experience

Why every college student should have a job

September 18, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges

Having a job or internship as a student is never easy, but for most students it’s a necessity in order to save money to pay off loans, or to have some spending money. Plus, working is great experience, no matter what kind of job you have.

Working in Dining

Working in Dining

I worked in dining at both Franklin Pierce and at Boston College; at FPU, I served students food, and at BC I was a barista at our Chocolate Bar. There were days where I didn’t want to go to work, or I felt like I deserved better, but that happens with every job, no matter where you are. Even in a job that relates directly to your field of study, you will most likely start from the bottom doing menial or boring tasks. Only after having completed this stage will you have opportunities to get promoted or show that you have innovative ideas to contribute.

I also think that it’s important for students to experience working for other students/adults. Unless you worked during high school, you have been pretty much served everything you’re entire life. This continues in college; dining halls serve our food, universities provide housing, and, with the exception of laundry (in which case, let’s be honest – people only do it once a month anyway), everything else is pretty much given to you. Because we are handed everything on a plate, we forget that those who serve us are also human beings and that they also have lives and feelings. The next time you get frustrated because you had to wait too long for your coffee, or your server forgot your extra side of mac ‘n’ cheese, remember that you could just as easily be in their position. Nobody likes to be embarrassed or yelled at, so treat those who are serving you with the same respect you would like to be treated with.

Working teaches you how to deal with difficult customers, how to follow directions, and be part of a team. These are lifelong lessons that will be important for every aspect of life and future career, no matter what field you’re in (unless you have a job where you don’t interact with any human beings…).

Learn to Keep Cool with Customers

Learn to Keep Cool with Customers

However, most of us have other aspirations that have nothing to do with brewing coffee or swiping IDs at the gym entrance. The summer after your sophomore and junior is the best time to have an internship; most internships look for older candidates who have more experience and more knowledge under their belt. As a rising junior or senior, you will committed to a certain major, and will want to try out working at a job/internship that relates to that interest. Internships are invaluable because they give you experience and a contact to put on your resume (for future applications), and they give you an opportunity to discover if what you’re studying is truly what you want to do.

This past summer, I interned as a research assistant at a psychology lab on campus. Even though I’m majoring in psychology, I was shocked to find that after two months of doing research and testing subjects, I was sick of it. I dreaded going to work each day, I hated entering in data, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. It astounded me that there were parts of psychology – something I’m deeply passionate about – that I disliked. The internship showed me that research is definitely not something I could do long-term. If I already hated it after two months, I would definitely not be able to do it for life. Thankfully, there are other areas of psychology that I can pursue, but if I had not been a lab assistant, I would have never known.

Working a job and interning are both crucial parts of education – ones that are sometimes overlooked or left out. Not everything is learned in the classroom; experience in a job unrelated to and in line with what you are studying may give you a better sense of what you want to pursue/accomplish in the future.

And let’s be honest, it’s also nice to have some pocket money.

A bit of advice: if you want to have an internship during the summer, start looking midyear, around January (or earlier) and start applying by February or March. It’s much better to be on top of things and proactive, because you’ll have more options and back up plans.

Finding an Internship

Finding an Internship

Critiquing College Confidential

June 27, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Colleges, Reviews

There are very few college experience websites designed to aid and liberate prospective and current students with information. Alive Campus is one of the very few that does this, but there are others, others such as College Confidential. This website is designed to cover all the bases regarding the US college system, from books to parties, admissions to payments and much more. The College Confidential site does a lot of things well, and with a few slight changes could well be one ideal solution to the maze-like process of college.

College Confidential is one of very few college experience sites

College Confidential is one of very few college experience sites

One of the positive aspects to the College Confidential website is the discussion board. Much like the forum tab available on Alive Campus, this flurry of user submitted articles and comments can serve as great raw information for users. Being able to hear from past and current students about their college experiences, or even from incoming students and their application woes, can be a great help and insight for all.

Perhaps the best feature on the College Confidential website is the College Search, which features a unique matching tool. This series of option choices allows you to put certain topics in order of preference from majors offered to tuition costs. Following your choices will be a list of schools that match you, all rated on a percentage scale. This system can be a great way to narrow down the thousand’s of colleges in the US and help you pick the best suited school to you.

What better way to de-clutter your mind of all the college worries than to ask an expert; Ask the Dean on College Confidential is a selection of FAQ’s and their responses from an expert in college admissions and the application process. You can navigate the many questions and responses using the topics tab, or simply start your own discussion by asking the Dean. This is another of College Confidential’s signature features and one that could be utilized by Alive Campus also.

With all its positive features College Confidential has the potential to be a great tool for current and prospective students. There is one major downfall with the website, and it mainly comes down to layout. The website masthead and navigation bar doesn’t seem to fit effectively, and you find yourself cautiously moving the mouse as if there were ads and pop-ups hiding on the page. Although there are minimal ads on the site, the look and feel of the pages give the impression that there are more, especially with the Google search bar sitting inconspicuously in the corner.

All-in-all the College Confidential website is a great tool for students and/or parents to search and learn more about colleges in the US. It’s matching feature is a great way to narrow down options to a ‘visit-able’ few, as well as making sure you are making the right choice. All this alongside an effective question and answer service makes for a good and easy-to-use college experience website.

A Network of College Experiences

March 7, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges

Being a college student can be fun, exciting, stressful, and scary. Having someone who can share their own college experiences with you can help you prepare yourself for the obstacles and situations that can be faced when being a college student. Through AliveCampus, a person can hear the experiences of another college student who is either having a great time in college or having the worst experience in their life.

Impact of College

The Impact of College!

Every College is Different: In the United States everyone is expected to go to college to get a better job. Every student who attends college has their own opinions about the college they are attending: either negative or positive. For example, Wheelock college is a small college where you build a friendly, family like connection with everyone on campus. An incoming freshman can use these opinions to judge if the college they are attending is the right college for them.

Circumstances: It is difficult to decide if attending college is the right choice for you because some may not like a school setting and would rather get a quick career to start earning a living. For others, it is financially impossible to attend college even if they dream of getting their bachelors degree get a higher education and start a career. I remember a friend from high school who was unable to attend college because her family was not financially prepare to send her to college, and she could not get financial aid because of her immigration status. Being parents of immigrants who came from El Salvador to pursue their American Dream, I sympathize with her because due to her legal status in America, after living in the United States since she was little, she was unable to pursue her dream of going to college and had to find new goals for her next step in life.

Majors: The different majors colleges offer are important to get new students to apply to their school. In four years students will be perusing, learning, and exploring their major. Yet, if the college is not flexible in providing a variety of majors there is going to be a limited of students attending. I know Wheelock is one of those colleges in which you have to be sure that you want to be either a teacher, major in Social Work, Juvenile Justice, Child life, or Psychology; Or you will be left with no choice but to transfer. Now, Wheelock college has introduce a few new majors like Political Science, but there are still limits with the major(s) a person can chose from.

Classes: College is not the same as high school: from living away from parents to picking the classes you want. Having the power to pick your own classes can be a great experience or the wrong choice. Through different classes, you can learn if you like your major or not.

College is a great way to learn about yourself, others, the world and most importantly what career path you want to have in the future. 

The College Experience of Suffolk University

February 7, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

Having three high school friends who attend Suffolk University and hearing their stories about their college experience at Suffolk made me realize that this school may not as fun and exciting as their website portraits. Yet, I am not going to judge their website based on my friend’s experiences, but instead I am going to explore their website and judge the information provided. Exploring their website, especially their campus life experience section I found a lot of information that it is important to know about Suffolk University. Even if a person is a commuter, which is 78% of the students, there are resources that can help them make their experience at Suffolk unforgettable.

The Suffolk Experience

The Suffolk Experience!

Suffolk Experience: In their website, Suffolk portraits their care for their student’s safety, learning and life experience. There are a lot of different resources like support and services for international students, students who live on campus, and of course, commuters. Even though, there are a lot of opportunities and resources for students to get involve with, not many students may take advantage or be aware of those different opportunities for two reasons.

First, it is due to the size of Suffolk. Suffolk has 5,000 undergraduate students and there are many different building all over the downtown area of Boston that are part of Suffolk University. It may be that Suffolk is a large school that not many students are aware of the opportunities suffolk has to offer unless you talk to a professor, careers services, or other students. The most important reason many students are unaware of their own school’s resources and opportunities based on their website is because the majority of the students are commuters. Commuters have to travel, depending on where they live, at least an hour to get to campus. As a commuter, I know that after I am done with my classes I would want to go back home, and for some people they have to go to work. Therefore, are unable to stay for late events, information sections, or programs offered by their school.

Suffolk focuses on law, political science, public relations, business, history, and marketing, so their life experience are based on those themes; Just like Wheelock focuses on children and families. Even though there are many other different majors like biology and psychology that they offer, these majors are ignored when talking about Suffolk. Looking at the life and college experience section, it would be discouraging to me to apply to this school if I do not have an interest in law, history, business, or political science.

Is Suffolk right for you?

Is Suffolk right for you?

Campus Life: Further looking at their website, in their campus life section there is a tab that says “get involved”. In this tab, you only get a small paragraph of how you can get involved on campus such as clubs and organizations, community engagements, performing arts, students employment, and diversity services. From this tab you get a link to go to the full list of other services a person can get involved with on campus, yet a negative part of this section is that even when you go through all of these links you still do not get a full description of all of the different methods to stay active on campus.

Overall, Suffolk university has a lot of different services in their campus/life experience section of their website, but there are so any different links and information that not all of the opportunities offered by them may be taken advantage off by their students. I particular would not like to go to a big school like Suffolk, but to people who can relate to their mission statement, would find this school to be exciting and really take advantage of their opportunities. 

To Prospects of Life and an Alive Campus Farewell

February 5, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges, Events, Health, Infographics, Love, Reviews, Sports, Style, Tech, Travel

Hello Camper,

Aim and shoot for beyond the stars…

Alive Campus provides an awesome experience for individuals receiving and sharing information about their colleges. It provides an avenue for incoming freshmen, transfers and overall prospects to view an institution in light of the person-student. It is better than a commercial about an institution that attempts to sell the environment to the student. Still- the able, productive and willing student will learn to use an institution as a useful platform: Students excelling in academics and sports will be able to promote their selves through the institution or their merits for their personal reasons. College may be an expensive or inexpensive experience but SallieMae is always willing to assist the educational process toward their profitable return.

Every collegiate institution will vary by academia, cultures, privatization, religions, regulations and traditions. My attendance from Lock Haven University to Centenary College has been a fulfilling and tremendous rollercoaster of experience. El Torro and Kingda Ka in a blizzard cannot compare with my college tumbling experience. After completing then paying for one class and test I will have the opportunity to graduate from Centenary College in May, elated.

It has been a great experience writing for Alive Campus. It will no longer be my place to discuss Centenary College’s environment as I improve away from it. I do have bits of advice for individuals seeking to attend an institution or transfer from an institution. The future is changing dramatically with the variety of institutions available; chiropractic, culinary, dog training, masseuse, music and etc. type of schools exist for individuals seeking a particular career path of growth.

Do not rush any decision about the future. If you feel an inclination toward a different direction for your life then find the avenues prospering in the direction of your inclination. If you are unsure about attending a large university then attend a community college to save money and receive half (or more) of the credits at a four year college. You will have enough time to think and prepare financially for the future ahead of you without risking valuable time especially since community colleges are very affordable avenues. The one class I am taking at Centenary is more than my co-worker’s semester tuition at a community college.

Don’t let others make decisions about your life either: If they’re not offering financial backing and a place in their home with their advice about your future then take their advice like an open wound with a grain of salt; take careful thought thinking about the next steps in your future. Don’t rush your life. Advice is another option to think about especially when various walks of life will have advice readily available for a variety of purposes. Be patient thinking about decisions, and even more patient making those decisions, to enhance your life in the long run.

I hope the future progresses well for every individual!

It will progress well if you take your time for its true value.

Time is not money: It is your life.

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

www.kdufresne.me

Thank you Radek Janowski and Alive Campers for being amazing and useful!