Florida program allows students with disabilities to explore career options

From College News - Eighty-six percent of students go to post-secondary education after completing the Able Trust High School/High Tech program.


There’s a Florida program out there that lets students with disabilities explore potential career options, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. High school students with all kinds of disabilities participate in the course, called the Able Trust’s High School/High Tech program. What students do is go through a combination of field trips, shadowing, internships and skills training, among other things. Students in the over 30 programs of this kind in Florida make the transition from classroom to workplace, usually with ease, according to the Democrat

Thousands of Florida students from over 100 high schools participate. The program’s been in Leon County, Florida since 2001, the article said.

The program seems very effective as well. During the 2008-2009 school year, almost 100 percent of graduates of the program went to post-secondary education and there was only a two-percent dropout rate. So, 86 percent of students seem to really enjoy the program. The number of students who go to college or other types of training, the article said, is over three times that of other Florida grads with disabilities.

The High School/High Tech program, while being part of a national initiative that’s supported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment policy, still has to be funded by Florida, the Democrat reported. Even area businesses can get involved, according to the president and CEO of The Able Trust (the Governor’s Alliance for the Employment of Citizens with Disabilities).

By Kate Oczypok


High paying women in business make their mark

From College News - CEOs of Victoria's Secret, Sunoco earn millions.


I’m sure most males haven’t thought about this, but I know a lot of your girls out there have wondered who the highest paid women in career land are and, most importantly, what they do. has a great slideshow on their site with a count of all the highest paid women out there. First up is Safra Catz, the president of Oracle (ORCL), who rakes in $42.4 million (2008 total compensation) and is the 12th overall of most powerful women. Oracle is a software company, for those who aren’t familiar with the organization.

Then, there is Linda Chen, president of Wynn International Marketing, Limited who earned $23.9 million in ‘08, reported. Wynn International deals with resorts like the Wynn Las Vegas (you know, where you’ve been dying to go for spring break) and other various hotel management type deals.

Then if you’re working retail right now to get through school, it may be beneficial to learn more about Sharen Turney, the EVP, President and CEO of Victoria’s Secret. She earns $20.3 million and probably more free lingerie than you can ever imagine.

From lingerie to make-up, if you’re interested in the business side of beauty, Andrea Jung may be the best woman for you to look up to.  Her 2008 salary was $19.5 million and she’s the fifth most powerful woman in 2009 rankings. Her title is Chairman and CEO of Avon, the popular beauty supply company, CNN said.

CNN also reports that Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods, earned $16 million and her power rank is two.  Who knows, girls, the love affair you’ve had with Kraft macaroni and cheese could someday come in handy with your career.

Next time you fill up at the gas pump, think of Lynn Elsenhans, Chairman, President and CEO of Sunoco who earns $12.1 million and is 45th most powerful in 2009.

By Kate Oczypok


Law school application numbers soar

From College News - More and more people are choosing law school as a safe haven during tough economic times.


The law school applicant demographic used to be fairly heterogeneous: Young men and women, all recent college graduates, looking to continue their education by applying to law school, eventually obtaining a J.D. degree and starting their careers in the law sector.

Nowadays, however, law school admissions officers are seeing a mixed bag of applicants. There are still the usual young college graduates and current graduate school attendees--but they have been joined in large numbers by unemployed older professionals and those seeking refuge in a grueling job market.

The current economy has been tough on everyone, and new college graduates and seasoned workers are no exception. Where before new graduates could expect to obtain an entry-level position in one of their chosen fields with fair expediency, many are now finding the job hunt downright impossible. Older workers are also finding their employment prospects shaky.

The solution for many? Applying to law school.

According to figures released by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), which handles most law school admissions applications in the United States, the number of people taking the June 2009 Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) has increased by 12.6% from last year’s June test. The LSAT is required for admission to all American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools in the United States.

2008 saw a 6.4% increase in the number of people taking the LSAT from 2007 numbers. Compound this with 2009’s even tougher job market, and it is safe to say that this year’s law school admissions cycle is likely to see a healthy boost in law school application numbers.

Why the sudden rise? Although law school is an expensive endeavor (with a price tag of over $100,000 for a three-year J.D. degree), it provides what many members of the American work force are looking for in a difficult economic climate: safety, security, and shelter from the storm.

The hope for many is that, when they come out of law school after three years with a J.D. securely tucked in their back pocket, the crisis will have passed and the job market will have loosened its purse strings. A law degree is marketable in an up economy, and recent law graduates might find jobs that were out of reach to them before.

What happens, though, if this golden ticket isn’t so golden after all? Although law school application numbers are likely to increase in 2009, the actual number of admitted candidates has remained the same. These heightened law school application numbers simply mean that the competition has stiffened, making it even harder to get into law school.

Even if applicants are offered admission, they should remember that very few law school students can pass through law school without accruing a large amount of debt. With a $30,000 per year price tag, law school is an expensive proposition. In addition, many law graduates find that, after attending three years of law school, they don’t want to practice after all. However, they are still left with the financial burden, as well as a potential three-year lag in starting a whole other career.

By Anne Chaconas


New California program gives students career experience, skills

From College News - Kaiser Permanente-sponsored work readiness program helps students succeed.


In California, a new program is being offered that lets local students and young adults have access to career-related programs. This program Sonoma County leaders to help motivate and prepare students for employment someday, according to an article from the North Bay Business Journal.

Since 2006, the program, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, has helped lots of students get full-time employment by helping them get the skills they need for entry-level jobs. Now in an attempt to upgrade the program, the youth council of the Workforce Investment Board decided to add the aspect of the Internet to the program, according to the Business Journal

You see, unlike most college applications, the program had a mostly paper application process. Now, applications are done through an online process.

If you’re in the California area and interested, the Web site,, lets you to upload your resume and search through various resources on careers. Also, employers can now hop on the site and post available jobs, allowing for some great match-ups.

The office is also preparing to launch a system-wide career planning and academic navigational program, the article said. The new tool is going to be proposed by Kuder, Inc. The software has information on anything job-related you can think of. There are over 7,000 positions, salary, educational requirements and projected job openings included on the site.

Northern California students recently took part in a study that said those who used the Kuder Career Planning System had better ACT or SAT scores, the Journal reported. Also, once they were in secondary education, those participating in the system had fewer educational changes, the article said.

The county office that piloted the program in 15 schools last year wants to expand it to 20,000 students by the end of the 2009-2010 school year, as the popularity increases. The fee for the program is 88 center per year, the article said. Certain groups can adopt a school though for free.

By Kate Oczypok


Program has hundreds of successful, satisfied alumni

From College News - The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars helps students gain necessary skills and knowledge to advance


At least some people are satisfied in the job search as of late. An article from Reuters on Tuesday said that when it comes to finding a job, 76 percent of alumni of The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, or the TWC, said the program helped them gain the skills and knowledge necessary to advance in the careers of their choosing.

The college students who participate in this program say that they get confidence for their job search, even though the unemployment rate that is at a 26-year-high. This information about TWC comes from a survey where 500 students were asked from the organization’s 40,000 member alumni, according to Reuters

The program focuses on public service, as 63 percent of its alums said that the program inspired them to get into the public service or nonprofit sector. The survey also reported that 87 percent of the alums thought that their leadership and achievement potential greatly increased.

In summer 2009 alone, 64 percent of those who finished up the program said that they’d want to try to find a job in the public sector. Other notable stats included 59 percent of those who participated in TWC saying that by joining the program, their social and professional networks expanded greatly.

The 500 students polled were alums from 1975-2008. Those who responded are now in a variety of public service, private and nonprofit careers, Reuters reported.

The Center is located in downtown D.C. and names itself as an independent, nonprofit organization that helps hundreds of higher education institutions around the world by helping students get work and learning opportunities in D.C. for academic credit, Reuters said. It’s the biggest program of its kind around, with almost 40,000 alums making a difference in the world. For more information, visit

By By Kate Oczypok


New Fox show should make job seekers feel "Glee"ful

From College News - "Glee" is a great show to watch if you're feeling down on your luck about finding a job.


So Fox has a new show out this season, “Glee,” and it made me think about what a great show it is to get you feeling inspired about what you want to do with your life.

According to, “Glee” is an ensemble cast about an Ohio high school’s glee club full of people you just can’t help but cheer for.  One character, Rachel, a student at the high school, is a great example of someone who is so driven that she will work as hard as she possibly can for what she wants, and that is to be famous. Sure, it’s fictional, but such moxy could certainly be inspirational in your own career search, no?

Then there’s Will Schuester, a teacher at the school who remembers when Glee was in its heyday---thriving and alive. He too has that same drive as Rachel that surely is inspirational. However, the one character I particularly identify with is Emma Pillsbury, the school guidance counselor.  Although a germaphobe with somewhat neurotic tendencies and an unrequited love for Will, who is married. She means well though, which makes it easy to like her. 

She believes in Will and the Glee Club. In the first episode, Emma has a quote that I think is inspiring for all you college seniors our there looking to begin your career: “The only life worth living is one that you’re really passionate about.”

Glee, as a show, is also all about figuring out who you are.  That’s also a major theme in college, especially when it comes to careers. I like how the show explores all different kinds of relationships, especially with the Finn character.  Finn is dating the head cheerleader, who is also the president of the celibacy club.  Finn deals with issues about whether or not she’s the right girl for him, especially based on his values and being in high school (since values and views change a lot from high school through college).

Basically, what I’m getting at is this: Glee is a great show to watch when you’re feeling down on your luck about trying to find a career in this crazy economy. While vampire shows and retro dramas dominate the airwaves, “Glee” is a great comedy to watch for some good old-fashioned inspiration. Check it out on Fox on Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

By Kate Oczypok


US students finding job boost in China

From College News - Since competition in the US is harsh, many students are heading abroad to for job opportunities, according to the New York Times.


So the economy is bad, huh? American graduates are finding it very troublesome to jump start their careers, because of the lack of job opportunities, which creates a competitive atmosphere from grads and previously laid off employees aiming for the same position.

The news may be improving--slightly. In the U.S, the unemployment rate has decreased by .1 percent, from 9.5 percent in June to 9.4 percent in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But even in the midst of a somewhat “improving economy” American students, who have less obligations that their grown-up job-seeking counterparts, are still leaving the U.S for better luck—namely, the Middle Kingdom.

The New York Times recently wrote about various students who took the opportunity to go to China and take careers that would be challenging for the American graduate to obtain in these dire economical times. One student, Joshua Arjuna Stephens, who graduated from Wesleyan University in 2007, decided to take a temporary position with China Prep, an educational travel company, in Shanghai.

Stephens mentions to New York Times that while he “didn’t know anything about China,” he nonetheless described himself as being willing to learn something new by traveling over their for employment.

In other words, Stephens didn’t hesitate when it came to his career. He knew it would be hard to achieve that position in America. So he went where the opportunity was greater.

And how did Stephens’ story turn out? We’ll let the New York Times fill you in on that one: “Two years later, after stints in the nonprofit sector and at a large public relations firm in Beijing, he is highly proficient in Mandarin and works as a manager for XPD Media, a social media company based in Beijing that makes online games.”

Of course, a few students do not make a burgeoning trend. But. Because Chinese and American educational structures are different, it will be only rewarding to allow Americans to come and allow them to share their perspective with respective employers.

That special perspective seems to be of value for some employers. Willy Tsao, the artistic director BeijingDance/LDTX, told New York Times he hired Sarabeth Berman, a 2006 graduate of Barnard College with a major in urban studies, because he “needed someone who was capable of communicating with the Western world.”

So, who’s ready to hop ship? After all, the world is now flat. A trip to China sounds pretty appealing…

By Chanel-Cheri Mercier


College students paying for internship experiences

From College News - University of Dreams places students in internships in New York City for a tuition that costs thousands.


Since jobs that pay are becoming increasingly hard to come by, many college grads have been forced to take internships--positions that typically that do not pay. These students now have to compete with employees that are laid off for these internships.  So now what’s happening is that, according to the New York Times, students (okay, more likely their parents) are shelling out thousands to services that help them get dream internships.

One student had his parents pay a whopping $8,000 to help him get a summer job at Ford Models in New York City. The particular company they paid that sum--equivalent to almost a year of my rent--for?  The University of Dreams---the largest and most visible player in this burgeoning business, according to the Times, who also report that applicants rose 30 percent higher than in 2008.

Most of the time, they see students still completing their undergrad degree. This year, though, the over 9,000 applicants were mostly recent grads.

University of Dreams advertises “guaranteed internship placement, eight weeks of summer housing, five meals a week, seminars and tours around New York City” for the $8,000. I

But the city that never sleeps isn’t the only place where dreams are made of.  There are even programs in London and in Costa Rica, which cost $9,450 and $5,500, respectively.

So what do college administrators think? A career services director at Florida State doesn’t think there is a need for programs like this. She compared it to buying a luxury car, telling the Times that “there are more than enough internship opportunities out there.”

The article also mentioned that college advisers understand the desire for such a program, but parents who pay for it are not letting their children obtain job-seeking skills, or feel rejection before the real world hits.

The University of Dreams isn’t the only game in town though. Competitors include The Washington Center, a nonprofit that puts kids in places like Amnesty International, and several online start-ups.

By Kate Oczypok


9 ways to manage your money when you land a job

From College News - Money management tips to help get you started for when you finally find gainful employment.


Congrats! You landed your first job out of college.  All the time you’ve spent tweaking your resume and practicing your interviewing techniques have finally paid off. Although you might think you’re on Easy Street, now is the time to take control of your financial future. Set yourself up with some good money management habits from the start that you can use throughout your career.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Setup Direct Deposit It’s as easy as stopping by your Human Resources office and filling out a form.  No need to stand in line at the bank and no fuss. Whether you get paid on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, your money will be deposited into your account like clockwork. 

2. Enroll in Benefits Benefits make up part of your compensation and should be treated as such.  If you’re not taking advantage of company-sponsored benefits, it’s like throwing away money.  Besides, in the event you become sick you’ll be covered…and that saves money!

3. Create a Budget! It’s a well-known fact that most people dread having to budget but all good money managers recognize the advantages to having one. Look at a budget as a way of helping you achieve your financial goals, not as a way of depriving yourself.  Also, be sure to implement a budget that is realistic and still allows you to have some fun.  Balance is key when creating a successful (read: one you can stick to) budget.

4. Setup a Savings Account I know what you’re thinking, you can’t possibly save with (insert excuse here) but the truth is that you can. 

Most savings plans will let you setup pre-tax contributions which means the money will be transferred to your savings account before you even know it’s there.  Start off with something you’re comfortable with, $100, $50 or even $20 will eventually add up and it will provide you with a cushion should you need extra money.

5. Contribute to a Retirement Plan Most companies sponsor some type of employee retirement plan whether it’s a 401(k), 403(b) or other plan.  Find out what options your employer provides and sign up. 

Just like with a savings account, it’ll be transferred pre-tax so you won’t even miss it.  Be sure to contribute at least the minimum amount that earns you the company match.

6. Gradually Pay Down Your Debts Now that you have a steady paycheck you can pay down those credit card debts.  It may take some time but slowly you’ll be able to get those balances down and you can use that money towards savings, investing or some other goals.

7. Give Back Maybe you volunteer your time to a charitable organization but have you thought of donating money as well?  Aside from the good feeling you’ll have from helping others in need, making a charitable donation will allow you to claim tax deductions, which means you’ll owe less to Uncle Sam.

8.  Start Investing One of the best things you can do with your money at a young age is to invest.  Don’t wait until you think you have enough money to start.  The obvious advantage of investing now is that time is on your side, you’ll fully benefit from compounding interest.  But by becoming an investor you’ll also be learning valuable money lessons along the way.

9) Be Willing to Adapt to Change As your career progresses, so should your finances.  In order to remain effective with your goals and plans you’ll have to learn to adapt to these changes. 

For example, an increase in salary can be used to invest or a job change can be a good opportunity to go over your financial goals.  Adapting to change will ensure financial progress.

Money management starts with taking control of your finances. By learning good habits early in your career, you’ll be on the path to having a strong, effective and organized financial house that you can use throughout your developing career and your life.

By Angelica Rodriguez


High student interest increases college sustainability programs

From College News - Schools across the country now offering more programs in "green" education.


According to a new article in USA Today, ue to increased growth in “green” jobs and interests in environmental studies, college students who want a career in sustainability have a large variety of “green” degree programs to choose from, such as more technical education to operate machinery or interdisciplinary MBAs.

According to Julian Dautremont-Smith, associate director of Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, concern for the environment is the inspiring aspect for the expansion of the field.

“The past few years, society as a whole has become increasingly interested in sustainability,” he said to USA Today. “Higher education has been swept up as well.”

The students’ interests also play a big factor for a school to offer a green curriculum. A reported two-thirds of students who participated in the Review’s “College Hopes and Worries” survey said that they consider the school’s so-called “environmental commitment” during the application process, according to USA Today.

“Students are really savvy shoppers these days, so they’re realizing, with a changing economy and green jobs looking to take a leap within the next couple of years, that they want to be armed with those types of skills,” David Soto said, Director of Content Development at the Princeton Review, to USA Today.

One program that USA Today cites as an example of a burgeoning trend is one hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. It’s a master’s of business administration (MBA) that teaches students how to lead and operate businesses that focus on sustainability. Under this program, students are able to earn a traditional MBA along with a master’s in environmental studies.

According to USA Today, architecture schools have also been inspired by the changes in the market and enthusiasm from students. Christopher Reinhart, associate professor of architectural technology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, cites these two factors as the reason why the school started a concentration in sustainable design last summer, saying that “there has been an increased interest and pressure to provide this knowledge in more depth,” while students past would have seen one class as being satisfactory.

Many schools across the country are following suit. Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability also uses an interdisciplinary approach and offers both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in sustainability, along with a graduate degree.

Citing demand for workers versed in sustainability issues, Marisa Michaud, of higher-education research and consulting firm Eduventures, said to USA Today that colleges “want to provide appropriate educational programs” in order to meet the newfound demand.

By Ivana Cheong


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