JJC Blog

Learn more about student life and what you can accomplish at Joliet Junior College in our blog.

Michelle Nagy

Michelle Nagy
Michelle is the Marketing Communications Specialist at JJC. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations.

Recent Posts

Tips for Navigating the Joliet Regional Job Fair

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Apr 5, 2016 8:59:59 AM

Are you in the market for an internship or job? The Annual Joliet Regional Job Fair is a great place to start!

This year’s event takes place on Friday, April 8 from 1-4 p.m. at JJC (J-Building). There will be more than 60 local and national companies on site, including Home Depot, H&M, Walgreens, NAPA Auto Parts, Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel, Exelon and more.

If you plan to attend, make sure to dress in professional business attire, bring resumes, and come prepared for on-the-spot interviews.

Not sure if your resume is up to par, or need to brush up on your interviewing skills? We got you covered! Check out the videos below for helpful tips.

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Tags: Tips & Tricks, Careers, Community

JJC Faculty Head to Morocco

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Mar 30, 2016 11:55:58 AM


Thanks in part to a 2014 grant, a group of JJC faculty members recently explored the North African country of Morocco.

Tamara Brattoli (English and World Languages), Cristobal Trillo (Spanish and French), Mari Johnson (English and World Languages), Michael Hainzinger (English and World Languages) and Eva Murdoch (Natural Sciences) previewed the area ahead of eight JJC students who have signed up for the Morocco study abroad program in May. While there, they visited the cities of Tangiers, Fes, Marrakesh and Madrid, Spain.

Read on for first-hand accounts of their trip.

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Tags: Study Abroad

JJC Veterinary Technology Students Head to Belize

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Feb 29, 2016 1:09:28 PM

Iguanas, boas, howler monkeys...oh my! On Feb. 27, 10 JJC students embarked on the learning experience of a lifetime through the Veterinary Medical Technology Belize Study Abroad program. 

The program introduces students to key topics in wildlife medicine in Central and South America, while teaching wildlife conservation, zoo medicine, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. In addition to classroom time at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, students work hand-in-hand with veterinarians to care for the area’s tropical inhabitants.

Read on for first-hand accounts of daily life for veterinary technology students in Belize.

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Tags: Study Abroad

Car Maintenance 101

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Feb 10, 2016 11:03:01 AM

Raise of hands – who breaks out in a cold sweat when their check engine light turns on? (Driving a 2003 vehicle myself, I feel your pain)

Let Josh Graf of JJC’s Automotive program calm your car anxieties with five simple maintenance tips to keep your car on the road and out of the repair shop.


1. Checking your oil 
Remove the oil dipstick  and wipe it off completely. Once clean, reinsert the stick and remove it again. Hold the handle up, away from the ground. Check the levels at the bottom of the stick. Your oil should be visible between the ‘full’ and ‘low’ marks.

2. Checking your coolant
Do not remove your coolant cap (can become pressurized after driving). Instead, look through the clear reservoir to see where the pink liquid line is. Your coolant level should be between the ‘full cold’ and ‘full hot’ marks on the tank.

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Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Dec 22, 2015 9:10:23 AM

JJC New Year's Resolutions 

January is almost over – how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? If the answer is ‘not great’ or 'I don't want to talk about it,' don’t worry, it’s not too late to turn things around! Read on for helpful tips to keep your resolutions going all year long.

1. Tell your #Squad: Individuals that let others know about their resolutions are more likely to keep them. So fill your family, friends – or if you’re feeling bold – Facebook community in on your 2016 goals. Having the backing of the people you care about can go a long way (and it really ups the accountability factor).

2. Try the 15 Minute Rule: Doesn’t it seem like when you try to give something up, that’s the only thing you can think about? Next time the ‘craving’ hits, take note of the time, and then give yourself 15 minutes before giving in. In the meantime, do a task or activity that keeps you occupied – like scrolling through Facebook, going for a walk or calling a friend. Often, these cravings are a result of visual cues – example: watching a Pepsi commercial and then making a beeline for the vending machine. By giving your brain something else to do for those 15 minutes, you’ll likely forget all about the craving.

3. Visualize Your Success: It’s been scientifically proven that individuals who physically see their resolutions are more likely to keep them. Try writing your goals down on paper, or printing out images of the people or places that inspired them in the first place – like a picture of your family. Put these items near spots that tempt you, like a family photo where you usually keep your cigarettes, or your written weight loss resolutions on the cabinet with the Girl Scout cookies.

4. Be Careful What You Wish For: It’s easy to make a blanket resolution like “I want to lose 10 lbs.” But this type of resolution requires you to take multiple sub-steps in order to be successful.  For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, a few extra minutes on the treadmill every week isn’t going to cut it. You’ll likely need to cook and eat differently, start a consistent workout routine or even avoid certain places altogether. (Maybe stepping inside Starbucks without ordering a 400-cal. Frappuccino sounds like medieval torture). Those that think through the sub-steps and possible roadblocks associated with their resolutions are more likely to keep them.

5. Rework the Absolutes: Think back to your last fight with a family member or significant other. Did you find yourself saying (or screaming) “You ALWAYS…” or “You NEVER...” The words ‘always’ and ‘never’ are absolutes, and while they typically don’t help you win arguments, they definitely don’t help you keep resolutions. If you made a resolution like, “I’m never smoking again,” try reworking it to instead include a limited restriction. “I’ll only smoke on the weekends.” Continue refining the resolution based on your progress, until you ultimately DO quit smoking.

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Tags: Tips & Tricks, Holidays

Finals Study Hacks

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Nov 24, 2015 10:02:05 AM

1. Feed Your Mind: Pepsi and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (while delicious) won’t give you the brain power you need to conquer finals. Although convenient, the calories in those processed carbs will ultimately leave you exhausted and sluggish. Instead, eat foods that are digested slowly, like whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies and proteins – especially right before an exam. (Think: nuts and seeds, yogurt, eggs, avocados, blueberries, beans, etc.)

2. Cardio, It’s Good for the Soul: Research has shown that just 20 minutes of cardio may improve memory and concentration. Dancing in place, going for a run or walk or hopping on the elliptical are all great ways to get that cardio fix. And JJC has a great fitness center so you can squeeze in a quick cardio-sesh without ever leaving campus.

3. Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: Start by studying the material you already know, then add more challenging or recent information. This helps you associate new information with familiar information. The approach is not only less daunting, but it will ease you into a comprehensive review and ensure you have a good understanding of the basics.

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Tags: Tips & Tricks

Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Nov 12, 2015 1:04:01 PM


Thanksgiving – a time for family, football and food….lots of food (and if you’re like me, a good pair of ‘after-dinner-fat-pants’). But before the eating comes the prepping, and that’s where we can help! Read on for a list of our best Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks. 

SPOILER ALERT: These tips won’t help you escape Aunt Millie’s ‘hilarious’ story about her cat, or your grandpa’s thoughts on the 2016 presidential race.  

1.) Prep Like a Boss: Ever heard the saying, ‘However long you think it’s going to take, double it.’ Same goes for party prepping. Crossing a few items off your to-do list the day before will save you some serious scramble time the evening of the party – even if you think you’ll have ‘plenty of time to get it all done.’ Prep self-serve drinks, stick Post-It notes to empty platters and bowls indicating where the food should go or prepare a few fridge-friendly dips or desserts that you can pop into the oven an hour before guests arrive. 

 

2.) Set the Mood: No, this step does not involve Marvin Gaye. Create a relaxed dinner vibe by dimming the lights, lighting a few candles, or turning on some dinner tunes using a custom playlist or Pandora. (Bonus: the first two suggestions will make any space look elegant and may hide any spots you missed while cleaning.) 

 

3.) Brine Baby Brine: When in doubt, follow the advice of JJC’s Chef Michael McGreal, “When roasting a turkey, let the meat rest in a homemade brine for 6-8 hours before cooking. Brining allows the protein to absorb moisture and retain it during the roasting process, making the meat moist, tender and flavorful.” 

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Tags: Tips & Tricks, Holidays, Community

Not Enough Cooks in the Kitchens (and what that means for you)

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Nov 9, 2015 9:54:40 AM
Culinary job openings are on the rise, but businesses are finding there are not enough cooks to staff the open positions. According to the National Restaurant Association, in 2005 Illinois was home to more than 21,000 eating and drinking establishments. Nearly a decade later, that number has jumped to more than 27,000 establishments (almost a 25% increase). 
 
So what does this mean for culinary students? A wider selection of job opportunities, many of which aren’t necessarily in traditional restaurants or hotels. While in the past culinary school graduates gravitated towards prestigious Michelin star-rated restaurants, now students can explore their passions working for a range of establishments – from brew pubs, to food trucks, to even supermarket chains like Whole Foods and Mariano’s.
 
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Tags: In-Demand Jobs, Careers

Best Costumes of the JJC Haunted 5K

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Oct 28, 2015 12:36:00 PM

In October 2015, the JJC Foundation and the Athletics Department hosted a Haunted 5K Run and Walk. More than 400 costumed-athletes and 40+ volunteers turned out for the event. Tombstone-esk trophies were handed out to the top overall male (17:49) and female (20:43) 5K winners, and the fastest runner in costume  - who just so happened to be sporting a Flash costume (I'm sure the Big Bang folks are geekin' out somewhere).
 
Race proceeds will go towards student 
scholarships, college programs and the JJC athletics program. Want to see more of the action? Check out the best costumes of the Haunted 5K.

      

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Tags: Just for Fun

Inspire Pinterest-Envy With These DIY Halloween Cookies

Posted by Michelle Nagy on Oct 19, 2015 11:13:00 AM

Raise of hands - who's attempted a festive holiday Pin and had it go horribly, horribly wrong. Don't worry, you're not alone (myself included).

The JJC culinary department has the answer to your Pinterest-fail blues. ‘JJ-see how it’s done’ in this step-by-step Halloween cookie decorating video.

Step 1:
Buy icing – and no, Funfetti frosting won’t cut it here. You can purchase the good stuff at Michaels or off the Wilton website.
 
Step 2:
Fill your piping bag with icing. Where can you find the bags? You guessed it, also at Michaels or off the Wilton site. (Need a thriftier option? Try Walmart or your local dollar store.)
 

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Tags: Holidays, Community