Monthly Archives

July 2013

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Multitasking – This is not a skill to develop.

Too many times I hear from students, “I am really good at multitasking.”  If you have ever said something like that, please read the following: 12 reasons to stop multitasking now.

It has become increasingly apparent that we do not “multitask” well.  Now you may be able to talk on the phone and type an email at the same time – but take a look at your email, did you make any mistakes?  Ask the person you were on the phone with how they felt during and after your conversation.

My favorite television commercial is from a couple of years ago where a couple is at dinner at a restaurant and he is unsuccessfully trying to talk to her and watch a football-game on a smartphone.  Yes the smartphone can show a game; but ……  (Note: I would really appreciate it if someone can help me find a copy of this commercial.)

Do you study and have a cell phone nearby where you can see who is calling or texting?  Does your email program alert you when you get a new email?  If so, I would turn these functions “off.”

Now wait a minute Mr. Seltzer, here is a job description that specifically is asking for applicants to be able to “multitask.”  What employers want are people who can manage their priorities and finish things accurately and in a timely fashion.

Your supervisor wants to be able to give you one or more projects to complete, sometimes with clear directions and sometimes not – with the expectation you will be able to determine which project needs to be addressed with the highest priority AND if you have down time on that activity you will productively pursue your other projects.

First coined in the 1960’s in the computer industry, multitasking has become accepted shorthand for “the ability to manage multiple projects.”

Yes you can manage multiple projects but as this article and others have said you will be more productive and successful if you only work on one thing at one time.

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How to maximize your college experience.

College is a wonderful time to explore and   learn – not just hard skills – but just as importantly to learn what you really like doing and want to do.  the following are my general thoughts on how I think that you can maximize your college experience.

A)   Know a professor.  Develop a one-on-one professional relationship with at least one professor.  Learn about why they are interested in their discipline, try to do an in-depth project with them, as part of a class or independently. Do not limit this to OCB professors; but look broadly across UST.

B)   Participate in one or two activities on campus at UST. Student clubs, associations, teams….choose what appeals most to you.  There are lessons learned that you do not learn in the classroom.

A club or a team sport is an organization – organizations need leaders and grow leaders.  What you will learn in a leadership position – taking responsibility for some part of the operation is invaluable.

Clubs are also a way to explore new interest areas.

C)   Consider an off-campus experience.  If you can try to study abroad.

D)   Think strategically about work and intern experiences.

E)   Learn Excel!