Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Summer 2013 Blogging Team!

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to be writing this blog post as it is my first one ever! My name is Jami Coughler and I am one of the new Senior Career Assistants for next year, and will also be working during the summer months at Career Services. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce the summer team and kick this summer blog off with some information about what will be going on over the next few months.

I am going into my 4th year of Public Health here at Brock and have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far at Career Services…I cannot wait to get to know everyone through the CS Blog over the upcoming months! I am excited to be working with my fellow summer staff Nella Paris and Ben Nelles. Nella is going into her 4th year of Psychology and Ben is going into his 4th year of Therapeutic Recreation. Ashley Paolozzi will also be around later in the summer months, and next year, as our new Lead Career Assistant! Nella and I will be the main bloggers over the summer but you may (hopefully) hear from Ben once in a while! 

In case you haven’t been by the centre in a few weeks (or didn’t catch this info in the last blog), our summer hours at the Career Services Resource Centre are Monday to Friday from 9am - 4pm. We will be here for anyone who needs assistance from career planning and career documents to grad school info and finding a job (as well as just about anything else you can think of!). We will be working hard over the next few months to update resources to ensure you have the best and most current information possible. So, stop by and check out the centre or just come and say “hi”!

During the month of May we will covering the Career Planning process in the blog…so, stay tuned for tons of info about career assessments, decision making and more!

Before I sign off I wanted to take the time to say goodbye to the outgoing Senior Career Assistants – Lia, Rosemary, and Brittany – they have been amazing mentors AND friends to us and we wish them the best of luck in their future career and life endeavors. We would also like to say farewell and good luck to our fellow CA Kylie who will be moving on to Teacher’s College but who we will miss greatly!

Last, but certainly not least (I could never forget you Becky!!), we wanted to shout out to our fellow Senior Career Assistant Becky who will be returning with us in September…Good luck with your business plans this summer and don’t forget to come visit us!!

Goodbye for now and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Public Health

Friday, April 26, 2013

Saying Goodbye... 2012-2013

It's hard to believe that 3 of our Senior Staff and 1 of our Career Assistants at Career Services are moving on from the Resource Centre this year. It's been amazing having these ladies as a part of the Career Assistant team and we will miss them dearly. Here are some words of wisdom & goodbye from each of them:

Wow, I cannot believe how fast 3 years have flown by. Working at Career Services since my 2nd year has been absolutely incredible; I have met so many wonderful people and have learned SO much about myself along the way. I have loved being a co-author for this blog and  I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have been given working as a Career Assistant and will take with me all the lessons I've learned into my future endeavors. I wish the best to both the returning & new staff - you will have an experience you will never forget!
- Lia, Lead Career Assistant (Staff from 2010-2013)

Lia is graduating from Child and Youth Studies with courses in Applied Linguistics. She is going on to do her Masters in Speech and Language Pathology at the University of Western Ontario in the fall.

 Hello folks. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing for you all in the blog this past year. I hope that you enjoyed reading them as much as me, and my colleagues have enjoyed writing them. I look forward to following the advice I often give students about graduating, as I will be graduating in June and will need to find a career, or have a career find me. That would be nice. In any case, my past two years as a Career Assistant have been immeasurably amazing and I wish the Senior Career Assistants and the new Career Assistants all the best for next year. Thanks for all of the support!
-Rosemary, Senior Career Assistant (Staff from 2011-2013)

Rosemary is also graduating from Child and Youth Studies and will be going on to do her Masters of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University this Fall.

I don't think I have ever loved a job as much as this one right here. I have had so many great opportunities working in this department, from  helping people in the centre through reviewing resumes and updating resources, sharing all of our useful resources here on the blog for you guys, preparing and helping to train the new staff this year, and not to mention so many workshops and professional development opportunities! Boy is this hard to say goodbye! I will miss it more than anyone can know. But the new team will be fantastic and I cannot wait to see what they do with the centre, resources, and blog! My words of wisdom? Don't worry if you change your mind about school, your job, or anything for that matter - it's never too late. Doing what you love is always the better choice. But always remember to give it your all and always work hard! Cheers :) 
-Brittany, Senior Career Assistant (Staff from 2011-2013)

Brittany is graduating from a five year Combined Major in English Language and Literature and Dramatic Arts and going on to do her Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior Division at Brock University this Fall.

And of course, Kylie Gervais, who came on to the team in her fourth year and was unfortunately unable to stay on as a Senior Career Assistant had this to say about her experience here:

My favourite thing about Career Services was all that I learned! I am so thankful for the skills and knowledge I took away and can apply to my future endeavours. I felt so lucky having the "inside scoop" on everything career and job related! I also loved the feeling I got when I really helped someone succeed and reach their goals. Like, seeing the lightbulb go off kinda thing! But the thing I will miss the most is obviously the team of co-workers and staff I was a part of. I will really miss it. 
- Kylie Gervais, Career Assistant (Staff from 2012-2013)

Kylie is in the Concurrent Education Program in the Junior/Intermediate Division with English and Geography teachables. She will be attending her final year of the program at Brock University's Hamilton Campus!

Let's all wish Lia, Rosemary, Brittany and Kylie luck as they go on to their next year of education and beyond.


Career Services

Avoid Procrastination..... NOW!

So, I started this blog on April 4th. It is now the 26th. For someone who is supposed to be giving you "how to avoid procrastination tips"I'm not doing the greatest of jobs, am I? Well, let me do my best. To follow are a list of dos and do nots for how to avoid procrastination, at all costs.

1. Start TODAY.

Example 1: I wish I looked at what I had to do for this project two weeks ago... it's due in three days and by the looks of it I cannot possibly finish on time.

Oh NO!

Example 2: I'm so glad I spent today looking up everything I needed to complete this assignment even though it's due in three weeks. Great to know I won't need all three weeks to complete it, and that I now know exactly what I need and can plan for it!


By checking ahead, even if you don't necessarily need all of that time to complete a task or assignment, it will at least prepare you so you do not fall victim to having procrastinated it and selling yourself short for time.

Example: I just didn't have time to write the blog, I've been so busy finishing everything I have to do at Career Services before I leave!  Today is my last day-


By making excuses you are just giving yourself another reason to procrastinate when you're trying to avoid this in the first place. Solution?

3. Make to-do lists.

Example: I'm so glad I made that to-do list so I could mark all of the priority items I had to complete before my last day at Career Services.


By creating a list of goals to be completed for each shift, or even each week, it makes it a lot easier to complete your tasks on-time. If you do not have a time-line, you might assume you have more time to complete something than you really do, and then you might find yourself rushing to complete projects/assignments last minute and ultimately do a poor job.

4. Not only should you start TODAY but really always give yourself more time than you know you need.

Example 1: My assignment's due next month, I've got so much time. I'll start in like, two weeks.


By waiting to begin her assignment, she is limiting the amount of time she has to brainstorm, come up with a good idea and really put together something worthwhile. She might be able to finish it on time as long as nothing out of the ordinary comes up to devastate the short timeline, but I anticipate a long night of coffee and red bull the night before this is due, with no time for editing whatsoever.

Example 2: My assignment is due in a month. I am going to start researching topics now, and be done that Friday. I will then compile the information I need and create my focus. By next Monday, I will begin writing, spending 1 hour a night doing so. I will finish writing by Friday, one week before the assignment is officially due!


The second example is much more realistic and beneficial for completing the assignment on time. This person set goals for completion, made a timeline to accompany these goals, and gave herself an extra week in case anything comes up!


Basically, all of the advice I am giving you today comes down to planning ahead. Use the forms attached to a previous blog about setting goals such as the Goal Action Form in order to really ensure you're being SMART:

S pecific
M easurable
A chievable
R realistic
T imely

I hope these tips help you all. I would like to say I use them often, especially to-do lists. Everyone makes mistakes though, so don't worry. Just do your best! But I promise, getting your stuff done early and having spare time afterward feels WAY BETTER than having fun now and finishing it later because that assignment sticks in the back of your mind. So get it out of the way and enjoy the spring/summer, friends!


Sr. Career Assistant

PS, this is my last real blog post. I'm so sad and going to miss you all!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Introducing Next Year's Sr. Career Assistant Team!

I am very excited to introduce the new Sr. Career Assistants for the upcoming 2013/1014 school year! Here's what the new Sr. CAs love most about working at Career Services:

"I love working at career services because I am constantly learning and putting that information to good  use with real world results!"
Becky White, Sr. Career Assistant (3rd Year Tourism and Environment)

"What I love about working at Career Services is that I get to help students and make
their lives a bit easier everyday. I also enjoy my co-workers company as work is so much
more enoyable when you're working with friends
Ben Nelles, Sr. Career Assistant (4rd Year Therapeutic Recreation)

"I enjoy working at Career Services because it is a wealth of knowledge that has provided
me with valuable skills necessary to succeed in the working world. In addition, I enjoy
having the opportunity to share this knowledge with fellow students in order to assist
them with their personal career journeys."
Nella Paris, Sr. Career Assistant (4th Year of Psychology)

"I love working at Career Services because I enjoy helping people figure out what they
want to do in the future. We have an amazing team and positive, friendly atmosphere,
which makes working here such a great experience!"
Jami-Lynn Coughler, Sr. Career Assistant (4th Year Public Health)

As the new Lead Career Assistant for the upcoming 2013/2014 school year I am looking forward to continuing to assist students in gaining confidence in their own skills and abilities during their stressful job hunt and when applying to graduate school.  :)

Ben, Nella, and Jami will be working 9-4, Monday to Friday during the summer and I will be joining them for full time promotions and graphic work during July and August! All of our services will continue to be available to students and alumni in need, so stop by and say hi!

Ashley Paolozzi, Lead Career Assistant
4th Year History of Art and Visual Culture

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Exam Hours and Good Luck

So the time is here, another semester has come and gone. Unfortunately, it is also the time to buckle down, make study notes, overdose on caffeine, and count down the hours until you are free for the summer (unless your taking spring and summer courses that is). Or, if your like me, your finishing up your thesis while anticipating graduation and starting out in the "real world". In any case, I'm reminding you that the end is near and that you will make it through! :)

In the event that you want a study break/want to come see the career services crew for a little while, we are open Mon - Fri from 9-4 until April 26. Although our hours are shorter, we will still be offering all of the same wonderful services. Students at this time of the year, especially if they are graduating, often come in to pick up their experience plus, mentorship plus, and international plus transcripts. So if you have not yet requested them, here is a friendly reminder to do so.

Once exams are over, we will be starting our spring/summer hours. We will be open Mon - Fri 9-4, so if you are still here feel free to stop by.

Thats all for now folks. Good luck on all of your exams and all the best!

Sr. Career Assistant

Maximizing Your Time Off School

So the summer's almost here and you cannot wait to write your last exam or finish that final paper and get that golden ticket that is freedom for the next four months.

Well, hold on. Rewind. Summer means different things for different people. Let's explore some ways you can make the most of your summer depending on what your future goals look like. Let me tell you a little about what I mean.

Let's take myself for instance. I am graduating, and this summer I want to have a nice, relaxing, non-stressful four months at home to myself before I begin graduate studies. For me this means 1-2 part time jobs to get some income, and then spending the rest of my time doing whatever I want. This isn't going to work for everyone.

Here are some things to take into consideration when you're planning your summer: 
  • Employment. Some folks want 40 hours a week for 4 months straight. Hey, if that works for you that's just fine. For some people, this is the ultimate opportunity to make money so they can focus on their studies when Fall rolls around again. Other students may want to take a job that perhaps pays less (or not at all!) that is more related to their field, and take on other, unrelated work on the side. Maybe this is worth it to you - maybe you're applying for graduate school and need that field experience. You choose!
  • Vacation. Yup, I said it. There are people who prioritize vacation time for their summer break. And sometimes that is much needed after the stress and exhaustion of the school year. However, also consider trips that involve internships or volunteer work; these, unlike your week on the beach in Cuba, can add to your resume!
  • Professional Development. Maybe this is the perfect time to get your First Aid certificate re-certified or spend time really researching and getting to know the industry you'd like to work for. Take advantage of any events or workshops that come your way!
  • Education. Okay, so the last thing some people want to do in the summer is take classes. But really, with the variety of short-term, online, and in-class versions of summer courses available you may consider it valuable to get ahead in your studies. You may thank yourself when September arrives.
  • Develop new skills/hobbies. If you have some free time on your hands, why not learn something new? Try out a new sport, get involved in your community, learn to cook...the options are endless. If you want to develop some professional skills, why not revamp your social media accounts?
As you can see, there are many ways to maximize your time off school this summer. Whatever you choose to do to fill your time, make sure to consider what kind of things you're looking to get out of your time off. Is it money? Experience? Something else? Asking these questions will surely help you decide.

Here's to a great (and productive) summer!
- Lead Career Assistant


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Getting the Most out of Your Summer Job

Whether you've landed a summer internship at your dream company or a part-time job at a less then desirable location, it's important to make the most of your summer experiences and allow them to affect you and your future in a positive way. So keep the following in mind while working at your job this summer!
  1. It Isn't Just a Summer Job:
    • Your job at McDonald's may not be your ideal summer employment, but the experiences and skills you utilize in your position are something that you will be able to feature on your resume. Remember that experience using skills such as customer service and time management are crucial to many jobs and are seen as valuable to employers!
  2. Stay Professional:
    • Just because you are only staying there for four months doesn't mean you should become the workplace gossip or slacker. Keep your dress appropriate, practice good hygiene (even on Monday morning shifts!) and always show up to work on time. You should aim for your summer job to result in a positive relationship with your supervisor so that you can use them as a reference in your future job endeavors.
  3.  Network With Your Co-Workers:
    • Who knows! Maybe the father of one of your co-workers owns the company that you've always dreamed of working for. Let everyone around you know what you are studying and what you are interested in doing with your degree after graduation. Not only could it benefit you professionally but forming friendships with your co-workers will make the summer much more enjoyable.
It's important to not take your summer job for granted. Many students will be unable to find employment this summer so be thankful that you were able to land a job - even if its pushing grocery carts at least you'll be bringing in a paycheck.
And remember - if you are working a job that is primarily indoors be sure to take a chunk of time out of your day to spend outside in the fresh air! Winter will return before you know it so don't waste all that sunshine :).

Best of luck,
- Ashley, Sr. Career Assistant

For more tips on getting the most out of your job this summer check out TalentEgg's post "How Can You Make the Most of Your Boring Summer Job?"