August 31, 2011 by
By David Replogle for The Real College Guide
Dearest Internship Supervisor,
Had you asked me two years ago where I’d be working this past summer, I probably would have said Trump. Or the PGA Tour. Or a small-town, low-level consulting agency.
I can’t believe my third choice came true.
These past few months have been a rich learning experience, especially if I decide to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional paper shredder or a freelance filing agent. I conquered spreadsheets with the refinement of a computer nerd living in his parents’ basement and answered phones with the swift efficiency of a grizzled secretary — no frumpy argyle sweater required. I even mastered proper stapling technique, something 14 years in the public-school system couldn’t come close to touching.
But most of all, I learned the true spirit of an internship. When I stepped out of the box and designed my own template for the corporate newsletter, you were right there to tell me it looked like crap! And when I accidentally walked into your office during a phone call, who was it that fired off a curt e-mail about showing respect to my co-workers? And that’s not to mention the time my cubicle was moved and I worked for a week on a laptop older than Susan the accountant’s moldy Chinese food in the mini-fridge.
Oh, the memories.
Thank you again for a wonderful summer. Not only am I enthused about putting my newly acquired menial-labor skills to work at school next semester, but I also can’t wait to put the “experience” on my resume!
P.S. Don’t forget about my damn paycheck.
August 22, 2011 by
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By Sarah Hubbs, University of Delaware
Already have a fave instructor? Feelin’ like a teacher’s pet? It’s great to have a tight relationship with your professors … but how close is too close?
Students are often told that getting to know teachers on a more personal level can add up to more academic insight, better grades and stellar reference letters. But there’s such a thing as crossing a line. Here, we map out the warning signs that you — or an instructor — may be entering dangerous territory, emotionally and academically.
Professor Relations Are Priceless?
A recent grad (name and university withheld at graduate’s request) was candid with us about her romantic involvement with a professor: “The affair was certainly exhilarating at first, but I regret all of it. The dynamic of the whole situation just wasn’t normal or right. He was old enough to be my father, and I think I was looking for a protector of sorts, since I was new to the school. For him, I’m sure it was ego-inflating to be with a young girl. But I got my heart crushed in the end when I found out he’d been married to the same woman for over 20 years and also that he was sleeping with another student. Did I get an A? Yep. Was it worth it? No. It ultimately cost me my dignity and self-respect.”
When one person is in a position of authority over another, as with a professor and student, ethical issues are involved if a sexual relationship develops. This can be likened to inappropriate liaisons between a supervisor and employee, a doctor and patient, or a high-ranking officer and military personnel of a lower rank. Essentially, there is a power imbalance.
And in This Corner ….
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August 14, 2011 by
By Lauren Joffe for The Real College Guide
Between the recent Gulf Coast oil catastrophe and impromptu terrorist attacks around the globe, don’t you wish there was a way you could help the world avoid disaster? Now you may be able to, with a degree in disaster studies.
The Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota recently kicked off a 14-month Master of Science in Security Technologies program (MSST), a graduate program that examines high-profile disasters — both natural and man-made — and the most up-to-date technologies to help prevent (or at least prepare for) the next catastrophe.
Other colleges are also offering disaster studies and research: The University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center offers graduate degrees in Social Disasters, plus an undergrad degree in Emergency and Environmental Management. North Dakota State University has a Disaster Studies Center and offers degrees in Emergency Management.
Clearly, learning to cope with impending disasters is becoming ever more important in such a turbulent society. So if you’re a college student who wants to make a difference, a degree in disaster may just be your ticket.
August 09, 2011 by
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By Elizabeth Cunningham, Vassar College
It’s natural to be a little anxious about the change of pace from summer to school — but if you take advantage of the beginning-of-the-school-year energy and lighter workload to get a jump on the year, you’ll feel ultra-prepared. From your social life to academics to settling into your new dorm or apartment, here’s how to get your place in order, social life on track and brain in gear from the moment you set foot on campus:
1. Get Settled
Dorm rooms and campus apartments are designed to be utilitarian, so getting organized and personalizing your space are key to feeling like you have a home.
* First things first Unpacking can be overwhelming, to say the least, but Vassar College senior Katie Hoople has this advice: “I always make my bed first. It’s really nice to have an oasis of calm in the middle of all the chaos.” There really is something about tidy bedding that makes the whole room seem more polished.
* Pull it together When it comes to dorm rooms and apartments with limited space, there isn’t enough praise in the world for closet organizers, available at most discount stores. If you’re driving to campus, you can even pack your clothes right into the organizers and just hang them when you arrive.
* Spiff up your space Late summer and early fall are prime time for yard sales — and are right in the college student’s price range. Plus, distinctive accessories will give your space a unique “decorator” touch. “Last fall, I found this awesome bedside table at a yard sale,” says University of Colorado junior Samantha Rosenberg. “It was shaped like an elephant and only cost me 50 cents!” Read the rest of this entry →