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ICYMI: Top Tips, Tricks, & Takeaways from the Access x Hallo Instagram Takeover

Hey everyone!! Ayden here. Since I’m sure that not all of you were able to tune into my recent takeover of Hallo’s Instagram, I figured I would sum up everything that was discussed to keep you all in the loop (the FOMO is real, I know 😉). So, here’s the recap! 

About me…

My name is Ayden! I graduated in May from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I majored in marketing and human resource management. Soon after graduation, I hopped on the opportunity to help create Access Scholarships! One of my favorite things about the work I do with Access is that I get to talk to and help students every day, which is extremely rewarding considering I was literally just a student myself and I know how hard it can be! 

On the topic of job searching… 

In a recent article I wrote for Hallo’s blog, I discussed the difficulties of balancing trying to find a job during the pandemic with trying to live up to my own high expectations for myself. I was constantly getting frustrated with my lack of success and spent a crazy amount of time stressing out. 

My tips and advice for you when it comes to job searching:

  1. Don’t underestimate the importance of networking throughout your college career! Whether it’s with professors, people at your internship or part-time job, or anyone else you meet, make sure to stay in touch! These connections and relationships you form are crucial when it comes to branching out in the professional world and can even help you get your foot in the door when you’re looking for opportunities
  2. Cut yourself some slack! I know it can be difficult to do at times, but it’s so important to remember that, especially considering everything that’s going on now, you deserve a break. Take time to do the things you enjoy, whatever they are. All about the balance! 
  3. When applying to jobs, be sure to tailor your resume so that it is specific to each job that you are applying to. The more specific, the better! For more tips on this, check out this blog post.

On the topic of scholarships…

4 things you’ll want to keep in mind throughout the process:

  1.  Creating a SMART goal for your scholarship search is super important. For those of you who are not familiar with the acronym, smart stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. An example of a SMART goal would be: to apply for 10 scholarships specific to my major every month, with the goal of paying for my college textbooks and school supplies. 
  2. It is super important to have a few reliable sources for searching and applying for scholarships. Besides the Access Scholarships platform, another good option is to reach out to professors in your major or heads of the department asking them about major-specific scholarships within your program. 
  3. Make a point to stay organized! This is definitely one key to success when it comes to applying for scholarships. When I was applying, I created an excel spreadsheet where I could keep track of the ones I wanted to apply to, the ones I was working on, and the ones I had already submitted. Additionally, I suggest making a folder with all of your basic information such as transcripts and resume so that it’s always handy. 
  4. Other things to keep in mind:
    1. Think outside the box - don’t just apply to scholarships that are specific to people in your major. Think about your hobbies and other interests - it’s likely that you can find scholarships for those too!
    2. Start the process as early as possible (hint: it’s never too early!)
    3. Be persistent - I know applying for scholarships can seem daunting and it is tough, but don’t give up! 

On the pandemic…

I know right now is such a crazy time for all of us with the pandemic and all, and if you’re living with your parents like me (or even if you’re not), you know how wild of a time it can be. So I want to give you all with some of my tried and tested tips on how to stay sane especially if you’re balancing school with the world right now! 

My tips:

  1. Regardless of where you are, establish your own space to do you (doesn’t matter how big or small, but it’s just important that you have a space to yourself to relax and unwind!) Check out this blog post for more tips on perfecting your Study From Home space.
  2. Importance of creating a routine and making time for the things you enjoy 
  3. Talking to at least one friend or family member each day (on facetime is ideal, bonus points if you meet up for a socially distant hangout!) can do wonders for your mental health 

Q & A from the Takeover

  • How to adult in college:
      • How to get internships? 
        • Stay organized, research the companies you are applying to, take the time to practice for your interviews, and be genuine!! 
      • Making friends in college?
        • Definitely more difficult now because of covid, but one thing I would suggest is to get involved in activities on campus that you enjoy because then you can meet people with similar interests. If you are doing class online this semester, don’t be afraid to join a club virtually and branch out to people that way! 
      • Time management with back to back due dates?
        • COLOR CODING my planner is one of my favorite activities. When I used to have a lot of deadlines close together, I would block out certain parts of my day with different colors to represent the time I’d spend studying for each subject, worked like a charm! 
      • How to excel at college apps + essays! (Tips, tricks, and general guidelines)
        • Stay organized with your college apps! I just posted a great printable resource on the Access website to help students with this. 
        • In terms of essays, your topic does not have to be the biggest thing since sliced bread, it’s just important that you write about it in a unique way that tells the admissions committee more about you. 
  • Scholarships:
      • How to find scholarships people don’t know about?
        • Don’t just apply to the big, popular ones. If you find scholarships that are as specific as possible in terms of major and qualifications, it is likely that fewer people will know about and be applying to them.
      • How to finance college without scholarships/grants? 
        • Definitely a lot of ways to pay for college, including getting a part-time job, joining a work-study program, and taking out loans, but with that one, I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking out more than you need! 
      • How is it decided who gets a scholarship?
        • While it depends on the scholarship, most organizations pick a winner by looking at a few different areas such as GPA and test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation if they were necessary. 
        • Talking about GPA specifically, since we get a lot of questions about this, I’ll say that the majority of scholarships out there require a 3.0 as a minimum, so the higher above 3.0 you can get, the better! 
  • College Qs:
    • How to pick a good college for you? 
      • A lot of factors to consider: When I was applying to college, I essentially made a list of my “non-negotiables” and evaluated each school I looked at based on that criteria. some of the major questions you might want to ask yourself are:  
        • Do they have a good program for my intended major?
        • Do I want a big school, a small school, or something in between? 
        • What is the cost of tuition? 
        • Where is it located? 
        • Does it have club and extracurricular opportunities that fit my interests and goals?
    • How many colleges should I apply to? 
      • Most students apply to somewhere between 7 and 10 schools (a few safety schools, a few targets, a few reaches), but every person is different! 
    • What are the benefits of early decision?
      • 1. Generally a higher chance of getting accepted! 
      • 2. #1 generally leads to less stress in your senior year (yay)!

There you have it! If you enjoyed the takeover/liked this content, follow us on Instagram for more 😎

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