Posts published in October, 2017
BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
It is never too early to learn about and start investing for your future. Just because you are a college student without a lot of money, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start investing now. In fact, the sooner you learn about investing, the better off you are going to be in the long run. Before you start investing actual money, you need to learn as much as you can about the art of investing, so you have a good idea of how to best invest your money. Take a look at these easy investment tips for college students to get you started on the road to investing for your future.
- Hit the Books – One of the best ways to learn about investing is to read as much as you can on the subject. The more articles and books you read, the more you are going to learn. You can find many good books on investing at your local library, so it isn’t going to cost you a thing. They also offer many periodicals, and of course, the Internet is a wealth of information unto itself.
- Pay Down Your Debts – Before you begin investing, it is best to start out with a clean slate. If you have any outstanding debts, including student loan debt, it is a good idea to get these debts paid down before you invest money elsewhere. Paying off debts is a guaranteed return on your money. If you can get lower interest rates on your debts, use the difference to begin investing.
- Start with a Cash Account – One of the easiest ways to get started with investing is to open a basic cash account. This lets you invest in any security with the cash that is available to you right now, and your money isn’t going to be locked up until you are ready to retire. This is also a great option for experienced investors.
- Use an Investment App – One of the easiest ways to get into the world of investing is through an investment app. This makes buying and selling stocks easy, and you can also use your app to learn a lot more about investments so you can make the best choices for securing your own financial future.
- Learn about Margin Accounts – Another option is to have a margin account. This is a lot like a cash account, but you can also borrow money to invest instead of just using the cash you already have. There are also features that you won’t get with a cash account, such as selling uncovered options and shortening your investments.
- Learn about IRA’s – You should also consider purchasing IRA’s, which are traditional retirement savings accounts. A traditional IRA lets you invest money, but you can’t withdraw it until you are over 59. You get a tax benefit, but you are charged tax on the money you withdraw at retirement. A Roth IRA doesn’t provide tax benefits, but you can withdraw your money tax-free.
- Do Your Research – Once you get into investing, it is important to thoroughly research anything you are interested in investing in. Read up on these investments, talk to other investors, and talk to a broker to make sure that they are the best investments for you to make. Don’t jump on the first investment opportunity you see that looks good.
- Choose a Broker – If you want to really get into investing, you need to have a good investment broker on your side. You have the option to choose a traditional investment brokerage firm that offers personalized service, or an online firm, which is fast and easy. Beginner investors would do better to deal with a traditional broker, because they can be a wealth of information.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.
BY DAVID GUITIERREZ
College is an expensive time; you’ll be paying for tuition, and possibly room and board, and you’ll be so busy with school work you won’t have much extra time to devote to a secondary job. If you want to get by, affording textbooks and supplies throughout your education, and still end up with a pocket of funds to get you started in the real world when you graduate, you’ll need to learn how to save your money effectively. But how can you do it in such demanding circumstances?
Starter Tips for New College Savers
If you don’t have much experience saving money, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Up until now, you probably haven’t been responsible for your own expenses. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies that anyone—even those with no financial knowledge or experience—can employ to start saving money in college:
- Buy used. First, buy everything used (if you can). For textbooks, you’ll end up paying $50 instead of $300, and for dorm fixtures like desks and furniture, you’ll pay a fraction of what you would pay for new materials. Generally, there’s no advantage to buying new; you might get products with fewer dings and scuffs, but the price differential isn’t justified. Book Finder and similar sites are ideal for tracking down used copies of the textbooks you need—and be sure to check your campus bookstore, too!
- Look for free items and giveaways. College campuses are full of free items—if you know where to look. On move-in and move-out days, wander the streets to see what pieces of furniture and other items people are dumping on the road. This is a time for people to get rid of things they don’t need, so look for clean items you could use, and pick them up. You can also find free items (and free food) at many college events, so be aware of things going on in your area.
- Pool resources. If you can, pool your resources whenever possible. You can chip in on a piece of furniture with a friend, or buy food together in bulk to keep costs down. Most importantly, try to live with other roommates—it will reduce your rent to a fraction of what it would be otherwise, and you’ll probably have a better experience (or at least more stories to tell).
- Prioritize your health. If you’re young, you may feel invincible, but it’s important to be proactive with your health. Invest in health insurance and dental plans, or insurance alternatives, so you can protect yourself if you fall ill or become injured. Make little investments, like buying healthy foods and personal hygiene items, so you can keep yourself in peak condition. These aren’t the areas to cut costs.
- Cook your own meals. After a busy day of classes and studying, you’ll probably be tempted to pick up some fast food or order a pizza. It may seem cheap at the time, but the cost of regular meals out can quickly add up. It may be a bit more time consuming to go out, get groceries, and cook your own meals, but you’ll probably pay a tenth of what you would pay otherwise.
- Take public transportation. Having your own car gives you a sense of freedom and independence, but the cost just isn’t justified if you’re living on or near campus. You’ll have to pay for the car, insurance, gas, and routine maintenance, which can easily add up to hundreds of dollars a month. A single public transportation pass will be far less expensive—and better for the environment.
- Take advantage of campus offers. Pay attention to what your campus offers for free, and try not to pay for things you could get for free. For example, your campus probably has a gym, so you don’t have to pay for your own membership, and it probably has a library, so don’t pay for books unless you have to.
Drawing Up a Budget
If you have a line of income from any source, it’s a good idea to draw up a budget. Set strict limits on what you’re allowed to spend for various categories, including rent, groceries, transportation, and entertainment. Track everything you spend money on; chances are, in the first month, you’ll be surprised how much money you spend in each category. Once you have a better understanding of your incoming and outgoing cash, you can come up with even better strategies for saving—and by the end of your college career, you’ll have a miniature nest egg you can use as a down payment for your first apartment, or a way to cover moving costs to your next big adventure.
David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.
BY ANTHONY MASTERTON
It’s common knowledge these days that most any serious business needs a website to stay competitive. As a college student, it can be difficult at times to get working professionals to take your input seriously, but building any old website simply doesn’t cut it these days. It’s important that the site also be attractive, easy to use, and generally helpful to visitors. In other words, it has to be professional and performative at the same time.
As many of us in the millennial generation know, building a professional website is sometimes easier said than done, but sometimes proves much more difficult than anticipated. Whether you’re directing a web design team regarding your preferences, or you’re trying to handle the creative process on your own, there are a lot of considerations at hand. It’s important to take advantage of your tech-first knowledge as a college student, and provide input to those in the older generation who may not be familiar with terms like SEO, page speed, and keyword traffic. If it’s your first time building a website, don’t worry if many of those same considerations sounds equally new to you as well. To help you out, we’ve taken some time to put together a few words about the key components to a great professional website.
As a student, it’s important to understand just what key factors go into setting a professional website apart from the rest of the crowd. It might surprise you to learn that professional design tips for websites often make mention of things like font and formatting. But when you actually think about it, this is a very important component to web design. First, you want your font and content format to be easy to read and process. But you also want them to be consistent from page to page, because if they’re not the website seems unprofessional and hastily thrown together.
Clear, Large Images
Images may seem secondary to the actual content and functionality of a website. But ultimately how people feel when they look at the pages of your site is the most important thing. You want to draw the eye, capture attention, and ultimately convey a smooth, polished, and professional appeal. One of the best ways to do so is by stocking your site with clear, large images, either as background banners or to break up written content. You don’t want to overdo it, but it’s one of the best ways to make your site attractive.
A Mobile Element
It’s increasingly important for professionals today not to think of websites in a vacuum. Rather, they have to think of entire web platforms, which include mobile-compatible websites, and in some cases even specially built apps. If you look for a digital growth partner online rather than trying to do the job yourself, you’ll likely find that this is the way of things now. There are a multitude of creative digital agencies out there well versed in all aspects of cross-platform design, and many will help point you in the right direction with helpful blog posts and digital tools to assess your own site’s needs. As a student, you should be using your own network to gain knowledge about different aspects involved in the process and not hesitate to ask questions! Web design and mobile solutions are lumped together as a single unified effort, and it’s vital to think this way if you want your online presence to come across as professionally as possible.
This is another of the most important factors in presenting a professional, likable website. You want your menu options to be clear, and your navigation to be intuitive. People need to see directions to where they want to go and what they want to do on your site exactly when they want to. This makes the experience more pleasant, even if on a nearly subconscious level, and it makes visitors more likely to return.
As a final but vital point, you also need rich and engaging content. It doesn’t matter what kind of site you’re running, or what its purpose is. Well-written and up-to-date content gives visitors something to engage with, and conveys that the person behind the business (in this case, you) is putting energy into it. Content, in the end, is what people are there for.
Anthony Masterton is a young entrepreneur trying to break through in the Tech world. When he’s not working on growing his young startup, he writes about everything from tech advancements to his own experiences as a young CEO. A self starter, he likes to help others learn from his own successes and failures, as it’s always easiest to learn from experience.
BY SYLVIA KOHL
The day of thanks
Thanksgiving is one of the most well-loved holidays in the US, mainly because there’s no better way to spend your time than sharing it with your loved ones over massive amounts of food.
Celebrated every year on the third Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, pie and, of course, family time. However, not all of us are lucky enough to get away from campus every holiday. Some of you may even be facing your first holiday away from home.
I know that the idea of spending a holiday away from your family can be disheartening, but don’t let yourself get sad, there are always ways you can still have fun and share this day with a fun group of people.
Invite friends for Friendsgiving: colleges are filled to the brim with people, so if you find yourself without the option of heading home for the holidays, chances are you’re going to find other students that will be in the same boat as you.
Here’s an idea, instead of wallowing in your depressive state over not being able to spend Thanksgiving with your family, why don’t you get together with some friends that will also be stuck on campus and make a day of it?
Friendsgiving is not a new concept; there are plenty of people out there who, due to distance or finances, are going to be spending Thanksgiving away from home. Get together with those kindred souls and enjoy a fun potluck dinner. Sounds much better than staying in your dorm all by your lonesome watching the parade, right?
Plan in advance: If you’ve decided to go with the Friendsgiving idea, it’s good to have a plan in place, especially if you’re going to host it. First of all, a potluck style dinner would be the easiest way to handle Thanksgiving dinner at a dorm, that way you can cover every need there is without having to stress yourself about it.
Make the menu ahead of time, taking into account those friends with food allergies and dietary preferences and designating different dishes to each guest. Since dormitories have quite small kitchens (if you even have one instead of just a hot plate) it makes sense to go with the divide and conquer approach.
Bonus pro tip: neither you nor your friends have to break the bank to have an excellent Friendsgiving meal, there are plenty of lists of student discounts out there just waiting for the taking.
Volunteer: Another great way to spend your Thanksgiving could be volunteering at the local shelter or soup kitchen. If you’ve never volunteered before, you’re in for a treat; nothing feels quite as fulfilling as helping other humans.
Don’t just take my word for it, give it a try, ‘tis the season for giving after all.
Stay in touch with family: While you’re rocking your first Friendsgiving, don’t forget to call your family. The chances are that they’re missing you at home, so take some time out of your day and get in touch. Thankfully, we’re living in the era of communication where, even if you’re far away, you can still see your loved ones through the wonder of the Internet and video calling.
While holidays are usually spent with surrounded by your family, don’t let your first time going solo get you down. There are always options so that you don’t get lonely, from throwing a Friendsgiving dinner to volunteering at a local shelter, and even checking out the Thanksgiving parade.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.
BY MARTHA KARN
No matter who you are or how old you are, that first date with someone can be a very nerve-wracking experience. After all, you need to be on your very best behavior, while at the same time being yourself so they can get to know the real you. You are both testing the waters here, so it is best to make sure that neither you nor your date have to worry about any added pressures. Here are some dating tips for college students that will help you to enjoy your dates, and be safe.
- Know Your Boundaries – You need to set specific boundaries for yourself, and stick to them. For instance, it may be that you don’t want to date anyone who drinks a lot. If your date takes you to a bar and proceeds to get inebriated, it is a good sign that this is not the person for you. Don’t compromise your standards just to impress someone who you probably won’t date again anyway.
- Don’t Drink too Much – Speaking of drinking, it is never a good idea to drink too much, especially when you are on a first date. It is inevitably going to give one of three wrong impressions: you are nervous; you drink a lot; or that they can take certain liberties with you because you have been drinking.
- Avoid Dating People in Your Dorm – Yes, this may sound strange, since you are going to meet a lot of people in your dorm or apartment building. But, if you should happen to start dating someone from the dorm, and things turn sour, it is going to make things very awkward when you inevitably pass each other in the hallway.
- Pick a Safe First Date Location – When it comes to first dates, it is a good idea to arrive in separate vehicles, and meet up at a public location. There are some terrific restaurants that are ideal for first dates, including IHOP, Texas Roadhouse, Golden Corral, Cheesecake Factory, etc. where you can enjoy a great meal and get to know each other in a safe and comfortable environment. Or you can drive somewhere beautiful with takeaway food from McDonalds.
- Don’t Get too Serious – This is your time to experiment and figure out what you really want out of life. It is not the time to look for that one person who you think you can spend the rest of your life with. Sure, it may just end up happening, but if it doesn’t, don’t let it get you down. There is plenty of time to find a life partner after college.
- Don’t Stay in a Bad Relationship – It may be that you are dating someone now, but the relationship isn’t going the way you want it to, or that this person isn’t who you thought they were. You don’t have to stay in a bad relationship and be miserable. If things aren’t working out, it is time to move on and meet someone new, or even just be single for a while until you know what you really want.
- Be Loyal – If you have met someone who is the yin to your yang, don’t make the mistake of dating others. If this is a person who you have a real connection with, and want to be with in the long term, the last thing you want is to mess things up by dating someone else, and then having the love of your life walk away from the relationship because you are not taking it seriously.
- Don’t be Joined at the Hip – Once you begin dating someone, you may have a tendency to want to be with them all the time, constantly on the phone or texting, etc. If you are meant to be a couple, you will be, and there really is no need to be constantly joined at the hip. You both need your own time and space.
Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.
BY SYLVIA KOHL
Exercising is important. We all know this, it’s only been recommended by doctors and researchers for years now. Modern living has taken a toll on our levels of physical activity, which is one of the reasons why obesity is such an epidemic nowadays. The human body is meant to be in motion, not sitting for hours on end at a desk while you’re working/studying.
There’s no doubt that exercise is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. Not only is physical activity great for relieving stress (a must for every harried university student), it also reduces the risk of illness and helps you focus.
However, fitting exercise into a busy schedule isn’t always the easiest thing, especially for university students that are juggling hours of classes, study sessions, exams and assignments on a daily basis.
Below are some tips to help you get on track to fitness.
Change your perspective. The main reason people don’t make time for working out is that they see it as something that will intrude on their other responsibilities. If you look at it that way, there’s little chance you’re going to want to get on the healthy track. Instead, you should view exercise as a positive change in your life, not something that will suck up time that could be spent studying or sleeping. Think of it as an activity that will better your health, much like eating your veggies.
If that doesn’t seem to motivate, you can always go for another approach and buy yourself new workout gear if that’s what will get you excited. You don’t have to break the bank to do it either; there are plenty of discount websites, such as Dealsland, you can take advantage of.
Start small. Most of the time when people want to lead a healthier lifestyle they want to dive into it head first, making massive changes at once. Two common problems with that approach: 1. you may get overwhelmed by it all and 2. it’s not sustainable.
Though some strong-willed individuals can make that work for them, the best way for the rest of us is to start making small changes at a time. Begin by working out once a week, for example. Or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. All these little changes can add up over time, and before you know it you’re exercising every single day.
Another essential thing to keep in mind is to be realistic about your goals. Say you want to start jogging; if you’ve never been a runner, don’t expect to be hitting 4 miles on the first day. It takes time to train your body. Don’t strive for perfection but progress.
Be flexible. Sometimes you can’t do it all; it’s a fact of life. So, give yourself a break if it’s midterms season and you’re up to your eyeballs in exams. But remember to get back to it once the busy times have passed.
Create a routine. One way to get your workouts in no matter what is to schedule exercise time as one of your classes. Try not to stress about it as much as you do with your courses, but invest some time in planning out your days so that you know exactly when you’re in class studying and when you’re going to work out.
For the early birds that like to get a jump start on the day, you could work out in the mornings. This way you can get it out of the way and have the rest of your day to do everything you need to. If you prefer working out in the afternoon, do it as soon as you’re done with uni. Don’t give yourself time to procrastinate and binge watch that shows on Netflix you’ve been losing sleep over.
Get an exercise buddy. If you’re having trouble holding yourself accountable, get a friend to join you. Not only will you be able to motivate each other when one of you is feeling lazy, but it’ll also make the whole experience more fun. Think of it as a twofer; you get to catch up with your friend and socialize while you train together. Talk about multitasking.
It’s not easy to incorporate time for exercise for a busy college student, but it’s still possible. Just take it one step at a time and follow the tips mentioned above. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your workouts every day.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.
BY MARTA KARN
When packing to go away to college, freshmen students often think about the big things, but they tend to forget a lot of the little things. Then, when they need one of these items, it is not there for them to use. There are so many things to put on your packing list when you are getting ready to head off to college. Here is a list of nine important items that every college freshman needs to pack.
- Sewing Kit – If you don’t know how to sew, now is a good time to learn. You never know when you are going to lose a button, or when a seam is going to come loose. When you can sew, and have a sewing kit handy, you will be prepared for any sewing emergency.
- First-Aid Kit – You can’t always count on having first-aid supplies handy in your dorm, so make sure that you have your own. Your first-aid kit should include bandages, gauze, a bottle of ibuprofen, a tube of Neosporin, a bottle of peroxide, and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. You should also include cotton swabs.
- Tool Kit – Even if you just want to hang a picture, you are going to need a hammer and a nail. Pack up a small tool kit that contains a hammer, a multi-tip screwdriver, nails, and screws. You can often find small tool kits available at your local hardware store, or you can make up your own.
- Wet Weather Clothing – It is always a good idea to have clothing for all types of weather. Make sure that you have a raincoat, rubber boots, and an umbrella. You never know when you are going to need to walk in bad weather, but at least you will be prepared for it.
- Extra Socks – It seems like socks just get up and walk away, and we are left with one instead of a pair. By the end of the year, you might be walking around barefoot. Stock up on a few packages of socks, so you will have plenty of extras when you need them. If you need extra money for the supplies you are taking to college, you can sell your Dell laptop for extra cash.
- Detergent Pods – You will need to supply your own laundry supplies, and it is a lot easier to pack the detergent pods than bottles of laundry detergent. In fact, you can easily pack a whole year’s worth of pods, so you never run out of detergent. Don’t forget to get a sturdy laundry bag too, in case you have to walk several floors or even blocks to get to a laundry facility.
- Water Bottle – Rather than wasting money on bottled water, and creating more waste, get yourself a BPA-free water bottle and a Brita water filter. You can always have healthy water, and you will be saving a lot of money in the long run. This is also going to help you to stay well-hydrated at all times.
- Laptop Lock – Your laptop is something you can’t live without as a college student, so you need to take steps to protect it. Get yourself a good laptop lock, so you don’t have to worry about it begin stolen. If you leave it somewhere, you know it is going to be safe until you come back for it.
- Disposable Dinnerware – Stock up on paper plates, plastic cutlery, etc. If you have a microwave in your dorm room, you will always have utensils, and something to eat off of. These are also a lot easier to pack and store than glass or plastic dinnerware, and you never have to worry about doing the dishes after you eat.
Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.
BY KYE-SUK JANG
Are you in college wondering what’s in store for you after college? Do you get unsettling thoughts about your future? This article aims to address your situation by suggesting a few great and fun courses to help you secure your future. Depending on your interests, you can take some of these courses, but we strongly recommend you take all three courses in order to prepare yourself after college.
With burgeoning student loans and fervent desire to earn fat pay-checks, students often opt for college courses which provide stable and high-paying jobs. While this kind of thinking is definitely the safest and the most diplomatic way to approach your career, it would be foolish to be purely limited to your specialized stream of study.
Opting for courses that are distinct from your majors can sometimes have a dramatic impact on your career graph. The best story to illustrate this theory is the tale of Rev. Robert Palladino. He was a simple Trappist monk but whose influence on the world of technology cannot be disputed. He taught calligraphy at Reed College, Oregon, a course which was taken up by none other than Steve Jobs. Jobs, later admitted that the fonts and designs he learnt in this class were cardinal to the beautiful typography developed for the Mac. While it is understandable that not all success stories will follow a similar curve, adding on your existing knowledge can get you higher returns than what you could imagine.
The spectrum of subjects that universities and colleges offer seems vast and overwhelming. With daunting STEM subjects at one end and intellectually-enriching psychology courses at the other, choosing college courses is a challenging task. It is impossible to analyze which course might end up accelerating your career graph. But going by the norms dictating our society, technology and economy, the following three courses are going to add much sought-after value to your college degree:
The wise words of John Donne, “No man is an island”, hold greater relevance today than they did way back in the 1500s. In today’s context, it implies that you cannot survive in any sphere of work without communicating with others. Business and professional communication forms the backbone of every industry and economy. From writing your resume to giving your product’s keynote speech, effective communication skill requirements are embedded in every strata of work life. Studies reveal that a whopping 73.4% of employers expect good writing skills from employees. This is because clear writing is often considered a manifestation of clear thinking.
Most college students confuse professional writing with literature lessons. There is a clear distinction between quoting Shakespeare and writing ad-jingles to sell aerated drinks. All these diverse requirements can be met by taking college courses pertaining to communication. Within this realm is also included the method of conquering the biggest fear human beings have. Not death, but of public speaking. College students who take up public speaking classes witness an increased level of confidence and critical thinking abilities. There are resources on the internet like daily writing tips that can help you with most types of writing.
Additionally, soft skills training programs, which cover the areas of communication, team-work, problem-solving etc, teach valuable lessons in maintaining good interpersonal relationships on the professional front. 93% of employers scrutinize employees for these soft skills during recruitment. Another entity gaining massive popularity is learning a foreign language. Even if you are not attracted exotic cultures or fancy sounding like a foreigner, learning an additional language will always help you break the cultural barriers. People who know more languages are seen as resources who can be sent for meeting up with international clients. These simple skills can increase your chances of landing your dream job, with the added advantages over your competitors.
There are several free as well as paid platforms that can help you with learning a language. There are websites like Duolingo, Babbel, and Native Monks that provide an online platform that connects tutor of all languages with students who are learning those languages. The website has teachers from the most common English tutors to tutors for unique languages.
And no, it doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a website designer or an ace coder or a to join Google or Microsoft. It means having basic technical knowledge about computers, because it is more of a mandate and less of an option in today’s digital age. Many students, especially the ones pursuing non-technical fields such as Literature or History may feel that coding and programming and all that jazz should be reserved for hard-core computer geeks. But in reality, every student, irrespective of his/her major, should have a working knowledge of computers, including one coding software and one design software.
While the concepts of C++ or Java programming might not be directly applicable to all streams of life, they definitely help you become more logical and systematic in your thinking. They also help one develop lateral thinking skills and finding creative solutions to problems. On the other hand, the ubiquities of design software have made it imperative for non-programmers to gain a considerable technical knowledge. Every profession today requires one to sit in front of a computer at least for part of the day. Hence, understanding the basics of how these softwares operate is important, so that even non-techies can blend in technology and business processes to reap the maximum profit. Be it as simple as running your own blog or advertising your brand on social media, the knowledge of computers is indispensible.
- Personal Finance
A whopping 83% of teenagers lack basic money management skills. 87% of the same population is virtually clueless about personal finances. According to a 2014 report, $1.2 trillion dollars is the number that represents the total student loan in the USA alone.
What these statistics are pointing out is the fact that we need to educate our youth about how to manage personal finances. It is imperative to keep a check on where each dollar is spent and what kind of different investment options one has. The sad state of affairs is that our educational institutions don’t give financial literacy its due attention. Managing money is better started early for you to get a grasp of it. Personal finance courses in college aim to educate students about mortgages, cash flow and budgeting, how to invest in stock markets, how to file your taxes, and retirement plans.
How you manage personal finances is going to decide every major decision of your life. Your plans to study further, buying a house or a car, settling down – all these depend on how financially stable and capable you are. Individuals who are inept at managing their money often have to take up jobs just for the pay-check. Finance pundits often relate economy downturns to poor investment choices made by general public. Needless to say, it is one of the most important and relevant lessons an adult will ever learn.
Kye-Suk-Jang is an educator and an avid reader. She advises students on a variety of areas including Education, Career, and Personal Finance. She likes to write for College Puzzle and believes in Project Based Learning. She is working towards reshaping education for the betterment of students and to create future leaders.
BY AMANDA SPARKS
Here’s some food for thought. 80% of job openings are not advertised. And the reasons for this is that employers have better methods of finding good pools of candidates. They have usually been supplied these candidates by colleagues and connections they have within the industry or by current employees who can recommend peers from college or previous jobs. You will want to be on these “lists” of referred candidates – and the way to do that is begin to establish a network of connections long before you are actually in the market.
Here are five reasons why networking should begin while you are in college.
- Networking Can Land You Your First Career Position
College students seem to be reluctant to network while still in college. They may be intimidated or they may not understand exactly how to begin to develop their networks.
Think about the people with whom you have some comfort and begin with them. These may be professors in your major field, for example. They are considered experts and have many connections in the private and public sectors. If you spend time with one or two of them, asking for career advice and projecting your enthusiasm for the career niche, they are likely to mention you when they learn of openings from their connections.
The same thing goes for others with whom you may feel comfortable. How about the parents of your close friends? If they are in career positions, they may have connections too. If they like you and believe that you are an honest, bright, and accomplished kid, they may very well recommend you to others.
- The Connections You Make Now Can Last a Lifetime
It’s not always about landing that first career position. Projections are that those who begin in a career niche right now could very well change careers at least four times during their work life. That’s just the nature of things today – careers evolve; some contract or die out; new career fields are always on the horizon.
As you move through your working life, you will want to change jobs within your career field or change careers entirely. The connections you made in college, especially with fellow students and even internship supervisors could prove invaluable, as long as you have remained in touch.
- You Will Gain Good Practice
Think about the academic challenges you faced when you began college. Perhaps you were intimidated by essays and papers and had to get some writing help. Maybe you were financially challenged and had to practice money management.
As mentioned already, many college students are not adept at networking. It takes self-confidence to make overtures, sometimes to strangers, and networking is a bit of an art. If you start in college, by joining professional associations, by setting up a LinkedIn profile and joining discussion groups in your niche, by following experts and influencers in your field on Twitter and other social media platforms, you will get the practice you need. With each new overture/introduction you make, you will get better. By the time you are in your career, you will be well-practiced and have the self-confidence you need to keep networking and to do it more successfully.
- You Will “Prove” Your Enthusiasm
If those who are already in your career niche see that you are participating in networking activities while still in college, and they see that you are asking questions, contributing to discussions, and following developments in the industry, they will be impressed.
- You Build a Community of Support
No one enters a career with great knowledge and a fully-developed skill set. And no one enters a career position with a full understanding of the organizational culture and environment. Moving up that career ladder will come with challenges and issues. If you have a network of experts in place – pros who have been in your field far longer than you – they become sources of mentoring, advice and counsel outside of the organization you are with. This can be invaluable.
Start your process of networking now. Right now, you don’t really need anything from your networking contacts. Work on making those relationships deeper. Then, when you do want to leverage your connections, they will be ready and eager to provide the help you need.
Author’s Bio: Amanda Sparks, pro writer and current editor at Essay Supply, lifestyle writer at Huffington Post. I am fancy doing perfect things for this perfect world, and help people make their life easier with my lifestyle tips.
BY TIM MONSON
Studying in college can be a tough competition in case you decided to do it on your own. Smart people decided to invent tools that can significantly simplify your learning process, make it easier and funnier.
1. Study Blue
StudyBlue is an online education platform. It focuses on high school and college students. StudyBlue makes your smartphone a study material. You can download StudyBlue app from online app store and get necessary study materials. Around thousand flash cards, review sheets, quizzes and study materials are being uploaded every day. You can download any study materials for free.
PaperTab is an unusual tablet. It is as thin as paper. Developed by the Plastic Logic, an IT company. PaperTab lets the user read ebooks, send emails and study. You can flip pages like original paper books. It has a flexible thin touchscreen that you can fold like paper.
Specially designed for students. It has a very user-friendly interface. Chromebooks are comfortable to use. You need not worry about viruses because it has a built-in virus protection tool. It is thin, light and long-life battery backup. It won’t slow down over time and keep you up to date all the time. When you’re going to college or university, you can leave your charger at home. Google guarantees Chromebook’s battery life. Best Essay Writers around the world recommend Chromebook for students. You can use it for essay writing purposes.
4. EssayPro Blog
EssayPro is an innovative educational platform. Are you overwhelmed with homework and extracurricular activities? In this case, services like Essaypro can be extremely helpful for you. You may proofread your coursework, especially if it includes a bibliography or professional thesis, or teach you how to write an essay from A-Z. No matter what vertical you write about, these blog contains mostly all popular topics.
Celly is a platform where you can learn together. It’s a messaging service that teachers and instructor use most. Being a part of Celly community, you can directly communicate with your faculty, educators, and instructors. In the same way, your teachers can text you important notices, class schedules and lectures. Celly’s goal is to create a sharing based education community. Even your parents can join the community. Celly is accessible from any devices-smartphones, web browsers, email and text messaging.
CoursEra is a platform for students who love to learn. Initially, it offers free courses, but you need to pay for a hard copy of the certificate. CoursEra has a partnership with different universities from Australia, USA, UK, Canada, Colombia, France, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, and Switzerland. Among all the universities- the University of Toronto, the University of Chicago, the University of Zurich, the University of Melbourne, the University of Pennsylvania, the Dukeb University, the University of London, the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida are well-known. Their courses include-Arts and Humanities, business studies, computer science, data science, life science, math and logic, personal development and social science. You can also use CoursEra on your smartphone. Download CoursEra app from the app store and attend courses from anywhere.
By Tim Monson