Tag Archives: Higher Education

Mentoring: Increasing Professional Competitiveness

Mentor: A person with more experience and knowledge who shares their wisdom with a person with less experience and knowledge.

Research has shown that mentored relationships can encourage professional and personal success.  Regardless of your age, gender, socioeconomic status, or professional interests, seeking and receiving effective guidance and advice from a mentor can encourage faster development and increase professional competitiveness.  Yes, mentorships require time and effort but the outcome can often be more effective than most training or preparation programs.

For example, the University of Nevada hosts a college preparation program called Dean’s Future Scholars which uses a relational approach to mentor students into college.  Since its foundation in 2000, DFS has established a homegrown, sustainable educational model resulting in a 90% high school graduation rate for first generation, low-income high school students.  This is significant especially because Nevada’s high school graduation rate is only 54%.  

The program traditionally recruits students during their sixth grade year and mentors them through high school and college.  DFS college student mentors meet with their high school students every week to review grades, establish goals, fulfill high school graduation requirements, and plan for college opportunities.    

DFS also hosts a six-week summer program at the University of Nevada to provide high school math credit courses, improve high school grade-point averages, and introduces students to college life while building sustainable academic networking skills.  Free tutoring, examination preparation, internship opportunities, student job opportunities, and an array of student resources such as computers, printers, and a writing stations are available through the program.  This long-term commitment allows first-generation, low-income students a greater chance for graduating from high school and entering college.

Dean’s Future Scholars, Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Mentoring Month, and Mentor are just some ways to enhance your personal and professional development.  Ask a respected professional within your industry who has more knowledge and/or experience than you do, to be your mentor today.  Just make sure that you are committed to work hard, listen to, and consider following your mentor’s suggestions.  Having a trusted ally in your corner whose goal is for you to succeed is an effective strategy to improve your professional competitiveness.

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Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

Interview with Dr. Marc Johnson, President of the University of Nevada

Increasing Professional Competitiveness: An Interview with Dr. Marc Johnson, the President of University of Nevada.  Discussion centers on increasing professional competitiveness for faculty and students.

1.      Question (Tara):

What are some key ways that college students, college graduates, and young professionals can better prepare themselves to stand out from the large applicant pool of professional competitors?

Response (Marc):

The first way for students to stand out is to be at the top of their classes.  By working hard from day one in their subject area, a student will gain the knowledge to be a leader in that field.  Internships, service learning, and building practical experience will also help develop a strong resume.  Building academic and professional relationships with faculty and administration will provide strong references.

2.      Question/Response Video:    

 Question:

As higher education’s capitalistic transformation continues to create challenges for economically struggling institutions to attract top faculty, how can Higher Education entice and retain nationally recognized faculty and administrators in times of limited resources?

Response:

It is important for any businesses to focus on their best product lines.  Keeping the size and quality of strong departments while strengthening specialized units or discipline areas that consistently attract student enrollment and produce research will keep universities competitive in a budget short environment.  The national reputation of institutional units or specific academic disciplines will attract top faculty.  They will want to build their professional success at your university.  Maintaining a national reputation in at least a few fields of study will draw in nationally recognized faculty to the institution.

 3.       Question:

What are the most helpful experiences, skills, strategies, degrees, or qualifications that helped you get to where you are today, that other professionals can practice for themselves?

Response:

After earning the necessary degrees, a variety of professional experiences can be very helpful to build leadership qualities.  I am a researcher, scholar, teacher, and administrator and that all took time, patience, commitment, and hard work.  It is good to pace yourself and work upwards through the ranks.  It is also important to be contributing and helping others.  By giving and helping, you improving your industry while you build professional skills.  Soon, others will begin to ask you to lead in positions of your specialty because of your commitment and service.

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Filed under Higher Education

USAC Increases Student Competitiveness

Interview with Monica Robertson about how USAC (University Studies Abroad Consortium) can help college and university student be more competitive in today’s international market.

Monica is the Manager of USAC Publications and Marketing, based at University of Nevada.   Some benefits & skills that  USAC provides students with during a USAC college experience include, but are not limited to:

• Academic Credit

• International travel

• Cross-Cultural Communication skills

• Leadership skills

• Real world experience

• International internships and volunteering opportunities

• Problem Solving Skills

• Language proficiencies

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Filed under Higher Education, Leadership