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New post 21 Dec 2016, 06:03
Harvard MBA on Why You Should Study Abroad

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For every Jobs (Apple) there is a Donald Trump (The Trump Organization), a Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), a Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) and closer to home, an Anand Mahindra (Mahindra & Mahindra). While the list of the former cluster (college dropouts/those without MBA degrees) may dwindle, that of the second lot (influential leaders armed with a global MBA degrees) continues to swell.
Child prodigies like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are rare and difficult to cultivate using traditional education methods – ask Harvard, they tried! If you believe you belong to their tribe, I urge you not to read ahead. However, if you are contemplating an MBA from a global school, but are unsure about its benefits, read on.

I am a Harvard Business School graduate and founder of a boutique study abroad and career advisory, ReachIvy. Two years at business school, made me dismiss any doubts I had about the efficacy of a global MBA, given the high monetary investment, opportunity cost and time involved..
First, at school I had access to some of the finest minds in the world. My classmates came from various parts of the world spanning over 100 countries including Haiti and Latvia. I had an Olympic silver medalist as a teammate on a business plan competition team once who drove us crazy with his zeal to win! The diversity of classmates was baffling; not once did we experience ‘group think’, making each discussion challenging and engaging. Only an international MBA program brings such an eclectic mix of people together.

This diversity makes for an outstanding cultural and learning experience – a necessity in today’s ‘flat-world’. A globalized world also mandates an understanding of how business is done globally. Global B-schools organize trips across the world for students to learn firsthand from industry leaders and experts. I joined several such ‘learning trips’, joining my classmates in Japan, Mexico and California building strong cross-cultural expertise.

Top global schools become hubs for top global talent – be it students, academicians or guest lecturers. My Professors came from different parts of the world – we had a Chilean Professor who taught us about the debt crisis in Latin America and a Russian Finance wizard who taught us the nuances of a building a robust financial model. The guidance doesn’t end at University. During my 5 year reunion in Boston this year, my professor helped my address a critical professional problem and connected me to another faculty member who is currently advising me with my business. Professors and even Dean have been very accessible; it is quintessentially American to have no barriers between students and faculty.

Moreover, In India, the average age for an MBA is between 21-23 years, whereas in the USA it is 27 years and Europe it is 29. Naturally, my classmates came with rich professional experience, adding significant value to classroom discussions. They were also clear about their career goals by this stage and hence very focused on their industries. My classroom had experts on Private Equity, Consulting, Energy, Retail, Media, Fashion etc. exposing us to a wide range of perspectives.

The relationships you cultivate on campus continue to strengthen over time. Post graduating, each time I confront a business dilemma or consider tapping into international markets, I quickly ping a classmate and immediately reach a resolution. I have access to the world’s greatest minds; they are only an email away. The MBA has equipped me with an extremely supportive professional network in almost every corner of the world. Even on a personal level it is terrific to have friends you can reach out to when traveling abroad for pleasure. I have explored the tiny lanes of Kyoto, sipped the bitterest tequila, visited off beat historical relics and spent several memorable evenings with classmates across the world.

Commensurately, my home aptly has the moniker of an international hostel, as friends stop by from across the globe regularly. How can one put a value to these experiences?

However, if you are looking to evaluate the experience, let me provide a numerical justification as well. A USNews report dated June 4, 2015 mentioned, “Stanford University is the No. 1 business school where graduates are employed within three months after graduation. Graduates who attended full-time earned an average of $129,618.” This is a sharp contrast to $20,000 that Indian postgraduates are offered as starting salary. Therefore, although the Initial investment is higher (top global school average annual cost is approximately $72,500 whereas an MBA from an Indian school costs approximately INR 20,00,000), I suggest looking at your global education as an investment over a longer time horizon.
It has now been over five years since I graduated; I understand and appreciate the value of my degree even more with each passing day

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Chart on MBA students starting salary in 2013.

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 06:06
Social Media Presence – Impact on your candidature

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Are you aware how critical social media tools are in enhancing your candidature?

Your offline presence may be fabulous. However, in a world that is connected 24X7, what you do online matters tremendously. Applicants believe that furnishing a strong application and doing well in the admissions interview is all it takes to get your dream school admit.

Not true anymore!
Information that you share in the digital universe gets recorded and captured permanently. Increasingly, your classmates, schools and even employers are turning to social media to understand the validity and strength of your application by tracking what you share and how you interact online. Social media can help you enhance your story and make your application credible. If used well, these platforms are an excellent tool to impress the admissions committee.

To reinforce the paramount importance of social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+) presence, Sarah Ramsey, Director of Recruitment and Admissions for University of California Irvine’s full-time MBA program said, “A lot of schools are on social media now, so it’s a great way to foster interaction and engagement and connect with schools to make an impression and let yourself be known,” Ramsey said. “It’s important for applicants to be self-aware and understand how their brand is represented — i.e. what types of Twitter updates are they sending? How would that sound to an admissions committee or a company recruiting them?”
Your online reputation matters a lot; be social media savvy!

Top 10 tips to navigate social media:

1) Don’t be reckless – Sharing too much personal information, photos of you drunk,, fundamentalist opinions on religion and politics are not looked upon favourably by business schools.

2) Google yourself and see what comes up – You want Google to showcase your best attributes and want to ensure your web presence is active and searchable.

3) Use LinkedIn to show a coherent career history – LinkedIn is your online resume. It is rare to have a candidate applying to business schools who doesn’t have a LinkedIn presence. Make sure your hard copy profile and your online avatar are in sync.

4) Ask for relevant recommendations on LinkedIn – Positive feedback from colleagues and supervisors with whom you have shared a strong work place rapport is looked at favourably.

5) Build a rapport with your target schools – Get on Twitter, follow and engage with the handles of your target schools and their admissions officers.

6) Be courteous and helpful on social media – Retweet or share posts that you endorse or the ones that need public attention. Act as a messenger of all things good.

7) Use social media to express your interests – If dancing is your passion post dance links, images and other relevant content to grow the community that shares your interest.

8) Be mindful of your privacy. Not everything needs to be public – Your privacy settings on social media tools ensure the content you share remains public, customized or private. Ensure you review your settings periodically.

9) Try to be your authentic self – It is important to have your own voice while sharing content. Playing safe by only posting links uploaded by others will prove detrimental to your online presence.

10) Damage Repair – Inappropriate content about you that can be removed from social media, should be deleted as soon as possible. Don’t jeopardise your chances of getting accepted.


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 06:20
Darden Classroom Experience

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“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” – Russell Crowe, the Gladiator.

One of the most interesting things about being part of the case study based method of learning is being able to put yourself in a business situation three times a day, make a C-suite decision, and convince 60 other CEO classmates of the same. After almost a few hundred cases old by now, I realized how close this experience is to that of being a gladiator!

It’s not surprising how even the seating arrangement of the classroom enables this to happen. Having studied all my life in a classroom with endless rows and columns of benches all facing the blackboard and the lecturer, I found the amphitheater style setup in class, intriguing. I always thought that amphitheaters were for gladiators and performance art. Little did I know that each day at Darden was like delivering your best performance at being a gladiator!

When you walk into class with a recommendation for the protagonist of the case, backed with your in depth analysis, you feel like you have it all figured out. Of course barring the days you don’t have in depth enough analysis. And there will be some days when you don’t have any analysis despite hours of trying, only a vague instinct of what you should do. If you get “cold called” for your recommendation, you know that you have to walk into the center with everything you have got. It all comes down to “perform or perish.”

Most days your classmates are gruesome wild animals trying to tear you to pieces. It’s after all not a performance for the professor. He has seen numerous performances and can tell a good one from a lousy one. It’s all for your “classmates” a.k.a. “the wild beasts”, the rest of the gladiators and the audience. Your success as a gladiator is defined by how well you can convince others about your recommendation, standing tall in the end despite all the bruises, punches and low blows. Satisfying the audience, destroying the wild beasts, and taking on the rest of the gladiators with skill and precision.
Will there be days you will be battered in the middle? Will there be times you will limp, bleed, and lay sore with the wounds? Of course! They don’t call it a case study classroom for nothing. It’s not too far from the real world when you have to make tough decisions as a manager every single day. A case study class is true training ground for that.

Having said that, you can be rest assured that at Darden, unlike a gladiator, if you fail once, everything is not lost. You can always rise from the ashes like a phoenix and fight another day. And a gladiator who rises form the ground despite all his/her bruises, will entertain the audience more than the one who doesn’t rise up at all.

This blog is written by Archana Rao, Darden Business School, Class of 2015.
Her Blog and Cartoon Website


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 06:22
College Visits – Maximizing Impact

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With college admission deadlines around the corner some of you are packing your bags and getting ready to visit your colleges abroad. Even though it’s not necessary to visit the Universities before you apply, it does help with your decision process. Visiting the campus will give you a real sense of the atmosphere, the academic programmes, fellow students, faculty, student life, local area, and much more.

Have you prepared your college visit checklist?
Start by doing your homework – once you have identified the universities, make sure you know everything about your program, curriculum, professors, etc. Also pen down some insightful questions to ask.

Before you finalize your travel plans, contact the universities to find out when official campus tours are offered. The official tour allows you learn more about the university and go beyond the website. You will meet staff and students and get a genuine feel of the campus. Some universities will require you to pre-register for the college campus tours, and many offer tours at specific times and days of the week. Contact the Office of Admission and the Office of International Student Services to learn more about the possibilities for your campus visit.

Once on campus, make the most of your time there.

• Get a good sense of the student body, classrooms, facilities. Can you actually picture yourself as a student on this campus?

• Ask if you can sit in on one or two of the lectures. This could be a good indicator of the teaching style your program has, how much student involvement is required, and if that matches your style of learning.

• Interact with the admission team, students, and professors who share similar interests. Build a good rapport with them and get business cards.

• If it isn’t part of the campus tour, you will want to visit the Financial Aid Office, Admissions Office and the International Student Services Office. Use this time to find out more about admission requirements and scholarship options.

• Also remember to make notes and take photos. Write down your first impressions, what you liked and did not like, whom you met and any thing distinct about the University that caught your attention. These notes will come in handy when writing your application essays and make it very easy to answer why you wish to attend that institution or how you can contribute to the campus community.

Also once you are back home from your trip, don’t forget to send everyone thank you messages.

Bon voyage!


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 06:24
Study in USA – Life as a student in America

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A British chemist, William Henry rightly said “What is research, but a blind date with knowledge.”

University of Texas A&M is a very interesting place to study. Greeting each other with a “Howdy!” helps us make sure that no one on our campus feels like a stranger. As a new student, I was obsessed with the university and all its traditions – ever get a chance to visit the University in Fall, you have to go to The Midnight Yell! At such events, everybody does their best to make sure people are safe and well accommodated. As for academics, study in America is something else! I was beyond impressed by the opportunities this university gave me – The curriculum is flexible, challenging and very well respected. Most of courses had a strong emphasis on practical work. It was truly a life changing experience!
I was interested in pursuing research – I did not plan before jumping into R&D. I knew it would allow me to investigate multidisciplinary topics of interests that are not covered in class. My research in robotics did not fall squarely in the Electrical Engineering or Computer Science departments at Texas A&M University, hence I was able to use resources from both departments to investigate my interests. Such is the flexibility of studying in the US.
I feel that a lot of learning occurs with research – a learning that is missing with traditional coursework. Also, research leads to a better understanding and appreciation for the discipline under investigation. I was interested in working with robots but my career goals were clearer after participation in graduate research. How do you know you will enjoy being a roboticist without getting a chance to work like one?
After a semester’s research work, my team wrote couple of research papers that were accepted at a prestigious conference in my field and my advisor gave me the opportunity to travel to Japan and present our lab’s work. Travelling alone to a new country without any knowledge of their primary language was a memorable experience – imagine changing 6 trains in a night to reach a volcanic lake town! The conference was hugely rewarding. It taught me immensely and gave me networking opportunity with experts from all over the world.
The first step towards graduate research is finding a supportive advisor in your area of interest and to be open to exploring unchartered territories. I was extremely fortunate to find advisors in both Electrical and Computer Science Departments. Your advisor will be someone who you can be completely candid with. The learning from their wisdom, knowledge and experience is priceless. In fact, I attribute my knowledge to my advisors’ commitment and support.

In conclusion, successful completion of a research degree indicates (to a prospective employer) excellent project management skills, your ability to think independently and communicate effectively. A graduate research qualification is also necessary to make a career in academia. An extra effort here can open many doors and help you go a long way in your area of interest!

The article has been written by Siddharth Agarwal. He is a graduate student from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University.


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 06:36
The Power of Fiction – Art of Story Telling

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We have been inventing fictions for ages — literally. Cave paintings tell stories; nursery rhymes celebrate black sheep and twinkling stars; and religious texts draw upon hundreds of stories to get their messages across. Fiction exalts the imagination. It is the only human act that can defy physics to create something out of nothing, and never lose momentum. But it’s not all play: fiction helps us process the world around us, in a medium that is slower and quieter than a daily headline; more passionate than a speech, more intimate than a history book. Fiction allows you to fall in love with men, women, and monsters from the past, and anticipate the world’s fate in days to come. Fiction is like yoga: it strengthens you, makes you limber, and helps you breathe better. Because like yoga, the many “stances” in fiction take practice to perfect: Should the story be told in first person? In the present tense? What is the “occasion for the telling” — the very reason for the story itself? How do the themes manifest at a sentence level? Who is the audience. Can this narrator be trusted? This combination of decisions, made painstakingly, page after page, create a universe about which the reader intuitively understands the rules, and in which he lives until the last page. Fiction is time travel, therapy, and discovery. You can explore many authors — including Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Herman Melville, Nadine Gordimer, and Salman Rushdie — to start to understand the power of fiction.

Take this story, that is just six words long: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

This piece has been attributed to Ernest Hemingway, although it may not have been entirely his idea. Whoever the originator, the punch here is in the brevity. With six specially selected words, an entire story is begun and ended. What’s for sale? Shoes. Whose shoes? A baby’s. What condition? Brand new. Why are they for sale? Well… And who’s selling them? It must be…

It is our reaction to these six simple words which shows how fiction flexes its muscles. Why do we read this and catch our breath? Why is our mind reacting to the made up sale of a made up baby’s shoes? Because we’ve already begun to empathize with whoever is selling these shoes, even though this story reveals nothing about its characters and their emotions. Our swiftly reached conclusion about what happened in this story shows just how quickly we imagine, extrapolate, assume, project, understand, and interpret — and I’m not just talking about literature.

Now consider Moby Dick, a 700+ page novel written by Herman Melville in 1851, at a time when literature was supposed to be moralistic, puritanical, and noble. Melville didn’t enjoy such patronizing prose, and sought refuge in the madness of nature. Moby Dick is a story about a sea captain whose sole mission is to hunt down a particular whale (named Moby Dick), and kill him. Over 700 pages Melville philosophizes about life using ocean metaphors, and each line is more scintillating than the next. He begins with a very specific restlessness that get his character out to sea in the first place:

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

This paragraph appears on the first page of Moby Dick, and immediately apparent to the reader is how fidgety and anxious the narrator, Ishmael, is. He clearly wants to get out and go somewhere, do something! His mind is muddy, his mood is spoiled, he’s picking fights and encountering death, and it’s become too much for him. So what next? What would you do? Have you been in this situation before, where your mind is racing, your toes are twitching, and you don’t know what to do about it? What finally gets you out of bed and out of the house? What drives you to make your next move? What are the stakes, and how high are they? Melville jumps right into his narrator’s panicked brain and shows us exactly how we feel when restlessness sets in, and with deft and masterful sentences, makes very clear what Ishmael’s motivations are.

If the character Humbert Humbert had to begin his story in the same way as Ishmael, he might have said, “Whenever I see Lolita, then I swoon with desire.” Anyone recognize these names? They come from Lolita, the infamous novel by Vladimir Nabokov about a pedophile named Humbert Humbert, and the object of his affection. See how he describes her on page 1:

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

Nabokov was unsure about this book, but his wife Vera insisted he publish it; she understood him better than anyone, and he dedicated every single one of his books to her. Read and re-read the sentences above, and observe how the name of the fictional character becomes something to taste, chew, and swallow. Each nickname carries its own significance, and Nabokov’s narrator cleverly — and creepily! — shows us each version of the girl with a different nickname.

We use nicknames all the time, for people we love, for people we don’t like, for our peers, our teachers, our spouses, and our children. Think for a moment about how those nicknames have come into being, how long they’ve lasted, how much they’ve changed with each chapter of that person’s life. Look at the petnames in the passage above; in just a few sentences, Nabokov shows us just a few glimpses of this young girl but immediately you can picture her in her uniform, standing in one sock, being adored. Nicknames are gestures of intimacy, whether we acknowledge them as such, Nabokov reminds us of how intimately humans can be with each other (creepily or not!).

South African author and Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer created several characters in her lifetime, many of whom reflected her views and confusions about apartheid. Her 1979 book The Burger’s Daughter about an activist family was initially banned, but found its way to Nelson Mandela’s cell at the Robben Island prison where he was deeply touched by the story. He wrote to her saying as much, and after he was released, they became close friends. Such is the power of fiction, that a black male activist and a white female author can connect through an imagined world that transcends a reality to create a new one.

Here’s how The Burger’s Daughter begins:

Among the group of people waiting at the fortress was a schoolgirl in a brown and yellow uniform holding a green eiderdown quilt and, by the loop at its neck, a red hot-water bottle. Certain buses used to pass that way then and passengers looking out will have noticed a schoolgirl. Imagine, a schoolgirl: she must have somebody inside. Who are all those people, anyway? Even from the top of a bus, lurching on past as the lights go green, the group would not have looked like the usual prison visitor, passive and self-effacing about the slope of municipal grass.

We discussed this excerpt for its visual power. Look at the words that are repeated — schoolgirl — and the words that are rotated — several different colors. Look at the word choice — fortress, lurching, and municipal. Listen to the voice telling us the story, that seems immediately dismissive of this school girl in brown and yellow, holding green and red. Many colors, but no mention of the girl’s skin color, and yet perhaps it is obvious without Gordimer having to say so.

Ten years later, Salman Rushdie introduced readers to a kind of storytelling using words that were obvious to some, and oblivious to others. In 1981 he wrote Midnight’s Children, which won several awards and put him on the map. See how he begins his children’s book Luka and the Fire of Life, written in 2010 for his second son:

There was once, in the city of Kahani, in the land of Alifbay, a boy named Luka who had two pets, a bear named Dog and a dog named Bear, which meant that whenever he called out, “Dog!” the bear waddled up amiably on his hind legs, and when he shouted, “Bear!” the dog bounded towards him, wagging his tail.

For some readers, “the city of Kahani” will make them smile; for others, it is but an interesting name for an unknown city. Rushdie was always playing with words and hiding meaning in his sentences for a chosen subset of readers. No wonder his books elicited such strong reactions from the public when they were discovered!

This passage also demonstrates how playful and exciting children’s literature can be, not just for the reader but for the author. If an author as scholarly and worldly as Salman Rushdie chooses to write books for children, then surely the genre is worth exploring. Since the 17th century, books for children have evolved mightily: they began with Biblical stories that imparted strong god-fearing messages, then moved into fairytales that were lighter but still moralistic, then acknowledged a child’s ability to imagine and believe, then celebrated superhuman fictional characters such as Superman and Spiderman, and today empower more ‘human’ fictional characters such as Harry Potter with similarly magic powers, while placing them in very real settings.

Children’s literature brings us back to the boy who narrates Moby Dick, and back to the baby shoes that were never worn: it shows us how quickly and naturally we, as readers, empathize with characters, and especially with young ones. Fiction has the power to stop time, reverse its direction, construct new planets, get rid of the need for oxygen, remain monolingual in thought, and so much more.


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 06:38
Study Abroad Applicant Strategies

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With school accepting less than 10% of students in a particular cohort, the competition to secure an admit has become ever more fierce. For the class of 2018, Harvard University will admit 5.9% of applicants; Princeton will admit 7.28% and University of Pennsylvania will admit a generous 9.9% of its applicants. However, do not let the statistics distract you from your goal.
If you are a college applicant, looking to study abroad, here are few practices which successful ReachIvy applicants have adopted in the past to convert their dreams into reality.

Top 10 successful applicant strategies while preparing to study abroad

1) Start early. Getting a head start is the best advantage to have –be mindful of the time and energy needed.
2) Crack the GMAT/GRE. Keep adequate time for a second attempt incase your scores are not as expected.
3) Research your schools- it is imperative to find the right fit.
4) Adhere to deadlines. There is no recourse once you miss an application date.
5) Consolidate your finances to fund your program.
6) Find your most productive time of day to ideate.
7) Falling and getting up is going to be a part of this journey.
8) Don’t fabricate your story. Schools want to know the real you.
9) Get help. It is always helpful even for the most proficient writers to get another perspective.
10) Edit, edit, edit and edit some more.


Dream big. Plan well. Hustle hard. Success is yours!

Sources:
1) http://www.economist.com/whichmba/ten-tips-for-perfectly-pitched-essays
2) http://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/admissions/blog/developing-a-successful-application-strategy
3) http://www.businessinsider.in/Ivy-League-Acceptance-Rates-For-The-Class-Of-2018-Are-Coming-Out/articleshow/32804099.cms


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 23 Dec 2016, 06:12
Must-Read Blogs To Get Inspired And Crack Admissions To A Top Global MBA Program

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What are admissions officers from top schools looking for? How do you build a compelling profile to get admitted to a top global school? What is the secret to happiness?

Written by ReachIvy experts and occasional guest bloggers, here are a few must-read blog posts that help you crack admissions to a top global MBA program. Read on to gain knowledge and inspiration!

1. How do you build the right profile?

A business school application is not just a set of application forms that need to be filled out. There is also no silver bullet, no one formula for success. Building the right profile and accordingly, putting an impressive business school application together is an uncomfortably intense introspective process, where you develop a clear sense of self-awareness, which you can harness to maximize your strengths, and build scaffolds around your weaknesses. Read on.

2. How do you know which MBA programs you should be applying to?

How do you drown out the noise and build a path that is best for YOU? The best way to optimize the college search process is to build a structure that works best for your specific style of consuming and processing large amounts of information. Think about how you currently carve up sizeable portions to study for a marathon board examination, and apply a similar philosophy here. Read on.

3. How do I write a compelling essay?

Your business school essays are one of the most critical components of your application. It influences whether or not you make it to the interview round, and is one of the driving factors for admission to a top university. Want to learn more about how you can avoid the biggest mistakes you can make? Read on.

4. How do I get strong letters of recommendation?

Strong recommendation letters are critical to getting in to a top global business school. They can tip the scales towards an acceptance offer. They provide the admissions committee with insight into your performance and potential for career success, in the eyes of a credible supervisor, and corroborating evidence in terms of the story arc you have built in the rest of your application. So how do you build and present the strongest possible recommendation/s from your supervisor/s? Read on.

5. What questions should I ask the admissions committee during an interview to impress them?

The questions from your interviewer will be centered on determining whether you are a good fit for their specific MBA program. Usually at the end of the interview (depending on whether it is more formally formatted or conversation based), you will be given a cue to share any specific questions that you may have for them. Although this is optional, by asking relevant, well thought-out questions, you have a chance to make a strong impression. Read on.

6. How do I crack the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test considered by most business schools as a paramount data point in the admissions process. While some may presume that it is easy to crack the GMAT given that basic concepts are tested, students actually end up making numerous mistakes given the complexity of the questions and the multiple choice responses. Read on.

7. How do I craft a stellar resume?

How critical is your resume? Extremely. You may have stellar achievements, but it is imperative that they are compiled in an impressive manner. A crisp, error-free and coherently presented resume allows you to make an instantaneous positive impact. A well-constructed CV should document your skills and convince the admissions committee about your exceptional candidature. Read on.

8. How do I change my admissions status from waitlisted to accepted?

Being on the waitlist for admissions to a top tier business school can be rather unsettling. However, getting waitlisted is not the same as getting rejected, and in fact, clearly communicates that you remain a strong candidate for this business school. You still have a chance to tip the scales from ‘waitlisted’ to ‘accepted’, but you need to be proactive now. Read on.

9. How do I create an impressive LinkedIn profile?

Having a strong LinkedIn profile is not just for a job search process. It is, essentially, the online version of swapping and storing business cards, and foundational to building and positioning your professional brand. In addition to recruiting and job seeking, LinkedIn is a way to discover and be discovered by the admissions committee, and to establish yourself as a thought leader in your space. Read on.

10. How do you stay happy and inspired through this stressful admissions process?

How do you push past complacency and unease, and build greater character as you build a strong application? How do you define yourself, and find purpose? How do you define and achieve happiness? A ReachIvy counselor shares her reflections on a deeply moving keynote speech by David Brooks, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, at an education conference in Denver, Colorado. Read on.


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 24 Dec 2016, 00:42
Lesson 1:

Inception: Define Short Term & Long Term Goals

“The reason most people do not reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them. – Denis Watley!”

Objective: Identify and define your long and short term goals both professionally and academically. Your short term goals could be the stepping stones for your long term ones, so give this exercise a lot of thought. When we are painting, remember how we first sketch the design with a pencil and then follow that design and enhance it with colors, this is similar to that. The first step towards planning your career path is identifying and defining your goals!

Overview: Before we get into the how to define your goals, let us first understand what are long term and short term goals. Long term goals are things you want to do further in future. Few examples are - becoming an architect or starting your own business. These goals will give you a general idea of what direction do you want to go in life. Whereas short term goals are the ones that you want to achieve in near future. For example, over the next couple of years I wish to enhance my drawing skills and build a portfolio.

Steps to follow:

1. Internal Evaluation: Take some time out to think and contemplate what you want to do in life. It is not necessarily supposed to be a life goal, instead try to think about ALL the things you would want to do and explore in life. Also, this will not be a one-time process; you need to keep adding new things to your goals as you move forward in life. For example – You may want to become an engineer when you grow up, but while preparing for that, you might realize you want to go abroad for you engineering degree. Accommodate such changes in your plan, for it is not easy to figure out what to do in life, so take your time with this step.

2. Make a list: Organizing your thoughts in the form of a list ALWAYS helps. Therefore, I would advise you to jot down all your goals on paper, so that you do not miss out on anything!

3. Break your bigger goals into smaller and more specific goals. For example, if you want to be a writer when you grow up, start with setting your goals as maintaining a journal, writing for the school magazines, reading a lot of books and so on.

4. Categorize your goals: Once you have listed all your goals, it’s time to categorize them as short term and long term. Remember, short term goals are the ones that you have to accomplish in near future and hence should be at higher priority, whereas long term goals need consistency for accomplishment – keep working on your long term goals throughout, they might not be urgent but they are important.

5. Work backwards: Think about what you want to achieve in the longer run, and then plan steps going back to what you can do right now. For example - if you want to develop software and be a coder when you grow up, set a short term goal of getting enrolled in a computer class and learning a basic language. Or if you want to be a journalist when you grow up, set up a short term goal of participating in public speaking competitions in school.

Questions to ask: Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify and clearly state your short term and long term goals.

1. What do I want to achieve in a month or a year? What do I want to achieve in life?

2. Why am I going through this lesson? How will this help me? (Even though we are telling you the why and how in this lesson, try to answer this question for yourself, will give you a better idea of your expectations.)

3. Where do I see myself in 10 years from now?

Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!

1. Are goal oriented people more organized and efficient than their counter parts?

2. What are some examples of everyday incidents where setting goals have accelerated the process and ensured success?

Reference ReachIvy Resources:

Guides:
* How do I define my career path?
* How can I network more effectively?

Videos
* What activities can I be involved in?
* [url=http://www.reachivy.com/videos/how-do-i-stay-engaged-outside-classroom]How do I stay engaged outside classroom?

Blogs
* What the classrooms won’t teach you
* Best commencement speeches of 2016
* David Brooks on the secret to happiness
* How to make the most of your time in college

Lesson to learn:
As you plan the next stage of your academic life, identifying and defining your short and long-term goals allows your first step to be in the right direction. A thorough introspection will help you identify not only your strengths and weaknesses, but also the gaps you need to fill. So, take your time, discuss with friends and family, and map out your dream future.

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New post 24 Dec 2016, 00:59
Lesson #2

Explore Your Interests
“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased – Katherine Hepburn!”

Objective: Identify and explore your various interests. Motivate yourself to take part in extracurricular activities, learn outside of classroom, read books, or play an instrument.

Overview: Engagement outside of the classroom is as important as inside of it. Most college or job applications ask about the activities that you are involved in during your free time, as it shows traits that grades alone are not able to demonstrate. For example, what are you passionate about? Are you a leader? What you do after school, during weekends and over summers tells people a lot about the kind of person you are.

Steps to follow:

1. Evaluate yourself: Start with internal evaluation. Ask yourself questions about your likes and dislikes. This is the first most important step when you are exploring your interests. But if you are not sure about your likes and interests, there is nothing to worry about. In such a case, try EVERYTHING - from dancing to singing and acting, give everything a shot. It is when you go through an experience, you realize if you like it or not.

2. Join a club: Once you have a fair idea of your likes and interests, make it a point to pursue that religiously.

3. Keep a journal: Penning your thoughts down is the best way to gain clarity in your thoughts, know yourself better, stay organized and harness creativity. Once you get into the habit of keeping a journal, it will be much easier for you to identify your interests.

4. Talk to your friends and family: They know you the best, and with their unique experiences, they can be excellent personalized mentors!

5. Sign up for summer camps: Summer camps are a perfect way of acquiring new skills and exploring various interests, so make sure you sign up for summer camps during your next vacations!

Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself while you are on that journey of figuring out your likes and dislikes. As you brainstorm these questions, you will get a clearer idea of what your interests look like!

1. Last weekend was a blast, what did I end up doing that weekend? (hint: will help identify your interests)
2. If I had to choose one thing out of all my hobbies, what would that be?
3. If I were getting paid for doing whatever it is that I like, what would I be doing?
4. What lifts up my mood instantly after a bad day at school?
5. Who is my role model? What do I like about them?
6. What is that one thing that I see myself doing even after 10 years?

Thoughts to discuss:
Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!
1. Why is it important to keep your interests alive?
2. What role do your hobbies and interests play in shaping your personality?
3. Is ‘following your passion’ a formula for success?

Reference ReachIvy Resources:

Guides:

* How do I maximize my High School summer holidays?
* Why are extracurricular activities important?
* What should I be reading in 9th and 10th grade?
* What should I be reading in 11th and12th grade?

Videos:

* Why do I need extracurricular activities?
* What activities can I be involved in?
* How do I stay engaged outside classroom?

Blogs:

* The Power of Fiction – Art of story telling
* 14 ways to make the most of your High School summer
* Best commencement speeches of 2016

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New post 24 Dec 2016, 01:11
Lesson #3

Expand Your Skill Set

“It seems better to me for a child to have these skills and never use them, than not have them and one day need them.” – Kristin Cashore

Objective: Enhance your skill sets to compliment your future goals and interests. Work on your soft skills as well as hard skills.

Overview: Be it your high school life, college life or work life, you are going to need skills to excel at whatever it is that you do. By now, you have defined your short term and long term goals, and you know your interests. Now, it’s time to change your interests into competencies so that you can reach your goals better and faster. Broadly, I would classify skills in three categories –

1. Personal skills: These are positive traits of your personality and they assist you in doing your job well. These can’t be developed over night; you need to practice them to polish them. However, some qualities are embedded in your personality by default, it is a good idea to identify them and use them to your advantage. All the soft skills fall under this category of skills!

2. Hard Skills: These are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as writing, math, reading, coding, and painting. All your academic strengths fall under this category.

Steps to follow:

1. Identify skills that you want to develop and need to develop: As you identify your goals and interests, the next step is to identify the skills that are required to reach your targets. For example: if you want to major in economics, you should work on improving math and statistics or if you want to become an architect, then focus on science, math and drawing. Apart from honing academic skills, you need to polish your soft skills as well. For example: as you enter college, you will need excellent communication skills, leadership skills, time management skills, research skills etc. to stand out of the crowd. Therefore, work carefully on making a list of skills you would like to develop and incorporate in this list the skills that you need to develop for a better future.

2. Excel in academics

3. Work on your communication skills: No matter what field you choose to major in, these skills are absolutely vital for your personality and career. Read, write, learn, practice, discuss, repeat. This should be your mantra during your school days as this is the best time to shape your personality. Make sure you actively indulge in public speaking – participate in elocution, debates, panel discussions etc. in your school. The easiest way to improve your communication skills is to participate in class discussions – when your instructor is teaching a subject, raise your doubts, answer questions that are being asked in the class, this will boost your confidence and make you comfortable in speaking in front of a group of people.

4. Learn Problem Solving: This is not necessarily related to the math or science problems, it is more about coming up with innovative idea to solve any problem that comes your way – academic or non-academic doesn’t matter. As long as you are good at troubleshooting and are able to provide out of the box solutions in unfavorable situations, you will always have an edge over your competitors. Therefore, try to follow a systematic approach while solving a problem, note every step, think outside the box, try to solve as many problems as possible and persevere. Sometimes, best solutions come after a lot of trial and error!

5. Take up group projects: School time is the best for learning team work and leadership. Get involved in group projects, divide tasks according to the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates, maintain a timeline to complete the project, communicate effectively while sharing your ideas with your group and most importantly, respect your team members and appreciate their work. Group projects are a great way to learn and make friends at the same time and if you collectively create something impressive, it’s a perfect way to get some extra grades too!

6. Manage your time: Excelling inside and outside of classroom is a skill, and we have discussed that in above steps, but dividing your time between academic interests and other interests is also a skill!

Questions to ask: Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify skills that you need to develop and expand your skill set.

1. What hard skills are crucial for pursuing my interests as major?
2. Do I have good interpersonal skills?
3. Am I able to think outside the box while coming up with a solution to a problem?
4. Do I like communicating with people?
5. Do I feel a chill down my spine every time I step on stage?
6. Am I a leader or a follower?
7. I always lose track of time while studying ………… Fill this for yourself.
8. Now, I know what I want to do, but what all skills do I need to accomplish that? How can I develop these skills?

Thoughts to discuss:
Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!

1. What according to them are your strengths and weaknesses? This is important once you have an answer to this question, you can play your strengths and improve on the limitations.
2. What are the ways by which we can balance academics and extracurricular activities in school?
3. How important are grades for getting into a college of your choice?
4. Which are the most important soft skills? How can we learn them?

Reference ReachIvy Resources:

Guides:

* Why are communication skills important? How can I develop them?
* Why is management important? How can I manage my time?

Videos

* HHow do I stay engaged outside classroom?
* Do I need extracurricular activities?

Blogs

* What the classroom won’t teach you
* 14 ways to make the most of your High School summer

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New post 27 Dec 2016, 05:18
Lesson #4

Discover Your Academic Streams

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” - Confucius

“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.” Sheryl Sandberg

Objective: Now that you know what your goals are; the next step is to choose an academic stream that perfectly aligns with your goals, skills and interests.

Overview: Choosing the right academic stream of education is the first biggest academic decision a student makes in his/her career. At this point it is very important to ensure that the academic stream you choose is aligned to your goals, skills and interests. So first assess your interests, skills, and long-term plans and understand how different academic streams will help you strengthen your skills and goals.
For example – If you are interested in cars and want to pursue a career in car designing then the best academic stream that you choose is Engineering. But engineering also has a variety of options and you have to do proper research to understand which exact stream of Engineering will strengthen your skills and help you fulfill the goal of ‘Designing Cars’.

Steps to follow:

1. Assess different academic streams: Before finalizing on a career stream it is important to assess all the different academic streams and list down the pro and cons of these streams.

Research what degrees, licenses, or certifications you'll need to become employed in the fields you're considering. It has been often noticed that students start hating their subject after some time or quit their subject midway or start feeling frustrated about the wrong move or decision. Therefore, it is very important that you evaluate your options thoroughly; so that you have a fair idea of what a particular stream has in store for you.

2. Visit a career counselor: For more clarification, you can visit a career counselor who will conduct tests which have been scientifically designed and formulated and helps you to know the right stream. Attending career guidance, seminars, educational fairs would also be a good idea to explore career choices and to help a student plan his/her next step.

3. Get an internship: Do you have a specific future career in mind, or any specific subjects that you would like to study further? Getting an internship at a related company or organization will not only help you explore, but will also help you cement your interest in this sector. For instance, if you love human biology, getting an internship with a hospital shows colleges that you are serious about this subject, and driven to learn more about it in terms of its real world applications, beyond a classroom setting. Try to structure the internship with your employer before you start to ensure that you maximize your learning experience. This is one of the most impactful ways that you can spend your summer.

4. Shadow people: Talk to seasoned professionals in careers and majors that you are considering. If you have a specific future career in mind or are considering a couple of options for college, network with seasoned professionals and college students in these areas who can guide you, and could help you design a relevant path. By doing so, you may connect with someone who could end up becoming your mentor, who would be a long-lasting source of wise counsel.

5. Get involved on a college campus: There are many ways you can get involved on your dream college campus. You can make a visit, or take a course or summer programs for high school students. Immersing yourself on a college campus does not ensure that you will get admitted, but it will give you valuable insights into campus offerings that can better inform the way in which you build your profile in your college application. Thoroughly research your options to ensure that you are enrolling in the right course or program.


Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify your academic stream.

1. What are your interests? Do you prefer working with people, numbers and data, abstract ideas, or real-world things like animals or equipment? Or some combination?
2. What skills do you have? Putting your skills on paper can be an affirmative, eye-opening experience that provides confidence as you move toward your goals.
3. What education or training do you need?


Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends, parents, siblings or friends!

1. Why is selecting the right academic stream important? How has it helped someone achieve their goals?
2. What do others think you are good at?
3. What topics do you find yourself continuously arguing or defending with others? What beliefs does your stance represent?
4. What 3-5 dream careers or businesses can you imagine that would firmly embody your core beliefs about the world?

Reference ReachIvy Resources:

Guides:

How Do I Select The Right School For Me?
How Do I Define My Career Path?
How Do I Find The Right Internship For Me?

Videos:
How to find the right school for me?
What activities can I be involved in?

Blogs:
College Visits – Maximizing Impact
• Reading Lists: 9th & 10th Grade
What to look for in a Summer Internship

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New post 27 Dec 2016, 05:42
Lesson #5

Identify Leaders

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”Jack Welch

Objective: Now that you have skills, goals, interests and academic interest in mind, pick 4-5 career options that this combination will allow you to pursue. And then identify leaders from your dream career.

Overview: Find leaders that share your career interest and reach out to them; understand their academic background, what skills they gained, what are their goals for future, what stream they chose - understand their journey.

Steps to follow:

1. Browse a career: The first step is to identify 3-4 career options that align with your interests and goals. Do a proper research and identify your industry preferences. Example: If you aspire to become a Financial Analyst then your industry preference is Banking, Accounting & Finance.

2. Within that career, identify 5 options: Once you have identified your Industry preference then find out 5 options that best suites you. Example: If the industry preference you selected is Banking, Accounting and Finance then there are many career options that fall under this Industry Preference (i.e. – Relationship Management, Foreign exchange, Investment banking, etc.)

3. Identify 5 people who are working in your dream job: Make a list of at least 2-5 leaders who fall under your industry preference. Leader’s need not be famous personalities. It could be anyone who you know and is doing well in the career option of your interest. Network with seasoned professionals in these sectors who can guide you, and could help you design a career path. By doing so, you may connect with someone who could end up becoming your mentor, who would be a long-lasting source of wise counsel.

4. Re-evaluate: Now that you have researched about or spoken to the Leaders in your dream career; the final step is to re-evaluate your profile. It could be anything from learning a new skill or taking up a course that you learnt is important from your leader.

Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify your leaders:

1. What academic qualification/certifications does the leader hold?
2. What was the motivation for the leader to choose that particular industry?
3. What skills of the leader set him apart from the other people in the industry?

Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!

1. Out of the 3-4 industry preference that you selected; which career according to them, suites you the best?
2. Do they know of any leader who aligns with your industry preference?

Reference ReachIvy Resources:

Career Library Page:

Browse through the Career Library pages and compile a list of 3-5 career you associate with
Read through the details of the Leaders within each industry preference

Guides:

How Do I Define My Career Path?

Blogs:

Best Commencement Speeches of 2016
Top 10 Tips to Create a Stellar, Searchable LinkedIn Profile
How to choose a mentor when applying for a Study Abroad program

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New post 27 Dec 2016, 06:00
Lesson #6

Chalk Out Your Game Plan

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single minded devotion to your goal.”A.P.J Abdul Kalam

Objective: After having finalized on your goals; the next step is to chalk out a plan and start your journey towards achieving your goals.

Overview: Planning ahead is important, especially when you are trying to reach a specific goal. It is very important to visualize each of the steps needed to reach your goals. Create a solid game plan and make a timeline to help achieve your goal step by step.

Steps to follow:

1. Focus on subjects/tests: You have an aspiration now, think about if you are hitting the right marks academically. Also start preparing for your SATs and ACTs. You can even take your SATs and ACTs. By getting it out of the way, you will be able to better focus on the demands of the next rigorous academic year, as well as on building a strong college application.

2. Plan on becoming strong professionally: One of the most effective ways to ensure that you get hands on experience for your desired goal is to take up an internship during your summer holidays. Getting an internship at a related company or organization will not only help you explore, but will also help you cement your interest in this sector. For instance, if you love human biology, getting an internship with a hospital shows colleges that you are serious about this subject, and driven to learn more about it in terms of its real world applications, beyond a classroom setting. Try to structure the internship with your employer before you start to ensure that you maximize your learning experience.

3. Participate in extra-curricular activities: It is very important that you participate in some extra-curricular activity because it helps you learn things that you might not learn in a classroom. Whatever your activities and interests, find a way to delve into them further. If you are passionate about foreign film, take online courses on film appreciation or volunteer with organizing local film festivals. Or learn a skill that is important for achieving your goal. Example: If your goal is to become a translator, then start learning the foreign language you enjoy the most.

4. Build a timeline: Chalk out your holidays/ deadlines/ test dates and build a timeline around these. Building a timeline gives your plan some structure and organizes the tasks you need to complete to move your goals from thought to reality. Arrange the steps you need to complete in a logical order and give each a completion date. Think of your timeline as a map to your goals.

5. Follow the plan: Now that you know what steps you need to take to achieve your goals, ensure that you follow the plan sincerely. Do not beat yourself up if you find that you need to adjust your timeline. If you miss a deadline, set up another and ensure you stick to it. The game plan is a way to keep a check if you moving on the right path towards your career.

Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify your academic stream.

1. How to improve on your academics/scores?
2. Do I need to take SATs and ACTs?
3. What would be the best internship option for you?
4. What extra-curricular activities should I participate in?

Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!

1. What steps did someone follow to improve their academic scores?
2. Tips and tricks to crack SAT/ACT?
3. Why is selecting the right internship important? How has it helped someone achieve their goals?
4. How to chalk out a realistic timeline?

Reference ReachIvy Resources:

Guides:

How can I maximize my summer holidays?
What should I be reading during school?

Videos:

Which one should I take?
What is the SAT and ACT?
What are SAT subject tests?
Do I need to take SATs or ACTs?
How do I stay engaged outside classroom?
What activities can I be involved in?

Blogs:

Reading Lists: 9th & 10th Grade
What to look for in a Summer Internship
14 ways to make the most of your High School summer

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New post 28 Dec 2016, 06:24
Lesson #7

Execute Your Plan/ Build Your Profile

"Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” - Peter Drucker

Objective: Once you have chalked out a game plan the next step is to stick to your plan and execute it to build your profile.

Overview: Execution is an easy concept to talk about, but it's a hard one to execute. The real challenge is to be able to measure and manage your plan. Therefore it is important that you stick to the plan, track your progress and learn to adapt. Hard work and dedication are the only keys to the successful execution of your plans.

Steps to follow:

1. Stick to the plan: You have put in a lot of hard work to evaluate and create a game plan towards achieving your goals. Now it is time to put in similar amount of hard work towards execution of that plan. Work on self-discipline. This is a trait that helps you keep moving forward and working hard. There will be times when your goal feels out of reach, or when you want to give up. Self-discipline pushes you to keep going, in spite of the odds.

2. Track your progress: Every day, take a few minutes to look at your progress towards your goal, and pat yourself on the back for what you've done. When you achieve a bigger milestone, reward yourself with something significant, such as a shopping trip. Keeping track of your progress helps you stay focused on your goals.

3. Learn to adapt: Don’t be hassled if certain things don’t go as per your plan. Sometimes you might not be able to achieve a milestone because of some other commitments. All you have to do is, to re-evaluate your plan and keep moving ahead. As you keep growing and learning you might have to make changes to your plan; therefore don’t keep the plan rigid and learn to adapt to the changes.

4. Revaluate: It might happen that you failed to execute a certain action within your plan. If you tried and failed at it a lot of times then maybe you aren’t good at that. Maybe you are good at something else. Understand why it didn’t work out and move on. Find something else that you are good at and make it a part of your plan.

Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify your academic stream.

1. Are you following the game plan sincerely?
2. What methods can you use to track your progress?
3. Is there anything in the plan that is not going according to expectations? If yes, revaluate.

Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!

1. What steps can you take to ensure to stick to your plan?
2. How do they track their progress?
3. How did they adapt when certain things did not go according to their career plan?

Reference ReachIvy.com Resources:

Guides:

Why are communication skills important? How can I develop them?
Why is management important? How can I manage my time?
Why are interpersonal skills important? How to develop them?
Why are research skills important? How to develop them?

Blogs:

Build a stellar profile and get admitted to a Top Global Business School

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New post 28 Dec 2016, 06:37
Lesson #8

Define Success

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.”Bruce Feirstein

Objective: Learn to define success around your own principles. The first step towards achieving success is to define what represents to you.

Overview: Success is a very relative term and you define it based on your goals and strengths.

Steps to follow:

1. Compete with yourself/keep yourself as your benchmark: Stop competing with others and start competing with yourself. The reason why everybody says this is, comparison with others will not take you far. So whenever you think you are doing your best, always remember you can do better. Example: If one of the actions in your plan was to learn Spanish and you cleared one level of the course; you can always make yourself better going for an advance level of Spanish.

2. Celebrate your milestone: Once you have achieved a milestone, do not forget to celebrate it. Example: Treat yourself with your favorite pastry, or go for shopping. Celebrating milestones helps you to keep yourself motivated.

3. Find a mentor who keeps you motivated: A mentor could be any person who you connect with and knows you very well. It could also be the leader you identified. Whenever you feel something isn’t going right with your plans, then speak to your mentor so they can guide you and motivate you towards the next steps.

4. Don't lose sight of your parameters of success/don't let others define your success: Do not compare yourself with others and gauge where you are based on what you observe them to be doing. Because everybody’s definition of success is different. Example: Some people might be looking for corporate fame while some might want work life balance. Therefore it is important for you to define your own success to ensure that you don’t replicate someone else’s plan.

Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify your academic stream.
1. Are you trying to compete with others? If yes, re-evaluate your goals.
2. Who can help you be motivated?
3. Are you keeping a check on parameters of success that you defined for yourself?

Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!

1. What tips do they have to share on staying motivated?
2. Who motivates them the most?
3. How do they celebrate when they achieve a milestone?

Reference ReachIvy.com Resources:

Guides:

Why are communication skills important? How can I develop them?
Why is time management important? How can I manage my time?

Videos:

The power of fiction by Aditi Sriram
How can a MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?

Blogs:

Study Abroad applicants strategies
5 reasons to build your network and shrink the universe
How to choose a mentor when applying for a study abroad program

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New post 28 Dec 2016, 06:59
Lesson #9

Persevere

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” – Walter Elliot, Scottish politician.

Objective: The path to success is not always easy, but you can always learn ways to make the journey enjoyable through perseverance

Overview: If you want to persevere you need a certain mindset and perspective on things to make it through the tough spots. People that persevere don’t tend to care much about setbacks or dwell on them. They just tick them off their “to-do-list,” learn and move on. So, whether you’re aiming for the stars or want to reach a “smaller” goal that’s important to you, you’re going to need to know how to persevere.

Steps to follow:

1. Always make sure you are enjoying what you are doing: Ideally, we can choose to always do what we love without ever needing to think about the things we don’t like. That, unfortunately, is not the case in real world. Example: Your favorite subject might be Math and you might not like History much; but to ensure that score well in your exam it is essential to get equally good marks in History as Math. As you see the ability to do well on things you don’t like is essential for your success. Therefore, it is important that you start enjoying what you do and not do it just for the sake of doing.

2. Take time to reboot: As the saying goes ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Take breaks. Meditate. Read. Sip some tea. Sometimes our greatest insights and creative solutions come during those moments when we give ourselves a break. So, next time you’re in need of a truly creative solution or “ground-breaking idea” for your goal, do the counter-intuitive thing: take a relaxing break.

3. Find the right environment: Surround yourself with better more ambitious people. You’re the average of the people you spend most time with. Hence, you must find an environment that will keep you motivated.

4. Watch and read motivational speeches and stories: Some of the most memorable lessons in life come from stories. Remember the stories you read in childhood have ingrained some of the best values in you. Example: ‘Honesty is the best policy’, ‘Slow and steady wins the race’. Stories have always inspired us. It happens a lot of times that we get really moved by someone’s story or speech. Therefore, to keep your energies high keep yourself updated with the latest stories and motivational speeches.

5. Drown out negativity: It’s difficult to drown out the thoughts that corrupt your thinking and prevent the flow of energy to make yourself better, but there are some ways to calm a racing mind and stop the flow of negativity that threatens to bring you down. Perhaps you just need some quiet time – time for yourself to ruminate on the positive things you’ve accomplished. Meditation is one way to achieve the quiet time you need to get your thoughts under control.

6. There is a fine line between those who are demotivating you and those you help you improve: When weeding negative thoughts out of your life, make sure you surround yourself with positive people whenever you can. It’s easy to be influenced by people who always spout negativity and seem to want everyone around them to feel the same way. Of course, it’s impossible to feel upbeat all the time. Life is sure to get you down once in a while. But find a way that works for you to silence the negativity and stop being so hard on yourself.

Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify your academic stream.

1. What ways can you use to ensure you are enjoying yourself?
2. What can you do when you take a break? What refreshes you the most?
3. Are you getting any negative thoughts? If yes, find a way to eliminate it.

Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends or parents or siblings or friends!

1. What ways do they use to enjoy what they do?
2. Any motivational story or speech that inspired them?
3. What activities do they think you would enjoy in you leisure time?

Reference ReachIvy.com Resources:

Guides:

Why are interpersonal skills important? How to develop them?
What should I be reading in the 9th and 10th grade?
What should I be reading in the 11th and 12th grade?

Videos:

How do I stay engaged outside classroom?
What extra-curricular activities should I be doing?

Blogs:

Best commencement speeches of 2016
David Brooks on the secret to happiness
High-schooler’s reading list

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New post 29 Dec 2016, 06:42
Lesson #10

Channel you learning

“To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.”Confucious

Objective: Now that you have gone through all the lesson plans; it is time to look back and reflect on your learnings.

Overview: The best way to reflect/understand how much you have learnt is by sharing your learning with others. So if you can share your learning in the form of tips, blogs, quotes, etc. And we are happy to feature them on our website.

Steps to follow:

1. Pen down your learning after completing each lesson – After you complete a lesson write down your learnings in your own words. You can also note down any tip or quote that inspired you.

2. Share the learning from your leaders – Your leader might have shared a lot of insights with you during your journey towards planning your goals. Now it is your turn to share the same with others. You can share your thoughts/learning in form of blogs; which we will publish on our website as a guest blog.

Questions to Ask:

Here is a list of questions that you should ask yourself to help you identify your academic stream.

1. What are my learnings so far?
2. Which articles/quotes inspire me the most?
3. What thoughts of my leader motivated me the most?

Thoughts to discuss:

Discussions are the best and most interesting way of exploring any topic. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon and improves your knowledge base. So go ahead, and discuss the following with your friends, parents, siblings or friends!

1. What do they think about your tips and learnings?
2. Are there more learnings from their experiences that they could share with you?

Reference ReachIvy Resources:

Guides:

• Why are interpersonal skills important? How to develop them?
• Why are communication skills important? How can I develop them?

Videos:

• How do I stay engaged outside the classroom?

Blogs:

• Best commencement speeches of 2016
• David Brook on the Secret to Happiness

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New post 29 Dec 2016, 06:47
How To Use Your Winter Holidays

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Christmas break is around the corner but with application deadlines edging closer, I’m sure the last thing on your mind are the festivities. I strongly recommend you enjoy the celebrations, but also use this holiday season to maximize the right set of experiences you can showcase in your college application.

• Take your standardized test(s). Ideally, you should be done with the test(s) before you even start your application. However, if it is still pending, holiday season is the good time for you to intensively prepare and take your stipulated standardized test(s). Ensure that your score lies within the range of accepted scores at your targeted schools.

• Dig deeper into extracurricular activities/interests you pursue through the year. If you play the piano, use the holidays to take the Trinity College or Royal School of Music exams. If you play a sport, train with coaches and practice hard. If you are passionate about foreign film, take online courses on film appreciation or volunteer with organizing local film festivals. Whatever your activities and interests, find a way to delve into them further over the break.

• Get a short internship. Do you have a specific career you are looking to pursue post your degree, or any specific subjects that you would like to study further? Getting a part-time/full-time internship at a related company or organization will not only help you explore, but will also help you cement your interest in this sector. This is one of the most impactful ways that you can spend your holiday.

• Scour college websites. Learn more about your target school’s curriculum, pedagogy and academic rigor. Research department webpages, core curricula, and the university news pages to discover timely advancements in faculty and student research and achievements. To imbibe a campus vibe, take a virtual tour, understand the university’s mission statement, read the campus newspaper, and look into career and academic advising support for international students.

• Visit your selected colleges. Winter break provides a great opportunity for you to travel abroad and visit your targeted universities. Even though it’s not necessary to visit the universities before you apply, it does help with your decision process. Visiting the campus will give you a real sense of the atmosphere, the academic programs, fellow students, faculty, student life, local area, and much more. Before you finalize your travel plans, contact the universities to find out when official campus tours are offered.

• Speak to current students and alumni. Reach out to students and alumni of your target schools to get a deeper understanding of not only the various academic programs, but also life outside of the classroom. Learning more about your targeted colleges and courses not only gives you more insight for decision-making, but also provides more clarity for your essays or statement of purpose.

• Streamline your social media presence. In a world that is connected 24X7, what you do online matters tremendously. Information that you share in the digital universe gets recorded and captured permanently. Clean up your current social media presence and utilize social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to be an extension of your college applications, by appropriately posting comments and links to highlight strengths, skills and interests to give targeted schools authentic insight into your personality.

There could be a constant tug between spending time with family and friends, further delving into activities and preparing for the application process. However by making the most of the holiday season you could potentially tip acceptance to your dream college in your favour!

This article was published in DNA on 16/12/2016.


ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.
http://www.reachivy.com

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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New post 05 Jan 2017, 04:43
How ICSE Syllabus Now Includes Harry Potter, TinTin, Asterix Inculcates Better Reading Habits in Students

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"If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) conducts the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC) examinations for Class X and Class XII respectively. On 23rd November 2016 a new curriculum was released by CISCE for Preschool to Grade 8 students with the mission to incorporate “all elements of academic interests that cater to the challenging requirements of present day educational needs” writes Mr. Gerry Arathoon, Chief Executive & Secretary.

The new curriculum strives to “prepare the future generation of learners to meet the challenges of an ever advancing knowledge-based society and a dynamically changing environment.”

The goal is provide children with a holistic education and the appropriate attitude, tools and knowledge base to become global citizens.

One of the best ways to steer children towards this path to success is to read, read and read!

Galileo saw reading as a way of having superhuman powers. Joseph Addison believed “Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body,” and James Baldwin discovered in books a way to change one’s destiny.

Reading forms a fundamental part of every one’s progress. The updated CISCE curriculum has provided ICSE/ISC schools with a wide range of age appropriate books written by authors across genre, time and geography. A sample of the books included in the reading list are:

• Mythology: The Ramayana/ Mahabharata – C. Rajagopalachari, Amar Chitra Katha
• Comics: Tin Tin Series/ Asterix Series
• Auto/biographies: Mahatma Gandhi, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Jawaharlal Nehru, Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai
• Poems: Rabindranath Tagore, A.A. Milne
• Mystery: Agatha Christie
• Adventure: Treasure Island – RL Stevenson
• Fantasy: Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling, The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter and Wendy (Peter Pan) – J. M. Barrie
• Short Stories: Malgudi Days – R.K. Narayan, The Blue Umbrella, Ruskin Bond
• Children’s Classics: Books by Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory etc.), Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott (Abridged), Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White, Black Beauty – Anna Sewell

So how does a broader range of books that includes some of the most popular reads of our time expand our children’s mind and inculcate good reading habits?

• Expands knowledge base. Books are the window to the world. An expansive reading list exposes children to different characters and lifestyles across the globe. For example, reading about I Am Malala fosters their understanding of another culture and strife’s in other parts of the world. Biographies can bring to light the humble beginnings of great leaders and the struggles they overcame through strategy or sheer persistence. Students will truly build a strong knowledge base in an extensive range of topics which they can incorporate into their essays, presentations, interviews and much more!

• Builds vocabulary and communication skills. Reading is learning. If a child consistently reads science fiction, their vocabulary is also limited to this genre. However, by reading across numerous mediums you discover new words and meanings, including some current lingo and phrases! This prepares students for every phase of their life from academics to professional, as a strong communicator is always valued.

• Encourages love for reading. No longer do students have to hide that Horrid Henry book or Asterix magazine. Instead their thoughts and insights are encouraged and discussed in the classroom. By incorporating into the curriculum books that a large part of the class is enjoying, schools will open doors to students exploring other interests. One Tin Tin fan may suggest to fellow mates how much they enjoyed the classic David Copperfield whereas another Harry Potter fan may also recommend Lord of the Rings to the grade.

Additionally, books have the ability to stimulate a child’s imagination, foster creativity, introduce them to role models, enhance concentration, develop logical thinking and so much more.

“No two persons ever read the same book.” –Edmund Wilson

Every child is different, as one devours current affair and debates about the current state of the economy; another is imaging how to build a spaceship that will travel across the galaxy. A book about a little girl working her way through adolescence or another about a boy losing his first tooth can have a profound impact on a child’s growth and future. However, none of these stories may have found the right reader if the curriculum did not allow students to explore a broad range of topics. Books truly have the power to transform a child’s life. By incorporating some of the most popular books of not only our time, but across time, the CISCE has opened the hearts and minds of ICSE/ISC students across India.

This article was published in CareerIndia website on 26/12/2016.

* Studying in USA
* Campus Vibe: Harvard University
* Campus Vibe: The Wharton School
* Masterclass: Design Thinking by Prof. Bhatia
* Creative Writing: The power of Fiction by Aditi Sriram
* Webinar with IESE Business School by Anjaney Borwankar
* Masterclass: How can an MBA enhance your entrepreneurial journey?
* Webinar with Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management by Kim Killingsworth
* Masterclass: Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO, SelfScore – Personal Finance Tips and the Importance of a Credit History for New Students in the US

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