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Welcome Justin Jones

28 Mar

We’d like to take a second and welcome our newest writer, Justin Jones, to the blog! Justin has been working in the Career Center for 2 years, so he’ll be able to provide some great insight. Here’s what Justin had to say about himself:

I’m a senior in the communications department, and a true believer that a degree is not enough. After serving at the Career Center for nearly two years, I’ve decided to step up my game by sharing information that interest our staff or myself.  My posts my vary in topic, but they’re all meant to help you succeed as a student or as a professional. Personally, I enjoy sports, writing and essentially all things media. So if you see any sports analogies, just try to follow along or forgive me, either way I’ll try to keep the information as beneficial as possible.

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Welcome Yemisi Egbewole

6 Mar

You may have noticed a new writer on our site. Her name is Yemisi and she just started writing for us a few weeks ago. We completely forgot to introduce her, so here she is!

In the year 2009 I enrolled at Liberty University reluctant and apprehensive. I had no idea what to expect from the “world’s largest Christian university.” What I found was an environment and student body that pushed you in your academics, and encouraged you to grow spiritually. The changes that took place in my life within my first year at Liberty University were immense. Liberty’s students are trained to be Christian professionals in a secular biased world. Working at the Liberty University Career Center has provided me with knowledge to better understand the tricky ladder to career success. Through this blog, I will provide quick tips and communication perspectives that ought to each individual’s journey to professional achievement.

Money Management and Professionalism

6 Mar

Every two weeks, on Friday, I get a check. This enchanting piece of paper commands my attention. Within this check, there are decisions like which bill I will pay first and what social events will I get into? Call it dramatic or an over-exaggeration of a mere pay cycle, but money is money. I’m still holding onto the hope that one day, money will grow on trees! So for now, here is some money saving guidelines to get you started.

  1. Don’t eat out! Beware of the flashy signs that lure you in with their promise of good food at a low price. You may think, ‘I don’t have the energy to cook, and grocery shopping is a hassle, right?’ Stop. You’re wrong. When you eat out every day, it adds up. Challenge yourself to buy a week’s worth of groceries then compare your spending to the amount you spend in a restaurant or fast food chain every day. The difference will surprise you. Cooking your own meals is a healthier and cheaper alternative.
  2. Always pick the low-cost option when it comes to activities. There are plenty of alternatives to your costly weekend plans. Take the cinema for example. Movies are expensive and their prices are continuously increasing. A Redbox kiosk can be found at most grocery store chains, leaving you to pay just over one dollar for one night’s rental of the latest blockbusters. Compare that to the twelve-dollar 3-D movie ticket, over-priced snacks, and the obnoxious people you’ll probably sit in front of, and you’ve already saved yourself a good bit of change.
  3. Conserve your gas. The hardest thing to do in college is just sit still. You want to meet up with a friend or run errands. That’s fine. There’s no need to become a hermit. Implement some changes though. When you run errands, plan them in a way that leaves you less time running the roads. That way, you won’t waste gas driving up, down, and all around. Carpool! Carpool is the greatest idea that no one uses. You don’t always have to take your car. If you’re going the same place as a group of people and someone volunteers to drive . . . let them! Try to stick with purposeful driving only. Don’t drive around trying to figure out what to do or searching for something. Plan what you’re going to do before you leave, then drive. Cutting those little corners will save you from all too often visits to the pump.

Being a professional in your career path means being a professional with your money. Knowing how to manage and save in finances is what people look for when they hire managers and administrators. If you don’t learn how to become financially successful in your personal life, it will reflect in your working lifestyle. Companies require credit checks before hiring employees and if you are poor at managing your finances, it could even cost you a job. When you decide to start saving money, you don’t have to take a huge leap. Introduce small changes within your lifestyle, and you will see improvements. Good ole’ Benjamin Franklin once said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It might be time to finally consider the possibility that he was right about that one.

A Communicative Theory for Leadership

23 Feb

As a student at our fine university, your thoughts are constantly turning to the big picture. What are you going to do when you graduate? What’s out there on that big scary road we call the future? When you graduate, you will apply for entry-level jobs, pursue paid internships, and hunger after the chance just to be the boss’ assistant. Sadly, that’s where a lot of graduates make their first mistake. Everyone should know the steps to be an effective leader if you ultimately want to reach a high rung on the ladder of success. The LMX (Leader-Member Exchange) Theory is a highly suggested theory used in organizational communication for leaders in the workplace.  I have taken this theory and broken down its stages into three quick, easy steps that will help you to become the best leader that YOU can be!

1. Acceptance of the Role

When a new member joins a team that has already been in the creation process, their abilities and interactions with the other members of that team need to be immediately assessed. Ask yourself; can they work cohesive with the group? Do they handle new task and team building strategies well? Do not feel as though you are adding unnecessary pressure towards this new team member. It is important for them to establish their standing and show themselves as capable and proficient. If said member is not tested, then you as the leader will be at fault for any failures that occur or tasks that cannot be fulfilled. So it is vital that you utilize this stage to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the new member.

2. Creation of the Role

If you have moved into stage two, this means the new member has been accepted. This makes him a part of your “in” group. Your “in” group contains high level positions of trusted officials. These are the people you have chosen to represent your ideas and carry out your direct orders. In war, they would be your lieutenants and colonels. At this stage, your confidence and assurance in them is solid since they have shown great consistency through stage one. However, the members should always be reminded that your trust is earned, not given freely and can easily be revoked should failure become constant. This shouldn’t be looked at as too harsh though, as the member should receive rewards as well. A position of importance and benefits is given in return for loyalty and ambition. Therefore, the member has something to continuously work to keep. They need to remember that there are always new members on the horizon.

3. Routinization

By this stage you and the member should have a comfortable social exchange established. There should be no need to explain projects when they are assigned or expand on information already given. The member agrees with your goals and actively helps you accomplish those goals. Many members become an apprentice of the leader and therefore become leaders themselves. The leader can then trust them to lead others. They understand the thoughts and motives why something is needed. You have ultimately trained and groomed them to become extensions of your own self.

People have always said that life is one big race, and as a college graduate you are putting yourself ahead of the competition. Statistically the majority of people who are managers, CEOs, and supervisors pursued higher learning. You will find yourself in a position of leadership, so it is important that you know how to not only get there, but stay there! Remember; do not follow where the path may lead. Instead, go where there is no path, and lead a trail. That is true leadership.

Your First Job: In College

14 Feb

Here at Liberty University, the mission is to strive for Christian excellence and the same is desired from our ambitious students. Every day, as students, we are faced with challenges and life situations that are intended for us to grow academically and spiritually. Whether you are a first semester freshman or a seasoned fifth year veteran one thing will always join us together, money or a lack thereof. Here’s the solution: get a job.  Now there are many questions that arise when you begin to find a job. Where will you find the time? Do you have reliable transportation? Can you afford to sacrifice social time with your friends at the Rot? Start with HR. The human resources department at Liberty University offers a great selection of work-study jobs.

Work study jobs are offered through the university and available on campus. They offer to work around your class schedule, to guarantee days off during semester breaks and holidays, and you get to work here on campus. This campus is constantly expanding so there are always new departments and buildings for students to work in. Working specifically in a department is a great way to network as well. The setbacks would include a set amount of low hours and usually making minimum wage.

Culinary jobs are abundant in college towns. Simple equation: a surplus of students in one location equals a surplus of restaurants in that same location. Being a waiter, waitress, hostess, or cook is a valuable job. Tips at most restaurants on a Friday or Saturday night are substantial. Working at a restaurant greatly improves your communication skills and reflects on a resume that you have excellent customer service. Be ready for some long nights and always remember that not every customer is a happy one.

College friendly jobs are all around you! Corporations such as Starbucks and Chick-fil-a cater to students. Starbucks has always been the hang out for the young and hip. Why not work there? There are so many perks! There’s free coffee for your tired brain and a constant stream of business to keep your paycheck heavy. Starbucks also offers health and dental benefits depending on how many hours you log. A high percentage of Chick-fil-a employees are between the ages of 16-21. They offer scholarships and educational benefits to hard working employees. These jobs attract large amounts of college students-among others-so expect constant, heavy traffic throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening to help the hours pass by quickly.

A job in college doesn’t have to be just a quick buck. If you play it right, your college job can be a stepping-stone into the workforce or some extra experience on your thin resume. Remember, you often start with a job you don’t want on the way to fulfilling the destiny you do want.