Interested in applying to be a 2014 Global Gap Year Fellow? While we won’t begin accepting applications until the spring of 2014, we’re happy to announce that the application instructions and questions are available online. So if you’re a first-deadline applicant who is planning to apply for the Global Gap Year Fellowship, you’re welcome to take an early peek at the questions. Please also note that the Fellowship is open only to first-year students admitted from our early action deadline. We promise to open the application shortly after decisions are released.
We recently had the pleasure of recently interviewing Graham Collins, a 2012 Global Gap Year Fellow, who is now enrolled at Carolina. If you’re interested in how he spent his gap year and how this experience is helping him at UNC, read on.
Where did you go during your gap year?
GC: Ecuador, Rwanda, and Belgium. I spent my gap year in three countries but primarily working with the Junta Parroquial de Mindo in Noroccidente Pinchincha, Ecuador (the local government of Mindo).
With what organizations did you work?
- Global Citizen Year
- Junta Parroquial de Mindo
- El Gobierno Nacional de Ecuador
- ALARM – African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries
What did you do?
GC: I worked on various service projects, traveled, and reflected. I particularly enjoyed working on a sewer system with the local population at a pre-school/elementary school in rural Ecuador. Other highlights included rebuilding bridges and other structures after a flash flood, cooking traditional foods for a social program for the elderly in my community of Ecuador, and having the responsibility of formulating a curriculum to lead summer school for over 3,000 kids in five communities of northwestern Ecuador.
What was your favorite part about being a gap year fellow?
GC: Support from the University for my gap activities—financial as well as the social and strategic planning support the University provided.
Now that you’re at Carolina, what sort of courses are you taking?
GC: I’m taking Introductory Accounting, Global Issues in the 20th Century, Decision Models for Economics, Politics of Performance, Great Decisions, and the Psychology of Mental States and Language Use. I’m currently thinking of a double major in Global Studies and Public Health but because I’ll spend the first two years in the College of Arts and Sciences, I will have until the second semester of my sophomore year to make up my mind.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in at UNC and college?
GC: Various programs in the Campus Y, mainly with the fellowship and GAPPL or Global Gap Year People (of course!). I am also a member of book and study groups.
What are your post-college plans?
GC: I’m interested in studying Public Health with a focus on nutrition during undergrad, taking a few years to travel and potentially work for a NGO. I can see myself in Uruguay or Cuba, for example. From there, I am considering the idea of pursuing higher education to better be able to serve the needs of my peers. If my travels lead me to a place where I can work in a meaningful way without further studying, I will have no need to pursue another degree, though I am always striving for personal betterment and continued learning.
What are you doing to continue or implement the things you learned on your gap year?
GC: Maintaining my Spanish, cooking, valuing family and community, creating and setting meaningful goals and choosing to engage in the activities that are beneficial to me
Do you have more questions? To connect with Graham or the Global Gap Year Fellowship Team, send an email to email@example.com.
Late last week, we sent an email to all EA applicants whose applications were incomplete. If you received one of these emails, please don’t panic! There is still plenty of time to re-send materials, or to work together to locate materials that have gone astray. Don’t panic, but please do take action. Your first step: READ THE WHOLE EMAIL. I know it’s a long email, but it has important instructions that will tell you what to do, depending on when and how you originally sent the items in question. I’ll repeat the most important points here:
- You can always check the status of your application by going to MyCarolina and clicking the orange “MyCarolina for Applicants” button. Log in with your UNC Guest ID. (Never created a Guest ID? Refer back to the email we sent you after you submitted your application. If you can’t find the email, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can re-send it).
- Your To-Do List will list any missing application materials. If there’s nothing on the list, then your application is complete!
- If you submitted materials via the Common App, but they’re still showing up as missing, email us at email@example.com with your full name, date of birth, which item is missing, and the date you originally submitted it. With that information, we’ll be able to better locate items that are in electronic limbo.
- If you sent the items within the last 7-10 days, please give us a little more time to link these materials to your app.
We’re receiving many phone calls and emails, so it’s helpful if you choose one or the other. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. If you have general questions, please feel free to use the comments below. We look forward to completing these applications so we can get to work reading them! Thanks for your patience and help.
Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), launched by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and U.K. Prime Minister, ran in 138 countries from November 18-24. Carolina elected to be a part of the program this year, which comes as no surprise to those in this area. Chapel Hill and the neighboring Research Triangle Parkway (RTP) are consistently lauded for the entrepreneurial spirit that drives solutions and innovation; our Entrepreneurship minor and multiple enterprise accelerators can attest to this reputation as well.
UNC’s GEW schedule included talks on “People, Planet and Profit” and “How Entrepreneurship Can Change the World,” a StartUp Weekend and a Pitch Party through the Carolina Challenge where the winning idea received $1,000 in start up funds. Young alumni who started their own enterprises, such as ABAN and Symbology, were also featured in a panel during the closing day events.
UNC is on the cutting edge of entrepreneurial education and immersion experiences for those who seek to start an organization or business. If you think that may be in your future, Carolina may just be the place for you!
On Monday, we had the privilege of going to Durham to visit Hillside High School, which was one of the first schools in the Carolina College Advising Corps, which places recent Carolina graduates in low-income high schools across North Carolina to help students find their way to colleges that will help them thrive. The Corps is led by our own Yolanda Keith, who oversees the work of 31 advisers in a total of 51 schools. The purpose of our visit was to interview students and staff for a special video that Rob Holliday from UNC News Services is helping us produce.
Hillside is served by the very popular Diane Matthews, who is currently the adviser for both Hillside and Southern High School. Hillside kicked off North Carolina College Application Week (sponsored by our friends at the College Foundation of North Carolina) with a host of activities, including field trips and setting up a special table in the media room where students are offered assistance as they apply to colleges. Diane also asked teachers to wear clothes representing their own alma maters and they proudly obliged.
We chatted briefly with Dr. William Logan, the principal at Hillside, and he was very supportive of the Corps’ role in the success of his students. He applauded the Corps for helping students think ahead and develop plans for college as early as their ninth and tenth grade years. We also spoke with several students who are now considering college, thanks to the work of Diane. One student, a first-generation college student who aspires to be a nurse one day, said told us that without the help of the Corps, she would be “lost.” Another student stressed the role of Diane in helping navigate the complex world of financial aid. Students in the media room were applying to a variety of colleges, including Carolina, Howard University, Elon University, N.C. Wesleyan College, UNC-Greensboro, and UNC-Charlotte.
On the banner students wrote about their personal as well as professional goals, which ranged from being a psychologist to a dermatologist. Our day at Hillside was best summed up by the inspirational words of another student who wrote: “Failure is not an option!” Indeed!
Much thanks to Diane, Dr. Logan, Yolanda, Rob, and the wonderful students who so graciously let us spend some time with them.
C-STEP students considered many local non-profits for their annual Thanksgiving service project before choosing TABLE as their 2013 beneficiary partner. C-STEP students select and lead the popular service project, which has supported animal rescue programs in the past. This year, efforts support TABLE, which provides emergency food aid to hungry children in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area.
Brian Woodard is ecstatic about participation this year – but he’s not surprised by the students’ interest. According to Brian, “C-STEP students are always searching for ways to give back to those around them. The C-STEP staff is thankful to work with a group of students who always reach back to help fellow community members move forward.”
This year’s service project included collecting food, raising awareness and learned more about food insecurity in the local community. For their work, and the work of all C-STEP community members, UNC Admissions is truly thankful.
At a recent internship fair, I was sitting at a booth representing a company I interned for. A student walked up and asked an incredibly bold—and admittedly unexpected—question:
“So, what even IS an internship?”
Some of you all may be wondering this, too. You’ve probably seen internships talked about on college websites and blogs or tweeted about by friends. But what exactly does it entail? How is it actually helpful? And why in the world would you work so hard for little or no pay?
What is an internship? Internships are all about experience. As an intern, you work a set number of hours in the office each week, doing anything from real company work to administrative tasks. They’re a chance for you to get inside a company of your interest and see if it’s a good fit for you, or if you’re a good fit for them. They’re offered across almost all industries and are usually given through an application process.
How do I get one? In today’s workplace, internships are becoming an increasingly important—if not THE most important—part of any résumé. Lucky for us, UNC recognizes this. There’s an abundance of services on campus that help you to get internships. Here are just a few:
- University Career Services
UCS provides a ton of tools for UNC students to not only reach out to employers, but to ensure their résumés, cover letters, and interview skills are in top shape. One such resource is an online database called Careerolina, where job and internship openings are posted and sorted, so you can search for the ones most relevant or interesting to you. UCS also offers one-on-one help. You can sit down with a representative and have your résumé and cover letter critiqued, or set up a practice interview to make sure you say all the right things to land the job.
- Departmental resources
Each department typically has a professor or staff member who devotes time to helping students get internships or jobs. In the J-School, our career services representative, Jay Eubank, helps students connect with influential alumni. We also have a database called J-Link, where students can search for J-School alumni by field or company, so that they have a great foot in the door to the companies they’re most interested in. Most departments also have listservs, or email groups, that send career services updates to all students who subscribe. I receive emails from the J-School, as well as from the English and Sociology departments (my minors) almost every day about openings!
- Campus Organizations
Campus organizations are a great way to establish connections and network with professionals with common interests. If you join a specific club, Greek organization, or interest group as a first-year, you’ll have graduates to network with every year!
Where and when should I get one? You can start interning as early as you’d like. Many UNC students get internships as a first-year, and some have even already interned as a high school student. By your junior year, you should have an idea of where you’d like to intern, and start applying if you haven’t. By the time you graduate, depending on your chosen field, you should have at least one internship under your belt to show employers that you’ve gotten some real-world experience during your time in college.
You can apply to internships in anything that interests you. Some companies look for interns with specific interests, while others simply look for students who are curious and hardworking. You can choose to apply at a company you’d like to work in in the future or in an industry where you can explore your strengths and interests.
Why should I get an internship? Unfortunately for us, many internships are unpaid. Which leads a lot of people to ask: Why in the world would I do so much work and not get paid? It’s a simple question, with a simple answer: Because it’s worth it. There are many things you can only learn in an internship. You can sit down one-on-one with professionals and get advice and get your name and face in front of people who could be incredibly influential in your future. You learn how to manage time, how to work best in a team, how to interact with superiors, and how to make yourself stand out. All in all, internships are the first stepping-stone to your career, and Carolina wants to make sure you make that first step a step in the right direction!
For more information about career services at UNC, visit the UCS website at careers.unc.edu.
– Karly Brooks ’14
Every year, we admit many outstanding transfer students from the community college system here in North Carolina. In fact, last year, they made up about a quarter of our enrolling transfer class. Many of them, like Shannon Smith, the student we wrote about yesterday, are non-traditional students who didn’t go directly to college after high school. They’ve worked, had families, or served in the military. Some just weren’t ready for college at the age of 18. Others chose community college to stay near their families or save money. We often say that there are many paths to Carolina, and I’d add that it’s ok if your path has had some zigzags in it. We value the breadth of perspective and life experience that these students bring to our community.
Our transfer application deadline is February 14, 2014 so you still have plenty of time to get your application in. We’ll be visiting college fairs at many of the community colleges in the state over the next few weeks. If you’re considering Carolina and would like to learn more about us, we hope you’ll come out and meet us.
11/15, 8:30am – Wake Technical Community College
11/15, 11:30am – Johnston Community College
11/18, 8:30am – Lenoir Community College
11/18, 11:30am – Wayne Community College
11/19, 11:30am – Nash Community College
11/20, 8:30am – Durham Technical Community College
11/20, 11:30am – Vance-Granville Community College
11/21, 8:30am – Piedmont Community College
11/21, 11:30am – Alamance Community College
12/2, 8:30am – Davidson County Community College
12/2, 11:30am – Forsyth Technical Community College
12/3, 8:30am – Rockingham Community College
12/3, 11:30am – Guilford Technical Community College
12/4, 8:30am – Montgomery Community College
12/4, 11:30am – Randolph Community College
12/6, 8:30am – Central Carolina Community College
12/9, 11:30am – Carteret Community College
See you there!
Student or visitor, you are sure to hear this guy yelling in the Pit around 12 p.m. He is the “Pit Preacher,” and if you talk to any of the students passing by, they will probably say to you: “That guy is crazy.”
He is known for his unusual approach of spreading Christianity. He is loud, proud and offensive.
He has made quite a reputation for himself on campus. Some students disagree with him, and a few think he is funny. But most have heard of him or heard from him once in their college career.
During my first year, I actually sat down to listen to him, and I was surprised at some of the comments he made. For one, he argued that all girls who wore leggings — that is, over half of UNC’s female population — were acting against the Bible.
I think the campus would agree that he takes extreme measures. But despite how crazy his conclusions may seem, UNC students who are eager to listen (or rather, argue) surround him.
Why is he able to say the things that he says? And why do students listen?
Don’t be alarmed.
The answer is simple. UNC’s campus permits the freedom of expression, no matter how radical. It is an environment that allows students to hear different ideals and thus form their own opinions on those ideas.
So while he seems crazy, the Pit Preacher is worth listening to at least once. I will warn you that he is a handful. But to listen to him, or sometimes even argue with him, is worth a break on a nice day in the Pit.
– Jordan Budget ’15
As students, it is quite easy to get lost in our daily schedules of class, work, volunteering, and other responsibilities. We as Tar Heels love our university, but sometimes it’s possible to take for granted how great this place really is. This past weekend, November 8 – 9, UNC had it’s Homecoming Celebration. Homecoming Week is filled with fun activities that celebrate who we are as a University, and serve as a special time for alumni and current students to come together. The highlight of the week is the big homecoming game, where, this year, the Tar Heels were victorious!
I attended the game with my friends, and it was one of the best days I’ve had in a while. I wasn’t thinking about the paper I had due next week, the exam I took last week, or the six chapters I needed to read for class. Instead, I was reflecting on how inspiring the Tar Heel family truly is, and what it means to be “Tar Heel Born and Tar Heel Bred.” In a stadium filled with thousands of fans, students, and alumni, the positive energy was so invigorating! And as I linked arms and sang the alma mater with my fellow classmates, I could not have felt more thankful for such an incredible opportunity to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Every now and then, we need reminders… reminders to let us know that no matter how hard we work, or how busy we get, we are not alone. There are thousands of Tar Heels, all across the world, who are rooting for us. I believe that’s my favorite part of being a Tar Heel, the fact that our Carolina blue rings true everywhere! So, if you are feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed just remember that EVERY DAY is a great day to be a Tar Heel. Go Heels!
– Jasmine Jennings ’16
Interested in transferring to Carolina one day? If you’re a talented high school student from a low- to moderate-income family and you have plans to attend one of our nine partner community colleges, you might be interested in C-STEP, the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program.
To learn more about C-STEP and how Carolina could help you succeed, take a look at a special video featuring Shannon Smith, a first-generation C-STEP student who came to Carolina from Fayetteville Technical Community College. A public policy major and now a mentor to other students, she earned the C.V. Starr Scholarship from the Center for Global Initiatives to participate in a faculty-sponsored research project that took her to Bern, Switzerland this past summer. We are so proud of Shannon and think that you will be inspired by her, too.