Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What I Learned From My Internship by Sarah


 What I Learned From My Internship

Over the summer of 2015 I took an internship class at MiraCosta.
The class allowed me to work for a start-up golf company and learn everything about making sales over the phone.

I worked 25 hours a week, but as international student you are allowed to work up to 40 hours a week when school is not in session (over the summer break). During the semester, international students at MiraCosta are allowed to work up to 19.5 hours a week. This allows you to explore a company hands on for up to 19.5 hours a week when school is in session.

5 Benefits I Gained From My Internship

1. Hands on Work Experience:

I explored a career in sales and applied skills I've learned in the classroom. For example, my inside sales internship put my written and oral communication skills to work.

2. Tweaked My Resume:

In today's competitive job market it is important to set yourself apart from others. Employers are seeking candidates with relevant work experience, such as applicants who have completed an internship. My internship experience shows that I've made an effort in exploring careers related to my major and gained skills in marketing a product.

3. Gain a Permanent Position:

Many employers see interns as possible full-time employees after they finish their internship. After I completed my internship, I got an offer for a permanent position with the company that I can apply for when I am approved for Optional Practical Training. 

4. Decide on a Career:

The insights you gain through an internship help you pick a career. Don't like the company you're interning for? Or maybe the career is not the right fit? Well, it's much easier for you to make changes to your career plan if you make these experiences early on your career path through internships. I personally discovered that I would prefer not to work in inside sales.

5. Network:

Meet people that work in your field and gain insights on how they landed a job. Although my internship is over, I'm still in touch with the people I worked with. That's because I see them as resources - they might provide me with the right contacts later on and help me get a job.

summer animated GIF

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What to Expect When you Arrive to MiraCosta for the First Time by Sarah

What to Expect When you Arrive to MiraCosta for the First Time

As you arrive at MiraCosta College for the first time and drop into the International Student Office, you meet an extremely welcoming staff of coordinators that are happy to introduce you to your new school. Sayaka is the (very friendly) secretary that can help resolve your request or direct you to where you can get help. Aubrey and Mia are international student coordinators that can help you with admission and most other requests that you might have after arrival in the US and throughout your studies at MiraCosta. 

First things to do after admission to and arrival at MiraCosta College:

- check in with Sayaka, Aubrey, and/or Mia in the International Office
- take a placement test
- speak to a counselor
- register for classes
- attend the new student orientation

Taking a Placement Test

Placement tests are available in Math, English as Second Language (ESL), and English.  All tests are given on a computer.  Don't worry!  The tests are for all students --- American and international.  You cannot fail the placement tests.  The tests help determine what classes you take at MiraCosta. 

Since I've lived in the United States before my arrival at MiraCosta, my English was quite advanced at the time I took a placement test at MiraCosta. Thus, I decided to take the English assessment.  Now the ESL assessment can place students into all levels of English. 

It is important that you polish your English and Math skills before you take the test. You can practice the exams before you arrive to MiraCosta.  After the test, if you feel you could have done better, you can always retake it. 

Speaking to a Counselor

After you've been assessed in English and Math you can meet with a counselor and set up your schedule. The counselor can help you develop an educational plan, coordinate your career and academic goals, get you out information on graduation, major, and transfer requirements, and most importantly select classes so you can register as quickly as possible.

Register for Classes 

You want to register as soon as possible as classes fill up quickly. So do not wait to speak to a counselor or to take the placement test. It is possible that if you wait too long you will not get into the classes you've selected and it may take you longer to graduate. So take the class registration serious and get it done quickly.

Attending the New Student Orientation

EVERY new international student has to attend the new student orientation. The orientation usually takes place in the 3rd week of August, one week before school starts. You can choose between two dates and expect to spend a couple of hours getting an understanding of what your experience will be like at MiraCosta College. This sounds a very long meeting, but it is actually not that bad. You gain very important information about your new school that is extremely important to know in order to succeed, and in addition, you meet other new students. Thus, the New Student Orientation gives you a chance to network before school starts. This makes everything easier as soon as you're in class.