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Brinya V.
Former Business Management Consultant with Tutoring Experience
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Microsoft Suite
TutorMe
Question:

How can you count the number of instances of a specific word in a set of data using Microsoft Excel?

Brinya V.
Answer:

You can count the number of instances of a specific word in a set of data using the COUNTIF function in Microsoft Excel. Let's look at a specific example to see how to use the COUNTIF function. For this example, a salesman, Mark, adds a client's name and address to a spreadsheet each time he makes a sale. Mark's manager asks how many sales he has made in the city of South Bend. Mark needs to count the number of times the city of South Bend is listed on his spreadsheet. As Mark makes a lot of sales, counting the instances of this specific city manually would take significant time, and he is worried about human error. Mark can use the COUNTIF function to count the number of times the word South Bend appears on his spreadsheet. Here are the steps Mark follows to successfully return the correct value using the COUNTIF function: 1. Place the cursor in an empty cell on the Excel spreadsheet. The COUNTIF function will return the correct value in this cell. In this example, the COUNTIF function will return the number of times South Bend is found in the range of data Mark selects. 2. Begin to type the COUNTIF function in the formula bar. In Microsoft Excel, an equals sign is used at the beginning of a formula. Mark should first type =COUNTIF in the formula bar to tell Excel that he will be using the COUNTIF formula. 3. Next, Mark will need to add the proper inputs to the COUNTIF formula. He will place the inputs, separated by a comma, in parentheses after the =COUNTIF. The COUNTIF formula requires two inputs: range and criteria. The final formula should read =COUNTIF(range, criteria). 4. Mark needs to identify the proper inputs to complete his formula. In this formula, the range refers to the group of cells on the spreadsheet that the formula will count. Say the city name is in column D on Mark's spreadsheet. The last entry is in row 225. After typing the left parentheses, Mark selects the range by clicking on cell D1, holding down the mouse, and dragging to select cells D1 through D225. A colored box will surround the cells that are selected. This is an important step; If Mark only selects cells D1 through D50, the COUNTIF formula will not count the number of times South Bend is used in cells D51 through D225. When Mark selects the correct cells, the formula will autopopulate to read =COUNTIF(D1:D225 5. Mark needs to designate the criteria. In this case, he wants the formula to count the instances of the city South Bend in the selected range of cells D1:D225. Mark will follow the range with a comma and type his criteria, "South Bend," in quotes. As this is a mathematical formula, the COUNTIF function will only count instances when the city is spelled correctly. Mark finishes the formula by adding the second parentheses. The final formula should now read =COUNTIF(D1:D225, "South Bend") 6. When Mark presses enter, the correct value will be returned in his cell. For example, if there are 35 instances of "South Bend" in column D, Mark will see the number 35 on the cell in the spreadsheet. 7. In order to edit the formula, Mark clicks within the cell and makes adjustments in the formula bar. Only the resulting value is displayed within the cell.

Study Skills
TutorMe
Question:

How can general strategies be used to prepare for an interview or a test?

Brinya V.
Answer:

Using a strategy to study for an interview or a test can increase your confidence. Preparing a consistent, strategic approach allows you to stay calm and collected when a question catches you by surprise. As you deliver your answer under pressure, you can trust in your strategy to ensure your answer is clear, confident, and concise. As an example, let's review an approach I have used to successfully prepare for behavioral interviews: the STAR technique. In most interviews, interviewers use behavioral questions to discover how the interviewee acted in a specific situation. For example, an interviewer may ask you to give an example of a goal you reached and how you achieved it. I trust the popular "STAR" technique to prepare for behavioral interview questions. The STAR technique prepares you to answer behavioral interview questions by delivering a 4 part answer: 1. S ituation: first, describe a specific scenario to set the stage for your answer 2. T ask: next, explain your role or task in the scenario 3. A ction: then, specify the steps you, as an individual, took to achieve a goal or result 4. R esult: finally, conclude by detailing the results you achieved. Point out what you accomplished or learned. The STAR technique prepares you to give a strong, specific, supported answer instead of a vague or general response. Without knowledge of the specific questions an interviewer may ask, prepare for the interview by identifying personal experiences and describing them using the STAR technique. First, choose 4-5 relevant personal experiences. Use the job description to identify key skills for the position and pinpoint situations during which you have used those skills. Next, write down your STAR answer for each personal experience. Describe the general SITUATION; explain your specific role or TASK; describe the ACTION you took; and detail how your action lead to a positive RESULT. Writing down responses helps commit them to memory and allows you to recognize points of weakness in your response. Finally, practice speaking your answers out loud. Practice speaking about the STAR situations candidly instead of memorizing the notes you wrote. Even if you do not use one of the personal experiences you prepared, this preparation strategy will give you confidence to deliver a clear, concise STAR responses to whatever questions you are asked.

Business
TutorMe
Question:

Use examples to explain the roles of both the principal and the agent in a principal-agent relationship; then, explain how information asymmetry may adversely affect a principal-agent relationship.

Brinya V.
Answer:

In a principal-agent relationship, one entity (the principal) legally appoints a second entity (the agent) to act on its behalf. By formally entering into a principal-agent relationship, the agent accepts an obligation to act in the principal's best interest. Principal-agent relationships exist frequently in business transactions. For example, when a homeowner formally employs a plumber to fix a leaky faucet, a simple principle-agent relationship exists. The homeowner (the principal) expects the plumber (the agent) to provide service consistent with his or her expertise, fixing the leaky faucet in an honest, timely manner. In exchange, the plumber expects the homeowner to be compensated fairly in accordance with the terms of employment. In large public corporations, a principal-agent relationship exists between the shareholders and the corporation's management. The shareholders, acting as the principal, appoint the corporation's management. As legal agents to its shareholders, a corporation's management is expected to make decisions in the best interest of the shareholders, which often means maximizing the return on the shareholders' investments. In some relationships, the principal and the agent have different levels of information; this information asymmetry may adversely affect the relationship. Because the principal may not be able to monitor the agent completely, the agent may have more information about his or her actions or incentives than the principal. The agent may decide to prioritize his or her own interest and act in a way that is costly to the principal. For example, in a principal-agent relationship between a homeowner and a plumber, the plumber usually has more information about the severity of the problem that needs to be fixed and that amount of time the solution will require. If the plumber is being paid hourly, he or she may take advantage of this information asymmetry and spend a longer time fixing the problem in order to receive higher pay for the job. The plumber (the agent) acts in his or her own interest and the homeowner (the principal) incurs a higher cost.

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