How to Prepare for Exams

Most people don’t like taking exams and it can be a real problem for some. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans suffer from test anxiety. The problem can be especially acute if you’ve been out of school for a while.

The good news is that while we can’t make tests fun, there are ways to help take some of the stress away. Try the tips below and you’ll see a real difference. Everyone is different, so remember to figure out what works best for you.

Ask your teacher. One of the best ways to prepare for an exam is to simply ask your instructor what you should study. Most instructors are happy to give you guidance.

Don’t cram. Waiting until the last minute is guaranteed to cause stress, which can lead to poor performance. Study early and often. First, try to stay on top of the material from the very beginning of the term. If you’re already in the habit of studying, preparing for an exam won’t be a burden. Second, schedule your sessions ahead of time. It’s better to study for an hour a day for a week than ten hours the night before the exam.

Take care of yourself. This one seems obvious, but it’s really important. Your brain can’t work well unless you take care of your body. Make sure you’re doing the basics: eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and moving your body. It really makes a difference!

Take breaks. Don’t expect to be able to sit in a chair and stare at a book for two hours straight. Take a break. Everybody is different. Some of us need a break every 20 minutes, others once an hour. Figure out what works for you and then take a minute to stretch or get a drink of water in between studying.

Create some peace and quiet. This means no loud music, no TV and no internet. You don’t have to sit in a blank soundproof box to study, but you’re not going to retain the information if you are distracted.

Make flashcards. It’s a great way to help you memorize information or make sure that you grasp the concepts. The act of writing the study material down also reinforces it in your memory.

Be (a little) afraid. It’s a misconception that people only do their best when they’re calm. Some fear or anxiety can help. Fear or anxiety can create motivation to check over your work. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re nervous. Remember, it’s normal and can help.


For more information about this blog or others please contact Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers at 888-872-4677 or visit us at
Our mission is to Improve Lives through Education!



What to Expect As a Legal Assistant


Legal assistants help attorneys do their jobs. It’s a challenging position and every day can be different. You might be in court one day, and the next day sorting evidence or preparing a bill for a client. There is a broad scope of duties to be performed by legal assistants and tasks vary depending on the office, but all legal assistants need to be good at three things: research, writing and staying organized.


Generally speaking, legal assistants spend a lot of time helping attorneys prepare for trials, court proceedings or meetings, which means doing a lot of research. You might be asked to read the relevant case law and prepare a brief for an attorney, or you might carefully check the facts of a case and consider if the attorney has all the relevant information. Some legal assistants are responsible for finding and keeping track of exhibits. All of this means that legal assistants do a lot of research.



Writing is a big part of the job. Many legal assistants draft documents like contracts, mortgages and separation agreements. They also draft pleadings and file motions. Research and writing will often overlap, in that many legal assistants help attorneys prepare arguments or maintain trial notebooks. Writing is a big part of the job and your colleagues are going to count on you to be able to communicate concisely and clearly.


Organization Skills

This may seem obvious. Is there a job where it’s okay not to be organized? As a legal assistant it’s particularly important because legal assistants maintain and file crucial court documents, respond to discovery requests and keep case files organized. Attorneys will depend on you to be efficient and have quick access to the information or files they need. Often legal assistants will maintain a law firm’s financial records or track billable hours, which means you really need to be able to keep on top of things.


How to Get There

Don’t be concerned if any of this seems intimidating. Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers has an excellent Legal Studies Training Program designed to help you develop these exact skills.

Our Legal Studies Training Program will teach you how to use Microsoft programs that you’ll find at practically every law firm in the country: Windows, Word, Excel, Access, Outlook and PowerPoint.

Then you will get an in-depth introduction to the legal process, with classes in Business Law and American Government. The Legal Studies Training Program also includes important classes such as Law Office Procedures, Law Office Management and Legal Research and Writing.

In short, Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers’ Legal Studies Program is an excellent way to get the research, writing and organization skills that you need to get ahead as a legal assistant.

For more information about this blog or others please contact Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers at 888-872-4677 or visit us at

Our mission is to Improve Lives through Education!



Meet Nicole…

In August 2014, Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers began offering the Computer Applications Technology, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree with concentrations in Medical Office and Business. We would like to introduce you to our first graduate, Nicole A., who graduated and earned her degree with the Medical Office track.

Prior to completing her degree, Nicole earned a Certificate of Completion in the Medical Office Assistant Program at the Kendall Campus where 100% of her Medical Office Assistant program credits were transferred into the AAS degree program.  Vice President, Sheila Chapman, reflects, “We were thrilled to hear of Nicole’s interest in furthering her education as she has been an exemplary staff member who consistently shares our purpose of improving lives through education.  Whenever we have an internal opening, the first place we look is our own student body which is how Nicole became a staff member.”

Nicole began her degree with a concentration in Medical Office in October of 2014 and completed the remainder of her credits in order to obtain her Computer Applications Technology, Associate of Applied Science degree in just eight months.

Growth is exactly what Nicole has experienced. Today, she is a full-time classroom instructor at Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers through which she facilitates students with hands-on skills training in Microsoft Office Applications such as Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook. She ensures students maintain strong career-ready keyboarding skills and conducts medical billing and coding workshops. The goal for our students is to develop competency, confidence and professionalism in order to prepare them for meaningful employment.

Here’s how Nicole feels about her achieving her degree:

“My favorite part of the degree was the Introduction to Psychology course. It was interesting to learn about human behavior. I also enjoyed the Medical Law course because I found out more about my options with healthcare.

 Everything I learned is going to help me understand my students more. I have a better understanding of their issues now that I have been in their shoes. Getting my degree has set a great example for my sixteen year old daughter. She was happy for me and is now thinking about when she will get her own college degree.

 I would definitely recommend the AAS degree to other people. It can seem overwhelming, but once you pass the midway point, it gets easier. To anyone who may not be sure about whether or not they want to take this course, I would say it’s a commitment, but it’s gratifying in the end. The excitement when you finish is worth it!”

For more information about this blog or others please contact Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers at 888-872-4677 or visit us at

Our mission is to Improve Lives through Education!

Top Traits of a Successful Leader

If you ask five people about the qualities of a successful leader, you’ll probably get five different answers. And it’s likely that the responses will be vague. You’ll hear words like “charisma” and “character,” qualities that make sense but don’t have an obvious connection to leadership.

Defining the traits of a successful leader is important. The best definition that we found comes from the global management consulting firm, McKinsey&Company. Researchers from McKinsey took years to examine the issue and came up with a list of capabilities that they call centered leadership. This concept has five dimensions: Meaning, Positive Framing, Connecting, Engaging and Energizing. This style of leadership is strongly correlated with both job satisfaction and success.

Think about the best boss you ever had. Then take a look at these traits. Chances are you’ll find that he or she exhibited most or all of them:

Meaning. Nobody wants to feel like they have a pointless job. A successful leader finds meaning in his or her own work and is able to inspire colleagues to do the same.

Positive framing. This is a fancy way of saying, “look on the bright side.” Successful leaders don’t pretend problems don’t exist. They know that problems can be opportunities.

Connecting. The best leaders create a community. There’s a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration in the people who work with them.

Engaging. Successful leaders take responsibility for their actions and don’t shy away from risk. They’re prudent and they know how to engage with risk and mitigate it.

Energizing. Success doesn’t come easy. It can mean years of sustained effort and a successful leader knows how to keep their energy up and avoid burnout, whether it’s their own or their team’s.

What’s interesting is that all of these traits can be learned and in the end they create qualities like loyalty and charisma. It is essential to add solid business skills to these dimensions to be truly successful. Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers can help you acquire those skills with its Organizational Leadership certificate program. It’s a well-rounded program that can help make you a prepared leader.

You’ll learn:

• Organizational behavior, or how people function best at work
• The elements of business management and human resources
• How to communicate effectively in business
• The basics of marketing, business ethics and global business
• Crucial programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook

Aside from quality business training, the Organizational Leadership Certificate program is an excellent choice because it offers so much flexibility. Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers has two convenient Miami locations. If you need greater flexibility, our national online program is a great option!

Let Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers provide you with the training you need to become a successful leader. Call 888-872-4677 or visit us online ( today to see how we can help you succeed as a leader.

What Does It Take to Be a Successful Administrative Assistant?

It’s amazing that in this day and age some people still think that being an administrative assistant is an easy way to make a living. But the fact is that while it can be really rewarding work, it’s not an easy job—it’s a challenging career.

If you’re thinking about becoming an administrative assistant, it’s easy enough to figure out the basic skills you need: just look at the job ads and see what they’re asking for. The question, though, is what does it take to be an excellent administrative assistant? How do you set yourself apart to get the better jobs—and earn more money?

Here are the qualities of a successful administrative assistant. If you don’t have all of them, don’t fret: just keep reading.

Software Skills. To be a successful administrative assistant, you need to know more than just how to turn on a computer. You’ve got to be a whiz at the standard software programs like Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel. Accounting skills can also be a big advantage.

Communication Skills. The best administrative assistants are the best communicators. This means that you need to know the differences between writing a business letter or an email. You need great interpersonal skills—meaning, how to express yourself (and listen!) to your boss, your vendors, your colleagues and probably some angry clients.

Organizational Skills. This is pretty straightforward: the best administrative assistants don’t forget things—if something needs doing, they do it. They don’t lose things. They know where everything is, or at least how to find it quickly.

Professionalism. This one seems obvious but somehow a lot of people don’t get this. The best administrative assistants—the ones that earn the most money and command the most respect—are the ones who know how to dress and act appropriately.

Do you feel that these qualities accurately describe you? Or do you feel that you could use a little help? If it’s the latter, then don’t worry: an Office Professional Certificate with an Office Administration Concentration may be a good choice for you!

Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers has excellent instructors who can help you get the skills you need to be a superior administrative assistant. The Office Administration Concentration is specifically designed to help you hone these important skills.

At Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers, we understand how difficult it can be to get back to school. That’s why we have two convenient Miami locations, flexible class schedules and online options!

So if you’re considering a career as an administrative assistant—and you’re striving for excellence—let Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers help you!

2nd Annual South Dade Farm Share Food Distribution

Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers partnered with Hope for Miami for its 2nd Annual South Dade Farm Share Food Distribution. The event took place on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Goulds Park in South Miami Dade. Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers employees volunteered their time to distribute free food to the South Miami-Dade community.

Stephanie’s Life Changing Testimonial


I always wanted to work in the medical field but without the actual medical part like needles! So when I saw the ad in the newspaper it instantly caught my attention.

I referred my fiance because we have a 2 month old baby girl and we need to improve ourselves for the sake of our daughter. I find it so easy and fun to do the online classes so I thought it would be a good idea for us!  I also referred my friend who is a full time worker and also a single mom of three and I thought it would be a great idea for her to enroll because you manage your own time and nobody is rushing you.

I absolutely love the fact that everything you need is right there, you don’t have the hassle of looking everywhere and not being able to find it.

They actually make it interesting so you never want to stop!

Stephanie R.

Farm Share

Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers partnered with Hope for Miami for its 2nd Annual South Dade Farm Share Food Distribution. The event took place on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Goulds Park in South Miami Dade. Over 12 Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers employees volunteered their time to distribute free food to the South Miami-Dade community.

Having a Positive Attitude at Work

Fun fact: Nobody likes to work with a downer. Having a lousy attitude at work is going to hurt you no matter how well you do your job. That’s why it’s so important to cultivate positivity—you’ll have a much better shot at getting a job or getting ahead at the one you already have.

Here’s a few ways to have a more positive attitude, even when you don’t feel like it.

1. Don’t fake it.
That’s right: you don’t have to pretend to be in a fantastic mood when you aren’t. You don’t have to walk around the office all day beaming as if you’ve achieved nirvana, but you do have to be mindful of other people. Don’t snap at your co-workers or walk around in a huff if you’ve had a “not so great” morning. Take a deep breath and remind yourself to be polite.

2. It’s better to say “yes” than “no.”
Here’s a scenario: Your boss comes to you with a ridiculous idea that you know will not work. You say, “No way.” Your boss tells you to do it anyway and now you’re both in a lousy mood.

Now here’s an alternate scenario: Your boss comes to you with a ridiculous idea that you know will not work in a million years. You say, “Yes, but can we talk it through first?”

Which scenario will make you seem more amenable? Which scenario shows that you’re paying attention to your work?

3. Ask questions.
This one works in and out of the office: Try to remember a few personal (but not too personal) things about a co-worker and occasionally ask about them. Does the lady down the hall have a son in college? Ask how he’s enjoying his studies. Does the guy in the next cube have a picture of his car on his desk? Ask him about it.

Be careful, you don’t want to get sucked into a 20-minute conversation at work; but if you remember other peoples’ interests, they’re going to remember you as a pleasure to work with.

4. Don’t ever complain or gossip.
This one may be the toughest for some people. Like we said above, you don’t have to pretend to be on cloud nine when you feel like you’re wallowing in mud. But if you feel overworked or disgruntled for any reason, talk to your boss. Resist the urge to complain about it to colleagues, even when they’re close friends.

The same goes for gossip. If someone starts gossiping in the office, don’t feel like you have to cover your ears and run away, just don’t add to the conversation. Don’t ask for details. People will trust you more if you don’t gossip.

5. Say nice things about yourself, to yourself.
At least once a day, look in a mirror and remember something that you like about yourself, no matter how big or small. It could be that you volunteer at the soup kitchen every weekend or that you’re a really good dancer or that you’re good at math. When you remember to be positive with yourself, it’s easier to spread positivity to others.

For more information about this blog or others please contact Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers at 888-872-4677 or visit us at
Our mission is to Improve Lives through Education!

When English Isn’t Your First Language

Children are little sponges, soaking up new words, but most adults have a hard time learning a new language.

There is a bright side. First of all, if you’re learning English, you’re not alone: there are millions of English language learners in the U.S. right now and a significant proportion of them are adults. Second, it can be done! Like anything worth doing, learning English is simply a matter of practice. For those of us with a job, a family or both, it may be tough to find the time. So here’s a few ways that you can start bettering your English right away.

1. Earn a Certificate in ESL from Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers. Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers has a team of dedicated, experienced instructors that can prepare you for college-level English and can even administer the TOEFL exam required to enter college. The program progresses through three levels of proficiency: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Each level focuses on English as it is heard, spoken and written in the college setting. Most importantly, included in the program is plenty of conversational practice!

“My instructors are very helpful. They encourage and motivate me with my studies. They are always available when we need some help or if I need an explanation about anything. I feel that I am progressing, my communicative skills are improving little by little. I like the course, the lectures help me a lot to better my communicative skills, also if I am in doubt the instructors always have time for me they never say no. I feel like I would recommend this school to friends and family members.”

Yanet F.
Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers ESL Graduate

2. Practice every day. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. So pick your time and do the best you can. If it’s 10 minutes each morning, that’s over an hour per week.

3. Speak English! This may seem obvious, but one big barrier to learning a new language is fear of embarrassment. The reality is that most people like helping others, especially if you ask specific questions. Try it with a co-worker.

For more information about this blog or others please contact Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers at 888-872-4677 or visit us at
Our mission is to Improve Lives through Education!