Friday, August 22, 2014

Student loan forgiveness fraud

If someone calls you up and says "your entire student loan debt can be forgiven," consider whether the terms sound too good to be true.

Opportunists have noticed that many are struggling with student loan debt, and are making fraudulent promises as a way of sucking even more money out of your pockets. They may tell you about something called the "Obama Forgiveness Program that was supposedly recently approved by Congress." There ain't no such thing. It's a lie.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Students & Banking

Today's article has some basic advice for selecting and customizing some form of banking. If you're moving away from home for the first time, or even if you're an established student still using your parents' banking resources, you may need to consider your own independent account. 

A minor plug (not right for everyone, but still worth considering): I've been using Niagara University's credit union as long as I've been here--

No-fee checking (although you do have to pay for the checks). An on-campus branch, open during "bankers' hours" (generally until mid-day). Nice folks behind the counter. Online access. A board of trustees and oversight folks whose names you can look up in the NU phone directory. Member-owned, meaning nobody is trying to turn a profit, nickel and diming you to death, by charging fees left, right and center. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Visit Vietnam (Virtually): Film Mon. 9/8/14, 5-6 p.m., Dunl 127

To build interest in his work with Vietnamese communities affected by Agent Orange use by the United States during the (unofficial) Vietnamese war, Joe Little is screening the film "Vietnam's Friendship Village." 

Agent Orange was dropped in the 1960s from planes on heavily forested areas in Vietnam, causing trees to shed their leaves, and allowing U.S. military forces to see whatever was on the ground. Unfortunately, this powerful chemical is also extremely toxic to human beings as well. It didn't just "disappear" once used, causing soil contamination and ongoing issues with cancer and birth defects.

The Friendship Village documented in this film currently offers care to about 150 children with disabilities as a direct result of Agent Orange. Dr. Little will be leading a group travel event late next spring to Vietnam, and has been working to build awareness and fundraising for to help support this important effort.

The film will be screened Monday, September 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. in Dunleavy 127.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Visit Vietnam

Prof. Joseph Little is offering an educational trip to Vietnam in May 2015. Anyone from Niagara University or the Western New York area is welcome; deadline to begin arrangements and payment is November 7, 2014. This adventure is not cheap, but the only cost is your own travel expenses; Joe gets the satisfaction of offering insights into the world, but no remuneration. He's a great guy, who has already done the legwork scouting out and visiting resources; this will be a memorable, well-organized journey. For more information, see the above link.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Read It? Jobs on Reddit!

The sprawling pre-Facebook social community Reddit has jobs resources. Their blog (link above) posted a page with a collection of resources, including:

  • Getting Employed/Guidance (how to write a resume, find a career, do an internship)
  • Just Jobs (various broad-spectrum job postings)
  • Jobs for Digital Currencies (those that pay in bitcoin, dogecoin, crypto)
  • Dev Jobs (computer developers)
  • Specific fields (no, "English Majors" is not specifically listed, but "Writer" is)
  • Country-wide jobs (global listings by country)
  • Province-wide and State-wide Jobs (Canada, U.S.)
  • City-wide Jobs (yes, "Buffalo" is listed, as well as many major metro areas)
If you check out "jobs" listings, you will probably find those seeking to hire, and those wishing to get a job. Not all jobs are paid (some offer experience only) or fulltime (a number are for freelance work). 
Still--a sizeable chunk of resources. And if you are so inclined, a huge community of people to offer advice, ideas and insights, and occasionally rude comments.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bring a Granola Bar to your Interview

Who knew? In my best Family Feud announcer voice: "Things you should bring to a job interview?" A granola bar, or other small munchable. 

After all, which would be worse:

  • Your interview is delayed. You sit. And sit. And wait. You finally hear your name called. You stand up--and realize your blood-sugar has tanked, and you're going into the interview worrying you're going to pass out before you even get to the handshake. 
  • You're in the interview. Your prospective employer suggests that you contact her colleague So-and-So. You need to write that name and phone number down--and end up rummaging in your pretty new oversize purse or briefcase, only to realize  you forgot to bring a pen.

Come to think of it... you should also bring a pen to a job interview. One that you've pre-tested to make sure it's not out of ink.

Are there any additional things that could make a poor first impression? Find out with the graphic checklist linked above!

Monday, July 21, 2014

What Fork Goes with the Escargot?

And do I really want to eat a snail?

  • If facing down a full, formal table setting makes you bonkers...
  • If you're not sure whether to eat fried chicken with your fingers...
  • If you've got no clue how much to tip a coatroom attendant...
  • If you don't want to put your napkin where it signals "take my plate away, I'm finished" if all you really want to do is visit the powder room...

Here's a link for you!

Find out the answers to these and many more obscure Dining Etiquette questions, before you go on that big job interview that will include a meal.