College Success Program Newsletter - June 2020
Acing a Virtual Interview

Job and internship interviews have shifted entirely to video in our Covid-19 era of travel bans and social distancing. Online interviewing has its advantages — it saves money, for one — but it also creates a unique set of stresses for candidates. The following video-interview tips can help even the most senior and technologically savvy candidates navigate popular videoconferencing services like Zoom, BlueJeans, Webex, Google Meet, or Skype.

Consider an Artificial Backdrop
In a video interview, you need to focus on nuances you would normally ignore — like the setting, which matters far more than whether you are wearing nice pants. If you can’t create an attractive, office-like background at home, utilize virtual backdrop settings available on most of the video services. I don’t mean virtual backdrops of forests or beaches. It’s best to use a neutral office setting. 
Prepare for Unexpected Drop-ins  
How you handle an unexpected interruption — assuming you do so gracefully and not by blowing up at the intrusion — can offer a human connection with the hiring committee that is sometimes lacking in virtual interviewing. Preemptive muting is your friend. It helps keep those pesky distractions in check. Play it safe if you are worried about a sudden meow, bickering children, or loud blenders in the background. Leave your screen muted and hold down the space key to unmute only when you want to speak so that noise does not interrupt the other side of the conversation as the interviewer speaks. Shut down email and any online chatting so you do not get noisy notifications or pop-ups.
Remember your Username Matters
Especially if you are borrowing someone else’s device or account, make sure you retype the username, and include your first name. This will help avoid confusion and ensure a professional first impression.

Adapted from the Chronicle of Higher Education 
Exit Loan Resources:  

Where do I go for student loan exit counseling?
Students ready to complete exit counseling will log into to complete the online course. You will want to have the following on hand: 
  • Your verified FSA ID
  • Income information
  • Financial aid information
  • Expected and current living expenses 
  • Contact information for yourself, your next of kin, two references, and your future employer if you already have a job lined up

Find out how much you need to repay by logging in to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS):
  • Click on “Financial Aid Review”
  • Click on “Accept” to agree with the privacy policy
  • Click on “Accept” to protect your information 
  • Enter your social security number, first 2 letters of your last name, date of birth, and your FAFSA PIN
  • Review your loan amounts, interest charges, and grant amounts for accuracy and print a copy of this page
FSA assistance: call 1-800-433-3243

If you have any questions or concerns about what you are seeing, contact your Success Coach for guidance.
Maryland Roadmap to Reopen + Resources

Reopening Status:
Go Here to follow the charts for reopening Montgomery County.

Reopening Plan:
Scroll to page 25 Here to learn about Maryland's reopening plans.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program:
Montgomery County is offering up to 3 months partial rent support to low-income tenants who lost income due to COVID-19. Applications and documents must be submitted to the Housing Opportunities Commission by June 5 at 2 p.m. Go Here to learn more, collect your documents and apply.

Food Resources:
Looking for food or grocery delivery or simply access to food? Check out the wealth of options Here.
If you find yourself with a lot of time and itching to get out, think of volunteering with one of the organizations.
*****Celebrate You*****
We want to take the time to acknowledge each and every one of you. Whether your semester, internship, job, career program, etc., was interrupted this past semester we see you. We see how hard you have worked to provide for your families and yourself all while completing tasks and classes in a newly inconvenient way. We know that nothing has been easy during this time, but you stuck it out and continued to take care of all you needed. We are proud of you!! We thank you for reaching out to ask for help and allowing us the opportunity to work with you. Times may be uncertain, but we have the utmost faith that you will continue to make it through.

Shout out to to Brandon Rodrigue z on earning a Summer 2020 internship with CollegeTracks and being one of the 16 students who are being selected to be on the Student Advisory Committee at Goucher College.

Shout out to Ghislaine Ekane and Aisha Sowe for achieving such outstanding GPA's.

Shout out to Abel Tesfaye and Paul Demosthene for persevering through the change in the semester and showing your true effort in your classes!

Shout out to King Ortega and Vanesa Gonzalez for managing such difficult situations and still finishing the semester strong!

Shout out to Mayra Romero for completing the Future Link seminar!

Shout out to Aisha Mughal, Ruth Yemene, Kirubie Legesse, Edwin Benitez, Sarah Garey, Angel Bullock, Jenci Campos and Naima Muhamaad for allowing me to accompany you on your journey through college/program. It has been an amazing ride and I am so proud of each of you!

Shout out to Jose Quispe, Kayla Lee, Nathalia Parvez, and Prianca Parvez for completing all requirements through such interesting times and graduating MC!

Shout out and props to the Raker Siblings! Elisana Raker , Bowie State and Richard Raker , UMES, A fantastic academic performance this semester and show of awesome resilience!

Shout out to Raynolds Awus i Senior at Norwich University, for deciding to attend Officer Cadet School for the Marine Corps this Summer after a stellar academic run this year! 

Shout out to and amazed at the fantastic opportunities  Marwa Barrow has created for herself. Continuing her internship with prolific work with the USDA/DR and the HACU. All while creating an academic workspace for her younger siblings in her family's home.

Shout out to all of our scholars volunteering to shop for their neighbors and family, even helping younger family and friends with completing work online like Alondra Dias , you rock!

Shout out to Alexander Angulo , Senior at UMD rising above extreme difficulties this semester and still finishing strong. 

Shout out to freshmen Celeste Lange and Salem Tesfay for having fantastic Freshman year experiences at Morgan State Univ.

Shout out to Salif Tounkara at Franklin Pierce Univ. for making the Dean's list.

Shout out to Rossy Reyes at Trinity Washington University for earning her highest semester GPA since I've been her Coach, while also holding things down for her large family and being a new mother. Way to shine, Rossy!

Shout out to Alex Teklu, a rising junior at Salisbury University, for working so hard this semester and earning his highest semester GPA to date! He's also just recently been accepted into the Professional Program in the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business. Congrats, Alex! 

Shout out to Liam Thomas , rising junior, and Dagmawi Adugna , rising sophomore at Towson University, and Subaita Chowdhury and Eudel Ndong , rising juniors at Goucher College, for earning their highest GPA to date. You all worked extremely hard and committed to your goals. It all paid off!. So proud of you, Liam, Dagmawi, Subaita, Eudel! 

Shout out to Sarah Abdullah for receiving the Student Research Award with the Society of Pediatric Research. Learn more about her research Here !