Residential Life: The Five Best College Dorms in the US

Some colleges – namely, really old ones – don’t have the best dormitories. Freshmen often get stuffed on the top floor with no AC, hardly enough space, and linoleum floors that need replacing, which is enough to make them move off-campus the following year if they return at all. Your dorm is where you’re going to be living for the next nine months, so it’s important that it feels like home to you.

There are plenty of colleges in the US with acceptable dorms: heating/ac, comfy beds, a microwave, and enough closet space, and you’re good to go. Then, there are the colleges that go above and beyond. Looking for a school with housing that exceeds your expectations? Maybe check out one of the five best college dorms in the US.

 

MIT’s Simmons Hall, for Students who Don’t Wanna Grow Up

MIT Simmons Hall
Simmons Hall is a cool enough looking building, affectionately named “The Sponge” or “The Space Waffle” since it has so many small windows that make it look like one. The architecture, however, is one of the less cool things about Simmons Hall. The walls are concrete, which might not be your first choice, save for the fact that students draw on the walls with sidewalk chalk all year round. Your furniture stacks like lego bricks, which is great for customization. When you’re done, take a dive into the ball pit, which occupies a full room in this very relaxed living area.

George Washington University’s Ivory Tower, for Everything you Need

George Washington University's Ivory Tower
Americans love when things are accessible, and that’s exactly the word that could be used to describe Ivory Tower. Every dorm room has its own living room, kitchen, dining area, and private bathroom, so GWU’s freshmen never have to know the struggle of the communal shower. In the basement of the building, fulfill your cravings with a Dunkin’Donut, Potbelly, Pita Pita, and full-on grocery store. You don’t even have to leave the building to get your dry cleaning done, because there’s a dry cleaner in the building, too. After you eat, jam out in the designated music practice room.

University of Virginia’s Academical Village, for the American Historian

University of Virginia's Academical Village
Thomas Jefferson came in clutch in many ways, but the students of UV would probably argue that the creation of Academical Village was his finest moment. A lucky 54 students get to live in one of the historical lawn rooms, which come with sun-soaked porches, lazy rocking chairs, and cozy fireplaces. These spots offer total privacy from the rest of the residence halls as well as sink closets, which only history lovers will truly appreciate.

 

St. Lawrence University, for Becoming One with Nature

St. Lawrence University Yurt
Let’s just get to the point: St. Lawrence has a yurt village. Your dorm is a yurt. If you love nature, this is the campus for you – these dorms are completely lacking in all things electronic, requiring you to chop your own firewood and sleep on an air mattress. It’s not for everybody, but there’s something to be said about students who live there for a whole year. Plus, it’s in the perfect location for hiking and kayaking, and comes with a sauna.

 

Brandeis University’s Usen Castle, for those who want to be Treated like Royalty

Brandeis University's Usen Castle

The Usen Castle is, quite literally, a castle that has been gutted to be a bit more modern inside. Entertain the jester in the lounge, which is equipped with a piano, or take a trip to the on-site coffee house, Chum’s, which resembles Central Perk from Friends. You can get situated in a single or double room, but if you’re lucky, you’ll end up in a gorgeous, spacious suite. Did we mention it’s a castle?

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Top 5 Computer Based Online Degrees

Top 5 Computer Based Online DegreesYou can probably count on just one hand the number of people you know who don’t use a personal computer. This is reason alone for pursuing a computer-based degree: computers are everywhere, and people who know them inside and out will probably always be in high demand.

If you’re getting ready to begin the application process for online degree programs, but need a bit of help narrowing down your degree choices, here are some ideas for you: these are just a few of the computer based degree programs that are in high demand among employers right now.

Information Technology (Bachelors Degree)

A bachelor’s degree in information technology is, in many ways, one of the building blocks for just about any computer-related career. This is a degree that will cover an incredible amount of ground in the computer world; you’ll be able to immerse yourself in just about every aspect of information technology (IT) and system administration.

Throughout your classes, you’ll gain experience with database concepts, UNIX, web design, business systems development, and server networking.

Information Science (Bachelors Degree)

The information science bachelor’s degree is all about data. Most of us know only too well how much data the average person generates and interacts with over the course of even one day. Information science is the study of storing, encrypting, and organizing data. Information science is a 4-year degree that will teach you the fundamentals of how government agencies, companies in the private sector, schools, and financial institutions manage their data needs.

Your classes will typically include intermediate programming, web database development, and computer architecture, among others.

Computer Science (Bachelors Degree)

While a bachelor’s degree in information computer science is fairly common among those who are looking to break into the IT industry, it’s decidedly not a degree that anybody and everybody will enjoy. Quite simply, this is among the more difficult computer-based degree programs out there right now, though pursuing an accredited online degree will give you with the resources you need, provided you have the will to follow through.

A degree in computer science will cover logic and computation, data structures, programming, and much more.

Computer Programmer (Bachelors Degree)

The computer science degree will help students become well-rounded entry-level or even mid-level computer experts, thanks to a wide variety of classes that cover diverse and practical skills. Students who earn this type of degree typically go on to become web developers, network administrators, software engineers, and systems analysts.

Your coursework will include classes in computer servicing, server administration, algebra, internet commerce, and communication arts.

Information Systems (Masters Degree)

We’ve covered several bachelor’s degrees so far, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t name one more type of degree for students who want to reach just a little bit higher. A master’s degree in information systems may open quite a few doorways that otherwise would remain shut to you. Graduates with this type of degree will be well-prepared with not just technical expertise, but a working knowledge of end-user needs, information organization, and the economic and social factors of information technology.

In addition to a wide range of technical courses such as quantitative methods and data management, students will also have the chance to study marketing management, human-computer interaction, and even leadership theory.

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Six Reasons to Finish your Degree

Six Reasons to Finish Your DegreeThe sudden need to relocate. Family emergencies. Financial issues. Unexpected pregnancies. These are some of the reasons that people decide to put their educations on hold, saying that they’ll just take a year off and finish it when things settle down. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of these people never do go back to school, despite the fact that the desire to do so is always in the back of their minds.

If this sounds familiar — if you know you should finish your degree but the time never seems right — maybe one of these reasons will convince you that now is as good a time as any.

You’re Minimizing your Potential

The first reason is the most obvious: many of the jobs out there — the higher-paying, more satisfying jobs — require a degree. There’s a high unemployment rate in the United States, but still, there’s a shortage of workers with honed skills. Thus, despite the fact that millions are left without jobs, there are millions of positions that are unfilled because of the lack of qualified candidates. See this as your golden opportunity! All you have to do is finish your bachelor degree in a field with a high hiring rate and you could greatly improve your income potential, as well as your self-worth.

The Ability to Build a Skill Set

The ability to problem-solve, write well, communicate, present, and answer your all questions are all skills that are built upon in the classroom. Coincidentally, they’re also skills that are useful in all facets of life — not just the career world. Having an education is rewarding not just for financial reasons, but for confidence reasons, too. When you know you have the skills of a college graduate, you’re better in interviews, you’re more persuasive in the way you speak, and you’re more resourceful when a problem arrives. All of these things are useful whether you’re raising a family or attending a community meeting. Even if you don’t end up in a career that aligns directly with your degree, you’ll have useful skills for life.

Student Benefits

There are a lot of perks to being a student. A lot of stores give student discounts on computers and software, for example. Colleges and universities also allow students access to gym facilities, career fairs, resume workshops, and networking events. If you’re in a rut, going back to school could solve that problem by showing you new opportunities and providing the resources you need to advance.

Self-Discovery

If you haven’t done it yourself, you probably know someone who switched majors during school. That’s because college courses force you to try new things, and more often than not, students find their passion in fields that they never would have delved into on their own. Even if you’re not sure which degree program to go for, you could take general courses to learn more about things that could possibly interest you. Who knows what career path you’ll end up on in five years’ time! Without going back to school, you could be missing out on pursuing your undiscovered passion for the rest of your life.

Social Interaction

Along with all the educational and career benefits offered by attending college, there are many social benefits as well. A lot of people who find themselves in a rut just need a change of pace, and making new friends is always the best medicine for that. Plus, the people you meet are likely to have similar interests if they’re in your degree program.

Flexibility

If the reason that you didn’t go back to school was due to lack of time, then you’re not truly exploring your options. Even if you’re working full-time and raising a family, you could still tailor your schedule by taking only one class in a time or enrolling in all online courses. Now more than ever, colleges make it possible for students in all walks of life to complete their degrees, so it’s at least worth talking to an advisor.

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Five Things to Get You Through an All-Nighter

Five Things to Get Your Through an All-Nighter

Every veteran of midterms and finals know that the all-nighter is sometimes a necessary evil. Sacrificing one night of sleep allows you to reap many benefits: the most peaceful hours of the library, the lack of distractions from your roommates, the only consecutive hours of your day during which you have no other obligations, and a newfound appreciation for the mid-day nap. All-nighters, however, are not for the faint of heart. If you want to survive this college student rite of passage, you’ve got to be equipped.

A Preventative Nap

Considering sleep is the first thing on the list of things you need in order to stay up all night, it might seem like we’re off to a bad start. However, studies have shown that a 1.5 hour nap between 1-3 PM or 1-3 AM helps to boost creativity, memory, mood, alertness, and brain performance. You’ll be less likely to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation and feel more focused on what you need to do.

Caffeine

As long as you’re not the type to abuse caffeine – as in, if you don’t drink more than a cup or two daily – caffeine is going to be your secret weapon. Here’s the trick: lay off the coffee for 24-48 hours before you intend to pull an all-nighter, then drink a cup as you start to study that night. This helps to work around your body’s caffeine tolerance and give you an extra boost. There is also evidence that proves if you mix butter or coconut oil into your coffee, it helps the buzz to last longer (it sounds gross, but don’t knock it ’til you try it!) Whether you’re sipping coffee or energy drinks all night, don’t chug. Sipping small amounts for prolonged periods will help to prevent a crash.

A Light, Healthy Dinner

Aside from caffeine, another thing that can cause a crash is too many carbs. It’s important to eat a dinner so that you don’t feel too full, but pass on the potatoes and bread for foods like avocadoes, leafy greens, and lean proteins. Carbs will spike your blood sugar, causing a crash shortly after, while proteins and fats will keep you full and energized so you can stay focused.

A Schedule

If you do start to get tired or just burnt-out from studying, you more prone to getting frustrated. Prioritize and plan out what you need to do and make it as easy for yourself as possible. If you’re writing an essay, try to go into your all-nighter with at least a rough outline and an annotated bibliography. If you’re studying, decide what material to cover and when. Not only will you be sure to have enough time to get everything done, you can feel a sense of accomplishment once you move onto the next part of your schedule.

A Playlist

Figure out what sounds help you to stay the most focused. Some people like to listen to some form of white noise, like RainyMood – the sounds of a rainstorm. Others like to listen to classical music. Maybe you need a playlist with something a little bit more upbeat to keep you energized. To remain focused, be sure that you’re listening to something that won’t distract you. Now isn’t the time to check out a new album – instead, listen to something instrumental or songs that you’ve heard a million times so that you can hear them without really “listening.”

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eCollegeFinder Education Innovator Spotlight: Miguel Kudry

We at eCollegeFinder are nerds about all things education.  Whether we want to talk about a cool class from 4 years ago or technological advancements helping to evolve classrooms and learning, we’re all ears!  Along these lines, we’re excited to launch a new series on our blog highlighting innovators in the education world.  This month, we’re pleased to have Miguel Kudry join us to answer a few questions about his online tutoring app, HelpHub.  Without further adieu, here’s the conversation eCollegeFinder’s Mike Simmons had with Miguel.

Miguel Kudry - HelpHub

Before we get into HelpHub, give us a quick introduction to Miguel Kudry.

Miguel Kudry is a full stack technologist and seasoned entrepreneur, at the ripe age of 21.  Born in Venezuela moving to Vancouver the day after he graduated high school, he is currently a business administration student at Douglas College and already has several internet start-up businesses under his belt.

 

Tell us about HelpHub, where did the idea originate?

HelpHub is a platform that connects students with tutors online, instantly, anywhere, through messaging, phone, video, white-boarding and file sharing features.

At the same time, tutors choose their own rates, and earn money by the minute, while students get help.  Students can find a tutor in a subject they’re having trouble with and call or message them right away. The platform eliminates the problem of waiting and going through the normal steps of finding a tutor. Right now, the traditional ways are quite limited — you have to make an appointment and it takes 24 to 48 hours to get a response.  The goal is to make HelpHub a platform that increases study efficiency of students.

The idea for HelpHub developed early December 2012. Being a student I run into this all the time. I’m by myself studying for a test at 6, 7 or 8 a.m. and I can’t go to school to get a tutor. I’ve seen friends who email people at their college for help hoping somebody will answer it. Other options make you pay higher prices for sessions that you may not need, in advance. Those were essentially the only options, and I felt there could be a better way to get help, whenever you needed it. I had a working version in January and tested it with a few friends who really liked the idea, and launched it on Feb. 1 2013. We recently raised our first round of funding to help us grow into a mainstream service.

 

How can people get involved, either as a tutor or a student?

For tutors to start using the platform, they need to register and verify their phone number or connect their Facebook accounts on the site. Tutors can then choose their own hourly rate and add the subjects they tutor. Rates start at $10/hour, and usually are chosen by the tutors depending on their own depth of knowledge.  They can also be “tipped” by students for tutoring or help received via chat.

For students, they can login through Facebook or register with their email. It’s as simple as typing in the class or posting a question to find tutors and get help right away.

 

How do you confirm the authenticity of tutors? 

The HelpHub platform is a self-regulating market. We screen and monitor tutors and have set up a Tutor IQ points system with a series of metrics to reward the most active and engaged tutors. Moreover, tutors are able to submit digital copies of credentials that support the subjects listed on their profiles. Our platform is also constantly monitored for security and quality control purposes.

 

What are some issues that youve had to overcome since the launch of HelpHub?

HelpHub first launched as a phone tutoring marketplace. We introduced video tutoring capabilities a few months after, but we still had to overcome the fact that students may be shy to start conversations. Beyond letting them chat with tutors, we started letting tutors start conversations with students, who have reacted very well to it.

 

Where do you envision HelpHub in 5 years?

We envision HelpHub as an everyday tool for students around the entire world within 5 years to help them excel in school and achieve the results they want. Everyone needs help at some point, and we want to provide them with the platform to do that easily, affordably and extremely conveniently.

 

Lastly, what do you have planned for the summer?

This will be a busy summer. It will be a great opportunity to test out some features and parts of our product with students, and do a lot of preparation for the Fall semester. We will also be looking at other markets, as we are starting to introduce our platform internationally.

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What Happens When You Get Caught Cheating?

Caught CheatingMost of us start getting warnings about cheating in the classroom as early as elementary school, but the possible consequences have a tendency to increase in severity as we get older. College students in particular can find they very trajectory of their lives significantly altered if they get caught cheating on their exams or assignments.

How Widespread is the Problem?

Something like 75% of college students have admitted to cheating on exams and essays, leading some to go so far as to label this trend a “cheating crisis” in America.

While online colleges have a number of significant advantages over traditional colleges, one of the most glaring shortcomings is undoubtedly the ease with which students can cheat on their assignments, in spite of strongly-worded warnings from their instructors. Cheating can include looking at books, notes, or even websites to provide the answers.

What Happens When You Get Caught?

The repercussions of cheating in college can vary by institution and with the severity of the offense. In some cases, the student will simply fail the course, rather than just the assignment in question. For many students, this can have a lasting effect on the degree programs they’re enrolled in; if they’re dismissed from a critical course, they may not be able to earn their degree.

A more severe punishment may include suspension. This, too, can seriously derail a students’ plans for the future, since they’ll find themselves removed from school for the duration of the academic semester or even an entire school year. It can be difficult or even impossible for students to catch up after a setback like this, which may delay their graduation. One can only guess at the frustration and regret at watching one’s friends graduate without you.

Of course, even suspension pales in comparison to expulsion, which is easily the most severe punishment that a student could face. Certain schools have a zero-tolerance policy for cheating and may expel first-time offenders, while other schools may use it as a recourse for repeat offenders. In any event, you’ll find yourself dismissed from your university, with the offense permanently affixed to your academic record. You’ll then find yourself in the unenviable position of explaining the offense to any schools you apply to in the future. It goes without saying, then, that it can sometimes be impossible to recover from this kind of disciplinary action – your career goals may be permanently sabotaged.

Whats the Solution?

Maybe part of the problem comes down to the very way students are being taught in the classroom, whether they’re in elementary school or graduate school. For most students, the emphasis seems to be placed on the relentless memorization of facts and figures – that is, transitory knowledge that we seem to retain just long enough to take a test or make it to summer vacation.

Perhaps the biggest failing of our educational institutions is their insistence in this regurgitation of facts rather than on meaningful interpretation of those facts. Then again, maybe your college already does this, and your cheating methods involve stealing essays off the Internet rather than glancing at your neighbor’s paper during a test. If that’s the case, then God help you; you’re beyond our help.

In any event, maybe it’s time to revisit the teaching methods themselves, and structure then in such a way that students are appraised less on their ability to memorize and more on their ability to think for themselves. Until then: keep your eyes on your own paper.

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What Does your College Major Say About You?

What Does your College Major Say About YouNo one wants to stereotype, but you know what they say: they exist for a reason. When you’re in college, you’ll never be more aware that certain types of people do tend to flock toward certain degree programs. Of course, the college major you choose isn’t the only thing about your personality…but perhaps you’ll find that there are some funny coincidences and that your personality almost fits the bill.

If you’re an English or Creative Writing major…

If you chose to take up English or Creative Writing, you probably have a strong passion for the written word. You spend hours analyzing the texts of Faulkner and Plath and pour yourself into creative non-fiction pieces of your own.

That, or you have no idea what you want to major in.

English majors are temperamental. They’re not always the most driven, and they’re very opinionated. Sometimes they brag about how many books they’ve read, when really, they were supposed to read those books in high school but never did. They drink black coffee and are extremely cynical. Oh, and they wear glasses.

If you’re an Engineering major…

These are the students that are constantly asking the students of humanities what they’re going to do with their degrees. They find a sense of superiority in the fact that they’re almost guaranteed a career upon graduating, even if that career is in a dog food factory. If you’re an engineer, you like to get things done and make things happen, occasionally using your degree for non-academic purposes like designing robots that can get you beer from the fridge. So, you’re a nerd, but you’re a cool nerd…or at least you would be if you’d look up from your iPhone to join the conversation once in a while.

If you’re a Film major…

Everyone assumes that film students don’t really do any work in class. Everyone accuses you of “getting to watch movies all day” while they pore over their textbooks for never ending exams. You try to show them the short piece you’ve been working on, but you can tell that they don’t really “get it.” However, everyone seems to want to act in whatever you’re currently filming. You’re a perfectionist, and you’re never 100% happy with your end-result, if there is one. On the plus-side, you’re super artsy and everyone thinks that’s cool.

If you’re a Business major…

You wear a blazer everywhere — even when your degree program consists of online courses. You’re a smooth talker and no one is ever really sure whether you’re being genuine. Still, your friends stick around because you’re chock full of financial advice and — let’s face it — they need it. You’re an overachiever, which your friends make fun of you for, but you know they secretly admire your work ethic (and the fact that you’re probably going to be very successful in a few years). You’re not snobby, you’re confident, and despite the way you look, you’re friends with people from all sorts of cliques.

If you’re a Computer Science major…

You have a ton of friends because you’re really good at video games and find the best videos on YouTube. Consequently, everyone wonders what you actually do in class. You and your friends both know that you’ll probably graduate with a job in IT, where you get to wear the same black concert t-shirts to work that you wore to class. You’re basically an unassuming genius because you’re laid back and talk about games and TV a lot, but everyone knows you can fix their electronics.

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7 Ways you Know Spring has Arrived on your Campus

7 Ways You Know Spring Has Arrived on Your CampusWith temperatures barely grazing 60°F, it’s almost feeling a little bit like spring! If you’re a college upperclassman, you’ve been around the block when it comes to what spring on college campuses means. If you’re new to residential life, though, you’re in for a treat. College students tend to welcome warm weather in a collection of ways that you can’t find elsewhere. Here are a few things you can finally look forward to seeing around in the coming weeks.

 

Some Dude Playing a Ukulele
Everyone knows his face, but does anyone know his name? He’s that guy who’s always sitting in the quad playing some Jack Johnson tune to everyone and no one all at once. He’s neither bad nor great, but you always welcome the music to your ears – you know that when those riffs float in through your window, it’s warm enough to forgo a jacket, and that’s all you can really ask for.

Half the Students are Suddenly Jogging
Once the sun starts staying out an extra couple hours each night, reality sets in: swimsuit season is approaching. And what perfect timing, because it’s warm enough to go for a nice jog around the campus! You know it’s springtime when walking back from class is like a game of Mario Kart, but instead of dodging banana peels, you’re swerving out of the paths of newly-proclaimed joggers.

Ray Bans. Ray Bans Everywhere.
How are half of these college students affording $100 sunglasses? By some force of magic, when the spring showers clear, your peers will shield their eyes with these classic wayfarer-style shades. Equally as mysterious is the fact that every girl somehow knows to pair them with a pair of Jack Rogers sandals and an earth-friendly tote bag.

Frisbee, Volleyball, Whiffle Ball, Made Up Sports
Lush, green grass is finally beginning to emerge from the formerly desolate areas between the dorms, making for a perfect playing field of any and all casual sports. Haven’t played whiffle ball since elementary school? Doesn’t matter – now is the time. Down for some Ultimate Frisbee? Joke’s on you – that’s a real sport and they’re having a legitimate practice, not a pickup game. People will play any sport that requires little to no equipment just as an excuse to get outside, even if that means inventing their own games.

Shorts and Ugg Boots
It’s like, we want to acknowledge that it’s warmer, but it’s still too cold to wear flip flops. Some people seem to think the logical answer is to pair some Sherpa-lined boots with some casual shorts, and that’s okay, because it’s springtime.

Outdoor Nappers
You know those people who used to nap in the library or in random couches around campus? Now they’ve migrated to outdoor seating areas, or they just set up camp right on the grass. Springtime means infinitely more places to sit and rest!

Frappuccinos
Let us not forget the ultimate symbol of warmer weather: hot coffee cups get swapped out for the infamous Starbucks treat, the frozen Frappuccino. Never mind the fact that they’re upwards of 500 calories and totally cancel out that jog you went on earlier, it’s spring time and nothing is going to come between you and your frozen coffee beverage.

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The Economist’s Online MBA Fair

MBA Online FairChoosing the right MBA is as important as it is potentially intimidating. Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of online colleges, there is now literally a world of possibilities for students who want to continue their higher learning.

Navigating through these many potential choices can be difficult, which is why college students everywhere have come to rely on The Economist’s Which MBA? Fair to help them not only choose the perfect MBA program, but also to help demystify the admissions process.

In short, this virtual online MBA fair is one of the best opportunities for college students to investigate the many paths open to them as graduate students.

Whos Going to Be There?

Previous exhibitors at the Which MBA? Fair have included such names as the University of Virginia, The University of Melbourne, and the Henley Business school. As you can probably tell, the exhibition will be packed with representatives from some of the top business schools from around the world.

What this means, quite simply, is that the chief advantages of online colleges shines through brilliantly in this MBA fair. Online students have the unprecedented ability to attend their top colleges of choice from the comfort of their own home. No matter where these schools are physically headquartered – even if they happen to be on a different continent – their courses are available to a global audience.

What Can You Do at the Fair?

Learning about the many MBA options available to you, and the schools that offer them, is arguably the most important part of attending the virtual MBA fair. The thing is, there are quite a few other opportunities that you’ll be able to take advantage of as well.

For instance: you’ll be able to chat with admissions officers from the schools that interest you. They’ll help you get a handle on the admissions process and the details of the MBA programs themselves.

You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about scholarships that you may qualify for. This is an opportunity that’s not to be missed; you could potentially qualify for thousands of dollars worth of grants, scholarships, and need- and academic-based financial aid. You’ll be able to speak to people who know everything you need to make the application process as smooth as possible.

Finally, you’ll come away from the MBA Fair with some valuable and timely career advice. It’s best not to think of an MBA program as the final step in your education, but instead as the first step in your career. As such, it’s not to be taken lightly; this is your first and best chance to get valuable career advice from people who have been where you are right now.

When Is The Fair?

The MBA Fair will take place on May 14th, 15th, and 17th. The online chat schedule is as follows (all times are EDT):

May 14th:

7:00AM to 10:00AM

12:30PM to 3:30PM

May 15th:

10:00AM to 1:00PM

6:00PM to 9:00PM

May 17th (Bonus Weekend Session):

10:00AM to 1:00PM

You should note that space is limited; signups are located here, and you’re encouraged to act fast, as spots are expected to be claimed quickly.

If you’re looking for a way to take the next decisive step toward earning your MBA, this is your best chance to do so. Come join us.

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8 Invaluable Pre-Interview Preparation Tips

Pre-Interview Preparation TipsOne of the most nerve wracking things about being fresh out of college is that first grownup job interview. It’s intimidating when you’re not sure what to expect and you’re focused on making the best possible impression. There are some things you don’t have any control over: your qualifications, the interviewer’s personality, or the weather. But there are some things that you can do before you enter the building that will help to emphasize how good of a candidate you are.  Here are 8 invaluable pre-interview preparation tips to ensure you make the best impression possible!

Browse Social Media
Taking the train over to the interview? Sitting in a coffee shop beforehand? In your free time leading up to the start of the interview, browse through the company’s website and social media profiles. If something recently happened within the industry, you’ll have the information fresh in your mind, which will give you something to talk about and make you look sincerely interested in the company.

Behave in the Lobby
If there’s a receptionist who has to tell you where to go, bear in mind that he or she holds more power than you might think in the building. Most people in an office have a good relationship with the receptionist. So, when you enter the building, be polite to the person at the front desk, don’t hold any obnoxious phone calls in the lobby, and generally show respect – your interview may find out if you don’t!

Assess the Competition
Was someone leaving the building as you were entering? Are there others waiting to be interviewed? Size them up. Try to speculate whether they’re older or younger than you, or whether they’re still in school. Use these context clues to your advantage. For example, if you think you’re younger (and therefore less experienced), discuss how in-touch you are.

Sightsee
Looking around the office, reading whiteboards, seeing what’s on the walls, and knowing what other companies are in the same building will give you something to talk about. Interviewers like when you have questions to ask, and taking in the scenery should give you plenty of discussion topics.

Get Comfortable
A lot of people take several minutes to get comfortable with the situation – but during those several minutes, the interviewer is forming an opinion about you. Do what you have to do to get yourself in a comfortable mindset before you enter the room so you make a good impression. This could mean going over a notecard a few minutes before, drinking a cup of tea, or wearing a lucky piece of jewelry. Whatever works!

Body Language
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to be aware of your body language. When you introduce yourself, smile and make eye contact – a good, solid smile and eye contact. Learn peoples’ names before you arrive and use them: “Nice to meet you, Robert, I’m Joe.” Try not to cross your arms or slouch too much. You are lucky to be there, so you should be acting like it.

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