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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.
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
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 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.–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

Depauw University Promises Job Within 6 Months of Graduation.

The Gold Commitment

Liberal Arts graduates in fact do get jobs.  Already, 95% of Depauw students have meaningful jobs or admission to graduate programs within 6 months of commencement.  The Gold Commitment promises that anyone not having a job will be offered one with the university or its affiliates or an additional 6 months of education free.

Here’s the link to the article in Inside Higher Education.

Forget GPAs And Test Scores: Performance Assessment Can Predict Who Gets Accepted and Who Gets Hired 30 #Under30

Can you imagine a world where your GPA and test scores don’t matter in admissions? There’s a seismic shift at leading universities that signals a move in this direction.

This shift is called performance assessments, a method of evaluation that emphasizes demonstrated learning and acquired skills.

Rubrics for evaluating performance are already in place at leading institutions like University of Michigan Ross School of Business and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In addition, performance-based assessments are supported through policy initiatives in 17 states and in more than 100 countries.

These facts are according to a report published by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) in January 2018. President of the LPI, Linda Darling-Hammond, says that the spread of performance assessments is due to the demand for “higher-order thinking and complex communication” skills and the need to prepare students “for the non-routine nature of work.”

Darling-Hammond, who is also a Stanford Professor Emeritus and former team lead campaign advisor to Barack Obama, says that enhancing the role of performance assessments has potential to enhance diversity on campus and beyond. Moving away from traditional measures of student learning, GPA and test scores, will allow a wider swath of applicants to stand out.

Darling-Hammond points out that over 900 higher education institutions now have test-optional admissions. The move away from numbers-focused evaluation shows that test scores neither predict success nor demonstrate knowledge.

This also means that with exceptional experience, such as starting a successful business or overcoming adversity, you may be able to stand out despite having lower scores. Blaire Moody Rideout, University of Michigan Ross’s Director of Admissions, who oversees evaluation and selection, says unequivocally that performance-based materials are far more helpful to evaluating students than other materials because they provide “a unique presentation of self that demonstrates learning.”

In addition to being more helpful in applicant evaluation, infusing performance-based activities into traditional curricula may better prepare industry hires. Darling-Hammond points to The National Academies Foundation (NAF) as one avenue for top companies to find new talent. The NAF uses university-industry partnerships to roll out “industry-specific curricula and work-based learning experience,” preparing the future workforce with requisite skills.

The move toward performance assessments also mirrors the hiring practices of leading companies like design thinking firm IDEO and Google. According to the official company blog, when applying to work at IDEO, “a standard-issue résumé and cover letter won’t turn heads.” Instead, candidates have put together video portraits, custom apps or “in one case, brought turntables connected to a dancing robot for an impromptu DJ set.” This clue on what IDEO appreciates in applicants shows their desire to hire those who can perform.

In a similar vein, Google has moved away from using brain-teaser questions in interviews and toward performance-based evaluation. In Google’s interviews with engineers, candidates complete specific coding tasks and activities like improving an algorithm and coding in their favorite programming language. Like IDEO, Google’s hiring process emphasizes tasks that can predict on-the- job performance.

In addition to supporting the pipeline for traditional hires, the advent of performance assessments across higher education and industry presents a market opportunity for tech entrepreneurs. Darling-Hammond notes that new startups are popping up in response to the demand for performance assessments, developing platforms to “capture the complexities” of applicant work.

Altogether, performance-based evaluation provides a new opportunity for applicants to stand out when applying for universities and to jobs. In addition, higher education institutions and companies that use performance assessments are likely to have a more accurate measure of a person’s capabilities. There is also a market opportunity for young entrepreneurs to capitalize on the proliferation of performance assessments by providing new media platforms that enable applicants to demonstrate their history of impact and learning.