Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Impress at a Job Fair

Sometimes it can be hard to juggle going to school with having a part-time job; however, in the long run it can help you to gain valuable experience while also helping to pay off student expenses! The Pen Centre in St. Catharines is holding a Shop for Jobs event on September 29, 2015 from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. This is a great opportunity for Brock University and Niagara College students to find a part-time job. Here are some suggestions to make the most of your job fair experience for this specific opportunity and also any other job fairs you attend in the future:
1. Research the participating stores - This would be beneficial because it will help you to see what stores you need to be tailoring your resume and cover letters to and to also find out information about the employers.
2. Create a resume and cover letter for each of the stores or positions you would like to apply to- Bringing resume's and cover letters will show the employer that you are prepared and have put thought into working for them. It is also an awesome way to showcase your talents!
3. Dress professionally- Make sure you dress to impress the employers you are applying to. Typically you should accommodate your style with the stores style, however, remember that just because a store may sell a specific item such as jeans does not mean you should wear them for an interview.
4. Bring pens, notebooks and planners- Be prepared for on the spot interviews and the opportunity to take notes to show the employer you are really interested in the position. It is also important to have a planner so that you can schedule a future interview and not have to reschedule if you see you are busy.
5. Ask Questions- Asking questions shows the employer that you are interested in the position. Some possible questions you can ask the representative include:What qualities are you looking for in your new hires? Would the work hours be flexible with my school schedule?
6. Finally, have fun! This is an opportunity for you to gain experience in networking and interviewing. It is important that you have a good experience so that you feel confident for future opportunities like this.

For the Shop for Jobs event specifically, you can look for some of these employers to be participating: Arie, Dynamite, Garage, EB Games, Old Navy, Sears, Winners, Hudson's Bay and many more.. Also, follow the event on Twitter #ShopForJobsFair14.

Come into the Career Resource Centre to pick up the resource labelled 11 Tips for Success at Shop for Jobs and also for a free resume and cover letter review!

Sarah Mitchinson, Senior Career Assistant

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Volunteering: A Huge Investment in Your Future

Volunteer experience is an investment in your professional development and can be the added value that you bring to a potential job or career opportunity. One of the most valuable things I have learned during my four years at Brock University is the extreme importance of getting involved and volunteering my time. Between attending lectures, participating in seminars, hitting the books, and writing assignments, we are constantly learning as university students. Sometimes this means the value of getting involved can be overlooked amidst the chaos of juggling academic and personal responsibilities. Here are five reasons why you should consider volunteering your time with a club, organization, or charity (if you haven’t already).
  1.  Gain Employable Skills. Volunteering is a great way to gain the (transferable) skills employers are looking for. Even though you’re not getting paid for the experience doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable than the skills you gain from a paid position. Your experiences as a volunteer can be translated onto your resume to highlight qualifications in areas such as communication, time management, teamwork, organization, leadership, etc. 
  2. Giving Back to Others. Charities, organizations, institutions, and (especially) clubs rely on volunteers to help make projects and certain initiatives come together successfully. In many cases, the need for volunteers stems from strained resources or budgetary limitations. Getting involved in on- or off-campus opportunities helps create a better environment for others, and can significantly improve the health of communities. 
  3. Connections, Connections, Connections! Getting involved with certain projects, events, and initiatives as a volunteer can open a ton of doors in your personal and professional network. In many ways, volunteering is a great opportunity to network informally with like-minded individuals from different backgrounds. If you leave a good impression, who knows what opportunities might unexpectedly pop up in the future? It could help you tap into the dreaded hidden job market!
  4. Test Career Options. Volunteering is a great opportunity to test out different career options, whether you have an idea about what you want to do or not. Getting involved may help you realize what you’re truly passionate about, what your strengths and weakness are, what kind of organizations you’d like to work for, etc.
  5. Admissions for Further Education.  If you’re thinking about continuing on to Further Education, volunteering becomes incredibly important for admissions and grant applications. While that GPA is important, having relevant volunteer experience can certainly set you apart from other applicants.
Where can you search for volunteer opportunities? A fantastic place to start would be VolunteerFEST, which is happening Thursday, September 17 from 10AM -2PM in the Guernsey Market. There will be organizations from all over Niagara for you to engage with and learn about different volunteer opportunities. Sign up with an organization you’re passionate about and volunteer with them throughout the year!

I encourage you to visit us at the Career Resource Centre for more information about where you can find different volunteer opportunities. We have plenty of resources inside the Centre, as well as online at for your benefit. We're open from 9-4:30pm every Monday to Friday.

Kaitlyn Daw, English Language and Literature Major
Senior Career Assistant

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Balancing School and Fun

First of all, welcome back to all the Badgers returning to Brock and, welcome back to school for all students no matter where you may be.

A challenge that students face in their initial time back to school is balancing social times and their academic life. I personal tip that I received for achieving a good balance was from an Academic Advisor from Brock University where you use a schedule of 8hours-8hours-8hours to balance your sleep, social and academic times where each of these 3 sections get 8 hours.

Another helpful tip I received was from the Career Resource Centre at Brock. The tip involves creating goal action forms by breaking down each goal by using S. M. A. R. T. SMART breaks down into Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time and in my experience by using every step of the SMART Goal system, you can create good effective goals. For example here is a sample of a SMART goal pertaining to creating a resume. “I want to construct an effective resume by creating all the necessary components of a resume, by next Wednesday . . . This goal is specific, measurable by completing all the areas of a resume, everyone can do a resume so it is achievable, most application packages need to have a resume so this goal is realistic and this goal has a time frame by wanting to have it accomplished by next week. Go ahead; give a SMART goal a try.

These are some of the tips that we advise and we encourage you come into the centre for a smart goal form and for more tips and we also encourage going to see your academic advisor! Have a great one Badgers, don’t forget to smile! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New CA Team Introductions 2015!

It's hard to believe that September is here already! But I must admit, I'm excited for the campus to get busy with new and returning students and staff!

Training week for the new Career Assistants and the Senior/Lead Career Assistants will be run from Monday, August 31st until Friday, September 4th. Because of this, the Career Resource Centre will be closed during this time. Please e-mail for questions or concerns during this week and we will respond as efficiently as possible!

Now it's time to introduce our new Career Assistants and re-introduce our Senior and Lead Career Assistants!

New Career Assistants
Lydia Collins

An English Language and Literature major and a cat lover, Lydia has a passion for literature and feminism and has a warm and friendly personality! But aside from this, her interest in helping other students succeed is what will make her a great addition to the team!
Sean Pereira
Sean is pursuing a BA in Accounting here at Brock and is also involved with the Brock University Accounting Students' Association! He also loves taking photos, running, and ice cream! He is a professional yet friendly individual who will excel in his position as a Career Assistant and we are happy to have him on board this year!

Andre St. George
Andre is the last new addition to the team this year! A business administration major, Andre is also a twin, loves the outdoors, and has a knack for flags (like knowing which flag belongs to which country)! He will make a great Career Assistant this year and we are excited to have him!

Senior Career Assistants
Tyler Harris

The musician of the team, Tyler has had a busy summer of bag-piping, travelling, and riding on segways! A psychology major (who will also be the president of the Psychology Society this year!), Tyler has an amazing sense of humor and a huge amount of wit. Tyler's approach to helping students is casual yet extremely informative with a dash of humor! We can't wait to have him back and missed him a ton this summer!

Kaitlyn Daw
Trying to briefly describe Kaitlyn is difficult; she truly is a woman of many talents! Not only is she working as a Sr. Career Assistant this year, she is also working with Mentorship Plus, is the president of the English Students Association, an avid photographer, a website creator, a mentor... and the list goes on (and on and on)! Her approach to helping students is inspiring and it's truly an honor to work with her again this year! Can't wait to see you in action again Kaitlyn!

Sarah Mitchinson
Another psychology major (there's a lot of us!!) & cat lover, Sarah is always smiling and she truly lights up the Career Resource Centre when she is here! I've had the pleasure of both working and taking classes with Sarah and can honestly say she is one of the most down to earth people I've ever met, something which stands out when she's helping students with resumes or job searching! Get back here already Sarah! We miss you!

Lead Career Assistants
Mike Pratas
A Political Sciences major with a love for country music and a habit of losing his student card (and finding it months later!!), Mike is great at advising students and did an excellent job of showing us Senior's the ropes last year. After spending the summer working at a camp in his hometown, we are all super excited for Mike to return back to Career Services in a lead role! Can't wait to see you Mike!

Alysha Kooter
A vegan and animal lover, Alysha is a warm and understanding individual with a flair for graphic design, the arts, as well as a natural when it comes to baking delicious desserts (that are also healthy!!). Alysha has been, and will continue to be, a great mentor and leader, and I know she will do extremely well in her role as a Lead Career Assistant this year. You rock Alysha!

Anthony Mancuso
A Sport Management major and the Sr. who made Bubble Soccer happen last year (which was AMAZING!!), Anthony is always making sure everyone is having a good time while also offering his support. He did a fantastic job last year with training myself and the other CA's and we are super excited that he is now in a Lead role this year; he will be a natural at it! We can't wait to have you back!

Thanks for reading about our amazing team! Come visit us in the Learning Commons between 9 - 4:30 starting Tuesday, September 8th! We can't wait to assist you with your career related needs and look forward to another successful school year! 

Scarlet Stark
Psychology Major
Sr. Career Assistant