DelVal from a British Perspective: Interview

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I met Jess Wise in 2014 when she came to DelVal as part of the exchange program with Hartpury College. We met again this January when I came to Hartpury for the exchange. I was able to ask her a few questions about her experience abroad in America and her opinion of the different programs.

Jess Wise, a third-year student at Hartpury College, is studying Equine Science. She has been riding since age 12, and competitively since age 18. She currently rides at the 1.10m show jumping level and Elementary level dressage, and is bringing along her own horse Juicy that she purchased last year for show jumping who she keeps on-site at Hartpury.

Q: What made you interested in applying for the study abroad semester at Delaware Valley University?

A: I had a lecture where we were all sat down and told about the exchange program and were shown a PowerPoint. At the time I wasn’t interested because I had a competition horse to look after. However, when he went lame after a tendon injury, putting him out of work for months, they spoke to us about the presentation again and it got me thinking! I’d never even thought of studying abroad because I’ve had horses to look after. However, I’m so glad I did.

Q: What were your first impressions of the DelVal Equine program compared to the Hartpury Equine program?

A: I immediately noticed huge differences. Although the subjects we were being taught were the same, Equine Behavior for example, there is huge differences in lecture content. DelVal looks at things within the topic heading from a practical perspective. The classes are taught much more practically, always doing thing rather than just listening. The classes involved the students a lot more and numbers within classes were smaller allowing you more “one-on-one” time with the teacher if necessary. However, I felt that although I loved every aspect I learned about, content was very straightforward.

Hartpury, on the other hand, has a much harder curriculum. What we learn in lectures goes into much more scientific depth, making classes harder and more confusing. To add to this, in lectures we very much get “talked at” rather being a part of a discussion. It’s harder to learn and grasp concepts.

Q: What is your opinion of the riding program at DelVal compared to Hartpury?

A: The riding at Delval was awesome! I had the best time riding Blaze and Brody. Although in my class (Comparative Techniques) the fences remained small throughout the semester, other than a few lessons where we did poles to a fence or a grid. For me personally, the exercises were not challenging. I was given Blaze and Brody to ride, however, and these two certainly made even simple exercises more complicated! I loved it; I learned so much from jumping these two tricky horses and I cannot say how much I love Angelo enough!

I never enrolled on a riding module at Hartpury because I brought my own horse Juicy, trialed and got selected for the Show Jumping Academy Development Squad. On the squad I got flat and jump training by some of the best trainers in the sport. Therefore, I decided to take all academic modules instead, as I already get to ride my own horse every day. Overall, Delval’s Equine Program was by far my favorite.

Also, I forgot to say, the staff at Delval are so much friendlier than at Hartpury. We almost considered them as friends, which made it much easier to learn from them! Plus, they were much better at responding to emails!

Q: Do you think that the exchange was able to impact your networks, employability, and resume?

A: Yes. 100%. The exchange shows that I can work efficiently and live in new and different situations and adapt myself to very big cultural changes! It shows you are independent, want to succeed, and will throw yourself out there in the real world.

Q: What was your favorite part of the exchange? Do you feel that it was beneficial for you?

A: I loved every part of the exchange. There isn’t one thing I didn’t enjoy. From class, to the friends I made, to campus life, to travelling, to riding. I could not pick one favorite memory out of so many amazing ones. The exchange was definitely beneficial. I grew up a lot being away from home and I learned heaps.

Q: Would you recommend the exchange program to other students? Is there any specific advice that you would give them?

A: Yes! I recommend DelVal to everyone. It was the best semester and best 4 months of my whole life to date. I just wish we could have stayed for longer! I even wanted to transfer!

Advice I would give is pretty self-explanatory: put yourself out there to make friends – everyone is very friendly compared to in the UK so it’s much easier. However, I’m so glad I actively went out and introduced myself to people and made friends, otherwise the experience wouldn’t have been as memorable. Make sure you travel; I wish I had taken more time to travel around places. However, I was busy with doing the extra Equine Massage Certification course! Which, by the way, was fantastic!

Just take every opportunity you can, join every club. If you get the option to be a part of something, then take it. I did so many new things for the first time and had great times doing them.

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Angelo Telatin and Jess Wise at the DelVal Equestrian Center

Q: What are your plans following graduation?

A: Travel back to America and visit DelVal? Haha. But seriously, I have no idea. I think I am going to base myself with a professional showjumper and work for them and get trained by them for a bit, and see where that leads me!

Pinterest- You Know You Love It.

At the risk of sounding like a completely shallow 21 year old college girl…Pinterest may be the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread. With all of the endless possibilities, from pictures of baby hippos, to DIY EVERYTHING, to recipes telling you how to make sunflower cupcakes, and gift ideas for just about everyone you know how could you possibly go wrong?! However there are five kinds of Pinteresters out there…

  1. The Pinteresters who have tried it once and claim they can’t figure out how to use it. Or how it’s just “not for them”.

These are the worst kind of people. These are the people who are either lieing about ever trying it in the first place because they don’t want you to know that they are so far behind the times. Or they truly just don’t like the platform. Which in that case, you don’t need that type of negativity in your life. Move on without them. It’s for the best really.

  1. The Pinteresters who think Pinterest is real life.

You know that person I’m talking about. The one who gets mad because so and so pinned a DIY headboard that you had pinned, and now she’s convinced that this individual is “stealing her ideas”. Or that girl who gets upset when a friend pinned a wedding dress that she had saved in her “dream wedding” board. News flash people- neither of you have any prospects of getting married and she probably won’t even buy that dress anyways and neither will you. Pinterest is life. But not real life.

  1. The closet Pinterest.

These are usually men who claim they have “never heard of it”. In reality they pin regularly. Have the app downloaded to their phone and often times use it to stalk their girlfriends account to see what they should get her for her birthday. Even though you are ashamed of your Pinteresting account…I forgive you on the promise you give your girlfriend things she actually likes.

  1. The DIY EVERYTHING Pinterester.

You know this person. It’s the person who thinks they can DIY anything. The one who uses the platform as a bible to all things crafty. These people sometimes create great things, but more often than not it turns into a total crafting disaster. News Flash: not everything you see on here actually is DIYable.

  1. The best kind of Pinteresters.

The best kind of Pinteresters are the ones who use it to be creative and think outside of the box. They use it for new recipes, or small DIY projects, or outfit ideas. They use it as a place to consult about their new ideas but can tell the difference between ideas and reality. These types of Pinteresters have boards with dream ideas but understand that if someone pins the same wedding dress it doesn’t have to be World War III. (And yes I do think I fall into this group).

If you don’t have an account get one. And please stay away from the DIY EVERYTHING approach.

www.pinterest.com

All Kinds of Kinds

With conversation pouring out from all corners of social media and the news about gender, race, and politics I feel it makes perfect sense to review Miranda Lambert’s song All Kinds of Kinds. All Kinds of Kinds was a track off her album For The Record, which was released in 2011.

The song received a brief amount of popularity on country radio nationwide, but then as quickly as it came seemed to disappear. Although the song is not the new new thing, the message that is portrays is relevant now more than ever in our culture.

The song talks about average people we know in our everyday life and tells us a little bit about the things we don’t see behind closed doors.

Thomas was a congressman with closets full of skeletons
And dresses that he wore on Friday nights
Phyllis was a pharmacist, a dab of that, a pinch of this
Concocted to suppress her appetite

When the children were fiddlin’ she’d slip ’em some Ritalin
And wait for Thomasina to arrive

The song also talks about people who are different than us that we judge. Lambert sings about this in the first verse when talking about people who are in a circus, who are getting married. She shed light onto a group of people that most of us just stare at and keep walking. By singing about them at a wedding it gives them relatable characteristics so that we begin to see them in a less judgmental, and more relatable light.

The people we judge for being different are really just like us. The people we see as normal hide their own feelings, emotions, and skeletons behind closed doors. So maybe after all, we really don’t know them either. Her words tell a story that lives up to the phrase “You never know what someone else is dealing with”.

People often hate people that are different than them in viewpoint, sexual orientation, race, etc. They are hateful because they are uneducated, and they are hateful because they are scared. Miranda Lamberts song All Kinds of Kinds makes you reexamine your actions and in my opition sends a strong positive message to all.

Don’t agree with me? Than listen and respond with your own review.

#NotAllWomynWearHeels

Let’s Talk Gender identity

 

Over the past few months, it has become a thing for people to refer to me as a man/boy anytime they see me in a hoodie, sweatpants, snapback, or fitted hat. Anytime I am not in makeup and lipstick suddenly my femininity isn’t something visible enough for me to still be a woman. It’s gotten so annoying because when I think about it there are so many other things about me that are masculine that could make this a valid argument, but people just aren’t that creative or detailed in their assumptions.

Gender Identity is defined as a personal conception of oneself as male or female (or rarely, both or neither). This concept is intimately related to the concept of gender role, which is defined as the outward manifestations of personality that reflect the gender identity. That means no matter what I’m wearing, I am a woman if I say I am. If I have not said today I identify as a man then that is not the case. These misconceptions stem from the ideology that to be a woman means to always be feminine and soft, and if you know me you know that is hardly ever the case, even when I am in heels. In New York, it is not uncommon to see a woman in both heels and a fitted and not assume that she is anything other than a woman in heels and a fitted. In Doylestown, it is assumed that anytime I am not the feminine that they are used to, I have to be something else. It is not that I am offended by being called a guy because I’m not when it’s an accurate statement. It’s the assumptions that are really annoying and the selectiveness of those assumptions. I am still “one of the guys” when I am not in Timberlands. It means my gender expression is fluid, so you probably shouldn’t label me, especially when you don’t even know me. Gender fluid is a gender identity that refers to a gender, which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, neutrois, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities. I am always a combination of different identities.

 

In 2014, I cut off all my hair. When I did every time I went into the city people assumed I was a “dyke”, or “butch”, when I wasn’t assumed to be a cis-man. Any of these assumptions are problematic to assume or label someone and is also exceptionally dangerous. My mother was always concerned about making sure that people could tell I was still a girl. That I wore big earrings and form fitting clothes, that I was never mistaken for a black man or a black lesbian. She was so worried that one day I wouldn’t make it home, and it’s a valid fear. The problem is very rarely do people actually ask you how you identify. More times than anything they assume based on what they see and societal expectations of their respective communities. Which is to say, if you are from a community that doesn’t see women step outside of traditional gendered ways of appearance than you automatically categorize anything other than as masculine. It is time to step outside of that. It is time to understand that woman isn’t always defined in the same ways, and a woman can have as much masculine energy as she chooses and still be a woman, regardless of what you think of her. It is the same with men. We assume men can’t be emotional or highly feminine without that making them less of a man and it’s just straight up inaccurate. Everyone has masculine and feminine energy within them. Everyone has days where one of those energies is stronger than the other and embracing that doesn’t change their gender. Everyone isn’t this easily mis-gendered or labeled. The farther we step outside the stereotypical idea of bodies being white and slim and cis-gender, the more we feel the need to label people. Gender is a social construct, in the same ways that race is a social construct used to confine people and establish them as definitively outside the norm.

Mislabeling someone is never not political; it is never not steeped in the idea of making assumptions about a person’s identity whether consciously or subconsciously because ultimately it shouldn’t matter. Ultimately it is privilege that makes people label at all, is it the underlying knowledge that no one fits the norm anymore that makes us want to point out how someone else doesn’t, because why does it matter at all? How is my being a girl or a boy affecting you, if you are not the person I’m sleeping with? Why because my skin is a certain color do you assume I’m African or Jamaican, why can’t I just be black? When we mislabel people we are telling them the parameters they are allowed to live in. Instead, stop trying to do it for people you don’t even know. Ask questions. Ask yourself why it’s so important for you to comment on my attire today. Ask yourself will it change your life? And if it doesn’t, maybe you should just walk away, quietly.

An open letter to my soon to be not roommates…

An open letter to my soon to be not roommates…

**Disclaimer: Although you may not live in my house with my friends these fundamental things in various forms span across the board. Thank your roommie today and enjoy what I have to say about mine! **

Let me first start by saying that I was skeptical of moving in with my three best friends at the start of last summer. I was even more skeptical that we would all like each other as much as we do at the end of this journey. I’d seen friendships ended over living debacles. And although we have not even lived together for a full calendar year it has truly been a special journey. A point in life that only happens a few times in your life. Living with my three roommates has made me realize it’s the days between the move in and move out date that have been the most special.

A house with four girls, 1 bathroom, and one shoe killing dog is as challenging as it sounds. Living with each of your personalities: the unaware slob, the non-morning person, the TV show and music fanatic is challenging.  But life seems to be routine here. A routine I will miss. A routine that is soon to be interrupted with real life. So as an ode to life at the “Compound” I would like to take a moment to thank you for all of the things you do for me.

  1. Thank you for allowing me to cook in this house. Even though I obviously don’t know how, and often times leave flammable things on. Also thanks for showing me how to cook, because likely I would have eaten Panera Bread one to many times at this point.
  2. Thank you for not killing me when my dog eats your (interest anything you care about here).
  3. Thanks for watching me change my clothes 12 times before we go out, to only ultimately put back the same outfit I had on the first time.
  4. Thank you for waking me up when I miss 7am workouts.
  5. Thank you for dealing with me jumping on you at 6am just so I can tell you something I find hilarious, (that probably not that funny), even though you are not morning people.
  6. Thank you for letting me snuggle and eat food with you when I am having a bad day.
  7. Thank you for helping me with all of the extra team stuff that I have to do just because you live with me, not because you have to.
  8. Thank you for being better at judging people than I am, and for steering me away from the people that I am to blind to see are bad.
  9. Thank for you keeping that, night we don’t talk about, a night we still don’t talk about.
  10. Thank you for talking to that boy across the bar.
  11. Thank you for being my protectors that will verbally take down anyone who try’s to look at me wrong.
  12. Thank you for makings sure I made it to the first week of classes, I wouldn’t be graduating without you.
  13. Thank you for playing wing-girl and keeping the creepers at a distance.
  14. Thank you for “When in doubt, drink more wine”.
  15. Thank you for doing my makeup when I’ve put it half on and it looks awful, and no matter how many times I ask, you always fix it.
  16. Thank you for teaching me that honesty is always the best policy. Even if the truth hurts.
  17. Thank you for editing my papers. Sorry that I never use commas.
  18. Thank you for not letting me wear those polka dotted pants that I really wanted from J. Crew.
  19. Thank you for teaching me brave girls are the prettiest girls.
  20. Thank you for allowing my snow shoes to lay on the living room floor for the past 6 months without too much of a hard time.
  21. Thank you for giving me memories that will be worth remembering 60 years from now. This was truly a special time in my life.

I hope that life at the “Compound” has been as special for you as it has been for me. If college is not for creating stories to be able to tell your grandchildren down the line that I’m not really sure what is. I will hold the memories of late night talks, keggers, and blizzard of 2016 close to my heart. Fly far friends, but always know you have a place at 41.

An Open Letter to the Underacheiver

This open letter might hurt some feelings, but it’s like that saying that explains how everyone has an opinion ( if you don’t know the saying, please google it). Throughout my college career, I’ve seen people go above and beyond in terms of academics, activities and getting to know and help people. Sadly however, I’ve seen just as many people take the easy way out, glide along, and do the minimum when it comes to those same categories. At Del Val, I’ve seen people take this same approach, and it irks me.

Why?

Here we are at a university where you can receive a quality education and really begin to pave the path towards your career. We have programs that help people get experience through internships, connect students with real world mentors, and teach them what it takes to become a working member of society. However, for some reason, some students to not even give a glance to these types of programs. If I recall correctly, the business department offered a program last semester that would have connected business students with a mentor in the professional world. By the time the program was supposed  to close, I think only 2-3 students applied for the program. As far as I know, business students were made aware of the opportunity. However no one ceased it. I don’t understand why people jump on opportunities like that.

The same goes for students who have the tendency to sit in class and play their games on their laptops and PCs. I’m not sure what you expect to gain out of your experience here by gliding by in your classes like that, unless you have the privilege of having mommy and daddy pay for your college, in which case, good for you (?).

The way I see it, not everyone has the opportunity to be in the situation we’re in at Del Val. To receive a quality education at a private school, a place where you’re not just a ant amongst thousands of other ants like you are in bigger state schools. Not everyone is bestowed with the privilege of receiving a quality education, whether its a high school or college education. That’s why, if you are lucky enough to know what I’m talking about and are one of the people I’m talking about, start to TRY. You may not think what you do right now matters, but here’s something I’ve learned throughout my short time here on Earth, EVERYTHING MATTERS. Start to take advantage of your circumstance, and stop taking it for granted. I’m tired of seeing people take the low road like that, knowing damn well that they’re other people who would love to have the same chance you do. Seize your opportunity.

“Be true to yourself.
Make each day your masterpiece.
Help others.
Drink deeply from good books.
Make friendship a fine art.
Build a shelter against a rainy day.
Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.”

―John Wooden

 

Round Pegs, and Square Holes…

Round Pegs, and Square Holes…

At the risk of sounding abstract; In life we go through phases. We transform and grow as we age and advance through the stages of life. At age 5 I wasn’t ready for middle school math class, just like at age 12 I wasn’t ready for college parties and all-nighters. But how could I have been?

The summer between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college I transformed into a person who was able to fit into a piece of this DelVal puzzle. Not suddenly but rather as an enviable result of conditioning from my environment. Like a stone getting smoothed in the ocean. But as I sit at the end of this chapter of my life and look at the blank pages that lie ahead I again realize that my peg doesn’t fit into the college hole anymore.

School work has gone from being a little bit of an inconvenience to impossible as I navigate the world of having to mow my own lawn, grocery shop, and let’s not forget about that whole paying bills thing. Job searching has taken main stage and is singing loud and clear. Maintaining a healthy life style, relationships with close friends and family, and taking steps to reach bigger goals like traveling the world and financial stability have trumped my desire to stay out till 4am drinking at a frat party.

Maybe I sound bitter. You may accuse me of being too quick to want to move forward. Rushing through this stage of my life. Not stopping to smell the roses. Maybe you even think I must certainly not have lived through those sleepless drunken nights, the best nights of your life I think is what they call them these days. But you are wrong.

I have gone to my fair share of house parties, and had many a drunken nights at the bar. I have also enjoyed my time sitting in the classroom. Soaking in all the knowledge of my future industry. I have been fortunate enough to have competed and traveled with the best teammates and coaches out there. I have laughed every step of the way and the DelVal Ocean has again shaped my rock.

But as I type this blog while the last few hours of A-Day weekend wind down I can’t help but feel like my (almost) 22 year old self doesn’t fit into the college mold anymore.  When I walk across that stage in three weeks I know that I will have left nothing on the table.

As they hand me my diploma I will know that my round peg has changed enough to not fit into this square hole anymore. So on behalf of myself and my always transforming peg I thank you, and I can’t wait to see where it will fall into place again next.

A Thousand Splendid Suns: Book Review

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a narrative of two women, Mariam and Laila. The narratives parallel and highlight the struggles they faced as women in Afghanistan. Author, Khaled Hosseini makes the tragedies of war we hear about relatable as he personalizes the story and highlights how war and poverty affect innocent people. His novel paints a vivid picture of everyone’s role in the war and pays a great deal of attention to the way traditional aspects of Muslim culture for women where then used as forms of control and punishment.

 

The book begins with the life of Mariam, the main character of the story whom we follow from her youth until her death. Her tale begins with her living in a small town on the outskirts of the city with her bitter and disgruntled mother. Her mother continuously belittles her for dreaming and believing that her father, Jalil, whom visits her once a week, loves her as he does his other children. Her mother was banished from her town after losing her job as a housecleaner in Jalil’s house when it was discovered he had an affair with her that led to her pregnancy. Eventually, Mariam’s desire to live with her father and maintain a healthy relationship with him caused her mother so much pain she ended up committing suicide. Mariam learns quickly that under her mother’s bitter words were truth, though her father loved her, she was not welcome in his world or his home amongst his other family. After Mariam’s mother died, Jalil and his wives arranged for Mariam to be married to Rasheed, a widow whose wife died in childbirth and first son drowned.

Rasheed and Mariam live in the capital city, Kabul for the duration of their adult lives as a traditional Muslim couple in an era where Muslim couples were beginning to modernize. Women whose husbands’ practiced traditional Muslim laws would not wear make up and would cover themselves with Burqa’s as opposed to more modernized Muslims who began wearing there hair out in public with make up on. Rasheed began verbally and physically abusing Mariam after her inability to produce a child, specifically a son. They lived that way until Laila was added to their family as a second wife after a Mujahedeen rocket killed her parents. She had two children; a son by Rasheed later in their marriage and a daughter by her true love, Tariq that she told Rasheed was his child. The war was more severe; women were not allowed to walk on the streets alone and extreme poverty was setting in. The narrative comes to a climax when Rasheed intends to kill Laila after she has lied for years about her daughter being his daughter. Mariam, who had become very close with Laila, ended up killing Rasheed in order to protect Laila. .

This story has several themes one being the discrimination of women in Afghan society. Every group that had power at some point during the war gave men complete power over their wives, the Taliban even went so far as to write this into their laws. There were numerous occasions of women being beaten, humiliated, murdered and even some cases of them losing rights to their children. Mariam and Laila were only two examples of women who were abused and mistreated by their husbands. It was their sense of loyalty to their children and to each other that gave them strength to persevere. The most dominant theme throughout would be the theme strength of women. Before marrying Rasheed, Laila grew up strong; fighting through the judgments of traditional Muslims to continue her education, she excelled. Hosseini highlights the strength of women in multiple aspects in this novel. He starts with the slow endurance Mariam has with her mother enduring her belittling and badmouthing her aspirations and father. Then trails slowly to Laila’s strength to put aside her desire to continue to, to marry and be with Tariq for the sake of staying with her parents and the ends with the example of both Mariam and Laila enduring their marriage to Rasheed for as long as they could. The characters in the text are all victims of a senseless war where the Soviets, the Mujahedeen and the Taliban who all display how little respect they have for human life. The women are somehow wedged in the middle of the men’s power struggle. The Taliban go so far as to deny women basic health care rights. The Taliban’s new laws basically gave men like Rasheed permission to control their wives when they didn’t produce the sons they asked for. The writer speaks from both Mariam and Laila’s point of view at different parts of the text but maintains it’s feminine voice throughout while giving the men a story as well. In a historical period where women had no voice one can deduce the point of the narrative was to give them one.

In this narrative political views and religion go hand in hand, people’s religious beliefs caused them to make political careers in attempts to mandate their religious beliefs. The Taliban believed all women should be covered and submissive, from this they began to make laws about how women should act and carry themselves. There is a huge push to stop the modernized Muslim movement and reform back to the traditional beliefs and customs.

To conclude, this narrative is a clear concise story that allows one to personalize history and understand how one going through it may feel. The book starts out at the early stages of each woman’s life, which allows us to put their struggle into context, one was born into struggle and one was thrown into struggle when the war began. It’s important to give a voice to the women who suffered in this time as well as high light their strengths and weaknesses and not just making them victims which the author does well. Understanding the struggles one faces during a war is invaluable, it makes you pay attention as opposed to it being another historical event and time of tragedy because at the time we are in they occur often. To truly grasp what Muslim women went through and appreciate their strength, one should read this book.

Living in Rocket City…

 

When I was deployed I lived on FOB(forward operating base) Shank aka Rocket City, the above video is a view in to what we had to deal with daily. The alarm and the last four months of deployment included the Phalanx gun(used on Navy Ships) to shoot down the rockets. The Phalanx gun was used to find and destroy the incoming rockets while they were still in the air. At night as the video shows you can clearly see where the rockets coming from and where the phalanx gun is shooting which makes the scenario 10x worse!

 

Many people ask what I did while I was deployed, well I did many different things. I worked in a tower for a few months, I lived on a little COP(Combat Outpost) with Special Forces for five months, and I worked in the jail on the FOB. As an MP they didn’t really know how to used us while we were deployed, living on the COP with SF was amazing, best experience of the whole deployment! Being deployed really opened my eyes to how good I really have it here. While I was deployed I missed: a real bed, real bathrooms, hot showers, food that didn’t make me sick. I did get to enjoy the local food which was amazing, every morning that I was working the Afghani local worker would bring us fresh hardboiled eggs and nan(bread) with cream cheese.

When I worked in the tower, we had Afghan Security on ground level and they would always give us food. The guys I worked with always made me go turn on the x-ray machine because the Afghani’s always gave me food. The one time I was talking with them and they gave me a half of a melon and a bag of fruit. They told me I was their best friend, they would ask for a “coke” which meant soda or an energy drinks, so I always returned the favor and gave them a “coke”.

Missing holidays while deployed is hard but being able to send videos like this back home makes it a little easier!
https://www.dvidshub.net/video/embed/287812

5 Questions to Ask at an Interview

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with some people in the workforce over the past couple of months and get some advice about how to present yourself at an interview, and what questions to ask the interviewer. Asking questions as the interviewee is one of the most important aspects of a job interview, and it can show how much you want and care for the position. It can also help to set you apart from the competition and leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. So I decided to make a list of the 5 best questions to ask at an interview. You can never be over prepared.

1. “How do you define success for this job?”

This question helps you get a clear understanding of what the job entails and the expectations the company will have for you in it. Expectations and goals are pivotal for a position. Once you know what is expected of you, you can perform your job to the best of your ability.

2.  “Can I have a quick tour?”

This question will get you out of the interview room and allow you to get a better look at the office. This will give you a chance to gauge co-worker interaction, work-space design (lighting, noise level, cleanliness) and the department as a whole. It can also give you an idea of the type of relationships have with each other, and whether it is healthy or toxic.

3. “What is your favorite part about working here?”

 Companies, like job candidates, are putting their best foot forward during the interview process, often highlighting all of their corporate perks. By asking every person you interview with what they like best about working at the company you’ll get a better sense of the perks that people regularly experience versus the perks that live only on paper. This isn’t all about you selling yourself to the company. The company also has to sell itself to you.

4. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?

Not only will this question show your confidence in landing the job during the interview, but also it will teach you about the type of people you’d work with at the company. Learning about your future coworkers is a great way to learn more about the position. With this question, you can also find out about the types of project’s you’ll work on and what’s expected of you as an employee.

5. Where do you hope the company will be in five years?

This is another question that has the potential to get the interviewer excited about their job. You’ll also learn about any upcoming changes the company might experience and the goals the interviewer has for their position within company. Learning this information will give you a better idea of how you’d fit as a potential employee.