Must Read: All Work, No Pay by Lauren Berger

Finished triple-proofing your resume for errors and picking out the perfect interview outfit? Consider stopping by your University’s on-campus Barnes & Noble bookstore and checking out All Work, No Pay by Lauren Berger, the Intern Queen.  What makes Lauren the “Intern Queen,” exactly? During her four years of college, she held 15 internships in the public relations, entertainment and media industries…queen status, if you ask me. All Work, No Pay is a quick read with lots of headers that make it easy to find key information on everything from business cards to writing samples. The book reiterates the traditional importance of concise, one-page resumes and handwritten thank-you cards, but does offer some new advice as well. Keep reading for my three of my favorite tips from the Intern Queen’s book:

1. Want a recommendation on your LinkedIn page? Don’t send the generic message to your former boss. Customize the message with a personal greeting and this powerful line straight from the book: “I had such a great experience interning for your company and would love for future employers to learn more about what I accomplished.”

2. Research, research, research! Look at a company’s ‘About Us’ page to find the mission statement, client list, background information and staff bios. Knowing as much as possible about the company you want to work for will make your cover letter and interview stand out above the rest. Consider this your first assignment and do your homework!

3. Don’t apply to any internship that is available. Apply extensively, but make sure you are looking into positions that you are truly passionate about. You’ll get more out of the experience and so will your employer.

All Work, No Pay offers an abundance of advice about landing the best internship for you, whether you’re an interning newbie or next in line for the Intern Queen throne. Check out the book at B&N stores and online.

Written by Guest Blogger, Kim O. – USC’s Master Intern

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Download Worthy: Seesmic

Updating and managing multiple social network accounts can get time-consuming. With Seesmic, the easy-to-use-app, you can view and update your Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz all in one spot! You can also receive message notifications and share photos and videos as Facebook, and Google Buzz are all fully integrated. It’s also the best Twitter for Android client, with a simple, streamlined interface that includes all of the usual features like multiple account support, lists, retweets, Twitlonger, and conversation thread views.It’s available on both Nook and Nook Color tablets and comes at an unbeatable price – FREE!

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MANteresting Puts a New Spin on Online Pinboards

Pinterest, the online pinboard network that allows users to share ideas, pictures, recipes, etc., is hot on most college campuses. Currently, Pinterest caters to a largely-female audience but the time has come for something more masculine. Introducing: MANteresting.com. This new social site gives the men of the world a place to call their own. This generally male-oriented social bookmarking site encourages users to “nail” images to their “workbench” and “get inspired by awesome content”.

So men, be prepared. While your girlfriend is busy pinning, you’ll be nursing your new addiction to a site of your own! Do you think you’ll start sharing all your ideas at MANteresting.com? Post a comment below!

Written by Guest Blogger, Jacinda C. – Texas A&M’s Authority on all things Social Media

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Spring Fever

I’ll admit it, I’ve been overcome with spring fever! As Mother Nature ushers in the spring, I can’t help but look forward to all the exciting things that come with the change of seasons. I could sit and describe why all day but, for time-management purposes, I’ve narrowed it down to three distinct reasons. Readers be warned, exposure to this blog post might result in your own outbreak of the fever!

Bright colors show up everywhere in the spring time!

1. More Sunlight: Yesterday we tweeted about sunlight’s effect on stress, but it also offers a variety of other benefits! Aside from boosting our immune systems, moderate sun exposure (with sunscreen, of course!) can increase one’s overall mood and sense of well-being. That is definitely something to be happy about.

2. Bright Colors: From wardrobes to gardens, bright colors are notorious for popping up come spring time. I can NOT wait for flowers to start blooming. Try investing in a house plant or two – they are known for increasing air quality and reducing stress levels! (Find out more on the House of Plants website!)

3. Baseball: Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you can’t deny the excitement that accompanies opening day. Food, sports, fans…what more is there to want?

What are you looking forward to this spring? Post a comment below!

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Three Ways We’re Celebrating American Chocolate Week

With all the St. Patrick’s day hype and spring fever frenzy sweeping the nation, it’s easy to overlook that this week is American Chocolate Week! However, we’re here to remind you of that delicious fact and share with you how we plan to celebrate.

Hershey's Dark Chocolate is one of our favorites!

1. Learning the health benefits associated with chocolate. It’s true, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, isn’t all bad! According to Health Diaries online, chocolate is high in antioxidants and is shown to help lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. It also contains serotonin and stimulates endorphins – both of which act as natural anti-depressants.Yum!

2. DIY Chocolate facial masks! Chocolate does more than just taste good, it works wonders for your skin. Cocoa powder contains powerful antioxidants that help protect skin and make it soft. We love this Coffee and Cocoa facial mask from About!

3. Last but not least…. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the best way to celebrate American Chocolate Week – eating chocolate. Whether you prefer plain chocolate, chocolate-covered pretzels, or a chocolate milkshake, feel free to indulge for the week!

How do you plan to celebrate? Post your own ideas below!

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Freaky Friday: Shawnee State University

We searched high and low – and at the end of a rainbow – but much like a leprechaun’s elusive pot of gold, we could not find any Saint Patrick’s Day themed ghost stories to bring you this week. We did, however, find some very chilling stories on the campus of Shawnee State University. Keep reading to see what spine-tingling tales this Ohio university has for us this week!

Cold spots, mysterious noises and unidentified shadows plague the campus of Shawnee State. Our research uncovered reports of suspected ghostly activity in the University Library, Advance Technology Center and Massie Hall, to name a few. Most of the reported ghosts are believed to have previously haunted the neighborhood on which the campus now stands. Perhaps they are disgruntled with losing their former homes? Or maybe they have made a new home on campus? We need your help – we can’t decide!

Vern Riffe Center is claimed to be the most haunted place on campus. Many people believe they have seen shadows lurking in the hallway when it was otherwise unoccupied. Some claim they have heard a child’s laughter coming from the hallway while others have heard a woman’s voice in the auditorium after the crowds have gone home. We’re inclined to think the voice belongs to someone who wouldn’t let anything stand between her and the theater – not even death.

Do you have a story to share with us about the ghosts at Shawnee State University? Post a comment with your tale below & we might feature it here in a future Freaky Friday!

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Dish It: No-Bake Energy Bites

I will admit it: I am no Rachael Ray. When it comes to cooking, I see simplicity as a top priority in my recipe search. So, while on my continued quest for delicious recipes to whip up in your college dorm rooms, I nearly fell off my chair with delight when I noticed the phrase “No-Bake” on the food blog, Gimme Some Oven. I nearly fell off said chair again when I realized that the recipe actually sounded delicious too! Was this too good to be true? No! Keep reading to get the full scoop.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup (dry) oatmeal
1 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Makes about 20-25 bites.

What You’ll Do:

Stir all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until they are thoroughly mixed together. Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once they are chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like (1″ in diameter should work fine). Enjoy!

Wasn’t that easy? Let us know how your recipe turned out and post a comment below!

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Surviving a Group Project

I’ve heard Group Project horror stories that make our Freaky Friday series sound like excerpts from a Curious George book. Maybe I am exaggerating a little bit (maybe…), but being assigned to a group project with a set of students you have never met can be scary. What if everyone has different work ethics? What if a group member doesn’t pull his or her weight? The list of possible road blocks can be endless, but so can the list of possible success stories. Group projects are meant to teach us how to complete a task using our fellow workers’ strengths….and weaknesses. Believe it or not, they are often incredibly useful learning experiences that can be carried over into the real world. With the second half of the semester picking up, we thought we’d bring you three common issues we came across and how to work through them! 

Problem 1: “One of our group members thinks this is a dictatorship.” Ever had one group member immediately deem himself (or herself) the leader of the group, and then hand out assignments and deadlines not long after? Before you know it, it feels as though you have a second professor – except this one seems to be lurking around every corner, ready to give out orders without warning.

Solution: Revive the “group” aspect of the project. While it can be nice to have a member add some structure to a possibly overwhelming assignment, don’t let yourself be intimidated by someone who is simply being bossy. Politely suggest that all decisions should be made as a group in order to ensure a certain level of fairness. If members disagree on a certain aspect of the assignment, put it to a vote. Also, if possible, consider channeling this member’s strengths into the area they would be most useful. Does a certain task require above-average organization skills? Ask if he or she would like to take that on.

Problem 2: “Our group gets along really well so we don’t get any work done.”

At times, certain group meetings can begin to feel more like hanging out with friends than an academic brainstorming session. This kind of group usually works well…until the final project deadline sneaks up.

Answer forms like this honestly and fully!

Solution: Assign tasks to complete before each meeting. There is nothing wrong with having fun with your group, as long as you complete the work. Break down the assignment and see what can be completed independently for the next meeting. Use each meet-up as an opportunity to make corrections, pool your ideas, and make the project flow – not as the chance to complete everything in one sitting. If everything has to be completed as a group, set goals for each meeting and don’t leave until they are finished.

Problem 3: “Group Member #3 hasn’t contributed anything…and hasn’t shown up to class in a month.” We’ve all had experience with this mysteriously elusive group member and the rest of the group is forced to pick up the slack.

Solution: Do your best to include him/her in the assignment…and then move on. It’s important to reach out to this particular group member and let him or her know what is going to be expected of all group members. It also might be beneficial to discuss which aspects of the projects seem interesting to each member and divide accordingly. If he or she still fails to contribute, consider talking to your professor. Rather than throw the person under the bus, explain the situation and ask if there is a particular way in which your professor would like you to handle it (some professors have different policies). If there is nothing you can do, pick up the slack and chalk it up to a learning experience…you’ll have gained much more by the end of the semester. Lastly, many group projects culminate with a Peer Performance Review so don’t hesitate to be honest. Professors often appreciate the insight (and are more aware than you think).

You’re ready to tackle the next big group assignment that comes your way! Having an open mind and our helpful guide will help you navigate whatever class throws at you. Don’t hesitate to share any of your own insight…we love hearing feedback!

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Akira Yoshizawa, the Father of Origami

If you logged onto Google this morning, you probably noticed today’s colorful Doodle. It turns out that March 14 would have been the 101st birthday of origami master, Akira Yoshizawa, and that the folded paper drawing is a tribute to his work. One of his most important contributions to the origami world is his development of the “wet-folding” technique, which slightly dampens the paper before it is folded. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Yoshizawa’s life, however, is his ultimate dedication to his craft. His life and success act as an illustration of the power of perseverance!

What do you think of our Pelican?

Yoshizawa’s life was not always focused on this ancient art, however. He was born to dairy farmers, but moved to Tokyo as a young teenager and took a factory job. As he was promoted, he used origami, which he had been taught as a child, to teach other workers basic geometry. By 1937, he quit his job and dedicated his life to the intricate manipulation of paper full-time. The rest of his story is a fascinating one and more information can be found on About.com, in the Origami section!

What better way to celebrate the “origami grandmaster’s” birthday with some paper-folding practice of your own? We found a great set of instructions for an Origami Pelican on the Origami-Fun website (get the full set here). Check out how we fared in the photo to the right!

Would you consider yourself a paper-folding expert or are you an origami novice like me? Post a comment or photo below!

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Freaky Friday: Washington College

Our reader Ella told us to explore the ghost stories at Washington College and we are sure glad she did! One of the oldest colleges in the country, Washington College seems to also be one of the most haunted campuses we have come across yet. Keep reading if you think you can handle all of the ghostly tales we uncovered!

Middle Hall

The creaks and groans of Middle Hall are expected considering the building’s long history on the campus, yet one student’s end of the year surprise had no clear-cut explanation. Having hung up a brand new poster when classes started, it came as quite a shock to a WC student when he took it down to find what looked like the handprints of a child covering the back. The poster hadn’t moved from its spot all year, leaving most to believe this could be nothing but the work of the paranormal.

Minta Martin Hall

There are two spooky stories from this building; we’ll leave it up to you to decide which is more frightening!

The bathroom of Minta Martin once had stalls with doors on hinges that kept them shut. A female student was looking in the mirror when she saw all of the stall doors open at the same angle & then heard all of the toilets flush in unison. The hinges on the stalls would have made this physically impossible without someone – or something – holding them open, but the student did not stick around to find out the exact cause. I can’t blame her, I have goosebumps just thinking about it!

Our second story features another female student who was one of few people in the building to stay behind during a break. She woke up in the middle of the night to what felt like a cat walking on her bed, then proceeding to curl itself up to take a nap. When she went to sit up, her body felt as though something invisible was holding her down.

Have you had a run-in with one of the ghosts at Washington College? Share your stories with us in the comments below, we’d love to know more! Full posts →

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