Learn@NUS

The NUS Education and Learning Blog

Month: February 2018

Career-Related Services at University Most Students Are Not Taking Advantage Of

There is no doubt that the job market is becoming more complicated than before. Factors like technological advancements and the relatively unpredictable nature of global economy have brought in a shift in how companies operate and look for prospective employees.

For fresh graduates, the situation is even worse. Reports have shown that the number of graduates from major universities in Singapore who managed to secure full-time permanent work was significantly low in the recent years.

Quite often, the issue boils down to the age-old conundrum, employers look for candidates with work experience but you cannot gain such experience without a job! On the other hand, as expert opinion from financial website points out how, early in your career, you should be willing to take bold decisions.

What students can do, in this context, is make use of the resources that their universities provide to help in the process of finding a job. Here is a brief look at some of them.

Services at the Career Centre

Most major educational institutions these days have a dedicated career centre to help their students prepare for the job market. These centres will be able to provide students advice on finding their strengths and weaknesses and connect them with potential employers.

Some of these centres might even offer certain modules as part of the university curriculum. The career centre at the National University of Singapore (NUS), for instance, recently began a 11-week career support programme named Career Catalyst aimed at helping students forge their own career paths based on their interests and aptitude.

The advisers at career centres can help you learn how to market yourself in ways that would impress employers. They can also assist in improving your resume and prepare you for job interviews.

Mentorship

A mentor who shares interests similar to yours will be able to guide and support you in finding and choosing a career path that would suit you. You could begin looking for a mentor as early as in your first year of undergrad. Ideally, this person should be interested in your professional interests and be willing to invest time and effort in it.

Enquire if your educational institution has any programmes that would allow you to connect with potential mentors. The Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Alumni Mentoring Programme is a great example for this. Some universities try to assign students mentors from within the academic staff itself.

You could also make use of professional social media networks like LinkedIn or look up alumni associations to find individuals in various fields.

Career Fests and Fairs

Career events are an excellent opportunity for you to directly meet representatives from various industries and get job leads. These could be organised by educational institutions themselves or third-party organisations.

Make sure you turn up prepared for an interview. This might mean you suit up, depending on your industry, and carry a proper resume. Companies may make job offers or traineeship posts at the fair itself. Even if you are not able to land a job, attending fairs will help you become aware of what employers are looking for.

In short, hunting for a job immediately after you graduate is difficult but with proper planning and strategies, you can find a method to the madness. With the help of your educational institution’s career support programme, some effort to find mentors and connect with people from the industry, you could make the process a whole lot easier.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

Aviation Research That Changed History

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Private jet charter specialist, Air Charter Service (ACS), have just launched a new programme to fund research into aviation. The student grants are being offered to students who are currently enrolled on a full-time course within the United States. Aviation Scholarship and Research Support will be awarded to those who want to undertake groundbreaking research for a scientific journal. Successful applicants will be selected by considering the potential impact that the findings could have on the future of aviation. Aviation Scholarships will also be open to students that want to publish research on the ACS website and to those who have existing research for publication. To celebrate the launch of this new initiative, let’s take a look back at some of the aviation research that has changed history.

Groundbreaking research

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 Things have come a long way since Leonardo Da Vinci first drew designs of a flying model based on the flight of birds. These are three of the most game-changing developments in the history of aviation, which were created as a result of research that was groundbreaking for its time.

  • On December 17, 1903, after years of research, the Wright brothers, from Ohio, U.S.A, managed the first successful heavier-than-air flight. The Wright Flyer, which was made out of wood, traveled 120 feet over the course of 12 seconds. The Wright brothers are credited with inventing the first airplane, that had power and could be controlled. Within five years the flight time had increased to over an hour.
  • Frank Whittle is a British-born RAF officer who is credited with inventing the jet engine. As a young cadet, Whittle wrote a thesis stating that future airplanes would need to fly at higher altitudes, in order to be able to fly further and at higher speeds. He stated that piston engines and propellers would not be able to fly high enough and new rocket or gas turbines with propellers would be needed. In 1935, Whittle secured financial backing for his research into jet engines and gained approval from the Royal Air Force to create the company Power Jets Ltd. After one failed attempt, a second jet engine was built, which took flight on May 15, 1941.
  • Radar systems are essential in aviation to detect the presence, direction, and speed of other surrounding objects, and work by sending out pulses of radio waves that are reflected off the object back to the source. By 1935, the British physicist, Sir Robert Watson-Watt, had already built the first working radar system. In 1940, John Randall and Harry Boot invented the cavity magnetron, a high-powered vacuum tube that generates microwaves through the interaction of a stream of electrons with a magnetic field, using a series of open metal cavities. The device was the size of a small plate and could easily be taken on-board an aircraft. The small 10 cm wavelength meant that the antenna could also be small and were suitable to be installed onto the aircraft. The development of the cavity magnetron allowed high quality radars to be installed on all future aircraft.

New research to be funded by ACS Aviation Scholarships

If you’ve been inspired to create your own research study and your topic is aviation-related, you could benefit from an ACS Aviation Scholarship. Student grants on offer include:

  • Aviation Scholarships of up to $5,000 are available to students creating groundbreaking research for a scientific journal.
  • There is up to $500 in support on offer to students who wish to publish their research on the ACS website.
  • Up to $500 will be awarded to support existing research for publication.

What other benefits are there of the Aviation Scholarships?

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  • As well as the financial support there are other intangible benefits. Students who are awarded the student grants will have access to data and intelligence on aviation, compiled by ACS, that could be helpful to your study. This may be particularly useful if your research is focused on aviation traffic, on which ACS has a wealth of data.
  • Many of the managing team at the company, including CEO, Justin Bowman, started as interns at ACS. Nurturing fresh talent is a cause that the company is passionate about, and as part of the scholarship, students will benefit from the expertise and advice of experienced aviation specialists, who can pass on their expertise.
  • The ACS name is highly respected in the industry and an aviation scholarship will look great on the CV, and sound even better at interview.
  • Aviation Scholarships are an opportunity to form connections and build up a business network before graduating. Finding a job in the aviation industry will be easier if you’ve already got one foot in the door.

Apply for ACS Aviation Scholarships

If you have an idea for research that could hold the key to the future of aviation, or know someone who might, applications for the scholarships can be submitted here. Submissions are being accepted by ACS for consideration up until December 31, 2018.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

The rise of mental health issues in higher education

We often think of university and college life as the golden years of youth, but statistics emerging over the past few years have revealed a darker side to student life, and evidence has shown there is a growing mental health crisis on campuses worldwide.

In just the past 18 months, eight students from the UK’s prestigious Bristol University have taken their own lives, fuelling growing concern about student mental health globally, and calling into question the capacity of universities to provide adequate care and support for students suffering from mental health issues.

A recent study from Ulster University in Ireland found that more than half of students surveyed had suffered from mental health issues. These figures are in addition to a study from the Guardian in 2016, which indicated the number of students seeking help for mental health issues had skyrocketed by over 50% in the last five years. In the USA, campus counselling centres saw a 30 percent jump in the number of students seeking treatment or counselling for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

According to the experts, more than 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin before the age of 24, which makes support in those college and university years absolutely vital. But despite the cracks appearing in the system, workloads at universities and colleges are rising steadily, all while students are juggling their studies alongside a part-time job, an internship and the regular gamut of social and familial obligations.

Perfectionism can play a role in the problem too. Many students who were high achievers during their high school years are unable to maintain the same results at the tertiary level. The pressure to continue to excel can often become unbearable, after all nobody wants to fall from the top of the class to the bottom. Often these students have little experience with the sting of failure, and when they start to fall behind the anxiety and fear can overwhelm them as well as preventing them from speaking out or seeking help. One student who suffers from anxiety said that seeking the help of a writing service to complete their assignments was preferable to the thought of facing their professors or peers and admitting they needed additional help.

And then there is the financial stress, a recent comparison of studies from 2012 and 2015 found that more students were regularly going without necessities including medications and food. Is it a really a surprise that mental health issues are becoming more common amongst students in higher education?

The current generation of undergraduates are under greater pressure than any before thanks to an increasingly competitive job market, and increased costs to study. The current status-quo of lip service and ignoring the problem comes at the cost of young lives. If tertiary institutions want to stanch the increase in mental health issues amongst students they need to ensure they’re providing prompt access to qualified mental health professionals, and design effective interventions to bring campus communities together to battle the stigma surrounding mental health.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

Learn@NUS Top Tips for Composing a Quality Essay – Part 3

Essays are an important part of our education system. It helps student nurture their research skills and come up with some unique idea in their content.  However, with changing times more importance is given sometimes to short questions. A student’s life is busier than ever and writing long essays only adds to her list of woes. Grammarly explains in a very concise way what exactly is needed when writing an essay. Here are a few tips that might help students take it easy.

Make sure it has original ideas

One of the main aims of essay writing is to enable the students to come up with their own ideas. The skill that you need for this is researching. Knowing more about the subject will help you with your brainstorming.

Have a solid logic behind your conclusion

An essay should be written in such a way so that both the sides are represented well. If there is a debate it should be backed up by strong evidence. Same goes for the conclusion you draw.

Avoid Fluffy language

Do not use fluffy language or unimportant information for the sake of lengthening the article. If you include points that are not relevant to the topic at all, it will only show your lack of expertise in the particular subject.

Support your findings with facts

Facts will make your essay a lot more convincing than anything else. Hence, if you are writing an essay that might need facts, go for it. Use the facts to form the base of your argument. Quotations are great too. Include them wherever possible.

Use clear, simple and lucid language devoid of grammatical errors

You can use as many short forms and weird grammar while texting but you need to completely delete them from your mind when writing an essay. Short, simple, precise sentences work best. Make sure you do not make grammatical mistakes and avoid typos.

Write a storyboard before starting

A storyboard is nothing but the essay that you are about to write only in short concise points. Start with the introduction, and go on to the conclusion. Write down what you plan to include in those sections, from where you are going to take help, how many words it will be – everything. This way when you start writing in real, it will be a lot easier.  Here are some more tips from experts in this article from The Guardian.

Depending on your urgency take help

The above-mentioned points might help, but it might not if you have to submit an essay very soon and you are clueless as what you should be doing. In these situations, write custom essays with help from others. Reliable, proficient writers can help you with your work.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

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