Monthly Archives: October 2009

How To Find A Student Job When Still In College

Finding a job that we love and a career that is fulfilling is probably the reason most of us go to college, so imagine how great it’s going to feel when you graduate knowing you have a position lined up and all ready for you. Not all of us begin the job hunt when still in college, but what with the economy being down and jobs being harder to come by than they were before, every college student must make it a point to start looking for a way to earn a living even before they graduate. It’s not as hard as it looks at the outset; to search for and find a job while still at college, here’s what you need to do:

  • Start early: It’s never too early to start looking for a job. Even if you’re in your freshman year, make it a point to cultivate and nourish relationships with people who will be able to offer a helping hand when it comes to your job search. Look to alumni of the college and other people who have wide networks of contacts. And most important of all, know what you want to do when you graduate and don’t waste time changing majors in your first year.
  • Use all the avenues open to you: Start with your college’s career service office and check out which companies are looking to hire this year and which ones are keen to take on graduates with little or no experience. Begin to look for opportunities and send out resumes on online job portals even as you’re busy with activities and lessons in your senior year. It is a tedious job, but one that must be done. The more resumes you send out, the higher your chances are of securing a job. Besides this, you must scout for options at career fairs that are held in your senior year. You can gauge the mood and mindset of potential employers and decide which career is best suited to your talents and temperament.
  • Get some experience: Use your summer breaks and other vacations to gain experience working as an intern in a firm that does work in the field you’ve chosen as a career. While this does not pay in terms of money, it’s payback time when employers are searching for people with experience. If you’re undecided about a career choice, internships help you decide on and choose jobs that you are passionate about.
  • Stay connected: In today’s world, it’s easy to stay connected at all times what with the sophisticated technology that is available at our fingertips. Use the power of social networking to expedite your job search process – Facebook, Linkedln and Twitter can be used for so much more than just fun and entertainment.

Even though the job market is down at present, the process of searching for a job has become much easier because of the multiple avenues open to us. So use them wisely and ensure that your future is secure even before you graduate.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of accelerated online degrees . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

UK Tier 4 Changes: Two New Announcements

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is due to launch the new sponsorship management process for Tier 4 of the points-based system on 5th October 2009. In line with this launch, the UKBA announced yesterday two new policies which will affect students under Tier 4. They centre:

  1. Extending the maintenance concession for Tier 4 students who are already in the UK.
  2. All students who apply after the 5th October will have their permission to stay in the UK tied to their Tier 4 sponsor.

The Maintenance Concession

Students applying to study in England under Tier 4 of the points-based system must show that they have enough money to cover all their tuition fees and maintenance costs. Under normal rules, students must show that their available funds have been in their bank account for a minimum period of 28 days, no more than one month before their application date. UKBA have currently been running a concession on students, allowing them to demonstrate that they have the necessary funds on the date that they apply.

Yesterday’s announcement from the UKBA confirms that this concession will now be extended to students already in the UK. If you are making a Tier 4 student application in the UK and apply before February 2010, you will only need to show you have the necessary money on the day of your application.

However, this concession will end for students who are applying outside the UK. From 1st October 2009, all Tier 4 applicants outside the UK will now have to demonstrate that they have held the necessary funds for a 28-day period.

Tying Students’ Permission to Stay to Their Tier 4 Sponsors

On 5th October 2009, permission to stay given to new Tier 4 students will be tied to their Tier 4 sponsor; that is, their education provider. This move by the UKBA is to bring the rules for Tier 4 in line with the other tears of the points-based system.

Following the implementation of this policy, Tier 4 students will find their Tier 4 sponsor’s reference number entered into their passport. For students who want to study with a new education provider and they made their last application on or after 5th October 2009, they will have to apply for a new Tier 4 student visa. Students will not be allowed to start studying with their new Tier 4 sponsor until the outcome of their application has been determined. Any students who do undertake a new course of study while their application is being decided will be committing a criminal offence; one for which you could be prosecuted and/or removed from the country.

For students who want to change schools and who made their last Tier 4 student application before 5th October 2009, they will be allowed to change education providers without applying for a new visa. However, students in this situation must seek permission from UKBA prior to changing their Tier 4 sponsor.

IELTS Tips From an 8.5 Student

Recently one of our students told us he had just received great news – he scored 8.5 in his IELTS test last week! We asked him if he’d mind sharing what he considered to be important IELTS examination techniques.  These IELTS tips are for any students who are already competent using the English language and are looking to understand the how the test works and techniques for performing the best you can.

  1. The first and most important tip is to understand the exam. You should make sure that you have a good idea of each of the different modules, the different language skills that are being tested in each module component and have a good idea of the sorts of questions you’re likely to be asked. I found examples of the different types of questions used on the official IELTS website.
  2. I bought some IELTS study guides from the bookshop, not really for the book itself, but for the practice tests that come with them. I took several mock tests and made sure that I kept to the times strictly. So my second IELTS examination technique is know your timings and stick to them!
  3. There are only two modules – reading and listening – that you have complete control of your performance. It is down to you in how accurate your answers are to score high. The writing and speaking modules however, are not totally in the student’s control. So, be sure to score the most points you can in the reading and listening modules.
  4. My fourth IELTS study tip is to practice your listening skills as much as you can. I watched English TV, news and talk shows pretty much every day.
  5. For the writing module, planning is vital. As for any exam you sit, even in your own language, that requires an extended answer, you should always sketch out a skeleton plan for your answer. I’d also recommend you spend time before the IELTS exam learning and practicing key vocabulary to use when interpreting data in tables and graphs. This in an important tip of all the ILETS study tips – you should use correct terminology liberally in your answer.
  6. Make sure you can leave five minutes at the end of the test to check your answers. I can’t stress how important this is! I’ve been able to go back and spot a silly spelling error and correct it or returned to right more for answers to questions I wasn’t quite sure of. Remember, under exam conditions you are bound to make some silly mistakes, but with good IELTS examination techniques, you will have the time to correct them.
  7. In the speaking module, you’ll generally find that the examiners are kind and friendly and will true to help make you feel relaxed and confident enough to have a slightly more formal type of conversation.  My IELTS study tip here is that you don’t have to sound brilliant of use very complicated language – I spoke slowly, but with clarity and accuracy using pretty average vocabulary.
  8. My last IELTS study tip is to practice, practice and practice some more! Also, it is important to keep your practice going right up to your exam date. Don’t work hard, think you’ve got it sorted and then stop before your exam; you should do at least two mock exams in the days before your real one. Remember to time yourself!