Many of us will remember the days of Saturday morning cartoons - yes, some of us had to wait all week to get the chance to watch vs. 24/7 cable networks like Nickelodeon, Disney Channel or Cartoon Network! There was one show in particular that I always enjoyed...The Jetsons. We don't have personal vehicles yet that fly through the air but we do have a video based communications system that is taking over today's interview process.
Our clients are taking full advantage of Skype and what it has to offer. Right now 25% of all clients will use Skype during the interview process. It has become a useful tool on a number of fronts. The most obvious is how well prepared and/or serious a candidate will be when doing this interview. There is some great momentum on this wave and I can't recommend enough to catch it. Get familiar with the technical aspects of Skype - use it with family or friends so that you'll be prepared.
Skype etiquette is something we've been preparing clients and candidates for a few years now. Some of the basics are
President & CEO
The Hudson Group
I had the pleasure of attending the Capital Roundtable conference in New York a few weeks ago. Discussion was heavy around proprietary higher education and the number of campuses that have closed over the past three years. What I found the most interesting was the way that Sr. Management was talking about business models that work and those that don't - and the type of talent they now need to lead those institutions.
It appears that many executives that have worked in proprietary higher education at the mid-level are under the impression that they will need to change with the times. Those that are going to be successful will have an open-mind on adapting from what used to work to what will work now and in the future. The unique quality of finding that key executive that meets this is being absorbed in other industries. Those that fit that profile are becoming scarcer as other industries rebound. Two key areas are in admissions and operations. Admissions in particular with compensation bonuses not being available - they are leaving and not coming back.
President & CEO
The Hudson Group
If you graduated this year from Harvard Business School with what is arguably the most valuable degree in the world, how much money would you make out the gate?
The answer is not as much as last year. The median starting salary of a Harvard MBA this year was $120,000, some $5,000 less than a year earlier.
But don't read too much into the decline. The Class of 2013 is making slightly less in base salary because they're venturing into industries that generally pay MBAs less money than finance and consulting. The big drop occurred in the financial sector which took only 27% of this year's Harvard class, down from 35% last year.
It's as if Harvard Business School's love affair with Wall Street is over. Only five years ago, in 2008 when all hell broke loose on Wall Street, financial services hired 45% of the graduating MBAs from Harvard Business School. But Wall Street has been plagued by massive layoffs and big cutbacks in the hiring of new talent ever since Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers went bust five years ago.
The single biggest drop in the financial sector occurred in the industries that paid MBAs the most money--private equity and leveraged buyouts. HBS grads heading into those two fields were down to 9% from 15% a year earlier—in all probability that alone caused the $5,000 drop in overall median starting salary for the Class of 2013. Only five years ago, in 2008, nearly twice as many Harvard MBAs, some 17% of the entire graduating class, went into the PE and LBO fields.
HBS grads going into investment banking also declined to 5% of this year's class from 7% last year. In 2007--the year before Wall Street's implosion occurred--the ibanks absorbed 12% of Harvard's graduating class. This year's MBAs going into investment management fell to 5% of the class, down from 8% last year and 12% in 2011.
Other industries, which tend to pay MBAs far less money, have gladly taken up the slack. Some 18% of this year’s class went into the technology industry, for example, up from just 12% in 2012, while 7% went into the consumer products industry, up from a mere 3% last year. Another 5% took jobs in the non-profit or government sectors, up from 3% in 2012.
Those industries tend to pay substantially less than either consulting or financial services. The median starting salary in the technology sector, for example, was $115,000–$10,000 less than financial services and $20,000 less than consulting. The median base salary in consumer products was $100,000–$25,000 below financial services and $35,000 below consulting.
And what about the big decline in private equity and LBO jobs? Harvard MBAs who went into that sector this year reported the highest compensation of any: median starting salary of $150,000, with nearly half earning a $26,000 signing bonus. Yet, the big bonanza was “other guaranteed compensation” in those fields, with 45% reporting it was a median $135,000. If you were lucky enough to gather the medians in salary, bonus and other comp this year that meant you were an MBA who would earn $311,000 out of the gate.
Nice money if you can get it.
Originally Posted On: Linked In By: John Byrne
Social media has been criticized a lot due to the effect it has on the way students produce and retain information. Some parents are of the opinion that social media can be very distracting and harmful for students. On the contrary, social media offers plenty of opportunities for learning and interaction. It is rather simple to see how students benefit from social media. By using technology in classrooms, the young generation is paving a new way of education and learning. Students are getting to explore and experience the world not only by books and assignments; but also by adapting a new form of communication. In a world where your networks and connections are important, graduates enter the workplaces with a lot more to offer.
What exactly are students learning by using social media? Networks Social media connections are designed to increase your networks, form communities and interact easily. Today’s students are accessing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other such social networking sites to connect and share information with those around them. One of the most fascinating things about social media is the way the users can interact and engage with each other through a mere web presence without having to meet someone in person.
Web rendezvous Students share personal information, links to other sites or comment on someone’s post. By doing this, they get engaged with each other instantly. The use of social media has made it easier and faster to interact with peers or teachers about class-related topics. In a world where online engagements are important for businesses, these students are already experts at developing an online presence. Students are also experts in interacting with others on the internet. They know how to use basic as well as complex functions on various social media sites.
Sharing Information Students are continuously connected to the internet through their mobiles, tablets, etc. and hence rapidly transmit information to friends, family and other connections. This information is a lot more than just hilarious videos or vacation snapshots. People share views, opinions, tips, projects, study material and other such useful stuff with each other. They exchange helpful information for classes and examinations. Their ability to access, evaluate, maintain and share information is fantastic without even being aware that they are actually developing such skills day by day. The older generations need to understand the magnitude of this new style of communication.
Social Media Marketing We are all aware of social media marketing. The ‘new media’ has led professionals to build a social media strategy to publicize their product and service. Social media marketing is seen upon as a skill which is an emerging career option. Social media prepares young workers to become successful marketers. It has become essential for all types of businesses to incorporate social media marketing in their organizations. Students are extensively carrying out social media strategies for several companies all over the world. The benefits of social media for students are many. The above are just a few to begin with.
Originally Posted On: yoursucessgoal.blogspot
If you go to a college with tougher grading standards than average, you’re less likely to get into graduate school, new research shows—and there’s a similar problem within the job market. Correspondence bias, a psychological phenomenon that makes us judge people based on their behavior (like GPA) while ignoring context (like the difficulty of the school attended), could be keeping you from getting the jobs you want.
A recent study by researchers at the University of California Berkeley provides evidence that the bias affects hiring and admissions practices. Until now, corresponding author Samuel A. Swift told Quartz, it’s only been observed in the lab. “It’s a psychological idea that’s been around for quite awhile,” Swift said, “and we had relatively little testing whether the phenomenon has an effect in the real world. We always have to wonder if lab studies reflect on reality, and whether people will make the same mistakes they make in the lab in real-world situations.”
To put correspondence bias to the test, Swift and his fellow researchers used actual admissions staff from US colleges in their experiment. When presented with students for admission, the counselors were more likely to select those with higher GPAs—even when they were also told how each student compared to his or her school’s average. Even if a school’s average GPA was questionably high, indicating grade inflation and poor standards, students who managed a 4.0 there were more successful applicants than those who pulled slightly lower GPAs at much tougher colleges.
And when researchers tested job applicants in a similar way—asking executive business students to evaluate credentials and choose the best hire—the results were the same. When shown applications for airline managers, the evaluators were biased towards those with the best percentage of on time departing flights. This held true even when some applicants came from “difficult” airports and some came from ones with a nearly perfect historical take off record.
Branching into hiring, Swift said, gave the team important confirmation of the bias and its effects. “In some ways, it’s an easier problem to solve,” he said, “because unlike admissions counselors, who have to work with colleges that have different standards and don’t always share that information, business leaders have the power to make their decisions systematically.”
Unfortunately, the availability of more information doesn’t help. We actually need to see less. “Relative performance is what’s important,” Swift said. “In our studies, having both the candidate’s GPA and the college’s average GPA didn’t help. The bias exists unless you only see the relative numbers.” So even if a school that elevates grading standards to fight grade inflation advertises their tougher classes, admissions boards will usually fail to take that into account—and students will suffer in their graduate school applications.
If admissions boards asked only how students performed relative to others in their class, Swift said, the process would be more meritocratic. “They have the power to request the information they need,” he said, “and if they requested it, schools would have to provide it.”
Why do employers and admissions counselors choose weaker candidates based on an arbitrary number they see? It’s an evolutionary tick. “It’s a deeply routed psychological shortcut,” Swift said. “We’ve learned to make efficient trade-offs between thinking deeply and making the best choice, and getting the answer right most of the time without devoting much effort.” A second study will look at how the bias affects marketing. When shopping, for example, people will act as if a heavier package contains more product, even if they know it doesn’t. This deeply engrained behavior isn’t going away, which means college boards and recruiters need to take heed.
Originally Posted On: QZ.com By: Rachel Feltman
The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project surveyed middle and high school teachers about the impact of digital tools on student writing. While some 78 percent of the 2,462 teachers surveyed said tools such as the internet, social media, and cell phones “encourage student creativity and personal expression,” others expressed concern that such tools are also having undesirable effects on students’ formal writing.
Ninety-six percent of the advanced placement and National Writing Project teachers surveyed agreed that digital technologies “allow students to share their work with a wider and more varied audience.” An additional 79 percent also said that these tools “encourage greater collaboration among students,” which, teachers said, is ultimately beneficial.
Teachers said that digital tools allow students to expose their work more broadly and get feedback from peers. As a result students are more invested in what they write and in the writing process as a whole.
Yet, in focus groups, teachers expressed concern that the informal language students use in texts and in social networking spaces like Facebook is beginning to creep into students’ formal writing. As a result teachers said they need to spend more time educating students about writing for different audiences. Some educators said that the current cultural emphasis on abbreviations and other “truncated forms of expression” made popular by glib status updates and Twitter’s 140-character limit can hinder students’ willingness and ability to write longer texts and think critically about complicated subject areas.
Sixty-eight percent of teachers claimed that digital tools make students more likely to take shortcuts and put less effort into their writing. Teachers also gave students the lowest ratings in their ability to read more complicated texts, and navigate issues of fair use and copyright in their compositions.
Digital tools are opening up new doors for students in terms of access to new information and communities of peers with whom they can share their work. But how can educators ensure that students are reflecting, thinking critically, and learning?
Student writers still need thoughtful and well-prepared teachers and mentors to help them understand the complexities of communicating in a twenty-first-century world saturated by ever-changing digital technologies.
Luckily the National Writing Project is providing some crucial support to teachers in this area. Through professional development and mentoring, the organization works with teachers and students to integrate technology into their writing. It also supports the use of digital tools, mobile technologies, and social media in the classroom.
Additional resources are also available in our K-12 digital literacy and citizenship classroom curriculum, which features an entire unit on creative credit and copyright. Lessons like A Creator’s Rights and A Creator’s Responsibilities, for example, can help students in grades 6-8 navigate the intricacies of copyright law.
And for more, read this thoughtful interview with Troy Hicks at Edutopia. Hicks is professor of English Education at Central Michigan University and Director of the Chippewa River Writing Project. His new book Crafting Digital Writing: Composing Texts Across Media and Genres, explores how educators can introduce technology tools, as well as mentor texts, composing practices, and systems for helping students learn to write in the digital age
Originally Posted On: commonsencemedia.com By: Kelsey Herron
In recent years, a lot of people have been concerned about the relatively low numbers of science majors among American college students. The percentage of science and engineering graduates in the U.S. has been far below that in China and Japan. On various math and science tests, the performance of U.S. students has fallen below that of students in South Korea, Singapore, Japan, England, Finland, Israel, Australia and Russia.
This is a real problem, because science majors can contribute to economic growth and because many of them end up with especially good jobs after graduation. In the employment market, students with degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) can be at a comparative advantage. The relatively low number of American graduates in these fields has created what some people call “the STEM crisis.”
In 2007, President George W. Bush signed the American Competitiveness Initiative, designed in part to fund and spur scientific education. In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced an ambitious goal of adding 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade (to be achieved through both private and public efforts).
In 2012, Obama lamented: “Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that -- openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work.” But while computer-science enrollments are increasing, the number of science majors remains disappointingly low.
Low Grades Why is this? Are young Americans uninterested in science?
Some new answers come from research by Todd and Ralph Stinebrickner (an academic father-and-son team).
On the basis of a unique data set, the Stinebrickners find that at the time of college entrance, students think science is an appealing major. In the study’s sample, 19.8 percent of students believe they will choose science -- a higher percentage than for any other discipline. In the end, however, only 7.4 percent end up majoring in it.
On this count, science stands alone. No other major displays such a large disparity between initial expectations and actual outcomes. It turns out that students who start as majors in science show an unusual propensity to leave the field, and those who don’t start in science are unlikely to switch to it.
Is there something wrong with college science teachers? Are students bored by their courses?
The Stinebrickners don’t have conclusive answers, but they provide strong hints. They collected data on students’ expectations about their grades in specific courses and compared those expectations with their actual grades. Far more than students in other courses, science students turn out to be unrealistically optimistic about their performance. Their unexpectedly low grades appear to discourage them from continuing in science.
The study has limitations. The data come from Berea College, in Kentucky, which provides a full tuition subsidy and has a large number of low-income students. It is possible that low-income students are especially likely to exaggerate their likely performance in science courses. At the same time, the liberal-arts curriculum at Berea is fairly standard, and the Stinebrickners’ central findings are consistent with those that have come from other, more impressionistic studies of student choices.
If the conclusions generalize, the lessons are clear. College teachers aren’t to blame. American students aren’t uninterested in science, nor are they ignorant of the professional opportunities that a degree in this field could bring. Many of them would like to major in science and plan to do so. But when they are disappointed by their own performance, they switch. The impediment is a lack of high school preparation.
National Challenge To solve that problem, the U.S. needs to improve that preparation. Of course the federal government should play a role (not least by subsidizing teacher preparation programs), but state and local governments have to take the lead. The good news is that the private sector is now doing a great deal to promote science education at early stages.
The U.S. can’t tolerate a situation in which its students enter college with real enthusiasm for science, only to discover they aren’t up to it. The nation’s economy relies on a steady infusion of scientific talent, and many young Americans will find good jobs, and realize their full potential, only if they are equipped with the tools to take science seriously.
Originally Posted On: bloomberg.com By: Cass R. Sunstein
It is no secret that times have rarely been tougher for new graduates. All too often I hear about students who are failing to land graduate-level roles more than two years after university, and many end up taking part-time jobs just to make ends meet. But surely the burgeoning British start-up scene is racing to get their hands on all this raw talent?
Not necessarily, according to a new survey of 300 business decision makers. In fact, 81% of start-ups do not look specifically for a strong academic background while almost half (47%) rank work experience as the most important aspect of an ideal candidate. This shift in focus from academia to work experience is particularly worrying as university applications start to recover after the initial slump in 2012 following the introduction of higher fees.
The days when a degree guaranteed a student a cushy, well-paid job are long gone. They’ve now been replaced by an increasingly competitive market, with the supply of candidates far exceeding demand. This has led to the very modern phenomenon of applicants turning to stunts and gimmicks, such as hiring billboards or buying specific Google AdWords, to get themselves noticed by potential employers.
For some this has worked, but for the majority this technique is now viewed about as favourably as phone hacking for exclusive stories. In fact, the majority (88%) of businesses rejected gimmicky applications in favour of eye-catching, digital or interactive CVs or a well-maintained personal blog or website.
In today’s ultra-competitive business climate, start-ups have the luxury of choice amongst candidates. They look for entrepreneurialism and creativity in new employees as a matter of course, but increasingly they are also looking for candidates with tech woven into their DNA. 62% of respondents to our survey looked for software skills in potential employees, while a fifth went further and demanded proficiency in coding or programming.
What’s more, businesses across the board now expect that new employees will come with ready-made digital marketing skills and will act as online brand ambassadors. This all adds up to a significantly enhanced job spec for new graduates compared to their predecessors and an enormously competitive environment where even the slightest differentiator could be an advantage.
Here are my five top tips for new graduates looking for a foothold in the start-up scene:
1. Get some work experience – As our survey confirmed, good grades just isn’t enough anymore. To be successful and land the job you want, candidates need to have real-life experience of the business world under their belt well before they think of applying. Work experience, internships or apprenticeships are great ways of gaining insight into the business world, while they also provide businesses with an invaluable source of potential future employees. Even that part time job you had at uni, could demonstrate invaluable skills like time management, and organisational skills.
2. Find yourself a mentor – In the absence of suitable work placements, mentoring from an experienced professional in a graduate’s chosen field can be just as valuable. Mentors can provide advice, insight, introductions and feedback on everything from interviews to CVs, and will often act as a guiding hand through the early stages of a career. For mentors themselves the experience of giving back should be incredibly rewarding, and the chances are you could be advising the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Personally, I’ve experienced both sides of mentorship and have learned equal amounts from both.
3. Learn to network – The old adage of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is, for better or for worse, still true today. Whilst few graduates will land a job on the strength of their relationships alone, who you know can often help enormously. At the very least you are more likely to hear of jobs on the grapevine that may not be widely advertised.
4. Think about additional skills – 39% of start-ups in our survey felt that financial competency ranks higher in the skills expected of a start-up employee than an awareness of legal matters or communications challenges. Any extra skills will be a valuable string to your bow.
5. Be clever with social media – Take as much care of your Facebook profile as you do of your Linkedin profile. Businesses across the board (of all sizes) are ignoring the digital footprint of potential candidates: only 17% would consider searching for candidates’ backgrounds on Google. Those that are combing social media for background information favour Facebook as a source of information over LinkedIn with only 23% consulting the professional network. Graduates today should be one step ahead of their employers in this, after all, you’ve grown up with social media – we’re just getting to grips with it!
Originally Posted On: thebigchoice.com
Why does a student majoring in English have to pay the same tuition as an engineering student with much higher earning potential? In a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, one economist suggests looking at differential tuition—the practice of varying tuition costs across areas of study.
Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Kevin M. Stange from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy analyzed 50 universities that had instituted higher fees for their nursing, engineering and business majors between 1990 and 2008. Mr. Stange found that the effects of implementing differential tuition vary among groups of students and areas of study.
The share of degrees awarded in engineering and business decreased within three years after putting in place the differential tuition program. Nursing gained some graduates in spite of a boost in fees. Women and minorities were more likely to be negatively affected by increases in tuition than men and whites.
“Price does appear to be a policy lever through which state governments can alter the field composition of the workforce they are training with the public higher education system,” writes Mr. Stange.
Mr. Stange acknowledged that results may diverge with the inclusion of other types of schools, such as smaller public universities, private colleges and for-profit institutions. He also noted that other external factors can affect enrollment, such as how universities allocate the revenue collected from increased tuition costs.
The rationale behind differential tuition is that fees for majors should align with program-specific teaching costs and post-graduation income potential. Critics argue that differential tuition will discourage student exploration, adversely affect low-income students and make it to difficult to increase participation in science and math fields, which are often the areas of study to see higher fees with differential tuition programs.
Differential tuition has been gaining popularity over the last three decades. In a 2011 survey conducted by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, researchers found 143 public academic institutions offering some form of differential tuition. The results marked a significant jump — the practice of charging different rates for different majors was largely unheard-of in the 1980s.
Originally Posted On: blogs.wsj.com By: Khadeeja Safdar
The long enrollment boom that swelled American colleges — and helped drive up their prices — is over, with grim implications for many schools.
College enrollment fell 2 percent in 2012-13, the first significant decline since the 1990s, but nearly all of that drop hit for-profit and community colleges; now, signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years. The college-age population is dropping after more than a decade of sharp growth, and many adults who opted out of a forbidding job market and went back to school during the recession have been drawn back to work by the economic recovery.
Hardest hit are likely to be colleges that do not rank among the wealthiest or most prestigious, and are heavily dependent on tuition revenue, raising questions about their financial health — even their survival.
“There are many institutions that are on the margin, economically, and are very concerned about keeping their doors open if they can’t hit their enrollment numbers,” said David A. Hawkins, the director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which has more than 1,000 member colleges.
The most competitive colleges remain unaffected, but gaining admission to middle-tier institutions will most likely get easier.
Colleges fear that their high prices and the concern over rising student debt are turning people away, and on Wednesday, President Obama again challenged them to rein in tuition increases. Colleges have resorted to deeper discounts and accelerated degree programs. In all, the four-year residential college experience as a presumed rite of passage for middle-class students is coming under scrutiny.
The most striking signs of change came from Loyola University New Orleans and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. After the usual May 1 deadline for applicants to choose a college, Loyola and St. Mary’s each found that their admission offers had been accepted by about one-third fewer students than expected. Both institutions were forced to make millions of dollars in budget cuts and a late push for more enrollment.
Loyola made a flurry of calls to students who had been accepted but had decided to go elsewhere, and had even paid deposits to other colleges. Professors and administrators who usually are not involved in the process made calls, along with the admissions officers, “and we did invite them to see if there was more we could do with aid,” said Roberta Kaskel, the interim vice president for enrollment management.
Many colleges traditionally round out their classes with a small number of students admitted after May 1, often taken from their waiting lists, and miscalculations as big or as damaging as those by St. Mary’s and Loyola are rare. But consultants hired by families to help with the admissions process say that this spring and summer, they have seen more colleges actively hunting for students, reaching out to those who had turned them down, or even to students who had never applied.
“After May 1, I got e-mails from three or four colleges saying, ‘We’ve still got spots, and we’re looking for people to fill them,’ and I don’t remember getting any in the past,” said Lisa Bleich, an admissions consultant in Westfield, N.J.
“I had a client who had committed to one school, and then changed her mind and said she wanted to go to the University of Pittsburgh, where she had also been accepted,” she said. “They weren’t actively looking for more, but they agreed to take her, when a few years ago, they would have said, ‘No, we don’t have any space.’ ”
This summer, Randolph College in Virginia sent letters to students who had not applied but had strong academic credentials, saying that they had “been selected for admission” in the fall, and offering them financial aid. Randolph’s case is unusual, in that it is expanding, but it shows the lengths colleges will go to, to meet their enrollment targets.
“This is the first time we’ve tried this particular approach,” said Mike Quinn, the vice president for enrollment management. “Sometimes offering these qualified students a more generous grant will prompt them to start a conversation with us.”
Don McMillan, an admissions consultant in Boston, said his office fielded calls this week from families in Saudi Arabia and Italy, hoping to find their children places for a school year that, in some cases, is just a month away.
“We called about 15 colleges, and we found that about half still had openings for this fall and were willing to consider them, which really surprised me,” he said. “These are not Tufts, M.I.T., Harvard, schools like that, that will never have trouble filling up.”
College attendance grew slowly for more than two decades, until it began a steep climb from 15.2 million in 1999 to 20.4 million in 2011, according to census figures.
Several factors drove that boom: a population bulge increased the number of college-age Americans by about 20 percent; high school graduation rates climbed after years of stagnation; the percentage of recent high school graduates going to college continued an increase that started in the 1980s; and colleges drew a growing number of students from abroad.
The recession that began in 2007 steered still more people into college, especially adults who were past traditional college age and who enrolled in community colleges.
But the number of Americans turning 18 hit its recent peak in 2009, and will continue to decline through 2016. High school graduation rates appear to have leveled off, and job prospects have improved, making school a less attractive option.
Managing a college’s enrollment has become more complicated in recent years as the number of applications submitted by the average student has soared. The advent of online applications, and the Common Application now used by about 500 colleges, has made it much easier to add to a student’s list without much thought. And colleges have encouraged the increase, barraging promising students with appeals, knowing that more applications means a lower percentage of students accepted, which moves a college up in the popular ranking systems.
“It’s become really hard for colleges to tell which applicants are actually serious about them, and will accept their offers,” said Janet Rosier, an admissions consultant in Woodbridge, Conn.
That is what happened to St. Mary’s, a state college, and Loyola, a Jesuit school where administrators say some visitors might have been dissuaded by extensive construction on campus.
While Loyola made a renewed appeal to people it had already accepted, St. Mary’s simply reopened admissions, and put out word through counselors and community groups. Both colleges have been able to draw more students since May, but their fall classes will still be far short of what they had hoped.
Originally Posted On: NYtimes.com By: RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
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