Greetings to Undergraduates and Parents of New Undergraduates!

Some of you have already started your undergraduate journey and many of you are packing as you prepare to head off to freshman orientation and begin the next chapter of your amazing journey! Congratulations to everyone!

Students- please thank your parents for all their support and your parent really will appreciate a mid-day text to know you are fine and thinking about family!

Parents – be proud, they are ready to fly, and if they forget to text or call, it typically means they are having a great time.

Being a part of the HS experience of many young adults, I am in awe

of all today’s students are able to accomplish and the dedication each student brings to meeting personal educational and career goals.

Every student has a unique path and it is clear that this generation is ready to have a huge impact in our communities! Your dreams are large and your eyes wide open -Carpe diem!

Given my 30+ years of University Experience, I am pleased to share a few last minute reminders for a successful transition and undergraduate experience:


  •  Seek out your Undergraduate Academic Advisor and make a personal connection. Your conversation should extend beyond a 10-minute conversation selecting fall classes. Share your vision and goals and ask for suggestions on what student organizations and professional opportunities exist on campus. GET INVOLVED!!
  • Consider finding a Professor who is working on a project of interest – go introduce yourself upon arrival and seek out a research assistantship. Tip: Assistant Professors rather than Associate/Full Professors are actively pursuing tenure and will have research-in-progress and appreciate your free labor.
  • Create a LinkedIn Profile – and join every networking group affiliated with your university, including the alumni network. Doing so will help you find summer internships.   Connect with students from your high school who were 2 to 3 years ahead of you -they will be able to help you connect to internships down the road.
  • Aspiring law or medical student? Seek out your school’s dedicated pre-professional undergraduate advisor and start the process early. They will help you locate opportunities on campus and keep you focused on necessary pre-reqs.
  • Attend your fall career fair . Many organizations also offer ‘meet and greet’ sessions the evening before or day-of. Use every opportunity to polish your 1-2 minute “hello” speech and continue to be comfortable meeting people and seeking out summer 2019 opportunities. Don’t delay and don’t think just because you are only a freshman this won’t be a good use of your time. Focus on smaller companies with fewer people crowding the booth- that is where you will have more success and less competition as a freshman. Your resume should focus on projects completed in classes and skills you have acquired in various positions/courses.
  • Pre-Med– or STEM Graduate school on your horizon– consider REU summer opportunities sponsored by the NSF.
  • https://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.jsp
  • Join Professional Associations related to your field– click on the membership tab and you’ll find a nominal fee for a “student membership” – JOIN. This is not only a networking opportunity, but there are often undergraduate scholarships available to members.
  • Women and Minorities- there are many niche based organizations- Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers – all opportunities to assume leadership roles, learn more, network and possibly garner a scholarship.
  • Scholarships– even more of these exist for continuing undergraduates than students straight out of high school. Start searching now– many are due November and December 1 – several offered by various federal government agencies, brokerage houses, assorted professional associations and large technical giants. Yes, your GPA should exceed a 3.5 freshman year to be a viable applicant.
  • If you are unhappy with your choice and want to transfer, I assist with transfer applications. Applications for transfer for spring semester 2019 are due October, and applications for Fall 2019 are typically due February/March.
  • If you are overwhelmed – please reach out to your parents, friends, resident advisor or simply stop in at the support services available on your campus.  The transition can be a difficult one at times and I really encourage you to seek academic or emotional support if needed.
  • 504 plan in high school? You’ll need to register again with the college’s Disability Compliance officer.
  • Please Attend all your classes – especially right before an exam. Professors often give hints on what is on an exam and what can be ignored. Teaching Assistant office hours and recitations should never be skipped- you have a more one-on-one opportunity to clarify where you are lost. If the professor or teaching assistant’s office hours conflict with another scheduled class- you can and should request an appointment.
  • STEM students- find and form a study group to tackle those 15-20 hour problem sets that will be the norm for the next form years. Don’t go at it alone- connect with others.

My newsletter in July had some additional tips for both parents and students.

Halfway into the newsletter there are tips for the Class of 2018 – purchasing textbooks, campus support, housing, etc


Again, I wish you incredible success in your new community. May you find friendship, immerse yourself in learning and be healthy and at peace always!

Bonnie R. Rabin, PhD

Educational & College Admissions Consultant– Serving Clients Throughout the US

Educational and College Admissions Advising Anywhere Anytime 561.509.0021

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Professor Emeritus, Cornell University Florida Alumni Interviewer — 30+ Years Experience

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