A new experience is always a fun experience!

Frida and AgnesThis Friday 8:30 am, Frida and I were walking to school for our management class as we always do on Fridays. But this Friday and this management class were not like every other Friday and management class, something unusually was going to happen – we were going to have our first exam ever in our American college history.“Isn’t it amazing that we’re having our first exam ever in our American college history and that we’re going to do an exam that’s completely different from those we’ve at home, at Lund University?” I asked Frida, and she agreed.

For the first time in our lives, we were going to have a multiple-choice exam. A multiple-choice exam is an exam with questions and appurtenant alternatives. In order to pass the exam, you’ve to choose the correct alternative for each question. You don’t have to pass every question, but of course, the more questions you pass, the better chance you’ve to pass the exam. Although the description of a multiple-choice exam makes it sound very easy, it’s a little bit tricky. You’ve to pay attention to every word within the question and within the alternatives because if you miss one word it can change the whole meaning of the sentence and you may choose the wrong answer among the alternatives. My advice for everyone who’s going to do a multiple-choice exam is to read the questions and the alternatives carefully and several times before you decide which alternative you’re going to choose!

However, back to the why the multiple-choice exam was going to be a new experience for me and Frida. In Sweden, at our University, we never have these kinds of exams. Instead, we’re having exams that contain 7-8 analytic questions where we’re supposed to discuss different theories and concepts. The exams last for almost 4-5 hours and are usually based on several books instead of several chapters in one book. As you can understand, it’s a big difference for us to do an exam that contains 60 multiple-choice questions based on three chapters and that lasts for only 75 minutes. Even though we both were nervous before the exam and didn’t really know what to expect, we felt happy after the exam – happy to actually be a part of the American college for real!

For me, everything that’s a new experience is a fun experience. It doesn’t mater if I’m going to write a type of exam I’ve never written before or if I’m going to try a new sport activity – a new experience is always a fun experience! Keep that in mind when you’re going to try something for the first time and I promise you it will be more fun!

Internship interview?! Don't panic, there is the "Mock"!

Friday 11th September at 9:30. This was my appointment at “Career Resource Center” in the Humanities building for my first mock interview.
Try to image you feeling when, for the first time, you enter in a huge building in NYC and you are waiting your interview. How many things could cross your mind?! Agitation? Nervousness? Mind completely empty? It would be normal, but … keep calm and take it easy! There are people ready to help you to prevent this terrible situation of uncontrolled stress.

During the IIB program, you can take advantage of all the opportunities that the SUNY University offers to its American students; one of that is the “Mock Interview”. This is a simulation of what will happen during the job interviews in New York City that you’ll face before your internship period. In this occasion you can learn to control your feelings and give your best to make a good first impression … without panic. You will seat in front of a girl, she will turn-on the camera and everything begins!

You need to prepare yourself: bring your resume and informed about the company you choose for your internship. There isn’t a specific dress code for this situation (remember that it is only a simulation), but the employees can help you in the choice of the best outfit for the job interview.

The mock interview is divide in two different moments: the first one is a facsimile of the real interview and the second one is an analysis about your replays. In the initial part Sarah (I did my mock with her) will ask you some questions about yourself, your previous experiences and about the choice of the company. Not embarrassing for the camera and be yourself! No one will judge you! Answer the questions explaining all your experiences with many examples and always analyze what are the lessons you learned or what were the results obtained. Remember: don’t forget to smile! While smiling you send a very clear message about your state of mind, not smiling creates an opening for many interpretations. At the end, around 30 minutes, the girl will turn-off the camera and you can review yourself: here start the second part. During the remaining time, Sarah and you will comment all your replays and she will give you some advices about your feeling during the speaking, your body language and more other aids about the best way to emphasize your experiences.

I really appreciate this time! Sarah taught me more things about the American job world (that is completely different from the Italian one) and many ways to enchant the people in front of me. She also, explained me the importance to analyze every time the results of my experiences, although they weren’t exactly what I expected, because also from the mistakes we learned something.

Therefore, in conclusion, never forget your resume and go prepared; this is a rare opportunity for you. You can test yourself in a different situation and prepare for what may happen in the following weeks.  Above all, remember: smile at people! “What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not smile? Everything.”

No body, no crime.

A Swedish Web site that offers free access to millions of copyrighted songs; movies; and so on, bills itself as the world’s largest Bit Torrent tracker.

The Pirate Bay provides a search engine that responds to user queries for music tracks or specific movie titles, TV series and computer programs generating a list of search results that includes the links of P2P networks where you can find the content you are looking for. To keep it simple: they don’t have the material, but they show you where to find it.

The US government pressured the Swedish government to strengthen its copyright laws, and what the founders of the company claimed, were that the copyright laws interfere with the free flow of information on the Internet. Just in case, they dispersed multiple copies of its program to other countries.

Source: Kenneth Laudon

Deadlines

Late night workHmm… I wonder where does the word come from?

Homework, readings, assignments, presentations, exams and all kind of due dates will flood your folders and notepads within the first two weeks of classes. Probably most US students are used to this, but if you come from a foreign country and you want to be successful in this educational system, a calendar my friend, will definitely be your best ally.


Assignments are actually not difficult, but time consuming. So, when there are plenty of things to do besides college, you need to be a good administrator. Taking some time every day will not prevent you from going out, and will help you keep pace. But well, we all know that spending a whole night powered up by coffee sometimes is the only solution that will help you to catch up.

Every time I check my agenda I can’t help remembering what Yoko Ono said:

The thing that would most improve my life is 27 hours in a day. I could meet all my deadlines

The historical background

I’ m sure all of you are wondering what the name “New Paltz” means.

Well, I found that New Paltz has a good historical background, as it was founded in 1678 from a group of French Huguenots.

The Huguenots had to leave France during religious persecution; they first moved to Mannheim in the German Palatinate, and then crossed the ocean and finally settled near the Wallkill river shore, in the Dutch colony of New Netherland.

In Mannheim’s dialect Palatinate (Pfaltz) is pronounced Paltz, so, thankful for the hospitality they got, the Huguenots wanted to name the place New Paltz.

Nowadays is still possible to see most of the original settlement in what is called “Huguenot Street Historic District”.

Nor a bird neither a plane: It’s Amazon Prime Air

Between course books and notebooks, the E-Commerce classes began in IIB, New Paltz: Well-known brands, cases of study, commercial transactions, and a curious invention made by Amazon that, if it’s approved by the US Goverment, could mean the starting point of a totally different way of shipping products.

Amazon Prime Air is a new delivery system to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes, or less, using unmanned aerial vehicles that identify locations by GPS. However they are still working in building vehicles that prioritize public safety and also in designing them suitable for the commercial aviation standards.

It looks like science fiction, but it’s real. The Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos affirmed that the company could possibly have the service up and running in four years.

Sources: amazon.com; forbes.com; washingtonpost.com

It’s hard work (mostly)

The dedicated reader of this blog might think that we enjoyed wonderful eight weeks of leisure time at SUNY New Paltz. But we should put something right here: The IIB program is an academic program that is, although it’s a lot of fun, still hard work. To our excuse, posts and pictures of us sitting in the library is not the first thing we share on our blog. Therefore, this media gallery is about the one thing that remained concealed until now: Our HARD work. University life in the US is quite different to other countries. Here, you have to do many small group and individual assignments that sometimes reminds of middle school homework. Because there are so many of them, it requires time management and self-organization. Group work requires the ability to work in a team as wells as collaboration skills and finally the amount of work can be overwhelming sometimes, at least, if you want to see something else than the campus. This is very similar to the job life and thus prepares you well for it. I hope…

Super Bowl Commercials

Last Sunday all of us except for poor Maja who were sick (missed you a lot!) went to McGillicuddy’s, a local bar here in New Paltz, to watch Super Bowl! Of course it was not just because of the sport.. Or Beyoncé.. Or the food and drinks which you may believe. We are marketing students so we could not miss the always so famous commercials!

It is a really amazing phenomenon, that companies pay $4 million for a 30 second spot of commercial, which usually costs under $1 million when it is not showed during the Super Bowl. The great thing is that there is no hold back on creativity and entertainment! These are my two absolute favorites from this year.

My classmates would probably say my favorite was the Calvin Klein commercial though, and I can not totally disagree.. ;P But anyway! I am really looking forward to see one of ours commercial being showed during Super Bowl in the near future which I do not doubt at all will happen!

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The study abroad experience!

One of the best things with studying abroad is that it offers a chance to make new friends from all over the world and to create a professional network! We are 18 students from Mexico, Italy and Sweden participating in the IIB Program. Even though we have been here only for three weeks, we have already become like a family. We are also taking courses with students from the U.S., China, Brazil, and Turkey. This mix gives different points of view when having discussions during the lectures.

The study abroad experience also gives a new perspective on the world and a better understanding of different cultures. I believe it is very important in today’s global society to posses the skill to communicate across cultures and to be open-minded. Since my goal is to work in an international company, I feel very motivated to study in this international context and of course I’m very excited for my internship in NYC!

Before I came to New Paltz, I studied abroad in Worcester, Seoul and London but I never shared a room with anyone. Here in New Paltz, we share room with another IIB student from a different country. My roommate Patrizia comes from Italy and she is really great! She is always positive, fun and a very talented student.

I am very pleased to get this study abroad experience, to make friends from all over the world and to build a global network!

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Concepts in Federal Income Tax

One of the four courses I’m taking is concepts in federal income tax with Dr. Don Furman. Coming from another country with a completely different tax system and different tax law system you can’t feel anything but lost when it comes to the American taxes. The course is very interesting and Dr. Don Furman is very good in what his teaching and with keeping the subject interesting, (even though everybody thinks that taxes are boring.)

So far in this course I have learned a few important things: YOU can’t do your own taxes, it’s too complex. One example is to try choosing the right tax form, you can choose all three of them but the explanation is; the least complex tax form is 1040EZ, the 1040A is more complex than 1040EZ, and the 1040 is more complex than 1040A. Any person would pick up the phone and call an accountant to fix the taxes.

If you don’t know how much you own to the IRS pay more or else the penalty fees will stack up.

Confusing fact everybody has rights to deduction but for different amounts depending on your relationship status OK, but here comes the confusing part if you are over 65 and/or are blind you can claim an additional deduction. I can understand the part over 65 but the question is why blind and not other disabilities it doesn’t make any sense why other disabilities can’t claim an additional deduction? If somebody knows why please tell me.

The most important rule to think about is that taxes are due April 15 each year; it means that taxes are going to be paid to the IRS regardless of extensions that you get.

If my stay in America would be longer I would have taken some more tax courses because it is interesting to learn how it works in the States. The course is confusing and fun at the same time I recommend it for people who seek some tax adventures.