how to feel more at home

How Student Services Can Help You Feel More at Home

how to feel more at homeAttending college for the first time can be quite intimidating- especially if you are doing it in another country. Not only do you have to deal with challenging academics, you also have to learn the cultural nuances of the country you are studying in.

The University of the Potomac realizes that this can be a difficult transition for international students, and offers many student services to make the process easier. We do this because it is in our interest for all of our students to succeed. Here is a brief overview of how some of our programs will help take the ‘culture shock’ out of being an international student.

International Student Advisors

In college, your advisor is the go-to source for any type of assistance you may need. Whether you are having trouble registering for a class, or simply want to know a local place to eat, they are there to help. International student advisors are additionally trained in the challenges that visiting students may face. So don’t be afraid to reach out to them.

Besides being a trusted source of help, these specialized advisors are able to assist with work authorization questions, and degree changes. They are even able to help should you need to return to your home country for a while.

New Student Orientation

You aren’t expected to simply show up and figure it out. All students are required to go to a new student orientation that helps introduce the culture, requirements and benefits of being a University of the Potomac student. At orientation, you will get your first chance to experience the diversity of the school and its surrounding community. You’ll be given the tools to succeed, and the confidence to do your best. It’s the first real step to getting everything you can out of your experience.

Going to school in another country is a challenging task, but we are prepared to support you the entire way. When you are ready to learn more about our services for international students, contact us and we’ll get you started.

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Resume writing 101

Resume Writing 101

Resume writing 101Alright, now everyone has heard of a resume, that mystical piece of paper that determines whether or not you even get an interview, let alone an actual job.  So, what do you do when the time comes to write one?  Well, most people begin with a template that they either got online or through Microsoft Word.  And honestly, that’s not a bad place to start.  But that is only a start, not the finished product.  When you write your resume, consider these resume writing tips:

  • Spelling:  Simple, right?  Everyone has spell check, don’t they?  Well have you ever been a victim of auto correct or predictive text?  Would you want a future employer to see that? Look at it from an employers perspective.  Would you hire someone who obviously didn’t bother to double check what they sent to you?  How do you think they would treat their position after being so careless with their application?
  • Confident, not braggy:  Now this is the difficult part of writing a resume.  You want to make yourself look good, but you don’t want to come off as “full of yourself.”  Stick to the facts of what you’ve done and be honest about your involvement in work related projects and such.
  • Tailor the resume to the job:  Many people have had many jobs over the course of their life, but when you apply for a new job not ALL of your work history is relevant.  For example, if you are applying to be a teacher then your landscaping job probably doesn’t have much relevance.  Forego the landscaping to focus on more jobs that have more educational relevance (exception: if you ONLY have the landscaping job as your other employment then obviously include it).  This means that EVERY position you apply for should have a separate and unique resume tailored for each job opening.

For help tailoring your resume to the positions you are interested in, contact us.

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housing resources for international students

Housing Resources for International Students to Consider

housing resources for international studentsIf you’re an international student, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the University of the Potomac. We understand that coming here to pursue your studies is a life-changing decision, and we would like to make it as easy as possible by providing you with these housing resources for international students.

Young Women’s Christian Home

235 Second Street NE

Washington, D.C. 20002

Catering to women ages 18 to 34, this residence hall offers single rooms with shared laundry facilities, bathrooms, library, living room and garden. This hall is located in the Capital Hill area, which is only around three miles from our campus. Breakfast and dinner Monday through Saturday are included in the rental fee, in addition to brunch on Sunday.

International Student House

1825 R. Street

Washington, D.C. 20009

This residence hall contains dorm rooms that can accommodate between two and four students. Since ISH caters to people from across the globe, odds are you will have one or more roommates who are from a different country than yourself. Rental fees include breakfast and dinner from Sunday through Friday, and breakfast only on Saturday. One of the things that makes ISH unique is the fact that special events and tours are planned from time to time, allowing residents to spend time together and enjoy local attractions as a group.

Idaho Terrace

3040 Idaho Ave. NW

Washington, D.C. 20016

Offering studio, one and two-bedroom apartments, Idaho Terrace is within easy walking distance of restaurants and shopping facilities. It’s less than four miles from our campus, and easily accessible by bus, taxi or bicycle. This complex also offers a fitness center, community center, on-site laundry facility and covered parking spaces.

International students on F-1 and J-1 statuses may enter the United States up to 30 days in advance of the date on their DS-2019 or I-20 form in order to get settled. Make plans accordingly so you’ll have plenty of time to look at these different housing options before classes start. For more information on housing for international students, contact us.

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career services

Prepping for Your Career: Utilizing Career Services

career servicesWhile you are studying in college, your focus will also need to be on the career you will have after you graduate. In order to be prepared for the job search ahead, it is important to utilize the career services that are available to students and alumni in most colleges and universities. Once you have done that, you will be better prepared for the future.

Resume Preparation and Review

Your resume is what can make or break a company’s first impression of you. For international students, the common resume format for businesses in the United States does not always resemble the international CV format. For that reason, it is important to take time to prepare your resume. Once you have put all of your information onto the resume, you can have it reviewed so you will know what is working and what you will need to change to make the most impact on potential employers.

Interview Practice

If your resume gets you in the door, then the interview is where you can really shine. However, many college students are not well prepared for their first few job interviews. Having a person to practice interview questions with can be a great asset. Not only will you become more familiar with the format of a typical job interview, but your practice interviewer can point out where your speech or your body language is working against you.

Looking Beyond Your Education

Once your education is complete, you will be entering the workforce. Depending on what your major was and what other qualifications you have earned, you will either find a booming job market or one that may be difficult to break in to. Finding jobs leads can be a lot easier with university career services. They can provide you with information on networking events or alumni career events that can put you in touch with the right people.

If you are interested in learning more about what career services can offer you, contact us.

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career and job outloook

Career and Job Outlook: Administrative Positions Available at a Veterinary Clinic

career and job outloookWorking at an animal hospital can be a rewarding thing to do; however, not everyone aspires to become a veterinarian. That doesn’t mean you can’t still work around animals, as there are a number of positions available in a veterinary clinic that are more administrative than medical in nature. Here is a look at some of the possibilities you could be eligible for after earning a business or accounting degree from University of the Potomac.

Receptionist

The receptionist is the first person people see when they walk into a veterinary clinic, and serves as a liaison between pet owners and other staff members. As a receptionist, you would be responsible for setting appointments, pulling medical charts, answering the phone and greeting vendors. This position would be perfect if you have good clerical skills and enjoy working with people as much as you do animals.

Office Manager

An office manager oversees the day-to-day functions of a veterinary clinic, and supervises the workers within it. As such, you could be responsible for making employee schedules, administering benefit plans, interviewing prospects and running reports. To be successful in this position, you should have good organizational skills as well as an excellent working knowledge of how veterinary clinics operate.

Veterinary Office Bookkeeper

As a veterinary office bookkeeper, you would be responsible for managing accounts and overseeing accounts receivable and accounts payable. You would likely be responsible for payroll and the associated taxes as well. Depending on the size of the practice, some of your duties could also include managing inventory and negotiating contracts.

Any of these jobs can be rewarding, since you’ll be making a difference in the lives of animals and their owners. The career and job outlook for veterinary clinic workers is high, since people will always have a need to care for their beloved pets. If a veterinary office career sounds enticing to you, take the next step and contact us in order to begin pursuing higher education.

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interview skills and tips dress code

Interview Skills and Tips: Dress for Success

interview skills and tips dress code“They said ‘Dress for the Job You Want’ and now here I am sitting in front of a disciplinary review board dressed as Batman.”

All jokes aside, when you are interviewing you need to dress the part.  This first means, know what the dress code is in the company you are applying with.  If you are applying to McDonald’s then you don’t need to show up in a shirt and tie (unless, of course, you are applying for a management position).  This is not to say, however, that showing up in torn jeans and a battered T-shirt is acceptable.  It’s not.  For a position such as McDonald’s, a pair of khakis and a polo shirt would be the way to go.  Why does it matter?  Very simply, when you are applying for a position the prospective employer expects you to put your best foot forward.  If you show up unkempt and looking like you just rolled out of bed, what do you think an employer sees?

Interview your interviewers.  An interview works both ways.  While your potential employers are trying to figure out whether or not you would be a good fit for the company, you should be trying to figure out if that company is a good fit for you.  In order to do this, you must first put in a little bit of research time.  By being well-versed about the company you will not only be able to ask intelligent questions, but you will also stand out in the interviewer’s mind as having been very interested in the position.  They’ve looked into you enough to be interested in hiring you, you should return the favor.

For more interview skills and tips, contact us and we can help you conquer the interview process.

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cloud storage

Cloud Storage: One of the Skills You Need in 21st Century Life

cloud storageThings have changed in the world of technology. Cell phones are no longer just for phone calls. Tablets have the power to do almost everything a computer can do. And computers are becoming smaller and lighter every day. The devices are not the only things undergoing a makeover, however. Technology itself is changing as well and at a rapid pace. Skills you need in 21st century life are evolving every day. But here are a couple things that every person should know in order to survive the ever changing tech world.

Become one with the clouds. Thumb drive storage is a thing of the past and technological juggernauts, Google and Microsoft, have jumped in wholeheartedly. Google Drive allows you to create documents using a basic word processor, presentation tool, and spreadsheet feature that you can then share with colleagues around the world. This allows for collaboration across continents without the need for face to face interaction. No more worrying about time zones or travel expenses if you want to collaborate with a colleague on the other side of the country. However, if you crave some face to face interaction, try Google Hangouts which allows you to make a video call from your computer or mobile device, for up to ten people, with only an email address.

But Microsoft is not to be outdone by Google Drive. Microsoft One Drive offers the same option for cross country collaboration, but with one exception. Instead of using the Google version of a word processor and spreadsheet, you are using a simplified version of Microsoft Word and Excel. These documents are stored online and can either be edited online or downloaded to a computer with the Microsoft Suite and edited with the full Microsoft options and resaved in One Drive for access from any computer with an internet connection. The advantage to this cloud storage obviously being the use of Microsoft products. Still looking for some face to face? Well, Skype is actually a Microsoft company and, while it is limited in its free version, it can be used for more personal collaboration using the same account as your One Drive.

Even if you don’t intend to use Microsoft On Drive, brush up on your Microsoft Office Suite. Many people use Microsoft Office every day and have no idea that there have been some major upgrades added to the tried and true Word and PowerPoint. Even Outlook has undergone some changes. Many universities have entire departments dedicated to keeping up to date on the new technologies and they would be more than willing to walk you through some of the new Microsoft add-ins like Office Mix, which allows you to record PowerPoints with voice overs as well as add questions allowing PowerPoint to become a tool for the flipped classroom or long distance trainings.

If you are interested in learning more about cloud storage or the upgrades to the Microsoft Suite, contact us and we can help you master the technology needed in the 21st century.

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resources for international students

On Campus Resources for International Students

resources for international studentsInternational students can find the process of attending college in the United States a little overwhelming. However, once they arrive on campus there are a wide range of services and resources for international students that can be utilized to make the transition much easier.

Tutoring Services

Studying toward a degree is a tough challenge for anyone, but for those with language barriers, it can be much more difficult. That is why a university tutoring service can come in handy. Not only are tutoring services available for those who are seeking assistance in specific courses, but tutoring services may also be available for those who need additional help with English in conjunction with ESL courses. Many tutoring services are available in person and online.

Career Services

Once a student has their degree, it is time to look for a job. Because the standards for applying for a job will differ around the world, it is important for international students to explore the resources at the university’s career center. Here international students will be able to learn many useful skills including how to write a resume tailored to a U.S. job market, practice interview skills and come back as a graduate for job placement services.

Financial Services

College can be expensive, so it is important for both domestic and international students to understand the costs associated with their education and the options to pay. Most universities will offer students a range of options when it comes to paying for their education, and financial services can also help them understand what they are paying for when it comes to tuition and other fees.

These are just some of the resources that are available on campus to international students. If you are interested in learning more about what resources we offer for international students, contact us.

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American Education Gulf Expo Announcement

University of the Potomac to Exhibit at American Education Latin Expo

American Education Gulf Expo AnnouncementCome and meet us at the ISN’s Fall 2014 American Education Latin Expo from October 22nd through November 5th in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela. You will learn more about our University, degree programs, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, scholarships, life in Washington, DC, and much more.
Below is the tentative Expo schedule. Please come back later to check the updated schedule.

San Jose, Costa Rica: Wednesday, October 22, 2014
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visit: Colegio St. Claire
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN College Fair: Sheraton Hotel

Quito, Ecuador: Friday, October 24, 2014
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – High School Visit: Colegio Americano de Quito
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – High School Visit: Liceo Internacional

Quito, Ecuador: Saturday, October 25, 2014
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM – ISN College Fair: JW Marriott Hotel

Guayaquil, Ecuador: Monday, October 27, 2014
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – High School Visit: Colegio Interamerican Academy
11:00 AM – 12:45 PM – High School Visit: Colegio Americano de Guayaquil
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN College Fair: Guayaquil Sheraton Hotel

Bogota, Colombia: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN College Fair: Radisson Royal Hotel

Bogota, Colombia: Thursday, October 30, 2014
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM – High School Visit: Colegio San Bartolome La Merced
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM – High School Visit: Colegio Nueva Granada

Medellin, Colombia: Friday, October 31, 2014
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – ISN College Fair: Medellin Royal Hotel

Sao Paulo, Brazil: Monday, November 3, 2014
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM – High School Visit: TBD
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM – High School Visit: Colegio PIO XII
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM – ISN College Fair: Colegio Porto Seguro

Caracas, Venezuela: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
High School Visits in the morning
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – ISN College Fair: Colegio Campo Alegre

If you have any questions about the Latin Amrica Expo, please email us at international@potomac.edu.

We look forward to seeing you!

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career-services

Career Planning: Three Tips to Remember.

career-servicesCareer planning with a qualified career services office is a foundational part of finding fulfillment in your educational and career path. If you’re assessing your educational and career goals here are three important tips to help you move past any uncertainty you may be feeling and to help you find the commitment to make the changes that will help you find fulfillment.

1) Anxiety is normal (and should be expected): Educational and career transitions are a major life step and, as with any other dramatic change, anxiety should be expected. Feeling nervous or worried about a transition is not a sign that you’re making a poor decision! It’s a normal reaction to a significant decision. When you feel anxious remind yourself of all the positive reasons why you’re making your decision and be at peace.

2) Assess yourself: It’s crucial to make sure your educational and career goals fit you. Take the time to complete personality and career placement assessments to determine what job, company or educational goal is the best fit for you.

3) Be positive: Even in the midst of transition a sense of peace and joy is still possible. Reflect on all the good aspects of your current career or educational level and then consider how the changes you’re making will further you towards your next career or personal goal. Remaining positive in transition will help make the process even smoother.

Contact us for more tips on finding a fulfilling career path that is a natural fit for your strengths and interests. 

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