Monthly Archives: March 2015

Get Engaged: Pump Up Your Campus Jamz!

So, spring break is oblog1ver (so short. always, so short) and snow days have had the same fate as ‘fetch.’ Well, in terms of them never happening, that is.

As we now move into one of the busiest times of the year (and the glorious and inevitable end of the academic year), there is still considerable time to draw from and engage with your community.

Engagement looks different for different people. It could mean how connected you are to your classroom experience and your professor. It could stand for how invested you are in the culture and building of Towson University. For some, engagement means prioritizing their co-curricular interests and endeavors on the same level as their academics. For others, it might mean being present at a few large community events or showing up to meetings and listening to what’s brewing on the student organization platform. For many still, engagement means connecting with the world through social media and lending their voice and ‘likes.’ Student engagement and leadership can also become an oft-repeated cliché as some are only looking to participate in things that boost their resume and/or career potential. I mean, is that so wrong after all? Isn’t that why you’re in school? (I’m withholding judgment, and asking you, but as you ponder about why engagement is for you…)

  • Shake it off

It can be challenging to add something new or additional to your plate at this point in the semester. It can also be hard to get excited about said new thing because of academic and social obligations you might already have. However, remember that engagement has been proven time and time again to enhance the experience of college students and to positively impact academic success. Don’t overthink involvement as a failed cause because it’s late in the semester. You don’t need to join five new groups. One will do just fine. Shake it off and dive in.

  • If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it

blog2You don’t want to regret not meeting more people and learning new ideas when college is over. Time flies when you’re having fun, but lucky for you, college is (at least) four years long. It’s hard to keep up with all the great causes you can sign up to be involved with on and off-campus. But don’t get stuck in the rut of analysis-paralysis. If you’ve had a cause that interests you (and it’s been on your radar for a while), make a commitment to learn more about how you can become involved with it before the end of this school year! Commitment doesn’t have to be a demanding process; start slow with a few areas of interest and determine if you want to increase your level of involvement through leadership opportunities. Thriving tigers make sure to give their interests and subsequent engagement a chance.

  • And we’re still waiting. Waiting on the world to change

So you’ve narrowed down your interest and causes but still can’t find the courage and inspiration to commit? A gentle reminder: causes, big or small, need all kinds of people, skills and energies to excel. We all offer unique insights based on our cultural backgrounds and experiences. You may not think your group participation and contributions will be grand (and subsequently world-changing!), but your engagement and presence not only shifts your experience on campus, it also has a domino effect on the lived experiences of those around you. Carl Jung once said that “the meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Don’t just wait for the world to change and transform. Go out there and do your part.

  • Don’t brag about it, come show me

We all have something we do like a boss. Whether it’s your organizational skills, your social butterfly rep, or your ability to get others interested in a cause, hone into your ‘skill set’ and start exploring where you can put it to good use. Not sure what your skill set entails? Think about things that you do on the reg without any real effort and thought, but people often point out and admire/compliment you on that quality or qualities. That is your natural skill set.

College can be a great place to start exploring the many ways to get involved with your community, whether it’s through community service, retreats and conferences or student organizations. Once you narrow down your interest areas and natural skill sets, connect the two to start determining how best to engage with a group or cause. Happy engaging!

Inspired to learn more about involvement opportunities with multicultural student organizations on campus? Contact the Center for Study Diversity for more information or visit www.towson.edu/diversity/multicultural.

Mahnoor Ahmed, M.S.
Women’s Resources, Center for Student Diversity

Advertisements

Get Hired Today! Tips on Improving your Resume and 30-Second Commercial

Is this how you feel when you think about preparing your resume and how you will introduce yourself to employers?1

Getting Started

Preparing your resume and 30-second commercial can be intimidating, especially when you aren’t sure where to begin. As a student, I can completely sympathize with this feeling. I remembe2r coming to Towson University as a freshman with the hopes of finding a job to gain experience and earn some extra spending money. As many of you know, this is often easier said than done. The first on-campus job fair I attended was in the fall of my freshman year. I felt confident in my resume- I mean it was good enough to land me an acceptance to the university, so it should have been good enough to get me hired as well, right? I wish I knew then what I know now.

Resumes

Never hand out your resume without having it reviewed. This was the worst mistake I made. While I had the desirable skills and passion to succeed in any company that was willing to hire me, my resume did not reflect this. The resume you complete in applying to college or grad school is completely different than the resume you submit to potential employers. Also, never attend a job fair with only one copy of your resume. For some reason I thought I would just show off my resume and not actually hand it to employers to keep. This was clearly a bad idea looking back, so bring at least 15 copies to the Spring Mega Job Fair Thursday, March 26 in order to find a full-time, part-time, internship, or summer job!

3If you are in the position I was in, you are probably thinking, “What if you don’t have any experience because you have never had a job before?” No problem. As a student you have taken many classes. Look at the job description, do some research into the company, and determine classes that might be applicable. If the company is looking for someone with team skills, list the name of a course you have taken where group work was required, and explain your role. Employers receive tens of thousands of resumes. When determining who earns a spot to interview, they quickly glance at your resume for 30 seconds, or less if they find a mistake! That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself.

But before you start to panic, here are some easy tips to perfect your resume:

  • Make sure everything you include on your resume is relevant to the position
  • Make sure all of your resume is proofread and perfect- NO MISTAKES ALLOWED!
  • Put your education as the first section and list out the degree you are earning (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in…)
  • Use an action verb to start every bullet when describing your skills or experience in a positon
  • Do not use full sentences
  • Put the most recent experiences first

Networking

Okay, so now that we have your resume covered, let’s talk about how to properly network. I’m sure many 4of you are thinking, “I know how to talk to people.” But do you really? If so, that’s great. If not, let’s get you prepared to do so.

Think of yourself as a product, let’s say an iPhone. Like the iPhone, you have many great skills and features that other people might not have. If Apple never marketed their iPhone when it was first designed would people have bought it? Of course not. So why should anyone hire you if you can’t sell yourself? So think about your 30-second commercial, craft it, and perfect it today!

  • Take out a sheet of paper and start writing down ideas
  • What makes you unique? You should have more to say about yourself than “I am a student at Towson University…”
  • Practice your speech with your friends and family

The Future

6Now let’s focus on your real concern: your future. I’m sure your parents and friends are asking you, “What are you doing with your degree?” “Can you really get a job with that degree?” “Will you find a job after graduation?” Maybe you aren’t really concerned about it at the moment, but in the back of your mind it haunts you. Past graduates from TU recommend that current students start looking to gain experience now. The earlier you obtain experience, the better. Don’t wait until your senior year to find an internship! Use your resume and the 30-second commercial you just perfected to earn you the opportunity to gain experience in your desired field. Sometimes by interning you can determine if a career is really for you, or if you should take a different path.

For more information, contact the Career Center by calling 410-704-2233 or visiting www.towson.edu/careercenter.

Amanda Sands
Marketing Intern and Public Speaking Intern
Career Center

Climb a Mountain, See the World!

3 “Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

I thought that I had an exciting life until I flew across the country and immersed myself in Alaska’s rich wildlife. This past fall semester I studied in Juneau, Alaska through Towson University’s National Student Exchange program. I had the most incredible, breathtaking experiences of my entire life. I feel as if I saw the world, but in reality I was in Southeast Alaska the duration of my stay. Once I was able to lose my inclination to a comfortable life style, I was then able to make my adventure possible.

We climbed a new mountain every weekend. Juneau is covered in huge mountains that surround every road, walkway, lake, ocean clearing, and town. An ice field runs through Juneau and can be seen from the town. One of the spots where the ice field is visible is the Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier is a five-minute drive from The University of Alaska Southeast, the school I studied at, so my friends and I would visit often. There are several hiking trails, a place to eat lunch, and facts about its history. Some of my favorite memories took place at the glacier, from watching the northern lights dancing together in their green and red strands, to climbing underneath of it into an ice cave.
2
One of my favorite mountains is called Thunder Mountain. The sun was out the day we climbed, which is not taken for granted in Juneau’s temperate rainforest climate. After several hours of uphill climbing, we reached the clouds. We kept climbing until, suddenly, we were above the clouds. Once we reached the top, I felt as if I was someone who was seeing for the first time. Everything was beautiful.

I was away for fall semester, making it my first year away from home for Thanksgiving. It ended up being one of the most memorable Thanksgiving weekends. Juneau does not have any roads that lead out of it, so the only way out is by a water ferry or by plane. Many people who live in Juneau travel by ferry often, and they refer to it as a “water taxi”. My exchange friends and I took a “water taxi” to Haines, a different part of Southeast Alaska.

In Haines, we visited a wildlife sanctuary. This is a place where specialists hold onto and take care of abused, injured and abandoned wildlife. At the sanctuary, we saw a grizzly bear, howled with a wolf, saw reindeer, a lynx, foxes, and kissed a moose! I was face-to-face, or lip-to-lip in the moose’s case, with animals that people go their entire lives without seeing. Over our Haines trip, my close friends in Alaska became my family.

I have always wanted to go to Alaska and I never knew why. When I stepped out of the plane and was welcomed by beautiful mountains, it became obvious to me why Alaska has consumed all of my dreams. If you have a dream, do not let it slip between your fingers. Go to new, beautiful places, and meet new, beautiful people. I listened to Jon Krauker’s advice, and I lost my inclination to a life of security, conformity, and conservation. I urge you to do the same by making your wildest dreams your reality. 4

Experience life from a different point of view! The National Student Exchange (NSE) program provides opportunities for undergraduates to study at another NSE university in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and several universities in Canada while paying tuition and fees to Towson. To be eligibility to apply, students must have a full-time academic load with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.

Why students participate in NSE?…to broaden their perspectives, explore new culture, explore new areas of study, learn from different professors, access new courses, break out of their comfort zones, experience personal growth, meet new people, make new friends, live in a different area, investigate graduate schools, seek future employment, and, of course, become more independent! Sammi David, recent NSE alum, shares her experience.

What is the cost to participate in NSE? Can students apply for financial aid?
– Students exchange on the Plan B payment option, which means they pay their normal tuition/fees to Towson. Room and meals are always paid to the host campus. Yes. Towson students apply for financial aid at Towson.

Are there time limits for exchange? Is it possible to extend an exchange?
– Students can exchange for a semester or two but no more than a year. An exchange of one term may be extended to total no more than a year as long as the Towson and host coordinators agree to it in writing.

How can the student make sure the coursework from the host campus counts at Towson?
– Students will work with the NSE coordinator and department advisor to complete the NSE Petition to Transfer Courses form prior to leaving Towson. The student is responsible for having an official transcript sent to Towson. Courses completed at the host campus calculate into the cumulative GPA.

Visit the national website at www.NSE.org. Interested students may contact Kerica Henlon, Towson NSE Coordinator, at khenlon@towson.edu, 410-704-3405, and/or Lecture Hall building, room 5 for details.

Kerica Henlon
National Student Exchange Coordinator
Academic Advising Center

Sammi David
Towson University Student
National Student Exchange Participant

%d bloggers like this: