Tag Archives: jobs

Are Summer Jobs Realistic Anymore?

With the school year winding down and summer break almost upon us, a lot of students are starting to make plans for their summers. Some have vacations, some will simply be going home for the summer, and many will be looking for a summer job. College and life, in general, are expensive and we could all use a little extra cash in our pocket. People have been doing this for years, so it is no big deal, right? Not exactly.

starbucks worker
“Most businesses are not looking for part-time summer help anymore; most places want someone who is willing to work part-time year-round.” Photo from: http://cdn.thesimpledollar.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/starbucks-barista.jpg

The world is changing and progressing rapidly and things aren’t the same as they were 20, 10, or even five years ago. Most businesses are not looking for part-time summer help anymore; most places want someone who is willing to work part-time year-round, at the very least. And working year-round is not a very plausible option for most college students. First of all, most college students go home for the summer which is usually not very close to college. It can be two hours away, four hours away, or six or eight hours away. So even if a college student wanted to, the idea of having a year round job is not a possibility. And with that option gone, the job opportunities dwindle. Most places of business do not want to hire someone only to replace them after three months; that is just bad business.

If a college student lives near their college campus and does stay in the same area year-round, they will still run into similar problems. While it is not impossible to keep a job and go to college at the same time (plenty of college students do exactly that), it is difficult and not something that everyone can do. Any college student can tell you that college is hard and that it takes a lot of time and effort; many have to spend the vast majority of their time working on school work. It is not uncommon for them to have very little spare time left and it’s hard to work at a job when you only have a few spare hours. College is intensive, and the whole point of summer break is to give you an actual break, not spend it begging for a job that you’ll likely have to quit in a few months.

Inter-Department Classes

Everyone ends up majoring in one specific field of study during their college career, but what if we could start taking classes from other majors and incorporating them into our class schedules? An English major focuses almost exclusively on literature analysis and technical writing skills, but what do they know of the sciences or of business skills? A geology major knows about Earth, its composition, and how it functions, but how many have professional writing skills? New types of courses should be implemented in all of the majors so that people can gain interchangeable skills and knowledge to help them further their lives and careers.

job listings 2
“New classes that mix different fields of study together could be very helpful to a great many people.” Photo from: http://www.onpointexecutivecenter.com/wp-content/uploads/here-are-four-tips-for-drafting-the-most-impressive-job-listings-_16001268_40007186_0_14070211_500.jpg

Each major focuses on teaching one specific set of skills but everything else is placed on the back burner. Let us say a student has extensive knowledge in human anatomy and they go on to discover something significant in the field. While they could probably explain it to other people in their specific field, other people outside of it would have little to no knowledge of the terminology that would be used nor have the background knowledge to understand why such a discovery would be significant. This is where writing and communication skills that are offered only in English classes come in handy because then a person would be better able to explain what has happened.

New classes that mix different fields of study together could be very helpful to a great many people. A writing in biochemistry class, design in business class, or music in physical therapy class are just a few options that could be made available to students. Any number of classes could be created and offered to both expand a student’s knowledge and help them specialize for possible work opportunities. In a world where so many people are obtaining the same or similar degrees as each other, the need for more specialized skills becomes greater.

Getting a Job in Trump’s Presidency

For many graduating college students, President Trump’s federal hiring freeze is near devastating. From hopeful criminal justice majors to ambitious outdoor recreation majors, their potential job pool is diminishing. Also, certain majors at universities require you to earn and complete an internship before you can receive a degree.

President Trump offered advice, writing, “In carrying out this memorandum, I ask that you seek efficient use of existing personnel and funds to improve public services and the delivery of these services.” To cushion the blow, he adds “Accordingly, this memorandum does not prohibit making reallocations to meet the highest priority needs and to ensure that essential services are not interrupted and national security is not affected.”

job listings
“He [President Trump] promised during his campaign to create jobs. Where is that promise now?” Photo from: http://acrl.ala.org/residency/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/job-hunting.jpg
Richard Delehanty, a senior at Radford majoring in parks and tourism, has been personally affected by this presidential memorandum. To complete his degree, Richard needs to complete an internship. While researching job opportunities at local state parks, he had many employers say they weren’t hiring due to the federal hiring freeze. Richard, disgruntled by the lack of respect for job security, points out “He [President Trump] promised during his campaign to create jobs. Where is that promise now? These are American people who work for these agencies. He has collectively told a group of people their jobs aren’t worth it. Your skills are irrelevant as are your jobs. For what in exchange? It’s bullshit.”

Richard highlighted the importance of these jobs, saying, “It’s obvious our environment is in a state of crisis. This is no debate, only an agenda that doesn’t account for other’s health and safety. Parks are relying on volunteer work. Without the necessary manpower, they will inevitably deteriorate. Most parks hire the bulk of their workers during the summer, when in demand from tourism and daily maintenance. During my work for New Jersey Palisades Park a few years ago, I had to rebuild an entire trail because of natural deterioration. Without the help of my coworkers and I, the trail would have been impassable. If these parks can’t cope, they will close temporarily. With no one to monitor and maintain the parks, vandals and poachers are free to roam. Park animals are accustomed to humans, leaving them most vulnerable to hunters. The lack of security due to the hiring freeze will be taken advantage of, killing protected wildlife and plant-life. We have left our world in such a disastrous state, and we must preserve what we can. As beings of the same planet, we cannot continue to take and take. I happen to like this planet.”

The need for these jobs as well as many similar ones is clear. To preserve the beauty of nature and the American lifestyle, call your representative. Express your grief until something is done. We are told from grade school that we are the future. Take your role seriously.

To find your representative’s contact information, enter your zip code into this website:

http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/

How Much Will That College Degree Actually Help?

Nowadays it is pretty normal and almost expected for people to go to college. It is just what is done, and those who either go straight into the workforce or the military are the outliers (not that there is anything wrong with that). This is a pretty significant change from the generation of most college student’s parents. It used to be that you could go straight into the workforce without worrying about college; in fact, most people did and got along fine. However, it seems that everyone needs a college degree to get any job beyond basic retail or the fast food industry. But does a degree really help?

Almost any medium or high-level job requires at least a basic four-year degree to even be considered, which is a large part of the problem. A bachelor’s degree has become the new status quo, and it is the minimum requirement. Going to a basic four-year college is no longer enough to stand out. It’s expected that you have at least that much if you are even going to consider applying for a job. This has made finding a job, stable employment, and most importantly financial security much more difficult. This is extremely concerning for most college students because of the massive debt that they rack up just to get those four-year degrees.

job app
“Many employers want several years worth of work experience as a minimum requirement. It is extremely hard to get work experience when you are in college.” Photo from: http://allthatglitterspawn.com

Another issue is that for most starting positions, many employers want several years worth of work experience as a minimum requirement. It is extremely hard to get work experience when you are in college. Any college student will tell you that they are already extremely busy with their school work. Many will tell you that they aren’t able to have a job and still manage their school workload. And yet, we are expected, at a minimum, to have this work experience along with our four-year degree straight out of college.

A college degree is always a good thing to have, but recently it seems like students have to go above and beyond just to stand a chance. You either have to pursue even higher levels of education (and rack up more debt) or somehow manage to work at least a part-time job within your field of study while juggling an ever-increasing workload from school, which is not easy (and in fact a quite daunting) task.

How To Use Lessons From Sports In Everyday Life

Growing up as an athlete, I learned a lot of things  differently than other kids. I played soccer with a team and my teammates were like my family. I thought of them all as my sisters and was very close with each of them. We traveled away every weekend together to go play 3 or 4 games in a weekend and be exhausted by Sunday but it was worth all the effort.

We had the same group of coaches throughout our years playing together as well. They instilled certain values in us in different ways than most kids learn these values. For example, leadership was the biggest value I took away from my soccer experience. I was captain for 6 years straight and with that came a lot of responsibility and decision making. I had to tell my teammates what we were going to wear every night for practice, traveling outfits for driving to games and jersey colors for games.

Incorporate sport lessons in other aspects of your life. Graphic from Scroll Online
Incorporate sport lessons in other aspects of your life. Graphic from Scroll Online

I also was very vocal on the field with my teammates letting them know when they were doing a good job and what we needed to improve on as a team. One year, when my team wasn’t doing as well as we had all hoped, I started to become very negative and I didn’t realize it until my coaches told me to lighten up and stay positive and optimistic. That was another lesson I learned–to stay positive, even when things aren’t going your way.

Staying positive has gotten me through so many things in my life that I didn’t think I would be able to get over or to see something turning out for the better for myself. Whenever I’m having a terrible day or struggling with schoolwork or something else in my life, I just think back to all of those times I was on the soccer field with my teammates, my family, and my coaches on the sidelines watching me and expecting me to be positive like they had shown me and taught me.

I’m so thankful I learned not just these two but many valuable lessons from playing soccer and other sports as well. I think it helped me grow up quicker and become a better and more positive person and equipped me to deal with hard times in my life.

Money jar

You can make your jar fun and pretty too! Photo from blog.quizzle.com

Over the past year or so, I’ve realized how important money is. I don’t mean that in the superficial “money buys happiness and being rich is all that matters” kind of way. I mean that having money is truly the only way to survive. Money buys food, shelter, clothes, and education. Without those four necessary things, we as humans can’t survive. However, despite the basic needs for survival, money also buys things that differentiate surviving from living. Anyone can survive, but not everyone truly lives.

Money can’t buy happiness, that I agree with. However, money can help. I consider living to be defined as experiencing new things, enjoying what life has to offer, and doing these things with people you love. Money can purchase concert tickets, amusement park tickets, gas for road trips, plane tickets that allow you to explore the world. Without money, you’re left with what your hometown has to offer, the same movie theaters and outlet malls that you’ve been accustomed to your entire life. I wouldn’t consider continuing to go to those places as experiencing or learning new things. Although money can encourage living, you have to work hard and save up to be able to experience what the world has to offer.

Money jars are pretty self explanatory. I’m sure you’ve seen them on tumblr, pinterest, and maybe even instagram. Money jars are jars that contain money that you’ve saved up. When you receive your paycheck or whatever type of money you receive from working, you can take a fraction of your earnings and place it into the jar. I’m choosing to put 20 dollars every month into the jar. By doing this, eventually, you’ll have enough money saved up to be able to travel, to buy tickets to wherever or whomever you want to see. This method allows you to continue to pay rent, buy food, or other responsibilities you might have to survive, while also saving up so you can live. Because what is surviving without living?

By having a physical object to look at, containing money that you have worked hard for, it allows you to see the bigger picture, to see why you work those long hours, working yourself to the bone. It gives you a reminder of why you work and do the things you do. Money jars are a physical reminder of the fun experiences the life has in store for you. It reminds you to never give up because living is more important than simply surviving.

Networking is more important than you think

Networking is everything. Meeting new people, as many people as you can, is as important as an impressive resume or extensive experience, sometimes even more important. Knowing people, no matter how unimportant or important you think they are, will almost always come in handy later in life when you’re looking for that dream job. When it comes to that time in your life when the job you’re applying for is being decided between you and someone else, having connections and knowing people in your field will be your saving grace, will get you that job.

Talking everyone and anyone can lead to great experiences. Graphic from logok.org
Talking everyone and anyone can lead to great experiences. Graphic from logok.org

Outside my hotel in New York city, I was smoking a cigarette, wearing my student media conference name tag, when a woman walked up and stood next to me and pulled out a cigarette as well.

She saw my name tag, as well as my girlfriend’s name tag who was also standing next to me, and began to talk to us, asking about the conference and what specifically we were doing here. As we were telling her, she revealed to us that she is a managing editor at NBC. We kept our conversation going by asking her questions about her job and how she got to the position she is at now. She gave us advice, telling us we need to do internships every year, that networking and knowing people will be vital to our careers in media.

She gave us wonderful advice and expressed to us that she loved her job and she feels rewarded everyday, being able to do what she does. As she was leaving, we graciously thanked her for talking to us and she told us again “Internships, internships, internships!” I will forever remember that conversation and how much her advice affected me.

When we walked outside our hotel to smoke, we would have never thought that we’d run into the managing editor of NBC. If we had been at a different place at a different time, we would have never had the amazing opportunity of meeting her. If we weren’t wearing our name tags, she would have had no idea we were attending the student media conference and she wouldn’t have talked to us in the first place.

We didn’t think we would have met someone so influential by going outside and having a cigarette. Networking doesn’t always have to be forced, nor does it have to be awkward or intimidating. Cecilia Bradley was one of the nicest women I’ve ever met and she’ll never know the true impact she had on me. Who knows, maybe sometime in the future, our small conversation on the streets of New York City will help me get my dream job.

Highlanders Anonymous: What now?

“I hate my job so much. Everyone is so annoying there, but I really need the money. How do I keep dealing with these people?”

If you really need the money, it’s worth it to stay at your job and try to work things out. Even if you’re able to adjust your budget and can afford to quit, try to stay there and figure things out. Jobs are essential for college students to learn valuable skills and gain experience and knowledge for resumes.

No matter where you go or what you do, there will always be difficult people with whom you are forced to cooperate.  Although it may leave a bad taste in your mouth to continue acting civil to someone you dislike, you might have to bite your tongue and let things go. Choose your battles and be kind when bringing up something that upsets you in your work environment.

A small issue can easily build into something extremely challenging to resolve when left alone.

What do I do now? Graphic from Bang2Write
What do I do now? Graphic from Bang2Write

“I’ve run out of problems to ask. Why am I so happy?”

That doesn’t really seem like a problem to me…

“Stress is killing me right now. I’ve fallen behind in a class and it’s too late to withdraw. I feel overwhelmed. What now?”

Right now, take a deep breath. It might not be too late to try and turn it around. It’s worth a shot to try and talk to your professors and ask them for a chance to get your act together. Although it seems unlikely sometimes, there are those out there that actually want you to succeed. Sometimes, if you explain your situation and state that you really want to succeed, they will be on board.

If not, you may very well fail your class. That is a really scary thought, but you can’t let it eat you up. We all fail sometimes. What’s the worst that’s going to happen if you fail this class? Isn’t it just a minor setback? Where can you go from here? Even if it’s difficult to carry on after the realization that you’re going to fail, it helps to ask: What’s next for me? That way, you can come up with a plan that will make you feel less helpless.

Personally, when I start taking action it makes me feel much more peaceful.

Commuting Hell!

Although off-campus living can come with a few perks, there are also some huge downsides to it, including transportation to campus and around Radford. If you live outside of town, you may drive twenty or thirty minutes every day to get to class. Early classes are a huge struggle, especially if they’re at 8 a.m. This is made even more challenging when you’re forced to get up earlier to make the drive.

RU Transit

Although there is the option to use public transportation, it may be difficult for those with tight schedules and those who have jobs to get to. Maintaining a job and finding the time to get school work done is also a juggling act that many off-campus students have to do week by week.

When arriving on campus, parking can be a huge task in itself. You’ve got to worry about getting to the school early enough to be able to find a parking space and you’ve got to pay for a parking pass. This does not help those of us that have difficulty budgeting our time as well as budgeting anything else.

Commuters have an entirely different school experience than other students. They’ve got to pay a fortune in gas money and other car expenses each semester. They also have to transform their home into a study-friendly zone, because living away from other students can make focusing on textbooks difficult. Speaking of textbooks, commuters have to lug those around. Often, they carry more things to school each day. Forgetting materials at home ruin the effort of getting to school.

Traffic complications may cause missed classes. If you’ve already reached your allotted amount of missed classes and are stuck far from your school, beware. Winter is coming! That means that snow may be a major obstacle in the near future. If this winter is anything like what people are saying, there are definitely going to be complications.

To avoid missing classes due to bad weather, find an on-campus buddy that you can crash with for a couple of days. Wait out the storm with this friend so that you can keep attending classes. Don’t let weather be the reason you fail a class.

 

 

 

What to know when you attend a career fair

Whether you’re about to graduate or you’re just a freshman discovering college, you can always benefit from attending career fairs. Representatives from companies attend these fairs offering internship positions as well as full time employment opportunities.

career_fair
If you never explore you’ll never know what’s out there. Photo from Creative Commons.

Here are some things to keep in mind when attending a career fair. Continue reading What to know when you attend a career fair

Pick me, pick me!

There have been three official presidential debates this election year, including one vice presidential debate.

Obama and Romney in their first live debate at the University of Denver on October 3.

A majority consensus of registered voters, liberal and conservative alike, believed that Governor Mitt Romney proved victorious on Wed, Oct. 3 debate. Romney has quite often been portrayed as a wealthy businessman who simply does not understand the struggles of an average man or woman. Moderator Jim Lehrer, host of NewsHour on PBS, opened the debate with a question about the two candidates’ jobs agenda. Continue reading Pick me, pick me!

The Internet: A vital tool to any job search

The Internet is becoming an increasingly important tool to any soon-to-be college graduate. The Internet is one of the most common ways through which people obtain jobs. If a job seeker knows where to look, the Internet can be a useful tool for both job seeking and networking. Both are vital in the hunt for employment.

There are a number of resources out there for job seekers to use, all of which have their benefits and drawbacks. Below are some useful tools in the search for employment. These resources should provide a good base for any job seeker and help them decide what to do once they have that all-important interview. Continue reading The Internet: A vital tool to any job search

Take pride in your work

A lot of people blame their lack of productivity on laziness, but what I think is really wrong with the world right now is that people don’t take pride in their work.

I think this problem stems from our society’s tendency to give tangible rewards for a job well done. At some point we lost sight of what it means to do things for the good of the world, or even those around us. Yes, people still take care of their children and the children benefit from that, but we have social services to make it happen.

Photo from Creative Commons.

The problem starts in elementary school for most people. We’re taught that if we do well, we will get a good grade that shows us how good we are. Sometimes if we answer a question correctly, we get a prize. On TV, people get cash prizes for being the smartest, strongest or craziest. What we aren’t taught is how our talents can help people and how that’s more important than money.

Because of this, we have people who are hardly willing to get out of bed in the morning without incentive. I see this problem in college students every day. Since they don’t see their grades too often, they see no reason to go to class and learn something if they don’t feel like it. For some reason the fact that they are paying tuition isn’t enough.

What’s worse is those students who choose a major just because “it makes money,” when, in fact, they probably won’t be very good at that major if they don’t like it. I have a few friends who just started college, and they chose the business major just because it supposedly makes money. This is probably the biggest mistake they could make because in that major you definitely have to be good at it to go far.

Here is my idea on how things should be — people should find something they love and do it, even if it’s not the highest-paying job ever. As a matter of fact, sometimes the thing you love doesn’t need to be your job. I love comedy and I crack jokes almost constantly, but I don’t plan to make a living on it, and I’m OK with that because seeing people smile is enough for me.

My other love is journalism because when done right, it keeps people informed and the world will always need people to do that. Once again, I’m not in it for the money; I’m a journalist because I know it’s important for our society to know what’s happening. To me, the fulfillment of doing what’s necessary is the best incentive in the world.

I know that right now the world isn’t a very good place for people who want to do what they love, but I’m convinced that someday it will be. When that day comes, hopefully society will get up and do things with a smile because it feels right.