Category Archives: Career

Advice for College Freshmen

College Freshmen

You’ve just completed four stellar years of rigorous study and have been accepted to an amazing college or university. Congratulations to you. Graduating from high school is exciting and the prospect of living on campus in the fall is no doubt filled will anticipation coupled with a bit of anxiety. Follow these recommendations from college admissions counselors to ensure your freshman year is a huge success on many levels.

Study after study shows that the academic performance during the freshman year is an indicator of the outlet for the ensuing three years. While there are many adjustments and changes involved in heading off to college and being on your own for the first time, commit to making your academic performance your number one priority. That is after all, why you’re there. The freshman year is also a time of exploration and an opportunity to get to know yourself better as well as reach out to fellow collegians with similar interests. The freshman is appropriately named as it is certainly a fresh start for many carry baggage from their high school social experience.

Start packing and making lists by mid-summer for your August departure. Take advantage of the awesome savings offered by Groupon coupons and stock up on campus active wear from Hudson’s Bay. Check with the university housing website on which items are permitted in the dorm rooms. Connect with your roommate to make sure you’re not bringing duplicates. Space is at a premium.

Upon arrival, reach out to each of your professors during their office hours the first week of class. Introduce yourself and establish an initial relationship. This will prove invaluable if you run into difficulties in the class and are in need of additional help. You’ll have more of a comfort level reaching out.

Finally, stay connected with your support systems. Your parents, mentors and friends all are anxious and excited to hear about your adventures, concerns and new experiences. Lastly, know that you are a reflection of the students with which you elect to befriend. The freshman year is a great time to spread your wings and remember your roots. Best of luck to you!

A Course in How to Succeed at Trade Shows

trade show 3

Trade shows can prepare any student for life because they are all about competition. The goal at a trade show is to outdo the other similar companies and get all of the potential clients to hire your company for the products and services you supply. Here are the things you need to learn about success in this endeavor.

When you exhibiting at a trade show, it is important to use every weapon available to get potential clients to notice you, and at the center of your efforts will be your exhibition stand. It needs to be memorable, attractive and flat out rocking so that anyone who sees it, hears it or hears about it, wants to come by and meet you. Here are some tips to create a stand that does this for you.

When designing your booth make sure you have two things firmly in mind:

  1. What image of your company you want to portray: Do you sell products that are used in serious situations? Your stand needs to reflect this by exhibiting a strong and stable appearance. Do you sell fun products? Then this gives you an indication of how you will want to design and operate your exhibition stand. Your stand needs to be an extension of your company, its core values and market positioning.
  1. What is the theme of the trade show and who is going to attend: Is the trade show about new innovations or products in your industry? You might want to pick a theme for your stand that is forward thinking and even innovative. Are the attendees usually the top brass from their companies? You will want to make sure that your stand has a seating area where you can cut deals and have quiet when needed.

Getting these two elements right allows you to stay on track and to weigh any creative ideas against.

Your exhibition stand can take on almost any design from traditional, to sleek, to high tech but a few things need to be adhered to no matter the theme:

  1. Consider hiring an exhibition stand: You do not have to spend tons of time and money on the construction an exhibition stand for it to be great. You can hire exhibition stands, that come complete with whatever graphics and other features you would like. This allows you to focus on the little details rather than design and construction, saving you lots of time and headaches.
  1. Pay attention to the little things: When you get your stand it will look great, and be sure that you keep it neat and clean. You may have a lot of traffic during the trade show, but that is no excuse for loose material or wires all over the place and scuffed up edges. These things detract from your company’s image and from your overall presentation. So take the extra time to spot paint and re-attach any loose material firmly to the stand. Similarly, if your company is serving product samples or snacks, make sure that you put someone in charge of refilling them. Attendees feel cheated if they are inviting to your stand with the offer of a freebie and it is not there. No one will ask you for it, they will just write you off.
  1. Everyone at your stand needs to be trained: This does not mean that everyone needs to be a salesperson (although this is the smartest approach), it means that everyone needs the basics of customer relations and how to direct anyone with a question to the right person. Attendees will not know who is who at your stand, so most will approach the wrong person with an important question. Everyone on your team needs to know who to redirect these people to, and quickly.
  1. Never argue with your team members on the exhibition floor: There will be a lot of stress at times with more impatient potential customers than team members to accommodate them. The chance of someone getting frustrated and wanting to lash out at someone who may be slacking off a bit, will be tempting. But this needs to be avoided, because it will make your organization look unprofessional. Calmly take a team member who is not performing outside the exhibition hall or to some back area and then have a conversation about performance. Perhaps the person is exhausted and needs to go home for the day. Better to lose one person on a busy day than to have that person ruin great sales opportunities for the company.

So there you have it, the lessons necessary to become successful at a trade show. Use these tips if you enter the industry and will go a long way to making you a success.

Will your chosen career fit your personality?

You may not realise it but your career choice says a lot about your identity and your personality. Over the years you probably know what interests you, your likes and dislikes and this will help you to decide what sort of work you’d like to undertake.

Research has shown that generally women veer towards career paths which are more social (think caring profession) while men are doers and that’s why they often take up more analytical roles in engineering.

For example, people who like exploring possibilities and like to look to the future may be a suitable fit for a career in marketing or advertising whereas a person who likes dealing in the present might want to be a chef or work in retail. People who look at things on a wider scale and have great spatial awareness might make good architects. Those who are more thoughtful may end up as economists or psychologists.

Related: Women at Wells Fargo 27% more likely to lose job

To help you establish whether your career path bodes well for the future, you may like to consider these few points below.

Interests

The world would be a dull place if we were all the same. From a very early age we make decisions about what we enjoy and what we don’t. Think about those things which make you happy. Growing up you may have decided to pursue a specific sport, because it gave you a level of enjoyment. Your personal preferences can influence your choice on a career selection. Would you like to work outside or in an office?

Strengths

You wouldn’t enter a career if you knew you didn’t have the right aptitude for it so look at your personal strengths. The so called “Holland Code” was introduced in the late 1950’s and introduced the idea that careers and vocational choices could be based on personality types. Certain professions were ideal for those with certain traits. Here are some examples:

  • Doers – Realistic type roles such as drivers and firefighters
  • Thinkers – Investigative type roles such as lawyers and chemists
  • Creators – Artistic roles such as interior designers or journalists
  • Helpers – Social roles such as social workers or teachers
  • Persuaders – Enterprising roles such as buyers and fundraisers
  • Organisers – Conventional roles such as librarians or accountants

Solo or group working

Do you enjoy working as part of a team in collaborative efforts or do you prefer to work on your own? Some people prefer team focussed roles and like the support of others to achieve tasks while others like tackling activities on their own and get a real rush of excitement making solo decisions. Consider how you may like to work and the surrounding work environment.

Remember if in doubt, you can always speak to a career counsellor to discuss your options. TrainSmart Australia has career counsellors who can talk through your choices and suggest possible courses. TrainSmart Australia is a Registered Training Organisation has been delivering high quality superior training to thousands of people across Australia since it was established in 2007. Students can study a wide range of diploma courses under five colleges, with each one focussing on a specific industry to provide tailored learning.

You might also enjoy: Tips for better college grades

Comfort, Counseling and Care: Are You Considering a Career in Psychology?

A career in Psychology has more to it than running your own street booth, but the rewards of this path is well worth the effort ... photo by CC user Allen Timothy Chang on wikimedia

The subject of psychology is relatively young. People have likely pondered thought processes and behavior for centuries, yet it did not begin to become a course of study until the turn of the 20th century. Today, plenty of people enlist in courses of psychology, which lead to a number of potential careers. However, not many know their options.

If you’re considering a career in psychology, read the following to realize the diversity of career choices.

Vocational Counselor

The US economy is in the wake of the Great Recession. A lot of people have switched careers, been laid off, or released from previous positions, which makes them anxious and in need of suggestions. Vocational counselors help others find jobs and successfully pursue careers. Aside from a person’s wants and intuitions, vocational counselors survey skills and help align clients with a realistic and rewarding career path.

School Psychologist

School psychologists work with children to alleviate social, academic, and emotional problems. School psychology is a fast growing field due to increased interest in the mental health and academic progress of kids and teenagers. At the moment, the demand for school psychologists outgrows the number of those qualified.

Counselor

Counselors help those with a range of immediate and long-term issues, whether it be associated to family, marriage, education, or substance abuse. A significant amount of counselors work in the health care and social welfare industries. A smaller percentage work for state and local governments and usually need a master’s degree and state license.

Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors provide data regarding genetic disorders, helping couples and families make educated decisions. Such professionals have advanced degrees in psychology and genetics, with undergraduate degrees in biology, psychology, nursing, and public health. Genetic counselors work with medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and geneticists to provide counseling to people who are dealing with a family member’s disorder or who have the potential of passing down a genetic disorder to offspring.

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists assist detectives and police officers with crime scenes and evidence. Aside from adventurous roles depicted in movies and television, forensic psychologists work with experts to resolve child custody issues, question insurance claims, evaluate child custody cases, and investigate those suspected of child abuse.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists are professionals most conjure when thinking of psychology workers. Such professionals assess, diagnose, and treat clients who host disorders. Clinical psychologists work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. It’s not simple to become a clinical psychologist; you must attain a doctorate-level degree in clinical psychology, and many states require an internship period. Moreover, graduate schools are tough to get into and very competitive once there. Most states host advanced degree programs; find an online college in Texas, seek out traditional universities in your area, or do an online search for programs in your area and beyond.

Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists work with athletes, coaches, and entire teams, focusing on motivation, performance, and injuries. A sports psychologist does not necessarily need to work within an organization; alternatively, some use athletics to help people overcome emotional and physical ailments. Sports psychologists can work in hospitals, athletic centers, or have their own private practices.

If wondering about thoughts and behavior has always been an interest, and you like the idea of helping others both mentally and physically, a career in psychology is right for you. Once you attain a Bachelor’s degree, you can then focus on proceeding with your education, specializing in school, sports, clinical, genetic psychology, and beyond.

Albert Rodriguez has spent many years in the frontline of psychological services. He always appreciates the chance to share his insights online. You can find other articles written by him on several different relevant websites.

Computer Forensics: A Cyber Career Roadmap

Computer Forensics professionals get to use a lot of cool tools ... photo by CC user ErrantX on Flickr

Maybe you don’t like the idea of mopping up after a crime scene – the blood, the bullets etc. At the same time, you love piecing together mysteries. Thankfully, there’s still a job for you in computer forensics. Here’s what it’s all about and how plug yourself into this little-known, but exciting career.

Educational Requirements

To get into digital forensics, you need a good education. The requirements can be fairly minimal, however, in terms of the actual content, quality counts more than quantity. Many computer forensics professionals learn their skills “on the job,” with a strong basic foundation in computer programming or computer forensics.

Because many of the strategies and tactics change over time, it’s difficult to set hard and fast requirements for applicants. A working knowledge of computers is necessary, but beyond that, an investigator will have to be comfortable learning new hardware and software, some of which is custom and proprietary. They may also need special security clearance if they are working on government projects.

Degrees

For those without experience in law enforcement, military, or government, there are degrees. The most common one is an Associate Degree in computer forensics. This is a two-year course of study where the student completes general education courses that are specific to a career in computer forensics.

Various courses in cybercrime, intrusion detection systems, and basic legal protocols are covered. There is also some focus on technical writing, public speaking, and algebra.

Finally, with an Associate’s degree, the individual usually has to complete an internship before graduation. This internship gives the student work experience that will help in finding a job with a forensics specialist.

If a degree isn’t something you want to pursue, there’s also a professional certificate training course in computer forensics. This is a common method of learning the basics of computer forensics. Law enforcement or computer securities professionals usually go this route. Students enrolled in these types of programs usually have a computer or legal background, eliminating the need for additional schooling.

Certificate programs require less study – just 10 courses. However, it may be more challenging for those without prior education in computers.

And, while doctoral degrees in computer forensics aren’t common, they may be in the future as the need for forensics evolves and we become more and more dependent on electronics for daily living. More and more information is being stored in the cloud, on devices locally, and in increasingly complex systems.

Experience

A lot of computer forensics experts have experience in law enforcement, as a private investigator, or in the military. The most successful will also have extensive computer programming or some other related field experience. This digital forensics expert, for example, hires those with experience in law enforcement and intelligence organizations.

As with most jobs, the more experience, the better. Many of the best forensics experts and investigators are former FBI special agents, former CIA agents, former U.S. State Department officials, and professionals from international crime and anti-terrorism units.

Experience in behavioral science, latent fingerprinting, polygraph examinations, and traditional forensics doesn’t hurt either.

Jared Stern, a certified digital forensic examiner, is a federal and state court-admitted computer and cell phone forensics expert. Mr. Stern is also the President of Prudential Associates, an investigative agency that uses a powerfully-equipped forensics lab which goes above and beyond the capacity and capability of over 90 percent of U.S. law enforcement labs. His articles appear mainly on criminal science education and industry websites.

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