Gordon, Guthrie W: November 2009 Archives

My favorite holiday of the year is this Thursday. I love getting together with family and stuffing my face like I’ve never eaten before. This Thursday also marks the beginning of Christmas season, which is essentially the end of fall.


Winter brings on lot of exciting things; holidays, winter break, snow, snowboarding. But don’t forget, winter also brings on term papers and final examinations. When we come back to school next week, it will be December. This means we only have two weeks left, and then finals. If you are new to school this year, don’t be scared, but definitely be prepared. Finals are no joke.


If a final exam is your only chance of passing a class, then you should start studying ASAP. If you have done well over the semester, finals are a good chance to improve or maintain your grade. I suggest getting your final schedule in advance, and planning out when you will study for each final.


Keep in mind, final schedules are pretty random, and they can be scheduled and day from Monday-Saturday. I would advise not to load up finals week with hours at work. Try to maximize your studying time. Forming studying groups can help to understand tough subject areas, and also reinforce your understanding by explaining things to others. Try to use your past tests as a guide for about ¾ of a cumulative final.


Enjoy you’re Thanksgiving weekend, but keep in mind that the end of the semester is near. Thanks for reading.

As we are quickly approaching finals, my last semester at UML is almost over. I am really nearing the end of my rope at UMass Lowell, and I am starting to consider whether or not I got the full college experience. I’m going to take this chance to recall my years at school and decide what I would change if I was given a second chance. Let’s go back…


I moved into Leitch Hall at the end of the summer of 2005. I know this may sound like ancient history to anyone who is just starting their adventure at UML. I immediately loved the atmosphere of east campus. My freshmen year was spent studying calculus, physics and engineering classes, and my grades were awful. I attended every class and did all of my homework assignments, but I did not take time to ensure I was doing the problems correctly. Given a second chance, I would certainly spend more time working on getting good grades in these classes.


My sophomore year was similar to my freshmen year, only I lived on North Campus in Smith hall. I loved how close it was to classes and how convenient the tunnel system was in poor weather. Again my performance was poor in the classroom. My first two years in college made my last two much more difficult, since I needed much better grades to pull up my GPA. Another big regret that I have about my first two years is that I was detached from campus. I did not participate in any extra curricular activities, and spent most of my free time off campus. Luckily for me I was able to connect much more my junior year.


Junior year I got a job as a residential advisor (RA) in Eames hall on north campus. Eames is the sister building of Smith, so it was all very familiar to me. I was able to make many friends and get more involved in school. It felt really good to be able to give back to the school.  I also met my current girlfriend in the building. We have now been together for 2 years and share an apartment a few miles away from campus. My grades improved dramatically this year.


I took my second semester junior year off to get some working experience. I was offered a co-op position at Husky IMS in Milton, VT. I worked there for six months, lived in Burlington, VT, and made a couple of good friends from Penn State. My friends from Penn State were also co-ops at Husky. I worked a summer internship at a medical devices company in Salem, NH called Advanced Polymers after returning from VT.


When I returned to school the next fall, my grades skyrocketed. I think my work experience encouraged me to work harder to increase my GPA. This was the first time in my college career that I made Dean’s List. I also got the chance to rent out an apartment near campus with a couple of friends I had made in Eames hall. We had a lot of fun living there and all enjoyed having our own rooms. We did have a falling out with one of our roommates, which became a major issue towards the end of our stay. So I would advise anyone who wants to rent an apartment to be careful choosing roommates. After this year I got a summer internship working at Teleflex Medical in Jaffrey, NH. I still work there part time now, it is kind of a hike, but the pay is pretty good.


Now I am in my last semester of college. I am really starting to feel like I am at the end of my rope. It is kind of a depressing feeling, but I am excited to move forward and explore some new opportunities. I am happy to say that I will be graduating with a 3.0GPA. I had to work really hard to dig myself out of the ditch I made my first two years. I do miss the dorm rooms, as you do not need to worry about bills and upkeep. I would suggest that every college student should live on campus at least one year to get the full college experience.


Overall, I am happy with the choices I made in college. I am very glad to have experienced a wonderful four years at UML. Thanks for reading.

A few months back I was pretty up in the air about what I wanted to do after graduation. I was unsure if I wanted to go to grad school full time or part time. I didn’t know if I would be working a full time job or an internship position. I had assumed that my best opportunity would unravel in front of me, but now I am realizing that I will need to make my own path.


I have decided that I am going to sign up for 1 or 2 night classes next semester towards my master’s degree at UMass Lowell. I have been actively applying for both full time and internship positions. I have also narrowed down my search field to the medical devices industry. Two of my previous internships worked with medical devices, and I find this field to be the most interesting and the most meaningful to me.


I had originally hoped that I would find a full time employer that would reimburse any classes I took. However, I am finding that the job market is a lot tougher than I had hoped. I am going to stay optimistic, and hope to find an opening somewhere in the next couple of months. But I have accepted the fact that I may not have a job lined up for me right when I get out of school.


I think that patience and determination are going to be the keys to my success. With time, I am sure things will work out for me. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes and ears open, and to keep my head up.


For any of you out there who are actively job searching, know that you are not alone, stay positive, and don’t give up. For any of you going into school now, keep in mind that it’s a tough world. You need to make yourself a valuable candidate while you are in school. Do whatever you can to build your resume, because in the end it will pay off. A friend of mine who graduated recently told me to “Always plan things out two steps in advance,”

Hopefully the economy will get better, and many new jobs open up, but we cannot rely on it. We need to take control of our own futures.


Thanks for reading, good luck out there!

 After four years of hard work and determination, I finally get a chance to prove myself to a potential employer. This will be the moment I have been waiting for. That’s right; tomorrow I have an interview for a full time job. I will be interviewing at a medical devices company in Waltham, MA, for a position in research and development.


The fact that this is a local R&D position in medical devices makes this job a great fit for me. So I want to do my best at this interview. Here are a couple of tips for job interviewing:


Prepare: Researching the company is important. You want to know what you are getting yourself into. If they have given you a job description, make sure you take time to read it thoroughly. You may also want to watch interview videos online and do practice interviews. Anything you can do to make yourself more confident will definitely help.


Be presentable and be on time: Make sure you dress appropriately for the position you are applying for. I typically wear a suit, since I am applying for full time engineering positions. I believe it is better to over-dress than under-dress. Make sure you get directions and give yourself extra time. The last thing you want to do is arrive late or miss an interview.


Show your knowledge: Try to relate the employer’s questions to what the company is looking for. This is why it helps to know the job description; you can tie past experiences into the companies focus. Stay calm, try not to over answer questions, and make sure to make eye contact.


Follow up: Make sure to send a follow up email and reassure the employer you are still interested in the position.


I have some preparation to do since tomorrow is the big day. I will be sure to post the results as soon as I find out. Thanks for reading!

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Gordon, Guthrie W in November 2009.

Gordon, Guthrie W: October 2009 is the previous archive.

Gordon, Guthrie W: December 2009 is the next archive.

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