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Your Teaching Career: Why You Should Consider Teaching at a Private School

Image by StockUnlimited.com

You’ve decided that you want to be a teacher and finally graduated with your degree. One major consideration to make is whether you want to seek employment in a public or private school. One type of school is not necessarily better than the other, but there are certain advantages that you get working in a private school when compared to the public education system. Keep these factors in mind when you start your job search and have job offers to consider.

Upper Management
Private schools are not part of the large public school system and don’t have as large of a bureaucracy to deal with. When there are issues, it is much easier to handle them without jumping through multiple hoops of management. Communication is clearer and issues are addressed in a quicker, more efficient manner with Catholic Education Services than dealing with the public system.

Class Sizes
Smaller class size is one of the leading reasons that parents send their children to private schools. A smaller class gives teachers an opportunity to interact with students on a more individual basis. Private schools are selective about who they admit and tend to have from 15-18 students in each class, while some public schools have as many as 30 or more students in one classroom. The students are also closer to each other academically, making it easier for everyone to relate and be on the same page during lessons.

Curriculum and Government Influence
Private schools are not funded by tax dollars and federal funding like public schools. They are supported by tuition, fundraisers, and donations. This means that teachers have more freedom to experiment with the curriculum and utilize personal teaching methods without being required to adhere to a rigid, standardized way of educating students.

Discipline
Discipline issues exist in both public and private schools, but private schools have a bit more control in handling the issues. Parents have to pay tuition for private school, which means they are more likely to be involved and contribute to handling issues with behavior for their children. A private school has the right to expel a student that refuses to adhere to the code of conduct. Discipline issues can create distractions that hamper the learning process.

Being a teacher is a selfless career choice, but the environment that you teach in contributes to your experience. Keep these factors in mind when you start applying for jobs and the offers begin to roll in.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

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How to Feel Confident At Your First Job Interview

Image by Alex France, Flickr

Image by Alex France, Flickr

Going to a job interview is always stressful, especially if you are a freshly-baked post-graduate. But when your confidence is too low, and you can hardly breathe or talk, it can actually ruin your interview. Everyone is shy and anxious, but you need to find ways to boost your self-esteem before and during the interview. Here are a few tips to do that:

1) In-depth preparation
Quite a lot of graduates believe that their existing knowledge and skills are enough to fill the position they applied for. But the truth is that any position requires additional training and mastering new skills. What you should do right after you are invited to a job interview is look through the job application once more, even more thoroughly this time, and learn more about the aspects that are vague to you. No need for in-depth practical knowledge – only good awareness of what is expected from you and what additional skills you will have to master. Do extended research and make sure any job requirement is clear to you. Your CV must be adequate and truthful to reflect your real knowledge and skills, but it also has to be outstanding – check out this post to know more about writing a good CV. You can also use some online tools to create an impressive resume – such as Easel.ly, KickResume, or Visualize.me.

2) Don’t let your confidence fall
Even those who are fully confident about their performance days and hours before the interview, may quickly start to panic when it is about to start. If this moment arrives, it’s important to concentrate on the facts that kept you confident earlier. Try to understand that nothing has changed and there is nothing to fear. You were invited here – which means they believe you can potentially be a good fit. You just need to prove it.

3) No do-or-die race
You should understand that even if this is your dream position, nothing bad will happen if you don’t get accepted. On the contrary, you will have a chance to test what it looks like, and then try again with another company. But that’s not all. When you were preparing for this job interview, you learned tons of new knowledge. Companies adore it when you don’t wait helplessly and desperately for your first job. They are the most likely to choose a candidate who keeps studying even after graduating. So this will be another portion of new knowledge to add to your resume. Your potential employer wants to make sure you are open to new insights, especially if this is job-related. Just remember that whatever happens, this interview will only make you stronger.

4) Don’t underestimate your acquired skills, yet don’t go too far
We had a chance to see graduates apply for jobs without mentioning some core competencies they’ve learned through self-studying. Very often they think that only education and previous professional experience matter. However, everything you practice at home, every job-related book you read, will be a huge bonus. Even if the skills are very necessary and mostly theoretical, this is an excellent start. However, don’t exaggerate your knowledge level – don’t claim you’ve professionally mastered the skill if you haven’t. The truth will soon come out and play against you. And also remember that real knowledge is more precious than good grades – getting straight A’s in college won’t help you find a job.

5) Analyse the company profile in detail
Make sure you know key information about the company you are applying to. Major products and services, the most important facts from the history of establishment, working environment and key traits. Analyse the website, social media accounts and make sure you remember the most important information. Let the interviewers know you really want to work in their organization and provide the reasons why.

6) Be clear about what you offer and learn to listen
Job interviewers mostly care about what you can bring into their company rather than who you are. Let them know that you are ready to bring value and that you either have necessary skills to do it or are willing to develop them. However, you need to show you can listen – not just listen without interruption but be able to analyze what the interviewer is saying, ask the right questions and admit that you are unaware of something.

But if you have found your ideal job and you are currently preparing for the first interview, you should understand that it is never a relaxing thing to do. Stressful and exhausted applicants often forget that they are not expected to know everything. Since they were chosen for this interview, someone saw potential in them, even if there are no solid past professional records to show. This is just a friendly chat where interviewers will also check your stress-resistance, communication, and instant analysis skills to make sure you can be a good team player in a company. Your personal qualities will determine 40% of your job interview result. Just relax and answer confidently with positive and clear answers.

This article was contributed by guest author Kevin McNamara.

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5 Tips for Finding a Summer Job

Image by Flazingo Photos, Flickr

Image by Flazingo Photos, Flickr

It’s that time of year again — if you’ve ever looked for a summer job before, you know what we’re talking about. Some start searching as early as October of the year before, and others start after the school year ends. Preference aside, winter and early spring are actually optimal times to start the hunt. Here are some tips that will hopefully steer you in the right direction for your summer job search:

  • Decide what you want to do
    This may seem obvious, but you will be much happier if you work at a job you love doing. Not everyone is able to get a summer position in their chosen field, but focusing on a certain kind of job will help narrow your search. Do you want practical experience to supplement your studies? Is money your top priority? Are you interested more in an internship or a job?

    If you can help it, make sure the job you are looking for suits your personality. Do you get restless sitting at a desk all day? If so, you might consider a job outdoors. Want to hone your writing skills? Try looking up internships for magazines, newspapers, or publishing companies. If you shape your search around your interests, it is likely you will be happy at your summer job.
     

  • Look outside your comfort zone
    The previous point being said, you never know what hidden passion may lie in you for, say, teaching, if you don’t get to experience it firsthand. Obviously, if you know you hate something, don’t try working in that field. But if you’ve always had a passing interest in human biology or wanted to learn more about computers, take the opportunity to look for summer jobs in these fields that do not require much experience.
     
  • Take advantage of your school’s resources
    Now that you’ve decided what kind of job you want, be sure to use all that your school offers you. Inquire at your department’s office about upcoming job fairs. Look into your school’s online hubs for job postings. An example of this is the University of Toronto’s Career Learning Network, where updates are posted frequently regarding events like resume workshops. Jobs are posted for positions both within and outside the school. Many students overlook what their school can offer them, so be sure to take proper advantage of what part of your tuition pays for.
     
  • Search online centres and company websites for job postings
    Websites like TalentEgg can be very useful when looking for summer jobs. Employers post their guidelines and requirements for the positions they are looking to fill, and you are free to apply to any of them online. If you have a specific company in mind, they almost always have a “Careers” or “Internships” section in which you may find postings for summer positions. Nothing online? Pick up the phone and ask if they’re hiring – it can’t hurt.
     
  • Use your own personal connections
    Again, this may seem obvious, but try asking around for summer work. One of your professors may need some extra help. Your parents’ friend may need a tutor for their child. There might be something for you right under your nose. If you think you will get something out of the experience of assisting your professor or tutoring your family friend’s kid, then go for it. You may even discover you want to continue working in a lab or teaching math.
     

There are of course a large number of ways one can find work, but this should be a good starting point for you. Have any personal experiences you want to share? Start the conversation on Facebook.

23 Tips for New Lawyers

Image by Jamie McCaffrey, Flickr

Image by Jamie McCaffrey, Flickr

Hallelujah! You’ve passed the bar! You are now an attorney and ready to change the world.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of people out there willing to share the tricks of the trade or even pass down a few helpful hints. Thankfully, you’ve got us to provide some key insights before you step foot into that new office.

23 Things New Lawyers Must Know

 

  1. Check your expectations. Kathleen Brady, head of a career planning firm with offices in New York and Philadelphia, says this: “Your first job may not be your ‘dream’ job, but it is going to provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to advance towards your ultimate career goals; don’t discount it because it isn’t perfect.”
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  3. Some people don’t really want you to fix things, and they aren’t really in need of a lawyer even though they walked through your doors. Instead, they just want you to listen. Yes, we know you could have gotten a therapy degree with a lot less effort, but let’s face it, people are looking for a decent ear!
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  5. You might be able to attach Esquire to your name, but don’t forget to use your manners. Please and thank you go a long way!
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  7. Look people in the eye and take notes while they are talking to you. This will help you remember while also making them, and their issue, feel important. You will gain their trust this way.
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  9. Everyone’s busy. Offer to help when you can, and respect other people’s time as much as you want them to respect yours.
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  11. Don’t let your online persona be a hindrance to your professional aspirations. If you’ve got embarrassing (or potentially embarrassing) Facebook posts or Tweets floating around, do yourself a favor and clean up your cyberspace act.
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  13. Always look for ways to improve. If you’ve just finished a case, ask the boss how you did. Make sure he knows you’re not looking for compliments; tell him you want guidance and maybe he’ll give it to you!
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  15. While your mentor/boss/supervisor might offer the improvement advice you ask for, don’t forget that he’s not your momma. He’s not going to clean up your messes or take the heat for your mistakes. You’re on your own; it’s your job now.
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  17. Don’t be afraid to give people credit. Sometimes the best answer is one somebody else has. Encourage them and utilize their strengths to build on your own. They’ll be glad to work with you the next time.
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  19. Don’t forget to take time off. This is a stressful venture and the burnout rate can be high. Don’t neglect moments to rest and renew; they’re just as necessary as working hard.
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  21. Communicate with your clients – don’t just tell them things. Communication means they understood your statements, and that’s far better than just hearing what you have to say.
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  23. Make yourself worth it to your clients. Don’t forget that while you’re worrying about your hourly wage, they’re worrying about whether or not you’re worth it.
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  25. Don’t get tunnel vision. Yes, if you want to earn the big bucks, you’ll need to work with clients who are willing to pay for your legal services. However, there might be non-legal alternatives that are a better fit for your prospective client. For example, although Michael A. Ziegler is a bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney, it doesn’t stop him from offering the best solutions for financial stability. He even wrote a blog article about how to avoid foreclosure.
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  27. Life is very much like a puzzle. So, when you’re struggling to put a case together, remember to look at the big picture before trying to put the little pieces in place.
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  29. People like to feel valued. Show up early to meetings and if you’re going to be a tad bit late, call and let people know. Respect them and they’ll respect you!
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  31. Don’t promise the moon and produce smoke. Under-promise and over-deliver–always!
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  33. It’s your job to get all the facts, even when people don’t want to give them to you.
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  35. Ask your clients what success will look like. Don’t guess. They know what they are expecting from you; get it out of them before you even start working.
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  37. Don’t just tell, teach–in everything you do. You went to school a long time and you’ve got valuable information to share. Don’t hoard it.
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  39. You’ll probably need to carry someone else’s briefcase before you get to the “good” stuff in this profession. Everybody has to start somewhere and that’s usually near the bottom. Don’t get discouraged – realize there’s nowhere to go but up!
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  41. Answer and return calls promptly. Don’t shut people down; help them figure out how they can get the job done.
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  43. Most of the time your client is always right. Figure out how to deal with the other moments.
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  45. Keep your staff happy. There are people that know more than you; let them help you. Don’t be a smarty pants or a kiss-up.

 

All You Need is Here

If you adhere to these 23 tips, you’ll be better off than a large number of your colleagues. Everyone wants to be treated as though there is intrinsic value within. You have the power to assure each client that you care. Don’t miss your chance to make a real difference.

Job Profile: Chargeback Analyst

Image by Financial Times , Flickr

Image by Financial Times, Flickr

Deciding what to do after college is a top priority for students–particularly as the day to don the cap and gown nears.

Your major does not necessarily determine what you will do with the rest of your life. It does, however, provide insight to future employers about your interests and background. It can also provide a springboard into your first job.

For students with a business major, particularly in finance or accounting, one potential career to explore is that of a chargeback analyst. If you are interested in commerce, read on to learn about this field that can be an inroad into the financial industry.

What Is A Chargeback Analyst?

First of all, to understand the position of chargeback analyst you must understand chargebacks.

Chargebacks exist to protect consumers from having to pay for fraudulent purchases made with their credit card. If a person notices that an unauthorized transaction was made with his card, he can file a chargeback with his bank. The bank then temporarily issues a refund and notifies the merchant that a chargeback has been filed.

Merchants can then dispute the claim if they suspect the consumer of fraud, or they can forfeit the refund and pay a fine.

A chargeback analyst is crucial for monitoring chargeback transactions. Analysts investigate and have the power to reverse refunds, track chargeback patterns, and serve as watchdogs for fraudulent activity.

A chargeback analyst is particularly important on the merchant end, as they work closely with merchants that choose to dispute chargebacks. Merchants must provide proper documentation–such as video evidence or a receipt–to prove that the customer actually did make the disputed purchase. A chargeback analyst can help round out these essentials and submit them in a timely fashion.

An analyst can also coach the business about proper chargeback prevention practices to help reduce the risk of future problems.

Qualifications

Most companies prefer incoming analysts to hold a bachelor’s degree (in the field of business is particularly valued) and have one to three years of experience in a relevant field. It is also possible to get a job with less experience or with a high school diploma, but higher education and prior work experience are qualifications that make you more likely to land the job.

Besides education and experience, chargeback analysts are also expected to be comfortable making judgment calls and have a certain degree of creativity and flexibility. Skills in accounting, analyzing, communication, and computers are also important.

Average Salary

As of July 2014, the median annual salary for a chargeback analyst in the United States is $32,255. This number will vary based on several factors, including geographic location, size of the company, level of education, and number of years of experience.

Best and Worst Cities

Some of the best cities for aspiring chargeback analysts to seek employment are:

  • Hackensack, NJ
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA

The aforementioned cities have salaries that are higher than the national average. Cities below the national average include:

  • Knoxville, TN
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Abilene, TX
  • Provo, UT
  • Macon, GA

Being a chargeback analyst can be a rewarding career itself, and it can lead to further opportunities in the finance sector. College students and recent graduates with a degree in business can at least consider this career option.

Even students without a business degree can consider a career as a chargeback analyst as an understanding of accounting and a mind for analytics can also make you a strong candidate.

Chargeback management is a relatively new concept. Therefore, there are definite opportunities for growth, expansion, and career advancement. It is absolutely a worthy idea to consider.

Would you consider working as a chargeback analyst?

The Work-Study

Image by Corey Seeman, Flickr

Image by Corey Seeman, Flickr

Academia doesn’t grind to a halt during summer vacation. A work-study is named for its status as both a job and opportunity for students to continue studying. The “working” aspect of a work-study means the student will be paid for their efforts. The “studying” aspects means the student will be paid for their involvement in some aspect of academia; this could be anything out of a range of duties; such as research, writing, editing, and compiling and organizing bibliographies.

I was lucky enough to be employed in a work-study this year at the University of Toronto. During my annual summer job hunt I checked the U of T work-study database. There weren’t any work-studies with the history department (I am a history specialist), but a work-study with the Statistical Sciences Department required graphic design and writing experience, which I had. After an interview on campus, I got the job. This particular work-study was part-time, so I was able to work and still attend summer school.

I worked with a professor in the Department of Statistical Sciences for a little over a month, and learned a great deal about statistical sciences by doing research for her. I also slogged through bibliographies and made graphs, but got the opportunity to learn about a field I otherwise would never have breached.

A summer work-study is convenient for students looking for a job who live near campus, or for those who live far away to find student housing on campus. In addition, if your employment works out, having a professor as your boss makes for an excellent reference for either graduate school or future employment.

Drawing from my experience, do not be afraid to apply for work-studies outside your specialization. Work-studies also exist during the school year, and are a good opportunity to financially benefit from your extra-curriculars. Ask your registrar about work-study opportunities. If you are passionate about a particular subject, ask a professor in that field if they know of any work-study opportunities. Having studied all year, it’s nice to make money doing so.

The Job Interview Preparedness Pack

Image by Alex France, Flickr

Image by Alex France, Flickr

Find out everything you need to ensure your interview goes smoothly. It’s hard enough interviewing for a job as one person amongst a large pool of applicants, possibly with better qualifications than you. Ensure you look and sound presentable, so as to let both your professionalism and qualifications do the talking. Use this article as a checklist before going to your next interview.

Pen and paper

The pen and paper are the golden job interview supplies. If you take one thing away from this article, let it be that you should always have a pen and paper when interviewing for a new job, and on your first day on the job, if you are lucky enough to get hired. If appropriate, take notes during the interview without noticeably dividing your attention or neglecting eye contact. This will show you are serious about the job, and know how to organize. Do not try to substitute your phone for a pen and paper – no matter what you are typing it always looks like you are texting instead of fully focusing on the interview.

Kleenex

For the unpredictable runny nose or sniffles, monster sneeze, nosebleed, shiny face, or spills. Kleenex can be substituted with coffee shop napkins.

Comb/brush

You never know when you could get caught in the rain, your hair band could break, or the wind could sweep your hairstyle away. Combs are cheap at the dollar store or drug store. Pack one to avoid messing up your hair and your professional first impression.

Breath mints

Sometimes breath mints may seem extraneous, but I make it a rule to always eat one before I need make an important first impression. Even if you think your breath is fine, pop a mint or swig some Listerine – just in case.

Prepare a question to ask the interviewer

Inevitably, towards the end of your meeting the interviewer will ask you, “So, do you have any questions for me?” Unless you feel you can pass up this opportunity to impress your potential employer, have at least one question prepared. Here are several questions that exhibit thought, professionalism, and insight:

“As an employee here, what could I do to exceed your expectations?”
“If I were to start tomorrow, what should the top three things be on my priority list?”
“Are there any questions you think I should be asking?”

Extra resume(s)

Even if you sent a resume in with your application, bring at least one hard copy to the interview. If there are multiple applicants, the interviewer may not have all their resumes present, or may not have had time to fully go over your application. Having your resume in front of them will give them a more tangible and better understanding of your qualifications. If you know you will be interviewed by more than one person, bring a suitable number of copies.

With these items in your interview preparedness pack, you can make your best professional impression. Use this article as a checklist before going to your next interview.

Tip: If you’re worried about timing, or if you’re travelling a long way to get to the interview and are inviting time delays, leave extra early. Scout out a nearby coffee shop on Google Maps, and plan to go there half an hour early for a refresher before the interview. On a really hot day you can get sweaty from travelling. Plan to stop at a coffee shop beforehand to clean up. Looking presentable is half the battle – the rest is up to you.

Know What You Want Before You Try to Get It

Image by bpsusf, Flickr

Image by bpsusf, Flickr

In my first two years of university, I was set on finding a job in human resources after graduating. I attended information sessions and noticed that the majority of company representatives there were in HR. I could see myself doing this; touring schools and talking to students about what the company does, interviewing them and deciding who would be a good candidate for our company. Yes. For someone who liked talking to people, teaching people, and giving presentations, it seemed perfect.

Then two things happened:

Thing 1: “You can’t do that right out of university”
I eagerly attended information sessions and job fairs to enquire about any vacancies in the HR department – after all, every company needs HR. With this in mind, I assumed there would be plenty. I talked to accounting firms, who gave me looks like they were thinking, “We’re an accounting firm. We’re hiring accountants…”

No one was hiring for HR. One rep was nice enough to explain to me that their company didn’t hire students to work in HR; they preferred to post internally for those jobs to hire people who’ve worked in the firm and know the company from the inside. Their advice? Get a job in another field first, and move to HR afterwards. Oh. Ok.

Thing 2: The Interview
On a conference executive committee in my fourth year, I met an HR rep from our major sponsor. By this time, I had switched my focus from HR to marketing. From the meetings he attended and recommendations from my peers, he knew I was a hard worker and that I was still on the job hunt, so he brought me in for an interview. He asked what field I wanted a job in, to which I replied, “Marketing.” He said, “We unfortunately don’t have any marketing positions available, but there is an open HR position.” Ok – that was my second choice, and I wasn’t going to be picky about a job prospect. Let’s hear it.

When he explained the job to me, it was not at all what I thought HR would consist of – or at least not the “kind” of HR I wanted.

I’d be posted in a factory, working with 20-30 middle-aged men. They would likely approach me with family issues, illnesses, general complaints, or ask for advances on their salaries. He asked if it’s something I thought I could handle, to which I said, “Yes, of course.” Inside, I squirmed and thought, “But I don’t want to.”

Suffice it to say, and to my relief, he didn’t offer the job to me – we both knew I wouldn’t be a good fit. As stressful as it was, I held out until I could find a job that more closely fit what I wanted. I learned to thoroughly research a position before assuming it’s what I wanted to do. It turns out HR wasn’t right for me after all.

Do you have a similar story? Share it with us on Twitter @StudentsDotOrg or email it to us.

Check out Jenny Lugar’s post on Maclean’s On Campus: How Traveling After Graduation Helped My Career