Month: March 2018

Why Work Experience Is Important

Students who work as they go through college with internships, part-time and summer jobs give themselves an important advantage in the job market when they graduate. Since not all working students understand how they benefit from their work experiences, it is important for them to think about their jobs as a way to support their career goals. For that to happen, students should understand five factors that improve their odds for employment success:

1. Experience – Knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. Employees who are experienced can anticipate problems and know how to handle the issues that crop up. They quickly get things running smoothly again and can maximize productivity. Since some skills and abilities only come with experience, employers love candidates who have already demonstrated their capabilities and work ethic in the workplace. Real world emergencies, accidents, mistakes, equipment failures and the difficulties and pressures that go with them will test any employee. The way students react to them depends on the experience and understanding they gain on the job.

2. Performance – Employers seek candidates who will perform well for them. Although doing well in the classroom is highly desirable, that doesn’t always translate into good performance on the job for every student. That’s why employers want to see or learn about a student’s job performance every place they have worked. The more positive comments they hear from previous employers, the more likely it is that they will have a serious interest in the student.

3. Reliability – Employers select employees who are reliable. They show up every day on time and are ready to work. These employees are highly productive. They regularly exceed quantity, quality and timeliness requirements. They always get the job done, even when they are unsupervised. Being someone an employer can count on is critical to employment success.

4. People – Employers are usually more interested in candidates who get along well with and are respected by others in the workplace. They know that the workplace often requires collaboration, cooperation and teamwork, in order to get the job done well. Students who get along well with coworkers and help them achieve results will be in high demand.

For students, the workplace is where they build relationships with people who can help them in the job market. There are people in the workplace who can help students gain the information and training they need to perform at a high level. Students should also look for other employees to include in their employment networks. Additionally, when students impress company executives with their performance, those executives may be willing to serve as references and may even offer students full-time jobs when they graduate.

5. Accomplishments РEmployers try to hire people who learn quickly, work hard, help them make money, create harmony and efficiency in the workplace and strengthen relationships with customers. Therefore, students with Internships, part-time and summer jobs can create an impressive resum̩ by emphasizing their accomplishments in these areas.

Students who view college jobs as merely a source of spending money, without considering these five points, are missing out on important opportunities to make themselves highly attractive to the employers with the best jobs at graduation. The most effective students always use those work experiences to learn something new, perform at a high level, meet new people, establish relationships, add to their list of accomplishments, build their brands and enhance their reputations.

Categories: Education

The Meaning Going Into College

As I watched this A4 sized paper which happens to be my University Degree certificate in the computer Science and Engineering department of October 2016, a plethora of memories just came as a silver lining to my mind. This is merely because this single floating paper has a full conglomeration of different feelings of happiness, hard work, perseverance, tiredness and teamwork behind.

As the clock ticked to memories of three years ago, I can still vividly remember how the postman was among the most awaited person during the May-June month of 2013. Indeed the most awaited news- the approval of courses applied at the tertiary level from the University Of Mauritius was on the way. Those who have undergone through this waiting shall reckon, but believe me, no feelings can be better than those first stumbling steps to the university, a yard which shall bring in one’s life, an ever-growing platform to blossom your parent’s dreams, your beloved ones, or simply the one in the mirror dream.

As the day goes by, the same stumbling feet gain momentum and March forward to achieve and shape the best version of themselves for a better world of tomorrow. Since Success is the prime reason for nearly all university students, CPA- Cumulative Point Average is at the top of the priority bucket list. We, as students, we tend to grab each and every bits and pieces which can leverage the CPA. Actually, at university many seminars, workshops, talks or even competitions are organized at national or even international levels for the student’s personality development. Indeed these organized academic and non-academic activities builds up the student personality and adds on the student CV-Curriculum Vitae However it is very saddening to notice that there are still students having those convergent mindset of “Is this going to impact my CPA? If the answer turns out to be a ‘NO’, then OK I am not going for it, it is not important.”

However my message to the readers is very simple, university life is not only a CPA accumulating platform, but a live performance platform where non-academic fields, communication, interpersonal and teamwork skills are also built up. Also what we treasure from university is a knitted relationship of sharing and togetherness with our peers. If and only if one can understand and create a momentum amidst one’s academic and non-academic life, university life shall indeed be a really memorable lifetime achievement and enjoyment.

After all, we are the best pivot and driver of the seven lettered word-SUCCESS. It is undeniably true that good grades /CPA, Job security are the prime reason a student attends university, but why not also collect and build up a good personality, as what we always carry with us is not our A4 size CV but our personality.

The adage goes by personality to man is what perfume is to a flower.

The reason of why companies are laying emphasis on Communication, Business and Interpersonal skills is because students tend to forget the university key concept of TEAMWORK. Indeed a good team player already earns some bonus when it comes to first passing the interview, second grabbing a job and most important sticking to that particular job. These are mainly in the IT department where most jobs are carried out in teams combining each and every team member contributed work.

Anyone who is a team-player is self-securing and paving a better tomorrow of himself or herself in this Mauritian competitive job market. Being an ex-student I can personally understand the morose feeling that one may feel like “OK! Now I quit!” But now when I look back to those days I realize that working to make both ends work marvelously was one of the best decision I had ever taken. After all what we, Mauritians students fail to cherish sometimes is what others are dreaming of living on other spheres of the globe.

In short my message to my readers are just to live university life in a diverging spectrum instead of just converging the ray to academic achievement. After all, university like other phases of life is one where one need to cherish and enjoy all of its facets however stumbling or difficult the path might be. I finish with the all-times favourite adage which goes by “You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the muddy water which sustains it.”

Categories: Education

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Tips To Get Scholarships

Scholarship providers look for certain things to make sure the candidate qualifies for the scholarship. If you want to get a scholarship, make sure you meet the criterion. Besides, you can use the tips given below to increase your chances of qualifying for the award.

Tip 1: Use concrete examples

If you are going to include an abstract in your answer, make sure you use concrete examples for illustrating your point. Actually, the scholarship sponsors are in search of someone who meets their strict criterion. They don’t just rely on unsupported statements.

Tip 2: Make Sure You Are Eligible

Before applying, you should read the directions and requirements carefully to ensure that you are eligible. Remember: your application will be rejected if you are not eligible.

Tip 3: Identify the Goals of The Sponsor

You should try to identify the goals of the sponsor. Do they want the people to show interest in a certain field? Maybe they are looking for some business leaders and researchers for future needs. If you succeed in identifying their goals, we suggest that you emphasis these goals in your application to increase your chances of qualifying for the award.

Tip 4: Follow The Directions

You must follow the directions. In other words, your application should have all what is required. Your application should be complete as an incomplete application is likely to be thrown away. Make sure the application doesn’t have spelling or grammar errors.

Tip 5: Put Together a Great Resume

Make a list of your accomplishments as this will help show your strengths to the reviewers. Aside from this, you provide the writers of the letters of recommendation with a copy of your resume.

Tip 6: Respect all deadlines.

You should set a deadline for yourself, and make sure the deadline is at least a couple of weeks away. You can use this time to review your application to make sure it is free of errors.

All parts of your application should reach the reviewers in time. The important parts include different documents, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. What you need to do is make sure that the reviews of your application will have enough time to include the necessary things.

Tip 7: Make a Copy

It’s important to make a copy of your packet to serve as a backup. If your application doesn’t reach the office due to some unknown reason, you can reproduce and resend it without any problem.

On each page of your application, your name and social security number should be visible. If your application documents are not identifiable, they may get lost. Therefore, you should take your time and make some copies of all the documents, just to be on the safe side.

So, if you want to qualify for the sponsorship, we suggest that you follow these tips. Getting a scholarship is not easy as there is a lot of competition involved. But you can set yourself apart from the crowd by following these tips and taking the right steps. Hope this helps.

Categories: Education

How To Overcame Your Student

What do you believe students remember most about the courses they have taken? Is it the course, the school, their grades, their instructors, or something else? As I reflect upon the courses I took as a student, which wasn’t too long ago, I do not remember many of the textbooks I’ve read, discussions I was involved in, videos I watched, or written assignments I had to complete. What I do remember are some of my instructors – those who inspired me and encouraged me to perform my very best, and those who taught me what I should never do as an instructor. In other words, the most vivid memories I have involved those instructors who stood out for extraordinarily outstanding instructional methods, especially those who took time to develop a personal connection with me, and those who were extremely ineffective in the classroom. Whether instructors invoke the best or the worst emotional reactions, it most always creates a lasting impression for students.

I have learned from my work with faculty development that it is not possible for a school to guarantee that every instructor hired, especially as an online adjunct, is going to create optimal learning conditions and have a disposition that is agreeable with all students. I have reviewed hundreds of online classes and found that contractual faculty requirements can never fully dictate what an instructor must to do excel in their role. If instructors are meeting the basic requirements, they will likely retain their position – but that doesn’t mean they will be memorable to their students. Many instructors I’ve worked with are not even concerned with the perceptions of their students, demanding compliance from them whether or not they are well liked.

Within the field of distance learning, which is my area of higher education expertise, students rarely know who their instructors are before the class begins. Many online schools do not have a searchable faculty directory and that means students rarely know who the instructors are until they read a posted introduction. Once their classes have concluded, students may never be assigned to those same instructors again as adjuncts are usually teaching a specific class – depending upon enrollment, availability, rotation, seniority, and other factors. Whether or not instructors will be assigned another class with the same students, the cumulative effect of the interactions they do have has a potential to make a difference in their learning experience. Every instructor can have a positive impact on their students, whether or not it is immediately realized.

Academic Educator vs. Subject Matter Expert

From my experience, I have discovered there are two distinct perspectives of the work that educators perform. One perspective is a result of the traditional role of an educator, who is working full time at a college or university and has dedicated their career to the development of their instructional practice. They are working to become a teaching expert and usually have strong subject matter expertise, along with a highly developed academic background. This type of educator has dedicated their career to helping students learn, conducting research, publishing, and furthering their scholarly expertise.

The other perspective of an instructional practice is based upon those educators who are working as adjuncts. Online teaching was a thriving career up until a few years ago, when the for-profit industry came under intense scrutiny. Approximately ten years ago, there were more jobs than adjuncts and now that trend has reversed. The primary difference between adjuncts in this field and traditional instructors is that online adjuncts are often hired not because they were academics, rather they are practitioners in a field related to the subject being taught. When someone teaches a class without an academic background, their primary focus is often on the need to manage a class and complete the facilitation requirements.

What does this mean for the classroom learning experience? Is one type of educator more effective than the other? I believe that it is a matter of perspective. An academic educator is going to better understand the learning process and how to educate adults. A subject matter expert, as an instructor, may be able to provide the necessary context for learning and that means either educator can be effective. I chose to bridge the two types of educators by choosing postsecondary and adult education as the major for my doctoral degree, to add to the business and business management subject matter expertise I already had acquired. However, that only tells part of reason why my work with students has made a difference for them as knowing how adults learn is part of the equation but not the complete answer.

How You Can Make a Difference for Your Students

Regardless of which type of background you have as an educator, I have discovered that what makes a difference for students is the attitude and disposition an instructor holds about learning, along with their ability to see a potential for growth in every student – and how they are able to relate to and work with their students. Below are three areas for self-assessment that you can use to determine if you have had, or could have now, a positive impact on the learning and development of your students.

#1. Do you do what you say you will do? What you say to your students matters, along with what you say you will do and then what you actually do. For example, do you state that you are easily accessible and responsive to their needs, but then you are slow to answer questions or unwilling to provide assistance that actually helps them? When you state that you care about their academic needs, how do you show it?

Students may forget what you state or what you have written, but they will usually remember what you have done. As an example, if a student has asked a question and received a timely response, especially one that is meaningful and demonstrates a caring tone, they will remember that and likely seek assistance again when needed. It goes back to the saying that “actions speak louder than words” – and I’m certain this is something you have experienced yourself.

#2. Do you want to make a short term or long term impact? Have you ever taken time to consider the impact of your teaching practice? If so, what kind of impact do you want to have on your student’s academic life? When your goal as an instructor is to complete the required facilitation duties and assist students only when they request help, the impact that you will have on their learning experience will likely be short-term and soon forgotten. In contrast, if you are cultivating relationships with your students and you are focused on their academic success and ongoing persistence, your impact is likely to be more long-term or memorable.

You may not know the full extent of how you have helped your students if you work with them for only one class; however, the long-term effect is one that will be transformative as they continue working towards completion of their academic goals. You may also never know about the impact you have made if your students are not directly responding to you. But the smallest of gestures made by you, done with a genuine concern for the well-being of your students, may influence them in a positive manner both now and in the future.

#3. Are you working to develop sustainable connections with your students? A follow up question for you to consider is this: Do you stay in touch with students, even after the class has concluded? For many online adjuncts that I have worked with this question seems like a foreign concept. How can you develop lasting connections when you interact with students for just a few weeks? Why would they ever remember you? Perhaps you have learned this lesson, or may you have not, but even something as simple as being willing to take extra time to explain challenging concepts, provide additional tools and resources, or craft engaging and meaningful feedback, may be enough to start a connection. For example, I am still in contact with students today who stated it all began with the level of feedback I provided and how it helped them grow.

I also utilize social media to connect with students and that creates discomfort for some educators, and even some schools, as this platform can be utilized in a manner that is not suitable for academic interactions. What I have done is to develop a following on Twitter as a means of sharing academic related resources and staying connected to a global base of students and educators. Students have also viewed my LinkedIn profile and for that reason I do not post personal information or political perspectives as I want it to remain professional in nature. I know this can be a challenging practice for some educators to follow and that is why many schools do not encourage instructors to share social media information within their classes.

What Can or Should Students Expect?

Should students expect the best from their instructors, if the school promises they are highly qualified and will provide a positive learning experience? I used to think that ineffective educators make a poor representation of their school and could create a negative impression for their students; however, it seems that students have almost become used to experiencing a wide range of instructors and they have become proficient with tuning out those who they perceive are ineffective. Some students have even taken to social media to express their frustrations, and there are websites that allow them to provide both feedback and ratings for instructors. I have looked at those websites and it is difficult to determine if the instructor was at fault or the students are not receiving the outcomes they expected. Whatever the reason, there was something that was left unresolved and that created frustration on the part of the students.

This is similar to end-of-course instructor evaluations that students are often given to complete. I have observed a very low return rate with online students, and the reason for completion of the form was often related to being extremely satisfied or dissatisfied with the course outcomes. I know that some schools base teaching assignments on the evaluation outcomes and it is a source of frustration for many instructors – especially when they have done their best and still have an occasional unhappy student. But what I have also noticed is that the more I focus on what I am doing in the classroom, rather than on trying to make students happy so they will give me a good rating, the better my evaluations have been overall. When I am determined to make a difference for the learning experience of my students, over time the number of positive responses tells the entire story of my teaching effectiveness.

Whether you are interested in developing academic or subject matter expertise as an educator, the most important aspect of your instructional practice needs to be on the strategies you use to meet the developmental needs of your students. They are only going to persist and realize their potential if you encourage them in a supportive manner. Your disposition will influence the tone of what you say and what you write, and this can build up, empower, and motivate your students to do well. You can make a difference for your students by looking at your role as more than a series of tasks to complete, and nurturing a proactive, positive approach to how you interact with your students. Even if you never know the full extent of how you have made a positive impact, you will likely develop some long term connections that remind you of the value you brought to the classroom – and that will make your hard work feel very rewarding.

Categories: Education

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