Extracurricular College Activities That Will Get You a Job

ReferalSmallOf course, the best extracurricular activity to improve your chances at a job is an actual job, but when you can’t, or when you want to stay on campus, it’s important to pick extracurricular activities that will pay off in terms of fun, resume building, or network building. But when you’re walking the cafeteria tables at the activity fair, and everyone is earnestly making eye contact for you for clubs ranging from African Dance to Zoophilia (it’s for volunteering at the zoo, you sicko), how can you decide?

Nothing is guaranteed to get you a job, and ultimately, the activities you choose aren’t as important as the roles you take on within them and the ways that you can demonstrate leadership and skill building. Passively attending the Vagina Monologues for Feminist Club is great, but becoming treasurer of the acapella singing group or writing a successful travel grant to help your group compete is even better.

Ultimately, you should sit down and think about what story you want to tell about your skills on your resume or C.V.. Then you should pursue activities that, first and foremost, you value and find fun. Next, infiltrate those organizations and become leader (I mean, join them and become proactive). The important thing is not which activities you choose, but the roles you take on within them, and the . Quirky activities may get you eyeballs, but being able to demonstrate or quantify your achievements will get you further than being able to say you were a warm body in a room: “I started a tutoring program for inner-city youths. By the end of the first year, we matched 10 middle schoolers to tutors and on average, the students’ GPAs improved by half a letter grade.” “After I became treasurer of horseback riding club, I implemented a service program to provide grants to autistic children, and we got a state-level grant for $500 that let us provide 20 hours of lessons to autistic children. I also improved my teaching and speaking abilities while doing this.” See? Even “fun” activities can help you on the job market or at an interview – if you can prove that you developed or honed important skills while doing them. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but demonstrated success and leadership in a few extracurricular activities is far better than simply checking off a list – and in many cases, it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond (i.e., leader of a more obscure club) than just another face in the crowd of a bigger one.

One of our friendly, tweed-wearing Unemployed Professors is happy to help you tame the essay writing monster.

Are you a student with writers block? Five Tips to Boost Your Creativity

Unemployed Professors Student Writing ServicesIf you have writer’s block, you might feel like you have nothing to say. You might barely be able to get your fingers to move on the keyboard. All you can think about is the deadline and the clock ticking ever forward. What should you do in such situations?

  1. Just keep writing. Tape the delete key down if you have to (hey, that’s why God or Bill Gates or whoever invented spell check, right?). Just like time only goes forward, make yourself write. Write even if all you are writing is “Shit. Fuck. My deadline is in 4 hours and I haven’t got anything to say.” Brainstorm and brain dump anything and everything – you’ll be surprised at what you come up with, and once ideas are in text, they are much harder to throw away. Don’t let yourself delete anything, and don’t let yourself take your hands off the keyboard (or page).
  2. Another strategy is to write with two documents open. One is the one that will become your final product: your term paper, grant proposal, fan fiction, whatever. The other is your “text pasture.” Here is where you will put everything and anything you can think of, even if it makes no sense, even if it’s profanity or a grocery list or a profanity-laden grocery list.
  3. You can nip writer’s block in the bud by getting in the habit of writing every day. 750words.com is a great way to start this. If you make writing a part of your daily life, you can train yourself to write more easily, even when you’re “not feeling it.”
  4. Take a walk. Some of the greatest writers took walks. Some of the greatest scientists have found there is a connection between physical activity and creativity. Let yourself take a 10 or 15-minute break for a quick walk, then revisit your blank page. If you’re not into walking, try some yoga or even just stretching.
  5. If you are using a word processor, try the ‘Focus’ view or even try a new word processor that eliminates distractions (such as Ommwriter) and makes the page the full screen with no other visible windows. If you can’t Facebook or Google or whatever, you will get more done.

One of our friendly, tweed-wearing Unemployed Professors is happy to help you with your next writing project.

The Top 5 Money Moves to Make After Graduating from University

imagesK2RQ71JLSo, you’ve graduated. Congratulations! You have a diploma, at least three copies of Oh the Places You’ll Go, and a wrenching hangover. How do you become a financial grown-up when you couldn’t even keep enough money in your meal plan to get a pizza at the end of the semester? These five money moves are a good start.

  1. The first thing you should do is look at your credit report (not just the score). Make sure you know anything that’s on there, and begin the process to dispute anything that you did not initiate. This is just good financial housekeeping and you should get in the habit of doing it quarterly. You should be 100% certain of exactly where you stand with student loans, credit cards, and so on. Get started with your free credit report.
  2. Next, make a budget or spending plan. Consider what your priorities are and if possible, use numbers from your first salary – then plan for living off of less than you earn. Be realistic and know yourself a little bit. If you love going out to restaurants, budget for it. If you would rather drive a nice car, then accept that – and consider living in a cheaper apartment or getting a roommate. If you absolutely cannot function without a morning latte, accept that and get store brand groceries or drink soda when you go out with friends. It’s perfectly OK to leave yourself a few luxuries, with the key words being a few. It is way better to accept you love clothes and plan for it than to deprive yourself, get frustrated, give up and spend too much. Include in your budget a plan to pay off debt. If you don’t want to use a spreadsheet or com, you can try You Need a Budget.
  3. If you are in the USA, start an IRA and begin to contribute to it. Even if it’s just $25 a month, you will begin to set up your financial future – and possibly get a tax break. Quick guide: A traditional IRA will reduce your tax bill in the year you contribute, while a Roth IRA is not taxed on gains. If you’re not making a lot right now, contribute to a Roth since it could mean tax-free growth later; if you’re trying to reduce your tax bill, contribute to a traditional. YMMV, consult a tax pro, etc.
  4. Set goals and save no matter what. Think about what you really want. Do you want to go on a vacation next year with your bros? Do you want to buy a car or a house? Do you want to go to grad school? Have a destination wedding? Don’t let your post-graduation let down get in the way. Make a plan and start to make it happen. Even if you don’t have any specific spending goals, set savings and investment benchmarks for yourself. It may feel boring and abstract now, but you WILL thank yourself when you get an unexpected medical bill or have to buy a new set of tires. Try using an online savings account, such as SmartyPig, which is designed to help you save to reach goals.
  5. Develop a plan for money and get in the habit of doing it. About once a week, look over your spending from the past week and making sure there are no fraudulent purchases. Every month, look for patterns, trends, and things you can do better. Every quarter, check your credit report and score. Every year (or more often if you are thinking of buying a house or car in the near future), check your credit score.

That’s it! These aren’t magical money moves to get you rich, but rather, they are habits you should get into for a less stressful post-graduate life.

One of our friendly, tweed-wearing Unemployed Professors is happy to help you tame the essay writing monster.

UP Sucks

“Unemployed Professors Sucks”

imagesK2RQ71JLA lot of people talk smack about Unemployed Professors. A lot of people think we suck. Of course, it’s important to defend yourself against such attacks. People hate that this site exists and, hey, haters gonna hate. Unemployed Professors is disrupting the educational paradigm, and everyone hates disrupters.

People who say that we suck are locked into the traditional thinking about education. They believe that a faceless committee should prescribe what classes someone should take, and that if, for example, someone just can’t pass an 8 AM section of English 201 no matter how hard they try, because their professor automatically flunks anyone whose APA headings aren’t perfect, they should be denied their degree and doomed to a life of toil. Believing that education is a gatekeeper for the middle class is the source of belief that Unemployed Professors sucks. Yeah, we suck – we suck at adhering to the mainstream ideas about education and who it is for. For every 10 people who claim that our site is somehow evil, we help 100 people stay in the middle class by ensuring that they can get that last credential needed. We help overworked teachers finish up busywork continuing education requirements. We help dyslexic engineers finish required English classes. We help working moms finish the last history paper they need so they can graduate with their nursing degrees. We help cancer patients stay in school. We help veterans who have put their lives on the line for their country finish editing their capstone projects. Behind every paper here, there’s a story. That story is usually of someone who has been failed by the system, whose time and money are being wasted on irrelevant required classes. We are proud of the work we do here, and we are proud of the papers we write, just as we were proud of the work we put our own names on in our own educational and professional careers.

 

People say Unemployed Professors sucks, but they fail to see that in addition to helping students, the site also helps professors. It is a well-known fact that most people who finish PhD’s never get a tenure-track job. It is well-established that adjuncts are overworked and underpaid and graduate students often live off starvation wages. The fields these people are in may be undervalued by the capitalist system, but they are nonetheless valuable. However, these people still have to eat. If partially-employing an Unemployed Professor takes someone off food stamps, can we really say that the site sucks?

So, yeah, as you can see our site really sucks. We suck at maintaining the paradigm. We suck at helping rich people stay rich. We suck at helping universities continue to enrol people in classes they don’t really need so they can keep vacuuming up their money. We suck at maintaining the gatekeeper identity of the university, which is the idea that it can cripple working-class students with debt for degrees they can’t finish while ensuring that the wealthy students maintain their position in the upper class.

One of our friendly, tweed-wearing Unemployed Professors is happy to help you tame the paper monster.

 

 

Unemployed professors review – an insiders opinion

Professors_01A couple of years ago, my company rewrote the unemployed professors website in return for an equity position in the company. Writing a website for equity is a common request in my industry, but not one that I often entertain. After all, I have enough ideas of my own that I do not have time for. I made an exception for unemployed professors because they had a revenue stream and management was very very impressive.

Some of the questions that I get from friends and family are: “Are you worried that your existing clients will look unfavorably on the fact that you created a website that enables students to cheat?” “Don’t you feel that it is morally irresponsible to be part of unemployed professors?”

If you can imagine the look of disbelief on John McEnroe’s face when a ball is called out, I can only answer these questions with: you cannot be serious!

First of all, I am in business to make money and don’t have time for all the kumbaya bullshit that our overpaid Hollywood starlets engage in.

On a serious note, our customers come in many flavors. There is a small minority that literally buys their entire degree. I can only surmise that these people are sent to school by their rich daddies and have no desire to be there. Is this a problem created by unemployed professors? No, it is a problem created by nepotism. These people will probably end up taking a cushy, high paying, no-work job with one of daddy’s affiliates and live happy ever after. It’s good to be lucky; I don’t have a problem with that.

Another reason students use our service is to complete writing assignments for non-core forced elective courses. These students are making the practical choice of spending more time on their core studies in order to elevate their GPA as well as their expertise in their chosen field. These are highly motivated students coping with an enormous workload in a practical manner. In the end, these students will usually graduate with honors and with a deeper understanding of their major. The argument can be made that these non-core courses help broaden your education. A load of crap; life itself is good enough for that, you are in school to get a solid foundation in your chosen field, use every minute wisely.

The most interesting subset of our clientele is the student who has already written an assignment and is asking for advice before submitting it or asking help with a re-write after it was rejected. Truly remarkable; obviously a very dedicated student, but why come to us? If you are a student like I was many years ago, you can understand the frustration of professors not respecting their office hours or caring more about their own research projects when you happen to find them. The fact of the matter is that the professionals at unemployed professors are here for you and care that you get the help and the mark that you deserve and also to learn from the experience.

.… And during the process I truly believe that you will become a better student. – Shadow

One of our friendly, tweed-wearing Unemployed Professors is happy to help you tame the paper monster.

Steven Covey’s time management quadrant

Are you constantly scrambling to get stuff done at the last minute? Maybe the problem isn’t what you do or not do, but how you prioritize it. The scrawled list of things “to do” may work well if you only have a few simple tasks to accomplish, as one of the best Kids in the Hall sketches demonstrates. I used to put things on my to-do list like “drink coffee” and “drink more coffee.” This made me feel productive, but it didn’t get my important tasks done.

kids

(Source: Kids in the Hall, “Things to Do,” via YouTube.com)

When you have to do important, complex tasks, and figure out how to best implement the Pareto Principle, it is best to implement a system. Steven Covey’s time management quadrant is an easy way to prioritize things. You don’t even actually need to fill in all the quadrants. For the purposes of this blog, we’re considering a to do list that only contains academic things.

Quadrant I is important, urgent items. Your house is on fire? Quick, write it into the quadrant (actually, don’t) and get out. Gotta pee? Quadrant I. That 14 page paper you have been putting off for 2 months and that’s now due tomorrow? That’s important and urgent, now. Quadrant II is important, but not urgent. That’s where you put stuff like calculus homework due next week, a paper due in a month, and so on.urgency

(Source: SidSavara.com)

Quadrant III is where you have to make some choices: these are not important, but urgent things are ones you can’t get out of. They might be homework assignments for classes you hate, or conversations with that roommate who never shuts up. It might be scheduling an appointment with your advisor because you know you have to do it this term. They might include eating before you pass out.

Quadrant IV is for not important, not urgent stuff. Just thinking about what might go here can help you focus your energies. Tragically, reading hilarious Wikipedia articles is not going to get your important, urgent tasks done. Neither will re-watching every episode of your favorite childhood cartoon on YouTube. Someday these things may ec=-

The trick with this system is doing things before they become important and urgent, because most things eventually become urgent if you do not attend to them. Not important and not urgent – those might be things you want to do, like Facebook, or things that otherwise do not improve your life. I used to put “Return library books” on there because even though it was not important (at least before they were overdue), and not even really urgent, it made me feel productive. Don’t do that.

I used this system for years and it helped me become a top student in high school, college, and graduate school. Here are my tips:

  1. Break down big tasks into smaller tasks. “Dissertation” was important, but putting it on my to do list was, obviously, useless. “Add suggested sources to dissertation prospectus” was not, and it was both important and urgent.
  2. Appointments are important and urgent, because flaking out is shady, and having an appointment in your day affects how much of your time is left to do other things.
  3. Put categories of unimportant, not-urgent stuff in Quadrant IV. Don’t write in specific timewasters, but keep your eye on it and ask yourself if you are getting distracted or if what you are doing is contributing to the big picture.
  4. Consider each item in Quadrant II to be a ticking time bomb. If you don’t deal with it, after a while it will become urgent. And urgent, important tasks are no fun.
  5. Only you get to decide what is important. Sometimes, school gets so intense you have to make tough decisions, and this might mean that a worksheet for art history isn’t as important as, say, a business exam. This might mean that you need to outsource or ask for help.

Have you let an important task become urgent? Are you trying to delegate your work flow so that you can work smarter, not harder? Try letting an Unemployed Professor tackle the task so you can focus on other important things.

The Pareto Principle

ParetoYou’ve probably heard the saying that 80% of the work gets done in 20% of the time. But what does that even mean, especially for the less mathematically inclined? Simply put, this mantra means that 80% of people’s work time is spent on trivial tasks. It is only in 20% of the time that the real work gets done. Why? Just think of all the distractions that compete for your time.

There are 5 workdays in a week. 4 of them are totally wasted on busywork. Think about this in terms of school: Maybe 1 day a week you have classes for your major. The rest of your time might be lectures, worksheets, web post discussions, quizzes, reaction papers about your feelings, dioramas, group projects, and so on, needlessly, sucking at your time like a vampire.

The Pareto Principle was named after Vilfredo Principle. Just kidding, his real name was Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923). An early 20th century Italian economist, he observed both that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and that in his own garden, 80% of the peas were on 20% of the plants (it remains unclear as to whether his garden was located in the 80% or 20% of his own research), he also observed that The principle applies to a great deal of life today, and is at the center of a great deal of management theory, business research, and even psychology. However, you can use it, too, in your everyday life. (Source: 4plebs.org)

He looks a bit like an Unemployed Professor, which means you should totally listen to his advice about time management. In other words, the Pareto Principle tells us that we need to work smarter, not harder. That might mean turning off your phone when you study, or deleting Facebook. It might mean managing your time ever more effectively: for example, do whatever you can to ensure that you shore up important tasks before they become both important and urgent (use a Covey time management graph, the subject of a forthcoming blog post).

Or it might mean looking at your list of dismal, mediocre assignments designed to fluff the ego of your Employed Professor, and outsourcing the job to an Unemployed Professor while you spend your time focusing on what matters to you.

Professor Rogue’s Words of Wisdom on Citations for College Essays

11017610_439207669561918_657049086_nIf you don’t know this already, trust me – citations for your college essays are one of the most important elements of writing top-notch papers that will get you an A grade. Indeed, many professors, especially in English and the Humanities are incredibly nitpicky about citations for college essays, and will even dock large numbers of points for even the most minor errors in citation systems. If you’re worried about, or struggling with the implementation of a given citation style, you might just want to buy a custom essay, and leave that work to a professional. That said, however, and without writing an actual guide to writing citations for college essays, I’m going to provide you with a few tricks that might make your life, as it pertains to citations, much easier. I’m going to discuss MLA, Chicago, and APA citations, and I’m going to tell you why APA citations are the best when you’re writing a college essay.

Let’s get started with MLA citations – they are the bane of many undergraduates’ existence. Most commonly used in English literature classes as well in Humanities disciplines like History; MLA citations are based on what’s called a parenthetical system. That means that, after you list information which you found in a text, you should write something that looks a little bit like what will go right before this sentence’s period (Rogue, 1). In this case, let’s pretend that Rogue is my last name, and that 1 is the page number that this sentence is written on. What you’re basically doing, in making this type of citation, is saying that you got the information in the sentence or group of sentences preceding it on page 1 of an author with the surname Rogue. That’s pretty simple. The only problem with this system, and which drives me up a wall, is the need for page numbers. With MLA citations, you have to always note the page which you got your information from. That can be a real pain after you’ve read through a book, and forgot to flag the page which you got the information off of. But, if you’re forced to use MLA style for your college essay citations, you’re shit out of luck.

Moving forward to the Chicago style, it’s pretty similar to MLA, but actually has two variants. The first of these is called the footnote variant, and means that, instead of using a set of parentheses when citing your information, you use a footnote, and then place the bibliographic entry for the book or article you’re citing in the footnote. Like with MLA, you then add the page number to the end of the citation in the footnote. On the other hand, another variant of Chicago style is the author-date system. In this variant, you’re going to do something very similar to MLA by creating a set of parentheses like the one I showed you above for MLA (Rogue, 2015, 2). Evidently, Rogue is once again the surname of the author, the 2 is a reference to the page you found the information on, and 2015 refers to the year in which the work you’re citing was published. So, basically, it’s like MLA style with the added pain-in-the-ass of having to also find the year in which the work you’re citing was published. But, given that a lot of professors are assholes when it comes to college essay citations, make sure to check with your professor, if it’s not specified, as to whether they’re looking for the footnote or author-date variant.

Finally, the power and the glory of the APA system come out! I love APA parenthetical citations. Look at the end of this sentence (Rogue, 2015). That’s it – the author’s surname and the year in which the work was published. As you might be able to tell, APA is my favorite style for college essay citations. It’s simple, straightforward, and doesn’t require you to go back and find the damn page number that you’re referencing unless you’re making use of a direct quote, “in which case, your citation will look like the one which comes at the end of this sentence (Rogue, 2015: 3). APA is awesome. If you haven’t had time to read a book for your class, but you have access to a summary of it, use APA. Since you won’t need to use page numbers, you can get away with a skim of the book as you won’t have to actually know in which parts of the book the author says which things. While this might be dangerous in an upper-level class, where you might actually have to talk to your professor about your paper, it’s an easy-breezy way to make your life simpler in a large and low-level class.

If you need help with an essay or term paper post your project on unemployed professors today!

The top 5 worst term paper assignment types

Veteran writers for term paper writing services have seen all kinds of shit. Believe it or not, some of the reasons students try to outsource their work or beat TurnItIn have to do not with their own ethics, but because of the terrible assignments. Some professors leave students with no choice but to try and find a writing service to help them out.

Here are the top 5 worst term paper assignment types. Which do you remember from school? Which are you trying to get out of right now? Remember that if any of these are plaguing you, the experts at Unemployed Professors have got your back.


boys

(SOURCE: Boyz in the Hood, 1991)

The “Drive-by Citing.”
We all know this one. Some professor thinks someone can address a complex topic….in 6 pages…with a requirement of 15 mandatory sources. Oh, you think this is crazy? I’ve written over 1,000 papers for Unemployed Professors. The shit I’ve seen has included requirements like these, with added bullshit bonus stuff like 1/3 of the sources must be tonal poems or something. The main purpose of these papers seems to be to get students to cite sources for no reason other than to cite source, because it is impossible to treat a complex, broad topic in a short span of pages while paying obeisance to dozens of secondary sources.


the-haiku
(Source: Tasseography.com)

The “Haiku.”
I also call this the “Tweet.” The professor is asking for a 3000-word paper. All the student knows is that it’s supposed to be 3000 words and maybe use MLA formatting, or is it APA? All other instructions have been conveyed in the form of vague gestures, fluffy clouds, and tealeaves.


wall-of text
(Source: Blurrent.com)

The opposite of the Haiku. The “Tl;dr.”
The opposite of the Haiku. The “Tl;dr.” Too long, didn’t read. Dear professors: If you’re assigning a 3-page paper, you should probably not include more than 3 pages of instructions. I’ve seen instructions for 3 page papers that topped out at, I kid you not, 10 pages single-spaced. Interesting variations include the condescending or snarky instructions, as well as the ones that blatantly mock students somewhere in the wall of text. Luckily nobody ever reads that far.


structure(Source: YAChatsyouth.org)

The factual scavenger hunt.
This is a highly structured paper that exists solely so students can regurgitate facts in an order proscribed by the professor. There is no argument, no critical thinking. It is simply a recall-based exam in essay form.



fill-in-the-blamks
(Source: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk)

The fill-in-the blanks.
You know what I’m talking about. The professor isnt’ just holding your hand. I mean the professor is gripping your arm and basically telling you what to write. Underline and italicize the thesis statement. Use the thesis statement worksheet and make sure your thesis fits into the blank. Then make three, no more no less, arguments and sub arguments with a polite rebuttal. There is absolutely zero room for creativity or critical thought in these papers. They are effectively a long-form worksheet. But professors seem to love them. And why not? In every highly structured sentence, there are dozens of opportunities to ding students who dare to think for themselves.

Remember, even if you are dealing with a paper that doesn’t fit into one of these categories, one of our friendly, tweed-wearing Unemployed Professors is happy to help you tame the paper monster.

Third episode of Season 4 of Girls

girls I hate to engage in spoilers or speculation, but my take on the latest season of Girls is that Hannah is going to drop out of her MFA program in creative writing. For those of you just tuning in, last night was the third episode of Season 4 of Girls. During one emotional scene between Hannah and Elijah, she admits that in college, her best friend / roommate Marnie wrote most of her papers. Now that she’s in grad school, Hannah feels a certain emptiness from the opportunity to spend her time writing what she ostensibly wants to be writing.

But let’s stop right there. Hannah had her best friend write her papers in college! What about integrity?! On the other hand, let’s look at it another way: Hannah focused on what she was good at and found a way to leverage her time so that it worked for her. Hannah isn’t a terrible student or a desperate scumbag (well, depends on your opinion of Girls). She’s one of the whitest people who’s ever lived, true, but she is, comparatively speaking, normal. A lot of people may see themselves in her. And even she outsourced her less useful schoolwork. She did not say what Marnie got out of this arrangement, but we here at Unemployed Professors would postulate that she probably did not charge enough. On the other hand, if Marnie ditches Desi, completes a graduate degree and gets some teaching experience, perhaps she could get a gig at Unemployed Professors. Marnie seems to have a lot of experience beating the infamous TurnItIn and writing custom papers.

Girls’ shift to an academic Iowa setting may not work in the long-term for the show, but it certainly sets the characters in an interesting light vis-à-vis the potential for conversations about academic honesty.

If you need help with an essay or term paper post your project on unemployed professors today!