Monday Motivation

Need an example? How about Beyonce’s press conference last week. Girl sure knows how to turn a disaster into a win. Never let others bring you down, just smile ’til it hurts. #winning

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Mobile Apps Keep Students On Track

March ushers in a surge of activity among college students. Spring break is upon you, basketball season is at its peak and summer vacation will be here before you know it! So, to keep track of those millions of important dates and deadlines, here are some mobile apps that are sure to make this semester a breeze.

HomeWork is one app that will help you keep all dates and deadlines in one place.

The HomeWork app is a helpful tool that allows you to list all homework assignments and exams by date. Plus, indicators show which are done and have yet to be completed. You can also set up daily and weekly schedules to keep you on track. Some users complain that it does not allow you to enter different class times for different days, but one user, who gave the app 5-stars on the Android Market website, says HomeWork “trumps all” when compared to similar apps. HomeWork is free to download and free to use.

Described on the Android Market as a “schedule management helper for busy school life,” Class Buddy Lite will help you manage your semesters and courses– Free. With features that allow you to log your class attendance and calculate cumulative GPA, it’s sure to keep school top of mind this semester.  While numerous users gave it glowing reviews, many were also unhappy with the inability to add assignments and due dates. So, for those looking for more features and functionality, Class Buddy Pro may be the way to go. For 99 cents, users get added features as compared to the free version, including the ability to add tasks to an event and an expense tracker.

When it comes to course and schedule organization, BNC Facebook fan Elena H. recommends iStudiez Pro.  The app is available for the iPhone & iPad and for Macs in the near future.  iStudiez offers multiple screen views including a Planner, Calendar and an Assignments screen. Classes can be color coded to avoid confusion and when an assignment is completed, it’s removed.   The Grades area lets you put in different weights for different assignments and you can assign your own value ranges for the standard A-F letter grades. With all of this functionality, this app can be downloaded from Apple’s website for $2.99.

Which apps do you use to stay organized on campus?

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Dish It: Simple, Affordable Meals

Despite what other college students would have you believe, you really don’t have to live off of Cup Noodles.

Just take it from Ming Tsai, Emmy award-winning chef.  At a recent cooking event at Northeastern University, Tsai showed students it’s possible to eat well in college (and on a budget, too).

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Dish It: Chicken Soup

The college student’s shortcut to Chicken Soup.

A college staple

Ingredients:

1 Cup Noodles (Chicken flavor)
Hot Water

Directions:

1. Open Cup Noodles
2. Pour hot water up to the line at the top of the cup
3. Let it “cook” (stand) for 3 minutes with the lid closed
4. Enjoy

 Perhaps it’s not as nutritious as mom’s version, but we do what we gotta do.

Now, I can’t help but wonder–  Do you eat your Cup Noodles with a spoon or a fork?  Discuss.

 Send us your cooking shortcuts!  Nom nom.

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Applying Via E-mail? Write a Cover Letter

We live in a land of technology. So it should come as no surprise that most employers request job applications to be submitted online or via email. Although this sounds simple enough, there are several blunders job hunters seem to make.

In order to ensure you appear stellar in your e-mailed job application, follow these simple cover letter tips:

1. Use a cover letter. A cover letter is what you use to “sell” yourself to an employer. It is where you can really let your personality shine.  If you opt to not use a cover letter when submitting your application via email, you’re “selling” yourself short. You aren’t giving yourself an opportunity to truly entice the employer to read your resume.

2. Copy and paste. Do not rely solely on attaching your cover letter to the email. Instead, copy and paste the cover letter directly into the email. This will ensure the person who opens the email will see it (and read it).

3. Keep it short and sweet. You are writing a cover letter, not your autobiography. While you need to get the necessary information in the letter, don’t add details that are irrelevant. You don’t want the reader to lose interest.

4. Explain why you’re the best fit for the job. This is your chance to explain why you are better for the role than anyone else. Review the job description and mold those duties together with your past experiences and abilities.  Showcasing your strengths and how they are relevant to the position will make the reader want to review your resume.

5. Customize. Generic cover letters typically do not work. As stated in Tip 4, you need to analyze each position’s responsibilities and how they fit with your strengths. If you use a generic cover letter, which can be sent to any and all employers, you will not show how you are the best fit for that specific job. It takes time, yes, to write several cover letters, but in the end, the benefits are worth it.

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Public Speaking: 101

You know that moment when your palms get sweaty, your knees start to shake and you feel like you’re going to throw up (gross…I know)? No, I’m not referring to a first date—I’m talking about the moment you have to get up in front of a crowd of people and give a speech.

The comforting news is, three out of four individuals suffer from speech anxiety, also known as glossophobia, so you’re not alone!  With that said, it’s important every college student take at least one public speaking course while in school. Almost every single major and job requires some sort of public speaking/presenting and it is vital to know the basics.

As a communication arts major, I figured I was going to breeze through my public speaking class—WRONG. I wan’t all that great when I got up there to present.  I had to learn how to tame some of my my mannerisms, how to use body language to draw in an audience and how to effectively use technology to enhance my presentation.

So, here are some simple tips I learned to help improve your public speaking skills:

  1. Know the material. Unless you are required to improvise a speech, know your subject inside and out.  This will help you to avoid stuttering, depending on filler words (uh, um, etc.) and you’ll relay your message effectively.
  2. Practice. There is no better way to master a speech than to practice. Practice in front of your roommates, your friends, or even your mirror. The more times you say it, the more comfortable you’ll get.
  3. Breathe. Many people speak too quickly when they are nervous and forget to breathe. If you are one of those people, write on your note cards to “slow down” in the margins. This will serve as a visual cue. If you have your speech written out, put dashes in between sentences to remind you where to take a breath and pause.
  4. Relax. Everyone gets nervous to some degree, but most people won’t even notice you’re nervous. Stand with your weight evenly distributed and your knees unlocked. This will relieve some of the stress on your body. If you find you start to stutter or lose your place, don’t panic—just pause, take a breath and pick up where you left off.
  5. Learn from experience. The best way to overcome your fears is to give speeches as much as possible (torture—I know). But, the more speeches you give, the more comfortable you’ll feel. You will also learn what works best for you and some personal tricks to keep calm.

 Do you have any techniques that help you get through public speaking?

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