Thursday, January 31, 2013

College Blog: Getting credit where credit is due

Is it OK for students to have to pay to get credit for an unpaid internship?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 11:50 AM

It seems like finding an internship in college is a lot like finding love in college. It's hard to find one that's a good match for you. Students will apply to dozens of places, but might only hear back from one or two - if they're lucky.

The search for the perfect internship becomes even harder when payment comes into play.

"I've applied to maybe 15 different internships," says second-year RIT journalism student TiannaManon. "All but one of those is for credit only."

The problem with credit-only internships? If students are not currently taking classes at a college, they have to pay for all of the credits they would get from the internship.

"If I were to do an internship over the summer, it would cost me $960 per credit," Manon says.

Paying for credits is a problem for a lot of students like Manon. While engineers and software designers can find paid internships easily, liberal-arts students have a much more difficult time finding a paid internship.

For months I've been searching for internships in the journalism and photography fields. The few that I have come across that actually pay are in Manhattan, where you would end up paying more to live than you would make working for three months at that internship. Not to mention that it seems like the only ones that pay are the ones that require you to already have a few internships under your belt.

After my entire Newswriting II class this quarter presented our list of dream internships the other week, my professor HindaMandell pointed out something very obvious, that I had honestly not thought about too much before.

"To get a good internship, you have to have already had an internship somewhere else," said Mandell.

Looking at all of these internship application requirements online, I realize just how true it is. You need experience to get experience in this world. The only bad thing is that sometimes you just might have to pay for that experience.

Since I am leaving school soon, I am looking into internships all over the country. But since the vast majority of internships related to my field of work are unpaid, and since it is illegal for companies to have people work for free, it looks like I just might have to pay to get credit for an internship.

Honestly, I'd rather work for free than pay for experience.

College Blog: A Google obsession

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

If you have never heard or said, "Google it," I would probably accuse you of being a liar.

Roughly 15 years since its founding in September of 1998, Google has become a household word. Everyone knows about Google, and it would not be a long shot to say that everyone I know has used Google. Since 2006, the word "Google" has even been in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

How did I know that? I Googled it.

For students at every level, as well as in the workplace, Google is a useful tool. But are we too dependent on it?

At the Rochester Institute of Technology, students believe that Google, when used properly, can be extremely effective. Nevertheless, has it made us think that we are smarter than we are? Are we taking advantage of not needing as much knowledge?

Luke Solomon, a third-year management information systems major at RIT, doesn't think Google has made us any less smart. Rather, it gives people a good means of figuring out common information.

"It allows us to forget trivial information such as 'that actress in 'Titanic'' because we can find it out in a heartbeat," Solomon says. "But it also lets us be smarter because you can learn everything -- from how to change a tire to how to survive a job interview -- immediately."

I will admit that I am a frequent Googler. I personally don't think that it's because I am not knowledgeable. But Google lets us consume infinite amounts of information. In an article that asserts that Google makes us smarter, it explained that by 2020, humans will be more intelligent by using the World Wide Web and Google, since we will have unlimited access to information.

There is a part of me that would love to believe that article. But by 2020, I will be 28 years old, hopefully engulfed in a full-time career with a young family, and viewed by others as an intelligent woman. Will I still be constantly turning to Google?

As much as people may have odd Google searches, Google can be helpful with anything. Nevertheless, it has created an easy way out for people. We don't have to remember as much because with a click on our computer or smart phone, the answers will magically appear.

Kourtney Kunichika, a motion-picture science major at RIT, said Google can definitely make us smarter, and is a necessary tool for college students.

"As much as we may not pay as much attention in class because of the Web, we can do extra research outside of class," Kunichika says. "I can find anything I need on Google, especially when it comes to difficult school work."

At this point, I am a firm believer in Google. I will admit, though, that I am nervous as to how this generation's intelligence will be perceived.

But I do know "that girl in 'Titanic'" is Kate Winslet. Did you have to Google that?

College Blog: What happens after the Freshman 15?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 4:00 AM

A lot of exercising? If only the answer was that simple. As a college student, it's extremely difficult to find time to work out. Mix that with a plethora of unhealthy food options available and even my tiniest of friends found themselves "heavier" at the end of their freshman year. The problem? Healthy eating on the RIT campus is a real challenge and maintaining your weight doesn't necessarily get easier as you leave your first year behind.

Take it from someone who knows. At the beginning of my first year, I was a size zero. While I definitely could have afforded to gain a few pounds, the weight definitely didn't come in the way that I would have liked.

Instead, stress eating, the lack of time I had to exercise, and a few too many late night orders to Zonies really caught up with me. Let's just say by the end of my freshman year, most of my clothes were being shipped off to Plato's Closet and I was begging my mom to take me on a shopping trip.

To top it off, I wasn't even living on campus. I didn't have to adjust to being out of the house and in an unfamiliar place, or adapt to only eating what my meal planallowed. According to psychotherapist Staci Herrick, those changes can usually be blamed for increased eating.

"Many students seek comfort in food to quell the increased academic pressure, feelings of homesickness, and challenge of securing new friendships/romantic relationships," says Herrick.

For junior Sarah Bono of Geneseo, her freshman meal plan was ultimately her demise.

"When the wokery is always there, and it's not something you are used to eating every day, it becomes new and exciting," says Bono.

But then it becomes habit, she says.

While she did acknowledge that Gracie's, RIT's freshman dining hall, does offer healthy food options, she said that by mid-year she was addicted to eating pizza and fried foods.

"Eventually you get lazy and it's a never-ending cycle of eating these unhealthy foods," says Bono.

Now that I'm in my third year, I'd like to think I've found some sort of balance between college life, healthy eating, and working out. I've found that packing snacks, and meals when necessary, the night before classes helps a lot. I kind of feel like I'm back in high school, but at least I've found use for my Vera Bradley lunch box again.

I've learned that if I don't work out in the morning, it's probably not going to happen -- unless I have a wellness class scheduled for later that day. Luckily, RIT requires you to take two wellness classes before you graduate. Think gym class, but you get to pick what you want to do.

I've become addicted to spinningand now sign up for it every quarter. If I don't have any time to work out throughout the week, at least I know I'll get some sort of physical activity through my spinning class.

RIT students also have free access to the gym and students can often be seen running the three-mile loop that wraps around campus. There's definitely not a lack of resources to maintain a healthy weight. It's the time that doesn't exist.

The "Freshman 15" could easily be renamed the "Declaration of Independence," says Herrick, explaining that this is the first time many freshman are in charge of their own lives and daily decisions.

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