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  • Manini Sethi

New Normal; New Me. How to be Productive During a Global Pandemic

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Let's face facts: this *is* the new normal. But just because we're in the middle of a global pandemic doesn't mean everything has to come to a standstill. You can still be productive and make the best out of all this new found time and use it to your advantage. Here's how you can grow, professionally and personally in the new virtual world.

Intern with a start-up

Acadium is a platform which connects students and people new to the job market to start ups who are looking for apprentice. Most apprenticeships are conducted virtually and are three months in duration. Shivam Sadana, ambassador at Acadium told Caper Times that "Acadium is a great one stop platform for students to gain work experience and to make connections with start ups that are ready to boom. You will learn and grow with the organization under the mentorship of someone from the industry. Best part: the learning and getting into the market place is free of cost"

You can register for Acadium here.

The platform is quick and easy to use. As soon as you cover a few online courses (which take 10-15 minutes each, you can join the marketplace and founders of start ups will contact you. You can then pick a company which matches your interests and aligns with your long term career goals.

Learn something new and enhance your CV by taking online classes.

Online classes don't have to be expensive, and they definitely don't have to be boring.

You can take up online classes on almost anything that interests you, from make-up to stock markets.

You can find free courses on Coursera here.

Harvard University, a name you definitely wouldn't mind having on your CV, offers a variety of free online courses in math, science, humanities and computer science. You can find these courses here.

Improve your communication, leadership and public speaking skills by joining a Toast Masters club.

Toast Masters International is a not-for-profit organization which teaches public speaking and leadership skills around the world through a network of clubs (16,800 clubs across 143 countries). Joining a toast masters club will help boost your confidence and is not going to be a hole in your pocket. Members pay international dues of $45 USD every six months, plus a new member fee of $20.*

Caper Times reached out to Robin Tyagi, a business student at CBU and a Toast Masters Club member since two years, to talk about his experience with the club.

Robin first joined a Toast Masters club in 2018 when he moved to a new city and wanted to network and also work on his communication skills. Not only did the club help Robin get over his fear of public speaking while improving his language skills, but it also helped him grow his network. His first mentor at the club was a Vice President at a leading multinational investment firm.

Robin also talks about how the clubs helps each member grow, personally and professionally by supporting one another and by providing feedback on various aspects of speech such as grammar, tone and voice modulation.

Lastly, Robin says that *each and every* student would definitely benefit in some way or the other by joining a toast masters club. The clubs are very accessible, easy on the pockets, and can be found in almost any part of the world. Since meetings are carried out on a weekly or biweekly bases they do not pressurize one's schedule either. He also adds that he visited the Toast Masters club in Sydney and was surprised to find no student members.

Due to covid-19, many club activities are now being conducted online on video conferencing platforms, but you can look for a group close to you here.

Some Toast masters clubs allow potential members to attend a session free of charge when they are considering joining the club. Reach out to your local club for more details on this.

Invest in Stocks

Don't know much about stocks or the stock market? This may be a great time to start.

Many e-learning platforms such as ShawAcademy, Coursera and UDemy have free online courses on investing which are designed for biginners.

Here are three which you may want to look into if you are new to investing.

Investing 101: Stock Market Course for Beginners by Stock Market 101.

WeathSimple Masterclass is perfect for those who want to get in the game quick. This course will only take 45 minutes-1 hour to complete.

Stock Market Foundations by Jason Whaliang on UDemy.

Trading in the stock market is easier and much less intimidating than what it may seem at first. You can even trade stocks from your phone. WealthSimple is a 0% comission stock trading platform that allows you to trade stocks from your mobile devices.

Make use of on-campus resources

CBU's library offers a wide variety of services which students can access from home or access in compliance with covid-19 restrictions. These include (but are not limited to) free online e-books, chatting with a librarian for research assistance and curb-side pick up for books. Access these CBU library services here.

You can also book an appointment at CBU's Writing Center to improve your writing skills. If you're struggling with a particular essay based assignment or if you want help formatting your CV, you can book an appointment with the writing center here.

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