How To Find A Mentor In College

A while back, we discussed the benefits of having a mentor while you are working through college.  Be sure to check out this post, 6 Reasons to Find a Mentor in College, if you haven’t read it yet.  Maybe you are now convinced that a mentor is a good thing for you, so how do you find a mentor?  We will cover this very topic today.

Having a mentor is very helpful, but finding one (and the right one) can sometimes be difficult.  Below are our best tips to finding a college mentor.

1.  BE PATIENT – This is important because it can take some time to find one.  Don’t stop looking for a good mentor even if it takes a few years!

2.  LOOK EVERYWHERE – A mentor can be found in many places in and around a college campus; here are some of the best places to look…

  • Professional Organizations – joining professional organizations on campus (or off campus) will allow you to talk with established professionals in your field of study.  You can ask someone that you connect with to meet up with you regularly.  Some of these organizations even have mentorship programs
  • Your Professors – your professors are professionals too! Profs make excellent mentors because they well understand and care about students.
  • Mentorship Programs – many universities and colleges have mentorship programs available.  Simple seek them out and sign up to begin!
  • Co-workers or Employers – Did you do an internship where you connected well with a boss or more experienced co-worker?  Ask them to continue mentoring you during and beyond your internship.

3.  FIND A CONNECTION – when looking, find someone that you connect with.  A clear channel of communication is crucial to a beneficial mentoring relationship.  Choose someone that is understanding, insightful, and able to challenge you to achieve your goals

4.  ASK – when you think you’ve found a great potential, now comes the scary part!  You will have to ask them to mentor you.  But, do not be shy; most people love to help and offer advice!  This indeed can be a challenging step, so take some deep breaths and know that the benefit of a mentor far outweighs the momentary affliction of asking!

5. SCHEDULE – The scary part is over, and your mentor has agreed!  Now all that is left is to set a meeting schedule and location.  Be upfront with your mentor and make time for their schedule.  Suggest some times and dates.  Once agreed upon, be sure to send your mentor a friendly reminder a day or so before the meeting… if at all possible, make it easy for him/her to be your mentor instead of a burden.

And that’s it!  Finding a mentor is as easy as that, but it may just be the most fruitful relationship you make in college.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law – Huh? Don’t Stress About It… Or Do!

Why You Should Select Your Major BEFORE You Select A College

7 Senior Level Study Tips for College Freshmen with BONUS PRO TIP

 

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College Advice: Roommates

Roommates are a very common unknown heading into college. Lets hear from A Quirky Twist on how to make the most of your time with your roommate!

A Quirky Twist

MuIV2JN

Hi and welcome to A Quirky Twist’s college advice for freshmen! Today’s advice is on another highly searched topic amongst incoming college students and that is roommates. Whether you went random, were best friends, acquaintances, or met online, I have advice for you. Just remember every roommate relationship is different and yours might not be the same as your friends or neighbors. Again a disclaimer these are just suggestions I have on roommate relationships and not strict rules you need to follow. So with that I have 5 tips on roommates in college.

  1. CONTACT THEM OVER THE SUMMER

No, you don’t need to become best friends, or know every little thing about each other before meeting (it’s not bad if you do); however, you both need to figure out some of each other’s expectations before getting to campus. This way you both don’t show up with a fridge, microwave, printer…

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The Absolute Best 6 College Extra-Curricular Activities

What should you get involved with outside of the classroom?

College is a unique time in one’s life and development.  You are learning, living, and socializing all on your own for probably the first time in your life.  Academics and classes are pretty much planned out for you once you’ve finalized your major, but there are many other choices to be made!  One of those… What should you get involved with outside of the classroom?

Clubs, organizations, and events are great ways to make lifelong friends and find a sense of belonging on campus.  Often times, friendships developed from these activities will form your ‘family’ while you are in college.  You can join a whole lot of clubs or just a few, so get out there and find something to be a part of!

Here are 6 amazing extra-curricular activities for you to consider.

Academic Clubs/Teams

Move aside debate team and math team (although those probably still exist in college).  Technically, these are just ‘clubs’, but we are talking about serious academic clubs and teams here.  These teams that you can join that are AWESOME resume builders.  From mini-baja to concrete canoe race teams for engineers and entrepreneurship to investment strategy clubs for business majors.  Whatever your major, there is likely an organization that is centered around pushing the limits in that field.  These organizations are often sponsored by major companies and larger professional organizations.  All of this is most excellent for networking and, again, experiences that dream resumes are made of.

What to Expect Your Freshman Year in College – Part 1

Clubs

Now I am talking about a club not centered around academics or sports; these are typically constructed by similar interest, hobby, or culture.  You can join knitting clubs, kayaking clubs, tinkering clubs, video gaming clubs, cooking clubs, religious clubs, nationality-based clubs, Free High-fives clubs, and so on.  Just about anything you want to do, there is a club for that.  And if not, you can start it!

Student Government

Student government may sound boring and like stiff company, but it can be as much fun as any other club out there.  And, talk about another great resume booster! Student government often has elected positions which you can run for, but there are many other ways to get involved.  Check out government happenings to see if you may be interested before you simply pass on it because it sounds ‘boring’.

Club Sports

While simply another type of club on the surface, club sports typically have some added twists that make them a little different.  First off, it many sports teams meet more often than other clubs because of practices.  This just means that you spend more time together and have more opportunity for fun.  Secondly, club sports teams will often travel to other colleges and universities to compete.  I can attest first hand to the fun and adventure of visiting other campuses and competing.  Not only do you get to play sports at a very high level (say goodbye ‘Freshman 15’), but you also get to create strong friendships (as with any club) and make friends at other schools as well!

6 Reasons to Find a Mentor in College

Greek Life

Greek life is truly in its own category.  I wasn’t involved in Greek activities, so please leave us a comment on your experiences!  But, I can say that you can mostly ignore all of the stereotypes you see on TV about these organizations.  Fraternity and Sorority memberships can produce lifelong friends, excellent experiences like leadership or community service, networking opportunities, and much more.  Explore these organizations to see if you want to ‘GO GREEK’.

Sporting Events

Many colleges and university have varsity sports programs.  The games, matches, and events for these teams held on or off campus can be a absolute blast.  Gear up, paint up, and pump up for the big game, then go out there and cheer you team to victory along with thousands of your best friends!

Sam Fisher – Wisdom From A Recent Graduate

“Learn to code! It’s hard to find a single career these days where…”

Our third edition of ‘Wisdom From a Recent College Graduate’ features one of the nicest guys you will meet, and he is pretty darn smart too!  This, of course, is Mr. Sam Fisher.  Sam gives an excellent perspective from a student turned professional entrepreneur with A LOT of learning experiences along the way.  Sam is a Stanford grad and the Founder and CEO of Right Call Consulting!  Let’s hear what wisdom Sam has for us today!

What is your name and occupation?

My name is Sam Fisher, and I’m the Founder / CEO of Right Call Consulting and a Software Engineer at Respond Software.

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) did you earn?

I attended Stanford University and graduated with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems, one of Stanford’s interdisciplinary programs that is a mix between Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and the humanities. I will also be starting my MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in September.

What did you like most about your time in college?

The best part of my time in college was being around so many smart, engaging, and passionate young people. The environment was infectious, beginning in my freshman dorm and lasting through my final days on-campus. The people around me really pushed me forward on my journey.

What did you like least about your time in college?

I thought our college’s advising system left a lot to be desired. It was very hard to find people who could really help lead you down the right paths, which is an intimidating challenge at such a large university. As I grew older, I was able to add mentors around campus that helped, but I still feel like my first two years were unnecessarily rocky due to a lack of support.

What one piece of advice would you offer to a high school junior regarding choosing a major?

Have a plan, but be open to changing your mind! I came into Stanford expecting to be a computer science major, and I still felt that way through most of my first two years there. This helped me get settled in my academics, which was a nice boon, but as I got deeper in the major, I realized it wasn’t the right choice for me. I’m glad I made the swift decision to change majors (after asking for advice and making sure I’d still graduate on-time), as it was a very positive influence on the second half of my time in college.

Why You Should Select Your Major BEFORE You Select A College

What one piece of advice would you offer the same student regarding selecting a college?

Selecting a college is tough! My best advice is that there are many great schools, and until you have acceptance letters in hand, it’s a great idea to keep your options open. The easiest way to be happy with your college choice is to spend enough time to identify 10 or so schools you could be happy at before you apply, and then apply to those schools.

What is something that you would’ve done differently during the high school to college transition?

I was pretty happy with my transition from high school to college. I think by the time my senior summer was finishing up, I was itching to get on the plane!

What is something valuable that you learned outside of the classroom at college?

Wow, almost everything I learned of value in college came outside the classroom!

From being an RA and TA for two years each, to traveling around the country with Stanford’s sports teams for our student radio station and student newspaper, those special experiences shaped my college experience, and more importantly, molded me into the young adult I am today.

As a professional now, what advice do you have for college entrants to achieve a successful and fulfilling career?

My biggest advice is that it’s unrealistic to achieve these goals on day 1 of whatever career you end up embarking on. Many careers are more rewarding as you work your way up the ladder, and that’s ok too! In the beginning, find something you like enough to work hard, and be willing to listen to yourself and others as you consider changes you need to make. It’s a long, windy road, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

What is your best college ‘must do’ either inside or outside the classroom?

Learn to code! It’s hard to find a single career these days where having some coding knowledge isn’t a huge help, especially as you look for the entry-level jobs in that profession. Everyone should take at least one computer programming class in college, and the best time to do it is early in your college career. That way, if you finish the class and liked it, you can dive a little deeper during your remaining time in school. I promise it’s worth the effort!

Many thanks to Sam for his invaluable experience and advice.  Please leave us a comment or a like to thank Sam for his input!

 

Jonathan Oliver (The Ultimate) – Wisdom From A Recent Graduate

Tyler Martin (The One The Only) – Wisdom From a Recent College Graduate

Give Your Best Advice To Future College Students on How to Stay Out of DEBT

The Importance of Grades

Our post today is from Dr. Jonathan Golding’s blog ‘Beginners Guide To College Success’. This article is an excellent point on why your grades in college matter! Let’s hear from Dr. Golding!

Beginner's Guide to College Success

After teaching for almost 30 years, I have come to accept that not every student will earn a good grade in my courses—to me a good grade is an A or a B. This was a bit tough for me to deal with when I first started teaching, because I had naively assumed that everyone wanted to get a good grade. I had always “gone for the A” in college (even with a busy work schedule), why wouldn’t my students too. Some students may be in a real bind as far as good grades because their ability to devote time and effort into my courses is limited by job responsibilities, military service, or by personal difficulties (including mental issues). However, there are a number of students whose lack of motivation and willingness to give their maximum effort in my classes is driven by a view that grades are simply unimportant…

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What To Expect Your Freshman Year In College – Part 2 With BONUS!

… later you find yourself at the library, student center, and the athletic dorm?? …you get the picture.

Every student inevitably carries expectations and preconceived notions about college with them when they first arrive.  Our perception of college is shaped by many things like older siblings, friends, popculture, or our parents.  But, what should you really be expecting to experience on a daily basis during your freshman year?  We’ve compiled some thoughts and (possibly more) realistic expectations to consider when you first arrive on campus.  This being part 2 of this mini-series, be sure to read Part 1.

Classes Are The Same But Different

You will find that your college classes are very different from your high school ones in some ways, but you will also find that they can be very similar.  Let’s look at some differences and similarities.

Expect Nothing Two Classes To Be The Same

College classes can be very unpredictable.  They can be fast paced or boringly slow.  They can be extremely hard or extremely easy.  No two classes will be the same, so expect to know very little about the class when sitting down for the first lecture of the semester.  The best way to get the inside scoop on a particular class is to talk with students who have completed it in previous semesters.  Even then, be prepared for anything.  You might have to step up your game or change the way you work to succeed in a particular class.  In high school, you may have been able to apply basically the same study and class skills to every class and be successful.  This may not be the case in college!

Expect To Be Bored At Times

Even though college, including the classes, can be very exciting at times, some things about ‘school’ never change.  You may just find yourself bored at your desk (hard to imagine, right?).  The bright sunshine and colorful leaves out the window will still capture your attention greater than the invigorating, 10 year old PowerPoint presentation currently being read in monotone slide by slide… don’t get me started on professors who still use overhead projectors (if you even know what that is anymore).  All of this will happen, and it will be OK.  Just refocus, plan a time in your head later in the day to take a nice walk outside or setup your hammock, and ignore that glorious window for now in order to make it through your lecture.  Lastly, don’t get mad at yourself for being bored; that only distracts you further!  Accept if for what it is, and try to push through to still be successful in the class.  You will thank yourself come final exam time.

Expect This ONE BIG DIFFERENCE: The Professor Variable

If there is one thing I can say about succeeding in your classes as well as a difference from high school classes, it is that your professor can make or break your class.  Your professor can make your life awesome or miserable in many ways.  They can be a great or awful lecturer.  The can be generous or stingy with points on graded assignments.  They can be loose or extremely particular about formatting on assignments.  They can assign a lot of small grades throughout the course or just one massive group project for the whole semester (I still have recurring nightmares of this scenario)!  WHICH PROFESSOR YOU CHOOSE MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.  Often times, in your junior and senior level classes, you don’t have a choice of professor; you are stuck with whomever is gifted to you.  But, in your classes as a frosh or sophomore, you will likely have many options.  Talk with students who are older than you and look on professor rating sites.  Be prepared when it comes time to register for classes, and try to get the professor that YOU WANT!

…  later you find yourself at the library, student center, and the athletic dorm?? …you get the picture.

College Camp or College Life?

You are in a new environment. New campus, new room, new roommate, new dining table, new… EVERYTHING!  It will take some getting used to.  Expect to be homesick.  Change is challenging sometimes.  Homesickness is very, very common to most every college freshman.  Don’t ignore the feeling; but instead, live in the feeling and acknowledge it.  Tell yourself, ‘this is normal’, and then tell yourself, ‘this too shall pass’.  Here are somethings to expect that can help you be prepared when this feeling arrives.

Expect To Feel Like A Camper

Have you ever been to a summer camp?  All new faces, new bed, new dining table, new schedule, new… EVERYTHING!  Sound familiar?  College, at first, can feel a lot like camp.  This is a good thing for a while until you suddenly feel like you’ve been at camp for too long.  But, this camp doesn’t end!  This is where the homesickness sets in.  Recognize the ‘camp’ feeling upfront and begin to buffer your mind with the thought that this isn’t  camp and this is instead your new life.  Just being able to think about this slowly will help reduce the shock (and ultimately homesickness) of staying at college all year long.

Expect To Feel Like An Outsider Until You Don’t

College campuses often have a great vibe to them.  There is art, science, and philosophy colliding all over campus.  People are outside meeting with each other and enjoying shared spaces.  And, as a large part of the vibe, college campuses are a big community of people that all have one thing in common… this particular college is ‘home’.  Early in your freshman year, your college may not feel like home to you because it is so new and different.  Unfortunately, the same ‘home’ feeling that often connects students can be alienating to those that do not quite share that feeling yet.  But, don’t fret!  One day, you will be walking into your dorm building for the 356th time or you will be making your way across campus, and you will suddenly feel ‘home’.  This is truly a great feeling.  So, expect to feel like an outsider for a while… until you don’t!

BONUS – Invest In Some Walking Shoes

A university may be the epitome of cutting edge and advanced theory, but you will find certain things about college are as old as time itself.  One thing in particular… getting things done around campus.  Expect to be sent all over campus for just about everything.  Say you need to get proof of attendance at the university for your parent’s health insurance… easy enough right?  Wrong. Expect that operation to take ALL DAY.  You will first go to the registrar’s office and stand in line for 1.5 hours.  When you finally make it to the counter, you will be told you need a signature from your academic adviser.  You walk to your adviser’s office; she is not available until 2 hours later.  You wander around campus for 2 hours then show up to your adviser’s office.  You wait an extra 30 minutes outside her door because she still isn’t there.  When she arrives, you wait 30 more minutes for her to ‘get settled’.  Then finally, she tells you that you need to fill out a form on the university website…  later you find yourself at the library, student center, and the athletic dorm?? …you get the picture.  I cannot tell you how many times this happened to me in college.  You will be on campus tracking this down ALL DAY, so just expect it.

Jason Taussig – College and Career Advice That Colleges Won’t Tell You!

What are you thinking about when you enter college?  Most students are only thinking about making friends and taking in all that campus and college has to offer as a freshman.  Possibly, they are also still trying to figure out which major to choose.  College is exciting indeed (and a freshman should be excited!). But, if you are only thinking about tomorrow or the next month, you will be severely putting your future beyond college at a disadvantage!  But, don’t just take my word for it…  Let’s hear from experienced professionals making waves in their career every day of the week!

Today’s post is the first of a fresh series that is a spin off from our ‘Wisdom From A Recent Graduate’.  The questions are similar, but we wanted to give professionals who have been in an established career a little longer the opportunity to share their insights as well.  Jason Taussig has offered his experienced advice in what to consider NOW to make the most of your future career.  Be sure to follow College Careeer Success on Facebook to receive every edition of this new series!

 

What is your name and occupation?

Jason Taussig: Assistant Director of Airport Operations Support: Training and Exercise Design

 

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) did you earn?

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Bachelor of Aeronautical Science. Master of Science In Aeronautics.

 

Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid when Trying to Choose a College

 

What did you like most about your time in college?

Life Long friendships, Developing lifelong learning habits, Professional Contacts

 

What did you like least about your time in college?

I enjoyed most of my college experience. I would say early on, the transition into the newness of it all was challenging accompanied with times of feeling isolated.  I attended college out of state w/out anyone else I knew.

 

Knowing what you know from your professional career now, what one piece of advice would you offer to a high school junior regarding choosing a major?

Consider your gifting, abilities, and desires in selecting a major. Don’t just base it off of potential earnings.

 

Why You Should Select Your Major BEFORE You Select A College

 

What is something that you would’ve done differently during college or early in your career?

Taken more advantage of the activities the school offered. It may not seem like it but the years fly by and you may never get a chance again to take advantage of those things.

 

What is something valuable that you learned outside of the classroom at college?

Showing love and speaking encouragement to strangers makes a difference.

 

As a professional now, what advice do you have for college entrants to achieve a successful and fulfilling career?

Be disciplined, be flexible, be resilient, don’t make your identity in what you do. Work on developing character as much as gaining new knowledge.

 

Make Less, Earn More

 

What one thing do college students need to know about the working world that college will not teach them?

Work challenges don’t end w/ a final exam.

 

Thank you Jason for your excellent advice!!  Follow us on Facebook to receive every edition of this series and all of our FREE blog information!