WDT hosts career fair Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

Western Dakota Tech’s 17th Annual Career Fair will bring local, state, and national employers to campus today, Wednesday, February 5, to interview students and discuss career and internship opportunities.

“This is a great opportunity for students to show their skills and abilities to potential employers,” Career Services Coordinator Curt Lauinger said. “Our students should be proud of all they’ve learned and accomplished. The Career Fair is their chance to prove how well prepared they are to enter the workforce.”

Forty-three companies and organizations are registered to attend the event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 5, in the Commons and main hallways of the Mickelson Building.

Employers will discuss full-time, part-time, and seasonal job opportunities. “These employers are coming because they want to hire Western Dakota Tech students,” Lauinger said. “That says a lot about our students and about the education they receive here at WDT.”

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 30 programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction Trades, Health Services, Legal and Public Services, Manufacturing and Mechanical Trades, and Science and Technology. More than 98 percent of WDT’s most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 85 percent remain in South Dakota.

WDT faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, WDT students graduate ready to make real and immediate contributions to their employers and their communities.

For information about WDT, contact Admissions at (800) 544-8765, (605) 718-2565 or admissions@wdt.edu. Visit WDT on the web at www.wdt.edu.

7 ways to avoid the ‘Oh no, what happened?’ moment

Another school year is under way, and everyone is settling into a routine. Some routines, however, are likely to be more successful than others.

In about four weeks, Mary Ann Slanina, Western Dakota Tech’s Academic Services Coordinator, expects to see at least a few WDT students arriving at the Student Success Center in dire need of help with classes. The center staff will be glad to help those students get back on the right track, but there is an easier way, Slanina says.

Consider these tips for starting the school year off on the right foot and avoiding that four-week “Oh no. What happened?” moment.

Planning

We all know that planning can be a drag, especially if you tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person. But a little planning upfront makes a huge difference in the long run. After all, the average WDT student works at a job at least 20 hours a week. Many of you also have families and other obligations. You’re busy folks.

So try this little trick. After the first week of classes, sit down with your class schedule and your calendar or smart phone. (If you don’t have either, it’s time to stop at the store to pick up a simple paper planner. If you live by the calendar on your smart phone, use that.)

Go through each class. Log the date of each test, project, and homework assignment into the calendar. It might take some time, but that calendar will be a lifesaver down the road when things get crazy busy.

Putting the schedule down in black and white also sets the tone for the school year, says Slanina. “You need to start working a schedule right away. Have a plan. Talk to your boss. Talk to your family. Make sure you’re all on the same page.”

Get to know your instructors

Don’t be that student who sits in the back of the classroom and barely gets noticed. Make a point of introducing yourself to your instructors. Ask questions in class, participate, and get to know your fellow classmates.

If you don’t understand something, ask your instructor, either after class or during office hours. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn in those outside-of-class minutes. An added benefit–your teacher will see that you care. That goes a long way.

“Probably the most underutilized resource is their instructors,” says Slanina.

Schedule time for homework and studying

In the first couple of weeks of classes, pick a regular time of the day when you almost always have some downtime. Maybe it’s 6 a.m. Maybe it’s 6 p.m. Maybe it’s 10 p.m. Whatever time it happens to be for you, find a slot during the day when you can put in a little study time. Then put it on your calendar. That’s right. Schedule it, just like you would schedule a test or a meeting. Just having it there in black and white helps you get into a good study habit.

Pick a study buddy

“It’s like an exercise buddy,” says Slanina. “It’s that accountability. If I make an appointment to study with a buddy, I’ll probably show up.”

So find someone from class or a friend. Pick the time and place. Again, write it down. If you set aside time to study for a test or work on a project with a fellow student, it’s a whole lot harder to procrastinate. Someone is counting on you.

Get some sleep

Don’t forget how important a little shut eye is to having a successful school experience. Sure, there might be some nights when you subsist on four hours of sleep, but don’t make it the norm.

The average adult needs somewhere between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep a night. But the reality is some people function just fine on 6 hours of sleep and others really like 9 hours.

Find what you need and get it. You’ll stay awake in class, absorb more, and stay healthier.

Show up for class

It may sound simple, but showing up for class is something a lot of students fail to do. Borrowed notes from a friend just aren’t the same as interacting with an instructor in the classroom.

Get involved

Join a club or a study group. Make friends and engage with other students. Higher education is about more than just a diploma. You will make lifelong friends during your time at WDT, and the happier and more engaged you are, the more likely you are to care about your education.

So what if you do everything right and you still find yourself in a bind? There’s good news.

WDT’s Student Success Center has academic and peer tutors, study groups, workshops, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s what the center is there for, says Slanina. You can find the Student Success Center on the second floor of Wanbli Hall or you can contact Mary Ann at maryann.slanina@wdt.edu or (605) 718-2426.

Have a good and well-planned year.

Surviving school during the flu season

As the long, cold days of winter set in, so do germs and viruses. In the United States, flu season begins in October and ends in May, usually peaking in February. This is bad news for students, as it runs parallel to the school year. Rather than living in a bubble for a few months of the year, taking a few precautions can increase your chances of getting through the school year on a healthy note. woman sneezing_blowing nose_sick

Wash your hands: Simple as it sounds, it is an easy way to dodge the flu. The virus can live on some surfaces for as long as 48 hours. The flu can be spread by touching your eyes or mouth after touching a contaminated object, or by shaking hands with someone carrying the virus. Washing your hands or using an alcohol based hand sanitizer often is a great way to stop the spread of the virus.

Get some sleep: A lack of sleep suppresses our immune system’s ability to function properly and fight off illness. The amount of sleep each individual needs varies, but eight hours is the recommended amount for most. It is also important that sleep is uninterrupted in order for your body to complete the sleep cycle. About thirty minutes prior to bed, turn off electronic devices and try sipping a hot cup of tea which will allow your mind to begin the wind-down process.

Eat a well-balanced diet: As a student, it can be hard to find and remember to eat the proper amount of fruits and vegetables every day. Always on the go, it is easier and cheaper to eat fatty, convenient foods. Planning is key, especially on a trip to the grocery store. Try to shop the aisles on the perimeter, as that is where most of the fresh foods are located. The center aisles hold the foods that tend to be packed with preservatives. On the weekend, take ten minutes and plan your meals for the week, even if it includes packed lunches. Splurging every once in a while is fine, but if you get into the daily habit, it can be very hard on your body to process.

Take time for yourself: Between class, school activities, work, family, and friends, there isn’t much time left for you. However, it is important to find a way to de-stress your system by doing what you enjoy, even if only for short periods of time.

A little bit of exercise goes a long way: If you have the time to go to the gym, by all means, go! However, most students are busy juggling numerous priorities and simply don’t have time. It’s easy to incorporate exercise into your day. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Park your car further away from the building. Walk the dog around the block. All of these simple ways to get your body moving will help keep your immune system strong.

Going to school during the flu season is almost unavoidable. However, it is not impossible to go through it without catching the flu. If you do end up with influenza, minimize risk of contaminating classmates by staying home. Upon the onset of symptoms, the virus can be contagious for up to seven days. Stay in touch with your instructors during this time, doing what you can to not fall far behind in class.