An AP United States History teacher once interrupted himself during a lecture and shared with my fourth period classmates the following factoid: “If you think high school goes by so fast, wait until you get to college. It goes by 4 times faster!” Mr. Roberson was correct. At times, my college career did feel like someone was pushing the fast-forward button and would not let go. Many things can get overlooked during this four-year period. Think about it, college provides the opportunity to study a myriad of subjects, perform research, and meet incredible people. So in the spirit of the holidays, I posed the question to my friends and social networks: “What are you grateful for from college?” Below you will find actual responses to this question. And more will be on the way. Enjoy unwrapping this gift from BetterGrads! “The social experiences-Allowed me to grow and mature. [Grateful for] [...]
With Hanukkah winding down and Christmas right around the corner, newspapers across the country this week have highlighted some cool websites and mobile phone applications that can make comparison shopping a lot easier. One product that caught my eye, was the mobile application, ShopSavvy, created by Big in Japan, a development company based out of Dallas, TX. Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal , and in the New York Times, the app allows people to take pictures of barcodes, upload them to ShopSavvy, and have ShopSavvy compare the price of that item across various retailers. Now, if Bettergrads had any input regarding how this app would function, I think our team would want the app to be able compare the cost of attending various colleges. Imagine being able to hold up an iPhone to any text document where the name of a college appears, and with the simple click of [...]
Toward the tail end of my senior year, I would end most weeknights with the following ritual: Around 11:00 PM, I would climb a flight of stairs up to Jason’s suite, and would engage in a 30 minute session of playing one of Electronic Arts’ best selling video games, FIFA 2009 on Jason’s XBox. I went through a long and embarrassing newbie curve. Jason, and his suitemate, Josh, would select the worst teams imaginable while I would try my best with FC Barcelona, (the equivalent of the Los Angeles Lakers, in terms of talent, but in the world of soccer). It was not until the third or forth week when the 10-0 drubbings turned into tight, 2-0 losses or, if I got lucky, a 1-0 win! Jason and Josh are skilled gamers. Their talents were not just limited to sports video games. They could hang with the best of them [...]
While this might be old news to many, Monday was Cyber Monday. The term was coined in 2004 as research indicated that 77% of online retailers experienced significant increases in sales the Monday after Thanksgiving. This past Monday, one of my favorite retailers, Bonobos, an online menswear start-up which specializes in making ridiculously good-looking pants that fit better than anything you might find in a store (they also provide excellent ninja customer service) announced via Twitter that they had their biggest day ever, selling $140,000 worth of slacks!! That’s pretty significant considering that Bonobos does not sell any of its wares in brick and mortar stores. With the many luxury retailers still feeling the blues from the recession, Bonobos proves that there are opportunities available for individuals who want to pursue a career in the world of fashion and design. Schools such as the Fashion Institute of Design (FIDM) and [...]
Keeping on last week’s focus on youth science education, I can’t help but recall the awesome post-college gig I got as an after-school enrichment program instructor, essentially allowing me to add “science” to the teaching experience section of my résumé. With hindsight, this would have been the perfect job to have landed while in college, or even in high school. And while this boosted my all-around level of experience when on the job hunt, it would have surely helped my undergraduate college applications. Band and peer counseling are good extra-curriculars, but a job that actually got you teaching children? Even better. The majority of after-school academic enrichment programs are run by private companies, and thus, train their own instructors. Four years of college plus a state-run credentialing program are for long-term, serious schoolteachers. As an enrichment program instructor, you’re basically hired by a private company to go out and teach [...]
Thanksgiving weekend is a time when many college students are able to return home and see their families for the first time since those August and September move-in days. When college is within driving distance from home, making the return trip by car for the Thanksgiving holiday feels like any other time when you come home for the weekend, give or take the turkey, pumpkin pie, and other festive foods that await you this time around. But for students who attend college 3,000 miles from home, the annual Thanksgiving trek, and home excursions in general, take on a different meaning, one of self-reflection and an opportunity to reconnect with family members and friends. So, in the spirit of the holidays, where family gatherings and yummy food, await bleary-eyed, jet-lagged college students, I will be interviewing my sister, Sarah, a senior at Columbia College, in NYC, who will share some of [...]
Attending college opens your mind to a hodgepodge of new subjects and ideas. Attending college will also expand your palate with a smorgasbord of foods you will either come to love or hate by end of your first year. In general, most colleges have dining commissaries (cafeterias) centrally located to serve all students on campus, or in some cases located inside your dorm. At some bigger campuses, namely the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, UCI, etc. you can find Subways, KFCs, and other chain-based eateries on campus. Yes, it’s nice to know that you won’t starve on campus with all of these gastronomic options. However, what happens when you have certain dietary restrictions? Should you live off Ramen Noodles and Easy Mac for the next four years of your life (just kidding, though I can guarantee that you can find these foods in any first year dorm!)? Fortunately, I did not [...]
I was fortunate in college to have not one, not, two, not even close to three, but maybe 12-14 classmates who provided me with some form of mentoring. I never shared a strict mentor-mentee relationship with those 12-14 individuals. On the contrary, they were some of my closest friends, many of them 2 years ahead of me when I first began college. They were my go-to source for insider information regarding those amazing professors and their special classes that I had-to-take before graduation. We shared laughs, weekend adventures to Ultimate Frisbee tournaments in San Diego, and amazing conversations over delicious food. But the best part about these incredible individuals was their ability to help me transcend and learn from moments of failure. During my first year at Occidental, I applied to be a director of the Charles R. Blyth Fund. Unlike other schools with investment clubs on campus, the Blyth [...]
Saul Sutcher, like many college students, grew tired of the uninspiring offerings of cafeteria food. But instead of wallow away with “overcooked, unseasoned pasta that lies on the plate as mush,” Saul used his cooking skills and entrepreneurial vision to launch Cafe Norris, a once-a-week gourmet cafe offering such fares as duck ragu, pancetta-wrapped quail, and tarte aux pommes for dessert. In an interview, Saul details this awesome venture and describes how his experiences in college helped him achieve his gourmet goals.
The original article is well-worth a read (find out how a top-notch summer internship helped Saul prepare for dishing the goods at Cafe Norris). Last week, I caught up with Saul to learn more about this awesome venture and find out how his experiences in college helped him achieve his gourmet goals.
Somewhere within the never-ending piece of literature you might currently know as the Common Application (or any college application for that matter), you are asked to highlight some of your skills. Yes, it’s easy to write that you are proficient in Microsoft® Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® (the later will become the bane of your existence as you enter the collegiate world and eventually the working world). But there are two skills I wanted to highlight today, that will help you grow and succeed during your high school years and beyond. 1). Follow-Up or Fail This skill comes to you courtesy of author Keith Ferrazzi from his book Never Eat Alone (NEA). While Ferrazzi spends much of the book explaining the finer points of networking, he spends a significant portion discussing the importance of follow-up. So, what’s the big idea behind follow-up? Following-up shows you care and are thankful for that [...]