is that when someone does something for you, instead of paying that person back directly, you pass it on to another person instead. One of the easiest examples of this is buying a coffee for the person in line behind you at the coffee shop and then they buy a coffee for the person behind them and so on.
What is the point of all this? Why do so many people live their lives according to the “pay it forward” principle? It has been proven that acts of kindness build exponentially in a community and because people believe that one good deed deserves another. “Paying it forward” can make the world a better place.
Have you ever done anything to “pay it forward?” Has anyone ever done a good deed for you? Tell us about it and how it made you feel in the comments below.
Pay it Forward. [Online image] Available http://yourcaringangels.com/blog/?p=1010, February 26, 2009.
For more information on Pay it Forward from Wikipedia, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_it_forward.
It is really important to understand what accreditation is if you are considering higher education. There are different types of accreditation and by having knowledge of this and doing a bit of research on your potential school, you can ensure that you will be earning a legitimate degree.
There are two types of accreditation, national and regional. While both types of accreditation will earn you a valid degree and allow you to use financial aid, regional accreditation is the highest form of accreditation. All of Bryant & Stratton College’s campuses and Online Education division are regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
If you still have additional questions and are thinking of going back to school, my previous post, “Buyer Beware: What You Should Know Before Enrolling in an Online Degree,“ may be helpful to you as well. It is important to check the facts on any school you are considering for enrollment so that you do not waste any of your time or money on a degree that is not going to be acknowledged by employers.
It’s that time of the year again where the nights are getting shorter and colder. Parents and college kids alike are running to the store to get their last minute school supply shopping done, since fall has finally arrived. A new semester offers a chance for some to start over and for some a chance to get their life back in order. To start the semester off the right way, I wanted to come up with a list of supplies and tips for online students. This way when you are running around grabbing all of the crayons, highlighters, pencils, paper, and folders for your kids, you will have a list for yourself to make sure you are prepared for the long semester haul.
The first thing you need to take care of is your study space. Make sure you have a quiet work space that you enjoy being in. If you surround yourself with a positive environment, you are more likely to be able to accomplish your work. One idea that I have always liked is having pictures of your supporting cast, maybe you are going back to school to help out your family, friends, or even yourself. Having pictures of your family and friends will allow you to always remember what you are working for. It could also help you get through those late night assignments. It isn’t a bad idea to have a picture of your favorite vacation spot or a dream vacation spot, just something that can maybe take your mind off of your homework and allow you to reset your brain. If you have kids, it isn’t a bad idea to try and do your homework while they are at school themselves or once they are asleep.
Now it’s time to go back to basics. While taking online classes it is always a good idea to have the same supplies a traditional college student has. Whether you like to drink coffee, soda, or of course energy drinks, caffeine becomes one of the most important food groups for many college students! Many college students, including myself, owe thanks to the great people at Starbucks and AMP Energy drinks for helping us get through those late night assignments.
Of course you need the good old basics like paper and pencils, but with online classes the list varies at this point. We all know it is mandatory to have a computer and internet. You can also find a list of other mandatory computer components on our technology requirements page. The most important on that list is a printer. Printing copies of homework assignments, papers you have written and lectures is a great way to stay organized and on top of your school work. Make sure you have a binder or folder to keep all of your paper work in order. It‘s not a bad idea to have a filing cabinet or a filing box in your workspace either. Other computer essentials are speakers, a webcam, a microphone, a flash drive, ink, and printer paper. These are all required or highly recommended to stay on top of your assignments.
When I sat down to write this I said that I wanted to make sure I made your life a little easier by giving you a last minute school supply shopping list. Hopefully with these supplies, you are now in the position to succeed and turn over a new leaf. Here is your shopping list; now it is just up to you to find the time to do some shopping.
Filling Cabinet or Box
Feel free to add additional items in the comment section of items you think are important for online students.
Over the years, I have interviewed hundreds of candidates for various positions. Some of the things people have done in these interviews have been disrespectful and outright shocking. I hope that by sharing my thoughts with you about job interviewing, you will be able to walk into a job interview with confidence and make all the right moves.
Don’t wear flip flops. It is never okay under any circumstances to wear flip flops to a job interview. Be in the practice of dressing at least one level above what the job you are interviewing for requires. This means if you are interviewing in an office that requires business casual, you should wear a suit. If you are interviewing for a contracting job that requires jeans and a t-shirt, you should wear dress pants and a dress shirt with a tie. Other tips are to avoid wearing too much jewelry, makeup, and fragrance. Cover up those tattoos and make sure your midriff is not exposed. If you are a smoker, try to hold off on the way to your interview in case you are in a small office with your interviewer.
Don’t forget to bring a copy of your resume. It always amazes me how many people do not bring a professional portfolio or even a copy of their resume with them to a job interview. This is your much needed confidence booster during a job interview. What better way to answer questions about your previous work experience than referring to your portfolio or resume which is right in front of you? Say goodbye to those blank stares when you can’t remember what to say because you can’t forget if the answer to your question is right in front of you.
Practice does not make perfect, but it sure helps! When you are interviewing for a job, it is obvious if you are not prepared. If you don’t feel confident, you will be less likely to make eye contact throughout your interview. You should always do a bit of research on the company that you are interviewing with beforehand. Even if you just go to the company website and get the basics, this will show your interviewer you have done your research and also help you feel confident. You need to practice interviewing. It doesn’t matter if it is with your spouse, your friend, through the mock interviewing students have available with OptimalResume™, or with yourself in a mirror- practicing will help you improve your interviewing skills. Another helpful tip I have found is that it becomes very easy to be the interviewee once you have had an opportunity to be the interviewer. Take turns and practice asking questions as well and see what your partner comes up with for answers. Their answers might give you helpful ideas.
Don’t ask about the pay or benefits. I think that people commonly forget that when they are on a job interview their sole purpose should be on selling themselves to that company or organization. I always give this advice to others when job searching, sell yourself first and then when the company wants you they have to sell themselves to you. There is nothing worse than being asked questions about salary or benefits by someone who just sat down for their first interview with your company. There are sometimes circumstances where this gets brought up and it is okay, but my general consensus is don’t bring it up on the first interview unless they do.
Mind your manners. Being polite, mature and professional still do go a long way. Make sure to arrive on time and leave your cell phone in your car or make sure your ringer is set to silent. Do your best to avoid fidgeting during your interview. Nerves can cause us to do things like use over pronounced hand gestures, twirl in our chair, bite our fingernails, or tap our fingers repeatedly on the table in front of us. Try to be aware of your nervous habits, because the more aware you are of them, the more you will be able to control them during a job interview. Also, it is important that you give your interviewer a chance to talk; don’t feel like you need to do all the talking. Make sure that you give your interviewer the opportunity to ask you all the questions that they want to ask you.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Some people like to ask weird questions just to see how well you respond on the fly. My personal favorite to ask people is what is their favorite dance move and why? I have heard others from what is your favorite cereal to what kitchen appliance would you be and why? These questions are meant to see how you react and are often a bit silly. Just be honest when answering and if you feel comfortable enough this is usually a good place to show off your sense of humor.
Lastly, send a follow up email or a thank you note after your interview. (Hint: Traditional “snail mail” thank you notes are the most memorable and in my experience less than five percent of people do this.) If the company told you when they would make a hiring decision or when they would follow up by and you haven’t heard from them, then it is okay to follow up with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you did not get selected. This is some of the best feedback you can get to find out what you are doing wrong so that next time you can get it right.
Feel free to share your own personal tips for job interviewing success in the comments below.
Recently, Bryant & Stratton College Online interviewed Kim Dority, president of Dority & Associates and a frequent presenter and writer on career topics, on what students should keep in mind while in school to boost their job prospects when they graduate. She offered the following tips (in addition, of course, to staying in regular contact with your Bryant & Stratton Career Services Department!)
B&SC: What’s the most important thing for students to start doing now to improve their career options?
KD: Realize that every day, you’re in charge of building your career opportunities. It’s easy to become completely focused on classes and assignments and studies – in fact, it’s a good sign that you’re working hard to achieve your dreams. But at the same time, you also want to keep in mind the reason why you’re in school: to create a career path that will pay you well and grow with you.
B&SC: What steps should students take to start building their career opportunities?
KD: First, you need to decide what you hope to accomplish related to your career goals while you’re at Bryant & Stratton College, in addition to completing your programs. For example, you might decide you wanted to learn more about the top healthcare employers in your area, you wanted to find out more about salaries in your field, and you wanted to practice taking on a leadership role in a safe environment.
In that case, you might interview the HR heads of those healthcare employers for a class assignment, might work with the campus librarian to research salary information, and might seek out opportunities to lead group projects.
The important thing is to determine what career goals you want to focus on, what actions you can take before you graduate to accomplish those goals, and then work with your instructors and school administrators to do those things.
B&SC: What else can students do to start focusing on their careers while still in school?
KD: Focus on the “Big 3” of career-building: networking, professional branding, and getting work-related experience.
Networking involves building positive professional relationships with as many people as possible, including classmates, teachers, administrators, and class guest speakers. It’s important to keep in mind that these relationships are built by offering to help as often as you’re asking for help. So whenever you ask someone, for example, to write a job letter of recommendation for you, you not only send them a hand-written thank-you note and let them know the outcome of the interview, you also offer to help them in any way you can.
Another way to build your professional network is by joining the professional association in your field, and taking an active role in the local chapter. (Tip: volunteering for the membership committee means you get to meet everyone in the group!)
B&SC: What about building your professional brand?
KD: Building a professional brand means finding multiple ways to showcase your professional strengths. This can be both face-to-face and online. So, for example, you have an opportunity to build a positive professional brand through your actions and behaviors every day with classmates, co-workers, and your teachers and administrators. These are all people who may be in a position to recommend you for jobs someday – but only if you have built positive relationships with and demonstrated your professional strengths to them.
In the online world, you have an opportunity to build a positive brand or reputation through a blog, a personal website, and of course the social tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Just make sure you’d be happy to have a potential employer see what you’ve posted!
B&SC: And work-related experience?
KD: Having work-related experience will give you a competitive edge when it comes to landing a job in your field for two reasons. First, it tells potential employers that you not only have the classroom knowledge about a given topic, but you also know how to apply it. Basically, you’ve got proof of your ability to contribute. Second, you build connections in your field – connections who can recommend you, let you know about potential job openings, and counsel you about what to expect in an interview, how to conduct yourself when you’re new on the job, etc.
Internships work great for getting work-related experience, but if your degree program doesn’t require an internship, you may need to do some volunteering for a local organization in your field. But you definitely want to make sure that by the time you graduate and are looking for that first job, you’ve gotten some solid work experience in the profession.
B&SC: Anything else students should do to build their career options?
KD: I would say to simply recognize how much you are already achieving in your lives, and to understand how valuable that will make you as potential employees. Going to school as an adult is not easy: you may be working part-time or full-time, you may have family obligations, but still you manage to succeed every day to do the work necessary to achieve your goals.
You’re already building a professional brand as a self-motivated, independent, hard-working individual who has what it takes to see things through. That’s quite an accomplishment, and the mark of someone who will be a strong professional contributor.
For more information about the upcoming career webinar, “Building a Resilient Career,” presented by Kim Dority or to view archived webinars from this series, visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu/webinar/.
Back to school season is right around the corner. With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to post a video with study tips for those returning to school. Whether you have just graduated from high school and are transitioning to college or if you are returning to school after being away for many years, these are study tips that can help you. I felt that it might be helpful to share with others the things that worked best for me. Remember, just because this is what worked best for me, you may find something else works better for you. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the study routine that works well for you. If you have any questions about the upcoming semester or about anything in this video, please post them in the comments section below. Best of luck in returning to school this fall!
The biggest concern graduates have aside from finding a full-time job after graduation is that in six months their student loan repayments start. The challenging job market has made it increasingly difficult for the graduates to repay their student loans. Here are some tips I feel can be helpful in repaying your student loans:
Keep Everything – One of the most important things while repaying your student loans is to make sure you keep track of all papers and balances. If you have a file cabinet at home, I suggest creating a file to hold all of your statements, paperwork, and receipts. The biggest part of staying on track, is keeping everything organized.
Set Up a Monthly Budget – It is always good to create some sort of monthly budget. The first thing I did when I graduated was take a look at my monthly income and monthly spending. I created my own monthly budget and broke it down into a few different categories. I set up a spreadsheet similar to this:
With this budget, I am able to watch my spending and make sure I always have money to pay my student loans. Another thing I try to do is put a little more money towards the principal whenever I can. When you are repaying your loan, not all of the money goes to the principal. Some of the money paid monthly is taken and applied to the interest. It is very important to let your lender know that any money repaid on top of your monthly balance be applied to the principal balance. I really suggest that once you are done with school and getting ready to repay your student loans you take some time to create a similar budget. It drastically reduces the stress of repaying student loans.
Speak to your Lender and Financial Aid Advisor–Many schools require students to speak with a Financial Aid advisor before graduation. This is called an exit interview. The Financial Aid advisor will explain the different steps in repaying your loans and the different tools that can assist you. Even if your school doesn’t require you to speak with a Financial Aid advisor, I highly suggest that you do. Your Lender or Financial Aid Advisor will be able to talk about consolidating your loans, your deferment options, how forbearance works, how to avoid default, and work with you to set up a repayment plan that fits you.
Stay in Contact with your Lender – Usually with repaying student loans, you are given a six month grace period. Within this six month period it is a good idea to contact your loan holder. When contacting the loan holder, make sure they have your correct address, phone number, and email. It is also a good time to ask the loan holder about any repayment plans they offer. If you are having economic hardship or other factors that won’t allow you to repay your loan this is a good time to ask about deferment or forbearance. If at any time during your repayment schedule you have a change of address, phone, name, or email it is a good idea to contact the loan holder with the changes.
Avoiding Default – The most important thing you need to do while repaying your student loans is to avoid default. When you don’t repay your student loan on time, you are delinquent. If you stay delinquent for a period of time you move into default. Once you are in default the entire balance of the loan becomes due. Along with having to pay the entire loan, you may become ineligible for future financial aid. The loan holder then has the capability to add an extra collection charge to every payment, they can also seize part of your tax refund or wages to ensure the loan is repaid. To avoid falling into default make sure you contact your loan holder when having trouble repaying your loans. Sometimes loan holders can reduce your payment for a month, or they give you the option of forbearance. Forbearance is when your payments are stopped for a period of time. During forbearance it is possible that you will still be charged interest on the loan, it is important to contact your loan holder and see how they handle forbearances.
These are just some steps you can take to make sure your student loans are repaid on time and that you are able to stay out of default. The most important factor in staying current on your student loans is accepting the responsibility of managing your money and paying your loans on time.
The wilder your imagination, the better off you will be in the field of Interactive Media Design. This field can be a very lucrative and fulfilling industry to have a career in. There are many reasons this field can be attractive for someone looking to earn a degree. Here are five reasons this field could be a good fit for you:
You Have a Creative Mind – In the field of Interactive Media Design the more creative you are the better off you will be. While growing up, you might have spent a good amount of time decorating your book covers and you always thought it was fun, but parents and teachers told you not to waste your time. Well, they were wrong. If you had the imagination to create cool designs to dress up your books, you may be cut out for a career in Interactive Media Design. Having that type of creative mind isn’t something that can be necessarily taught in a classroom. It is the first step to having a successful career in the industry.
You are Technologically Savvy – So, you like to believe you know how to use the latest technology? The Interactive Media Design field calls on all the new avenues of media as a way to market to its customers. Whether it’s the ads you find on Facebook or MySpace, the new app that you downloaded on your iPhone, or the new logo for your favorite beverage company; those are all examples of Interactive Media Design. It all comes back to using modern technology. The Interactive Media Design industry does just that by incorporating audio, video, text, still images, and the newest technologies to help companies reach their consumer in the newest and trendiest ways.
Employment Opportunities – In the field of Interactive Media Design, there are several avenues a graduate will be able to take. The field offers an array of different job opportunities, including programmer, web designer, graphic designer, illustrators and many more. With society’s increasing demand for instant media, the field is in a position to continue to grow. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the employment of graphic designers will increase 13 percent from now until 2018. The exciting thing about the Interactive Media Design degree is that there are many different types of jobs available that offer competitive wages to educated and creative individuals. The jobs listed here are just the broad listing; there are many different titles and levels within these jobs.
Competitive Wages – You’re looking for a job that offers competitive wages. While the demand for educated and creative graphic designers increases, the average wage increases as well. The current national salary range for a Graphic Design Specialist starts at $35,000 and goes up to $60,000. For a Senior Graphic Design Specialist, the salary range jumps up to $44,000 – $72,000. Other jobs that have a competitive wage in the field include, Web Designers and Programmers. For a Web Designer the national average is $48,000 – $81,000 and that figure increases with the more experience you gain. A Senior Web Designer can earn over a $100,000. Entry level programmers average $42,000 – $67,000 annually and as a programmer gains experience in the field, their income potential can reach over $100,000. When looking at average salary wages, it’s a good idea to make sure you do some research in your surrounding area. Salary wages fluctuate depending on where you live.*
You want to be Self-Employed – Now maybe you are sitting there thinking, “This degree sounds pretty cool, but I am more of a free spirit.” While the jobs listed above are within a company the majority of the time, there is the opportunity for self employment within the Interactive Media Design industry. There are companies and advertising agencies out there who hire for free lancing opportunities or there is the opportunity to open your own agency. These types of opportunities offer people who have that independent mind the ability to showcase their works and creativity.
If any of these five reasons catch your attention or if you want more information, you can check out http://online.bryantstratton.edu/interactive-media-design/.
*Jobs and salary statistics taken from Salary.com.
There are many things that are important to know before committing yourself to an online degree program with a college. In this video, I take a couple of minutes to give you the down and dirty on what you need to know before you complete your enrollment steps. Many schools out there do have your best interests at heart, but some do not. By having the knowledge of what to look for and doing a little research beforehand, you can feel confident that you have chosen a quality, accredited school to earn your online degree.
Most college students have a giant stack of old textbooks collecting dust somewhere in their home. There are various reasons that students hold on to their textbooks, but it seems that the biggest one is they aren’t exactly sure how to sell them back. Here are some tips and tricks for how you can take those dusty books and turn them into cash:
As you can see, there are several options for getting cash back for your old textbooks. Remember, it is never a good idea to send a mass email out to all your fellow students asking if they want to buy your books. One last tip to mention is that it is always a good idea to sell your textbooks as soon as possible after a class if you do not plan on keeping them. The longer you wait to sell a book back, the less money you will likely get for it since textbooks are constantly being updated to a new edition. Most textbooks are only used for approximately one school year. Now all you have left to think about is what you are going to spend all of your cash on.
Do you want to go back to school, but just can’t decide on a degree? Are you looking for a degree in a new and exciting field that also offers growth potential? Bryant & Stratton College Online is rolling out a new degree program for the fall 2010 semester. Starting in September, Bryant & Stratton College Online will be offering a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Health Services Administration.
This new degree offers students the opportunity to gain a wide range of health-related knowledge and skills in the management sector of health services and facilities. The program is designed to prepare graduates to be ready to enter the medical industries in entry-level and assistant management positions. Hospitals, clinics, nursing care facilities, doctors’ offices, and insurance companies are all medical settings where graduates would be able to enter the industry and be successful.
Often health services administrators are given various managerial tasks that include creating and implementing policy and procedures, hiring and supervising staff, controlling finances, and ordering supplies. The Health Services Administration degree is designed to give graduates decision-making skills, critical thinking skills, and small group communications skills that will guide the graduate to success in the industry. Students are also given the opportunity to have real-world experiences through research opportunities and the capstone experience. Graduates will be able to take the lessons learned in class and through experiences and successfully apply them in their health care administration or management career.
Of course various factors are considered during the decision making process of choosing a degree, but two of the most common are the average income and job availability upon graduation. As the health care system in our country grows so will the demand for educated health services administrators. The room for growth within the industry and average income are both substantial. The income within the health services industry can vary depending on the job, for example Account Executives(Home Care) can make anywhere from $51,938 – $62,219, Physicians Network Administrators have a salary range of $42,418-$53,482, and Clinical Administrator Supervisors salary range is $47,852 – $64,320. These are just a few examples of the types of jobs found within the industry and the average income. The employment opportunities for graduates are likely to continue to grow as the demand grows in the health care industry.
It is proven that a college education does pay. On average people with a college degree have a lower unemployment rate and earn more than those who have a high school diploma or less. Students who graduate with a Health Services Administration degree from Bryant & Stratton College Online will be able to apply the knowledge and skills obtained while working successfully in a managerial capacity. Students will be able to apply their learned legal and ethical principles in various health care organizations. Graduates can apply their group communication and leadership skills effectively throughout the industry. Lastly, graduates will be able to take real-world experience and life lessons learned and apply them to a variety of situations.
So if you are looking for a new career with room for growth and a respectable average income, I suggest you check out the Health Services Administration Degree at Bryant & Stratton College Online. As the health care industry expands at a rapid rate, the demand for well trained and educated graduates will only increase, and we don’t want you to be left on the outside looking in.
For more information on the Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Health Services Administration offered at Bryant & Stratton College Online, please visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu/bs-health-services-admin/.
*Jobs and salary statistics for this post were taken from salary.com
For many online students, the biggest challenge they face in going back to school is figuring out how to balance their school workload along with everything else in life. Most online students work full time and have families, so adding in time for schoolwork each week can be overwhelming at first. Here are some tips from successful Bryant & Stratton College Online students that can help you manage your time effectively:
1. Make a checklist – Many online students print out a list of their assignments for the week as soon as their folder for the week becomes available. Making a “to do” list or a checklist for the week allows you to make sure no assignments get missed and that you can reach your deadlines as well.
2. Plan ahead – If you know you have a busy week ahead at work, have events planned with your family, or are traveling, it is always a good idea to plan ahead. If you can get your work done, or at least the majority of it completed, before these other obligations you will be less stressed out and more likely to relax and have fun.
3. Don’t be a perfectionist – Sometimes life gets in the way and meeting deadlines and staying on track is more important than submitting the best research paper you have ever written. We all want to submit our best work, but if you get too focused on perfection you could fall behind.
4. Don’t procrastinate – It’s really easy to put that big project off when you have all semester before it’s due, but before you know it the deadline is approaching and you are scrambling to get everything done. If you have a big project due at the end of the session, it is best to map out small steps each week that you will complete toward the project. The hardest part of any project is getting started. The longer you put this off, the more stressful it will become.
5. Ask for help – There will be times throughout earning your degree that you will need help. Whether it’s asking your spouse to watch the kids so you can sneak off to a local coffeehouse for some peace and quiet to get your homework done, or whether you call your instructor at home for clarification on the assignment that you are really just having a tough time getting started with, everyone needs a little help now and then. Online students need a support team. This team wants to help you succeed and see you graduate. It’s always OK to ask for help.
It’s not easy balancing work, family and school obligations but it does get easier over time. No matter how proactive you are, there are going to be times throughout earning your degree when you procrastinate, or something comes up. This is completely normal. It is important to remember your end goal of walking across that stage to get your diploma. You can keep balance in your life as an online student with practice and patience.
When I am talking to people about enrolling in college, many people think that it will be a lengthy process. The simple truth is enrolling in an online degree can be done in as little as one week. There are a few steps that need to be completed before you can be accepted into Bryant & Stratton College Online. You need to complete the free online application, complete your FAFSA form, submit a transcript request form, and submit an essay. The essay briefly explains why you are choosing your degree of interest and why you will be successful in an online program. Once you are accepted, you need to accept your financial aid package and take placement tests. At Bryant & Stratton College Online we have six session starts per year, so you can start your degree whenever you are ready and enrolling will be even quicker than you thought possible. Our next session of classes begin on June 23, 2010. Please let me know if you have any questions about earning your degree online or the Admissions process.
Many students who are enrolling in a college or university loathe the financial aid process. It’s not that it’s hard to complete, or even that timely for that matter; it’s just the fact that you have to dig through your personal files to find the information you need to complete it. There is little that is more satisfying then finally finding those taxes from last year and submitting your FAFSA form and getting it over with. Then your Financial Aid Advisor notifies you that you have been selected for verification by the Federal government and you have to fill out paperwork. Now you’re thinking, “What?! Are you kidding me?” Well, here’s the scoop on verification and what you need to know to get your financial aid awarded as quickly as possible.
First it is important to understand that if you have been selected for verification, it does not mean you have done anything wrong. If you have been selected for verification, it could be for any of the following reasons:
· You were selected randomly.
· The FAFSA application you submitted contained incomplete data.
· Your FAFSA application has estimated information on it.
· The data on your FAFSA application appears to contradict itself.
The Federal government randomly selects 30 percent of all individuals who complete a FAFSA for verification. If you are selected for verification you will need to fill out a quick and easy worksheet and fax it back to us along with a copy of your taxes. Make sure that you completely fill out the Verification Worksheet before you fax it in so that it does not further delay your financial aid being awarded. You will need a copy of your taxes and you need to sign them before you fax them to us. If no taxes were filed for the school year indicated on your FAFSA form, you should call your Financial Aid Advisor at 1-800-836-5627 and press option 2. Bryant & Stratton College Online must complete your verification in advance of disbursing any money from any financial aid program, so it is important to send complete and correct information into us as soon as possible.
As soon as everything is received by the Financial Aid department and no additional changes need to be made, your financial aid award letter is packaged. If corrections needed to be made on your FAFSA form by our Financial Aid department it will be done in no longer than three to five business days. Our goal at Bryant & Stratton College Online is to make the financial aid process as painless as possible so if you have any questions along the way or find yourself getting frustrated do not hesitate to call your Financial Aid Advisor and ask for help.
For more information on financial aid at Bryant & Stratton College Online, visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu/about/financial_aid.html.
In the last five years, I have seen an unbelievable amount of growth at Bryant & Stratton College Online. This video talks about that growth and about how online education has changed since I started at Bryant & Stratton College. It has been really exciting to see us go from only having a couple of online degrees, to having tons of options for online students! For a complete list of all of our Online offerings, visit http://www.bryantstratton.edu/online.
If you are thinking about enrolling in an online course, you might be wondering if your computer will perform well enough to take an online course. It is important to research the technology requirements for any online program that you are looking into and make sure that your computer meets at least the minimum requirements needed. If you are thinking about buying a new computer to take online classes, pretty much any computer you buy these days that is running a Windows XP SP2 or higher operating system is going to meet the technology requirements necessary to go to school online.
The first thing to think about is if you should get a laptop or a desktop computer. While desktop computers tend to be less expensive, there are some definitely benefits to having a laptop computer. Laptops are great because if you have to travel at all while taking an online course, you can take your computer with you. Students with young children benefit from having a laptop because it allows them to be mobile while doing schoolwork if they need to go find a quiet place to study. If your internet connection goes down at your home, you can go to the public library, your local coffee café, or even a fast food restaurant to use a free internet connection with a laptop computer. Also, online students are required to have a microphone and a webcam and most laptops already have both of these features built in. The benefits of having a laptop computer can definitely outweigh the extra cost of the computer, but you should weigh your options and pick whatever you think will work best for you.
Many of the students that are starting online courses at Bryant & Stratton College Online, do not have Microsoft Office on their computers. Computers do not usually come with Microsoft Office when you buy them. This usually needs to be purchased separately and installed on your computer. You can download a trial version of Microsoft Office, but don’t rely on this to get you through classes, because the trial only lasts for 60 days. Students at Bryant & Stratton College Online must have a copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2007 to take online classes. If a student does not have it, they do have the option of purchasing it from our bookstore with their financial aid before classes start.
You should also consider your internet connection that you will be using for online classes. There are several types of internet services that you can purchase for use at your residence. There are dial-up, broadband, satellite and air card internet connections available as options for obtaining home internet access. A broadband internet connection is highly recommended for online students.
If your computer is really old or broken and you are planning to fix it or upgrade it, make sure you do this before you enroll in online classes just in case something goes wrong. You don’t want to start off as a new student and fall behind because you don’t have a way to access your coursework. Also, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan for what you will do if your computer isn’t working. Many online students have a family member or friend on standby in case their computer has an issue or their internet connection goes down.
For more specific information about Bryant & Stratton’s technology requirements, visit https://www.bryantstratton.edu/application.aspx. The technology requirements are at the bottom of the online application.
If you are looking for a new way to learn about your educational options, you may want to consider attending a webinar. Most webinars are free and they are jam-packed with information that you would normally spend a lot of time researching on your own. Webinars take place online by clicking on a link to open the live presentation and you can hear audio and participate in the conversation by using a headset with a microphone (VoIP) or dialing in on a telephone to a dedicated conference call phone number.
Bryant & Stratton College Online offers a variety of webinars on career training and the academic programs that we offer. You are usually required to register for a webinar ahead of time (seating may be limited) and then you need to login at a set time to participate in the webinar. Almost all webinars are recorded, so if you were unable to attend you can watch them whenever it is convenient for you.
Some of the webinars that we have previously done at Bryant & Stratton College Online have covered topics such as current industry trends, leadership skills, preparing for a career change and motivation skills. Click on the links below (you will be redirected to GoToMeeting®) to watch recordings of past webinars:
· Online Medical Billing & Coding Certifications
· Emerging IT Trends
· Improve Your Cash Flow in Hard Economic Times
· Present for Impact
· 3 Keys to Motivating Yourself and Others
· Online College Certificates for Employment
· A Brand New Way to Deliver CFP Training
Interested in attending our next webinar? Our next webinar will be on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at noon EST and you can register by clicking the link below:
If you are interested in more information on certificate programs at Bryant & Stratton College Online, visit www.bryantstratton.edu/online.
I thought it was important to take some time to discuss the differences between degrees and certificate programs. There are many factors to consider when trying to decide which is the best fit. In this video, I discuss the benefits of both and also talk about possible scenarios to help you decide what might be the best option for you. Feel free to comment to this post with any questions you have about this and I will help you out. For more information about what programs Bryant & Stratton College Online offers, visit http://www.bryantstratton.edu/online.
Are you interested in the legal field but do not want to provide legal advice to clients? Do you love researching and preparing documents? Are you the kind of person who prefers to be “behind the scenes?” If you said yes to any of these questions, a career in Paralegal Studies might be just the thing for you. Paralegals are also known as Legal Assistants and the terms are used interchangeably.
If you are considering a career in Paralegal, you are likely wondering what steps you would need to get there. It all starts with what kind of educational background you have. Most schools offer Associate’s degrees and Certificate Programs in Paralegal Studies. The reason that your educational background matters is that most workers entering the Paralegal field have either an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies or they have a Bachelor’s degree in another field and a Certificate in Paralegal Studies. If you have already earned a degree in a different field of study, it is not necessary to complete another degree; you will be qualified to enter the field after completing a Certificate program.
It is important to consider accreditation when choosing the program that you enroll into. Bryant & Stratton College Online is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Regional accreditation is the highest accreditation that can be held by a college or university and it is a benchmark of quality. In addition to this, Bryant & Stratton College Online believes in preparing students to enter the workforce and consults with experts in the legal field on a regular basis when creating new courses and updating existing courses. This allows us to teach the skills to our students most desired by employers in the field by building them into our course outcomes.
If you are thinking of working for a large corporation or the government, you should consider choosing a law specialty that you would enjoy focusing on. Some of the most common specialties are Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Patent and Copyright Law, and Real Estate Law. It is important for someone interested in pursuing this career to become proficient in online computer research and legal software programs. Those who are interested in entering the legal field should also become skilled in document preparation and communicating professionally through email.
Once you have earned your degree or certificate, you should still stay current with what is happening in the legal field. A good way to do this is by joining a professional organization for Paralegals or by becoming nationally certified. Paralegal professionals have the option to test to become a Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal (CLA/CP) through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA.) This certification will make you more competitive in the workforce and being a member of the NALA will allow you to network with other Paralegals in your industry.
For more information on the Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies at Bryant & Stratton College Online visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu/paralegal-studies/.
I wanted to take a moment to talk with you about the Salute to Spouses scholarship program that Bryant & Stratton College Online is currently offering. This video gives you all the details about how you can apply for a $6,000 scholarship if you are a military spouse. Please visit www.salutetospouses.com for more information.
A funny thing happened on the way to healthcare reform, the student loan industry was required to also be overhauled. This was a direct result of the healthcare bill that was signed into law. Many banks were once the “middlemen” for federal student loan programs, but the new law now requires all students to borrow directly from the federal government. Well, what exactly does this mean for EVERY school that participates in federal student loan programs? Quite a bit!
Schools have to change the way students apply for federal loans. Now that all schools are going through the government website for approval, their system continually crashes. The government has outlined this process as a “work in progress.” This means that Financial Aid offices at schools across the country are scrambling to help their students complete their financial aid. This is creating quite the problem for colleges and their financial aid offices. Schools are unable to determine what steps their students have completed and there is no real answer as to when these issues will be fixed.
There is good news on the horizon, though! Before the law was passed participating banks charged students a 3% origination fee. The law changed this to .5% and put more money in the pockets of students. The hope is that eventually this will result in additional funds being available for federal Pell grants.
As with any new program that is being launched whether by the government or business, there are kinks to work out. Bryant & Stratton College is currently helping all of our Online students through this process. We’ve developed some good processes for now and have trained our staff on how to best help all of our students.
Many people have major life events occurring, such as getting married or divorced, having a child or becoming old enough that they do not have to be claimed as a dependent by their parents anymore, and this will change the amount of Financial Aid that is available to you. When you fill out both forms, you are giving your Financial Services Advisor access to create the best combination of grants, loans and scholarships for you. We know that affording school is not easy and we want to help you get the most money possible to apply towards your tuition. There are several reasons that we require students to fill out 2 FAFSA forms. The most important reason is that this allows our Financial Aid team to determine the maximum amount of financial aid that is available to you.
At this time of the year, it is necessary for all students who are enrolling at Bryant & Stratton College Online to fill out 2 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. As part of the Admissions process, potential students are required to fill out the 2009 – 2010 FAFSA and the 2010 – 2011 FAFSA. Anyone enrolling for the May or June session starts must complete both FAFSA forms. We know that this is the longest part of the enrollment process and it can be somewhat of a pain, but hang in there because this really is for your benefit.
The financial aid year for a FAFSA form always starts on July 1st and ends June 30th of the following year. Our May and June sessions at Bryant & Stratton College Online both overlap both financial aid years. By completing the FAFSA for both years now, you will not have to fill out another one when the Fall semester rolls around.
Each year continuing students need to fill out a FAFSA form as well. It is a really good idea to fill it out right after filing your annual tax return since you need the information from that tax return for your FAFSA anyway. The form is available in January each year, so as soon as you complete your taxes fill out your FAFSA also.
Still confused about all of this? You can reach our Financial Aid department at 1-800-836-5627 or you can ask your Admissions Representative and they will get you in touch with your Financial Services Advisor. We know that completing the financial aid process can be like tearing your hair out at times, so please reach out if you get frustrated. We’re here to help you!
To get started on your FAFSA forms, please go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
The field of Administrative Assisting is a growing field and a vital position within today’s workplace. Often, Administrative Assistants are the ones who make a first impression to others about their organization. Administrative Assistants can be found in almost all industries but some of the quickest growing fields for this career are medical, education, and legal. Bryant & Stratton College is a premier provider of career-driven online Bachelor’s degrees, Associate’s degrees, and Certificate programs. It is because Bryant & Stratton Online is a leader in delivering Associate’s degrees programs in today’s most lucrative industries, that they are now offering an Associate’s degree program in Administrative Assistant online.
Trying to decide if this is the career for you? People in this career tend to have very specific traits. Administrative Assistants tend to be natural multi-taskers and very organized. They have top-notch communication skills and are theoretical; they like to fully understand how things work. In this profession, employees also have to be very adaptable or flexible and they also have to be self-managed. Also, Administrative Assistants are personable individuals. They are customer service oriented and technically savvy.
The jobs that you can get with an Administrative Assistant degree vary not only by companies and departments, but also by industry as well. Some of the typical job titles that you could hold with a degree in Administrative Assistant include: Secretary, Administrative Assistant, Office Manager, Receptionist, Executive Assistant, Clerical Supervisor, and Personal Assistant. There are countless possibilities for careers in this field because it is not industry specific.
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics stated the following statistics about Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants:
States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:
(In percent of state employment)
1. District of Columbia – 2.044%, 12,990 employees
2. New York – 1.677%, 144,800 employees
3. Vermont – 1.584%, 4,770 employees
4. Colorado – 1.515%, 34,880 employees
5. California – 1.442%, 219,310 employees
Top paying states for this occupation:
(Annual mean wage)
1. New Jersey – $52,050
2. New York – $49,140
3. District of Columbia – $48,510
4. Maryland – $48,490
5. Massachusetts – $47,060
As you can see, there is opportunity for high wages and employment in New York State. If you are wondering what salary you might be able to earn by getting a degree in Administrative Assistant, here are some examples of national averages from salary.com: Administrative Assistant I ($28,000 – $44,000), Executive Assistant ($36,000 – $45,000), Administrative Supervisor ($43,000 – $60,000), Secretary to CEO ($49,000 – 65,000). Administrative professionals also have the opportunity to test for national certification in either Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) or Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) which can help them earn an even higher wage. These certifications are provided through the International Association of Administration Professionals (IAAP).
For more information on Bryant & Stratton College’s online degree in Administrative Assistant, please visit: http://online.bryantstratton.edu/admin-assistant/.
The word leader can be defined many ways. In the Online Education industry, a leader could be referred to as the school that has the most program offerings, it could be the school that is making the most innovative strides in technology, or it could be the school that has the best student outcomes. Bryant & Stratton College is the leader in online Associates degrees because we truly believe in student success. In addition, Bryant & Stratton College is proud of getting students to graduation and preparing them for the workplace in today’s emergent industries.
Most people are not aware that Bryant & Stratton College has been around for over a century. I grew up in a city that has a Bryant & Stratton College campus and I didn’t even know this. I knew they had been around for awhile, but I thought it was maybe the 1960’s – not the 1850’s! Founded over 150 years ago, Bryant & Stratton College is a pioneer in career-focused education and has remained a constant from the times of horse and buggy to online education. We have grown and evolved with the American economy; ensuring that employees have had the training to succeed in the changing market. Online Education launched at Bryant & Stratton College in 2000 and currently offers fully online, accredited Bachelor’s degrees, Associate’s degrees and Certificate programs. Our Online campus is a leader in Associate’s degrees. We offer degree programs that make you prepared to enter the workforce in the fields where you have the opportunity for a career, not just a job.
I think that there is a common notion that online courses are easier than campus-based courses. This is not true, but that does not mean that online courses are harder either. At Bryant & Stratton College, the online curriculum is the exact same as the curriculum that you would cover at a campus. The only difference is that the content is delivered to you in a different format, 100% online. All of our online degree programs are regionally accredited; the highest accreditation that a college can hold. You will learn the essential skills needed for the workplace in a Bryant & Stratton College program. When we develop curriculum for our programs, we involve employers and build in the skills that they want their employees to have. Our Associate’s degree programs are very career-specific within healthcare, business, IT, and the legal field to prepare you to enter the industry of your choice in a short time. Also, most of our degree and certificate programs prepare you to test for national certification as an added value to your degree or certificate.
The staff at Bryant & Stratton College honestly cares about students and graduates. Each student is given personalized attention from enrollment through graduation and beyond. It all starts with having a tailored team just for you as soon as you start your enrollment process. You get your own Admissions Representative, Financial Aid Advisor and Academic Advisor who will answer any of your questions and help you start your educational journey. Bryant & Stratton Online students become a part of our online community where they have support and encouragement every step of the way.
Graduates of Bryant & Stratton College learn the importance of lifelong education. They understand that learning does not end with the completion of their degree and that if they want to be successful and remain competitive in today’s workforce that they will need to stay updated on their skills. Associate’s degrees are significant because learners can get a degree in as little as 20 months, enter into a career and then go on for additional training. You can complete this degree quickly and immediately improve the quality of your life.
If you would like to request information on online degrees at Bryant & Stratton College, please visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu/blog.