Working sucks. Having your job help get into college makes working suck less. (Photo Credit House of Sims via Flickr)
Hey Albuquerque students!
According to our college consultants, extracurricular activities are important parts of both high school and your college admissions process. There's one activity that doesn't get a lot of attention, despite the fact that many Albuquerque high school students participate: getting a job! You may not think that colleges will care about what job you have, but if you can follow these three bits of advice, they most certainly will.
1. Get a cool job
Easier said than done...but not impossible. Be careful not to confuse getting a cool job that would look good on your application with a job that would just be cool. I don't care how much you love playing video games or how cool it would be to work at Gamestop, unless you want to major in computer science and actually work with video games, this may not be the best job for you.
The key to finding the elusive 'cool job' is to think hard about what you may want to do, career-wise as well as to think outside the box. If you want to major in English and be a writer, then you should surround yourself with books. Try applying at the library or a used book store. If biology is your passion and you think you'll want to do something with either plants or animals as a career, try to get hired at a greenhouse, or a vet clinic, or an animal shelter. Whatever it is that you have a passion for, there's a good chance that some entry level job might be available. Albuquerque has tons of jobs just like this, you just have look for them.
2. Start early and Keep the same job
If you lucky enough to get a job doing something you love, in a field that you'd want to stay with as a career, then this will be easy. If your dream job wasn't hiring and you got stuck flipping burgers, then it'll be a little tougher. Stay with it though. Unless you're able to get a noticably better job, it's better to just tough it out and keep the one you have even if it's not the best one out there.
Even if you're just stocking the shelves at Target, if you can do that for 3-4 years, that'll look infinitely better than if you switched between 5-6 different jobs during that time. It proves to people that you can stay with something for a very long time, and that will make people trust you more.
It's not only college admissions officers who will be impressed by your ability to hold a steady job for a long time. Your boss will be as well. The longer you stay at a job, the more seniority you'll get, and with that comes extra responsibility and extra pay. Even if you start at McDonald's in Albuquerque at age 16, if you stick with it for a couple of years it's likely that a shift lead position could become available to you (especially with the high turnover at fast food places). Shift leadership positions, or any other position that comes with even the smallest amount of authority, look much better on your application than just 'team member.' The extra pay that comes with such promotions is usually its own reward.
3. Put your job on your application
A job is just like any other extra-curricular activity, except for one important fact that colleges will be sure to take note of: you can get fired from a job. If you're in the La Cueva band or play soccer at Cibola High School and you're just not very good, no one's going to kick you off. If you're not good with your job, you will get fired. If you don't get fired, especially if you stay with that job for several years, the only thing that that could mean was that you were good at it. Colleges will be impressed by that because most high school students (and adults for that matter) can't do that. Make certain that your job is on your application.
We know that nobody likes having a job or going to work, that's why they call it 'work' after all. Most of you will probably have to have one anyway while you're in high school, so wouldn't it be great to make that job work for you as well?
Do you know of any great jobs in Albuquerque that would look awesome on your college application? Tell us all about them in the Comments section! Need more college consulting advice, academic tutoring, ACT tutoring, SAT tutoring or tips? Contact our team of tutors today! Call us at (505) 750 4813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to have a truly great interview, you may to do more than imagine your interviewer naked. Photo Credit: quinn.anya via Flickr.
Hey Albuquerque eniors!
Once again, we understand that it's only a few weeks into the school year, but application deadlines will be here before you know it. And before those deadlines hit, you'll be sure to have an interview or three with your top college choices.
As our college consultants will tell you, college admissions interviews can be tricky. Even though they account for a relative minor part of your overall application, it's not unheard of for a borderline acceptable student to be pushed down to the wait-list because of a poor interview. You obviously don't want to be that guy or gal!
Fortunately, we have a short list of things to help you rock your interviews and leave colleges begging for more of the tasty awesomeness that is YOU!
1. Be Honest...Completely Honest
Interviewers get fed the same generic crap every single day; they've become quite good at seeing it for what it is. Don't give them more of it!
For example, if the interviewer asks what your favorite book is (and they probably will), don't try to lie and say it's Paradise Lost. Now, if you have a passion for Milton, that's one thing, but, assuming you don't, don't try to fake it because you think it'll make you look smarter.
A much better answer for a lot of students would be Twilight. It's true that the interviewer will probably have heard that before, but if you're a die-hard Team Edward member (or Team Jacob), your passion will outweigh your slight unoriginality. And besides, most people will ignore this advice and still try to BS some book they got assigned in school anyway, so you'll be a step ahead of them!
2. Be Your Own Cheerleader
You're Awesome! You have to be; if you're not Awesome, then the college is going to pass you up in favor of someone who is Awesome. A common mistake is that otherwise Awesome students will just gloss over their Awesomeness during their interview.
Outside of lying, this is the worst thing you can do. Forget humility and modesty. The meek may inherit the earth, but they certainly won't get into a selective school! The only way your interviewer will have a proper appreciation for the sheer amount of Awesome you bring to the table is for you to show them. Because if you don't, we can guarantee that no one else will.
3. Know What Questions You'll Get Asked
While it's true that every interview is different, it's equally true that every interview has a LOT of things in common. You can expect to be asked several standard questions like, "Why do you want to go to this school?", or "What will you add to campus life?" or "What's your favorite book and why?"
There's a catch though! Having a script that you've just memorized is just as bad as not having an answer at all. Don't practice your answers. Practice the act of answering. There's a difference!
What should you do if you get a question completely out of left field? Simple...you think about for a few seconds and then knock it out of the park. Because that's how Awesome people roll, and we've already established that you're Awesome! Don't be afraid to take the time to think before you talk...
4. Have Questions of Your Own
Perhaps the most commonly asked question at an interview is, "Do you have any questions?" "No" is the worst answer that you can give. Having at least a few questions for the interviewer shows that you care about the school, which will obviously be a point in your favor, so make sure that you have some.
Some questions are a little more equal than others though. Don't ask questions about the application process, at this stage of it, there shouldn't be much you don't already know. Also don't ask things that you can find out from the school's website, do that research before the interview. And try not to ask yes/no questions, or if you do, ask a follow up afterwards.
Good questions to ask would be ones about specific programs the university offers. If you want to major in English, for example, look up some of the faculty from the website beforehand and ask questions about them. Same thing is applicable if you want to try out for the band, or the theatre, or any campus activity. Pick something you'll be interested in once you get to campus and ask about that. That will not only give you plenty of questions to ask, but will also show the interviewer a little more about your passions.
5. Be Thankful
Interviewers are a lot like teachers giving out recommendations
: this may be part of their job, but it's a small part of their job. If you recognize that, and show some appreciation for it, the interviewer will look at you a little more favorably. If you're gracious to your interviewer and take the time out to send them a nice card afterward, that WILL go into your file, favorably. Of course, this is a relatively small factor of a relatively small part of the admissions process, but that doesn't matter. Every little bit counts, especially if you're straddling the line between acceptance and wait-list. Besides, admissions officers are people too, and everyone likes to be appreciated!
Interviews can be scary, they can be nerve-wracking, and they can be a giant nuisance. But with these tips and a little prep work, you should be more than able to rock your interview like it's never been rocked before. And if all else fails, then you can always try imagining the interviewer naked...
Need more college consulting tips, academic tutoring, ACT tutoring, SAT tutoring or general guidance? Call the Omniac tutoring team today at (505) 750 4813 or email email@example.com.
This is exactly the kind of bland and generic letter of recommendation you want to avoid. (Photo Credit: ctsnow via Flickr)
Hey Albuquerque students!
We know that school just started, but you have so much to do for your college admissions process and application that it's never too early to get started on it all. And we're here to give you some tips on something that quite often gets left until it's much too late...your letters of recommendation for college.
Here are five tips that will most assuredly help you get the most out of your recommendations, and wow college admissions officers, when other students' recommendations all look the same.
1. Get in early!
It's sad, but every school has teachers that are better than others. And it's these that are usually the ones who get asked for recommendations most often. It's equally unsurprising that the first recommendation from a teacher is going to be just a little better than the twentieth. You need to do everything you can to get that first recommendation; which means you need to ask early. Maybe even now.
2. Pick a teacher you like!
Specifically, pick the teacher you like the most. Not the one who gave you the best grade. Not the one you think would look best on your application. The one you like the most. The reason for this is extremely simple: if that teacher is your favorite, there's a good chance that you'll be one of their favorite students as well. Any teacher that likes you will be more passionate about your success and will give you a little more than a generic form letter.
3. Pick a teacher who you've known for a LONG time!
This is a little similar to our last tip, but that's ok. While you may be tempted to just pick whichever teacher you have this year that you like, it may be a better idea to pick one that you've had in a previous year. Most students have a teacher as an underclassmen that they really clicked with. Maybe you've had that teacher again, maybe you haven't. But in any case, teachers like these have a strange habit about checking up on the students they like, even after those students are done with their class. If you have a teacher like that, ask that teacher. A teacher who cares enough about you to keep up with you after you're done with their class will definitely care enough about you to give you a fantastic recommendation.
4. Pick a teacher whose field matches yours!
This one may not be possible, and if that's the case, don't sweat it. But if you know that you want to study a specific field, and the person who teachers that subject is already a good recommender, then that's just some icing on your cake. If you love the same thing that your teacher loves, then he'll love you just a little bit more because of your shared passion. And we've already gone over why that's a good thing! In addition, if you're applying for a subject specific school or scholarship, then having a teacher from that subject will add more weight with the admissions officer.
5. Thank them!
Teaching is a tough job. We all can agree on that. And even if it has become a de facto part of their job description, teachers don't get paid any more for giving out recommendations. In fact, they don't have to give any out at all. When they do decide to write one, it's only because they care about you and want you to succeed. A little appreciation goes a long, long way. Also, if you take the time to thank them before they've finished it, it's a sneaky way to check up on it without it looking like you're pestering them. Obviously though, thanking them before they've given the letter to you does NOT mean you should skip thanking them afterwards. At the very least, they should be getting a nice "Thank You" card as a small token of your appreciation.
Keeping these five tips in mind will have a hugely positive impact on the quality of recommendation you get. And that will have a positive impact on your applications. Remember though, it's never too early to start asking, so lock your recommendations up before all the good ones are given out already!
Live in Albuquerque? Need more college consulting tips, academic tutoring, ACT tutoring, SAT tutoring or general academic guidance? Contact our expert team of Omniac tutors today by calling (505) 750 4813 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey Albuquerque Students!
We have a special piece of info to pass your way today to help you get in touch with some special schools. A group called Exploring College Options
is hosting a meeting on behalf of five of the most selective schools in the country to give students all over the country some great information about how admissions works for very selective schools
There will be representatives from:
: One of America’s elite colleges, Duke University is a medium-sized school unique for both the rigor of its academic programs and the consistent successes of its athletic programs.
: Georgetown University is one of the nation’s top destinations for students who want to be involved in politics.
: With an endowment as large as some countries’ GDPs, an academic legacy that reaches into the upper levels of American government and business, and an acceptance rate that’ll make your jaw drop, it’s no surprise that Harvard University is at the top of ambitious college wish-lists.
University of Pennsylvania
: Penn is like a mullet: Business—the nationally renowned Wharton school—in the front, and party in the back.
: Stanford is perennially ranked as one of the best universities in the nation, but unlike its eastern counterparts, the campus is lined with palm trees instead of ivy.
Exploring College Options
will be in Albuquerque, at the Marriott Pyramid North on Thursday, September 23, at 7:30 PM. This is a great opportunity for Albuquerque students who are intested in these type of selective schools to get some first hand information from the schools themselves.
If you think you'd be interested in attending, or know someone who would be, check out their website at for more information and registration!
Please make sure to leave us a comment if you're planning on going!
Need more college admissions tips, academic tutoring, ACT test prep advice, or SAT tips? Our team of tutors in Albuquerque can help. Contact us at (505) 750 4813 or email email@example.com.
Notice how the older, more experienced student is looking after the younger one? (Photo credit: Oakley Originals via Flickr)
Welcome back to school, Albuquerque students!
By now I'm sure all of our freshmen and sophomores are well on their way to a fantastic start to their high school career. But what about those students that have "been there and done that"? They need just a little more in the way of advice than just, "study hard." Lucky for all of you, in addition to the basics, we here at Omniac have more specialized things that our upper classman can be doing to improve their college applications!
This is when most people start to really think about college, but you should have already done some of that stuff already, so you'll be a few steps ahead of your classmates. As always though, there's still plenty you can do.
Thought I wasn't going to tell you this? Well, Im sorry, but there's never a time when you can afford to give up on your grades. The first thing you should do as a junior is take a good, long look at your GPA. If you've kept your nose to the grindstone the past two years, it'll be just more of the same for you. If not, then this is the time to try to pull that up. Remember! Most applications will have deadlines in the winter of your senior year, so you only have 2-3 more semesters to improve your grades.
"Take the PSAT"
This test is open to all juniors and there's really just no excuse not to take it. I know it's a long, boring standardized test, but if you do well enough, your college prospects will greately improve. Let me repeat that for emphasis. If you do well enough on this single test (the PSAT), colleges will literally fight each with big handfuls of money to get you to go to their school. And if you don't do very well...then you've only lost about 3 hours. Like I said, there's really no reason not to at least try it out.
"Take the ACT/SAT. Take them early and take them often"
On the subject of tests, when spring rolls around, you should be trying out your first ACT or SAT. These tests are only held 6 times every year; so the earlier you take it, the more time you'll have to fix any problems you find
. And if you get the score of your dreams now, then that's one less thing to worry about next year.
Here it is! This is what the past three years have been all about. More than any other year in high school, your senior year is all about what you've made of it. If you've had your eye on the prize this whole time, you'll largely be able to sit back and enjoy yourself this year. But if you've slacked off as an underclassman, there'll be no enjoyment to be had as you work your butt off trying to play catch up.
The first and most important thing you can do during your senior year is AVOID SENIORITIS!!! One F or major discipline problem can destroy all the hard work you've put in over the past 3 years. The party that everone is going to or the class that's so easy to skip...is just not worth endangering your future. This is the last year of high school and the end is so close, just a little more work and you'll finally be done!
"Dot your Is and cross your Ts"
You've done all the work already. You've kept a good GPA throughout high school. You've experienced different clubs and activities and lived life outside of the classroom. You've taken your tests. You've picked your colleges
. Now all that's left is to put all that hard work together and wow colleges with your tremendous application.
That's all there is to it. If you can stay on top of everything, you can almost just coast this last year. You may have to take a test again, but at least you know what you need to do to prepare for test day. You will have lots and lots of applications to fill out, but since you've spent the past three years building towards this, it should be relatively easy. This is the reward for all the previous years of hardwork you've put yourself though, so enjoy it!
Want the very best academic tutoring in Albuquerque, ACT test prep tutoring, SAT test prep tutoring or college consulting advice? Contact our expert team of tutors today by calling (505) 750 4813 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.