Category: Juniors

Avoid the Spring Slump

It is a lovely day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the green grass on the quad is calling to you – and you are stuck inside. While it’s nice that campus is finally thawing out, the warmer weather can make it especially difficult to find the desire to stay on top of your school work. Compounded with the added excitement about your summer plans or even life after Lawrence, Spring Term can be especially difficult time during which to maintain your motivation.

But do not fret! Here are some ways to keep your productivity in high-gear through mid-June (and beyond).

1. Break the seal of hesitation. Sometimes the hardest step in a project is getting started. Often, rather than actually writing a draft of that term paper or working on that big piece, it is easier to keep planning – which can cause you to get caught up in the “pre-work” process. Rather than getting bogged down in the preparations, remember that the earlier you start your new project the sooner you can start getting feedback and revising your work. Doing so can help you end up with the strongest finished produt possible.

2. Continue working (at least a little) everyday. One of the great things about being an upperclassman (or even a Spring-Term freshman) is that you have more control over your schedule, meaning you may have figured out a way to have big blocks of time without classes. While this new schedule may be liberating, it may also enable you to feel a little too comfortable not working on certain days. Get used to getting stuff done and you will not get in the habit of doing nothing during all of your time between classes.

3. Develop a routine. Part of being able to work on your project each day is making sure you have time set aside to do so. While routines may seem monotonous, they can allow you to get in a rhythm that can foster increased productivity. Also, if you get in the habit of maintaining a work schedule, it will not feel so jarring when project deadlines have crept up and you have to buckle down.

Continue reading Avoid the Spring Slump

Tips for Finding Summer Jobs and Internships

Though many students look forward to getting a break from school during the summer, those ten weeks aren’t necessarily just for relaxing. In fact, the summer can be a great time to gain experience in your field of interest and to make some money to help pay for expenses during the school year. Because the summer can offer so many great opportunities to further your education outside the classroom, it may seem imperative to land that “perfect” summer job or internship in order to get what you need from your college experience. This may make the prospect of filling the summer with something productive (and maybe even fun) daunting for some, especially when you’re supposed to do so while dealing with the stress of school work.

Well, fear not – below are some tips compiled from various sources for college students who may want great summer jobs but don’t know where to start looking.

1. Visit Career Services. Yes, of course, I had to start with this one – but that’s only because the folks at Career Services can offer you a ton of support while you’re finding, applying to, and carrying out your summer job or internship. Attend sessions of the “Internship 101” and “Resume and Cover Letter Writing” seminars so you can get the skills you need to begin applying. And, as always, you can make appointments to see Career Advisors or Career Assistants and come in during Drop In Hours whenever you have questions. Check out LUworks for more info.

2. Tap Your Network. They say it’s not what you do but who you know that gets you ahead. Personally, I’d like to think it’s a little bit of both – but there’s no denying that one of the best ways to find job opportunities is by talking with people you know. Start with your family, friends, professors, and contacts in the field you’re interested in. If you’ve already got something in mind, tell them. They may have suggestions and know people you can contact for more information.

Continue reading Tips for Finding Summer Jobs and Internships

The Revised GRE

Did you know the GRE General Test has changed? The new version was offered for the first time in August, 2011. Registration for the new test opened up on March 15, 2011.

But what do these changes mean for you?

The Revised GRE will consist of:

  • One Analytical Writing section: 1 hour
  • Two Verbal Reasoning sections: 1 hour
  • Two Quantitative Reasoning sections: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • One Unscored section OR Research section: ~35 minutes

Total length: Approximately 3 hours, 45 minutes

These new time limits make the revised test longer than the old version of the GRE.

Changes to the format of the new test:

  • Able to skip back and forth between questions (both the new and old tests are given on computers)
  • Sections are adaptive, not questions (meaning the difficulty of the sections change based on how well you’ve done on previous parts)
  • Calculators are allowed
  • Scoring system for the verbal and quantitative sections has changed:
    • Old test: range of 200-800 in increments of 10 points
    • New test: 130-170 point range with 1-point increments

Continue reading The Revised GRE

How to Prepare for the Job Market NOW

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article providing ten steps college students should be taking to prepare for the job market while still in school.

This is an article summary. The original article can be read here.

The ten pieces of advice are:

1. Start looking for a job early now, while you’re still in school.

2. Network with professionals while in college. Alumni are a great resource.

3. While is college, work part-time or take an internship. It’s very important to gain experience.

4. Get involved with career-related clubs and activities.

5. Apply for many jobs, but make sure you’re qualified for them.

6. Be professional while in still school. This means do things like dress well, create a LinkedIn account, clean up your online presence, and make business cards.

7. Set career goals. They can always change (and probably will), but think about specific goals and how you will achieve them.

8. Go to the college career center. It’s never too early or too late to make an appointment.

9. Keep track of your achievements and activities. Doing so in a public setting (like LinkedIn lets other people know what you’ve done.

10. Develop relevant skills. Having an awareness of industry-specific skills as well as broad, transferable ones is a way to really stand out.

Informational Interviews

Conducting informational interviews can be a helpful step for students to take when they want to learn more about a career area of interest or to increase their contacts within a field.

How do you arrange an informational interview?

There are lots of places to look for people who are willing to talk with you. Lawrence alumni are very willing to participate in an informational interview. The LU Career Center can connect students with alums through the Alumni database. They can help you search for alums by major, geographic location or employer. You can also ask professors if they have contacts in their discipline or you can try contacting organizations that employ people with similar career interests.

There are basically three ways of making contact with people: telephoning, writing a letter or email, or by referral. Whichever method you choose, make sure to explain the purpose of requesting an interview and remember this is not an opportunity to ask for a job or internship. Rather, it should be considered an opportunity to gather information and to speak to a professional in a field of interest to you for 20 to 30 minutes (but don’t be surprised if the interview lasts longer). Continue reading Informational Interviews

The New GRE

Did you know the GRE General Test is changing? The new version will be offered for the first time in August, 2011. Registration for the new test opened up on March 15, 2011.

But what do these changes mean for you?

The Revised GRE will consist of:

  • One Analytical Writing section: 1 hour
  • Two Verbal Reasoning sections: 1 hour
  • Two Quantitative Reasoning sections: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • One Unscored section OR Research section: ~35 minutes

Total length: Approximately 3 hours, 45 minutes

These new time limits make the revised test longer than the old version of the GRE.

Changes to the format of the new test:

  • Can skip back and forth between questions
  • Calculators will be allowed
  • Scoring system for the verbal and quantitative sections has changed:
    • Old test: range of 200-800 in increments of 10 points
    • New test: 130-170 point range with 1-point increments

Continue reading The New GRE