myKlovr

Welcome to myKlovr! How to Make the Most of Your Membership

MyKlovr is a first-of-its-kind college counseling technology solution for college-bound high-school students. Our single-minded focus is to help every myKlovr user increase their chances of college admission.

Why is it important to us? 90% of 15 million high-school students in the US are planning to go to college. But over 20% of them never enroll in college. Then, over 40% of college students do not obtain a degree within six years of starting college. Eventually, college graduates are left with the burden of student loan debts of $40,000 on average.

On the other hand, having a college degree is getting more and more important. Studies demonstrate that a college graduate earns $22,000 more per year than a high-school graduate. Education opens doors to more opportunities and helps find satisfaction and fulfillment in life.

At myKlovr we want to help every student achieve their education goals. Using myKlovr is not difficult and follows a simple process:

At the beginning, a myKlovr user needs to tell us something about themselves so that we can understand their strengths, opportunities, interests, ambitions, etc. This is the role of the Student Portfolio.

Based on that information, our artificial intelligence formulates personalized Goal Recommendations for every user. This is our digital college prep.

Finally, every myKlovr user needs to decide which Goal Recommendations they want to focus on. Thus, they build their own, unique Action Plan, which will increase their chances of college admission.

There are 8 steps to make the most of your myKlovr membership:

  1. Your Student Portfolio Overview
  2. The Academic Part of Your Student Portfolio
  3. The Personal Part of Your Student Portfolio
  4. The Career Part of Your Student Portfolio
  5. Your Goal Recommendations
  6. Your Goals
  7. Your College Plan
  8. Financial Readiness

Step 1 – Why is Your Student Portfolio So Important?

Your Student Portfolio is the first thing you should use once you have become a myKlover’ian.  Until you enter at least some of the information, we can’t provide you with any counseling or advice. This is how it works:

Your Student Portfolio consists of three parts that I am going to review them in the four following topics. Why so many? Because college admissions are not only about grades and test scores. Good grades are not always enough. And not-so-good grades don’t have to be a road block, if you tell a compelling personal story. This is what your myKlovr Student Portfolio is for.

As you start building your Student Portfolio keep in mind the following:

  • Most students complete the Academic part first, but you can start wherever you want
  • You don’t have to complete the whole lot in one sitting
  • The more detailed your input, the better your myKlovr Goal Recommendations
  • Keep your Student Portfolio up-to-date so that your Goal Recommendations remain useful.

The best way to use your Student Portfolio is to start early and keep fine-tuning it as much as you want. You are crafting your personal story so that when you submit your college applications you tell your unique story, that will make you stand out in a crowd of applicants.

 

Step 2 – The Academic Foundation of Your Student Portfolio

Academic performance is not everything when you apply to college. But it is still very, very important. College admissions officers pay a lot of attention to your transcripts, test scores, etc. We know what colleges look for and will provide you with guidance that will put you in the best possible position as a college applicant.

Many students complain that when they start preparing their college applications they can’t find all the required grades, scores, etc. Guess what. Now, you can keep it all in your myKlovr Portfolio.

A tip before you dive in: Always keep your data up-to-date. Otherwise, myKlovr Goal Recommendations will become obsolete.

The Academic part of your Student Portfolio has the following sections:

    • Schools – This is a part of your individual profile.  Include your school, most recent GPAs, grading scale, marking periods per year, grades attended, and the date you enter / graduate from high school.
    • Transcripts – Provide us with your course grades as of your 8thgrade. Colleges want to know your entire high school history and evaluate the trends / changes from one year to another.
    • Standardized Tests – Almost all colleges require SAT or ACT scores and they are one of the first things that admission officers look at. Put in all tests that you have taken, including PSATs and Pre-ACT.
    • Writing and Language Skills – This is your self-assessment. You may ask other people, including your teachers, for their feedback.
    • Academic Achievements & Awards – Brag about the accolades that you have won. They can become an important part of your personal essay.

Always keep your data up-to-date. Otherwise, myKlovr Goal Recommendations will become obsolete.

Step 3 – The Personal Aspects of Your Student Portfolio

It is amazing how much your passions, interests etc. can help your admission chances. But you need to tell a concise and compelling story. This is what the Personal part of your Student Portfolio is going to help you with.

 

The first four sections here cover Cross-Cultural Experience, Extracurricular Activities, Hobbies & Interests, and Volunteering & Community Services. At the beginning write about everything that you could tell a friend. Nothing is insignificant. Try not to skip any detail like dates, awards, leadership. We ask about them for a reason and we use them in the analysis of your profile. Over time, myKlovr will help you select the activities and events that can most boost your attractiveness as a college applicant.

What follows is an assessment of your Achievements & Awards. It’s bragging time! Include only accolades that are connected to the Personal part of your portfolio. Other recognition belongs to the other parts.

Now we want to learn about what personal qualities make you shine in your Personal Qualities assessment. After talking to many college admissions officers, we have selected 12 that they look for when evaluating college candidates. Don’t think that you are expected to max out on all of them. Nobody does. We want you to understand what your 2-3 top personal qualities are so that when you write your application essay you can tell a unique story of what makes you an amazing candidate.

The next section is your Personal Video, this is where myKlovr encourages you to talk about yourself, your passions, and about what makes you different. You can produce a short video and feature it here.

Last but not least there is the Statement of Purpose. You are invited to think and write about the vision of your own future, and about the difference that you want to make in the world.

Step 4 – Why Do Your Career Interests Matter in Your Student Portfolio

The Career part of your Student Portfolio is there for two reasons.

 

Firstly, we want to encourage you to think about what you want to do in life. There is no rush. You have plenty of time to decide. But if you know your career preferences, it will be easier to select the right colleges for you.

Most colleges do not expect their applicants to select their career path or even their college major. But they are likely to ask you to explain why you have chosen to apply to their college. When you can talk about your future and how their college can help you get there, it will be easier to convince the admissions counselors that you are the right candidate for their institution.

Secondly, we invite you to capture any internship, work experience or even related recognition, that you may have. Experiences like that give you a taste of what a specific profession can be like. Spend a few weeks at an attorney’s office. Do you still want to be a lawyer? Besides, this is a chapter of your personal story that may connect with an admissions officer at your dream college.

 

Step 5 – Your Goal Recommendations Are the Core of The myKlovr Digital College Prep

Goal Recommendations are the core benefit of our digital college prep. In response to your input in your Student Portfolio, our Artificial Intelligence-driven engine formulates these recommendations of focus areas that, if achieved, will significantly increase your chances of college admissions. You can choose a college tier (a group of colleges with similar level of acceptance difficulty) for which you want myKlovr to provide you with Goal Recommendations.

The Goal Recommendations are arranged under the following tabs: Academic, Personal, Career, and Declined Recommended Goals. Click on a Recommendation to see why you have been given it.

 

You can do two things with a Recommended Goal:

1 – Press the ✓ icon to accept the recommendation, if you want to work on it,
2 – Press the ✕ icon to decline if you don’t like it or it is not the right time for you to work on it,

Remember, every time you update your Student Portfolio your Goal Recommendations will be updated accordingly so that you always receive the most relevant counseling from myKlovr.

Step 6 – Your Goal Is Your Own Commitment to Yourself

Your Goals are what you have decided to do to increase your chances of college admission. But a goal is a goal and you need to be able to work with it.

Under the My Goals Custom tab, click on plus sign icon if you want to create a completely new goal. It can be anything, even something like ‘Wash the dishes every Thursday night’. After a second thought … even though admirable, it probably won’t help you much with your college chances.

 

Another cool feature of My Goals is that you can mark specific steps or entire goals as complete so that at any moment you can see what progress you have made. Trust me, it helps one’s motivation to see that the work is done, so come back often to check your goals off.

There is one important thing about Your Goals. It will only be useful to you if you do something about it. A goal without any effort put behind it is wishful thinking. A plan that you carry out is progress.

Step 7 – Your College Plan Is Like a College Degree Matchmaker

My College Plan contains four unique features:

  • Find My Tier
  • College Finder
  • Target List
  • MyKlovr Promise

Find My Tier helps you identify a college tier that best fits your profile based on your Student Portfolio. This would normally be your match tier. Your GPA and standardized test scores will affect your current match tier, so be sure to keep this information up-to-date.

The next tool is the College Finder. Our College Finder has seven different sections, each of which offers a range of search criteria. There are a lot of colleges and universities in our database, so you’d better use the filters if you want to find the colleges that are right for you.

You can jump from one search section to another, go back, add, change and remove filters as much as you want. The search results will be continuously updated. If you see very few colleges there, it is because you have added too many search filters, or some criteria are inconsistent. In such case, you need to reduce the number of search criteria or adjust them.

Play with the College Finder as much as you want. Try different searches. Selecting colleges is important because you are choosing a place where you are going to spend an important part of your life. Make sure that you love every day of your college years.

On the following tab, you will find your Target List. Colleges saved from the College Finder are listed in the Clipboard section. This allows you to move colleges from your reach, match, or safety list.

Finally, we have the myKlovr Promise. MyKlovr offers its users a unique money-back guarantee in case they are not admitted to any of the matching tier colleges. This section explains how the myKlovr promise works, how to qualify for it, and how to place a claim if need be.

 

Step 8 – Financial Readiness

Recognizing that nearly three-quarters of U.S. families are concerned about paying for college as higher education costs continue to increase, myKlovr has partnered with Financial Fitness Group to provide online educational financing resources for you and your parents.

The Financial Readiness section contains 9 Education Planning courses that help you and your family plan for and deal with the ever-growing cost of higher education.

We have now completed the 8 steps to make the most of your Force myKlovr! I hope this has been useful.

[Press Release] MyKlovr Offers Best-In-Class Virtual College Counseling Benefits via Namely’s Brokerage Services

Partnership Makes Disruptive College Planning Technology Available to Namely’s Clients as Voluntary Benefit

(New York City, June 4, 2019) MyKlovr, a growing virtual counselor for college-bound students and their parents, has entered into a partnership with Namely, a leading HR platform for mid-sized companies, to offer a first-of-its-kind benefit to its 1,300 corporate clients. Starting today, companies that use Namely’s brokerage services to manage employee benefits can offer myKlovr’s virtual college counseling services as an innovative education planning benefit.

Founded in 2016, myKlovr enables students and parents to leverage artificial intelligence to receive personalized, step-by-step guidance to increase their chances of being admitted into the college that suits them best. The platform offers in-depth support for the whole college-planning process, from school identification and academic readiness to detailed action plans and financial preparation.

“Planning for college is one of the most important life phases for a student and their parents, and it is often one of the most stressful,” says Gustavo Dolfino, CEO of myKlovr. “We wanted to work with an innovative partner like Namely to ensure we are bringing our platform to a wider audience who can benefit from the relieved pressure and stress our first-of-its-kind platform offers.”

With this partnership, Namely now offers myKlovr as an efficient post-tax voluntary benefit for clients’ employees and their families through seamless, convenient payroll deductions.

“We are thrilled to offer myKlovr’s suite of products to our valued brokerage services clients as part of our growing portfolio of both traditional and non-traditional benefit options,” said Vin DiDonna, benefits director at Namely. “We are always looking for ways to extend the innovative benefits we offer, so we can help our clients differentiate their mid-sized businesses by better serving employees, and we expect this college planning platform to provide immense value.”

Namely’s award-winning, powerful, easy-to-use technology allows companies to handle all of their HR, payroll, time management, and benefits in one place. Coupled with best-in-class account support, every Namely client gets the software and service they need to deliver great HR and a strong, engaged company culture.

About myKlovr
MyKlovr is a media division of Student Global, LLC, established in New York in 2016. MyKlovr is the first-of-its-kind virtual college counseling platform that utilizes predictive data analytics and artificial intelligence to increase every high school student’s chances of college admission. For more information, visit www.myklovr.com.

[Press Release] Early Stage Company Tackles the College Admissions Scandal

MyKlovr’s AI-based virtual college counselor outperforms human coaches; costs a tiny fraction thereof. And it is legal!

(New York City, April 2, 2019) – With the recent college admissions scandal continuing to unfold, new evidence sheds light on the grueling college admissions process, and to what extent parents are willing to go, to get their children admitted to the “right school.” College admissions leader, myKlovr, recognized the problem three years ago, and put together cutting-edge AI technology thereby, leveling the playing field.

Offered as a human resources sponsored corporate benefit, myKlovr has solved two issues at once – first, it has allowed companies to attract and retain best of breed employee talent, and second – it has made it possible for corporate employees to provide the luxury of college coaching to their families, either as a company sponsored or a voluntary benefit. Major benefit marketplaces such as Benefitfocus, and some of the largest benefit brokers in the industry, including USI and Lockton, have chomped at the bit to distribute the myKlovr’s revolutionary solution.

“As we saw last week, some parents will go to any length, to get their children into a top school, even if it means breaking the law. We do not do it on behalf of the kids; rather, we help them maximize the chances of doing it for themselves.” said Gustavo G. Dolfino, founder and CEO of myKlovr. “We believe, every student who aspires to attend college, should have that opportunity, regardless of background and race. We are proud our platform is affordable to families of all walks of life. That is our promise to them. And we provide a money back guarantee.”

In addition to using artificial intelligence to provide every college-bound student with personalized guidance, the enhanced college planning platform includes:

  • A college planning tool, which makes it easier for users to discover, build and refine a college list, and provides college recommendations based on each student’s individual profile;
  • An enhanced parent portal, designed for parent/student interaction, allowing families to navigate the college planning journey together;
  • A powerful goal recommendation engine delivering individual insightful recommendations, while tracking ongoing milestones;

MyKlovr’s extensive client pipeline, has made college counseling available and affordable to more than three million households, and their children. In addition, the company recently introduced its College Acceptance Promise – a refund of all myKlovr subscription fees, should the student not be admitted to a college from a recommended tier. This revolutionary guarantee is made available by a contractual liability insurance policy issued to myKlovr, by insurance giant AXA.

About myKlovr
MyKlovr is a media division of Student Global, LLC, established in New York in 2016. MyKlovr is the first-of-its-kind virtual college counseling platform that utilizes predictive data analytics and artificial intelligence to increase every high school student’s chances of college admission. For more information, please visit https://myklovr.com/

4 Tips to Help You Choose Your Major

Choosing a major in college can be a daunting task that many think will determine the rest of their life and their future career path. Colleges often require students to state what their intended major is before even attending causing huge amounts of pressure on High School students to know what they want to major in before they even attend their first class is immense.

How can someone choose to major in something they’ve never experienced, never even taken as a class before? It’s not surprising that many of my college friends told me they realized the major they thought they wanted to pursue was something that they did not end up even majoring or minoring in!

I have been fortunate to be supported by a variety of people in choosing my major, and I have four tips on how to best take advantage of the resources around you to minimize stress and maximize satisfaction in making this decision. As a rising Sophomore in college, I am able to relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by this daunting task, but through my tips I was able to feel more secure with my choice.

 

1. Take a variety of classes

In college, you have the opportunity to take a variety of courses, both in your interests and outside of them. This allows you to explore your current interests and discover new ones as well. My freshman year I took a psychology class and fell in love with the topics we covered. Now, I want to double major in psychology and anthropology a new interest and an existing one. Also, don’t wait until your senior year to try new courses. I have talked with seniors who regretted waiting until the last minute to step out of their comfort zones, because they found they were really good at and enjoyed the new subject.

 

2. Use your summer

For some, summer is a much needed break from the busy school year where one can relax. However, summer should also be seen time that can be taken advantage of. The few months are the perfect opportunity to find internships, take classes online, or even take classes at another college or university. Finding a job will grant you experience in the workplace and also add a boost to your resume, and you may realize working is actually a lot different than you imagined. It can help you begin forming an idea of what type of jobs suit you. Taking classes can grant you the opportunity to find new interests in different subject matter.

 

3. Take advantage of your friends and family

Because choosing a major can be so stressful, we often face this decision alone when we don’t have to. In fact, family and friends may be the key to making the right decision for you. You may realize that someone close to you struggled with the same decision, or majored in something you are considering. They may also have advice of their own which can help lead you in the right direction.

 

4. Use your College’s Career Office

Once you’re on campus, there are so many resources all around you that are there to help you! I know as a freshman I was intimidated by the career counseling office because I thought I was too young and inexperienced to use it. However, setting up a meeting with the faculty there, was one of the best decisions I had made. You should also look for support in your professors and advisors, as they are there to help you learn and develop your skills and interests.

 

In the end, as important as choosing a major can be, it is not going to trap you on a path to one particular career. I know lawyers who studied art history, and businessmen that studied linguistics. Though your major should be a decision you put thought into, your life will also not be determined by exactly what major or minor you choose. So have fun exploring your interests!

5 Must-Read Back to School Tips for Parents

Though it may seem like the kids just got out of school, it is never too early to start prepping for the back to school season. With school starting next month for some, it is smart to get ahead of the game, but where do you start?

 

1. First things first, start with their basic backpack needs

The best place to start when it comes to back to school shopping is the traditional school supplies. Think about what your child is going to need in the classroom, or at school on a daily basis. Always stock up on extra paper, pencils, folders, binders, and notebooks. Even if they don’t end up using the supplies this time around, you will have them ready for next year.

One basic item that always comes up as a surprise expense is a graphing calculator. If your kid is in middle or high school, they will most likely need one of these for their math courses. It is important to invest in one that will last several years to prevent having to purchase a new one every year. You can’t go wrong with ordering one online to avoid scrambling once classes are back in session.

Outside of the backpack, a locker is a student’s safe space meant to store whatever they need with easy access. The best way to keep everything in the locker in order is purchasing some locker organization kits, with magnet organizers, shelves and supply drawers. These tools allow for optimized storage space and an eased state-of-mind.

With the unexpected accidents that we all periodically encounter, it can’t hurt to leave the locker stocked with some precautionary items such as a spare change of clothes, deodorant, mouthwash, extra pencils, and a few dollars in the event they forgot to pack a lunch.

 

2. When it comes to lunches and snacks, don’t make things too difficult for yourself

It’s always been best to eat natural and stay healthy, but nowadays, it’s also trendy. From Kombucha Drinks to acai bowls, kids these days love posting pictures on Instagram of their healthy, colorful foods. Keep it simple and always have fruit and vegetables ready to serve. Hummus and peanut butter go well with different crackers or some vegetables. For example, you can always pack the traditional “ants on a log” (celery and peanut butter with raisins). Don’t go crazy trying to prepare anything too fancy or exotic, unless you have the time, in which case, go for it.

As far as packing these healthy lunches goes, consider investing in an insulated lunch box to ensure a fresh meal. Some schools don’t serve lunch until four or five hours after the students arrive, so you want to make sure their food isn’t too warm, soggy, or stale.

 

3. A good sense of style goes a long way

Your student’s daily cuisine isn’t the only thing you’ll want to keep fresh this back to school season. A good sense of style goes a long way in school. The first week of school is crucial when it comes to showcasing your fashion sense and making excellent first impressions, but you may not know what’s in and trending. It never hurts to take a look at Teen Vogue every once in a while.

If you haven’t noticed, comfortable and athletic wear is what’s trending, which is perfect for long school days. You can’t go wrong with buying a comfortable pair of shoes and some track pants for the school day.

While athletic wear is currently in style, it is important to note that dressing for success does, in fact, help increase productivity. According to Brain Fodder, when a person wears a suit or formal wear, there is a psychological response that makes them feel more powerful than usual. Perhaps once a week, your child can have a day where they dress nicer to boost their self-esteem and improve the quality of their work.

Shopping for clothes can also be very expensive, which is why shopping smart and being aware of the deals around you is key to a successful back to school season. During the summer and early fall, winter clothes are marked down and on sale. They are the same quality as what’s sold in the fall and winter, but with the demand on them being lower, retailers are forced to lower the sale price. For parents shopping, it would be beneficial to take advantage of these deals and shop in advance for the coming winter months.

 

4. Start planning for your child’s post-secondary future

Planning for the future, whether it is shopping for clothes or setting up a savings account, is the best way to build security for yourself and your family. That is why this back to school season you should consider planning for your child’s post-secondary future. While most public schools have an on-site counselor, on average there are 482 students per college counselor, which results in a lack of guidance for the majority of students. Not everyone has the means or resources to hire a private college counselor, which can end up costing parents thousands of dollars.

This is why myKlovr, the world’s first digital college counselor, is an investment you should be willing to make. The platform is powered by artificial intelligence and has several features that will prove to be useful in helping you achieve their academic goals including an extremely customizable college finder, a GPA calculator for every grading scale, a personalized student dashboard and a linked parent account to help hold the child accountable and provide mentorship.

Outside of myKlovr, there are several other tech products in the realm of back to school shopping that any student must have. While laptops and tablets are often not required in school, they do help students to stay organized and keep track of their assignments with ease. If you do end up buying one of these, they can be pretty expensive and you want to make sure they last.

Getting a protective case for your phone and laptop is a wise choice and will provide some insurance of your electronic devices’ safety. With these new devices, you can’t go wrong with purchasing a good pair of headphones. Listening to music is very popular amongst youth and is also important when it comes to helping to relieve stress with the day-to-day challenges kids face in school.

 

5. Invest in products and services that help alleviate their stress

Let’s face it, school isn’t as easy as it once was. With the technology emerging at a rapid pace, excessive news coverage of political topics and national tragedies, the ongoing pressure of maintaining a social presence on the internet, constant contact with their social network, and many other factors, being an adolescent has never entailed so much baggage.

That’s why investing in products and services that help alleviate stress is vital for this back to school season. Listening to music is one way to eliminate some stress, but there are other items you can buy to help reduce the amount of stress your child endures. Organizational tools like a planner or purposed storage always help to declutter. Lotions, candles and bath products with scents like lavender and vanilla are also found to be beneficial in relaxing many people. Don’t hesitate to provide your kid with tools allowing them to relax because it can prove to make them more productive in the rest of their lives.

Encourage your child to exercise more often by buying a gym membership or a pair of running shoes. We all know that exercising is good for your physical health, but according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), it also can help to greatly reduce stress levels. Acknowledging your child’s stress and anxiety and taking preventative action is important for the well-being of your child.

The most important part of the back to school process is to allow yourself time to make your list and get all of the shopping done. It is never a good idea to leave it all for the last minute. So start talking with your child now and get a head start on your back to school shopping.

Top Ten Summer Activities for Students

The final weeks of school can be so hectic that planning the following three months often comes as an afterthought. With assignments, tests and early bus rides behind them, students are left to wonder, “what should I do this summer?”

We have the answer. Here’s a list of the top ten ways that you should spend your time this summer.

 

Explore the Great Outdoors

With flourishing trees and fully blossomed flowers, it’s arguable that nature reaches its peak in the summer.  Getting outside and exploring its beauty is best done by taking the time to walk through and embrace it. You can even make a multi-day adventure out of hiking by pitching a tent with a few friends or family.

Camping is an excellent way to take advantage of the cool summer nights and maximize your time enjoying the country’s wildlife. From dazzling beaches to soaring mountains, dense forests to vast plains, the U.S. is full of beauty calling for you to explore. The National Park Service has some handy resources for locating parks and trails near you.

 

Escape the Heat and Take a Dip

In most areas of the country, the weather is only suitable for swimming for a short period of time. Take advantage of the warmth and sunshine by going for a dip in the oceans, rivers, lakes, swimming pools, water parks or whatever you have access to in your area. There is nothing more refreshing than wading in the water on a hot summer day.

With so many public access points at most bodies of water, there is no reason not to visit the thousands of water-spots in the country.

 

Become an Expert on History and Culture

Museums act as a window into places separated by time and location. They provide the tools to educate people on the history of our predecessors and the world’s intercultural development through the ages. From instructive science exhibits to experiential art displays, museums have a lot to offer for those with an open mind and a will to learn.

Make a day trip to a local museum or plan a vacation around seeing multiple exhibits across the country. If you’re on a tight budget, do not fret. There are loads of free museums just a google search away. Check out National Geographic’s list of 20 free U.S. museums that are worth checking out.

 

Witness the World’s Wildlife

America is home to some of the best zoos and aquariums in the world. When looking into visiting a zoo or aquarium, you must consider the quality of the establishment. It is no secret that sometimes these institutions do not uphold the best treatment for animals. Despite the negligent ones, there are several zoos that do a great job caring for their animals. Read more about how to identify a good zoo.

Once you weed out the bad zoos and aquariums in your own research, there is an immense amount that society can take away from the high quality ones. They help conserve the extensive list of species at risk of becoming extinct, provide an outlet for scientists and animal-life experts to conduct research, and educate the public about our planet’s wildlife.

Something to note is that if you research different zoos and aquariums in advance, you will most likely find some limited edition exhibits that pique your interest, so start planning today.

 

Earn Some Cash and Build Your Resume

With all of the spare time in the summer, getting a part-time job can never hurt. Whether you are saving up for college or earning some money to help fund your summer excursions, it is no doubt that the three month break from school is a wonderful opportunity to earn some extra cash.

Aside from the financial aspect of getting a job, it is never too early to start gaining work experience. There is something to learn from any job you have, no matter how simple it may seem. Some examples of part-time jobs good for high school students include lifeguarding, working as a cashier, host/hostessing at a restaurant, or being a camp counselor.

If you already have a pretty firm grasp on what you want to study in your post-secondary studies, the summer is perfect for seeking opportunities such as internships or specialty camps that provide insight into your desired field of study.

When looking for a job later down the line, it may be beneficial to prove to the potential employer that you had an early interest in the field and have several years of experience. Even if you are unsure of your interest, these programs can give you an idea of whether or not it is a profession that you would like to further consider.

 

Declutter and Dispose with a Garage Sale

Summer break is a time for not only cleansing your mind, but for purging unused or unwanted possessions. Whether you’re going off to college in the fall or simply need a fresh start, garage and yard sales are a great way for you to declutter your living space and get rid of those belongings that you haven’t touched in years.

If you’re having trouble getting this project rolling, let the thought of earning a few extra dollars motivate you. All you have to do to start is throw open your attic door, have two boxes labeled “Keep” and “Sell,” and get to sorting. Pick a day that works for you and list your yard sale in the appropriate classified sections of both Craigslist and your local newspaper.

People won’t know you’re selling all this great stuff if you don’t advertise the event. Whatever you don’t sell, you can donate to local charities or even friends and family.

 

Explore Yourself through Self Expression

Ever have a hairstyle or cool outfit you wanted to sport? With three months away from your peers and teachers, it’s your time to explore yourself without fear of judgement. Summer is the perfect opportunity for you to test out new ways of expressing yourself and find out just what it is you have to offer the world.

This doesn’t stop at your appearance. With your spare time, you can sign up for a dance class, learn an instrument, stylize your room, join a sports team and so much more. Live your best life this summer and have fun finding yourself.

 

Visit Places Only Your Imagination Can Take You

During the year, it can be difficult to read for leisure when you’re constantly bombarded with reading assignments at school. This summer, take the time to read something for yourself without any deadlines or papers in the mix.

You might be surprised where your imagination takes you and what you can learn from a good book. If you don’t know how to find the right book for you, join a local reading club or check TIME’s list of 100 best books for young adults.

 

Have Fun on the Fairgrounds

Carnival rides and fair food are the pinnacle of American culture. Each summer, people travel from surrounding towns to go to the nearest fairgrounds and come together for a celebration of life.

If you’re on social media, you most likely have seen Ferris wheels and funnel cake flood your Instagram feed when the season rolls around. The truth is, it’s usually as fun as the pictures suggest.

Many of these fairs offer petting zoos, games, rides and other festivities perfect for a day of fun with your family, friends, or romantic interest. Look up county and state fairs that are happening near you and start planning your visit today.

 

Put Others Before Yourself

Don’t feel bad if you’re spending your summer focusing on yourself, but if you have the time, you can do some work for others. Completing community service leaves you with a feeling of fulfillment and a sense of achievement.

You can always log your hours and add the experience to your resume. If you’re a college-bound teen, volunteering your time is a great way to stand out to college admissions counselors and show them your quality of character. Read more about why volunteering is a key component in the college admissions process.

The opportunities are endless when it comes to deciding how to spend your summer. No matter how you choose to spend it, the important part is that you have fun and stay safe. Be proactive and make the most of your time this summer.

Alternatives to College: Five Possibilities for Personal Growth and Financial Stability

We’ve been conditioned to think that graduating seniors need to be college bound in order to have a financially secure and successful life. But what if your child wants to learn and grow, just not in college? There are many valid reasons not to attend college, and maybe your child has already presented you with a few. Maybe they just want some time away from the structure and stress of academia, or maybe they have no intention of going, ever. Should you despair and resign yourself to years of floating them money to help them cover their bills?

Maybe not. The below options are less conventional, and may provide students with bigger challenges than they’d face taking the oft-traveled route to college, but each is a viable option for a student who wants to work hard and have a productive, fulfilled life.

1. Get a full-time job. You might be tempted to say, “You’ll never get a good job if you don’t go to college,” in an attempt to sway your child towards college. And while college graduates do typically out earn high school graduates, there are professions which offer good pay with only a high school diploma needed. Some of these fields do require some kind of training, but new entrants can finish and begin earning money relatively quickly. Here’s a list of twenty jobs which require a high school diploma.

If your child elects to go directly into the workforce, it’s important to look at projected job growth for professions of interest. For example, the retail sector is under strain, and while the industry will not disappear, its growth will be flat.

2. Attend a trade school. These institutions offer a range of advantages over four-year colleges, and could provide the best compromise between college and going directly into the workforce. Trade school tuition is a fraction of four-year schools, which means your child will probably be able to finish without the typical load of student loan debt. The salary gap between a trade school graduate and a college graduate is relatively small as well. It’s not uncommon for trade schools to have strong connections with employers, allowing them to offer job placement assistance. Skills learned in trade school also can’t be easily outsourced or automated (not yet, anyway).

According to this article, which features data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are a wide range of fields which demand the skills of trade school graduates. Finally, because trade school programs are more intensive and practical, a student can finish more quickly and begin earning a salary.

3. Do volunteer work. Since most of us are not independently wealthy, this probably seems like an odd suggestion. But if it’s financially feasible, it may provide a range of unexpected benefits. Volunteers learn useful real-world skills and make connections with others.

It’s possible to participate in a program which is considered volunteer, but offers a living allowance. AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), founded in 1965, places volunteers with nonprofit organizations that work to end poverty and improve communities. Anyone over eighteen can apply for this full-time commitment, and those who successfully complete a year can earn an educational grant for higher education or an additional cash stipend.

Catholic Volunteer Network operates an extensive volunteer program, with both domestic and international placements. While most long-term programs require volunteers to be 21, some programs are open to those 18 and up. Catholic Volunteer Network provides basic room and board and a small stipend, and does not require volunteers to be Catholic, though the work is entirely faith-based.

4. Start a business. If this seems way too ambitious for a recent high school graduate, it’s not. Entrepreneurship is a viable option for anyone who’s ambitious and wants to make a mark on the business world as soon as possible, and they don’t have to found a multi-national conglomerate to do it. Thanks to technology, it’s possible to launch a business with only a little money. Etsy, eBay, and Shopify are just a few of the sites which have eased the process of starting an online business. Anyone can buy a web domain, install WordPress, and have a basic site up and running quickly, especially today’s tech-savvy teens. SCORE, a nonprofit with 300 local chapters, offers a wealth of free advice, templates, guides, and other resources to small business creators.

If you’re still (understandably) skeptical, reading these bios of successful young entrepreneurs might help you see what’s possible with hard work and ingenuity.

5. Enlist in the armed forces. Joining the military and serving our country is a noble decision. It provides an opportunity to do something important, while skills which can be used upon re-entry to the civilian world. Service to the nation is something we all take pride in, but there are additional advantages to military service. Food and housing allowances, medical care, salary, and vacation leave are the primary benefits. Members who elect to stay in for the long term can look forward to retirement benefits, including pensions.

Like the aforementioned volunteer organizations, the U.S. military also helps address how to pay for college by offering multiple options to support members in their academic pursuits. Overall, the U.S. military is a great place with potential for a long and distinguished career.

Finally

Every option facing a graduating senior has pros and cons. If you’re a parent, the idea of your child putting off or forgoing college altogether may cause a significant amount of stress. It takes a shift in thinking to realize that all students don’t need to go to college, but they all definitely need to have a plan.

College will always be available as an option, so if your child elects to forgo higher education in favor of something else worthy, they can reverse course easily should they change their mind. It’s even possible to find a college with flexible start dates, so that they don’t have to wait for September or January should their plans not go as hoped.

Young adulthood is a great life stage to test unconventional ideas, as many of them don’t have to fixate on paying a mortgage and raising a family, making it easy to try opening a different door to professional success if needed. College admissions officers appreciate a well-rounded student profile, and trying any of the above can create or enhance one.

Fun Facts About Top 10 U.S. Colleges

Choosing the right college is one of the most important and hardest decisions to make for most college-bound high school students. Here are the top 10 colleges in the U.S. and some fun facts that you may not know about.

1) Princeton University (NJ)

princeton-97827_1280Most Popular Major: Economics

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $66,700

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at Princeton are $47,140, but 60% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $47,497.

Sports Team: Princeton has one of the largest athletic programs in the NCAA Division, with 37 varsity men’s and women’s teams. The college mascot is the tiger, and 18 percent of undergraduates participate in varsity sports.

Fun Fact: In 1969, Princeton alum Charles Conrad became the third person to walk on the moon and planted a Princeton flag there.

2) Harvard University (MA)

harvard-205539_1280.jpg

Most Popular Major: Economics

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $63,100

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at Harvard are $48,949, but 55% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $50,562.

Sports Team: The Harvard Crimson are the athletic teams of Harvard University. There are 42 varsity sports teams for women and men at Harvard, and all are part of NCAA Division I.

Fun Fact: Harvard was founded in 1636, which is before Calculus was invented.

3) University of Chicago (IL)

university_of_chicago_main_quadrangles.jpg

Most Popular Major: Economics

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $54,400

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at UChicago are $54,825, but 43% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $43,792.

Sports Team: UChicago sponsors 20 varsity sports that have competed in NCAA Division III since it was established in 1973. Maroon and Maroons are the University of Chicago’s official color and nicknames, while a school mascot is the Phoenix.

Fun Fact: The first atomic fission occurred on UChicago‘s campus.

4) Yale University (CT)

Sterling_Law_Building,_Yale.jpgMost Popular Major: Political Science

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $60,200

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at Yale are $51,400, but 50% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $50,565.

Sports Team: Yale Bulldogs are the athletic teams of Yale University and part of NCAA I. There are 35 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and over 40 club sports.

Fun Fact: Yale gets its name from Elihu Yale, the governor of the East India Company. This is the same company that is tied to the Tea Act, which led to the Boston Tea Party.

5) Columbia University (NY)

columbia-university-1017925_960_720-e1513794912408.jpgMost Popular Major: Political Science & Economics

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $62,200

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at Columbia are $62,200, but 49% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $50,744.

Sports Team: Columbia offers 31 NCAA Division I varsity sports, and over 45 club and over 40 intramural sports. It has won 15 Ivy League Championships since 2007. Many Olympians are also alumni of Columbia University.

Fun Fact: Columbia’s Lion mascot inspired the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Lion. The creator of the logo, Howard Dietz, was an alumnus of Columbia.

6) Stanford University (CA)

Stanford_University_from_Hoover_Tower_May_2011_001.jpgMost Popular Major: Computer Science

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $70,300

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at Stanford are $49,617, but 47% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $48,100.

Sports Team: Stanford has the most successful program in NCAA Division I, with 36 varsity sports and 32 club sport. Stanford also offers about 300 athletic scholarships each year.

Fun Fact: Want to be a future Olympian? Well, Stanford might be the place for you. At least one Stanford student has won a medal in the Olympics every year since 1908.

7) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)

mit_building_10_and_the_great_dome_cambridge_ma-e1513795152748.jpgMost Popular Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $76,900

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at MIT are $49,892, but 60% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $45,147.

Sports Team: MIT’s sports teams—the Engineers—compete in NCAA Division III. There are 33 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams. Almost 20% of undergraduates join a team at MIT.

Fun Fact: The first architecture program in the U.S. was started at MIT.

8) Duke University (NC)

BostockLibraryMost Popular Major: Biology/Biological Sciences

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $62,700

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at Duke are $53,744, but 43% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $47,133.

Sports Team: Duke Blue Devils have 26 varsity teams, and is part of NCAA Division I.

Fun Fact: Duke’s iconic chapel is a wedding venue for many couples who met at Duke. Due to the popularity, weddings need to be booked one year in advance of the wedding month.

9) University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Huntsman_Hall_at_the_University_of_Pennsylvania.jpgMost Popular Major: Finance

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $65,000

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at UPenn are $53,534, but 48% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $43,899.

Sports Team: The Penn Quakers have more than 25 NCAA Division I sports. It is well known for its basketball and lacrosse teams.

Fun Fact: ENIAC—the earliest electronic general-purpose computer—was made in 1946 at the UPenn’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

10) Johns Hopkins University (MD)

johns-hopkins-university-1590925_960_720.jpgMost Popular Major: Public Health

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $61,600

Cost & Financial Aid: Tuition and fees at Johns Hopkins are $52,170, but 48% of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Average need-based grants are $38,238.

Sports Team: Johns Hopkins Blue Jays are affiliated with NCAA Division III, and NCAA Division I. Its has 24 varsity sports teams. It’s men’s lacrosse team is one of the best athletics programs in all of the college sports.

Fun Fact: Johns Hopkins is the first research university in the U.S.

Q&A: How Students Benefit from Their Parents’ Involvement

We spoke with Kristin Sherlock, a dedicated teacher at the Academy of American Studies who teaches algebra and geometry to 9th and 10th graders, to discuss parents’ role in their children’s learning and development, as well as their relationship with school.

Q: Experts agree that parents’ involvement positively impacts their children’s learning and development. From your experience, how can a high school student benefit from their parents’ engagement?

A: There are so many different ways that a parent’s involvement can help their student. First of all, it’s just been my experience that whenever a parent shows a genuine interest in the student’s involvement—whether it’s academics, sports or you would hope both—the kids just drive to do better. When I was a student athlete, my parents cared about my grades. I didn’t want to get a phone call home for anything bad. I always wanted to get the awards on the sports team. So it wasn’t even a show off for myself at that age but it was really a show off for my parents.

When a student is also held accountable to their parents, I think scores are just that much higher. For instance, we have an online grade book at my school, and I know Mike (Kristin’s husband who’s an Assistant Principal at an elementary school) has the same experience. Parents and students both have different portals of access. The second a grade is updated, whether it’s good or bad or even indifferent if a child’s score isn’t changed, I’d hear from the parents via email or phone, “oh I was wondering why he didn’t do his homework”,  “can he make the homework up”, or “are you going to offer extra credit since his test score wasn’t as high”. It also gives parents the ability on the grade book to interact with teachers because they can email us straight from the grade book.

Again, I think it goes back to the accountable piece. I think if students are accountable not just to themselves but to somebody else like their parents—especially in high school—their achievement is going to be so much higher. Teachers have very high expectations. But if a student is surrounded by chaos in their life and they don’t have an adult figure in their life, I think it’s too much actually of us to ask him to just focus on school, when they can’t even sort out XY and Z at home.

Q: How should parents support their children on their education path while still allowing their child to remain fully accountable?

A: I think it’s really important that kids never get the “get out of jail free” card from their parents, like an excuse note that says “please excuse them from the test because they are not feeling good.” I mean that’s not life. Anytime that they’re given a “get out of jail free” card, and they don’t have to face a life situation of being held accountable, you’re not setting them up for being successful. Being a parent, I realize that. Being a teacher, I see that unfortunately happen. Sometimes there are ways that you can go back and explain to the parents. And most of the time, parents are pretty understanding. As soon as they see a zero for their child’s grade, they want to know why it’s there. Well, you wrote the note and said that they weren’t going to take the test today. They didn’t get what they needed to get done. And all of the sudden, their grade is failing now. So they ask what can we do to make this grade go higher. You always have to, even as the parent, the teacher, put it back on the kids. You can give them options and opportunities, but if they don’t follow through, they don’t get that extra reward and they don’t get the grade they wanted. Mike, would you agree with that? Anything you can think of to add to that?

[Mike:] The school that I’m working at has the gifted and talented, or the better students for the lack of a better word. The parent’s—if their kids are not getting the grade they want to see—first instinct is to question the school, the grading policy, the teachers themselves and so on. If a kid is maybe not doing as well as you would like, instead of just going immediately blame the school or the teacher, which is very very common now, ask what did you do. Did you speak to the teacher? Did you seek out some extra assistance? Or basically—it’s how the real world works—try to equip the student with the ability to overcome the challenges and have the success that they want.

[Kristin] Another thing to add on to what you just said is the fact that it’s a very weird position to be put in. As a teacher, when a parent asks you a question in front of the student about why something is, our first instinct as teachers is to look back at the student and say, “do you want to answer that or would you like me to?” We need to put it back on the kids because we know why that grade is the way it is. I guess we try to make sure it’s the student’s job to be accountable and to have their own voice.

Q: Should parents allow their children to make mistakes for instance when choosing a college or a career?

A: Should the parents be able to tell somebody where to go to college? I don’t know if I believe in that. I always get excited when my students say that they’re taking a weekend to go away with their family because they’re going to go visit a college. That’s always exciting to me because that student has a voice and option. If a student is making the decision to apply to and go to college and following through, then it’s OK if the student makes a mistake in a sense of maybe choosing the wrong environment, as long as college is not taken off the table.

We have had students in the past whose parents have said to them, “if you don’t go here, I’m not paying for this school”. Sometimes because of that threat the students would go to that school that’s not their first choice. The parents might not see it on their end, but as the teachers, you see these kids get so nervous when their acceptance letters and sometimes the denial letters start coming in mail. If they don’t get into the school they wanted to, and they’re forced to go to the one that mom or dad wanted them to go to, that’s not always the best situation. Yes, it’s great that they’re going to go to school and it’s great that college opportunities exist and it’s there for them. But ultimately, I think they need to be given the right tools to make those decisions themselves. We still have a lot of parents who have never been to college. In their head, sometimes it seems more glamorous. I think sometimes they’re afraid of the kids making the same mistakes they made. So mistakes are fine if they are learned from. But I don’t know if I think a mistake would be going to the wrong school, if it was the child figuring that out for themselves.

Q: What do schools expect from parents? How does this change when children go to college?

A: I think you’d get a different answer from what schools expect from parents if you asked a teacher versus if you asked an administrator. I think they’d kind of blend and go together. I think schools expect parents to be involved and there’s nothing more uncomfortable then when you make a phone call home and the parents say, “well, what do you want me to do about that” or “yes, you know so-and-so is out of control, I can’t really reign them back in.” That’s very unfortunate call to make because the parent doesn’t give you insight. It would be possible to loop their child back into being interested in your class. But you as a teacher know that the parent isn’t supportive and have to find a different way in to get to the kids.

So I think ultimately, as a teacher, you want parents to be engaged, and you want them to ask questions. My classroom door is always open for instance. So if parents ever want to come in and interact with their kids during the school day, they are more than welcome to. I want them to go see their kids play sports. I want them to ask their kids questions. I want them to check up and make sure they’re doing their homework. I want them to look at the grade book and ask their children questions.  If they don’t get the answers they want, I want them to feel comfortable to come to me as their teacher and say: “I asked my child this question, this is the answer they gave me. I need more details about it.” I want to have an ongoing dialogue. I want them to be open and affirming to who their kids are and accepting of what they’re doing, even when it’s difficult. I don’t want them to ever lower their expectations because I as their teacher will never do that. So if they’re at home and their expectations are continually lowered, it’s going to be a battle that I’m going to continuously fight. I want them to always be engaged in every aspect of their child’s life. And I’d want them to ask questions when the questions are most difficult to ask.

Q: What is your advice as regards parents interacting with school? When should parents get involved and when should they not? What are the best ways of their involvement?

A: I think if a parent is truly going to be in support of their child, they’re paying attention to every aspect of their academic life. I don’t think you just get involved when it’s a bad situation. I think you have to applaud the successes as well. Involvement doesn’t mean you’re hands-free until it’s a do or die time and your child is sinking.

I don’t know if there’s a time I would ever say a parent shouldn’t be involved. Schools should have an open door policy to parents. I think parents need to ask their children questions. I think they need to ask the school questions. I think PTAs or PTOs, are great places for parents to be involved. Unfortunately, those have also become very political at many schools. So it’s not always as easy to be involved in those. I’m having a very difficult time being involved in my daughters PTA or PTO because of when they hold meetings and the things that they’re doing. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible and that I’ll stop trying. If there’s an invitation to an open school night, every parent should make themselves available to go. If you can’t, send them an email so that you’re corresponding with your child’s teachers.

Make sure you know the principal and the assistant principal by name because you’re modeling that for your child as well. So the more comfortable as a parent you are at your child’s school, you’re just setting your child up for more success. Definitely don’t get involved if you’re going to have a combative relationship. You don’t want your child to be in an environment where they’re always fighting against their teachers, their peers or the administration. But I think if you can foster healthy relationships, that’s just another relationship, another model to set for your kids that will pay off in spades.

When they get to college, they’ll see the way that they have been able to interact with their teachers in high school and they can take that responsibility and set appointments with office hours with their college instructors. That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do in my English lit class from my freshman year of college. But I knew what was expected of me because I knew that failure wasn’t an option for me. But I knew that because those were the expectations communicated to me all the way through school. So if I was going to get a not-good grade, I needed to make sure I could explain why in high school and in college. So I made those office hour appointments and I guess I still felt accountable to my parents as well when I was in college. I was doing that for myself but also for my family.

Q: What are the most common pitfalls of parent involvement? What are the watch-outs?

A: As a teacher, I would say one of the most common pitfalls is a parent who’s not actively involved in their student’s life. One of the saddest and most difficult things is to try to work with kids in high school, whose parents are not involved in their life. They are either too busy or they have things going on and they’re not willing to come in for a meeting with you.

We as teachers, my husband and I, when we worked with a team of people, have sat in meetings with the children whose parents don’t show up. That’s a very hard situation and that’s when you become not so much a teacher anymore, but more like a parent figure to that child because you’re consoling them and you’re helping them understand. Often times they get angry or they get sad and you become that person they come to.

Another pitfall? Probably when parents are too involved. It goes back to the part of parents not holding their children accountable. Parents holding the teachers first accountable as opposed to asking their kids “what should you have done?”. By all means ask the teacher too if they don’t get an acceptable answer. If you are even the least bit organized of an educator, when a parent asks a question about their child, you’re going to be able to give them an answer. Maybe it’s not what they want to hear, but often times they could’ve already gotten an answer from their child. So I think those are that the unfortunate ways I could say that parents can be involved or not involved in the right ways.

Q: What is your advice for parents who don’t have college education with regard to supporting their children on their way to college?

A: Like I mentioned earlier, we’re still teaching a large group of children whose parents have never been to college, and some have never even graduated high school. As the kids matriculated credits and passed regents exams and got closer to graduation of high school, college became more of a reality for their parents. And the genuine excitement that they had, the involvement and the weekend trips visit schools paid off because we had so many of the kids go to college.

We had a student whose parents immigrated to the United States. His brother before him had gone to college and he was going to be the second person in this family to graduate high school and then go to college. His parents worked so hard so that he’d be able to go to a private school in Massachusetts. One of the things that I remember, that really got Frankie so excited about the whole process was it wasn’t just a school thing for him. His parents asked questions and his parents filled out the paperwork. His parents met the deadlines that needed to be met. His parents were interested in all of the FAFSA information. They came to all the college meetings with the students at the school. And that’s another thing that schools can do. Schools can hold college meetings. The more information that you can put in a child and a parent’s fingertips, the more exciting the process is.

You know, prior to myKlovr, you really only had collegeboard.org to go on and research colleges. It would kind of tell you from PSAT scores, and what colleges they think you might do well at. It’s not that it wasn’t personalized, but it wasn’t personalized enough. Anytime that you can personalize something for children, even when they’re still in high school and make it feel like a genuine, true, new, exciting experience, it’s just an amazing. All of the kids at my school are going to have all of their college applications in around December 1st of this year. That’s a week from Friday. And some of them are applying for rolling admissions and they might find out around Christmas or New Year if they get into some of the schools. And then some of them won’t get the letters they’ve been waiting for until maybe March.

But what an exciting time and I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through that process alone without your parents by your side. There are kids that go through that regularly, without their parents support. I just remember watching the kid in the Bronx whose parents would get more excited on every little level. When they get their financial letters, or their SAT scores, even for the third time in the mail, they celebrated it. Celebrations go far, college is something to be celebrated.

You can’t do much in life without a college degree anymore. You can’t even get a job at McDonald’s that’s worthwhile if you don’t have your high school diploma now. I think we as parents and as educators always want our kids and our students to do better than we did. I think of that when I look at my math classes everyday. I’m trying to give these kids knowledge that they can take and apply in a real world. Some of the knowledge that I have to be in part on them is not applicable. Some of them will never use it again except to take and pass a test at the end of the year. But my job is to make it exciting and get them engaged, even if it is something as trivial as a translation. They have to be able to just take an object and move it. But if I seem excited about it, about math, and it works with the kids. If a parent got excited about their school, and if a parent got excited about the college application process, and even got excited about taking them to school, imagine the future that they’ll have.

You know, I look at my girls and I think about it all the time. The hardest thing ever will be dropping them off to college. The best thing ever will be dropping them off to college.

A Parent’s Guide to College Planning in 7 Steps

As a parent, your time is limited and the task of planning for college with your child can become daunting. You want the best for your child; however, private college consulting services cost a minimum of $5,000 and public school counselors are often overwhelmed with advisees. At MyKlovr, we offer you a cost-effective, virtual counselor program to help you and your child get into the best colleges.

Here are 7 highly effective tips to help you navigate the college admissions process and improve your child’s chances of getting into the college of their dreams.

1. Choosing the Best Colleges

While the first decision for many is based on a college’s rank and prestige, this is rarely the best approach. Even if your child attends the top-ranked college in the nation, if he or she is miserable at the school their educational experience will be less than ideal.

Instead, start to narrow the field by having a conversation with your child using these questions:

  • Are you attracted to a large student body or do you prefer a smaller academic environment?
  • Where are you happiest? In a bustling city setting or do you prefer a more rural setting?
  • Are you willing to move far away from home or would you prefer to be close? (If saving money on room and board by having your child live at home is ideal, talk about schools within a reasonable traveling distance).
  • Do you have a good idea of what you want to study in college? (If the answer is yes, then focus on schools that offer the best programs in that area. If the answer is no, focus on more well-rounded schools to allow your child to find their chosen path).

In general, you should aim to create a list of 6-8 schools (2-3 difficult colleges, 2-3 target schools, and about 2 safety schools).

2. Visit Your Chosen Schools

If possible, plan a trip to as many schools on your list as possible. There is no better way to see whether a school is a good fit for your child than walking the campus, having dinner in the surrounding area, and getting an overall sense of the vibe of the school.

Insider Tip: Many schools allow prospective students to sit in on a class or two. This can be a great way to get a feel for a school and the experience will motivate your child to take the college admission process seriously.

3. Keep a Written Record

Once you have a list of schools, make a list of all the requirements for each college. This may seem like a lot of tedious work, but it will save you time, aggravation, and frustration down the road. All colleges have a list of required materials on their website, make sure you and your child work together to write a detailed list of what each school requires and don’t forget to write down the deadlines for applications and supporting materials.

This list will save you more than time. It will serve as a great reminder to motivate you and your child to meet the college deadlines together.

4. Request Recommendations Early

Almost all colleges require recommendations and well-written recommendations will increase the chances of getting into the best colleges. But keep this one thing in mind, the people you ask for recommendations are busy and you are asking them for a favor.

In all your communications, be polite, friendly, and helpful. Clearly, list out in an email what is required of the recommender. Do not make teachers and professional references go to the website to find out for themselves. If the recommendation must be mailed, provide each reference with a stamped envelope with the address filled out in advance.

Don’t be too pushy, but after a reasonable amount of time, there is nothing wrong with a gentle and friendly reminder if the recommendation still hasn’t been completed.

5. Request Supporting Material Early

It might sound simple, but having transcripts and SAT and ACT scores sent to colleges takes time. So give yourself some breathing room and make sure the supporting materials get in earlier rather than later. For example, SAT scores typically take about 2 weeks to send.

Insider Tip: The first step of the college admission process is simply collecting all the required material. Meaning regardless of the brilliance of your child’s application, missing components will hold up the whole process or, worse, result in missing an opportunity to apply to your chosen colleges.

 6. Nail the College Admission Essays

College admissions selection committees often read through hundreds of applications. One way to have your child stand out is by writing a top-notch college admission essay to showcase their personality.

But start the process early. Most writers, no matter how talented, write terrible first drafts. For this reason, the revision process is the key to a solid and outstanding college essay. If possible, plan to have your child write a first draft, a revision, and then the final draft.

A Few Insider Tips:

Because college selection committees read hundreds of essays, make sure your child’s unique voice and experiences stand out from the pack. For example, instead of vague statements such as “I’m an adventurous person,” encourage your child to be more specific and use real-life experiences. Such as: “In 2016, I decided to hike the Appalachian Trail to build confidence and push myself beyond my limits.”

A Few Other Tips: 

  • Double and triple check all grammar and spelling.
  • Have your child read the essay out loud (yes, this really does improve writing).
  • Ask friends, family, and peers to read the essay if possible.
  • Watch the word count, all colleges have length limits, make sure to follow them.
  • Provide plenty of encouragement, most of us hate writing about ourselves.

7. Celebrate

After you complete the college admissions process, celebrate with your child. Visit a favorite restaurant, participate in a shared activity, or anything you both enjoy. You earned it!

We hope these 7 steps make the process of applying to college a little easier. If you need more help, be sure to visit MyKlovr, a virtual counselor platform providing high school college-bound students with personalized recommendations of goals, milestones, and resources to increase their chances of getting into the college of their dreams.

We wish you the best of luck!

Starting the School Year on the Right Foot

Labor Day is many things to many people. For adults, Labor Day is a well-deserved day of rest, a chance for one last summer barbecue or swim in the pool. But for college-bound high school students, Labor Day is often a day of uncertainty. How hard will my classes be this year? Will I have enough time for my favorite extra-curricular activities? How do I prepare for the SAT or ACT? What are my chances of getting into college? These are just a few of the questions that can make Labor Day a stressful day.

In this article we’ll explore how students like you can start their year with a strong work ethic that will conquer the back to school jitters and impress college application counselors. So if you’re ready, let’s use Labor Day to make this school year a successful one.

The Back-to-School Jitters 

For many high school students, the beginning of the school year can cause the back to school jitters. This is especially true for students enrolled in honors and/or AP courses. By Labor Day, you might already feel overwhelmed by homework, projects, and upcoming tests. Even AP exams, still months away, seem like an impossible mountain to climb.

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The best way to beat the back to school jitters is to face them head on. If the future workload feels overwhelming, use Labor Day to create a plan of action. How will you organize your time? Which class’ homework/projects are best done first rather than last? Though the plan you create now will require editing as the year progresses, you will surely feel more confident about facing academic challenges in the year ahead.

Work Ethic

I’m certain that at least one teacher has told you that a strong work ethic is necessary for college application success. First of all, he or she was absolutely correct. But what does a strong work ethic look like? Is it the same for everyone? Let’s find out.

A strong work ethic boils down to one word: consistency. A student will continue to perform well even when the pressure is on. However, ‘well’ is different for every student. A student struggling to earn Cs can have just as strong of a work ethic as a student making straight As.

You might think that a strong work ethic means giving your 100% throughout the year. Though a lofty goal, that’s impossible, and will lead to burnout and frustration. Instead, promise to give 95% of everything you’ve got 95% of the time. And when you fail, pick yourself up and keep going. That alone is the sign of a strong work ethic that the best colleges want to see in their applicants.

Demonstrating Work Ethic on College Applications

If you’re a high school upperclassman, the beginning of the school year brings thoughts of what’s next. If college is on your radar, it’s essential that your work ethic shines on your college applications.

Again, consistency is key when it comes to grades. If you struggled as an underclassman, demonstrating steady improvement throughout high school is another excellent sign that you applied a strong work ethic. Everyone, especially college admissions counselors, loves an underdog story.

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Grades alone can’t give potential colleges a complete picture of your work ethic. Your college application essays are just as important a piece of admissions success. For example, many students who struggle academically do so because of outside factors such as poor home life, poverty, or a past traumatic event. Using your personal essay to discuss these experiences, and how you worked to overcome them, is a powerful statement about work ethic that no high school transcript can convey.

Final Thoughts

Labor Day is just that, a day. Even if you spend dawn to dusk applying the advice in this article, the process will continue long after you return to school on Tuesday. Every day will bring new and unexpected challenges, but you will be ready to meet them.

So yes, definitely take some time this Labor Day to prepare for the future. You’ll feel better, and be ready to enjoy that final summer swim or burger.

Transitioning from High School to College: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

When it comes to their college-bound high school students, the primary focus for parents and teachers is academics. A rigorous curriculum, good grades, and high SAT scores are crucial for college admissions success. Yet lost in this quest for top marks is attention paid to the non-academic challenges faced by teenagers transitioning between high school and college.

44191692 - views of historic brooklyn bridge in new york city.In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common non-academic challenges that teenagers experience during the transition to college. Then we’ll dive into what parents and teachers can do to help during this complicated and often frustrating time.

The Challenges

Every student’s non-academic challenges are unique, yet there are a few common threads that tie together the vast majority of college-bound high school students:

  • Living away from loved ones and old friends
  • Different expectations from teachers/professors
  • No oversight/support from a parental figure
  • Exposure to new beliefs and ideas
  • Taking personal responsibility for one’s actions

For some students, these challenges result in negative consequences. For example, a student who grows up in an authoritarian home may abuse the freedom college life provides. He or she may take up negative habits and neglect schoolwork, a combination that often leads to dropping out.

The goal of supporting students throughout the transition is to make sure that they meet challenges like these in a constructive and successful way.

What Parents Can Do

Parents, even those who did not attend college, can help prepare their children for this important transition. In this section, we’ll explore what parents can do throughout their child’s time in high school.

Freshman Year

The experience of transitioning from middle school to high school mirrors the transition between high school and college. The new school is much bigger. Classes are more challenging. Finally, there are many new faces. Take advantage of this opportunity to teach your child many important life skills.

  • Help your child with curriculum mapping. When choosing freshman-year courses, be your child’s advisor, but not their boss. For example, discuss their grades from 8th grade as you both study the list of possible freshman year courses.
  • Promote your child’s extracurricular interests. High school is a time of experimentation. Your child may like one activity freshman year but loathe it the next. Make sure he or she knows evolving preferences are fine.
  • Encourage your child to expand his or her circle of friends. The beginning of high school, like the beginning of college, is a time when your child will meet new people. Give him or her a gentle nudge to start new friendships.

Sophomore Year

Sophomore year is the perfect time to begin promoting autonomy and personal accountability in your child:

  • Promote leadership roles. During the school year, your child may want to try a leadership role within an extracurricular activity. While leadership roles always look good on college application, they also teach students much about responsibility to something greater than themselves.
  • Encourage your child to have a summer job between sophomore and junior year. Not only will he or she learn many valuable life skills, but the job can also act as a source of money to help pay for college.

Junior Year

For many high school students and their families, junior year is the beginning of the college search. With many college fairs, tours, and letters of interest, it is easy for your child to feel overwhelmed.

  • Discuss finances with your child. Many families struggle with how to pay for college. The worst thing you can do is not be honest about what your family contribute to your child’s college education. Have this discussion early on so that your child can start researching scholarship, grant, and/or loan opportunities.
  • Use breaks from school for college tours. College tours can act as a good bonding experience between parents and their college-bound children. In addition, you will have the opportunity to ask questions that your child may not have considered.
  • Have your child go on an overnight college tour. Staying in a dorm and shadowing a college student can open your child’s eyes to whether a particular college is a good fit.
  • Keep at that summer job. Another summer job between junior and senior year will further hone your child’s life skills and add to the college fund.

Senior Year

Senior year is a hectic time for students and their families. Even if your child gets into his or her top choice college, there is still much to do.

  • Invest in organization tools. Whether an app for your child’s smartphone or a paper calendar, assist your child in keeping track of the many important deadlines in the fall semester.
  • Anticipate rejection. Though some students get into their top-choice college, just as many do not. As a result, a rejection letter can cause genuine heartbreak. If this should happen to your child, be there for emotional support.
  • After high school graduation, help your child create a ‘college readiness’ checklist. This list includes trips to pick up essential supplies and completing last minute necessities such as vaccines. Though there is much to do, organizing everything should help your child feel less stress as college move-in day approaches.

 

Copy of dreamschooldoorWhat Teachers Can Do

It is the first responsibility of every high school teacher to help students succeed academically. Despite these good intentions, many teachers forget that their students require help transitioning between high school and college. Below are some simple strategies that all high school teachers can employ.

Teachers of Underclassmen

  • Use teaching strategies that promote autonomy and personal responsibility. From checklists to personal reflections, there are many ways teachers can instill these two skills that every student (on the college path or not) will need later in life. For example, flipped classrooms closely mirror the format of many college courses. Take the first quarter to introduce the concept so that your students can adapt. Applying it for the rest of the year, the majority your students will gain the skills necessary to become autonomous learners throughout high school and college.

Teachers of Upperclassmen

  • Teach students how to share their ideas in an open setting. Through Socratic seminars, you can encourage reserved or shy students to share their ideas, something their college professors will ask them to do in seminar courses.
  • Have your grading system reflect what students will experience in college. In college, a student’s grade in a course comes down to a handful of high-stakes tests and/or papers. Employ a similar strategy in your classroom, giving your summative assessments the greatest (e.g. 85-90%) weight of all graded items. Students will still have some wiggle room when it comes to their grades, but you will be giving them a preview to what their college professors will expect. Note: Be sure to gain approval from your principal before changing your grading system.

Final Thoughts

For parents and teachers, the prospect of transitioning to college might seem somewhat difficult. But for teenagers, with their limited life experience, transitioning to college might seem like climbing Mt. Everest. That’s why it is important for parents and teachers to become college transition sherpas. Show your child or student the way, and he or she will surely succeed.

Get Ready to Support Students on Their Way to College

College-bound high school juniors and seniors often require help navigating the college application process. Unfortunately, their counselors are overburdened, and many of their parents do not have the necessary skills or knowledge to help. Facing these obstacles, students with college aspirations often turn to their teachers.This article explores how you, as a teacher of high school upperclassmen, can help your students succeed in the areas of college exploration, standardized tests, college application essays, and basic organizational skills.

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Supporting Juniors

Junior year is the start of the college application journey. Though some students begin much earlier, those without parental support might never have seriously considered attending college before becoming high school upperclassmen. This moment is a key opportunity for you to help your students.

 

College Exploration

With over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, many juniors feel overwhelmed the moment they begin their search, and with good reason. Finding the right college is a complicated process. You have the ability to help students start their search on the right foot.

  • Introduce your students to college guides. All states’ English III standards require students to analyze complex informational texts. College guides are a perfect fit for lessons covering these standards.
  • Have your classes take a career interest test. These tests reveal students’ interests, and make suggestions for their next steps after high school. Using the results, students can significantly narrow down their college search. 4,000+ colleges suddenly turn into a manageable few.
  • Promote community colleges alongside the best universities. Many students do not have the financial resources to attend most colleges. By promoting local community colleges, you keep the college door open for everyone.

Improving Standardized Test Scores

For decades, standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT have been a fixture of the high school experience. With the best colleges and universities becoming fiercely selective in recent decades, your students are under tremendous stress to perform.

  • English III and Math teachers are crucial to test day success. English III teachers can do much to help their students improve their SAT scores (or ACT scores). By using the fall semester to stress many of the language mechanics topics tested on the SAT/ACT, teachers can prepare their students for test day. Math teachers have a greater opportunity to help increase their students’ test scores, as they can directly incorporate SAT/ACT math questions into lessons.
  • Assist students with test-taking skills. Performing well on any standardized test has two components. The first is content knowledge. The second is test-taking skills. No matter what subject you teach, you can incorporate skill-building activities (e.g. time management) into your lessons.
  • Stress the availability of guaranteed scholarships. Many states have guaranteed college scholarships for students who perform well on standardized tests. Students who know about these opportunities often have a greater desire to perform well on test day.

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Supporting Seniors

The fall semester of senior year is a hectic time for students, many of whom find it difficult to juggle maintaining their grades and applying to college. There are two areas where you can make a positive impact.

 

Crafting College Essays

The essay is a large part of the college application package, and many students need help finding their voice. No matter the subjects you teach, you can provide students an invaluable service.

  • Offer to help, but set limits. At the beginning of the year, inform your students that you are happy to help them with their essays. One way to do this is to set up ‘office hours’ before or after school just for this purpose. In addition, be frank with them about what you are willing to do: brainstorming sessions, minor editing, feedback, etc. Finally, make sure to set limits. At the end of the day it is their responsibility to make their essays the best they can be.

 

Staying Organized

Playing on their phones all day, your students may think that they can easily navigate the online college admissions process. However, even the most tech-savvy students may lack the strong organizational skills needed to keep up with college application materials and deadlines.

  • Require organization in your classes. Many high school students, even seniors, lack basic organizational skills. By teaching and requiring the use of these skills in the classroom, you give your students the tools to stay organized as they apply to college.
  • Introduce your students to organizational apps. Through using one or more organizational apps (e.g. Google Calendar, Dropbox, 24me) as part of your class, you provide your students another resource during this important time.

Final Thoughts

You play a critical role in your students’ college application success. If you and your peers apply the advice laid out in this article, your efforts will have a lasting impact on students’ lives.

 


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How Big Data Can Help Education

We are all born differently; different ways of thinking, different ways of observing, and different ways in which we learn about the world around us.

According to several studies, there are actually eight different ways in which people typically learn. There are linguistic learners who excel through reading, writing, listening or speaking; rhythmic learners who excel through music, melody or rhythm; kinesthetic learners who excel by actually doing what they are being taught; spatial learners who excel through visual aids; mathematical learners who excel by classifying, organizing and using numbers; interpersonal learners who excel by working with other people; and intrapersonal learners who excel when they work alone.

Beyond these differences in learning, our students face a number of other differences in and out of the classroom. Different family circumstances, different extracurriculars, different strategies for coping with stress and life in general. I think you get the point that the list of differences is endless.

So why is it then that when it comes to teaching, we standardize our education?

We sit students down in a classroom, organize them in neat rows ordered with the same desks, chairs and materials, and lecture them with the same type of information regardless of how they excel.

In some ways, the reason for standardization in education is pretty obvious actually. For one, the average student to teacher ratio in the United States is 16 to 1. In other words, for every teacher in a classroom there are 16 different individuals trying to learn. It’s not possible for every teacher to tailor their lessons specifically to every type of student they have; that just wouldn’t make any sense.

Another reason? The education system in the United States has been virtually the same since 1893 when the National Education Association appointed The Committee of Ten to standardize public education in order to prepare students for college. The curriculum hasn’t been changed much since then.

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So what’s the solution here? Hire more teachers? Reduce classroom size? Write individual lesson plans for each and every type of student?

No, no, and definitely no.

We believe the answer lies in personalized learning through technology. We are entering a new day in age where the feats of the tech world are incredible – Big data has become a very hot topic within tech, and more companies across the world are beginning to use it to get insight on a number of different key sectors ranging from financial trade to meteorology to public health. But what about education?

Believe it or not, I am not the first person to come up with the idea of using big data to improve our education system. In fact, it’s already been done – Many times.

In an article published by the Washington Post, Pasi Sahlberg, one of the world’s leading experts on school reform and educational practices, states, “One thing that distinguishes schools in the United States from schools around the world is how data walls, which typically reflect standardized test results, decorate hallways and teacher lounges.  Green, yellow, and red colors indicate levels of performance of students and classrooms. For serious reformers, this is the type of transparency that reveals more data about schools and is seen as part of the solution to how to conduct effective school improvement.”

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The United States has become obsessed with the wrong type of big data in education. Rather than focusing on data that tells us more about our students, we’ve been focusing on data that only tells us about our students’ performance on standardized testing. Sahlberg continues, “These data sets, however, often don’t spark insight about teaching and learning in classrooms; they are based on analytics and statistics, not on emotions and relationships that drive learning in schools.”

The result of focusing on test scores alone? “..there is now more data available than can reasonably be consumed and yet there has been no significant improvement in outcomes.”

The problem isn’t using big data to solve our education woes; the problem is using the wrong type of big data. Instead of focusing on just standardized test scores, we need to use big data to really learn about our students and teachers – Everything from their emotional intelligence to their goals to what they’re currently doing to try and get better results.

Once we can amass this type of data, we can use technology to better tailor learning on an individual level. We can analyze how different students best excel, and then give them better tools, lessons, and guidance to help them succeed both academically and with their goals in general. Integrate this with schools, and you have an education system that can much better meet the needs of every type of student.

If my opinion alone is not enough to convince you that personalized learning through technology and data is worth investing in as a country, maybe Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s’ opinion will be.

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In a recent phone interview with Education Week, Zuckerberg said, “We think that personalized learning makes sense. We want to see as many good versions of this idea as possible get tested in the world.” Last December Zuckerberg announced that him and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, would donate 99% of their Facebook shares (worth around 45 billion dollars) to a number of different causes, “headlined by the development of software ‘that understands how you learn best and where you need to focus.’”

If Zuckerberg and other leaders in education are betting big on personalized learning through technology, maybe it’s time we seriously consider it.

Top 5 Reasons You Struggle to Reach Your Goals

We all have goals in life. Whether it’s your lifelong goal of inventing the next Facebook and becoming as a rich as Mark Zuckerberg, or your short-term goal of losing three pounds before spring break down in Palm Beach, each and every one of us have goals that we want to achieve. Why is it that some people are able to set a goal and tackle it with seemly little effort, while others try again and again only to find themselves right back where they started? We have some answers.

Here are the top 5 reasons YOU struggle to reach your goals:

1.Your Goals are More Vague than this Fortune Cookie

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While you may have an idea of what you want in the end, your goal might just be too vague to accomplish. There’s a big difference between “wanting to lose some weight” and “wanting to lose three pounds in two weeks.” When you don’t get specific with what you’re trying to accomplish, you leave room for your mind to wander and become unfocused. By adding some way of measuring your goal, you can center your aim and make it easier to achieve. Adding in a timeline is also super key. Not only do you want to know your end objective, but you also want to be able to keep track of your progress in order to hold yourself accountable.

2.Your Goals are Bigger than Shaq’s Shoe

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There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. In fact, setting goals that are massive can often lead to success way above and beyond the success you would have had with realistic goals. The old saying, “Shoot for the moon: even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” definitely has some merit to it. With that said, it’s important to divvy up your goals into smaller portions so you can track them and have a better shot at reaching your moon.  Supporting structure and incremental steps are absolutely crucial, because they remind you of the progress you are making. With overarching, massively exciting and ambitious goals, it’s sometimes hard to keep your head on the court, where it needs to be, because progress can seem really slow on a psychological level. You have the end game in mind, but the little steps you’re taking each week don’t register because you’re so focused on how far away the future seems.

3. You’re about as committed as your ex

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Sorry to bring that up, but seriously – often times not reaching your goal has to do with the fact that you weren’t 100% committed to it. You may like the idea and think it would be nice to accomplish, but it’s not a burning desire of yours. That’s not to say, however, that it’s the end of the line for you and your goal. Sometimes it’s just a matter of rewording what you’re undertaking and pivoting, turning it into something that’s more appealing and in line with your values. Effective goals are all about something you truly want to happen! Be real with yourself!

4. You’re Terrified of Falling Flat on Your Face

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No one wants to commit to something, only to fail at it. Fear comes from thinking about all the things that can go wrong, and not focusing on all the things that could go right. Sometimes when we set a goal, we don’t fully indulge ourselves in it, because we are afraid that if we give it our all and fail, it’ll be a disaster for our self-esteem. The truth is that fear can be a good thing. Not only does it force you out of your comfort zone and into an area of growth, but it also means that there’s an opportunity for learning. Rather than fearing possible failure, it’s best to embrace the idea that if you do fail, you’re going to learn how to get back up and try again.

5. You Aren’t Telling Yourself or the World

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Sometimes it’s great to stay quiet about your goals, smash them, and have all your friends look at you like you’re a genius. BUT — Sometimes it’s even better to tell some people who can hold you accountable. Something as simple as telling a few close friends about what you want to accomplish automatically puts social pressure on you to make them happen. Social pressure can be a very powerful thing. Still want to stay quiet about them? That’s okay, but be sure to tell YOURSELF, at the very least. Don’t just think about it in your head; take out a piece of paper and write it down. A study carried out in the Harvard MBA program shows remarkable statistics about what happened to graduate students who wrote down their goals. In a given class, 3% of students wrote down their goals, 13% had goals in mind but didn’t write them down, and 84% had no goals at all. After 10 years when that same group was interviewed again, the 13% who had goals in mind earned on average TWICE the amount the 84% who didn’t have any goals in mind earned. The 3% who wrote them down? On average they earned TEN TIMES as much as the other 97% combined. Taking 5 minutes to write your goals down is well worth the while!

In summary, it’s not that you’re bad at achieving your goals – it’s just that you were approaching it wrong! We hope this was helpful; just remember: you can do it!

6 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Class Participation

It is the first day of class and you saw the class schedules and grading systems of your classes. You see that class participation grade is required for most of your classes. There are a lot of people in your class and you do not know anyone in class, or you only know a few of your classmates. What if you say something wrong or answer something that is not what the professor wants? Don’t worry, I am here to help you gain confident to speak up in class and be happy in class.

Let’s take a look at a few tips for you to overcome the fear of raising your hand and participating in class discussion.

1.Go to class early, make yourself comfortable and make some friends.

This is a great way to make yourself comfortable in the classroom which is going to be helpful when you speak up in class. Since you are breaking the ice and getting to know someone in class, you are likely to be able to raise hand. You will also feel happy in class and will not miss the class because you have someone you can talk to when you come to class. Also, you can ask the person to study together with you for the exam.

2.Pay attention to professor and takes notes on what he is expecting from this class.

This is one of the most important time of the semester. Listen carefully to what the professor wants. Every professor is different in grading and what they look for in a student. Do not use any electronic device in class since it is going to distract the professor from teaching and he or she will remember you as a distraction.

3.If anyone started raising their hands and asking questions, listen to what they asked and if you can, remember their name.

There will always be someone who is extrovert and who wants to ask a lot of questions to the professor. Try to remember that person’s name and listen to what he or she says. You can refer back to him or her while you comment something.

4.Start participate early and constantly.

Either first day or next day, try to raise your hand and ask questions to professor. If you are fear to ask question, give commend or answer the professor’s question. It becomes harder for you to raise your hand if you are waiting for another day and another day. Also, if you start participating during the first week, the professor will notice you more throughout the semester and also you will feel comfortable raising your hand throughout the semester. Otherwise, you might feel award to raise your hand near the end of the semester.

Read:

Should I Major in Digital Marketing | Marketing Students

The Good and the Ugly of ProcrastinationThe Good and the Ugly of Procrastination

5.Talk to professor after class, and visit office hours

Before you know it, it is the end of the semester. So, it is always good to start talking to the professor after class if you have any questions. Also, you should go visit the office hours. It helps tremendously in getting to know the professor and let the professor know about you as well. Some professors not only care about teaching the students but also care about know the student’s background, career goals and life in general. So, do not afraid to share your background, your interest and your goals with the professor. This way, the professor can not only help you by giving advice but also will feel comfortable when you participate in class discussion.

6.Send some news or some interesting articles to professor’s email.

You will stand out from the crowd if you send some emails to professor about some news or something interesting related to the class. By doing so, you are showing your interest in the class but also showing your passion.

Related articles:

The Right School For YouThe Right School For You

5 Ways to Make New Friends in Your College During the First Few Weeks

Time Management: The Pomodoro Technique

How to Optimize Your Linkedin Profile for Job Hunting | Recent Graduate

Linkedin is one of the recruiting platforms that a lot of companies use to recruit candidates and look at their profiles. So, let’s make your profile stand out from the crowd!

1.Your professional headline should include your current position and Industry

Your professional headline is very important because for example, when people search for Data Scientist, you will come up somewhere in the list. If your professional headline is not appropriately edited, or if you did not use the right keyword, Linkedin search algorithm cannot find you.Here is an example:

Your Name: Andrew

Your Professional Headline: Data Scientist | myKlovr

2.Sumary should be short, and should include 3 to 5 strengths

You should introduce yourself well and have an elevated pitch in your summary session. I would say that a lot of people will just scan through your profile. Therefore, you should keep your summary simple yet great. The best way is to write around 3 or 4 sentences.

, first, write about where you are right now. Then include your 3 to 5 strengths with bullet points. Then you can write your contact information such as email or phone number.

3.Write blog posts on Linkedin

This step is not necessary but it helps your profile stand out. You should write a short blog posts. This is a very great way to get more Profile views. You can also practice your writing skills and learn from reading other articles along the way.

4.Add your experiences and descriptions from your resume

Once you have created your resume and wrote your responsibilities to your resume, all you need to do is to paste it on your Linkedin profile. To do so, add one experience at a time along with the start date and end date. After that, copy only the descriptions or duties that you wrote on your resume and paste it in the description box of that experience in your Profile.

5.Write you friend/coworker a recommendation and also ask to write one for you

Recommendations on Linkedin is a great plus in job hunting. It shows that you can collaborate with other team members.

6.Add Certifications to your Linkedin Profile

 If you get a certification for an online course or for an exam that is required for your job hunting, you should add your certification on Linkedin. For example, in my the previous article: Should I Major in Digital Marketing | Marketing Students, I have mentioned about Google AdWords and Google Analytics exams. You should put the certificates in Linkedin so that your potential recruiter or employer can see it.

How to Prepare for an Entry Level Position Interview | Recent Graduate

Are you fresh out of college and looking for some interview tips on how to get your favorite job?  Great! You are on the right track, let’s see how you can prepare for your Entry Level position interview.

1. Be yourself

Interviews are very intimidating and nerve-racking. However, there is one tip that is very helpful to go through the stress. Be yourself and try to recall your past experience. Give some time before the actual interview day just to refresh your memories on your former jobs. This is really going to give you confident to explain clearly to the interview about your past experience. Remember, the interview does not know you and does not know exactly what you did in your past job. So, it is very important to explain clearly what you did and how you did.

2. Know the insights and the results of your former job

Most of the interviewers ask: So, tell me about the insights, results or any achievement that you did in the previous job.

In order to know the insights and the results, you should start preparing while you are in the previous job or previous internship. For example, if you are helping a marketing team with customer acquisition, you might want to know how many new customers were you able to acquire. You can do so by asking your supervisor or keeping track in your journal.

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3. Read the job description carefully before you go in for an interview

Read and analyze what the job description is and what the company is looking for. Note down what skills are they looking for? What kind of software, tools or things that are required for this position. In case you do not know some of the descriptions, you can do some research about it and prepare to ask some questions to the interviewer.

4. Wear something professional and also clean

Yes, It is very important to wear something that is not overdressed or underdressed. The best way to wear for an entry level position is to wear black dress with plain design and great length for ladies, and a nice shirt and some black pants for gentlemen.

5. Be optimistic, and it is okay for you to say “I don’t know”

There is a chance that you might not know the answer for some questions because you have just graduated. It is okay to say you don’t know and ask politely to explain more about the things that you do not know. It shows that you are willing to learn and interested in know new things. May be you can say something about the thing that you know which is similar to what the interviewer asked.

6. Write a Thank You letter 

The interviews took their time out of a busy schedule to meet you and interview you. Sending a thank you letter is a great way to show how much appreciated you are and it makes you stand out from the crowd. However, I suggest it is better to not include in your thank you letter anything that seems like you are forcing the interview to choose you.

7. Be patient

Most companies are interviewing a lot of candidates and they have different timelines on their decision process. Give a week to get notified from the recruiter or the interviewer. In case they have not replied you back for over a week, you can send a follow up email asking about the decision timeline.

I wish you all the best! Job hunting is stressful. However, you should take time choosing the right company for you as well. Think positive and be patient. I know you can do this!  Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

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