Archive for February, 2013

Helpful Writing Strategies

February 28, 2013

Writing is a skill that every student needs to learn.  To some it comes naturally, but to others it is a stressful experience.  Some students have never been taught how to write and lack the necessary skills to be an effective writer.

As a private college counselor, I work with many students to help them produce college essays and personal statements that stand out.  Some do not realize that writing is a process:  You brainstorm, pre-write, draft, edit, and revise.  There are no shortcuts.

Writing is not just a skill you will use in school, but one that is essential in almost every area of life, especially business.  If you want to learn some good writing strategies, take a look at this website.


Helpful Writing Strategies


College Graduates – Get A Job and Quit Complaining

February 26, 2013

A friend of mine had a job opening. The starting pay was $12.00 an hour with the possibility of advancement. He offered the job to a college graduate who thought about it and replied, “I can make $11.00 sitting at home and get food stamps on top of it.”

Is this why so many college graduates are unemployed?  Are they simply unwilling to put in the time and effort that is sometimes required to get the job they are looking for?  Do they not realize that few people start at the top?

When one of my kids graduated from college, she parked cars at a local hospital for families who were visiting patients.  After that she worked at FAO Schwarz for the holiday season.  Then she got a job through a temp agency for a three week stint with a large company.  They were impressed with her and hired her full time.  From there she went on to become a high-level manager for a large corporation.

I am concerned about these recent college graduates.  As a private college counselor, I help students find a list of potential colleges and assist with the college admission process.Although I try to prepare them for their college experience and how to make it a successful one, it seems that too many college graduates simply don’t have the motivation or interest to get a job if it isn’t the “perfect job.”

Most of us who have gone through this process realize that you need to start somewhere.Why is this group of college graduates finding it so difficult to accept that concept?  There are lessons to be learned in any job and one never knows what opportunities may exist if you aren’t willing to give it a try.

If I have never heard of the college, how can it be any good?

February 13, 2013

I know that college affordability is a big concern for families today. Parents want to make sure they are getting the most value for their investment. However, I do get concerned when I hear a parent say, “I don’t know how eager I am to pay for a college with a name that I have not heard of.” Surely, they must know that there are many wonderful schools besides those those that everyone has heard of.  But do they?

One thing parents need to understand is that many colleges that are not well known are very fine, highly respected schools.  They provide excellent educations and also frequently award merit scholarships for high achieving students.  They can make college affordable, whereas prestigious, well known institutions may not be able to do so.

As a private college counselor, I truly believe that it is not the name of the school, but what a student gains from the college experience that will make a difference in the future.  Many wonderful lesser-known schools provide close relationships with professors who go on to become mentors.  Students often can participate in research opportunities at an undergraduate level and are in classes that focus more on discussion than just lecture.

Families need to broaden their college horizons and look at a wide variety of schools that will fit their child academically, financially, and personally.  Also, check the graduation rates and look for schools committed to seeing their students graduate in four years.