Thursday, June 27, 2013

Canada Day Weekend Office Hours

Are you ready to really kick off the summer this weekend? Well, we are!!!

 The Career Services office will be closed Friday June 28th to Monday July 1st for Canada Day weekend. We will re-open Tuesday July 2nd. Our admin offices downstairs will open at 8:30am and the RESOURCE CENTRE will open at 9am sharp...we understand if we don't see you bright and early Tuesday morning since you will probably be up late Monday night watching fireworks :)

Have a SAFE and fun-filled weekend everyone and ...
Happy 146th Birthday Canada!!

Other countries joining us in celebrating their birthdays in July include: 

Somalia (July 1st), Burundi (July 1st), Rwanda (July 1st), United States of America (July 4th), Venezuela (July 5th), Algeria (July 5th), Cape Verde (July 5th), Malawi (July 6th), Comoros (July 6th), Solomon Islands (July 7th), Argentina (July 9th), South Sudan (July 9th), Bahamas (July 10th), Sao Tome (July 12th), Kiribati (July 12th), Laos (July 19th), Columbia (July 20th), Liberia (July 26th), Madagascar (July 26th), Maldives (July 26th), Peru (July 28th), Vanuatu (July 30th)

WOW!!! That's a lot of July birthdays around the globe...Happy Birthday to all the July babies out there :) 

Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Bachelor of Public Health (Honours)
BA Sociology (Honours) '11

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10 Things New Grads Should Know...

So you have just graduated from what??? There are a few things you should become aware of during your transition from university student to professional adult:

1. What can you even do with your degree?
  • The answer is...LOTS! It may take some research, self-reflection and time, but there are so many opportunities available to may just be a matter of looking in the right place. Consult your Degree Exploration Guide to find out what you can do with your specific degree and helpful resources related to your field (and don't be afraid to look at DEGs outside of your field if you like!)
2. All experience is good experience!
  • You may not think that your part-time serving job has prepared you very much for a job in your field...but it probably has in more ways than one! Transferable skills that you have developed during your work and volunteer experience are usually skills that potential employers value as well. 
  • Spruce up your resume and cover letter by visiting the Career Services Resource Centre to receive  a free review session with a Career Assistant (all you need is a hard copy of your resume and/or cover letter that you would like reviewed!). You can also email us your documents at and we will send them back to you will constructive feedback and additional resources.
  • Volunteering or interning in your field is also an awesome way to gain related experience and looks great on a resume!
3.  Get to know the hidden job market...
  • Did you know that only 15-20% of job opportunities are advertised? Crazy, right?! That means that 80-85% of jobs are hidden and required you to take a more active approach to find them. 
  • How to target the hidden job market:
    • Network (you never know who you may come in contact with)
    • Contact employers directly (ask them if they are hiring - you never know until you ask)
    • Refer to business, community and employer directories
    • Job search with others (enhance your productivity)
    • Combine all of the previous steps!
4. Speaking of Networking...
  • Networking is a great way to stay in touch with friends, classmates, professors, past employers and to create new and valuable connections that can help you land a great job!
  • Grad LINK offers Brock students a way to stay connected on LinkedIn after graduation, receive job postings and tips, and much more! Join today
5. Social Media for job search...
  • Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer new and innovative ways to connect with employers. Check out some of our print resources, such as "Find a Job Through Social Networking" by Crompton & Sautter located in the Career Services Resource Centre.

6. Research current trends...
  • Get to know where the jobs are and in what industries there are better prospects. Taking this extra step can help you target particular sectors and/or companies so that you can have the best results! Career Services also keeps current reports and articles in our Trends binder and our Labour Market binder, located in the Resource Centre!
7. Develop strong interview skills...
  • Effective interviewing can take practice and research. There are so many things you want to know before going in, like:
    • What types of questions will they ask me?
    • What should I bring with me?
    • What questions should I ask the interviewer?
    • What is the point of a job interview?
    • What should I know about the company prior to my interview?
    • Can someone help me pratice??
....all of these questions and more can be answered by consulting our "Interview Techniques" binder and interview help books/handouts (located in the Resource Centre), by checking out InterviewStream, by completing our online interview workshop through CareerZone, or by emailing to book a mock interview (this service can take up to 2 weeks to arrange so don't wait until the last minute!)

8. There are alternatives to work...
  • Some people do not want to jump right into the work force...they may travel, volunteer, accept an internship position, etc. We recently received this great write up from Cosmic Coaching Centre:

Alternatives after Graduation

Your graduation day marks the end of your student life, and the beginning of your actual career. While there are many reasons to celebrate during this day, you still have to prepare yourself for the daunting task of looking for a job and establishing a good career for yourself. To make this process and the transition easier for you, you had better make your preparations even before you receive a diploma. Below are some alternatives you can take following your graduation, which will guide you as you get ready for the bigger stage.


Joining an internship program is perhaps the best thing you can do to get yourself ready to compete in the job market right after you graduate. There are many reasons why this is a good path to take. First of all, internships will give you an idea of what kinds of jobs are available in your field. With this knowledge, you may determine if the path you are taking is the right one for you. It is also through internships that you can gain experience working in the real professional environment. This experience of yours will then be reflected in your resume, which may also give you an edge over other job applicants. Finally, and probably the biggest benefit of getting an internship is that it can result to you getting a job offer. In most cases, companies end up hiring those who perform outstandingly in their internship programs.


The biggest challenge you are to face as a job seeker is how you can stand out from the rest. One option is to volunteer at some nonprofit groups or organizations that can give you relevant experience. You may also get involved in some community activities promoted by your own school perhaps. Turn to your professors and other industry professionals for advice on how you will stand out.


Searching for a job can be difficult if you hardly know anyone in the industry you are entering. With that said, you should make an effort to get to know as many people as you can, who can help you establish your career in the field. You can do this through proper networking. You can increase your connections and network by taking part in webinars, conferences, trade shows, and other events where different professionals from your field gather and meet. These people that you will know have the expertise and experience that can guide you in your own job search.


Many college graduates look forward to a short break following their graduation day. If you think you need time to relax and unwind before you engage in the battle of looking for a job, you can go for a short trip to a different city or even country. You can even use this trip to see if there are opportunities for employment in other places. Good career planning means putting yourself in a position where you can choose among several opportunities to build a great career.

9. Get to know yourself...

  • Getting to know yourself is imperative in finding a career and life path that you will enjoy and love. For some, this may be traveling abroad and exploring foreign places, for others it may be self-reflection and/or career assessments. Whichever way you do it, get to know what you want out of life and what makes you happy and fulfilled. 
 10. The last thing you should know, as a new graduate, is that...
  •  Your future is bright and your whole life is ahead of you! There are so many places, people, and jobs to explore and the best part of the adventure can be the ride! So buckle up and start today because your future and career are waiting :)
Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
Bachelor of Public Health [Honours]; BA Sociology '11 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Work or Travel--Which one will you choose?

The plan after graduation may be very different from person to person. Some may be ready to hit the work force, while others may want to explore internship opportunities or travel before settling into a full-time career. Whatever your choice, Career Services has some great resources to help you with your plan.

If you are ready to start looking for work after graduation, check out Career Services’ list of online job boards. You can find anything on there from general job search sites, to government jobs, and even work/intern abroad opportunities for the more adventurous folk.

Working, interning, or volunteering abroad would be a great way to couple travelling with gaining valuable skills and work experience. A great way to merge 2 experiences into one!

Additionally, as an Alumni, you have access to CareerZone—Brock’s internal job board. This site includes postings for jobs, internships, or volunteer experiences. You can also refine your search to Niagara specific jobs, national or international jobs. Make sure to keep an eye on CareerZone because postings can pop up at any time.

To find more detailed tips about what to do after graduation, check out my blog post from June 4, 2013, or Jami’s blog post from June 6, 2013.

Nella Paris
Senior Career Assistant
Psychology Major (Honours)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Live Chat with a Career Assistant!!

TESTING....TESTING....Today our new Live Chat with a Career Assistant function was launched on our website!!! During our office hours (Mon. - Fri. 9am to 4pm) you can chat LIVE with one of the Senior Career Assistants working in the Career Services Resource Centre. We can answer any and all of your career-related questions or concerns! Access our chat in the following sections of our website (bottom right corner of the screen):

We can still be reached for questions/concerns via email at or at Ext #5115 if we are not online, or if you require more in-depth assistance.

Our Live Chat function will be available all summer long and into the fall semester. We hope you find it helpful :)

Hope to chat with you soon!

Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Public Health [Honours], BA [Honours]: Sociology '11


Worried that once you graduate you will be out of the loop?  Trying to find another way to view current job opportunities? Need additional career-related information? Grad LINK is the perfect solution to this problem!!!

The Grad LINK Network on LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected with Career Services staff, employers, AND your graduating peers! By joining the Grad LINK Network, you can view:
  • Highlighted job postings
  • Employer recruitment/networking sessions
  • Career related articles and information 
  • and much more...
To become a part of a growing, dynamic and informative network, follow these steps...
  1. Complete the online registration form
  2. Review the Getting Started Presentation
  3. Create your LinkedIn profile, if you do not have one already
  4. Join the Grad LINK Network group on LinkedIn
Read more about Grad LINK and LinkedIn in one of our past blog posts HERE! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email 

 Happy Networking!!

Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Public Health (Honours)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Something to Consider...

Have you found yourself wondering if Grad school is right for you? Not sure if it's worth the extra time and expense? Well the following website may help you make your decision a lot easier. A company called emailed us the following link called "15 Careers Where Grad Degrees Boost Your Income" .  Now, I am not suggesting that money is everything - you should always do what you love and are passionate about - but, if money is very important to you or you are just wondering if it's worth it to go to grad school, I would suggest checking it out! 

The infographic shows you 15 different careers and compares the potential earnings for those with bachelor degrees vs. graduate degrees - neat! It also shows you the average "lifetime earnings" for each career. itself is a very informative website with some interesting "Top 10 Lists" and articles for you to browse through. Thanks for sending this our way!

Have yourselves a great weekend and don't let the weather get you down - go outside and  play!!

Best Regards,
Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Public Health (Honours), BA Sociology (Honours)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's That Time Again! Congrats New Grads of 2013!

Career Services would like to start off by saying congratulations to the 2013 Brock graduates! Don’t forget that if you plan on attending convocation, the application for fall 2013 is due by July 1st. Spring 2013 convocation will take place from June 11th to June 15th. Be sure to check your specific faculty’s date on the Brock website.

Well, we know it has been a long journey but you have finally made it…now what? Never fear, Career Services has some great resources to help you with your post graduate decisions and planning.
1.       Career Services has a great section online called “what can I do with my degree?” In this section of the Career Services website, you will find a list of our Degree Exploration Guides. Career Services has a DEG for each program here at Brock which will provide you with a list of career options to explore, a list of the skills that you will have gained from your Brock degree, and a variety of resources which will help you access job postings and employers in your field.

2.       If you are more of a face-to-face kind of person, you can come visit us at Career Services in the learning commons of Brock University. Located here are trained Career Assistants which can provide you with additional resources to assist you in your career search.

3.       If you have decided after graduation that you aren’t ready for the work force yet, you can look into some college post-graduate programs or graduate school.

4.       If you are ready to jump into the workforce, get connected with Grad LINK. Once you sign up with Grad LINK you will have access to highlighted job postings on LinkedIn, employer recruitment and networking sessions, and career related articles and information.

5.       CareerZone is also a great job search resources with online postings that you can sift through. Or expand your horizons and search through the many online job posting websites.
6.       As a final note, don’t forget to check out our great self-assessments which can be accessed through CareerZone. For more information about self-assessments, check out my earlier blog post from May 7th or go directly to the resource page on CareerZone.
We understand that deciding what you want to do after graduation can be daunting. Whether you are ready for the work force, or want to continue you academic career, Career Services has the resources to help you!

Nella Paris, Senior Career Assistant
Psychology Major (Honours)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Brock Press Article

Following the news that our Career Services blog was named one of the best, the Brock Press decided to write an article about it! Myself, Brittany and our supervisor Kara were interviewed for the article...I thought some of you might want to read it   :)

Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
Career Services