College Planning Specialists

September 24, 2008

Emily Chang: Your Resource To New Applications in Web 2.0 World

If you are a college or high school student reading this post you better get with one major reality that is beginning to shape the world you will be job hunting in soon: Web 2.0 information is critical to your career. Your job as a student is to learn and become knowledgeable in your major.

Your job as a smart student is to begin branding “You” long before you leave college. If you are not writing a blog you should be right now. If you don’t feel you have the time or discipline, then you should be creating a profile (rich version of an advertisement or resume) and placing it on the major Web 2.0 niche sites and social sites.

Research Tool

Emily Chang, MIT graduate, award-winning web and interaction designer, technology strategist and co-founder of Ideacodes, a design and web consultancy in San Francisco has a very cool tool for you to keep up with new applications: ./emilychang eHub. This tool announces new Web 2.0 applications and provides a short description as well as reviews.

Feed Reader For App News

This site acts like a feed reader of constant news about the latest and greatest applications to come out of the minds of entrepreneurs. Why is site important:

1. Great content ideas

2. Great tools to help you in your business

3. Features and Reviews

4. Cutting edge and timely information

5. Interviews with entrepreneurs and industry superstars

6. Submit a Site allows you to send your site or your favorite new tool for exposure

7. Tech Events and News

Follow Emily on twitter

profile image twittering: finishing up a style guide. it’s cool to be working with someone again that i worked with ten years ago.

September 5, 2008

Profiles On Social Media Networking Sites Are The New Employment Channel

As students you should be joining social media networking sites and directories. The biggest reason is that you want your writing to populate the top ten spots on a page one search for your surname. When you begin interviewing with employers, the best strategy (if you do not intend on blogging) is to place your “resume” into a profile on each powerful social media networking sites. In some cases, employment sites will scrape this information and make it available to their clients. Be ready by posting your “resume” as often as possible.

In a fantastic article on online reputation management “50+ Sites To Help You Bury Negative Posts About You or Your Company” Jeff Quipp states: “Keep in mind, most people never go beyond the first page of search results.”

Jeff’s strategy is to “build a profile on various sites.  .  .  most important is that the profile name should be the exact term phrase that any negative piece of information is ranking for in the search engines.”

50 Sites To Help You Defend Your Online Reputation

1. Digg
2. LinkedIn
3. Twitter
4. Stumbleupon
5. Facebook
6. Propeller
7. Magnolia
8. Jaiku
9. Simpy
10. Technorati
11. coRank
12. YouTube
13. BlogCatalog
14. Zimbio
15. HubPages
16. Reddit
17. UPCHUCKr
18. BlogMad
19. Curbly
20. Flickr
21. PublicBlend
22. Bumpzee
23. Pownce
24. ViewZoo
25. PeekYou
26. Hugg.com
27. Connotea
28. BlinkList
29. BlogFlux
30. Netvous.com
31. Plime
32. MyBlogLog
33. Giggg.com
34. DotNetKicks
35. Diigo
36. CoComment
37. LiveJournal
38. Faves
39. Indianpad
40. Blogmarks.net
41. MySpace
42. Mixx
43. ZiiTrend
44. FriendFeed
45. MetaCafe
46. Last.fm
47. ZippyVideos
48. Quizilla.com
49. Kirtsy
50. Photobucket
51. Deals
52. Agentb
53. BlogSpot
54. HuffingtonPost

August 18, 2008

The #1 Mistake In Business Networking Is The Hardsell

“The #1 biggest mistake people make when networking is the Hard Sell” –Dean Guadagni

Today a question came up in Susan Hanshaw’s career and transition workshop presented to the Marin Professionals Association in San Rafael, California. It was one of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind:

“What’s the best way to network?”

Before we examine the best method(s) to network and how to define networking, let’s identify the #1 biggest mistake people make when networking: The Hard Sell

Networking is not:

  1. Selling yourself, your products, or your services
  2. Not purging your 15-30 second elevator pitch
  3. “Working the Room” to gather as many business cards as possible in one session
  4. Soliciting advice from people you yet to know
  5. Begging for introductions to other people
  6. Turning off your ears and listening skills
  7. Monopolizing everyone’s time with your sales pitch
  8. Ignoring the networking organization’s message, niche, and membership
  9. Ignoring your homework to find out who you wish to meet at the meeting you plan to attend
  10. Asking for value before offering value yourself

Stay tuned next week when I define networking and identify the #1 Best Method to Networking.

July 23, 2008

Student’s Real World Opportunity To Understand The Green Movement: Van Jones Green Ecomomy Powerhouse In San Francisco

Van Jones Headshot

Van Jones

Students looking for employment and career opportunities in new trend markets look no farther than the Green Movement for new opportunities. This emerging niche industry will be one of the biggest growth industries now and into the future. If you want to see one of the biggest movers and shakers in the Green Movement then consider spending the money to see Van Jones speak–this is your opportunity to begin your real world “green” education.

Van Jones is one of the most powerful men in the drive to bring economic relief and prosperity to inner city citizens through the new opportunities growing out of the green movement.

Green for All founder Van Jones and California State Senator Darrell Steinberg team up with the Commonwealth Club of California’s INFORUM division to present “Who’s Building The New Green Economy?” This discussion is characterized as a “timely discussion about the intersection of environment and economy.”

Real Estate Professionals and Affiliates

For any mortgage broker, Realtor, broker, builder, or construction affiliates this discussion will shed light on where the profits are going, the funding is being spent, and the niches that are being created.

Place

The Commonwealth Club, commonwealthclub.org, 595 Market Street, San Francisco

Date and Time

Thursday July 24, 2008 6:00pm

May 4, 2008

Student’s #1 “Cost Of Living” Tool: Economic Research Institute

The best source for students to find free “calculator” tools, to help decide on the best cities in the US to live, are provided by the Economic Research Institute. The best page to find these valuable tools is the ERI “Career and Cost of Living Comparison” page which includes the following free tools:

2 Career Cost of Living Comparison Tools For Students

1. Salary Potential 2023: This tool “reports the estimated annual mean salary potential for 5,634 positions in the Year 2023.”

2. Student Cost of Living: This tool is a fantastic point of reference. It calculates cost of living for cities around the world and in some cases neighborhoods within the cities.

In my example I found the following information about San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood: “Student Cost of Living for Consumables as a percentage of the U.S. National Norm: 125%”

There are many more detailed reports comparing cities globally or nationally, cost of living conversion rates and economic condition calculators. Although these reports are not free, the descriptions of the reports can give you a starting point to performing your own (free) research.

April 18, 2008

Top 10 Cities: Job Prospects For College Graduates To Consider

As a college graduate you are either buried in student loans waiting to be paid, you have lived a bare thread existence, or you are just ready to prosper after a long preparation period called your “whole life.” The following list was compiled from Hannah Clark’s beautiful article in Forbes.com “The Best Cities To Get A Job.”

The numbers represent a small part of why these cities are considered the top 10 cities for college graduates to find a job. Each city’s economy is outlined with new companies or industry highlights. In addition “affordability” ratings for housing (NAR calculator) and cost of goods (Cost of Living Index by infoplease.com) should be areas that students investigate on their own.

Top 10 Cities

1. Washington D.C.: Unemployment rank: 4 and Job growth rank: 12

2. Phoenix, Ariz: Unemployment rank: 17 and Job growth rank: 8

3. Las Vegas, Nev: Unemployment rank: 12 and Job growth rank: 1

4. Orlando, Fla: Unemployment rank: 5 and Job growth rank : 6

5. Bethesda, Md: Unemployment rank: 2 and Job growth rank : 32

6. Richmond, Va: Unemployment rank: 6 and Job growth rank : 28

7. Raleigh, NC: Unemployment rank: 18 and Job growth rank: 22

8. Jacksonville, Fla: Unemployment rank: 13 and Job growth rank: 20

9. Oklahoma City, Okla: Unemployment rank: 21 and Job growth rank: 44

10. Virginia Beach, Va: Unemployment rank: 16 and Job growth rank: 25

March 26, 2008

The Decision Crisis Student Face: Follow Your Interests and Passions

The credit crisis has now impacted the availability of student loans as more lenders drop out of the business. According to Net Worth’s Kathleen Pender “More than two dozen non bank lenders have stopped making college loans and last week, three large banks followed suit.” The fact that college tuition is spiraling upward with no end in sight, adds to the ever growing importance of a student’s career path decision making process.

What about the decision crisis that faces every student? Your decision making process for identifying the right career path is more important than ever. Unfortunately this process often begins in the middle rather than the beginning. Simply put many students and parents look at job markets, financial compensation, and job availability as the deciding factors on a career (major) path.

The First Step in the Decision Making Process

Before you consult the traditional counselors, career and interest surveys, and company representatives recruiting on campus consider the following:

1. Awareness: you will graduate to the workforce via corporate America or as an entrepreneur with a work life history that averages 40+ years

2. Interest: The career path you pursue should be one that holds your interest. It is imperative that students identify their all their interests. Make a detailed list of the things, activities, and rituals you enjoy. This is should help to heighten your awareness about what direction to take

3. Passion: After identifying your interests which are your passions? Which activity, subject, or ritual do you just love? Make a list of these “special” interests and consider them your detailed list moving forward

Discovering the correct career path (major) should start with the awareness that you will be spending the majority of your waking hours working. With this awareness you can then understand how important it is to find a career that you have interest and passion for in abundance.

By making this detailed list, students can take the first correct step to identifying the career that is right for them, the passion that will last a lifetime, and they can create a happier life from the beginning of their work life.

February 28, 2008

Students Find Your Passion, Career With Inner Architect’s New Book, “Apprentice Contest”, and Video Series

Author and Founder of inner architect, Susan Hanshaw, is producing a how-to video series: “Becoming an inner architect” as chronicled in her article New Book, New Video Series, New You: inner architect’s 3 Value Propositions.” The series will support her new book “inner architect: How to Build The Life You Were Designed to Live.” In addition, inner architect is providing the following value propositions:

1. Weekly Video Series: Susan will provide steps, tools, tips, and strategies to help you learn how to acknowledge your career dissatisfaction through awareness, identify your passions, and change your life with purposeful intended results.
2. Free Copy of Chapter 1 : “Cultivating your Mind to Consider Change” of her upcoming book “inner architect: How to Build The Life You Were Designed to Live.”

3. Be An inner architect “Apprentice Contest”: Now you have the chance to voice your opinion, share your stories of change, and inspire others. Participate by ordering your free copy of Chapter 1 and write to us describing your experience(s).

The three best critiques or stories of change that “Cultivating Your Mind to Consider Change” inspires will receive a free copy of “inner architect: How to Build The Life You Were Designed to Live” and a $50 Nordstrom gift certificate!

Take advantage and participate in the fun by emailing your free request for Chapter 1 “Cultivating Your Mind to Consider Change” to dean@innerarchitect.com


October 17, 2007

STOP Servitude to Banks Providing Tuition Financing: College Planning Specialists’ Plan to Break the Loan Cycle

In today’s world of financing for a college education, the awesome and frightening reality for many students and parents are the lack of solid tuition financing alternatives. The main method of paying for an education., outside full athletic scholarships or parents who can afford to pay without discomfort, are student loans through fiance companies bent on creating an interest rate bonaza to your detriment.

robbers.jpg

In step with the high interest rates and never ending loan pay off dates is the fact that college tuitions are simply a rip off. There is very little competition or what analysits call downward pressure on college tuition pricing. In a good example of this problem, Paul Streitz’s article “The Great American College Tuition Rip Off” outlines how parents and students push for higher education at the best colleges. This demand is manipulated by those colleges that receive the highest rankings from the US News and World Reports. US News and World Reports rankings have long been a respected measuring stick to parents and students helping them identify the best institutions.

Streitz posits that without tuition price competition from equally rated universities, and with demand escalating, universities will continue to raise tuitions. These cost increases are not caused by spiraling administration costs, professor salaries, or any cost of doing business factors. Instead the true explanation is simple: universities can and do raise tuition fee because students and parents are willing to pay the costs without question.

How do students receive academic scholarships when their parents economic standing disqualifies them from aid? And how do parents whose main assets are in property and whose income is just enough to keep their household afloat help pay for their student’s educations? Is it possible to “requalify” these families in such a way as to make them eligible for financial aid after all? The answer to the last question is a resounding YES!

Right now is the right time to look for alternatives to the traditional loan rip offs. Now is the time to investigate and engage with a new method to pay for college. Now is the time to contact College Planning Specialists.

College Planning Specialists provides a number of valuable services which in whole bring a new alternative to the traditional problem of qualifying for financial aid. The professionals at CPS Dan Evertsz and Gerna Benz provide expert analysis and an action plan that helps non qualifying (financial aid) families qualify under aid guidelines.

CPS’s Service Checklist is comprised of 24 action steps when implemented have a positive effect on qualifying a family for the millions of dollars, that go unused each year, of financial aid available. The first step is to outline a complete financial overview and analysis of a family’s assets as they relate to college as well as their budget. Analysis of the family budget, taxes, retirement and other areas of financial management gives a clear picture as to the best steps to take.

During this analysis, CPS will calculate the family’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). This form is a way to calculate how much a family must pay outside of the financial aid package that they qualify to receive. It is CPS job to help families understand this process, do the calculations for the family, and most valuable-provide a plan/and or recommendations to reduce the Estimated Family Contribution.

Why worry about the EFC when most families do not qualify for financial aid due to their economic standing? In many many cases Dan and Gerna have been able to find avenues for families to qualify for financial aid. Almost all of these families never thought they would qualify, never knew where to go to investigate these alternatives, and have nothing to lose by going through the College Planning Specialists consultations.

For more information please contact this blog or stay tuned for the Part 2 in my series: Stop Servitude to Banks. . .

October 11, 2007

College Students Preparing for Work Life: “Consulting” (Entrepreneurial Career) Can Be Lucrative And Absurd

mad-scientist.jpg
Courtesy of www.pendotech.com

You have spent the majority of your life learning, preparing, and fretting over the next step: work life aka “real world.” In that time you have concentrated your studies on a major-minor core curriculum. While you were performing your best work, you kept an eye on your eventual job prospects. Summertime was for internships and making business connections so that your transition from college life could be a smooth and rapid one. Finally you girded yourself for the possibilities that you will have to look long and hard for the job and career you want.

After all of this preparation, I bet nobody informed you about the world of “consulting.” It is entrepreneurial and it’s main requirement is that you have “expertise” in a specific field. This knowledge and your ability to bring this knowledge forward in a manner that is instructive are the major necessities to becoming a consultant-and hanging out your own shingle.

Now the fun part. The following story is true and it was reported in the October 11, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle “Bay Area” section of the paper-the headline reads:

Berkeley:

“LAW SCHOOL DROPS BOALT, $25,000

“Officials at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law spent nearly $25,000 on a branding consultant to help them give the school a new name: ‘UC Berkely School of Law.’ . . . “Dean Christopher Edley Jr. said the money was-spent because people will now understand that the law school is tied to UC Berkeley.”

HUH? WAH? You mean to tell me one of the preeminent academic officials in one of the most respected universities in the world deemed it necessary to hire a “consultant” to formulate that brand name? How utterly absurd is the thought that all of this brainpower at the disposal of UC Berkeley through administrators, professors, and students was never tapped?

Analysis:

Why didn’t the UC Berkeley brains behind this branding move simply poll their professors, adminstration, alumni, and current students? Why not open it up as if it was a “Branding” contest: Winner receives a $10,000 grant?

Instead Marshall Strategy Inc. was handed a $200,000 contract to “design the school’s magazine, Web site and brochures for fundraising and student recruiting.” Within this $200 “large” was the $25k fee for the “name.”

Even more disturbing is the fact that UC Berkeley has allowed a wonderful opportunity in public relations and recruiting slip through it’s fingers. How great a tool would it be for the university to have tasked it’s Business school and Law school with the jobs of branding, media brochure materials, publicity, and marketing?

Why not give the consulting contract to it’s own students? Why not keep the money in-house? Why not use this type of project as a senior thesis which could provide real world experience a graduate could point to when interviewing for a position?

Finally why not bring the component of blogging into the picture? Blogging or citizen journalism would be a wonderful course that every business school should, unfortunately administration does not get it, provide in it’s curriculum.

Incredulous is the idea that anyone with half a brain could have come up with this “branded” moniker. What is wrong with this picture besides the fact that it must make every UC Berkeley student wonder where their hard earned tuition fees are being spent?

So there you have it in a nutshell. Consulting is a business and it is lucrative. It does not necessarily require brains or even expertise. It requires the skill of being able to sell even the most absurd idea to the smartest people without those smart people pushing back your idea.

Go forth and conquer! Young consultants unite and prosper.

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