College, Productivity, Applications, Career Building, being productive, soft skills
CAREER / 14 December 2016
8 Tools to Make any College Student’s Life More Productive
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Gisel Malek
Content Marketer

Classes are starting to pick up… but have no fear, online resources are here! Take some time away from binge watching Netflix and check out the best websites you can use to ace classes, manage money, and score a job. Share these tips with your college friends (or not) - they will thank you for it.

1) Rate My Professors

Unless you enjoy your grade suffering from unbelievably difficult classes, you need Rate my Professors. Just like the name says, you can rate your professor depending on how hard (or easy) he/she is. Take a look at your professors’ reviews before planning out your winter schedule. Otherwise, you might get Dr. Grinch for Calc 4… There are times when you don’t really have a choice because certain classes are offered only during certain times and you cannot wait forever to get the professor you really want to teach that class. You do want to graduate, after all. Do some research, though. Read the reviews thoroughly.

I mean, you don’t just go into Yelp and see the 41/2 stars with 5k reviews and think, "Yep! That’s where we are having dinner tonight!" You evaluate the options and look through photos, and if you are really on the fence you read reviews. Take the time to read the reviews and you may just see that maybe people think so and so’s class is really hard, but all the complaints seemed to be about a certain type of testing, like multiple choice overwritten. Not everyone tests well the same way, and sometimes those factors should be taken into consideration.

Check out what your learning style is! You can also read the comments provided by other students to really evaluate the pros and cons of each professor. Often times, the professors with the worst reviews are the ones people got a lot of information from.

2) Glassdoor  

While Rate My Professors gives you reviews of classes and instructors, Glassdoor gives you reviews of jobs and companies. No, you won’t get the “my professor looks like a donkey” reviews you’d see on RmP. But you will get useful insight from current and former employees that can help you make your career decisions. Their website has really grown over the years as well. They offer so many different pieces of information that can help candidates and job seekers alike really get a "feel" for what the company is like. Obviously it isn’t an avenue that allows you to collaborate with the recruiters or people that you would be working alongside with, but it does a great job summing up all the information you would want about a company behind-the-scenes all on one platform. You can look at salary information for different types of jobs. Some enterprise companies have hundreds of jobs listed you can look through. The information is provided by people working there, so there is some validity to the numbers that you are seeing. You can see what job openings they currently have, but if you want to learn more, you can just as easily click on the link to their actual website. The interview process is probably their biggest feature. Many job candidates use Glassdoor to see what other people had to go through in the interview process, if it was easy, average or difficult. Some go into detail about why. Since many college students are looking for more than just a salary, this site allows you to get a sneak peak into the company culture. Open your eyes and don’t miss Glassdoor. 

3) Mint

There’s no better way to realize how broke you are! Mint puts all your expenses on one platform and lets you manage your personal finance easily. If receipts are spilling out of your wallet, you need Mint. Maybe you’re pulling money from mom and dad right now, but eventually you’ll have to keep track of your money. Learning how to manage money is either something you have already learned at this point, learned but aren’t doing well, or feel like you manage money like you manage your time. For many, that’s not a good thing and you know what I am talking about. It’s easy to get caught up in college life and spend money on going out to eat, party-related items and even more food! Having a resource like Mint, while you are still young, can really help you learn how to budget and dramatically help you out in the long run. 

4) Studypool  

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Studypool is awesome. You can ask complex questions and get answers from real tutors in subjects like programming, finance, math, etc. When it’s 2 in the morning and Google can’t help you solve your fluid dynamics problem, Studypool will save the day. It’s not free, but the good news is you only have to pay once you are satisfied wit the answers you are getting. Because it is not free, I would only use it for times you absolutely need to. It is really nice to know you don’t have to go around looking for tutors when you really need help because they have a library of tutors just waiting to help you out. And hey! A great way to earn some money while you are in school is to sign up to be a tutor. If you are really well versed in a subject or want to amp up your skills, it would be a good idea to practice answering questions for people. This is a plus for recruiters and hiring managers as well. 

5) Quizlet

Another tool for studying? That’s right. This time, study with crowd-made flashcards of your topic on Quizlet. If you can’t find a particular topic, you can make your own! No need to buy actual index cards and pens, it’s time to go digital. Flashcards are proven to be an effective way to study and it doesn’t have to end in grade school! This is a free tool for which you can use on just about any subject. If you want to learn about SEO or coding, you can take some of that free time (of which I know you have so much) and test yourself on new subjects and learn something new. Otherwise, use the flashcards made by others or make your own and be ultra prepared for that next exam. 

6) Quora  

If you’ve ever had seriously in-depth questions that the internet can’t help you with, try Quora. But save the “I need help on my CPE project” questions for Studypool. Quora lets you ask questions like “What’s it like working at a Wall Street investment bank?” and “How many years does it take to make $100k in the bioengineering field?” Industry professionals will answer your questions and give you real insights. You may not even realize that when you type your questions into Google, the search results may come from Quora. With over a million questions answered, it’s a great place to seek answers from industry professionals, recruiters, college students and more. Remember: There are no stupid questions, just intelligent people seeking information. 

7) Slidebean

Google Slides is great, and Prezi is wonderful. But if you have 20 minutes until your marketing class presentation starts, you don’t have the luxury of designing a beautiful slide deck. SlideBean lets you input raw information (bullet points, stats, diagrams) and outputs a gorgeous presentation. Auto-designed PowerPoints are just the beginning. Use SlideBean to update your resume, making it digital. One of te best ways to stand out among others looking for jobs is to create something new - something many recruiters haven’t really seen before. It would be a great decision to recreate your online profile into SlideBean and attach it to your personal website or just send it to recruiters in lieu of a written resume. 

8) ProSky  

Now comes the most effective tool you can possibly use to help you land your dream job.  You may come out of your marketing or supply chain management class thinking you will probably forget everything you learned by the time you graduate. I know I did! ProSky aims to help you learn the valuable skills that are not taught in school by giving you real working examples designed by the companies you will be working with and for in the future. Those projects and challenges will be used to evaluate your skill set for any given position you may be interested in (and positions you may not even realize you are a fit for). The best part is - if they like what they see and how you perform. If you are the type of person who initiates group meetings, retains information, takes good notes and shows a great deal of enthusiasm to work on more projects, there is a good chance that you will get hired! 

ProSky works with many companies that are looking to hire skilled and talented individuals that will fit in with their company culture. ProSky trains low-supply, high-demand skills (like SEO, coding, business sales, digital marketing and more) through their training tracks. Sign up for a track and learn the skills that can help get you hired. With all these helpful tips, you can definitely be in a much more employable position than you previously were. The opportunities are limitless, and you can be working for your dream job today like Torrent, Stance, LinkedIn and more. Take the first step and make a free student profile that employers will have access to and before you know it, you will be working on real projects for real companies.