Let’s Talk Social Media

Back when I started college, MySpace was basically the only social media anyone bothered to use. Facebook still required a college email to log in, Twitter barely existed and most cell phones didn’t have cameras—so you know Instagram was still a thing of the distant future.

My point in telling you this is not to reveal how ancient I am but to show you how, in such a SHORT time (I’m not that old!), social media has taken over! Before, the biggest thing you needed to worry about was whose “top 8” you were in, but now there are real issues users face since more and more organizations look at a potential applicant’s social media during the hiring process.

As the Communications Specialist at PUC, I’ve gone from a casual MySpace user to having every kind of social media you can think of, so let’s talk about some do’s and don’ts for social media as you begin your college career and start preparing for the real world.

Don’t—get into arguments in the comment sections! It’s great (preferable in fact) to have an opinion, but always try to keep things civil.

Do—engage brands. Reach out to them professionally with complaints, accolades or suggestions.

Don’t—send mass invites to your friends to play FarmVille or Candy Crush!

Do—change your privacy settings to require your approval before you can be tagged in anything.

Don’t—post negative things about classmates, teachers or co-workers.

Do—avoid politically charged topics where conversations can easily escalate.

Don’t—be a social media bully.

Do—be smart about what photos you post.

Do—treat your own social media presence like a personal brand, as if your college and future employer are your customers. Double-check your posts for things as simple as grammar and spelling errors.

Do—follow PUC’s social media accounts for real-time information, and check out our social media directory to see what clubs and departments on-campus have a social media presence. Here’s a list of the College’s official accounts:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pacificunioncollege
Twitter: http://twitter.com/pucnow
Instagram: http://instagram.com/pucnow
Pioneer Pete: http://instagram.com/pioneer_pete
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pucedu/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/puccollege

The Basics of Your WebAdvisor Account

I’m sure you’ve heard your Enrollment Counselor talk about WebAdvisor, or you may have read about it in your acceptance packet or in various emails from the Admissions office. However, some of you might not have a clue what WebAdvisor actually is or how to use it. This is for you!

WebAdvisor is the program you’ll use to register for classes, check grades, and communicate with your advisor. (If you haven’t set your account up yet, go to webadvisor.puc.edu to get started and click “Create New Account.”) It will become a big part of your life as a PUC student, and this post will help you understand the basics.

WebAdvisor Opening Screen

This is the homepage of your WebAdvisor account. There are several important things you’re able to get to from this screen:

  • Update your current mailing address (Click “Address Change”)
  • Check whether you’re financially cleared (Click “Financial aid status by term”)
  • Check what documents the Admissions, Health Services, and Student Finance offices have received for you (Click “My Documents”)
  • See whether you have any holds on your account (Click “View Restrictions”)
  • Register for classes* (Click “Search / Register for Sections”)
  • Order your textbooks from the PUC Bookstore (Click “Order Textbooks”)
  • View what classes you’re currently registered for (Click “My class schedule”)
  • Change your major (Click “Academic Program Change Request”)
  • Register your car and get a PUC parking permit (Click “Online Vehicle Registration”)

*Note: All incoming freshmen must register for their fall quarter classes with their Enrollment Counselor.

WebAdvisor My Documents

Clicking “My Documents” on the homepage takes you to this screen, where you can see exactly what documents have been received and if any are missing for the Admissions, Health Services, and Student Finance offices.

WebAdvisor Order Textbooks

Clicking “Order Textbooks” on the homepage takes you to this screen, where you can order your textbooks from the PUC Bookstore.

Note: Required books are necessary for each class, while recommended texts are suggested by your professor to enhance your understanding of a subject.

If you have any problems with your WebAdvisor account, contact our IT Department at helpdesk@puc.edu or at 707.965.7000.

What’s There to Do at PUC?

By Melissa Khoury
Student Association Social Vice President

Aside from being one of the nation’s most highly acclaimed colleges for its beauty, academia, and faith, PUC offers its students with countless numbers of social activities to participate in, both on- and off-campus. The campus is always busy with events that range from open mic nights to service projects, and students’ social calendars are always full.

Stay Active

Our school is well known for its outstanding intramurals program, where student can form teams and compete against each other in various sports like indoor soccer, flag football, basketball, badminton, and so many more. Check out Coach Paulson’s “Fire It Up!” blog post on this topic. PUC also has several varsity teams: We have basketball and cross country for both men and women, as well as men’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

Get Involved with Clubs

There’s also a wide range of campus clubs at PUC – from the Chemistry club, the Korean Club to the World Missions Club – that give students an opportunity to meet other students who have the same interests. These clubs sponsor events year round that keep students engaged, such as pre-vespers events and getaways to Yosemite and Tahoe.

Every year REVO raises money for various charities by hosting a color run, fashion show, rummage sale, and other events.

Every year REVO raises money for various charities by hosting a color run, fashion show, rummage sale, and other events.

Weekly Student Association Events

Every Saturday night, the Student Association also hosts events, either on-campus or somewhere off the hill. Be sure to keep an eye out this year for events like bowling, line dancing, concerts, outdoor movie nights, open mic nights, and many others!

The annual SA Talent Show is one of the events students look forward to the most.

The annual SA Talent Show is one of the events students look forward to the most.

Enjoy Angwin’s Beauty

This is only the beginning of some of the many on-campus activities available. Students often spend their free time on weekends going on scenic hikes or biking in PUC’s extensive back property or to places like nearby Linda Falls.

Explore the Local Area

If the hill doesn’t provide enough social life for you, students can venture to the nearby beautiful city of St. Helena or Napa Valley where there’s no shortage of restaurants or shops. For students who want a break from the quiet Napa Valley, San Francisco is just a short drive away and offers all the excitement of a big city.

From the countless number of events both on- and off-campus, PUC provides its students with an outstanding social life. PUC is a unique place where students can not only thrive academically, but additionally a place where they can grow individually and build a strong community amongst the student body by getting involved.​ No matter what you’re interested in, you will likely be able to find it at PUC along with a great group of friends to enjoy it with!

Make sure you “Like” the PUC Student Association Facebook page to keep updated on all your SA has planned for you.

What an Internship Can Do for You

These days getting a job after graduation isn’t as simple as having a degree. Employers are not only looking for applicants with an education, but ones who also have real world experience on their resumes. That invaluable advantage of hands-on job experience is why many of PUC’s majors require an internship experience where students take what they’ve learned in the classroom and put it to use in real life work situations.

If you’re curious why employers value this experience these days – here are some of the advantages a student gains during an internship:

  • Real time at a real job. An impressive resume isn’t full of odd jobs like babysitting. That won’t cut it. An internship lets you work for a real company, doing real work for real supervisors and customers. A resume and portfolio that showcases this kind of work signals to employers you’ve already proven yourself in the real world.
  • Improve your skill set. A classroom and textbooks can teach you a lot – but there are still some things you can only pick up while you’re doing the work for real. Supervisors and co-workers can become mentors and teachers who can show you the ropes! Take advantage of any opportunity during your internship to learn new skills or sharpen skills you already possess – it may give you a leg up over the competition once you graduate.
  • Obtain references. Work hard and prove yourself! Having people in the industry you aspire to work in vouch for you is invaluable when you’re applying for jobs out of college. ‘
  • A chance to network. The contacts you make at an internship may come in handy. You know what they say – it’s all about who you know. Someone you work with at your internship could be the reason why you get hired later on. Who knows, you might also make a good friend!
  • Figure out if the career is right for you. Interning within the industry you want to work in is a great way to see if you love it. After months of working the job day in and day out you’ll know for sure if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life, and whether or not it’s worth the considerable investment of time and money you’re making.
  • Earn money. If an internship is paid, you will earn money to put towards your school bill and other living expenses. Some internships may even include benefits.

A survey conducted by Internships.com in 2012 found that an internship might be the easiest way to secure a full-time job. Sixty-nine percent of companies surveyed with 100 or more employees offered full-time positions to their interns that year. Additionally, it’s estimated nearly 75% of students at four-year colleges and universities have completed at least one internship while in school. Internships have truly become an important part of a student’s resume.

Check back in the next few weeks for a follow up post to learn about the internship opportunities available to students at PUC!

Why the World Needs English Majors

By Dr. Cynthia Westerbeck, Chair Westerbeck_Cynthia
English Department

Words. Words. Words. We text them. We tweet them. We “Google” them. Far from diminishing their value, the digital age has made us more dependent than ever on words to communicate with others and negotiate the ever-expanding horizons of cyberspace.

Now, more than ever, the world needs English majors who value both the power and beauty of words. While the rest of the world is fragmenting into sound bites, English majors embrace the joy and challenge of reading long, complex texts. Whether reading Arthurian legends, Shakespeare’s plays, or contemporary novels, they develop the abilities to adapt, focus, empathize, communicate, and problem-solve that are so critical for success in the modern workplace.

As NPR Commentator Juan Vidal observes, “Reading requires—especially today—intense discipline and the capacity to sit still and engage. It’s a skill you can develop, this quieting of the mind. Some books make it easier than others, sure, but the fact remains: A strong reader is a champ at refusing the sweet mutter of distractions.” This ability to “sit still and engage” means that English majors are uniquely prepared to offer employers the kind of focus and discipline they seek in their employees.

So who are these employers, your parents might ask. Who wants to hire someone who spent college lost in a good book? The answer: every business and organization that uses words to communicate. In other words, ALL businesses. Who writes the press releases? The product descriptions? The web site copy? The policy drafts? The board reports? Who better than an English major who understands the power of words and knows how to “refuse[e] the sweet mutter of distractions”?

While many of our English majors do pursue careers as teachers and writers, others have found satisfying careers as librarians, journalists, lawyers, doctors, documentary filmmakers, museum curators, human resources directors, and administrators. In fact, PUC’s president and three vice-presidents all have degrees in English. They likely selected English as a major because they loved to read and only much later discovered how all of that reading prepared them to face the challenges that come with administration. Who knows where the journey into a great book might lead.

It is true that there is no easy answer to the question “what are you going to do with your English major,” but only because there are so many options. The good news is that the major prepares students to confront that question with all of the analytical tools learned through years of reading deeply, thinking critically, and writing well.

If you love words, join us in Stauffer Hall where you will find a community of fellow readers and writers engaged in making words matter – whether teachers holding paper conferences with students, actors learning to convey words on the stage, or students engaged in class discussion about a novel. Even our restroom walls are covered with words by great writers! Check out our Pacific Union College English Department Facebook page to see pictures of students and faculty celebrating words in poetry readings, writers’ forums, senior presentations and many other events. We’d love to have you join the conversation.

Megan’s Advice – Volunteer!

My name is Megan Lish and I graduated from PUC in 2009 with a degree in social work. If you have a passion for serving others and you want a career that will allow you to pursue that passion, social work might be the right path for you.

Me (far left), with Social Work professor Fiona Bullock (center)

Me (far left), with Social Work professor Fiona Bullock (center)

From the time I was young, I knew I wanted to do something with my life that allowed me to help people. I took different career tests in high school, all of which told me I would do best in a service-oriented job. During my College Days visit to PUC, I went to the Social Work Department and picked up a flyer that had a simple message on it about social work being a profession about love, care, and compassion. I took the flyer with me, and I remember thinking, “That’s the perfect description of what I want my career to be like!” I signed up for Intro to Social Work in the fall and never looked back.

Being involved with the Social Work Department gave me the opportunity to do some cool things: I was part of a group of students and teachers that went to the State Capitol to lobby for social welfare issues; I was involved in the Social Work Forum and helped facilitate and keep records for the Angwin food pantry; and I also had the opportunity to visit and learn about the different social service agencies locally as well. Of all the opportunities I had as part of the department, the one that had the biggest impact on me was my internship. All social work students are required to complete a yearlong internship, and my internship was at a skilled nursing facility in Napa, working under a social worker. Three months in, I was given a small caseload to maintain and was able to perform many of the duties she did – under strict supervision of course! It was a great experience because I was able to learn what it’s like being a real social worker in a real social services office.

Since the Social Work Department is relatively small, I formed great relationships with my professors throughout my four years at PUC. They were not only great educators, but they were great role models. I learned how to be a caring and compassionate social worker and also a better person. I feel blessed to have been taught by them.

Currently, I work as an eligibility worker in Sonoma County where I determine people’s eligibility for public assistance programs like Medi-Cal and food stamps. My job is fun, fast paced, and always gives me an opportunity to learn something new. I use things I learned from my social work education every day in dealing with clients, many of whom are in crisis situations and need help very quickly.

Here’s some advice for anyone considering a future in social work:

  1. Research! There are lots of possibilities for jobs and you might find that your dream job is attainable with a social work education!
  2. Don’t be afraid to visit the department and become acquainted with the teachers and students. It’s a welcoming place and no matter who you are, you’ll fit in.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone! Some topics you will study might be things you’ve never thought about before, but remember, you’re learning about real issues that exist in the community and you’re learning ways to help people who may not be able to help themselves.
  4. Take every opportunity to participate in volunteer work with the department. The easiest way to learn what social work is all about is to live it.

I hope by now this post gives you a good idea of what it’s like to be a social work major. If you’re considering this as your future path, I encourage you to move forward with it! There will always be a need for great social workers and PUC will prepare you to be just that.

Why an Education Major at PUC Worked For Me

Name: Brittany Rasmussen Brittany Rasmussen
From: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Major: Liberal Studies, Dual Credential
Graduated: 2013

I really enjoyed the education program at PUC. By far, the best parts are the labs and student teaching experiences. With an education major, you’re out visiting schools, observing teachers, and even trying out your own lessons right from the beginning, which is awesome! There aren’t too many majors like that. I was honestly scared to death when I went to my first lab (well, and the second one… and the third one… and the first day of student teaching… and the first day in my own classroom…) but I quickly became more comfortable and decided everything would be okay.

When I started college, I wanted to do it all. I was pretty ambitious. Fortunately, I chose education as my major, which is one of those majors that truly allows you to do it all, and the faculty were so supportive of my goals. My first emphasis was elementary education, but I talked with my advisor about adding a secondary credential to my program my junior year. In the end, I graduated with elementary credentials and six junior academy endorsements (which allow me to teach those subject up through tenth grade) and an ESL endorsement. The ESL endorsement is embedded in the California credential program, which is cool because a lot of other states don’t include it in their basic program. I also took the necessary classes so that I can add secondary (9-12) credentials to my certificate when I’m ready.

Last year, I taught 7th and 8th grades at Battle Creek Academy in Michigan. It was so fun and hugely rewarding. I loved it! However, my boyfriend (another PUC Education major) became my fiancé during the school year, so I needed to find a job at a school closer to where he lives. Several interviews later, I was hired as a high school teacher at Grand Rapids Adventist Academy. All those extra endorsements came in handy! I’ll also be taking a community college class and a CLEP test or two this year to add two full secondary endorsements to my certificate. When that’s done, I’ll be able to teach at any grade level, preschool through 12th grade. I’ve got a lot of different ways I can do my favorite thing – teach!

If you’re considering majoring in education, here are some things to consider:

  1. A career in education is pretty flexible – I’m still adding endorsements to my certificate.
  2. The education program at PUC gets you out there practicing your skills right away.
  3. Support is a huge part of the program. The professors are always willing to help.
  4. Everyone is fun and friendly – and who knows, you might meet someone “special”!

You might not be able to ‘do it all’ in college but you can choose a major that lets you do everything you want in a career.