An Adventurer's Dream

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A Dream Brought To Life

One of my last posts talked about adventures in a far away place and study abroad options that I would love to have the opportunity to go on. While I will not be taking a semester or a year to study in a foreign county, I have been giving the amazing opportunity of going to Japan for a 10-day trip during my Spring Break in this upcoming year.

Yes, I was accepted into the class that has this wonderful study abroad component. I am so thrilled to be able to take such a trip and learn more about the culture of the business world in Japan. And to just be able to go to Japan at all. It seems like a dream brought to life.

The only down points is trying to find money to make up for the extra cost that goes along with the course. My loan covers most of the charges that will be brought on by the extra $1,500, but I still need to earn funding for textbooks next semester and for passport fees. I am now working at the desk in my residence hall, but I will not be paid for a few more weeks. Still, I would like to find a way to earn even more money. I feel bad making my mom worry about my finances in regards to schooling and keeping enough money to be able to live well. She is also concerned about me saving money up so that I will be able to afford an apartment after college. I am too.

If anyone has any advice or thoughts on how to earn some more money, I would very much appreciate to hear them. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you have to say. Or, please share an experience of when you traveled abroad and what you thought of the entire event. I would love to learn more about what people have thought of their experiences abroad.

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Adventures in a Far Away Place

I have had three classes between yesterday and today where someone has come in and spoken about studying abroad. It sounds so beautiful and wonderful – like an amazing adventure that all college students should yearn to take. Going to class in France, bicycling to the university, immersing myself in the culture of this other land… It’s beautiful, indeed, but it’s not something that is possible for me.

In order for me to graduate from St. Edward’s on time (May 2014 is my objective), I will need to take full course loads each semester until I graduate. I will have to take a class over the summer. Studying abroad is outside my budget limit (I can hardly afford going to St. Edward’s). However, there are still two chances I have to get the opportunity to go abroad. The School of Business and Management offers two courses that have components that allow you to study abroad. The thought of being able to participate in such a class is thrilling.

However, it does cost extra to take these classes. The one that I want to take next semester is traveling to Japan. It would be such a wonderful experience and I would be so honored to be chosen to participate. I have to write a short essay to apply and then if I am selected I will have to pay $1,500 extra for the course. My parents are not too happy about having to pay extra, especially when my school is so expensive to begin with. Half of me has already accepted the fact that I will probably not be able to take the class (I mean, what are the chances of me being actually selected to take the class and then of having the money ready for next semester?) yet half of me will be completely heartbroken if I do not take this chance. I really, really want to go… And it’s not just because it is Japan. It is because the experience would be so life-changing and I know that I would be able to use it for future events and business decisions.

I will send my essay this week to the person in charge. I really do hope I am chosen. But, a part of me hopes that I am not, so I won’t have to be heartbroken after I have been told “Yes.” I guess we’ll see how it turns out. Whatever it is, I am sure it is for the best.

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I Am 1000 Zombies Trying to Break Into a Building

This is what the guest speaker yesterday made us write down. This was his comparison to using 100% of your connections to break into the company you want to be employed by.

Donald Asher, “author of 12 books on career development and higher education”, was the guest speaker yesterday at my university. His event title was “Navigating the Hidden Job Market”. The content of his speech was highly interesting and very thought-provoking. I found myself completely immersed in the topic and laughing at his very good sense of humor.

Did you know that about 85% of the job market is made up of the hidden job market? This segment of the market is made up of jobs that are advertised at some point, but the person who gets the position was never a part of the advertisement – they didn’t see it. The hidden market gives job seekers a great advantage; not only is the competition for the position you aim for significantly lower (try moving from 200 applicants to about 20), but you don’t need all the specifications that are listed on the job description to get the job.

Also, jobs seekers have a better chance of getting the job if they are recommended. People only recommend people that they trust, so there is a lower risk factor involved with hiring someone that has been given a good word. This also takes away a “lie-factor” that is out in the job seeking market. Asher says that about 25% are lying on resumes. Crazy, right? Well, if you have been recommended, obviously you are not in that 25%. Who would recommend a liar? Not me.

Asher gave plenty of good advice, like on making sure you keep your target career in mind. Have an elevator speech ready. Get involved with an informational  interview in the market you have an interest in. And to network.

I enjoyed the information he told us, and like I said, he was pretty funny, too. Take a look at his books if you are interested in learning more; I will probably take a look at them at some point.

And, remember, I am 1000 zombies trying to break into a building. I will definitely get in. Watch out world! 😉

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Small Business Development Program

I have a dream. And it is to one day create my own business and run it successfully with my best friend, Aaron. So, I guess mine is half of a dream, with the other half belonging to him.

Today I attended an event sponsored by the Career Services at St. Edward’s University called “Small Business Development Program.” It lasted from 5:30 PM to about 7:00 PM. And, boy, did I get a lot of helpful information.

St. Edward’s University is in Austin, Texas. Yes, I have told you where I live. No, I don’t care at the moment. I may eventually. However, the point is the city: Austin. I’m sure every city has it’s own version of the “Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office” that came out to visit us. However, Austin is really standing out to me right now. The speaker that gave the presentation today spoke about all the free opportunities that are available in the city to people like me that are wanting to start their own small business eventually. Get this, did you know:

  • Over 90% of Austin businesses have less than 100 employees?
  • More than 80% of Austin businesses have less than 20 employees?

I didn’t. I thought it was an interesting fact.

Anyway, Austin invests in the small businesses because they bring so much income to the city. They also help in keeping unemployment down. So they provide a lot of services that are super helpful: free or low-cost classes, orientations, one-on-one business coaches, databases with information on networking, and an office to do research for your upstart company. How amazing is that? I never would have thought there would be such a wealth of information and help just out and about in Austin.

As a future businesswoman working to get her Bachelors in Business Administration, I am very excited to learn about the many possibilities of service and knowledge I can have. I want to be successful in life. Hopefully I will get there.

Now I just need a car to get me around Austin to the locations I need to go. It’d be nice if one just dropped out of thin air.

How about you, dear readers? Are you interested in starting your own business eventually? Have you heard of any amazing resources like these?

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The Ultimate Battle: Traditional Schooling Versus Online Classes – Who Will Win?

In today’s age and time, technology is a key factor. Everything is online now, including school. You can take your entire college education online and never step foot inside a traditional classroom. However, is this really the best thing for society’s students?

I have taken classes with course content on Blackboard and liked the experience of having the schoolwork digital. However, learning through a computer (and self-teaching yourself to do the work) does not sound like a very good way to learn for me. I am the type of person who needs that face-to-face experience, to see and hear the lecture being given. Since transferring, I have even taken the steps to talk to my professors outside of class time when I have any questions.

I am sure all of the people reading this with online experience are thinking one thing: You can do that through the computer. You can e-mail. You can view recorded lectures. You can still get a great education through online classes. I agree. You can do all of those things. It’s very possible to get a great degree through online schooling. In my opinion, however, you can get so much more in the education by having a traditional in-school education. Thy have a much better hands-on experience.

Maybe I am biased, because I have not taken any classes totally and completely online. However, I don’t think I would want to since I have completely enwrapped myself in classes on campus. I am so blessed and amazed to be at St. Edward’s University and I think any online courses would only take away from my time here.

What about you, readers? Feel free to share below your thoughts and opinions. Who wins with you in the ultimate battle: traditional schooling versus online schooling?

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