Tuition Insurance?

Every now and then someone acts on an idea that we’ve been wondering about. tuition insurance may be a good purchase this year as colleges’ plans are up in the air and Covid-19 is spreading again. Here’s the article from Higher ED about GradGuard.

7 Good Questions To Ask The Interviewer

Some good questions to ask at the end of an interview include the following:

  1. What are the most important skills and qualities required to succeed in this job?
  2. What is a typical day or week for someone working on this job?
  3. What new innovations, changes, processes, systems, ideas or improvements do you expect the new staff to bring to this position?
  4. Is this a new position or a replacement?
  5. Who does this job report to and what is the preferred management style of the Supervisor?
  6. What do you like the most about this Company?
  7. What is the biggest challenge that someone in this position faces?
  8. How is performance evaluated or measured for this position?
  9. What is the biggest challenge that this organization is facing?
  10. Describe the company’s culture.
  11. What are the main goals or key priorities for the company for the next 5 years?
  12. What is the top priority or task that the new staff would have to accomplish within the first 30, 60 or 90 days?

Finally, also listen carefully during the course of an interview. Take some key notes and be able to comment or ask a question about something specific or important that the interviewer had mentioned earlier. This would show your attentiveness and attention to detail.

At the very end of an interview, close by saying that you are definitely interested in the job and then ask – What are the next steps in the interviewing pr

When Should Your Resume Be Longer Than One Page?

As you undoubtedly already know, a resume gets 5-6 seconds of attention while the reader decides to pursue the candidate.  Or not.   Your resume needs to make the most of that brief time so make your document easy to read and easy to scan for important information.

When you have enough experience that the only way to cover the relevant details is to reduce the font or squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, its time to add a second page.  This may take 10 years of  relevant work.

To make the most of your resume real estate, check the list of your accomplishments to be certain that you’ve eliminated all but those that are needed for the position.  Choose your format: chronological or functional.  You may find that one allows you to include more data than the other.

Choose a basic font like Verdana or Times New Roman in 10-12 point.  Bullets will make the document more readable and scanable.

For those with a short employment history, internship experiences can highlight skills as effectively as those gained through pay-check.  Add projects or research done for college course work if it relates to the job you’re going for.  For instance, if you were a business major and took the marketing role on team projects, show what you did and the outcome.

Sometimes you have more than enough data to fill one page but not much for the second page.  Unless you have about 1/3 of the second page covered, try reworking your entries.  You might be able to expand on one or two to fill more space on page 2.

Perhaps you have a longer work history or your experience is with the government or higher education.  Instead of a resume you may be expected to produce a Curriculum Vitae, or CV.  You will include your publications and presentations, and projects along with work experience.

Length is less important than clarity and the ability of the reader to identify the details that match up with the requirements of the role on offer.

When you’re ready for a resume or CV, let me help you put your best foot forward.  Once you learn how to create the document, you’ll be able to update and make new resumes as needed. or 610-212-6679.

Before You answer An Interview Question Do This

Imagine you’re sitting in an interview for your dream job.
The interviewer asks you a big question, and your answer will make or break your chances of getting the job.
Everything’s on the line.
What’s the best way to answer so that you create a strong impression?
Not the way most people answer. Most folks list every reason they believe qualifies them for the job.
Why is that a bad strategy?
Shouldn’t you lay out all the reasons why you’re perfect the job?
Actually, no.
Consider this:
If I asked you to remember a nine-digit number, chances are you’d have a hard time recalling them all later. But if I asked you to remember a three-digit number, you’d have no problem.
So it goes with interviews.
If you lay all your cards on the table at once, it’s too much information. At the end of the day, an exhausted interviewer may have a few notes from your interview, but may not be able to remember much of what was actually said.
The key to giving memorable answers is ONLY responding with one or two clear points that directly answer the question and make a strong impression they won’t soon forget.
That’s where the “3-Second Rule” comes in:
Next time an interviewer asks you a question, resist the urge to share everything you think they need to hear. Instead, take three seconds and think to yourself: “What is the one big point I need to make to answer this question?”
After you’ve decided which card to play, then make your clear, compelling point and stop right there.
Your answer will be MUCH more memorable, and this will dramatically increase your chances of acing the interview.
How do you know which card to play?
It may sound obvious, but the key is crafting solid points ahead of time, and practicing your answers.
When you rehearse your answers before the interview, you’ll be able to stay cool under pressure. You’ll be able to take advantage of the “3-Second Rule” and choose your best, most succinct answer. And you’ll be able to make your one (or two at most) big points with confidence.

Practice These Behaviors To Be Ready For A Promotion

Nine Behaviors of Highly Promotable People

Gloria was a thirty-something member of the wait staff at a local restaurant.  She had experience gained while in college and was now picking up extra money on the early morning shift.

It wasn’t long before she was asked to become shift manager which was timely when her “day job” had been eliminated.  Within six months Gloria was working the busiest shifts, managing the other wait staff and substituting for the general manager as needed.

Here are the behaviors that made Gloria valuable.

She treated the restaurant as her own business, paying attention to the bottom line and her opportunities to add to it. She didn’t wait to be asked to do something but jumped in when she saw a job that needed doing; she also offered to help others when they were slammed with customers.

Gloria also listened to the customers, getting feed back on service, menu items and preferences.  By watching food production and service, Gloria learned to identify when a miscue was about to produce a delay in prep or timely service.  She was able to divert difficulties before they became bigger snafus.

Gloria’s flexibility led directly to the smooth running of the front of the house in harmony with the rhythms of the kitchen.

Solid employees bring positive energy to the job.  Their commitment to the success of the business distinguishes them from clock-in-and-get-a-paycheck Janes and Joes and elevates them to highly-promotable status.


Looking For A Job? Low GPA? Try This

From the National Association of Colleges and Employers

Emmit from ITESM asked:

“At the beginning of my studies I had some personal problems that affected my performance, at the end I did very good on my courses but I have a bad GPA. How should I handle this situation on an interview?”

Hello Emmit. I am sure many other students can relate to your challenge of having a personal issue that affected their grades in college. You may be surprised to know that you are not alone and also relieved to hear that having a low GPA is not the end of the world for your job search.

According to a Fall 2016 National College Health Assessment, 50% of undergraduate students and close to 40% of graduate students in U.S. colleges found it traumatic or very difficult to handle academics in the past year. Many students have difficulty adjusting to college academic work and sometimes have added personal stresses

How Do I Find Employers that Don’t Screen for GPA When Hiring?

Although 70% of larger companies often screen for GPA when hiring (according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2017 Report) the good news is that many smaller employers do not screen for GPA when hiring. How do you find thITESM, ese employers?

  • Look at job postings to see what the application requires. If the application form requires a GPA or transcripts, that may be an indication that GPA matters (not necessarily in all cases).
  • Create a list of employers of interest and check in with your career service office at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores (ITESM) to see which ones may not require a high GPA. Having worked in a college career service office for over 10 years, I had close relationships with many of the employers and their hiring requirements.
  • Conduct informational interviews (brief 20-30 minute conversations with people who work at companies that interest you) and ask them how important was GPA in the application and interview process.

If I am Required to Disclose My GPA in My Application, What Can I Do to Offset This?

Show that you were balancing multiple activities outside of coursework. If you worked in addition to taking classes, specify how many hours/ week you were working. If you served as a leader of a student organization, be sure to include these additional activities and highlight any achievements on your resume. Relevant experience in your field can often be more important than a high GPA. Be sure to highlight any internships, relevant coursework, academic projects and volunteer work that may demonstrate relevant skills in your field.

If I Do Get Asked About My GPA During an Interview, What Should I Say?

While it is unlikely that you will get asked to explain your GPA in an interview (especially if your GPA is not required for your application), it could happen. Think about what happened and how you can frame it into a positive story. Leave out any deeply personal issues that may be awkward and hard to explain or that might raise a red flag.

As a hypothetical example, you might say that your family’s financial circumstances changed and you ended up having to work two jobs while taking a full load of classes to help cover your tuition and that your grades suffered. Be sure to add that you were able to work hard and pick your grades back up in your final year. Employers like to hear that you can bounce back from adversity.

Best of luck to you with your job search Emmit!


There are many problems that we can solve together! or 610-212-6679


Top 5 Interview Mistakes: #3 IS A Deal Killer

Here are the top five:

  1. Seeming distracted or disinterested in the interview, the interviewer, or the job
  2. Talking negatively about a past employer (keep negativity OUT of the conversation)
  3. Appearing uninformed about the company or role (do your research)
  4. Not providing specific examples that are relevant to the position
  5. Not asking good questions about exploring the job with them and creating new possibilities together

All of these mistakes come from a lack of preparation, so it’s imperative that

Clean Up Your Social Media Profile: People Are Looking!

What if I told you that we all have two resumes?

The first is the crisp white sheet sprinkled with bullet points and carefully-chosen verbs. On it are descriptions of our education, the positions we’ve held, and acquired skills. This one we reserve for job interviews.

And then there are our other “resumes:” the Instagram account that reveals our love for happy hour, the Twitter account turned gossip column, and the Facebook profile that has pictures that are just a bit too NSFW.

The reality is that hiring managers are looking at your social media just as thoroughly as your resume or cover letter. In fact, 45% of hiring managers use social media to learn more about potential candidates. Which means you want it to be just as pristine.

But cleaning up your online image doesn’t mean you need to change everything about who you are. It just means you may need to monitor how you post or what you share (and with whom).

Here are eight tips that’ll help you project your best online self—without sacrificing your personality.

1. Make Your Accounts Private

Let’s start here in case companies are already looking at your social media. Simply go to your settings and choose only “friends” to see your activity.

Also, if you really want your profiles to remain personal, maybe only accept friend requests from people you know and not anyone in your professional network, like old bosses or co-workers.

That said, if you want to remain public, you should…

2. Hide or Delete Any Inappropriate Posts

These posts don’t need to go away completely! You can always archive Instagram photos, save Snapchats to memories, hide content from your Facebook timeline, or set your settings to “Only me” so certain posts are private.

3. Deactivate Old Accounts

Like your middle school YouTube account that’s been floating on the internet for far too long. If you wouldn’t care to revisit your teenage self, you probably don’t want hiring managers to, either.

Even if you don’t think you have any, google yourself! You might be surprised what you forgot you signed up for.

4. Add the Right Photos

Your photo is literally the first thing hiring managers see when they find you online.

No need to get a professional headshot, but do make sure that your profile and cover photos are professional and easily visible (and actually have one, none of that Twitter egg nonsense).

5. Add a Professional Bio

This is the best way to explain who you are, what makes you unique, and why you’re the perfect hire.

Not sure how to write one? Here’s an article that can help you craft the perfect bio for each platform.

6. Edit Your Handles and URLs

Because a custom url takes less than a minute to create, and looks far more intentional.

7. Post Industry-Related News, Quotes, or Articles

Post, share, or retweet anything related to the industry you’re in or want to be a part of. When a hiring manager sees that the mission of their company falls in line with your own brand, they’re even more likely to consider you for a position.

8. Follow Inspiring People and Companies

Blogs, news sources, and any other website you love count, too! This tells managers what you’re passionate about, which leaders you admire, and what trends you’re up-to-date on. As weird as it may seem, we also are who we follow.

Here are some Twitter and LinkedIn influencers we recommend.

Lastly, make smart social media choices. Before you post something, contemplate whether it matches the online presence you wish to uphold.

Think of it this way: If a hiring manager brought it up in an interview, would you be able to explain why you posted it?

Affordable MBA For Working People

A University’s Online M.B.A. Is Less Expensive — and Purposely Different

Boston University’s new online business degree is $24,000 for a reason. Unlike on-campus program, it has no electives and is aimed at a different audience.


Doug Lederman August 14, 2019

Many of the universities that have created lower-priced online graduate programs in recent years have gone out of their way to make the case that the digital versions are equivalent to their (more expensive) in-person equivalents.

“Online students learn from the same faculty and take the same courses as those on campus in Atlanta,” Georgia Institute of Technology states in describing the online version of its master of science in cybersecurity degree.

Inside Digital Learning

“Yes, this is the same degree as the on-campus M.B.A. degree, and after successfully completing the degree requirements you will be part of the Illinois alumni network,” the University of Illinois’s Gies School of Business says in the FAQ for its online M.B.A. offered with Coursera. (Gies went so far as to end its on-campus program after this year.)

Boston University makes no such promises about its new online master’s in business administration degree in conjunction with edX, which will cost $24,000 compared to tuition and fees of $56,000-plus for its in-person, full-time version (more than $76,000 with room and board).

Oh, officials at BU’s Questrom School of Business believe the online degree program will be of high quality — and in fact they believe the on-campus version will have much to learn from the virtual iteration.

But the new online M.B.A. will differ from the in-person version in many ways: among other things, it’s aimed at a different audience (“the global learner” who wants to advance her career while still working versus a career switcher who chooses to take a year-plus out of the workforce to return to school), has a different curriculum (five modules built around “capabilities” such as “data-driven decision making” rather than courses such as marketing or operations), and allows less specialization.

“We’re differentiating our programs more,” said Susan Fournier, Questrom’s dean. “At the same time, we’re launching a program for the global online segment, having the most innovative and customized offering to meet their needs. We’re doubling down to improve the on-campus M.B.A., emphasizing and creating more value in the things you will get in that degree that you won’t have online.”

As befits someone in her position, Fournier reaches to other industries that appear in the business school’s case studies for analogies. Steinway and Porsche, she said, are both high-end brands that have found ways to offer lower-priced versions of their instruments and vehicles, respectively, while maintaining their reputations for quality — in large part by augmenting the services they offer on their higher-priced offerings.

“There’s a big difference,” she says, “in the value propositions.”

BU Builds Up

As is true of many things in higher education, “new” initiatives like Boston University’s low-priced M.B.A. were a long time coming (or at least “long” as that is defined in the digital era).

The university has experimented with online education for nearly 20 years, originally through its extension programs and more recently through a separate office of online education.

It was an early partner of edX, the massive open online course provider founded by neighboring Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 2017 the Questrom business school began offering “micromaster’s” credentials in digital leadership and digital product management through edX, part of the provider’s suite of mixed online/in-person programs that could be stacked to form a full master’s.

All of that work has helped the university to do some of the hardest work around online education, which involves creating the administrative and policy infrastructure and getting faculty members comfortable experimenting with new modes of delivery.

Then “boom,” Fournier said, edX approached BU about creating its first fully online M.B.A. program — inspired, certainly, by the fact that the MOOC provider’s rival, Coursera, had been steadily expanding its suite of low-priced online master’s programs, including the aforementioned iMBA at Illinois. EdX announced a set of such master’s programs last fall, but an M.B.A. was not among them.

Fournier said she and her colleagues were intrigued by the idea of creating a fully online M.B.A. program with edX, for a variety of reasons.

First is edX’s status as a platform of 21 million learners internationally and its mission of providing accessible, high-quality education around the world, which aligns, Fournier said, with the business school’s value statement of “creating value for the world.”

Second, she said, tapping into the MOOC provider’s enormous user base could give Boston University a head start in building a program of significant “scale,” which Fournier said she has come to believe is essential for success in digital learning, “given the huge investment you have to make in infrastructure, faculty acculturation, capability development, studies and new staff, which are all very costly.” BU’s full-time M.B.A. program has about 300 students, and its part-time executive M.B.A. has about 640. The enrollment target for the fully online M.B.A.: 2,500 to 3,000 within five years, Fournier said.

Aiming for a larger scale “also starts to suggest a pricing strategy,” she said. Most selective institutions purposely limit who they serve, and as a result tend to price their programs “super high.” The alternative, she said, is to “try to use this wider funnel” to attract more people, potentially allowing you to price the program lower.

Online education “should be priced lower,” Fournier adds. “If we tried to bring 1,000 M.B.A. students, 2,000 students, to Boston, the cost would absolutely be higher. We’d need new buildings, and to scale up the faculty five times. This way we should have lower acquisition costs and lower costs of delivery.”

Reconsidering What’s in the M.B.A.

As BU and Questrom were dabbling with various forms of digital learning, they were also re-evaluating the nature of business education, through a series of global and regional conversations called the Business Education Jam.

The discussions, which involved other business education organizations as well, involved several thousand academics and business professionals around the question of what business education should look like in the 21st century. And the bottom-line answer, Fournier said, is that it “looks very different from our current core M.B.A.,” especially for the group she calls “global learners.”

Rather than building expertise in narrow disciplines like accounting or finance, she said, business leaders going forward need “five competencies” that they can use in whatever field or setting they work in: leading with integrity; creating a socially responsible business in the digital age; developing an innovative mind-set; pursuing a global business opportunity; and learning data-driven decision making.

The business school has begun slowly revising its traditional curricula and degree programs, but that sort of change doesn’t happen fast.

The new online degree, on the other hand, offers an opportunity to remake the curriculum from the get-go — and to strip away everything that doesn’t fit. The curriculum is made up of modules in each of the five aforementioned competencies — period. “That foundation is what we think the 21st-century learner needs to know,” Fournier said. “We are not offering any electives,” which are very expensive because of the faculty expertise required to offer them. “When you do those five modules, this is it — you’re done.”

Fournier and Questrom recognize that that stripped-down curriculum won’t satisfy everyone — in fact, they’re counting on it.

“That’s why that degree is $24,000, and the other one is not,” she says. Students in the fully online M.B.A. can’t take electives in health care, as 28 percent of the university’s in-person business students do, given Boston’s vibrant health sector.

They won’t have networking interactions or career counseling or in-person internships, as students in the in-person program do.

That’s where Steinway and Porsche come in, she says. Questrom will have to find a way to “sustain product offerings at different levels” and to persuade students that its M.B.A. programs have sufficient value, whether they’re paying $24,000 or $76,000.

“It’s our responsibility,” she said, “to make that value proposition obvious.”