Internship 101: The Dos and Don’ts

Internships can be awesome! They’re a great way to gain experience, see what it’s really like to work in a field that interests you, and to make tons of connections that can help you in the future. Use the tips below to discover what you should — and shouldn’t — do during your internship to make the most of it.

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DO: Bring a pen and paper with you everywhere

An internship is, most importantly, about learning. Most programs have special events for interns with speakers or discussions on topics relevant to their field. Oftentimes, your supervisor will also have check-in meetings with you where they assign you tasks or ask you about your current projects. It is important to always bring a pen and paper with you, as you will never know when you will need to remember something for later. Invest in a nice, small notebook to bring with you to your internship, and you can fill it with all that you learn over its course for later reference.

DON’T: Sit idly

The cliché exists for a reason – interns don’t always have the most glamorous work. Sometimes you will be assigned tasks that seem mundane or simple. Sometimes you might not even be assigned anything at all. This is your chance to show your supervisors that you are reliable, and doing a great job on small things will allow you to build a trusting relationship with them. Even if you have nothing assigned, be proactive and try to ask for more work, see if anyone around you could use a hand, or even read up on current news about the company or your field.

DO: Try to meet as many people as possible

Most places that hold internship programs have a large network of employees that would love to meet young people and discuss their jobs. Choose a couple of people in your office that seem the most interesting to you, and ask your supervisor if they can connect you. Have coffee, lunch, or even an email conversation, and you might make a lasting connection that will teach you a valuable lesson or help you later in your job search.

DON’T: Make a bad impression on your supervisor

Some say that each day of an internship is like a job interview. This can hold true – you probably won’t have more than a semester at your internship, and being dependable and responsible throughout its duration is critical. This means showing up on time, not leaving early, staying off of your phone and social media, dressing professionally, and responding to emails in a timely manner.

DO: Make friends with the other interns

Most internship programs have at least a couple of interns rather than just one. If you all ended up in the same place, odds are you have something in common! Take time to talk to these people over lunch breaks, during events, or even outside of work. It can be a good idea to make a group chat with part of the group so that you all can answer each other’s questions, share your experiences, and make closer connections. These people may end up being your good friends, and they will make your internship experience a lot more rewarding and enjoyable!

DON’T: Forget to thank your supervisors

Supervisors do a lot for their interns, as they make the whole experience possible. Show your gratitude each day through your actions, but also make sure to follow up more concretely before you leave. Schedule a final lunch, and bring a thank you card with you as a tangible representation of your thankfulness. They will appreciate it more than you know!

An internship is the perfect time for personal and professional growth. Done correctly, you can leave with friends, connections, knowledge, and even a job offer! Keep these dos and don’ts in mind, and you should be able to navigate the process seamlessly.

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Little Tricks to Stay Focused in Class

Let’s face it: Keeping alert in class can be tricky, especially if you have one of those pesky 8 a.m.’s and spent the previous night working late on a paper and APA reference list. While an extra-large coffee might be your go-to for those days you’re especially tired, sometimes caffeine alone can’t do the trick.

Below are tips to help you stay focused in class even on those days when all you want is to go back to bed.

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Sit near the front of the classroom

It’s tempting to grab a seat near the back of the lecture hall but, you’ll find yourself more alert if you sit near the front where you can easily hear and see your professor. If it’s a 200-person seat auditorium, there’s no need to snag a spot in the first row, but try sitting somewhere in the front half of the classroom.

Put away your phone (and laptop)

Nothing is more distracting than getting notifications for texts, emails, and social media. Put your phone away for class, and try taking notes with a pen and paper instead of on your computer. If you must use a laptop for note taking, put your computer on “do not disturb” to avoid notifications.

Do the assigned reading beforehand

It’s easy to fall behind on course reading — especially if you know you won’t be tested on the material — but you’ll be much more engaged in class if you’re familiar with the subjects your professor is discussing. If you’re having an especially busy week, take the time to at least skim through the reading before you set foot in the classroom.

Bring a snack/drink

When your stomach’s rumbling, it’s hard to focus on anything other than food. Bring a reusable water bottle and a healthy snack — like a yogurt, granola or a banana with peanut butter — with you to class. If you don’t have time to cook a full breakfast prior to your morning class,  make sure to at least pack something light in your backpack the night before.

Get involved in the discussion

Whether there’s a participation grade for a course or not, make sure to contribute to the course discussion — it’s a great way to keep alert! Come up with questions you’d like to ask your professor, or answer questions your instructor poses.

Sit up straight

Good posture is a simple — but effective — way to improve your focus. Instead of slouching in your chair, try sitting up straight, with your feet firmly planted on the floor. You’ll find it’s much harder to get sleepy when sitting perfectly upright than when hunched over. On a similar note, don’t wear clothes that are too pajama-like to class. No need to get too dressed up, but it’s way more likely you’ll fall asleep when clad in sweats instead of jeans.

Chew gum

Ok, this sounds like a weird suggestion, but chewing gum can actually help you stay focused as it’s a repetitive act that stimulates blood flow. You can do other little things — like spinning a fidget spinner, popping mints or lightly tapping a pencil — to keep yourself awake throughout your early morning lecture.

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Handy Checklist for Graduating Students

Congratulations! You made it through years of college lectures, living off weird campus food, and late nights studying. All that hard work has paid off and you’re about to come away with a degree (finally!). No matter if you’re heading to graduate school, starting a new job, or taking some time off, you should be proud of this major life accomplishment!

Even though you should totally celebrate, also make the time to take care of a few things before you leave college. Here’s a list of a few to-do’s to consider for your final semester.

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Sign up for an exit loan counseling session

This session is mandatory for students who’ve taken out federal student loans and provides important information on how you can pay back what you owe. Luckily, the exit counseling session is easy to check off your to-do list. The entire process can be completed in roughly 25-30 minutes online.

Fill out the necessary graduation forms

If you’re walking in your school’s commencement ceremony, it’s important to file the necessary paperwork so that they’re ready for you to walk the stage. Check your university website to find out what date you need to apply for graduation by. Also, make sure to purchase your cap and gown — you may need to schedule a fitting for the gown — by your school’s deadline.

Visit your school’s career center

If you’re applying to jobs right after graduation, get in touch with a career counselor at your school for advice. The counselor may be able to provide you with contact information from alumni who pursued similar career paths — people who would be great for you to set up informational interviews with! Also, your career center can help you polish a resume or cover letter and prep for any upcoming job interviews.

Review your online presence

Whether your next step is graduate school or the job market, there’s a good chance someone will Google search you at some point. Make sure you’re giving off the right impression. Same goes with your social media profiles: Delete any posts you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see — and make profiles private if you don’t think they give off a professional vibe. Also take the time to give your LinkedIn a refresh! Add any missing information — awards, internships, etc. — to enhance your profile.

Ask professors/faculty members for recommendations

Regardless of your next step, you’ll probably need a letter of recommendation at some point. Determine which faculty members might be good to ask. Do you have a mentor on campus? Is there a professor you’ve taken several classes with? Those are good folks to ask! Be sure to write a thank you letter — and maybe give a small gift — to anyone who agrees to help you in this way.

Prepare for move-out procedures

Unless you’re attending graduate school at the same place you went for undergrad, you’re likely moving to a new neighborhood, city or state following college graduation. This means you’ll need to move out of your dorm or apartment. Instead of putting unwanted items in the dump, re-sell textbooks online and donate gently used clothing. To avoid having to move heavy furniture, see if the new resident of your apartment wants your stuff.

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7 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Summer Study Abroad

Summer is one of the best times to study abroad. You don’t have to take a break from your normal school schedule and miss out on seeing your college friends, the weather is almost always beautiful, and you get to spend your summer exploring different cultures, languages, and cuisines. Use these tips to make your study abroad as memorable and fulfilling as possible!
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1.     Plan in advance

A summer abroad is a huge commitment, and the thought of departing to a new place for a few months can be very scary! Try booking your flights for your trip and any other travel accommodations you might need well in advance. This will not only be cheaper, but will give you more peace of mind. If you know that there are certain places in your host city that might require reservations (e.g., a really famous restaurant, a super busy museum, etc.), it might not hurt to go ahead and make those arrangements, too.

2.     Travel to neighboring cities and countries

Traveling when you’re abroad is often much cheaper and much faster outside of the USA. Many places in Europe or Southeast Asia are easily reachable by super-fast trains or budget airlines. Take advantage of the cheaper prices and the shorter travel time, and map out a few cities near your home base to explore when you have time on the weekends or a break in your program.

3.     Make friends with other students in your program

Going abroad is fun all in itself – but making friends who can share the experience with you makes it all the better! Even if you do not know anyone coming in to your program, try and form connections by going to dinner as a group or planning outings to museums, beaches, parks, or other fun spots. You may even meet some of your new best friends.

4.     Take pictures

Taking photos is one of the best ways to look back on your study abroad. If you do this in combination with a journal, you will be able to keep some great memories of your trip! Your phone camera is a good place to start, and try buying a few cheap disposable cameras as well. You are sure to have some fun surprises when you develop the film, and this method is better than having your super fancy camera lost or stolen in the streets of a big city.

5.     Dive into the local flavors

Being abroad gives you the perfect chance to explore local traditions and specialties. When you can, try to avoid tourist traps – these will usually be in the main shopping areas (like the Champs-Élysées in Paris or Las Ramblas in Barcelona). The food is usually overpriced and doesn’t taste as great as some of the food you could find in other parts of your host city. If you are going to a city whose primary language isn’t English, avoid eating at places with English signage or menus – this is a sure sign of a tourist trap! Finding authentic local places will leave you with a better taste of how locals act and eat on a daily basis, and you can really immerse yourself into your new home’s culture.

6.     Look for student discounts

There are all kinds of discounts for students travelling abroad, even in the summer. Most museums and attractions will have marked down ticket prices if you show your school ID. You can also look into student ID and travel cards like the ISE or ISIC card if you will be abroad for a while. Some rail lines will offer student discounts as well if you’re trying to travel cheaply. Even if there is not an advertised discount at a place you want to go, it doesn’t hurt to ask! You never know if that answer will be a yes.

7.     Remember the reason you came in the first place

If you are doing a summer study abroad, then that means you need to study– at least a little bit! Use the summer away from the stresses of the regular semester and allow yourself to really invest in your schoolwork. If you’re learning a new language, practice with your friends or host family. If you’re learning about history, take time in museums to read and understand your host city’s past. You will appreciate your surroundings so much more as you begin to know more about them.

A summer abroad can be one of the most challenging and exciting experiences – these memories will last you a lifetime! Refer to these tips when planning your time abroad and you’ll be sure to learn a ton all while documenting the experience and diving into your host city’s culture.

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4 Things English Tutors Wished Their High School Students Knew

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of homework you have for your English class? Do you feel like there’s so much reading you have to do, but you don’t have time for it all? Or do you feel lost when you have to write a paper?

Getting an English tutor can help you succeed in your class. Whether you need help with a book that’s challenging to understand or need help with essay writing, it can be a relief to know that an English tutor can guide you through your class materials and assignments.

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To help your English tutor help you, keep in mind these four things that English tutors wished their high school students knew:

1. It’s a process

Though you may not become a master of English overnight, by putting in a small amount of effort everyday, you’ll slowly become a better reader and writer. What’s challenging about English is that it isn’t necessarily bound by rules; the language is open to interpretation. By making a conscious effort to improve your English skills bit by bit, you’ll be able to one day look back and realize how much you’ve grown. Be kind to yourself, understand that it takes time to improve, and know that your hard work will pay off!

2. Spend five minutes doing light housekeeping before your lesson

Before a tutoring session, gather all your materials: books, notes, you name it! After you have all your materials, make a list of what you’d like to cover during your session. By doing this light prep work ahead of time, you can maximize your time with your tutor. If you want to be even more helpful, contact your tutor a day in advance to let him or her know what you’d like to specifically tackle. Tutors appreciate it when you give them a heads up on what you want to cover!

3. Be fearless and ask questions

Sometimes you might feel too embarrassed to ask questions because you’re scared that your tutor might judge you. You might be worried that your tutor will think you’re dumb.

Here’s the deal: English tutors know that you have lots of material you have to study not just for English class, but all your classes! It’s totally understandable if you forgot what an independent clause is or struggle with understanding a passage. Your English tutor is there to help you and wants you to feel 100% confident about whatever you’re tackling in class. Tutors love questions because questions allow them to directly help you with your struggles. So when you’re confused about something, speak up!

4. Between lessons, make a note of what’s challenging for you

If your teacher goes over a part of a book that’s confusing or reviews a grammatical concept that makes no sense, jot it down and remind yourself to ask your tutor about it. Make a running list of ideas or concepts that confused you during class. English class can feel overwhelming because you go through a lot of material. By the time you have your tutoring session, you may feel completely lost. By creating an ongoing list of things that are challenging to you between lessons, you can ensure that you go over everything that’s confusing when you’re with your tutor.

By keeping these four things in mind, you and your English tutor can work together to make sure you succeed!

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6 Ways to Stay Awake According to Science

We all have those days where it feels impossible to stay awake. Maybe you accidentally binge-watched your favorite show until 3 a.m., or you need to wake up super early to study for a big exam. Making our bodies concentrate when running on little sleep can be difficult, but you can use these scientifically-backed tips to keep your eyes open and your mind focused.

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1.     Take the stairs

Some research suggests that some mild exercise can leave you feeling energized — even more so than the caffeine in a can of soda. One great exercise to get your energy up is stair climbing. If you are feeling sluggish or tired, try walking up the stairs wherever you’re going, even if there are multiple flights. When you really don’t have time to exercise and are stuck inside all day, taking a quick trip up and down the stairs can be a great way to get moving as well.

2.     Try out tea

Sometimes it takes a little extra push to wake us up, and drinking green tea can provide that. Studies show that green tea increases both working memory and task performance while providing much needed caffeine. Even better, green tea has many natural benefits with its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Substitute this drink as a healthier option when you are feeling tired, and stray away from the usual double mocha caramel latte with whipped cream. You will feel better and thank yourself later.

3.     Take a deep breath

Even though this trick is simple, it can go a long way in waking you up. Often when you are really tired or stressed about something, you breathe irregularly or less deeply without even noticing it. Taking deep breaths and being conscious of your breathing can allow you to focus better and release the tension that you have been holding in your body.

4.     Avoid multitasking

While it may seem like a part of your normal routine, multitasking can actually deplete your

brain’s energy reserves and leave you feeling even more tired. If you are trying to stay awake

in class or while studying, focus on one thing at once for a while, and take short breaks if you need to finish other small tasks like checking your emails or texts. Trying to do everything all at once will just be too difficult.

5.     Hydrate before bed

Believe it or not, hydration plays a big role in how well we sleep and how we feel throughout the day. Not getting enough water, especially before bed, can leave us feeling groggy the next day, and it can also compromise our cognition. Drinking water whenever possible, especially with meals and while studying, will keep you refreshed and feeling great. Try using a reusable bottle so that you can fill up wherever you go.

6.     Jam out

Scientists have been working on research linking music and our ability to stay awake. Luckily, they’ve discovered that upbeat songs with between 120 and 145 bpm do the trick. One of them even teamed up with Spotify to create this playlist that is scientifically proven to help keep you awake. Put in your headphones and enjoy!

We could all use a pick-me-up every now and then when we are feeling tired. Using these scientifically-proven tips will have you feeling confident about your approach to waking up, and you might even develop some healthy habits along the way!

Works Cited

Bruner, Raisa. “Here's the Perfect Wake-Up Playlist, According to Spotify.” Time, 25 July 2016,

“Take a Deep Breath.” Harvard Health Medical School, May 2009,

Morales, Kristen. “Skip the Caffeine, Opt for the Stairs to Feel More Energized.” UGA Today,19 Apr. 2017,

“The Connection Between Hydration and Sleep.” National Sleep Foundation,

Schmidt, André, et al. “Green Tea Extract Enhances Parieto-Frontal Connectivity During Working Memory Processing.” Pyscho-Pharmacology, vol. 231, no. 9, Oct. 2014, pp. 3879-3888.SpringerLink,

Sridharan, Devarajan, et al. A Critical Role for the Right Fronto-Insular Cortex in Switching Between Central-Executive and Default-Mode Networks. Program in Neuroscience and Neuroscience Institute at Stanford, 20 June 2008.

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