How to Succeed at University (and Get a Great Job!): Mastering the Critical Skills You Need for School, Work, and Life

How to Succeed at University (and Get a Great Job!): Mastering the Critical Skills You Need for School, Work, and Life

by Thomas R. Klassen, John A. Dwyer


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Going off to post-secondary is exciting. But for many, getting a college education is also a source of stress. What courses should I take? What program should I get in to? Will I get a job after graduation? This book shows that the best preparation for success on the job, and in life more generally, is succeeding at college and university. Teamwork, meeting deadlines, overcoming challenges, writing well, and dealing with people are essential in any professional job. These same skills are also vital to become a strong student. This practical guide shows you how to master the critical skills and strategies for success at school, work, and in life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780774838986
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Publication date: 08/12/2015
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas R. Klassen is a professor in the department of political science and in School of Public Policy and Administration at York University in Toronto. John A. Dwyer is a professor in the department of humanities at York University in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 University as Preparation for a Great Job 3

What's university all about? 5

What to expect after graduation 6

Will I get a well-paid job? 8

How to select courses 8

Mature, returning, and part-time students 9

What job-related skills can I learn in my courses? 10

2 Skills for Success at School and Work 13

Oral presentations 13

Group work 21

Being a proactive professional 23

Using numbers 28

Taking notes 29

Getting yourself organized 32

3 Prospering in the Classroom and Workplace 38

Exams, a fact of life 38

Strategies for multiple-choice exams 43

Strategies for written exams 46

The usefulness of essays 50

Writing for the academic reader 54

How to organize an essay 57

The basic structure of an essay 60

Essay writing as a process 65

Common essay-writing errors 70

Lab reports and similar assignments 74

The last word 74

4 Strengthening Your critical skills 75

What are critical skills? 76

Communication and critical thinking 77

Strengthening your critical skills 79

The limitations of narrative 81

Contextualizing information 83

The significance of theories 87

Theoretical levels and forms 89

Practical tips to help you on your way 94

5 Active listening and Active Reading 97

Passive listening 98

Active listening 98

Active reading 99

Reading at an academic level 100

Perfecting your skills 104

6 Researching a Topic 106

Rules of thumb for researchers 107

Two research strategies 111

7 Practical Problem Solving for School, Work, and Life 113

Why applied problem solving is so important 113

Problem solving as a process 115

Step 1 Defining the problem 118

Step 2 Discovering causes 119

Step 3 Establishing solutions 123

Step 4 Making a choice 123

Step 5 Implementation 125

Step 6 Benchmarking and evaluating 126

Step 7 Remaining vigilant 127

Problem solving as a life skill 127

8 Creative Problem Solving for Life and Work 129

Relation to problem solving 130

The rigid structures of the mind 131

Creative problem-solving techniques 134

Creatively reconfiguring the problem 139

Maximizing creative solutions 140

The right environment for creative thinking 140

9 Finding and Getting the Great Job 144

The importance of networking 146

Resumes 147

The cover letter 150

Networking and the information interview 155

The real interview 160

Decoding interview questions 163

Interview styles 172

References 174

After the interview 176

10 Managing Social Media 184

Five rules for social media 185

Social media and relationship building 186

Branding yourself 188

Internet dating as metaphor 191

11 Success at Work and Beyond 193

The first job 194

Staying sharp 197

Dealing with the transition 198

Graduate, professional, vocational, and on-line education 200

Further success 204

Notes 205

More Resources 207

About the Authors 210

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