You and Your Professor….Best Friends?

A professor can be one of the most terrifying people you meet during your university career. After all they are there to judge you and potentially hold your future in their hands. The truth is that most professors are not really all that scary (although there are a few!!). If you look really hard you may just find an ally who is willing to go the extra mile to help you reach your goals.

So how do you turn that unapproachable curmudgeon into your best friend? Here is some helpful information that will forever cement you and your prof as the best of friends.

After taking the above actions, you will now have a friend and ally for the rest of your scholastic career and beyond. Does that mean they should be invited to your next kegger?  Probably not. A few key things that your new friend can help with include…

  • Keeping you updated on opportunities within the school community
  • Providing you with references for your next scholarship application or job interview
  • Introducing you to people in their network that can help you achieve your goals

Now heed the advice doled out by mothers on their children’s first day of school, get out there and make some new friends!!!


Top 5 Apps And Social Platforms To Keep You On Task At School

Okay, there seems to be an app for everything these days. The vast majority of them are very distracting! But, not all of these apps are terrible, some might prove to be very useful. In a sea of apps and websites to choose from we have chosen the best of the best. Inside Higher Ed says, “Citing survey findings and market data, the report found that 38 percent of prospective adult students prefer to study fully or mostly online. That portion remains virtually unchanged since 2006, when 37 percent said they preferred online learning”. While more adult students are studying online, the apps marketplace is slowly customizing educational experiences for high school and college students. Below are our top choices and 3 ways to use them.

A Course on What???

Once you enter university and college one question will be asked of you over and over…. from your parents, to your friends to that new potential paramour you just met at the bar. ..“What are you taking?” For most of us we are able to elicit the quick standard response. A Bachelor of Arts or Science or Business complete with all of the required courses. While awesome as part of your degree, telling someone you are taking an accounting course does not really elicit many ooohs and ahhs!!! So when it comes time to pick your electives, I challenge you to dig deep into your academic calendar and find something different and exciting. Don’t just look for an easy credit. Look for something that will engage your passion!!! You would be surprised at some of the courses offered at your school that could add texture to your university degree. Here are some interesting ones…

These are just a few of the interesting courses out there. Electives are designed to allow you to pick courses that YOU find appealing. Spend time looking and you may just find the coolest course you will ever take. The next time someone asks “What are you taking?”, the reaction will be much different.

What do you think would be a cool course?

Top 5 Reasons To Study Abroad


If you’re a student who loves adventure and opportunity, then studying abroad may be right for you!

Studying abroad will give you a whole new perspective on life. Choosing to study abroad will benefit you both academically and personally. It is a great opportunity to experience new cultures, people, and languages. After some time spent living and studying in another place, you’ll have met life-long friends and have memories that will stay with you forever.

In my third year of university, I decided I wanted to participate in my university’s international exchange program. I was accepted to study for one semester in Australia. As soon as I heard the news, I was beyond excited but nervous at the same time. I would be on the other side of the world, immersed in a new culture that I wasn’t familiar with. Sure, there were a lot of challenges I had to overcome, but to me, the opportunities clearly outweighed the challenges…and here’s why:

1.       Cultural Experience

Living in a new place, regardless of the country, will give you a whole new outlook on life. You’ll get to experience a completely new culture and learn their way of thinking, their customs and traditions, and their way of life. Learning about a new culture will educate you on the world we live in. It will make you more open, more accepting of new thoughts and ideas, and more likely to embrace change.

2.       Advance Language Skills

Whether you can speak the host country’s language or not, you’ll have the opportunity to either learn a completely new language or improve your existing language skills. The best way to learn a new language is to communicate with people who fluently speak the language. Although Australia’s native language is English, I do have a friend who studied abroad in France for a year. Before going to France, she knew very little French and now she can almost speak it fluently!

3.       Build Resume

There’s nothing more hiring managers like than a well-rounded individual. Telling potential employers that you spent some time studying abroad will prove to them that you take initiative and risks, are able to communicate despite barriers, can handle stress, and adapt to new environments. With all that you have experienced and learned on your international exchange experience, you’ll have a variety of new skills to add to your resume.

4.       Form Lasting Friendships

Meeting new people and building connections is one of the major benefits of studying abroad. If you put yourself out there, you will meet a lot of great people. A good way to meet people is by attending any university events (frosh week, sporting events, etc), joining clubs/associations, and introducing yourself to students in your classes. The more involved you get, the more people you will meet.

My first week in Australia, I met one friend who I became very close with. A year and a half later, we still send each other postcards in the mail!

5.       Build New Skills

While living abroad, students will find themselves in new situations all the time. When students are immersed in an unfamiliar territory and are forced to communicate using new language and intercultural skills, their confidence will increase. They may also be required to put their decision making and problem solving skills to test.

By: Jessica Hooper

De-Stressing During Exam Time

It’s that time of year again - it’s the end of the semester and you’re rushing to get all of your assignments, papers, and projects finished on time. On top of that, you’re preparing to spend many hours hibernating in the library studying for your final exams. Can you say stressful!?

Procrastination will work against a student’s best efforts at this time of the year. Students must budget enough time to finish their work before the due date so they don’t go into stress overdrive. The problem is, we as students, love to leave things until the last minute, only to realize that our big end of the semester paper is due in a few days. You’re then forced to work under pressure, which may or may not work to your advantage. However, it’s very hard to write a well-written paper in a day or two. Giving yourself enough time to put your best efforts into writing a paper will distinguish the difference between an A worthy paper versus a C.

So, I’d like to ask all students this: what do you do during the end of semester to take some of this pressure and stress off your shoulders?

In my experience at university, I can offer some advice to students who are feeling this exam stress.

• Avoid leaving things until the last minute. Yes, you’re constantly reminded not to procrastinate in university and you’re told this for a reason. Your professors will likely start piling up the work near the end of the semester so make sure you’re on the ball the first week of classes. Do your work early and that way you’ll have plenty of time to perfect your end of semester assignments.

• Improve your study skills. Learn how you can become a more efficient and effective studier. You’ll be able to absorb more material and remember what you’ve studied in a shorter period of time. Equals6 is hosting an online webinar “Getting an A – Expert Study Skills” on December 4th from 8:00PM-9:00PM Atlantic. I encourage all students to attend this event to learn tips and tricks on increasing your grade point average.

To register for the online webinar, please follow the instructions below:

1. Go to

2. If requested, enter your name and email address.

3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: GettinganA 4. Click “Join”.

• Balance is key. Getting good marks is not all about putting as many hours as you can into studying. You must take breaks every now and then. When I was a student, it was difficult for me to focus for more than two hours at a time. Every hour or two, when I found myself losing focus I would put my books away and take a half hour break. I also never studied past midnight because by this time I was too tired to learn any new material. I can concentrate better if I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

• Exercise – this goes along with taking breaks. In the middle of the day, I would take a study break and go for a walk to get lunch or I would go to the gym with a friend. Doing about a half hour or more of exercise a day would help to clear my mind of any exam stress. After a workout I felt refreshed and ready to study again.

What do you do to de-stress during exam time?

Written By: Jessica Hooper

Ace Your First College Paper

If you’re like me, writing a paper is anything but a piece of cake. English was never my strong point in university, however, in high school it was a different story. I did very well in English class throughout my high school years. English was actually one of my favourite subjects during the time. By the time I hit university however, I was not prepared for the expectations that came with writing a strong paper.

I remember writing my first college paper and much to my surprise, I was not happy with my mark. I worked so hard on the paper and dedicated many hours of my time perfecting it. I was so accustomed to receiving good marks in high school so getting a bad mark in a university class was unacceptable. I wanted grades that I was proud of, that I could show my parents with confidence like I used to in high school. My grades did improve as I advanced throughout university which was the result of a lot of hard work and dedication to my studies.

For all of those freshman students who are entering university for the first time in the fall, be aware that your Professors will expect more from you. They are not there to baby you like your high school teachers were. If you receive a grade that you are not satisfied with, learn from your mistakes, and try harder next time.

Below is a list of tips that will help you to ace your college papers. I had learned these tips throughout my university experience and looking back, I wish I had someone to guide me through my academic struggles.

1. AVOID PROCRASTINATION: If you like to leave things until the last minute, DON’T do this in university. There are so many steps that go into writing a paper – from research to writing your first draft to editing your paper – all of these steps take up a big chunk of your time. If you start early, you can spread these steps over a span of say a month or two, or however long you think you need to write a great paper.  The more time you have to write a paper, the less stress you’ll have.

2. WRITE AND RE-WRITE:  The easiest way to start a paper is to write anything that comes to mind about your topic. Don’t worry too much about grammar errors – it’s only your first draft. Write it down then come back to your draft in a few days and look for ways to improve it. Don’t be afraid to cut anything out that doesn’t relate to the topic – this is where you should make your major changes.

3. GET A SECOND PAIR OF EYES TO LOOK IT OVER: If you know someone who is an excellent English student, ask them to do you a favour and look over your paper for grammatical errors. I often asked my Mom to edit my papers because she used to be an English teacher. I trusted her opinion and most of the time took her advice on ways to improve my paper.

4. “THE WRITING CENTRE”: I wasn’t even aware that my university had such a service, but I discovered the “Writing Centre” in my second year of university. Their services are free – all you have to do is make an appointment at your convenience. They will review your work, edit it with you, and show you your strengths and weaknesses. I swear that just by visiting them weekly, I improved my writing skills in a month! Most universities have services such as this, though the name may be slightly different.

5.  WATCH OUT FOR PLAGIARISM: Copying someone else’s work, whether intentional or not, is not taken lightly in university. At my school if a student was caught plagiarising, they would either receive a grade of 0 on that assignment, fail the class, and/or be kicked out of the university. Yes, the consequences are severe, so don’t do it!

Remember to visit your Professor during office hours if you have any questions about your paper topic. Don’t be afraid to ask your Professor for clarification. They’d rather have you do it right the first time then have you re-write the paper for a second time.

Follow this advice and I know you’ll ace your first college paper. You’ll improve your writing skills, have less stress, and may even start to enjoy writing papers. Make sure you take your time and ask for help if you are unsure about any aspect of the assignment. Good luck!



How to talk to a Professor

As a recent University graduate, one piece of advice I always give to first year students is: get to know your Professor. I cannot stress how important this is. It is especially important when a student needs something – such as help with an assignment, a second chance to re-write a paper, or a reference letter.  However, many students are intimidated by their Professors so they avoid getting to know them.

Talking to a Professor isn’t as scary as a student may think. The truth is, Professors are people too, just like each and everyone one of us. Treat your Professor how you want to be treated. They deserve the same basic respect that you demand for yourself. If you give them this respect, they’ll probably do the same.

Nevertheless, there are some things to keep in mind when interacting with your Professor:

1. Call them by their right title: Professors with a Ph.D may prefer to be called “Doctor”. Others may prefer to be called “Professor” which is almost always an acceptable title in University. Some of the Professors that I had in University made it clear on the first day of class to call them by their first name. However, not every Professor wants to be called by their first name so I’d stick to “Professor” unless otherwise indicated.

2. Always tell the truth: If you’re late handing in an assignment do not make up an excuse such as “my dog ate it”. Trust me, Professors have heard all the excuses in the world and can always tell when a student is lying. Your Professor will appreciate the truth, even if it’s your lack of time management to blame for your overdue assignment.

3. Be clear and concise: Don’t waste your Professors time!  If you’re asking your Professor a question about your term paper, get to the point quickly. The last thing they want is for you to stand there and discuss your social life with them for 30 minutes.

4. Write formal emails: When writing an email to your Professor, try to be as formal as you can. First, make sure you include a meaningful subject line. A good idea is to start with your course name/number and then the topic of your email (e.g.  SOC100: Topic for paper). Start the email with “Dear Dr. (last name)” or “Dear Professor (last name)” then politely state the reason you are emailing them.  Keep the email short and brief – write only relevant information. When signing the email, always use your first and last name. Note: you should always read your email over a few times, especially if you do not have spell-check on your email. Opening an email full of spelling mistakes is the last thing a Professor wants to look at.

Tip: Try to establish a lasting relationship with your Professor. They will remember who you are when you call them a few years later to ask for a reference letter!

- Jessica Hooper


Do you have anymore tips on how to talk to a Professor?

Staying Focused in Class

Having trouble staying focused in class?


If you’re a University student, sitting in on long, painful lectures are not new to you.  Some classroom lectures can last anywhere between forty-five minutes to three hours long, depending on the class. The attention span of a student is very limited so after a certain period of time, a student’s mind will wander off into their own little world.

The Professors who teach the class should work hard to keep their student’s attention. Throughout my University experience, I have had some great Professors who are easy to listen to, who captivated my attention for over two hours. Other times, I have had professors who do not use the whiteboard, do not use PowerPoint; they just simply get up in front of the class and talk in a monotone voice for two hours. In the latter case, the truth is, my mind did wander and I wasn’t taking in any of the material that was being taught. I did not want to fail the class, so I had to figure out a way to avoid any distractions in class.

Below are some of the techniques that I used to stay focused in class:

  • Instead of sitting in the back of the classroom, try to sit near the front. By doing this, you will be focused on the Professor and what he/she is teaching rather than what is going on around you. Many students who choose not to pay attention in class are either chatting or playing games on their laptop. If you’re sitting behind this person, it can get rather annoying and you are more than likely going to get distracted.


  • If you find yourself still getting distracted, try notetaking. There is however one rule here; NO doodling is allowed as this is yet another means of distraction. In my early morning classes (I am not a morning person) it was difficult for me to stay alert in class. By forcing myself to take notes, I would not fall asleep in class and I was actually learning the material being discussed. Also, by notetaking you will always have a review of the lecture that day, so around exam time you can easily go back to your notes and study the material.


  • In my longer classes, the Professor would usually give the class one fifteen minute break about half way through the lecture. This may not be the case with every Professor but if it is take advantage of that break. Go outside and stretch your legs, grab a snack, and talk to friends. Taking your mind and body away from the classroom for even a few minutes helps to refresh your mind. If your Professors do not give breaks during long lectures, talk to your Professor about taking short breaks when the class is getting restless.


  • Turn off your cellphone. Yes, this will be hard to do but chatting with your friends can wait. Plus, texting while in class will distract your fellow classmates as well as the Professor. There is almost always a cellphone policy in the classroom to not use any mobile device while the Professor is teaching. Even though these rules are set in place, students still tend to ignore them.


  • Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting enough sleep (at least 8 hours a night). When you are overtired, it’s almost impossible to learn any new material. Give your body the rests it needs and your brain will be functioning to its full ability.


  • If all else fails, ask for permission to record your lectures. I know a lot of students who had trouble listening for long periods of time were allowed to bring a digital recorder to class to record the lecture. If you’re lucky, some Professors will actually record their lectures for you; the majority of my Professors did this throughout my years in University. I can tell you, these were the classes I did the best in. It is proven that students forget most of the material they learn after a few hours and the majority of it is lost after a few days, if not reviewed.


Written by: Jessica Hooper

Outside the Classroom

During University, I managed to compete in a few competitions for business students including BMO’s Apex Competition at UNB, Are You Smarter than a CEO, and What’s the Big Idea? at SMU.

While doing these competitions, I got to actually see the benefits of what I was learning which for a student like me made me much more engaged in what I was doing. I also made some fantastic contacts, I had the opportunity to meet CEO’s and VP’s, high level consultants and successful entrepreneurs and learned real world lessons and advice that only experience can teach you.

I know that sometimes the work load of class can feel pretty heavy and you don’t always want to go out of your way to add more to your stack of work. But looking back, I don’t remember all the assignments I did. But what I do remember is spending a weekend with a classmate writing a
presentation while driving  for 5 hours to UNB. I remember going to bed at 4 am and waking up at 8 feeling so excited to present to the judges (and really nervous as well). I also remember the feeling when they called the name of our group and we had won 3rd place.

Take the time and push yourself to compete. The skills I learned helped in my being hired and the memories I made always make me laugh. And the prize money wasn’t bad either.

We are currently running 2 competitions at Equals6, MarketingIdol and TechIdol. Build your skills and memories today and earn some prize money.