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Students' Column

Making Education Easier: Useful Tips For Students



There’s a rose-tinted vision of student life, which presents an image of endless parties and loads of spare time. Sadly, for most college students, this isn’t what life really looks like. There’s no doubting that college life can be pretty tough. If you’re preparing to head off to college or you’re a student gearing up for another semester, here are some useful tips to make education easier.

Learning to manage your time

When you’re a college student, time management is one of the most valuable and important skills you can master. You may feel like you’ve been thrown in at the deep end when you first arrive at college, and you’ve got a packed schedule, but learning to manage and organize your time will set you up for life. Keep track of what you’ve got on, where you need to be, and make sure you know when your deadlines are.

The best way to ensure that you're organized at college is to get yourself a calendar and to update it regularly. With this, you can schedule important meetings with lecturers, all the
classes you need to attend, and also schedule study and revision time. You can also use the
calendar to schedule other important life admin tasks such as getting groceries and
scheduling time to clean your accommodation or hit the gym. It can also be helpful to get a
few binders or notebooks for each of your classes. This way, all your notes and important
files can be stored in an organized manner, separate from your other classes. Just be aware
that when using multiple binders, you need to store them in a safe place at home and not
forget to bring them with you to lectures and lessons.

Another thing you can do to ensure that you're managing your time better is to set reminders on your phone, alerting you on upcoming deadlines. There’s nothing worse than rushing an assignment at the last minute. You’ll be stressed out, and the quality of your work will suffer. By having a preemptive warning of when a deadline is looming, you should be one step ahead and prepared to complete each assignment to the best of your ability.

As well as keeping up to date with work commitments, give yourself time to socialize and get the most out of your college experience. It’s important to do your best, and get the grades you’re capable of attaining, but don’t miss out on trying new things, enjoying unforgettable experiences, and making friends for life.

Going mobile

Mobile learning

Modern students are very different to those that studied a decade ago. Today, technology plays an essential role in education, and you can make life easier and enjoy a richer learning experience by embracing technology that is aimed at helping you. Many institutions are working on how to take PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Mobile, for example, and this will open up a world of opportunities for students. In many cases, you can already organize your diary, submit assignments, and communicate with tutors via apps and the online portals, and accessibility is only going to improve. Harness the power of modern gadgets and gizmos, and let them make life simpler for you.

You can also use technology to help turn your learning into something completely remote.
With a decent laptop and good internet connection, students can now obtain full
qualifications entirely online. Instead of attending lessons and lectures within a campus
environment, students have the option to engage with their study in a different way. An
online course will provide students with on-demand videos and presentations of various
lectures, allowing them to study and access these resources at any given time.

This increased flexibility made higher education a lot more accessible for everyone, as now
people who couldn’t attend a college or university via the traditional means due to family or work commitments can now get the education they need to kickstart their career. Studying online is also a much cheaper option, as tuition fees are usually reduced, and the student won’t have to pay rent for new accommodation.

There are so many different qualifications in various disciplines that can be learned online,
ranging from business, English, and even healthcare. If the latter field interests you, you can
work your way to study an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Getting to grips with stress

No college student will cruise through their course without hitting a few hurdles and succumbing to stress. You may leave with incredible memories, but there are likely to be highs and lows along the way. Try and keep on top of stress, and learn to recognize triggers. Keep an eye on how much you’re spending, don’t stay up all night trying to revise for a test, and take a break from social media from time to time. Stay active, and have fun. Do things you enjoy if you’re feeling frazzled, and don’t be afraid to lean on your closest friends when you need support.

It’s also important not to let stress force you into making bad life decisions and developing
bad habits. When suffering from stress, many students respond by procrastinating. This is
essentially where a student will put off doing their work and assignments because they are too
flustered to face it. This then leaves the student with less time to get things done, creating
even more stress in the future. Instead of falling into a routine of procrastination followed by
heavy cramming, be sure to stick to your study schedule that you should plan at the start of
each semester.

Stress can also lead students to seek out various comforts to help them deal with it. During
this time, many students turn to caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks to help
full them during a stressful period, especially if they are staying up late to complete work.
Although one or two coffees a day every once in a while is not too bad, drinking too much can
cause an increased heart rate, which will actually make you feel even more stressed. Aside
from these beverages, stress can also lead students to eat poorly during their time at
college. Turning to comfort food like candy and chocolate can cause havoc on your diet and
should be limited as much as you can. Furthermore, these treats will start to make you feel
sluggish and low on energy, which can affect the quality of your work. Instead, to beat stress
and combat comfort eating, be sure to plan healthy meals into your routine filled with green
vegetables and lean protein. This will give you far more energy, which can help you study
better and help lift your mood. Exercise can also be a healthy way of dealing with stress, as
it releases endorphins around your body, a chemical that makes you feel more content and

If you’re a student, you’re bound to have days when it feels like you’ve got a million things to do, and no time to do them. You may come across assignments you find impossible or feel like you’re chasing your tail, and your work is suffering as a result. Manage your time, plan ahead, and let technology alleviate some of the stress. Have fun, spend time with friends, and try and overcome stress before it gets too bad. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it.

Be Social

For a lot of people going into college, the allure of it is as much the course you are going to study as it is the social aspect that surrounds this environment. Of course, it is perfectly fine
to join clubs and attend parties and other socials from time to time; however, this tip is more
than an invitation to let your hair down.

Many students at university or college feel very isolated. For some, it is their first time away
from home, where they are leaving their old friends behind, and adjusting can be a struggle.
That is why it is important to be social during your studies and to try and find a friendship
group early that you can relax with. It is a good idea to find a group with a shared interest
with you, and it would be even better to find people who might study the same course. This
is because this will enable you both to revise and study together, which might help motivate
you to perform better as a result.

You cannot go through your studies alone; you will always need support, so being social and
finding a social group can help enrich your experience and make this time a little easier to
deal with.

Get The Right Equipment

If you are planning on heading into your first lecture or seminar with a single pen tucked into
your pocket, then it is a clear sign that you may not be fully prepared and might need to
spend some time investing in more equipment to help you study and get the best out of your
There are various things that you can get to help improve your capabilities to study better;
however, there are also some essentials that you simply cannot skimp out on. As a minimum,
make sure you have a few pens stored, at least once notebook, as well as all of the
textbooks and resources that are on your course reading list. If you are struggling to get your
hands on the latter because they are pretty expensive, you can always find second-hand
textbooks from recently graduated students if you are quick enough.

In addition to this stuff, it will also be worthwhile to invest in a few more pieces of equipment
to really supercharge your studying. Try to get as much of the following as you can:

  • Pencils. These will allow you to take notes and sketches and rub them out if you've
    made a mistake.
  • Colored Pens. These are great for when making study cards or posters, as the pop
    of color can make what you are trying to remember more engaging.
    Highlighters. These are excellent for when going through resources and textbooks,
    as it allows you to highlight key information and quotes that you might want to use in
    essays or assignments.
  • Post-it notes. These can be great for setting reminders or stuck into books to point
    out quotes and more.
  • Binders. These can help in keeping all your resources for each course organized
    and easy to find.

As well as the equipment you need, you also need to consider where you are going to store
the equipment and how you are going to utilize it at home. To get the very best out of your
studies, it is a good idea to invest in a desk and office chair to have somewhere at home
dedicated to your studies. Trying to learn at the kitchen table or on a laptop resting on your
lap while you watch TV is going to be pretty detrimental to your studying. Instead, find
yourself a quiet place, get yourself a desk, chair, and maybe a lap, and use that space to
study and store all of your equipment.


Becoming a first-time student can be tough, as it will bring up various challenges to
overcome. Juggling a social life, multiple assignments, finances, and more can be a lot for a
person new this kind of independence to manage. By following these tips, you should find
that your time at college or University is made a lot easier. By spending time and effort to get
yourself organized, obtain the right equipment and resources for your course, and better
manage the stress that studying can cause, you will be in a great position to succeed and get
the best out of your education and use it so that you can start a prosperous career.
However, despite these tips, the best way to make education easier is to enjoy what you are
learning and be excited by the subject. So before going to college, make sure you are doing it
for the right reasons and that you have the passion for your chosen course.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Students' Column

Is Writing An Easy Field To Break Into?



For many of us, the idea of becoming a writer is something that we nurture from adolescence, our love of reading dovetailing with a desire to be heard. It is one of the most romanticized career ideas – just think about how many films and TV shows revolve around one or more writers – and it’s no surprise that student newspapers and magazines are often among the most popular extracurricular activities included on college applications.

What separates writing from many other careers is that there is not always an evident career path. Those of us who dream of one day writing for the newspaper we read scrupulously, or of signing a deal for our first novel, can end up quite disillusioned by the reality of trying to get paid as a writer. And while we’d love to think that it’s not about the money, there’s a great deal of truth in the motto that has become a mantra for so many writers: “I can’t pay my rent with exposure”.

Do you need to secure a regular writing job to make it a career?

If you dream of becoming a writer, you probably have an inspiration, someone who made you want to pick up a laptop and share your ideas for the first time. Chances are, these icons are individuals who can make a very comfortable living from a column per week thanks to a tenured slot at an established media institution, and they’ve “paid their dues”. That’s something that’s getting harder to do, as local newspapers are struggling to hold up in the digital age – making it harder to get a starting job in the industry.

Is freelancing a reasonable alternative?

The idea of being a freelancer can be attractive initially – if you’re not tied to any one media group, you won’t be committed to an editorial line – but it is tricky and guaranteed income is hard to find. It is a good idea to cultivate regular clients. You’ll learn their payment patterns, have the ability to invoice them in one touch through your accounting software, and can establish yourself as a reliable writer. It may not have been how you pictured freelancing, but a good client is worth cultivating – and they may well mention you to other potential clients.

Is starting your own outlet a realistic option?

Writing is a competitive world, and as a freelancer you will always be fighting with other freelancers for what can often be a small amount of work. You may prefer instead to take matters into your own hands by starting your own project. Often, this will begin with a blog; there are ways and means to monetize such a site, but you’ll need followers to make it happen. If you take this approach, social media is also going to be pivotal. Talented writers can still get read these days – and it can lead to higher-level recognition and a stable writing job – but there is still going to be a grind and you’ll need to have the discipline to produce content that is both interesting and regular.

The truth of the matter is that if you want to become rich and have a comfortable living doing something you love, writing is a sector that is filled with potential obstacles and it can be frequently disappointing. However, if writing is what you love, then there are ways and means of going about it – as long as you keep cultivating contacts, it can be a rewarding career.

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Students' Column

Experiencing Success After You Graduate



The university and college experience can be so long and complex that you get completely caught up in it. It’s fully immersive. So, when you graduate, you can easily feel completely disoriented and lost. Very few people walk straight out of their graduation and immediately into their first job. Instead, you’re going to have to find your feet and put a whole lot of effort into your own success. The steps you’ll need to take will vary depending on where you want to go and what you want to do. But the following pieces of advice can help you to get started out on the right track, regardless of what you want to do. Hopefully, they’ll come in useful for you!

Student graduation

Research Success Stories in Your Chosen Field

Whatever field you’re interested in entering, chances are, there are some pretty big success stories. Take a look at people who inspire you within your area of specialism. Who are they? How did they get to where they are now? What did they do after they graduated? This can help to inspire you and to give you some key tips that could really help you to follow in their footsteps. Remember that you are standing on the shoulders of giants. You can learn from the greats that came before you to further excel in the role or industry you’re determined to experience success in. If you’re interested in starting a business, take a look at Phillip Kingstons journey at If you’re interested in politics, read the biographies of great political leaders. If you’re interested in art, read the life stories and approaches of some of the greats. There’s all sorts of guidance and inspiration out there.

Use Your College’s Resources

Just because you’ve graduated doesn’t mean you’re immediately cut off from all of the resources that have been available to you at your college or university. Make sure to use the resources available to you for as long as they’re available to you. Many colleges offer training and classes on job hunting. This can include finding positions that suit your skills and experience, CV writing skills, interview skills and much more. These resources may seem basic and common sense, but you can actually learn a whole lot more than you’d imagine from them. You never know what tiny piece of advice could make all the difference to your entire career path.

Be Persistent

When you start applying for jobs, you need to develop a tough skin. Few people land the first job they apply for. Even fewer will be offered every position they apply for. You need to be prepared for some level of rejection and you need to make sure that you are persistent when faced with disappointment. Keep going and you’ll eventually land the kind of position you have your sights set on.

Of course, different areas of specialism will require different steps in the process. But the above advice should help regardless of what you plan to do. Keep it in mind and you should do well!

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Students' Column

Careers An MBA Can Open Up For Engineers



student education

If you are an engineer wondering what your next career step should be, it can seem as though the opportunities are almost endless!

On the one hand, you could continue to improve on your technical abilities and become a specialist in one particular area. This can be a highly lucrative strategy, and one that appeals to people who know which work they love to do and just want to learn more about it.

On the other hand, you could broaden your skill base and give yourself a wider range of career opportunities by undertaking an MBA. This is a great option for people who are looking to diversify their skills and introduce some new kinds of work into their day, and give themselves a great career outlook into the bargain.

Transferable skills

MBAs can provide you with a huge number of skills that are applicable in multiple industries.

An MBA will teach you about things like budgeting, strategising, accounting, financial management, system models, people management, marketing and business structures. These are all skills which can be highly beneficial in a number of industries or even for starting a business of your own!

Another great benefit of an MBA is that you will get to study alongside people who are also looking to accelerate their own careers. This means that you will make contacts who will not only become useful friends and a useful support network as you embark on the next stage of your career, but you will meet a huge array of people who you can learn from in unexpected ways.

The exact modules that you study will of course be dependent on which MBA course you choose to take up. If you are considering taking up an MBA in order to further your engineering career, then it’s worth researching MBA courses that are designed with engineers in mind. You can find out more here if this is something that appeals to you.

Read on to find out what careers an MBA could open up for you.

Engineering operations director

The three main skills that you’ll need to work as an engineering operations director are:

  • Analytical skills. The ability to gather and interpret data.
  • Math skills. The ability to perform addition and subtraction but also to visualise data.
  • Communication skills. The ability to clearly communicate your thoughts, opinions and ideas to those around you using a variety of methods, including presentations, via email and in person.

The average salary for an engineering operations director is $129,001 so it’s definitely a well paid position!

The main purpose of the role is to lead a cross-functional team to achieve the objectives that your department has been set. To succeed in this role it’s important that you have a good knowledge of engineering processes and engineering equipment, as you will be the one providing the overall strategy to your team on what needs to be done.

You will be responsible for the budget of your department and you will need to report regularly to your management on expenditure and progress. You will also devise and implement strategy for improving the performance of your department, as well as having an overall understanding of all the projects that are happening within it and ensuring that they are completed on time.

Vice president of engineering

A VP of engineering is part of the management team. As such you won’t get too involved with engineering, but you will get involved with solving logistical problems, dealing with personnel and working out budgets.

It’s an incredibly well paid job. The average salary is $170,000 per year, and at the higher end of the spectrum some VP’s of engineering are paid $270,000.

Your actual duties will vary significantly depending on the company you are working for. Engineering is a field that is hugely diverse, so the nature of the projects that you are overseeing will differ between companies. Whatever the company you are working for, you will be working in upper management. You will work alongside the president, product managers and other management staff in order to plan and oversee all aspects of engineering goals and operations within your company. You will ensure that the appropriate planning and testing procedures are in place to ensure that you deliver quality projects on time.

Generally you will spend a lot of your time in meetings, liaising with staff and ensuring that deliverables are met. You’ll also use your engineering knowledge to carry out site inspections, to ensure that everything is working as it should be and that everyone is working safely.

Engineering project manager

If you’ve worked in engineering you’ve no doubt come across your share of project managers! A project manager is used every time an engineering project is embarked on, it will be up to them to gather the requirements, see what is feasible and then plan out the project. They will then keep a continuous eye on the project to ensure that it is being delivered on time and within budget.

Having an engineering background is helpful if you want to work in engineering project management, because it means you will have a good instinct for what is possible within certain timeframes and budgets. However, collaboration with others will be a key part of your job. It’s essential that you have excellent communication and organization skills, so that you can keep the project team working together effectively.

The average salary for an engineering project manager is $140,760, although this varies hugely depending on the company you are working for.

Project managers have a varied and fulfilling career because they will spend their time working on a lot of different projects, meaning that they are always solving new problems and learning new things! In addition to this, project management is a field that can work really well as a freelance career. Many businesses prefer to bring in highly experienced contract project managers if they have a requirement for a fixed amount of time, as it means that they can more easily budget for the project in question. If you choose to work in this way the rewards can be even greater than the already generous salaries available to salaried engineering project managers.

The budgeting, forecasting, analytical and communications skills that are a key part of an MBA will give you the skills you need to complement your engineering background and create a fulfilling career as an engineering project manager.

CEO of your own company

As well as allowing you to work in a high level management or project position, obtaining your MBA could be your next step in becoming CEO of your own company!

Engineers are naturally analytical and great at making predictions and solving complex problems. These are all qualities that are highly valuable in a CEO. Combine the advanced business and strategic knowledge that can be gained from an MBA and you’ve got a pretty unstoppable combination.

A great example of an engineer who studied for his MBA and used this advanced knowledge to allow him to chase his dreams of being an entrepreneur is Rob Deering, founder of Australia’s Meet Billy.

Meet Billy is an app that allows older people to continue to live in their homes for longer. The basic idea is that the users daily activities are logged into an app. If they miss an expected activity then their family or carer can see this and be notified more quickly if something has happened.

The app works by using a series of internet of things (IoT) sensors to find patterns of behaviors. Smart analytics can then read the expected versus the actual behaviors and identify any changes before they become serious or result in a medical emergency. The app is already proving to be highly popular amongst users.

Rob started his career with a degree in mechanical engineering. He then worked as a consultant for five years, before embarking on his MBA. He credits his MBA for opening his eyes to new pathways, especially those that combined his skills in engineering and in business.

If you are thinking of using an MBA to open up opportunities of starting your own business, it’s a good idea to have in mind the type of business that you would like to start before you begin researching MBA programs.

By doing this you can approach your chosen institutions with your idea and they can let you know how best they can serve you. It’s a good idea to find a programme where the modules on offer will directly benefit your future plans, so that you can apply them to your business idea as you learn.

If possible it’s also a good idea to find an MBA course where there are links to the industry in which you would like to work. This will mean that you can meet people who will be helpful to you, either as business contacts or as people who you can learn from.

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