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

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How to use your Resource Centre

Throughout the summer, university and college students have time to involve themselves with experiences and research about their specific degrees and career goals. Many universities and colleges have a department to assist students with gaining this information. I strongly suggest any student to visit their Career Services department often to learn more about opportunities, events, and experiences you can be a part of. They hold lots of value for your future. At Career Services and the Career Resource Centre at Brock University we offer many services for students to use such as resume/cover letter reviews, portfolio reviews, mock interviews, and many print resources and online resources they can access. Here are a few reasons why you should visit your Career Services department:

  • They are made up of people who know what you are going through and can help you start your career path and reach your goals
  • Most services are free of charge (like resume reviews, cover letter reviews, and portfolio reviews)
  • They have many resources, books, and magazines to read and take home so you can gain knowledge in your desired field
  • They know where to find the best online resources for job searching and networking
  • They can give you tips for personal branding and social networking, so you can use them as a job-seeker
  • Lastly, they are friendly and want to see their students succeed after graduation!

For the next few weeks I will be discussing different career resources that we offer to students such as magazines, books, articles, and a variety of guides. Stay tuned for this information!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dear first years, don't limit yourself to the one career outlook!

As I am sitting in the Career Resource Centre in the middle of summer break, I am starting to see the faces of new students walking around the school. Most of them seem excited, but they also seem to be feeling nervous and don't know exactly where to start. I would like to tell them that there is nothing to be afraid of and that you don't have to make huge decisions yet, so enjoy the time that you have now. 

When picking your courses for first-year, don't have just one career outlook on your radar. Do what you love! Take classes that interest you and take full advantage of those elective credits. A lot of students will pick a degree and then not even want to continue after they have found something else they truly enjoy doing. In highschool we are forced to make these decisions that alter the rest of our life, and it's not your fault if you thnk you chose the wrong path. It's a whole other ballgame when you finally get to sit in the seminar and lecture rooms. You will know if you want to be there or if you'd rather still be in bed.  

Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something you don't really want to do. You don't want to waste this time learning about something you've decided isn't for you. Also, don't have just one thing in mind. You may not even be aware of the possibilities your degree offers. Most importantly, visit your Career Services department at your school, they are there to help you make these decisions and guide you into a career.  

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Career/Graphics and Promotions Assistant, 3rd Year Education and Visual Arts

Friday, June 13, 2014

Alternatives after graduation

If you’re like me, the idea of settling into a career after graduation can be intimidating. Not that I don’t want to find the right career for me, I’m just not sure I will want to do it right away.

The fact of the matter is, as a new grad, you are at your prime right now to discover the world. Now more then ever is it accessible for you to do so. Here is a quick list of alternatives after graduation:

1)      Take a gap year. We all know of somebody who has taken the world by storm, hopped on a plane to a foreign country to travel, volunteer, or sometimes work. It may take some planning and saving but the cultural awareness and worldly views that you will obtain may be one of the greatest experiences of your life. There are many ways you can go abroad and many programs you can do this through. Here are a few favourites:

2)      Freelance. Freelancing is another way to gain experience outside of the typical 9-5 job. If you are a freelancer it means that you are your own agent, you create your own market, and you provide clients with the services you would like to give. Some popular industries for freelancers are graphic design, web development, branding, and information technology. Freelancing is a good way to network and figure out where you would like to find a career. You have the unique ability to work at your own pace and only do projects that interest you.

3)      Go for a paid internship. Many people use internships as a way of getting out of their towns and experiencing a new one. Internships last anywhere from 6-16 months and they give you a good chance to see if that kind of job is right for you. Internships can also be rewarding for building your network. The more people you know, the more jobs you will be aware of.

You've worked hard for the last four years, and taking some time to gain real world experience can really be beneficial in the long run. Experience culture; experience the new borderless world that lies ahead. If you aren't going to do it now, then when will you!

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Career/Graphics and Promotions Assistant, 3rd Year Education and Visual Arts

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Be the competition: Connect with Grad LINK!

Networking is something that is becoming more essential between new grads and employers. The hidden job market is where you will find 80% of jobs, and the key to finding them is through your network.

Career Services strives to help you find employment after graduation. With convocation just ending last week, we know that Brock grads are eager to find jobs! The Grad LINK Network on LinkedIn will connect you with Career Services staff, employers, and your graduating peers. Through the LinkedIn Network, we share career and employment related information to help you prepare for transition from school to work.

As part of the Grad LINK Network you will have access to:

  • Highlighted job postings
  • Employer recruitment/ networking sessions
  • Career related articles and information 
Ready to register!?

1. Complete the online registration form 
2. Review the Getting Started Presentation
3. Create your LinkedIn profile, if you do not have one already
4. Join the Grad LINK Network group on LinkedIn

Have other questions? Email: