AOMA Blog

Meet Peter Schechter, Student and Career Services Assistant

Posted by Rob Davidson on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 @ 09:45 AM

Peter Schechter, Student and Career Services Assistant

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Peter is the Student and Career Services Assistant here at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. He works with the greater community of Austin to coordinate the Lunchtime Brown Bag Lectures here at AOMA. Also, he works within the AOMA community to help coordinate events with the AOMA Student Association and other student clubs and organizations. Currently, Peter is working on a program to offer increased support and advice for people who have recently graduated. Peter also assists in organizing the biennial China study trips by processing document and helping students get in touch with Dr. Tan about the program.

Students should get in touch with Peter if they’re interested in joining any student clubs or activities, the Brown Bag Series, the China Study Trip or have any ideas as to how Student Services can better serve the student body. Also, anyone needing to be added to the alumni directory here at AOMA should contact Peter.

3 things that make Peter special:

1. His favorite short quote it “Cease, cows, life is short.”

2. His most treasured object is an old manual impact driver inherited from his grandfather.

3. He has a poke-and-stick tattoo on his left wrist. He advises against poke-and-stick tattoos.

Master's Program Fact Sheet

Topics: student services, aoma students, china trip, grad school, china

AOMA Named 2015 Military Friendly® School for Supporting Student Veterans

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine has been named a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds.

military friendly schoolThe Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

AOMA is proud to support student veterans – and proud of our students! To celebrate the announcement, we interviewed Tony Bailes, a master’s degree alum and current doctoral student at AOMA. In addition to being a full-time student, Tony is also the president of AOMA’s Student Veteran Organization and an active member of the campus community.

View the AOMA Acupuncture School listing on the G.I. Jobs website.

Tony Bailes, MAcOM, DAOM class of 2015

Tony Bailes, doctor of acupuncture studentMilitary Branch: US Army
Years Served: 4

What prompted you to return to school?

After serving as a combat medic, I knew I had found a home in health care. The feeling of knowing that I could make a difference in people's lives, even a small one, was the greatest reward. My time in the service had given me some much needed direction. The thought of returning to school at my age was a little frightening and I wasn't sure I was making the right decision.

Why did you choose AOMA?

My decision to go to AOMA was the result of two dominating factors. I wanted to stay in healthcare, but was feeling the rigors of emergency care. Acupuncture and integrative medicine offered me an opportunity to treat patients over time and see their progression, as opposed to the "turn and burn" of emergency medicine. Another decisive factor was AOMA as a community. I began my discussion while still in Iraq and when I was able to visit in person, all those positive interactions I had were reinforced. The sense of community was overwhelming. I knew immediately that I was where I was meant to be.

What military education benefits, such as the GI Bill, did you use while attending? 

I used my Post 9/11 GI Bill and Federal Graduate Loans. I also took advantage of the Federal Work Study program.

What has your experience been like as a student or alumnus? 

As with any process, there were ups and downs. The program can be challenging, but the journey taught me so much. After finishing the master’s program, I still felt a little lost. By some random turn of events, I ended up in the first DAOM program and could not be happier. Being in the DAOM program has taught me much about myself and my capabilities. I am grateful and proud to be part of the inaugural cohort. The friendships and connections I have created have been incredibly supportive and nurturing. Seven years after my initial contact, I still feel the same level of connection and the sense of community I did that very first day I walked onto campus.

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?

The adjustment can be a challenge. The single most important thing to remember is that the knowledge, experience, and discipline we acquired serving our country is easily applicable to our educational journey. We understand commitment and hard work, and I feel that gives us that intangible edge. The end result of the challenge holds great reward. Find your community and draw on the lessons learned from our service time. Most importantly, reach out when you need help and embrace the great things that lie ahead.

What challenges and rewards have you experienced while working with military and veteran populations in clinic?

The challenges have been mostly in the communication and boundaries. Military members and veterans are part of a very defined subculture. We have our own language and biases. The language often associated with our medicine does not always resonate with the veteran and military community. Coming up with a vocabulary that is respectful, yet informative was the biggest challenge. Another challenge exists in boundaries. By nature, veterans and military members have a tendency to be more guarded. Trust is not easily earned. The ability to gain the level of trust needed to be effective takes effort and time. Our greatest strength is our sense of community. The sense of community is something that is well reflected of the culture of AOMA and I feel that being able to extend that grace to our patients, regardless of their background, is what makes AOMA so special.

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Topics: student spotlight, alumni spotlight, student services, veteran affairs, student organizations

Alumni Advice for Graduating Acupuncture Students

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

Overwhelmed trying to figure out how to start an Oriental medicine practice? Here are some tips from AOMA alumni!*

While you are in school:

Prepare early

Take your board exams before you graduate

Get licensed quickly after finishing boards

Develop a business plan during practice management class

Start developing marketing materials

Launch your website before graduation

Plan your career

Investigate different locations for your future practice (states, cities, venues) Consider specializing in something (ex. style of practice, specific patient demographic, type of condition(s), etc.)

Participate in an internship, externship, or apprenticeship (ex. AOMA’s Practice Management Fieldwork Program)

Consider a job on a cruise ship – it’s a great way to gain experience and travel!

Form relationships with your patients in the student clinic to build your future patient base

Find a successful mentor and pick their brain!

Get connected, join a networking group

Build a financial foundation

Set aside money for starting up your practice

Minimize student loan debt and understand the different repayment options

Forecast startup costs for your practice, including funding, insurance, advertising, etc.

Keep your day job as you build your practice to earn extra income

Learn Quickbooks or other basic accounting skills

Research pricing for treatments so you can charge enough for your services

 

After You Graduate:

Hone your business & professional skills

Buy a point of sale system to handle financial transactions

Consider selling supplements and herbs to boost your practice’s income

Consider offering adjunct techniques to patients like medical qigong, bodywork

Outline clear treatment plans so patients know what to expect

Continue to work on your bed-side manners to improve the patient experience Provide patient & community education

Volunteer in your community for extra visibility

Find a market coach if you need extra help with outreach

Practice a lot; start seeing as many patients as possible, as soon as possible

Make time for self-care

Take kidney tonics to keep your energy-level up 

Get acupuncture

Practice mind-body techniques to handle stress

 

General advice:

Start small & grow (be patient it will take time)

Take a vacation/time off after graduation – you might need the break!

Commit to life-long learning and more Oriental medicine techniques – never stop improving

Be passionate about TCM!

 

*Advice compiled from 2013 alumni survey.

Careers in Acupuncture: Download free eBook!

Topics: alumni, student services, practice management

10 Tips for Eating Organic on a Student Budget

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Tue, Jun 03, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

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Eating organic is something many of us aim to do; however, doing so on a student budget can be tricky. Here are some of the top tips for affordably eating organic.

1. Look for generic organic brands made by the stores which carry them. Costco, Whole Foods, and Central Market have their own organic foods that are much more affordable.

2. Opt for frozen veggies, fruits, and meats if the fresh prices are out of your range.
 
3. Choose bulk over packaged foods. Many stores like Central Market, HEB, Whole Foods, and Sprouts have an excellent selection of bulk food items which can be snagged at a fraction of the price.

4. Follow what is in season because the locally grown food is usually cheaper than that which had to travel miles to the store. Here is a guide for Texas.

5. Support local farms through CSAs or Farmers Markets. Also, if you shop toward the end of the market you can likely get deals because they'd rather sell it than take it back to the farm.

6. Grow at least one thing yourself.

7. Coupons! Websites or social media sites of your favorite companies have coupons and specials. Some other sites are Mambo Sprouts, Saving Naturally, Organic Deals, My Organic Coupons, Organic Deals and Steals. Writing companies with compliments or complaints usually will result in their sending coupons. 

8. Read Wildly Affordable Organic for tips on organic eating for $5 a day or less.

9. Buy at least the dirty dozen organic if you can't afford to buy everything organic. The dirty dozen are from the Environmental Working Group's research and have the most pesticides:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes


The Environmental Working Group classified the following as the clean dozen, which have fewer pesticides:

  • Papaya
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onions

10. Research other sustainable food options in your area, from businesses to stores, at eatwellguide.com

 

Resources: 

FoodBabe.com

Deliciouslyorganic.net

Prevention.com

 

janessa benedictJanessa Benedict is a senior student at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. She currently writes a financial aid newsletter, contributes to an Oriental medicine website, and looks forward to saving the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: nutrition, student services

Funding a Graduate Degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 @ 08:13 AM

“Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.”   Louis L’Amour

Seekers of knowledge know the value of a great education. The cost of attending graduate school can be daunting to those who don’t know all of their options. Learners at AOMA have many choices for funding the masters and doctoral degrees in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

 

Financial Literacy

Developing financial literacy should be the first step in the process of exploring your funding options. Learners who manage their finances closely while enrolled lay a foundation for better financial health after graduation. Many AOMA students choose to work while they are in acupuncture school, and use this income to offset the amount they need to borrow for tuition expenses.

In an effort to encourage students to avoid and/or minimize debt, AOMA recommends that you to investigate all possible sources of financial support prior to borrowing, and borrow only if absolutely necessary. In situations where other funding sources do not exist and you choose to fund your education through student loans, we encourage you to budget carefully. Careful financial management before, during, and after enrollment can reduce overall debt and create a solid financial foundation from which you can grow after graduation.

To assist students in this process, the AOMA financial aid office provides support and resources for students in the area of budgeting and money management. You can read more on our financial literacy page or contact the financial services administrator to make an appointment for financial advising.

 

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid opportunities for studying acupuncture and Oriental medicine at AOMA include Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Work Study, veteran's/military tuition benefits, and scholarships.

Direct Student Loans

AOMA is certified by the Department of Education to participate in the Title IV Federal Student Aid program. Loans include the Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS Loans for graduate students. Direct Loans are low-interest loans issued by the federal government to students enrolled in eligible programs at least half-time (six credits). Read more about Direct Loans.

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work Study (FWS) program provides part-time employment to AOMA students with financial need, in order to help cover the cost of attendance. In addition to financial support, the FWS program offers relevant training that supports post-graduate student success. Finally, the FWS program encourages students to participate in community service activities and literacy projects throughout the Austin area. Find out more about work study jobs at AOMA.

Scholarships

AOMA awards a number of scholarships each year to current students. Scholarships include: the President’s award, the AOMA Scholarship, and the Golden Flower Chinese Herbs Scholarship. The number and amount of scholarships awarded depend on the funds available each year. Peruse an extensive list of available scholarships.

Veteran’s Benefits

AOMA is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the training of veterans and other eligible persons. In order to receive Veteran’s Benefits, the veteran must first establish his/her eligibility with the VA. Once eligibility has been established, AOMA certifies the veteran’s enrollment. Read more about veteran’s benefits and military tuition assistance.

 

Applying for Financial Aid

Step 1: The FAFSA

The first step in applying for financial aid for acupuncture college is the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for all forms of federal aid, including Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Work Study. AOMA also awards some scholarships on the basis of financial need, so we encourage you to complete a FAFSA even if you do not intend to request student loans. Veteran's/Active Duty Military benefits have an alternate application process.

The FAFSA is completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and the process typically takes five to seven days.  In addition to supplying your Social Security Number (or alien registration or permanent resident card if you are not a U.S. citizen), you will also need to have records of money earned during the previous tax year and AOMA's School Code (031564).

FAFSA Results

You receive the results of your FAFSA in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is delivered electronically in an email from the Federal Student Aid office of the Department of Education. Please review your SAR very carefully! The SAR is multiple pages long and contains important information about your financial aid eligibility, including your EFC and a report of any potential issues that may prevent you from obtaining financial aid.

Once you have received and reviewed your SAR, please contact the AOMA Financial Aid Office. We can advise you regarding your eligibility and the remaining steps in the application process.

Step 2: AOMA Financial Aid Process

After completion of the FAFSA, prospective students should communicate with the Admissions Office and complete their application to the Master’s or Doctoral program according to the published admissions deadlines.

If accepted into an AOMA graduate program in Chinese medicine, your next step will be to register for classes and meet with the Financial Services Administrator for preliminary financial aid advising. During this meeting you will be able to discuss financial options, develop a budget for your first terms, and to complete all necessary financial aid paperwork. Students can work with the Admissions Office to schedule both their registration and financial aid advising appointments.    

Download Checklist: Completing the FAFSA Step-by-Step

Topics: student services, financial aid, scholarships

Scholarships: Funding a Graduate Degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Fri, Feb 28, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

The choice to attend graduate school is a major life decision and figuring out how to pay for it is an important step. Most students take out federal loans to pay for acupuncture school and many also work part-time jobs. The most astute students also apply for scholarships.

Each year AOMA awards scholarships to current students. The AOMA scholarship webpage informs students of internal and external scholarship opportunities.

AOMA Scholarships

President's Award - $500 - Deadline: May 15, 2014

The President’s Award is a scholarship awarded by AOMA to a currently enrolled AOMA student in good academic standing. The President seeks to support AOMA students who contribute to the professional community of Chinese medicine through leadership and/or publication. Leadership activities can include involvement with national, state, or student professional associations, or participation in legislative efforts.

Golden Flower Chinese Herbs - $500-1,000 - Deadline: May 15, 2014

Each year, Golden Flower Chinese Herbs generously provides AOMA with scholarship funds.  Two awards are given for overall excellence in Chinese medical studies and six awards are given for excellence in acupuncture studies, herbal studies, biomedical sciences, and clinical internship.

AOMA Scholarship - $250-500 - Deadline: May 15, 2014

The AOMA Scholarship awards are given annually for overall excellence in Chinese medical studies. Recipients are selected based on their AOMA GPA, grades in individual subject areas, financial need, and response to the essay question.

External Scholarships

ABORM Annual Scholarship - $1,000 - Deadline: March 31, 2014

The ABORM Annual Scholarship is awarded annually to a student enrolled in either a Master’s Degree Program or the Doctoral Degree Program. The scholarship is paid upon successful submission and acceptance for publication of an article in the Journal of Chinese Medicine (JCM). The purpose of the ABORM Annual Scholarship is to foster new scholarly inquiry in the field of Oriental Reproductive Medicine & Infertility for publication in the Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Evergreen Hua-Tuo Scholarship - $1,000 gift card - Deadline: TBA, 2014

Evergreen Herbs funds a scholarship to further the development of effective TCM treatment protocols, while inspiring bright and passionate students of Chinese Medicine to research and write in the field. The winner will receive a scholarship in the form of a $1,000 Evergreen Collection Gift card good towards Evergreen herbal formulas. The winning research paper will also be published by Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine as well as posted to the Evergreen Herbs' website. Five runners-up will also be selected and will receive their choice of Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology or  Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications by John Chen and Tina Chen.

Mayway Scholarship - Deadline: TBA, 2014

The Mayway Scholarship Program is open to doctorate of acupuncture and Oriental medicine and master's level students who are currently enrolled in an ACAOM–accredited college of Oriental medicine within the United States and who will be attending a college of OM in fall 2013.

Nuherbs Scholarshi - Deadline: April 1, 2014

The nuherbs Co. Scholarship Program awards three yearly scholarships to current enrollees of ACAOM accredited acupuncture schools.
· nuherbs Scholarship: $2,000
· Herbal Times Scholarship: $1,500
· Jade Dragon Scholarship: $1000

Sokenbicha Essay Challenge - $1,000-4,000 - Deadline: TBA, 2014

The Sokenbicha Essay Challenge is a scholarship contest for students of ACAOM approved Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine schools. First prize is a $4,000 scholarship and paid admission into the annual AAAOM Leadership Meeting and Student Conference (includes airfare and hotel). The first place winner will be recognized at the Student Conference during the Student Caucus. Second prize is a $1,000 scholarship. All winning essays will be printed and distributed to AAAOM conference attendees and will also be published on the Sokenbicha Web site.

Standard Process Scholarship - $2,500 - Deadline: June 28, 2014

Standard Process is sponsoring a yearly scholarship fund for our AOMA students who are in their last three terms of their program. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.9 or higher, must be between 1 - 3 terms from graduation, have a list of contributions to the acupuncture profession, the college, and the community, provide a letter of recommendation and write a 500-750 word essay.

The Trudy McAllister Fund - $2,000 - Deadline: TBA, 2014

This scholarship program was established to support students who have entered the last phases of their clinical training or who have undertaken post-graduate studies in acupuncture and Oriental medicine and show promise of making significant contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of traditional Oriental medicine in a modern context.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. Scholarship- $5,000-10,000 - Deadline: TBA

The Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Scholarship supports educational opportunities for future generations of scientists. The scholarship is to be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students with a declared major of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or a related life-science field. To qualify for the scholarship, students must have a GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be enrolled in an accredited college for university.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship - $5,000-10,000 - Deadline: May 31, 2014

The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship is available to any student pursuing a career in healthcare. Ten applicants will receive $10,000 in scholarships and thirty applicants will receive $5,000 in scholarships. Visit Tylenol's Facebook page for further information.

Tillman Military Scholar Program - Deadline: March 6, 2014

The Military Scholar Program offers financial assistance to service members, veterans, and their spouses to cover academic and/or living expenses while in school. For more information about the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Tillman Military Scholars program, please visit their website: http://pattillmanfoundation.org/scholars. Members of each class of Tillman Military Scholars represent a rich and diverse set of backgrounds, experiences and ambitions, and were selected based on strong leadership potential and a drive to make a positive impact on others through service.

Additional Scholarship Resources

Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search

Sallie Mae's free Scholarship Search offers access to an award database that contains more than 3 million scholarships worth over 16 billion dollars, and it is expanded and updated daily. For information, please visit the Sallie Mae Scholarship search website.

For more information about scholarships at AOMA, or to make a contribution, please contact the director of financial aid Estella Sears or visit our scholarship page.

Discover the Art & Spirit of Healing: Introduction to Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

Topics: acupuncture school, student services, financial aid, scholarships

Moving to Austin: The Austin Rental Market

Posted by Justine Meccio on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 02:39 PM

Austin Rental Market
Moving is no small feat - finding a place to live, packing up your belongings, recruiting helping hands, finding a friend with a truck, tying up the pieces at your old place and remembering all of the little details for getting settled in smoothly at a new home. It is no wonder that moving is often considered to be one of the most stressful events in life!

Austin is a rapidly growing city with much to offer new residents. Depending on how far you are moving (i.e. across town vs. across the country); the process of finding a place to live may be different. No matter where you are starting from, the following insights will help you stay organized as you navigate the Austin rental market.

What to Consider When Searching For a Place to Live:

Consider Your Exact Move-in Date

Knowing your move-in date will help you determine when you need to be ready to sign a lease. Some apartments only list their availability 30 days prior to a potential move-in date whereas others list availability 60 days prior. Privately owned houses, condos, and duplexes usually have openings based on 30 day notices, possibly even shorter times, and are generally looking for quick move-ins.  As a general rule of thumb, it is best to start your housing search 45-60 days before your anticipated move date.

Lease Options

Before starting your search, it’s important to have an idea of what you are looking for. Most apartment communities in Austin offer one year leases. Some properties may offer nine and six month leases, however leases lasting less than six months can be very difficult to find. Many apartment communities charge an up-grade fee for leases shorter than one year, and such fees can be as high as an extra $150 per month. Privately owned properties like rental homes or duplexes almost always offer one year leases.

An alternative option for a shorter term lease is to sublet. Subletting a property can offer a temporary home-base while you explore Austin’s many neighborhoods and search for longer-term accommodations.

Rental Application Fees & Deposits 

When you have found a place you like and you are ready to submit an application, it is important to keep in mind that there will be associated application fees and deposits required. Planning for these fees will help you create a realistic moving budget.
 
Application fees can range from $35 to $150 and will vary depending on location. These fees are applied to the cost of running criminal background and rental history checks for potential tenants.  

A rental deposit is typically required to be paid to the property owner or management company. Deposit amounts are variable and can range from $200 to $1,000 per unit. Newer apartment communities that offer more amenities typically ask for higher rental deposits. Some apartment communities may include an “administrative fee” as part of the deposit that is frequently non-refundable and may be as much as half of the deposit. However, this type of fee is usually only found in larger, newer apartment communities. Owners of houses, duplexes, and condos often ask a new tenant to deposit the first and/or last month’s rent up front.

With many animal-loving residents in Austin, pet deposits are a very common feature of the rental market. Amounts and specific policies may vary depending on individual properties; though, a typical pet deposit will be around $300 - $500 for one pet. Half of this deposit is usually refundable while the other half is typically a non-refundable cleaning fee. Having more than one pet usually incurs additional deposit costs (often $250 per additional pet), and many communities limit the number of pets allowed to three.  In some cases apartment communities may charge pet rent instead of a deposit. Pet rent is a monthly fee paid in addition to rent and can vary from $15 - $50 per month, per pet. If you have furry friends, it’s important to ask about a property’s pet policies before applying.

Before paying any deposit, it is important to verify with the leasing agent whether a deposit is refundable if the rental application is cancelled, withdrawn, or refused.  Once an application is approved, the rental deposit is no longer refundable.

Qualifying Criteria for Rental Applications

When evaluating a rental application, apartment communities and property owners will consider/ verify the following:

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older
  • Previous rental history (broken leases, evictions, lack of rental history)
  • Criminal background checks (any convictions, misdemeanors, felonies, etc.)
  • Credit history (outstanding housing debts/payments, utility or rental payment history, etc.)
  • Whether renter’s insurance is required (many properties require policies for $100,000 worth of rental insurance)
  • Number of vehicles or pets owned (properties may limit the number of each allowed)
  • Current income

When considering a potential tenant’s credit history and income, apartment communities typically expect to see that an applicant’s monthly income is approximately three times the amount of monthly rent. Combined income from roommates, financial aid received by students, and potential co-signors’ income are additional factors that may be considered. Most communities will allow co-signors for applicants that do not meet the earnings criteria. Co-signors are generally expected to own a home and earn five to six times the amount of the unit’s monthly rent. Depending on employment status, applicants may be required to present paystubs, income tax information, bank statements, or confirmation of financial aid eligibility to verify income.

Applicants with less than 6 months of rental history or a low credit-score may be required to have a co-signor on a lease or pay an additional rental deposit.  Factors such as a history of broken leases, evictions, or a criminal background will generally result in co-signors being refused. While apartment communities always perform criminal background and rental history checks, not all private owners do so. New residents should discuss the qualifying rental criteria in detail with the apartment community or property owner during the application process.

Rental Rates

Apartment rental rates are generated based on city-wide occupancy rates, meaning prices can fluctuate frequently. Rental prices will also vary based on the type of unit available (e.g. number of bedrooms, square footage, amenities, etc.) and exact location. In addition to checking rental prices for specific properties online, it is also advisable to contact a property directly to verify the current rate and to inquire about any move-in specials that may be offered. Cost of living calculators can help new residents moving from another city or state to estimate housing costs in Austin.

Getting Help with Your Housing Search

It’s always ideal to visit a potential house/apartment in person before making a commitment and signing a lease. Unfortunately, this is not always an option if you are moving from a different city or state.  Recruiting the help of a leasing agent or apartment locator can help to narrow down your options and find a place that meets your criteria and standards for quality of life. Many apartment locating agents in Austin offer free services to clients looking for housing and it’s important to choose a locator that is responsive, professional, and respectful of your housing needs.

AOMA Apartment Locators List  

  AOMA Apartment Reference Guide

In addition to individual leases, alternative housing opportunities exist including roommate arrangements, house shares, and cooperative living. Check out our next blog post in the Moving to Austin series for more information on this topic!

Article Contributors:

Austin apartment locators

Michelle Gonzalez

Michelle Gonzalez is an Austin-based real estate agent and AOMA student. Prior to beginning her studies within AOMA’s master’s degree program in acupuncture & Chinese medicine, Michelle worked as a full-time licensed real estate agent at Team Real Estate. She has years of experience and expertise within Austin’s rental and home-buying markets.

 

Austin apartment locators

Jillian Kelble
As AOMA’s Admissions Coordinator, Jillian Kelble works one-on-one with new students to support their transition to graduate school and is the administrator of AOMA’s bi-weekly new student housing digest. In addition to her role within the Admissions Office, she has also worked as a property manager for a privately owned rental property in downtown Austin. A transplant from the west coast, Jillian brings personal insight about the process of relocating to her work.

 

Visit AOMA and Austin, TX    Take a Virtual Campus Tour  


Topics: student services, Austin, Austin rental market, moving to Austin

How to Hang a Shingle: Tips for Success after Graduation

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 @ 02:39 PM

You’ve done it!  4 or so hard years, bushels of tests, late night studying, endless intern clinics, harrowing Board exams; your diploma is clutched in your rosy hand, and the future waits just outside the door of the auditorium.  Then it hits you – you have no idea what to do next.

For the last four years, your life has been more or less ordered for you – class times, clinic times, study times, work times – and now it’s totally up to you.  How do you take all your training and make it work for you, to build a future?  There’s no sure pattern for success, and your mentors and teachers are no longer watching over you every day to give guidance. The world can look very scary out of the school setting, but before you pull your lab coat over your head and hide, take heart.  You can survive, and thrive, as an acupuncturist.

Hopefully, you started working on what you were going to do and where long before you graduated.  Finding a good location that’s not in a saturated area is important, and establishing a name for yourself in that area is vital, even before you graduate.  If you joined your local Chamber of Commerce, some local networking groups and service groups, you have a head start, because all your fellow members are prospective patients.  If you haven’t joined those organizations yet, now is the time to do it. You’ll probably have a few months before your license is granted, so use the time wisely. Network, meet people, shake a lot of hands – your enthusiasm will be contagious, and people will be curious.  Make sure you’re armed with business cards, brochures, and a website before you go into battle.  Get a name registered as a DBA in your county, and get yourself a shirt with the name and logo on it.  Then wear it.  Everywhere.  You’d be surprised how many people will ask about it.

Find someone who is established to start with so you can learn the ropes.  Most established acupuncturists are more than willing to take on an intern to work the front desk and learn the business; you can also find a lot of chiropractors who are happy to take an acupuncturist on.  Even though some of them advertise they can do acupuncture, most of them don’t have the time to do it, and welcome new graduates.  When your license comes in the mail, you’ll be ready to jump into the pool, so get your feet planted somewhere while you’re waiting.

Once licensed, use all those contacts you made.  Hand out gift certificates – one free treatment isn’t going to break you, and those people will come back for more.  Use them for door prizes at local events, especially women’s events. Use them in Chamber Auctions, for Chamber Lunches, or to support an auction at your local High School.  Give them as gifts for birthdays.  Soon, those patients will tell others, and you’re on your way.  Participate in events and go to some health fairs – let people see and get to know you. Utilize social networking as well, you can learn a lot from other acupuncturists, both established and just beginning.  Use free time wisely to learn more about running your practice. Before you know it, you’re treating 20 patients a week, then thirty, then forty, and your first year will be coming to a close.

As long as you realize that learning doesn’t stop when school ends, you’ll do just fine.  Reach out, and your practice will grow.  Above all, trust in yourself, and your hard-won skills.

 

Kathy Kerr acupunctureKathy Kerr, LAc, MAcOM, AOBTA, is an Acupuncturist practicing in Georgetown, TX.  She graduated from AOMA in 2008 and has taught several brown bags and business development classes.  Her undergrad is in marketing and management, and foreign language. Kathy lives in Round Rock with her husband, two dogs and a bird named Qing Long. Visit her website here: www.orientalmedicineassociates.com.

 

 

 

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Topics: career services, acupuncture school, student services, mentor

InterTransform Mentoring Circle: Professional & Personal Prowess

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Sat, Jul 13, 2013 @ 11:15 AM

Calling all leaders, coaches, teachers, role models, and guides!mentoring

After in-depth assessment & re-envisioning, AOMA Admissions is pleased to present a newly-designed  mentor program for new students that better reflects the needs, goals, and ideals expressed by AOMA’s student body.

AOMA is excited to introduce the NEW InterTransform Mentoring Circle!

Mission Statement:

InterTransform Mentoring Circle offers a structured extracurricular environment for students to build peer relationships and cultivate professional prowess. The program:

  • Fosters community amongst and between  student cohorts,  helping new students lay a  foundation for success,
  • Features  group-mentoring cohorts,  positioning the program as a
    microcosm of the AOMA community at large,
  • Trains participants to model collaborative, inclusive, and
    appropriate relationships in a professional and academic setting,
  • Provides opportunities for self reflection, and to practice building
    confidence in networking with peers .

Program Description:

For many new students, AOMA’s MAcOM program represents their first entry to a professional career. For others, the MAcOM is a reimagining or transformation of their professional career. InterTransform Mentoring Circle helps new students from any background acclimate to the culture of AOMA’s student and academic communities.

The program’s model featuring group-mentoring cohorts positions the program as a microcosm of the AOMA community at large. The program benefits participants and the greater AOMA student body by increasing and promoting sustained, meaningful connections across cohorts, levels of study, and social groups.

Program participants are trained to model collaborative, inclusive, and appropriate relationships in a professional and academic setting. The program sets a standard for thoughtful communication and relationship building, thereby encouraging similar behaviors across all facets of AOMA’s student community.

The program provides opportunities for students to reflect upon, and practice building confidence in networking with advanced peers, ultimately supporting the development of behaviors that may be beneficial in future professional and/or academic settings.

Program Components:

Joining the Program:  Nominations for mentors are solicited from faculty members, AOMA Student Association representatives, and staff. Eligible students must be in good academic standing and have completed at least 6 terms at AOMA or have begun clinical internship. All mentors must complete an application form to be considered for the program.

Participation as a mentee is voluntary and new students may apply to participate as mentees at the start of their first 3 terms within the master’s program. Mentees are required to complete an application form prior to enrollment in the program.

Training: Mentors are required to participate in all training activities and to review all training materials. Training for mentors focuses on developing effective leadership and communication skills, establishing interpersonal boundaries and expectations, and goal-setting. Both mentors and mentees have access to student services support throughout the program and mentors are given information about how to make appropriate referrals for student services.

One of AOMA’s faculty, Rupesh Chhagan, LAc, MSOM, LMT, serves as an advisor to the program and assists with mentor training. Chhagan teaches the Clinical Communication Skills series within the graduate program.

Duration: An individual mentoring period lasts 3 academic terms. Participants’ satisifaction with the program is assessed at the end each mentoring period.

To apply to be a mentor, or to request more information, contact Elizabeth Arris at student@aoma.edu.

Download Guide to Career in Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

Topics: student services, mentor

Meet AOMA's faculty and staff: Jillian Kelble

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 01:15 PM

Each month we will be featuring fun information about a faculty and/or staff member to introduce the wonderful community of people behind AOMA’s graduate program!

jillian kelble roundThis month, we’re happy to introduce Jillian Kelble, Admissions Coordinator, who works with prospective students and applicants in the Admissions Office.

 

Where are you from?

“Short answer is California but I was born in Virginia, then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and then Southern California, then Northern California and now Texas!”

 List 3 hobbies/ activities you enjoy:

 “I love rock climbing, yoga and hiking with my dog and husband”

 What’s the best thing about working at AOMA?

 “The positive, supportive and community-centered environment. ”

 What’s your favorite/most memorable ‘AOMA moment’?

“Welcoming all of the new students each term and getting to meet everyone that I had been working with over the previous months.”

 What’s your favorite thing about Austin?

“The abundance of live music, outdoor adventure and like-minded people.”

Favorite Website?

“It depends on the subject. In regards to Austin events, I would say www.Austin360.com


To learn more about the AOMA Admissions Office, log on to www.aoma.edu/prospective-students/admissions/.

Remember to check back regularly to meet someone new!

Learn More: Download an Overview of the Master's Program


Topics: acupuncture school, student services, staff spotlight, admissions

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