Thursday, September 29, 2011


This week we are featuring information on some of largest entrance exams and ones that are most frequently asked about. We understand the pressure students may face while in the process of studying and writing- but Career Services is here for you!

Here's a little information on the LSAT and MCAT exams:

LSAT stands for The Law School Admission Test which is a standard test and essential part of the law school admission process. The test is administered 4 times a year all throughout the world, and examines your reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools use to assess applicants. The LSAT is a series of five, 35-minute sections of all multiple-choice questions.

For more information or test dates please visit:

The MCAT is The Medical College Admission Test which assesses your problem solving, critical thinking, writing skills and knowledge of science and concepts as a prerequisite before studying medicine. MCAT is also a multiple choice exam, held many times throughout the year.

To register for the MCAT or more information please visit

To help prepare for the LSAT and MCAT please visit the Career Resource Centre where we have study guides here for you.

Good Luck

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Alright, graduating students. It’s time to start talking about what so many students planning to attend graduate school dread…
Entrance exams.

Not to fear, Career Services is here to help you on your way to preparing for your Entrance Exam. Today we’ll start with the GRE and the GMAT.

The GRE stands for the Graduate Record Examination and may be required for entry into graduate school for various programs (don’t worry, the program website will tell you if they require GRE scores). In 150 minutes it is designed to test your analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning in a multiple choice format. GRE scores are used to supplement your academic record and to give graduate schools an idea of your preparedness for graduate-level work.

Writing the GRE this year?
Check out for test centers and dates you can write the exam.

The GMAT, on the other hand, stands for the Graduate Management Admission Test and is required by business schools for admission into MBA (Masters of Business Administration) programs. It’s a 4 hour exam chalk full of questions and tasks that measure verbal, mathematical, and analytical and writing skills.

If you plan to write the GMAT, visit for more information to and to set up your writing time!

Also, make sure you visit the Career Resource Centre to borrow our study guides for the GRE and GMAT or for more information.


Friday, September 23, 2011

A Note on Academic Advising

Here at Career Services we get a lot of questions that are academic-advising related. Students may not know if they are in the right program, are picking the right courses, or how they can add another major/minor to their degree.

While our Career Assistants can help you determine whether a certain career path is right for you (which may lead you to explore different academic programs than what you're currently in) and lead you to other resources we unfortunately cannot give students concrete advice on program requirements, overrides or anything related to the completion of your degree. Brock has a great Academic Advising department that has specific advisers for each program who are experts on what you need to complete your degree, or what your options are if you change your mind.

Many students find that an Academic Advising appointment usually leads to their adviser telling them to drop by Career Services for some guidance. So if you're confused, don't hesitate to stop by and talk to a Career Assistant! We have information on Further Education, Degree Options, and tons of resources to help you decide on the career that's right for you.

When it comes to your degree, Academic Advising and Career Services are here to help you! Meeting with both of our departments is a great way to make sure you're on track and explore your many options. As a student who has met with my adviser countless times, I would advise you to make an appointment at least once a year and take advantage of their expertise!

So what are you waiting for?! Book an Appointment with your adviser or drop by the Career Resource Center today!

Happy Advising
- Lia

PS. Today is the last day to make changes to your D1/D2 courses, so make sure to make any changes before the registration system closes!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Top 10 Reasons Why to Visit Career Services!

I'm sure many of you have walked by our Career Resource Centre, but never known why you would drop-in. Here is our Top 10 Reasons why to visit Career Services!

Brittany and Jon- 2011-2012 Career Assistants
1. Connect with employers! We offer a variety of career fairs and events throughout the year. Find out who is looking for your skills!

2. No Appointment Necessary! Drop-in with your career and job search related questions- we're here for you!

3. Free Cover Letter and Resume Review!  All we ask is that you bring us a hard copy and 15 minutes of your time!

4. Our knoweldgeable Career Assistants! We are your peers and we understand your questions and concerns. We can help!

5. Looking for work? Visit us and learn how to find part-time, full time, summer or volunteer opportunities.

6. Find out what career options are right for you by completing a variety of helpful self-assessments available on our website.

7. Considering further studies? We have a variety of post-graduate education directories to help you make the right choice!

8. Explore what you can do with your degree! Check out our series of Degree Exploration Guides and discover the career options, skills and resources that are specific to your field.

9. Brush up on your interview skills! We can help you prepare and practice for your next job interview.

10. Do you have the travel bug? Drop by Career Resource Centre and explore our resources for working, studying and volunteering abroad!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Applying Online or in Person

Living in a digital world can make applying to jobs slightly less personal – ok a lot less personal. Employers don’t seem to have the time to listen to your elevator speech that you practiced in front of the mirror a thousand times in your spiffy new suit. When my brother graduated over 5 years ago he did the respectable thing, dressed in a suit and delivered resumes by hand to store managers. He was turned away 90% of the time and told to apply online. Present day is even further sucked into the digi-world so how can we prove that we’re genuine and optimistic applicants in one email? One word – communication. Proper communication that is clear, concise, compelling, consistent and correct will allow your application to describe yourself to a tee.

Personally, I’d like to think I’ll be able to apply online and pop-in just to chat so the employer will remember my name when they see it in their inbox. Try to add personality to your resume – whether it’s the font you write in, the conversation style you write your cover letter or maybe an extra design you’ve added to brand yourself… make yourself memorable and stand out from the crowd. Employers spend a solid hour or so just reading emails every day – so how will you make your email enjoyable to them?


Friday, September 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye

It's a gloomy day at Career Services as our Social Media/Marketing Assistant, Samantha, is leaving us. She started working in Career Services as a Career Assistant in 2009 and has worked up the ranks while completing her Visual Arts/ Interactive Arts and Science degree. After graduating in June 2011, and working at Career Services over the summer, it will be sad to see her go. Before my departure, I interviewed her on her next career steps:

What did you enjoy most about working in Career Services?
The past two years at Career Services has been the best overall experience Brock University has had to offer me - hands down. Although training threw some curve balls at me I was able to develop professionally and became the career guru amongst my group of friends. I'm thankful for the time I've been given here and the various opportunities I've been involved with. Aside from the invaluable information I've gained, I've also created some great memories with amazing people.

If you could give new Brock students one piece of advice what would it be?
Explore your options and always have a back-up plan!
So many students are unaware of the opportunities available to them. Whether it involves work, clubs or sports get involved at Brock and within your community to get the most of everything.
In reference to career options always have a back-up plan. I've seen students so confused after their rejection from Med school or whatever - have a plan for any situation and save yourself the tears.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Professionally speaking I'd like to have developed a specialization for myself in a respectable business that allows me to utilize a variety of creative and analytic skills on a daily basis. I can't pin-point exactly where in the world I'll be; as much as I love St. Catharines I'm still up for exploring. I've grown a keen interest in marketing and advertising during my last few years at Brock. The fact I watch more commercials than tv shows could have something to do with it.

What would your dream job be?
I can't say I have one specific dream job - but it would definitely involve a mix of meticulous design work, getting my hands dirty and solving situations with creative thinking. As much as I dream of story-boarding the next Adidas soccer commercial in a foreign country, I'd be very proud to  hold a position with a company/organization that really makes a difference in the world.
But let's be realistic... right now my dream job would include a salary, health benefits and vacation time haha!

What is your favourite movie?
It's tough to pick when you're practically a movie addict but... I think one that I'll never tire from is Toy Story. Disney definitely brought a real sense of magic to the series and the fact it grew up with me makes it so much better. And yes, my Toy Story beach towel, lego alien keychain and Woody & Buzz wall clock are priceless.
I will never forget working with Sam as a Career Assistant. She was always so helpful to students and extremely approachable. She also brought the best Italian snacks to our weekly meetings. Her skills designing material are second to none and she has always been so creative when it comes to promotions and visual art. Wherever Sam ends up next, the organization will be lucky to have her. From all of us at Career Services, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Make sure to keep in touch!

- Rachel

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Relationships at Work

When I was in high school, I worked as a cashier at a grocery store. I vividly remember part of my training where we talked about relationships in the workplace. “Whatever anyone says to you, no matter how much you like someone, do NOT touch anyone else. It will come back to haunt you,” the trainer said. Funny, I remember her saying it, but I still managed to have a relationship with one of the bag boys. What a mistake that was…

Personal relationships in the workplace can be hit or miss. Obviously, with more people working longer hours, it is not uncommon for love to blossom between colleagues. When you work closely with people, you get to see them for who they really are, and if that is in an appealing light, Cupid could come calling and make things quite complicated.

Some workplaces prohibit workplace relationships and I can completely see why, having been in a few. First of all, becoming cozy with a colleague can be a conflict of interest, especially if one of you has more authority over the other or has anything to do with giving performance ratings, promotions, arranging salaries or approving reports. If the relationship goes sour, it can be quite upsetting and awkward for all parties involved. Not disclosing a relationship with a coworker can get you fired, so if you do decide to start something, make sure you make it as public as possible.

Also, if the relationship doesn’t work out, harassment cases are possible. No one wants to be the employee that has to leave a company to get away from an ex. It is always a good idea to check with HR about your company's policies regarding workplace relationships and whether it is worth risking your job asking out that special someone.

As for me, the workplace relationships that I had foolishly participated in never lasted. The last thing you want to see at work when you are meant to be professional is the guy or girl you have been arguing with for the last week about something ridiculous. And if you do end things, seeing your ex everyday does not make things any easier. So my advice would be to take the advice given to me many years ago. Don’t touch anyone at work. It more than likely won’t work out and will save you a lot of heartache. Trust me, I’ve been there.

- Rachel

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Are you looking for ways to get involved with your community and network through volunteer opportunities? VolunteerFEST is the perfect event for you! Student Life & Community Experience invites Brock University students, staff and faculty to attend this free annual event on September 16th 2011 between 10am – 3pm in Jubilee Courtyard. Meet dozens of community agencies looking for volunteers and make a difference in  your community! Stop by the Career Services booth to find out all the amazing things we have to offer you!

- Sam

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shop For Jobs 2011

The day has finally arrived! It's time to Shop for Jobs!

Retail employers are looking to hire students for the academic term. Visit us at the Shop for Jobs booth at the Pen Centre entrance infront of Green Earth and Coles to enter for a chance to win a $100 certificate to the mall and ask questions to make your pre-interview butterflies go away.

Keep in mind employers are probably hiring students to cover shifts throughout the holidays as well! Boxing Day is a busy time at the Pen.

Good Luck today!

- Sam

Nick, Sam and Rachel at the Shop for Jobs booth

Monday, September 12, 2011

Following Up with Employers

What do you do after you’ve handed out all your resumes? Are you being a couch potato and waiting for someone to call? You can’t stop being proactive just yet. It’s time to prove just how interested you are.

By calling or emailing the employer to follow up on their hiring process it shows you are eager. If the job posting specifically says only selected applicants will be notified or no phone calls then do not contact them. Otherwise, it’s best to wait 2 weeks before following up. Have questions prepared and perhaps introduce the idea you are interested in an interview opportunity.

If you’ve already been to an interview be sure to thank the employer for their time and consideration. You can read more on Thank You Etiquettes on our previous blog post.

For the sake of Shop for Jobs – you’ll have already met with the employer and possibly had an on-the-spot interview. If you’re curious it’s ok to ask when they plan to begin hiring.

Good Luck!

- Samantha

Friday, September 9, 2011

Declining a Job Offer

Last week you had no job and you were twiddling your thumbs watching reruns of Friends just waiting for the phone to ring… and now you’ve received multiple offers, you poor thing… what are you to do?

You’ve accepted a job from the first employer you heard from because you were worried you wouldn’t be receiving any other calls. But now you heard from another employer who you’d much prefer working for; what do you do? Hopefully you haven’t started training because that would be a waste of your employer’s time and resources. Phone immediately after hearing from employer #2 and explain your situation. Always speak in a positive manner – you don’t want to burn bridges. You don’t have to say exactly why you are choosing another employer. Saying the other job is a better fit with your current career goals is better than comparing salaries. Don’t forget to thank them for their courtesy, you never know, maybe you’ll be seeing them soon!

You have your eye on a specific employer but they haven’t called yet. In the meantime you’ve received other job offers, what do you tell them? If you’re dedicated to holding out for the big prize, thank them for their offer but you’d like some time to consider your options. Employers don’t expect to be your only choice. Respect their schedule and respond within the week with your final decision.

It’s rare but, some employers may request you to also provide a written letter of your decline for their human resource offices to consider in future job postings. This usually only occurs within Situation 1 if you filled out paper work and started working already.

Remember: the key to declining a job offer is to be respectful and tell them as soon as possible so they can make alternative plans.

-          Samantha

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Living Away From Home

Living away from home for the first time is kind of like going on vacation. It’s expensive, you get lost but call it an adventure, you party until you or your wallet burn out and your meals consist of questionable food. If this is the first time you’re away from home there’s no reason to be scared; if the rest of us made it so will you. I asked a few students what they thought was the toughest part about living away from home was and this is what they came up with:


When in doubt, Google it. Don’t know how to do laundry? Need to save money? Awkwardly trying to settle in? The internet knows all. Don’t spend all your time hiding and moping around in your dorm though. Get out and meet people! September is prime-time for making friends on campus. Everyone is in the same boat as you so why not be the brave one and say hello, organize a get-together with everyone on your floor or ‘adventure’ the city and find the hot spots. Getting a job on or off campus will expand your friendships and get you more involved, leaving you with less time to be homesick.

Yes, there will be plenty to adapt to. Between roommates, cafeteria food, professors that either mumble or have a foreign accent, you’ll get through it – because you’ll have met hundreds of other students who’ve had just as many awkward moments as you do.

A few things about St. Catharines:
  • The weather is different at the top of the escarpment than from below
  • Buy fresh food at the farmer’s market. It’s set up downtown every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  • The transit isn’t very reliable; the one day you absolutely need to be on time, the bus will go right past your stop.
  • It’s close to everything! 1 hour to Toronto or Buffalo.
And the rest you’ll just have to figure out for yourselves =)
Get comfy, you’re gonna be here for a while!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What is Shop for Jobs?

School is officially underway! Yay! Starting a new term is always so exciting. When I was a student here at Brock, there was nothing that got me into the school spirit than coming to campus, meeting up with friends, lining up for hours to get my bus pass and buying super expensive textbooks.

Talking about expensive textbooks, many students struggle with their finances while at university. A great way to lift some of the burden is to get a part time job while completing your studies. To help students find work, Career Services is once again holding its annual Shop For Jobs event at The Pen Centre in St. Catharines.

If you are looking for a job in food services, retail or customer service, this event is for you. We have over 15 stores at The Pen Centre who are setting up tables outside of their stores on Tuesday September 13th from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., eager to interview Brock students for available positions. All you have to do is visit the information table where Sam and I will check you in, bring your resume and any questions you may have, wear your business casual clothes and go wow some employers!

We strongly encourage you to visit the Resource Centre this week to get your resume reviewed by a Career Assistant before attending the event. We want all attendees to be successful in finding work and this is just one way to ensure that employers take you seriously. Another would be practising your interview skills on Interview Stream so no questions leaves you stumped. Quick tips and a cool Prezi about the event can be found on the Career Services website.

Good luck everyone!

- Rachel

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

OWeek at Brock

Welcome to Brock University! Get used to calling this campus home because trust me, you’ll be here as long as you’re not sleeping (and sometimes even then!). O-Week is prime time for you to venture the campus, meet your roommates, find your classes and get free stuff!

If you’ve already been at Brock for a while, welcome back! It’s our duty to pass on our words of wisdom to freshmen regarding Frosh week. BUSU plans a jam-packed schedule every year to get students acquainted with Brock. The first day (today) starts up with the Vendor Fair. This is where you can scope out tons of Brock clubs and services and fill your bag with stuff! Visit our booth for a chance to win a television and get more information on Shop for Jobs. The rest of the week can get pretty messy between concerts, barbeques, dances, bonfires etc.

Have a great week! You know where we’ll be if you have any questions about work and your degree!

- Samantha

Sonya, Molly & Stephen setting up the booth this morning

Friday, September 2, 2011

Moving On

Today is a sad day for Career Services; we're saying goodbye to Rachel, our PR and Employer Development Assistant today. For those of us who have recently graduated or will be this year, I'm sure we all feel a little anxiety. I interviewed Rachel to see where she stands now that it's time to find a full-time job.
After working as a PR Assistant with us at Career Services do you feel you've gained enough experience to offer your skills to another company in confidence?
 I feel like I will never have enough experience to work somewhere else! Every company has their own way of doing things. Even though I may know how to write a media release for Brock, for example, the next organization I work at may be different. I am trying to be as optimistic as I can about the future. Starting a new job is just the next step in my education. I am confident in the skills that I have and enjoy a challenge. Although I am sad to leave this position, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

What advice would you give to senior students who need a money-making job but also require further experience in their field?
Unfortunately, you have to be realistic. Today, you are going to be very hard pressed to find an employer willing to pay top dollar for a new graduate with no experience. You really only have two options: do an unpaid internship for a month or two to get experience while job searching, or work an unrelated job to make money and volunteer on the side. I did the internship route here at Career Services and ended up being hired for the summer. I had to work my butt off for a month for free, but now I have a portfolio full of material that I can show a potential employer on my next job interview. Don’t expect to be hired right after you are done school either. Stats show that new grads on average take about six months before they land their first job. Volunteering or doing an unpaid internship while you look for a job is definitely the way to go in my opinion.

What are your career plans for the upcoming 2 years?
Right now I am applying to jobs in the Niagara Region. I know eventually if I want to start making the big bucks, I will have to move to a major city like Toronto or Ottawa to find work. I do enjoy working in the Public Relations field, but if the opportunity arose for me to work in Marketing, I think I would enjoy that also.

How do you feel now that the pressure is on to find a full-time job? Are you well-prepared? Are you scared?
It is very overwhelming. I am always updating my portfolio with new material to ensure that it is up to date and I am trying to apply for at least one or two jobs a week. I would be kidding myself if I said I wasn’t scared.  I know I will find something eventually, I just hate waiting.

As a former Career Assistant, what is something Career Services offers to Brock students that isn’t utilized to its potential?
Career Services offers a wide variety of workshops that are extremely beneficial to students ranging from Career Planning to Job Search Strategies. It would be great to see more students signing up for workshops and learning about these valuable topics which can not only be used to help find employment, but can also be tracked on your Experience Plus Profile.
We'll definitely be missing Rachel in the office and her mad-PR skills with the Career & Post-Grad Expo. She'll be around a bit longer to train the student staff and tie up some odds and ends. We'll both be at the Shop for Jobs event on September 13th to assist students and employers throughout the day.
We extend our best wishes to Rachel during her transition into the working world and know she'll shine in any position. You can find Rachel on Linked In here.

- Samantha

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The 2011-2012 CA Team

Say hello to our fresh batch of Career Assistants! This week they've undergone a lot of training and gained the knowledge required to assist you in your academic and career endeavours. Career Services values the opinions and experiences of students from diverse backgrounds. Our team is constructed of students with various interests, educations and ages. We want you to know about our team, so I did some mini interviews to kick things off:

Krista - Currently switching from Con-Ed into Child Health
What's your Personality Dimensions colour and how will it apply to working at Career Services?
My PD assessment resulted in a highscore with the colour blue. Blue's are described as having a complex means of communication. I feel that my communication skills will benefit Career Services when working in team situations and among peers.

Jonathan - Sociology
What are you most looking forward to learning about at Career Services? Why?
I'm looking forward to learning about the wide range of career paths available to Brock students and how or why they choose certain careers.

Ashley - Interactive Arts & Science
What was your dream job in elementary school?
What's your dream job today?
Video Game Developer or Disney Imagineer

Amr - Kinesiology
How will working at Career Services help prepare you for your future?
My career pursuit, like most, is full of interviews and creating long term preparatory goals. Career Services provides me with the skills and knowledge to make a dreadful task relatively enjoyable.

Brittany - English Language & Literature/Dramatic Arts
What do you want to do after graduation?
I'd like to pursue a Master's degree in Discourse Studies, Postcolonial Theory or Theatre and thereafter complete my Bachelor of Education.

Rosemary - Child & Youth Studies
What's the best job you've ever had & why?
My best job ever was working at Youth University at Brock because I loved being a counselor and I made a lot of good memories.

These Career Assistants will be led by our new Senior CA's who I had actually mentored last year, so I know their in good hands!

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our new team =)
Every day will be a new learning experience which will ultimately help you in developing your personal career goals. Working at Career Services is a real opportunity and one of the best experiences I've had during by time at Brock, so enjoy it while it lasts because time flies!

- Samantha