Author Archive | Robert W.

Image by mer chau, Flickr

Image by mer chau, Flickr

Time off from any activity – work or school related – is an important part of de-stressing, recharging and reorganizing your mind and body.

Let’s set the scene: you’ve had an excellent semester by following our 10 Tips for a Successful First Year, Learn to Cope with Pressure, or Mentally Preparing for School articles. Now, how do you stay focused and productive during your well-deserved time off?

The most important thing is to budget some free time. You’ve earned it, and taking a break from the books is important in re-energizing your mind and preventing burnout. Give yourself at least three days of blissful non-academic work. Do whatever it is that calms and relaxes you – it might be exercising, reading for pleasure, playing video games, hanging out with friends, or watching TV. However, try not to let three days of rest slip into three weeks of unproductive procrastination. A short break between semesters is an opportunity to catch up on school work, get yourself ahead for next semester, or to get cracking on an end of year research paper.

So what is the best way to go about this?

Take it easy: there’s no need to give yourself a full workload.

Prioritize what is most time- or labour-intensive and set yourself manageable short term goals.

Consider setting aside a couple of hours each day – or however many hours are necessary – to complete these goals. You are not going to be able to write a 20 page research paper by working an hour a day, but you are going to put a significant dent in the research, which will put you in a great position when deadlines are nearing your horizon.

Short breaks are a great time to start working on things – as you well know, you might not have the luxury of free time when you’re deep into the semester. As far off as those deadlines seem, they’ll creep up on you, readings will stack up, exams will be scheduled and group assignments will become more time consuming.

If you’re determined to take a full, no-work break, make sure you at least stay focused and keep your mind sharp. Even skimming over previously assigned readings helps keep you in rhythm and doesn’t allow you to slack off. School is about routine, and although you will be on a well-earned holiday, make sure to keep yourself active and engaged to make the return to school a little easier on yourself.

Image by Sean MacEntee, Flickr

Image by Sean MacEntee, Flickr

Apps – if used appropriately – can help to ease a student’s workload, to communicate more efficiently and to organize more effectively. Here’s a list of our top 10 apps for students. Where possible, apps are listed across all three operating systems. Most apps on the list are free, which we all know is a student’s favourite price!

Social

1) Songza
This app is great for helping you unwind, or for getting you motivated for that 8:30am economics class. It streams over an internet connection and automatically creates playlists for you based on mood.

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2) Facebook
You can’t escape adding Facebook to a top ten app list: Facebook is still king outside the classroom. Stay connected to friends and family, hassle-free.

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Games

All of us need to blow off some steam. Remember, all work and no play makes for…a burnt out student!
 
3) Candy Crush
If you want your life to be completely consumed by any game app, this one is for you. Warning: may have severe repercussions on your academic life. And your social life. And your sleep.

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Note Taking

4) Evernote
Evernote is the mega app for organizing your life. From trips and events to tasks and classes, Evernote can do it all. It has a built-in note taker (voice and text) so you’ll never forget another moment of inspiration again.

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5) Voice Recorder – (Android); Voice Record Pro – (Apple); Parrot – Voice Recorder (BBM)
You’ll never have to ask a professor to repeat themselves again with this handy app. It records for as long as you have storage space, which on most phones is longer than you’d ever want. The Voice Recorder app for Android has a very nice feature that skips silences.

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Organizing

6) Google Drive
Google Drive offers a great way to access your documents from anywhere, even offline. You can also incorporate Google Docs to give you seamless access to your files for editing. Simply add documents or study notes to Google Drive, and access them on the go – or more likely, on the bus 20 minutes before that big exam. It’s also important to store any school work in more than one place, in case your computer has a meltdown. Storing your files online is a great backup. (Blackberry: Cloud Explorer for Google Drive – $1.99)

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7) Labtally
Labtally is currently available for 50 schools across the world. Sometimes finding a computer to use at your school can be really difficult – especially during peak times. Labtally lists the total number of computers that are available, in use, or offline in specific computer labs. It is only currently available for the Android market.

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Communication

8) Skype
Staying in touch with friends and family is very important, especially if you move away from home to attend school. Skype offers a no hassle chat via video calls over Wi-Fi.

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9) BBM
For quick messaging, nothing beats BBM – and now it’s available on Apple and Android. Chat with friends and family regardless of what type of phone they have. Simply download and install the app, then let people know your unique pin.

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Finance

Balancing your cheque book is a tedious and often boring chore, but it’s a necessary evil. As a student living away from home, this may be the first time you have to manage rent, groceries, and student loans. Make it a little easier on yourself.

10) Mint.com Personal Finance
Stay out of the red with this handy app that tracks and manages all of your money, expenses, and how much you’ve spent buying Candy Crush lives.

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What’s your favourite app to use? Tweet us @StudentsDotOrg and let us know!

Image by Tax Credit, Flickr

Image by Tax Credit, Flickr

Let me start with a disclaimer: choosing a degree based solely on expected earnings is usually not the best way to plan your future. When debating which career path to take, the opportunities your degree could provide should certainly factor into your decision, but they should not necessarily define it. Choose your field of study because you enjoy it, not because it will make you lots of money. Jim Rohn, a popular business philosopher, sums it up well: money is usually attracted, not pursued.

With that said, let’s get going. The list below may look a little different from ones you’ve seen before, so if you have a passion for any of these 10 fields, congratulations – there is potential for you to make some great money:

  1. Economics
  2. Highest Paid Position: Economic Analyst (Government). Median Salary: $100,277
    Economics is a rapidly growing and evolving field of study. Learn the intricacies of hyperbolic discounting, inputs and outputs and absolute or comparative advantage and you’re well on your way to raking in the big bucks. Or I should say you’ll have “absolute advantage over competitors in a balanced playing field based on your opportunity cost.”

  3. BSc Engineering – Petroleum, Chemical, Electrical, Civil etc.
  4. Highest Paid Positions:
    Utilities Manager. Median Salary: $100,006
    Petroleum Engineer. Median Salary: $93,517
    Engineering Manager. Median Salary: $87,131
    Software Engineer. Median Salary: $79,997
    Chemical Engineer. Median Salary: $78,000

    As you can see, engineering degrees offer excellent diversity – and salaries – in the job market. Engineering degrees focus on math, science, physics and engineering principles.

  5. Political Science, Communication, Public Administration or Business Administration
  6. Highest Paid Position: Senior Government Manager. Median Salary: $95,992
    Liberal Arts degrees offer the flexibility to work in several fields. The stereotype that government employees actually do very little work is untrue – you can expect to work long hours and be a sounding board for angry citizens. Remember that this is a position you’ll need to work your way up to, but obtaining one of the above degrees is a great place to start.

  7. Pharmacy
  8. Highest Paid Position: Pharmacist. Median Salary: $95,680
    Here you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to be accepted into a medical graduate school, where you can expect to spend four years refining your chemistry and drug techniques. Your future job will require a lot of responsibility understanding and handling medications.

  9. Education Administration
  10. Highest Paid Position: School Principal and Administrator. Median Salary: $90,002
    Education administrators facilitate the effective running of institutions, and are an important tool in the education domain. To enter this field you’ll typically need an honours degree in business studies, education, English or social sciences. The majority of education administrators also have a teaching background, so work that into the equation as well.

  11. Geology
  12. Highest Paid Positions: Geologist, Geochemist & Geophysicist. Median Salary: $89,440
    Geology is the study of rocks. More complicated than deciding whether they’re flat enough to skip across the lake, it can be an interesting and diverse career path. Emphasis in geology degrees is often placed on math, science and writing. You may be required to do some outdoor in-field work in order to obtain your degree.

  13. PhD in any field
  14. Highest Paid Position: University Professor. Median Salary: $81,994
    Want to torment students with homework and assignments just like your professors do? They worked hard to get there, and so can you. The road to nourishing and moulding young minds is an academically long one, as almost all post-secondary institutions require their professors to have a PhD in their field of study. Degree to PhD can often take 12+ years.

  15. Law, Finance or Human Resource Management
  16. Highest Paid Positions: Lawyer, Financial Administrator, Human Resource Manager. Median Salary: $79,997
    Law commonly finds itself near the top of the salary pile. Working towards your J.D. requires another three years at a (potentially costly) law school. Applicants to law school should have a BA or equivalent. Financial Administrators oversee the fiscal activities of a business or government. Students often go on to pursue a master’s degree in finance for this role. Human Resource Managers plan and manage labour within a business in order to maximize value. Again, some students continue their education and earn an MBA with a focus on human resource management.

  17. Bachelor of Business in Real Estate
  18. Highest Paid Position: Real Estate and Financial Manager. Median Salary: $79,872
    Although a degree is not required to enter this field, it is preferable in order to remain competitive. Expect to start your career as a sales person in a brokerage firm. After extensive training and testing, you would then be eligible to move into estate brokerage. Selling houses to the rich and famous is just a stone’s throw away!

  19. Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  20. Highest Paid Position: Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist. Median Salary: $77,813
    Audiologists and speech pathologists help to identify, evaluate and manage hearing, language, speech or cognitive disorders. They run tests and develop action plans to improve or rehabilitate speaking and hearing disorders. Generally a Masters of Health Science degree, you’ll be required to complete a four year bachelor’s degree first.

Remember, when choosing your degree, don’t only look at the projected salary. Also check what jobs are in demand in your area, and always choose something you’ll enjoy! The more you enjoy it, the harder you’ll work, and the higher salary potential you’ll have.

Source: Canadian Business

Image by lululemon athletica, Flickr

Image by lululemon athletica, Flickr

Being a college student is a fun and rewarding experience. You’ll meet people who you’ll be friends with for the rest of your life. You’ll experience memories and adventures that will profoundly engrave themselves on your personality for years to come. But don’t forget why you came to college or university; it’s never too soon to start thinking about the ‘big picture’ when it comes to your professional career.

Internships are a great way to develop your resume and have fun at the same time. The added responsibility will help you organize your work and school life, while building on your professional development. They allow you to connect with people who are already working in your industry of interest, and can also provide you with invaluable references for the future. It’s a great opportunity to test the water with an inside glimpse into the field, and it can help you decide if it’s something you want to pursue later.

So why is being a student a good time to work for free?

Internships can be paid or unpaid. But don’t get down if you land an unpaid position! Being a student allows you to experience many different industries that can really help you find your niche. It may not feel like it, but you have less responsibility when you’re a student than when you’re part of the workforce. Take this opportunity now while you have the chance – your future self will thank you!

Sounds good! So how do I get an internship?

As a student, make sure you use your college or university’s resources. Visit your school’s career centre and ask about internship opportunities – you’ll be amazed at what’s out there! You can also approach companies directly. Knocking on a few doors and being proactive not only looks great on you, but might open up opportunities that are not necessarily advertised. You can also take a look at advanced searches on established search engines like Workopolis.com for internship-specific positions.

Balance

If you are new to post-secondary education – or a senior high school student looking for opportunities before heading off to college – take your time. Don’t take on too much at once. Being a student is ultimately a balance of work, school and social life. As you juggle these three balls, you will inevitably drop one. Don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it. Remember to balance your workload: prioritize what is most important and go from there.

Picking the right internship for you is important in maintaining a good work-school balance. Commit to something that is achievable and beneficial to your social and professional development. Do you get nervous about public speaking? Volunteer as a “frosh boss.” Try and fill the holes in your resume while you have the chance, and learn to build and develop on a social, academic and professional level.

Remember…

Internships are an opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in a field you may not yet be qualified to work in. They are a great way to beat the age old conundrum: need experience to get a job – need a job to get experience! Before you start hunting for those internships, make sure you’re prepared by checking out these tips to enhance your resume.