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Stop Searching for Jobs, Stop it Right Now!

By Steve Talbott – 2013 Employability Summit Panelist

I recently had the opportunity to sit on a panel in the business school of a local University to discuss the intricacies of job searching.  The members of the panel were representing the highest profile companies in the region and all eloquently offered great tips and suggestions on myriad topics including:  crafting a targeted resume, how to work a career fair, online applications, interviewing and ultimately securing that dream job we all have been programmed to try to find.

Afterwards, a very assertive woman came up to inform me that she had already put into place all of the tips that the panelist had given and she also had applied to over 40 jobs in the last three and half months, but found obtaining that dream job elusive. Then it hit me. Did she have 40 dream jobs? Was it just semantics or was there a clue here that might help solve her dilemma?

So, I asked the recent graduate to tell me what her dream job looks like. She immediately started describing a company, its culture, the environment, the type of people she would be working with; nothing describing the responsibilities or job itself. I turned the tables a tad and asked her, ”What companies have this profile?” For the first time in our conversation, she was stumped.

Well, there is our answer folks.  While she was dream job-hunting, she should have been searching for the dream company. Read More…

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Instructor Blog: Tips on Preparing for Midterms

Part of being successful academically and professionally is tackling major assignments and projects early.  While midterms can seem daunting, a thorough approach can help you feel more confident in the expectations for the assessment. The first step to preparing for midterms is to figure out what information is available about the midterm for your particular course. Some midterms are available at least a week early, and there should be at least a basic description of the midterm in your tracking calendar. If you would like to know more about your midterm, ask your instructor. He or she may be able to provide you with the material early. However, if you are not able to obtain further information, I recommend viewing the midterm on Sunday so you can see if it is a timed assessment or essay. This allows you to look over the material and email your instructors any questions you might have.success

It’s also useful to think about the purpose of a major assessment overall. A major assessment is designed to test your knowledge of the course material, and possibly to apply the knowledge to a work-related scenario. With this in mind, consider your progress in the course. Do you thoroughly understand the lecture and textbook reading? How are you performing on the weekly activities? Has your instructor indicated an area you might need to improve or an idea you might not understand correctly? A great way to make sure you really understand a concept is to explain it to a friend, and think about how you will use the knowledge in the workplace. Take the initiative to read the supplemental reading provided by your instructor (located in the tracking calendar) as well as your own research. Read More…

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Staff Spotlight: Megan VillaReale, Associate Admissions Representative

Her role as an Admissions Representative means that Megan VillaReale spends quite a bit of time connecting with students on a daily basis. However that hasn’t prevented her from enjoying one of her favorite hobbies away from work.

Megan has amassed an impressive rotary phone collection over the past few years. While she doesn’t have a specific reason for her fascination, she gives a lot of credit to the phone she consistently used at her grandmother’s house.

“There are so many different styles and colors of rotary phones that it’s almost a challenge to find new ones,” Megan said.

Megan’s interests do extend well beyond her phone collection, however. She’s a movie buff who also loves to get out and camp whenever the opportunity presents itself. Her love for DIY Pintrest projects and the holidays hints that her home is probably sports the coolest decorations on the block each year. In fact, Megan went full-DIY last year at Halloween, making her own Rubik’s Cube costume for the holiday. Read More…

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Four Practices for Prioritizing Your To-Do-List

When you’re enrolled in online school or working at your job (or maybe both), one of the key tenets to good time management is being organized. Typically this means creating a to-do list. But, if you’re like most people your ongoing to-do list can get to be multiple pages (or screens) long. Sometimes it can be long enough that you simply throw in the towel and decide to catch up on you DVR full of The Bachelorette instead.Work Life Balance

But a tiny twist to your approach could help. Making your list is step one, but learning how to prioritize that list is just as important. Try out some of the ideas below and you’ll be surprised how much you get done in one day. Read More…

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Bryant & Stratton College Launches EmployableYOU™

Bryant & Stratton College announced that it will roll out EmployableYOU™ this winter — a focus on employability providing a guided experience that prepares students for the dynamics of the changing workplace.

EmployableYOU goes beyond traditional academic theory and textbook learning by enhancing important workplace capabilities such as teamwork, persistence, managerial potential, fiscal responsibility, technology skills, and literacy skills. EmployableYOU embeds these competencies into the curriculum for all students and provides students with ample opportunity to learn, master, and demonstrate these important work skills within every course in their program of study.

Bryant & Stratton College has developed EmployableYOU in response to a critical need to create more meaningful connections between higher education and the workplace. According to a 2013 survey by Bryant & Stratton College and Wakefield Research, 80 percent of 18-34 year olds believe they are job-ready and possess all the skills, experience, and education needed to advance in their desired career path or obtain their next job. Read More…

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Instructor Blog: Tips for Succeeding in English Courses

Some students may feel as if they need to just simply survive English courses. As an instructor who teaches four different English courses at Bryant & Stratton, I wanted to share some tips for not just passing, but thriving in courses essential to your life-long learning and professional development.   Most assignments in your English courses are focused on research and writing. This means that, to succeed, you will need to communicate an idea clearly and support it with research.  Thinking about how you can improve in those areas will help you in each English course.

One common error I see is students not proofreading carefully.  Almost all assignments in your English courses include a category in the rubric for grammar, including discussion. Taking the time to not only run spell-check (even in discussion) but proofread can be the difference between an “A” and a “B.” Creating even short assignments such as the initial posts for discussion and reflections in Word can ensure that you meet the word count requirement and have the opportunity to proofread carefully. Read More…

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Staff Spotlight: Lauren Watt, Associate Admissions Representative

Giving is a key word for Lauren Watt. One of Bryant & Stratton College Online’s most outgoing and friendly Admissions Representatives, Lauren also finds time outside of work to give back to others.

Lauren graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY with a major in adolescent education in mathematics. She is also certified to teach math in grades 5-12. In addition to being a self-proclaimed mathlete, Lauren is also an avid dancer and many outdoor activities.

Even though Buffalo is best known for snow, Lauren takes full advantage of the countless summer activities in Western New York. She has her boating and motorcycle license and can be found at nearly any concert you name during Buffalo’s wonderful summer months. When there’s snow on the ground Lauren is on the slopes honing her skills as a snowboarder.

However, dance is Lauren’s true passion. She teaches classes to this day and has been dancing herself since she was four. Lauren says acrobatics is her true passion (she can walk on her hands) and she’s earned four separate scholarships for tap as well.

The team here can always count on Lauren to brighten their spirits on a weekly basis and her personality glows outside of the workplace as well. In addition to the dance classes she teaches, Lauren teaches a special education dance class at a local school along with doing additional volunteer work for both children and adults with developmental disabilities. Read More…

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Five Ideas for Making Your Second Try at College a Success

There are 37 million Americans who started college but dropped out before they earned a degree. Since a college degree is still important to increasing earning potential and job security some of these people may be considering filling out an application for college and going back to school.

For those who return to school, it’s a big step forward. But, it’s not without challenges. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that only 28 percent of adult students (those who are 25 years or older) complete college. So what’s holding these people back from reaching their goal?

There are a lot of factors and everyone is different. A Pew Research Center study found among those surveyed who did not have a four-year college degree and who were not currently enrolled in college, two-thirds attributed the lack of a degree to needing to support their family instead. Other research from organizations like Apollo Research Institute uncovered reasons such as anxiety about not spending time with friends/loved ones, worrying about intellectual ability to complete coursework, and experiencing stress because class interferes with normal routine, as challenges people face in earning a degree. Read More…

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How to Find a Study Buddy as an Online Student

Enrolling in an online school can have a lot of benefits. Flexible classes allow you to balance all the responsibilities you have in your life, like your job and family obligations, while still earning a degree. Online discussion boards and regularly communicating with your instructor can help you stay on top of assignments and make sure you’re learning key skills but having one classmate to count on can help make studying easier.

A study buddy is someone who can help you stay focused, share notes with, prepare for tests with or help you understand difficult concepts. Finding a study buddy when you’re taking classes online might not seem possible, but it is! Taking advantage of available technology like email, instant messaging or video chatting can help you make a connection with your classmates. So, what makes a good study buddy? There are several things to consider. Read More…

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Advice from a Paralegal

There are a lot of factors to consider when pursuing a career as a paralegal.  In this role you will be the right-hand assistant to lawyers and other legal professionals. The job requires certain skills and personality traits, paired with the right training and credentials. Ann Atkinson, advanced certified paralegal and president of the National Association for Legal Assistants (NALA), offered the following advice to aspiring paralegal professionals.

Hone Your Administrative Skills

Depending on the area of law in which you are employed (eg. litigation law, family law, etc.), your duties as a paralegal may vary. However, Atkinson said the position generally requires strong writing and administrative skills. “Being organized is key,” she added.

You will likely be responsible for drafting cover letters, legal documents, and other important writing projects. You also will be responsible for working with clients, and in many cases, you may be the first person a client interacts with when they contact the firm. Accordingly, being personable is a must.

Get Your Associates Degree

There are no education requirements for paralegals, but that doesn’t mean training and certifications are unnecessary. According to Atkinson, every business has its own set of standards for employees, and having higher credentials may set you apart from other candidates when applying for a job. If you are already employed, consider asking about tuition reimbursement programs for a traditional program or online school. Earning an associate’s degree in paralegal studies can help to set you apart from other job seekers down the road. Read More…

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