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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

Fuck UWM and all universities! UW-Milwaukee and their brethren are mediocre. Click banner ads on ClixSense instead; it's a better use of time than a college education in the UW System.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Things Which Every College Student Should Bring to Campus

I haven't posted in over a month because my offline life has been very busy. An up-and-coming author chose me as his line editor, so my responsibilities in that position supersede any personal projects I had on the table. While I cannot share additional details until we register the copyright of the book, there will be a big release media blitz for when it hits shelves.

Another forthcoming project of mine is an empirical thesis why a trade school degree or certificate has become a more reliable occupational investment than the vast majority of university studies. This entails market saturation and a misconception among the public of what politicians and employers mean when they say, "More college is necessary."

It turns out that choosing the right program -- usually a vocational track of studies like your non-AP friends did in high school -- is far more important than the number of years you spend in a classroom. The proper type of education by category, what I refer to as the "nominal quality by field," trumps the quantity of education every day of the week.

That is an executive summary of my report, and I continue to find figures which elevate the analysis. I hate emotional appeals; that is one of the reasons why I would never succeed in sales. I get more satisfaction in presenting a bevy of supporting facts to buttress my argument and to potentially refute the opposition. Nonetheless, I must finish editing my client's book before returning to that project; I'm writing this on a re-charge break so I can return to the task with a fresh mind.

I'm posting today to immediately make a difference. I hereby present:

Five Things Which Every College Student
Should Bring to Campus

  1. Social Security card

    You apply for jobs in hopes of getting a foot in the door -- preferably an internship -- but a campus job will suffice until you can get something more useful. (Campus jobs, like internships, end when you graduate. There's no job security or unemployment insurance.) Whether for internships or for wage slave jobs open to the non-student, a Social Security card is necessary to verify your identity.

    One of the most embarrassing things to happen after being told you're hired is to tell the manager you don't have your Social Security card; in that case, your job goes to someone else, and you'll probably be ignored in subsequent years of job applications to that department.

    No Social Security Card = No Job

    Although some illegal immigrants are enrolled in university, I would expect university HR managers and department supervisors to exercise the same vigilance on documentation-based gatekeeping for those individuals as they do for clearly non-immigrant candidates whom they interview -- to do otherwise would be racist or at least ethnocentric.

  2. Voided check

    Unless you're in the United States illegally, you probably have a bank account capable of receiving Direct Deposit® payments. Bring your checkbook or at least a few checks so that you can write "VOID" on one for verification of your checking account. Otherwise, you'll have to pick up your paycheck every two weeks in person from the Bursar's Office if you work on campus or wait a few days after your actual pay day for your non-campus employer's mailed check to arrive.

  3. Suit and dress shoes

    Any job worth its salt will require professional dress. Be sure to bring your very best attire in case you manage to secure an interview for such a position! This encompasses pretty much all internships and most positions where you're not doing manual labor or coding out of a closet.

  4. Digital camera

    Your college days won't last forever -- even if you go part-time or consciously try to stretch the experience for as long as possible. (It is generally a terrible idea to take longer than eight semesters for a degree -- including summer semesters! Instead: get in, get some internships, and get out!)

    No matter how quickly or slowly you progress through your studies, you'll meet a ton of people. Have your camera ready to capture those moments and to commemorate those people you want to remember!

    I recommend digital because it is cheaper in the long run due to not needing film. In fact, Kodak discontinued most photo film production by 2010 such that analog cameras are no longer widely supported. Granted, the ubiquity of 8+ megapixel camera embedded in smartphones may someday make the idea of a standalone digital camera seem quaint.

    Don't take a camera to a party you don't host because it's too easy to misplace -- one second of distraction, and it's gone. Feel free to use the camera if you're hosting an event, but lock it into a dresser drawer or file cabinet every moment you don't have it in your hands. Do this for every valuable you have. A combination lock or padlock will suffice if the drawer lacks a built-in tumbler lock. Test the lock to ensure it latches!

  5. Voice recorder

    Besides proving your professor did or did not say anything offensive during a lecture, a voice recorder can be great for immortalizing the voices of your acquaintances during that tumultuous period. Take the same precautions to safeguard your voice recorder as you would your camera.

    Be extra careful when deciding whether to press the "record" button, however: The so-called "public arena" doctrine of what is permissible is far narrower for speech than it is for someone's image due to the shorter range of the audible (acoustic waves) versus the visual (ROYGBIV electromagnetic waves).

    In other words, a person may be photographed when on public property (sidewalks, streets, university plazas and buildings, most businesses unless the owner or an employee tells you otherwise) but not voice recorded except in very particular circumstances. This stems from visibility having a far greater range than audibility -- when view is obstructed and sound is at the normal speaking level of around 60 dB, of course. Someone shouting into a megaphone is fair game for audio recording in most jurisdictions because it is understood that individual wants to be heard publicly.

    Wisconsin law provides for such recording during one-on-one conversation, but you must cease recording when a third person chimes in. One may presumably resume recording when the conversation reverts to a dyadic interaction, even if the interlocutor is different: The limit of two people per recording is the rule of thumb. Read the germane statutes and case law of your own state to decide this; a lawyer will generally be overly cautious to avoid being considered liable.

    On that note, I will pass the buck on taking responsibility for this information because it is only general information and not advice. I'm not telling you or anyone else to photograph someone or to record anyone's voice! You could, or you might not, depending on your own independent judgment.

The above are five very useful items which every college student should bring with him or her to campus. If you've already moved to campus, then politely ask your parents to mail you the missing items. Show them this article if they protest!

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