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Category: Uncategorized

This is College: Thoughts of a Peer Academic Advisor vol. 1.9

Posted by smontiel - April 15, 2014 - Uncategorized
Peer Academic Advisor: Kareema Smith
Major: Psychology
Class: Senior

Around the end of April to early May last year I was applying to be an intern at the National Society of Collegiate Scholars in Washington, DC. After commuting to the office from GMU for my first interview, I was called back to the office for a second interview and I knew this was a good sign. To make a long story short, I actually had three interviews in total for the position but it was all worth it because I spent my summer days working in an office with amazing people whose main priority was to help college students! The lesson here: Securing your dream internship will not always be easy but it will be worth it! Below are some tips to finding and securing a great internship!

1) START EARLY! No matter if you are applying for a summer or semester internship, job, or research related program for your major, there will always be a deadline. Use your Winter Break productively and research different companies that interest you to see if they offer summer internships. If you have no idea what company you might want to intern for, just type into Google “(your major) internships.” If you are unsure of a major just type in “internships for college students.” If you are hoping to secure an internship for the semester, start at least three months before that semester begins. (i.e.: around June for the Fall and October for the Spring).

2) Have multiple options. Though there are some people who only applied to one college and got in, I know the majority of us applied to multiple schools. The same strategy should be used for internships. Applying to a number of different companies gives you a greater chance of securing an awesome position. With that being said, always remember to put the same amount of effort into each and every application! 

3) Get prepared! The application will undoubtedly ask for a resume’ and most likely a cover letter and references. Take advantage of Career Services (careers.gmu.edu) on campus to get feedback on how to improve your resume’ and how to successfully write an amazing cover letter. They are also a great resource if you need help on your interview skills. Also, out of courtesy, give the amazing people (professors, employers, etc) writing your recommendation letters at least a three to four week notice so that they can prepare.

4) Research the Company. Yes, you might have researched the company to know enough about the internship they are offering but that does not make you knowledgeable about the company in general. You want to go into your interview knowing what the company offers, how they operate and why you would be a great asset to their team. Let’s say a company has an upcoming event, project or initiative; mentioning that in your interview will undoubtedly set you apart from other candidates so take the time to research!

5) Dress to Impress! Maybe it is because I love fashion but my motto has always been: if you look great, you feel even better! Make sure that you look professional and put together when you arrive to your interview. Business attire is A MUST and will lift your confidence as you efficiently answer every question the employer has for you. Good luck!!

Walk-In Advising @ Hanover!

Posted by smontiel - March 19, 2014 - Uncategorized
Advising in Res Hall Flyer - Spring 2014(web)

This is College: Thoughts of a Peer Academic Advisor vol. 1.8

Posted by smontiel - March 7, 2014 - Uncategorized

Peer Academic Advisor: Jana Biever
Major: Psychology & Anthropology
Class: Senior

Summer Registration

With all of this snowy weather, it has been nearly impossible to not think about the warm summer sun. While you are making you plans for summer vacation, consider taking a summer class at Mason! Summer is a great time to take a few classes in order to help you complete your degree on time, lighten your course load for upcoming semesters, or to repeat a class.

Registration for summer classes beings on Monday, March 10. To determine your registration day, you can check here: http://summer.gmu.edu/registration/ or refer to your Time Ticket on Patriot Web. When you are deciding what classes to take, it is important to note that the course work over the summer is intensive since the sessions are shorter than during the Fall or Spring semesters. Be careful about not taking more classes than you can handle during the summer. Most students only take 1-3 classes over the summer.

You can look up which classes are available over the summer on Patriot Web, just like you would for Fall and Spring classes. There are three sessions available over the summer: Session A: May 19-June 27, Session B: June 2-July 22, and Session C: June 30-August 8. As you can see, these sessions all overlap with each other, so it is very important to check the dates of the classes you are interested in, because you may end up starting another class before you finish with the first one. I recommend taking classes in only one session or classes in Session A and Session C since those dates do not conflict with each other. You can find out more information about the different summer sessions here:  http://summer.gmu.edu/

Remember: it is extremely important to see your advisor before summer registration to talk about your options and check your degree progress! So make sure that you schedule your appointment as soon as possible.

Midterms

If you are like me, the Midterm period for your classes may have already started. Since we have had so many snow days, it is important to keep track of the dates your midterm exams and papers are due since they may have changed. If you haven’t already had your midterms, make sure to plan time over break to study. Midterms are tricky because it may be tempting to forgo studying over break, but you still need to stay on track with your grades.

Midterm grades are required to be posted on Patriot Web for 100-200 level classes, so you can check your progress there. Grades will be posted from Monday, February 17 – Friday, March 21. For students in 300-400 level classes, I have found that most professors will post your grades on Blackboard or be willing to share those with you during their office hours.

The grades you have around midterms are good indicators of your progress in your classes. If you are unhappy with those grades, take this as motivation to study harder, talk to your professors, and plan ahead for important assignments. You can always talk to your academic advisors about developing time-management skills and your options for potentially using one of your Selective Withdrawals to drop a class. I highly recommend discussing those options with an advisor before using a Selective Withdrawal so you know exactly what that will mean for your GPA and on your transcript.

Good luck with your exams and have a safe, happy Spring Break. Stay warm!