Summer Resume Builder Ideas

May 29th, 2015

Summer is the perfect time to round out your resume for college applications. On top of grades, colleges like to get a picture of who you really are through your resume. They like to see that you are active and engaged with something outside of just school.

Summer Resume Builder #1: Volunteer
This can include any number of things. Maybe you play sports during the year so you do not have time to do any volunteer work. Over summer you can volunteer at a number of organizations that you are truly passionate about. You can help feed the homeless, save the whales, heal the bay, or help out at your local animal shelter. If you support a cause that is relevant to you, it will be more fun.

 

Summer Resume Builder #2: Job/Internship
Over summer you can also get a job or an internship. This shows that you can take initiative and handle responsibilities. The awesome thing about jobs and internships is that they can give you experience in different fields. You can start to get a feeling for what kinds of careers you do and do not like. This will make choosing a major in college way easier. You will already have tested the waters in at least one type of job. Keeping the same job over an extended period of time also shows that you can commit to something.

 

Summer Resume Builder #3: Community Activity
You can also get involved in projects or community activities. These can be different groups, a community service organization, or even starting your own project. This shows colleges that you explore things outside of your academic interests, and that you are a three dimensional person.

College Criteria

April 25th, 2015

As junior year comes to a close, it is time to start thinking about colleges and where to apply. Summer is a great time to plan some college visits and start narrowing down your list of schools you would like to apply to. The college criteria differs for every student, but here is a basic list of things you should be taking into consideration.

 

  1. Location

    1. You are going to be spending a lot of time in this area for the next four years. So while having a beautiful campus is nice, having a great city is also incredibly important. Make sure you will be able to get around and have access to activities that you enjoy.
  2. Academics

    1. You are going to college to learn. Make sure the schools you are looking at offer a program for the degree you are interested in. There is no use finding your dream school and not being able to major in exactly what you want to do.
  3. Cost

    1. Cost is a factor for many people. What financial aid packages are available to you from each school? How much is the total cost of going there going to be? This includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. Discuss this with your family to find a school that fits your financial needs.
  4. Student Activities

    1. Take a look at the students because these are the kinds of people you will be surrounded by. The clubs, professional societies, and other groups are going to be available to you when you go there, so make sure there is something that you are interested in!

College Essays

April 17th, 2015

Olivia has worked with Laura for years on all of her difficult assignments.  From ambiguous essay topics and intense cram sessions, to capstone and marine biology vocabulary they had studied it all.  When it came time to write her college application essays, Olivia knew that she wanted Laura to guide her through the stressful process.

Laura helped Olivia narrow down what schools she wanted to apply to from her very long list.  Olivia would visit some of her choices over spring and winter breaks, long weekends, and any other time that she could.  She always reported back what she thought of each school to Laura and together they kept track of where she would be sending her applications.  They sorted all of the schools into Olivia’s safety schools, schools she would most likely get into, and her dream schools.  Her number one choice was USC.

Olivia decided that she wanted to write her essay about her adopted brother and the impact he has had and continues to have on her life.  Laura helped Olivia focus her essay on herself, and how her brother had helped her grow, instead of focusing too much on him.  She also helped Olivia achieve the critical thinking and brainstorming she needed to discover what she really wanted to tell the schools about herself.  At the end, Olivia had a clear idea of who she was, and how she wanted to portray herself to her schools.

Olivia has been hearing back from all of her schools, including her top choice USC.  She got in to the highly competitive program to study marine science.  Congratulations, Olivia!

Summer Test Prep Classes

July 7th, 2014

With summer underway and the Independence Day holiday weekend behind us, our enrichment programs at Study Hut are in full force, and learning is back on the agenda.

Tonight we begin our ACT small-group course, which runs Monday and Wednesday evenings for the remainder of summer.  Our SAT small-group course also begins tomorrow evening, and runs through the rest of summer on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Students are excited to learn concepts that they either missed in high school or have not yet learned, and they are even more eager to go over their practice tests and learn time management and question prioritization strategies for both the ACT and SAT.  Students in previous classes at Study Hut Tutoring have learned all about the tremendous benefits of having an ACT tutor or an SAT tutor in their corner.

Whether a student needs help with SAT math, critical reading, writing, or some combination of these, having a top Study Hut tutor has shown to make a huge difference in students’ scores.  Our small group ACT and SAT classes have helped to earn students an average of over 200 points of improvement from their original scores, and many students improve 300 or more points.

At the Hut, we strongly suggest making a game-plan early so as to ensure that your son or daughter has the maximum amount of time to make the gains that he or she desires.  The test preparation process is, after all, about opening as many doors as possible, both for college and for opportunities beyond.

If your son or daughter has not yet taken a practice SAT or ACT, now is the time to see where you stand.  We offer free full-length SAT and ACT diagnostic tests, and we also provide free consultations to parents and students after the test so that you can fully understand your results.  Please email info@studyhut.com today to sign up at any of our beach-front locations.

The Value of Academic Reinforcement

April 16th, 2014

The Value of Academic Reinforcement

 

In almost two full years of working at the Study Hut, I’ve been able to see just how important supplemental education (in many forms) is for today’s young students. It’s nuanced at times, but there are myriad ways that seemingly inconsequential aspects of learning can change everything. Some of these things are just natural aspects of putting college students and grads in a room together and telling them to talk about academics, but in my tenure here I’ve watched the company grow and I’ve grown as a tutor and a person along with it. A particular session comes to mind here, and not because of how unique it was, but because it was extremely typical.

 

One of my weekly students, who we’ll call John Conner, came to me earlier this year to study for a history final. We hadn’t worked much together on history to this point, and John needed to catch up on almost everything covered on this test–we had our work cut out for us.

 

The first thing he asked me was: “Wait, so do you have this all memorized?” It was an honest question, and legitimate. Intuitively speaking, one would probably need to know a lot about US History to prepare someone study for a final exam nearly from scratch, but because of the way we work at the Hut, the way the Hut taught me to teach, and the very nature of supplemental academia, the session wasn’t about what I knew. It was about what John needed to know. We spent that hour combing through the text and his in-class notes to piece together what we agreed were the areas of importance. We spent the time looking for the questions, not the answers.

 

What I mean by all of this is that knowing is never part of my job. It’s about finding out, whether that means learning the material along with the students or just learning about the students themselves. The achilles-heel of today’s schools is the inability of schools to teach on a more personal level with each student. Of course, it’s a numbers game and it would be impossible for even the greatest instructors to personally teach lessons to all of their kids. But that’s the point. Because we’re in a unique position to help bridge the gap between teacher and student, concept and practice, we can always provide an invaluable set of tools for students of all kinds.

 

My knee-jerk reaction to John’s opening question was to say, “No, but you will soon.” This, to me, was the job in a nutshell. We don’t have the answers to the test your student will take, but we might know where to look.

Memorization

March 25th, 2014

Memorization is a constant struggle for most people. One of the best (and immediately useful) classes in college I took discussed how people learned different material. We also went over various memorization techniques. Here at the Study Hut, these skills are obviously applicable and important to our students.

We all know about short-term and long-term memory. But did you know that your brain often filters out information it does not think is useful to you? So when you are trying to study for that geometry test, and you keep telling yourself that the material is not important, this can definitely work against you. That is why repetition, used as a memorization technique, is often useful. Your brain thinks that if you come across that piece of information so much, it must, and should be worth memorizing.

You also learn information in groups. Information can be grouped together either by the environment in which you learned or encountered the information. This is why smells and sounds, like songs, can bring up many other memories. It is then not surprising, that when college students ate dark chocolate in a research study, and then during or shortly before an exam, they were able to recall more information. Taste is mostly olfactory in nature; which means taste is mostly constituted of smell. The researchers also theorized that the caffeine in dark chocolate might have also played a part, but the results were not conclusive. In addition, because we learn information in groups, it can be far easier to remember associations between words, rather than simply the individual words or terms themselves. When studying vocabulary, try to connect meanings and sounds to each other in a story or sentence. When studying history, try not to memorize random dates but connect the important events in a story. This will also, of course, give you a deeper understanding of the meaning of events and no doubt help you write more introspective essays.  In science, try not to remember individual terms but how they connect to one another in a process or function.

 

10 things to know before going to college

February 26th, 2014

1. You Probably Shouldn’t Take Your Whole Closet

Dorm storage space is one thing that many incoming freshman overestimate. Depending on the size of your wardrobe, it might be a good idea to consider leaving everything but the necessities at home. Besides, you might find you don’t need as many clothes as you think–most college laundry facilities are easy and inexpensive. Many colleges even offer free use of washers and dryers. It’s a good idea to do some research before you start school to see whether or not you need to stock up on quarters. Some colleges even have high-tech laundry services that will text you once your clothes are ready. Be sure to do a little research into your college’s laundry facilities before you pack for college.

2. Every College Has Different Rules on What You Can Bring

It is essential that you check the list of approved and prohibited items from your college before you move in. Rules vary from school to school, and you may want to hold off on buying that mini-fridge/microwave combo until you make sure you can have them in your dorm. Even things you might not think about, such as power strips or halogen lamps, might be prohibited by your university.

3. You Might Not Like Your First Roommate (And That’s Not the End of the World)

For your first semester of college, odds are you’ll have a randomly picked roommate. And while it’s completely possible that you will be the best of friends, it’s also possible that you might not get along. This can be uncomfortable, but remember that with classes, clubs, and other campus events, you probably won’t be in your room very much anyway. By the time the semester is over, you’ll most likely have found a friend to room with for the next term.

4. First Semester Classes Might Not Be That Great (But They’ll Get Better)

For your first semester, you’re probably taking a first-year seminar, some gen-ed classes, and perhaps a big lecture hall 101 type course. Some of the big, mostly first-year classes aren’t the most engaging, and first-year students are frequently taught by graduate students rather than the college’s professors. If your classes aren’t what you had hoped for, keep in mind that you will soon be in smaller, more specialized classes. Once you pick your major, you can start with the major-specific classes as well. Even if you’re undecided, you’ll have a wide range of classes to choose from, with everything from upper-level science courses to creative fine art studios. Just remember to register as soon as you can before the classes fill up!

5. Know Where You Can Get Good Food

Food is an important part of the campus experience. Most colleges have multiple dining options, and it’s a good idea to try them all your first semester. If you want to know the best place to eat, or if you need vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free options, you can always check the college’s website, or just ask your fellow students. Don’t forget to try outside the college, too–college towns almost always have good, cheap food.

6. You Might Not Be Able To Bring a Car (And You Probably Won’t Need One)

Whether or not you can have a car on campus your first semester depends entirely on the college. Some colleges allow them freshman year, some won’t allow them until sophomore year, and some won’t allow them at all. You’ll want to check with your school before you end up with a parking ticket. The good news is that if you’re not allowed to bring a car, you probably don’t need one. Many schools offer public transportation, such as a shuttle or taxi, or a bicycle rental service. If all else fails, most campuses are designed to provide everything a student needs within walking distance.

7. The IT Help Desk Is a Wonderful Place

Some of the most helpful people on a college campus can be found behind the IT Help Desk. Whether you need help connecting to the internet, getting set up with any professor’s assignment drop box, figuring out how to find and connect to a printer, or recovering a lost document, the IT Help Desk is an excellent resource. It is also a good spot to go if your roommate accidentally spills coffee on your laptop. There’s no guarantee the IT folks can fix everything, but it’s a great place to start.

8. There Are Tons of Things to Do (And It’s Pretty Easy to Find Them)

The last thing anyone should be worried about is being bored on campus. Almost every college has a host of student clubs and organizations, frequent campus events, and other activities. They’re not hard to find, either. Colleges usually have a list of registered student organizations, and there are often fliers and posters all around campus for things to do and clubs to join. Some clubs even have their own social media sites, which could help you not only learn about the clubs, but also contact current members.

9. Plan Out Your Academic Career Early (But Don’t Be Afraid to Change It)

In order to make sure you have all the credits you need to graduate on time, it’s a good idea to plan out your courses early. Don’t forget to plan for general education requirements and classes you need for your major. But keep in mind that your plan won’t be written in stone. Most students change their majors at least once during their college careers. So, while it’s a good idea to have a plan for your academic career, keep in mind that you’ll probably end up changing it.

10. You Can Get Good Grades and Have Fun

A common fear when starting college is that there will be time for either studying or having fun, but not both. The truth is that with good time management, it is possible to get good grades in all your classes and still have time to be in clubs and go have fun. If you manage your schedule well, you may even get a decent amount of sleep, too.

Assistant Manager Rita

August 14th, 2013

Today we say goodbye to one of our assistant managers, Rita. Rita has worked here for years between here time in college and getting her masters – both at University of California San Diego (UCSD).

Rita received her masters in Pacific International Affairs – Economic Development and Nonprofit Management | Latin America.

Rita is born and raised in Manhattan Beach and has been through the MBUSD system. Rita attended UCSD for both her undergrad and graduate programs.

Interesting facts about Rita:

– Rita studied abroad/lived in Paris for 6 months.

– She loves Yoga and baking

– Her dream job is to travel around the world.

Rita’s memorable experiences here at the Study Hut:

– The Christmas Party, our Game Nights, and dressing up for Halloween.

Rita will be going to Hawaii this week before she moves to San Francisco to begin her new life and job.

We will miss you! Don’t be a stranger here at the Study Hut!

Graduation!!!

June 20th, 2013

The year is finally over! Congrats to everyone who finished their finals this week and are officially on summer vacation! We have had a great Spring semester and hope to see many of you during the summer here at the Study Hut. 

The schools around the neighborhood have all held their commencements and we want to congratulate all the students!! To those going from 8th grade to High School or those going from High School to College, have a wonderful summer and we know you will continue to do well and succeed!

Here are the schools that have held graduation in the area:

Redondo Union High School: Friday June 14th @ 2pm

Mira Costa High School: Thursday June 20th @ 5-6pm at Waller Stadium

Palos Verdes High School: 2pm Graduation on Wednesday June 5th 

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School: Wednesday June 12th 

Manhattan Beach Middle School: Wednesday June 19th @6:30pm-9pm at the Gym/MPR

For those starting summer school – Keep in mind:

Besides our normal $45/hr tutoring and our SAT tutoring… we have 4 different programs you can sign up for. We have an Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and summer reading class!

We have many great summer programs that we are offering this summer so here is all the important information you need to know! If you don’t need to sign up for a class – we also have normal one-on-one tutoring for summer school. 

The summer courses all take place between July 8th and August 8th – it’s a 5 week program – 20 hours a week – and it costs $495. 

We are going to cap the classes at 10 students each so sign up now to make sure you get a spot! 

The Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry classes are prep classes to help students prepare for the course that they’re taking in the fall. These classes will be taught by our same tutors that work here, and will either take place on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.

For the summer reading, get ahead this summer! We have experienced tutors for all the reading levels and for every book on the summer reading lists! Learn to annotate and analyze literature and practice quizzes included!!

If you are interested, you can call the Study Hut!

For Manhattan Beach Location: 

Manhattan Beach: (310)546-2408 or you can e-mail: Samantha@studyhut.com

For Redondo Beach Location:

Redondo Beach: (310)540-5888 or you can e-mail: Justin@studyhut.com

How to write a college essay

April 23rd, 2013

How to Write College Essays

As a lifelong student, there a few characteristics you know are important to a good college essay. Strong diction, clear writing structure, and correct grammar – but there might be a few illusive aspects of an outstanding college essay.

First, try to come up with a relatively unique storyline for your main essay. I know that is challenging; and you probably will not come up with anything an admissions officer has not read before.  But try to say something unique.

At minimum, try to say something moving. Reach deep down within yourself and pull out something you are passionate about, or an event that really impacted your life.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, great admissions officers everywhere want to see young/potential professors. The want to see the deep inquisitiveness, curiosity, and desire to learn that is prevalent in academia. This can all be summed up in one word: drive.

Are you driven about your field of study? Academics? Leading other people? A particular public policy issue? A particular pursuit? Life?? The essay only has to be one of these sections – but this drive has to shine through somehow.

It helps the admissions staff see how you could fit in at their university if it is an issue/section that can directly relate to a field of study they offer. If you love travel, and you love learning about different cultures, maybe you will be an International Relations major or Anthropology major. They like to see that there is some sort of direct connection between your displayed passion and their college.

Make sure at least one of your essays is about your chosen field of study. If you do not know which field you want to major in yet, just pick one. Do not worry about not knowing. Many young adults do not know what they want to do when they go to college. But the school does not want to hear “I have no interests” they want to hear “I’m really interested in a lot of things” or “I’m really interested in this one thing.” But if you go with the “interested in a lot things” essay – be sure to narrow it down to top two or three interests. Top two is better, especially if the essay is short.

Good Sample Topics

  • How travel abroad changed your opinion of the world/opened your eyes?
  • How has working/volunteering with those less fortunate changed your view of the world?
  • How did struggling with working in high school to help your family change you for the better?
  • What was an adverse event you thrived under? How?
  • A personally traumatic event, and how you succeeded anyways, can actually make some of the best essays around
  • Leadership roles (sports, student government, club leadership)
  • Something you are incredibly passionate about – if you can write a long essay about it – it can be your chosen field of study if you want