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CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

September 28, 2017

Have you dreamed of improving your English skills for a future job? CISL’s Career English program provides students with the English skills necessary to succeed in the work environment AND offers international students a chance to spend time at an American company!

Our German student, Florian, recently learned English at CISL and then spent time at Casas Advisors, a real estate company. Florian shared some of his experience with us.

CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

Objectives and expectations

Florian’s goals before the Career English program were clear. “My main objective and intention to enroll for the Career English Program at CISL was to improve my business English and to gain some work experience abroad to improve my CV.”

Why did Florian choose CISL? He admits that it’s not easy for international students to find such an experience at an American company without the help of programs such as CISL’s Career English. Florian recalls that “A major issue for finding a company for me was that most companies require to pay their interns and therefore they need to have a working visa.” Thankfully, with the help of CISL’s Career English Coordinator, Florian was able to find a placement at Casas Advisors, a real estate company in San Diego.

Florian’s tasks and responsibilities

Florian spent two months at Casas Advisors, where the “team was very dedicated to integrate me into the team and to always find challenging tasks for me.”  His responsibilities were varied and challenging. “To summarize my activities I created the following list for a quick overview:

  • Creation of social media analysis and planning tool; definition and implementation of recommendations
  • Development of corporate design
  • Creation of buyers & listing presentation
  • Calculation of ROIs of planned real estate investments for creation of investors pitches
  • Increased transparency of projects through Gantt-Project management planning
  • Administrative activities (reply to enquiries, ordering etc.)
  • Revised marketing material

Improving English through a host company

Florian says he saw great improvements to his English skills after spending time with his host company. “Reviewing my time as an intern at Casas Advisors I can say that those two months were great . . . [I was] able to improve my business English in this environment. Mostly this improvement was caused by making phone calls or attending meetings and holding presentations.” Another reason Florian’s English improved is because of his interactions with employees of the company. “Working together with my co-workers made my work more fun, interesting and flexible at the same time. I worked closely with Linda Paz, the Broker’s assistant, and Santiago Orvananos, the Owner and Broker of Casas Advisors.”

Was it worth it?

Florian says yes. “I was very pleased with my working experience in San Diego. Through the aforementioned activities I was able to improve my skillset according to Excel & PowerPoint . . . it was an awesome experience which I highly recommend. I can only speak highly of Casas Advisors.

Congratulations to Florian for a successful experience with a host company, and many thanks to Casas Advisors for providing such a welcoming environment for Florian to improve his English!

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CISL’s Career English Program offers students the opportunity to improve their English skills in the classroom and at an American company. Students first spend time in the CISL classroom, which has small class sizes (no more than 8 students!) that allow English learners to quickly improve. Students then work closely with the Career English Coordinator to create an American resume (which is different than a CV) and interview with American companies. Students spend at least two months improving their English in a work environment, either while still taking classes at CISL or after completing their CISL English courses. Contact CISL for more information.

 

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20 Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

August 15, 2017

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Writing a resume is difficult: how can you describe yourself, your education, and your accomplishments without sounding cliche, boring, or arrogant? Verbs that concisely explain your job responsibilities will help you when writing a resume. These 20 useful engineering resume vocabulary words will help you when applying for your engineering job or internship.

Note: these terms have been selected for several engineering fields, including biochemical engineering, mechanical, structural, operational, and civic engineering. The form of the word given is the past tense of each verb, and the example is written in the style you might see on a resume. To better understand the format of a U.S. style resume, see our articles “Resume vs. CV: What Is the Difference?.”

20 Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words

Accelerated

Definition: Increase in rate, amount, or extent.

Example: Invented a machine that accelerated production speeds.

Affected

Definition: Have an effect on; make a difference.

Example: Affected change in production by designing a more efficient machine.

Analyzed

Definition: Examine (something) methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it.

Example: Analyzed data from surveyors to make informed suggestions regarding city planning.

Applied

Definition: Make something be applicable or relevant.

Example: Applied various structural engineering theories to work in the field and in the office.

Appraised

Definition: Assess the value or quality of.

Example: Appraised local structures to determine their durability.

Briefed

Definition: Instruct or inform (someone) thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task.

Example: Briefed city officials on the status of local bridges and other structures.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Cataloged

Definition: Make a systematic list of (items of the same type).

Example: Cataloged laboratory data for analysis.

Diagrammed

Definition: Represent (something) in graphic form.

Example: Diagrammed electrical circuits of residential and office buildings.

Diagnosed

Definition: Identify the nature of (an illness or other problem) by examination of the symptoms.

Example: Diagnosed weak areas of older buildings in order to suggest repairs.

Enabled

Definition: Make (a device or system) operational; activate.

Example: Enabled a new form of solar-powered energy.

Engineered

Definition: Skilfully arrange for (something) to occur; design and build (a machine or structure).

Example: Engineered a new form of solar energy collection.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Facilitated

Definition: Make (an action or process) easy or easier.

Example: Facilitated meetings between business owners and local residents regarding structural damage to local buildings.

 

Installed

Definition: Place or fix (equipment or machinery) in position ready for use.

Example: Installed new circuits for energy-efficient electricity throughout the building.

Mapped

Definition: Record in detail the spatial distribution of (something).

Example: Mapped data regarding energy consumption throughout the city.

Measured

Definition: Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units.

Example: Measured the levels of pollution in local waters.

Modeled

Definition: Use (a system, procedure, etc.) as an example to follow or imitate.

Example: Modeled new software on components of previous versions.

Modified

Definition: Altered or changed.

Example: Modified older machines to increase production.

Operated

Definition: Manage; (of a person) control the functioning of (a machine, process, or system).

Example: Operated and examined machinery for maintenance and review.

Optimized

Definition: Make the best or most effective use of (a situation or resource).

Example: Optimized production of machinery.

Revised

Definition: Reconsider and alter (something) in light of further evidence.

Example: Revised reports from biologists; included data and suggestions regarding actions to be taken.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

CISL San Diego provides an intensive English for Engineering course for students who are working in (or interested in working in) the field of engineering. This course provides the vocabulary and language skills necessary for the student’s particular field: lessons can be catered to the student’s interests and professional needs. CISL’s English for Engineering course can be taken alongside the Career English program, which places students in an American company in order to use their English skills in the workplace. Contact CISL for more information.

 

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Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

May 29, 2017

How can you describe yourself, your experiences, and your education in a way that will make you stand out? Language can help! Using creative and original vocabulary will make your resume more interesting to read. Try this useful vocabulary for creating a resume to improve your resume (and perhaps improve your chances of getting an interview).

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

It is common to use words such as make, do, improve, or get on resumes. However, these words are too common and are seen as “weak” words: there are other stronger verbs in the English language that much more effectively express what you did at your last job. Try using some of the words below instead. In the parentheses, you will see the words or concepts that are commonly used with these power verbs. Some of the words are applicable for more than one category, so they may appear twice.

Instead of MADE or DO, say:

  • Acted as (an employee with a title)
  • Conducted (research, studies)
  • Coordinated (events. meetings, groups, activities)
  • Developed (ideas, projects)
  • Delivered (results)
  • Designed (projects, spaces, events, graphics)
  • Devoted (yourself to a cause, devoted time to something important)
  • Gathered (information, ideas, objects)
  • Participated in (events, conferences, meetings, projects)
  • Performed (tasks, duties, responsibilities)

Instead of THINK/RESEARCH, say:

  • Analyzed (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Evaluated (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Examined  (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Defined (target markets, audiences)
  • Developed (research studies, ideas, projects)
  • Observed  (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Recommended (actions based on professional experience or research)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

Instead of GOT/RECEIVED, say:

  • Achieved (a goal)
  • Accomplished  (a goal)
  • Earned (a new job title, an award, money)
  • Fulfilled (a goal)
  • Gathered (data, information)
  • Obtained (data, information)
  • Received (data, information, objects)

Instead of HELPED or IMPROVED, say:

  • Advanced (an industry, a cause, an idea)
  • Assisted with/in (a job, tasks, duties)
  • Contributed to  (an industry, a cause, an idea)
  • Contributed by + ing (an action you took to improve this cause)
  • Consulted (a company, a person)
  • Encouraged (growth through action, a company, a person)
  • Enhanced (growth through action, a company, a person)
  • Generated  (revenue, sales, internet traffic, acclaim)
  • Gained (revenue, sales, internet traffic, acclaim)
  • Identified (a problem, a market, an audience)
  • Maximized (profits, efficiency, sales)
  • Modernized (an industry, a system, an organization)
  • Strengthened (an industry, a system, an organization)
  • Upgraded (technology, software)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

For ACTIONS you took (organizing, managing), say:

  • Delegated (responsibilities, tasks, duties)
  • Diversified (a company’s portfolio)
  • Facilitated (meetings, changes)
  • Formulated (ideas, projects, change)
  • Headed (a project)
  • Hosted (a conference, a meeting)
  • Implemented (change)
  • Influenced (a person or company to change)
  • Launched (a project, advertising campaign)
  • Managed (people, a company, a project)
  • Mediated (issues between people, departments, or companies)
  • Negotiated (agreements and transactions between people, departments, or companies)
  • Operated (machinery, computer programs, production)
  • Organized (meetings, plans)
  • Overhauled (change in a company)
  • Oversaw (a project or company)
  • Pioneered (a new idea)
  • Planned (an event, a project)
  • Prepared (a presentation, a proposal, anything to be presented or given to the public or co-workers or clients)
  • Presented (ideas, findings, proposals)
  • Promoted (ideas, companies)
  • Provided (support, professional help)
  • Pursued (a goal or new project)
  • Redesigned or Re-engineered or Restructured (a way of doing things, a system)
  • Reorganized (a way of doing things, a system)
  • Represented (a company, an organization, a team, a department)
  • Spearheaded (a project)
  • Trained (a person or a team)
  • Unified (a group, departments, companies)
  • Utilized (resources, tools)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

With CISL’s Career English program, students spend time with an American company and practice their English in a real working environment. Before spending time with their host company, students work with the Career English Coordinator to improve their interview skills and to create their American-style resume. 

Would you like to learn more about what it is like to spend time with an American company through CISL’s Career English program? Read about some of the experiences of former students and watch Desi’s video below. 

CISL Career English Program from Converse International School on Vimeo.

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Career English Student Success: Hyebin’s Talent Scout and Marketing Experience!

May 5, 2017

CISL’s Career English program allows international students to master English skills and then spend time with an American company. Our student Hyebin recently completed the Career English course by spending time with Gaslamp Event Management, a marketing company that also is a talent management company for models. Hyebin provided us with some information about her experience with the Career English program and her time with GEM.

Hyebin remembers the interviews before her placement. “I had two interviews. One was for B Green Foods and the other was for GEM.” She says that she “searched about the companies in advance,” but of course she was anxious! Hyebin remembers that “it was my first job interview, so I was nervous, but both were casual interviews, so it was comfortable for me.”

In the end, Hyebin’s chose Gaslamp Event Management, a company located downtown just five minutes from the CISL campus.

What did she do each day? “At first, I made tickets which were for Saint Patrick’s Day. After preparing tickets for 1 week, I sold them on Saint Patrick’s Day. There was a booth in front of a bar, so it was good for meeting a lot of customers.”

What an awesome opportunity to speak English with native English speakers!

Hyebin’s responsibilities also included working with models. “My CE placement was also a model agency, so I was a talent scout & manager. Every day, I received a lot of application letters and I invited them to our interview. In addition, I was in charge of Downtown Dolls’ social media marketing.” She states that “experiencing many tasks was good for me. As I mentioned, I was a talent scout & manager, so I had to respond to application letters so it was good for improving my writing skills . . . I managed Downtown Dolls’ official website and social media sites. I could do a real social media marketing.”

When looking back on her experience, Hyebin is very pleased. “My boss and colleagues were friendly. I was the only one who couldn’t speak English fluently. Every time when I didn’t understand what they were saying to me, they told me again and helped me. They encouraged me and I could work happily. I was satisfied with my CE program.”

Would Hyebin recommend this program to others? Absolutely! She says “I would recommend CISL’s Career English program to potential students who want to experience real tasks at a company. You can learn English and experience many things and meet nice people. It will definitely be worth it.”

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Hyebin! We are so happy that you enjoyed your time at your company and that your English improved!

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Five Common Interview Questions to Practice Before Your Interview

February 16, 2017

Do you have an interview coming up? Don’t stress: prepare! Begin with these five common interview questions to practice before your interview. Use a mirror, use a friend, and craft some unique and personal answers to these difficult (and often vague) questions. For English learners, we have included the language needed to master these interview questions.

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Five common interview questions

#1: Tell me a little about yourself

What they’re looking for: This is one of the typical questions to begin an interview. The interviewer is allowing you to “break the ice”: to warm up a little, speak about yourself and your background, and maybe include some of your interests.

Tips: Don’t speak too long . . . but don’t give a short answer either! Tell the interviewer where you are from, what you are doing in your city, and how long you’ve been there. You can also include a little about your academic and professional background.

Example language: It’s a good idea to learn some phrasal verbs and idioms that make your speech natural. Be sure you know how to communicate your past and your present situation.

  • I was born in Berlin, but I grew up in Munich.
  • I’m a fourth-generation Venezuelan living in Spain.
  • I have a passion for design and I’m a huge anime fan, so I majored in Graphic Arts at college.

#2: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What they’re looking for: How well can you describe what you’re good at (and what you’re not so good at)? In most cases, the interviewer is looking for honesty when speaking about your weaknesses and humility when speaking of your strengths.

Tips: This is one of those questions that is really difficult to answer, so be sure to think of your answers before your interview (and be honest)! Try to avoid cliche phrases like “I’m a hard worker.” This is boring and unoriginal.

Another tip? Don’t give a “weakness” that is actually a strength. This is called “humble bragging,” and it’s really annoying!

An example of a humble brag is this: “I would say that one of my faults is that I’m always early. I’m always the first one to arrive at work in the morning and to arrive at every meeting. It makes everyone else feel like they’re behind me.” That’s not speaking of a fault: it’s speaking of a part of your character and trying to make yourself sound impressive.

Example language: Language of speculation is used here: words such “I suppose” and “X could be considered” are useful.

  • I suppose my greatest weakness is that I tend to take charge of group projects. I need to work on my teamwork a little and be more trusting of my colleagues.
  • One of my strengths is my loyalty to my co-workers and my company.

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#3: What was your favorite/least favorite thing about your last job?

What they’re looking for: An answer to this question helps the interviewer get a picture of your ideal workplace.

Useful tips: Don’t speak poorly about your former co-workers or boss, but be honest.

Example language:

  • I loved my old job, but I was unhappy with the hours I worked. I would prefer a more set schedule and more weekends off.
  • The best thing about my last job was that they trained me very well. I felt very prepared on my first day.

#4: Where do you see yourself in five years?

What they’re looking for: Are you a person who has personal and professional goals and a clear vision? If so, then you can easily speak of your plans for the next few years!

Useful tips: Be clear and specific. What do you aspire to, and how will you achieve these goals?

Example language:

  • In the next five years, I definitely see myself . . .
  • I’d love to . . . . in the next few years.
  • I’ll most certainly . . .

#5: Why did you leave your last job?

What they’re looking for: Can you diplomatically explain why you chose to leave your last company? This is a skill necessary for competent and capable employees.

Useful tips: Sometimes you left for a logical reason: you moved, you got a new job offer, etc. Sometimes, it just wasn’t the right fit for you. Be honest, but don’t give too many details.

Example language:

  • I loved my old job, but I didn’t see much ability for advancement in my position.
  • I left my position because I moved here.

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#5: Do you have any questions for me?

What they’re looking for: Did you do your research about the company? This is your chance to show this!

Useful tips: Do some research ahead of time, and come to the interview prepared.

Example language:

  • I do! On your website I saw . . .
  • I certainly do. I was wondering if . . .
  • Sure! Could you please explain . . .

CISL’s Career English students work closely with the Career English Coordinator to find the host company that meets their professional goals. Students also work with the Career English Coordinator to prepare for their interview, which all students must complete before being accepted to a host company. 

What’s life like as a Career English student? Hear from a program graduate! 

CISL Career English Program from Converse International School on Vimeo.

For more information on how to enroll in CISL’s Career English program and gain experience with an American company, contact CISL.