Time to make plans

By Paul Cruse III

With the economy in a recession, the unemployment rate is on the rise. The Wall Street Journal reports that the unemployment rate has increased .4 percent since October. Well, what does that mean for us as students?

It means fewer internship positions available and companies hiring fewer college graduates. Now more than ever, you need to stand out. Luckily, you attend a world class university that offers two unique and impressive programs to help undergraduates in their career endeavors.

The Hoeft Technology & Management Program

Are you completing an engineering or business degree? Have you ever been interested in the interaction between business and technology? If so, the Hoeft Technology and Management Program is perfect for you. This amazing program offers a lot of useful components that would help any engineering or business student start a fulfilling career.

T&M; students take a 22-hour specialized curriculum spanning their junior and senior years. Business students take engineering courses; engineering students take business courses; and both groups take unique classes together that emphasize teamwork between the disciplines.

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    Also, students partake in a study abroad opportunity where they learn about the global nature of business through a simulated international business immersion experience. Lastly, the program ends with a Capstone Project. This project groups T&M; students in teams of six and has them solve significant, real world problems for their corporate sponsors.

    The program selects sophomores in the second semester with a minimum GPA of 3.2. Darcy Sementi, the program’s director, says “students should consider applying to the program if they have some leadership experience here on campus, combined with their academic performance. The interview process considers more than just the student’s GPA.”

    With the program’s unique curriculum and strong corporate partnership, it would be a great item to have on your resume and something to talk about in interviews. Kalin Meyer, a senior in the program said, “Very seldom do students have the opportunity to engage in cross-functional learning, and I believe the T&M; program offers just that. The program not only offers its students exposure to another field of study, but also the secondary benefits of working alongside students concentrating in fields different than their own.” For more information, attend an information session either Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. in 241 Wohlers Hall or Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. in 101 Transportation Building or visit www.techmgmt.uiuc.edu.

    The iLEAP Program

    This program is not truly an undergraduate program, but it is a great opportunity nonetheless. If you know the University of Illinois’ top-tier law school is fit for you, the I-Leap program may be a dream come true.

    I-Leap is an accelerated admission program exclusive to University of Illinois students for the College of Law. The law school knows what great students the University produces and wants first crack at them. This program admits second semester juniors into the law school without having to take the dreaded and strenuous LSAT or pay application fees.

    Some question why the LSAT would be dismissed in the application. Paul Pless, assistant dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the College of Law said, “The LSAT, when measured with other indicators, is a good predictor of a student’s performance in law school, but because the College of Law is a part of the University and we have an in-depth understanding of the curriculum, we can predict the student’s future law school performance without the LSAT.”

    Though the University is not the only school to offer an accelerated admission program (the University of Michigan recently announced a similar program), this program has been in the works well before Michigan program was made public. The major difference between the programs is that U of I has no minimum GPA to apply. This allows students enrolled in more difficult curriculums, like engineering or computer science, to be eligible.

    Strong candidates are people who have shown leadership in their extra-curricular activities and have a strong desire to attend law school. Students who successfully go through the application and interview process are admitted early with a significant scholarship.

    The application deadline is Feb. 1, but this program does have rolling admission so it may be beneficial to apply early. For additional information go to www.law.illinois.edu.

    The economy may be bad, but if you take advantage of what the University has to offer, it will definitely help you to not end up in the unemployment line after graduation.

    Paul is a senior in computer and political science and is still recovering from Thanksgiving.