Category Archives: Student Resources

Student Resources

Resume writing

I am certainly not the person you go to if you need help writing your resume because chances are I’ll tell you the wrong thing. Luckily, there is hope for all of us.

Today for my Business Communications class I have a mock interview – not too happy about it either -and we were told to have a cover letter, resume, and thank you letter. Now, I dreaded this because I had no idea how to write any of those things. I put it off and put it off until last night while I was watching “Sleeping Beauty,” it dawned on me that I still had to get that done. So I hopped onto Google and searched for examples of resumes and cover letters. Still, I was confused and probably too focused on the classic Disney movie, but I carried on with my search.resume panic

Finally, I came across a website called Resumehelp.com. All you have to do is choose what type of template you want, fill out the questions and voila, you got yourself a resume! It even gives you starting sentences and phrases to get your mind on a roll thinking about what else you could include about yourself. You can also do your cover letters and thank you letters on this website as well.

Thankfully, I am a dedicated advocate of the Google search, otherwise I would be a sitting duck right about now, complaining to you all about how I don’t have a hope in hell. I strongly advise checking out this website if you are struggling in the resume writing department, it definitely saved me time and a panic attack!

 Editor’s Note: Be sure you work with your Student Services Career Counselors Heather DiLalla in Media (Hdilalla@pit.edu) and Stan Williams in Center City (stanley.williams@pit.edu) for help with your resume, cover letters, and all your job placement assistance!

Resolution Check Up

resolution check upNow that the tinsel and mistletoe are tucked away and taking a long winters nap, it’s time to get out of your food comas and get the ball rolling once again. It’s a new year and I can almost guarantee most of your New Year’s resolutions are “to become the best version of yourself”.  Luckily for you, a new semester is a great way to reinvent yourself.

It’s time to forget about the Christmas movie marathons and start thinking about scheduling study marathons with a group of friends in your classes! I feel as if this semester is short, which can only mean that final exams will sneak up on you quicker than Cupid on Valentine’s Day, shooting his arrows left and right in the name of love.

The best way to accomplish your New Year’s resolution is to first set short-term goals for yourself. For example, for us students, we all know those dreaded tests are bound to pop up. So for this month tell yourself you will get a B or higher on those pesky papers. Once you achieve that, keeping moving forward – maybe add in something like “eating healthy” and “exercising.” As a bonus, being mindful of what you put in your body and staying active will greatly improve the way you think and feel, especially about school. However, don’t tell yourself you’ll be able to do something outrageous, and certainly do not punish yourself if what you thought you would get done didn’t happen for you.

This world is made up of mistakes. Do you think if someone was so precise about fabric color, we would have tie-dye? I don’t think so — someone had to have knocked over the paint to develop that funky swirling pattern.

So remember that if you mess up or fall off the track, tell yourself “tomorrow is a new day.” Or as the singer Aaliyah said “if at first you don’t succeed try, try again” If it takes you a couple days, weeks or months, IT’S FINE. I will bet you a million dollars that you’re not the only one struggling!

Meet Student Services – Garrison Lockley

garrison lockleyJust because it’s a new year, doesn’t mean I forgot about the interviews! Today’s interview was with Garrison Lockley, and if you don’t know who he is, I advise you to get to know him. Garrison is super nice, and is most definitely there for you if you need him for academic help. His office is located across the hall from the ARO on the main floor.

 

1. What or who made you the person you are today?

The person who influenced me is my mother Lisa Lockley. She is an educator and a Christian woman who has a compassionate heart and who desires to make a difference in the lives of others and in her community. Through my mother’s values, I have learned to give back to others who are need and help others try to reach their full potential educationally.

 

2. Explain what your job consists of on a day to day basis.

Here at P.I.T., I am an Academic Support and Financial Literacy Counselor/ Tutorial Coordinator. As an AS&FC, I am responsible for both associate degree and certificate students in health-related program areas (i.e. Health Science, Allied Health, Practical Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant, and all School of Professional Programs). My daily responsibilities can include:  monitoring my student caseload and grant related student attendance, mid-term and final grades, addressing student concerns and student referrals from teachers, conducting student appointments, and participating in special events such as pre-registration, student orientations, and May commencements.

In 2014, I was asked to become the Tutorial Coordinator here at P.I.T. As the Tutorial Coordinator, I am the contact person for students looking for supplemental tutoring. I interview and hire the Professional and Peer Tutors and monitor tutored students final grades to measure success of the tutoring program.

 

3. What was your major in college?

In 2002, I received my bachelor’s degree in History and later in 2007 I received my Masters in Education with a concentration in Secondary School Counseling from Widener University in Chester PA. In May 2015, I will be receiving my Masters in Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary which is affiliated with Eastern University.

 

4. Did you want to be anything else while you were growing up and going through your college career?

I always had a desire to be an educator whether it was in teaching or counseling young people. My second career choice would have been in sports management as an athletic director.

 

5. What is your weakness? Strengths?

My biggest weakness in life would be “doing too much.”  Every now and then, I need someone to help me with time management. I believe my strongest strength is my faithfulness and perseverance in all that is given or ask for to me to do.

 

6. What’s your favorite part of your job?

First, I just enjoy journeying with students pursuing their educational endeavors and dreams. Second, I appreciate my professional relationships with my P.I.T. staff and administration, and students.

 

7. Do you discover any challenges about your job?

There is not a semester that goes by that my heart doesn’t ache for students who experience a life crisis, but due to the lack of resources available to them, the end result is that they must withdraw from school to handle the situation. As an AS&FC, I am always trying to find human resources to help these students cope with their situations.

The Library is Your Friend

I think I can speak for the majority of us when I say I don’t go to the library, period.

I love to read, but I never find myself eager to want to stop by and see what the Library has. After doing some searching around on the web about what the Library could do for us, whether it’s for stimulating the brain or using the resources for coursework, I found reasons on why your local Library should be like your local book shop – a great place to get lost for a few hours.

162_6291First and most importantly, chat it up with the librarian — she clearly knows more than yourself, especially if you are not a frequent visitor.  Also, become familiar with locations of books such as fiction, non-fiction, or biography’s. That way you won’t waste your time walking around in circles and end up with nothing but a headache.

Another cool attribute in today’s technology is that we now have the ability to read a book on our smart phones, computers, Kindles ©, and all types of electronics, which I feel is pretty awesome — although I do love the smell of an old library book!

Ask your librarian, or google books that may interest you, and check to see if they can be downloaded onto whatever device you choose.

Lastly, an important detail is that you can check what kind of books your library holds by checking out P.I.T.’s website at my.pit.edu and going into Academic Resources, which I feel every school’s website must have. You can use P.I.T.’s Online Library to access Research and Subject Guides created for your use by P.I.T.`s Librarians, and find articles, reference sources, e-books, and other digital resources. Just search different topics you may want to learn more about.

So, next time you want to blow the library off for an afternoon of your favorite cartoon re-run, stop on over and explore everything this romance, educational, murder mystery, and “how to” book filled extravaganzas has to offer for your personal and learning interest!

Become an Amazing Employee

Having a job is super important, for it will provide you and your family with the essentials in life such as food, water, shelter, clothes, etc. There are tons of ways to become an admirable employee and I have gathered these 10 steps to give you a head start!

1. Be on time – and call if you know you’ll be late.

2. Behave well – you are always representing the company.

3. Learn how to take criticism well –  people will speak their minds and it’s not always good news. Use it constructively to improve your work.

i love my job4. Be confident! You were hired for this position, which means the management saw something great in you.

5. Dress professionally – the best rule to follow is this: If you need to ask yourself if your outfit is appropriate, it probably is not.

6. Be productive – when you are done one task, offer to help co-workers or look for something you can do to improve what you’ve already done.

7. Help solve a problem – don’t be afraid to offer suggestions, and don’t be put off if your idea isn’t chosen. Continue to be supportive to your co-workers and when the problem is yours, they will help you to solve it.

8. Be appreciative – not only for the job you’ve managed to get hired for. Appreciate gestures of friendship, acts of kindness, and the guidance of your peers and supervisors.

9. Be active – productivity will increase if you are not the person always glued to your desk.

10. “This is your job, do it well, or someone else will” – especially in the current state of unemployment, be aware that if you are not willing to put in the effort to do an excellent job, there are plenty of other people who will be glad to take your place.

Tips For a Successful Semester

It’s the start of another semester – a new beginning for some and a return to the routine for others. But the new semester offers the chance to do your best. Here are some of my personal tips on how to excel this semester.

  • To be the most successful during your school days, it is always a great idea to not only get involved but also become a leader in school groups and activities. With all the fun you’re having with fellow classmates and faculty, you’ll forget you’re actually making yourself look great for future jobs and Hiring Managers once you put down your involvement on your resume.

    On top of conversing with others and making friends you will be networking – gaining connections which will help you BIG TIME when you’re out looking for a job.

     

  • The next thing that is certainly helpful is to SAVE YOUR WORK! For those of you who have typed 5 page essays, remember that feeling when you look for it again and – poof, it’s gone, nowhere to found in your documents? It is a horrible situation, and you probably want to curl up in a ball and cry after you’ve thrown your books at the wall. Get your hands on a flash drive and upload your documents, then use it as your default place to save your work. It will be a life saver, trust me.  Another good method is to copy all of your work and then paste it in an email to yourself. Send it and it’s there for you if your other saved work goes M.I.A.!note taking

      

  • Another helpful tip is to begin to think about how you’re going to take your notes and pay attention in your classes. I always sat in the back in high school and it didn’t do me any good. Once I started here at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, I decided to sit in the front. Up front I learn the most information since I am more focused and not distracted by what others are doing, the birds outside the window, my phone, or anything else.

     

  • Lastly, remember to always keep your grades in check. Maintain your good GPA and you won’t have to worry later about getting them up and maybe passing your classes. Start out strong and maintain that pace, but don’t set standards that are impossible for you to achieve. Stress is no good for us college kids — well, it isn’t good for anyone. Once I start to stress, I forget about things and my grades begin to sink as if they were standing on quicksand! It’s definitely not something I would recommend. Keep your assignments and studying on track and you should avoid this.

Overall, if you are determined to do well and take care to follow these tips, stay positive, and minimize your stress, your school year should be a success 

Studying tips

Finals are on the horizon and you want to get the best grade possible, but you find it hard to avoid distractions and can’t seem to get the jist of studying in general. Ass students, myself included, find studying for exams somewhat difficult at times. So since I am a nice person, I will provide my readers with the 10 steps I take while I study, so that you too can receive an A on your next test!

1. Take really good notes: May sound vague, but what I’m trying to say is that the better your notes are the better chance you have on studying the right material.

2. Participate in class: One great way to receive extra points from your teacher, and get on the right track if you are confused about a topic, is to raise that hand of yours and have the teacher explain it more. Asking for clarification of a topic is always a good idea.

3. Highlight major topics in your textbook: This will help you to remember what your teacher said was important and what you should review for the test. (Remember: you should only do this if you OWN your textbook, not if you are renting it or borrowed it.)

4. Organize a study group with students in your class: Bringing a team effort to your study hours is also a great way to figure out if you’ve missed anything and to learn from others who understand the material more clearly than you do. smaller-studying

5. Switch up your study spots: Continuing to study in one spot can be boring and make you want to get up and leave. Pick a new spot every hour, but make sure it’s quiet so you won’t get distracted.

6. Never pull an all-nighter: Cramming can give you anxiety which causes you to retain less information.

7. Begin to study 1 month before the test: This will give you more than enough time to understand the material and ask questions if needed.

8. Eat a snack: We should all eat healthier in general, but leading up to a test is a time to pack on the high fiber, fruits and vegetables. They will be the best for your performance.

9. Exercise: Slipping in some cardio will do the brain some good. Engaging in 20 minutes of activities that will get your heart pumping can improve your memory. Take a walk around your block or up-and-down the stairs to get some fresh air and a simple workout.

10. Get a good night sleep: 8 hours a night is what all of us should be getting, but for those of us who have a test coming up, that 8 hours will give you the energy to stay focused!

A Push in the Right Direction

Every now and then we find ourselves in a slump, and if you say you’re never confused or hurt, angry or simply having “one of those days,” you’re most likely in denial.StressRelief

If you are experiencing some sort of rut, I believe in talking it out with someone — your mom or dad, brother or sister, friend, or school counselor. There is always a way to help you turn that frown upside down and enjoy the rest of the day.

(1)    Put on some tunes that make you feel amazing. You know, the ones that get your feet tapping. For example the music that makes me feel great is country and pop songs. You hear a great song and pretty soon your mood is lifted.

 

(2)    Not in the mood for music? Heck, put on your favorite comedy movie and laugh yourself to tears. Laughter is the best form of medicine for your soul. The Mayo Clinic has proven that’s not just a corny saying.

 

(3)    Create a happy place to escape to when things get rough – carve out one room or even just a corner of one room that has the comforts that make you relax and feel better. A favorite pillow, a soft throw, a good view out of the window – all of these can help you remember the good feelings that you have temporarily forgotten.

 

(4)    Start a DIY project and empower yourself with creative success. Build a birdhouse, a dog house, a magazine rack. The act of creating something is very soothing and helps build self-confidence. Knitting is popular for a reason – it helps soothe your mind and you end up with something at the ends of the project that you can wear or give as a gift.

 

(5)    Just enjoy being healthy and alive. Take a walk, join a gym, or take up kick boxing. Volunteer at an animal shelter and take the dogs for a walk. Volunteer at a library or nursing home and read to those who cannot do it for themselves. Giving something of yourself to someone else will make you realize that you are a good person with many gifts.

 

(6)    Also remember that everything looks worse at night, so never make any rash decisions before you get a good night’s rest. Make notes on what’s troubling you, write down all the negative things you are thinking or feeling, and then review them in the daylight. You will be able to see much more clearly after a good sleep and with some sunlight to lift your spirits.

 

(7)    Another thing you can do while you’re having the blues is to write down words that empower you and recite them every day if need be, or whenever you’d like a pick up and something to make you feel stronger. Just make sure put them in a safe place where you can find them again.

 

There is nothing wrong with having a bad day. But to get out of it, remember all the good you have in your life from your loving family, significant other, and friends. Maybe you just landed your dream job or are working your way towards that. It is very important to never forget your goals in life, focus on them, and give yourself that push in the right direction.

ABCs of the P.I.T. Library

    Welcome, or welcome back! You’ve survived placement testing, financial aid, registration, orientation, figuring out your commute, and possibly your first day of class. So, now what? Well, a good place to start is the Library. The Library is the place to be to study for classes, do your research, use a computer, and get the assistance you need to do all those things. The Library can also offer you options for your down time

   If you’re new around these parts, here are a few pointers to get you oriented:

  • If  you haven’t seen it yet, the P.I.T. Library is located in the former chapel…stained glass windows and all. It is a beautiful and inspiring place to study or do research.
  • The P.I.T. Library is located on the Media campus, adjacent to the Admissions Office. Turn left into the hallway just past the receptionist and the follow the ← arrow sign.
  • If you are a Media student, the Library is where you come to get your photo      ID card which also serves as your Library card.
  • Center City (CC) students are welcome to travel to the Media campus to use the Library (remember to bring your ID card with you).
  • ALL students have access to all of the Library’s electronic resources from our Online Library webpage from any computer on campus. For off-campus access, you need to pick up a copy of the passwords in the Library, the CC Student Resource Center, or contact the Librarian for a copy.
  • While we don’t maintain total silence in the Library, we do ask that you be      considerate of the other users and keep your conversations low. Our beautiful high ceiling does cause sounds to carry throughout the Library.
  • Media Students: If you and your friends want a place where you can talk about your project with less concern about disturbing other students, visit the Student Innovation Center located on the Mezzanine level of the Technology Center.
  • Want to take home books or DVDs? See the Librarian to check them out with your P.I.T. ID card.

   Still confused? The Librarian is available to assist by phone, e-form, email, or fax — or just stop on by the Library to speak to the Librarian. Can’t wait to meet you!

College Success Tips

Success in college involves more than just attending class and reading textbooks. To succeed in college, you need to plan ahead, be organized, and take advantage of all of the resources and services that your college has to offer you.

The following tips will help you make the most of your college experience!

Get to Know Your College

  • Visit your college’s website

Your college has its catalog online and every department will be represented on it or they may have their own websites to describe their services. Take responsibility for learning all you need to know to navigate through college.

  • Follow your college on social media

Many colleges participate in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and other social media sites. Be sure to like and/or follow your college on their sites and to read their posts. These are great ways for you to find out what is happening at your college, share what you are doing at college, and share this information with your friends and family.

  • Familiarize yourself with the campus

Take an extensive tour of the campus. The Admissions Office often provides tours, but after you are enrolled feel free to roam the campus yourself. You may need to ask directions occasionally, but this is a great way to figure out the locations of specific classrooms or labs, the Library, the café, other study areas, computer labs, faculty offices, etc. You’ll also have a chance to meet a lot of the key people on campus!

Use Available Resources

  • Use the Library

Despite the availability of online information, use your college Library. It subscribes to otherwise unavailable journals and databases that will be invaluable to your studies. Book and media resources are also useful to your research.

Your college Library offers numerous services that will assist you. Perhaps the most important resource at your college Library is the Librarian(s). Ask them for assistance. They are experts at locating hard-to-find information.

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor early and often

Your Academic Advisor is usually a faculty member from your program of study. Make regular appointments with your academic advisor to discuss graduation requirements, program options, required and elective courses, and possible co-op or internship options.

  • Meet with your Academic Support and Financial Literacy Counselor regularly

Your Academic Support and Financial Literacy Counselor is available to provide educational counseling as well as counseling for personal development and financial literacy, including a clear understanding of the Satisfactory Academic Progress or SAP policy, to assist students in attaining academic success. Your Counselor will be your cheerleader, coach, and (as needed) taskmaster.

Students are encouraged to avail themselves of the services of an Academic Support and Financial Literacy. Time management, goal setting, and academic progress are reviewed regularly according to individual student needs.

  • Speak to a job placement counselor about your future

The job placement counselor can assist you as you prepare to find a job during school or after you graduate.

Career staff can assist you with cover-letter and resume writing, mock interviews, job leads for vacant positions, and reviewing application materials.

Make Smart Decisions

  • Learn your college’s rules and regulations

Take time to review your college’s academic integrity code, alcohol and drug policies, institutional regulations, and rules for your specific program. These are all available through your college’s website, often within the Student Handbook. Violations can result in warnings, failed grades, or expulsion.

Claiming “I didn’t know” doesn’t cut it in college. You will be expected to behave as an adult.

  • Maintain accurate records

Keep a file that contains hard copies of all college-related paperwork, including transcripts, placement test results, course syllabi, graded assignments (including papers, quizzes, and tests), financial aid information, grade reports, etc. You want your own “paper trail” in case online records are compromised.

  • Review and evaluate your online presence

Almost everyone has access to your online identity, including potential employers, landlords, scholarship committees, and others.

Select your privacy settings wisely, and think long and hard about what you post. You want to ensure that an online search does not reveal content that will damage your reputation or limit your opportunities.

Keep Your Safety and Security in Mind

  • Include I.C.E. numbers on your cell phone

Program your cell phone with “In Case of Emergency” (I.C.E.) numbers. Include the three people you want contacted in an emergency. Add the phone number of the office that handles your college’s safety and security issues. If you commute on public transportation, add their emergency security number to you contact list, too.

  • Guard against theft

Never leave textbooks, laptops, cell phones, chargers, keys, or anything of value unattended in a dining area, classroom, or library.

Take photos of valuable items and check with your insurance provide about your coverage in the event of theft, loss, or damage.

If you do lose something, notify the appropriate office on campus and check with lost and found. Hopefully, you’ll find the item wasn’t stolen, but rather turned in by someone who thought it was lost or abandoned.

  • Back up everything

Computers and thumb/USB drives get lost, stolen, or corrupted. Remember to back up all of your important documents on a cloud back-up system, an external drive, or by emailing yourself document attachments. If your college provides you with storage on the campus computer network, you can use that as another place to keep an extra copy of your documents.

Create Your Own Plan

  • Create your own customized academic plan with your Academic Support and Financial Literacy Counselor. You can even create a career plan by working with a career counselor.
  • Select a course of study that you find interesting and even challenging. Be sure that it provides appropriate and fulfilling career opportunities.
  • Develop a timeline for completing all of the required and elective coursework. Meet with your counselors on a regular basis to review and update the timeline as necessary.
  • Search out career-related internships and/or part-time jobs to gain experience and skills that will complement your major. Talk to the faculty in your program about internships that they know about.

Remember to include your internship(s) and part-time job(s) on your resume. Any good experience in your field is better than no experience when you search for a full-time job.

  • Improve your leadership skills by actively participating in student organizations and community service.
  • Make an effort to improve your writing, public speaking, and computer skills. These skills will serve you for your entire life and in all aspects of your life.