Monthly Archives: June 2016

Science Graduates

If you’ve spent the last few years working on your postgraduate degree in science, you’ve probably accrued a staggering amount of impressive experiences. You may have published papers, worked as a lab assistant, attended conferences, taught and tutored undergraduates, contributed to groundbreaking studies, and most likely, you’ve completed an enormous amount of original research. But how can all this valuable experience help you get a job, and how do you present your skills and potential to prospective employers? First things first: if you’re applying for jobs outside of academia or research, skip the curriculum vitae (CV) and draft a smashing resume instead. A CV, especially a well-padded one, will only hold you back in the industry job market. Instead, follow these rules for creating an eye-catching resume that will have you up to your ears in interviews.

1. State your personal objective

One of the main problems with academic CVs is that they give too much information. Employers in industry are faced with dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applicants and they’re not going to hunt through six pages of publications, conferences, workshops, coursework, and research projects to figure out if you’re the right person for a consultancy position. Instead, state clearly at the beginning of your resume what type of position you’re seeking and why. Keep it short, simple, and on-target. Try: “Applicant seeks an engaging position as statistical analyst in nano-biology or bio-engineering” or “Seeking position as project manager in human-development and smart-city technology.”

2. Do your research

Other big mistakes that academic applicants make: outdated forms of address and information-overload on resumes and cover letters. The internet makes it easy, and practically mandatory, to research the position, corporation, and hiring team before you apply. And if you’re listing research skills as one of your qualifications, your application material should indicate that you are actually capable of finding all the relevant information. Demonstrate your research skills on your resume by only listing experience and qualifications that fit or enhance those required for the position. Address your cover letter to the hiring manager and try to use keywords from the job listing in your letter. Reference background and interests that are related to the industry. If your skills are not clearly applicable to the position, use the cover letter to demonstrate how they are transferable.

3. Highlight your skills

Speaking of skills, at this stage, your resume should be more about what you’re capable of than what you have done in the past. Forget about chronological education lists, publications, and awards and focus instead on experiences that demonstrate your abilities relevant to the position. If you’re applying for a position as team-leader, focus on your role in group projects and collaborative research. Considering a role as a consultant? Make sure your presentation, communication, and networking skills are evident. Don’t be afraid to include your advanced degrees, even if the position doesn’t require them. But if you’re worried that a Masters or PhD will be seen as over qualification don’t hesitate to focus on your transferable skills and play-down your academic achievements by moving them to the bottom of your resume.

4. Utilize Templates…

You may think that you know how a resume should look, but there are different styles for different jobs and sectors. Do a bit of research online and see what kinds of resumes are best suited to the position. Try livecareer.com or other resume-template sites to get an idea about the various styles and forms. Templates can also help you identify the kinds of information you should include on your resume.

5. But make them your own

Remember, you want your application to stand out. If your resume contains lots of relevant and unique experiences and skills but looks like a clone of every other resume submitted for the position, you may not make the cut. So play around with layouts. Add and subtract sections depending on your specific qualifications and skills. Make sure that your resume reflects you and your personality, but don’t make it too informal. Some people recommend including a picture on your resume, but for professional positions, this can be too personal. The best advice: keep your resume clean, simple, and informative.

 

Degree Abroad Of Getting A Masters

You might think that your junior-year study abroad in Mexico was your only chance to live and study in another country. Or you may think that because you opted to stay domestic for your undergraduate degree that you missed out on the opportunity to gain international academic experience. If so, you would be wrong. While undergraduate study abroad experiences are becoming a vital part of a bachelor’s degree, studying abroad for post-graduate degrees is often as valuable, if not more so than short-term undergraduate programs. Here are five good reasons to complete your post-graduate degree in another country.

1. Economics
Many students assume that a post-graduate degree abroad will be more expensive than a domestic degree, but in many cases, international study for a master’s degree can cost the same or less than staying at home. How is that possible? Well, first it depends on your home country. In the US, post-graduate degrees can be extremely costly, but in many countries around the world master’s degrees are relatively inexpensive. In Spain, a Masters degree can cost as little as $3000. Finland, Norway, and Germany all offer post-graduate degrees for little to no cost for international students. And even though living expenses may vary from country to country, there are ways to earn while you study which can help to offset maintenance costs, and if you finish without a big student debt looming over you, your future will be more flexible.

2. Environment
One of the most important things about continuing your education is to expand your worldview, and while moving across the country to a new university can give you a different perspective studying abroad in a foreign country exposes you to a wealth of opinions, practices, knowledge, and ideas. You may think that coursework will be the same no matter where you go, but each country has a unique approach to academia. That means you have the chance to experience something new, and you can choose a program or culture that suits your academic style. And remember that master’s degrees vary in length depending on where they’re completed, giving you even more options.

3. Prestige
It’s easy for students from around the world to forget that their country’s education system isn’t necessarily superior to all the others. Education has become global and competitive, and prestigious programs in a wide range of subjects can be found throughout the world. Many top business schools have campuses around multiple countries, and Singapore, Dubai, India, France, and Switzerland all have MBA programs that are ranked among the best in the world. But prestigious international institutions aren’t just for business students. China, the Netherlands, and the UK all play host to some the best post-graduate programs in Architecture, while Hong Kong, Canada, and Australia are top-ranked for Masters in Education.

4. Skills
Undergraduates are told that studying abroad is a great way to develop marketable skills and experiences. The same holds true for graduate studies. While a master’s degree will enhance your resume no matter what, a degree from abroad will make you different from your competitors. Many employers are looking for applicants with international experience and foreign languages, and a Masters abroad will give you a chance to develop your ability to work in challenging environments and learn a new language (or become fluent in one that you studied earlier). In fact, because most post-graduate degrees take at least a year to complete, your time spent abroad as a master’s student will be more impressive than a short-term study abroad during the summer after your junior year.

 

The Most of Your Textbook Reading

The typical college student reads at a rate of 450 words per minute, according to the results of a speed-reading studyby Staples. The world speed reading champion? 4,700. That’s more than ten times as many words in a single minute! The value of closing this gap becomes very clear when you factor in the massive reading assignments many grad students face throughout their studies. Luckily, there are some things you can do to read more effectively and efficiently. And while you may not have a speed reading title in your future, these give techniques can help you accelerate your reading pace without sacrificing comprehension or retention.

1. Eliminate Distractions
Did you know that multitasking is pretty much one big myth? In fact, a growing body of research points to the fact that attempting to juggle multiple tasks at once can have detrimental effects. Not only do distractions lead to decreased productivity, but they can even cause a 10-point IQ drop — the equivalent of losing a full night’s sleep! In our techno-centric world, electronic interruptions have changed the way we go about life, and not in a good way — at least when it comes to concentrating on schoolwork. The takeaway? Turn off your ringer and other notifications and only check in during designated break times.

2. Preview the Reading
If you’re like most students, staring down an 80-page reading assignment can be overwhelming. Before digging in, set yourself up for a more successful, active reading experience by previewing the material.

Begin by reading each chapter’s title, introduction, and headings, subheadings and summaries. This helps establish a framework for what to expect. Ask yourself why the topic is relevant, and what important concepts you’re expected to learn along the way.

While this task takes less than 10 minutes, it has significant payoffs in terms of helping you connect to the material as a reader.

3. Read Back to Front
While you wouldn’t dream of cracking open the latest bestselling thriller or action novel and skipping straight to the end, reading a textbook is an entirely different story. To further enhance your understanding of a chapter’s most important concepts, start by reviewing the questions at the end of the chapter. As a complement to previewing, this non-chronological approach will help you identify the “big ideas,” connect them together, and focus your attention exactly where it needs to be from the get-go.

4. Start Skimming and Scamming
Children initially learn to read by sounding out letters and words. While this is a necessary practice for new readers, it amounts to wasted time for skilled readers. Enter two different yet related reading techniques: Skimming and scamming.

Instead of sounding out every unique word within the context of an ordered sentence, practice focusing on chunks of words instead. Called skimming, this allows readers to quickly take in main ideas and overall meaning without bothering with time-wasting filler words. Scanning, meanwhile, is the act of looking for a specific piece of information within a block of text.

While both of these techniques take practice, they not only improve how quickly you get through the material, but also how effectively you retain key points. Need more tips on these useful reading strategies? Check out HowToLearn’s handy how-to on skimming and scanning.

Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health issues are increasingly prevalent among contemporary college students. How much so? Three-quarters of all chronic illnesses start by the age of 24, according to figures from the US’s National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). Not only that, but 95 percent of college counseling center directors agree that psychological problems are on the rise on campus.

In response to these and other troubling statistics, a number of organizations — both campus-run and student-led — are emerging to help students gain access to the information they need to cope with mental health difficulties. While taking advantage of these resources can be a vital part of the journey to better mental health, these five tips can also help college students manage stress and overcome challenges to mental health.

1. Recognize the Signs
According to NAMI, 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and 50 percent have experienced anxiety so significant that it caused them to struggle in school. If you are experiencing increased worrying, difficulty concentrating, increased agitation, changes in eating and sleeping habits, tension, tight muscles or headaches, you may be suffering from stress.

While experiencing stress is to some degree part of learning to cope with the high academic expectations of college life, it can have far-reaching consequences when it starts to interfere with your ability to attend class, complete assignments on time, and other performance-related factors. In fact, in many cases particularly stressful times act as a “trigger” for mental health episodes, which is why recognizing the signs of stress can help mitigate their impact.

In addition to being aware of your own mental health, be aware of others’, as well. There are many ways to support a friend who is dealing with mental health problems. Even something as simple as expressing your concerns can go a long way.

2. Take Care of Your Body
While all-nighters and junk food binges may seem like they’re part of the typical college experience, they can also contribute to poor mental health. Factors like lack of exercise, poor diet, and insufficient sleep can exacerbate the impact of stress. In fact, researchers have linked all three with depression! The takeaway? Healthy lifestyle habits are an essentiall part of both physical and mental self-care.

3. Reach Out to Others
Feeling connected to others is an invaluable part of good mental health. Unfortunately, college students often feel isolated from friends and family members back home — particularly when adjusting to new environments.

Luckily, there are many ways to meet friends with similar interests — both on and around college campuses. From student organizations to club sports to spiritual groups, participating isn’t just fun, it can also contribute to your emotional wellbeing. Additionally, social media makes it easier to stay in contact with far-off loved ones, as well.

But remember: quality trumps quantity when it comes to cultivating meaningful friendships. Having a healthy social life is not about having a large network of friends, but rather about having a handful of close friends.

Stem on Museum World

1. Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany

The Deutsches Museum is one of the oldest science and technology museums in the world. It was founded in 1903 and now houses 66,000m2 of exhibits dedicated to scientific endeavors. The museum is enormous, and its extensive collections require more than a single visit to appreciate. In fact, the museum recommends concentrating on specific attractions and offers expert-guided tours to help visitors access the information exhibits. But that doesn’t mean you need to be a scientist to enjoy a visit to the Deutsches Museum. There are resources, tours, and seminars geared towards children, adults, professionals, and students, and the museum’s DNA Visitors’ Laboratory gives guests the chance to do their own experiments.

2. National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., USA

In 1946, American President Harry Truman established the Smithsonian’s National Air Museum to celebrate aviationtechnology and innovators. In 1976, the museum was reimagined as the Air and Space Museum, and now houses aircraft, spacecraft, and more than 60,000 items associated with aeronautics. Exhibits include the Wright Flyer, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, and other notable pieces of aviation history. But the museum isn’t just retrospective. The National Air and Space Museum is also home to on-going research in aeronautics, earth and planetary science, and space history, which means that visitors have the opportunity to see and interact with science in the making.

3. Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum may not be very old, but it’s impressive collections and inspiring vision belie wisdom beyond years. The museum opened in 2001 and now welcomes between 2-3 million visitors per year. Guests can wander through more than a dozen exhibition halls that house collections ranging from animal life to robotics. In addition to general science and technology features, the museum has three galleries devoted to Chinese science and technology. But that doesn’t mean the museum focuses on China or even Asia. Recent special exhibits included a film exploration of the North American Great Lakes, an African wildlife display, and a special forum on global climate change.

4. Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada

The Ontario Science Centre aims to inspire “a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the plant.” The museum works to engage visitors with exhibits and challenges them to question and explore. Exhibits include the interactive Science Arcade, The Living Earth where visitors can explore a rainforest and other natural wonders, and the introspective ‘A Question of Truth’ gallery which asks guests to reassess their assumptions. The Centre also features an impressive planetarium and an IMAX theater. And if that wasn’t enough, students can spend a semester at the Centre’s school where they can earn secondary school science credits!

5. National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan

This iconic Tokyo museum, known simply as Miraikan, opened in 2001 to “fulfill Japan’s aim of becoming a scientifically and technologically creative nation.” The museum serves to stimulate research and interest into science and technology and is divided into three permanent exhibits – Explore the Frontiers, Create your Future, and Discover your Earth. The combine the expertise of science and engineers and give visitors a chance both to explore and question the role of science and technology in society. There’s even an Opinion Bank where guests can contribute to the scientific conversation. And it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that recent special exhibits included an in-depth exploration of the past, present, and future of video games, and a special exhibition analyzing ninja skills from a scientific perspective.

6. Heureka Finnish Science Centre in Helsinki, Finland

At the Heureka Finnish Science Centre visitors can practice winter sports, watch rats play basketball, explore risk and probability in the electric roulette, interact with a digestive tract, and mint their own coin. In fact, the Centre has something for everyone – including a frank discussion of the human aging process. Heureka boasts Europe’s most modern digital planetarium. Visitors can hear the shows in Finnish, Swedish, English, and Russian. Current offerings include films about dark matter, moths, and trees. And if visitors exhaust the Centre’s extensive indoor exhibits, there’s always the Science Park Galilei, which features a bedrock exhibition and a garden based on Linnaean plant classifications.