Monthly Archives: April 2013

Walk for a Cause at CCBC

Each year, members of CCBC’s Student Government Association (SGA) submit a list of charities and vote on one to be their main focus for the year. In the fall of 2012, SGA voted for Multiple Sclerosis.  In addition to numerous fundraisers throughout the fall and spring semesters, SGA and student activities are holding an MS Walk on campus on May 4 to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the most commonly occurring chronic neurological diseases.  MS affects the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, and is thought to be caused by a disorder of the immune system.

Fran Siters, Staff Assistant, Student Activities at CCBC, knows two family members, her aunt and mother, with MS. She shares her personal story about being the caregiver to her mother, who was recently diagnosed.


What is the hardest thing about being a caregiver for someone with MS?

Sometimes I think the care giver has a harder time than the person with MS. One of the hardest parts of MS is the exhaustion and feeling like you are stuck in a broken body. When my mom is feeling bad, like a burden and invalid, all she can think of is how hard it must be for me and my sisters.  She won’t ask for help because we can’t just ‘fix’ this. What a struggle.


What changes have you seen in your mother?
MS messes with every part of her life.  She just simply does not feel good.  She is tired and hurts all the time, and feels like an old woman.  With MS, nothing gets better FAST. Sometimes, we will ask our mom, “Why are you so crabby?”  She doesn’t even realize she is.  It’s hard to see your mom lose her job, a lot of her driving privileges, and her cognitive ability.  This once strong-willed, always right, bossy woman now feels extremely insecure, frustrated, inadequate, unlovable and a like burden.  Then, we feel guilty.


Do you have any advice for other caregivers?

It is frustrating to all of us and affects each person differently, but when I think it’s getting tough for me, I stop and think about what it must be like for her.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to tell myself to stand up and walk, and not be able to do it.  Five years ago, she was a nurse, on her feet at least eight hours a day lifting and moving other adults. For those of you with MS who feel like you are burdens, DON’T!  In my situation, when my Mom says that she’s a burden, it makes me feel even worse. That is that last thing I ever want her to worry about.  The people who love you think about what it’s like to be in your shoes.  I know I do.  My mom is a complete inspiration to me and has shown me what true strength is.  Thanks to her, I have more appreciation for the little things in life and have a better outlook on what REALLY matters.


We hope to see you and/or your family members at the CCBC SGA MS Walk on May 4!  SGA is also glad to accept donations to support the National Multiple Sclerois Foundation.  To date, SGA has raised slightly over $300 for Multiple Sclerosis research and treatment. Every bit helps in funding  research for treatments and prevention methods.


Amy McKissic, Publications Coordinator

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College Final Exam Preparation

There are some things that are, in fact, worse than just a taking a simple exam, those being final exams. The exams that account for a decent percentage of your final grade and can be a direct determinate of you passing or failing, you know—those exams.

You figure you have the whole semester to anticipate the dreaded final. From what I’ve learned, the professor will inform the class far in advance what the topics being covered on the test will consist of (most have the material within the syllabus), which gives plenty of time to prepare, if needed. The exams vary. Some are comprehensive exams from all the topics being covered, and others are just the final chapter/section that was taught.

From the five classes I took last semester, two were comprehensive (one being a test— the other a project), the remaining three were just on the last chapter covered. Being exposed to those, I can say the comprehensive exams are more of a challenge since the material covered is from the beginning of the semester to the end. But that does not mean the other exams won’t be deemed a little more challenging than just the regular tests. Unlike high school, a one night cramming session can’t be done to prepare for these exams unless you want to do poorly.

Personally, I took tests in both places of education that could easily be comparable in both length and amount of material covered. Although, since college is not something that is free, unlike public education, more effort and study time should be used to ensure a passing grade will be achieved. I probably spent approximately 4-5 hours preparing for each exam, and for the project, that was a longer ordeal since there was no study time, it was just a matter of completing the project over the course of the week of finals. Now, in high school, studying for final exams was a lot less time-consuming for me.

In conclusion, to prepare for college final exams, just allow for more study time and focus harder on the topics being covered and understand how the questions and information will be presented on the exam. It’s not just that the exams are more difficult than those taken in high school, you should also be more caring about your final grade received on the exam and how it will affect your average.


– Kaylynn, Student Blogger

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Job Fair Tips – What to ask and what to do next

CCBC’s Job and Career Fair is next week! We’re following up with last week’s blog post to give you a few more last-minute job fair tips plus a few tips on what to do after the job fair. We’re expecting a record number of employers at this year’s Job and Career Fair. Don’t miss your chance to find a job or a new career! Below are tips on how to get employers to notice you before and after the fair.


What questions should attendees ask employers?

You’ll want to stand out from the crowd so make sure you ask informed questions. Ask questions that allow for conversation with the employer instead of ones with “yes” or “no” answers.


Below are some examples:

  • What is the hiring and interviewing process?
  • What entry-level positions in (mention your career interest) are available in your company, and what kinds of people do you hire to fill them?
  • What duties are required for the position?
  • What skills, work experience or educational background do you look for when you recruit for these jobs?
  • What challenges and opportunities are associated with the position?
  • Does your company have formal training programs, or do employees receive on-the-job training?
  • What is the typical career path in this area of specialization?
  • How do you see the jobs in this field changing over the next five years?
  • What are the backgrounds of other employees in your company or department?



What information should attendees obtain from employers or give to employers?

When they are at the employer’s table at the fair, at some point in the conversation, they need to ask for a business card, ask the recruiter if they want a copy of their resume, and ask if it is appropriate for them to follow-up, or if the recruiter will contact them.


 Are there any job fair don’ts?

Don’t plan to go around to employers with a group of friends. Make sure you talk to the specific employers of interest to you and do this on your own. Also, don’t go around to each table just for freebies. Take full advantage of the opportunity to network with the company representatives at the fair.


What should attendees do after the job fair?

While at the fair, through conversations you had the day of the fair, you should know whether or not you should send a follow-up letter to the companies you are interested in.  If the recruiter says they will contact you, it is not appropriate for you to do any kind of follow-up, even if they don’t hear anything from the company for multiple weeks.  You should also continue your job search and expand to different companies who might not have attended the fair. You’ll also want to practice your interviewing skills. You can do so by making an appointment with our Career Services staff for a mock interview.


Are you ready for CCBC’s Job and Career Fair? Don’t forget to research the companies that interest you and prepare your questions for recruiters! After the job fair, you can make an appointment for a mock interview with a member of our Career Services staff.

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Job Fair Tips

Now that you’ve learned about writing a cover letter and resume and received some interviewing tips, let’s take a look at how to prepare for a job fair. Since job fairs are your first step to networking with professionals and getting your foot in the door at their workplaces, you want to make sure you present yourself in a professional manner.  Erica Fox from CCBC’s Career Services Center shares a few tips this week on how to make the most of job fairs.


What is your most useful tip for preparing for a job fair?

From my experience with the CCBC Annual Job and Career Fair, one of the most important ways to prepare is to research the companies you are interested in talking with and prepare ahead of time what you want to say to the representatives from that company.  You can find an updated list of the companies who are planning on attending our Job and Career Fair here. The list also includes their hiring interests and company website.


What exactly should attendees know about these companies? Should they research ALL of them? That’s a long list!

No, you don’t need to research all of them. A prepared job seeker will identify the companies whose hiring interests match their professional skill set, will get familiar with those companies’ websites, and will plan on making time to talk to the representatives from that company the day of the fair.  A candidate needs to think about why they would want to work for a particular company, know what types of services the company provides, and prepare to describe to the company representative why they think they would be a good fit for the company.  A candidate needs to be able to introduce themselves and describe what they do, what they are interested in doing, and also be able to identify and describe their key strengths. This is referred to as an “elevator pitch.”


Any suggestions on what college students should use as their “elevator pitch”?

Students should provide basic information on their college education and briefly mention any extra activities and internships that could benefit the company.

Here is an example of a college student elevator pitch from

“Hi, my name is Sam Ward. I’m a computer science major with an art minor, and I’m really excited about combining these two interests. I’ve actually developed an interactive educational program to teach children how to draw. I’d love the chance to explore entry-level job opportunities with dynamic, creative software companies in the Houston area.”


Do you have any other quick tips for talking with employers?

Be confident, be clear, make eye contact, and be gracious when talking to employers.  A firm, but not too firm, handshake is important, too. Also, don’t forget to dress professionally. Employers from past Job and Career Fairs at CCBC have expressed their desire to see more candidates dressing professionally, who come prepared with resumes, and who are clear with their description of themselves and their career goals.  You do not want to walk up to a company’s table in jeans and a T-shirt and ask a company representative “What does your company do, and who are you looking to hire?”  You want to make a good impression, so be prepared.


CCBC’s Job and Career Fair is quickly approaching! If you want to practice your interviewing and networking skills, contact a staff member today.


– Amy McKissic, CCBC Publications Coordinator

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