Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pass vs. Honours? Masters vs. Undergrad?

We often get asked by students whether or not they need an honours degree in order to get into a specific field or position. Unfortunately, this is a complicated question and we will be unable to give you a definite answer. While some employers might favour an honours degree others may only want to see a completed undergraduate degree and wont care whether its pass or honours. This will depend entirely on the company and the level of the position you are applying for.

This is also the case with Masters degrees and PhDs. Some jobs, such as Social Work, require that you have a Master's degree in that specific field. There is ultimately no way around this. However, in the field of archaeology, an individual can work as an archaeologist without a masters degree though there are a high number of archaeology positions that will require a masters or even a PhD in the field. Every profession is different and ever location (country, province, city) will have different requirements that they will want you to meet.

Determining whether or not you need to go to graduate school or if you should complete a fourth honours year will require research. One way to do this is by searching for the career you are interested in on job posting boards or through professional association websites which can be found on your program's Degree Exploration Guide. Take a sample of qualifications and determine what the average employer is looking for. If you are finding that "Masters degree in a relevant field required" is coming up on a lot of these job postings you might want to consider pursuing a graduate degree or looking into an alternative career path.

When in doubt, ask your professors and anyone you know working in your field of interest. Take the opportunity to get your name out there by letting people know what you are interested in and the type of employment you are/will be seeking. Word of mouth can arguably be more powerful then job searching online. The better prepared you are now will mean less stress for you in the future!

Ashley Paolozzi, Lead Career Assistant
4th Year History of Art (Honours)

Get a Job Straight out of School: Erik, one of our Career Assistants, provided us with this great article from The Globe and Mail. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guest Blog: Three Reasons Why Brock Students Should Consider Entrepreneurship

We are very excited to have Stephen Amoah, an alumnus of both Brock University and Career Services, write a guest blog this week on entrepreneurship and what he has gained from choosing this as his career path. Thank you Stephen!
- Ashley, Lead Career Assistant


A few weeks ago, I graduated from Brock University and I am now an Alumnus looking to do
great things in this world. As an entrepreneur, I am part of the 1% of students who have chosen the entrepreneurial career path after graduating.

I have been an entrepreneur since the age of 18. Managing a full-time course load and being a Co-Founder is not easy at all, but the experiences gained from being an entrepreneur are invaluable and life changing. Here are some of the benefits I have received from taking the entrepreneurial career path.

Start from the Bottom:
Building your own company is like raising your own child. You do everything in your power to ensure that your child grows and becomes successful. There is a personal fulfillment or celebration with each milestone your child goes through. This is the equivalent of running your own company.

In my case, each deal that I secure with a client is a success and raises the valuation of my company. When I secured our first client, I was overjoyed (so overjoyed that I created my own happy dance) as my vision of the company was becoming a reality. There is self-fulfillment in each milestone your company goes through. Today, I am managing clients across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom (and I still do my happy dance after each client).

Experience is the Best Teacher:
Building your own company leads to massive responsibilities. Managing these responsibilities is a great experience for your personal development. As you build your company, you succinctly become a jack-of-all-trades and develop a plethora of skills. This will happen because as you start your company, you typically start-off with one to three people on your team.

I graduated with an Accounting Degree, however through my experience building my own company I have done market research, sales, financial reporting, customer service, bookeeping and financial forecasting. I am now in a position of exploring multiple opportunities in the future due to my diversified skill set.

What Doesn't Kill You Makes Your Stronger:
As you build your own company, you will inevitably come across obstacles. Whether it's a lack of financial resources or people not buying your product, experiencing these obstacles and weathering the storm will make you become a wiser and stronger person.

I have encountered my fair share of obstacles. A recent obstacle that stands out for our company is when we ran out of money two months before the launch of our website. Our team spent hours strategizing on how we could address our financial concern, and we came up with an innovative way to keep afloat. When these problems occur, you have to find solutions in the quickest way possible for your company to survive. The determination and grit that goes into overcoming these obstacles is what makes these challenges a story towards your success.

Would You Like to Join the 1%?
Yes, starting your own business is a huge risk, but I encourage you to explore the option now while you are young. If you build your own company and it does not work out, you are still in an ideal position to pursue numerous opportunities because of the skills that you have gained.

Employers today are looking for entrepreneurial minded candidates as they know the grind and results-focused attitude that entrepreneurs have. So, have you ever wanted to start your own music company, sports camp or have that new burning idea that will change the world? Go for it! When you are in your later years and looking back at life, it is definitely something that you do not want to regret.

Stephen Amoah

Co-Founder |

Halloween photo booth at Career Services!

Come on out to support the United Way and have your photo taken for a $1 donation. Cozy up with Jack McIsaac in our halloween themed photo booth in the career resource center on October 31st from 10-2!

All proceeds go directly to the United Way!


Everyone who donates gets a sweeeeet mini swag bag filled with some spooktacular career services swag! Hows that for awesome?!

WHAT: Halloween photobooth supporting the United Way
WHERE: Career Resource Centre (across from the peer help desk in the library)
WHEN: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
HOW MUCH: $1 donation

Come get in the Halloween spirit and support a great cause. See you there Badgers!

 - Becky W.
Senior Career Assistant

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Online Career Assessments

If you have already tried Career Cruising and Type Focus assessments, which are accessible on Brock’s Career Zone, you can also access FREE assessments online! Below are some good free online career assessments to try out:

 The Holland Code Quiz is a free assessment that requires you to check off traits, values, skills and more that represent you. Once you have completed the assessment, you will be provided with a list of jobs that best suits you based on your results.
You can find free Holland Code Quizzes easily online. Or check out the link below to try it now!

The Princeton Review offers an excellent 5 minute career aptitude test that you can take online for free. In addition, they offer hundreds of career aptitude profiles, listing all the strengths required for each job. Once you have taken the aptitude test, the Princeton Review will recommend not only jobs based on your career aptitude results, but also schools that would best suit your needs, as well as an in-depth analysis of these schools to help you rank them.
Check out The Princeton Review here:

Carolyn Kalil offers a wonderful career aptitude test called the True Colors Test. Dividing personalities into 4 main career aptitude groups, this test will help you determine what color is most dominant in you and whether there are other colors that play an important role in who you are. Each of the 4 career aptitude colors relates to specific fields of employment. The 4 career aptitude (or personality) colors are: Blue, Gold, Green and Orange. Blue stands for Compassionate, Gold for Conventional, Green for Conceptual, and Orange for Courageous.
Fin your colour here:

Nella Paris
Senior Career Assistant
Psychology Major (Honours)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Career & Post Grad Expo Information and Registration Deadline

Career & Post-Graduate Expo 2013 
Date/Time: November 5th, 2013 @ 11am-3pm
Location: Ian Beddis Gymnasium (Walker Complex)

The following information (and more!) can be found on the CareerZone events calender:
There will be approximately 120 exhibitors representing post-graduate institutions, employers and non-profit organizations attending this trade-show style event. Recruiters are eager to network and engage with Brock students, graduates and alumni. It’s a one stop shop for students, graduates and alumni to learn about full and part-time employment, post-graduate education, international opportunities, professional development and volunteer positions.
**New this year - we are hosting Mock Interviews called "Condensed Circuit Interviews" at the Expo event in partnership with Mentorship Plus. Students must register for Condensed Circuit Interviewing separately from the Career Expo registration in CareerZone.

The Career & Post Graduate Expo provides a valuable link between a student’s education and career goals by providing them with the proper contact people. This event is an excellent opportunity for you to network and build relationships with employers, determine prospective areas of employment and post-graduate studies and gain a sense of community awareness from non-profit organizations.

Registration for the Expo and Condensed Circuit Interviews is now open and can be done through CareerZone (Events Calender). Registration deadline is November 5th, 2013 @8am.

Information regarding Smart Finish and other career-related events will be posted soon so keep your eyes open!

Best of luck!

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


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Choose your Major Wisely....Seriously!

Studying topics that are of interest to you may seem like it makes sense, but if there is no work in that area then it may not have been the best decision. Check out Working in Canada to research the job outlook for the careers you are interested in.

There are many different types of careers that have work available and that may also be of interest to you! But you may not know they even exist until you do your research. Career Services' Career Zone has a great tool called Career Cruising that has assessments you can complete and based on your results, will be matched with various careers that fit your values, skills and interests.
When choosing a major, try not to only focus on what you like, but also broaden out and choose a major that balances interests and future career security.

Check out the infographic below to get a look at how the Major you choose, can affect the career you get:

Click here for full screen view!
Special thanks to Camila Hynes for linking us with this infographic!

Personal vs Career Related Interests

“I’m really interested in playing the accordion, should I put that on my resume?”

When it comes to listing interests on your resume or CV it is always good to know the difference between personal interests and  academic or career related interests. For example, a personal interest could be playing the accordion. This is a unique personal Interest but it doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table in terms of transferable skills or knowledge. A career related interest would be something to do with your field or a specific research interest. I will use myself as an example! I am in Tourism and Environment and my specific career related interests are sustainable waste management solutions, and implementing eco strategies at smaller tourism destinations. This allows prospective employers or  schools to see where my focus is, and learn a little bit more about my academic personality.  When you are writing your resume, some personal interests may not be pertinent to include.  Employers don’t need to know everything you do in your down time, but if you feel that an interest really speaks volumes about who you are and what you have to offer then by all means include it. Academic or research interests are always valuable if they are specific and descriptive. If you have any questions about what to include in your resume or CV come in to the career services center for a free review! Please be sure to have a printed copy of your document for us to use J

Friday, October 11, 2013

CS Thanksgiving & Reading Week Hours

Career Services will be closed Monday October 14th for Thanksgiving.

We will re-open Tuesday October 15th @ 9am and will be open during Reading Week from 9am-4:30pm! We know you all plan on "reading" next week but if you can peal yourself away from your books for 10 minutes, we can help you with all things career-related! 

If you aren't on campus next week, we can still be contacted via email at or by our Career Chat at during most business hours.

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Values are important when considering your career!

Find rewarding work by following a career path that matches your values.

When you think about careers that you could see yourself doing because they seem interesting, remember to also think about whether or not those careers fit with your values. For example, if you strongly desire a career where you are recognized for your valued work and value the opportunity to work independently, then you may not enjoy a career where you are constantly monitored and are not individually recognized for a personal project that has great benefit for the success of the company you work for.

How can I assess my values?

A great assessment tool that can help you identify your values and much more is Type Focus. This tool can help you determine your values, skills and interests, and will match you with careers that compliment your results. There are also many other assessments that you can use, however Type Focus is highly recommended by Career Services and as a Brock University student, you have FREE access; so why not take advantage of it?!
Check out Type Focus at Career Zone. Simply log in with your Brock ID.
Nella Paris
Senior Career Assistant
Psychology Major (Honours)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

TypeFocus - What's Your Type and Why is it Useful???

Self-assessments can help you identify likes and dislikes in terms of your interests, skills and preferred work environments. In addition, they can also assist you in understanding your strengths and weaknesses, values and beliefs. They are really the foundation of the career planning process. 

Results from self-assessments allow you to get to know yourself better and can address areas for growth, understand what jobs might satisfy you, improve teamwork, increase self-acceptance, and communicate effectively with others. Self-assessments, such as TypeFocus, help generate job titles and career options based on your interests, values, and personality and provide focus for your job search.  

TypeFocus helps you answer the question “who am I, really?” by providing you with four “type factor” preferences:
       Introvert/Extrovert: what captures your attention (inner vs outer world)
         Where does your energy come from?
         Being an introvert, for example, does not necessarily mean you are a shy person. It means that you likely draw your energy from within yourself rather than from others. After a long and exhausting day at work and school, an introvert would want to go home and rest, alone, in a quiet setting. An extrovert in this same situation would likely prefer to go out with friends for the night to unwind.
         Sensing/Intuitive: how you learn about your world (through your experiences vs meaning behind experience)
         Thinking/Feeling: how you make decisions (logical, factual vs feelings, consequences)
         Judging/Perceiving: how you approach life (focus on organized vs spontaneous)
         Judging in this case, does not mean judgmental. It means that you prefer a planned and organized workplace. In contrast, someone who is perceiving prefers a spontaneous workplace and tends to “go with the flow”

Access TypeFocus through CareerZone under the “Resources” tab and take the assessment to find out your “type” (your 4-letter code). If you are not fully satisfied with your results, or you don’t feel it is a good fit for who you are, read through the other types to see if one of them is more like you. Make sure you are comfortable and satisfied with your “type” and then proceed through the Career Planning process using that “type” as a guide. Based on your results, you can move onto to the “Research” phase of the Career Planning process!

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

HELP! My career cruising job matches don't make sense!

Want to be a clown doctor? Funeral director? Me neither. So why, after filling out over 60 questions, would career cruising suggest these as possible career paths for you? Let me explain! The career matches you receive after filling out a career assessment are based upon your answers to the over 60 questions about your likes and dislikes. Perhaps you are a compassionate understanding person who has excellent listening skills. Wouldn’t those skills be useful when assisting a mourning person plan a special service during a difficult time? Or how about your enthusiasm and passion for helping people? I think those would be excellent skills for a clown doctor to have.

The list of matches you will receive through career cruising matchmaker may not all seem like perfect career prospects for you and of course that is not all that is out there for you. It is only a taste of the few excellent careers for which you would be best suited. It is absolutely not the be all and end all of what you should do with your life!

When you are filling out your questions, try to avoid picking ‘neutral’ or ‘I don’t know’ because the system will have a harder time connecting you with appropriate career paths. You will get much more accurate results with accurate answers.

The career matchmaker is a valuable tool when trying to figure out what career paths would be best for you. From the list of careers you can start to do some excellent research on careers, related careers and even find out salary information, education requirements and more.  Feel free to come in to career services to get a quick lesson on how to use career cruising. You will be glad you did!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Career Assessments

What is a Career Assessment?
Career Assessments are tools that help you identify your values, interests, and skills. After identifying what makes up these key areas, the assessments will then match you up with careers that compliment your personal values, interests, and skills.

 Why do a Career Assessment?
Career assessments are extremely valuable and informative because they open your mind to new and exciting opportunities; you may be surprised about the jobs you are matched with. I always encourage people to perform a career assessment because what you think you are interested in may not exactly fit with you interests. Moreover, you could potentially be matched with careers that you never knew existed. The results can be eye-opening and exciting.

 Career Services has 2 popular Career Assessments that can be accessed through Career Zone:
Career Cruising
Career Cruising is an online career exploration tool that helps you narrow down career options based on your interests. It provides you with specific job information such as job descriptions, salary/wages, working conditions, education requirements and more!

Type Focus
Type Focus is an interactive self-assessment tool that will help you understand yourself better and assist you in making more effective decisions regarding the next steps in your life, whether you’re looking for work or exploring further education. The Type Focus assessment will also help you clarify your values, skills and interests, which will allow you to more clearly identify the career options that best suit you!      

Nella Paris
Senior Career Assistant

Psychology Major (Honours)