Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Working from Home

In order to save my coworkers from being buried under my germ-infested kleenexes, I'm working from home today. It made me think - why don't more people do this? Truth is, plenty of occupations have potential to let you work from home for example: Administrative Assistant, Market Research Analyst, Paralegal and Desktop Publisher. Employers are also becoming more flexible in allowing their workers to stay home. As glorious as having a career at home sounds, it has its pros and cons...

Thumbs Up:

  • No Commute means less money spent on gas, parking or public transportation and more sleepy-time
  • Dress Code... what dress code? You'll save a bundle on clothes. But maybe wearing business formal clothes will help with your productivity?
    It's all up to you!
  • Flexibility. Decide what your hours are - unless of course if you have online meetings with coworkers
  • Extended Family Time - save money on daycare and give grandma a break.

Thumbs Down:
  • Distractions ie. phone calls, nostalgic tv reruns, neighbours, the sudden urge to do chores etc.
  • Communication with coworkers is somewhat restricted and you could miss out on developing friendships
  • Productivity may decrease when you're watching Ellen Degeneres in your sweats. It's too easy to get comfortable at home, so if you don't have self-motivation your competitive spirit could diminish.
If you're people oriented and thrive off of other's energy it's probably best to work in a team environment and keep involved. If you're disciplined and not big on office gossip, working at home could work for you! Where do you see yourself working 15 years from now? By understanding your values your career decisions will be made much easier.

It's only noon, and although the day seems to go by faster I admit I'm not as focused... looking forward to getting back to the office tomorrow!

- Sneezy Samantha

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Work and Freshman Year

Your parents have probably been asking “have you found a job yet?”, “do you have enough money to eat?” along with all the other nags that come with leaving the nest. But they’re right… will you have a job through your first year of university? If you won’t, how will you afford parties in addition to everyday necessities? Your parents won’t have bottomless wallets forever you know.

First year can be a bit nerve racking in general. It's normal to be anxious about balancing the work load with simple but time consuming things like laundry or cooking. I know people who haven’t worked a day through their university career, whereas I’ve always held two jobs throughout school and summer. Who do you think will be more prepared to for a career once they graduate? If you don’t learn how to prioritize now you’ll fall behind the others. By starting in your freshman year you'll accustom to a school-work life and it'll be a cinch once fourth year comes around.

By working part-time you learn how to prioritize, develop work ethics and learn from your mistakes (like calling in sick way too often) – plus you’ll have some pocket change for a rainy day! If your schedule during the week is full it's worth applying for weekend jobs like a pizza place or the movie theatre.
University really isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be. As long as you stay on task you’ll be fine – unless you work better under-pressure, then you’ll definitely need coffee change for plenty of late nights.

If worse-comes-to-worse you can explain to your employer that you need to focus on school and respectfully wish to be on a leave of absence until the holidays. No employer should make you choose work over academics if they have your best interests in mind. You do need to keep your marks up because your first year marks could come back to haunt you in your final year.

It’s time to check-in and grow up! You’re getting tossed into a bigger world and the time to adjust is now. Check out for job postings within the Brock community or navigate to “Find A Job” through for an extensive list of job search resources.

Welcome to University! Good luck and best wishes on surviving Frosh week!


Monday, August 29, 2011

There's No I in Team

It’s training week at Career Services! Our new Career Assistants will undergo an intensive training program which the Sr.CA’s have developed over the summer months to prepare them for all the questions Brock students have for us! It’s a huge learning curve for the newbies but it’s one of the greatest experiences they’ll have during their time at Brock. We’ve found that one of the best ways to have a power team is to create a supportive, friendly and fun work environment. Although our training encourages our staff to focus on themselves, it also involves a great amount of team bonding.

Being able to work in a team setting is a great attribute to have when applying to a new job. Knowing you can rely on your team mates for support is a load off your shoulders and they’ll definitely appreciate your effort too. Usually there's going to be that one person you see the most at work and you'll become best buds. Try not to stick yourself into a single group of people and instead expand your network, don't be the office snub.

If you're just shy try your best to put yourself out there. The more practice you have networking now the better. By getting involved in projects, meetings and outings you'll feel more comfortable with your team and be ready to jump right in when you start your career! Being outgoing and curious always gives a good impression.

The CS team will be learning every last detail about our resources this week. It's a ton of information to swallow and they're doing it for you! The office will reopen September 6th and we'll be at O-Week! Until then, you can forward any questions/comments to Jack McIsaac on facebook and twitter.

- Samantha

Friday, August 26, 2011

Insurance Fair

It’s hard to imagine a career choice where you’ll have the opportunity to use more of your skills than insurance. Why? Because insurance is already a part of everything you do. It protects homes, jobs, cars, property and the continuity of lives. And because insurance is all around us, the industry has a wide variety of careers to match your education and amazing flexibility to change directions along the way.
There are more than 110,000 Canadians working in the property and casualty insurance sector. It’s an industry that reflects the face and the values of Canadian society and has a constant need for talented, creative, motivated people

If you open your mind to the possibilities, you may find a career as individual as you are. You may be surprised to find that insurance isn’t what you think; it’s a whole lot more! Find your place in insurance.

Be sure to check out the Brock Career Services website for more information about this annual event - including a list of participating employers. Check on us in October!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Police Recruitment Showcase

If you're interested in a career in Policing be sure to attend this annual event! This is your chance to speak with Police Service Recruiters and get the inside scoop on how to get your foot in the door.

When: January 24, 2012 / 1:00 - 4:00pm
Where: Sean O'Sullivan Theatre
This event will give students the opportunity to meet face to face with a variety of Police Service Recruiters and representatives from the
  • Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P)
  • Niagara Regional Police Service
  • Hamilton Police Service
  • Peel Regional Police
  • Halton Regional Police Service
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  • ...and more!
Recruiters are looking to provide information to students and graduates and answer questions on recruitment related issues such as how to apply; examination procedures; required training; salary and benefits; and career opportunities within the different units such as Emergency Task Unit (SWAT), Major Crimes Unit, Canine Unit, Detective Office, and Underwater Search and Recovery.
This is a formal showcase, so students are advised to dress in no less than business-casual attire

Const. Nilan Dave of the Niagara Regional Police speaks with Jeanette Ramsay, co-ordinator of Policing and Criminal Justice at Brock, and Lisa Kuiper from Career Services at the Police Recruiting Showcase / 01/2011
Read about last year's event here

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do You Have Yours?

click the photo for a larger view of the poster!
link to our previous post about XPlus
"Do You Have Yours?" is a 2 week event that will be hosted this Fall by Career Services in honour of Experience Plus. Keep checking the website for updates!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Career and Post Graduate Expo 2011

A question frequently asked in the Career Resource Centre is, “What can I do with my degree?” The second most popular question is, “Where can I find a job?” Career Services has created an event to help students find work and decide what they would like to pursue after graduation all in one day!

The seventh annual Career & Post-Graduate Expo is an event in which over 120 employers, non-profit organizations and post-graduate institutions come to Brock to recruit and network with the best and brightest we have to offer. It is set up trade show style where students can visit the booths of exhibitors that interest them and find out more information that could be valuable when deciding on a career.

'Career Expo' (for short) features a wide variety of exhibitors, all of whom are excited and eager to talk to Brock students about opportunities available to them. If you need a job, are looking to travel, want to get some professional development or are unsure about what to do after graduation, Career Expo is the event for you.
This year's Career & Post-Graduate Expo will be held on Tuesday November 8, 2011 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Ian D. Beddis Gymnasium.

This is a free event but registration is required and can be done in the next few weeks from the Career Services website. A business casual dress code will be in effect and a full lit of exhibitors will be available online and on our notice boards around campus in October. For more information on what to expect and how to prepare, keep reading the blog and checking the Career Services website for updates. Also, those with an iPhone or iPad should look out for the Career Expo app, coming to an app store near you!

Follow us on Twitter @BrockExpo for updates leading up to and during the event!
No matter what year of study you're in at Brock, we welcome you to experience Career Expo! And that includes recent alumni!

PR Assistant for The Career & Post Graduate Expo 2011
- Rachel

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shop For Jobs

Shop for Jobs is an annual event held at The Pen Centre which allows Brock University and Niagara College students an opportunity to apply for part-time work during the school year.

The job fair provides various opportunities for students to work in retail, customer service and food industries. Depending on your school schedule, a job at the mall could be the perfect solution for you if you’d rather work weekends, night shifts etc.

This year the event will take place Tuesday, September 13
th between noon and 6pm. Sign in at the Career Services booth for a chance to win a prize and ask any questions prior to meeting employers. Don’t forget to review your resume and customize your cover letters with a Career Assistant before the event! Do not wait till the last minute! The Resource Centre is a busy place during this time of year so be sure to give yourself enough time to have it reviewed and actually make the appropriate changes.
You can speak with a Career Assistant about everything you should prepare before attending the job fair and pick up a Quick Tip postcard on the way out so you don't forget.

So, if you’re looking for a part-time job this school year, definitely check out Shop For Jobs! More information about the event and participating employers can be found on our website.

- Samantha

Friday, August 19, 2011

Trendy Careers

I usually recommend students to always have a back-up plan to their dream job. At least one of your career paths should be strategically chosen. What I mean by that is to question the reliability of that career. What is its future potential? Are people in that field in high-demand or is the job being replaced with machines or combined into other positions? Is it something new to the workforce and has a promising rate of development?

Career trends are important to keep up with, and it's proven to be very beneficial during one's job search process - especially in today's economy. Resources that our Career Assistants rely on for trends and labour market information are listed below. We keep a hard-copy record of the current, previous and future career outlooks (which you're also welcome to flip through) in the Resource Centre.

Canada's Top 100
Niagara Workforce Board
Fast Company
Working in Canada
Ontario - Labour Market Information
Human Resources & Skills Development Canada

Remember: Trends and Labour Market information are two different things.

*Trend n.
Jobs that are currently popular or progressing with a promising outlook.

*Labour Market n.
Job positions that are in high demand by employers and desirable by workers thus creating competition between applicants.

So, while you're deciding what to do with your degree remember to think outside the box and consider opportunities that may not exist for another 5 years. By being aware of future outlooks in the job market you will be better prepared for your ultimate job search.

- Samantha

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Career Zone

The Job Board has been updated!

Career Services, in association with the BCDO and Brock Co-op offices, have been working to update the job board (now called Career Zone) with Orbis Career. The system can be accessed through this link and you must sign in with your Brock ID. This ensures that the postings are secure and exclusive to the Brock community.

The system will recognize your student account and provide the most relevant job postings to you. So, if you are a part-time student & are not eligible for Experience Works positions, they will not show up on your screen. If you are a co-op or business student, additional postings provided by the BCDO and Co-op offices will also be visible to you. CareerZone is customized for you so you don’t have to sift through irrelevant postings.

Another cool feature in CareerZone is a calendar of our events throughout the year which will include workshop schedules and employer showcases.

Quick Tip:

Once you log on with your student ID you will be navigated to your dashboard. To search for work, click Job Postings and the most recent submissions will be on the home screen. To do an advanced search from here click Search Job Postings. You can save your searches for quick access later as well as your resumes! It’s pretty easy.

*Note to Alumni*
We’re here to help you transition from the academic world into your career. CareerZone is available to you in the same manner as current students...minus the co-op opportunities. So keep your eyes open for employer showcases and job fair events on the calendar too!

*Note to Employers*
If you are interested in posting a position on CareerZone you must complete a one-time registration form in order to post. Once you have received a username and password you may post as many positions as you’d like.

*Note to Faculty & Staff*
If you’d like to post any positions to the job board please complete your account registration and use the username & password provided to log in. Once you have an account you can post as many positions as you’d like, get access to our workshops and online resources.

*Note to Community Members*
Once you have registered, you may post jobs for babysitters, tutors, yard workers etc. to be listed under our Casual Job Board. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Resume Reviews

Could you review my resume?

     Sure! Let's have a seat. I'm just going to make some notes and I'll explain it all after.
     In the meantime why don't you take a look at these handouts.
     Ok so you have a great start but there's a few suggestions I'd like to make...

And then it's like you finally see colour, hear the music and walk on water beside a unicorn.
Building your resume is like an art; I can say that because I've seen a lot, written many and slightly gasped at a few. We (Career Assistants) have developed a series of resume guidelines and samples according to specific career paths and general employment which are all available in the Career Resource Centre.

Believe it or not, your resume should be tailored to your desired career. Business, medical and art resumes are separate worlds apart; we can teach you the difference between the resume you have now and the one you could have - you just have to drop in and ask!

We have plenty of guidelines, samples and worksheets to help you develop an amazing resume. It does take quite a bit of effort but it's totally worth it. And don't forget, a resume is never complete; there's always updates and edits to be made so you'll have plenty of practice and be a pro in no time!

Drop in for a free review of your resume, cover letter, curriculum vitae or portfolio. It generally only takes 10 minutes so there's no excuse not to! And if you're really dedicated to learning, we are always thrilled to provide career advice to those who ask. It's a student to student service - no need to be nervous.

September is approaching!
Have your resumes handy because there's plenty of positions ready to be filled.

- Samantha

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"The Wall"

People often awkwardly prop themselves infront of this magazine rack and stare at the wall with a look of confusion or maybe hope - as if the magazine with the perfect article is going to jump into their hands. Don't be afraid of the magazine wall, just grab a bunch of them (please), its free!

Career Services' magazines cover topics for everyone: finding entry-level jobs, career trends, grad school, teaching & work abroad, jobs in business/technology/arts and so much more!

My favourite magazine is Fuel Inc. It's a Canadian magazine that comes out once a year and relates today's careers to the jobs of our favourite television characters. Let's face it, TV is where many of our "when I grow up I want to be a..." moments rooted from. This magazine's approach has a fresh way of providing valuable information. In fact, the magazine was so cool we're all out! I'm excited to see the new edition this Fall. Get your copy while it's hot; these magazines are only mailedto high schools, colleges and universities.

I've read every magazine on that wall and I can honestly say it's good stuff. When I was considering post-grad, I read the grad school planning guide and it answered a lot of questions which made my decision very easy. A past co-worker was obsessed with the SWAP magazines and she's actually going to work in Ireland soon.

In addition to magazines, we receive mail from organizations, employers and post-grad schools and we squeeze them in when we can. So, next time you're walking by the Resource Centre know it's ok to stop and have a look!

- Samantha

Monday, August 15, 2011

Major Opportunities

“Ohhhh you’re an art major… So what’re you gonna do with that?”

It was people's automatic reflex similar to word vomit every time I answered the infamous introduction question “what do you go to school for?”

Everyone seemed to thrive off the deer-in-headlights look and delayed answer ‘I dunno… I just like art’ but never really expected me to one day reply with ‘well, I’m designing a video game, animating 3D shorts and sometimes I draw naked people but the labour market looks promising in advertising.’

I always had a general idea of what my degree could do for me, but I had never really researched the opportunities available to me – until I was introduced to my DEG.

My DEG informed me of all the latest career opportunities for people with my degree and more: skills I develop as a student of this degree, business & employer directories, job search resources, professional associations and where to find further education and internship opportunities. My DEG provided me with a wealth of information; I just had to decide what to do with it next.

I admit, I used my DEG to rule out options but when it came to a close tie I took the information I had to Career Cruising for yet another interest assessment and took advantage of the whole thing.

You might be thinking who is this DEG and where can I get my hands on them? Don’t worry, there’s plenty to go around. Career Services has a DEG for everyone in any major at Brock University. They’re actually lined up against the wall waiting for you to pick them off and take them home!

Reasons you should take a DEG home with you
(for more than one night) - You are:
  • Not sure what jobs you can get with your degree
  • Switching majors
  • Looking for resources to find a job or further education
  • Proving to your parents that your degree is just as good as theirs

A DEG is like the swiss-army knife to your career path; it will help you explore what your degree has to offer so when someone asks “what are you gonna do with that?” you can say “lots of things!”

Find your DEG online or in the Career Resource Centre and realize the potential of your degree!

the DEG wall at Career Services
DEG n.
1. abbreviation for Degree Exploration Guide.
2. A career resource document created by Career Services and academic advisors at Brock University to provide students with examples of career opportunities and skills developed according to their major.

- Samantha

Friday, August 12, 2011

Experience Works

With September approaching so quickly, you might have thought about applying to some of the on campus jobs listed on our Career Services Job Posting Board. Working on campus is a great opportunity – with perks like flexible hours, a convenient location and competitive wages they are an attractive option for students looking for work.

But, what if you see this thing at the top of a job posting?

This indicates that you need to be eligible for the Experience Works program to apply to specific jobs. Experience Works enables students to build their transferable job skills by providing funding to faculty and staff to hire students for on-campus positions. To be approved for this program, you must complete a Student Profile and your eligibility will be determined by the Student Awards & Financial Aid office. You will receive an email letting you know if your profile has been approved or not usually within 1-2 weeks depending how busy the office is.

If you’re approved, you will obtain a valid Experience Works Approval email that you can attach with your application to Experience Works jobs.

Don’t forget! You are required to re-apply for Experience Works each term.

For information on how to be approved for Experience Works visit the Student Awards & Financial Aid: Work Study site

To find Experience Works positions visit the Career Services site.

- Lia M

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Experience Plus

Track your achievements!

Your resume can emphasize more than your work experiences. Experience Plus helps to track your involvement at Brock University and showcases your achievements on an official transcript. This transcript is perfect for your portfolio and bringing to interviews. Your Experience Plus transcript can document your academic awards, jobs on campus, workshops attended, volunteer hours, transferable skills and more!

Log onto your Brock Portal and create/review your information to make sure it is up to date. Once your data is submitted, our Experience Plus Assistant will verify your information and track it on your transcript - it's simple!

And best of all, you can request this official Brock University transcript at any time during your academic career at Brock University. It's better to update your transcript on a regular basis so you don't forget all the great achievements you've completed.

2007 Sample: Experience Plus Transcript
Click on the image for a larger view
Follow these steps to access your Experience Plus Account:

  1.  Log onto
  2. Click Applicant and Student Self Serve
  3. Click Student Self Serve - Menu
  4. Click Career Services > Experience Plus > StudentData
  5. To request a copy of your transcript click ExpTranscript
So what are you waiting for? Access your Experience Plus Account today and get tracking!

Sr. Career Assistant
- Lia M

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Personalized Workshops

Order a Workshop

Career Services recognizes the individual and diverse needs of Brock students. That’s why we offer our workshops by request in order to work around your busy schedule.

Here’s how it works:
  • Find a group of 5 to 10 people interested in one or more of the topics listed in the workshop menu below
  • Decide on date and time options that are convenient for your group
  • Send an email to with your request
  • Career Services will confirm a date, time and facilitator for your workshop

* Please provide at least 1 week notice per request
* Workshops are subject to staff availability
* Customized requests are welcome

For more information and to order a workshop contact:

Kara Hammond
Resource Coordinator and Faculty Liaison
905-688-5550 ext. 5268

Workshop Menu
Time Commitment
Accomplishment Based Resume Writing
1.5 hours
Career Planning
2 hours
Customizing Cover Letters
1 hour
Interview Strategies and Practice
1/5 hours
Job Search Strategies
2 hours
Portfolio Production
1.5 hours
Summer Job Search
1 hour

Workshop descriptions available at:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Med Plus

Career Services offers students an exciting opportunity to compete for a spot in Med Plus – a program designed to assist students interested in health care to explore the field and develop the skills and knowledge required to pursue the career they decide is right for them.
Applications for this year have already been accepted so keep your eyes open for your next chance.

For those of you already a part of Med Plus there’s an upcoming MD information session on MD Admissions for 2011/2012. If you are interested in applying to the Michael G. Degroote School of Medicine join your peers on
Monday, August 29th 2011
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Academic South – Room 217
Brock University

Med Plus offers students a great experience to get involved in health care, attend guest speaker sessions and job shadow. Med Plus helps their students prepare for further education in medicine and realize their career goals.For more information about Med Plus, visit our website.

- Samantha

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mentorship Plus

The Mentorship Plus program caters to every Brock student – even alumni!

No matter what year or program you’re in, Mentorship Plus can benefit you. The program is broken into levels to suit you depending on your year of study. The levels of Mentorship are further explained on the site.

During my time at Brock I was involved with 2 of the 4 levels. I was a senior mentor, and also a career mentee. As a senior mentor I was able to warn my mentee (a 1st year student) about all the things I screwed up on in my first year like parking fines, library fees on reserves, stumbling around Isaac’s, mastering all-nighters etc. If I had been involved with Mentorship Plus in first year I’m sure I would have avoided a lot of mistakes and become more involved with the Brock Community.

In my 3rd and 4th year I had a Career Mentor. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to meet with a professional in my desired field because it allowed me to gain insider knowledge about the industry and decide if I should continue pursuing that career goal. Being a graduating mentee is truly a rewarding opportunity and I recommend it to all 3rd and 4th year students. It’ll set you in the right direction and ease your nerves for graduation and transitioning to the workforce.

Those are just my experiences... hundreds of students have participated and benefited from Mentorship Plus. Visit our website to discover how else you can be involved!

You can be a mentor and share your experiences, or you can be a mentee and learn from someone who knows the ropes. There’s a fit for you in the Mentorship Plus program!
Register today & track it on your Experience Plus transcript!

P.S Mentorship Plus will be launching their own blog soon!
For now, keep in touch on Facebook: Mentorship at Brock and Twitter: @MentorshipPlus!

- Samantha

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Exciting news!

The Career and Post Graduate Expo 2011 officially has a twitter account! Now you can get all the updates and news about employers, organizations, schools, guest speakers, contests and more live during and before the event!

We have some new additions to our promo package this year and I'm so excited to see it launch. But you'll have to wait till late September ;)

- Samantha

Follow @BrockExpo on Twitter
and be-in-the-know before everyone else!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The ABCs & 123s of Teacher's Education

So you’re applying to teacher’s college. A few things I need to ask before I get into this topic juuuust to make sure you’re in it for the right reasons:

  • Is teaching your calling? Can you see yourself as a teacher in 10 – 20 years?
  • Do you genuinely enjoy working with youth and believe you will instill confidence in your students?
  • Are you doing it for summers off & a ridiculously good benefit package?
  • What are your teachable subjects? Do students require these subjects or are they electives? Think strategics
  • Are you aware you probably won’t have a full-time position for 5-10 years?
    …unless if you are willing to teach in the Northern Territories in which case, are you willing to relocate?

Hopefully this opened your eyes a bit and you are reassured that yes, you want to be a teacher 100% and will do anything to get a position. Or maybe you just realized this isn’t quite for you.

The Facts:
Teacher Education is a one year post-graduate program required for those who wish to pursue a career in teaching. You must complete at least a 3 Year Pass to apply to Teacher’s College (or complete a Concurrent program which combines your undergrad with teacher’s college). Upon completion of Teacher’s College, you must be certified by the Ontario College of Teachers and pay an annual membership fee to maintain their certification as a teacher in Ontario.
  •           You'll need 2 months to research schools and prepare your applications. Deadlines for Ontario teacher education programs can be found here:
  •           Program requirements and fees for each school are different. Check that you meet the academic & teachable requirements for different grade levels.
  •           The majority of applications will require descriptions of your relevant volunteer experiences, so hopefully you’ve been involved!

Enough with the jibber jabber – you can find more information on the TEAS website about deadlines, requirements etc.

What I really want to talk about is the possibilities of where you can go to school. It’s all based on your personal preference, so which would you choose: Canada, America or Australia.
Usually students will apply to Niagara University if they were not accepted into a Canadian school (they are more competitive). And the ones that go to Australia do it to satisfy their desire to travel. If you decide to teach outside of your province/country, be sure you are certified to teach back home when you return. Career Services has visitors throughout the year from CANTEACH, AustraLearn, KOM Consultants and Degrees Overseas. Check our events widget on our homepage for updates on employer & post-grad showcases. Also keep your eye out for our Career & Post-Graduate Expo attendees!

The following are a list of Ontario schools that provide Teacher’s Education:
  • Brock University
  • Lakehead University
  • Laurentian University
  • Nipissing University
  • Trent University
  • University of Ottawa
  • Queen’s University
  • University of Toronto
  • UOIT
  • University of Western Ontario
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • University of Windsor
  • York University


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Destined for Higher Education

Ok, so you’ve conquered your undergrad, maybe you’ve even done some post-grad, and now you’re thinking Hmmm.. a Master’s couldn’t hurt. Consider the reasons you want an MA. Is it absolutely required for your career? Is it because you ‘can’t find a job’? Or do you think you’ll make more money if you have a higher education? There are arguments that a BA is “worthless” ever since the recession hit us – which isn’t true one bit. It was actually part of a speech at my convocation… a bit awkward as I held my crisp $20G degree like a baby in my hands but I guess it was supposed to be encouraging?

The truth is a Master’s degree is for people who either 1) require an MA to pursue their career or 2) are devoted to being a lifetime student. First, you need to understand why you want further education and the benefits you will receive upon completion. An MA can benefit those in the health, business or engineering field because it will provide a deeper level of understanding in relevant job skills. On the other hand, social science or humanities fields may continue their education as an opportunity to develop in general but it won’t necessarily provide them with further training. Be sure that a Masters is worth your time and money.

If you’re only continuing your education because you haven’t found a job, reconsider. Use the money you’d spend on school for brain-food and start networking. Research if your career requires a Master’s degree and continue from there. Career Services has created documents to assist you through the planning process of grad school, you can find them here along with a list of graduate programs available at Brock University.

Hats off to you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

8 Reasons to go to College

Upon graduating high-school, the decision of your next chapter in life can be overwhelming. I always thought, ‘how can these people possibly expect me to make a life decision right now when they haven’t even prepared me?’ I wasn’t told anything about post-secondary school. I hunted answers through Google and went with my gut which grumbled university over and over. Our parent’s generation has always put emphasis on university being better than college but that’s not the case anymore, and we’re the ones who get to prove it to them.


-         Provides specific programs
o       If you know your passion and the job does not require a degree then college is for you. Why go to university if you don’t have to? Research with Career Cruising and discover the type of education your desired career requires.
-         Trains students with hands-on learning experiences for jobs
that are non-academic based
o       Co-op or internship opportunities are often offered within college curriculums
o       College students are better prepared for the work world because while they received practice in their field, university students had their noses in books.
-         Easy transition from high-school
o       Class sizes are small and you’re given homework on a regular basis whereas university classes can be up to 100 students and your grade can be solely based on 3 essays and 1 exam.
-         Degree/Diploma combination
o       Colleges and universities are realizing students want an interactive education but also desire obtaining a BA. Institutions are beginning to offer both a diploma & degree upon graduation.
-         Joint Program
o       Some universities & colleges have joined to create fast-track programs for their students. Brock and Niagara have already done so with Policing & Criminal Justice; it’s a hit!
-         Length of time varies
o       Depending on the program, your college experience could be 2-4 years
-         Accepted with a lower GPA.
o       If you had your heart set on university but didn’t have the marks there are opportunities for you to begin your post-secondary education in college and then transfer to university.
-         It can be less expensive than university
o       Don’t base your future entirely on the price tag of your education. Join The Starving Student Club and apply for a loan if you have to.

To find the program that’s right for you, explore Ontario Colleges and compare school/program details. Information on schools within and beyond Ontario can be found with School Finder. I hope this helps to make your decision less gut-wrenching and wish you all the best in your future endeavors!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Can't Find a Job? Do a Post-Grad!

As I completed my last year at Brock, I struggled to find a job that I could be qualified for with a Pop Culture degree. Like many graduating students, I had finally realized that my post-secondary education wasn’t really suited for finding employment. I had all the knowledge I needed to complete my program, but no experience to get a job. As much as I wanted to be done with school, I started doing research on college courses that could supplement my university degree. A friend told me I should take a Post-Graduate Certificate. At the time I had NO IDEA what that was, but it sounded like something I needed to know about.

A Post-Graduate Certificate/ Diploma is a program taken at college for those who already hold a university degree. It’s almost like taking your Masters; the only difference is you complete hands on work rather than research and get specialized knowledge in a specific discipline. It’s a great way to gain experience and make you more appealing to employers. The best part is that the majority of certificates only take one year to complete. I was sold!

The majority of colleges in Ontario all have Post-Graduate Certificate programs in a variety of disciplines ranging from Ecosystems Restoration to Hospitality & Tourism Management. I decided I wanted to go to Niagara College and selected Public Relations as my field of study.

Going from Brock University to Niagara College was a little like going back to high school. It had been a few years since I had had a professor who knew me by name, and was willing to work with me one-on-one if I didn’t understand something. All the instructors were extremely knowledgeable and had worked in the industry for years themselves. In other words, it was nothing like university, but in a good way. I also got to complete an internship to get experience to add to my resume, which most programs offer.

In June, I graduated with my Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, and I couldn’t be happier. It was the right choice for me, and with some research, it could also be the next step in your educational path.

For more information, visit and find a Post-Grad program that’s right for you.

- Rachel

photos to come soon! =)