Back to School at 19 vs 27

img_4865  By: Andrew D. Jankowski

When I started college at 19, I thought I knew exactly how the next decade of my life would pan out. I knew in four breezy years I’d have my English degree, and I’d learn the perfect balance between being a fiction writer and being an art photographer. I knew it.

As a kindergartener, I would stare across the water from my Vancouver, Washington bedroom window at what was probably Airport Way in Portland. I am legally blind, though I didn’t know it at the time, but when I looked out at night, those warm industrial lights shone like glittering yellow diamonds under murky violet water.

Higher education is one of the easiest ways to enter a new city. I moved to Portland in September 2008, days before the government took control of my bank, Washington Mutual. That sure made making my student payments awkward, let me tell ya. But as I spent the next four years riding out Great Recessional angst, I learned about Portland, Portland State University, and myself.

I’ve had a lot of Portland adventures. I’ve learned a lot about Portland State University’s criminally under-utilized resources. I’ve changed everything about the plan I made for myself at 19. I never imagined being a college dropout for four years. I never imagined giving up on, and falling back in love with, writing or photography. I never knew I’d carve out a mildly successful freelance career between my time in school. The only thing consistent about my plan is that I’m still at Portland State University and I’m still pursuing an English degree.

Now in the second year of what I call “college, part 2,” I still can’t believe I found the courage to return to college at 27. It’s still jarring to be in class with teenagers, who were probably in junior high-or-younger when I started and ended “college, part 1,” yet I find myself more at peace in school than I did as a late teenager. But I can probably trick one of them into helping me learn SnapChat, right?

Let Selfies Serve the City.


girls go 2 college 2 get more knowledge

with Allie Clark of NW Noggin at PSU’s Party in the Park Blocks 2016



September Sunshine + Networking = Opportunities

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Let the countdown for the final days of summer break commence. It’s official. Fall term is almost upon us; how are you spending your last days being textbook free?

If you’re a super planner like me, you’ve made a “final days of college freedom checklist,” which consists of: a binge-list of tv favorites on Netflix and HBOGO, dates with the friends who’ve managed to stick with you through the craziness of last term’s finals, visiting places that you fantasized about while studying/living in the library , and finally, last-minute networking events.

September networking is often overlooked, since the majority of us want to spend our time outdoors basking in the sunshine. Business devotees are no different, which is why the summer season offers so many networking opportunities, from mixers on the patio of Rogue Ale House to the September Camp Optimization meet-up.

Be sure to squeeze in a few of these upcoming networking events and get a jumpstart on your future careers:

Happy Networking!

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Lead by Example

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

As a Portland State student, how do you become a better leader? If you’re like me, you read a lot of books, troll Twitter for trending bloggers, and attend a few conferences. Recently, I’ve come to realize that one of the best ways to grow is to engage with other students.


A few weeks ago, fellow PSU student Bertonitti Tayetto reached out to me and asked if he could share his marketing internship in PSU Chronicles. Bertonitti is an Emerging Leaders intern at The Hello Foundation, a local company that provides speech and occupational therapy to school districts and private clients. To grow as a leader, Bertonitti is implementing the project Hello Everyone at the foundation. It is a clinic designed to specifically help college students with speech and occupational therapy, ranging from professional to daily social skills (clinic sessions starting at $125).

Bertonitti is conducting a student survey to launch his project. Please help out a fellow Viking by completely his Hello Everyone survey.

What really impressed me was Bertonitti’s passion for his internship and the job-related skills he is gaining (Google Analytics, interviewing, social media and project management).

The next time I am prepping for an internship interview, I will remember Bertonitti and use his Top 3 Interviewing Tips:

  • Research the company.
  • Wear clothing that makes you feel confident.
  • Speak with others about the company.

Way to go Bertonitti!



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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Just like you, I am one of 28,076 students currently enrolled at Portland State University. All of us are followed, liked, shared, and/or linked by millennial-driven platforms; each of which are working hard to promote our professional self image.

As a career driven student, I allocate a majority of my time to the top business networking platform, LinkedIn. I am excited to start using its new standalone, “LinkedIn Students” app, which is currently available for download. The LinkedIn Students app is solely equipped for helping soon-to-be college graduates search for future employment by providing an easy and convenient way to explore jobs anywhere in the world.

According to Forbes, “The tool offers personalized job recommendations and postings based on the career paths of LinkedIn’s more than 400 million users. The app’s algorithm iLINKEDIN STUDENT IMAGE1s guided in part by the career paths of professionals who graduated from the same college and with the same major as a particular student.”

I like that the free app also offers career-
related content and videos, which consist LINKEDIN BLOG IMAGE3
of articles about interviewing and negotiating a salary – to name a few. Student-friendly features include a ‘star button’ that gives students a way to indicate preferences and transform LinkedIn Students into our own digitalized career consultant.

Have you tried the new LinkedIn Students App? If not, download the app using the link: https://students.linkedin.com/

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Coffee is to students, as textbooks are to classes.

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Our lives as college students are widely known for take-out meals, 10-page papers, all-nighters, epic parties, alcohol and, without a doubt, coffee — which must be served in mammoth-sized coffee cups!

Here are Three reasons why every Portland State University college student must supplement their current academic curriculum with a coffee regiment:

1. As the saying might go, “when in Portland, brew as the portlanders brew.”  As a #PSUStudent we are now identifiable as #Portlanders. According to a Men’s Health study, Portland, Oregon is ranked within the top four cities in the U.S. known for its coffee obsession.

2. When the dreaded college “dead-week apocalypse” strikes, students survive by just the smell of coffee alone. This survival strategy has been proven effective by a research study at Seoul National University, which examined the brains of sleep deprived rats who were diagnosed with high stress; it was discovered that those that were exposed to coffee aromas experienced changes in brain proteins tied to that stress.

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3. There is just NO time to go to the gym when you’re a full-time student. So what if we skipped zumba and instead binged-watched all seasons of Grimm. Did you know coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet?  Those antioxidants keep our bodies healthy and decrease visits to the PSU SHAC.

From one coffee enthusiast to another, I believe that whoever said, “there are not enough hours in a day,” wasn’t roasting the right blend. What are your reasons for being an avid college coffee drinker? Post them in the comments below!

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“Please Hire Me.”

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Summer internship application deadlines for 2016 are rapidly coming to a close, and I still haven’t scheduled a single interview. However, I believe that I’ve dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s where necessary. I’ve updated my resume, wrote several personalized company cover letters, and I have even gone through great lengths to create a consistent presence for myself using an online portfolio. Although the stressed student in me is convinced all hope is lost, this is not the case!

I’ve decided to beat my internship frustrations by incorporating the following proactive tools:

  1. Conduct several informational interviews.
  2. Research internship opportunities on CareerConnect.
  3. Attend campus workshops and events.
  4. Meet with an internship advisor on campus.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 9.16.59 PMIf you’re like me and determined to snag a last minute summer internship, don’t forget to follow Portland State University on Twitter and Facebook! Our university social sites are an important place to check for updates on upcoming career fairs happening on campus. Plus, be sure to save the date and register for our next “All Major Job Fair” on May 10th, 2016.

What are your tips and tricks for landing last minute internships? I would love to read them in the comments below.

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How Technology Has Improved My Fitness Habits

Self Photos and Post by: James Wilson

Being a full-time student on top of working and maintaining a connection with family and friends is already hard enough. Adding the right time to get any bit of a workout or any form of physical activity adds just another layer.


Technology for me has already made that first part way easier. We all are connected to devices nearly 24/7. We work on the go. We also are maintaining that social connection — maybe while even waiting for the Max — when we check our phones to message close friends or family members. But what about working out? How can technology help with recreation?


Luckily, Android and Apple’s iPhone already have this problem solved. With their built-in pedometers you can see just how active you are in a normal daily routine. Walking 20 minutes to class is now an integrated part of my fitness regimen. Pairing a phone with a wearable device such as the Apple Watch or the Fitbit makes this even better. I’m able to link my smartwatch with my phone and keep tabs on my physical activity at all times. It gets me moving more. I have apps that notify me when I’ve been stationary for too long, and that motivates me to get up and move around. I also have the 7 Minute Workout app on my Pebble watch and phone, so I can optimize my free time when I can’t make it to the gym. For the busy student it really is a habit changer and motivates me when I need it most.