Clean Up Your Social Media Profile: People Are Looking!

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

https://www.themuse.com/advice/8-easy-ways-clean-up-social-media-job-search?bsft_eid=5ca85a2b-d842-9d9c-29fd-8f5ac61

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.

By

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.”

A WOW Way To Research Colleges!

Rose-Hulman University Innovation Center

Lynn O’Shaughnessy offers students surprising advice about how to shop for colleges in her blog, The College Solution. Here’s her post on digging deeply into the department you’re considering for your major. Most students don’t spend the time to go beyond the virtual tour and admissions pages but those who do find a wealth of pertinent information.

Here’s the link: www.thecollegesolution.com/researching-colleges-during-a-pandemic/

Admissions Vocabulary: How You Apply

Will This Be Your Alma Mater?

Are you ever confused by words and terms you hear on a college visit or that writers use in articles about college admission? Read on to find explanations and definitions.

Early Decision      Early Decision is an application submitted by a student who holds a strong preference for a specific college above all others. At most colleges that offer ED, the decision is binding, meaning that if accepted, the student will enroll. All other applications must be withdrawn upon acceptance at the ED college. Obviously, a student can only apply to one college Early Decision.

Deadlines for Early Decision are usually between November 1st December 1st. Once all material has been received the applications are read. Decisions are sent out in 4-6 weeks fr the deadline and can be an acceptance, a denial or deferral which is putting the application into the regular decision round.

Early Decision is an advantage for the college because they know that students who are admitted will come, ie, seats that are guaranteed to be filled. ED is an advantage for the student who no longer has to wait for acceptances.

For students who are applying for financial aid, Early Decision is a disadvantage because they are committed to a college without seeing the aid package. If the aid doesn’t meet their needs or ability to pay, they don’t have other schools waiting for them.

Early Action     Early Action also shows a preference for a particular college by asking for an answer quickly. EA deadlines are usually 11/1 or 11/15 if the college does not also have an ED option.   When all the supporting documentation has arrived, the application is read and a decision made. The response can be acceptance, denial or deferring the application to the regular decision pool. Usually, the student is notified in 4-6 weeks. Early Action is non-binding so a student can apply to more than on college EA.  They must notify the college that they will attend by May 1.

Regular Decision is when the most applications are read.  Students not choosing to apply Early Decision or Early Action apply in this group.  With part of the class filled students considered to be a member of a group that is under-represented in the class may be given preference.  For example, women applying to  engineering,  men where a large cohort of women has been admitted, an athlete playing a less popular sport, someone applying to a new major, a student from an under-represented geographical region.  At most colleges the class is filled largely from among the regular decision applicants.  Decisions are either accept, deny or Wait List.

The Wait List is a holding place to see how many students send in a deposit by May 1.  Should you be wait listed you have the option to accept admission to any other college. If there are unfilled spots in the class, some students on the wait list are notified of admission.

Rolling Admission is the plan under which applications are read as soon as all supporting documents have been received.  Students usually receive the decision within 6 weeks of a completed submission.

Deadline Reading is used by a few colleges who like to look at all the applicants at the same time.  The deadline for applying is typically in January.  When all applications are complete, they are read and discussed by admissions officers and decisions are sent out to all students at the same time, by April 15th at the latest.

No matter which decision protocol you choose, be aware of deadlines. All documentation must arrive by that date to be considered. Incomplete early applications usually move to the regular decision pool. You can check you application online to see when scores and your high school packet arrive. It’s your responsibility to make certain that it is complete.

You might want to save this post for future reference.

Good luck!

Where to Find Money For College

Recently, we covered general information about scholarships.  Now we’ll talk about where to look for them.

Never pay  an agency to search for scholarships for you!  Your own diligence will reward you with more than enough material that won’t cut into your profits.

FIRST source of scholarships is the colleges you’re going to apply to.  When you make your due-diligence visit, go to the Financial Aid Office.  Make an appointment, if you can, so that you will meet with a professional rather than the work-study student manning the counter.

  • Ask if  this college has a policy of meeting full need without loans.  That will open a discussion of their aid package and merit aid options.
  • Next, ask about specific scholarships that you might fit.  Many families leave money to a college for an incoming student that is similar to a family member who attended.  Are you a left handed violinist?  Micro-economics major from Scranton?  Have grandparents from Lithuania?  These scholarships go begging because the FA office doesn’t have the resources to comb through the admitted students to find a match.
  • Many colleges have discounts for the children of educators or veterans or police officers; its good for you if your parent is one of these!

Second Review all the employers your parents and grandparents have worked for; make a list of organizations members of your family belong to; add any that you or they could join that offer scholarships to members.  Look for civil, social and professional group memberships.

Third  Look at companies with whom you do business.  Many corporations mention  scholarships in their advertising, in on-line profiles or on their websites.  Check brands you use or are familiar with. You’ll be amazed! You don’t need to be an athlete  to be eligible for a local team’s scholarships.

Fourth Use apps and online resources.  You might want to create a dedicated email address to use when signing up  online.  You can use this address for joining college blogs or reaching out to admissions offices.  Keep the address professional.

  • scholly app for android and iphone for $.99
  • scholarshipadvisor app ( from Washington Post)
  • scholarpro.com
  • tuitionrewards.com (Sage Scholars)
  • tuitionsfundingsources.com
  • moolahspot.com
  • finaid.org or fastweb.org (Marc Kantrowitz)
  • Scholarship Owl,
  • Scholarships 360,
  • Scholarship Points.
  • quatromoney.com/scholarship
  • Big Future/College Board

You will find that most scholarships are good for 4 years so long as you remain in school with a minimum GPA. However, some are for one year require you to go through the application process from the beginning for each additional year.

Good luck with your search! $$

I have more ideas for you if you reach out. stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679. Let talk!

Intro to Finding Scholarships

Lets face it, by the time senior year rolls around you’re too busy starting the transition to college, writing essays and attending Home Coming to spend much time looking for scholarships.

Once you turn 13 you can earn scholarships that will be held until you need them. By that standard, if you’re 15 you’ve lost 2 years in the free money hunt. No time like the present to get started.

The first thing on your agenda is to have a serious and frank discussion with your parents about what they can afford to pay for you to attend college. Remember that over the 4-6 years that you will be a student the costs will only go up, at least slightly. Keep in mind that your siblings will need college money, too. The conversation may be uncomfortable but it is a necessary step.

The very worst thing you can do is “just get in and we’ll figure it out”. That is completely backwards. Here are a few facts about college costs.

1. When a college lists average student debt on their website they refer to loans in the student’s name without including debt in a parent’s name.  The number is almost always just above $30,000.

2. Most Loans your parents take to finance your education must be paid beginning immediately and be paid every month like a mortgage or car loan.

3. Your financial aid package will have loans built into it that don’t cover the Expected Family Contribution for which many families must also borrow.

Now that I’ve convinced you to be serious about what you can afford, here’s a story about one student who made earning scholarships a priority and a job. The story comes from Susan Smith in the Philadelphia Inquirer on 6/15/13.

Christopher Gray of Birmingham Alabama, wanted to attend a college in the Northeast. To finance his education he spent 3 months in the library researching scholarships. Ultimately, he applied for more than 70 scholarships, of which he received 34, for a total of $1.3million, enough to pay for his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D, living expenses and some to invest.

$1.3 million, yes your read that correctly. He is not the only student who has scored big by investing time and effort in searching for financial resources.

How to start your own search. Step One : Get Organized

You will need a filing system. Put it on your computer and consider a box you where you can put material mailed to you by colleges. You will need tabs for:

1. your resume, transcripts, test scores, and other official documents; tax records

2. informal records that you keep of community service, honors/awards, employment hours and responsibilities, leadership accomplishments.

3. scholarship information and a separate page or file for those applied for

4. articles you want to keep and leads

5. correspondence related to scholarships including from your school

6. college marketing material

The files can be used jointly by parents and students.

Christopher Gray created an app for android and iphones called scholly that sells for $.99. When you’ve set up your organization tools and downloaded the app, read the next post to see where to begin looking for free college money.

Read Where To Find Money for College to learn more!

Current Financial Information for Students: Get Help, Loan Info, Stimulus Payments, More

Raise.me, a scholarship program that helps first year college students, has posted valuable information to help students find or keep money during the Covid crisis (https://www.raise.me/blog/students/financial-wellness-during-covid-19/). Raise.me is addressing concerns of current college attendees, and is not a prediction of what the money landscape will look like for today’s high school seniors or juniors.

For those who aren’t familiar with Raise.me, the basis of their scholarships is a student’s high school record. $$ are awarded for each A or B, activities, and leadership. The program offers a one-time scholarship that can be applied to first year college expenses.

There are 2 downsides to this bounty. It is only available based on high school experiences so there is no follow up for the rest of one’s college expenses. The money dispersed is considered income when the financial aid package for year two is calculated. The money has been spent on expenses for year 1 and now can reduce the amount of aid given to pay for year 2. If you have earned a large sum for year 1, get help calculating the difference it will make in year 2 and if you will have to borrow .

Every Little Bit Helps!

Words of Comfort for Juniors

Dartmouth

In our up-side-down world, applying to college seems daunting and alien. You aren’t getting the support from your guidance office that you once had, you can’t visit colleges, information is scanty and occasionally conflicting. Never mind that you won’t be finishing your high school career in the place and manner you expected.

Read these words from the blog of the Georgia Tech admissions office and see how well the people who read applications get the predicament you’re in.

In the work you do with me as your educational consultant, in all those pieces of information I request, updates and preferences, reviews and visits, I see you and help you see yourself. You have to know who you are to show that to the admission committee. The more we do the easier it becomes. We’re on the right track. They will see you through your application.

IB Exams Canceled for 2020

From the IB website:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak FAQS Last update: 23March 2020IB STATEMENT ON MAY 2020 DP AND CP EXAMINATIONS

Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic. As an organization, it is critical for us to ensure that the options we provide our global community of IB World schools are based on compassion for our students and teachers and, fairness for the difficult circumstances our students and educators are experiencing. We are grateful for your patience and consideration.

As a result, the IB with considerable advisement from stakeholders across the globe including schools, students, universities and official bodies has determined the most responsible and ethical way forward. The IB will be taking the following actions for the 2020 May Examination session:

The May 2020 examinations as scheduled between 30April and 22May for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates will no longer be held.•Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. Full detail and FAQs will be sent to schools by 27 March 2020 (CET).

Best of luck to everyone. I know you’ve worked hard and will continue to do well.

Maximize Online Learning

Bring Your A Game to Distance Learning

Keeping focused while taking classes online can be difficult. Bring your study skills, time management and persistence to your new work space as you stay on top of assignments.

Creating a habit is probably most important to succeeding with online courses. When I don’t want to do something I procrastinate. I tell myself that there is plenty of time to complete the task. This is the exact opposite of what is needed with online classes. Make a schedule and stick to it. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is when you have a framework for getting started.

If you don’t have lessons from your teachers you can find lesson plans and help at Khan Academy (khanacademy.org). You’ll find math, science and more. Khan even provides lists of books for reading for pleasure or to alert you to iconic works for cultural literacy.

One of my favorite websites is freerice.com. Challenge yourself with this vocabulary quiz were you will have a choice of meanings for the word that pops up. When you score well you are boosted to a new level of difficulty. When you guess incorrectly you remain at that level or drop back. Best of all, every correct response triggers donations of rice to communities that suffer food insecurity.

For college bound students this time without 24/7 scheduling is a blessing in disguise. You have time to deeply research colleges. Many admissions offices are putting the information sessions on line. Most have virtual tours of the campus led by one of the ambassadors who work for the admission office. Reach out to the admissions staff with questions. Join college social media although not much is being posted at the moment.

Khan Academy has SAT prep on their website for students who will be taking a standardized test. Even Freshmen can benefit from exposure to the prep sessions.

Online learning isn’t new to colleges. You will find that brick and mortar institutions make some of their classes online to facilitate getting the courses needed for graduation. Online learning isn’t dumbed down versions of in-person classes and some students find them more difficult. Time management is the key and persistence is right behind. The habits you develop while home from high school can be valuable when you are a college student.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Thomas, Unsplash
Here’s another fun thing to do: go to the database www.citizenscience.gov and look at all the real time science research you can take part in. The image above illustrates one of the astronomy initiatives. You don’t need any special knowledge or training: if you can click of a mouse you’re qualified to take part. I’m curious about the cosmos so I chose to look at astronomy projects but there are hundreds of other fields. You can add tags for keyword search to documents in the Library of Congress. A task on Rosa Parks looks interesting. Other topics include Gardening, Biology, Environmental Science, Social Science,Clean Water Management. Go forth through the internet and explore the universe, or atoms or people!


Update: When you need to add some PE to your class schedule, or you’ve just had enough chair time, there are some places you can find a workout or a class. I’ve done this challenge; I hate squats but this is a fun break from sitting at the computer.

Several places are offering their virtual classes for free: Beach Body Fitness, Les Mills, Edge Fitness, Down Dog downdogapp.com. Enjoy!