Dream Big, Take Small Steps, And Make It Count

How To Frame Your Experience: An Article By Alan Carniol

Correct Way To Talk About Your Experience  Carniol

“I have 20 years of experience in…”
This is a phrase that means so much to you, your friends, your colleagues, and anyone else who understands the value of what you have to offer.
And it should — because 20 years is a long time.
Frankly, if you’relike many of the folks who read my Daily Success Boost newsletters, then, during those 20 years, you have amassed an incalculable amount of knowledge, specialist know-how, and hard-earned wisdom.
So, the words “20 years of experience” ought to have gravity.
Here’s the thing, though:
For an interviewer, or anyone else who doesn’t know you and doesn’t
understand thekind of conscientiousness your pour into your work, these words simply don’t mean a hoot. They have become meaningless.
Why?
Because they are thrown around by just about every mature candidate.
You need to give these words meaning, by spelling out in concrete terms why your experience makes you a superior candidate.
And there are three steps to doing this right:
First — You need to understand what the hiring manager is looking for in their dream candidate. What will he or she be expected to bring to the table?
Second — You need to sit down with a pen and paper, and make a list of all the tangible and intangible wins, achievements, and learning experiences that you racked up during all these years. Why is your experience
valuable?
Third — You need to put these two things together, and find specific wins, achievements, and learning experiences that demonstrate why hiring managers should see your experience as the valuable asset it is.
When you take the time to do this, then rather than saying, “I have 20 years of experience”, you can say something like the following instead:
“During the last 20 years, I have led teams through three separate mergers. While it is often a difficult time for everyone involved, I know from experience how to deal with many of the ‘people’ problems that are often overlooked, and make the transition as smooth as humanly possible for everyone.”
* * *
Now, if this seems like a difficult idea to apply in your particular field or career circumstances, don’t be dismayed. It’s probably easier than you think.
If you need help implementing Alan’s suggestions, lets take an hour to
go through the steps together. Be prepared the first time and every time you interview for a new job, a new role or a promotion.
Contact me at stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679

Colleges With Openings May 2019

OK, so you applied, did your best to make your application stand out and none of your favorite colleges sent you a “Come on down!”. Don’t worry, there are many colleges that didn’t fill all the seats and beds. These are great institutions, some in your back yard, some across the country.

Here’s the link to finding just the right place to start your college career.

https://www.nacacnet.org/news–publications/Research/CollegeOpenings/?fbclid=IwAR2MYa7jY_qpWqGBJhCRdWrt_BRbeeJJZ0z5nyIYRvt7TURNGrfXahLXol0

Best of luck!

Why Do Ivy Colleges Not Accept APs For Credit?

Why do Ivy League schools not accept APs?

Rosemary Ward Laberee

Rosemary Ward Laberee, Gig Education Expert – 21 years and still counting.Updated 10h ago

Posted on Quora 4/16/19

They have their reasons.

A few years ago Dartmouth did a study. They gave incoming students (who had taken AP psychology and got a 5 on the exam) a test to see how much they knew. At the same time they gave students who did not have AP psychology the same test. The students who had taken AP psychology and who had done quite well on the AP exam did no better on this assessment than the students who did not take AP Psychology.

They stopped accepting AP courses for college credit. Most elite universities are skeptical in this realm. They like to see their applicants have some AP course work because then they know that the student is prepared for college level work. But they prefer their students to take the basic courses at their college. Giving away Courses does them no favors and offers them no advantage. They do not need to negotiate this so usually they don’t.

Two of my own kids had taken AP micro and macro and did well on the exams. Their Ivy League college had no interest in awarding credit for this coursework, but, more importantly, according to my kids, that was a very good thing. Most of what they learned in these AP classes in high school was covered in the first six weeks of their college class. After that, the material was new. What they learned in the AP courses in high school was very inadequate when compared to what was covered in their actual college course for this subject.

Hope this helps –

Note added: This answer assumes the questioner wants to know why elite universities do not accept APs for credit, allowing the student to take fewer courses and pay less tuition. They don’t care very much about saving you money and they strongly prefer that you take the courses at their school. You might get to skip a class (without any tuition adjustment) and this may or may not be advisable.

Don’t Stress Over Choosing Which College Offer To Accept

There are no wrong choices, only different ones!

Boston College

Its decision time. Colleges have notified the students they have admitted, or will in the next few days. The wait has seemed endless and everyone wants to have the decision and deposit made.

Here is some ammunition to support your need to make a good choice without second guessing, anxiety or fear of making the wrong pick.

First, know that the college doesn’t educate you, you do that for yourself. Dedicate yourself to learning all that you can and to acquiring the skills employers want regardless of your college or major.

Remember that very few students, even those who know which career they want to prepare for actually graduate in the major they declare on their application. There are so many more options that will grad your attention than you can imagine now. You may end up in a completely different field of study than the one you are passionate about today.

Second, college is about growing and exploring yourself and the world. That you will change over the next four years is inevitable; you would change if you sat at home watching Netflix. You can’t predict who you will meet or how they will affect you. New directions will present themselves for your perusal through the friendships and professors on your campus. This will happen where ever you go. Don’t waste time trying to figure out if one set of people will be “better” than another. Your willingness to engage is what matters.

Third, you chose to apply to this set of colleges for specific reasons. Those reasons are still valid. Visit the schools that chose you over many others to see how you feel about each one. You will adapt to the college you attend and you will change that institution by being part of the campus. Take a deep breath and know that your choice will be the right one. Don’t look back, keep moving forward!

Show Your Love To Colleges: 5 Suggestions

Some colleges don’t care a fig whether you come for a visit and others want to see your face if at all possible. Most colleges track the interest you show in their campus and among those that do, quite a few add or subtract points when evaluating your application.

Its a good idea to perform, DI, Demonstrated Interest, in the colleges where you will, or have already applied. Its never too late to show an admissions office how much you care.

  1. Follow their teams and send kudos for victories or express disappointment at loses.
  2. Follow the college on social media, Yes, this will show all of them which colleges you are interested in so come up with a plan that highlights the top of your list, at least until the early decisions have been rendered.
  3. Use email to stay in touch with the admissions office. Congratulations are in order for the hiring of an influential professor, National Science Foundation grants, a new president, or anything else new and exciting on campus (like breaking ground for a new building). It shows you are paying attention!
  4. Update your application with an email explaining a new award, project, successful research paper, sports success, new job, travel opportunity, etc.
  5. Ask questions! Ask about anything that isn’t on the college website. Does the cafeteria buy locally? Who sponsors intramural tournaments? Can you have your own locker in the rec center? Are there hours during which you can’t practice your tuba in the dorm?
  6. BONUS: GO VISIT! See the campus at least once before submitting your application and again before a decision is rendered if you live within reasonable driving distance.

Applications from students who have no history with the university are called stealth applications. Typically, they are given less weight under the assumption that the student isn’t particularly interested in coming. The admissions office is charged with filling seats and beds and will choose students who are more likely to deposit if admitted.

Go forth and communicate! Its not too early or too late!


Important Information About The SAT and ACT

I’m passing on to you information about taking the SAT and ACT from Jed Applerouth, owner of Applerouth Tutoring, one of the top standardized test prep companies.

Applerouth advises students to wait until Junior year to test unless scores are needed by recruited athletes or for dual enrollment (to take college courses while in high school). Students who are taking Algebra 2 or who aren’t strong readers should wait until spring of their junior year.

Applerouth did a retrospective study on students clients who had already graduated to determine whether there was a significant change in the scores of students who took the ACT or SAT only in their junior year and those who took either test again in their senior year.  The results between the 2 groups was nearly identical.  The conclusion is that waiting until senior year to re-take the test does not create an advantage.

What did make a difference was the number of times a student took either test. The greatest gains were made by students who took the test 3 times.  The third test showed an average gain of almost 50 points on the SAT and 1.4 points on the ACT over the first test.

As you plan when take standardized tests, consider also if you will need to take AP tests or SAT II tests.  Choose times when you won’t be overwhelmed by classroom assignments or when you will need to take multiple tests on the same day.

Notes On Prepping The SAT

Over the last few testing dates there have been issues with the actual test questions and with the curve that left many students confused and fuming over their math scores.  College Board is no longer affiliated with Educational Testing Service which used to design and calibrate the questions on the SAT leading to a wider than expected variation in the difficulty of recent tests.

Easier tests mean that more students do well, raising the number of correct answers needed to score in the upper ranges of the curve.   In early 2017 ,47 or 48 correct answers out of 58 were needed to score 700.  In June 2018 it took 54 out of 58 to reach the same score because testers answered more questions correctly, raising the curve.

Additionally, changes in the test itself are not reflected in the test prep materials from College Board.  A student who uses these materials may feel prepared to score well when in actuality, the questions on the test aren’t reflected by the prep questions.  A better way to prep is to get from College Board Question and Answer Service  a copy of the October, March or May test which is a current and calibrated test similar to the test they will be taking.  I’d suggest the October 2018 test or after March, getting the March test.

Or, Take the ACT which at the moment isn’t experiencing these difficulties.

You have lots to think about.  Lets get to ether to talk about your testing plan.

Do Colleges Really Care About Your ACT or SAT Scores?

This question keeps popping up. Below I’ve copied answers from experts who regularly answer questions on Quora. Here’s what they have to say.

Douglas Duncan Pickard, I went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Twice.

[Why?] Because the SAT (and ACT) loosely correlate to freshman year GPA, therefore providing some assurance that the students won’t fail out right away.

Ok, that’s not the real reason. The real reason is because it provides a standardized test that all the prospective students take, so you are comparing “apples to apples” across all the applications. That helps with admissions decisions because GPA alone does not tell you much since education standards vary so much school to school.

Ok, that’s not the real reason either. The REAL real reason is that college rankings consider the average SAT score of admitted students. The higher it is the more it helps the schools rankings. It’s yet another way to keep score.

Gabriel J Ferrer Professor of Computer Science, Hendrix College

In my work as the chair of our college’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department, we have long made use of ACT Math scores as guidance in the placement process for entering students.

Generally speaking, a 28 or higher strongly predicts success in the Calculus sequence. A 24-27 also predicts success, but to a lesser degree.

A score below 24 predicts trouble. Viewed both at an abstract level as well as anecdotally in terms of instructor experience, such a score suggests poor algebra skills.

These predictions are not absolute, of course, and there are a number of students who manage to succeed in spite of low scores. But by and large, we have found ACT scores to be an excellent tool.

The most useful advice I can suggest is for high school students to work hard on mastering their algebra skills, and to some

How Do Top Students Study?

Question on Quora.com   How do top students study?

Answer by Shafiq, who studied Political Science at Standard University

Habits of Highly Effective Students

The key to becoming an effective student is learning how to study smarter, not harder. This becomes more and more true as you advance in your education.

An hour or two of studying a day is usually sufficient to make it through high school with satisfactory grades, but when college arrives, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all your studying in if you don’t know how to study smarter.

While some students are able to breeze through school with minimal effort, this is the exception.  The vast majority of successful students achieve their success by developing and applying effective study habits.

The following are the top 10 study habits employed by highly successful students.

So if you want to become a successful student, don’t get discouraged, don’t give up, just work to develop each of the study habits below and you’ll see your grades go up, your knowledge increase, and your ability to learn and assimilate information improve.

  1. Don’t attempt to cram all your studying into one session.

Ever find yourself up late at night expending more energy trying to keep your eyelids open than you are studying? If so, it’s time for a change. Successful students typically space their work out over shorter periods of time and rarely try to cram all of their studying into just one or two sessions. If you want to become a successful student then you need to learn to be consistent in your studies and to have regular, yet shorter, study periods.

  1. Plan when you’re going to study.

Successful students schedule specific times throughout the week when they are going to study — and then they stick with their schedule. Students who study sporadically and whimsically typically do not perform as well as students who have a set study schedule. Even if you’re all caught up with your studies, creating a weekly routine, where you set aside a period of time a few days a week, to review your courses will ensure you develop habits that will enable you to succeed in your education long term.

  1. Study at the same time.

Not only is it important that you plan when you’re going to study, it’s important you create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study at the same time each day and each week, you’re studying will become a regular part of your life. You’ll be mentally and emotionally more prepared for each study session and each study session will become more productive. If you have to change your schedule from time to time due to unexpected events, that’s okay, but get back on your routine as soon as the event has passed.

  1. Each study time should have a specific goal.

Simply studying without direction is not effective. You need to know exactly what you need to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying, set a study session goal that supports your overall academic goal (i.e. memorize 30 vocabulary words in order to ace the vocabulary section on an upcoming Spanish test.)

  1. Never procrastinate your planned study session.

It’s very easy, and common, to put off your study session because of lack of interest in the subject, because you have other things you need to get done, or just because the assignment is hard. Successful students DO NOT procrastinate studying. If you procrastinate your study session, your studying will become much less effective and you may not get everything accomplished that you need to. Procrastination also leads to rushing, and rushing is the number one cause of errors.

  1. Start with the most difficult subject first.

As your most difficult assignment or subject will require the most effort and mental energy, you should start with it first. Once you’ve completed the most difficult work, it will be much easier to complete the rest of your work. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult subject will greatly improve the effectiveness of your study sessions, and your academic performance.

  1. Always review your notes before starting an assignment.

Obviously, before you can review your notes you must first have notes to review. Always make sure to take good notes in class. Before you start each study session, and before you start a particular assignment, review your notes thoroughly to make sure you know how to complete the assignment correctly. Reviewing your notes before each study session will help you remember important subject matter learned during the day, and make sure your studying is targeted and effective.

  1. Make sure you’re not distracted while you’re studying.

Everyone gets distracted by something. Maybe it’s the TV. Or maybe it’s your family. Or maybe it’s just too quite. Some people actually study better with a little background noise. When you’re distracted while studying you (1) lose your train of thought and (2) are unable to focus — both of which will lead to very ineffective studying. Before you start studying find a place where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. For some people this is a quiet cubical in the recesses of the library. For others is in a common area where there is a little background noise.

  1. Use study groups effectively.

Ever heard the phrase “two heads are better than one?” Well this can be especially true when it comes to studying. Working in groups enables you to (1) get help from others when you’re struggling to understand a concept, (2) complete assignments more quickly, and (3) teach others, whereby helping both the other students and yourself to internalize the subject matter. However, study groups can become very ineffective if they’re not structured and if groups members come unprepared. Effective students use study groups effectively.

  1. Review your notes, schoolwork and other class materials over the weekend.

Successful students review what they’ve learned during the week over the weekend. This way they’re well prepared to continue learning new concepts that build upon previous coursework and knowledge acquired the previous week.

We’re confident that if you’ll develop the habits outlined above that you’ll see a major improvement in your academic success.

Students, if you need help becoming proficient at organizing your assignments and managing your study time, I can help.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679

 

 

What Are Mistakes Students Make In College Interviews

Tom Stagliano
Tom Stagliano, MIT Volunteer, interviewed freshmen for admissions
There are two basic mistakes made by the students:

First, the Student is supposed to schedule the interview. When the student contacts the interviewer, they have to realize that the interviewer is a volunteer with lots of other commitments. The student should know by the start of senior year in high school which colleges she/he will be applying to and which ones require an interview. They should schedule that interview as early as possible. This past Fall, I conducted four interviews and each applicant contacted me on the last day possible (per the college’s web site). Two for Early Action and two for regular admission.

That will be noted in the interview report. If you can’t budget your schedule well when informed of deadlines at least six weeks in advance, then how can you budget an intensive college life?

Second, the applicant should come to the interview with two purposes in mind:
The ability to tell the interviewer what the applicant does other than study and other than academic subjects. That is what the interview is all about. The interviewer does not care about your grades, nor scores, nor how many AP classes you take. The interviewer wants to know what else you do. Fifty percent of the applicants to most top colleges could do the work and graduate in four years. However, the college can only accept one of every seven of that 50%. Where you distinguish yourself is in that interview.

Have questions to ask. The interviewer is there to answer questions about the college. In my case the interview should be conducted before you finish the online application. You may learn something from the interview that will guide you better in filling out the application.

The applicant’s appearance should be neat and appropriate, like for a job interview. However, a tie is not required for the male applicants.

In my case, it is (roughly) a 90 minute two-way discussion, and you should make the time fly through your conversational abilities.

Relax, and enjoy the interview process. The interviewer loves her/his college and loves to interview otherwise they would not being doing the interviews. Take advantage of that.

NOTE: I give “extra brownie points” to an applicant who has done her/his homework and looked up information on me, and works that into the interview. It shows initiative. After all, I was an undergraduate at that college and many of my avocations were cultivated there.

If you contact me I’ll give you my interview prep guide.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679