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  • 3 Ways to Start Preparing for Graduation Now


    graduationThe best time to get ahead is while you’re still enrolled

    Some Branford students are within a few months of graduating, while others still have more than a year to go. Wherever you are in terms of your specific Branford training program, it’s never too early to start considering what’s next.

    The focus, of course, should remain on studying so you can earn a decent grade. But in the meantime, Branford offers students a lot of resources that can prove beneficial in terms of mapping out a successful career path.

    Here are three ways any Branford student can begin planning for the future now, while still enrolled in one of several programs.     

    1. Take advantage of Career Services

    Every Branford campus has a Career Services Department where students can schedule an appointment to discuss what their options might be after commencement. Obviously, Career Services is a decent place to start, as a lot of Branford programs offer internship and externship opportunities that students can take advantage of during their enrollment.

    It’s important to start building a relationship with Branford administrators so that when and if an opportunity does arise, your name will be one of the first that they think of.

    Getting in tune with Career Services might also familiarize you with how to conduct effective job searches, and where to look when it comes time to start interviewing for full-time positions.   

  • Massage Therapy Students Take Part in Heart Health Month Event


    Medical center invites students to practice what they’ve learned

    massage therapy training programYou may recall that students at Branford’s Jersey City campus recently benefitted from several upgrades to the main classroom building, a refurbished graphic design department, and strong new leadership. In the two months since then, Branford, Jersey City has enjoyed even more progress, with students from a handful of programs taking part in several local campus-affiliated events.

    One such event was a free session focusing on massage therapy, which took place at Jersey City Medical Center on February 19th. The event was held in observance of National Heart Health Month, an awareness campaign conducted by the American Heart Association. On that afternoon, half-a-dozen volunteers from Branford, Jersey City’s massage therapy training program conducted 40 free, five-minute massages. They also spent significant time explaining the benefits of massage therapy to members of the hospital staff. 

    Better to give than to receive

    Among the Branford students who volunteered to give massages that afternoon were Leeway Howard, Patricia Johnson, Antonia Lee and Edna Rivera, along with Branford massage therapy instructor, Meta McDonald. The event offered a rare opportunity for them to showcase their skills in a real medical environment, interacting with people who stood to benefit from their practice.

  • Branford Instructors Author Legal Textbook


    paralegal programInstructors use practical experience from their law practices to enlighten paralegals

    Branford graduates will attest to the fact that a dedicated instructor can have a significant impact on their willingness to learn. That being the case, it’s good to know that Robert Smith and Grace Luppino – a pair of instructors at Branford’s flagship campus in Branford, CT – are dedicated to inspiring paralegal students even beyond Branford’s walls.

    Luppino has been a paralegal instructor for 20 years; Robert Smith for a little over five. Luppino has been practicing law since 1990 and Smith since 2005. The two instructors have enough experience between them that they recently wrote and compiled a legal textbook set for publication this August.

    Bankruptcy Law and Practice provides guidance for students in paralegal training programs who are learning to navigate the complex world of bankruptcy law. As Smith recently explained, he and Luppino came up with the idea for the book after growing frustrated with the subpar level of content students had access to about the topic.

    The instructors went to a publisher with their concept for a broader, more comprehensive text. That publisher gave them the green light, and the project continued to move ahead.       

  • What You Need to do to Get Your Resume in Front of the Right Person


    writing a resumeKeywords can make or break your chances of breaking through the clutter

    It’s OK to admit it: Writing a resume can be painful.

    Of course, graduating from a professional training program for medical assisting, medical billing and coding, computer networking and security, or graphic design and animation may help you to be more competitive in job markets such as Northern New Jersey, the greater New York area, or New England, but all the training in the world won’t help if no one sees your resume.

    Here’s the thing you need to remember: In today’s job market, many resumes are sent through electronic sorting systems. That means your document has to make it past the electronic gatekeepers before it has a chance of being viewed by a human being.

    Scoring points with the computer

    The sorting systems are programmed to scan resumes for certain keywords and phrases that match what the company is looking for. Any document that doesn’t have a certain percentage of keyword matches isn’t going to be seen by a hiring manager, so make sure you’re using the same terminology as the employer.

  • Bad Habits Cutting into Your Study Time? Here’s a 4-Step Plan to Tackle Time Killers


    branford hall career trainingBoost productivity by enlisting this process  

    Negative habits can often be difficult to break. We know this, just as we know it’s very often these habits may have held us back in the first place.

    Maybe you’d like to quit smoking. Or maybe you’d like to find a way to overcome procrastination. Perhaps you’d like to spend your free time engaging in more healthful, productive activities. 

    If you’re someone who’s interested in career training, it’s clear that you’re already looking for ways to make some positive changes in your life.

    The good news is there’s a way to make a clean break from bad habits that may have kept you from reaching your full potential in the past.

    The better news is that once you’ve eliminated one bad habit, you can use this exact process to eliminate another.

    Let’s take a look at a four-step plan you can use to replace those not-so-great habits with better ones.

  • Students and Staff Give the Inside Scoop on Branford’s North Brunswick Campus


    branford hall north brunswick campusPositive outcomes result from a good attitude and working closely with staff

    “Our goal is to make your career goals come true.” So says Branford, North Brunswick Campus President Cyndie Shadow. Shadow is a veteran of the higher-education system, and she’s been at North Brunswick since 2013. But Shadow has a stipulation to her statement: “The students have to want it.”

    That is, Brandford Hall can provide the tools students need to get an education and embark on a career search, but it’s the students’ drive and determination that ultimately determine their outcomes.

    However, according to current students and staff, drive and determination in North Brunswick is not in short supply.

    Investing in the future

    Campus services at North Brunswick are set up to help incoming – or potential – students successfully navigate the process of enrolling in and completing a program of study. Available services cover everything from financial aid to curriculum guidance to career readiness.

    “The instructors here are excellent,” says Donna Owens, one of Branford’s medical coding students. “They teach in a way that makes you feel like they’re invested in your future.”

  • 10 Tips for Starting off Every Day Healthy, Happy & Productive


    starting the day off rightAdvice on how to make each morning count   

    We’ve all been there: the alarm goes off and all you can think about is hitting “snooze”. But research shows the first hour of any day can dictate how the remainder of that day will go.

    With that in mind, motivational speaker Kevin Eikenberry offers these 10 tips for getting a great start, and allowing that start to carry you through the day. (The tips are Mr. Eikenberry’s, the commentary is ours – and this article should not be taken as an endorsement of Mr. Eikenberry’s services).

    1. Read something inspirational. Sign up to receive inspirational quotes, or go to a website that provides them. Read a passage or a letter from someone that makes you feel good. The bottom line: seek out something that inspires you to have a great morning.
    2. Exercise. Run or walk for 10-15 minutes; hit the gym before you head to work or school. Exercise raises endorphins, and endorphins lead to increased happiness and energy, while reducing major stress.
    3. Eat well. If you have time for a balanced breakfast, great. If not, just be sure whatever you do eat provides some vitamins and minerals (cereal, yogurt or granola bars), and accompany it with a glass of apple or orange juice, and  perhaps a piece of fruit on the side.

  • Branford’s Springfield Campuses Celebrate 180 New Graduates


    branford hall graduationA recent ceremony highlighted students from six different programs   

    Friends, faculty and family applauded the achievements of 180 Branford graduates on January 23rd, as the Springfield, Massachusetts campus held its commencement ceremony at the Springfield Sheraton in Springfield, MA.

    The ceremony brought together graduates from the HVAC, computer networking & security, culinary arts, medical assistant, medical coding, and massage therapy programs. All of these programs take anywhere between 10 and 18 months to complete.

    Springfield’s ceremony was unique in that it brought together students from a pair of local campuses – one dedicated to medical training, and another dedicated to tech.

    Accomplishment has momentum

    Asked to sum up how she feels about seeing so many students earning their certificates, Springfield Campus Registrar Eunice Guidry quoted Scottish philosopher, Thomas Carlyle: “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”     

  • Branford Hall Celebrating 50 Years of Higher Education!


    branford hall branford CT campusEvents planned for the flagship campus throughout 2015   

    Today, people recognize Branford Hall as a leader in promoting education and vocational goals, offering a host of different programs at every one of its 12 campuses, spread out across four states. But it all started with one campus, in Branford, Connecticut, back in 1965.

    The Branford vision became a reality when amendments to Title IV of the Higher Education Act allowed students enrolling at small, independent institutions the right to federal aid (in the form of student grants and loans). This allowed jobseekers from every tax bracket the opportunity to enter the workforce with a professional diploma and comprehensive training, thereby gaining a necessary foothold toward working up the ladder.

    More comprehensive over time

    During the first five years, Branford was primarily a business school, offering administrative and technical training. Since then the vision has expanded, slowly ballooning to a point where the average campus is home to over 400 students, 10 training programs, and state-of-the-art equipment, along with specialized placement and instructional services.

    As Branford branched out, opening campuses in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, so too did its ability to change and evolve with the times. In addition to traditional classes, today’s students can also enroll in progressive technology programs geared toward graphic design, computer networking and online security. Most programs range from 10 to 16 months and financial aid may be available to students who qualify. 

  • Looking for Professional Medical Assistant Training Programs in Northern NJ?


    medical assistant trainingQuestions to ask to find the right school for you

    If you live in northern New Jersey and you’re interested in exploring a career in the exciting field of medical assisting, you may be trying to figure out the best way to choose a professional medical assistant training program.

    We’ve got some insight on things you should consider to ensure you find the right school environment to set yourself up for success.

    But first, congratulations on deciding to explore this fast-growing career field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of professional medical assistants is expected to grow by 29% percent from 2012 to 2022, which the agency reports is a “much faster than average” increase compared to other career fields.

    Making a decision on which school to attend can be challenging. Here are some things to think about.

    Deciding Among Professional Medical Assistant Programs in North Jersey

    Financial Aid

    “How am I going to pay for school?” is often one of the first questions on people’s minds when they begin considering professional training programs. Many students qualify for federal student aid. Be sure to find out if the schools that you’re considering have a financial aid department to assist you in applying for any grants and loans that you may be eligible for.

  • Come One, Come All to Branford Springfield’s First Career Fair


    branford springfield career fairLocal recruiters from across the board to be on hand     

    Mark your calendar. Branford’s Springfield, Massachusetts campus will hold its first-ever onsite Career Fair this coming Wednesday, February 11th, from 2 to 5 pm. The event will be held in Branford’s Career Institute Building, located at 112 Industry Avenue in Springfield, MA. 

    This is an opportunity for jobseekers of every background to visit the campus and meet with recruiters from over 15 different companies. Branford students and graduates are welcome, and will no doubt be in attendance, but this event is also free and open to the public. All are encouraged to attend, and interact with personnel directors, while meeting Branford staff and faculty. 

    “We’re very excited about this event,” Campus Director Kelby Chappelle explained. “This is going to be a great opportunity for graduates, current students, and even the public to meet with employers in the industry who are looking to hire them.”

  • 5 Lessons Any Jobseeker Can Learn from Watching ‘The Voice’


    career adviceNBC’s hit show offers valuable career advice 

    Millions of people watch The Voice every week to see who will succeed and who will fail. Yet the reality is that behind the glitz, the show offers some fantastic career advice. With that in mind, here are five of the most inspirational takeaways any aspiring professional can benefit from:

    1. First Impressions Occur Before a Face-to-Face Encounter 

    On The Voice, the initial challenge is to win with talent (as opposed to looks). In the business world, first impressions are very often the result of how someone presents him- or herself on social media, personal websites, applications, exams, resumes, and even over the phone.

    To project an image of success one must pay attention to the details. Try to view yourself from the perspective of others who may be looking at you on paper or online – those who haven’t met you yet, but who may only be interested in doing so assuming you’ve hit all the high notes.

  • Branford's Jersey City Campus: Helping Students Reach Extend Beyond Their Grasp


    branford jersey cityCampus pursues new goals throughout 2015  

    The statue of baseball great Jackie Robinson near Branford Hall’s Jersey City campus is an inspiring reminder to students to always strive to reach well beyond their grasp. A recent Open House at the campus revealed some ways that Branford is helping their students to just that.

    The campus is under new leadership, thanks to the arrival of Alfred Parcells, a 22-year veteran of New Jersey’s education system who brings a background in the U.S. Military to the table, as well. Parcells arrived in early December, and went to work immediately, working with his team to create a welcoming environment where the students were the focus. 

    The Jersey City campus features an exciting new look and various upgrades to both the graphic design and computer networking departments (among other things). The central class building, located at 40 Journal Square in the heart of downtown, also is equipped with 265 computer terminals, all of them providing web accessibility.

  • 3 Reasons Why Now May Be a Good Time to Pursue New Job Opportunities


    job huntingGovernment statistics reveal optimistic news

    You hear facts and figures every day on the news: the job market is up, the unemployment rate is down. But what exactly does it mean for you?

    Well, the good news is … there is a lot of good news. And in that spirit, we’ve provided the following breakdown of three reasons why 2015 might be the ideal time to re-evaluate your job prospects:   

    1. The Unemployment Rate Is the Lowest It Has Been Since 1999

    The most recent U.S. Jobs Report revealed the unemployment rate as having dropped to 5.6%. To put that in perspective, that’s the lowest it’s been since 1999.

    What this means is that more companies are now hiring for long-standing vacancies, while other companies are growing their businesses and hiring more.    


  • 3 Do’s – & Don’ts – to Keep in Mind When Seeking Jobs Online


    job tipsThe Internet is a great resource, so long as you know what to avoid  

    A lot of employers have taken their business online these days, replacing the old-fashioned “Help Wanted” signs with craigslist ads or social media posts. Internet job sites can represent a win-win, as they allow both parties to learn more about each other while zeroing in on an ideal match.

    Despite that, there are a handful of pitfalls, which is why it helps to follow these three guidelines whenever searching jobs online:  

    1. Be Cautious Whenever Posting Resumes

    The way the online marketplace operates, it’s helpful to post your resume on job sites, thereby allowing employers to come to you. Doing so provides them with a snapshot of your experience, and it allows them to determine whether you’d be a good fit.

    That said, be sure to double-check any resume you’re posting to ensure it does not provide any proprietary info (i.e., social security number, bank info, etc.), any grammatical errors, or any outdated contact information. Also, verify the security of any websites you are posting to, so you can be certain your resume is being placed into good hands.

  • What Job Hunters Can Learn from Wonder Woman (Yes, Seriously)


    job interview power poseHarvard Researchers Claim “Power Poses” Can Help During Job Interviews

    Whether you’re a new student at Branford or a recent graduate of the professional medical assistant program, massage therapy program, or other professional program, know this: Everyone gets nervous during job interviews no matter how well-prepared they are.

    So how can you ensure that your training and professionalism shine through and don’t get overshadowed by nerves? Try using the power of body language when applying for jobs.

    Research from Harvard University shows that people who stood in a “power pose” prior to job interviews not only felt more confident, they were also rated higher by hiring managers than other candidates.

    Take a cue from super heroes

    So what is a power pose? The Harvard researchers refer to it as the “Wonder Woman pose.” Imagine a person standing with their legs about shoulder-width apart and placing their hands on their hips.

    In the Harvard study, people were asked to assume either a high-power pose (such as the Wonder Woman pose) or a low-power pose for two minutes. The study subjects were then tested to check their risk tolerance based on their body chemistry. The people in the high-power pose group had a 20% rise in testosterone, the hormone that projects dominance in both men and women, while their levels of stress hormones dropped. The people in the low-power pose group experienced a 10% drop in testosterone and saw an increase in stress hormones.

  • 6 Apps that Can Make Students’ Lives Easier


    career training computer networking graphic design and animation professional medical assistant

    Getting Organized and Reducing Distractions Can be Keys to Success in Career Training Programs

    Whether you buy in to New Year’s resolutions or not, a new year inspires many of us to improve some area of our lives.

    This year, why not rely on technology to lend a hand? Even if you’re not in a computer-based program of study, such as computer networking or graphic design and animation, there are a variety of easy-to-use phone apps that can help all students get organized to optimize school and study time.

    Here’s a list of six apps to help you get started. (NOTE: There are many great apps that may accomplish these same tasks. We do not endorse any of the following, but are presenting them as a starting point for your own searches.)

    Staying on Task

    No one wants to admit it, but we all get distracted by various things on our mobile devices. The SelfControl app blocks distracting websites during certain periods of time. You can set it to block those sites during lectures or during study periods. The app will automatically cease site blocking at the end of the time you designate.

  • Lessons from the Sony Hack


    smart emails

    Don’t Let Embarrassing Emails Ruin Your Career

    The recent hack of Sony’s internal communications may seem like something that doesn’t affect the average Joe all that much. Let’s face it: It’s unlikely that a group of hackers will have any interest in digging around in most of our personal communications.

    But there is an important takeaway for everyone who lives their lives online these days (which means nearly everyone). That is, nothing is really private once you write it online, send it as an email, or text it to a friend or colleague.

    For students and graduates of Branford Hall’s career training programs, the Sony incident is a powerful reminder that conducting yourself in a professional manner is just as important as staying current with your skill sets in massage therapy, medical billing and coding, computer networking, or any other career program Branford offers.

    You can bet that there are more than a handful of Sony executives and employees who are wishing that they’d shown a little more caution before spouting off about company policies and initiatives.

  • Students in Culinary Arts Program Re-Imagine Turducken at Holiday Feast


    culinary arts programCulinary arts students prepare luncheon for entire campus

    Students and staff at Branford’s Springfield, MA, campus were treated to a holiday feast earlier this month, as the culinary arts students practiced their banquet skills.

    While the menu contained many traditional holiday favorites, the culinary arts students were also happy to have a chance to show off their creativity. The highlight of the meal: a new take on turducken.

    “Turducken is usually turkey, duck and chicken,” explained Chef Toni Lambert, Director of Branford’s Culinary Program. “Instead we did it with turkey, chicken, and quail.”

    Luncheon guests were also treated to several different versions of roast turkey, three types of stuffing, including cornbread, sausage, and cranberry, multiple side dishes, and a wide array of desserts.


  • Springfield Health and Springfield Tech Campuses Show Their Holiday Spirit


    branford hall

    Students and staff participate in the giving season

    Springfield, Mass. – In recognition of this season of giving, the students and staff at the Springfield Tech and Springfield Health campuses of Branford Hall are participating in a number of community giving projects. This year’s activities have included food drives and clothing drives to benefit people who are in need in the Springfield community.

    At the Springfield Tech campus, students and staff recently participated in the Mayflower Marathon, an annual food drive in Springfield that benefits the Open Pantry. The goal of this community-wide event was to contribute three trailers full of food donations. Branford Hall students woke up early on the day of the event and staffed the receiving area from 4am to 8am. They offered coffee and breakfast to people who came to donate food. Is there anything more dedicated than showing up at 4am to volunteer? Hats off to all the volunteers who made it so early!

    Students at the Springfield Health campus are also getting involved with their community during the December holidays. They have organized a glove and mitten drive to help children who are in need. Families who are living on limited incomes may not have the funds to purchase new gloves and mittens for their children each winter, as the children outgrow last year’s clothes, so these donations will certainly be put to good use!

  • How to Demonstrate Dependability to Prospective and Current Employers


    dependable workerWhen people are searching for a job, one crucial career strength they might possess, but forget to emphasize, is dependability.

    When it comes to jobs, dependability is the ying to accountability’s yang.

    People who are dependable are the ones bosses and coworkers can count on. Dependable people make commitments, deliver on time, and follow-up on what’s been done.

    The importance of personal dependability can easily be overlooked by otherwise highly qualified job applicants, as they instead focus on highlighting their specific job knowledge.

    However, many managers will tell you that an employee’s qualifications don’t mean much if they can’t count on the person.

    How to Show What You’re Made Of

    What can a job seeker do to lay the groundwork that will convince an employer that he or she is highly dependable?

    • Come prepared with at least one or two examples of when and how you proved your dependability was critical to success.
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