Friday, September 19, 2014

Pros and Cons of a part time job

 There are a laundry list of pros and cons when it comes to working while in university. In order to decide if working while in school is right for you, ponder the following before making a decision.


Money money money. An obvious perk to working. You can pay your bills, get faster internet on your phone ( to help with homework... obviously!), or buy that organic chocolate milk that you like. Having a bit of extra cash can go a long way to reducing your anxiety if you are worried about making ends meet. Everyone's expenses differ, so figure out your budget and know exactly how much you need each month and work from there. You may find that you cant balance your budget and therefore have to work, or maybe you can squeak by with bursarys and OSAP.

Working gives you experience , so you can get a job, so you can get experience, so you can get a job...
The cycle continues. Even if you are working at a burger joint you will be gaining work experience, time management skills, and valuable transferable skills that you can put on your resume.

You may enjoy the strict non academic time that work provides and find that you return to your academic work refreshed. I know I did!


Working lots gives you money, but it takes you away from your studies. School can be hard to balance even without any work, so add 8, 16, or 24 hours of work and your homework can quickly get away from you. It is nearly impossible to do school work AT work, since you need to be focused on your job. On the flip side, if you are stressed out about school, you will be less productive at work which bosses notice!

Depending on your work environment, working during the school year may add unnecessary stress to your life. Demanding fast paced environments are difficult at the best of times, and can become even harder to handle when you have so much else on your plate. Choose your workplace wisely.

All that work for not a lot of money! Minimum wage can be a nice supplement for other income sources that you may have, but it can be challenging  to rack up those bucks on minimum wage.

Taking all of this in to account, think carefully about what is right for  you. You may be able to balance work and school, but you may encounter challenges. Only you know best!

Good luck Badgers!

Becky White
4th Year Tourism and Environment (Hons.)
Lead Career Assistant

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to Contact Us!

To help start off the 2014-2015 school year, we at Career Services felt that showing students the many different ways to contact us and use our resources would be beneficial! Everyone likes options, have you ever felt like there just weren't enough options? Fortunately for you, Career Services offers a variety of ways to contact us, for any situation! Stuck in your room with the flu, but really want your resume reviewed? Thought of a question to ask about your degree options, but you’re not at Brock at the time? Had a moment of inspiration where you thought about law school, but you don’t really know much about it? Maybe you thought of an exciting career and you want to know how to get there! Whatever it may be, feel free to come to Career Services for all advice and help on career-related matters.

Here are the ways you can use our services:

Career Email: You can email us at any time for document reviews (attach your documents!), as well as any other questions that you may have relating to Career Services. We can respond within 24 hours during office hours, so if you can't make it to the resource centre just send us an email!

Blog comments: Right here! We are always monitoring our blog, and if you have any questions about the material we post here, or anything else for that matter, feel free to post in the comments down below and we will get right back to you!

Facebook: We're on Facebook! We are always posting useful information on upcoming events that are filled with Volunteer and Job opportunities, so "Like" our mascot JackMcIsaac on Facebook and stay in the loop!

Twitter: Follow us on Twitter! @JackMcIsaac is always tweeting and re-tweeting job opportunities and events. Jack is following an incredible amount of employers and job boards, and our twitter account is a great way to stay updated.

Chat: Did you know that we have a Chat function? There is a small box located at the bottom right of the screen where there is a chat function built into our page. You can click on that and ask any question that you may have for us! While we are online a Senior Career Assistant can respond to your question quickly. If we are not online, you can still talk to us through the chat, just leave us an email to respond to your question with and the career email will get back to you!

Drop-in: Then there's the good old-fashion Resource Centre, located in the Learning Commons here at Brock. During our office hours, 9-4:30 Monday - Friday, you can drop in and use our services completely free! Come in for resume and cover letter reviews, job search strategies, job postings, degree exploration, self-assessments, career planning, anything related to careers is our function and we are always happy to help!

That's a lot of options. Feel free to use them all! No matter the situation, Career Services is just a moment away, ready to help.

Anthony Mancuso, Senior Career Assistant, 3rd Year Sport Management Student

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Upcoming Career Events!

To mark the beginning of 2014-2015, Career Services has lots of opportunities for students to find employment and to get involved in volunteering around Niagara! Two major events that are coming up are the VolunteerFEST held at Brock University, and also the Shop For Jobs Fair held at the Pen Centre shopping mall.

Whether you want to make some extra money while at school or if you just want to volunteer for a little while, these events could help you find what you are searching for! Participating in experiences such as volunteering or employment not only add to your resume but also help you become a well rounded person that knows how to manage their time efficiently.

VolunteerFEST is an event for all students looking for opportunities to get involved in the community. This event is partnered with Student Life and Community Engagement at Brock, along with the Brock University Student Union. With a great number of companies and programs attending the event, you are bound to find something that interests you! VolunteerFEST will be held on Thursday September 11th from 10am-2pm in the Guernsey Marketplace. If you are looking to add some experience to your resume, come check it out!

Shop for Jobs Fair is an event held at the Pen Centre shopping mall for students looking for employment close to Brock University. Although it is not on campus, the Pen Centre is a short drive or bus ride from Brock. Stores all around the mall will set up tables on September 16th from 12pm-6pm for students to approach and drop their resumes off to. You should be prepared to have an interview right on the spot so make sure you dress interview-appropriate and have lots of resumes with you! Also, make sure you bring a reference list to hand to the employer after the interview.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Welcome back students and welcome new Career Assistants!

Welcome back BrockU students! We hope everyone had a terrific summer break and are ready to be back at school. We have already seen a bunch of new faces come into the Career Resource Centre which has been so exciting for us. We have a lot to offer to all students so don't be afraid to come check out the centre on the first floor of the James A. Gibson Library.

Our hours for Fall/Winter 2014-15 are Monday through Friday from 9am-4:30pm.

If you stop by the Career Resource Centre you will notice some new faces here too! We have seven new team members that are hard at work training to give you the best information that they can! I have asked them to write a little but about themselves, what they did this summer, and why they wanted to be a Career Assistant:

Tyler Harris:

Tyler is in his third year of Psychology and wanted to become a Career Assistant because he is always looking for ways to help students. He found this job unique because it helps himself develop into the career world and he can also assist students with this same goal. This summer he competed in the World Pipe Band Champions in Glasgow, Scotland! This year he plans on competing with his bagpipes on a solo scale nationally and internationally. We are so excited to have such a musical and adventurous team member like you this year!

Wajeeh Alvi:

Wajeeh is studying Computer Science (co-op) with a minor in Business and pursuing a concentration in Artificial Intelligence (AI). After graduation he is looking forward to working in his field and furthering his freelance web design career. Wajeeh wanted to be a Career Assistant because he is genuinely interested in helping people with their career development and would like to be able to give career advice. We know you will be able to bring many good resources to the BrockU community Wajeeh!

Scarlet Stark:

Scarlet is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy, she would like to become a school adviser or counselor in a secondary or post-secondary level of education! This summer she enjoyed going to a lot of fun concerts and taking some time off to relax. This fall she is looking forward to going to the Fleetwood Mac concert with a friend! Scarlet wanted to become a Career Assistant because she was looking for a position that gave meaningful outcomes, like helping someone find a job! You're so sweet Scarlet and we look forward to working with you this year! 

Sarah Mitchinson:

Sarah is currently studying Psychology with a minor in Sociology at Brock. After graduation she would like to attend grad school to continue her studies in Psychology. Something exciting that she has planned for this year is going snowboarding in New York when the snow starts to fall. Sounds like so much fun Sarah! We are happy to have you with us this year.

Simon Drum:

Simon is one of our first Graduate Career Assistants! He is taking his MA in Applied Health Sciences (Health and Physical Education), specializing in Sport Psychology. As a huge sport fan, a highlight of his summer this year was going to Pittsburgh and Boston to see the iconic ball parks that they have! As a Graduate Career Assistant, he looks forward to growing the capacity of Brock Career Services to assist grad students with their career paths. We look forward to hearing all your ideas Simon!

Monika Parsons:

Monika is also one of our first Graduate Career Assistants! She is taking her MA in Child and Youth Studies. Upon graduation she would like to work in a Residential Treatment setting for children, advocate, teach/mentor relational child and youth care (CYC) practice. Something exciting she did over the summer was travelling to St. John's, Newfoundland and hiking part of the East Coast Trail with a toddler strapped on her back! She wanted to be a Graduate Career Assistant to assist peers with achieving their goals and create future plans that will lead them to success. We feel very fortunate to have an individual like you join our team this year!

Kaitlyn Daw:

Kaitlyn is studying English, Language and Literature with a minor in Applied Computing here at Brock! After graduation she would like to attend Humber College to complete a program in Creative Publishing as well as a program in Graphic Design. Something exciting she has planned for this year is being the head of Brock Eco Clubs fundraising committee! Kaitlyn wanted to become a Career Assistant because she wants to help other people see the value in their degree and assist them in their search for a career they will love. We know Kaitlyn is going to make a great editor with her background in English!

As a team, we look forward to working with all of you this year! We hope you learn and develop essential job market skills that will allow you to assist others in reaching their career goals. We look forward to hearing all of your ideas and helping you make an impact on our 2014-2015 team!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Resources and Training Week Hours!

Is it almost back-to-school time already...

With only two weeks left until we jump into a new school year, we have been busy receiving updated books and magazines for the Resource Centre and also preparing the materials for our Career Assistant Training Week!

If you are just as excited as us to get back to school, you will be excited to hear about the new resources we have to offer to the Brock community. We have extended our book collection in the areas of online job search, networking, and using social media professionally to build your personal brand. These are key areas to gain knowledge in if you are going into your graduating year and planning to hit the job market! Please feel free to come in and browse these resources!

We have also updated our online job postings board website! It has a great new look and feel to it and is now easier to use then ever! However, CareerZone is not only a job posting board, it also includes an Online Resource Centre full of resources, information and handouts for students to use to develop their career documents and improve their job search! It also holds a Career Services Events calendar that lists the upcoming job fairs, workshops, and other career related activities around campus. Make sure you check out the new and improved CareerZone.

As for next week...

During our Career Assistant Training Week the Resource Centre will be closed. It runs from Monday, August 25th to Friday, August 29th. We will be reopened for the new fall semester on Tuesday, September 2nd. Our hours of operation at the Resource Centre starting on September 2nd will be Monday to Friday from 9am-4:30pm.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Balancing Work and School

Did you know... According to the Canadian University Survey Consortium study 56 per cent of undergraduates in Canada work. 
(Serebrin, Jacob. "More students balance school with jobs."

That's a lot of students. With school being just around the corner, people are beginning to feel their long summer days slip away. Soon students will be saying goodbye to their summer jobs and looking forward to going back to university or college. Many students obtain a part-time job throughout the school year. Sometimes things can get overwhelming when trying to balance work and school. I have made up a few suggestions to help students manage their time better to reduce stress and increase their productivity:

1) Make organization a top priority. When dealing with school and work you have a lot of things to consider while making up your schedule. Firstly, try to organize your timetable, and syllabus' onto a calendar so then you are aware of class times, due dates, and the estimated time it will take you to complete your assignments. Organization is extremely important for a well balanced university experience. It may take a few late nights and early mornings for new students to figure this out, but the quicker you do the easier life gets.

2) Find a position that's flexible. The reason for this is because your employer will need to understand that school is your number one responsibility and their may be times (for example: during finals) when you need a little more extra time hitting the books. A lot of on-campus positions are great at working around school schedules. Also, working at companies such as Starbucks or Tim Hortons that hire a lot of people make it easy to switch around shifts.

3) Avoid distractions! One of the biggest issues today is students being distracted by social media and the internet. I know that it is hard to turn of Netflix or ignore that it's #throwbackthursday but all of these things take up time in your day that you could be using productively. I'm not saying to totally boycott your social media and TV show priorities because it is healthy to have some downtime, but watching 6 episodes of your favourite show or tweeting 13 times a day isn't exactly using your time effectively.

4) Create daily goals. Making a list of things you would like to accomplish in the day can certainly help you stay organized and on track. Take 10 minutes to organize your thoughts and your day so you don't spend that amount of time in between accomplishments trying to figure out what you were supposed to do next.

5) Visit your Career Resource Centre. If you are having a hard time developing your resume or cover letter for job applications or simply don't know where to start looking, come and see us at the Resource Centre in the library. We can also help you set your goals (both long term and short term) and give you tips on how to manage your time effectively throughout the year.

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Career Assistant, 3rd year I/S Concurrent Education: Visual Arts student

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Resource Review: Degree Exploration Guides

Have you ever been confused about what you're going to do with your degree or why you are studying  so hard right now? Some students feel overwhelmed in their second or third year about what they will end up doing at the end of their degree. People worry about finding employment  and sometimes feel like they need to switch programs or degrees in order to meet the demands of the job market. Something I always ask students when they approach the Resource Centre with these issues is to think about why they chose this route, why they enjoy what they study, and lastly why they would want to change what they enjoy just because it may be a bit harder to find a job?

In order to calm them down and reassure them that there are many opportunities for every area of study, we have the Degree Exploration Guides (DEGs). These lovely cards are a run down of what "Career Options" you have (not all are listed but their is just enough variety for the student to see that there are many options). They also include "Degree Specific Skills" that can be talked about in the students resume and cover letter. These skills help explain why a person from a certain degree could fit into different roles and professions other then the obvious ones.

The DEGs also include web links to Professional Associations, Job Search Resources, Internships and Volunteering. After these have been explored by the student they become even more reassured about the opportunities that are really out there. Sometimes it is just a matter of opening your eyes and thinking more about what skills you have learned from studying your degree (such as time management, organization, communication, etc.)  and not necessarily every bit of content you were taught. Below is an example of of Degree Exploration Guide with the Child and Youth Studies degree.

If you are wondering what you are going to do with your degree or would like resources to help you find opportunities visit our website to look at all the different DEGs we have or come into the Resource Centre to talk to a Career Assistant about the DEGs! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Niagara Artists Centre: STRUTT Call for Submissions!

In Niagara we are lucky to have a great community that loves art and culture! The Niagara Artists Centre is a part of that community and they are looking to help artists show their wearable art this year! If you are studying Visual Arts or you are a graduate from Visual Arts you can appreciate this opportunity that NAC is offering.

Currently, I am going into my third year of Visual Arts, concentrating in Intermedia and Design. I know I want to take my career in a direction that uses the applications of other media to impact lives. Opportunities like this one help me discover how I can do that. It also builds up great experience on your resume and in your portfolio! Another great thing about not only showing your work but also just attending the event! Attending the event is a great way to network with other artists and professionals and gain connections within this community. You can learn a lot from talking with someone who has had years of experience within this field.

If you are living in Niagara and has a passionate interest in wearable art and transforming the human body then check out this website for more information about submissions:

Below are some photos from STRUTT 2013

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Online Resource Review: Ten Thousand Coffees!

In a time when networking is one of the most important aspects of job seeking, meeting up with a professional for coffee would be a fantastic learning experience. Ten Thousand Coffees is an online mentoring website for students and recent grads to use to connect with professionals in a wide range of fields. Ten Thousand Coffees lets you create a profile and then look up different professionals by industry. For example: Finance, Arts, Marketing & Ad, Science, etc. After finding someone with a desired career of yours you can look at their profile to read a little bit about them and then decide if you want to meet with them for coffee, email them, or call them.
     Having a conversation with someone who has years of experience can help you pursue your own passions and dreams. Along with that you will instantly be networking with people who are developed in their careers.    
     The professionals on Ten Thousand Coffees are able to help give you advice on your career, job searching, what qualifications people are looking for and how you can go about finding opportunity. They are giving their time to act as a mentor to the next generation.
     If you're interested in getting more information on the job market, a specific industry, or just some over all career advise then I recommend you try out this resource! It can be a lot of fun browsing through the profiles and thinking about what you would ask them if you had the chance. Now you do have the chance so don't be shy :). We would love to know what you think of it, comment below with your thoughts!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Resource Review: The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success!

Here at Brock University we try to help students with as much as we possibly can. Something that has become a very popular question from our students is how to use LinkedIn effectively for job search and networking. Lately we have received some new resources to add to our library that can help answer that question.

The resource I am going to be focusing on is "The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success" written by Wayne Breitbarth. This is a great how-to book on one of the fastest growing social media platforms out there today. The reason why it is so popular? It helps lead people to networks, personal branding and of course careers.The world has become increasingly globalized in the last decade that we depend on sites such as LinkedIn and networks to connect us with professionals all around the world.

Breitbarth explains how LinkedIn can be used as a tool, just like a hammer or drill. It has a reason and can be used to do a job correctly. To obtain success from LinkedIn he lays out a formula to follow:

Your Unique Experience + Your Unique Relationships + the Tool (LinkedIn) = The Power

Breitbarth also says that along with these 3 components is how you display yourself online. Everything from your photograph to your headline are important things to keep in mind. Professionalism is key to having a successful LinkedIn account. 

Later, he explained how joining groups and making connections with professionals is important for those especially looking for jobs and connections. Joining groups will increase the likelihood of you becoming discovered over LinkedIn. LinkedIn may be a new and developing tool to use but if you combine what you know with who you know you will see how it can be rewarding. 

The best part of this resource in my opinion is the Profile Perfection Checklist it gives us at the end. It reminds you about all the tips and tricks throughout the book and how to use them. This is a great resource for university and college students looking into their future. Come in to visit us in the library to check it out for yourself!  

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Graphics and Promotions/Career Assistant, Intermediate/Senior Concurrent Education, Visual Arts