Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Meet the Staff!


Kara
Resource Coordinator and Faculty Liaison
Kara has devoted her life’s work to supporting the career development needs of students in higher education.  As Resource Coordinator and Faculty Liaison with Career Services at Brock University, Kara provides career coaching and facilitates support services to help students explore career possibilities, identify skills, and find meaningful work.  Kara is also a part-time student in the Masters of Education program at Brock University.  Outside of work, Kara loves spending time with her family and friends, playing competitive music trivia, and is a lover of food and wine.
                                                   


Scarlet
Lead Career Assistant 
Scarlet is in her last year of the Psychology program here at Brock! She is also a Research Assistant in two different labs within the Psychology department, and a Lead Career Assistant for Career Services! Scarlet looks forward to having a fabulous final year at Brock and hopes to see some new and familiar faces in Careerzone. 







Lydia
Senior Career Assistant 
Goofy with a love for cats, Lydia is a fourth year English, Language and Literature student with a passion for writing and social issues. This is her second year working in Career Services! She is very involved on campus, and enjoys assisting in personal development and watching people achieve their goals.




Tyler 

Lead Career Assistant 
Tyler is a Lead Career Assistant in CareerZone. He is also the President of the Psychology Society (club was able to increase the membership by 76% in 48 hours.) He also plays a variety of music which has led him to travel internationally both teaching and performing. He hopes all of the Badgers have a great year!



Sean
Senior Career Assistant 
Sean is a third year Accounting student with a minor in Applied Computing. This will be his second year with Career Services. In his spare time, you can find him getting involved with The Goodman School of Business, dancing, and watching Netflix. Sean is so excited to meet new faces at Brock!
                                                    

André
Senior Career Assistant 
André is a third year Business Administration student at Brock. He is a Senior Career Assistant and Mentorship Plus Assistant. This year, André is excited about the opportunity to spread his knowledge of Brock with new students and help people find jobs. 










Chelsey
Career Assistant 
Chelsey is in her second year of the Honours Psychology program (Co-op.) She is excited to work at CareerZone this year so that she can help students find their passion and incorporate it into a career!

                                                          
Daniel
Career Assistant 
Daniel is a second year Kinesiology student with a love for sports, exercise, nutrition and politics. He looks forward to working with a good team and helping other students find jobs!


Akayla
Career Assistant 
Akayla is currently in her second year at Brock, in the Biomedical Science program. She is a member of the Brock Leader's Citizenship Society and has been involved with many on campus initiatives. A few of her personal interests include traveling, volunteering, and trying new things! Akayla is very excited to work at Career Services because she gets to be in a team environment and help other students succeed!


Julia
Career Assistant
Julia is a 4th year Labour Studies major who is passionate about her program. She is a friendly green tea lover who enjoys being adventurous and trying new things. There are so many great reasons why she is excited to join the Career Services team. Most importantly, as a Career Assistant she is able to help students achieve their goals!




Victoria
Career Assistant 
Victoria is in her second year at Brock in a combined Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology. She enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and anything that is Game of Thrones related. Victoria is excited to have the opportunity to assist other students in preparation for their futures! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Welcome Back Badgers!

Welcome Back Badgers!

The 2016/2017 school year has officially begun! Now that Frosh Week is over, it's time to get down to business!

Although we try our BEST to market our services through social media and word of mouth, I thought starting the year with a short blog outlining how we can help you make this your best year yet might be beneficial for both new & returning students!

To start, we offer review services for resumes, cover letters, letters of intent, portfolios and LinkedIn profiles. We also offer interview tips & tricks! If you are wondering how to find a job on campus or off campus or are interested in volunteering, head to careerzone.brocku.ca and check out our job board! In addition, we have an "Events" tab via CareerZone tab with some exciting upcoming job/volunteer fairs! And for those students who are maybe wondering "What can I do with my degree?!", come see us to pick up a degree exploration guide!

Can't make it in to see us? No worries! Visit our online resource centre at careerzone.brocku.ca!

We hope to see you in the centre soon!

Scarlet Stark
Lead Career Assistant
4th Year Psychology Major


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

4 Tips for Social Media in Job Search

Some may beg to differ, but social media is great. It's prominent in this generation and allows us to connect with friends, family members, and other individuals all around the world. There are plenty of benefits to having these outlet and if used properly, social media can be incredibly useful for job searching. Here are 4 tips to enhance and protect your online presence:

1) Have "The Talk" With Your Friends
I get it. You've had some crazy nights out and maybe you didn't realize that your friends were documenting your shenanigans. You take a look online the morning after and see you're tagged in 8 different posts. You figure that employers won't see, so you assume it won't matter, right? WRONG. Don't let it slide. Any pictures online that were not uploaded by you CAN be deleted. Kindly ask your friend to remove the picture, untag yourself, or report the content if needed. Employers spend a lot of time online looking up current or future employees, don't jeopardize possible opportunities.

2) Keep it Consistent
There are so many social media platforms, and the number seems to only be going up. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more, it's easy to keep each channel different. Instead, try to keep it as consistent as possible. From your profile picture, to the actual content you share. This will give employers a general idea of your background, interests and values.

3) NO TRASH TALK ALLOWED
Never, I repeat, NEVER, bash employers,coworkers or organizations on social media. Even if you no longer work there or with that person, posting disrespectful or threatening messages about an individual or company could land you in a lot of trouble.


4) Put the Effort in
Up-keeping your social media channels takes time, and that's okay. It's taken me a year to get to "All-star" on LinkedIn, and I'm still constantly updating it in order to improve my online presence. This is important to do on all of your platforms. Dedicate some time to look through pictures or posts you're tagged in or have uploaded, and decide what is appropriate to keep and what can be deleted. Have a social media clean up. That includes getting rid of friends or followers that might need to go. Take the time and put the effort in to market yourself as best as you can to possible employers.

Lydia Collins
Senior Career Assistant 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Let's Talk About Achievement Statements

The dreaded achievement statement; it can take hours to perfect but only 3 seconds for an employer to read. Trust me when I say I know how annoying it can be to formulate one of these things, but it will certainly be worth it in the end. This post will show you step-by-step how to put together one of these statements in the simplest way. 

To make this process easier to understand, I'm going to break it down using the C.A.R method. This stands for Challenge, Action and Result. These three components are vital to the success of your achievement statement. 


Step 1: Challenge and Action
In an achievement statement, the challenge and action go hand-in-hand. This is how you will describe what you did in a role. For example "Assist students by working with them one-on-one and reviewing their professional documents." This gives  the employer a sense of what you did, and the steps you took to do it. 

Step 2: Result 
This part is most commonly left out, and I can understand why. For most of us-especially young students who have had unpleasant job experiences- we don't look too much into the overall bigger picture of our contributions in a role, because we simply just did what we were told. Many people tend to only list the action and fail to include the challenge and result. For example "cleaned floors, served food, etc." It's important to include the result so that the employer is clear on which skills you've  gained and what came out of the work that you put in. A great way to include the result is by following the challenge and action with "in order to..." An example of a result would be "in order to increase their chances of obtaining employment." 

Step 3: Finished Product
Now that you've completed those steps, simply put it all together: 

"Assists students by reviewing their professional documents in order to increase their chances of obtaining employment."

It can seem overwhelming at first, but once you start it will get easier to do. Follow these steps and become an achievement statement writing pro! 


Lydia Collins
Senior Career Assistant 

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Been Real...but What's Next?

We have officially kicked off Spring Convocation week, Badgers! Congratulations to all who will be walking across that stage and entering a new chapter in their life. You've spent four years or so working towards getting into the field you love. Now that it's over, where do you go from here? Whether you are going on to pursue further education, travel the world, or go directly into your career, we want to help! 

Transitioning from university can be nerve-racking, overwhelming and stressful, but mostly, it should be exciting! The hard work you put in has paid off, so start with being proud of yourself. 

Although you may no longer be an undergraduate at Brock, you'll always be a Badger, and with being a Badger comes benefits. We value our alumni and want to ensure that you are provided with the necessary tools and resources to make the most of your degree. Our services are indeed still open to you and we are happy to assist with your next steps. As a New Graduate, some reasons you should stop by the Resource Centre are: 


  • Get Your Professional Documents Reviewed. You now have the skills and abilities to do the job, but making sure that you can showcase it in the best way possible on your resume, CV or cover letter will be a big factor in determining whether or not you land the position. 
  • Pick Up a DEG. Degree exploration is something you'll do now more than ever. Come grab a Degree Exploration Guide for your program to look at possible career options and professional associations you could join!
  • Look Through our Going Abroad Resources. If travelling is something you are itching to do now that your undergraduate experience has come to an end, then be sure to look at our Going Abroad resources! Whether you want to teach in Korea or volunteer in Spain, we can help you figure out how to work your way around the world!
  • Careerzone. One thing you won't have to leave behind as a New Graduate, is Careerzone. This Brock exclusive job posting portal is still accessible to you, as long as you remember to set up your alumni account! Check it out for workshops and other resources as well.
Just because you are no longer enrolled as a Brock undergraduate, you are still part of the Brock community, and we are always happy to help. For those of you who are not local and are still interested in using our services, email us at career@brocku.ca, or message us directly on our Online Chat, accessible through the career services website. 

Time to take the next step into your future!

Lydia Collins
Senior Career Assistant 



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Get Your D.E.G On!

Get excited everyone, because I know I am! Today we're going to take a trip to the great world of D.E.G. What exactly is a D.E.G, you ask? Well I'm here to tell you! A Degree Exploration Guide is one of our most popular resources here in the Centre, and tends to be incredibly useful for the students, alumni, and community members that we work with. There is a guide for each program that Brock has to offer, and they're even colour-coded according to faculty! These resources are used to allow individuals to further explore their career options based on their program. D.E.G's are generally broken down into seven sections: 

Career Options
here you can find various possible career paths based on the skills you've acquired from your program. If you're having trouble understanding which career would be best suited for you (like most of us,) then this section will surely be a step in the right direction!

Degree Specific Skills
This handy section allows you to understand which skills will be most desired by employers in your field of interest. Familiarize yourself with these to know what to highlight in your resume and cover letter in order to impress that potential employer! 

General Business Directories
Here you can see some of the most popular business directories. Depending on your program, they will vary, however there are quite a few that will be relevant regardless of your program.This includes www.yellowpages.ca and www.informationniaga.com to name a few! 

Internships and Volunteering
Interested in taking part in a volunteer or internship opportunity that is relevant to your program? Look no further! Here you are provided with links to various opportunities that will allow you to gain real-world experience doing what you love! 

Further Education and Entrance Exams
For many of us, formal education doesn't stop after the undergraduate stage. For those who are interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees, this section will be helpful for you. It will provide you with entrance exam practice test resources and schools that offer your program. 
Professional Associations and Career Resources
Interested in being part of a professional association? Many of these are free to join and can be found easily online! This D.E.G section provides you with various professional associations in your field! 

Job Search Resources 
Under this section of the D.E.G you'll find links to various job searching sites, many of which will be specific to your field. This includes general job searching sites as well. Take a look!

Although they differ depending on the program, these are the general sections included on our D.E.G's. Whether you are interested in learning more about further education, job search information or are in need of exploring your career options, this handy resource will be useful for you! 
Lydia Collins
Senior Career Assistant 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Assess Yourself

We've all done it. In elementary school. In high school. Some of us have even done it at work. Those dreadful questionnaires that ask you to truthfully answer questions in order to know your personality type, and help you figure out which career path you'll go down. I spent years of my childhood convinced I'd be a cook, only to continuously have my results come back as bartender. I get it, they can be painful. Disappointing. Annoying. Especially when you don't get the answers you want. But I've got news for you...it gets better. Self-assessments can actually be incredibly beneficial when it comes to helping you better understand the career path best suited for you. Here are a few tips to keep in mind so that your self-assessment process isn't all bad. 


Let's Be Real Here
Seriously, be honest with yourself. If the assessment asks if you like something and you don't like it, don't say that you do. The key to getting the most out of an assessment is by being truthful and taking the time to think realistically about what you would actually like or tolerate in a work setting. Do you like working outdoors? Like working under tight deadlines? Great! As long as you answer truthfully, your results will make more sense. 

It's Not the Assessment, It's You 
I hate to break it to you, but you've changed. Believe it or not, the twelve year old version of yourself who answered in hopes that the results would come back "Unicorn Trainer" no longer exists. Throughout our personal and professional experiences, we grow (obviously,) and our interests, wants and needs change. Don't go into self assessments thinking the results will be the same now, as an adult, as they were when you were a child or teenager. 

Indecisive Isn't a Good Look
Please, I beg you, when the assessment asks if you enjoy working outdoors in all weather conditions, do not answer with "maybe" or "don't care," then be filled with rage when your results come back as "Greenhouse worker." Refrain from not caring when it comes to answering the questions. This will make your answers much more accurate and fitting to your interests. 

You Don't Need to Find Your Perfect Match
Focus less on the "perfect" job, and more on the skills. Many skills are transferable and could be used in various work settings. Think about your personal goals and passions, and the skills that you have that will be useful in your field of interest, now align that with the skills that are highlighted in the description of the jobs listed in your results. See any similarities? Yeah, you probably do!

Head to the Online Resource Centre on Careerzone and participate in a self-assessment. We offer Career Cruising, TypeFocus and Talentoday; each assessment is unique in its own way and will be beneficial to your career path search. For more information on self-assessments or questions regarding the process, drop in to the Resource Centre! 

Ladies and gents, it's time to assess yourself! 





Brockcareerserv 


Lydia Collins
Senior Career Assistant 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Have No Fear, We're Not Going Anywhere!

Hey Badgers, summertime is finally here (although the weather seems to suggest otherwise,) and that means it's time to relax...sort of. Whether you are on vacation, taking courses, or simply refusing to leave your bed until September, one thing to keep in mind is that our services can still be used! The Resource Centre will be open throughout the duration of the summer months from Monday to Friday from 9:00- 4:00. Here is some information about our services for the summer:

Who Am I? 
Different from the fall and winter terms, there will only be one Career Assistant in the Centre throughout the summer, and that's me! I'm a cat-loving Senior Career Assistant, as well as an English Language and Literature major who has just finished my third year. I am involved in Brock's English Students' Association, Young, Black and Educated (Y.B.E), Brock's East African Student Association (BEASA), and also work with the Brock Press. I hope my passion for understanding career related information, as well as my involvement on campus will allow me to assist you as best as possible. Stop by the Resource Centre this summer and say hi!

What Do We Do, Again? 

For those of you who may be unclear, have not been in the Centre, or cannot remember what it is that we do here, I'll give you a bit of a refresher. As Career Assistants, we handle almost any career related inquiries. The focus of our services tends to be on resume and cover letter reviews, but we also review documents such as portfolio's, CV's, and letters of intent. We also offer mock interviews, job search help and self-assessments. We have plenty of resources in the Centre to help you find employment, and better understand the career path you want to take!

Why Drop In?

The real question is "why not?" Many of you are recent graduates or are students still looking to obtain summer employment, so why not get some assistance to make your search a little easier? Whether you need a professional document reviewed, help figuring out what you want to do with your degree, interview tips, or simply just someone to discuss career related questions with, then this is the place for you! Fortunately, our services do not require an appointment and are open to students, alumni and community members.

I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones over the next few months! I'll be keeping you posted on the latest career events, job postings and more! Have a fun, productive, safe summer!




Brockcareerserv


Lydia Collins
Senior Career Assistant 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Journey at Career Services

At the end of April, my 3-year tenure at Career Services will come to an end. There has been somewhat of a Mancuso legacy here at Career Services; my sister Lia worked here for 3-years and became a Lead Career Assistant, and then I joined in the following year and worked for 3-years to also become a Lead Career Assistant! Career Services has been a vital part of my undergraduate career at Brock as it has helped shaped me to be the person I am today. I had the privilege of working with many talented and incredible people during my time, and I am excited to see what the future holds for this team.

Straight from the heart, I want to thank each and every Career Assistant who I worked with at Career Services during my 3-years; Ben, Jami, Brittany, Nella, Ashley, Becky, Erik, Alysha, Mike, Tyler, Wajeeh, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Scarlet, Simon, Monika, Sean, Lydia, and Andre. Each and every one of you had a profound impact on my development and my university life. I loved learning from each and every one of you and I really enjoyed mentoring all of the Career Assistants who came after me. Every year I worked here I learned something new from everyone I worked with. I also owe much of my success and my incredible time here to our supervisor, Resource Coordinator & Faculty Liaison Kara Renaud. Without your guidance, I simply would not be the same person I am today. That being said, I wanted to share some key pieces of advice that I learned while working here and throughout my university career.


DON'T LET OPPORTUNITY PASS YOU BY!
I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do when I graduated - I wanted to run my own hockey team as a general manager (like many aspiring Sport Management students think when they start university). I found that the more classes I took, the more clouded my career path became. In contrast, it was the volunteer and work experiences that did not directly relate to my career that ended up shaping who I want to be and my career path and goals. Simply put, you are a product of your environment. Living in a stagnant environment where you laser-focus on one particular job and only take experiences that directly relate to that end-goal is extremely limiting. 

Want to keep things exciting? Take that Ultimate Frisbee Referee volunteer position (note: it does not have to be ultimate frisbee or refereeing for that matter) and your entire world will change, albeit in a minor way, but enough to broaden your horizons. For me, being a painter for a summer and then being presented an opportunity to run my own painting business the following summer was life-changing. Painting does not relate to Sport Management, but the transferable business, marketing, training, customer service, and other skills are invaluable. I also worked at a pool store and learned invaluable customer service, problem-solving, and sales skills. Don't judge a book by its cover - don't let an opportunity pass you by! Consequently, understanding what you don't like is just as important as understanding what you do like. Use Career Services and CareerZone to identify opportunities and nail the interview. On that note...

YOU HAVE TIME - VOLUNTEER AND WORK.
There is a school of thought that in University your studies take up 100% of your time. That is a lie. Stop telling yourself that. Time management is an acquired skill that cannot be taught, only experienced and improved on with real-life experience. I know that some degrees are more demanding than others, and making sure that you have high grades is very important and school should always be your first priority. That being said, you would be surprised by what you are capable of if you challenge yourself. When backed into a corner of deadlines and limited time to study, you can excel and lift yourself to new heights. It does not have to be insane, but even volunteering a few hours of your time every week or working some evenings and weekends will limit the amount of time you have to do the things you already do. This is where fight-or-flight kicks in, and you can fight the time restrictions and become more efficient and productive in the time that you have. I found that the more I took on (to a point, of course), the more productive I was with my time and because of that my grades actually improved over when I had more free time.

As an aside, the purpose of going to university is to eventually get a job. Employers want to see what else you have done besides complete your degree - in the end, you and your entire graduating class have the exact same piece of paper... what is distinguishing about you? Maybe your proven time-management skills and experience on top of your degree! Trust me, you are capable of incredible things. We all are. Don't believe me? Read the next one. 

NEED A CONFIDENCE BOOST? TRY NEW THINGS!
When I started University I didn't know anyone and only really knew my sister at Brock University. I was extremely introverted and shy, and it was to a point where I couldn't even look people in the eye when I talked to them. It was that bad! And I know there are a ton of people out there who deal with the same feeling or even worse. My advice to you, as cliche as it sounds, is to try new things. What got me over that feeling and the shyness was challenging myself to take a small step outside of my comfort zone and try new tasks. For me, it started with making a bigger decision and buckling down to apply at Career Services. What helped me make that big decision, however, was a combination of small changes in my life. It was a combination of going on runs on different trails, listening to new bands, trying sushi, learning how to build my own computer, trying golf (and being terrible at it!), painting small miniature models, and more. It doesn't have to be huge, it can be small things that you can do on your spare time that changes your world in ways you cannot imagine.

From a career perspective, it can be as simple as taking on new tasks at your job and helping people in different departments. Maybe volunteer at an organization that has nothing to do with your career goal. Take a workshop that YOU want to take. Update your resume and cover letter with Career Services! The more you try new things and update your life, the more possibilities present themselves. I went from not being able to look people in the eyes when I talk to them to thriving in everyday interaction and client assistance. I did not do anything special to make this change. You can do it too, trust me! 



Lastly, I would like to end with a quote that has defined the way I look at life now. I've always loved Rise Against and their rebellious, cause-oriented style of rock. This song urges us to make a move and go against the norm. Take action, do what is right, and don't wait for something to come to you. For those who took the time to see me at Career Services, the students, alumni, and community members who I performed hundreds upon hundreds of document reviews for, and most importantly the people I worked with, it has been my pleasure.

"Echoes of songs still lurk on distant foreign shores
Where we danced just to please the gods 
that only ask for more
So it goes

But still we give ourselves to this
We can't spend our lives waiting to live" - Rise Against "The Dirt Whispered"







Anthony Mancuso
Graduating Lead Career Assistant
Honours Bachelor of Sport Management

Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's not Goodbye, It's See You Later...



As the 2015-2016 school year comes to end, we here at Career Services would like to dedicate a special blog post to the student staff who will not be returning to work with us in the upcoming year.


The Career Assistants who worked with us over the past few years have made a vital impact on the growth and success of the Career Services department, and we want to say thanks!

Alysha Kooter

Alysha has recently completed her fourth year in the Concurrent Education program. Her friendly smile and enthusiasm towards her role has made her an exceptional addition to the Career Services family. She is always willing to help out whenever needed, and go above and beyond our expectations. Not to mention, there is no one better to go to for great vegan recipes! After three years of working in the Centre, Alysha will be moving on to attend teachers college in the Fall of 2016 at Brock! We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.



Anthony Mancuso

We're sad to see this great individual leave us, but we know he will go on to accomplish great things! After four years working towards his Sport Management degree, Anthony will be going on to work for the Hamilton Tiger Cats as part of the SPMA Internship program! He started with us back in September of 2013 and is a great person to look to for advice. More importantly, who will set up our fantasy hockey leagues now?!?! All jokes aside, we can't wait to see the many great things he will be accomplishing. Best of luck Anthony!


Sarah Mithcinson

If there is one thing you can expect to see when you walk into the Centre, it will likely be Sarah sitting at the front desk with a great attitude, welcoming you in. Sarah has been with us for two years now and is finishing up her degree in Psychology. She will be continuing her studies with her MA in psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Fall of 2016. We wish her the best as she completes her Masters!




Mike Pratas

Venturing from Hamilton every time he has a shift, there is no better way to show how amazing Career Services is than by looking at Mike's dedication to us! Mike has recently completed his Degree in Political Science, and will be continuing school at Brock as he was recently accepted into the Masters of Political Science program, no surprise there! Mike has been with us for three years and it has been a great pleasure working with him.He is the go-to person if you ever need to know a statistic about the Career World, and we are going to miss him and his extensive knowledge in the Centre. Best of luck to Mike and we are sure he will do great things!






Kaitlyn Daw

Kaitlyn, the Queen of Communication! We don't know what we'll do without her. Her experience, wisdom, and positive attitude is going to be greatly missed within the Career Services department. Kaitlyn has worked with us for two years, and interestingly enough, she was actually transferred to another position within the department when help was needed. She has just completed her final year in the English, Language and Literature program. No surprise here, Kaitlyn will be working in communications with the Canadian Mental Health Association. We are so proud of her and appreciate her being such a great ambassador for Career Services.


Overall, we are very proud of our Career Services team and all that they have accomplished! Getting to know this group of people on both a personal and professional level has been an absolute pleasure. We are so happy that we've had the opportunity to work with them, and their presence in the Centre will be greatly missed.



Love,

The Career Services Family