PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT: University of Florida Materials Science and Engineering

Today’s post is the first in a new series simply titled: PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT.  As you may have guessed this series will highlight different programs at colleges and universities to showcase the diverse and immense options out there for upcoming college students.  After a student has selected some potential careers (along with determining the majors necessary for those careers) to pursue after college, these programs are a great way to research and compare colleges when making a final choice on admissions.

We will look into the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) program at the University of Florida (UF) today.  MSE is a discipline that is often misunderstood by some or completely unknown by others.  You’ve probably heard of civil or mechanical engineering, or aerospace or chemical engineering, but what is materials science and engineering.  The bottom line is that everything requires a material, MSE is simply the optimization or the development of a material for a specific function (or sometimes finding a function for a new material!).  MSE has excellent potential for a solid career after graduation because almost every other engineering and science discipline requires material optimization.  If you consider all of the industries surrounding every field of engineering and science… that’s a lot of job opportunities!

The UF MSE program boasts a top 10 graduate and undergraduate ranking in the county.  Core classes in undergraduate study include study of ceramics, electronic materials, metallugy, and polymers.  Graduate and post-graduate research extends the study of these materials and more beyond the surface level (check out Tribology research if you choose not to go deeper than the surface!).

The University’s MSE program is also the host to multiple specific research centers including the Major Analytical Instrumentation Center and the Biomaterials Center.  The ongoing research and development of these specialized facilities has allowed UF MSE stundents, professors, and researchers to build quite a resume of accomplishments. According to the UF website, ‘Bioglass®, the first man-made substance known to bond with living human bone and soft tissue, was invented by an MSE faculty member.’  Similarly, ‘Blue lasers will revolutionize optical data storage and telecommunications. The first room-temperature, optically pumped blue laser was developed by an MSE faculty member. The department has a nationally recognized program to develop semiconductors that lase in the blue region of the spectrum.’

If this sounds exciting to you, then maybe MSE is in your future!  If this type of academics is not quite your idea of a fun day in the classroom, that’s ok too.  But, this is the type of digging and research you should be doing for each of your potential careers at every different potential college you are considering!

Learn more about the UF MSE program at the link below, and follow us to get the next edition of PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT!

http://www.mse.ufl.edu/

 

What to Expect Your Freshman Year in College – Part 1

Is Mike Rowe Correct? Should You Even Go To College?

7 College Must Do’s

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!

Charity Boman – College and Career Advice That Colleges Won’t Tell You!

“…It was a combination of all those things that made my career what it is today. If I had only attended college, I would probably still have a job, not a career.”

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 second in the ‘College and Career Advice That Colleges Won’t Tell You!’.  Here we want to give professionals who have been in an established career the opportunity to share their insights.  Charity Boman has offered her 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? 

Charity Boman, Controller

 

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

Kansas State University, Bachelor’s in Business Accounting

 

What did you like most about your time in college? 

I really enjoyed being surrounded by so many like-minded, similarly focused peers.

 

What did you like least about your time in college? 

What I liked least about college is the realization that the classes only prepare you for so much.  I worked my way through college, took internships, and volunteered.  It was a combination of all those things that made my career what it is today.  If I had only attended college, I would probably still have a job, not a career.

 

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? 

I started school intending on being a Chemical Engineer.  I was good at Chemistry; it paid well and sounded like a great career choice.  The problem was I didn’t ENJOY chemistry.  I changed majors to something I actually enjoyed, and I have been successful and achieved my goals.

 

So many students have a goal to ‘go to college’.  The goal should not be going, the goal should be the outcome.

 

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

While deciding on where to go to college, I focused too much on ‘getting out of here’, instead of focusing on where I should be to achieve my goals.  Sometimes the best choice isn’t halfway across the country, it could be right in your home town.

 

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

I worked, some years full time jobs, during my college years.  This was by choice.  My parents were paying my way, thankfully.  BUT, it was at my job that I realized who/what I wanted to be, and exactly what I didn’t want to be.  As a Jr./Sr. in high school, you don’t even fully understand the variety of jobs and careers out there.  You have to broaden your horizons and open up your level of experiences to know what it is you may enjoy doing.

 

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

So many students have a goal to ‘go to college’.  The goal should not be going, the goal should be the outcome.  Decide what you want to be then pick the path that gets you there.  If you start college without a goal, you will not fully utilize its potential.

 

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

Your degree may help you get the job, but it doesn’t mean you will keep it.  It’s your work ethic that will build your career, your degree just gets you in the door.

 

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

7 College Must Do’s

Why You Should Select Your Major BEFORE You Select A College

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

 

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

Our second installment of ‘Wisdom From a Recent College Graduate’ features none other than Mr. Jonathan Oliver.  He has offered his best advice today about going to college and making the absolute most of your investment.   Jonathan is a Civil Engineer, dedicated husband, and faithful Clemson Tigers fan.  Let’s hear what wisdom this recent grad has for us!

What is your name and occupation?

Jonathan Oliver, Civil Engineer

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

Clemson University, BS in Civil Engineering

Georgia Tech, MS in Civil Engineering

What did you like most about your time in college?

Being surrounded by so many new people and all the many many many social situations I encountered every day.

What did you like least about your time in college?

Living in the stuffy honors dorm my freshman year.

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

Think about the types of classes you enjoy most and are the most successful in.  If you dislike math or physics you probably shouldn’t be an engineer.  If you dislike writing and grammar you probably shouldn’t study communications.  Every school publishes some sort of course catalog every year or semester than lists all the classes available for study and includes some type of description of the class content.  Find a course catalog from a school you think you may be interesting in attending and simply read the class titles and descriptions of the difference majors and see which ones catch your eye most.

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

First, see above answer on choosing a major. You don’t have to select one now, but start brainstorming several you may be interested in.  While many people may tell you to just start college with your major “undeclared”, you should at least research whether a school offers those degree programs.  For example I was considering studying engineering or architecture when I was choosing a school but then found out that my first choice school didn’t offer architecture and had limited courses in engineering.

Second, go on a campus tour!  Some things are best witnessed in person, and where you may spend the next four years of your life is one of them.  Would you rent an apartment without first looking at it? Probably not.  Start your Junior year with one or two schools you are initially interested in.  These first few tours will begin to help you know what to look for in a school.  I was never really interested in attending Clemson until I went on a campus tour, and I have no regrets whatsoever about my final choice for where to attend college.

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

Done more research on all the programs, offerings, clubs, and events my school choice offered before I arrived.  I was almost drowning in information and choices and feel like I missed out on some of the unique opportunities college has to offer.

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

How to live on my own, be responsible for paying rent and bills, cook, manage a personal budget, and still manage my time well enough to get good grades while being busy with numerous clubs and activities.

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

Career is the key word here  – think more about what you’d like to get out of your career. Talk to graduates from your major or program and see what type of jobs they have.  Many colleges have career services offices that can connect you with graduates and professionals who are usually more than willing to help current students walking the same steps they did.

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

Inside the classroom: Get to know the classmates in your major.  They’ll become valuable resources during classes and lifelong friends and professional connections after school.

Outside the classroom: Internships! Not only do they look good on your resume (and you usually earn some money $$), but it’s a great 2-3 month sample of what your career could look like to help make your decision.

 

Thank you Jonathan for your insight!  Also, see our first installment from this series on Mr. Tyler Martin.

 

6 Reasons to Find a Mentor in College

The Three Things I Learned At College NOT In My Textbook (Grades DON’T matter!?)

Why You Should Select Your Major BEFORE You Select A College

6 Reasons to Find a Mentor in College

Luke Skywalker has Yoda; the Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi; Bilbo, Gandalf; Neo, Morpheus; the Ninja Turtles, Splinter. What epic story hero does not first have a master to expertly shape and train them?

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

While your college training may not involve catching a fly with chopsticks or learning to do the limbo under midair bullets, a mentor can still provide training and insight beyond what you can develop for yourself.  Unfortunately, the idea of apprenticeship is largely lost today.  Often, a college education is much too focused on classes, concepts, and grades; consequently, we can easily lose sight of ‘training’ future professionals.  Mike Rowe comments on keeping these concepts in balance, “There’s this constant balance that goes on between the definition of a good job and our understanding of a truly valuable education.  Not all knowledge comes from college, but not all skills come from degrees.”*

“There’s this constant balance that goes on between the definition of a good job and our understanding of a truly valuable education.  Not all knowledge comes from college, but not all skills come from degrees.”

– Mike Rowe

Finding a mentor during your formative college years, then, can be extremely beneficial to you, and to your mentor!  Below are 6 quick benefits and applications of developing a mentoring relationship in college.

1. It’s all about perspective

Your mentor is different from you, and this is good.  Your mentor is likely be a different age, from a different state or country, possibly different sex, and with many, many different life experiences.  When discussing life and professional application of your studies, your mentor can provide new lenses to peer through to see multiply angles not easily realized on your own.  When looking to the future, your mentor will be able to give you an idea of what is coming and what external factors may have an effect on your budding career.  Choose a mentor that is not exactly the same as you but is in a professional field that aligns with your future career.

2. Precise advice versus careful wisdom

What has 30 more years, 30,000 less hairs, and always precise advice?  A bad mentor.  What has the same while exchanging precise advice for careful wisdom? A great mentor.  A good mentor will provide wisdom and insight to help guide you and allow you to make excellent decisions for yourself instead of just telling you what he or she would do.  A good mentor will know when to speak and when to keep silent.  Seek out a mentor that will allow you to learn for yourself all the while guiding you through each learning experience.

Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid when Trying to Choose a College

3. Get by with a little help

Let’s face it, sometimes life is tough.  We will all need a little boost now and then.  There is no shame in asking for help or encouragement.  Our culture likes to portray strength in self-sufficiency, but no one on the earth is truly self-sufficient.  A mentor can provide you with a safe relationship where you can be free to express your struggles in college and receive encouragement.  Whether overwhelmed with a particular assignment or questioning which direction your future career is going, your mentor will be able to help you get back off the couch.  Look for a mentor that you trust and feel comfortable expressing your academic and professional trials.

NOTE: A college mentor is not your psychologist or relationship counselor, so don’t dump your boyfriend problems on them!!  Joking aside, leave personal issues outside of your mentoring relationship; not doing so can easily cross a boundary between you and your mentor.  This leaves your mentor in a very difficult spot professionally and sometimes legally, so please be careful!

4. Connections – magical and otherwise

We love mentorship stories in books, plays, and movies because of the special connection between student and master.  There seems to be magic and love-like understanding between the two that transcends common human interaction.  Hopefully, your mentoring relationship will be this and more!  But, mentoring can also be extremely practical.  Your mentor likely has more connections than you do, so use them to your advantage!  Can your mentor land you an awesome internship for the summer or work study during the semester?  Can your mentor setup meetings for you to meet key people in specific industries that interest you?  Would your mentor be willing to connect you with other professors at the university to expand your quiver of resources?  Don’t be shy, most mentors love to make connections and see you succeed!

5. Friendship – there is no other kind of ship I’d rather be on

When you enter college, you are probably more interested in meeting everyone in your dorm room and then as soon as possible meeting everyone in the dorm room of the opposite sex.  You are most likely less interested in making good friends with a professor 20 or 30 years your senior.  But, as mentoring relationships grow, they often develop into treasured friendships.  Best of all, your friendship does not have to end when you graduate!  Our time is always well spent developing healthy friendships; indeed, a mentor is a more beneficial friendship to pursue than the guy in room 235 that is always asking you if you want to ‘party’ on Friday night.  Again, be careful about boundaries with your budding relationship.  You do not want to overstep the current boundaries of the mentoring relationship and hinder future growth!

6. Learn what’s not taught in class

The Three Things I Learned At College NOT In My Textbook (Grades DON’T matter!?)

Remember how your mentor is likely older, more mature, differently wired and experienced than you?  Well, sometimes, it can be a challenge to connect with persons different than you, especially for young adults.  Interacting with your mentor on a regular basis will allow you much practice in presenting yourself as an adult in a professional setting.  When I was a young man aspiring to achieve an Eagle Scout Award, I had to pass an interview with several different leaders of the Scouting counsel in the greater Atlanta area.  Unfortunately, I had never been in that situation before.  I did not know how to present myself professionally, and I paid dearly for it when I did not pass my interview!  I had a lot of catching up to do.  You do not want this to be you when you walk into your first job interview after college!  Hone your personal skills as a professional during college when you meet with your mentor.  Let him or her guide you in interacting with all types of professionals whether younger or older, similar or different, higher or lesser paid.  You will stand out among your peers immediately in your first job!

Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a College Major

7 College Must Do’s

Make Less, Earn More

 

*http://www.detroitchamber.com/former-dirty-jobs-host-mike-rowe-says-michigan-must-change-perception-of-skilled-trades/

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

Today’s post is the first entry of a new segment called ‘Wisdom From a Recent College Graduate’.  These graduates will give you their inside advice on how to go about college and make the most of your time and money spent there.  Our first graduate highlight is Mr. Tyler Martin, Certified Physician Assistant, guitar player, and father.  Continue below for Tyler’s best college tips and advice…

What is your name and occupation?

Tyler Martin, Certified Physician Assistant

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

University of Georgia- Bachelors in Biochemistry and molecular biology, minor in Spanish.

Medical University of South Carolina- Masters in PA studies

What did you like most about your time in college?

Friends made, extracurricular activities, learning to live on my own. All you can eat dining halls!

What did you like least about your time in college?

Nothing

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

Pick a major that will prepare you for a job that is in demand in today’s marketplace. If you are unsure, that’s fine. I didn’t chose a major until my second year of school. I would talk to people whom you admire about their career and ask what they would have done the same/differently.

Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a College Major

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

Research programs/majors offered at a school and how they rank. Plan ahead, thinking if your career path may include graduate school. Cost does make a big difference. Go to the school that provides the best bang for the buck. Look in state, or try for a scholarship.  I don’t believe that there is only 1 school that will provide the “best college experience.” You can make your experience great at lots of schools.

Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid when Trying to Choose a College

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

Prepared more for interviews. Sought out more scholarships.

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

How to network with peers. How to discipline myself with my time and money.

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

Think about a job that will allow you to do what you love. Think about work/life balance. Do your best to not take on debt. Take school seriously and don’t take 10 years to complete undergrad.

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

Study abroad!

7 College Must Do’s

 

Thank you to Tyler for offering his advice and wisdom!

 

 

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

Today, we will consider the good old Yerkes-Dodson Law.  Yes, yes, this common law that everyone knows like bread and butter.  Actually, you probably do know it, but recognize it… maybe another thing.

What’s a Yerkes-Dodson and why should I care anyway?  Good question.  No, it is not a new breed of tiny fluffy cute ball of designer dog or the latest tea like, slightly alcoholic, brewed beverage you might buy from a girl wearing flannel and sporting a nose ring.  The Yerkes-Dodson Law (YD Law) is pure business… er except when it is not.   Actually, the YD Law can be applied to just about any aspect of life; that is why you should care!

Ok, so what is it already!?  The YD Law is an observed correlation between stress and performance.  Got it?

In a nutshell, YD tells us that for every task in life there exists an optimum level of stress to achieve the greatest level of performance.  Got it now?  It is simple really.  When delicately pulling out the side block of a tall, tilting JENGA stack against your ultimate JENGA nemesis, would you prefer silence to concentrate or your nefarious nemesis to loudly chant ‘JENGA! JENGA!’ in your ear?  On the flip side, an NBA player doesn’t often make the Top 10 plays list without the boosting energy of the screaming fans.

7 College Must Do’s

Really, the YD Law is an observation of how we daily alter our levels of stress to achieve peak performance.  Since all of us already do this daily, does this mean that this observation is simply that and not useful for much else?  Not at all!  Being aware of such correlations allows you to actively use them to fine tune and squeak every ounce of potential out of any time and task.

When it comes to considering your future in a college and career, consider the YD Law.  First, you will want to pick a college that will supply the necessary level of stress for you.  Do you find that you work best in a small town and a quiet environment where you can feel comfortable and concentrate on your work?  Or, do you find that you need the energy and stimulus of a big school or big city to really get you going?  Or, maybe you fit somewhere nicely in the middle.  When you visit the campus of a potential school, be sure to walk around long enough to get a good ‘feel’ or ‘vibe’ of the campus as well as the surrounding town.  This a great reason why to schedule your campus visits during the colleges’ school year if possible!

I Could Save HOW MUCH on college?!?

Secondly, when choosing a major, consider similar aspects of a job.  What is the environment like?  What is the work load like?  How much pressure will be involved?  Remember, pressure is not necessarily a bad thing.  Some need the pressure to get anything done; I’ve seen some killer intentional procrastinators out there!

You may not be able to pronounce the name, but the YD Law can work for you.  Consider what levels of stress you find yourself in the middle of a particular task and then how effectively you are progressing on said task.  Maybe you need to chill out a little bit.  Or, maybe you need a jolt of stress to get you going.  Use the YD Law to your advantage and then Take Over The WORL…. I mean, do great things!

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

Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a College Major