Thursday, April 26, 2012

A New Beginning

It's that time of year again...exams are over and April is wrapping up. This means that it's time to say another goodbye, this time to the Career Services Blog writers for the 2011-2012 year. Here are some parting wishes from our co-writers, Hillary and Lia:

It's been a great year at Career Services for me as a Sr. Career Assistant. Leading a team has been wonderful and I've learned so much more about myself both personally and professionally. Helping students to succeed has been truly rewarding and has really added to my overall university experience by working in this role for the past 2 years. Contributing to writing this blog has also been a blast and I look forward to returning next fall and wrapping up my final year at Brock all while continuing to work in this great department! Have a great summer Badgers, and I will see you in September!
          - Lia

Over the past 2 years I've had the privilege to work at Career Services as a Career Assistant and Sr. Career Assistant. Each day that I went to work I was amazed by the calibre of information I was learning and the diversity of students at Brock. I learned so much about the variety of career paths, and amazed by each students aspirations for the future. As I leave this place, ready to take on new adventures, I encourage all to be active in the career process, to network with individuals from all fields, and to have a professional and positive social presence. May you have a wonderful summer, dream big, and always have a back up plan.
        - Hillary

Keep an eye out for our summer posts written by our Summer Career Assistants, Ashley and Brittany! We wish them well on their blogging endeavors.

Till next time! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CA's Goodbye

This year in the Career Resource Centre we were so lucky to have 6 amazing Career Assistants who helped students with their career planning process, engaged in a variety of events and project within the centre, and provided so much life and energy to the work. 

Unfortunately we are saying goodbye to come of them, however others are coming back as your Sr. Career Assistants. After asking each of them to write a small paragraph sharing what they've learned and how this job has shaped them I thought I would share them with you. So with no further ado, here are the messages from 5 of our 6, 2011-2012 Career Assistants 

"Being a Career Assistant was a rewarding and challenging opportunity. Not only did I get the chance to help Brock University students with their career aspirations, but I was also able to better understand my own goals, skills, and areas that need improvement. One important thing that I learned through my position as a CA is to always have a well thought out, structured, and realistic plan. It makes life much easier! And if you’re reading this and worrying that you don’t have a plan, you should go to the Career Resource Center where any of the Career Assistants there can definitely help you put a great plan together!"

"My experience as a Career Assistant was invaluable. Not only did I get to learn more about my program of study and the different opportunities available to me there, but my eyes opened up to all the programs Brock has to offer and the value in every field. As an aspiring future educator, I appreciated the opportunities I got to teach and advise the students coming in to the centre with questions or for resume and cover letter reviews, and at the same time I myself was learning something new everyday, right up until the last. I am so glad I got the chance to be a part of this team and department, and am thrilled to stay on for the summer and as a Senior Career Assistant in the Fall!"

This past year as a Career Assistant, I have learned so much about the work world. Not only is my resume and cover letter looking great, I have learned about some great tools that help out in networking and researching when looking for that perfect job. Believe me, the perfect job IS out there. My advice for students: never stop looking, some job postings may be up in a news paper or on an online job board one day and gone the next, always have your resume tailored and ready so you can jump at the amazing opportunities! As for next year, you may just see me as a Senior Career Assistant in the Resource Centre, be sure to stop by for a visit! 

Thank you for using our services this year and allowing me as a career assistant to learn through your experiences and knowledge. I encourage you to continue to look for jobs you enjoy and get started early! All the best for summer and I look forward to seeing you guys back again in the fall.

Working at Career Services has been an exciting and inspiring experience. I have learned a lot about myself and about the many students I've assisted during the past year. I'm looking forward to continuing work here during the summer and into the upcoming school year!

We are so thankful for this leadership and excited for what the future holds for each and everyone of you. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. I know Career Services is excited to have some of you back, and wishes you all the best on your individual career paths!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Me to We Event

Career Services is proud to be involved in offering the following event:

Craig Kielburger, Me to We Speech
April 24, 2012 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Holiday Inn and Suites Parkway Conference Centre

Investors Group is hosting the Me to We: How One Person Can Make a World of Difference presentation, with speaker Craig Kielburger right here in St. Catharines.
Craig Kielburger is an accomplished child rights advocate and leadership specialist, an award-winning author and a popular speaker. He is the founder of Free The Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children through education, and the co-founder of Leaders Today, the world’s top youth leadership training organization.

To attend this event you must have registered on Careerzone and obtained a ticket from Career Services.
Any questions about this event, please contact Lisa Kuiper at

This is a great opportunity for students to engage in social activism and gain some professional development as well - take advantage if you can!

- Lia

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Moving from unemployment to employment

As the end of the year winds down you may find yourself packing up your residence room, off-campus housing or for the graduating students, packing 4 years of life to move home or to a new city for a job. Either way packing is difficult and can cause some headache. After my past weekend experience I offer you 5 key words to keep in mind to help make this transition as smooth as possible.

1. Toss, Keep, Sell.  When packing to move think to yourself, what is garbage? what can be sold? what should I keep? For some reason you end up accumulating much more then what you came with. If you are able to sort through your items and separate what you can get rid of, compared to what you will keep, it makes it far less work in the long run- plus you're able to earn a few dollars by selling some of your unwanted stuff. Don't forget you can sell back old text books.

2. Be Prepared. Rent a truck. Buy a truck. Borrow a truck. Whatever it is, just make sure you have a large vehicle that will 100% fit all your stuff. Unlike from my experience, the last thing you want to have to do is create many trips to bring your stuff home. The more prepared you are the better the transition. 

3. Relax. Moving can be crazy, draining and emotional, but if you remember to relax and have the mindset that it will all come together the day doesn't become as hectic as it seems.

Not only are theses 5 key words great for moving out of student housing, but they are key words to help you move from unemployed to employment. Toss out your old resume and make a new one but be sure to Keep your skills and accomplishments so you can Sell yourself to employees. Go Prepared and dress for success and don't forget to Relax

I wish you all the best in your transitions!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tough Interview Questions: Salary Negotiations

Here's another toughie - what in the world do you say when your interviewer or potential employer asks you about what salary you're expecting? This is a question that could seriously harm your chances of landing a position if approached the wrong way - that's exactly why we're here to help!

First of all, if this is a full-time position that you are applying for and it explicitly states in the job posting "Salary to be negotiated" then you're going to want to come prepared to the interview. Even if this isn't said, you never know if during an interview you might be asked to supply a salary expectation. That being said, do your research!
Before your interview check out some links on our website under "Salary Information". Browse through these tools to find out what normal salary ranges are for the kind of position that you are applying to. After doing some investigating, come up with a salary range (of about $5000-$10,000) that is appropriate for this position, the bottom of this range being the least you are willing to accept. 
**If the job posting indicates that you provide an expected salary in your application, mention this salary range in the last paragraph of your cover letter and be sure to remind the employer that this issue remains negotiable.

The most important thing to remember here is that salary is bound to come up at some point during your job search, especially once you begin looking for a full-time, entry level position after you graduate. Knowing what kind of pay you'd be willing to take and what you deserve to earn will make you more successful in landing a great position in the end. That's why it really pays to be prepared, literally! 

Here's to happy future paychecks!
- Lia

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tough Interview Questions: Your Weaknesses

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Employers are hiring and some are firing
And now is your chance
To show em' your skills, and be the best 

That's right- its interview season. Employers are hiring for summer positions, preparing for the fall, and maybe (if lucky) you may also have an interview for a full-time position. No matter what your interview is for, one the most common questions regards your weaknesses.

How to approach this tough questions? First be honest and only give one weakness unless asked otherwise. You want to let the employer know you are being honest, sharing something that needs improvement and a skill or behaviour that you can work on throughout your time with the company/organization

When mentioning the weakness, also mention how it can be turned positive. Although you want to be honest with your weakness, I would encourage you to share how you plan to turn it into a positive and something that can then further enhance the job.

Lastly stay away from "I work too hard" or "I like things a certain way"...because, lets be honest, everyone could work harder. When the employer hears that, they don't think of it as a weakness, but rather a poor excuse for not acknowledging your 'flaws'.

This is your opportunity to discuss places of weakness, but also how you are open to growth and learning opportunities. Its your opportunity to be honest, to show them you are not a perfect human being, but rather doing everything possible to become one.

As philosopher Jean Vanier once said "Growth begins when we begin to accept our own weakness". May you accept yours and freely start to bloom

All the best

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Upcoming Hour Changes

As we approach the Easter weekend, Career Services would like to send out a reminder:

We are closed for Good Friday.
We will re-open Easter Monday for our regular hours - 9am-4:30pm.

Also, as exams draw nearer, please note:

We will be open, as normal, Monday-Friday from 9am-4:30pm
during the month of April 9-27.

Feel free to drop by with your career questions at any time during these periods! Besides, everyone needs a break from studying!

Hope to see you soon,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Net worth or Network

This week we're linking up to an article that was writen by Chris Illich from The Brock Press titled:
Net Worth or Network

We understand the anxieties of graduating, finding a job, and all that encompasses post-graduation. It can be stressful, there are many unknown factors and for some, financial stress. Become aware and knowledgable in your field, be confident in yourself and your skills, and ensure you are doing everything possible to get your dream job, because eventurally it will happen!

Good Luck!