I have an accent when I speak English

1 Comment

One of our Prof at Harvard University said in his first class to the students from different countries,  “If you have an accent, that tells me that you know more than one language”.  It is his way to motivate the students from other countries to not feel shy while asking questions in class.

Through this blog we want to advice our immigrant readers to not hesitate while communicating in English even if you know little English. The barrier between you and English will widen if you will hold back from communicating in English. In fact it is applicable for any language. If you happen to be in a different country and know a bit of the language spoken there then don’t feel shy to converse in their language. You will be amazed to find out that people will be happy to help you and they will understand that you are in the learning phase and will appreciate your effort.

If you will try to talk in English, it will certainly improve your English. Also, when you will go out in public, you will realize that there are many people in US who ride in the same boat as you. You will find lot of people struggle with English but they do not hesitate to converse and very well manage in making the other person understand what they want to convey. Remember language is the basis of any conversation. You cannot socialize, do your business or even  make friends if you do not know the language. So, it is important to learn the language.

There are various available options through which you can improve your English. If you will search on the internet with “English as a Second Language” and your city name, you will get many available options in your city.

In many US cities there are Centers for Adult Education. Most of them have classes to learn English. You can search on the net for the center nearest to you. YMCA also runs English classes.

ELS has 33 centers in US.  The website link is: http://www.els.edu/en/DiscoverELS

We came across a site which we find very useful in learning English from very basic. It is easy to use even for those who are not very tech savvy. Here is the link: http://www.usalearns.org

If none of these options work for you, then look for a study buddy near you. A study buddy will be another person who wants to improve English and you both can study together. This will not only make you focused but you both can also practice speaking English together.

Amitabh Bachhan, a very famous bollywood superstar, in a super hit movie once said that “English is a very funny language”. So go..Have fun!

Advertisements

Have you ever thought of writing a blog?

Leave a comment

Blog is a personal website or webpage where an individual updates his/her opinion on regular basis. It has become very popular over the past few years. It is a great platform for an individual to share their expertise on specific topics. Over the years it has turned out to be one of the greatest assets for many individuals.

It certainly is one of the best ways for dependent spouses to build their personal brand which in turn would help them get noticed in their job search. Through blogging, you can market yourself to your prospective employer. In “About Me” section of the blog, you can give brief introduction about your qualifications, professional experiences, skill sets, etc. This page could be your online resume and if you follow a dedicated routine of posting the blog, it would show also your prospective employer that you are organized and structured.

Strong verbal and written communication skills are required selection criteria for most of the employer. Through blog, you can improve your writing skills. If you will post your blog on regular basis, you will certainly improve in your writing, grammar and research skills. These skills play very important role in any professional career.

Networking plays an important role in job search and blogging is also one of the great networking tools. You will meet new people who share the same interests as you which in turn would grow your professional network. Writing a blog would also help in building identity on social platforms by providing an RSS feed to a Twitter account, LinkedIn profile etc. Social networking sites are also powerful networking tools. This would also multiply the chances of being noticed by your prospective employer.

 Blogging also helps in earning money. There are several ways to monetize through blogging.  Google Adsense program is one of them. It is a great program for bloggers, as they can display ads in their blog site and earn money from the number of clicks over these ads from their visitors.

 You can blog about the knowledge gained from your career/education/experience so far. However, it is not necessary that your blog needs to be career related. You can write a blog on anything. If you like travelling, write one blog on each city/tourist attraction you visit. If you like photography, food, dance, drama, etc., you can also share your experience through blog. Initially, you might face some issues but once you start writing, you will start enjoying it as writing gives a structure and direction to the random thoughts that come to your mind.

It’s also important to note that running a successful blog takes lot of dedication, time, perseverance and hard work. Success does not happen overnight. If you will write out of passion and dedication, then the success, fame and money are bound to happen. Celebrate every small achievement of your blog like every new follower, new like or comment, and use it to move to the next step. It certainly needs lot of effort but in the end the reward could be a step closer to your dream career. So, why not start a blog today.

World class education for free!

3 Comments

Harvard, Standford, MIT, Berkley, Wellesley, Rice, Columbia! When you read these names, what comes to your mind? Best in class education! Top Universities! Best Schools! Great Professors! Do you know that you have access to all these schools and that too free?

There are many websites available which offer free courses from these prestigious universities taught by the renowned professors. Due to rising tuition and school fees, drop out rate from schools have increased. Hence, top universities do not want to limit the education to thousands but they want to spread it to millions of students all over the world.

Some of the website which offer free massive open online courses ( MOOCs) are given below:

The Top Online College Courses: http://www.onlinecourses.com/
Coursera: http://www.coursera.org/
Venture lab Stanford: http://venture-lab.org/
edX: http://www.edx.org/
Udacity https://www.udacity.com/
Class2Go http://class.stanford.edu/

You can find a course on almost every topic on these websites ranging from technology, management, medical, etc. These websites are not-for-profit social enterprise working towards changing education for the betterment of everyone. You will also receive certificate of completion for certain courses. There’s also a course tracking site, http://www.class-central.com/ that covers all the free university level courses mentioned above. It’s easier to choose classes from the combined schedule at this site.

Coursera website also offers signature track, a new option that gives students the opportunity to earn a verified certificate for completing selected coursera course. Signature Track securely links your coursework to your identity, allowing you to confidently put it in your resume. Initially it is offered for few courses and will be expanded gradually. The details of the courses can be seen here. You can simply enroll in one of the above courses and you will be notified when you can join. Credits for the mentioned courses taken at coursera will be approved by the American Council on Education(ACE). Hence, a great help to fill the gap in your career.

There is another website which doesn’t have the professors from top universities but is famous worldwide as it explains each and every concept in a simplified way which makes it easy to understand. It is named as Khan Academy: http://www.khanacademy.org/ and has more than 4000 videos on various topics. In 2012, Time listed Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

While you are on a dependent visa and cannot work or study in US, these websites are a great source of skill development.

Volunteering: A Beginning path of Professional growth

Leave a comment

Thousands of immigrant women professionals leave their well established working life and move to USA with their spouse. They get depressed in the initial months when they realize their visa does not allow them to work and gradually increasing gap in the employment history leads to more frustration.

Volunteering is a good way to illuminate your darkness of idleness. Dedicating your time as a volunteer in the community is a wonderful way to network with people and get recommendations. It is also a good way to build your professional experience, explore new career and get adjusted in the US work environment. It will not only keep you busy but also boost your self confidence. Gap in your resume can be offset by mentioning about your volunteer experience .

Good thing about volunteering is that you have no visa restrictions. However, it is important to make sure from your employer that your work has a volunteer status and it is not replacing a paid job. There are various popular websites which offer Voluntary jobs matched to individual’s skills and interests. Few of them are as follows:

http://www.volunteermatch.org/
http://www.idealist.org/
http://www.1-800-volunteer.org/
http://www.volunteeringsolutions.com/
http://boston.craigslist.org/vol/
https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/

Don’t wait till the time you get a job. Start volunteering today!

Employment Gap why a big taboo

Leave a comment

In many countries employment gap is a big concern if it is for more than a year. Two to three years gap after high school is big no in these countries. For example in most of the Asian countries, people are stressed even if they are out of work for a year. In USA, perception of gap is not the same. It is interesting to know that here in USA, people deliberately take off after high school or graduate school to pursue their hobby or do things which they always dreamed of.

Employers don’t necessarily put it against you, if you are able to explain right and make them believe that the break between work was for personal reasons which were important or for pursuing your dreams and passion. On the other hand it gives you edge. Everybody loves a person who is always on the hunt to make himself/herself better and ready to take the plunge to add something valuable to his/her persona. Here in USA, employers look for skills and not the gap in your resume. Even if you have a gap and your skill matches their criteria they will hire you. We would not suggest you to sit idle and do nothing during those times.

There are various things you can pursue during those times. Volunteering is one way which helps in compensating the gap in your resume. Employers consider volunteer work as relevant work experience here. It also gives the impression that you are a good person who likes to give back to the society and will be committed for their company. If you are interested in enhancing your knowledge, you can surf various websites which offer free courses by prestigious universities. In Cousera.org, Edx.org, khanacademy.org and venture-lab.org courses are taught by famous professors from ivy league schools. They also offer certificate of completion duly signed by the concerned professor. It will certainly help in adding skills. One can also take vocational courses from local adult education centre for minimal price to improve the skills. Distance online courses can also be taken from Harvard extension, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts, ed2go. There will not be visa issue if you go for certain certificate courses. You can always blog about your profession and showcase your knowledge. And yes, there is also an option of english classes for advanced speaking and pronunciation at low cost.

Just remember when God closes one door he opens another. Good Luck!!