Welcome to Around the Grove, the official student blog of
The Universities at Shady Grove!

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#Winning at Job Fairs

On October 11, USG is having an on-campus job and internship fair for humanities and social science careers. This is an awesome chance to find out about potential jobs in your field of study and talk to people who work in your field of interest. But job fairs, interviews, and recruiting sessions can be also really intimidating.

Personally, the idea of walking into a room full of people awkwardly mingling in business casual clothing is something straight out of my nightmares. But even if you’re not much of a people person, you can still #win when it comes to job or grad school fairs and interviews. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years that can be helpful in making a good impression on interviewers:

  1. Bring a polished resume. You can work with the wonderful folks at USG’s career center to develop a top-notch resume that outlines all of your skills and experience to give to potential employers to help them remember you after the event.
  2. Dress to impress. Your appearance can speak volumes to a potential employer, so it’s worth bringing that suit out and taking a shower, even if you feel overdressed.
  3. Write a 30-second script to use to introduce yourself. Prepare a short overview of yourself to open up conversations with. Include your major, year in school, what career field or job you aspire to, and what you’re looking for right now (an internship, a part-time job, experience in a certain skill area, etc.)
    Doge explains job fairs!  (Made using Imgflip.com)
  4. Be an active listener. Even if you don’t talk a lot, you can convey interest to a potential employer or admissions officer by nodding, smiling, making eye contact, and saying “yes” or “hmm” from time to time. (Pro-Tip: This can win you brownie points if you do it in every day conversation…People like feeling like they’re being heard!)
  5. Send a follow-up email afterwards. If you’re really excited about an opportunity, send a short note thanking the person you spoke with for their time and expressing your interest in the opportunity once again. This shows you’re committed enough to go the extra mile and puts your name in the employers’ brains again.
  6. Come up with a couple of potential questions to ask your interviewer. This is a great way to make conversation and impress an interviewer. Questions like, “What is your organization’s mission?”, “What would a typical day look like working in this position?” make you look better and help you gauge whether the company is a good fit.

These are just a few helpful hints. For more help with your job search, check out these resources:

Best of luck…I’m rooting for you!

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MY FIRST TIME-(Around the Grove)

There I was, a first-time blogger sitting on my bed with everything that I needed to blog: a laptop here, an iPad there, the latest episode of Quantico on the television, and a family sized bag of Doritos chips. I had everything I needed to write my first blog for the Universities at Shady Grove’s Around the Grove.(USG) But I was paralyzed.


Why was I paralyzed? Lots of reasons. Was I just being Gabe and over thinking everything as was my nature? With no prior experience blogging, where was I supposed to begin? What if I couldn’t cram all my brilliant thoughts into my first blog? Worst of all, what if I put everything together and my blog made no sense? In my home country Guyana, we have a local proverb that says “lil boy nah climb ladder to tun big man,” which means that only time can make you what you will be. And it was at that moment that I truly felt the reality of this proverb.

The anxiety of my first time blogging made me curious as to what other first time experiences discovering USG was providing for others. So I reached out to everyone hoping that they could give me some ideas, pointers, and feedback. Read on for three first time experiences at USG and let our minor traumas be your teachable moments.

  1. Scholarship Award: Steve-“This was my first time applying for a scholarship ever, I was pretty nervous throughout the entire process and learning that I was successful made me even more nervous. For the first time, I will be able to cover the cost of my tuition without a loan, thanks to the USG Scholarship.”
  2. Dean’s List: Angel-“I work full-time, have a kid and I am also a full-time student so balancing all of this as you can imagine can be difficult. Receiving the letter congratulating me that I was on the Dean’s List brought tears to my eyes. This was the first time I had ever achieved something like this and this definitely would not have been possible without the night owl hours at the Priddy Library.”
  3. Attending College: Juan-“Having this campus just 30 minutes away from my home has made it possible for me to attend college for the first time in my life. My family moved a lot when I was younger and the colleges were always about 2 hours away and I was always worried that I would never be able to get a good job without a college degree. I am so grateful that I can get on a bus and easily get here.”

At a place like USG that has so many opportunities sometimes it can get overwhelming. This can often lead to emotions ranging from excitement to apprehension, and in some cases, fear. Fears of the first, my friends call it. And as fellow blogger Joel highlighted in his recent post, the Office of Student Services on campus provides a variety of services to help with this. Check out the amazing new Welcome to USG video that highlights what life at USG is like (the soundtrack alone makes me feel ready for success).

I wish I’d worried a little less about my first blog and enjoyed it a bit more, after all, there’s only one first-time. Tell me about your first-time experiences at USG by commenting here and until next time, I leave you with this, there’s a first time for everything so why not now?

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USG and Exercise Science

Hey there! My name is Linda Velasquez and I am representing Salisbury University’s Exercise Science Program. Welcome back to school!

Did you know USG offers a program for Exercise Science? This works as a two year cohort program and has all the bells and whistles that you would expect at a four year university. There are amazing professors both on campus and via IVN (aka Skype). USG has top of the line lab equipment and testing material that keeps students interactive and experienced.

The Health and Wellness field is rapidly growing and so is interest in exercise and lifestyle fitness. This program covers all aspects of fitness from the science and breakdown of the body anatomically, to the clinical population and how to work with patients with disease, and even how to open your own fitness or rehab facility. Not only does Salisbury University have a great program and program adviser, but being at USG takes the experience to the next level.

USG offers a ton of student services from tutoring to interview prep to counseling. Being close to many businesses and populated communities, USG makes it easy to transition from school to work life. There are so many opportunities close by and the faculty and staff at USG are always willing to help and encourage you to get to the next level. USG is here for YOU!

Throughout this next year, I will be posting about Health and Wellness events going on at USG, as well as giving more insight to specific aspects of the Exercise Science Program.

Interested in USG? Come to an Open House! The next Undergraduate Open House will be held  Saturday, October 29th from 9am-12pm.  Register HERE .

I’ll be at the Exercise Science table and giving tours of our facility. Come check it out!

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Your New Groove – Coming Back to School After a Gap

Going back to school after a measly year off should be a no brainer, right?

That’s what I thought…I told myself “Girl you got this. You do better under pressure anyway, and it should be easy to get back in the groove of things, seeing as back in the day you’d balance school with other activities like being on a soccer team or hanging out with friends.”

All I have to say to that now is a sarcastic “LOL”. I really think that short taste of freedom threw my groove off. I was happy to be “free” for a year, but it makes sacrificing free time now so much harder. It’s been about a month since school started, but I’ve already felt like, with my groove being thrown off and all, my emotions have been getting the best of me. I get so anxious before any type of quiz, test, or paper, and I seem to be battling myself all the time. Why am I thinking so pessimistically about this when I know I shouldn’t be? I had fun doing “X” this weekend, so why am I consuming my brain with negative thinking about the assignments I could have done in that time?

I am still struggling to get back into the groove, but I know I will get there. Here are some tips that help me when I feel like my emotions are taking over, and I find myself battling my own thoughts:

  • Think of a time when you thought, because of a school assignment, the world was ending…then you realized you were oh so wrong. Focus on solutions, not the problem. Is it going to get better if you worry about it?
  • Live in the moment. Do the best you can with the time you have, and in whatever circumstances you find yourself. If you do your best, don’t beat yourself up about it. Of course, it is good to prepare ahead of time, but if you haven’t managed time well, just breathe and proceed.
  • Keep up with a hobby or anything that brings you happiness and positivity. Ask yourself: what’s the one thing I know that no matter how busy my calendar is I can look forward to doing it, will actually do it, and will not regret the time spent on it?
  • Listen to music. I’d say most people have a song that reminds them of a certain time in their life. If you’re feeling emotionally unstable DO NOT play that sad Adele song. Get a song blasting through those headphones that has a happy, upbeat feel to it and I guarantee you’ll feel better (it might take a couple songs and some singing along though).


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Just Moved

So I just moved to Maryland from beautiful sunny California, and not just any part of California but San Diego (CRAZY RIGHT!).  That’s not all. I was born in Los Angeles (L.A) California, where all the “hipster” (contemporary subculture) live and moved to San Diego (S.D), after living in Hawaii (Hi) for six years. Growing up in L.A was exciting, and I loved every second of it but my love for adventure drove me to explore various states and cultures. My ability to travel enabled me to meet great people in awesome communities like that of The Universities at Shady Grove (USG).

I have been living in Maryland for eight months now, and have heard many stories from a diverse group of inspiring people. The weather in Maryland is cold compared to California but “Marylanders” are the complete opposite. After a couple of days in Maryland, I spoke with many individuals from diverse cultures and different backgrounds who populate many communities in Maryland. Individuals specifically at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) exhibit traits that inspire me to become a better version of myself. Since at USG, my consideration for others has grown due to the strong connections I have made with my friends in Maryland.

My time in Maryland has been very enlightening as I gained solid friendships and learned lifelong lessons. At the end of the day no one will remember materialistic gain but what they will remember are your actions and how you make them feel. The Universities at Shady Grove, has provided me with the great opportunity to be part of a community that caters to various cultures. I do miss my home by the beach but don’t regret my decision in attending a program at USG. How can you not be happy when you have nine different universities on one campus? The people are phenomenal and the community is inviting. USG will enable you to be a well-rounded person, motivate you to be the best you, and connect you with a diverse network that will change the trajectory of your future.

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When It’s Okay to Walk in Someone Else’s Shadow

Happy third day of fall! Although we’ve moved on to another season, I can’t help but make my very first post about this past summer. It’s better late than never, right?

The highlight of my summer was probably sitting on a beach in Costa Rica with some close friends, on my birthday, sipping a margarita. The “lowlight” was coming back home to Maryland and realizing that I had just finished my first year of pharmacy school, yet still had no idea what I wanted to do after graduating with a PharmD degree.

As confused as ever about my future, I decided to take action. I asked to shadow three of my professors in their respective practice settings, in the hopes of gaining a better idea of what clinical pharmacists do on a day-to-day basis and coming to some sort of decision about which pharmacy path to pursue. Luckily for me, all three professors were more than happy to have me tag along for a day.

  • I started out with Dr. Leah Sera at MedStar Mongtomery Medical Center. Dr. Sera is the pharmacist in a palliative care consulting group that also comprises a physician, a nurse practitioner, and a social worker. I got a glimpse of Dr. Sera’s involvement with helping seriously ill patients and their families make tough, end of life decisions.
  • Next, I shadowed Dr. Ashlee Mattingly at Mercy Health Clinic, which provides free services to low income adults in Montgomery County. Here, I had the opportunity to see Dr. Mattingly in action, conducting a medication therapy management session for a patient.
  • Finally, I spent a day at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. I followed fourth year rotation students, Jesse and Leslie, as they worked up patient cases, went on rounds, performed medication reconciliation, and made drug recommendations. I also got to see my professor, Dr. Amy Ives, review patient cases with Jesse and Leslie and quiz them about drug-drug interactions!

For me, it wasn’t enough to sit in class and learn about what clinical pharmacists can do. I had to see for myself what it’s actually like to be there as a pharmacist in the hospital or outpatient setting. Do I know exactly what I want to do after graduating pharmacy school now? Nope! But I did learn so much during those three days and my desire to work directly with patients in optimizing their medication regimens has been reaffirmed.

Sometimes, it’s perfectly fine to walk in someone else’s shadow! And if you can fit it into your own schedule, I highly encourage you to seek out shadowing opportunities either from your professors at USG or anyone else. Trust me, you’ll be so glad that you did!

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USG’s Great Wall


Have you heard about the Great Wall of Universities at Shady Grove? If not check this out. We call it the USG OPEN WALL. It is situated on “the west side of the library foyer opposite the circulation desk. You cannot possibly miss it unless you have been writing on it the whole semester got tired of seeing it or it is exam period, so your kind of putting your priorities first. The Priddy Library librarians with their good and kind heart decided to dedicate a place for student to “share ideas, thoughts, opinions and comments”. It’s purpose is very simple and direct, “Promote and encourages everyone, students, faculty and staff to express themselves on topics, issues, trends, news events, or challenges of general interest, or that affect their campus life.” In other words, any student with any concern can just come and let his/her mind speak. It is in some instances the suggestion “box,” but instead of a box it is a wall. All subjects are welcome. It can be range from personal, business, informative, showcase of talent, best writings skills, or simply best handwriting.img_20160922_210912

Life at USG is pretty short, meaning students at school, are already busy with their own life, job, looking for an internship, or just too shy to stay on campus. The Wall gives a voice to the students to express what they can not express out loud or because they don’t have time. Truly, I tell you, stuff that I see on that Wall are simply amazing and informative about the population we have on campus.

Working at the library I have to see the wall everyday. But what is mostly amazing about the Wall is not the wall itself, it is the face of the student or faculty after writing something on it. It is priceless!!

Next time you come in the library please don’t be a stranger , say “hi” to me at the desk and check out the wall. It is our wall, our corner, our world, be expressive, and allow the wall to free you from your worries.


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Welcome 2 USG!


USG Building 3

Hi guys! Welcome to USG!

I know it must be tough adjusting back to school after a long, exciting summer! But that doesn’t mean you cannot do it!

For new or returning students, you might have forgotten about the services that the Universities at Shady Grove offer. I want to talk about the different SAS services, that can help you with your academic and professional goals.

The SAS suite provides services to help students! They can help you with financial aid, resume writing, finding internships, the list goes on.

SAS has different sections of services, divided up by the types of services:

  • Center for Academic Success (CAS) – This center helps students with their academics. They can help you with writing assignments, essays, proofreading your work and anything that involves student homework
  • Office of Student Services (OSS) – This center offers a variety of assistance, including financial aid, admissions, ID cards, and anything involving student life (I work as an office assistant for OSS, so feel free to stop by and say hi!)
  • Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC) –  Last but not least, the CCC offers free counseling to students and faculty. They offer individual or group counseling, and help out students with stress, anxiety and emotional issues.

Now that you guys have a more understanding of the services provided by USG, take advantage of them! Hopefully these services will help you achieve your academic and professional goals!

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Ola a Todos Desde Brasil!

I’m very excited to be blogging for you guys from Brazil. This year is going to be an adventure for us all!


Salvador Elevator

I want to start with a brief introduction; I am a senior Public Health student with University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). This semester I am living in Salvador, Brazil studying Public Health, Race, and Human Rights in the context of contemporary Brazil.

I LOVE the start of each semester because there is a certain level of excitement and apprehension that fills me, similar to an adrenaline rush. For some of you this is your first semester at Universities at Shady Grove (USG) and for others this semester may be your last. Either way each semester marks the beginning of a new adventure: education. Every semester presents itself with new challenges, successes, and failures some are in the classrooms others are personal. Whichever is the case, I urge you to learn and grow from every experience.

Today, marks 23 days since I arrived in Brazil and I have learned so much, not just about public health in Brazil but about myself. As a minority student studying abroad I have come to appreciate the privilege that higher education is within the United States and I want to commend all my fellow classmates on this achievement. For me this semester is one of the most terrifying because not only am I in a new country learning a new language, in a few short weeks I will be working within an organization while conducting research. I know I will encounter many challenges during this semester and I hope to share these experiences with you all.

Even though you won’t find me on campus this semester, feel free to share with me your challenges and your successes!


Mercado Modelo



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A Look Back at Summer 2016

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Welcome (back) USG students!

If you all do not know me yet, my name is Menaza Fernando. I am an accounting major going into my senior year wondering the same thing you might be thinking: where did summer go? For my first blog post of the new semester, I’d love to share with you all about what I had on my summer agenda!


This summer I completed an internship at Aronson, a public accounting firm, where I completed rotations in both tax and audit. During the tax rotation, I prepared federal and state tax returns for corporations and high net worth individuals. On the audit side, I visited client sites to conduct cash and A/R testing as part of annual audits as well as revise financial statements.

Case Competition

In August, I had the opportunity to represent the University of Maryland in a National Case Study Competition sponsored by KPMG, a Big 4 accounting firm. The competition was held at the ALPFA National Convention in Dallas, Texas. The experience included late night practices, lack of sleep, and early morning presentations. It also included opportunities to socialize with students from all over the country, networking events, a fancy gala, and much more. Best of all: it was an all expense paid trip to fly to Texas and stay at the Gaylord Texan Resort for a week!


While summer was mostly work, I made sure to prioritize some travel fun. One of my travel goals is to visit 25 states by the time I am 25, or in short “25n25.” As of right now, my state count is at 11. This summer, I was able to add 3 more to my list. First was Texas for the competition. Then I flew to Massachusetts and toured around Boston and Cambridge. After staying a night in Boston, I left the city life and drove up to Vermont for a few days to enjoy the mountain views. The last stop was back to the city: New York City. Although I’ve been to NYC before, I have come to the realization that there is always a new area to explore during each visit.

Overall, it was an incredibly busy but amazing summer. Now that I’ve shared about my summer, tell me about yours. If you see me around campus, don’t be shy. Feel free to introduce yourself and say hi!

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Gaylord Texan Resort

“Summer should get a speeding ticket!” – Unknown

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