College Planning Specialists

July 18, 2008

“Green” Careers The Niche For Green: Students Pay Attention To The Coming Trends

The Green movement for clean and safe energy is becoming an emerging niche for career opportunities. The Real Estate industry and many others are beginning to go Green and for good reason. With global warming and pollution running rampant around the planet, now more than ever before we need to preserve what we have for our environment’s health and evolution.

The solar industries announcements last week of new projects in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center and Desoto County coupled with the San Diego announcement of new solar powered plants to be built is another signal that Green is going mainstream–catch the trend now.

Green Conferences In Abundance

Denver, Colorado is the site of the July 16-17 “Green Real Estate 2008″ ecobroker annual conference featuring Discovery Network’s Sara Snow and keynote speaker Terry Watson. The conference will cover the following topics:

* Affordability, durability, comfort, homeownership

* The latest in Green finance options

* Tour Harvard Communities Green Development

* Cutting edge technologies and real estate applications

* Greening your local MLS

* PR Success for your real estate businessAffor

Cost

Non members: $345 includes ecobroker membership

Members: $179

Big Sponsors

Wells Fargo Bank Home Mortgage; Stewart Title; Harvard University

dability, durability, comfort, and homeownership

July 16, 2008

Web 2.0 Learning Revolutionary Mike Wesch: “Media Literacy” What’s Wrong With Our Educational System Today

Kansas State Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology Mike Wesch, author and creator of the hit youtube video The Machine is Us/ing Us fame, has done the improbable–he has literally become the voice for millions of frustrated students across the nation.

The following video “A Portal To Media Literacy” is the MOST IMPORTANT video you will ever watch in regards to your educational experience, learning tendencies, and overall happiness with your institution of “higher learning.”

5 Questions To Ask Yourself

1. Do you have the time to research your own future even if it takes 1hour and 6 minutes?

2. Do you spend the time to understand why you dislike your institution’s methods of “information dump” aka teaching?

3. Does your ego driven faculty, more concerned with their own authoritarian agendas than your overall education, stunt your desire to learn in and out of the classroom?

4. Are you fed up and aware that the content of your learning may not have any basis in the REAL WORLD?

5. Do you feel that your college-university’s goal is to generate revenue, by adding unwanted and irrelevant curriculum forcing students into 4 year commitments, rather than to teach and prepare students for their futures?

Watch this video and NEVER feel the same about your learning expectations again!

July 14, 2008

Beware Before Buying Acer or Gateway Laptop: My Story of WTF?

Beware when buying your computer, what seems like a deal may very well not be a deal at all. My experience with my Gateway laptop has been a hassle. Best Buy, Acer-Gateway’s retailer of choice, ran a super deal for their advertised Gateway MT 3705 March of 2007 in Northern California.

I bit hook line and sinker and purchased the box MT 3705 with the resulting problems described below. What has been even more curious is the fact that I have been contacted by a dozen citizen desperate for answers–none of which I could supply.

Upon Further Inspection

To her credit, Acer rep Nicole gave me a call to “help out.” Granted they are only helping me because If I choose to do so I could write an entire series on their sorry customer service and retail tactics which would show up on Google page one searches for Acer-Gateways most coveted keywords and long tail phraseology.

With that caveat in mind, I described my box problems and Nicole suggested I search for the serial number for the unit.

Surprise or Just What I Could Have Expected?

Upon inspection of the bottom of the laptop I found an interesting problem. The box had an inscribed, in white lettering seared into the plastic, Model Number of “W340UI.”

In the opposite corner resides a grey sticker that gives the Model number as “MT3705.”

What does this mean? Does Gateway or Acer have two Model numbers for the same unit meaning that a W34OUI is also a MT3705? Or did they sell me the wrong computer? Or more sinister: did they advertise the MT3705 and sell me an inferior box?

Where Are We Now?

I want my money back. I do NOT want an Acer product. I do NOT want to deal with Acer or their customer no service tactics. I want a Compaq which I recently purchased for my girlfriend. It is very cool, no problems, and is the same price. What am I going to get? No telling what to expect–more of the same maybe?

Below is the original article about my Acer-Gateway nightmare:

After less than one year of ownership, I am sad to report that my fantastic buy on the Gateway MT 3705 Notebook computer may have been a case of buyer beware. My initial excitement for the Gateway is chronicled in “Best Buy’s Best Deal Of The Year: Gateway Notebook MT 3705 $549!!!” Unfortunately the following problems or events have forced me to write this review–do NOT purchase this Gateway MT 3705 Notebook:

1. Equipment Failure

After 8 1/2 months of moderate usage, my Gateway has gone from valued business tool to doorstop. The screen display goes black after a few minutes. With no way to return my screen, I am often forced to reboot in order to see a display. Anything I was working on is lost or interrupted in the most annoying and costly manner–loss of time.

Follow these links for negative aspects expressed by Gateway MT 3705 users: keyboard, review #6 sticking buttons, and battery issue review “Cons” Middy last on page.

When the unit is left on a desk or table or in my lap it seems to get hot. I believe it may over heat and this may cause the screen to go blank. But I don’t know anything because

2. Gateway No Longer Exists

Gateway, a company that modeled it’s retail stores after Apple stores, is no longer in existence after being bought by Acer. No retail stores, no customer service help, no place to go except

3. Acer Customer No Service

When I followed up to try to find customer service help, I was pushed into the Acer labyrinth for Customer Service. My “tech support” (I USE THIS TERM VERY LOOSELY) agent seemed like a bored high school kid forced to work on her spring break. Here are the options I was presented:

a.) Acer would pay a “portion” of the costs
b.) Acer wants me to send the Notebook to them with a turn around time of 6-8 wks
c.) Acer suggested that without a warranty they are absolved of any responsibility even though their product is defective

July 11, 2008

Student’s Marketability Factors: 2 Critical Skills You Must Have Before Leaving School

To often college professors and the self ingratiating scholarly types, who pride themselves on academia, miss the mark when preparing students for the “nuts and bolts” business world that awaits them.

Let me help you with my opinion gleaned from years of corporate America battle wounds.  You will make yourself more marketable, more desirable to firms, and a highly sought after candidate if you develop the following 2 skills:

#1 The Written Word

Your ability to put pen to paper, fingertip to keyboard, or ink to grease board is the most critical skill employers are beginning to demand in college grads entering the job market. Can you write a grammatically correct sentence? Can you punctuate that sentence properly and spell without errors? Can you perform these basics while utilizing and displaying a broad vocabulary in your writing? Finally does your writing deliver the message intended in a succinct manner?

#2 The Spoken Word

Can you relate your thoughts, your message, and your purpose in a public speech? Are you comfortable providing information, direction, or analysis to a room full of peers-or worse yet superiors?

Public speaking, often ranked as the #1 or #2 fear in America, is a huge component to your success. If you can master this skill, you will differentiate yourself over your competition

Final Final

Our next article will provide you with resources on how to hone your writing and speaking skills, where to find resources to get over the fear(s), and tools you can utilize that will help you grow into the “expert” you hope to emulate

Comedy Or Real Life: Web 2.0 Makes It Possible For Students To Reach Their Dreams

The video is funny, catchy, and more realistic than many people care to dream. With the onset of Web 2.0 and the soon to follow cloud computing driven Web 3.0 it’s no wonder entrepreneurship is viewed by many universities as “the new frontier.”

The following video by the Richterscales.com is a comedic look at the dot.com bust to Web 2.0 boom. This video was the Winner of the Webby Award for Viral Video!

Although it looks like a complete goof, it is a decent timeline and roll call of events and companies that have become the giants or has beens of this new era called Web 2.0

Consider this a supplemental and fun educational video to understanding what is happening to our world.

July 7, 2008

Web 2.0 Professor’s Video Tutorial: Every Student Should Have This Teacher

One of the most brilliant explanations of our Web 1.0 world transforming into our Web 2.0 world of global connectivity, hyper linking people, and global communication was created by Mike Wesch Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. Professor Wesch is a contributor to the blog mediatedcultures.net.

Simply put this is a fast forward time line with critical thinking elements and posits that are coming true each and everyday in the evolution of the internet and online world.

If you want to be fascinated, educated, and more knowledeable then spend 4 minutes and 33 seconds of your life on this youtube video titled “The Machine is Us/ing Us” aka The machine is us and using us. This original video has been viewed ” 5,922,492″ according to youtube.

Mike Wesch: Link to his 7 videos

July 4, 2008

College Student’s Guide To Change: Susan Hanshaw’s 7 Step Action Plan

The following “how to” article was written by my business partner and author Susan Hanshaw of personal development firm Inner Architect and publishing firm Inner Architect Media. Please consider these steps as a check list action plan to begin your journey of change and discovery. Her new book “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live” made it’s debut in June to wonderful reviews such as the review written by Tom Royce of http://therealestatebloggers

photo of susan hanshaw

Susan Hanshaw

Is there something that you wish to achieve or create in your life, yet you lack the confidence in yourself to follow through? Here are some tips for staying relentlessly focused on your goal.

  1. Break your goal into executable steps.
  2. Recognize that the key to achieving your goals is following through with the necessary steps.
  3. Assign a schedule for each step and commit it to your calendar.
  4. Use your calendar as your “to do” list. If you can’t get to a step on the scheduled date, reschedule it. Keep the step on your calendar until its completion.
  5. If you are feeling resistance to following through with a particular step, get in touch with the belief that is in your way.
  6. Replace the limiting belief with an idea that empowers you to move forward. Get inspired from someone who believes in you.
  7. Hold yourself responsible for the life you create. Don’t allow room for regrets!

June 25, 2008

College Student’s Secret Weapon: How To Choose The Right Career And Right Life

Do you want to live a great life? Yes I assume and one step is going to college to get more education that qualifies you for a great job-right? But what if you are about to enter college and you have NO CLUE which direction to pursue.

The following is a short story about such a person–author Susan Hanshaw, her new book, and a review that will change your life–IF YOU ARE READY.

Author Susan Hanshaw left a successful 20 year corporate career that culminated in a position as Vice President and second in command of her direct marketing firm. During her transition she learned how to step into her current life as author, keynote speaker, and Founder of personal development firm Inner Architect.

The following is a smashing debut review for her latest workInner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live.Reviewer Lori Hoeck of the blog spaceagesage.com succinctly and accurately analyzes Susan’s work; with a honest and impacting style, Hoeck captures the true essence behind this book and the meaningful messages contained within. For further information and to order “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live”

List price: $14.95
innerarchitect.com price: $11.95 (save 20%)
Also available at Amazon.

———-

Lori Hoeck:

“When I started reading Inner Architect by Susan Hanshaw, I was perplexed. Other books I have read on self-help or personal growth immediately delve into meaty matters of mind, body, and soul, such as “Here’s your problem, here’s every reason behind your problem, and here’s the answer to your problem.”

I assumed Hanshaw would follow this pattern in the typical parental or professorial or counselor-type writing style. She does not. After a few more pages, it suddenly struck me. She is writing this so I can be my own life coach! I expected this book to give me just a few new insights here and there. Instead, it gives me the right tools for me to kick my own life into gear.

Her writing style isn’t for the reader to passively ingest words and ideas. Instead:

  • It is about taking action.
  • It is about taking action right now.
  • It is about cutting through the hype and hyperventilation we often use to avoid change.

Her approach challenges the reader to actively progress through change in the form of over 30 fill-in-the-blank exercises. None of the exercises can be completed with superficial thought. For example in the section on Personal Obstacles, one asks, “What frightens you most about making this change?”

Her book is subtitled “How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live.” Hanshaw uses the metaphors of designing, clearing obstacles for, constructing, and even moving into that life. I liked her stair-step process of beginning from the earliest point of considering a change to embracing, claiming, and enjoying a new life resulting from that change.

As I read more, I could easily imagine a life coach sitting across from me motivating me to think through all the steps. For example, in the finding purpose section, she helps readers find their passion by listing these “Clues:”

  • Activities that cause you to lose track of time
  • Unique talents and characteristics
  • Yearnings and dreams that don’t go away
  • Section in a bookstore you are most drawn to
  • Classes you enjoy taking
  • Complements you often get
  • Roles that you naturally take on with family and friends
  • Someone whose life you admire and wish you could be doing the same

Because of the straight-forward nature of the book and the mental work involved, readers may shy away from this type of life coaching in a book. If, however, you are ready to make changes and need a guidebook to your new life, Inner Architect will get you moving and thinking in more clearly defined, step-by-step, and motivational ways.”

June 17, 2008

Parents: Do Your Students Know How Much They Owe On Their Student Loan?

One of the most important details to understand is to make sure your student fully understands what will be owed once they graduate college. In our opinion, their total Student Loan payments upon graduation should not exceed 8% – 10% of their monthly gross income.

If in doubt, be sure to gather your pay off information and plan to pay back your loan within your budgetary constraints. Make a timeline for when you will be paid off by building in time for unexpected events. Review your timeline as a way to stay on top of your dwindling debt, and as a incentive to remove this burden from your life forever

May 24, 2008

Virginia Tech Tragedy: Always Pay Attention To Signs

The horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech last year is a reminder to always be aware of your friends and fellow students, watch for signs that something is not right, and be willing to get involved to help. The following is a retrospective from deansguide on the tragedy:

–*–

Monday April 16, 2007, the day a very disturbed Virginia Tech student shot and killed 32 people, will be remembered for many things. It will be remembered as the worst case of gun violence on a school campus in American history. It will be remembered for those lost and those who were left behind. Most importantly it should be remembered as a wake up call to everyone around the country: A call to each one of us to take personal responsibility in our everyday life to spread love and goodwill to our fellow man.

The mainstream media, as predictable as ever, focussed on sensationalizing this tragedy. Their sound bite mentality and catch phrase riddled reports (ie “Massacre at Virginia Tech”) concentrated on garnering sympathy and ratings. Consequently the issues of campus police response and gun laws in the state of Virginia were emphasized with a very heavy dose of personal information about the victims. Impact upon the family members, surviving students and teachers, and their biographical information (one student “loved Nintendo”) was the focus. We watched people grieve, cry, and hold vigils.

Yet no collective social behavior was ever explored as a possible solution to these kinds of events. Here in lies a huge problem we face as a nation: gun violence apathy. Our complete and collective acceptance of gun violence as a part of American society is the status quo. People are so desensitized by the astronomical incidences of gun violence in this country, they have come to accept these events without question. If we as a society do ask questions, they always seem to focus on gun control laws, ease in purchasing guns, and the psychology behind the perpetrators.

We have reached a point in our violent history where we as a country and as individuals need to take a collective approach to creating a safer planet. On a grassroots level each one of us can and should at least attempt to spread love and care to our fellow human beings. We need to watch out for those people who display irrational behavior; we need to follow up those observations with action and a loving-caring response.

It is time to get involved. It is time to reach out to one another. We must not accept gun violence in our society. Instead we must become more tolerant, observant, caring, loving, and active in our responsibilities to each other.

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