Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Career Cruising – the kick start to your career development!

After working at Career Services for a few years, I know how important it is to start your career development with assessment. Self-exploration and assessment are critical first steps in finding the right career for you. Although we have a lot of great self-assessment resources for students at Career Services, I want to focus today on one of my favourites, Career Cruising.

Career Cruising is an online assessment tool that anyone can use to help them find some direction. When a student comes in and says that they don’t know which careers they should be considering, I know they are still in the assessment stage of career planning. There are so many helpful resources that Career Cruising offers within their online site. Below I have taken apart the different categories that the Matchmaker Assessment has. If you complete the Matchmaker Assessment you will be able to see all of these categories for each career result from the assessment.

At a Glance: This section gives you a brief description of what this job is, summarizing all the information in the further categories.

Suitable for You?: This section displays (based on the questions you answered) why it came up in your Matchmaker results. You can see why and why not this career would suit you.

Job Description: This section holds an in depth explanation of what this job is. If you are seriously considering that career, reading all of this will be very helpful.

Working Conditions: This section is important to look at so you can recognize what the working conditions are for the career you are investigating. For example it will talk about the hazards of positions, times that you work, etc.

Earnings: This section tells you how much you will make as salary according to Canadian stats.

Education: This section is very important to note so you can see if you are on the right educational track. In this section you can browse different schools throughout Canada that offer programs that would coincide with that specific career.

Sample Career Path: In this section you will see a lifetime career sample. Most careers are broken down into Beginner, Intermediate and Senior levels so you can see how your income and role will develop over time.

Related Careers: This section holds a list of other careers that relate to the one you are looking at.

Other Resources: This section has a list of other resources you can explore that go beyond the information on Career Cruising. These are great ways to learn more about careers.

My last bit of advice is to explore, explore, explore! Also, don’t be afraid to take the assessment more than once, we are constantly changing individuals. This website offers so much information for people on their career journey. You can access Career Cruising by going to and signing in with your Brock student username and password. 

Alysha-Lynn Kooter
Lead Career Assisant
4th Year Intermediate/Senior Concurrent Education - Visual Arts Major

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Track Your Experiences!

Now that we are a few weeks into school, I'm sure many of you have had the opportunity to attend a campus event or activity, sign up for a club, or maybe you've started volunteering already! But did you know you can track these experiences too?

Well the secret is out! You totally can track your experiences! And not just in one way, but TWO ways!

Want more details? Then keep reading!

Experience Plus is Brock's co-curricular transcript program and the first of it's kind here at Brock! Not only can you track your experiences (which include on-campus jobs, volunteer hours, awards/certificates, professional development and workshops), but you can also earn a certificate for your volunteer hours through Volunteer Plus (for more info, click here), as well as get your official transcript printed which includes ALL of the experiences you've inputted that are verified. To get started, head to then go to the Student Self Serve menu. The tab on the left that says "Career Services" is where you would go to track your experiences (under "Student Data") and request your transcript to be printed. The transcript can be presented to employers to highlight your involvement and is also a great addition to a career portfolio!

Experience BU is Brock's student involvement portal and is the best place to find out about upcoming events and activities happening around campus and within the region as a whole. And not only does Experience BU provide you with event details and local happenings, you can also track your experiences through the Campus Wide Co-Curriculum which encompasses different facets of experiences, from Arts & Culture to Career Prep (which we can help you with!).  Click here to explore the different curricula you can complete, as well as events and activities which you can track on your Co-Curricular transcript!

Now that you are in the "know" of how to track all that you do here at Brock, why not get started! If you would like our help with anything, please stop by the Career Resource Centre and speak with one of our student staff! We are all trained on how to use both Experience Plus and Experience BU and can help you navigate these platforms successfully!

Have a great day Badgers!

Scarlet Stark
Sr. Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Impress at a Job Fair

Sometimes it can be hard to juggle going to school with having a part-time job; however, in the long run it can help you to gain valuable experience while also helping to pay off student expenses! The Pen Centre in St. Catharines is holding a Shop for Jobs event on September 29, 2015 from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. This is a great opportunity for Brock University and Niagara College students to find a part-time job. Here are some suggestions to make the most of your job fair experience for this specific opportunity and also any other job fairs you attend in the future:
1. Research the participating stores - This would be beneficial because it will help you to see what stores you need to be tailoring your resume and cover letters to and to also find out information about the employers.
2. Create a resume and cover letter for each of the stores or positions you would like to apply to- Bringing resume's and cover letters will show the employer that you are prepared and have put thought into working for them. It is also an awesome way to showcase your talents!
3. Dress professionally- Make sure you dress to impress the employers you are applying to. Typically you should accommodate your style with the stores style, however, remember that just because a store may sell a specific item such as jeans does not mean you should wear them for an interview.
4. Bring pens, notebooks and planners- Be prepared for on the spot interviews and the opportunity to take notes to show the employer you are really interested in the position. It is also important to have a planner so that you can schedule a future interview and not have to reschedule if you see you are busy.
5. Ask Questions- Asking questions shows the employer that you are interested in the position. Some possible questions you can ask the representative include:What qualities are you looking for in your new hires? Would the work hours be flexible with my school schedule?
6. Finally, have fun! This is an opportunity for you to gain experience in networking and interviewing. It is important that you have a good experience so that you feel confident for future opportunities like this.

For the Shop for Jobs event specifically, you can look for some of these employers to be participating: Arie, Dynamite, Garage, EB Games, Old Navy, Sears, Winners, Hudson's Bay and many more.. Also, follow the event on Twitter #ShopForJobsFair14.

Come into the Career Resource Centre to pick up the resource labelled 11 Tips for Success at Shop for Jobs and also for a free resume and cover letter review!

Sarah Mitchinson, Senior Career Assistant

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Volunteering: A Huge Investment in Your Future

Volunteer experience is an investment in your professional development and can be the added value that you bring to a potential job or career opportunity. One of the most valuable things I have learned during my four years at Brock University is the extreme importance of getting involved and volunteering my time. Between attending lectures, participating in seminars, hitting the books, and writing assignments, we are constantly learning as university students. Sometimes this means the value of getting involved can be overlooked amidst the chaos of juggling academic and personal responsibilities. Here are five reasons why you should consider volunteering your time with a club, organization, or charity (if you haven’t already).
  1.  Gain Employable Skills. Volunteering is a great way to gain the (transferable) skills employers are looking for. Even though you’re not getting paid for the experience doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable than the skills you gain from a paid position. Your experiences as a volunteer can be translated onto your resume to highlight qualifications in areas such as communication, time management, teamwork, organization, leadership, etc. 
  2. Giving Back to Others. Charities, organizations, institutions, and (especially) clubs rely on volunteers to help make projects and certain initiatives come together successfully. In many cases, the need for volunteers stems from strained resources or budgetary limitations. Getting involved in on- or off-campus opportunities helps create a better environment for others, and can significantly improve the health of communities. 
  3. Connections, Connections, Connections! Getting involved with certain projects, events, and initiatives as a volunteer can open a ton of doors in your personal and professional network. In many ways, volunteering is a great opportunity to network informally with like-minded individuals from different backgrounds. If you leave a good impression, who knows what opportunities might unexpectedly pop up in the future? It could help you tap into the dreaded hidden job market!
  4. Test Career Options. Volunteering is a great opportunity to test out different career options, whether you have an idea about what you want to do or not. Getting involved may help you realize what you’re truly passionate about, what your strengths and weakness are, what kind of organizations you’d like to work for, etc.
  5. Admissions for Further Education.  If you’re thinking about continuing on to Further Education, volunteering becomes incredibly important for admissions and grant applications. While that GPA is important, having relevant volunteer experience can certainly set you apart from other applicants.
Where can you search for volunteer opportunities? A fantastic place to start would be VolunteerFEST, which is happening Thursday, September 17 from 10AM -2PM in the Guernsey Market. There will be organizations from all over Niagara for you to engage with and learn about different volunteer opportunities. Sign up with an organization you’re passionate about and volunteer with them throughout the year!

I encourage you to visit us at the Career Resource Centre for more information about where you can find different volunteer opportunities. We have plenty of resources inside the Centre, as well as online at for your benefit. We're open from 9-4:30pm every Monday to Friday.

Kaitlyn Daw, English Language and Literature Major
Senior Career Assistant

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Balancing School and Fun

First of all, welcome back to all the Badgers returning to Brock and, welcome back to school for all students no matter where you may be.

A challenge that students face in their initial time back to school is balancing social times and their academic life. I personal tip that I received for achieving a good balance was from an Academic Advisor from Brock University where you use a schedule of 8hours-8hours-8hours to balance your sleep, social and academic times where each of these 3 sections get 8 hours.

Another helpful tip I received was from the Career Resource Centre at Brock. The tip involves creating goal action forms by breaking down each goal by using S. M. A. R. T. SMART breaks down into Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time and in my experience by using every step of the SMART Goal system, you can create good effective goals. For example here is a sample of a SMART goal pertaining to creating a resume. “I want to construct an effective resume by creating all the necessary components of a resume, by next Wednesday . . . This goal is specific, measurable by completing all the areas of a resume, everyone can do a resume so it is achievable, most application packages need to have a resume so this goal is realistic and this goal has a time frame by wanting to have it accomplished by next week. Go ahead; give a SMART goal a try.

These are some of the tips that we advise and we encourage you come into the centre for a smart goal form and for more tips and we also encourage going to see your academic advisor! Have a great one Badgers, don’t forget to smile! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New CA Team Introductions 2015!

It's hard to believe that September is here already! But I must admit, I'm excited for the campus to get busy with new and returning students and staff!

Training week for the new Career Assistants and the Senior/Lead Career Assistants will be run from Monday, August 31st until Friday, September 4th. Because of this, the Career Resource Centre will be closed during this time. Please e-mail for questions or concerns during this week and we will respond as efficiently as possible!

Now it's time to introduce our new Career Assistants and re-introduce our Senior and Lead Career Assistants!

New Career Assistants
Lydia Collins

An English Language and Literature major and a cat lover, Lydia has a passion for literature and feminism and has a warm and friendly personality! But aside from this, her interest in helping other students succeed is what will make her a great addition to the team!
Sean Pereira
Sean is pursuing a BA in Accounting here at Brock and is also involved with the Brock University Accounting Students' Association! He also loves taking photos, running, and ice cream! He is a professional yet friendly individual who will excel in his position as a Career Assistant and we are happy to have him on board this year!

Andre St. George
Andre is the last new addition to the team this year! A business administration major, Andre is also a twin, loves the outdoors, and has a knack for flags (like knowing which flag belongs to which country)! He will make a great Career Assistant this year and we are excited to have him!

Senior Career Assistants
Tyler Harris

The musician of the team, Tyler has had a busy summer of bag-piping, travelling, and riding on segways! A psychology major (who will also be the president of the Psychology Society this year!), Tyler has an amazing sense of humor and a huge amount of wit. Tyler's approach to helping students is casual yet extremely informative with a dash of humor! We can't wait to have him back and missed him a ton this summer!

Kaitlyn Daw
Trying to briefly describe Kaitlyn is difficult; she truly is a woman of many talents! Not only is she working as a Sr. Career Assistant this year, she is also working with Mentorship Plus, is the president of the English Students Association, an avid photographer, a website creator, a mentor... and the list goes on (and on and on)! Her approach to helping students is inspiring and it's truly an honor to work with her again this year! Can't wait to see you in action again Kaitlyn!

Sarah Mitchinson
Another psychology major (there's a lot of us!!) & cat lover, Sarah is always smiling and she truly lights up the Career Resource Centre when she is here! I've had the pleasure of both working and taking classes with Sarah and can honestly say she is one of the most down to earth people I've ever met, something which stands out when she's helping students with resumes or job searching! Get back here already Sarah! We miss you!

Lead Career Assistants
Mike Pratas
A Political Sciences major with a love for country music and a habit of losing his student card (and finding it months later!!), Mike is great at advising students and did an excellent job of showing us Senior's the ropes last year. After spending the summer working at a camp in his hometown, we are all super excited for Mike to return back to Career Services in a lead role! Can't wait to see you Mike!

Alysha Kooter
A vegan and animal lover, Alysha is a warm and understanding individual with a flair for graphic design, the arts, as well as a natural when it comes to baking delicious desserts (that are also healthy!!). Alysha has been, and will continue to be, a great mentor and leader, and I know she will do extremely well in her role as a Lead Career Assistant this year. You rock Alysha!

Anthony Mancuso
A Sport Management major and the Sr. who made Bubble Soccer happen last year (which was AMAZING!!), Anthony is always making sure everyone is having a good time while also offering his support. He did a fantastic job last year with training myself and the other CA's and we are super excited that he is now in a Lead role this year; he will be a natural at it! We can't wait to have you back!

Thanks for reading about our amazing team! Come visit us in the Learning Commons between 9 - 4:30 starting Tuesday, September 8th! We can't wait to assist you with your career related needs and look forward to another successful school year! 

Scarlet Stark
Psychology Major
Sr. Career Assistant

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Faculty Focus: Goodman School of Business

The Goodman School of Business here at Brock is extremely popular and includes many different programs. To explore them all, check out the 2015-2016 Goodman Degree Guide by clicking here! Even though Goodman students have exclusive access to their own Career Development Centre, Goodman students are also able to utilize the Career Resource Centre as well! Here is a breakdown of all that we have to offer Goodman students:

                                      Resources in the Centre/Online

  • Cafe Connect (for more details, click here)
  • Mentorship Plus (for more details, click here)
  • Experience Plus (for more details, click here)
  • Experience BU (for more details, click here)

Books (ALL books are located in the centre)

  • Careers in Business
  • Great Jobs for Business Majors
  • The Best 295 Business Schools
  • Degree Exploration Guides (to see yours, click here)
  • Business Resume Samples Binder
  • Goodman Career Binder 
  • Post-Grad Studies Binder
  • Brock Plus Programs Binder
  • Go Abroad Binder
  • Considering Grad School Handout
  • Master of Business Administration Information Guide
  • Career Edge Handout
  • Entrance Exam/GPA Conversion Handout
  • Grad Studies Overseas Binder
Don't forget to come visit us in the Learning Commons for any career related questions, inquiries, concerns, or to explore the resources listed! And remember, if you can't make it to the centre, head to our Online Resource Centre via Careerzone for online access to many of our resources!

Scarlet Stark
Psychology Major
Career Assistant 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Faculty Focus: Mathematics & Sciences

This weeks faculty focus is geared towards students in the math and sciences programs here at Brock. This faculty encompasses a wide variety of programs including: biology, chemistry, computer sciences, earth sciences, environmental geosciences, mathematics, neuroscience, oenology & viticulture and physics. The Career Resource Centre has many specific resources for students in these programs. Let's explore them further!

                                       Resources in the Centre/Online


  • Cafe Connect (for more details, click here)
  • Mentorship Plus (for more details, click here)
  • Experience Plus (for more details, click here)
  • Experience BU (for more details, click here)
Books (ALL books are located in the centre)
  • Careers in High Technology
  • Careers in the Sciences
  • Scientific Research as a Career
  • Great Jobs for Chemistry Majors
  • Opportunities in Biotechnology
  • Academic Job Search Handbook
  • Degree Exploration Guides (to see yours, click here)
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences Resume Sample Binder
  • Post-Grad Studies Binder
  • Brock Plus Programs Binder
  • Go Abroad Binder
  • Considering Grad School Handout
  • KOM Consultants Binders
  • Biomedical Sciences Portfolio Sample
Don't forget to come visit us in the Career Resource Centre for any questions, concerns, or inquiries you may have about finding work, volunteer, or other opportunities in your field! And remember, if you can't make it in to the centre, head to Careerzone and access our Online Resource Centre from home!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Faculty Focus: Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences here at Brock encompasses many different individual programs which include child and youth studies, communication, economics, film, geography, labour studies, policing and criminal justice, political science, popular culture, psychology, social justice and equity studies, sociology, tourism and environment and women's and gender studies. There are many different directions one can go with these programs, which is great! Here are some resources to explore your options:

Resources in the Centre/Online

  • Cafe Connect (for more details, click here)
  • Mentorship Plus (for more details, click here)
  • Experience Plus (for more details, click here)
  • Experience BU (for more details, click here)

Books (ALL books are located in the centre)
  • So You Want To Be A Lawyer, Eh?
  • Careers in Childcare
  • Careers in Communication
  • Careers in Social and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Careers in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality
  • Great Jobs for Criminal Justice Majors
  • Great Jobs for Environmental Studies Majors
  • Careers for Environmental Types and Others Who Respect The Earth
  • Great Jobs for Political Science Majors
  • Great Jobs for Sociology Majors
  • Opportunities in Childcare
  • Opportunities in Forensic Sciences
  • Opportunities in Psychology 
  • Degree Exploration Guides (to see yours, click here)
  • Faculty of Social Sciences Resume Sample Binder
  • Government Jobs and Uniformed Services Binder
  • Post Grad Studies Binder
  • Brock Plus Programs Binder
  • Go Abroad Binder
  • Considering Grad School/Social Work/Law School Handouts
  • KOM Consultants Binders
  • Sociology Portfolio Sample
Don't forget to come visit us in the Career Resource Centre for any questions, concerns, or inquiries you may have about finding work, volunteer, or other opportunities in your field! And remember, if you can't make it into the centre, head to Careerzone and access our Online Resource Centre right from your couch! How awesome is that!

Scarlet Stark
Psychology Major
Brock University

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Schedule, Plan, Prioritize: The Student Juggling Act!

School can be a challenge all on it's own. From papers, to readings, to lectures, to tests - there is no shortage of things to do! But most of us have prior obligations on top of our school duties that we have to take care of too. Whether it be working, volunteering, making time for family and friends, or even making time for ourselves, going to school and juggling life's other duties can be extremely difficult. Why is this? Because there are only so many hours in a day! So how can we juggle it all? By following these simple steps:

Making time for everything is only possible if you schedule. Scheduling means you are allotting time to get a task done. Whether it's an essay, a shift at work, or a night out with friends, scheduling will allow you to do it all! How? Because you'll know what you need to do, when you need to do it, and how much time you realistically have to get it done. A great way to avoid not 'biting off more than you can chew' is by simply scheduling! Most phones have a scheduler and even the option to be alerted when you need to do something - what a life saver!

Planning ahead can also alleviate the stress of juggling life, school, work, and other obligations by allowing yourself time to prepare what you need to in order to get the task done! Maybe you need to visit the library before you start that paper; or maybe before your friends birthday bash, you need to prepare a cake and pick up a gift - whatever the task or tasks may be, making a plan of attack allows you to break down what you need to do into steps in order to reach your goal. Planning and scheduling go hand in hand; scheduling allows you to set aside time whereas planning allows you to decide how you will allocate that time you set aside.

Imagine you had a list of things to get done, but no timeline or end goal for each task. How would you decide what to get done first? It would be difficult, wouldn't it! Prioritizing what's important will help you get tasks completed that need to be, allowing you ample time for those tasks with open ended completion dates. That paper may be due next week, but that night out with your room mates has no due date! So why not get all that writing out of the way so you can enjoy a night out with friends afterwards? Even though prioritizing sometimes means putting off fun for responsibilities, it allows you to get your main priorities in check which will not only make you feel good, but will 
make that fun night out even funner!

It's as simple as 1-2-3! And remember, we at Career Services at Brock are here to support students while they juggle everything. If you need to find work or volunteer opportunities, need help deciding on a career path, or even just want to discuss your different career options, schedule some time to come visit us. We can help you make a career plan and prioritize what steps to take in order to reach your goals! Thanks for reading!

Scarlet Stark
Psychology Major
Brock University