Tag Archives: professors

The Best Way to Pick a Course Schedule

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Stan Whitcomb
Stan is a freshman at Santa Clara University. He is currently undecided, but is leaning towards a major in computer science. He is new to the blogosphere but is a seasoned writer (thanks English class!). In his free time, he likes to Dougie with his hallamtes and he is an avid Frisbee player.

Class selection, while subtle, is one of the most important things you can do to improve your college experience. Whether you stack all your classes for one day, or take a more balanced approach, one must always be wary of the pitfalls of a bad schedule.

The first major question you should be asking yourself when contemplating schedules is: who are the good professors? There are many resources for doing this. Talking to classmates and even upperclassmen can help you get a sense of what a professor is like. Sometimes the popular website ratemyprofessors.com can be helpful as well. Good teachers make college the experience it is, so make it a point in your scheduling to find the best ones possible for the most gratifying education you can achieve.

When picking classes, you need to decide if you want a balanced schedule or if you want all of your classes on certain days. Photo by Alisa Ryan.

Next major question has to be a preference ordeal. Simply, do you like to get up and think early in the morning? If so, man, am I jealous! Either way, if you don’t care about which professor you get (you should after that last paragraph), or there are two equally good professors from which to choose, the time of the class is the next big question. A study conducted a few years ago has shown a linkage between brain functionality and the time of day. It concluded that college students tend to think better during the evening hours. These results can impact when you decide to take your classes. Personally, I picked early class times so that I could do my homework later on in the evening when my brain is at its peak performance.

Now, when choosing classes based on timeslots, you may be inclined to stack all your classes on the same day and use the days with no class to get your homework done. I do not suggest doing this. After an informal testing with my fellow students, I have found that stacking all of your classes on one day rapidly leads to overwhelming amounts of work. Overloading your days is like scratching an itch; it feels like a good idea, but once you itch it, the desire to keep on scratching only gets worse and worse until you’re stuck with 8 hours of homework on one day, and 5 hours of class on the other.

So, my advice? Do research on professors before you start picking classes, get one that you want, and a couple more that you can settle for. When you’re picking a timeslot, make sure you know thy self and are positive you can function well for the entire class. Who wants to pay for a college education just to sleep through it?  Finally, remember that classes in the early morning are god awful abominations and the people that get up for them are nigh on superheroes for making it to them coherently, and that when it comes to class scheduling, make all the decisions with care.

 

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Preparing for the Real World

Filed under: Post Grad and Career - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Business Development Associate, Elizabeth Schwandt
Elizabeth has a BA in International Studies and Environmental Science and a minor in French from Miami University of Ohio where she graduated in 2010. Elizabeth recently moved from Chicago and currently lives in San Mateo, CA. She enjoys the Bar Method, spinning, speaking French and reading.

This post is the second part of Post-Grad Life by Elizabeth. To read part one, check it out here.

Thinking about college graduation is… depressing.

I know, I’ve been there.

I loved being a second semester senior. I was only taking one class that I needed to graduate – my other three courses were just for fun. In anticipation of graduation, I was more concerned with spending time with my friends, going to my favorite restaurants and attending 90’s night at the local bar. Instead of worrying about the fast-approaching graduation ceremony, I spent my time enjoying my last weeks in college.

Who wouldn’t?

University career centers can be an invaluable sources of help for graduating seniors. Photo by Saint Louis University Madrid

As I reflect back onto my last few weeks of college, I have only fond memories. But in addition to attending hockey games and sorority events, I wish I had thought about my future, and my plans after graduation. I’m sure many of you are like me, in that you don’t want to spend your last days in college worrying about your future. However, I soon realized that enjoying your last few weeks in college is just as important as figuring out what you’d like to do after graduation.

For those of you college seniors who have an easy last semester or quarter, I would highly recommend that you start to think about what you’d like to do after college and get a head start on applying for jobs.

  1. Take advantage of your Career Center while you are still in school. They have great contacts at many companies, and can also help you with fine-tuning your resumes and cover letters.
  2. Reach out to your favorite college professors. They were once in your shoes, and may be able to give you some advice about how to start down your career path.

This will help you avoid the inevitable post-college slump, as well as get you on the right track towards a career.

While applying for jobs or internships, keep an open mind. Applying for jobs or internships that are not necessarily in your field of choice doesn’t matter, as long as you are getting experience in the working world. Also remember that you don’t have to keep your first job forever. This is just the beginning of a new chapter…

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The Internship Hunt

Filed under: Post Grad and Career - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

Searching for internships has been the one of the most stressful parts of my college career. There are thousands I could apply for and only a few that would lead me to my dream job at National Geographic. So after dozens of advising meetings and searching hundreds of internship websites, I have amassed helpful tips for how to find the internship that suits your unique future goals. Getting the internship, however, is all on you.

Tip 1: Search online internship websites.

This may seem silly, and probably overdone, but I have stumbled on some interesting internships opportunities on websites. I have even found international internships in countries I’ve always wanted to visit that offer college credits.

Here are a few of my faves:

Internships.com: Offers general and regional internships, guides, and articles.
Usajobs.gov: An official U.S. government website with jobs for college students;
ie3global.ous.edu: Offers an array of global internships

Tip 2: Use your campus resources

Networking is a great way to find internships. Photo by hackNY

Career centers are there for a reason: to help you get jobs and internships. In addition, most colleges will have an internship page on their website.  Check on a regular basis because the site is always being updated with new opportunities. Certain majors may even have their own internship sites. Talk to professors. Don’t be afraid to ask; I have uncovered some hidden internship gems that way.

Tip 3: Talk to the company you want to work for

Let your dream company know you want to work for them! If it’s possible, visit the companies you are interested in and talk to different employees in the company. Find out what they like about the company and if they have ever had a need for an intern. If the idea of getting work for free makes them nervous, most colleges will provide internship credits. If it’s impossible to visit companies, then send them emails or take a few minutes to call and ask about internships and the necessary qualifications for an internship there.

Informational interviews another are a great way to introduce yourself to someone in the company. Find the position in the company that you aspire to have and call up that person. Tell them you would love to talk about how they got to where they are today because you hope to do the same. Who doesn’t love talking about themselves?!  (Remember: it’s not an interview of you, you are doing the interviewing. Come prepared with questions!)

Tip 4: Treating getting an internship like a job

This is the best advice I’ve gotten. You have to show companies that they are making a beneficial decision to their company. Display your talents and be a little pushy to convince potential employers that you are worth the time and manpower. Each internship can be a potential future job. When I interact with a company I am interested in, I write the date, company name, the name of the person I talked to, and what we talked about in a notebook. I also constantly add potential employers to a list. I usually follow-up with a company after my first call, even if they originally say no (you never know…things can change on a day -to-day basis!)

I hope some of these tips help. As daunting as the task may be, once you land the internship, you will realize that the hard word was worth it.

And hey, it’s not too early to start looking for the summer! Happy Hunting!

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