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5 Ways School Projects Can Help Foster Leadership

In a world of tests, quizzes, essays and homework assignments, school projects can be the most difficult of them all. The good news is that you’re working hard for a reason. Apart from the rest of school work, that often seems just like busy-work, projects have the capability to help develop some of the most practical skills. Here are just a few skills that you’ll build with every project that is assigned to you.

Problem Solving

Researchers have discovered that the greatest ideas and epiphanies come from alpha brain wave patterns. These are generated by relaxed, open-minded thinking, the kind that creative projects generate far more than rote memorization for midterms. The next time that you’re “stuck” on a project, just remind yourself that you’re exercising your brain waves in a meaningful way.

Time Management

Whether you’re building a robot or just putting together a slideshow, all projects require a certain amount of planning. They aren’t as cut-and-dried as “the test is on the 17th” or “the assignment is due Friday.” To finish your project by the deadline, you’ll need to gather your supplies, allocate your resources, plan your steps, delegate your tasks and ultimately manage your own time. These are all skills that you’ll be utilizing in your career, too.

Delegation

Speaking of delegation, it’s something that you’ll need to get used to doing if you plan on climbing the corporate ladder someday. Group projects can be your training ground. It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a discussion in study hall or exchanging emails with fellow students earning an online business administration degree; the most important thing is that you’re collaborating on what needs to be done and who’s going to do it.

5 Ways School Projects Can Help Foster Leadership
Working together on a group project

Communication

Communication is the cornerstone of group projects, and multiple studies have proven the benefits of giving, receiving and refining ideas in a group setting. Every time you have to justify an opinion, you’re learning how to articulate your thoughts and open yourself up to feedback. Every time you have to argue a point, you’re learning how to disagree with people in a meaningful, productive way. Group projects will make you a better leader on multiple levels.

Responsibility and Accountability

At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to answer for the quality of your project. If it’s flawed, erroneous or incomplete, that’s a failing on your part, and that’s something that you’ll need to take to heart for next time. Every successful CEO has failed at something. What makes them successful is the fact that they keep going afterwards.

These are just a few ways that you cultivate leadership qualities with every school project. They may be tough to get through, but they’re worth it in the end.

Article submitted by Dixie Somers. Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for family, home, and business niches. Dixie is the proud mother to three girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Felix Scholarship 2017

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If you are looking to study abroad for a postgraduate degree in the UK but are worried about the finances, the Felix Scholarship might be the way to make it happen.

There are a number of Felix Scholarships available for the 2017/2018 entry at three UK universities: University of Oxford, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London) University of Reading.

The deadline for the applications is January 30th 2017.

The scholarships are typically awarded to Indian nationals, however, a number of scholarships are also available to students who are not Indian nationals or from an EEA country. Since its inception, 40 recipients have not been from India.

Felix-scholarship-2017

Benefits

The Felix Scholarship is an award based on both merit and financial need.

It covers full international tuition fees and provides an annual maintenance grant of around £15,000 (2016-17 figure) per year to cover living costs such as accommodation and travel, as well as extra allowances for things like equipment and books.

The award can be available for up to 3 years, depending on the course.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates for the Felix Scholarship must:

  • Hold a first class bachelor’s degree from a reputable university
  • Not be applying to study Medicine
  • Must already hold an offer from a participating university
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have not studied outside of their home country for more than 1 year

Please note: Recipients are expected to return to their home country after completing their studies.

How To Apply?

University of Oxford

Candidates applying for the scholarship at the University of Oxford do not need to complete a separate application form, they just need to select the ‘Felix Scholarship’ box on their application to the institution.

University of Reading

Candidates must apply online and will need to be nominated by their academic school or department.

SOAS

Candidates must apply for a Felix Scholarship online via this Google Form.

Previous Recipients

The Felix Scholarship was first awarded in 1991 with 6 students receiving the scholarship. Now, the number of awards given annually is 20. To date, 428 Felix Scholarships have been awarded. You can find out more about previous recipients of the scholarship in the alumni profiles on www.felixscholarship.org/past-students.aspx.

Find out more about applying for the Felix Scholarship on http://www.felixscholarship.org/how-to-apply.aspx

5 Smart Ways to Make the Most of a Humanities Degree

How to make the most of a humanities degree

Humanities, or liberal arts, majors get a bad rep. Many people believe that a degree in English, art, music, history or other such subjects is worthless and won’t lead to a high paying job. This can be the case if you fail to plan and simply choose a major because it interests you. But with some research, planning and strategic action, you can use your liberal arts major to your advantage. Keep reading to learn five smart ways to make the most of a humanities degree.

1. Do Your Research

First and foremost, you will want to research your area of interest. Start with your careers advisors, and get a counsellor to provide you with the types of jobs available in your desired field. You should also look at demographics, such as the geographic areas with high demand for professionals with that academic background. Websites such as Prospects are very good at explaining the types of careers that are out there. You could also consider taking a major aptitude test like Find Your Context to help you see if there’s a major that would work better for your interests.

2. Gain Practical Experience

In any competitive job market, you want to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, Arts and Humanities courses give you a wide range of skills that will be useful for a range of careers. Gaining practical experience through an internship or volunteer position can help to show your dedication and that you have hands-on knowledge. This type of experience is even more important in a humanities field, that may have fewer openings.

3. Add Another Major or Minor

Sometimes it may benefit you to add a second major or to choose a minor concentration in order to have a more practical skill to offer employers. A journalism major, for example, may wish to also pursue a technical area of study such as graphic design or computer science in order to gain a competitive advantage.

4. Market Yourself Well

A big advantage a humanities degree offers is soft skills such as writing, critical thought and interpersonal competence. These are abilities that employers crave, so be sure to include them in your resume, and be on the lookout for publishing opportunities where you can showcase your work and start building a portfolio. Keep a record of your work as you progress through your degree, it will make the job hunt much less daunting.

5. Have a Plan

Make a plan early on when choosing a liberal studies major. Map out the types of classes and electives you may wish to take in order to gain valuable skills. Begin to look for volunteer experiences early so that you’re not scrambling to add experiences to your portfolio at graduation. Learn all you can from mentors and faculty regarding the inside scoop of your intended career. These gems can prove useful when job hunting. Finally, be sure to nurture those valuable connections in order to begin growing your network. Networking plays a huge role in obtaining a career in your desired field.

These five tips should help you on your way toward the steps needed to get the most out of your humanities degree. This type of degree produces well-rounded students with marketable skills. With planning and effort, you’ll do great things.

Article submitted by Dixie Somers. Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for family, home, and business niches. Dixie is the proud mother of three girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Enjoyed this article? Check out our other Arts and Humanities subject guides.

What to Expect when Pursuing a Bioscience Major

Choosing to pursue a major in bioscience allows you to not only be eligible for a wide variety of professions; it also enables you to explore a field in which you can make a difference in whichever path you choose to concentrate in. As with choosing any major, there have to be a lot of questions swirling around in that undergraduate head of yours, so let’s address a few:

What does being a bioscience major mean?

Bioscience is an umbrella term for majors pertaining to the biological field. Concentrations you can pursue within bioscience often include animal science, biology, marine biology, biomedical engineering, agricultural studies, and anthropology. Contact your college to see what other majors they offer relating to bioscience.

What type of jobs can bioscience majors pursue?

Bioscience majors will be well prepared for a variety of jobs in STEM. Some fields that bioscience majors can enter span everything from animal and healthcare professions to engineering and microbiology. You can take an animal science degree into veterinary medicine, or use a degree in genetics to enter a career in genetic counselling. A good way to find more specific examples of careers is your specific major’s office. Because the bioscience field is so diverse, your career route is pretty flexible. Once you have a specific interest in bioscience, narrowing your focus will make finding a career in bioscience a more concrete process. Payscale.com is a good resource for finding different salaries for specific majors and weighing the benefits of one major vs another. For example, a typical biology degree earner with a job in research can have a starting salary ranging from $39,000–$139,000.

What-to-Expect-when-Pursuing-a-Bioscience-Major

What type of clubs or groups can I join to learn more?

Check around your campus to see if there are any clubs that concentrate specifically on your interest (like an insect enthusiasts group if you find entomology to be your calling, or a botany club if you are passionate about plants). These clubs are a useful way to get exposure to the subject matter before fully diving into your major’s track. When you are affiliated with your major of choice, definitely join in with classmates for group study sessions. Many courses in bioscience have been finding success in making group work mandatory for students as it allows students to fill in the gaps of each other’s understanding of the topics. Another way to be involved in your major is to be a TA for a course; you will not only gain course credit or pay for your time working, but also a better understanding of the course and a professional relationship with a professor/researcher in your field.

What type of technical skills will I have to learn while I’m pursuing the major?

What you learn will depend on the specific major you choose to pursue, but all bioscience majors will have to have chemical and biological lab experience. In biological labs you will learn techniques such as DNA extraction and electrophoresis. In chemistry labs you will learn how to separate organic and inorganic solutions, how to maneuver acid/base chemistry, and how to use lab equipment.

Wait, so if I have to do all these things in a lab, what kinds of tools would I work with?

Your labs will likely look like spaceships at first with all the new equipment you’ll be using. You will be using everything from microscopes to special ovens for Petri dishes. An important, and underrated, part of any lab are the mixers. When you need to have a nice homogenous mixture, don’t trust just a hand-stirring; every tool in the lab, just like the affordable laboratory mixers, serves a purpose meant to elevate the accuracy and dependability of your lab results. Moral of the story: learn to use all the lab equipment.

Hopefully, this answered some of your burning questions about entering into the bioscience field. If you have further questions, contact either your advisor, an advisor in one of the bioscience majors, or an upperclassman to guide you along in your pursuit. Good luck!

Article submitted by Dixie Somers. Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for family, home, and business niches. Dixie is the proud mother to three girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Social Science: Helping Us Understand Ourselves and the World

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Social science is an important area of study that will lead to a versatile degree and a rewarding career.

Social science has probably never been a more important area of study than it is today, and probably never has it been less acknowledged for the immense contribution it can make to understanding human behaviour and social processes.

As the world seems engulfed in catastrophes, from devastating tsunamis, killer cyclones and cataclysmic earthquakes to raging bush fires, lava-spewing volcanic eruptions, indiscriminate terrorism and endless warfare, people and communities are reeling uncomprehendingly, trying to make sense of what’s happening to them.

And it’s not only globally that lives are disrupted and social cohesion is threatened. Tragedy is also a single act of abuse by one human on another – a parent on a child, a bully on the school playground or in the workplace on a fellow pupil or colleague, a man on a woman.

But life is not all tragedy… What is to be made of human happiness and pleasure? Are hugely expensive events such as football’s World Cup and rugby’s equivalent, or the Olympic and Commonwealth games, actually very good value for money in terms of the sheer joy they generate among participating nations and their competitors? What is the national ‘feel good factor’ of sporting success all about?

A social science degree can provide some answers – or at least some perspectives.

As taught at New Zealand’s Lincoln University, social science encompasses a range of areas including:

  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Political science
  • And geography

all of which combine to help answer or contribute to an understanding of life’s big and small questions.

During the course of a typical Bachelor of Social Science degree, students learn to think critically and analyse information while gaining a broad understanding of human behaviour and the way societies operate. What, for example, is to be made of the phenomenon of ‘tribalism’ that emerges after disasters such as 9/11? What happens to individuals when they are isolated in extreme environments, such as on polar expeditions or on prolonged space flights?

The social science staff at New Zealand universities offer research expertise in many fields, including the matter of human behaviour in extreme environments.

The research of Senior Lecturer Dr Gary Steel at Lincoln University, for example, has made an international contribution to this field and, yes, it has even included work with astronauts and Antarctic expeditions.

It was an ambition to gain a greater understanding of human behaviour that led Kylee Bush of Christchurch, New Zealand, to a social science degree programme:

“The Bachelor of Social Science degree enabled me to bring together a formal study in human behaviour with my passion for community development,” says the 2010 Lincoln University graduate.

“I did a double major in ‘Society and the Individual’ and ‘Society and Leisure’, and enjoyed the versatility of my studies and the opportunity to learn in a variety of areas.”

Kylee’s social science qualification has proved very versatile indeed and respected internationally. It won her a job in Australia with the Queensland Government, where she is a Child Safety Officer. Her work involves investigating allegations of child abuse and the case management of children and families.

“My position requires me to have strong academic writing skills and the ability to think analytically and critically.”

“My work is at the level of personal distress, not a global catastrophe; but of course there are social scientists who work at that level too.”

“I see my job as an example of the importance of social science in helping people in their daily lives.”

“For me, this is what social science is all about – helping people to understand and manage the processes that impact on them in their daily lives. In many circumstances, people and society can be very self-destructive. As a social science graduate, I like to think that I can bring my specialist knowledge, skills and understanding to human situations in order to help individuals, and the families and communities of which they are part, avoid harm and damage.”

“I am very proud of the contribution that social science and its associated professions can make to the betterment of society. It helps us better understand ourselves and the world in which we live.”

Provided by Lincoln University (New Zealand)