Thursday, February 28, 2013

Paul's Tip of the Week: Exploring the Surrounding Communities

Did you know Amherst College has a Natural History Museum?
UMass Amherst is a huge university. Some students rarely even make it off campus due to all the exciting activities constantly going on at our very own school. However, there is so much more going on. Few universities located in less urban environments have as many exciting options as students at UMass have. Here are some tips to help explore your surrounding communities and get outside of your UMass Amherst bubble.

1.) Explore the town of Amherst
Right down the street from our University is the beautiful town of Amherst. Full of great restaurants, bookstores, and more, Amherst is the perfect place to hang out on a Saturday Afternoon. As I'm sure most students know, Antonio's Pizza is a popular fan favorite. Some of my personal favorite restaurants include Panda East, the Loose Goose Cafe, and Paradise of India. Save a swipe at Berk one night and go out to eat with your friends! 

2.) Northampton
Just a bus ride away is the lovely town of Northampton, commonly referred to as Noho. Here, there are even more delicious restaurants and tons of quirky vintage shops. The community is vibrant and busy. At night time there are several music venues where local bands and more famous musicians frequently locate.
Aaron Carter is coming to the Iron Horse Music Hall in Noho March 7th at 5. Talk about a blast from the past. Who is ready for Aaron's party?...

3.) The Four Other Colleges
UMass Amherst is part of a 5 college consortium. The 4 other members of this consortium include Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, Amherst College, and Hampshire College. There are more ways to learn what's going on at the 5 colleges besides just taking a class there. Each college has their own unique personality and several events, guest speakers, dances, and more. I've had amazing times exploring Hampshire College and attending several concerts and events there. Smith and Amherst are two other schools I have loved visiting. I haven't even made it to Mt. Holyoke yet in my time at UMass but plan to get that taken off my bucket list before I graduate.

Here's a schedule of various events going on within the Five College Consortium:

So pick up a bus schedule, do a little research, get a couple of friends together, and start exploring!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Deadlines, Deadlines . . .

We're approaching a series of deadlines that could potentially have impact on your ability to be successful and make progress toward an on-time graduation.  Listen up!
  • March 1 Deadline to submit applications for the Public Health Sciences major, for priority enrollment in PHS courses for Fall 2013.
  • March 1 Deadline to submit applications for the Computer Science Major and CS Minor.  Click here for more information about applying to the major or minor.
  • March 7 Deadline for "W Drop" (withdrawing from a course; "W" will appear on your transcript) and for changing a grading option to "Pass/Fail."  Note: Be careful in choosing these options!  Watch for Blog posts with more information, and check with an advisor before you take action.
Other majors (some restricted, some not) have later application deadlines, and some will have Information Sessions prior to their deadline.  In these (and other) majors, your course access in these departments - for Fall 2013 - could be seriously restricted if you have not declared the major!  For instance:
  • March 1 Resource Economics On-Campus Transfer Info Session, 11:15 am Stockbridge 303.  Note: In order to register for Fall 2013 courses as a Resource Economics major, students must complete an on-line Statement of Interest by APRIL 24 at Noon.
  • March 15 Deadline to declare the Sociology major during the spring 2013 semester.  Note: your Sociology course access will be limited, if you have not declared by the deadline.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Internships--Some Basic Information

Internships are key to enhancing your education. Through them, you will gain practical and applied experience that you can list on a resume and will help you along in your job search after graduation.

So where to begin? Go to the Career Services page on Internships. They have lots of information there on how to get started, finding internships and co-ops, applying to them, and much more.

You should also attend an info session there on how to find internships. The Career Services Calendar page lists when those info sessions happen, along with many other events that you may find useful.

Good luck!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Public Health Applications DUE MARCH 1ST

The deadline to submit your application to be a Public Health major is March 1st! If you submit your application and are admitted to the major, you will be able to declare the major and therefore be able to enroll in courses that are restricted to Public Health majors. But you must submit your application by March 1st!

Not sure where to find the application? Here you go!

Not sure what the differences between the Social Science and Science tracks are? This should help!

Unclear about what a Collateral Field Option is and how it's fulfilled? Try here!

Would you like to talk to a peer advisor about Public Health, the requirements, the major, applying, and so on? Public Health prefers that you to do that anyway!

Are you undeclared and want to discuss the Public Health major in general? Call Undergraduate Advising at 413-545-2191 and set up an appointment to talk to an advisor!

Weekly Preview: February 26 - March 1

The Mid-Semeter W Drop and Pass/Fail deadline is Thursday, March 7!  We'll be posting much more information about this next week.
There will be an information session for students interested in declaring Resource Economics on Friday, March 1 at 11:15am in Stockbridge 303.  Students must attend an information session and complete the Online Statement of Interest BEFORE being invited to schedule an advising appointment to complete the change of major process. This process assists students in examining whether ResEc is a good fit for them and designing a plan for academic success.  Your Statement of Interest is due by Wednesday April 24 in order to register for Fall 2013 courses as a ResEc major. 

Friday, March 1: Deadline Day for Computer Science and Public Health!
If you are planning on applying to Computer Science, you must have your application in before 5:00pm on FridayVisit their website for more information.  Click here for the application and stop by the CS Undergrad Advising Center (ACE) in the USpace, 144 CS Bldg for more help.

Applications for Public Health are due by 5:00pm on Friday in the Peer Advising Office, located in Arnold House 330Click here to learn more about the major and to download the application.

The Spring 2013 Final Exam Schedule is now available on SPIRE.  You can also check the Registrar’s website at  We'll have information later about what to do if you have a conflict.

Speaking of Finals, how are you feeling about your grades right now?  Free tutoring, workshops and supplemental instruction are available through the Learning Resource Center located on the 10th floor of  the W.E. B. DuBois Library.  Call 413-545-5334 or, better yet, go there in person to explore the range of services offered.  To check out their tutoring and/or supplemental instruction schedules for Spring 2013, go on-line to you are having trouble understanding some of your course material, you should first arrange to meet with your professor or T.A. By asking for help early on and coming prepared with questions/concerns, you can maximize the chances that they really will be able to assist you before you fall too far behind.

The Writing Center is also ready to serve your needs!  Make an appointment and get help during any part of the writing process.

And, as always, you can meet with Peer Advisors in the Academic Advising Link or make an appointment to meet with an Undergraduate Advisor to talk about majors, academic issues, and where to go to access the information you need to succeed.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Restricted major? Open Major? HUH?

Over the next few weeks you'll be noticing lots of posts about majors holding information sessions and reminders about declaration deadlines.  Some majors at UMass are restricted, which means they may require an application, specific courses, and/or minimum grade point averages before you can be accepted to them.  For example, the BBA programs and Public Health are both departments that require an application and minimum GPA.  Another example is Economics, which requires minimum grades in specific courses before students can sign in.  Admissions into restricted majors is not guaranteed if you do not meet the specified requirements.

Some majors, while not restricted in terms of who can declare, are restricted in terms of when students can declare   In other words, they only allow you to to sign into the major during certain times--this could mean certain date ranges in the semester or certain days/times each week.  So, for example, if you want to major in Sociology, you must declare by March 15th, otherwise you'll have to wait until next semester.

Other majors are completely open, meaning you can declare at any point in the semester or your academic career, without having to complete specific courses, applications.

Why does this matter?  Well, in many cases, departments restrict several upper-level classes to majors only, so even though the major might not be restricted, many of the classes will be.  It's important to know this before you begin registering for fall classes so you can plan accordingly and, if possible, declare or apply to a major you want to explore further prior to your Enrollment Appointment.  Also, if you are looking at a restricted major, it is important to work on a back-up plan now, in case you are not accepted.  Pursuing a back-up plan early will ensure you can still graduate on time.  If you get accepted to your first-choice restricted major, you can always make your back-up plan a minor (or even secondary major) instead.

The bottom line is not every major can be declared in the same way,  Make sure you know the process for declaring any major you have on your radar.  If you're not sure, now is a great time to come see an advisor before the registration rush gets underway!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Paul's Tip of the Week: Domestic Exchange

Have you ever thought about studying at a different school or college? Want a new experience and new opportunities that you just cannot get at UMass? Don't really want to leave the country to do all this? Domestic Exchange could be a great fit for you. One of the many perks of going to UMass Amherst is our Domestic Exchange program where a student can study at another college/university in the country for a semester or a year. With over 180 universities and colleges in 48 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, you really get an opportunity to explore a new place, culture, and education.

While I personally have never experienced what it's like on Domestic Exchange, I have several friends who have gone to schools around the country, each one of them loving the unique experiences they had. One friend of mine, Mike Smith, spent his entire sophomore year at Montana State University. When asked to reflect on the experience, he explained why domestic exchange was perfect for him:
I might have unique motives compared to the rest of the UMass student body. At MSU I was able to ski every month of the year, and mountain bike nearly every day in the spring and summer. MSU is near some world class ice and rock climbing too. Really, Western Mass just doesn't have big enough hills. And while studying abroad would have been great, I was able to drive myself, two bikes, and some skis to MSU. that wouldn't have been realistic if I were to have studied abroad.
His advice to students thinking about domestic exchange:
My only advice is to just do it. Experiencing another culture and lifestyle was awesome. It's wild how different the culture in Montana is, you don't need to go to a different country to get a different aspect of life.
Now that's just Mike's experience. What do you want to experience? Start planning your Domestic Exchange today!

Check out the Domestic Exchange Website:
attend an info session in 613 Goodell Wednesdays at 4:45 and Thursdays/Fridays at 2:30 to learn more. You cannot apply until you attend one of these info sessions.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Schedule Change

Monday, February 18 is  Presidents' Day.  There are no classes and most offices on campus will be closed.
Tuesday, February 19 will follow a Monday class schedule.  The rest of the week will follow a normal schedule.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekly Preview: February 18 - 22

This preview is a long one!  Read through to see what applies to you!
Monday, February 18 is  Presidents' Day.  There are no classes and most offices on campus will be closed.
Tuesday, February 19 will follow a Monday class schedule.  The rest of the week will follow a normal schedule.

This week is all about career fairs, networking and internships!  Read our earlier post for tips that will help you be ready and take a look at the post Paul wrote yesterday.

For all of these events, you should prepare beforehand by reviewing the organizations that will be attending.  Dress professionally, plan on enough time to visit organizations of interest, ask well-researched questions, and give out flawless resumes.  Some employers do schedule follow-up interviews, so have your schedule available.    

The ALANA Career Fair will be held on Tuesday, February 19 from 1:00-5:00pm in the Student Union Ballroom Meet employers looking for ALANA students of all majors for full-time, co-op and/or internship opportunities. Typically employers attending this event have specific openings to discuss, and many attend just to meet you and talk about future possibilities.
The list of employers coming can be found here
For more information contact CMASS by emailing, calling 413-545-2517 or stopping by Wilder Hall, Room 221.

Attend the On-Campus Networking Night!  Tuesday, February 19, 2013 7:00-9:00pm, Campus Center 10th Floor.  This very special evening, arranged exclusively for current UMass Amherst students, will bring experienced professionals from a wide range of employers, from major corporations to non-profit organizations, to engage and assist you with career guidance and employment opportunities in a small group setting.  Registration is required:

Career Blast 2013 will be held on Wednesday, February 20 from 10:00-3:00pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  Employers attending this event have a variety of opportunities and look forward to meeting UMass students in a friendly and professional atmosphere. All majors and degree level students will find employers available to talk with them about full-time employment, internships, co-ops and summer jobs. 
Follow this link for the list of employers attending
Company List
Floor Plan Layout
For more information contact Career Services by emailing, calling 413-545-2224 or stopping by 511 Goodell.

Other Important Events Happening This Week

Are you curious about the Public Health major?  Attend an information session on Tuesday, February 19 at 6:30pm and Wednesday, February 20 at 6:00pm in Herter 118.  Learn more about the major and how to apply.  Friday, March 1 is the deadline to apply to the major in order to get priority enrollment in Public Health courses in Fall 2013You can also visit the Peer Advising Center in Arnold House 330.  Follow this link to learn more about how the Public Health peers can help you and to see the Center's schedule.  You can also email

The application deadline for Computer Science is also approaching. You must apply by March 1 in order to take majors-only classes in Fall 2013.  To learn more about the major and how to apply, click here to visit their website.

Thursday, March 7 is the last day to W Drop or change a class to Pass/Fail.  We'll have more information about this as the deadline approaches.

And as always, stop by the Undergraduate Advising Academic Link Sunday through Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library to talk to our Peer Advisors about majors, minors, GenEds, your ARR and more!  No appointment needed!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paul's Tip of the Week: Internship Advice

For a whole new semester, I am back to give you helpful tips to help you navigative through your time at UMass Amherst, the best place on Earth.  My good friend and co-writer Gabby is off studying abroad in London (another great place on Earth) so I'm writing these tips solo!
Now that everyone is finally settled into school, it is already time to start thinking about what you want to be doing for this summer. Maybe an internship? Well believe it or not, you should be applying to them now! I just applied to my first of many this past weekend.

Whether you are an English major or a Mechanical Engineering major, it is critical to get internship experience under your belt. It gives you hands on experience in a potential job field you may want to become a part of. I had an internship at a non-profit in Boston over Winter Break and even in a couple of weeks I learned so much. That experience really helped me visualize the kind of career that I would enjoy and excel at.

So now that you know how important it is to get an internship, you are probably wondering how to start applying? Start by checking out the Career Services website for more information:
Attend an internship information session offered every Monday at 12:30 pm and Wednesday at 4:00 pm in 508 Goodell.

Here are a couple more tips to help you to search for and attain the perfect internship:
  1. Make sure someone (preferably a professional) looks over your resume for some critiques and expert advice. Once an employer sees a typo in that resume, you are surely out of the running.
  2. Ask around. Whether it's your roommate, friend, classmate, relative, etc., everybody knows somebody. Start talking to people about your search for an internship. See if anyone has any ideas. A classmate of mine was telling me about an internship she did last summer that sounded amazing. Not only am I going to apply to that same internship this year but I now have her name as a reference.
  3. Apply to MANY internships. While there isn't an exact formula to how many internships a student should apply to I would recommend applying to several. Internships are competitive and you never know who your competition is.
  4. Do your research and cater your resume/cover letter to the particular company/organization you are applying to.
  5. Go to the Career Blast Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:00-3:00 pm in the Campus Center Auditorium for a chance to network with over 140 companies!

Good luck!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Career Fairs Coming Up!

As the Career Services website tells you, many employers use career fairs to promote their job opportunities and to pre-screen applicants. Most of these fairs consist of booths and tables staffed by recruiters and other representatives from each organization. For students, a career fair can be an excellent place to gather information about potential employers, make contacts that could lead to a job, learn more about an employer’s application process, and discover new options.

The UMass Amherst Career Services Office sponsors a number of career fairs throughout the year - and several will be happening in the coming weeks (check out their on-going calendar of events). Career services will be offering Career Fair Prep Workshops over the coming days in preparation for the ALANA Career Fair (Tuesday, Feb. 19th) and the Career Blast 2013 Campus-Wide Internship and Job Fair (Wednesday, Feb. 20th).

Not sure how to proceed? Stop by Career Services (5th floor, Goodell; drop-in hours from 12-4 M-F) and take a look at their website.  See the planning timeline recommended for each year, and/or download their handouts on "Make Your First Professional Contacts at the Career Fair" and "Sell Yourself at the Career Fair" for tips on making the most of these events.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekly Preview: February 11 - 15

Looking for to prepare for Career Fairs?  Attend a Spring 2013 Career Fair Preparation Workshop!  Wilder Hall Room 201 from 5:30pm- 7:30pm. 
  • Monday, February 11: Dress for Success.  Hosted by Macy’s Retail Corporation 
  • Wednesday, February 13: College to Career Success.  Hosted by Kohl’s Retail Corporation
Sponsored by: Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, UMASS Career Services and UMASS Athlete Academic Services

Is your resume ready to be seen?  Want help before the career fairs and your summer job search?  Career Services presents Resumania!   Stop by for 15-minute walk-in resume reviews. Extra staff will be on hand. All students and majors are not only welcome, but encouraged to attend!  Wednesday February 13, Thursday, February 14 and Friday, February 15 from 12 noon - 4pm in Goodell 511.

U @ UMass: You Are More Than Your Major! Hear upperclass students describe how they have chosen to enhance their major/minor/certificate programs by participating in Study Abroad, Domestic Exchange, Five-College Interchange, Community Service Learning, Internships/Co-ops, research, and/or Registered Student Organizations.  Thursday, February 14 from 4-5:00pm in 504 Goodell (Commonwealth Honors College Lounge) 

Upcoming Events and Information

The ALANA Career Fair will be on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:00-5:00pm in the Student Union Ballroom in the Campus Center.  Meet employers looking for ALANA students of all majors for full-time, Co-op and/or Internship opportunities. Typically employers attending this event have specific openings to discuss, and many attend just to meet you and talk about future possibilities.  Follow this link to see the list of employers attending.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

U@UMass Student Panels--You Are More Than Your Major!

If you've ever been interested in a major but have hesitated because you wondered "what can I do with it after I graduate?," or if you want to get some inspiration for ways to do more than just meet requirements for your major, this is a good opportunity to come and hear how some of your peers have begun to address just that.

The Undergraduate Advising Office is sponsoring three student panel events this semester. These panels will consist of upper class students discussing the ways in which they came to choosing a major, declaring that major, and their varied experiences that have helped them get the most of what UMass has to offer--within their major and beyond. Items such as internships, volunteering, domestic exchange, study abroad, five college courses, minors, certificate programs, and RSOs will be covered. The panelists will also discuss how participating in these activities has shaped and enhanced their academic life and begun to prepare them for life after graduation. The schedule of events is below.

You are More Than Your Major!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Last Call for Add/Drop!!!

Add/Drop ends today!!!

After 10pm tonight you will no longer be able to make any changes to your schedule through SPIRE. 

Don't wait until the last minute to make any necessary adjustments!  If you need to make changes after today, it will require paperwork and permission. 

And remember, not attending a class doesn't mean you've dropped it! Just to be sure, double check your schedule on SPIRE right now to make sure everything looks as you expect it should.

A note about Pass/Fail: You have until the Mid-Semester W date (Thursday, March 7) to change a class to Pass/Fail.  After Add/Drop ends, you'll need to go to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore to fill out the Course Change Request form.  You do get credit for Pass/Fail classes if you pass but they do not fulfill requirements (GenEds, major, minor, certificates, GlobalEds, etc.), so make an appointment to meet with an advisor if you're not sure how this will affect you

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Want to recover a FUMBLE in a class,
and advance toward a TOUCHDOWN? 
Want to INTERCEPT the info you'll need
to SCORE BIG on your final grade?

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) will open this SUNDAY (2/3), and offers FREE tutoring and supplemental instruction services to all registered UMass students.  They're on the 10th floor of the W.E.B. DuBois Library, and are open Sunday through Thursday, from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Tutorial support is available on a walk-in basis for many first and second year courses. Students may be tutored individually or in small groups.  Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides informal, peer-facilitated review seminars for a particular course and section; SI sessions meet regularly. During SI sessions, students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and predict test items.

Whether it's to pull you out of near failure in a class, or to boost your grade from a B+ to an A-, making use of LRC services can really help!  Make sure you seek help EARLY - don't wait until you get far behind before you seek out assistance.  Also, remember to bring your student ID card when you use LRC services.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekly Preview: February 4 - 8

Add/Drop ends on Monday, February 4!  Check your schedule right now and make sure it's correct.

Five College Interchange registration forms are due in 613 Goodell by 5:00pm on Monday, February 4.

Thinking about becoming a Sociology major?  Students may declare starting on Tuesday, February 5.  In order to take majors only classes in Fall 2013, you must declare by Friday, March 15Visit their website to make an advising appointment, or stop by 722 Thompson Hall for more information.

Economics Career Networking Night, Thursday, February 7 starting at 6:00 pm in the Campus Center Room 101.  Interested in economics? Not sure what to do with your degree? Come to our fourth annual Economics Career Networking Night. You'll participate in a speed-networking event with successful economics alumni working in a variety of fields. This is a great opportunity to make connections and explore possible career paths!  Space is limited and registration is required.  Click here to sign up and contact Nicole Dunham at or 413-545-3815 with any questions.

Upcoming Information and Dates

It's Career Fair time!  Is your resume ready?  Do you know what to do when meeting recruiters and representatives from companies?  Do you want to make the most out of these networking experiences?  Visit Career Services!  In addition to their walk in hours Monday through Friday from 12:00 – 4:00 pm, they will be holding Career Prep Workshops on Monday, February 11 - Wednesday, February 13.  We'll post more information soon.

The application deadline for the Computer Science major or minor is Friday, March 1.  Visit the CS Undergraduate Advising Center in 144 CS Building for more information about the major.