A Little Volunteering Could Do a Lot for Your Career

by South University 10 September 2014

Actor Leonard Nimoy once said, "The more we share, the more we have," and no better example of this exists than the act of volunteering. Through donating time and energy, volunteers receive a different type of payout: knowledge and experience. When considering education and career advancement, seek volunteer opportunities that can both enlighten and inspire you while providing real-world exposure to prospective careers. When you try volunteering, you might just find it helps you in all the following ways--and maybe even more!

Career movement image1. Unearth your passion.

The method in which you volunteer provides insight into career paths that may suit your individual interests. By making a list of potential volunteer opportunities and ranking these based on what you'd like most, you're gaining valuable information on what makes you tick.

2. Identify your dislikes.

You might naturally assume that volunteering at the animal shelter is the perfect placement for your crazy cat lady tendencies, but, in reality, you may discover that working with homeless and sick animals is simply too much for you -- and that's okay. Realizing this early on is essential to planning a happier career path, and it may motivate you to set new goals aimed at eradicating what you dislike. Volunteering is a great way to avoid years of college studies aimed at the wrong pursuits.

3. Make connections.

Not only will you gain a list of references through volunteering, but you'll also have the benefit of learning directly from those in the field. Typically, volunteers encounter employees with different job descriptions, from executive directors to front-line workers. These connections are helpful when switching careers or moving into a field you haven't experienced first-hand.

4. Discover new options.

Volunteers get the chance to look beyond stereotypes and job titles to see what happens behind the scenes of different organizations. While you may assume you want the most visible position in the field, you may quickly learn of other occupations that are lesser known (and perhaps a better fit for your individual talents and abilities).

5. Venture beyond your comfort zone.

When a paycheck is on the line, you may find yourself more reserved about taking chances or delving into challenging tasks. With volunteerism, you can feel more comfortable trying on different hats that might otherwise intimidate you. Whether it's public speaking, crunching numbers, or proposing fresh ideas, you retain more control over your potential projects, therefore gaining experience that's tailored to your needs and interests while allowing yourself to take constructive risks.

How to Find the Right Balance between Family and School

by South University 8 September 2014

Balancing your work life with family time can be a challenge on its own. Throw school into the mix and you have a demanding, but potentially very rewarding, mix to manage. Here are some ideas to help you make it through school without forgetting what your family looks like or missing out on important life moments.

Nurse with son

Become a Planner

No matter how complicated your schedule gets, you're golden as long as you can stay on top of it. Plan your school and work schedules out first, then sit down with your family and plan out the together times, from field trips to movie nights, that are most important to them.

Be Realistic

It may be tempting to pack your schedule to the gills, trusting that you'll figure it out along the way somehow. But being realistic from the start helps keep stress levels low and avoid disappointments. If you need an hour to get something done, plan an hour into your schedule -- not 30 minutes.

Stick to a Routine

From who cooks dinner to bedtimes and when homework gets done, establishing a household routine is like automating -- or at least streamlining -- everyday tasks. Clear expectations make life easier and give everyone a way of contributing to your success in school.

Make Lists

If it's on paper, you won't have to worry about keeping track of it in your head. Having both a daily to-do list and a long-term to-do list ensures that nothing falls by the wayside. The lists help you stay productive, too; if you can't bring yourself to tackle what you're supposed to be doing on a given day, just choose something else from the list.

Have a Family Night

Put your heads together and designate a family night where the only criteria is that you get together and have fun. Think pizza, board games, a favorite TV show, fun crafts or going for a bike ride. There are only two rules: Everybody's there, and no work or school work allowed during that time.

Delegate

There are only 24 hours in a day. So, if you hit a point where you just can't do everything, it's time to delegate! Turn to your family, friends, coworkers and schoolmates, depending on the challenge you're facing -- and ask for help.

A Little You Time

Meeting all the demands of work, school and family can leave you feeling like you're being pulled in many different directions. Make sure to schedule periodic down time to refresh and renew -- whether it's quiet time with a book, a short midday nap, or just five minutes to close your eyes and breathe.

Remember, you're in school for a reason. Although balancing school and family (or work and school and family) is a true challenge for anybody, you're working your way toward some very tangible successes and rewards. Hang in there and circle the family wagons -- you'll be ready to graduate before you know it!

Attend a Reading from our Student Literary and Arts Journal

by South University 4 September 2014

Please mark your calendars for a Student Reading from the latest Asynchronous issue, with the reading to be held on Tuesday September 16, 2014 at 7 pm EDT. We encourage you to attend in support of your fellow student writers and artists! Register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/114488735 to reserve your spot.

Literary Journal cover

Students will be reading from the 2nd annual issue of Asynchronous, our student literary and arts journal published earlier this year. The journal showcases student writing, photography, and artwork in an online format and provides an outlet for creative expression that cannot always be found in a classroom setting.

View the latest issue at http://online.southuniversity.edu/asynchronous/documents/Vol1Issue2Spring2014.pdf.

Find more events on the Campus Common Events Calendar here.

Save the date for these upcoming events!

by South University 29 August 2014

Don’t miss out on the full student experience at South University! Sign up for one of our upcoming September library workshops, webinars and other informative online events. Want to learn what’s going on with the Student Community? Interested in the library resources available to you? Not sure how to use Connections?

Events Calendar

After you review the list of events below, get more information and register using the events calendar in the Campus Common.

Library Workshops – 9/2/14-9/22/14

The South University Online Library is hosting a series of workshops designed to teach you about library resources that relate to your area of study.

• Business students: 9/2/14
• Information technology students: 9/8/14
• Legal studies students: 9/15/14
• Psychology Students: 9/22/14

How to Perform College Level Research – 9/29/14

In this workshop hosted by the South University Online Library, attendees will learn to create research questions, conduct background research, form thesis statements, and identify keywords.

Supreme Court Criminal Law Case Review – 9/11/14

This is a continuation of the Supreme Court series. This webinar concerns the Riley v. California, Plumhoff v. Rickard, Martinez v. Illinois, and Kaley v. U.S. All of these cases are recent United States Supreme Court cases related to criminal law. The Riley case addressed whether a cell phone be routinely searched incident to arrest. The Plumhoff case addressed whether using deadly force to end a dangerous, high speed pursuit, is Constitutional. The Martinez case addressed whether the swearing in of the jury signals the start of a trial, triggering the Double Jeopardy Clause. The Kaley case addressed whether a federal grand jury indictment also supports the seizure of assets connected to the crime.

How to Access & Navigate Connections – 9/19/14

If you’ve never used Connections, or it’s been awhile and you’re curious about what’s new, please join us for this informational webinar! In this session, you’ll learn:

• What Connections can do for you
• How to set up your profile
• How to join organizations
• How to set up your own lounge

Student Activities Night – 9/24/14

Attendees will learn:

• What the Student Community department is
• Which honor societies and organizations are available to online students
• What the benefits of membership are
• How to apply to student organizations

10 Tips for Keeping Your Computer Safe

by South University 26 August 2014

With so many of our daily tasks increasingly reliant on internet access, we should all be more vigilant about protecting our online identities and our computers. Here are a few handy tips to help you stay safe.

Computer security

1. Shut down your computer when you're not around or away for extended periods of time. Alternately, you can also lock your system and then enter a password when you're back.

2. Resist the temptation of leaving email and social networking sites signed in. This is asking for trouble, especially when using shared computers, public and university cyber cafes. Clearing cache and cookies after each browsing session is also recommended.

3. Install a robust anti-virus and anti-malware software with a real-time scanner that will promptly detect and deal with unwanted intrusions. This is a must if you forget to run a manual scan. While downloading attachments via email or connecting a USB, always run the scan.

4. If you frequent torrent sites to download music, TV series and films, you are more likely to be vulnerable to hackers. These sites are also a smooth passage for malicious malware such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses to make their way in. You can read up on how to recognize fake torrents created by scammers and P2P file sharers, but, honestly, it’s probably best to avoid these sites altogether.

5. As a student, you may often access the Internet through Wifi from cafes or other public places. Regardless of whether it is a password-protected or public, shared network, switch on your firewall as it will block hostile connection attempts. Ensure that your email browsers have an https and not just an http connection. Better still, just use Wifi for general browsing!

6. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in this case, clicking on attractive-looking links will do the trick just fine. Free software, fake download buttons, fake security alerts, political propaganda and so on are frequently loaded with spyware, malware and phishing scams -- easy ways to lure unwary students.

7. Never repeat your password across accounts, and avoid setting your birthday, last name, or easily accessible information as your password (yes, we know it’s easier to remember). Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a secure password that even your friends won't be able to guess.

8. As most of your projects and documents are saved online, consider using a cloud computing tool that invisibly backs up your files and folders in case of a hardware crash. Follow the necessary steps required to safeguard your data in the cloud.

9. The physical security of your laptop is just as important as everything else, so never leave it unattended in public. If you have one, secure it with a steel cable lock or install a laptop security and tracking software. In case it is stolen, contact the authorities and set about changing the passwords to personal accounts and banking information. Identity theft is a real threat, as the thief now has your personal files, documents, photos and other sensitive data.

10. And finally, educate yourself and read up regularly on cyber protection. Remember that hackers are constantly finding ways to beat the system, so don't get too cozy with what you already know. Sharing knowledge is doubling power, so go on and spread the word!