How to Prepare for a Summer Internship

How to Prepare for a Summer Internship

Once you finally land the perfect summer internship, you may be thrilled at the prospect of applying what you’ve learned in class to the real world. What many students forget is that being selected for an internship is only the beginning.

To help ensure a worthwhile experience – and perhaps even turn your summer internship into a full-time career following graduation – you’ll need to impress your supervisor by showing initiative, motivation, and innate skill the company can use. Your goal from day one should be to offer insights about how to help the company do a better job and get more customers. By making the right impression, you’ll be viewed as a valuable asset rather than just a summer intern.

Here are the preparations you must make now if you want to impress your summer internship supervisor.

Read Trade Magazines

To increase the chances of being assigned to more exciting projects during your summer internship, get ahead by subscribing to trade magazines. This will inform you of what new industry trends are coming up, so you can join in conversations about how the company can pull ahead of its competitors.

Learn More About the Company

Review the company’s website and become familiar with its products and services. Don’t allow a moment of your internship to focus on explaining these simple facts to you, or your supervisor could view bringing you on as a waste of time. Also, read press releases about the company and its competitors, and follow them on social media to give you insights into how the company can improve its visibility over its rivals.

Learn More About Your Supervisor and Company Employees

Check out their professional LinkedIn profiles to give you an inside look at the people you’ll be working with over the summer. This way, you’ll feel more confident on your first day as you go around introducing yourself to everyone. Even if this doesn’t come up naturally, take the initiative to say hello and shake hands with every new person you meet. This shows your supervisor that you’re not too shy to establish relationships with your potential future coworkers.

Get a Mentor

The supervisor at your internship should show you the ropes, but you can learn the tricks of the trade even faster if you have a mentor to lean on. You might ask your favorite professor or someone within the company that you get along with to be your mentor. Having a mentor means you have someone in the industry you can trust who has your best interests at heart. Nothing is more valuable than this!

In the end, it’s your job to make sure your internship is successful. You must prepare now if you want your first real-world experience to potentially become a full-time paid position.

Several programs at Northwestern State University of Louisiana require at least one approved professional internship to graduate. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact us today.

How to Pick the Right Online College

How to Pick the Right Online College

If you want to further your education, but your schedule or family situation doesn’t allow you to attend a traditional university, enrolling at an online college may sound appealing to you. The convenience of learning on your own time from anywhere in the world makes online education very appealing.

The trouble is not all programs are created equal. Some are even outright scams. To make sure you pick a reputable, affordable online college from which to earn your degree, follow these tips.

Look for Accreditation

Receiving a stamp of approval from a local or national educational organization is proof of an online college’s credibility. It also tells future employers that your degree has truly prepared you to enter the workforce.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s global campus, eNSU, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialists, and doctorate degrees. Individual programs are also accredited by relevant organizations. For example, the Nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and our business degrees are accredited by the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International.

Consider Degree Programs

For your education to be worthwhile, the online college you choose must offer the program you want to study.

At eNSU, we offer 40 online degree programs, from an Associate’s Degree in General Studies to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration to a Doctorate Degree in Nursing Practice. Whether your goal is to further your current career or prepare to enter the workforce for the first time, our programs will help get you there.

Find Out if Your Credits Will Transfer

If you began your college career somewhere else, you undoubtedly want to transfer your credits. Choosing an online college that recognizes the coursework you’ve already completed allows you to pick up where you left off, so this is an important part of picking the right online college for you.

Your credits will most likely transfer to your eNSU program, but you’ll need to have a registrar evaluate your transcripts to be sure.

Compare Tuition Rates

Even if you don’t attend classes in person, enrolling in an online program requires you to pay tuition. After making sure the school is accredited, offers the degree you want, and will accept past college credits you’ve already earned, it’s time to weigh the costs.

Online-only students enrolled in an eNSU program pay the same tuition rate as in-state students taking classes at the NSULA campus. This makes it very affordable for anyone to earn a college degree from anywhere!

By now, it could be clear that NSULA’s global campus, eNSU, could be the right online college for you. The next step is to begin the application process, so you can start down the path to earning a higher education. We’ll assist you every step of the way.

For answers to any remaining questions you have, please contact us today.

How to Narrow Down What Degree to Major In

How to Narrow Down What Degree to Major In

Attending college is a financial investment and time commitment. While you can always begin as an exploratory student and narrow your focus after a year or two, it’s advantageous to enter a program with a specific degree in mind, if possible. Here are some tips to help you decide what degree to major in.

  • Consider your interests. Start by thinking about which of your passions could set you on the path to a satisfying and rewarding career. If you enjoy helping people, a degree in criminal justice, nursing, or social work may be right for you. If you love children, majoring in teaching or family studies could be worthwhile. Or if you like technology, studying computer information systems or radiology might be the right fit.
  • Determine what level of education you need. Do a little research to help you find out whether you’ll need an associate’s degree, doctorate, or something in between to get hired at your dream job. A four-year bachelor’s degree is adequate for many high-paying positions, but teaching jobs, for example, usually require a master’s degree.
  • Test out majors by taking introductory classes. Students aren’t required to have their degree figured out when they enroll in college. If you just can’t narrow it down, take several intro classes for the degrees that interest you most. After one semester, you may realize that your Marketing 101 class bored you, but the psychology course piqued your interest. Use these impressions to point you in the right direction.
  • Ask for advice. You don’t have to figure this out all on your own. Ask your parents, older siblings, and friends for suggestions based on their experiences both during and after college. Is there a specific path they recommend? Anything they wish they had done differently? You can garner valuable insights by asking people you trust for help.
  • Meet with an academic advisor. Everyone’s career goals are a little different, so it’s useful to speak with an advisor who can help you design an educational path to help you get there. A counselor can help you select a degree and sign up for the right classes at the right time to ensure you graduate within the desired timeframe.

At Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s global campus, eNSU, we offer 40 online degree programs ranging from the associate’s degree level to postgraduate and doctorate degrees. We have something for just about everyone, and our online learning platform makes it possible to earn a degree from anywhere! Our academic advising services can help you get on the right path to a successful college experience and future career.

For answers to any remaining questions you have, or to begin the application process, please contact us today.

Spring Break Travel Destinations Near NSULA

Spring Break Travel Destinations Near NSULA

If you attend Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, LA you might be making plans for spring break. Where do you want to go? Keeping your travels affordable might mean staying within a few hundred miles of campus. With that said, here are the top spring break travel destinations for NSULA students.

Alexandria, LA

Just 60 miles southeast of Natchitoches is the town of Alexandria. While you’re here for spring break, be sure to tour the Original Town Historic District for a fascinating insight into the region. Alexandria Zoological Park is another great spot for college students to check out. This zoo features exotic wildlife in international-themed habitats that really make it worth a visit.

Baton Rouge, LA

Drive another two hours past Alexandria to the capital of Louisiana, which has plenty to offer college students traveling for spring break. Liberty Lagoon, a sprawling water park, opens for the season in April, making this the perfect time to visit. You can also stop at Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, a complex featuring over 1,100 slot machines and Vegas-style table games plus drinks and dining. Spring break in Baton Rouge is one you’ll never forget!

New Orleans, LA

While The Big Easy is a bit far from Natchitoches – another hour’s drive past Baton Rouge for a total of four hours in the car each way – you can’t pass up the chance to visit New Orleans during one of your spring breaks at NSULA, especially if you’re an out-of-state student. Savor the sights and sounds of the city with a steamboat cruise down the Mississippi River. You might also rent bikes or kayaks for an afternoon of fun with your friends. And don’t miss the historic French Quarter while you’re here!

Lake Charles, LA

This Southwest Louisiana town, located 120 miles south of Natchitoches, offers a plethora of adventurous things for you to do during your week off of school. Visit one of four casino complexes, get an up-close look at alligators and other animal life on the Creole Nature Trail, or take in a show at the Civic Center, all while soaking up beautiful views of Lake Charles.

Bossier City, LA

Located an hour’s drive up I-49, Bossier City offers everything from outdoor exploration at the nearby Red River National Wildlife Refuge to history at the 8 th Air Force Museum inside Barksdale Air Force Base. You can even get your science on with a visit to the Sci-Port Discovery Center, complete with interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and IMAX dome theater.

Spring break is a time to look forward to, but your graduation and entrance into the job market are vastly more important! Northwestern State University of Louisiana has so much to offer college students, including our online global campus, eNSU. Let the educators at NSULA help prepare you for a successful career one class at a time! To learn more, or to begin the enrollment process, please contact us today.

How to Save Money for Your Summer Vacation

If you want to take a summer vacation, now’s the time to start planning for one. If you wait too long, you’ll likely be left wondering how you’re going to pay for your summer travel. College students often don’t have a lot of extra money, but saving in advance can help you make your summer much more enjoyable.

If you’re planning on doing some traveling for both spring break and the summer, things can get a bit tricky. Hopefully, by now you’ve already put away enough money for spring break, and as soon as you get back you’ll want to start saving for your summer travel.

One of the first things you can do is plan a realistic summer vacation. That means you might not be able to afford to go to Europe if you haven’t even started saving money yet. You can likely go to the beach down at the Gulf of Mexico or even take a trip to Florida for much less money than going across the world or even across the country.

If you’re only working part-time while going to school, chances are you aren’t making lots of money. That means you’ll need to get creative with ways to save money so you can afford that vacation you’re looking forward to after working hard. Figure out all your expenses and what you may be able to cut down on. Even if you can save $100 a month for three or four months, you can still have a fun vacation.

Traveling with friends means you can save money on a hotel or other affordable temporary housing. If you need to book airline travel do so in advance to save money, and you can also do the same with lodging. Look for free or cheap things to do like going to the beach or exploring nature. A camping trip can be almost free and create lasting memories. The best thing you can do is be prepared and start saving now for your summer travel adventures.

How to Answer One of the Most Common and Challenging Interview Questions

Interviews can be quite stressful and cause a lot of anxiety, but they are unfortunately a necessary part of the process if you want to get hired for that dream job. The interview process can be even more important if you’re a recent college graduate without too much actual job experience. That means being prepared for your interview and knowing how to respond to some common interview questions could make all the difference in whether or not you get the job. This question almost always comes up in job interviews so knowing how to answer it may help you get the job.

“Tell Me About Yourself”

This is a very common question and it’s often asked at the beginning of the interview. This one is tricky because it’s so open-ended and non-specific. You should have a two or three-minute-long answer prepared for this question. You want to tell them a little about yourself and why you would be perfect for the job. Think of this as an elevator pitch. This can be broken down into the following three parts:

  • Accomplishments – Start off by mentioning what you’ve done so far in your career including degrees you’ve earned, work experience, specialized training, or any other qualifications. Just give the highlighted version, don’t get into too much detail.
  • What You’re Doing Now – Highlight what you are currently doing such as pursuing a secondary degree or a big project you’ve been working on. Try to mention things that would be relevant to the position you are interviewing for.
  • Your Future – Talk a bit about your ambitions and goals for the next few years. Again you should try to make them relevant to the job you are trying to get. Try to discuss goals related to the job posting.

Take some time to think about these answers before the interview. Prepare your answer and practice expressing it. Just try not to make your answer come off too much like a memorized speech. Best of luck with your next job interview.

The Pros of a Career in Accounting

When choosing a college major and a likely career path, many students skip over accounting because they don’t think they’re good enough at math. Accounting can actually be a very lucrative career, and those that do choose it often seem to like it and stick with it. While it may not be right for everyone, being informed about the pros of a career in accounting could make you think twice about whether or not it may be right for you.

  • Job Security – Almost every business needs an accountant, so there are plenty of places to work. After earning your accounting degree, you may be in high demand, especially if you also earn your CPA license. There’s also an estimated 13% growth in accounting and auditing jobs through 2020.
  • High Salary – The mean annual salary for an accountant is $72,500, with many earning six-figure salaries. That means that even starting off, you’ll still be making a good amount of money compared to some other occupations.
  • Advancement – There is plenty of room for advancement within the accounting industry. A senior accountant can earn about double the salary of an entry-level employee. Earning certifications like your CPA can also open up more opportunities. Accountants often advance quickly, so they aren’t stuck in the same place for years.
  • Prestige – Accounting is a great field for those looking for a respectable career. Accountants are often held in high regard because the most important aspect of keeping a business afloat is the money it makes. CPAs are highly regarded because of their hard work and level of experience.

There are plenty of other advantages to being an accountant including benefits, developing a great network, career diversity, a variety of work environments, and more. If you feel a career in accounting is right for you, feel free to learn more by contacting Northwestern State.

Three Common Myths About Studying History

If you’re seriously considering studying history but are worried it might not be the right choice for you, you may need to dispel some common myths. History majors can end up in all types of occupations, and you’ll learn lots of valuable skills and information along the way. Read on to learn about some common myths about history majors and whether or not they’re actually true.

  1. Myth: History is Too Boring

You may have been a bit bored in your high school history class, but studying history isn’t just about memorizing names and dates. You’ll be able to choose to focus on certain cultures and time periods that are the most fascinating to you. Even those who have been studying history their whole lives don’t know everything there is to know. By learning about our history we can also avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

  1. Myth: You Can Only Get a Teaching Job

Sure there are history majors who end up teaching history, but there are plenty of other occupations you can go into as well. History is actually a very versatile undergraduate major. Many history majors go to law school or enroll in graduate programs. They go into fields like museum and preservation studies, business, media, and publishing. History majors can have exciting careers like a documentary filmmaker or a digital designer as well.

  1. Myth: History is Not Practical

Some people think that history is somewhat similar to liberal arts and that it does not provide students with “real world” skills. Studying history teaches you a set of valuable skills. No matter what line of work you end up in, a Georgetown University study found that history majors “earn higher median salaries than all other humanities majors” and also “earn the same or more than those who majored in education, communications, or international relations.”

14 Tips for Surviving Your First Year of College Online

Graduating high school is an exciting time and an achievement you should be proud of. For many students, going on to college is next up on their agenda. While there are many benefits of earning your college degree, your first year can be a bit challenging until you get the hang of things.

While there are some similarities between high school and college, there are also quite a few differences. You’ll have more freedom and independence in college, but that also means you need to be more responsible and self-reliant. Here are some tips to help make your first year of online college a success.

  1. Always back up your files
  2. Stick to a budget when it comes to supplies
  3. Don’t drink too much coffee
  4. Stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, and get plenty of sleep
  5. Look for a part-time job or internship related to your field of study
  6. Find out how to contact your professors and don’t be afraid to do so
  7. Develop a study method that works well for you and stick to it
  8. Register early or at least on time to make sure you get the classes you need
  9. Use a calendar to keep track of your classes and assignments
  10. If you live near campus attend career fairs and try to get involved in a club
  11. Ask plenty of questions of your professor and fellow students in online discussions
  12. Free yourself of distractions like cell phones during your study time
  13. If you need physical textbooks, buy or rent them online to save money
  14. Make friends with one or two fellow students in each class so you can compare notes and ask questions

These tips can help make your first year in college a success. Do what works best for you, but remember that until you’ve actually graduated you won’t always know what to expect, and having a solid foundation will prove very helpful.

The Long Term Benefits of Earning Your College Degree

Each year thousands of students across the U.S. weigh the pros and cons of going to college after graduating high school or going straight into the workforce. You’ve probably heard enough about college to know that you should be going on to pursue a degree, but you may not know all the benefits of earning one.

The number show that those with a college degree can expect to earn about $1 million more during their careers than those who didn’t graduate. That may seem like a number someone just made up, but if you work for 45 years you’d only need to make about $22,000 more per year to get that extra million. Considering that the average college graduate makes $43,000 and the average non-graduate earns $21,500, you’ll be making about twice as much by getting your degree.

There are more benefits than just making a higher amount of money. You’ll also find an easier time getting a job. Employers prefer college graduates. Graduating from college shows you have strong analytical skills and that you can finish what you start. A bachelor’s degree is a requirement in many fields of work.

Most workers who have a college degree have a higher level of job satisfaction in addition to receiving better benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations, retirements savings, and more. In addition to the benefits you will receive while working, you’ll also make some valuable connections while in school. College is a great place to start developing your professional network. You’ll also brush up on valuable job skills such as time management and the ability to prioritize tasks.

Whether you’re going to school online or taking traditional in-person classes, earning your college degree will set you up for success in your career. Contact us today to learn more.

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