Tips on Applying to Graduate School

Graduate school provides a more specialized level of training and enhanced, expert instruction in a particular field. The most critical decision in applying to graduate school is not in selecting the institution but rather in identifying the most favorable area of study. Unfortunately, the decision-making process does not end there. Other considerations such as timing, location of study, financial aid, and the student population should all be given appropriate attention.

In this publication, we offer tips to jumpstart your search for a Master’s or Doctoral degree. We explore the common reasons for applying, the selection process, test taking, and the necessary preparations leading to attendance. These guidelines will provide you with insights into approaching the application process with confidence and will serve as a reference as you go through the application steps.

Good luck!

I. Top Reasons for Applying to Graduate School

Career Change/Advancement

People with several years of working experience often realize that their career path slowly becomes limited, or even spares no room for professional growth. Some also discover that their skill set is no longer applicable to their field of exposure and subsequently pursue specific training in their industry as a means to move forward.

On numerous occasions, a rank-and-file employee may have already acquired a knowledgeable understanding of how a company is managed, and may wish to pursue a supervisory position in the company or in another enterprise. Whether you are planning to switch careers or aiming for advancement, a graduate education can greatly offer more flexibility.

Increased Salary

Higher earnings directly correlate with higher education. Management and/or supervisory positions are often restricted to those with advanced degrees, thus limiting your earning potential if you do not have these advancements. According to studies, a graduate degree holder in the United States can earn an average of 33% more than someone with a bachelor’s degree alone.

Personal Improvement/Intellectual Stimulation

Discounting future career and income potential, other people opt to pursue graduate studies simply because they love to learn and are genuinely interested in acquiring more knowledge on their chosen field.

II. Determining if Graduate School is the Right Choice for You

Graduate school is perfect for people who enjoy research and learning. It is not ideal for people who merely want to take more courses, or for those who are in a rush to get a job.

Undergraduate study differs from graduate education in that it requires more of your time, motivation, and effort. It also entails forming professional and personal relationships with professors and other students. Generally, it challenges you in what you want to achieve in your life.

III. The Right Time for Graduate School

The right time to pursue an advanced degree is situational. You can embark on graduate school right after you receive your bachelor’s degree, a year after graduation, or even several years later. If you are approaching graduation, and you have decided that graduate school is the next step for you, it may be helpful if you ask yourself the following questions:

1) Are you ready for another three to eight years of studying?

2) Should you take time off before moving on to graduate school?

3) If you want to take time off, why?

If the main reason for taking time off is fatigue, then ask yourself if the two or three months of vacation before graduate school can help you revitalize yourself. If you are convinced that graduate school is the next step for you, then there is no reason why you should delay your application.

Right after Graduation

If the knowledge you acquired in your undergraduate education is specifically relevant to your graduate program, then this option may be the right one for you. Other reasons for going straight to graduate school include your excellence as a student; your current status of having few (or no) obligations, both personally and financially; and your interest in pursuing an area of expertise that requires a graduate degree.

Take time to ensure that graduate school is right for you. Advanced study requires a considerable amount of motivation and the ability to work independently. Sometimes, a vacation from studying may help intensify your motivation and enhance your skills. As such, you may want to consider the following option.

After a Sufficient Rest Period

Many graduates take a year off before they start their graduate program. You can use this time to work, both to help you fund your studies and to gain experience. Perhaps, you simply want to travel. If you are traveling, remember to apply for courses at the right time, keeping in mind that you might be asked to attend an interview or an admission test. You will need to plan well ahead, sometimes as long as 18 months prior to application. In the case of some overseas programs, it is common for students to put together a timeline before they begin focusing on their time off.

It is important to understand that pursuing a graduate degree a number of years after undergraduate study is not uncommon. Some time off can be valuable if it improves your qualifications and primes you for the pressures and rigors of graduate school.

After Working Full-time

The reasons for acquiring work experience before graduate school include acquiring a better understanding of your professional objectives, obtaining relevant work experience, and developing a more responsible attitude toward studying. If you know in advance that you intend to pursue a graduate education after several years of work, look for an employer with a tuition reimbursement program. Often, employers are willing to finance part, or all, of the expenses entailed in graduate study.

While Working

The biggest percentage of the graduate school student population consists of part-time students. The idea of supplemental education is a growing trend because rapid industry changes affect almost all fields of expertise. Continuing to work, whether on a part time or a full time basis, can also be a means of paying for expenses incurred during the course of your graduate study.

IV. Master’s vs. Doctoral Degrees

It is a common misconception that a prospective PhD student must possess a Master’s degree to enter a doctoral program. Although majority of graduate programs do require this, it is not always the case. It is better to conduct your own research and investigate the degree requirements for a program as opposed to making an assumption. In this booklet, we provide some of the more significant differences between being a Masteral and a Doctoral candidate.

The Masteral Candidate

You will spend, on the average, about two years in graduate school. The purpose of this program is to provide you with solid education in a specialized academic discipline

Your First Year The enrollment process is similar to that for undergraduate study. You are required to fulfill the coursework requirements of your degree. However, the work will be heavier, the course topics will be more specialized, and much more will be expected from you than when you were an undergraduate. With your adviser’s help (chosen by you or assigned by the program), you will start to solidify your academic focus.

Your Second Year You may take more advanced classes to complete your course requirements. Having determined your research direction, you will gradually spend more effort toward the completion of your thesis. Depending on your pace, you may need one semester or an entire academic year for you to finish your masteral thesis, the objective of which is to show your mastery in your area of study.

The Doctoral Candidate

You will spend, on the average, five to six years in graduate school. The purpose of the program is to provide you with comprehensive knowledge of your field, prepare you to conduct original and significant research, and make you ready to become a member of a teaching faculty.

Your First Three Years You will enroll in classes to fulfill your degree requirements and obtain comprehensive knowledge of your field of study. You will gradually establish your research direction, often consulting with an adviser (usually) appointed at the start of your graduate study. By the end of your second or third year, you would have completed a thesis or taken comprehensive exams, or both. The thesis and/or exams will allow your professors to evaluate your capabilities to continue with doctoral studies.

Your Last Three Years Coursework becomes a minor component of your academic workload, and may even disappear as you conceptualize your dissertation, a novel and significant contribution to the available knowledge in your specialization. You will teach more and more classes and gradually collaborate more with senior faculty members. You will form a close professional relationship with a faculty member who shares the same research interests as you do, and he/she will become your dissertation adviser. Your program will end with the completion of your dissertation, which may entail an oral defense of your research before a panel of faculty members and/or experts in the field you are in.

V. Selecting a Graduate Program

The following are some of the more important factors and questions that students need to consider and answer when deciding on what graduate program to apply to.

Specialty

This criterion will ultimately depend on your interests, but we always suggest job market consideration. Certain fields may undergo positive developments after a few years, while those that are currently experiencing rapid growth may become stagnant.

Ranking

A graduate program’s ranking is critical for some prospective graduate students. They believe that a program’s ranking signifies the quality of education they will receive and the level of resources that will be available to them. However, different sources of information – school Web sites, published rankings, and independent ranking organizations – all have specific criteria for evaluating a specific program. Students should therefore be aware of the factors that are considered in determining a program’s ranking, as well as the evaluation methods (if any) that are implemented.

Location

Location can play a large factor in your graduate school experience. You will establish many ties in graduate school and should therefore consider if the school of your choice is located in an area that you would consider living in. On the other hand, if you are looking for temporary residence in a place you have no intention of living in permanently but desire to live in for a few years, graduate school is an opportune time to gain that experience. Wherever you are, you should be comfortable with the location because you will be (usually) staying in that place for the next two to eight years of your life. Some questions you need to ask yourself are the following: Are you more partial to a small or large school? Urban or rural? Country or city?

Cost

Take into account all direct and indirect costs (tuition, miscellaneous fees, books, and especially cost of living) and the availability of financial assistance. The amount of financial assistance you receive often depends on whether you are pursuing a Master’s degree or a PhD. It is not unusual for a university or college to waive tuition requirements if you are applying for a doctoral program. Moreover, many PhD students are given some form of funding or stipend.

Admission Standards

It is better to select a graduate program with stringent admissions standards. Schools with lower admission requirements may provide a lower quality of graduate education. Majority of schools and universities make this type of information available to the public. Look for the base requirements for admission; these usually include the necessary undergraduate GPA and standardized test scores.

Teaching Personnel

Narrowing down your program choices will prove much easier if you are definite about your research interests. It is recommended that you apply to programs where the faculty members have research interests that coincide with yours.

It has often been stated that a graduate program is only as good as its faculty. It is important to learn from and train under professors who are respected and recognized in their chosen specialty. The easiest way to evaluate the quality of a program is to look at the proportion of classes taught by full-time faculty. At the same time, indicators such as the number of scholarly publications and the professional experience of the teaching staff could also provide insights into the reputation of the faculty.

Facilities

Check if the program you intend to apply to has the facilities/amenities that you need. Can they provide you the tools necessary for your research? It is important to investigate whether the “state-of-the-art” facilities promoted by the school or university are truly as claimed.

Time for Completion

Ask yourself how quickly you want to complete the program. Do you want to finish in two years? Three? Four? Do you have other plans after earning your graduate degree and thus have to finish it within a specific duration of time?

Career Planning

If your reason for going to graduate school is career related, then it will be wise to find out what types of professional development activities are available in the program/university you are pursuing. Are there opportunities for networking or training with actual practitioners in the field of specialization you have chosen?

Many students love the field of study they are in, but are confused with what specific positions they can apply for after graduation. The program or department will have information regarding the average salary earned by their graduates and the proportion of students who land jobs after graduation. You can also check if the department has connections with various organizations/companies to assist its students in finding employment after graduation.

VI. Finding Top Graduate Schools

Seek Out Fellow Graduate Students

Seeking out and talking to students enrolled in your program of interest is one of the best ways to conduct research on graduate schools. Getting the “inside scoop” on what you can expect upon admission into a program will certainly help you obtain “real-life information” about the program. Aside from obtaining information on courses, tuition, and faculty members, you may also be lucky enough to hear personal experiences with regard to the quality of instruction, the rigors of the program, and other factors that will aid you in making a decision where to apply.

Graduate School Rankings

Graduate school rankings provide a practical guide for finding the school that is suitable for you. Aside from general rankings, information such as average grades and test scores are included in these records. This will help you establish whether or not your qualifications are competitive.

In fields such as medicine, business, and law, rankings can be very useful. Rankings in these disciplines are frequently determined based on meticulous scientific evaluations, and if applied properly, these can direct students toward organizing their applications by enabling them to highlight the aspects they will be competitive in. Nonetheless, these rankings are not the end-all and be-all of selecting the right graduate school. Many students focus too much on international or national rankings. Combined with careful research, however, graduate school rankings can most certainly point you in the right direction.

VII. Applying for Admission

Materials

The following materials are generally required for applying to graduate school:

a. A completed and signed application form

b. The application fee

c. Certified true copies of transcripts from colleges and universities attended

d. Statement of Purpose or a Personal Statement

e. Recommendation Letters

f. Standardized test scores

VIII. Timetables for Applying to Graduate School

The earlier you complete your application, the better your prospects for admission. In this manual, we provide two options of a timetable you can utilize as you prepare for your application to graduate school. Carefully review each, and choose the one you believe will work best for you.

TIMETABLE (Option 1)

1. Conduct research

– Obtain information online – both institutional and external sites – and visit campuses (if possible).

– At graduate school fairs, speak with representatives from the schools. Collecting materials is often less effective than spending your time in verbal communication with people who are a reflection of the school. Generally, the material in brochures and distributed paperwork contains the same information as that of the online site. Talking to people may help you make better use of your time.

2. Prepare for the required standardized tests (i.e., GMAT and TOEFL)

– This is between one and six months ahead of taking the tests, depending on your initial level.

3. Start drafting your Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

– Think about your accomplishments, relevant experiences, influences, and inspirations.

– Identify your goals and reasons for pursuing graduate study and/or the specific graduate program.

4. Obtain your Letters of Recommendation

– Decide on and speak to the people you wish to get recommendations from; make sure you give them plenty of advanced notice.

– Discuss your plans, and remind them of your academic/professional achievements and capabilities.

– Give them clear and realistic deadlines for writing the letter (six to eight weeks).

– Follow-up with a call three or four weeks after making your request to find out how the letters are progressing (and as some recommenders have busy schedules, to remind them to start writing the letter).

5. Request for your undergraduate transcripts

– Do this at least two months before you submit your application.

6. Take the standardized tests

– Request that the scores be sent to the schools.

7. Finish drafting your Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

– Provide copies to friends and colleagues and ask them for their opinions regarding your work.

– Obtain the services of a professional English language review and editing company like KGSupport to enhance your essay’s content, improve English usage, and make your statement competitive.

– Type or write neatly. If your application is unreadable, it cannot be evaluated.

8. Mail all completed applications

– Do not wait for deadlines. Submit early!

– Keep photocopies for your records.

TIMETABLE (Option 2)

9-12 months before graduate school starts

– Select the programs you wish to enroll in.

– Obtain application forms and requirements from the university/school. Inquire from the admissions office if you have any questions.

– Decide who you will ask to write your letters of recommendation.

7-9 months before graduate school starts

– Start drafting your Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose.

– Collect your Letters of Recommendation.

– Complete the application in preparation for submission. Double-check that all necessary information has been provided. Read the instructions and follow them carefully.

– Keep photocopies of your application form, Personal Statement, undergraduate transcript, and Letters of Recommendation.

6-8 months before graduate school starts

– Submit your application documents. Check if there is a difference between deadlines for online submission and mailed applications.

– Begin looking for housing if required.

5-7 months before graduate school starts

– Request that your undergraduate transcripts be sent to your intended school/s.

– Acceptance letters are usually sent out around this time. If you have not heard from your school, contact them to make sure your application is complete.

3-6 months before graduate school starts

– Complete all your admission requirements: final transcripts, registration, medical checks, others

IX. Standard Tests/Exams Necessary for Application

GENERAL

1. GRE – Graduate Record Examination (General and Subject)

The GRE General Test measures a person’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills acquired over a period of time, and not related to any specific field of study. The standardized score serves as a yardstick for evaluating your qualifications as an applicant.

The GRE Subject Tests measure undergraduate proficiency in the following eight disciplines:

Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Literature in English, Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Psychology

2. IELTS – International English Language Testing System

The IELTS is an internationally recognized English language test. It enables students to show their ability to pursue courses in English. It is accepted by universities in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. However, it is not accepted by most universities in the United States. The score that students must obtain to be eligible in a university that requires IELTS depends on the course and the university.

3. TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

The TOEFL is the most widely accepted English language test in the world. It measures the spoken and written ability of non-native, English-speaking students. It is best to check the Web site of the university/school you wish to apply to before deciding on which English test to take.

4. TOEIC – Test of English for International Communication

The TOEIC assessment measures the capability of non-native English-speaking people to use English in everyday work activities.

5. TSE – Test of Spoken English

The TSE assessment measures the verbal communication ability of nonnative English speakers in an academic or professional environment.

SPECIFIC

1. LSAT (Law)

The LSAT is intended to measure skills regarded as indispensable for success in law school: accurate reading and comprehension of complex texts, organization of information and the capacity to obtain logical inferences from it, critical reasoning, and analysis and assessment of the reasoning and opinions of others.

2. GMAT (MBA)

The GMAT is a standardized test that aids business schools in evaluating the qualifications of applicants for advanced degrees in business and management. It is often used by business schools as a predictor of academic performance. The GMAT measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that have been developed through education and employment.

GMAT requirements vary depending on the school. You should research on the average GMAT scores at the universities you wish to apply to. This information should be readily available. Remember that top business schools view a score of at least 600 as competitive.

3. MCAT (Medicine)

The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice test intended to evaluate an applicant’s problem-solving, critical-thinking, and writing skills as well as knowledge of scientific concepts and principles essential to medical study. These scores are considered by medical schools as an essential factor in their evaluation process. Majority of medical schools in the United States require applicants to submit MCAT scores.

4. DAT (Dental)

General academic competence, grasp of scientific concepts, and perceptual ability are among the factors measured by the Dental Admissions Test.

X. The Admissions Interview

Although not all graduate programs conduct admission interviews, it is better to be prepared for this possibility, especially if the university, program, or field you are applying to is particularly competitive.

What is the purpose of the admissions interview? Sometimes, graduate school applicants are not as ideal for a program as they appear on paper. Therefore, the interview helps the people involved in the selection process to identify if a candidate can be successful in their program. It often provides insights into a person’s motivation, fundamental knowledge, and interpersonal and communication skills.

The interview process is different for each university and program. It may even vary within the program itself, depending on the person or panel handling the interview. During your interview, do not expect the interviewers to remember anything about you. They may have read your application essay or have gone through your transcript or resume, but keep in mind that they have likewise reviewed hundreds if not thousands of applications. Therefore, be ready to repeat certain details that are already presented in your file.

Before the Interview

o Conduct research about the program and faculty. Identify the program’s strengths and the faculty’s research interests.

o Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. What is it about you that make you suitable for the program?

o Step into the faculty members’ shoes. Try to determine what it is they want from a graduate student. Will your qualifications enable you to positively contribute to their program and research? What skills do you possess that will prove valuable to a professor as he or she conducts his or her research?

o Think about obvious questions that will be asked, prepare potential answers, and rehearse them with a friend (or even by yourself in front of a mirror).

During the Interview

o Always keep your goals in mind during the admissions interview.

o Try to sincerely communicate your passion, enthusiasm, and proficiencies.

o Be natural. Do not attempt to second guess what the interviewers are looking for. Be yourself, and most importantly, do not invent stories or accomplishments to impress the interviewing panel. You may succeed one time, but it could cost you your opportunity to get into the program if you are found out.

o Listen carefully to what the interviewers are saying and/or asking. When answering, remember to speak slowly and clearly.

o Establish and maintain eye contact with the interviewer/s and remember to smile. Show them you are happy for this chance to talk to them.

o Some interviews involve social affairs like a small gathering. Keep in mind that although it is a party, it is still part of the interview. You might not see it or feel it, but you are being evaluated all the time.

Ten Important Classroom Management Tips and Strategies

By now, you have probably already learned that a good classroom management system is responsible for building a positive classroom climate. As a classroom manager, A good classroom manager knows that the benefit of using classroom management strategies can both stimulate and encourage learning.

Using Classroom Strategies for Improving Motivation

When consistently implemented, these strategies can enhance the quality of your own teaching. This can be done in a variety of ways:

– Always aim to model the desire behavior. – Modeling is important for setting the expectations of both behavior and learning procedures.

– Creating opportunities for personal contact with students. – This includes providing tutorials and positive reinforcement whenever needed.

– Taking the student seriously. Students sense when they are taken seriously by the little things a teacher does in the classroom. Teachers can communicate this in a variety of ways using positive reinforcement, communicating expectations, and motivating pep talks.

– Being supportive, encouraging, helpful and available.

– Sharing information and ideas with the students.

– Accepting students’ feelings especially regarding assignments and tests.

Classroom Management Procedures

Effective classroom managers can also use the following classroom management procedures for reinforcing their rules and procedures. Some classroom managers believe that sharing responsibility with students leads to cooperation and a positive classroom environment.

– Allow students to participate in rule setting. This strategy helps with developing their own responsibility as learners and managing their own classroom behavior.

– Allow students input into the daily schedule. This strategy helps them with organizing, prioritizing and planning content of the daily lesson as well as managing their work efforts and contributions to the lessons.

– Allow students to give input about assignments. This strategy helps them to become more aware of how they manipulate their learning.

– Allow students to select their own books to read. – This strategy has important implications for enhancing motivation.

– Allow students to plan and set goals for learning. Students can set two to three goals that they feel will help improve their learning such as handing in homework on time and improving their spelling.

– Allow the student to use self-evaluation procedures. Teachers can provide checklists and rubrics to encourage independent learning.

Building a positive classroom climate includes involving students in on classroom procedures and rules and treating them with respect. If you do these classroom procedures and strategies consistently, you’ll find that the quality of your teaching will shine. So what are you waiting for? Try it!

ISEE – 5 Useful ISEE Tips

1. Don’t Study Above Your Level

There are three levels of tests that comprise the ISEE — lower, middle, and upper. Often, a test preparation company will advertise “ISEE Preparation” without specifying the level — this usually means upper-level only! Don’t study above your level! Students who should be preparing for the lower level ISEE should not be struggling to understand concepts that apply only to upper-level students! Instead of searching for ISEE preparation, search for your specific level, i.e. “ISEE Lower Level Preparation.” Which test your student needs to be take depends on the grade he or she is entering. Prospective fifth and sixth graders take the lower level; students entering seventh and eighth grade take the middle level; students seeking admission to high school (ninth through twelfth grades) take the upper level test. Parents might be tempted to help their students for a test above their level, in hopes that the content covered on the lower tests will be superseded by the more difficult material. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. According to the ERB, who administers the test, it’s best to prepare for your own test level.

2. Begin Studying Early

Like any other exam, the ISEE requires diligent and steady practice to master. The best way to prepare your child is to begin early. Studies have consistently shown that it’s important to begin studying well in advance and not to cram. To begin, you should read What to Expect on the ISEE, a free guide issued by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) which administers the exam. After this, you should begin working with your student at home and research various professional ISEE lower/mid/upper-level preparation courses. Don’t leave preparation to the last moment!

3. Know What’s on the Test in Advance

Standardized tests like the ISEE, with all the pressure and constraints they place upon the test-taker, are challenging. Why not make it easier by knowing what’s going to be on the test in advance? There are five sections on the ISEE: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, mathematics achievement, and an essay. Each section has a limited scope that is outlined in the ERB’s What to Expect on the ISEE. By knowing what material is covered on the exam, you can help your student focus their study to do their best on the ISEE. If your child needs help with specific topics, you should consider seeking professional test preparation, preferably a company which specializes in the correct level of the ISEE, to help make the most of your child’s educational opportunities.

4. Take Practice Tests

While studying the material on the test is an essential part of any preparation program, students must also be ready for the restrictions and time limits the ISEE imposes upon test-takers. Many test-takers face difficulty when timed or under pressure. The best way to mitigate anxiety and nervousness is to become comfortable with the structure of the test by taking many practice exams which reflect the structure of the real test-timed, without calculators, etc. Professional ISEE test preparation can be very helpful in this regard, but be conscious of whether companies use real ISEE exams or simulated ones. The makers of the ISEE limit access to good preparation materials; consequently, many third-party books available on the Internet and through some companies will attempt to simulate test questions — but in the end there is no substitute for the real thing. The best preparation materials will come from established test preparation companies like Testmasters, Kaplan, or Princeton Review, which have a history of helping people prepare for the ISEE.

5. Practice Writing Essays

Even though the ISEE essay is ungraded, your student’s ISEE essay plays a critical role in the admissions process and cannot be neglected. The essay is sent on to the schools the student is applying to, where it is read by admissions committees. These committees will primarily be looking at the levels of maturity and organization displayed by your student’s essay; admissions officers will be most impressed by how clearly and coherently a student can communicate with written English. Another tip: don’t be negative! Nobody will admit a candidate who talks about how much he hates school, no matter how well the essay is written. Use practice essays from the ERB to start off with; consider ISEE test preparation programs that can provide professional feedback and guidance on essays.

The Best Kept Secrets to Making More Tips for Waiters, Bartenders, and Baristas

When it comes to a career in the service industry, no matter how short or long-lived, one of the most advantageous things you can learn to do ASAP is how to pull people’s emotional and unconscious heartstrings.

But before you think I’m some manipulative monster just trying to turn the world upside down to objectify patrons, guests, and customers for your own selfish, worldly gain- just hear me out.

If you plan on waiting tables, serving drinks, or tending bar, then you already know that the key to making money is in the extra stuff you do to stimulate all who cross your path and pull out their wallets to pay the check. Therefore, it becomes a must that you start to understand human psychology right away for not only your own benefit, but for the enjoyment of the guest as well.

There’s Nothing Selfish About Making More Tips

First, let’s get the idea that money is bad out of our heads. In these days and times of crony capitalism and rabid politicians talking out of both sides of their mouth about social programs, while selling out to big corporations to stay in office, the concept of having more as being a positive thing gets drowned out by all the social justice static.

You don’t think that’s by coincidence, do you? After all, what if most people bucked the elites attempting to program us all to accept less in life?

While the answer to that question is beyond the scope of this article, it’s important to accept that money is a means of exchange, and when people spend more, and tip more, they are merely exchanging value for value.

You provide value to a guest when you make their coffee taste great, bring that sizzling steak cooked to perfection on time to the table, and when you make that specialty cocktail that makes them do a backflip and believe that good times are here again.

When you “go the extra mile” (I know, it sounds terribly clichĂ©), what you are doing is adding value to the guest experience, and believe it or not, most of the time humans will reciprocate more value when they perceive they themselves are receiving added value.

Examples of Adding Value to the Guest Experience

There are literally an infinite number of possibilities and ideas that you can come up with on your own to enhance the guest experience and wow them into pouring out their wallet as if they are anointing you as the new emperor of hospitality, but let’s drop a few solid ideas right here and now to get your own creative juices flowing.

1. Artistry is always appreciated.

I was once at a Starbucks in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the 2nd biggest city on the island, walking across town and having a pretty abysmal day. When I ordered my drink that day, the young ladies working behind the counter were not only super nice and polite, but when I sat down upstairs to sip my beverage I noticed a drawing on the side of the cup.

Not only was it hilarious and heartwarming to me, it really made me appreciate the cultural experience of being a guy with a strangely massive beard in a land of scarce beards having his own self-portrait scribbled with a Sharpie on the side of a plastic cup of tea. Is this how they viewed me? I felt kind of like a zoo animal, but in a good way. The resemblance was uncanny, and I have to admit I will never forget it.

2. What’s in a name?

Finding a way to use a person’s name, whether audibly or by writing it on the guest’s check, is a great way to increase the psychological closeness the guest has with you, while at the same time without being too creepy.

As human beings with feelings, we all want to be validated, even in the smallest ways. For those of us who live in a large metropolis, we may not get the deep emotional connection that people in smaller towns who see each other regularly do.

That’s why when you can call someone by their name in a kind, loving and respectful manner, they will unconsciously feel more connected and special. The hardest part is finding out their name without being too obtrusive, but I knew servers who were good at this when I waited tables. I myself would get their name from their credit card, write their name with a smiley face saying a big “Thank you!”, and then usually try to drop the check and say their name and thank them.

I regularly got 18% – 20% tips just from my style of service, and I am a pretty introverted, procedurally-minded kind of guy at the restaurant.

3. Do you want fries with that?

The practice of fast food workers asking people if they’d like fries or to upsize has no doubt made people fatter, and corporate food chains wealthier, but there’s something we can learn from this.

When you ask a guest if they’d like to add something, often times they will say no, but imagine you work at a nice restaurant and they order a steak, and then you ask if they’d like it “Oscar style” i.e. topped with jumbo lump crab meat. Now you are giving them the opportunity to have more when perhaps they were unaware they could even have a steak topping, or maybe they were unsure and just needed that extra gentle push to overcome their inner objections.

Remember, most of us are creatures of habit, and while we want to try something new and improved, we may require a little encouragement from an outside source.

Be yourself, but if you’re having a bad day, be someone else.

“Be yourself” is fine if you are having a great day, but what about when your day is a disaster and you feel like a cup of warm dishwater?

It’s simple, you “fake it ’til you make it”. Remember, we all have bad days, but just like you don’t want to be the recipient of someone’s emotional venting just because you need to send a package at FedEx, the same goes for the person patronizing your place of work.

What can you do? It’s simple, try to forget you for a while. Stop thinking about your feelings and the problems in your life and focus simply on putting on a smile (even a forced one will eventually relax into a real one), and keep the guest’s experience your top priority.

If you really want to get creative, you can come up with an alter ego like “Sasha Fierce”, the concept BeyoncĂ© uses before she performs at a concert or big show.

The last word on making more money as a bartender, waiter, or barista

It’s easy to assume that the most successful people are extroverts, naturally charismatic, charming, and lucky, and, to a large extent, that’s true.

But even if you are a naturally quiet, shy, introverted person like me, you can still find ways to make your guest feel special and cared for, and this will logically lead to more money for you as you continue to provide the very best service to everyone who walks through your establishment’s doors.

Good luck, and here’s to you making more tips!

Tips For Buying ADHD Medication Online The Right Way

First, always consult your doctor before giving any medication whatsoever. All medications have side effects and only your physician is qualified to prescribe medicines and treatments and to recommend dietary changes.

We do not recommend any products nor condone any treatments – only your doctor has that ability.

Although attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is not a life-threatening condition, it can however adversely affect the way a person lives and especially if the condition continues to persist or even deteriorate as he grows into adulthood. For the sake of your child, you should consider giving him the best treatment and medication available without delay.

Tips for Buying ADHD Medication Online the Right Way

Tip #1 Take any of the online tests available in the Internet – some are for free – to determine for yourself if your child is indeed suffering from ADHD. Choose the ADHD self-evaluation test you’ll take carefully because some are designed with rigged results: whatever score you end up with, they’ll tell you that there’s still a slight chance of your child having ADHD and encourage you to consult their resident physician.

Tip #2 Compare the results of the tests you’ve taken. You should have taken at least three to increase chances of accuracy. If the test results all confirm that your child is indeed suffering from ADHD, you should then consider having him properly diagnosed by a physician this time. Admitting that your child has ADHD is painful, but it’s also better for his interests that you accept his condition rather than deny it.

Tip #3 Once your physician’s diagnosis of your child has been completed, he’ll be able to tell you whether your worst suspicions are true. If it is, he’s sure to prescribe several medications for your child. Most medication for ADHD, if not all, are available for purchase online. While your doctor can suggest which medication you should get for your son, he will also be willing to listen to your concerns regarding costs, medical insurance, availability of the medication, and other issues that might affect your choice of medication for your child. It’s very important that you’re as open as possible to your doctor so that you can both reach the best compromise.

Tip #4 Research the medications one by one before buying them online. Buying medication online is not recommended and only your pharmacist and doctor are qualified to attend your child’s needs.

Adderall – This medication was developed in the 1980’s and initially used for treating diet control and weight loss. It was only in 1996 that the US Food and Drug Administration approved use of Adderta for ADHD without any restrictions. Since then, it has become one of the most commonly used medications for ADHD.

The effects of Adderall can last for an average of six hours, making it ideal for children since they wouldn’t have to take additional shots while in school. It also reportedly has more manageable results than Ritalin as the child would suffer from fewer highs and lows when taking this medication.

Side effects from Adderall include but are not limited to weight loss, dryness of mouth, restlessness, insomnia, and headaches. It is also prescribed for various illnesses and conditions and it can be quite addictive for people without ADHD.

Concerta – Although this medication has a longer lasting effect than Adderal at twelve hours, it cannot however be used without restrictions. It has only been approved by the FDA for treating ADHD in 2000.

Concerta’s tablets cannot be cut down or decreased in dosage because of how the tablet was designed to work on the human body. It is also contraindicated for other illnesses so make sure you obtain the full approval of your child’s pediatrician before purchasing this online.

Other medications you may purchase online but should research first are Ritalin and Dexedrine.

Tip #5 Avoid purchasing medicines online from other countries because you can’t be sure if all of them have passed the strict safety and quality control regulations of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Tip #6 Always make sure you ask beforehand for the expiration date of the ADHD medications you’re about to purchase online.

Tip #7 Research for reviews regarding the online pharmacy or drugstore you’re about to transact with. Read the terms and conditions of their services before purchasing anything. Make sure they offer you a way to contact them just in case anything goes wrong. Inquire with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) regarding the pharmacy’s reputation.

Tip #8 Choose the online pharmacy that allows you to make payment by your preferred method.

Buying ADHD medication online may be cheaper and more convenient in most ways, but it can also be more dangerous so practice caution at all times.

Lastly and most importantly, always consult your doctor before giving any medication whatsoever. All medications have side effects and only your physician is qualified to prescribe medicines and treatments and to recommend dietary changes. We do not recommend any products nor condone any treatments – only your doctor has that ability.