My Master’s Degree – How Should I Talk And Write About It?

There are many circumstances in which foreign student have to talk about their intentions to study for advanced degrees. Statements of purpose written to accompany applications for university admission are the most obvious case, but the same situation comes up in interviews with recruiters, IELTS Speaking Tasks, and verbal interactions of all kinds with the officials at the universities you will be attending.

Unfortunately, it’s the time many foreign students say things that sound the least “English.” As a result, these unavoidable statements can often suggest that your command of English is weak. Even though all the native English speakers who regularly hear foreign students make these statements have long gotten used to hearing them spoken incorrectly, the mistake always registers with them at some level, however unconsciously.

To make the best impression on university administrators and IELTS examiners, use the right language to talk about your degree and your academic sentences.

The following are the most common mistakes:

“I’m going to learn a master’s degree.”

“I’m going to study a master’s degree.”

“I plan to learn a master degree.”

Don’t make these unnecessary but common mistakes. All that is necessary for you not to make them is to understand clearly what the appropriate words are and mean.

- A “master’s degree” is a noun. When written, it always has an apostrophe, that is, “master’s degree,” not “masters degree” or, worse, “master degree.”

- A master’s degree is not, however, a field of study. We don’t study a master’s degree, we study a field in which we earn (or, more colloquially, “get”) a maser’s degree. Therefore, in English, we say that we plan “to earn a master’s degree in marketing [or the name of some other field].”

- The degree is what we get as a result of studying, not what we study. So, when we talk about studying, we normally say, “I plan to study economics [or some other field].” It’s not incorrect to say, “I plan to learn marketing,” but “I plan to study marketing” is more normal, idiomatic English.

- The certificate that confirms that we have successfully completed a course of study and earned an advanced degree (not necessarily a master’s degree) is called a “diploma.” You can say, “I plan to earn a diploma in marketing,” or, if you have completed the degree, “I have a diploma in economics.” But if you do, realize that a native English speaker will not necessarily understand which graduate degree you have earned.

- The most appropriate verbs to use with “master’s degree,” prior to receiving the degree, are “study for,” “earn,” or “pursue.” So, you should say, “I plan to study for a master’s degree in communications,” or “I plan to earn a master’s degree in marketing,” or “I plan to pursue a master’s degree in engineering.”

This may seem like a minor matter in terms of language. However, making the most common mistakes can lead a university official or IELTS examiner to think less of your English language skills or, in the worst case, your intelligence.

So, practice writing and saying these simple but important sentences correctly.

Incorrect: I’m going to study a master degree.

Correct: I’m going to study for a master’s degree.

Incorrect: I will study a master’s degree of marketing.

Correct: I will study for a master’s degree in marketing.

Incorrect: I will learn a masters degree in economics.

Correct: I plan to earn a master’s degree in economics.

Are You Thinking About Investing Internally In Stocks?

One of the big challenges an investor faces on a daily basis is market risk.

Working hard to satisfy your investment goals while at the same time limiting your risk and exposure to volatility takes a solid strategy, reliable information, and a patience like no other.

Sure, we've all heard stories of the home run hiring investor who laid his money down and made a "killing" in a stock.

These are the kinds of tales that grab the headlines and attract the interest of the "fast buck players."

"Steady as she goes" would be a more realistic view of how to invest. It is difficult to just wait for an investment to climb in value, but without patience and the fortitude to keep a long-term mindset, you're probably going to miss out on a solid move.

Using what could be called a butterfly approach and jumping from one hot stock tip to another can be the riskiest investment play of all.

Being patient is not enough though. If what you are investing in is oozing with risk, patience may not be the key to success. You devote your patience to solid investments and those with limited risk.

If you are an investor or contemplating investing in the various financial markets and instruments available, you must get into the flow of information.

Catching a thirty second or two minute report stating a company making an innovative new product that is going to revolutionize the industry should not be considered a call to action.

If you do not understand what you're being told to invest in … do not invest. Not having an understanding of what your money is invested in is comparable to sitting down at a high-stakes poker game without understanding the marks on the cards.

If you do not have basic investment knowledge to guide your decisions, your chances of making the right choices are limited.

It's simple; have a basic knowledge of how the markets work; have an understanding of what it is that you are interested in investing your money in; and most importantly, understand the upside and downside scenarios, in other words, what are the risks and more specifically the risk of losing your entire investment.

If you feel that the risk of putting all your investment dollars in the stock markets in the US is too great, perhaps diversifying into stocks from other countries is worth examining.

The mindset for many is that if the stock markets at home are suffering, there may be markets abroad that offer opportunity, because bad economic news on one front may be great news in another part of the world.

A quick example of such news would be the trade figures. If the US is witnessing a rise in imports month after month, you have to ask yourself; where are we importing from and what are we importing?

This could have the clue to invest in a company that consistently exports to the United States and the amount of its exports (in dollars) keeps rising.

On a more basic level; If a football team is having a terrible season, there is probably a team that is having a great season.

Think of it as; when two teams compete someone wins and in world economies, someone's bad economic news typically translates to someone else's fortune.

When you read a headline or story about some bad economic figures … ask yourself, "Who is on the other side of this?"

Who did well that directed in the US doing poorly? If the US did great, who suffered? Is this a trend? Is the company or industry showing real value in their stock price now?

Could this be just a fluke and there's a buying opportunity?

It pays to look past the headline and the story and into what made the story. Everybody hears news, but going the extra step and finding out what caused the news will give you better market insight.

If you think that you want to diversify in the international markets, you have to take into consideration what you stand to gain versus what you could possibly lose.

Currency fluctuation can boost a return on an investment. If the currency of a country you invest in increases against the dollar, when it comes time to sell, you'll get more dollars.

However, that can also work against you; the dollar increases against the currency of the country of the company you have invested in … and you'll get back fewer dollars.

Obviously, you want your stock to rise and a sweetener is getting a dividend (if it pays one) in the meanime. Keep in mind, markets rise and fall and companies announce separation suspensions, eliminations, or reductions.

This can happen in any of the world markets, not just at home.

Before you get too excited about international investment, you should understand that the US is not the only country where interest rates rise and fall.

The currency issue I mentioned, but worth mentioning again, currency fluctuations can hurt you.

In the US, you are fortunately because companies that list on the exchanges have to reveal a lot of information about themselves before they can be listed.

The rules are not the same all over the world, so investigate on your own, rather than trusting only what is offered to the public.

This would be of particular interest when it comes to the accounting methods of the companies and how they compute corporate and individual investor taxes.

Committing a portion of your investment dollars can be exciting and rewarding, but if you are not a savvy investor with a deep understanding of world markets, currency exchanges, tax laws, accounting, and company reporting practices, your personal investment risk will be very high .

I always suggest seeking professional advice when making any investment, be it; financial instruments, real estate, precious metals, or any of the other opportunities offered.

Take note, if you want to invest internationally there are alternatives to going directly to a foreign market and opening an account.

You may wish to investigate the various international mutual fund offerings, foreign companies that list directly on the US exchanges, or those that are offered through what are called American Depository Receipts.

The foreign markets always look inviting when our markets at home are showing some volatility, but with so many sectors in the US markets to choose from, it's not always smart to jump the fence into the yard with the grass that looks greener.

The more knowledgeable you are about investing, the better investor you will become. Multiple resources will provide varied opinions.

What one analyst loves, another analyst may dislike. Do your own research and do a lot of it, before jumping into the stock market because someone told you it's the thing to do.

"There are only two ways that you make money; you work and your money works … make your money sweat." -Lazz Laszlo

All About Beijing Duck

OK so you've climbed the Great Wall, wandered through the Forbidden City, taken photos in the Temple of Heaven, walked through the gardens of the Summer Palace and completely ignored Wangfujin street. Now it is time for you to eat Beijing's most classic dish, the Beijing Duck.

Beijing Duck is famous, has a distinguished history, an exquisite taste and is a culinary icon SO before partaking in this mouth watering dish, pause your chopsticks and first develop a well deserved appreciation of the delicacy you are about to feast on.

History

The origin of roasted duck can be traced back to Northern and Southern Dynasties period (420-589) when these hapless birds where roasted in the Jinling area where modern day Nanjing is located. The Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368) were gourmets and took the custom of roast duck with them when they packed their bags and set up house in Beijing.

The Inspector of the Imperial kitchen (what a job!) Hu Sihui listed roast duck among the imperial dishes in the "Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages" that he wrote in 1330. This early cookbook even included the cooking process.

Up until the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) ducks were roasted in a conventional convection oven where the duck was hung from the oven ceiling and roasted over burning wood. Duck cooked this was said to be crisp and golden brown with tender and tasty meat. After the Qing came to power they changed the method of duck cooking to hanging the ducks over a flame in an open oven. These two traditional methods of cooking duck are the foundations of the two modern methods of cooking Beijing Duck.

Roast duck was so popular during this period that poets and schools where inspired to roast duck poetry. Personally I think the large quantities of alcohol consumed with the duck were the main inspiration for these wasted poems and bookworms.

Peking duck as it was first called b foreigners taste so good, it is credited with being instrumental in the rapprochement between China and the US in the 70's. All because Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon kept returning to China for more duck. Just imagine how different history would be if the Havana Cigar had the same effect on US politicians!

In summary, that juicy piece of duck you are about to eat has a royal history of over 1500 years. Chew on that!

How to eat Beijing Duck

Your Beijing Duck will be served with steamed pancakes, sweet bean or plum sauce, cucumber and spring onions.

Place one pancake on the palm of your hand, dip a slice of duck meat in the sauce then place the meat on the pancake, add several pieces of cucumber and spring onion, wrap up the pancake, close your eyes and bite. Control yourself, chew slowly and savor this ancient delicacy.

How to cook

First you need to prepare the ingredients. Here is a list of all the ingredients.

Ingredients

2.0 to 2.5 kilogram of duck

8 liters of water

1 slice of ginger

1 Spring onion

50ml of honey

20ml of white vinegar

20ml of cooking sherry

25ml of corn starch dissolved in 50ml of water

Spring affairs for garnish

Directions

1. Clean duck then wipe it dry and tie a string around its neck.

2. Hang the duck in cool and ideally windy place 4 hours.

3. Fill a large wok with water then bring to boil. Add ginger, spring onion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil again and pour in the dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly during this step.

4. Place the hung duck in large strainer over a larger bowl then scoop the boiling mixture over the entire duck for about 10 minutes.

5. Hang the duck up again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until it is thoroughly dry.

6. Place the duck breast side up on a greased rack in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

7- Place a pan filled with 6 centimeters of water in bottom of oven to collect the drippings then roast 30 minutes.

8- Turn duck and roast for 30 more minutes.

9. Turn breast side up again and roast for 10 more minutes.

10. Use a sharp knife to cut off the crispy skin then immediately serve meat and skin on a warm dish

11 Eat and enjoy.

Demonetisation: Impact on E-Commerce Platforms

India is still recovering from the unexpected demonetization of rs 500 and rs 1000 notes. A huge change is encountered in the routine of every business and the e-commerce industry has not been spared even. One of the most significant economic change in the lifetime of Indians experiencing vast tremors. While some people were hailing it as a masterstroke move against against black money, terrorism, and currency counterfeiting. Whereas, certain section of people were creating hue and cry against it. This change is placing a tremendous impact on trade and consumer demand. A lot of discussions and discussions are already going on these topics, so I will spare you on that!

The e-commerce platforms are reeling under pressure due to undelivered orders because a lot of customers have opted for COD, but are still offering the old currency notes only. Such drastic economic change has led to an increase in the use of cashless services but the e-commerce platforms are finding it very difficult to complete orders that have been marked for cash on delivery.

On one hand, there have been a huge increase in digital payments but on the other hand the percentage of undelivered online purchases too have gone up. All of this has claimed in huge returns as the customers who place online orders and choose for COD mode for payments, urge the delivery person to accept the old currency notes or take back the order.

Due to demonitisation, the e-commerce platforms have stopped COD mode of payment which is credited for close to 60% of online shopping in the country. COD is one of the popular payment options for a large section of India consumers who shops online. This is due to the sheer convenience it offers to its customers who wish to receive their orders first and pay later.

In order to compensate, these platforms have added credit card on delivery as one of the payment options to put customers at some ease who are running out of cash. More discounts are offered by renovated websites on online payments as well as zero cost EMI schemes.

The spokesperson of amazon has said that the company has incurred ten times growth due to credit card on delivery mode. However, this is not helping the sellers much who have complained that these efforts are not compensating for the loss incurred over COD mode.

No doubt, there will be a lot of inconvenience in the initial period but in the long run, everyone is hopeful of a better growth, reduction in cash on delivery services, along with a quick return investment.