Forté Foundation
Career Lab Virtual Campus

Helpful Apps For Boosting Your Productivity

By Nuriya Saifulina

November 23, 2017

In college, technology can often hamper your workflow by providing you with endless sources of procrastination. However, with the right apps it can also do wonders to your productivity by helping you keep track of your assignments, optimize your studying, and prepare for your exams. We compiled a list of holy grail apps that will help any college student tackle their work more efficiently and even fun!

EasyBib
There is nothing more annoying than trying to put a watertight bibliography together, so anyone procrastinating on their papers out of fear of citation will love this app. Just scan the book’s barcode or enter the title to instantly get citations in different styles — APA, MLA, Chicago, you name it.


Tinycards

The cute design and clean interface of this flashcard app from the creators of Duolingo makes creating your own adaptable decks easier than ever. The app also has over a thousand premade cards organized by topic, with a wide variety of subjects from biology to history.

Forest
Forest is a game where progress depends on how long the app is open, with your planted trees only growing if you don’t check any other apps like Facebook or Groupme. You can then compare your forests with friends to see who is has spent the least time on distracting social media..

Exam Countdown
There is nothing worse than forgetting about an important test, so this exam-tracking app can come in handy. This app is basically a doomsday clock that lets you know exactly how many days separate you from your next exam.

Grammar.ly
Never let silly grammatical blunders embarrass you with this ultimate proofreading app. Your papers will be mistake and typo-free in no time!

Self Control
Let’s be honest – self-restraint is hard with an abundance of tempting Internet distractions. Curb your procrastinating tendencies with this website blocking app that will surely prevent you from wasting hours on Facebook.

These useful apps will surely help you squeeze the most out of your work time and boost your GPA, so head over to the App Store to give yourself an upper-leg this semester.

Nuriya Saifulina is a rising sophomore at Harvard College who is concentrating in Economics and Psychology. In her spare time she writes for the college newspaper, volunteers with immigrant communities in Boston, and dabbles in costume design for the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share

From Extern to Intern

By Aury Cifuentes

November 21, 2017

My journey with Bloomberg LP officially began during the summer right after my sophomore year. I think we have all heard about how important the junior year internship is in terms of job prospects but the truth is you can never start too early. In my case I was exactly a year away from the all important junior summer internship when I walked into the Bloomberg Princeton office.

As an extern our first day was to introduce to the company values such as transparency and where we would fit in within the culture of collaboration. The absence of cubicles and clear glass meeting rooms literally created an open environment not to mention the number of people meeting in the pantry over an array of snacks. Yet the key purpose of day one was “Terminal 101”; being comfortable with the terminal was significant for not only my time as an extern but as an intern working on thesis and capstone plans over the summer. Out of the thousands of functions, the more you knew the better as they could be used in conjunction with several layers of analysis simultaneously. The second and third day prepped us for public speaking and the amount of teamwork needed at the firm.  At the end of the third day an intense interview was scheduled with the top performers of each department for a chance to land an internship for the following summer.

My interview went well as I demonstrated that my interests aligned to where the company is rapidly making a mark. Technology whether through coding, machine learning, or other wise is providing a faster way to not only understand client needs but create even more value within the firm. My summer was an extension of externship in the sense that I was within the forecasting department and eventually spent the last month of my summer working extensively with my intern team of four engineers to launch a proof of concept for our final project that would transform one of the most popular functions on the terminal.

Overall, my advice for anyone who is tempted to start early in the recruiting cycle is to take chances and apply, apply, and apply! Additionally, any tech skills today will transform your tomorrow so take advantage of all the great free resources online. Even if it is basic Python or C you will now be able to understand more in meetings, product launches, and networking opportunities thus making yourself available to even more opportunities in the long run.

Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

 

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share

Scheduling Spring Classes and Career Connections

By Aury Cifuentes

November 9, 2017

Whether you are in your first year or are a seasoned senior ready to register for the last semester of undergrad, it is always wise to craft a path of your own within your course of study. While a majority of schools have a suggested track for each respective major there is usually some wiggle room in terms of electives and other requirements.

The first step to a successful scheduling season is checking in with an advisor or trusted professor when possible. Chatting about your dreams and aspirations with members of academia helps when they might already have suggested courses to try out based on previous students or perhaps an inside scoop on a new class being offered for the first time next semester.

This was the case at my school, as I like chatting with two or three professors before scheduling season to make sure I am making the best decisions with my courses and to get different feedback. For example, next semester a course being offered for the first time based on student demand is Venture Capital Management. While it unfortunately conflicts with my required Strategic Management class I definitely let my friends and organization members that the class will be offered for the first time next semester for anyone interested.

Scheduling might vary by school but whether you have a shopping period or a time to add or drop courses in the beginning of next semester, remember to use it to your advantage. Depending on whether you are more productive in the morning and afternoons some of the most successful students I know cater their schedule to their productivity strengths too. An example would be that a morning person could benefit from the semi-filled 8AM classes for their week freeing up their afternoon for extracurricular or leadership opportunities.

Additionally, there is benefit to making at least two or three what-if scenarios if certain classes you were interested in get full before your timeslot. Here is where you can use your freedom to cater those extra spots to classes you can use to your advantage in interviews and beyond. Taking a Java class even if you are not a computer science major can not only make you stand out but provide a new skillset if you were ever interested in design or website creation.

Another example, can be a non-technical class such as an art history course in which your knowledge of the arts can not only be a conversation starter but inspiring to de-stress in realizing how many themes that we consider modern have repeated themselves over various centuries visually.

Lastly, if you are ever in a situation in which you believe you are not going to fulfill your requirements to be on track for graduation, know that while the course might appear to have a cap online, sometimes certain professors are willing to make exceptions. In that case going to talk to them personally or a well-worded email can also be a way to ensure a successful next semester by obtaining your classes of choice. So remember to take a step back and see if the courses are fulfilling not only what is required but what you wanted to learn in college.

Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share

Preparing for December Graduation

By Mairead Tuttle

November 7, 2017

After the main discussion in my economics seminar had broken up, my classmates began to trade the names of courses for which they were planning to register during the spring semester. Some were delighted to find out they would be in the same course, while others lamented how far down the waitlist they were for a certain class. I, unfortunately, could not participate in this conversation. I am a college senior who is graduating in December.

At times, I have felt a bit disconnected from the rest of the senior class at my college. While some of my fellow seniors are completing theses that they will work on until May, I did not have the opportunity to do this. Other students have gotten to know professors well over the last couple of semesters and are now able to do independent study work with them that will continue into the spring semester. There is not an overall sense of finality among the senior class because the large majority of the class has many months of school left before graduation, but there is for me.

I feel quite lucky to be graduating from college one semester early. I would not have been able to do this without the encouragement of my family and my professors. There are many advantages to finishing my course work in December. I will be available to employers about five months earlier than my classmates. I also have the chance to make my job search a full-time position in and of itself, or do in-depth research about dozens of graduate school programs. 

However, these advantages do not exist without their own required effort. Graduating from college a semester early can feel like such an accomplishment that future plans fall to the wayside. It is important to be reminded (as I have often been by family members and classmates) that finishing course work in December does mean that I get the spring semester off; it means that my post-college life starts five months before everyone else’s. It is important to adequately prepare for this situation.

Having the extra time to apply to graduate schools makes no difference if your application cannot be complete. Make sure to take tests like the GRE or GMAT either before you begin your final semester of school or immediately after you finish to ensure that you are in the “test-taking mindset.” Also be sure to reach out to professors or mentors about letters of recommendation while you are still on campus. While your professors will (hopefully) likely still remember you during the spring semester, it can help to have an in-person conversation about your plans.

The fact that you will have more free time come January than the rest of your classmates does not mean that you should push your job search until that time. Some industries, like finance, will have already stopped hiring for the academic year once you are finished with your classes. You also have the opportunity to pursue full-time spring semester internships, or even part-time internships that you were unable to do previously because of their geographic location. Of course, these internships will also be hiring early in the fall semester and you should be aware of them. I have tried to split my job search time between entry-level jobs and spring semester internships and have found potentially rewarding positions in both categories.

I know that there are some traditions and senior year rituals that I will miss out on because I will not be with my fellow seniors during their final semester. To combat this, I have looked back on the traditions that I have created for myself during my three-and-a-half years at school and made a point to do them all one last time before the end of December.

Mairead Tuttle is from Pennsylvania and is currently a French and Economics major at Mount Holyoke College. Through her economics classes, she found a passion for business, and hopes to someday work on the management side of the fashion and beauty industries.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share

Budgeting 101

By Aury Cifuentes

November 2, 2017

The running joke about “poor college students” is not that far off from reality. Even if it is a small campus job or an internship during the semester most of us are not making a solid income to spend as freely as we would like and avoid the occasional mac & cheese dinner. The implications of budgeting will carry into the “real world”as we have practically unlimited wants but limited resources.

Below is a cheat sheet on how you can start thinking about budgeting and your personal finances! 

1.Get an app!

Whether you bank at a place that already has an app, there are budgeting options within many bank apps today. This is perfect because not only can it tell you the areas you are spending the most money but you can set up alerts to prevent not only identity theft but spending too much for a given month. Third Party Apps such as Mint are also helpful for some people as they can customize their categories and create plans for what they would like to save for. 

2.Track your spending for a week

If you have an app or do not enjoy looking at all your receipts at the end of the month looking for where all your money has gone, tracking your spending for a week can be an eye opening experience. Whether on paper or in the notes area of your phone keeping track of unnecessary expenses for a short period of time can help bring a new level of awareness to your spending habits.

3. Grab a book

There are thousands of books on saving, spending, and budgeting as a young adult. Many are timeless best sellers and are perfect light reading that can help you in the long run. Many real questions such as the implications of deciding to lease or buy a new vehicle or setting up an investment plan to one day pay off your student loans all have very real implications. Feel free to comment or ask mentors any good reads that they found helpful!

Experimenting with your personal finances and being able to have difficult conversations about money in college are not only important now but also it is a crucial part after graduation. There are also extensive online plans, money coaches, and personal advisors but these extra resources usually come with some sort of cost. The above suggestions are free with the help of your local bank, library, and mentors so start one today!

Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share

The Importance of Mentorship in College

By Maria Flores Gandaria

October 31, 2017

I have always believed that finding a support system and developing a sense of community is crucial for student success; especially the first semester of college. It is important to feel that although you are not sleeping under the same roof that saw you cry stress tears over applications, there is still people you can turn to. Freshmen and transfer students need someone to serve as a guide through campus, and introduce them to the resources each institution has to offer. Even as an upperclassmen, many departments still go unnoticed.; my academic advisor is usually the one who redirects me to new places in a campus that has over 50,000 students.

I have been both a mentee and a mentor; I have learned a lot about myself and other people each time. I was an Orientation Advisor for two years, and I am expected to have two new groups of freshmen to mentor this coming year. I mean it when I say that they make me want to become the best version of myself whenever I am around them. I do believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that every path deserves to be shared. Being a mentee is usually the first step towards networking; in my opinion, networking (other than personality and overall life experience,) will lead you towards greater opportunities. 

I am part of a four year scholarship program developed to help low-income and minority students succeed in college and provide them with internship experiences. I have had three different coordinators in the past few years, and the very first one that met scared freshman Maria, has been the same person who is constantly reassuring me that everything will be okay; I am behind to graduate due to my medical conditions, but having a mentor who reminds me that I am halfway done with college regardless of the curve balls this year has thrown at me, makes a difference. My wish is that you never forget about the impact our words can have on those around us; the slightest “you can do this!”“that exam will be tough but you will make it through!” could turn a stranger’s day around. 

As a mentor, my goal is to make every single one of the people under my wing feel exactly like that. As a first generation-student, the whole application process felt daunting. I will never forget about the career counselor serving in my high school, and how helpful his encouragement was; that semester I had the honor of becoming an admissions ambassador and helped fellow classmates apply to FAFSA and colleges. Coming from a low-income background, seeing those that never even considered the possibility of going to college, actually apply because of people like us, was a very rewarding feeling. Early experiences such as this one, led me to become an Orientation Advisor in the first place; in the future I am considering to serve as a teacher before pursuing a MBA or opening my own business as I dream of doing. 


Student by day, writer by night. Maria Flores is a Social Work student at the University of Texas at Austin, she is also currently pursuing a BS in Communication and Leadership. She is an advocate for mental health, and unapologetically proud of being an immigrant. Her goals as a writer are to become a voice for the voiceless and to change the world—in accordance with her school’s motto.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share

My Role Model is a Woman Too

By Maria Flores Gandaria

October 24, 2017

The thought of opening my own business never crossed my mind until I was a freshman in college. My mother had two failed businesses so I believe that, at first, having witnessing those experiences first-hand truly discouraged me from even trying.

Initially, I would have wanted to open a coffee shop in front of Central Park; nowadays, I want to open my own national non-profit, and event planning business (catering and photography services included, of course!).

This semester, however, I have become the best version of myself; in desperate efforts of getting involved after having submerged myself in giving campus tours and providing academic advising to incoming students for two years, I no longer knew what to do after I had to kiss my Orientation Advisor nametag goodbye.

Luckily, the answers to my pleading would be found in an organization that was tabling in front of the gym.

I joined a professional event planning organization, and little did I know that my dues would be the key to a world of networking opportunities—one of the speakers we have had in the past would offer to pay for my International Live Events Association membership!

Such “keys” grants me access to workshops with experts in the industry, and leaves open plenty of space for academic and personal growth. We are always told that networking is a skill that we should foster throughout our years in college, and that statement has been as real as ever.

During one of our meetings, I met a local business and non-profit founder, Nycia Emerson; she is the face behind She Inspires. I had just experienced a panic attack earlier that day, and I thought of missing that meeting, I am glad that I did not because I was one step closer from figuring out one of my purpose in life.

I saw pieces of myself reflected in her, not only a passion for life seems to radiate from eyes, but she is also a mother; if it is written in the universe,  I would like to become a business woman and a mother too.

Like many of us, Mrs. Emerson started her business from the ground up, and it has been a long and difficult process—through the financial and personal difficulties she has still manage to thrive and succeed. Her confidence reminded me of the importance in embracing our talents, while acknowledging our weaknesses as well.

Let’s admit it, girls. We will never be Wonder Women, as nice as flying across the globe sounds, but we DO have the power of changing communities through our unique capabilities.

Because of Nycia, and the supportive group of young college women I get to work with daily, this past week I launched my first small photography business. I assume it is official since I just booked a client for next week.


Student by day, writer by night. Maria Flores is a Social Work student at the University of Texas at Austin, she is also currently pursuing a BS in Communication and Leadership. She is an advocate for mental health, and unapologetically proud of being an immigrant. Her goals as a writer are to become a voice for the voiceless and to change the world—in accordance with her school’s motto.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share

Your Midterm Survival Guide

By Nuriya Saifulina

October 19, 2017

Most schools are approaching the season of midterms, so we have compiled our best midterm survival tips for acing your exams and keeping your sanity in the process.

Switch up your study spots

Please leave that armchair you’ve been glued to for the past 2 days - your regular spot in the library is not going anywhere. Studying in the same spot not only makes you feel drained and burnt out but also decreases your information retention.

So get up, bring your work with you and find a new coffee shop or grad school library to work at. Or even better, get off campus for a while and explore the town public library.

Try to be healthy

As boring and condescending this may sound, try to sleep sometimes, eat a vegetable or two and drink plenty of water. It’s as simple as this: you cannot ace your exams on vending machine fare and library futon naps alone.

Take unconventional study breaks

Instead of binging The Office for the billionth time, maybe do something actually relaxing and fun for a change. Take a long walk through the park, visit campus health services’ therapy dogs or channel your Bob Ross with a coloring book. Trust us - you will feel refreshed and ready for another 1.5x speed lecture video in no time.

Remember personal hygiene

Please shower. Seriously. Even if you are feeling exhausted, rally to take care of yourself. It’ll give you a break and a boost of energy, not to mention make you feel like a human again.

Get the help you need

You don’t have to fight this battle alone - tap into your college’s resources, like office hours, or tutoring groups to survive the academic onslaught. You can also form a study group or ask a friend to explain the material to you.

So, don’t forget to study hard and take care of yourself too, so that you have enough energy left for final exams in the end of the semester.

Nuriya Saifulina is a rising sophomore at Harvard College who is concentrating in Economics and Psychology. In her spare time she writes for the college newspaper, volunteers with immigrant communities in Boston, and dabbles in costume design for the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
Share
Older Posts