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7 Productivity Tips for this Semester

College is meant to be a memorable experience, and you should make the most out of it while you can.

That’s great advice that I’ve heard one too many times, but few people actually explain how to be a productive student. Here are some tips that I picked up after years of school:

1. Get Organized

With four to six classes, a part-time job, extra activities, exercise and a social life to fit in one week, things can become real overwhelming real fast. I learned to control my schedule by keeping everything organized.

Make to-do lists, and maintain a calendar of assignments. Write down your class schedule and tack it up in plain sight. Separate your course documents into different folders, and keep your room and desk area clear. The more organized your life is, the easier it is to accomplish tasks and avoid stress.

2. Be Present

The point of going to college is to learn more so you can be successful in your chosen field, but you don’t learn much when you aren’t in class. Save those sick days for when you really need them, and motivate yourself to hop out of bed. If you calculate how much each hour of class really costs, sometimes you’re paying hundreds of dollars for that hour of slacking off. It would be like ordering an expensive meal and then not eating it. It’s really a waste of money to skip.

Of course, being present doesn’t mean just sitting in a chair. Actively engage in class discussion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or give answers because that’s how you learn, and trust me, professors respond better to an enthusiastic classroom over a sea of bored faces.

3. Develop Good Study Habits

Your workload nearly doubles in college, so it’s important to master good studying habits right away. Every person is different, so find a method that works for you.

Place yourself in a quiet environment and eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone, internet and television, and don’t study with a group unless you’re all from the same class. Try multiple methods such as flash cards, rewriting your notes, acronyms or saying the information out loud.

4. Get Enough Sleep

I broke this rule constantly until I learned how important it is. Without proper sleep, you could have trouble focusing as well as increased anxiety, weight gain and risk of illness.

DrSnooze suggests creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it. It’s fine to stay out late every once in a while, but don’t make it a habit. Get your work done early, and put off relaxing activities like television or video games until bedtime.

5. Eat Healthy

As a freshman, my new meal choices were between what I bought at the grocery store and what the dining hall served in its all-you-can-eat buffet. Unlimited pizza, soda and ice cream may tempt you, but they only give you short bursts of energy, not nearly enough to conquer your day.

Make wise choices when it comes to food. Try to eat a balanced diet with meat, fruits and vegetables, and cut back on the junk food. Instead of chips or candy, pick up apples or granola bars when you go grocery shopping. Eating healthy gives you more energy to do your work and prevents you from gaining the dreaded freshman 15.

6. Look into School Services

Many schools offer services dedicated to helping you, and sometimes they’re free. Search your school’s website for the different types of service available.

Health centers often provide counseling or medical care. Librarians assist students with their research by finding them sources. Writing and tutoring centers can help you with papers and studying. Any of these are worth a try, especially if you’re struggling to get things done.

7. Make Time for Fun

In all that seriousness, I wish someone had told me to lighten up and relax. Having fun at school is equally important for relieving stress and creating a memorable college experience, so go out on the weekends. Socialize. Make sure it doesn’t distract from your studies, but make sure you find time to laugh and enjoy all that school has to offer. You’ll be less stressed and more productive.

 Written by UWW CoBE Alumnnus Steve Nash

Posted in Alumni Voice | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Being a Successful Online Learner

Completing your college degree from the comfort of your couch in your pajamas, now that sounds awesome!  Online learning gives students flexibility and convenience to earn their degree while juggling multiple other things in their life like work and family. So how do you know if you are ready to be an online learner? These tips may help you succeed in online learning.

 

You don’t have to be a computer geek to succeed in an online course. Anyone that can surf the internet, shop online, and attach a document to an email has the basic computer skills necessary to take an online course. No need to rush out and buy the top of the line, most expensive laptop either. Check out the minimum computer requirements needed to access the online business courses.

Ditch your dial-up internet connection. You will need more than just the basic dial-up internet service. Because the online business courses have video and interactive components, you will need a little bit more than basic dial-up.

Organization is crucial. Online learning requires discipline and time management skills. The most successful students set a specific time for coursework and recommend devoting some time at least every other day to their online course. This prevents procrastination and falling behind. Upfront planning is also critical to your success. Take your syllabus and course calendar the very first day of class and integrate it with every other responsibility or commitment you have for the rest of the semester.  Remember, give yourself some time to relax and enjoy!

Yes you can! Stay motivated. Some students have a specific goal in mind such as completing their degree in order to be promoted at work. Others have always wanted a college degree and some have their sights set on the graduation ceremony.  Whatever your motivation is to earn a business degree, always remember that and focus on why you want this degree.  Your motivation will help you learn more and push yourself especially in stressful times.

Ask questions, and then ask more questions. An advantage of an online class is there is no time limit for discussions like a face-to-face class. Ask more questions; make the most of your online discussions.  Be more in-depth and engage other classmates and your instructor in grand discussions. You will learn more and be more interested in your course which means you are motivated as well!

Connect with your classmates, professors, and your school. Reach out to your classmates and create your own “learning community.” You are all in this online class together; why not create your own support network? Your connections with classmates can translate into career networking opportunities down the road. Ask your professor for help if you don’t understand something. Building a connection with a professor not only engages you in learning, it can also lead to great networking connections for future employability.  And last, but by no means least, you are more than an online student.  You are a UW-Whitewater Warhawk. As an online student, you can still be a part of many campus activities. Attend events without coming to campus, check out the CoBE YouTube Channel for videos of events on campus.

 

In closing, a wise instructor once said “There is a common theme with online learning and that is higher grades are earned by those who do not procrastinate, who keep in touch with instructors, who interact with other students by asking questions, and who never miss deadlines.”  Do those things and you are on a great path to success. And as always, remember you are a member of one of the greatest business schools in the world.  You are a UW-Whitewater College of Business and Economics student.

Posted in Classroom, online learning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

An e-Degree Above – Balancing Work, Family, and School

If you have a family, are working, and going to school at the same time then you are the typical college student. Many students are no longer the traditional 18 year old high school graduates heading to college. Today’s students are working during college to support themselves and their families which is like working two full-time jobs.

The average online student is between 25 and 44, employed full time and pursuing an undergraduate degree according to a survey of 68,760 online learners from 87 institutions by Noel-Levitz, a consulting company that helps colleges with enrollment and student success. More than half of the surveyed online learners are married, and 35 percent are married with kids.

Is it possible to be a successful student while also keeping up with life’s demands?  It is. Balancing family, work, and school is something many online students have in common.  By pursuing your bachelor’s degree in business online, you will be among other students in similar situations.  And this is what online leaning is best for: students who need flexibility in earning their degrees in order to fit learning into a busy life.

So how can you successfully manage work, family, and school?  Here are few tips:

  • Set reasonable expectations—be realistic with yourself.  Can you handle full-time school in addition to your work schedule and family commitments?  Sometimes it is best to attend part-time and take a little longer in completing your degree to make sure you are doing well in your courses.
  • Set ground rules for all parties—communicate with your family as to when you are available and when you will be focusing on school work. By communicating with your family, it will be easier to complete your school work and still have time to spend with them.
  • Build a routine you can stick to—set times to do your course work that work for you.  Make enough time in your schedule to study so that if something comes up you can shift it to another time.
  • Be an example—study along with your kids.  Use your own studies as an example to your kids as how to succeed in school.
  • Manage stress—as a student, parent, and worker stress is inevitable. Learn how to relieve stress by taking breaks, being active, and taking time to enjoy life.
  • Plan your academic path—figure out what steps you need to make it where you want.  Set goals for yourself and measure your progress.  Cross out completed courses on a list or use a countdown clock to measure your time to degree completion.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize—remember why you are doing all of this.  For some people it is a life-long goal to have a college degree, others need a degree in order to advance in their job.  Whatever your reason is for going to school, keep that in mind so you know why you are working so hard.
Posted in Career, online learning | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

SHRM Student Chapter Receives Distinguished Award

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Alexandria, VA, has conferred the 2013-2014 Superior Merit Award designation to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater SHRM Student Chapter for an exceptional job of providing opportunities for growth and development to its student chapter members.  This is the 30th consecutive year that the UW-Whitewater chapter has received this award.  UW-Whitewater was one of 32 student SHRM chapters to receive the Superior Merit Award this year.  The UW-Whitewater SHRM chapter will be recognized in SHRM’s publications and at its conferences.

Society for Human Resource Management students at the HR Games held in Madison, WI.

SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management.  Representing more than 275,000 professional and student members in over 160 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession.  Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated professional chapters, and more than 450 student chapters within the United States.

Chapters have the opportunity to earn an award based on the number of activities they complete during the merit award cycle, which ran from April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014. The SHRM student chapter merit award program, which began in 1972, exists to develop more effective student chapters, and to promote effective activities and projects by student chapters in the following areas: basic student chapter requirements and operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession, and partnership/engagement with SHRM.

“This was another outstanding year for our SHRM chapter,” said Jon Werner, faculty co-advisor of the chapter, along with Professor Steve Guo. “Stephanie Wilson, the chapter president, and the entire executive board, did a great job of planning and carrying out the many activities necessary for a successful chapter, and to once again receive the Superior Merit Award distinction,” said Werner.

For more information about SHRM’s Student Chapter Merit Award program, visit http://www.shrm.org/Communities/StudentPrograms/Pages/awards.aspx.

Posted in Human Resources, In the News, Student Orgs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

An e-Degree Above – What’s the best online degree? Business!!

Business degrees continue to win the popularity contest among all online degree programs.  The largest proportion of undergraduate students enrolled in online degree programs overwhelmingly study business. A recent study conducted by The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research found that 36% of online students are studying business, primarily business administration. The same goes for graduate students where 39% enrolled in online programs were studying business.

Why so popular? Well, popularity is an interesting indicator of a valuable degree but more importantly it also is where the jobs are. The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that many of the careers in the Business sector will grow faster than average with above average earnings.  Financial Analysts are projected to grow 16% and have a median pay of $76,950 per year.  Management Analyst positions will fare even better with a 19% increase and median pay of $78,600.

So how do you choose an online business degree?  Reputation is King. When selecting an online program, nothing is more important than the overall reputation of the institution offering the program. Accreditation is the best way to measure quality and in the business world AACSB Accreditation is an indicator of a high quality business degree.

As an AACSB accredited business school, UW-Whitewater is considered one of the best business schools in the world. More employers recruit from AACSB accredited schools and graduates from AACSB schools have higher salaries than other business school graduates.

What else matters in determining what online program to pursue?  Cost and personal academic advising also matter to students.  The time and money you invest into your education is valuable.  Advisors support and encourage students as they work to meet their goals, offering professional advising services to help guide students throughout their course work.

UW-Whitewater’s Online Bachelor of Business Administration combines all of the above.  With the highest accreditation, you can complete a quality online degree program in business administration.  At $389 per credit for the business courses, which also includes textbook rental, your time and cost to complete the program is well worth the amazing career opportunities the degree will bring. As the Online Student Services Coordinator, I am here to help you from admission to graduation with personalized academic advising services.

Why wait any longer to advance your career?  Earn your Bachelor of Business Administration online from one of the top business schools!

Posted in AACSB, online learning | Tagged , | 3 Comments

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