Pros and Cons: Summer Job


As the school year comes to an end, you may be thinking about starting a summer job. If you’re on the fence about it, consider these facts before you decide what you’ll do.

As the school year comes to an end, you may be thinking about starting a summer job. If you’re on the fence about it, consider these facts before you decide what you’ll do.


MONEY. Let’s begin with the most obvious, MONEY. Having a summer job will help you pay bills, save for a rainy day or simply enjoy a little extra spending money.

EXPERIENCE. You may not realize it, but having a summer job can lead into something more later down the line. Depending on how you position yourself, you may find that while you are gaining experience with a job, possibly in the field you are considering in the future, you are also making connections. They say that “80% of jobs that aren’t posted will be discovered through your network” with other professionals and that is why LinkedIn is a big thing these days. If you do a stellar job, you may score some nice recommendation letters which help you when applying for future jobs or college admissions.


TIME. While you are working you may be missing out on time with friends, family or even just having personal time for yourself. If you plan ahead, you may be able to schedule time off so that you don’t miss the annual family vacation.

• Smith, Jacquelyn. “7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Job Search.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 17 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 June 2015.

Wise Choices
for your Tax Refund

Tax season is here.  If you’re expecting a refund check, consider some of these ideas designed to help you make the most of your return.

Pay High Interest Loans and Lines Of Credit

Use your tax refund to pay more than the minimum payment to reduce the amount of extra money you’ll spend on accumulating interest. Contributing money to your minimum payment is always a good idea because the longer you take to pay the balance off, the more interest adds up.

Build Your Savings Account

Put your money into a dividend-earning account like the eXtras Student Savings account and let your money work for you. Whether it’s your tax refund, birthday cash or an employee bonus, having that extra cash earn interest will build your balance. Plus, the longer that money sits untouched in your account, the more interest you’ll earn.

Grow Your Emergency Fund

You never know when a crisis may occur. Having money set aside for unexpected expenses like auto repairs, medical expenses/emergencies or temporary unemployment makes these events a little less stressful.

No matter what you choose, plan ahead and use your tax refund wisely.

What are your tax return saving or spending plans?

4 Ways to Ace an Interview

Research shows that on average, an interviewer makes a FINAL decision on someone within the first four minutes of meeting an applicant. This just goes to show you that the first impression you make is key. That lasting impression includes your body language, presence in a room, how you dress and how you answer questions. Here are 4 ways to make a positive first impression.

Be Confident.

The way you feel about yourself can reflect on how others see you. Display confidence even if you’re feeling a bit unsure of yourself. Your presence in a room is more important than the interview itself. Remember to have a good strong handshake, not to fidget and to maintain a good posture. Practice your posture right before the interview. It affects the chemicals in the brain to make you actually feel self-assured and impact your chances of achievement.

Match Interviewers Body Language.

By matching the interviewers tone, posture, eye contact and gestures, you appear to be more in sync with the person who is interviewing you. This mirroring effect makes you immediately more likeable to the person and strengthens your chances to make it to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for employment over the summer or hoping to start your career, you need to be prepared for the job interview. Sure, you may have a stunning resume, but when you present yourself in person, will an employer take you seriously? According to, 33% of employers claim that they know if they are willing to extend a job offer within the first 90 seconds of meeting an applicant.

Make the most of your first 90 seconds with interview tips that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Know the company.

Research and learn about the companies where you are interviewing. Understand their mission and, when possible, what may be expected of you if you are selected. If you are applying at several locations, keep a notebook to track details that may help during the interview.

Dress for the job you want.

Whenever you are thinking about what to wear, know that your clothing says a lot about you. Resist the urge to stand out by wearing something ultra-trendy, short, tight or too casual. Depending on where you are applying, this can backfire. A classic black suit, shirt and tie or skirt-suit/dress with a light color top it still a top choice. Use caution and best judgment when picking out an outfit.

Remember Names.

It is good to repeat the interviewer’s name (when appropriate) to create a lasting impression on the person you are speaking to. In Dale Carnegie’s timeless book How to Win Friends and Influence People, he wrote, “If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.” Remembering someone’s name will help you stand out from the crowd in both personal and business relationships.

Repeat Your Interview Questions.

It’s a good practice to paraphrase your interview questions. It not only buys you some time to think about how you want to answer, it also shows that you are listening to the interviewer. This makes the interviewer feel like they have been heard and that you comprehend the question – boosting your credibility.

Try practicing the above skills a few times before the big day. Practice creates a habit which makes the actions seem more natural or second nature.

We wish you all of the best with your interview. Remember, getting the interview in the first place is the hardest part. Try that on for confidence!


  • Martin, Carole. “Nonverbal Communications: Escape the Pitfalls.” Nonverbal Communications: Escape the Pitfalls. Web. 9 Sept. 2014.
  • Kolowich, L. (2014, August 29). 6 Psychological Tricks to Help You Nail Your Next Interview. Retrieved September 10, 2014.

7 Ways to Get More Sleep

Lack of sleep could be hurting your performance in class.

Our bodies have a biological pattern of alternating sleep and wakefulness — roughly 8 hours of nocturnal sleep and 16 hours of daytime activity. This is known as our sleep-wake cycle. Teenagers and young adults naturally require longer periods of sleep, between 8-10 hours, to perform their best in class.

However, like most students, you’re likely getting just 5-6 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, grabbing some extra naptime on the weekends, although it helps, isn’t enough.

Not getting enough sleep can:

  • Limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and problem solve
  • Impair memory and inhibit creativity
  • Make it difficult to deal with stress and control emotion
  • Cause irritability, lack of self-confidence and mood swings
  • Effect you physically leading to weight gain, acne, illness, and caffeine dependency
  • Cause impairment when driving —comparable to someone under the influence of alcohol.

So, if you’re locked into a schedule and exhausted, here are a few ideas to help you fix the problem.

  • Make sleep a priority. Get your full recommended 8.5 hours of whenever you can.
  • Stay away from caffeine after noon.
  • Nap when you can.  Limit your nap to about 20 minutes and avoid napping too close to your normal bedtime.
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. A set routine helps put your body into a rhythm and brings it on more naturally.
  • Try to avoid stimulating activities like exercising, watching television, looking at the screen of a phone/tablet, or even homework or studying an hour before you go to bed. Doing this will allow your brain and body to shut down slowly and get prepared for good quality sleep.
  • Avoid bright light in the evening, but open blinds or turn on lights as soon as the morning alarm goes off to aid awakening.
  • Sleep in on the weekend, but no more than 2 or 3 hours later than your usual awakening time or it will disrupt their body clock.

By practicing these habits, you should be able to get through classes, exams and or finals week a little easier with your brain fully charged and able to recall important needed information on a regular basis. Make sure you do your best to be well rested for your overall health and acquiring all your needed skills for your future.

Share your thoughts… Would you prefer have later classes to suit your natural sleep schedule? How do you manage your schedule and sleep?