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5 Things Business Owners Could Learn From a Zombie Apocalypse #zombies #doom : http://www.mrcomputerscience.com/5-things-business-owners-could-learn-from-a-zombie-apocalypseEdited by M the name 29 Oct `13, 11:01AM
Clinch the deal
Know three important things about your clients to close the sale
Pick up the crucial information you need to ensure that your client makes a decision in your favour.
STARTING on the right note and choosing the right topic to initiate a conversation with your client enables you to gather crucial information that is essential to closing the sale.
However, if you don't know what information you need, the exchange is as good as random small talk.
During the conversation with your clients, there are three pieces of information you need to pick up that will allow you to preempt and handle potential objections that might surface at a later stage and help you close the deal.
The cost of not having this information is too high, and will deny you potential sales. The crucial points are:
Most salesmen know that all clients have hot buttons, something that elicts a strong emotional response or reaction. But pressing a hot button alone will not bring you closer to clinching the deal.
It merely indicates that your client has a concern you can address or a soft spot you should explore further. It is a doorway to closing the deal, but the corridor to reach the treasure trove is long and winding.
The more accurate the hot button you discover, the better your view of the full picture. Only then will you know where your client is coming from and how you can fulfil his needs and tend to his concerns.
Values and beliefs
To effectively identify the values and beliefs of your client, you first need to understand the difference between these two often-confused terms.
Beliefs are concepts and assumptions that we hold to be true, usually without the need to have actual proof or evidence. Values are ideas that we deem important to us. They govern the way we interact, behave and communicate with others. Together, they determine our attitudes and opinions.
When it comes to sales, every client has a set of values and beliefs etched into his core. A rule of thumb to remember is: never go against your clients' values and beliefs. Your objective is to be aware of them, and ensure that your product or service will not contradict them. In the event that your opinions and schools of thought conflict with those of your clients, simply agree to disagree.
The last piece of information that can strongly enhance your closing is your client's decision-making process. If you are able to recognise hidden concerns that might be holding him back, you will be in a better position to address them. In general, there are two sets of ideologies that will affect how your client makes decisions:
• The trade-off between cost and value. If your client can see the value of what you offer, he will not mind the cost and the sale will take place. If he only looks at cost, he will never appreciate your product's value.
• The motivation principle. Your client may be motivated to avoid pain or to seek pleasure. Pain is often associated with loss, and pleasure with gain The inclination to avoid pain is often stronger than that of seeking pleasure, and unless your client's concerns involving pain are addressed, it is difficult to swing him towards a purchase that sells pleasure.
Article by Jacky Chua, the author of SOLD: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Anything. Currently with Richard Gavriel Speaker Management. Jacky can be contacted via email at [email protected].
CATS Recruit, The Straits Times, Thursday, October 24 2013, Pg C24Edited by M the name 25 Oct `13, 12:09AM
All about further education at private institutions
Experts answer final-year poly students' queries about PEIs, further studies
(From left) Mr Muhd Danial Kwek, 20, Mr Mohd Fadhil Nasser, 20, Mr Mohd Fadzly Mohd Adam, 20, Mr Muhd Nizam Roslan,l9, Miss Tan Wei Cheng, 23, and Mir Elisha Ong Yang Zheng, 20, all final year students in Temasek Polytechnic.
Make PEIs your choice
Piqued by interest in what private education institutions have to offer, several final-year polytechnic students we interviewed asked a series of questions. To provide the answers, we gathered a panel of experts. They include Mr Leon Choong, Executive Vice-President, Kaplan Singapore; Mr Loh Siew Meng, Managing Director of lnformatics Academy; Mr Chris Lee, Deputy Director, Recruitment of SMF Institute of Higher Learning; and representatives from ACCA Singapore and
SAA Global Education Centre.
1. How do the private education institution (PEIs) choose their university partners?
As an indicative trend, PEIs generally refer to university ranking guides like the QS World University Rankings. The Sunday Times University Guide and The Guardian University Guide for ranking by faculty. subjects and other factors.
The PEIs also refer to overall university rankings, which comprise composite factors like academic reputation. research citations, proportion of international students and international faculty.
The PEIs also refer to accreditation by professional bodies and international accreditation agencies like Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, European Quality Improvement System and Association of M BAs. Another key element is the relevance of the programmes offered to industry needs.
2. What are the academic standards of the university partners for each PEI and how do they compare to those of our local universities?
The PEIs check on the strengths and international rankings of each university partner. In today's global market. the degrees from the university partners are comparable with those from our local universities.
3. Where do the lecturers come from and what are their credentials?
Most of the lecturers at PEIs have had experience teaching or lecturing in other PEIs or government schools. Some of them are also selected based on their industry experience in the subject area.
All lecturers are registered with the Council of Private Education and their qualifications can range from diplomas to doctorates.
4. How can I find out the details of the modules of the courses offered by each PEI?
They can be found on their individual websites or you can call the institution directly. You can also visit the PEIs and obtain their prospectus.
Students can also interact with some PEIs on Facebook.
5. Are double degrees. double majors. minors offered?
Kaplan Singapore offers the largest suite of double major degrees by Murdoch University in Singapore. SMF Institute of Higher Learning offers double major degrees as well. Double major programmes have proven to be very popular among students, both full-time and part-time. These programmes equip graduates with the knowledge in two disciplines, therefore increasing their employability.
6. How long will my study loan be for a course?
The duration of the study loan will be dependent on the various bank rules and regulations.
7. What exemptions do polytechnic graduates get when enrolling?
Based on the prior learning acquired through their diploma programmes, polytechnic graduates are able to gain direct entry into the second year of many bachelor's degree programmes offered by the university partners of many
Students can look forward to an average degree completion within a span of 16 to 24 months, allowing them to have a headstart in the job market.
Polytechnic graduates majoring in accountancy or business from the polytechnics may be eligible for partial exemptions/advanced standing when enrolling for the ACCA qualification.
Holders of fully accredited accounting diplomas from the polytechnics may be able to complete the examinations between 1½ and 2½ years instead oftaking between three and 3½ years.
8. Is it better for mature students to pursue a basic undergraduate programme or one with honours, and why?
Between a basic undergraduate course and one with honours, generally honours degree holders will get better salaries.
It also depends on the students' preference for degrees from Australian universities or those in the UK.
Generally, with British degrees, students will graduate with direct honours, while students of Australian universities have the option of graduating with double majors.
9. What are the benefits of choosing a PEI over a local university?
Students at PEIs enjoy an environment that is different and at times more challenging than those in local universities. They also learn to develop independence.
Many PEIs offer different and more personalised teaching methods which can also be more creative as students are empowered to eo-create their own activities with the faculty.
10. How are the employment prospects of a degree or other qualification from a PEI compared to a similar qualification from a local university?
Private educational institutions often specialise in one or a handful of areas, in contrast with local universities. So students at PEIs can study in more concentrated fields of study, which sometimes means the course can be shorter and students can enter the workforce faster.
11. Which is better, being a part-time student or a full-time one, and why?
Being part-time or full-time students depends on a person's commitments. Students who study full-time prefer to spend a more focused duration of time in completing their studies. They are mostly new graduates who prefer to be fully immersed in a more youthful study environment.
Most part-time students tend to be working professionals who are juggling their career and studies. Part-time students tend to be more financially independent, older and enjoy interacting with peers who are also in the workforce.
12. Other than the Grade Point Average, what other requirements do students need to meet for courses at PEIs?
For advanced diploma courses, normal entry requirements are as follows:
• A pass or higher grade in the diploma course by the PEI or equivalent.
• A diploma in a cognate subject. Other qualifications or experience which demonstrate that a candidate possesses appropriate knowledge and skills at diploma level may be acceptable.
• Relevant working experience
• May be required to take bridging modules
• Meet minimum English proficiency requirements. Students who do not meet the requirements may have to pass English tests conducted by the PEI.
For undergraduate courses, normal entry requirements are as follows:
• Diploma or advanced diploma (subject to university's approval)
• Minimum English requirements for the course, Students who do not meet the requirements may have to pass English tests conducted by the PEI.
13. What appeal processes are in place if students are unable to meet the requirements to enrol in the course of their choice?
Every student is unique, and they are grouped in classes to give as much diversity of perspectives and backgrounds as possible. For students who are keen to study a particular course but have a different level of accomplishment, the programme leaders will conduct an interview and get them into either foundation or bridging programmes.
Students can also consider alternative programmes if they are unable to meet the entry requirements. Students who are unable to gain direct admission to a degree programme may enrol in a diploma programme for subsequent matriculation into the degree programmes of their choice.
14. How relevant is work experience in pursing higher education, and why?
Work experience is more relevant and important for Master's degree programmes as it develops practical knowledge and skills using methodologies that require a high level of participation from every student in the programme. Students are encouraged to have significant work experience to achieve maximum learning outcomes from a Master's degree programme.
Students with work experience are also better able to immediately apply their learning, and sharing industry knowledge enriches classroom discussions.
15. What overseas exchange programmes are available and what is the duration?
Students have the opportunity to complete their final year at the home countries of the partner university to gain exposure. The duration of these exchanges is usually between two weeks to a semester.
16. After obtaining the undergraduate degree, what avenues do the PEIs provide for one to further one's education?
After the undergraduate degree, the focus is on employability as well as gaining knowledge and skills. There are the usual Master of Business Administration and other professional courses which deepen specific work skills and knowledge.
There are also a range of corporate training courses for companies and individuals who are looking into upgrading their skills in order to improve their career paths or businesses.
17. Where do most PEI graduates aspire to go to after graduation?
Many PEI graduates work in varied fields, but large numbers of them are found in the private sector.
18. Can I reserve a place to pursue a course before enlisting in national service, or do I apply while still serving national service?
Higher education is a personal achievement and it is best for students to commit as early as possible, even before enlisting in national service. Many PEIs have online courses. evening classes and even professional certification courses for full-time national servicemen.
19. What opportunities are there for industrial attachments or internships?
SAA Global Education offers a Professional Attachment Scheme for ACCA and University of London students. The objective of this scheme is to provide students a chance to experience working life in accounting firms for a period of two months.
At SMF Institute of Higher Learning, there are internship opportunities at over 30 companies for Its students with a list of positions in fields such as marketing, communication. events. administration, human resource management. information technology, hospitality and tourism.
20. I am interested in pursuing accountancy or accountancy related studies. What opportunities are there for industrial attachments or internships at the Big 4 and mid-tier accounting firms and other corporate organisations?
ACCA Singapore offers the ACCA Internship Programme (AIP) held in collaboration with ACCA Approved Learning Partners as well as ACCA Approved Employers (including the Big 4 and mid-tier accounting firms as well as corporate organisations).
The three-month internship period usually begins in January and ends in March every year.
21. I am studying marketing in polytechnic now. Should I continue studying marketing at a PEI or change to another course like business law or accounting to ensure better employability after graduation?
Students are advised to enquire about the recognition of the school's certificates in the market and the progression pathway to ranked universities. lnformatics. for instance, has 30 years of academic achievement and has strong long-term partnerships with good universities.
Business law and accounting are more specialised degree programmes than marketing. There are pros and cons for all of the degree programmes. it depends on what future career path one wishes to take.
If one wishes to continue with a marketing degree programme, he/she might be considered for exemptions and will have a chance to complete the degree programme in a shorter duration, which will be an added advantage.
ACCA is not a private educational institution. but a professional qualification body. Please visit http://singapore.accaglobal.com/singapore/students/providers/lp_singapore to find out more information from ACCA Approved Learning Partners.
Know what you want
Expert advice to guide poly graduates through private education
WITH a wide variety of courses available in universities and PEIs here, poly leavers are spoilt for choice with regard to furthering their education.
But such variety can end up confusing prospective students. and it is essential that they make calm. reasonable and informed choices.
Among the most important things prospective students for further education should do is avoid peer pressure, said psychologist Daniel Koh of Insights Mind Centre.
"Polytechnic graduates should be aware of their passions in life and follow them since they are less likely to change on impulse. Once (polytechnic) graduates know these goals, that can help pave the way for the choice of the most suitable educational courses.
"This does not mean that one cannot change the choices in future, but it just helps narrow the choices to those closest to one's heart."
Mr Koh felt that polytechnic graduates could start the ball rolling by first listing their interests and then limiting themselves to one or two that were most achievable.
Mr Lean Choong, Executive Vice-President. Kaplan Singapore. said: "Polytechnic graduates should select a PEI that offers their preferred course of study by assessing the reputation of the awarding institution. the duration and structure of the course (how it suits their lifestyle and commitments) and its affordability."
A spokesman for TMC Academy said polytehnic graduates should also check out the modules and reputation of the university partners of each PEI before making a choice of where to further their education.
"The graduates will be getting a degree awarded by the university, and that is why research on the university ranking, course relevancy and recognition are crucial in deciding on a suitable course. Classification of degrees (e.g. honours or ordinary degrees) is another factor for consideration."
Dr Alan Go, academic head and senior lecturer at ERC Institute, said polytechnic graduates should ask three main questions before settling on a PEI for further studies.
Do you have a burning passion for your career choices?
He said: "lt is always much easier to accomplish big things if you love what you do. You may want to be successful at wealth management but if you are not a person, who loves thinking about numbers. dislikes networking and socialising with people. you will not do well.
What are your ultimate career objectives?
Dr Go said: "Many students who do not have much working experience and are not sure of their career objectives often make decisions to enter a degree programme based on what subjects in their diploma course may be awarded exemptions to the degree programme. Economically. it makes sense as you could save tuition fees but it only works if you are very sure you want to work in the same field or you have already gained a significant career pathway and a degree will value add to your current career. For students who wish to change their career. the right degree programme will allow them to change their career aspiration.
"You need a clear vision of where you want to go and how you want to get there. You can start by trying to narrow down your career options by understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and making a list of industries and job titles you would like to have."
Recognise that you need to study
Dr Go added that polytechnic graduates should recognise that many factors like family. friends and societal demands. would take time away from their educational pursuits.
"When choosing a degree programme, there will also be lots of opinions from others. research reports on which career is most wahted, what degrees are "best," and so on.
"Never allow any of these to be your sole decision factors in choosing which degree is right for you. Go find the facts, speak to people who are doing a degree now, attend as many degree preview seminars as you can. seek good advice from non-biased advisors. Do anything to make sure you fully understand the degree programmes or programmes you are passionate about. Do not be pressurized by any sales propositions," he said.
Choose the school that gives you a well-rounded education experience
"Ignore the traditional advice of pursuing a degree programme in a PEI based solely on the brand and size of the school. You may want to examine other areas such as student council activities, entrepreneurship learning, career path counselling activities, internships, scholarships, connections to industries and even job placement possibilities," said Dr Go.
Dr Timothy Chan, academic director, SIM Global Education (SIM GE), said polytechnic graduates need to assess their personalities and visit the campuses of the PEIs they are interested in.
He said: "A job in communications, the media or hospitality usually requires an outgoing personality. If you are reserved and dislike social gatherings, then perhaps consider courses in subjects like computer programming, logistics or business planning.
"Research shows that with a good match between personality and the academic course of study, students are likely to achieve higher grades, stick with the choice of major or specialisation through graduation, and be more satisfied and successful in their careers.
"Find out the academic and financial support each PEI provides. A well-established institution has the financial resources to offer bursaries, grants and scholarships to deserving students.
"Also find out the international ranking of the university offering the degree programme that you're interested in. Ranking is an accurate indicator of the university's professional standards and quality of teaching.
"All things being equal, a jobseeker with credentials from a highly-ranked university is likely more desirable than someone from a lower-ranked university."
" It is very important to consider all the things that define you as a person like your interests, experience, hobbies, activities and desires. Choose a degree programme that is aligned to your passions and that will lead you to a satisfying career. "
- Dr Alan Go, ERC Institute
Go Guide, Beyond Poly, The New Paper, Wednesday, October 23, 2013, Pg 1-5Edited by M the name 25 Oct `13, 12:16AM
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THE ENDEdited by M the name 22 Oct `13, 1:43AM
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Er... what are unsecured loans?
Where do you see this?
In finance and banking-related articles.
What does it mean?
The term refers to money that you can borrow without having to put up an asset such as a car or property as collateral.
Credits cards and personal lines of credit are the most common examples of unsecured loans. Other examples are education and renovation loans.
Why is it important?
Such loans usually come with higher interest rates as this is a riskier business for lenders, who may find it harder to recover the loans if you do not pay up. Lenders check your credit history to find out if you are a high- or low-risk borrower, so it would be harder for you to get this type of loan if you do not pay your bills.
So you want to use the term. Just say...
"It was very difficult to get an unsecured loan from the banks during the global financial crisis, so I had to cut down on my luxury watch purchase."
Invest, The Sunday Times, October 20, 2013, Pg 42
Uni rankings not everything: PM
GUEST OF HONOUR: PM Lee at the official opening of NUS University Town. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
Universities here should not just chase international rankings, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
He explained that this is because they have a national and social mission that goes beyond grades.
Unlike institutions like Harvard University in the US or China's Peking University, which admit a small percentage of students in those countries, Singapore's universities admit the bulk of its tertiary-bound students, said the PM.
So, while rankings bring good repute, the universities' broader mission must be to develop a student's social conscience.
Universities should also imbue in students "a sense that they have a responsibility to take Singapore forward", said Mr Lee at the official opening of Singapore University Town (UTown), reported The Straits Times online.
UTown is an educational hub complete with residential spaces, teaching facilities and study clusters.
It is part of a wider effort to improve the tertiary education sector, with the Government also committed to increasing the number of university places from 27 per cent of each cohort now to 40 per cent by 2020.
But the PM cautioned that the expansion must not come at the expense of churning out degree-holders without jobs that fit their training or fulfil their aspirations.
He pointed to countries like South Korea, where unemployment among university graduates of vocational high schools.
"Other countries have found that having large proportions of students going to university does not necessarily guarantee happy outcomes," he said.
News, The New Paper, Friday, October 18 2013, Pg 4Edited by M the name 19 Oct `13, 2:19PM
AUSSIE LECTURERS ON STRIKE
impact on SIM GE exams
Report by ZUL OTHMAN
For more than a year, lecturers and Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) have been in a dispute over better pay and working conditions.
But there are now fears that the resulting strike - which was called on Oct 1 - will impact some of the Melbourne-based institution's more than 6,000 students enrolled at SIM Global Education's (SIM GE) campus at Clementi Road.
The New Paper (TNP) learnt yesterday of RMIT's plans to use staff from its campuses in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi to assess Singaporean exam scripts for an examination scheduled from Monday to Nov 9.
Australia's National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) - the professional association covering all employees of universities - sees this as RMIT's way of working around the industrial action.
NTEU, which according to its website represents more than 25,000 members, is staging the industrial action at a number of Australian universities, including RMIT.
The union's president, Ms Jeannie Rea, told TNP that an email was sent to the staff of RMIT's Vietnam campuses offering them to assess the scripts.
Ms Rea argued that because the staff in Vietnam are not involved in course work for Singaporean students, RMIT is breaking its agreement with its Singapore provider SIM GE.
Usually, staff from Melbourne would set and mark the papers for its offshore students.
Added Ms Rea: "There is now great concern by the staff of RMIT here that if this is done, the quality and integrity of the university would be compromised."
In an email statement to TNP, RMIT's pro vice-chancellor Ian Palmer said it "has robust processes in place to ensure quality wherever it operates".
He added that NTEU has notified RMIT that it has asked its members to withhold the release of assessment results for offshore non-graduating students.
Despite this, Professor Palmer concluded: "All assessment will be done in accordance with the service agreement RMIT has with SIM. RMIT is working to ensure that potential impact is minimised."
He did not reveal how many students here could be affected if the dispute escalates.
RMIT students in Malaysia, China and Vietnam are also affected.
One Singaporean student at SIM GE, who declined to be named, is hopeful that the strike in Australia will be resolved soon.
Said the undergrad, 26: "I know that strikes are common in Australia, but I do wish this is resolved before our examinations end."
"I do not want to be in a situation where my results are disputed. The idea of re-sitting for exam is not something I look forward to."
When contacted, a spokesman for SIM GE said: "As of now, SIM has not received any instruction from RMIT University to send the examination scripts to the RMIT campus in Vietnam."
News, The New Paper, Friday, October 18 2013, Pg 14Edited by M the name 19 Oct `13, 12:53AM
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