Monthly Archives: June 2012

Homeless and Penniless to Harvard

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I recently read an article about an amazing young lady who has defied all odds, took her life struggles and used them to fuel her desire to turn her life around to earn herself a full ride scholarship to one of the most prestigious colleges in our country.

Dawn Loggins, of Lawndale, North Carolina is an exemplary example of someone who refused to give up, no matter how many obstacles were placed in her way.

This young lady overcame an extremely difficult childhood.  Homeless at an early age, and abandoned by her parents, she refused to let this get her down.  She worked hard to excel academically. She was blessed with counselors, teachers, and a community that believed in her.   Living most of her life with no electricity, running water, and later – no home, this young lady is a true success story.  Her refusal to give up hope, when all else seemed to be working against her displays her determination and drive that would be an asset to our youth today.

Dawn had the drive and insight to continue to focus on her future.  A straight A student –  and armed with determination, she applied, and was accepted to, a number of distinguished schools such as University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, Davidson College and Warren Wilson College.   Dawn was also accepted to Harvard – her reach for the stars school – and will be attending the Ivy League school on a full ride scholarship.

These types of students give me hope for a brighter future.  Dawn has proven, that no matter what is in your past, your future is yours to mold.

How to avoid conflicts with parents over summer break

You have gone off to college, discovered your new found freedom, and now are returning home for the summer.  How do you live cohesively in a home where the rules that once were, seem stringent and overwhelming?    You may find that your expectations differ from your parents.  What once was – before your leap into college – may not be when you return home.  Your likes, habits, and even your style of dress may have changed.

How do you help make things run smoothly for you and your family?  Here are a few tips:

Tip 1:  Understand that your parents have your best interest at heart.  No matter how old you get, or where you lay your head an night, they still worry about you and want the best for you.

Tip 2:  Be respectful of your parents’ needs and wants.  They got you this far, they must have done something right.

Tip 3:  Talk to your parents.  You will notice – things such as curfews, money, use of the car, and even the company you invite into your parents’ home can become an issue.  Talk to your parents and find a common ground that you can all live with.

Tip 4:  Let your parents know that you are happy to be home with them.  It is easy to get caught up in spending time with your friends or other activities that keep you out of touch with your family.  Letting them know how important they are in your life and how much you appreciate the fact that they have helped you achieve your goals will go a long way in achieving the type of healthy relationship every college student wants and needs.

Make it a great summer!

There’s a Birdie in Your Future

This is just too good not to share.  I receive numerous emails that have been forwarded from one person to the next.  This one has a great message that I felt I needed to pass on… 

“If you were flipping through the TV channels this weekend, you might have seen something really unique at the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

There was a senior playing and he did remarkably well. I’m not talking about Michael Allen, who is 53.

I’m talking about Beau Hossler, who is 17, a senior at Santa Margarita High School in Orange County, California.

Amidst the top golfers in the world, he not only qualified for the U.S. Open as an amateur, but also led the leader board on Friday for a few magical moments. That is, ahead of such famous golfers as Tiger Woods and Phil Michelson.

On Saturday, he shot even-par 70, followed all four of his bogeys with birdies on the next hole. I checked and learned that a bogey means one above par. A birdie means one score below par. Birdies are  preferable.

That means that Beau was able to focus when things did not go well on holes number 3, 6, 11, and 13, where he got bogies. He was apparently able to mentally put those holes behind him and charged ahead with birdies on holes 4, 7, 12, and 13.

Although the final day of the tournament, Sunday, did not go as well for Beau, his quiet demeanor, his focus, and his determination have garnered him sudden fame in the game of golf and legions of fans worldwide.

What a great lesson we can take from the amazing performance of Beau Hossler in The Open. As I teach in my seminars, “It’s not what happens. It’s how we react.”

Every round of golf, as in every day in life, offers another opportunity to do better on the next hole or the next step. “Bogeys in my past. Birdies in my future” might be a great mantra for success.

If you’ve recently had an experience that could be equated to a bogie, that is done. You cannot change it. May I suggest that you mentally step up to the next tee, see your ball going far and straight down the fairway, swing the club and strike it with everything you’ve got.  

There’s a birdie in your future.”

More Job Opportunities for 2012 Graduates

Graduation ceremonies and festivities are popping up all around us. A time for happiness and celebration, and a start to a whole new life. But, what lies ahead??

According to U.S. News & World Report, recruiters say 2012 college graduates will see more job opportunities.

As written by Catherine Groux and Posted March 21, 2012 11:24 am, “Although the economic downturn affected countless people across the U.S., the nation is slowly showing signs of recovery, especially for bachelor’s degree holders. According to a 2012 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, hiring managers plan to employ 9.5% more new college graduates in 2011-2012 than they did in 2010-2011. Additionally, hiring is expected to increase across almost all majors, with the sharpest growth predicted for those who study business, computer science and engineering.”

What can you do to help land that dream job? Your resume says a lot about you and is the first impression the company has of you. However, writing a resume as a recent college graduate has some challenges. As a recent graduate, you have limited professional experience which may make it difficult to prove your value to a potential employer. Focus on your successes achieved while attending college and create a one page resume that highlights important information about you. You may also want to consider an internship, which will give you valuable on-the-job training that will be sure to add experience to your resume.

Practice your interview skills. Make sure to use proper grammar – not slang, street talk. Ask a friend or family member to perform mock interviews with you. You will want to make sure this person is willing to provide you with constructive criticism. Be familiar with most frequently asked questions during the interview process. This will help you be prepared. Monster.com has a list of questions that are likely to be asked during an interview.

Be on time for your interview. Nothing says “unreliable” more than a late applicant.

Dress for Success. Always show up to your interview dressed appropriately for the workplace.

Put your best foot forward. Be yourself and be honest. Your potential employer is trained to know when you are pulling their leg.

Go out there and get that dream job! After all, isn’t that why you have been working so hard to obtain your college degree?

The Successful College Student’s Pyramid

Infographics seem to be the coolest thing since sliced bread. It’s easy to understand why. They provide a lot of information in a easy-to-understand and appealing way. If a picture says a 1,000 words, than infographics must say 1,000,000 words!

To expand on the topic of uncluttering your cluttered life (our last blog post), we thought this Successful College Student Pyramid infographic was perfect for our readers. No matter if you’re starting your first semester this fall or you’re looking forward to graduating soon, this guide will help you organize your priorities.

Successful College Student’s Pyramid
Presented By: Online Colleges

So you should organize your priorities from bottom to top:

  1. Learn as much as you can and get the most out of your college education
  2. Take care of your health
  3. Get social and enjoy the college experience
  4. Gain experience (and money) with jobs and internships
  5. Take a break sometimes and visit home
  6. Party sometimes, just don’t make it a bad habit

Thanks Online Colleges for bringing this infographic to our attention!