Archive for the ‘Resume Building’ Category

My Junior Year Internship: The Bittersweet Taste of Corporate America

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

During my semester abroad in Madrid my sophomore spring, I tasked myself with finding an internship for the upcoming summer. My internship search took on a sense of urgency because I knew I couldn’t spend the summer in New York City without income. While I loved visiting my family and my hometown, I felt like I belonged in the city, and I yearned to be there. Sending cover letters into the void was discouraging when each unanswered application felt like a step away from the life I was building in the city. I couldn’t stop comparing myself to people in my classes, who had internships at Citibank and Morgan Stanley lined up before we even arrived in Madrid. 

What finally got me through was, for the second time, a referral from a friend, who gave my resume to her boss with a glowing recommendation. The company was Richard Attias & Associates, an international political and communications consulting firm specializing in high-end global events. 

Walking through Midtown Manhattan on my lunch break

After two Skype interviews, I was offered the position of Research Intern for the Community Team. Our team focused on event speakers and guests. The events I worked on included the Future Investment Initiative, aka “Davos in the Desert,” a financial and economic conference in Saudi Arabia; the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, the largest gathering of Heads of State outside the United Nations; as well as the Global Cybersecurity Forum, Women in Corporate Leadership, and the Olympism in Action Forum.

On paper, the job sounded glamorous. In reality, it was monotonous. I spent all day, every day trying to find business leaders and government officials’ contact information on the internet so that we could invite them to our events. I would put this information in Excel spreadsheets or Salesforce then send event invitations through Salesforce.

I worked a full 40-hour workweek that summer. For the first time, I felt independent, like a person living in the world rather than a child who relied on her parents for every rent payment and medical bill. Even though I was scraping by each month after paying rent, I still appreciated the independence immensely.

I now knew what it was like to be a young working woman in New York City, taking the subway each morning in sneakers, changing shoes when I got to work, and going to happy hour at 6 pm. I spent the weekday afternoons longing for the weekend. I even found myself looking forward to the start of the fall semester, when my days would have more variety and my mind would be put to use at a level closer to its potential.

A coworker’s Instagram story on a hot summer day

At the same time, this more fully-realized, self-reliant person that I felt myself becoming was scary, maybe because I thought that this monotony was all that was waiting at the other end of the tunnel that was college—a job where I would sit all day and look at spreadsheets. What seemed even scarier was that I felt a comfort in the monotony. After the stress of finding this job, I didn’t want to do another internship search. At Richard Attias, I was paid well, my coworkers were nice (we even had a party with Spanish wine for my birthday), and the environment wasn’t stressful. So I stayed for the entirety of my junior year.

I think this feeling, this unease I felt in a traditional corporate environment, is part of what planted in my mind the idea of going abroad again. During my junior year, when I wasn’t working, I began leaning into my creative interests. I enrolled in a photography class. I was still studying for the LSAT—I wasn’t ready to take the full leap into a more artistic and nomadic life. However, I was ready to take small steps toward living a life full of creativity and helping others.

Internship Search Tip:

Don’t be afraid to follow up after an interview. When I hadn’t heard back for two weeks after my first interview at Richard Attias & Associates, I sent an email to the supervisor reiterating my interest in the position and why I would be a good fit for the role. Less than a day later, I was invited for a second interview.


By Marisa Bianco

Marisa graduated from NYU in May 2020, summa cum laude, with degrees in International Relations and Spanish. She grew up in Nebraska, but she is currently living in Córdoba, Spain, where she works as an English teacher. You can find her eating tapas in the Spanish sun while likely stressing about finding her life’s purpose.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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My Second Internship: The Highs and Lows of Interning Abroad

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

In October of my sophomore year, I applied for a semester abroad at NYU Madrid. At the same time, I submitted an application for the for-credit internship program there. In November, I had a Skype interview with the director of EUSA, a separate company NYU hires to run many of its abroad internship programs. During this meeting, we discussed the fields of work I was interested in, and she evaluated my level of Spanish fluency.

When I arrived in Madrid, I received an email notifying me that I had an interview in two days with the European Foundation of Society and Education, an education policy think tank. The interview process was a whirlwind. A few days before, I was pickpocketed at a nightclub, and my phone was stolen. To make it to my interview without a cell phone, I had to purchase an alarm clock and memorize the route to the office. Luckily, the foundation was in the city center and not the outskirts of Madrid, but I still had to transfer trains and ask for directions on the street. 

My neighborhood in Madrid

I was nervous because the placement information made the office sound like a strict and formal environment. However, I was greeted by a charming old man. He reminded me of a kindly grandpa as he offered me a cup of coffee and complimented me on my success at NYU. His name was Miguel Ángel, the President of the foundation. It wasn’t even a real interview; we just worked out my schedule and got to know each other. 

Contrary to my preconceived assumptions, the foundation was casual and friendly. I ended up wearing jeans every day. It was also customary to say “hola” and “adiós” to every person individually when you arrived and left each day. I even remember a coworker apologizing profusely one afternoon because she hadn’t said hello to me when she came in. 

The work was a mix of administrative tasks, translating, social media management, and research analysis. I also went to a required weekly class at NYU Madrid for the students in the internship program, which involved various projects including a capstone research paper at the end of the semester. The most challenging part was reading quantitative research papers that the foundation published in Spanish, then writing my analysis (in Spanish) in a blog post. It seems I did okay, though, as Miguel Ángel submitted two of my articles to a Spanish newspaper.

My article on civic education, published in the Spanish newspaper Magisterio.

Every morning, Miguel Ángel would ask me about my classes, exams, and weekend trips. These conversations were almost always interesting, as Spanish people tend to speak about personal topics more openly in the office than we do in the U.S. For example, I mentioned once that I had been baptized as a Catholic, and Miguel Ángel was so excited to tell me all about the importance of that sacrament.

At the end of the semester, the foundation invited me back for a goodbye party with coffee and snacks. They even bought me a Zara bag as a thank-you gift. I was sad to leave. I had genuinely enjoyed my time in the office, with its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, terrace for drinking coffee, and genial coworkers. However, when people ask if I recommend doing an internship during your semester abroad, the answer isn’t so simple.

Even now, after all of this reflecting, I still don’t know the answer. I am sure it looked impressive on my resume—job experience in a foreign country and in a foreign language. I could now prove my Spanish proficiency to future employers. I wrote about my work at the foundation in numerous cover letters and personal statements. For years, it has served as a unique experience that I can draw upon when promoting myself for a new job or academic program. More so, being a “working professional” in Madrid made me feel like I actually lived there, that I wasn’t just a typical study abroad student. 

At the same time, I don’t believe I was fully ready for the transition to life in Spain. I left my closest friends and family in New York to study in a program where I barely knew anyone. Then, I filled my schedule with classes and my for-credit, unpaid internship hours, so I didn’t often have time to connect with other students. For them, their time abroad was an “easy semester” where they slept in, went to clubs on weeknights, and traveled every weekend. Meanwhile, I was shut in my room during the week, trying to finish my homework in the little free time I had after work. I rarely succeeded—I constantly felt that I was behind in my classes. I still got to travel extensively, and I had the most lovely time jet-setting across Europe. But I was so tired, so anxious, and my support system was across the ocean. I wonder what would have happened if I had spent those 16 hours a week (plus transportation time) taking care of myself rather than working in an office without getting paid.

Interning as a student is a learning process. In Madrid, I learned that it is okay to take a step back from work when you need to. Being a student and being a human are jobs too. Despite my struggles, I do not regret my time at the foundation. I challenged myself, and growth always comes from facing challenges.


By Marisa Bianco

Marisa graduated from NYU in May 2020, summa cum laude, with degrees in International Relations and Spanish. She grew up in Nebraska, but she is currently living in Córdoba, Spain, where she works as an English teacher. You can find her eating tapas in the Spanish sun while likely stressing about finding her life’s purpose.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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My First Internship: How I Got Paid to Eat Gourmet NYC Food

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

As I entered my sophomore year at NYU, I was feeling pressure to get an internship. I had spent the summer working in a restaurant in my hometown, collecting tips and saving them all for my semester abroad. While this was a perfectly normal and productive way to spend my first summer at college, I still worried that I was inadequate compared to my NYU peers who interned for hedge funds or theater companies. 

I came into Welcome Week sophomore year determined to land my first internship (or on-campus job). I was in the weeds trying to figure out work-study when an upperclassmen friend of mine posted in our sorority Facebook group about a job opportunity in public relations. My friend, Chehak, edited and polished my resume, then gave it to the PR company with her glowing recommendation. After a fairly straightforward phone interview, I was offered the job. I realize now that this experience is like an actor saying they landed the gig on their first audition—it would never happen again.

My Instagram story from my last day in the office

I dressed up for my first day but was surprised to find my supervisor wearing a flowy maxi dress and flip-flops. The office was in WeWork Williamsburg. I was amazed by WeWork, with beer on tap, fancy snacks, and trendy couches where people seemed to be lounging and working simultaneously. Huge windows poured light onto the coworking tables. The offices didn’t even have walls—just windows. It was a modern start-up world, completely different from any New York office I had seen in the movies.   

My position was at RVD Communications, a boutique public relations firm. Most of our clients were NYC restaurants and bars. I didn’t realize at the time how great I had it with this internship—I got paid weekly, including an unlimited monthly MetroCard, and I got to attend press and influencer events at some of the best restaurants in the city. I worked 15 hours a week, including a full day on Fridays. 

The best part of the job was working with my fellow interns, two NYU students who would become some of my closest friends. Each Friday, the three of us would claim one of the restaurant-style booths in the WeWork common space and spend the day there, giggling and sharing stories about the frat boys we were hoping to see that weekend while creating Pages presentations for the account leaders to present to clients.

A delicious churro I sampled while working an event at a Times Square food market

Many of New York’s food holiday markets are run by the same company, Urbanspace, which was one of our clients. I found the Bryant Park Holiday Market by accident my freshman year when I went to the New York Public Library to study. I was enchanted by this little world full of lights, art, hot chocolate, and lots and lots of food. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when my fellow interns and I were asked to work a press and influencer event at the opening weekend of the Bryant Park Holiday Market. For these types of events, we invited journalists and Instagram influencers to come to the market, take pictures, and write articles. Our job as interns was to track mentions of our clients on Instagram and online publications. At the event, however, we were given press passes and allowed to roam the market, trying dishes from every stall. We pretended to be influencers, taking photos and videos with our Belgian fries, mozzarella sticks, and Korean-style tacos. Even though I did not end up pursuing a career in PR, I am so grateful for my experiences in the industry. I learned how to speak up for myself in a professional environment and how to balance interning with schoolwork. Best of all, I got to eat some great food.

Tips: On finding your first internship and being successful in the workplace

  • Reach out to upperclassmen you know from class or the clubs you are involved with. Upperclassmen can become great mentors and great friends.
  • Don’t be picky. You are trying to get experience working in a professional environment in New York City. That experience could be in a variety of fields. I didn’t expect to work in public relations, but I ended up having a great time.
  • When communicating with your new supervisor(s), be clear about your work and school boundaries. Constantly evaluate whether you are working the right amount of hours for your major, class schedule, and extracurricular involvement.

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By Marisa Bianco

Marisa graduated from NYU in May 2020, summa cum laude, with degrees in International Relations and Spanish. She grew up in Nebraska, but she is currently living in Córdoba, Spain, where she works as an English teacher. You can find her eating tapas in the Spanish sun while likely stressing about finding her life’s purpose.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Confessions of a Recent Graduate: What Am I Going to Do with My Life?

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

The college years are supposed to be the time when you figure out who you are and who you want to be—or at least that’s what I thought when I was 18 years old and headed to my first class at NYU in a blouse-pants combo that tried and failed to come off as business casual. I knew I wanted to apply to NYU’s International Relations Honors Program and that I would double major in Spanish. (At the time, to graduate with an International Relations degree at NYU you had to be admitted in the honors program. Current undergraduates can choose to do the major with or without the honors component). I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with these degrees. I knew I was interested in expanding my horizons in the literal sense; I wanted to learn about the political and cultural complexities of places I had only read about growing up in a conservative Nebraskan town. I also knew I wanted to help people, which I admit is a vague goal, but I felt an almost tangible empathy for the people I met and the people I read about that I couldn’t ignore.

Graduating in my backyard!

I was sure that answers, or at least some sort of clarity, would come to me. I certainly didn’t expect to feel even more unsure of what I wanted to do with my life when receiving my diploma than when I was walking to my first class. I was about to graduate, yet I was reading articles and taking personality tests trying to figure out what type of career might spark my youthful spirit (or at least not smother that spirit under a pillow) and earn me enough money to live in an apartment that’s up to code. After three years of internships, I was still no closer to deciding my career path than when I fumbled to my first interview in ill-fitting heels.

However, I’ve realized that I don’t need to find or choose a career path. I’m already on a career path; it’s right there on my resume. I have years of workplace stories to share from at least three different industries. My eclectic ventures, swinging from job to job, have shown me sides of the world that I wouldn’t have encountered at a small college where the only available jobs are at the library or student center. 

Through this series of articles, I will attempt to connect the dots between my odd jobs, from New York City to Spain, and from public relations to public defense. At first, I wanted to shape foreign policy at the State Department. Then I wanted to fight for justice and work to end mass incarceration as a top-shot attorney. Through these experiences, however, I often felt a creative urge when I least expected it. There was a love for film and literature that I couldn’t satiate no matter how much I consumed. I still want to advance a global mindset, like a UN Ambassador, and contribute to the fight for justice, like an ACLU attorney, but I want to do it through the art of storytelling. 

I resisted this conclusion for a long time, as I was tempted by the increased stability of a more straightforward career path. Through plenty of practice (and years of mental health care), I have learned to accept and even embrace uncertainty. I am constantly discovering what I am interested in, what I am skilled at, and who I want to be. I believe that going to college in New York City is one of the best ways to open yourself to the array of possibilities that is your career and your life. I will share how I navigated the competitive internship market, the setbacks of rejection, and the brilliance of finding something you love to do. I hope to convey that it is more than acceptable to feel uncertain about your future during college. In fact, that uncertainty might propel you somewhere better than you ever expected.

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By Marisa Bianco

Marisa graduated from NYU in May 2020, summa cum laude, with degrees in International Relations and Spanish. She grew up in Nebraska, but she is currently living in Córdoba, Spain, where she works as an English teacher. You can find her eating tapas in the Spanish sun while likely stressing about finding her life’s purpose.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Study Abroad, Get Hired: Virginia Yu, Copenhagen, Denmark

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

It’s hard to argue that there are many benefits to studying abroad, and for MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) graduate, Virginia Yu, it gave her a unique job opportunity as well.

“I’ve always loved traveling and learning about new cultures,” the 22-year-old says.

Yu attended the Danish Institute for Study abroad (DIS) in her spring semester of 2013. The school is located in Copenhagen, Denmark — “The land of LEGOs and awesome architecture!” she quips.

The tuition to study abroad was actually cheaper in Denmark than in Baltimore because Yu didn’t have to pay for extra on-campus fees. Her trip included classes, housing, two study tour trips, transportation in Copenhagen, and food expenses in the form of a prepaid grocery card. Yu also had grants and financial aid from MICA that carried on for her spring semester abroad, including a presidential scholarship and a MICA talent grant.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

“[One way] I saved money was by not eating out and always asking for student discounts when I did eat out,” she says. “Copenhagen offered plenty of them because the majority of people were students.” Education is free in Denmark, so many people there are obtaining their masters. Because of this, many stores and cafes offer student discounts.

Yu ended up staying in Denmark for a total of eight months after she secured an internship with Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen for the summer.

“I felt really fortunate to have that opportunity because it allowed me to have more time in Denmark and to see the country more,” she says. “The best part, of course, was being able to work internationally and to compare the work environment to how things were like back home.”

She said that in Denmark there were better wages, more time off and less pressure — a very different working environment than one would find in Baltimore or New York City.

Brainstorming at work.

Brainstorming at work.

For college students, resume building is everything and having work experience abroad can really help someone stand out from other applicants.

“I gained a worldly knowledge, a chance to see the world, an opportunity to study overseas, which lead to working overseas, and lastly a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget,” Yu says. “It has helped me become the person I am today.

“You learn to redefine what home is and you learn to infuse another culture to call your own.”

And really, isn’t that what studying abroad is all about?

Copenhagen landscape.

Copenhagen landscape.

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You can check out Virginia Yu‘s work at http://missyudesigns.com/

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Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram:slevitz

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

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Why You Should Study Abroad: Leah Zarra, London, UK

Monday, October 27th, 2014

 

Leah Zarra posing in front of a sign for the famous Abbey Road.

Leah Zarra posing in front of a sign for the famous Abbey Road.

 

“I just loved being so independent and being totally immersed in another city,” says Leah Zarra, 22, a Texas native and Drew University graduate.

Zarra participated in a semester-long study abroad program to London through her New Jersey college back in the fall of 2012. “I couldn’t wait to experience another culture,” she says, “even though London isn’t the first to jump to mind when you think ‘foreign’.”

According to Zarra, the full semester trip to London cost the same amount as a regular, on-campus semester. The trip included: tuition, housing in a flat with other people from her college, and a 2-zone Oyster card—similar to a Metrocard, allowing Zarra unlimited access to the Tube (subway) within specified zones.

When it came to financial resources to help fund her trip, Zarra had it covered.

“I had an annual Dean’s award scholarship all through college, so this carried over to my semester abroad,” she explains.

Zarra was able to take classes such as London Literature, British Political Drama, Modern British History and a required colloquium course. She earned 16 credits studying abroad—more credits than she would have earned in one semester staying on campus in the States.

Zarra and her friends riding the Tube.

Zarra and her friends riding the Tube. (Zarra is second from the right.)

When it came to saving money while abroad, Zarra made sure to budget wisely.

“As college students, we all try to be frugal, so we kept our eyes out for free food and events,” she says referring to her study abroad group. “If you’re looking, they’re easy to find. One professor told us about a group of Hare Krishna monks that served free curry every day. Food is a big one to save on.”

When asked if she would recommend her study abroad program to someone else, Zarra responded with a resounding “yes!”

“I learned so much, and not just in the classroom,” she says. “We didn’t just read famous British authors; our professors took us on walking tours around the city to see where Great Expectations took place, [or] where Virginia Woolf walked every day. As cliché as it sounds, I truly found a piece of myself there.”

Sometimes students take out some loans to study abroad and Zarra believes it’s absolutely worth it.

“Go into it with a positive attitude, and appreciate everything you see,” she says. “Make an effort to appreciate the privileges you didn’t realize you had. You will never have another chance like this.”

The famous Big Ben and Westminster Abbey: one of the many pictures Zarra took on her trip.

The famous Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. One of the many photos Zarra took while on her trip.

 

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Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram:slevitz

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

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Cultural Cuisine: Eating Your Way Around the World

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Writer and traveler Deborah Cater once said, “You have to taste culture to understand it”—and she wasn’t wrong. When you go to a foreign country and choose to eat only foods you are familiar with then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Traveling is all about trying new things—and food is one of the most important ones. In China, there are so many unique local dishes to try so you shouldn’t let fear of the unknown get in the way of experiencing the country like the locals do.

Sure we’ve all gone to our local Chinese takeout place and have ordered the pork Lo Mein or General Tso Chicken, but if you take the time to explore the country you’ll find non-Americanized Chinese food that’s definitely worth a try.

One of the most popular dishes to try if you find yourself in Beijing is the Peking Duck. This famous dish has been prepared since the imperial era and is served with steamed pancakes and eaten with scallion, cucumber and sweet bean sauce. Traditionally the meat is sliced thin by the cook right in front of you, which is definitely fun to watch. Two of the most notable restaurants are Quanjude and Bianyifang in Beijing, China.

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A chef prepares to carve a Peking Duck.

Peking Duck is traditionally served on a duck shaped plate.

Peking Duck is traditionally served on a duck shaped plate.

 

We all know that Italy is famous for their pasta; but did you know that the world’s oldest known noodles were actually discovered along the Yellow River in China? Dating back to roughly 4000 years BP, noodles have been a staple food in China—and watching hand pulled noodles being made is definitely something to go see if you visit. Hand pulled noodles, or Lamian, is made by stretching and folding the dough into strands. This unique method of making noodles originated in China and dates back to 1504. Lamian literally means pull or stretch, lā, (拉), noodle, miàn (麵) and watching a professional noodle chef pull noodles is a tourist attraction in itself!

The process of preparing hand pulled noodles is so quick that it happens in a blur!

The process of preparing hand pulled noodles is so quick that it happens in a blur!

Whether you’re traveling to China, or any other country, make sure that if you have food allergies you are well prepared. The chefs know what ingredients they use to prepare their food with and a language barrier shouldn’t stop you from being safe. Having a restaurant card is a great way to stay safe, and still be able to enjoy many of the delicious unique foods available. The card clearly states in another language the types of food you are not allowed to eat and your servers and chefs can take it from there.

Gluten-Free restaurant card picture taken from www.chinahighlights.com/

Gluten-Free restaurant card picture taken from www.chinahighlights.com/

Also, take the time to find out if the water is safe to drink in your country of origin. Often times it’s just easier to choose to drink only bottled water for the duration of your stay. You know it’s clean and safe, and you definitely don’t want to get sick while studying abroad!

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Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

 

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College Savings Experience by Studying Abroad

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

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Photo op with some monks my friends and I met on the Great Wall of China.

I like chicken soup. Wǒ xǐhuān jītāng.

It’s probably one of the only phrases I learned to say correctly in Mandarin while studying abroad in China and it still makes me laugh one year later.

No matter what college you go to, even if it’s only a few psychology courses online, everyone should go on a study abroad program at least once in their lifetime. Study abroad is a rite of passage and the college discounts you get is worth the experience. It’s the ability to say that during your young adult life you did something different and learned about a new place. It doesn’t matter what you do or where you go. What’s important is that you get out, see the world, and learn about a country that isn’t America.

One of the best benefits of studying abroad is that your early 20s is the best time to travel. Besides school, and maybe a part-time job, you don’t have that many obligations. Once you’re working the 9-5 grind you’ll find it’s extremely difficult to snag any vacation days right away. Studying abroad provides you with a way to get college credits without sitting in a classroom for an entire semester. Study abroad programs usually offer a variety of courses that range from common core classes to specific credits that can be used towards your major.

Studying abroad through your school is a great way to make friends that will be there after the trip. Most of the people that go on study abroad trips go to the same school. It’s very easy to form close friendships in a short amount of time on these trips. Walking across campus and seeing a familiar face is always a nice surprise in the middle of a hectic day.

 

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New friendships only grow stronger after hours of hiking the Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan) in the southern Anhui province in eastern China.

People don’t just travel because of the boredom from living in the same place. People travel because they thirst to see something new. It’s one thing to see a picture of a famous landmark; it’s quite another to actually see that landmark with your own eyes. Ask anyone that’s ever traveled anywhere, or ask anyone with a smartphone camera; no photo or Instagram filter can truly ever beat the real thing. When you go home and change your profile picture on Facebook to a picture of yourself standing on the Great Wall of China—that’s something to brag about.

To learn about a culture that is foreign from your own is a truly important experience. There are so many different cultures in the world that it is impossible to count. To go through life ignorant of the world around you is a foolish mistake. Hear a different language slide past your lips. Eat a food that you can’t identify. Engross yourself in a way of living that you’ve never experienced.

A study abroad trip is more than just a trip. It’s a chance to take an adventure, fill a scrapbook with memories, and tell stories to your loved ones that will last a lifetime.

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Group picture of the 2013 Summer CUNY China trip in front of the Monk Xuanzang statue in Xi’an, China.

Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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Painting a Self Portrait – thelivingcalendar.com

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Every creative individual designs a self portrait at some point. A piece meant to symbolize themselves, whether it’s through illustrating, singing, dancing, writing, etc. It’s simple to portray oneself as a female with long curly hair and green eyes, however the difficult part comes when we must describe who we really are inside. YOU are the only one who knows the real YOU. YOU decide how YOU want to be displayed to the world. Sure our family members and close friends know us well, but YOU ultimately determine how YOU appear to others. YOU create your self portrait.

As a college & career advisor, I am here to mentor you, to help with this process of self assessment and to further your knowledge base in order to pursue your goals and dreams. You have the skills, you know what you want, you know what you need, we just need to converse, ask questions and together we will find a way to get you there.

I’m sure you are curious about my story, my self portrait if you will.
So let me give you some background on me.

As a graphic design student at the Rhode Island School of Design, I actively participated in several on campus jobs. I found specific listings that drew me in and grew to love these jobs more than my studies. All throughout college, I was a mentor and teaching artist for a program (Project Open Door) that helped high school students with the college process. As a mentor at Project Open Door, I individually assessed the needs of each student. I helped them with their applications for college, assisted with their resumes, and taught beginner and intermediate drawing/paintings classes in order to build their confidence and skills needed to proceed. I gave student specific assignments as they progressed throughout the program to their senior year and then provided one on one guidance to help them figure out what colleges and careers they were interested in. We made college visits, attended fairs, and explored the options.

Despite my passion for design, I knew I loved my work at Project Open Door. However, I graduated with a BFA and decided to pursue it for a few years to see what I liked and disliked based on my experiences. Fast forward to 3 years later, and I am a Senior Graphic Designer, Career & College Advisor, freelance designer, mentor at The Campus Clipper, blog writer, podcast conductor, and Marketing Chair of YES! @Dress for Success. I am still searching for a way to marry all my passions into one career, but I love each and every one of them.

In December, I completed a certificate program at NYU in Career Planning & Development. It gave me the necessary skills to engage with you and help tell your story. Through my dedication to helping people, and my knowledge of marketing and targeting oneself in the world, I truly believe that together we can create your self portrait and show everyone just who you are!

Please visit my blog for more: www.thelivingcalendar.com
With my help, I hope you gain insight into how to pursue your passions, how to draw your self portrait, and how to convey your story.

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Write For Campus Clipper

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

 

Scenario 1: You’ve lived in New York City for the past year or two—or maybe your entire life. You’ve mistakenly taken the 4 train instead of the 5. The initial awe and shock of seeing street performers has worn off. You can successfully navigate through the tiny, winding streets of Chinatown and know where to get the best and cheapest bubble tea. You avoid the Thanksgiving Day Parade like the plague. You scoff at foreign friends’ suggestions to see Times Square or the Statue of Liberty. You know where the next Starbucks is without consulting your iPhone app (let’s be honest, thoughthe answer to this is usually one block from the last). You have funny stories about tourists and run-ins with celebrities, and you have much sought-after thoughts about what to do on Saturdays.

Scenario 2: You stepped off the plane at the LaGuardia airport just a few days ago. You’re reading this blog because you’re crazy excited but also a little terrified about living in this insane city. You want to record your first year experience and be part of a community of people who are making mistakes, making progress, and making a difference.

Scenario 3: You feel strongly about New York City. Maybe you’re like Walt Whitman. Maybe you just want to write poems about how wonderful everything is here. Maybe you want to rant about how the MTA messed up your morning commute again. Either way, you feel the need to share your stories, your sage advice, and your city with other people.

If any/all/a combination of these scenarios reminds you of yourself, you should seriously consider writing for Campus Clipper! We want to hear your regrets, your triumphs, and every experience in between!

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Katie Yee, Bennington College

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

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