Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Campus Recruitment Report: Win iPad2!

We want to hear your voice!

Help us plan your career better and get a chance to win an iPad 2!
This research, known as the From Learning to Work survey is being conducted by DECODE and Brainstorm Strategy Group on behalf of a group of Canadian employers and campus career centres. The purpose of this research is to learn about the attitudes and opinions of Canadian students regarding their careers.

All you have to do is take 15-20 minutes to complete an online survey and you will automatically be entered into the contest. Your privacy is protected and if you choose, you may withdraw from the survey at any time.

To participate and receieve a change to win, visit: www.fromlearningtowork.ca

Let your voice be heard, and opinions shared

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Realistic Goals for 4th Year

As this term comes to its middle point and will draw nearer to its end, those of us entering 4th year are starting to think of the big picture:

Next year is my FINAL year.
... I'll be graduating...
What am I going to do?!

Don't fret! It's true, along with 4th year usually comes many decisions and big steps that some of us might not feel ready for. But since you're such smart students, you'll be thinking ahead, right??
Of course!

Here are some realistic goals to keep in mind for your final year of University:
  • To post-grad or not to post-grad. Yes, this would be the right time to start looking into post-grad college programs or graduate schools that you might be interested in applying to. Deadlines will be coming up soon come fall, so be prepared with your choices!
  • New grad job search - where to begin? If you plan on entering the work force after graduation, plan to start your job search during the second term of school. Starting early will allow you more time to research companies/organizations and meet deadlines for job openings.
  • Target your career path. If you're still confused about what you want to do in the future in general - complete some self assessments and explore some possible occupations that you might be interested in. Having an idea of the kind of position you want will make the rest of your planning process a lot easier.
  • Work hard, play hard. This is your last year of undergraduate degree! Make sure you keep your grades up (especially those who are applying to post-grad) and enjoy your time as a university student. By planning ahead and having realistic career goals for yourself, there won't be need for a pre-graduation panic attack.
And as always, keep these things as well as Career Services in mind as you enter your final year!
- Lia


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

YOUR dreams. YOUR future.

Time and time again I hear students say "My parent's wont be happy with that", or "I don't think my parents will agree with that decision". It takes everything in me not to roll my eyes and reply with "Since when did your future become your parents?". Instead I kindly reply with "That sounds great, let me know how it goes".

For many students, parents, guardians, or role models are a huge factor and have a big influence on their education. It could be that they emotionally or financially support you, maybe they send care packages of love, or review your essays. Whatever influence theses important people have to help you succeed is WONDERFUL!

My concern comes when parents/guardians/role models start directing your future. When they start creating dreams which they want for your reality. I understand they only want the best for you, want for you to be happy and successful, however I wonder how this is possible when their dream's aren't your own?

I think back to Cinderella Story (2004) when Austin's Dad says "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Hey, what are you doing?" Austin replies with "I'm outta here". Austin's Dad says "What! You're throwing away your dream!" Austin's reply "No, Dad. I'm throwing away yours".

This is a perfect reflection of how parents sometimes create dreams for you. If this is your case I would encourage you to sit down with them and discuss what YOU want. It can be touchy, cause some tension but in the end its worth it. What are YOUR dreams? How can YOUR dreams become YOUR reality? Be sincere, honest and open. Share from your heart and acknowledge their support, but in the end, its your future. It should be YOUR dreams becoming YOUR reality.

My best wishes

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reading Week Hours

Just letting you know ahead of time,
our Career Resource Centre hours are changing for Reading Week.

We are only open Wednesday February 22 - Friday February 24, 2012 
from 10am-3pm.
Our hours will resume back to normal on Monday February 27, 2012 

We hope you all have an amazing week! Whether working, studying, relaxing, or playing we hope your week is enjoyable and fun.

Now is also the perfect opportunity to start looking for summer jobs and updating your resume! Take advantage of a week off school to catch up on other areas of your life.
Enjoy your reading week.
I'm off to study in the Dominican!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Changing Your Major: Never too late

Not happy with your major? Realizing that its not for you?

It's not to late to CHANGE!

Changing your major may sound scary, you may struggle with wondering if it really is the best option for you, and wondering if its worth it, but from someone with experience, its worth it!

Why might you want to change your major
  • Not interested- you should be interested in your major, feel engaged with the topics, and really want to be learning the material
  • Job opportunities- maybe you want to change your major because after doing some research you realize the job you've been dreaming of requires you to have a different degree
Whatever reason it is for changing your major, do it with confidence and know its okay to do so. You may consider coming into the Career Service Resource Centre to take a self assessment which will highlight your skills and interests, and what area is best suitable for you. We all have different talents, areas of specialization, and interests and through a self assessment you may find a job in which you never knew possible, and then backtrack to find what kind of education is required.

I would also encourage you to visit your academic advisor. Share your concerns, ask questions and hopefully through some research and conversation you will know which path is best suited for you.

Remember you are in charge of your own life. Change is never easy. You fight to hold on. You fight to let go. It's up to you which battle you will choose.

Best of luck

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Day Job vs My Passion

It seems there is always a pendulum swinging between making $$ and pursuing your passion when deciding on your future career path. For students who are pursuing post-secondary education, many say that one of the hopeful outcomes of their education is to work toward a higher pay scale.

But what happened to following your dreams? To doing what you love and the pay cheque will follow? Sometimes it's a little hard to materialize these notions when the pressure of achieving a decent-paying job is on everyone's minds. To this I say, why not have the best of both worlds?

It is not uncommon for people to work full-time at an unrelated job and pursue their passion on the side. The benefit to this is that your salary may be at a higher level so you can afford the kind of lifestyle you want. However, as humans we naturally have many passions and it is quite possible to not only have a job you love, but have equally as important hobbies or activities on the side.

This is why it is beneficial to engage in self assessments early in your academic life to match your personal skills and interests to a future career you might enjoy. You might not need to make the sacrifice of giving up your true passion in life for a full time career - meshing the two can be done!

If you need help at any point in your career planning process, stop by the Career Resource Centre or check out website

Good luck and remember to follow your passion!
- Lia

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way to:
  • Add experience and skills to your resume and Experience Plus transcript
  • Build career related experience and make career decisions
  • Meet new people and expand your network
Before volunteering conider:
  • The environment you want to work in
  • The location of the company/organization
  • The type of work you want to do and its relation to your future career goals
  • Transportation, costs and time commitment required
Where to find volunteer opportunities?
  • Brock University Student Union: busu.net/get-involved/volunteer
  • Career Services: brocku.ca/expplus/jobs/
  • Student Community Outreach: brocku.ca/student-community-outreach
  • Information Niagara Volunteer Connections: niagara.cioc.ca/volunteer/
  • Local charities and organizations
  • Through your network of friends and family
Don't forget that all volunteer hours can be tracked on your Experience Plus transcript and can earn you a Volunteer Plus certificate. But more than that, each time you volunteer you are gaining experience and knowledge, creating networks, and helping to build a better community!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Internships: Should you be paid?

Students are feeling the competition out there already; the pressure is on to get some career-related experience in your field of interest before your post-graduation job search begins.

An issue arises, however, when looking into internship positions. Should these "jobs" be paid? Or should students be willing to sacrifice months of potential earnings for this seemingly necessary experience to be competitive in today's job market? This is a touchy subject that is actually pretty complicated.

According to an article on Macleans.ca,
"The Ontario Employment Standards Act says that unless interns are students getting credit for school (or they’re working in an industry not covered by the legislation, like government or charities), the employee must be paid minimum wage." 
Well, that's a positive, right? Not necessarily. It just so happens that a lot of unpaid internships fly under the radar for many reasons; some students simply don't know their rights or the fear of complaining and getting fired tops asking for some kind of payment. 

This isn't to say that unpaid internships aren't valuable, they just might be the kind of position you've been looking for - especially if the program is designed for students to gain experience and be mentored in the field. However, due to the financial strains on many students it may be impossible to accept an unpaid position - a completely understandable, but unfortunate reality for some.

All in all, paid internships are not only more legally fair in most cases but also a more attractive option for students. You might find though that they are not always available. It really all comes down to what you're willing to sacrifice for that resume-building experience - the choice is up to you!

To start looking into internship positions, check out our website, CareerZone, or stop by the Resource Centre for more information. 

- Lia

For more information regarding unpaid internships, check out these links:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Apply for Jobs NOW!

While many of you may be starting to dream about Reading Week and sipping Pina Coladas on the beach, some of your peers have already secured their summer jobs! Say what?!

That's right, recruitment for summer positions start as early as January and go right through to March. There really isn't much time to dawdle here - those sweet summer jobs are being snatched up fast!

So what can you do right now to make sure you aren't one of those students left behind in April with no job lined up? 

Do you want to make a ton of cash this summer? Or would you prefer to make a little less money but get some awesome experience for your resume? Figuring this out will help you narrow down your search.

It will look pretty bad if in the midst of deadlines approaching for summer jobs that you accidentally send your resume out that hasn't been updated since Gr. 10 Careers class... you know better!

There are lots of places that hire specifically for the summer including summer camps, restaurants, hotels/resorts, outdoor recreation facilities, etc. If you're looking for something for specific and tailored to your degree, do your research early to find out about possible internships or other positions in your area.

Along with all these tips, make sure you Practice Your Interview Skills, be wary of deadlines, and network to make sure everyone knows you're looking for employment during the summer months. Stop by Career Services to jump start your summer job search!

Well, what are you waiting for?! You have a lot of work ahead of you.
Here's to finding an awesome summer job!

- Lia