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¨  What kind of counseling can I do with a Masters in community counseling?
¨  How do I approach an ad agency for a job if I am not good at words?
¨  What is the average income for a United States diplomat?
¨  What courses are required to become a child therapist?
¨  What subject should I study in university that would lead me directly to children and family counseling?
¨  What are the requirements to become a park ranger?
¨  Where do people study to become lawyers?
¨  What classes should I take in high school that will help me become a video director?
¨  How can I prepare to become a special effects makeup artist?

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I know I am going on to graduate school to receive my masters in community counseling.  Will this allow me to do any kind of counseling?  What can I do with a master's in community counseling?  What is the income of a person with a master's degree in community counseling?

ANSWER from Imagiverse on 30 September 2005:
It would be more appropriate to ask your Advisor or Guidance Counselor at the University.  As well, since you are going to start your graduate studies in community counseling, you will be able to meet more people working in this specific field.  Ask around - you will get more detailed information.

Our experts cannot provide the range of income.  Not only in community counseling but also in any profession, the income varies depending on many factors, such as the job description, hours, location, work environment, and person's ability.

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I like advertisements.  I feel I am good at ideating and concepts creation.  I cannot write well and I am not able to translate my ideas into words which can create impact.  How do I approach ad agencies for a job in such a scenario?

ANSWER from David Johnson on 24 February 2005:
It sounds like you are interested in a creative position, and if you can't write that well, but can ideate and concept, you are probably looking to start as a junior art director.  It's good to know what you're going for because the people at the agency need to know where to peg you before you get a job.  How do you go about doing that?  First, you have to work up a portfolio of hypothetical ads, examples showing how you think and approach selling a product.  Typically these portfolios contain four or five print campaigns (multiple ads in a theme selling a product).

You can pick any products you like to work on.  You can also include TV boards, radio scripts, whatever.  There are schools that have classes specializing in helping people work up portfolios.  VCU in Richmond, Va., The Ad Center in Atlanta, School of Visual Arts in NYC and many others.

You should try through an ad agency, or one of these schools to look at sample portfolios.  Then decide how to go about working one up.  Without a portfolio, there is no way can you get a creative job. However, if you are old enough you could take a job at an ad agency as an administrative assistant or secretary or some other support job.  Then, while you're on the inside, you can work on your portfolio and try to connect with people and learn.

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What is the average income for a United States diplomat?

ANSWER from Rian Harris on 26 July 2002:
An entering diplomat earns anywhere from $35,000-$64,000 depending on education and prior experience (those coming in from other areas of the Government receive matching salaries from there old jobs.)  From then on it's a gradual progression of salary increases.  The pay scale tops out above $100,000 for those that make it to the "Senior Foreign Service".

If you enter service soon after college, you are likely to start just under $40K.  But remember, when you serve abroad all your housing/utilities/child's education costs are paid for you, and for the most part the housing is excellent.  Also, the government has a very solid retirement plan.

What salary does not include are the benefits packages that you get while serving overseas.  Housing and utilities are paid for, as are private schools for your kids.  In many posts, you get one free flight back to the States during your tour.  In others, you may get a flight each year.  Also - there are extra percentages added to your salary for the "hardship" level of the post, which is anywhere from 5-25%, a Cost of Living Allowance for more expensive places that can be 5-25%, and sometimes danger pay.  The maximum for combined percentages is 50%, so if you end up in a tough place, like Pakistan, you would make that on top of your regular pay.  There is also language incentive pay, if you are particularly fluent in a difficult language.  So, while the salaries don't look particularly impressive when you're thinking about serving in D.C., while you are abroad, you can live very comfortably!

Rian Harris
Foreign Service Officer
US Embassy, Guatemala

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I was thinking about becoming a child therapist.  Could you maybe give me a few ideas on what courses I need and how long it may take?

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 14 August 2006:
This is a question best asked of a career counselor at your high school or the college you will be attending.  They can better explain the course requirements.

There are many type of therapists.  You will be required to have your 4 year degree and some specialization depending upon what you are looking to do.  As you work your way through your university program, you will probably get a better idea of what type of therapist you would like to be.  In addition to the school psychologist, there are educational therapists, vision therapists, speech and language therapist, reading specialists, occupational and physical therapists... the list goes on.

I recommend you spend some time working with children (even if that means finding a volunteer position at a school or afterschool program).  Investigate learning differences and get in contact with organizations such as The International Dyslexia Association and others that help kids (and adults) with learning difficulties.

Not knowing what state (or country) you are located in, I really can't help with any more specific information.  Volunteering or getting a part-time job at a school could be very beneficial to your future career.  Observation is a very important skill to learn.

Best of luck!

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What subject should I study in university that would lead me directly to children and family counseling?

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 24 August 2006:
It depends upon the university.  Do a search for various universities and browse through the academic programs and majors/minors they offer.  Your high school counselor should be able to help you with this.  Programs are varied.  For example:
California State University Fullerton (CSUF) offers a program in Human Services.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) would probably have you in a pyschology program.
University of Southern California (USC) has a School of Social Work.
All of these would prepare you for a career in Children and Family Counseling.  Here is some additional information for you to read and investigate further:

I hope this helps! Good luck in your future career.

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I read Carol Love's description of her Park Ranger experience.  The discussion was very informative.  Is 45 years old too old to become a park ranger?  What educational requirements are required.  Any information about this would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER from Imagiverse on 8 September 2006:
You should check into the specific park (or State) where you are thinking of applying.  For example, here are the requirements in California:


I would do a search for "park ranger your-state" and see what you come up with.  I also used the word "require" in my search and quickly found the above link.  I hope this helps!

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If someone is training to be a lawyer, do they do the post-graduate studies at an ordinary university or at a law school?  Also how many years are the post-graduate studies at law school and at university?

ANSWER from Gary Johnson on 13 October 2006:
A lawyer typically studies at an accredited law school.  Not every university also has a law school.  Most states have only two or three accredited law schools but many universities.  Some people study on their own and then take the bar exam.  But that is not recommended in part because other requirements are placed on being able to sit for the bar exam for those who self study.  There are also non-accredited law schools, especially in California, that historically do a very poor job of preparing a candidate to be a lawyer.  Admission to an accredited law school requires a four-year undergraduate degree (such as a B.A. or B.S.) at an accredited university.  Most accredited law schools also require a good score on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) that is like an SAT on steroids.  The typical law school takes three years full-time to finish.  So an aspiring law student should plan on a 7-year course of study before graduating.

The goal is to ultimately pass a state's "bar exam" that allows them to apply for a lawyer's license with that state.  The bar exam tests you on EVERYTHING you learn in school over a three or four day exam.  They want to make sure you don't have a "bathtub mentality" (e.g. when the course is over you "pull the plug" and forget everything you learned) and can APPLY what you learned to real life situations.  The candidate must also pass an FBI background check, complete with fingerprinting.  I finished law school in 2 ½ years because I also took summer school.

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What classes should I take in high school that will help me in college to become a video director?

ANSWER from Mark Vasconcellos on 14 April 2007:
Hope you are doing well.  A photography class is a good introduction into video or film production.  A director needs to learn how to compose a story through visuals and photography is a great start to train your eye to capture and compose images that make people feel something.  Each picture or frame has a certain weight or perspective and training your eye and mind to see through the lens of a camera is a great way to start.  Anyone can pick up a camera these days and shoot, but can they truly compose a great picture that will make the viewer feel something or see the world in a different, thought-provoking way.

Take a drama class.  A good director, knows both sides of the camera.  If you know where the actors are coming from and the process they go through to find their character, you will be a very effective and efficient director.

Take any class that actually allows you to get hands on experience shooting video and editing.  The sooner you start learning the whole production process, the better.  Get out and shoot, make short movies, videos and get them into film festivals.  Build a good strong demo reel which shows your versatility as a director.  Most of all, be organized when doing a project and enjoy the process.

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I'm 15 and I've decided that I want to be a Special Effects Make-up Artist when I grow up.  What is the best school in California to pursue my career choice?  How can I prepare?

ANSWER from Mark Vasconcellos on 26 June 2007:
I don't know of any actual schools, nor would I be able to recommend any.  Stan Winston [http://www.fandango.com/stanwinston/filmography/p117079] is a good one to follow.  Best bet is to find someone who is great in the art and work for them as an assistant.  Make that person your mentor and learn as much as you can and build a portfolio of any work that you do!  Show your portfolio to an agent and get some representation.  That is the best path.  Work with someone you admire and learn as much as you can under their guidance!  Go for it and don't give up!

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 26 June 2007:
You can also volunteer to do make-up for theater productions at your school or in your community.  Volunteer in your neighborhood to do makeup for the neighborhood children on Halloween or special events.  Get books from the Library or book store that show how to do things like aging and other simple makeup techniques.  Practice, practice, practice!  Take photos of everything you do.  You will see improvements as you go along.  If you volunteer a lot, you may find that your name gets passed along to others and they will seek you out and pay you for your services.  Practice all sorts of makeup from princesses to monsters.  Volunteer to do face paintings at church or community carnivals.  Learn to work with fake hair for beards, moustaches and wigs.  Learn about the face.  Study how people age.  Study photos of birth defects, burns, scars, etc.  Learn how to make things look real.  As Mark said, find a mentor, someone who knows more than you, and learn everything he/she can show you.  For any kind of artist, it is good to learn to observe.  Break down what you see and practice reproducing it.  Have fun with it! Be sure to pay attention to your other studies.  Education can open doors and you never know what path that will take you on. We hope this helps!

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Last Updated:
26 August 2007

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