• A Guide to Finding the Perfect Off-Campus Housing

    by Jacquie Dunworth

    Five college girls sitting on the white front porch railing of their off-campus house. They are smiling and laughing.

    The school year is coming to a close and it’s almost time to move out of your dorm. You want to live off campus next year but where do you even start? How do you find a house/apartment? Find roommates? Sign a lease? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide on how to find the perfect off campus housing!

    Getting started

    First figure out who you might want to live with. Do you have friends that also want to live off campus? Do you want to live by yourself? Are you ok living with strangers? Once you determine this there are a few different steps you can take.

    Living with friends

    Once you establish your future roommates it’s time to find a living space that fits your needs. Think about the areas surrounding your campus - are they primarily houses, apartments, a mix of both? Do your research to figure out if there is the type of housing you’re interested in available for you and your roommates. For example, websites like Zillow, Redfin, and apartments.com are good resources to use to see what’s on the market. However, not all housing is listed on these sites. It can be very helpful to simply go on a walk in areas that you may want to live in and look for “for rent” signs.

    Living alone

    Choosing to live on your own will make for a simpler house hunting process. You won’t have to coordinate with others and can pick wherever you want to live. A 1 bedroom or studio apartment is probably where you’ll want to be. Research options and availability by looking at the same websites mentioned previously. Check to see if the area around your school has newer apartment developments. Often, these buildings have leasing offices that you can walk into and ask about pricing/availability.

    Living with strangers

    If you want to live with others but don’t know who, it’s best to find people looking for roommates. Often, upperclassmen will move out of a house and leave bedrooms available for new tenants, or friend groups that move into a house will have an extra bedroom they need filled. Facebook is a good platform to use to find these opportunities. People with extra bedrooms for rent often post in college groups, housing groups, etc. Another way to find housing opportunities is to simply ask around. Ask people in your classes, clubs, and network if they know anyone looking to rent rooms in their houses/apartments.

    Signing the lease

    Once you’ve determined who you want to live with and where, it’s time to reach out to the leasing agent! Their information can usually be found in apartment leasing offices, on housing websites, or on “for rent” signs. You’ll typically get to see the house/apartment and start paperwork. Usually, the landlord will require proof of employment, a credit score, photo ID, past addresses, references, bank information, and proof of residency. Since many college students don’t work full time jobs or have enough income for a particular rent, your parent will probably co-sign the lease with you.

    After completing these steps, you will have secured off-campus housing for next year!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

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  • Securing your dream internship

    by Jacquie Dunworth

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    When summer is coming to an end, you may not be thinking about what you’ll be doing a year from now. However, it is never too early to start preparing for the internship search and making a plan. Many companies are beginning to recruit earlier and earlier to secure the best talent. There are certain steps you can take to prepare yourself for securing an internship.

    Determine your interests

    The first step of your internship search is to determine what you are looking for. This entails figuring out which industries you are potentially interested in, like finance or health care or retailing. Reflect on your past schoolwork and major to help see where your skills lie and determine what kind position you are seeking. Determine what the size of company and culture you are looking for. Evaluate your past experiences, such as clubs, projects, or classes that you enjoyed and could translate into a career.

    Research

    Once you have an idea of which industry and role you want to get an internship in, start researching. As you discover specific companies you want to work for, create a list with the company name, then add internship opportunities and application deadlines as you find them. If you want to work somewhere with a very competitive internship program like Amazon, Google, or Facebook, ensure you have some companies that have less competitive programs. Research the type of interviews associated with the role you want. For example, some internships have multiple interview components. Finance interviews typically have a behavioral component and a technical finance component, whereas many engineering interviews contain a math test and consulting interviews have a case study.

    Prepare

    Once you know where you want to work and what to expect in the interview process, you need to prepare. Networking is very important and can help land you your first interview. Reach out to family and friends to see if they know anyone in the industry or company you are interested in. Check your school’s career events. While events this Fall may be virtual, many large companies will still have recruiting opportunities for students. Contact graduates from your college who work for companies you’re interested in on LinkedIn and have a coffee chat. Set up an appointment with a career coach at school and do a mock interview so you are ready when the time comes for you to interview for an internship.

    It’s never too early to start preparing, setting goals, and doing your research. Small things like these can help put you a step ahead of the other applicants. Hopefully starting early will help you land your dream internship. Good luck!

     

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  • Get Refocused for the New Semester

    by Jacquie Dunworth

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    Congratulations! You’ve made it through the fall semester of college. You worked hard, made new friends, and survived finals week. Now that you’ve had a nice long break to unwind, it’s time to refocus. School is about to start up again, so here are some tips on how to get mentally and physically prepared for the new semester.

    Get Back Early

    Classes may start on the Monday after break and you’ll be tempted to return to school late that Sunday to make the most of your remaining hours, but consider returning to campus Saturday. Having a full day before classes start will give you more time to mentally and physically prepare for the semester. With this extra day, you will have time to put your best foot forward and follow the rest of the tips.

    Go School Shopping

    There’s nothing worse than going to the first day of class unprepared. Be sure to buy anything and everything you may need to make your first day back a success! Buying your materials early will ensure that you miss the rush at the bookstore and get a good start with professors.

    Read Over the Syllabus

    Reading over the syllabus before you attend class will give you a good overview of the class and its expectations. The syllabus will also let you know of any required materials and assignments to come prepared with on the first day. Writing all of it down will make sure you already have an idea of what the semester will look like. 

    Plan Ahead

    Now that you’ve given yourself an extra day to get prepared, purchased your class materials, and read through the syllabus, you can take your preparation one step further and plan ahead. Take a minute to fill out a planner or calendar with the due dates of big assignments, midterms, and finals. This will give you the opportunity to plan extracurricular activities around your classes and ensure that your semester will be a success!

    Other Tips and Tricks to Reduce Stress

    All of these are great ways to physically prepare yourself and put your mind at ease for the new semester. In order to further mentally prepare, take measures that will reduce potential stress in the future. Try to avoid procrastinating so you aren’t perpetually stressed that you don’t have enough time. Manage your sleep so you get plenty rest and function at your best. Working out will also help with keeping you healthy and clear-minded.

    A new semester will bring new challenges, but also new opportunities. Being prepared for it will allow you to make your semester the best one yet! Following these tips will put you ahead of the game as well as allow you to be physically and mentally healthy.

     

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