Multicultural Benefits and Challenges for International Students during Period of Their Study: Case Study in Malaysia

IMAM SAPUTRA

Abstract

Current researches on internationalization claim “studying overseas” as a set of potential that assist the augmentation of “globalization”. This article presents the Multicultural Benefits and challenges for International Students during Period of their Study in university Putra Malaysia. Qualitative method and convenience sampling was applied. Semi-structured interview and in depth interviews were conducted on 20 postgraduate students from various fields of study. The result of study showed that the benefits and challenges faced by the international postgraduate students can classify into distinct categories. Studying overseas offers benefits and plus points in terms of Career perspective, cultural familiarity, self-development. The challenges included problems related to facilities, social environment, education system, financial problem and international office programs. The comments made by the students could be considered by the university authorities for improvement in quality of education for international students during their studies.

Keywords: International post-graduate students, challenges and benefits, qualitative method.

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4 Important Additions to Boost your Resume

The job hunt after college can be pretty tough, whether you graduate with an associate degree or a PhD. The market is competitive and many graduates will find it takes some time before they land a job in the field they hoped to make a career in, or they may find themselves pursuing another career altogether.

So, how do you ensure you stand out from the other candidates when applying for a job? Here are four additions to your resume that are sure to give it that extra boost.

1. Summa Cum Laude

Graduating with the highest honors, especially from a college with a strong reputation, says a lot about your ability to learn and retain information. It also speaks to your dedication to the field and a serious application to your craft. After all, few lazy students are likely to graduate with highest honors from any university. Upper-second class honors are also appreciated. However, anything less than that is not worth nothing.

2. Volunteering 

Like your summa cum laude, tossing your volunteer work onto your resume shows your dedication to causes you are passionate about. Not many people are willing to work for free, and the fact that you have done so shows that money isn’t the only thing which motivates you. While your employer should always compensate you fairly for your work, small businesses especially are happy to know you will work hard for what you believe in, regardless of the figures in your bank account.

3. Leadership Positions

If you are a young college graduate, few employers will show much faith in your leadership abilities, putting supervisory and managerial positions out of your reach. Prove them wrong by including the leadership positions you have held while in school. This could include leadership positions in seminars or clubs related to your professional field of choice.

4. Extracurricular Activities

When you first went off to college, maybe you envisioned a life of classes and homework. What you found in addition to this was the freedom to socialize, meet new people, and bond over the most unlikely things. The same is true of work.

If you and every candidate in the room has first class honors, has volunteered, and held leadership positions, but you and the boss can bond over football, golf, a sorority, or chess, you just found your way into the organization.

Just be careful not to give the impression that your extracurricular activities and hobbies will take over your life. The boss needs your head in the game at work, not ESPN.

Landing a new job after college is a lot tougher than most people know when they first embark on this journey. With these four additions, however, you will make your chances of landing a job a whole lot easier. And, if you still need help putting that resume together, check out our resume writing services and shoot us an email. All the best with your job hunt!

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About the Author

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Alexis Chateau is the Founder of College Mate and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.

About College Mate

College Mate is the ultimate survival guide for students. Whether you need help with school, budgeting, relationships, landing your first job, or would love to travel and see more of the world – we got you covered!

5 Financial Disasters No One Warned Me About for College

Being a broke college student sucked!

Don’t get me wrong, I was broke before I went to college. My family didn’t make much money, and I didn’t start working until the summer before I started college. But I had a plan—I took personal finance in high school, and I already knew all about budgeting.

Although I did receive federal aid for most of my years in school, money was tight. I made enough at minimum wage to eat and pay rent, but I was barely scraping by. And before I knew it, surprise bills began to pop up. There was no way I was prepared for the several financial disasters that I faced in my college years. Here are five of the worst I tackled.

1. Moving Out 

Anyone who’s moved out on their own can understand the shock of immediate financial responsibility. I started working my senior year of high school and had saved what I thought was a good sum of money. I had no idea the true cost of living on my own.

What got to me first were security deposits. I needed to make a downpayment for my apartment, for my internet, and all of my utilities. Since I had no renter or credit history, I had to pay upfront, and the deposits quickly guzzled down my initial savings.

After that were my home items. I needed utensils, cookware, plates, bedding. It took a long time to gather the items I needed for day-to-day life—things I took for granted when I lived at home.

Still, I kept my chin up. I ate cups of noodles, as per true college tradition, and I sat on the floor for my first year. I saved $20 a week to buy used and dollar store home items, and before I knew it, I had a hodgepodge of stuff to furnish my home.

2. Roommate Disasters

When I moved out, I didn’t live completely on my own. I had a friend from high school move in with me. Little did I know the disaster that would follow, when you first learn  how responsible—or lazy—your friend truly is.

College doesn’t agree with all of us, and it didn’t agree with my roomie. Within the first semester, she had failed all of her classes and was working half the hours she was supposed to. That meant in the middle of our one-year lease she left me on my own and went back to live with her parents.

I was dumbfounded. How was I supposed to pay the rent of two people? I begged my classmates for help. They pointed me to Easyroommate, an online service to find new roommates. After only a month I escaped my financial disaster and found a roommate for the remainder of my semester.

I had learned my lesson. I saved as much as I could during the remainder of the lease for my next new deposit. And most importantly, I learned to thoroughly vet my next roommate to avoid any more disasters.

3. Paying for Textbooks

Of course, college tuition isn’t the only expense for classes. It’s no secret that most college students believe the textbook industry is a huge scam. So, meet the next financial disaster, paying for expensive, required textbooks.

With only a few dollars left to spare, I was forced to get creative with finding my books. By my final years, I had a foolproof system: I was only taking classes that I knew had no required textbooks or had them for under 30 dollars. I became an expert book-shopper.

It wasn’t always easy, or even always possible. But the amount of effort I spent researching the textbook costs and requirements could have qualified for a 3-credit class itself.

4. Buying My First Ride

During my first few years of college, I managed to live close to both my job and my classes. I could take a bus from one to the other with time to spare. But as time went on, my schedule and bills became too demanding, and I was forced to switch jobs in order to avoid another financial disaster.

The drawback? It was pretty far. That meant it was time to buy a car. I had never bought a car before. Like many first-time car owners, I had dreams of owning a Corvette. Sadly, my research suggested that on my limited income, it would be a little out of my reach.

So I took a cheaper route—I bought a bike. For the rest of the semester I rode my bike to and from work and school, saving the $5 a day in bus fare towards my dream car. And eventually, I was able to afford a Neon: a car that was common enough to replace parts for cheap, and had a low insurance rate.  

5. Finding Parking

When I eventually bought a car, the next disaster to fall into my lap was parking. Some colleges (like my own) offer parking options within the tuition, the same way you would purchase meal plans. Unfortunately, parking plans can sell out within an hour of going on sale, meaning hourly parking is your only choice.

I, of course, could not afford the parking plan. Instead, I found AirGarage. Similar to AirBnb, homeowners can rent out parking spots in their own driveways near popular locations for the month. This gave me the freedom to move locations if a spot didn’t work out.

Needless to say, going to college was expensive. Studying, working, and even living cost more than I was ever prepared for. But I maneuvered through every financial disaster and ended up on top, completely unscathed, and with the right preparation and a creative mind, so can you!

What financial disasters have you faced in college, so far? Tell us all about them in the comments below!

About the Author

Lexi C is a writer with a passion for writing about travel, personal finance, and health and wellness. She believes that helping others is one of the most important things in life, and one of the best ways to do this is to share what little wisdom we all have with others. ​

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4 Reasons Why Internships are Important — Youngfully Employed

Now that I’ve been in the workforce for a little while, it’s starting to get more apparent to me that a lot of the skills I use at my job now were initiated in my intern years. While some people view internships as useless or a waste of time, I find them to be extremely valuable.

Not only are internships good for career development, but you also gain more life experience, as well (i.e. learning how to build relationships, how to communicate effectively, etc.). Internships can also make you ambitious, if you let them. Being able to work side by side with coordinators and management in my career field helped me better understand what all it takes to enhance my professional skills for the future.

Another misconception that people have about internships are that they’re only for college students. Not true. There are many companies who offer internships for recent graduates and entry-level professionals with very little work experience. Take the time to look around and do your research.

Below are the four reasons I believe internships are important for both your professional and personal growth.

Click here for the 4 reasons why internships are important — Youngfully Employed

10 Tips to Boost your GPA

A great GPA score usually signals the difference between meeting requirements for prestigious programs and scholarships – or not. It also decides the honors you get on graduation day, which go a long way toward distinguishing your degree from others in the world of work.

In fact, one human resource management lecturer with 20 years of experience in the field once told me that a degree with less than upper second class honors is not worth considering.

In a sea of graduates leaving college every year, a high GPA becomes one of the many things employers like her look for when hiring top notch talent for their businesses. It is also what a lot of clients look for in freelancers to trust their expertise in the field.

So here are 10 tips to up your GPA game.

1 – Join a Study Group

Joining a study group can make all the difference in your grades. Joining as a tutor allows you to help other students get better at topics and subjects you’ve already grasped, which helps to cement it in your memory for future use. Joining as a pupil helps you to get the assistance you need with areas you do not understand.

Join study groups which encourage healthy intellectual discussions about the topics at hand. When you interact with information outside of a classroom setting, it helps you to remember it better. Think of all the songs you know by heart, or all the information you can recite about pop culture. This is how you learned it.

2 – Revise as Soon as you Get Home

After surviving a day of class the last thing on your mind is going home to go through the ordeal again. But it is one of the best things you can do for your GPA. Reading over while the information is still fresh in your mind helps to make the information stick.

It also allows you to catch any errors you might have made while taking notes, which you would have accepted as fact if you waited weeks or months to look back at the information.

Making cue cards from the notes you take also comes in really handy, as when study time comes around, you can bring these virtually anywhere to get some studying in.

 3 – Be Proactive

It sounds simple but one of the biggest mistakes people make is to procrastinate. It is also the easiest offence to commit, since it’s so convenient to do everything else fun and leave work for the last minute. Don’t allow yourself to pick up this habit. It’s very hard to break once you do.

Getting your schoolwork out of the way as soon as possible allows you to focus on having fun in your free time, guilt-free. It also means that you have more time to go over your work and to catch all the typos and errors, if you rushed the project the night before.

Remember also that instructors usually subtract points from late submissions.

4 – Three Time’s the Charm

An English teacher in high school once told the class that our brains only retain 30% of information each time we cover it. She didn’t provide the science behind that, but applying that logic can go a long way towards boosting grades.

The aim should be to cover the information at least three times to score 90%. Do not count class-time, as this will make up for the rest of the percentage. Covering the information thrice does not have to mean rereading the same notes three times. It can mean reading the textbook, then the accompanying Powerpoint slides, followed by the notes made in class.

Whatever method you use, attempt to interact with the information at least three times in a brief period; usually a week or two before the exam.

 5 – Write Everything Down

A lot of students claim they can remember everything and don’t need to write it down. Maybe you’re one of them. But as one finance teacher once told the class, “The weakest ink lasts longer than the strongest memory”.

Take notes at your lectures and write down examples teachers give to explain problems. Even if you don’t understand it, write it down anyway. Often times, when you go home and go over it a few times it finally makes sense.

 6 – Buy a Laptop

Being a college student is a lot like being a freelancer. You are almost always on the clock wherever you go, even on holidays. Just as freelancers rely heavily on portable devices to get work done wherever they go, so will you.

Invest in a laptop to ensure that being away from home or on a road-trip doesn’t prevent you from getting work done in a pinch. Having a laptop also makes taking notes in class much easier. If you can’t afford a regular laptop, consider getting a Chromebook, or even a tablet with a blue-tooth keyboard. They work just as well for taking notes and doing online research, but cost a lot less.

7  – Take Care of Yourself

School is stressful. Boost those feel good hormones with exercise. College is very much like a sedentary job, and carries the same problems. Get up and run. Go to the gym. Bike. Walk. Skate. Swim. Do something.

Eat as healthy as you can afford to. Don’t use college as an excuse to stock up on junk. The last thing you need is to feel sick the night before finals. Take supplements to boost your immune system and cook with garlic, which is a natural antibiotic.

Stay away from recreational drugs as much as possible, and do not consume too much alcohol.

8 – Learn to Need Less Sleep

Time is of the essence in school, and sleep is one of the biggest thieves. While sleep is actually quite important to physical and mental health, you should learn to need less of it anyway.

No matter how early you get things out of the way, there will always be nights when you need to stay up late to get important things done. Training your body to require less hours of sleep puts more hours in the day to get more done, and over time it makes staying up late a breeze.

Using social media to engage other college students in discussions about the topics you’re covering will also make it easier to stay up; as long as you keep the phone on silent and have the willpower to resist checking the phone every five minutes. If you can master that, you’d be amazed to see how much this helps you to remember things.

9 – Find a Healthy Distraction

This seems like an unlikely recommendation for college, but you do need to find something to look forward to every day outside of schoolwork. Whether it’s playing video games, working on your blog, writing novels, or reading a few pages of a book, make time to feed your brain something other than academic concepts and statistic formulas.

Made it through an entire night of studying or completed a project you’ve been working on for hours, or weeks? Great! Reward yourself. You’ve earned it.

10 – Beware of Relationships

Relationships can be fun and nurturing, but obligations to your partner gets in the way of time you could spend getting work done. Add the risk of pregnancy, and the demand of raising kids, and the stakes climb higher.

However, having a partner can also help you get better grades. If you already have children, then a partner can help watch the kids while you focus on your studies. If you don’t, be sure to use effective birth control methods regularly to keep it that way. And if – like my husband – you have a partner who gives you a lot of space to study and will help you with schoolwork, then your GPA may thank you for it.

Whatever your decision, weigh the pros and cons of the kind of relationships available to you versus your grades. Relationships are often short-lived and temporary at this age, but low GPAs and student debt are not. Invest in the life experiences which stand to benefit you most. There’s plenty of time for everything else later.

Photo Credit: 360 degrees

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About the Author

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Alexis Chateau is the Founder of College Mate and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.

10 Ways to Prep your Body for Swimsuit Season

We all want the perks of a healthy lifestyle – whether it’s the six pack abs, low cholesterol, high stamina, or the ultimate summer body. But not everyone is willing to put in the work. A big reason for this is that many of us think it’s more work than it actually is.

Being healthy doesn’t mean cutting off dessert forever and hitting the gym every day for the rest of your life. It’s about making small lifestyle changes that add up over time.

Here are ten tips to help you get started.

1. Drink More Water.
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Wanna know how important water is? If you don’t drink it you’ll die. Lucky for us, water is a component of many other things we eat and drink like fruits, vegetables, and even sodas. But to truly get the benefits of water, we need to drink the real deal.

Some of the benefits of water include cancer prevention, natural detoxing, better moods, better performance at the gym, less joint pains, clearer skin, and of course, weight loss.

Try substituting sodas, teas, and juices with water as much as possible to cut down on calorie intake. And be sure to hydrate on days that are especially hot, as well as days you plan to get your workout in.

2. Join a Gym.
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There is a gym membership for virtually any budget – if you know where to look. Often times, colleges and apartment complexes include gym access as a free perk. Be sure to check if yours do before signing up for a paid gym membership. Your college may also have partnerships with gyms to provide you a student discount.

If you do join a gym but can’t afford a personal trainer, the staff should still be able to assist you with choosing the right machines, based on your fitness goals and current body type. In fact, from personal experience, even other people at the gym will usually step in to lend a hand or offer a word of advice in good faith.

Ladies, while it’s definitely a possibility, don’t assume every guy who comes over to help is flirting with you. Men love seeing women at the gym, whether they have the opportunity to ask them out on a date or not.

3. Put on Some Muscle.
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Most men already have this goal in mind, but women tend to think of muscles as purely masculine. This is a myth more women need to push past in order to get the full benefits of a fit body, as a little muscle can go a long way.

When we put on muscle, it tones our bodies and increases our metabolic rate. Muscle provides the privilege of worrying a little less about watching calories, carbs, and sugars. Some other benefits include increased strength, better definition, and building stronger bones.

4. Get Out There and Explore.
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Supplement the gym with other things. It’s not enough to run for an hour while staring at a screen. It’s important to get out there and explore. Options include hiking, paddle boarding, running, walking, dancing, climbing, cycling, tennis, volley ball, skating, Wii Sport, even hop scotch…

Find something fun that you can look forward to and be passionate about – something you won’t think of as merely exercise.

5. Eat.
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Eat as much as you like of whatever you like, but learn to like healthy things, and to eat on time. Don’t skip meals.

If you know you can’t commit to eating grass and crackers for the rest of your life, don’t do it for a week either. Strict diets lower your metabolism, and once you start eating regularly again, you will stack on more pounds than you otherwise would have in the past.

Try to substitute starch/carbohydrates with vegetables when you can, and to have fruits when you want to snack. Some people can go through a whole cheesecake without putting on a pound and some people will gain ten from sniffing it. You will have to find what works best for you.

6. Drink More Coffee.
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Drinking coffee with breakfast in the morning helps many people last longer before needing lunch, and reduces the desire to snack in-between meals. Other benefits of coffee include increased energy, higher metabolic rate, performance boost, fighting depression, and decreased likelihood of getting cancer.

However, try not to drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages after 4PM, or  you can count on being up all night, tossing and turning.

7. Sleep.
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It may seem like an unlikely way to get fit, but when we don’t sleep, our body is forced to recover energy from eating and snacking. The less I sleep, the more I want to stuff my face. Some benefits of sleep include better heart health, lower obesity rates, better sex life, pain relief, and better mood.

Try to get at least 6-8 hours each night. Sleeping for longer than this might actually make you feel more tired due to the side effects of over-sleeping.

8. De-stress.
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Stress and boredom are two main causes of snacking and eating when we shouldn’t. Exercise already helps to boost your mood by increasing the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins.

However, we can’t always make time for exercise just because we’re feeling blue. Find other things to occupy your time. Find a hobby that keeps your brain active, or do something like yoga, that helps you to meditate and relax.

However, don’t use your hobbies as a distraction. Tackle your problems head on; not by overindulging in a pity-party, but by creating a plan to effect change or to accept and adjust to an unchangeable situation.

9. Stop Watching the Scales.
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Stop watching the numbers on a scale and comparing yourself to other people. Embrace what you are and what you’re capable of becoming, and work on being that happier, sexier you. If you need numbers to measure your success, measure the size of your waist, thighs, or arms, and the sizes in clothes you have slimmed down to.

10. Take a Break!
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Don’t work out every single day. Your body needs time to recover and repair itself from the strain of exercise. This will help you to do more with greater enthusiasm your next time around, and subsequently, get more out of your workout sessions because you can push yourself a little harder.

Best of luck on your fitness journey and toning up for the summer!

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About the Author

Alexis Chateau is the Founder of College Mage and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.

Originally written for and published on Alexis Chateau, but later re-purposed and moved here during site restructuring.

How to Leverage Freelance Experience to Land a Job

As many college graduates know, it’s difficult to land a job coming right out of college, especially if you have never held a job in your field before. As a result, college graduates have now gotten creative by building their work experience through internships and freelance work.

But after years of working for yourself as a freelancer, how does one then transition into corporate? How do you leverage the freelance experience you have built to land a well-paying job in your field?

Choose the Right Title

The process starts with choosing a title that will show you in the best light. “Freelancer” is a loose term that can mean any number of things, but the words entrepreneur or small business owner carry much more positive connotations.

Keep this in mind when writing your resume, your cover letter, and when attending the interviews you are called in for. If asked how many employees you managed at your small business, it is acceptable to say that the people you worked with were mostly clients, or other independent contractors. Do not lie to your [potential] employer.

Emphasize Entrepreneur Skill-sets

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you will have learned skills that corporate employees rarely gain, unless they worked in those specific areas. Be sure to use these skills to your advantage when applying for a job. They often include:

  • Leadership and general people management
  • Project management
  • Account management
  • Customer service
  • Sales and marketing
  • Budgeting, book-keeping and basic finances
  • Risk mitigation
  • Creative and independent thinking

These are skills that any sensible organization will want on its team, so be sure to include this on your resume, and in your cover letter. During the interview, be sure to have examples to illustrate each, if asked.

Address their Fears

Despite the wealth of skills entrepreneurs bring to the table, especially for entrepreneurs who traveled a lot for work, there are many risks for employers who choose to bring them into their company. Some of the most common fears employers will have, include:

  1. That you will not commit to the job, and they will need another replacement soon
  2. That if you leave, you will take their clients/customers with you
  3. That you have worked alone for too long, and may not be a team player
  4. That you may not be familiar with general industry practices, as you’ve run an independent practice for so long

You will need to find ways to assure management that these risks do not apply to you during the job application process, and after you’ve been hired. Rather than take the blunt approach of bringing the issues up yourself at the interview, follow the age-old marketing advice of: show, don’t tell.

Great ways to do this are:

  1. Mentioning commitment to long-term clients you have worked with on your resume
  2. Mentioning a willingness to sign a non-competitive agreement
  3. Placing emphasis on working with other people, or managing teams
  4. Showing or mentioning that you have kept abreast with industry practices via your college degree, professional certifications, or independent reading.

Are you a freelancer looking to enter or re-enter corporate life? Confused about where to start, and how to convince employers that you are committed to joining their team as an asset and not a threat? We’d be happy to help. Shoot us an email to get started!

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About the Author

Alexis Chateau

Alexis Chateau is the Founder of College Mate and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.

The Top 4 Reasons You Haven’t Heard Back from the Recruiting Manager

Everyone has to face rejection at some point in life. But no one enjoys it. Even worse is when the rejection comes in the form of silence, or lack of a coherent response. While this can be upsetting in relationships, it can be even worse when your ability to make a living depends upon that response.

So why do recruiters reject or ignore the application you put so much work into? Why leave you in obvious distress, while you play the waiting game? Here are four of the top reasons recruiters turn candidates away, or worse, declined to respond to the initial application.

1. No Cover Letter

A cover letter introduces you to your potential employer. Even when applying by email, and even when a cover letter isn’t specifically requested, the rule of thumb is to tell the recruiter a little about who you are, what you do, and what you bring to the table.

If you don’t send one, you can bet another candidate will. And who do you think the recruiter will think of as more interested, more polite, and more professional? Certainly, the one who bothered to introduce themselves before expecting a job.

2. Not Following Instructions

When an organization puts rules in place, it is not purely meant as red-tape. It means the recruiting manager has a process for how to accept workers, or submitted work, and needs you to follow a process that runs parallel to their own. Yet, many candidates do not read or follow instructions.

Two candidates once asked us about a vacancy at our PR firm on social media. We asked them to send their resume and portfolio to our email address. One replied with a link to their website, and the other replied with their email address.

We ignored both. An inability to follow simple instructions that early is unlikely to translate into a good work-relationship later on.

3. Not Proof-reading

One of the most amusing things in recruiting is the candidate who claims to pay excellent attention to detail, but then doesn’t follow instructions… or proof-read their resume.

While overseeing recruiting work for one of our clients at Alexis Chateau PR, I would say that roughly 60 percent of the resumes we see have blatant typos. To be fair, typos can get the best of anyone. But some typos are so obvious, you know immediately, the person didn’t bother to read over anything.

Use spellcheck; and ask family, friends, or a professional, to proof-read your documents before you send it out to a recruiter who does pay excellent attention to detail.

4. No vacancy

Another common reason job applications get swept under the rug, is that there is no vacancy, or the position is already filled. This can happen when graduates send unsolicited requests for work to companies, or when they apply too late for a position.

There are also instances when management already has someone to fill a position, but may still advertise as per protocol. In these instances, there is little the candidate can do, as they have no proof that this is the reason their application was ignored. Request a follow-up, and then move on.

While there is no foolproof way to ensure you get a response from recruiter, always remember to introduce yourself, follow the application instructions, read through your documents, and follow-up with management. If you need hands-on assistance with your job hunt process, please send us an email. We’ve been helping people land the jobs they want since 2008.

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About the Author

Alexis Chateau

Alexis Chateau is the Founder of College Mate and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.

5 Tips for Networking Even if You’re Not a Social Butterfly

Most people agree. Networking is one of the best ways to strengthen your professional ties, and climb the corporate and entrepreneurial ladder. But there are many people who while acknowledging this, find it difficult to overcome their shyness, even for the sake of success.

So how do you stretch those networking wings, if you’re not a social butterfly? Check out our five tips for the shy networkers, below.

1. Join Social Media Groups

Even the most socially awkward people can mask this on social media. There are plenty of groups on LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook, Google Plus, and even Twitter, that are specifically geared towards networking, and at an international level.

Grads should join them and start making key connections. You may have the opportunity to meet with, and even work for, these people later on — maybe even halfway around the world. You never know!

2. Meet Business People on Tinder & Bumble

Most people view Tinder entirely as a dating app, and a skeptic few, as nothing but an electronic black book for hookups. However, Tinder is a tool like any other; the results depend on the user, and perhaps some luck.

Even so, not every date has chemistry. And sometimes, these neutral meet-ups turn into friendships with a business network you can tap into. Hailed as the feminist Tinder, Bumble has so recognised this that it has a specific section of the app for business networking.

While using these apps, however, even when it has a specific section for business, be clear about setting your boundaries and sticking to them. Working for or with someone you’ve been dating or sleeping with, can get awkward.

3. Attend Meetups

Even better than Bumble at setting boundaries is Meetup. Especially for college graduates starting out away from home, this app is a great tool for connecting you with like-minded people.

You can meet other graduates to bounce ideas off, as well as entrepreneurs looking to attract talent, or professionals open to mentoring. We’ve had one client attend a tech meetup in Atlanta to scout for young talent, so best believe, it does happen.

4. Business Cards

Some people say business cards are a thing of the past, but I disagree. People will need your contact information, and not everyone has the patience to scroll through their contacts, google you online (if they even remember your name!), and seek you out.

Get business cards, and hand them out to as many people as possible. Make sure the card has your name, your credentials, your social media, your website (if you have one), and the kind of work you’re interested in. Some people also go a step further to add their picture.

5. Start a Blog

In 2015, I tired of corporate life and quit my job to travel and freelance as a writer and PR specialist. I started a blog to document that journey, and then launched my PR firm in 2016 to celebrate 10 years of doing PR work.

Roughly 90% of queries and clients still come from that blog and the social media pages tied to it. Through the blog, I was able to connect with soon-to-be clients, while building my credibility as a writer and publicist. This is a route many college grads can take as they continue to hunt for their dream job.

You don’t need to be a social butterfly to make key connections in the business world, but it does help. These tips will help you master your shyness to comfortably work your way into the world of business networking. Good luck!

About the Author

Alexis Chateau is the Founder of College Mate and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.

Veggie Burgers

Seeking Sanctuary At World's End

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This is the second time (first time is here) I have written about these burgers.  Still haven’t quite figured them out because they remain too soft to fry.  They are completely vegan and taste more like falafel than a veggie burger.  They are super yummy and we had a lot of luck with them in the oven (broil is your friend).

Zucchini Quinoa Burgers
Olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 cup zucchini, grated
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup cooked quinoa
2/3 cups water
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dill
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika

Heat some olive oil in a pan. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add zucchini, and continue to saute until zucchini is cooked through…

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