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Posts Tagged ‘undergraduate’

As a third-year commerce student at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, Marcel Glaesser spent an academic semester at the University of Mannheim last year. After completing his studies in Germany, he decided to stay longer and landed a six-month contract with BMW in Munich.

A worker puts an emblem on a BMW 5 series car at the plant in the Bavarian city of Dingolfing.

“The coolest thing is that I got to do so many things,” he recalls, citing marketing-related assignments that included preparations for the company’s annual meeting held in a stadium, complete with a display of prototype cars.

His experience typifies a growing trend among undergraduate and graduate business students to study and work abroad while earning their business degree. For Mr. Glaesser, Germany held appeal because he was born there before his family came to Canada 10 years ago. He took his classes in English at Mannheim, but had to brush up on his German to work at BMW.

His advice to other students is “go abroad, go abroad. It will set you apart.”

The same message comes from Canadian business schools, some with formal and informal arrangements to promote international experience opportunities for students before they graduate.

For example, Beedie recently signed an agreement with the British Columbia and Caribbean branches of the Certified General Accountants for an accounting student to spend a work term in Barbados every year.

“We feel it is a great opportunity for students because they get to work and learn,” says Andrew Gemino, associate dean of undergraduate programs. “We would love to do more,” he adds. “It is a matter of finding those opportunities and working on them.”

About 1,700 Beedie commerce undergraduates – about half of the enrolment – are at one stage or another of the school’s co-op program, either completing a prerequisite semester, applying for a placement or actually on the job. Every semester, between 170 and 240 students are actually working, with about five per cent choosing to go abroad.

“Through a variety of different ways, the students are becoming more comfortable and more interested in working internationally,” says Shauna Tonsaker, co-op education program director.

Her office provides financial and other assistance to students before, during and after their work stint. Prior to departure, all students complete an online course to minimize culture shock. This summer, students have chosen placements with major firms in half a dozen countries, including China, Japan and Germany.

“They get the experience of working in a culturally diverse work environment, gain experience for the first time of living on their own and get a global perspective,” she says. “It is of huge value when they are out there to apply for careers, locally and internationally, and can bring that [experience] to the workplace.”

Now completing his fourth year at Beedie in business marketing, Mr. Glaesser says the biggest bonus of working abroad was his new level of confidence. “It was the first time working in any big organization and seeing how it works from the inside,” he recalls. “For me, it was really valuable.”

excerpt from The Globe and Mail, by JENNIFER LEWINGTON

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When we signed up for study abroad, we were told in so many words what to expect and what the experience was going to be like. We were told that we would visit historical sites, monuments and museums while also getting the opportunity to experience a different culture while earning college credit.

Well, after embarking on the journey and making it home, I can tell you that those things are true, but what it is more difficult to explain is just how memorable and life changing study abroad can be.

While I’m not going to sit here and say that I suddenly discovered a solution to all my problems while drinking a beer in London or found the meaning of life while sipping on wine in France, I will tell you that the things I saw are something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The study abroad I went on was a 10-day trip themed after D-Day, the 1944 Allied invasion of France. Our journey took us over the Atlantic into London, down to Portsmouth, across the English Channel into Normandy and ended in Paris.

Beach of Normandy

While on the beaches of Normandy, I had a great epiphany that I think is worth sharing, one that I think encapsulates the thing that makes study abroad so valuable. What I realized was that no amount of reading, lectures, movies or any other retelling of an event can come close to actually experiencing it for your self.

Only when I was standing on the damp sand of Omaha Beach, staring from the water’s edge back to the towering cliffs, did the magnitude of what the Americans accomplished really sink in. Only when I was standing in a crater on Pointe du Hoc did the true power of the navel warships I had read about truly make sense.

My point is that there is no way to completely explain the feelings and thoughts a place will evoke without being there. That is the true magic of study abroad. Through the program, you can go to those places, experience those emotions and create those memories.

So to those of you who are considering study abroad, I hope this helps inform your decision. Remember, you only live once so get out there and see what the world has to offer.

Source: The Lion’s Roar

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A lot of students and their families are justifiably concerned about the cost and quality of education in the United States.

A hundred US colleges now have a cost of attendance (COA) exceeding $50,000; two years ago, only five did. Worse still, the price tag continues to escalate at around 4% per year.

 Add to this state of affairs the revelations contained in the book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” which asserts:  that 36% of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” after four years of college.

You have every reason in the world to look elsewhere for alternative educational opportunities. The world, however, might very well be on your doorstep in the form of our Canadian neighbors to the north. Canadian universities have a high standard of educational rigor, their COA (depending on province) is usually much lower, and most award degrees in three years, not the six years it seems to take students at many US schools nowadays.

 Most Canadian universities have big, safe, and in many instances, beautiful campuses

Be aware that Canadian universities are different from their US counterparts. In the US, the federal government has various programs such as FAFSA and Title IX that ensure some consistency within the university system. The Canadian universities, on the other hand, are funded and regulated by their provinces or territories. Consequently, there isn’t a lot of uniformity among Canadian universities. If you apply to the University of Toronto in Ontario, and McGill, in Quebec, you will use different applications, and confront different admission’s requirements (though most of the schools do take SAT I, SAT II, ACT, and FAFSA forms) and have varying costs depending on your intended major.

Another minor note, educational terms and degrees are different in Canada than in the US. In Canada: “college” means a two-year school, while “university” refers to the four-year schools. Additionally, many Canadian universities award a bachelor’s degree after completing three years of university. A student then needs another year to gain an honors degree, which is essential for getting into graduate school.

There are 90 universities to choose among in Canada. Some are the most competitive and eminent in the world. McGill University in Montreal is ranked regularly among the top 20 universities in the world. University of Toronto, with a number of Nobel Prize winners among its faculty, has many elite departments.

Additionally, professional studies in medicine, dentistry, and engineering, for example, start at the undergraduate level and lead to graduate school. Coursework is challenging and expectations are high.

The cost of university education, though certainly below that of comparable US universities, depends on where you choose to attend. It also depends upon what it is you’re majoring in. At the University of British Columbia, which is ranked 36th (ARWU) in the world, for international students, the annual tuition is around $23,000 (again, it depends on major—and international students are not allowed to study dentistry or medicine). At McGill, the annual tuition for international students in a standard BA program is just more than $17,000 annually. Tuition, however, will vary by major, and fees will vary by meal plan, or even by dormitory selected. Be aware that the provincial government has announced that tuition rates will be rising annually by 7-11% for, at least, the next seven years. Still, even with these expected escalations, the costs are still well under comparable American universities.

Another concern. If a large campus intimidates you, Canadian schools are enormous. University of British Columbia has 20,000 undergraduates (about the size of Boston University); the University of Toronto, with its three campuses, enrolls just under 50,000 undergraduates.

by Ralph Becker, a resident of Long Beach, has been counseling students for seven years. A former Yale Alumni interviewer, he holds a certificate in college counseling from UCLA Extension, and has published SAT* Vocab 800 Books A, B, C, & D.

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Finding a Job

There has been a lot of coverage in the media surrounding the job market and the high level of competition job seekers face. This is true in some aspects, although there are numerous employers looking to fill positions and new job opportunities are posted on the Internet every day.

Also, many industries are growing and employers are looking for qualified workers. Recently there was a CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com survey, which revealed that “employers (54 per cent) reported they plan to hire recent…graduates in 2012, up from 46 per cent in 2011, 44 per cent in 2010 and 43 per cent in 2009”. This survey shows that grads and entry level employees are in demand for new hires. If you are currently looking for a job, consider the following tips:

1. Be proactive in all aspects of the job search. Many times this involves taking several approaches to find companies that are hiring, creating connections with those companies, and networking in person. This can include joining social networks, volunteering your time, blogging, and talking to your current connections to see if they can assist in some way.

2. Don’t make excuses for yourself. When it comes down to it, you need to be accountable for making your job search successful. That means not giving up and putting in the time to change your resume, as well as your cover letter, for each job posting. Also, it involves applying for those jobs that you may not necessarily be a perfect candidate for and remaining optimistic about your job search. In all honesty, you are just looking for one job that fits your qualifications.

3. Pursue two or three companies for a job. This is easier than targeting the whole industry and not knowing who you are contacting. You can do this by contacting several people in leadership positions within those companies and making connections with them. They may not have a job for you right now, but if you show initiative and make a good impression then you may be offered a job down the road. People are more willing to engage with you concerning opportunities than you would expect.

4. Make sure to market yourself in interviews. Resumes get you the interview, but it is the impression you make, your communication skills, and your personality that gets you the job. Be prepared to answer questions about your strengths, weaknesses, success stories, and experiences. Explain what you can bring to the table and that you will immediately become an asset to the organization.

5. Show that you are excited to work for them. Express how you feel to the interviewer and that you are eager to work for them. Do your research and communicate what you can offer if you were hired.

Source: http://www.careerbuilder.ca

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