Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Goal Setting: An Important Tool in your Student Toolbox

 If you don't know where you are going, how will you get there? Goals work much the same way. In our busy lives, it seems difficult to think about the future when all we are doing is  trying to keep our head above water in our course work. However, having clearly defined goals sets you up for success.

 By taking the time to identify what is important to you, and what you would like to accomplish, you are setting parameters for yourself that you will work within.  For example, if you have decided that you would like to increase your average this semester, you may be more inclined to  take more time on your homework, not procrastinate (not that you did that before... right?), or politely decline an invitation to weekend plans with your friends in favour of studying a little harder for an upcoming test.  So you see, having predetermined goals affects your behaviour in future situations. Keeping goals and results that you would like to achieve in the back of your mind nudges your actions in a successful direction.

Setting goals is important to your future because it helps you decide where you would like to go. It helps you understand whats important to you, and keeps you moving with positive momentum. These goals don't have to be academic in nature. Setting personal goals is important too! There is more to life than academic pursuits, and by setting personal goals you will be helping yourself  to become  well rounded. Goals take persistence, commitment, drive, and energy. These positive traits are useful in so many of life's situations.

If you would like to learn more about setting goals, check out our post on SMART goals here.

If you would like to talk about your career related goals, come on in to Career Services. We would love to talk to you!

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How students can utilize CareerZone!

If you are looking for tools to use to help you find a job, explore careers, prepare for an interview, attend career events, or build up your career documents, then CareerZone is the one-stop shop for you!

CareerZone is Brock's Career Services portal that includes everything you need  for career success. There are lots of categories to check out like "Career Services Events", "Workshops", and "Job Postings". On the "Job Postings" section you can find both on and off campus job postings! This is a great resource for students looking for some work during the school year. It also has postings for those who have graduated and are looking for work within their field! Use the "advanced search" option to find your best results!

Another great category on CareerZone is the "Online Resource Centre". By using the "Online Resource Centre" section you can find templates, samples, and guidelines to help you develop your career documents like your resume, curriculum vitae, cover letter, portfolio, or letter of intent.  You can count on these resources to be correct and up to date with the current trends in employment!

The "Online Resource Centre" section can also be used to help you with a variety of other career related things. The different categories to check out in this section are:

  • Career and Job Search
  • Career Assessments
  • Cover Letters, Resumes,
  • CVs, Letters of Intent
  • Portfolios
  • Interviews
  • Further Education
  • Going Abroad
  • Government Job Search
  • Volunteering
  • Internships
  • Career Magazines
  • Resources for Students with Disabilities
  • Resources for International Students
  • Resources for Teacher Candidates 
If you are looking for information about any of these topics then definitely use this online resource to your advantage! Check out careerzone.brocku.ca today :) 

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Senior Career Assistant, 3rd year Visual Arts and Concurrent Education 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Set yourself apart with Plus Programs!

In today’s difficult job market extracurricular activities and volunteer work are becoming just as important as your education and work experience when applying for jobs. To help make yourself standout and showcase your achievements and skills gained outside the classroom, our department has a variety of programs you can get involved in.

Experience  Plus
This program is designed to break the no-job-no experience cycle. It is free, non-credit program open to all Brock University students. Students work towards developing a transcript that documents non-academic & work related achievements. Your Experience Plus transcript will link your experiences to the skills employers are looking for and is the perfect tool to help you build your resume and enhance your portfolio. All of our department’s plus programs are tracked on an experience plus transcript. Visit Experience Plus webpage and start recording your experiences now!

Volunteer Plus
A program designed to ensure you receive the recognition that you deserve for your volunteer work. Students track their volunteer hours through their Brock portal and will receive a Volunteer Plus certificate for the total number of volunteer hours completed each year. Volunteer Plus is a great tool to highlight your community involvement & strengthen your portfolio. Visit the Volunteer Plus webpage for more information.

Mentorship Plus
A program that connects students to a network of alumni and community mentors to inspire them to become leaders in their chosen fields and contributing members of society.  Students can be a mentor and share their experiences, or you can be a mentee and learn from someone who knows the ropes. For more information on this program visit the Mentorship Plus webpage.

Corporate Mentorship
A program that give students a chance to meet with industry professionals, to network and learn more about their sector. Students will have the opportunity to: explore new businesses and career options and work closely with company executives and network with professionals. More information can be found on the Corporate Mentorship webpage.

International Plus
This program is aimed at increasing the global and cultural awareness of students through volunteer placements that spark interactions with people from around the world. The program has 3 components: workshops, lectures, volunteer experience. An International Plus certificate is a great way to highlight your diverse experiences! Check out the International Plus webpage  for more information.

Med Plus
A four year non-credit initiative designed to run concurrently with a student’s academic study. This program can provide you with the competitive edge necessary to set yourself apart from other students in the health care field. More information on this program on the Med Plus webpage.

Music Ed Plus
A four year, co-curricular experiential program which includes practical learning opportunities, as well as workshops and lectures by experts in diverse musical careers. It gives students a competitive edge when applying for jobs and/or further education in the music industry. Full details can be found on the Music Ed Plus webpage

Start setting yourself apart from the competition today by getting involved in our Plus Programs. Stop by the Career Resource Centre in the Learning Commons if you have any questions!

Mike Pratas, Senior Career Assistant
3rd year Political Science  

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.

PROS

MONEY!
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 can't balance your budget and therefore have to work, or maybe you can squeak by with bursaries and OSAP.

EXPERIENCE
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.

DISTRACTION
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!

CONS

NO TIME!
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!

STRESS
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.

LOW WAGE
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: career@brocku.ca. 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: https://www.facebook.com/jack.mcisaac. 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: http://brocku.ca/career-services 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!

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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." MACLEANS.ca

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! :)