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5 Ways to Prepare for Success During Your Senior Year Of College

5 Ways to Prepare for Success During Your Senior Year Of College

I may have jumped the gun by agreeing to write this article considering my final fall semester of college started three weeks ago. However, after working in the career center of my school for quite some time now and seeing senior after senior come in with the same “Help me, I’m graduating” look on their face, I think I can offer a couple sure-fire tips for success to graduating seniors. After all, I am one now (cue the world’s smallest violin).

Here are five ways you can set yourself up for a bright future during your senior year of college:

 1. Raid your nearest career center

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    I’m not kidding when I say this: if you haven’t gone to the career center at your school, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are career counselors some of the most helpful people on this planet, but career centers provide students with a multitude of FREE (that’s right, I said free) services you can’t afford to pass up. Literally, you can’t afford it. Once you’re out of school, services like that are going to cost a pretty penny (a.k.a. NOT FREE). So go to your university’s career center, set up an appointment with a career counselor, and let them help you figure out your plans before and following graduation. I guarantee a weight off your shoulders is going to lift once you do.

    2. Spice up your resume

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      In the words of Mary Poppins, “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Think about it. If you were an employer looking through stacks upon stacks of resumes all printed in size 12 Times New Roman black font, you’d jump at the first sign of a visually-appealing paper too. That doesn’t mean go all arts-and-crafts-crazy on your resume and throw glitter all over it. It means make yourself stand out among the rest of the carbon copies by designing your resume in a way that’s not only tailored to a potential employer, but also tailored to show your personality. After all, an employer isn’t just looking for someone to fill a job. They’re looking for someone they want to work with. Check out Pinterest resume templates for ideas.

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      3. Internships!!!

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        You may be asking yourself, “Why did she put three exclamation marks following internships?” There’s a very good reason why, aside from the fact I’m on a sugar-high right now, and it’s because internships are the foundation for any career. Most, if not all, successful people started from the bottom and worked their way to the top. The best way to set yourself up for success is to start pursuing an internship in the career field you’re interested in. Once you graduate, the working world becomes a race to the employment finish line. With a couple internships under your belt, you’ve already got a head start.

        4. Talk to your superiors

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          Professors, internship supervisors, former bosses, current bosses–talk to them all. At one point in their lives, they were in the same boat as you. They get it. Trust me. Ask them about their experiences, what steps they suggest you take to land the career you want, how they became successful, and most importantly, NETWORK WITH THEM. Chances are they know some guy who knows some guy who has a cousin in the industry you’re dying to work in. If you play your cards right, you could end up working alongside that cousin following graduation. Just make sure to send a lengthy thank you card to the person responsible for that connection.

           5. Remain calm

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            With every other senior running around like a chicken with their head cut off, it’s hard to follow this motto. Believe me, I know. It’s like asking a dog to stop barking, but I firmly believe this final tip to be the most crucial in guaranteeing success.

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            Take a moment and visualize a successful person in your head. It could be your boss, a celebrity, a CEO of a major company, or generally someone you wish to emulate. Now, in your mind, can you imagine them losing their cool over feeling uncertain of their future? The answer should be no; and if it’s yes, then I think you need to re-evaluate your idea of a successful person because successful people don’t freak out (at least not publicly). They embody the three C’s–calm, cool, and collected. They’ve mastered the art of appearing and acting as though nothing fazes them; and for some, nothing really does. After all, success doesn’t mean having loads of money. It means self-discipline and seeing the results of your hard work.

            The best way you can be successful is by being secure in all that you’ve done and all you’re doing. People are said to be their own worst critics, but don’t let that be the case for you. Feel confident in the fact that you’re close to completing an opportunity that a lot of people weren’t as fortunate as you to have.

            So remain calm, carry on, and follow these steps towards setting yourself up for success this year. I promise you everything is going to turn out fine.

            Featured photo credit: Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape/FlashBuddy via morguefile.com

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            Last Updated on November 5, 2019

            How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

            How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

            Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

            But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

            The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

            Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

            But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

            As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

            Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

            There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

            The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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            • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
            • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
            • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
            • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

            But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

            How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

            When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

            I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

            Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

            However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

            Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

            While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

            Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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            By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

            How to Use Visual Learning for Success

            Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

            1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

            We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

            While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

            I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

            2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

            Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

            Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

            As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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            And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

            3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

            Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

            With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

            Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

            It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

            Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

            Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

            4. Add video streaming to meetings.

            What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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            When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

            For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

            Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

            No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

            You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

            The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

            More About Learning Styles

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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