Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekly Preview: March 3 - 7

Thursday, March 6 is the Mid-Semester date!  This is the last day to drop a course with a W or change a course to Pass/Fail.  Completed course change request forms must be brought to the Registrar's Office in 213 Whitmore before 5pm on Thursday.  If you have questions about how a W or Pass/Fail will affect you, make an appointment to speak with an advisor.  Do not wait until the last minute!  If you miss Thursday's deadline, you will have to petition your academic dean and your request is not guaranteed.

Are you planning on declaring Public Health SciencesMonday, March 3 is the Spring 2014 deadline to get Public Health Science courses for Fall 2014.  For more information, visit the Public Health Sciences Peer Advisor Center in 330 Arnold House.  Click here for hours.

The second U @ UMass panel will be held on Tuesday, March 4 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in the Bernie Dallas Room, 5th Floor GoodellYou are more than your major!  Hear upperclass students describe how they are getting the most out of UMass through majors, minors, study elsewhere, internships and more! The final panel will be on Thursday, March 27.  Don't miss out!

Learn about your study abroad options!  Come to the UMass Amherst IPO Study and Work Abroad Fair!  Speak with returned study abroad students, UMass study abroad advisors, as well as representatives from dozens of foreign universities and independent study abroad organizations. Students from all majors can choose from hundreds of programs in over 60 countries. We have also invited several organizations who recruit college graduates to work abroad, so you can learn about those options, too.  Wednesday, March 5, 2014 from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm in the Student Union Ballroom.

The Hospitality and Tourism Management Career Day is Wednesday, March 5 from 11:00am - 3:30pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.   Students dressed in business professional attire are cordially invited to attend.  You should be prepared with twenty copies of your resume before entering the fair.  Click here for more information and to register.  Need help with your resume?  Want to know how to prep for a career fair?  Reread our earlier post and visit Career Services!

On Thursday, March 6 from 9:00am - 2:00pm the UMass Amherst Writing Center invites students, faculty, and staff to an Open House in the newly renovated space.  The Writing Center is located in the Learning Commons, on the Lower Level of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library in the northwest corner.  The event will include a day of activities, workshops, coffee, and conversation.  Click here for the full schedule.

Friday, March 7 is the tentative date when Fall 2014 enrollment appointments should be available on SPIRE. Friday, March 14 is the tentative date when the Fall 2014 course schedule should be available on SPIRE.  We'll have much more information about registration soon!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Studying Abroad

Paris, je t'aime!
If I was to choose the most significant opportunity that my education has allowed for me throughout my four years at UMass, it would be studying abroad. While my college experience has been fulfilling, my time abroad was irreplaceable and unforgettable. I traveled to London, England to study dance the Spring semester of my junior year. It was here that I fell in love with a new city, traveled throughout Europe, ate some unbelievable food, and learned things about myself and living independently that stem far beyond a normal college education. With an International Programs Office (IPO) that helps students travel to over 50 different countries through over 400 programs, your options for going abroad are endless. The world is huge, so get out there!

My first tip for students who want to study abroad is to start thinking early. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with choices for going abroad, handling finances, and overcoming personal challenges such as being away from home. Asking yourself some simple questions can immediately help you out with the process. Do you want to study in a country that is on the other side of the globe like Australia, or stay a bit closer and go to Europe or South America? What do you want to study while abroad: your major classes, gen eds, languages? Do you want to be able to travel to other countries while away? I chose to study in London because it was my first time out of the United States, I felt intimidated going to a non-English speaking country, the city is rich with art and dance, and I wanted to travel to neighboring countries in Europe. Take a peek at the programs list to view all of your options.

The first mandatory step for any UMass student going abroad is to meet with an IPO peer advisor and talk about some of these preliminary questions. Because they have all been abroad, they can help answer any technical or personal questions you may have. You are required to meet with a peer prior to making an appointment with a professional advisor, and you can visit them in either of their advising centers. Most of the application deadlines for studying abroad this upcoming Fall 2014 are coming up in early March, so make sure to meet with a peer ASAP if considering this option. Some exchanges also require that you attend a meeting before applying, so check out these information sessions.

There are a lot of factors that can appear worrisome when planning to study abroad. One of the main ones is finances. Each program and each country differs on costs, so there is no one amount that is paid for a trip. Luckily, financial support is available. Through IPO there are study abroad scholarships that can be applied for, and sometimes your UMass financial aid can still be used. It is even possible to work abroad with a visa. With enough hard work, financial troubles do not need to inhibit anyone from their experience. My tip: start saving NOW.

For further information check out the advising center in 455 Hills South, email, or call (413) 545-5247.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Computer Science Deadline: March 1

Are you planning to pursue the Computer Science Major or Minor?

Saturday, March 1st is the deadline to be considered either a CS Applicant or a CS Minor for Fall 2014 registration.  

Emailed forms will be accepted until 11:59 PM on March 1st, but paper forms are due in the CS Main Office by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 28.  

Late submissions are not accepted!  Do not miss the deadline!  

Questions?  Visit the CS Undergraduate Advising Center (ACE) in 144 CS Building.  Click here for hours.

Monday, February 24, 2014

BUSINESS CAREERS: You Can Get There From Here!

Did you know that your undergraduate major is not a critical factor in whether or not you get started in a career in business?  Attend Tuesday's panel discussion to hear from representatives in Isenberg School of Management, Resource Economics, Economics, Communication, History and BDIC about how their students get started in business careers - through internships and job placement out of college.

BUSINESS CAREERS: You Can Get There From Here! 
Tuesday, February 25, 5:30pm
Isenberg Room 106

A recent (2013) study by the American Association of Colleges & Universities asked executives of 318 nonprofits and private sector organizations about their priorities for the learning and student success of the people they hire.  Among the findings:  “nearly all those surveyed (93 percent) say that ‘a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.’” [emphasis in original].  Read more here.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Preview: February 24 - 28

Interested in declaring the Public Health Sciences major?  Prospective students are encouraged to attend an Information Session on Monday, February 24 at 6:00pm in Arnold House 103March 3 is the Spring 2014 deadline to get Public Health Science courses for Fall 2014.   Register for the information session by clicking here.

On Tuesday, February 25 at 5:30pm in ISOM 106, join the Isenberg School of Management and Undergraduate Advising for Business Careers: You Can Get There From Here.  Hear representatives from different majors describe the many ways to get prepared for and started in a career in business.

Are you planning to pursue the Computer Science Major or Minor?  Have you submitted your paperwork?  Saturday, March 1st is the deadline to be considered either a CS Applicant or a CS Minor for Fall 2014 registrationEmailed forms will be accepted until 11:59 PM on March 1st, but paper forms are due in the CS Main Office by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 28.  Late submissions are not accepted!  Don't miss the deadline!  Questions?  Visit the CS Undergraduate Advising Center (ACE) in 144 CS Building.  Click here for hours.

The deadline for Domestic Exchange applications is Saturday, March 1Read more about Domestic Exchange by clicking here.  Attend an information session to learn more and to get an application: Wednesdays at 4:45pm, and Thursdays and Fridays at 2:30pm in 613 Goodell.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paul's Tip of the Week: Domestic Exchange

Have you heard about UMass' Domestic Exchange Program?

Did you know this program allows you to study away at another college/university in the country for an academic semester or year? Did you know that there are OVER 180 colleges and universities in 48 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam to choose from? Check out the National Student Exchange website to browse all the opportunities:

Did you know you don't even have to have a declared major to go on Exchange? Many students go as early as their 1st semester of their sophomore year! 

What you need to know now is that if you are interested, you should make it to one of our information sessions. They are offered three times a week in 613 Goodell every Wednesday at 4:45 PM and Thursday and Friday at 2:30 PM. 

The  deadline for a Fall 2014/Spring 2015 Exchange is March 1st. Whether you are thinking about going on Exchange next year or sometime in the future, come to an information session soon and learn more about the program.

What are you waiting for? Start planning your adventure today! Limited exchange options are available after the March 1 deadline so don't wait!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The first U @ UMass panel is Wednesday! Check out the flier for details.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Weekly Preview: February 17 - 21

Monday, February 17 is Presidents' Day.  There are no classes and most offices will be closed.
Tuesday, February 18 will follow a Monday schedule.  The rest of the week will follow a normal schedule.
The Academic Advising Link will be closed on Sunday and Monday and will reopen at 4pm on Tuesday.

The Priority Deadline for Domestic Exchange applications has been extended to 5:00pm on Tuesday, February 18.  The final application deadline is Saturday, March 1.

It's career fair time!  Click to read our earlier post on why you should attend a career fair and how to prepareMake sure you're ready to meet potential employers!  Take advantage of the resources offered by Career Services before attending.

The ALANA Career Fair is on Tuesday, February 18 from 1:00pm - 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.  Students wishing to view current organizations registered, please click hereAll students are welcome so bring your resume and dress for success in your business attire!

All Majors On-Campus Networking Night is on Tuesday, February 18 from 7:00pm - 9:00pm in the Campus Center 10th Floor.  Come and speak with organizations in a small group setting. Confirmed organizations: Charles River Development, City Year, C&S Wholesale, Liberty Mutual, Macy's, March of Dimes, Sherwin-Williams, Small Business Development Center, TD Bank, TJX,Unum, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and Verizon.  Students must RSVP by email:

On-Campus Networking Night - STEM Majors is on Tuesday, February 18 from 6:00 - 8:00pm in the Gunness Student Center in Marcus Hall.  This is a special evening for Engineering and other STEM majors to meet recruiters from top technology companies who will also be at the ALANA and Career Blast career fairs. In this ‘speed dating’ style setup students will connect with employers and talk about job opportunities within these organizations. Companies include: aPriori, AspenTech, DENSO, Eze Software, Global Foundries, Sensata Technologies, US Navy, Vistaprint.  Refreshments will be provided and resumes are welcomed.  Students must RSVP by clicking here.

Career Blast 2014 is on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:00-3:00pm in the Campus Center.  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.  Students wishing to view current organizations registered, please click here Bring your resume and dress to impress!

The first U @ UMass panel will be held on Wednesday, February 19 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in the Bernie Dallas Room, 5th Floor GoodellYou are more than your major!  Hear upperclass students describe how they are getting the most out of UMass through majors, minors, study elsewhere, internships and more!  Two more panels will be held on Tuesdays, March 4 and Thursday, March 27.  Don't miss out!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Liz's Tip of the Week: Connecting with your Professors

     Add/Drop has ended and the real work of the semester is picking up pace. It's important to build connections with your professors. This process can seem intimidating at first, but as our advisor Greg Boisseau likes to say, "Professors put their pants on the same way that we do in the morning." The sentiment behind this phrase is that professors are real people, just like us, who at the end of the day truly want you to succeed.
     One of the best ways to succeed in a class is by building a relationship with your professors. In large classes, since it is nearly impossible for the professor to know every student's name in a class of 150+, it's extremely helpful for the professor to know your name and face. Having a better relationship with your professor will make you feel more comfortable asking for help when you need it. Additionally, professors can help you out later down the line when you need a recommendation letter, or a sponsor for an independent study. This post will include some helpful tips on ways to connect with your professors.

Talk to your Professor After Class:
     The few minutes after class are definitely not the best time to ask your professor to read your twenty-page long research paper, but these moments can be used to your advantage if you have small questions. Say a professor uses a vocabulary word that you need clarification on, the end of class is a good time to ask for help. Or if you need any clarification on the homework, a reading, or any other question that is best answered after class. Just remember that if these questions pop up in your head during a lecture, you're probably not the only one with that question! Always feel free to raise your hand and ask for clarification when needed.

E-mail your Professor:
     I know what you're probably thinking, "How am I supposed to e-mail them? Do I even have their e-mail address?" Do not fear! Most professors will include their e-mail at the top of the syllabus. If your syllabus is not readily available however, UMass's People Finder application will be your saving grace. You can find the application here, or in the top right-hand corner of the UMass homepage. You will see a box where you can type in your professor's first and last name and their e-mail address will pop up. This is also incredibly helpful when working on a group project, as you can find student e-mail addresses too.
   Every time you email your professors include your full name, your Student ID number, and the class you are in. Of course, each of us is one in a million, but sometimes we share a name with our peers, therefore including your ID number will make sure your professor knows exactly who he or she is speaking to.

Office Hours:
     One of the absolute best ways to get in touch with your professor is face-to-face, and you can do so during their designated office hours. Office hours vary based on each professor, and typically if these times do not work for you, professors will be willing to schedule an appointment with you outside of their office hours.
     Office hours are an opportunity to meet up with your professor to further discuss issues raised in class, have them look over an essay before it's due, or just to introduce yourself. As I said before, in a big class it is very hard to stand out, one of the ways to do so is to introduce yourself to your professor during their office hours. Most professors complain of how no one comes to their office hours, and how they wish they did. Stopping by to say hello and ask questions benefits both you, and the professor.

Follow these tips and you'll be on the road to success by creating better relationships with your professors

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Career Fair Prep Workshops!

Want to attend the Career Fairs coming up next week? Career services is offering career fair preparation workshops on Thursday and Friday this week!

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 tonight, so check out the calendar for details.

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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Black Women in the Arts in the 21st Century

Three prominent African-American artists — Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, singer and social activist Bernice Reagon Johnson and poet and playwright Sonia Sanchez — will share the stage in a public conversation about Black Women in the Arts in the 21st Century on Thursday, February 13 from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Hosted by the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, the event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. 

The program, which is part of the annual celebration of Black History Month, will feature the three women sharing their views and thoughts on topics such as the importance of the artist in society, the changing role of the black female artist and the contribution of the artist in defining what it means to be human in the 21st century.

The evening’s program also will include musical selections by The New Africa House Ensemble, the Voices of New Africa Choir directed by Evelyn Harris, and a guest performance by composer and saxophonist Frederick Tillis, director emeritus of the UMass Fine Arts Center.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekly Preview: February 10 - 14

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum (BH101MM) is an innovative traveling table top exhibit depicting Black memorabilia spanning slavery to Hip Hop.  The mobile museum is a cost effective approach to present historical artifacts to schools systems, communities, colleges and universities throughout the nation.  On Tuesday, February 11, 2014 – as part of the Black History Celebration – CMASS, through the Malcolm X Cultural Center and in collaboration with other organizations on campus, has arranged to have the Black History 101 Mobile Museum at the Campus Center Auditorium for public viewing.  The exhibit will be followed with a lecture by Prof. Griff of Public Enemy at the Campus Center Auditorium.  The Exhibit will run from 7:00am-6:00pm, and the lecture will be held from 7:00-9:30pm.

Three prominent African-American artists — Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, singer and social activist Bernice Reagon Johnson and poet and playwright Sonia Sanchez — will share the stage in a public conversation about “Black Women in the Arts in the 21st Century” on Thursday, Feb. 13 from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Mullins Center.  Hosted by the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst, the event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.  For more information, click here to visit W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.


Friday, February 14 is the priority deadline for Domestic Exchange applications for the 2014-2015 year.  To learn more about the program and to get an application, attend an information session in 613 Goodell on Wednesdays at 4:45pm and Thursdays and Fridays at 2:30pm.  The final application deadline for all exchanges (including Spring 2015) is Saturday, March 1.  You must attend an information session in order to apply.  Read Paul's post from last semester to learn more about the program and why it could be a great opportunity for you!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jennie's Tip of the Week: Get Back on Track for Second Semester!

Getting back on track for second semester is crucial, but it can also be very difficult.  As a second semester senior, I find myself struggling to get back into the swing of things more than ever.  After winter break, which is never long enough, we all need to readjust to classes, homework, quizzes, and getting up earlier than we'd like.  After all of my semesters here I've come up with some great ways to make sure you get back on track as soon as possible.

1.  Write all due dates from your syllabi in your planner.  Getting back into the habit of checking your syllabi and your planner is crucial.  It's extremely easy to forget about assignments when you're readjusting to being back at school, but if you write everything down you're much more likely to remember.  Another great thing about writing out all of your assignments is that you can see when you'll be busiest.  For example, if you have a busy week in early March, it will be easier to plan ahead and get your work done in an efficient manner.  

2.   Choose specific times to study and do homework and stick to it!  Once you get into the middle of the semester it will be more natural to fill in gaps of time with homework and studying.  However, that is not necessarily the case at the very beginning of the semester.  Everyone is back and excited to see each other.  I understand that students would much rather spend their time catching up and hanging out with friends, but classes are starting to move more quickly and you do not want to fall behind.  The best advice I can give you all is to set aside time to hang out with friends and time to do your work.  A balanced schedule is the best way to stay on track.

3.  Get involved on campus.  The best way to ensure that your time management skills kick in is to stay somewhat busy.  Do not overload yourself, but keeping involved in extracurricular activities forces you to find time to do your work.  If you are already part of an organization, have a job, or both, keep going with it! If you did not join anything last semester, look on campus pulse and see what there is to offer!  There are hundreds of opportunities to get involved on campus.  Not only will you have a schedule to follow, which many people find helpful, you will make new friends who may have similar interests or could be taking similar classes.  You could find the perfect study buddy!

4.  See an advisor.  In order to make sure you are definitely on track, meet with an advisor.  Even if you are pretty sure you know where you're going with the semester, it never hurts to run your plan by someone else.  Advisors want to be sure that you've considered all of your options and that you are happy with your class schedule.  Not only can they look over your schedule with you, but they can show you resources you may need to utilize this semester.

Remember to stay on track this semester! Good luck everyone!

Monday, February 3, 2014

ISOM Info Sessions Reminder

Mark your calendars: Isenberg School of Management Group Information and Orientation Sessions will be held THIS Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30pm.  

Interested in the BBAHead to the Bernie Dallas Room on the 5th floor of Goodell.

Thinking about Sport Management? Your Info Session will be in Isenberg 108.

Leaning toward Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM)? Meet in Isenberg 106.

Add/Drop Ends at 10pm on Monday!

You can make changes to your schedule via SPIRE until Monday, February 3rd, at 10PM.  After that deadline you can no longer add or drop courses through SPIRE--making changes to your schedule will require additional paperwork/permissions.  Double check your schedule on SPIRE and make sure it looks as you expect it should.

Not attending a class doesn't mean you've dropped it!  If you do still need to make adjustments, use the swap and edit functions whenever possible.  And remember, should you decide to add a class at this point, you will be responsible for any work that has been assigned during the first week and a half of classes--plan accordingly! 

You have until the Mid-Semester Date (Thursday, March 6) 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 a 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.

As always, if you have any questions about your schedule, you should see an advisor. Undeclared students can set up an appointment by calling (413) 545-2191.