Tag: Tips

Winning the Scholarship or Honors Program Acceptance Letter

Winning the Scholarship or Honors Program Acceptance Letter


Congratulations, you’ve been admitted to Loyola University Chicago as a future Rambler! And now, some of you have been invited to apply to Loyola Interdisciplinary Honors Program or the Business Honors Program and some of you have been invited to apply for selective scholarships at Loyola! While being invited to compete for these prestigious organizations and awards is an accomplishment in itself, you can follow a few quick tips to put yourself in the best position to win the scholarship or acceptance letter; my advice:

When it comes to your essay

  • My number one tip: ANSWER THE QUESTION. Many students submit essays that dance around the topic, but your essay will be much more impressive if you acknowledge the question head-on. Be direct and be concise.
  • SUBMIT IT EARLY. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to start your essay. You want this to be a well thought-out and well-written essay. Not something you threw together at midnight between your math homework and science project. We read enough essays to tell which were written with care and which were written hap-haphazardly.
  • USE SPELL CHECK. It’s your friend. Use it. Then proofread it. Then read it again. Then have someone (a teacher, counselor, parent, etc.) read it. Then put it away for a few days and then break it out and read it again. You want this essay to be perfect.

When it comes to your resume

  • SEND IN A NEW ONE. If you submitted a version for college admission, that’s great, but you might be leaving out some new accomplishments. I would recommend adding new information like new awards, honors, participation in organizations, leadership, service, etc.
  • DON’T FORGET FRESHMAN YEAR. We should know everything you’ve been involved with in regard to extra-curriculars over the past 4 years; not just what you’ve been doing junior and senior year. Leave nothing out; this is your chance to awe us with your accomplishments. (This updated resume will also be helpful in the future if you are looking for jobs on-campus in the fall!)
  • MAKE IT PROFESSIONAL. The font should be clear, text in black, with a format/style that says organized. There are so many different template available to help you do this. A final tip, send you resume as a PDF so you don’t have to worry about it being distorted when opened on different types of computers and programs.

When it comes to your interview…

  • BREATHE. You’re here to talk about you. No one knows you better. This is a topic you’re a natural pro at so try to relax. Just come in, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to brag a little.
  • BE PROMPT. Walking in late will not impress anyone.
  • DRESS FOR SUCCESS. You don’t have to wear a suit necessarily, but you should be dressed appropriately (definitely no pajamas, disheveled clothing, or clothing you wouldn’t wear to school or to dinner with your grandma).
  • BE POLITE TO EVERYONE YOU ENCOUNTER. If an administrative assistant checks you in or escorts you to the office for the interview, be polite and friendly with them, you never know if they might share this input with the decision-makers.
  • PREPARE. Do your research about the school, their values, their mission, etc. Knowing what is important to the school will likely help you impress the interviewers.
  • LEARN SOMETHING. If you’re there on campus, this is another chance for you explore and determine or confirm “fit”. Also, keep in mind that whoever is interviewing you has some connection with the University whether they are staff, faculty, current students, or alumni, they are great resources whom you can ask questions.

Good Luck!


Tips for First Generation Students

Tips for First Generation Students

You’re the first one to go to college and you’re clueless, but it’s OK.   I, too, am a first generation student at Loyola University Chicago.  I am also an only child and I did not have any close relatives attending college in 2010; it was difficult, but I did it!  Here are some tips that worked for me!

  • REACH OUT EARLY.  This is the most important and this is why it’s my first tip!  Talk to your counselor/advisor asap.  If you know you’re major advisor, talk to him or her as well.  You need to make sure you’re on track so you don’t end up doing a fifth year.  It’s a huge transition from high school, so make sure you’re aware of your options and you know what to do.
  • INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY.  As a first year, I thought I could do it all myself.  However, I still talked to my parents about their opinion(s) on which classes to take, even though I was the first one to go to college.  Don’t try to do everything yourself, involve your parents and siblings and try to explain things to them so they understand and can help you out.
  • JOIN ORGANIZATIONS, INTRAMURAL SPORTS, GO WORK OUT, ETC.  The goal here is to make friends.  You did it in high school, do it again!  You’ll meet many people and who knows, if you meet someone in your major they’ll be able to give you advice on professors, classes, homework, etc.
  • GO TO OFFICE HOURS.  Meet with your professors if something doesn’t make sense, or if something does make sense!  Let them know about your issues, or likings about the class and introduce yourself.  They’re there to help; take advantage of it.
  • BE PATIENT. Sometimes it’s difficult for your family to understand that you have work to do, or that you can’t go home as often as you’d like because you’re swamp with papers/exams.  Talk to them and explain what the classes entail and require from you.  With time, they will understand and get the hang of it.
  • MAKE FRIENDS.  Meet other people who are also first generation students.  There will be days when you don’t know where to run and it’s always nice to have someone there.


Homework Tips Part 1

Homework Tips Part 1

After a long hiatus from blogging, I’m finally getting back into the groove of things. A topic I want to revisit in the next two posts is about how to stay on top of your classes. This is extremely important for those students taking 5, 6 or even 7 classes (like me).

Many students think that taking a full schedule of classes is “crazy” and unimaginable, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a self-proclaimed procrastinator, I work harder and get everything done more efficiently when I know I don’t have a lot of time. Since I have to fit in seven classes, my jobs and all of my homework into my week, I tend to stay on top of things better so as to not fall behind. It’s taken four years to master my homework strategy, but I’ve got it down to a tee. My top tips to staying ahead of the game are:

  1. Literally jump ahead of the game. For easy classes of mine or the ones I enjoy most, often times I’ll do as much homework ahead of time as possible so that it gives me more time to focus on lengthier or less enjoyable assignments. For example, I’m taking Russian 102 and because I am fluent, the assignments go quicker for me. Because of this, I’ll usually do the whole week’s worth of assignments on Sunday so that throughout the week I don’t have to worry about it.
  2. Figure out what time of the day you work best. I work best in the evening or in the early morning, and on Sundays starting in the afternoon. I also work best after I’m caught up on my main television shows. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if I have one episode to watch, usually I have to get it out of the way first as soon as possible to be able to concentrate. My prime hours of homework tend to end around midnight, so instead of pushing myself to stay up later, I acknowledge that primetime is over and I go to bed. If I have a serious assignment due the next day that isn’t complete, I just set my alarm for a little bit earlier in the morning, organize what is left to do before bed, and get cracking first thing the next day.
  3. Lay everything out on the line. At the beginning of each week I write a list of every single assignment I have due that week, things I have fallen behind on, and things due the next week. I write each individual class and each individual assignment. For example, instead of writing for a class “Read Chapters 1-4”, I’ll write each one separately “Read Ch.1; Read Ch.2; Read Ch.3; Read Ch.4”. When Chapter 1 is done, I cross is out, and it makes me feel much more accomplished and motivated to start on chapter 2 and keep going.

These are the tips that I’m currently using that are working best, but I’ll add a Part 2 to this blog to mention several other tips that are very effective.

Tips for College Fair Attendance

Tips for College Fair Attendance

Oh man, it’s been a minute since I last blogged. But the Fall is upon us again which means another admission cycle and more importantly, COLLEGE FAIR SEASON!

While College Fair Season isn’t an official season like Summer or Fall, there are a number exciting things about the start of this time of year. College fairs are one of the best ways to see and learn about a large number of universities in one foul swoop. They’re also a great way to get excited about the prospect of higher education.

But just like any season there are adjustments that need to be made. And that’s why I’m here. I’m here to give you some tips and pointers to maximizing your college fair experience. Let’s dive on in:

Do Some Pre-Planning– Most fairs have a list of institutions attending well before the start of the fair. If you can, check out the list and note the top school you’re interested in. Then, mark some schools you’ve heard of and want to know more about. When you arrive to the actual fair grab a map and head to your top schools first (but don’t run) then your secondary schools. Once you’re done with those wonder around for a bit. Explore some places you’ve never heard of and grab their information. The point of these fairs is to learn more about the schools you’re interested in and to explore others you may have never heard of before.

Think of Some Questions Before Attending– You don’t need to have a list of written questions you ask to every table you visit, but having a couple pre-thought questions will help you utilize your time properly. Asking simple fact questions (like size, minimum requirements etc) can be avoided since most of those answers are in the hand-out materials. Instead ask more in depth questions like, “what makes your school unique?” or “what are some of the popular and active student groups on campus?” Asking these types of questions will help paint a more well-rounded picture of the college or university beyond stats /figures. If you’re stumped on what questions to ask, see your college counselor. They are a wealth of information in all aspects of the college search.

Avoid Asking, “How good is your X program?” and “What do I have to have to have get into your university?”– These are my least favorite questions to receive at a college fair. They’re difficult questions to answer when they’re phrased that way. How do you want me to judge good? How do you judge good? And when you ask about minimum requirements for admission you might be missing other (equally important) aspects of application review. Luckily, there are two extremely easy ways to ask these questions and receive the same information. Ask, “Can you please tell me more about your X program?” This allows the admission representative to tell you about the curriculum, student involvement and accolades a program might have received. The other is, “How do you review applications for admission?” This allows the admission rep to explain the  whole process beyond just the numbers.

Snatch and Grab Politely– If you want to be strictly business at these fairs, go for it. But if you’re going to just grab information from a table then go to the next please be polite about it. When you approach the table smile and say “hello” grab what you’d like then say “thank you.” Most counselors understand your time is precious and you probably have other things you need to worry about that night. But, running through the fair grabbing anything you can is not cool.

Enjoy The Fair– Seems like hokey advice, but it’s still valuable. I see too many stressed out parents and students at my fairs. They run around the fair grabbing everything they can and talking with absolutely every school. If that’s what you want to do, go for it. But, I think people lose sight of the fact that we (admission reps) are there to serve them. The college fair is your time to explore and learn more. Don’t feel like to need to get to the fair right as it starts and stay until it ends. Use your time the way you want to. Ask questions, walk around casually, see a variety of schools and make connections with admission counselors. Most importantly, enjoy this whole college search experience.

Loyola’s admission counselors will be out all over the country over the next couple of weeks. To read more about each counselor and their respective territory check out this page.

All About Internship Interviews

All About Internship Interviews

So, my first internship interview was on Wednesday afternoon. I haven’t heard back from them yet, so I plan on giving them a call at the beginning of next week. I would like to get the internship, but the most important thing that I wanted to get out of this interview was a test run of my skills as an interviewee.

Because this was my first face-to-face internship interview, it was important for me to really pay attention to my behavior as well as my interviewer’s. There are several recommended guidelines that people are given for interviews. Here are a few:

  1. Look presentable. Granted the weather is very cold right now, so walking outside in a skirt is not my cup of tea, but still wear nice clothes (aka no holes, stains, etc.) and have a nice appearance. Also very important is to smile (genuinely of course). It is said that most interviewers make their decision within the first minute (even less) of meeting you.
  2. Have some background knowledge of the company you’re interviewing for. At the very least, know who they are and what they do. It doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge on what you could be doing for them as well. Being informed will only benefit you and not being informed can be the end of your chance for the job/internship.
  3. Have some questions prepared. This was a difficult one for me this time because my interviewer was just starting up a new project for the company that I had not found any information on, so I thought up some questions on the spot. One thing I did was I asked my interviewer questions about her relationship to the company, as in what she does within the company, how she does these things, etc. I’ve heard before that making the interview more personalized regarding the interviewer can help your interview. You need to be informed about the company itself, but have questions to ask the people in the company about their jobs. Keep it professional, but make it more personalized so that the interview isn’t rigid.

Whether these tips helped me is yet to be determined, and if they didn’t, I’ll be on the lookout for more and better advice to give from my own experiences. In one of my next week’s blogs, I’ll post an update on this first internship of whether I got it or not.