• Five ways I Sustained Mental Health Through Unive ...

     In another article, I wrote of student habits and tasks that help with career searching, including habits relating to mental health upkeep. Now obviously there are tons of resources on mental health (check the website of your postsecondary institution), but I want to look at specific practices that might be useful for students dealing with stressful studies and stressful job hunting. Most of my friends and family embrace the nerdy, bookish side of life; for better or worse, profs and doctors and masters abound in my circles. Even my wife is currently mid-PhD. I’ve heard long conversations on, How do you stay healthy amid all the deadlines, applications, reading, late nights, etc.? How do you stay healthy amid the daunting business of building a meaningful career? Naturally, every answer is different, but I’ve gathered a few habits that have helped my journey.            1. Cooking at dusk. Every weeknight, I (attempt to) cook a nice supper (or bake a dessert, if my tooth is sweet). It works several small miracles. First, it generates energy during the day, something to look forward to and work toward (who doesn’t like to relax with a delightful lil’ bite?). Second, it changes up my day. When I sit on my butt staring at a screen for hours, lost in my head, there’s nothing like using my body to unwind, turning off my thoughts and creating something with my hands. Schoolwork and career searching rarely wraps up in a day, but cooking a delicious supper does (hopefully), and man, it’s satisfying to have that sense of completion and accomplishment. Cooking in the evening helps me shut off work frustrations and brings me back to the moment, to my body. We are, after all, embodied minds; a little fine onion chopping might refresh your brain. (And I haven’t even started on the wonders of ingredient shopping or trying a new recipe.) 2. Weekend indulgence. Too often, when I’m able to set my own work/break schedules at my own work/break locations, nasty gluttonous habits creep in. While some weeks call for Wednesday Whisky or Tuesday Takeout, too much indulgence numbs me. The days blur; my health declines. It’s that cycle of relieving stress with quick fixes that eventually create more stress. While “working for the weekend” is unhealthy in some job contexts, there’s something to learn from the setup. Weekend drinking or feasting or gaming gives me something to work toward. It breaks up the week. Life’s sensual pleasures are all the sweeter and therefore more refreshing, effective. As mentioned above, striving for a kind of “mind/body harmony” can work wonders—and it’s the same with feasting and fasting. 3. At-home workout. We all know the importance of exercise for, well, everything. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll research an awesome routine, keep at it for a week, and then let it dissipate into the underworld of good intentions. During my studies, I often got sidetracked or “in the zone” only to find that I had 45 minutes to workout between class and band practice. On good days, I would quickly pack my bag, scurry to the gym, and blast out a half-hearted workout while leaving enough time to shower, change, and commute to practice. On bad days, I skipped the workout. Thankfully, as I began job hunting, I learned that I could shut my computer, spread the yoga mat, and do a YouTube workout in twenty-five minutes. Instead of sporadic gym sessions, I was able to get daily exercise—brief as it was—and thus maintain much better mental health. Sometimes it’s necessary to start small and simple before tackling ambitious routines. Even a walk around the block helps! 4. Out-of-home workouts. On the flip side, at-home workouts can make me feel cooped up. Sometimes going for a walk or making the journey to the gym will refresh my mind. Sometimes the only way to leave work is to leave the workspace. See new things, be present to new environments, engage with other beings—it may revitalize you, lift you from stagnant, muddy feelings. And it may remind you that there are larger contexts, other worlds outside of your own, that will sustain you. 5. Get a vase of flowers. Or a framed picture or a nice mug. An environment that looks like a trashcan will make me feel like a trashcan. An aesthetically pleasing space flows into my mental space. Objects and plants aren’t neutral; they act upon us all the time. A single daisy may, depending on the person, embody a host of memories and associations. Marie Kondo knows how a clean, minimalist space improves your wellbeing. Similarly, a space filled with a bit of beauty can relax, inspire, and sustain you during stressful work.   These tips won’t work for everybody, of course. And good mental health is obviously more than checking off a list of simple dos and don’ts. I find it helpful, however, to consider what overlooked habits will eventually disturb my mental health when at a different time of my life they wouldn’t. For me, surviving the pressures of student life and career building requires this attentiveness.  
  • Social Media: Friend or Foe?

    A CareerBuilder survey discovered that 70% of employers cruise your social media platforms to uncover more insights into whether you are a good fit for their team or not. Add to this staggering fact, the whopping near half (43%) of employers who use social media to "check-in" on their employees, and one third who have used what they've discovered about their employees on social media to fire them.    A recent piece by Harvard Business Review entitled, "Stop Screening Job Candidates' Social Media," asks important questions about the legaility of employers using social media as a part of their screening process for potential hires. As outlined by Chad Van Iddekinge, a Professor at the University of Iowa and one of the CareerBuilder study researchers, “You can see why many recruiters love social media—it allows them to discover all the information they aren’t allowed to ask about during an interview. But that’s a problem, because one of the hallmarks of legal hiring practices is that they focus on behaviors within the work context. There should be a clear distinction between what people do during work and what they do outside of it.”    The fact is when we opt-in to use social media, we also opt-in to revealing finer details about ourselves, according to algorithms and 'the internet' that are not necessarily within the scope of what employers need to consider, or should legally consider, when determining a new hire's "fit." Frankly, we all know that social media is, ironically, a very non-social way of maintaining a social presence and, sometimes, just a persona that we want to convey. Our decisions to be 'social' or 'make friends with' social media are also (conscious or unconscious) decisions to provide people who want to learn more about us another avenue to do so - albeit an avenue that is very surface level. Though employers are likely well-intentioned, or as HBR puts it: "to yield a better idea of whether that person will succeed on the job" (that's you), they can likely also see information about candidates that they shouldn't know when considering a new hire. Information, like pregnancy news, political views, sexual orientation, and, even things as ridiculous as  your use of profanities online.  Sadly, this process that 70% of employers are apparently leaning into is counterintuitive to hiring the right candidate on multiple levels. In truth, studies have shown that long-term fit beyond the skills and the experience you bring to an organization, is also about:  the right leader, goals, ground rules, communication, and, accountability. You can't "see" any of those qualities in a candidate by checking in on their social media, can you? Social media has its benefits. It keeps us, well, social (and it's also an excellent creative outlet)! However, as a candidate, you should know that sometimes a friend can also be a foe (more on this soon). Employers are using social media to get a more comprehensive glimpse into your candidacy and fit for roles on their teams - whether you like it or not. The discussion on the legality of this will continue to evolve, but right now: it's happening! When looking for a potential role within a company, it never hurts to make your social media accounts a little 'less social' by enhancing your privacy settings - at least, for now.
  • Your Resume Looks Good but What About Your Persona ...

    We don’t mean to alarm you with the title, we’re sure you’re nice; and your personality has rave reviews.     This said, not all personality types are a fit for all work environments. That’s why we’re showing you, below, the type of personality tests your prospective employer may use as a tool to vet whether you are the right fit for their team or not.    Personality Test Types – What to Know  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator  Background & How it Works  Often referred to as MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test inspired from the teachings of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who speculated that human beings universally experience the world using our sensory perceptions of sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking and the test itself was produced by a mother and daughter – Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs.   The MBTI test is a tool that determines which four groupings, derived from Jung’s theories, an individual falls under:   extraversion vs. Introversion,   judging vs. Perceiving,   intuition vs. Sensing, and,   thinking vs. Feeling.8    After taking a 20-to-40-minute test online, for free, your answers will then funnel through the four groupings and place you as one of the possible 16 possible personality type categories (outcomes/combinations of the four groupings).     DISC Test  Background & How it Works  As stated on its site, “Simply put DISC is a personal development model that helps people understand why they do what they do! In that regard, it is a framework that brings individual preferences and tendencies to light. In so doing, it also identifies patterns of behavior that might seem at first glance to be foreign, unfamiliar or even contrary.”  70% of Fortune 500 businesses use DISC profiles, for example: Exxon, General Electric, and Walmart. The motivation for their incorporation of the test into hiring and retention processes can be categorized by the aims of the test itself: to train without judgement, to manage more effectively, to make conflict more productive, to improve teamwork, and to raise self-awareness (of employees, teams, and the employer).  DISC stands for:   Dominance  Influence  Steadiness  Conscientiousness  Taking a DISC test is usually an offering that the prospective or current employer you work with has bought into. This said, once you do take the test you will answer a variety of questions to assess where you land most strongly within its allotted types D-C.    People with D (Dominance) personalities - confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing bottom-line results.  People with i (Influence) personalities – more open and place an emphasis on relationships and influencing or persuading others.  People with S (Steadiness) personalities - dependable and place the emphasis on cooperation and sincerity.  People with C (Conscientiousness) personalities - place the emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency.    The Eysenck Personality Test  Background & How it Works  This test reflects the ideas of Hans Eysenck and Sybil B. G. Eysenck, researchers on personality devoted to statistical analysis, inspired by an ancient Greek personality system, and convinced that personalities were defined by three things:   Extroversion,  Neuroticism, and,  Psychoticism.  Taking this test means that you partake in the EQ (Eysenck Questionnaire) and that your answers are then measured by the EPI (Eysenck Personality Inventory).   To be honest, the way that this test populates your proposed ‘personality type’ has been questioned, criticized, revised (in ‘85), and is still slightly complicated to explain. Fundamentally, what we’re looking at here is a short or long version of the Eysenck Personality test ranging between 48 (short) and 100 (long) Yes/No questions that place you on a continuum of the above three personality types and label your as ‘stable’ or ‘unstable’. Slightly harsh, right?    The Caliper Profile  Background & How it Works  According to its site, on Talogy (previously psi caliber), “The Caliper Profile is an objective assessment that accurately measures an individual’s personality characteristics and individual motivations in order to predict on-the-job behaviors and potential. Scientifically validated by nearly 6 decades of research, the Caliper Profile measures 22 robust traits and offers local norms for several countries. The assessment data can be utilized throughout the employee lifecycle including selection, development, promotion, team building, and succession planning.  To-date this personality test has profiled 4.5 million, been used by 65.4 million companies (whhhatttt???!!!) and operates 46.7 thousand consultations annually.   Your prospective employer might ask you to take the Caliper Profile. Once you complete the questions asked from the profile, your results are measured against one+ validated job models and the managers hiring for the roles can then see how suitable you are for your hopeful role or not. This info (or data) collected can then also be used in-future to support your onboarding and development within the organization.  So, I guess it's kind of a big deal.  An important thing to remember: It’s a good thing to know if you are compatible with a team or work environment before you get started so as weird as it can feel to be assessed personality-wise by, well, a computer program, the results can help all involved. It's better to know before you get started if the fit is right or wrong.
  • Tips From Professors on How to Ask Your Professor ...

    It is no secret that working or learning remotely or in hybrid learning environments makes it challenging to connect with professors. If you’re like me, you’ve likely reached a point in your academic journey where you need recommendation letters - either for a job or graduate studies. So, how do you ask for letters of recommendation when you’ve been interacting with your class mainly online? I spoke with a few professors to ask them insights on teaching in this new environment and how it impacts what they look for in students’ approaches to asking for recommendation letters.  Here are their tips:  Show Up & Turn Your Camera On It seems simple but when students show up every day, turn on their camera, and regularly share their thoughts it’s easier for professors to reason writing letters of recommendation.   Share Your Future Hopes & Dreams With Professors   The professors I spoke with expressed that they would prefer to know your future plans and that the more details you can provide, the better the chance of getting a letter of recommendation – and one that will have an influence. Also advised, is to share your CV, cover letter, or any other information that can support you to get a letter that is tailored to your strong suits and aims.  Express Interest in a Letter of Recommendation Early-on  Asking for a L.O.R. is nerve racking enough when you are in-class but especially difficult due to the lack of interaction of online classes. Some advice offered by given by professors I spoke with is to express interest in a L.O.R. early-on (also, obviously: go to office hours, ask about the exam, engage in class, and build a rapport with them).   Quality & Content  Professors I spoke with note that both quality and quantity of engagement are considered – one doesn’t’ trump the other. However, depending on whether the letter is needed for academic studies or more interactive jobs, there will be a greater focus on whatever the situation requires.   The biggest takeaway from these conversations was the importance of interacting with your professors. Your professors want to help you but to get their help you need to show up and do the work. Something as simple as turning on your camera can make the world of a difference and put a face to the name on the screen. Ask early if you would like a L.O.R., get to know your professor, and build a rapport with them.       
  • Meet Shoffana Sundaramoorthy, OCC Student Journali ...

    Hey, my name is Shoffana Sundaramoorthy, and I am a third year student at Wilfrid Laurier University.  While I am majoring in communications, I am also pursuing two minors in political science and psychology. I am excited to join the OCC Student/Graduate Journalist Team as it will further my interest in writing. What I enjoy most about writing is that it gives me a chance to express how I feel without any boundaries. Putting my mind on paper is relaxing and second nature for me. In addition, I strive to write with purpose. When I write a piece for OCC, I hope it resonates with its wide audience - whether it is with students, friends, or even alumni. I want to use the platform to speak on issues/ topics that matter to me and ideas for action for these issues. I hope to share valuable resources or insights that resonate deeply with my audience while aligning with the OCC’s core values.
  • Freelancing: An Interview With a Fiverr Freelance ...

    What is freelancing? 'To freelance' is defined by Google as: Working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company. In fact, Google’s workforce, as of 2019, consists of more contractors/freelancers than permanent employees - 54% of the staff were considered contractors/freelancers! Forbes even has an article titled, ‘The Freelance Revolution is Just Getting Started’ and I can confidently say that I agree. Freelancing will only continue to grow and you might say it's the wave of the future - especially for graduates. I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristen Parker, a verified Level 2 Fiverr Pro user and full-time freelancer. We discussed her experiences with freelancing and how it empowers her to do what she loves.   Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself (education background, work background, etc.)? A: I’m a full-time freelance writer focusing on blogs and social media captions. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Media and Communications with a minor in English from Redeemer University (Ancaster, ON.). I started working at a non-profit organization right out of school.  I switched from full-time to contract with the non-profit organization in November 2020 to have more flexibility with my time because my husband and I had converted a cargo van into a home and were travelling across the country.  I joined Fiverr in January 2021, and I had low expectations. I had been freelancing here and there since 2018, but Fiverr transformed my freelancing career and projected me toward independence and growth. Now I work with a few marketing agencies and clients on Fiverr to complete various writing assignments.    Q: Did you always know that this field (writing) was what you wanted to get into? A: When I was in high school, I was set on going into the sciences. My goal changed when I took a creative writing class in grade 12 and fell in love with embracing myself creatively. The course fueled a fire within me, and I have chased that passion since. I’ve journaled my whole life, but it wasn’t until recently that I felt the confidence to call myself a writer. I’m thankful to be in a field that embraces creativity and enables me to let the words flow.  Q: What made you want to get into freelancing? A: At my full-time job, I felt restricted by a 9-5. I felt like I could not reach my full potential and was not rewarded for going above and beyond. Freelancing offers opportunities to set your hours and be rewarded for your work.  In a full-time position, hard work doesn’t always pay off—but in freelancing, when you go above and beyond, you’re able to learn more, earn more, and grow in your career quicker.  I also love that I have more flexibility with my time. I get to set my deadlines, and as long as I meet them, it doesn’t matter when I do the work.    Q: How did you decide what platform to use to start freelancing? A: I had heard that Fiverr allowed you to create a free profile, and I just went for it. I honestly didn’t research it, I just said, “let’s see what happens.” People often get side-tracked ‘doing’ because they’re so caught up in ‘doing it right’. My mindset was that there was no harm in creating a profile, so I went for it.  One of my goals for the year is to create a profile on Upwork to see where that goes.    Q: How did/do you navigate the financial insecurity of not having a fixed income? A: I am beyond blessed to be married to someone who does have a fixed income and to have started freelancing with a contract. The contract position was a secure way to freelance because I always knew there was work. The contract role provided work while I built rapport and confidence to emerge into the freelancing world fully.   Now, I have a goal each day that I aim to hit—and if I don’t hit it, I spend time trying to find other work. I’m incredibly blessed to have a consistent flow of work where I rarely need to be on the hunt.  I’m incredibly thankful for a supportive husband who encourages me to chase my dreams. His income covers our monthly expenses, and my income covers any extras, savings, and investments. I acknowledge the privilege of being in a double-income situation, and I also note that the difference in what we bring in is relatively small.      Q: How do you navigate taxes as a freelancer with multiple streams of income (staying organized with business finances, etc.)? A: I use a spreadsheet, and I have an amazing bookkeeper who is quick to answer my questions and help me navigate the tax world. I was intimidated by taxes, and it almost made me not pursue working on my own.  Now, I’m thankful to feel confident and well-prepared for the next tax season. (This tax season went well and helped me learn).    Q: How do you maintain/create work-life balance as a freelancer? A: In the beginning, it was hard to maintain a work-life balance as a freelancer because I was eager to complete any projects, and that meant that I’d do a lot of work for not a lot of money to gain reviews. It was also challenging to feel like I always had to respond to inquiries immediately and to be on the hunt for work.  Now, I’m in a position where I can take weekends off (unless I want to work), and I avoid working at night (unless I want to). One of the benefits of freelancing is that I love what I do, so the work often doesn’t feel like work.  Since everything comes to my phone, I can quickly assess if someone needs a response or if it can wait for another time. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to respond to someone and say something like, “Hi! Thank you for your message. I’m just out running errands. I’ll get back to you when I get home.” It’s a great way to build rapport, keep my response rate quick, and avoid working 24/7.    Q: What is one thing that you've been able to do as a freelancer that you wouldn't have been able to do with a 9-5 job? A: I originally left the 9-5 because it didn’t align with our van life experience. Since then we’ve sold the van, and I’ve found joy in being able to make my own schedule. I have more time to pursue passion projects, invest in relationships, and grow into the person I want to be. I found that working a 9-5 left me feeling drained and I didn’t feel like my true self. Now, I have more energy and every day feels like a new opportunity.   Q: Do you have any advice for people who are considering freelancing as their main source of income? A: If you’re considering freelancing, just start. Every day that you don’t start is one day that you could be building a profile and gaining experience. You don’t need to start freelancing with the mindset that it needs to be your primary source of income—you may find that mindset suffocating and overwhelming. Instead, I recommend starting freelancing with the mindset of, “I’m going to pour my all into this and see where it goes!” There is an abundance of opportunities for different niches—spend some time on a site like Fiverr and see what there is and what you think you’d be good at.  At the end of the day, there’s no harm in spending an evening creating a profile. You never know where it may take you.  
  • Meet Deanne Williams, English Professor and Author ...

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Deanne Williams, an English Professor at York University as well as author. I took her class this semester and had the incredible opportunity to become acquainted with her. I chose to interview her on Women’s History Month as I wanted to showcase a female professor excelling in her field in a relatively male dominated field. If you're interested in pursuing English as a major, minor, or a profession, keep reading to learn more about Deanne’s journey and advice.    Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. A: I studied English and Religious Studies at the University of Toronto. I got to study with Northrop Frye (Author of international bestseller Fearful Symmetry). I also completed my graduate studies at Oxford and a fellowship at Stanford where I took part in field work as well. Close to my final year, I was offered a position at York University, completed my dissertation, and joined the English department at York.  Q: Did you always know that you wanted to become an English professor?  A: No, I thought maybe I would go into publishing. I also thought maybe I would get involved with law and find a way to interconnect the two. The moment I knew that I wanted to go into graduate school, I was in my third year of university and enjoying my courses so much that I realized I just wanted to continue studying. I had a prophetic vision and dream that I would go to graduate school in California.  Q: Which steps did you take? Did you have any guidance?  A: I became quite close with the Dean of English Studies at my university, and he actually proposed that I go to Oxford to pursue Medieval Studies. A little later, I continued my graduate studies at Stanford. I got to study alongside several wonderful scholars. I had a friend from high school as well and he wrote me some letters praising the English program at Stanford. Professor Stephen Orgel was also an incredible mentor for me at Stanford.  Q: You mentioned several notable and highly acclaimed male mentors. Did you also have any female mentors or inspirations at that time?  A: Yes, it's true, especially during that time, the field was dominated by males but one of my biggest inspirations was Patricia Parker (professor at Stanford) who was on my dissertation committee. My work on Pericles Shakespeare, which was very important to me, and I wrote a chapter of in my book, had its origins in a graduate seminar that I took with her. I learned from her an attentiveness to Shakespearean language, their historical context, and the technicalities/ contradictions involved in literature. It was a little hard though to find female mentorships - especially in historical fields.  Q: What would you advise students that are considering pursuing a career in English?  A: It's very important to establish personal connections with your professors and other students that are serious about English as well. I spent a lot of time with my mentors and have learned from them how to teach and supervise my graduate students. There is a great joy in collaborating with others. Scholarship doesn't have to be lonely as it's often presented. Additionally, research fellowships and scholarships that universities offer if you are pursuing graduate studies because you’ll be surprised by how many opportunities there are.     
  • An Interview with Jewell Gillies, Aboriginal Servi ...

    1) What university or college did you go to and what did you study? I attended the University of the Fraser Valley, studying Criminology (2005) because at that time I was on track to be hired by the Vancouver Police Department and Criminology was my sole interest in education.  2) You work in Aboriginal Services, Seconded to Student, Graduate, & Co-op Employment Services at?Okanagan College. What was your journey like toward working in the community of higher learning and doing what you do now? When I graduated high school, my dream was not to work in the post-secondary field. In fact, I had already pre-enlisted in the United States Army, as a combat medic, and had been taking basic training on weekends and holidays. Shortly after I graduated from high school, I moved to the United States, where I completed my basic training and my method of service training. While I completed 1 year with the US Army, I then returned home to go to school and gain life experience to be a successful applicant to the Vancouver Police Department.  Since I was 8 years old, I knew that I wanted to be a role model for my Indigenous community. Being a police officer seemed to be the most appropriate way for me to achieve that. At the age of 3 years old, my mother died, having suffered the traumas of residential school, which scarred her mentality. And, before they were adults, my 2 older brothers became addicts and lived homeless and deviant lives for over 30 years now. To me, becoming?a police offer was the best way to offset the injustice my brothers perpetrated on the world around them. It was also a way for me to be the officer that saved one young person from going down the same wrong path. While training as a police officer, I also managed several different clothing retail stores and paid my own way through university – finding my stride in leadership positions. Finally, I was hired by the Vancouver Police Department, in 2005, as an Auxiliary Jail Guard and 7 months later I was hired as a Police Constable. I graduated from the Police Academy at the Justice Institute of BC in 2006. I spent close to 6 years with the VPD, working primarily in East Vancouver and in the Downtown Eastside, serving my community – the Indigenous Community.  Over the years, I realized that my ability to intervene and make those fundamental positive impacts on Indigenous youth needed to happen earlier. Instead of responding to calls and seeing Indigenous youth in handcuffs, trying to connect with them when it was most difficult, I could work to connect with them earlier. And, while I am a status First Nations person from the Musgamwagwa Dzawadaeunx of the Kwakwakawakw Nation, people only ever saw my uniform first. I needed to find a different way to make a difference. This realization caused me to resign my position with the VPD, in late 2012, and it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I cried as I walked out of the police station as a civilian. The profession I had spent an entire life working towards, and dreaming of, the career I had spilt tears (and blood) for…that career was over. I was comforted by my Sergeant reminding me that while my position within the department was done, the impact I had on the community would live on in their memories forever.? Then, almost by accident, I found a job posting for an Aboriginal Student Advocate here in the Central Okanagan. As I applied for the job, I thought to myself: “How am I ever going to prove I am qualified to do this type of work?”. I had been a Range Officer, a K-9 Dog Quarry, an Undercover Operator, and a less-lethal Shotgun Operator for a major police department. I was calm under pressure and good with people. But, how did all those skills transform into a civilian job in a high school? Thankfully, I was hired into SD 23 (Central Okanagan School District), as an Aboriginal Student Advocate, in late 2012, and I worked for the district for nearly 5 years. I was motivated by the difference I could see my role making for our Indigenous community and this was a magical place where change – fundamental change – happened. This role filled me with purpose, passion, and vision to do even more and that’s when I applied to work at Okanagan College.   I was hired by Okanagan College at the beginning of 2018, and I have been thrilled every day to show up for work. I am inspired and motivated by the students I work with each day. The societal obstacles that they face as Indigenous post-secondary students, and the amazing things they are achieving despite the inequity they experience in society, is transformative.  In January of 2020, I was seconded into this current role for the college. Now, my goal with this work is to privilege the voice of our Indigenous students – to share their stories in a very traditional way of sharing knowledge and information. The goal is that through these stories, we can find new ways to provide equitable access to our Indigenous students and build meaningful, deeper reciprocal relationships with our student body, our Indigenous community partners, and our business community partners. 2) What do you find most meaningful about your job? What is the most challenging? The ability to connect with students and the Indigenous community in a way that uplifts their voice, that inspires them to reach further than perhaps even they had imagined for themselves – this gives me the most satisfaction in the work I do. I’m also grateful to be able to challenge deeply rooted systems that, by their very nature, create inequity and deficits for the Indigenous community. I recognize that while the work I do is impactful, I cannot change the world…not alone anyhow. To realize that I cannot fix every issue for every student, every community member I work with, but to know that sometimes the discomfort of change, or the discomfort of failure, is also the lifting–off point for many people. Not unlike my own views of my “failure” in my policing career, what it really became is a starting point for this new career path. A career path that has been exhausting, overwhelming, beautiful, and magical – all at the same time.  3) What is the best piece of advice you can give today’s post-secondary students and graduates? Go where the going makes you uncomfortable. Lean into that feeling and work through it. This is where you will realize the limitations you have in life are only the ones that you allow to exist. 4) You recently launched a Positive Space Committee at Okanagan College. Is this an easy thing to do for other higher learning institutions? Any advice on getting a Positive Space Committee up and running or tips on starting out? The Positive Space Committee has been a labor of love for me and many colleagues from all areas at our? Institution. I identify as a Two-Spirit Indigenous person, so being able to provide our students, staff, and broader OC community a safe space to own their identity has been a big personal goal of mine. To create this type of committee, one that challenges patterns of discrimination overtly or through subversive microaggressions towards the LGBTQ2IA+ community, requires support from the highest level of the institution. I am pleased to say that at Okanagan College we have the support of leadership in seeing this committee established and in supporting our over–arching wellness initiatives at the college. You often hear the slogan “Nothing for us without us” said at rallies, marches, or protests. That sentiment is fundamentally one of the most important factors to consider when creating a Positive Space committee – regardless of the organization’s size structure or clientele. Ensuring you have the voice of the LGBTQ2IA+ community present in the process is vital. Only those who have lived with historical discrimination know what is needed for them to feel safe, included, supported, and welcomed.  5) What (or who) inspires you?  Oh, this is such a big question! I find inspiration in many, many people, and in many events throughout my life – big or small. I have a 6–year–old daughter, who has the same name as me, and she is my biggest inspiration. Indigenous Peoples have a concept of the Seven Generations. In short terms it means I am the culmination of the wisdom, love, and knowledge of the 7 generations of ancestors who have come before me; the knowledge I have, the abilities I have, are because of all of them – not just me. The privilege I have in the positions I hold in society now is not just to benefit myself, but to benefit the 7 Generations that will come after me – the sense of selfless work that is done for the greater good. I look at my daughter, and each day I am inspired to renew my efforts to create a more equitable, safe, and loving society for her – because of her and with her.  6) What words do you try to live by?  If I can, I must. I am not sure where I picked this statement up, but I say it to?myself in various situations – almost daily. I have this ability, this passion, and this position in my role as Mother, Daughter, Activist, Co-op Coordinator, and the ability to make great changes for others. This work, at times, is exhausting; and the details of making events and programing happen are numerous. But if I can, I must.  I have also taught this statement to my daughter. The idea of being more than a bystander. If we see inequity or injustice happening to those around us, and we are in the position to support them in some way, then we must do so. My daughter saved up half of her allowance for 12 months, and last Christmas she bought supplies to make 15 care packages – handing them out to homeless community members in downtown Kelowna. She was beaming afterward, from seeing the look of surprise and joy on those folks’ faces, and she felt proud that she had made a real positive impact on so many people. She ended the day by saying “We are lucky Momma, that we can afford our house and our food, so we must share with others who are not so lucky.” Thinking about it now makes me tear up with how proud I am of her. This year, the allowance she is saving will be donated to the food bank.  We may not always be financially able to do things like this, but if it’s a kind word, a smile, or a voice to stand with those who face injustice; if we can do these things, we must do so.  7) How important is gaining work experience in leading effectively?  Just because we know theory does not mean we can be effective at teaching the subject. The same goes for leadership, just because someone has letters behind their name does not mean they can be effective leaders. I spent many years in various management roles, in leadership roles, and in positions of authority. The biggest thing I learned from all of those experiences is to be humble, as we will never know everything. The experience from those roles taught me to listen first to the team, to ask questions more than I give direction, to be flexible with my goals, and to accommodate other minds in the conversation. These are all things you need to go through in order to understand. I have made many leadership mistakes over the years, but I have never let them be useless mistakes, I have always utilized them as learning opportunities – determined to be better the next time. This is a reflexive lifelong mindset that I believe all great leaders use.  8) What books are you reading right now?  “21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act”, Bob Joseph. (This is a book about helping Canadians make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality). “The Inconvenient Indian”, Thomas King “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone”, J.K Rowling, (A part of the bedtime stories I read to my daughter each night).?    9) With the current shift to online learning, all institutions have had to move online until we are confidant going back on campus is a safe/healthy option for everyone. What do you miss most about the in-person higher learning experience?  I was raised to believe that the best communication happens in person; when you can see the whites of a person’s eyes and feel the intention in their heart as well as hear their words. I miss collaborating with my colleagues on campus, some of the best ideas are hatched in random hallway conversations with staff members who may not even be from the same department. I miss seeing my students in person, while I still have the opportunity now to virtually meet with them, and check-in, I miss the congratulatory hugs we shared when they would tell me of their recent successes, I also miss the student potluck lunches we hosted in the Aboriginal Student Center; when the room filled with the OC community and we would share a good meal and lots of laughter.  Indigenous Peoples have experienced and continue to experience incredible trauma from assimilation and cultural genocide. The strongest quality we have is in our resiliency, and our resiliency is found in the laughter that burst-forth, in any community gathering, from the depths of our brave and strong hearts. Laughter is healing and it’s the shared laughter with my students and community I think I miss most of all.     
  • My Personal Journey to Become a Journalist, By: Ar ...

    Working with Outcome Campus Connect (OCC) gave me a taste of what to expect as a journalist and content creator. This journey has given me the ability to think outside the box and work efficiently. It is the first time I’ve worked as a student journalist, and here’s how it all began.    When I first started out at St. Thomas, I felt a little lost - I didn’t know where I would see myself in four years’ time. I had a lot of self-doubt about my writing skills, since I had a huge disadvantage against other students: my language. (As an Ecuadorian, my first language is Spanish). I always felt like I was behind everyone on everything, every single day, and that was extremely frustrating. I even was “advised” by a teacher to look for another career, since I lacked the ability to be a good journalist; that really threw me off. I felt lost. I even considered switching careers, but I never found something that felt as right as writing. Even as a child, I carried a notebook with me. I felt like I became the words I wrote.    I persisted in the face of doubt. Through this, and throughout college, I must admit that one of the biggest challenges of my life was learning to adjust, absorb new information, improve as fast as required, and apply myself and my work again. In this process, even in failure I won. I know that after four years I’m not the same lost person that walked into STU. I’m proud of who I have become as a writer, journalist, and individual. Overcoming all this didn’t just make me understand how much hard work pays off but the importance of good guidance.   They say, “Everything happens for a reason”, and its cliché but true. Every St. Thomas class I took played a huge role in what I have become. I wouldn’t be able to edit audio, video, use a camera, or write a paper-edit rough cut, if it weren’t for Toolbox. I wouldn’t know how to conduct a podcast, or even make one if it weren’t for Mark Tunney’s class. I wouldn't have lost my fear of interviewing if it weren’t for Jan Wong. One of the most influential people in my life, who was an inspiration and support for me was Phillip Lee, with his journalist and mentoring skills. It’s simple, if I didn’t learn all these skills, knowledge, and tools, I know that I would’ve never even been considered by Orbis OCC for hire. Before working for Orbis OCC, I needed to grow and develop skills that this company (or any company) would find valuable.  Orbis OCC, was a company listed on jobs at the STU website. By this time, I had been dragged out of Canada back to Ecuador due to the pandemic. It had been a year of the pandemic and after having to deal with economic crisis, health, and mental health issues, I didn’t want to keep living another year in ‘the oblivion of time’, waiting for something to happen. The only good thing about that year is that with everything happening around me I wrote several pieces for The Aquinian, STU’s newspaper. This didn’t last very long, since I don't feel fulfilled in the work or process. Yeah, I did get great pieces done but I really wanted a challenge. I updated my resume and, funny thing, I sent out my application for Orbis a week late. Honestly, I didn’t have many hopes of even getting a reply.   Fortunately, I did, and I was hired for two terms. OCC works by terms, in which they hire students or recent graduates from different countries to write and create content for their site. My first term in Orbis felt so magical, every little taste of it made me feel like I was floating. The ideas just fought one another to get out of my mouth. As individuals, we were expected to submit bi-weekly invoices for our payments, the workload was always manageable since it was just 3 pieces per month, and you could take the fourth off. The only big recommendation that I had during my first term that would even heighten the experience was working alongside other students. Like writing an article together or a blog, or something, just exercise the ability to learn from others. Besides that, the first term was challenging because we needed to adapt to OCC’s working style and expectations, but their execution of the program was so flawless we didn’t face major encounters.     There are two submissions I’m most proud of throughout my time working with OCC. Firstly, I challenged myself by producing a Q & A with Professor Philip Lee. Before this piece, I didn't even know how to structure a piece like this, but I knew that with some research and examples I would be able to pull it off. It took twice the time I normally take to write an article but, in the end, it made me so proud. I’m sure it is one of the best pieces I’ve written in my life. In my second term, things switched up a bit. We were expected to write the 3 pieces, plus create content for their social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. I have never been great for social media but fortunately I know the importance of it due my minor, Communications. The guidance of my superiors from OCC helped me navigate through the difficulties.      I feel fortunate to have produced numerous interviews and wrote several pieces for their website. It was a unique journey and like all journeys not without its speedbumps. Throughout this learning, I was also recovering from an accident that I had at the beginning of January, which left me slower in every aspect, and I didn't count on the workload of the last semester before graduation so was juggling deadlines. OCC was always so supportive and brought me to the light once again. They filled the new students with hopes and hypes of what we were going to achieve together, this inspired all my team to search for stories, interviews, tips, and suggest new ideas.   Once again, due to all their support and the inspiration they woke on me, and I was able to pull together another story: “Matthew Diagle’s Journey: From a kid’s dream to a professional journalist”, which I believe turned out amazing.     I personally think that working for Orbis not only will look good on my resume, but it opened my eyes to what I can expect from a future job and from myself - which I believe is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life. I’m thankful that I could experience this journey of self-discovery and getting to know the reporter inside of me. After this experience it’s only left to say that I’m so thankful for the opportunity I had with OCC. For now, I’m on my way to the next challenge: Just four weeks ago, I applied for a summer job at a magazine and several newspapers around my home city, in Ecuador. This experience also encouraged and supported me to pursue a MA in Investigative Journalism, in Spain.   The biggest difference between four years ago and now is that I know exactly what I need to do in order to achieve every little goal I’ve set for myself. I see myself now as more analytical, observing, patient, curious, and tenacious.     I am becoming who I want to be.              
  • Are Summer School Classes Right For You?, By: Eile ...

    We are now approaching that time of year when classes are finally wrapping up, and all that’s left to do are those last few assignments before you can relax and let loose for summer break. Summer break = no school… or so you think.   You might have heard the idea of summer school floating around, and although the last thing on your mind right now is doing even more school, summer school can be a great opportunity in your educational path. However, it is important to know if summer school is right for you before signing up because it can be very different from the courses you take in the regular school year. So, here is a list of some of the pros and cons of summer school.    PRO #1: Summer school can help you graduate early   If you are looking to graduate early, summer school is an excellent way to do so. By taking additional classes during the summer, you can work towards your degree quicker than if you were only to take courses during the Fall/Winter term.   TIP: I would highly recommend researching and planning which classes you need to take. It can be tricky to find out what classes you need. Consider visiting your Academic Advising Offices to ask for help in planning your course loads for both the Fall/Winter and Summer terms.     PRO #2: Summer school can help spread courses out throughout the year  Enrolling in summer school could allow you to take a lighter course load during the Fall/Winter term, spreading out your course load more evenly but still keeping you on track for your expected graduation date.  For example, at York University, a full course load during the Fall/Winter term is 30 credits. Summer school allows students to take a maximum of 12 credits. So, throughout the year, I could take around 21 credits and do 9 credits in summer school. This makes it so my course load is lighter and more manageable during the year. This could be extremely helpful if you find yourself overwhelmed with school work.     PRO #3: Summer school classes are usually smaller  Classes during summer school are usually smaller, which can be beneficial if you enjoy learning in that environment. Smaller classes may mean a better connection with your professor and more in-class discussions.     CON #1: Some courses may not be available during the summer  One big thing to consider is that some courses, usually available in the Fall/Winter term, will not be available during the Summer term. If you need a particular class for your degree, it is important to check if these classes are available during the summer.     CON #2: Summer classes are faster-paced with more assignments and class time  Because professors need to fit in a semester (or two) worth of course content into only a few months, you will find that professors will cover two or more topics during the week. This also means more assignments and more class time. This is something to consider if you prefer a slower learning environment or are taking a course that requires more work than usual.     CON #3: It may be difficult to get OSAP funding for classes  The process for getting OSAP funding for summer classes may take longer and depends on whether you are taking a full course load. I highly recommend doing research to find out what OSAP funding is available for summer school for your post-secondary institution.   For example, when I took summer classes in my first year, it was challenging to get funding because I was only taking half the course load. In the end, I had to enroll in another class to be considered a full-time student because the OSAP application for full-time summer students was much easier.     I hope that this post was able to clarify what summer classes may look like. Please be sure to check your post-secondary institution’s website for more information about summer school if this is something that you are considering!       
  • Meet Anna Langmuir, OCC Student Journalist

    I am a fourth-year UBC student from the U.K, graduating with a Major in English Literature and a Minor in Psychology. While my love for traveling, writing, and literature inspired me to move to Canada for university, my hospitality experience has also given me many amazing work opportunities worldwide, from managing luxury villas in Spain to living and working in Egypt. My goal is to work in journalism and media one day, start a travel blog, and combine my two biggest passions!   Joining the OCC Student & Graduate Journalist team is meaningful to me because, in the past, I have struggled to navigate being a university student, gain work experience related to my degree, and am still trying to decide on my 'dream' career. Approaching graduation and deciding on a particular career-related goal to work towards is daunting and confusing. I understand that many people might feel similarly anxious about making such a significant transition. I am so excited to join a group of like-minded student journalists whose primary goal is to support, reassure, and inform others who may be feeling lost or intimidated by a future beyond university. By sharing my own and others' career successes and experiences, I hope to bring some reassurance and valuable insight to those at a similar stage in their university journey.  
  • 50/50: Exploring Your Career Path as a Post-Secon ...

    Finding your calling or career path is a struggle for most of us. I can say in my personal experience, that even if I knew I wanted to study journalism there were so many classes to choose from that I found myself lost. The guidance of a professor helped me choose courses wisely and shaped my career trajectory to-date. I spoke with Erin Feicht, Career Development Advisor at St. Thomas University, to get a better understanding of the path of discovery for students to experience and determine their hopes for career paths. Fortunately, the university offers plenty of paths for exploration, it’s important to take a variety of courses to gain knowledge and experience on different topics. According to Feicht, “50% of students that enter post-secondary have a clear idea of what they want to study, while the other 50% either have some areas of interest or are totally lost in a world of possibilities.” She strongly advises students to seek-out advice, and be open to the process. Her process is (about) four steps:    Resume Building   Interview Preparation,   Networking Techniques   Extracurricular Activities  [Text Wrapping Break]   The brainstorming process is important because it reveals the ways that students can gain experience and build skills while in university. Reflecting on where you want to go can help pinpoint interests and reveal where to look for internships or experiential learning opportunities that will lead you to the job you want when you graduate. Feicht also notes that it’s important to understand the salary bracket of the career you’re pursuing, to prevent unmet expectations.   Choosing a career shouldn't be scary, it can be fun and exciting to try new things. Being open to experimentation can lead you down the right career path but this path may be different than what you thought initially – that is a part of the process. Letting life ‘take its course’ rather than controlling the outcome is a huge part of the journey and it’s a process that will feel easier if you work with your career advisor or a mentor along the way. Having a guidance, like a mentor or advisor, can help you release the pressure of choosing a career path and guide your journey so that you find a career path you love.      “I didn’t have this kind of help when I was in college, so I want to encourage students and let them know that they are not alone in this process,” said Feitch.     
  • Ten jobs you can do from Anywhere in the World

    Many remote and virtual career options won’t leave you stuck in the same office cubicle (for upwards of 8 hours a day). Whether you are looking for a way to earn money while sitting on a beach in Bali, are drawn to the work-from-home lifestyle, or are simply looking for a COVID-friendly career, here are ten roles that empower you to live and work from anywhere in the world!   1. Freelance Writer Whether it’s blogging, reporting, content writing, or anything in between, freelance writing is an excellent option for those who have strong written communication skills. Not only is the job itself flexible, so is the pay. Depending on how organized you are and how much work you’re willing to take on, the amount you earn is really up to you. Salary: $42,938   2. Virtual Tutor If you have a knack for education or are well-versed in a specific subject, then virtual tutoring may be an exciting option for you. This type of role gives the flexibility of working with many different skill levels, age ranges, and subjects, and it is an occupation available to almost anyone with skills or experience in teaching. Salary: $39,000   3. Graphic Designer This role requires a strong creative flair and tech-savviness but typically comes with the ability to work remotely. A graphic designer creates visual concepts and images to help draw in their client’s target audience - such as logos, website design, magazine covers, and more. Salary: $45,000   4. Virtual Assistant A virtual assistant essentially works as a stay-at-home (or work-from-anywhere) executive or administrative assistant. As with many of these remote roles, proficiency in communications and the confidence to work independently is a must. Typical responsibilities will include managing emails and making travel arrangements Salary: $48,000   5. Website Developer If you have graphic design and computer programming skills, then consider a role as a web developer. You will be responsible for the coding and layout of a client’s website—another excellent option for the tech-savvy. Salary: $53, 762   6. Social Media Consultant This role requires strong social media know-how and the ability to market a brand, figure, or idea successfully. You must be creative and in tune with the company’s target audience. This role will involve collaborating with sales/marketing staff, posting written and visual content, and recommending new ideas and improvements.  Salary: $65, 325   7. Online Translation Are you fluent in a second language? Then why not profit off your valuable linguistic skills? Responsibilities include translating text or audio recordings and ensuring that the newly translated pieces convey the appropriate meaning and tone. Salary: $53,138   8. Online ESL Teacher Teaching English as a second language is many 'a nomad’s' dream job and a great way to live, work, and travel within a myriad of different regions and countries. Many ESL teachers have a degree in English, as well as an ESL or TESOL certification. Once you are qualified, the high demand for ESL teachers means that the world is your oyster. Salary: $42,800   9. E-Interior Designer While interior design seems like it would be a hands-on career, many interior designers work remotely, allowing them to reach an international client base. As an E-Interior designer, you will develop plans and 3D models that align with the client’s vision and wishes. Salary: $48,750   10. Accountant Accounting is a role with high growth potential and can be worked remotely in both entry-level and senior positions. The role primarily involves reviewing or preparing financial accounts for businesses and individuals while ensuring they are in line with laws and regulations.  Salary: $56,544  
  • So, You Want to be an Urban Planner?

    What is an Urban Planner? Urban planners work with developers and their communities to realize development proposals while solving social, economic, and environmental issues. As an Urban Planner You Will: Plan and design transportation infrastructure policy Undertake planning and engineering work Communicate with lawyers, architects, finance, and risk people (to name a few) Coordinate with local governments Create and interpret maps and diagrams Recommend and approve or deny proposals  What Education Do Urban Planners Typically Have? To be an Urban Planner you need a master's degree in Urban Planning but Urban Design or Geography is also applicable. In pursuit of a master's program you can start by graduating with a Bachelor's degree in economics, geography, political science, or environmental design. What Essential Skills Should Urban Planners Have? research  writing analysis communications sales/outreach creativity interpersonal skills What Industries Hire Urban Planners? Government Higher education Real estate developers nonprofits landscape architecture and planning firms What is a Typical Urban Planner Salary? The salary range for an Urban Planner is $70, 135 - $111,000 and the median salary for this role is $90,000 per year ($46.15 hourly).  
  • A Career in Information Technology: An Interview w ...

    Finding work in your chosen career field has, to an extent, always been a challenge. But it’s one that every graduating class has faced head-on. Pandemic grads are no different; if anything, they’ve proven that they are more resourceful, more determined, and more easily adapt to change than the classes before them.  I had the pleasure of interviewing a 2020 graduate, Clarenz Caba, about working in IT and his experience getting to where he is now. Q1: What and where did you study? A: I have a weird post-secondary history. I started at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, for a Computer Science specialism. After two years of trying that out, I decided to transfer to the University of Toronto, Mississauga campus, for a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics. I eventually changed my majors and turned my Computer Science and Mathematics double major into a double minor and I transferred over to the Information Technology department (ICCIT).  Q2: Did you always know that this field was the one you wanted to go into? A: No, not at all. I actually wanted to do several things. Entering high school, I wanted to be a chef. When I entered post-secondary, I wanted to make money playing and making video games. I even applied for the Canadian Armed Forces as a signals and telecommunications officer. I eventually settled myself in the information technology field because I knew I loved helping people and I love tech. Q3: What was your post-secondary experience like (i.e.: grades, extracurriculars, etc.) A: How much time do you have? (haha). If you asked any average university or college student, I think they share the same sentiment: brutal and absolutely rewarding. I’m not very good with a lot of theoretical studies, but I had to take plenty of theoretical math and computer science courses for my minors. I was really good at learning on the job and just getting my hands dirty and learning from mistakes. And the reason why I say post-secondary was brutal for me was because of mostly secondary events. Especially in the computer science field, I saw many classmates fall off the face of the earth to complete a project or study for our upcoming midterms. It was brutal because of all of the all-nighters, the fifth cup of coffee at 9pm in the evening, and the crashing and burning of some of my closest friends. But it was extremely rewarding. I was lucky to be surrounded by some of the most talented, funniest, smartest people at UTM. I consider some of my professors as close colleagues. Without their encouragement and support, I would not have succeeded or enjoyed my post-secondary experience.    Q4: Do you think your post-secondary experience helped you to prepare for your career field of choice? Why or why not? A: I think about this often, especially in my field where I do most of my learning on the fly. And I think that’s what post-secondary best prepared me for. Because of my post-secondary education, I was a bit more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I know that I am better at learning from doing. It equipped me with the basic knowledge and confidence to complete a project efficiently. It also provided me with the technical toolset and abilities to solve problems creatively.    Q5: Did you do anything else to help you prepare for your chosen career field (i.e.: workshops, conferences, etc.)? A: Not formally, no. The internet is a wonderful place. There are so many resources on so many important skills and topics today. If you want to grow in your field, especially in the technical and information technology space, you can learn new skills and apply them on the job almost immediately. There are plenty of paid workshops out there, both online and in-person, for you to do. But my suggestion, if you’re curious and just want to learn and apply what you learn right away, look for something free and easily accessible (i.e. YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, etc.)   Q6: How soon after finishing school did you find a job in your field? How did you find that job (i.e.: connections, job boards, etc.)? A: Not right away. I finished school in May 2020 but I opted out of the June 2020 convocation because I thought the pandemic would end in July or August 2020. I took on two retail jobs, MUJI and Game Stop, before joining Orbis in March 2021. I was connected through a close family friend and they had a friend (two degrees of connection) who worked for Orbis Communications at the time and they were looking for a Technical Analyst and Product Success Coach. I sent in my resume and cover letter and hoped for the best. After an interview, I was offered the position and the rest is history! Q7: Do you have any things you wish you did differently to get onto this career path? A: I wish I went to college instead. I’m not very good with theoretical studies as I have mentioned before, so I think as a natural tinkerer I would have fared better in college.  Q8: Do you have any advice or encouragement for current students/new grads (re:  job-hunting, getting into their career fields, networking, etc.)? A: I have a few things I learned in that year of me searching for my first big boy job.   Write a resume for every job you want to apply for. It’s important that you customize your resume and cover letter for that specific job that you found on LinkedIn or Indeed. Hiring managers can and will see the effort you put into customizing and writing your resume. There are many types of resumes and I learned that there are different styles of a resume that will fit the job you’re applying for. For example, if I applied for an internship position, I think it’s safe to say that they’re looking for some sort of academic background. So for that resume, I would highlight my post-secondary background first, then my work experience in reverse chronological order. To some, it’s probably easier to just send out 1 resume 100 times and hope for the best. But I think focusing on 2 or 3 job postings and putting in the effort to write a great resume and cover letter package for those 2-3 job postings are far more efficient and effective.    Learn to be personable. I think manners make a huge difference. I think now (especially in our current employment climate) employers and hiring managers would much rather hire someone who’s willing to learn on-the-job, is honest about not knowing what they don’t know, and is personable versus someone who might come off stand-offish and isn’t open to learn because they think they know it all.   LinkedIn is absolutely necessary. I spent a solid 3 months polishing my LinkedIn profile. That includes getting a great profile photo, writing a great summary, and recording some of my work experience and educational background. What’s great about LinkedIn is that it’s accessible for the hiring manager. It gives them an idea of who you are. It gives you that leverage and opportunity to tell them “this is who I am, both professionally and personally.”   Commit to lifelong learning. I think this is the most marketable and most on-demand skill today. If you can confidently tell someone that you are constantly and always learning, you’re in a great place. After post-secondary, we feel like just because we're done school, we’re done learning. It’s quite the opposite. I encourage everyone to find two things: (1) something you are interested in to learn it until you are an expert and (2) something niche and different to learn it until you have a working knowledge of it. 
  • About Peer Mentorship, From a Peer Mentor, By: Eil ...

    I have been a peer mentor at York University for the past two years, and it has been one of my favourite student experiences. In this role, I support and mentor first-year students, whether that be answering any questions they have, helping them adjust to their first year, or just being there as mental and emotional support.  Are you interested in being a peer mentor?  What is a Peer Mentor? A peer mentor is usually an upper-year student who helps first-year students transition into university. If you are a first-year student, a peer mentor will often lend a hand in guiding you through your first year at university. From study sessions to campus tours to fun social events, they are an accessible connection that can help you become more adjusted to student life. Even if you are no longer a first-year student, it can still be helpful to reach out and ask questions. As a fourth-year myself, there are still many things that I am still learning about my university and program, so it’s really helpful to have someone to talk to. What can a Peer Mentor Help me With? A peer mentor may offer services such as one-on-one counseling, group study sessions, and many more. One-on-one counseling can include assignment or essay help, such as going over the assignment requirements or giving essay writing tips, or it can be more casual sessions, such as talking about mental health or academic stress. Peer mentors may also host study sessions throughout the year or even hold events that you can attend. Academic events, such as writing or resume workshops, help you develop more professional skills, while social events, such as game nights, provide a space for students to connect and socialize. Your peer mentors are there to make sure your first year is as fun, stress-free, and successful as possible! My Experience as a Peer Mentor As mentioned, being a peer mentor has been one of the highlights of my time as a student. There is a great community surrounding peer mentor programs, and it gives you more opportunities to be involved in student life. As a peer mentor, you develop many skills and gain new experiences, and as a mentee, you can find the support you need to succeed academically and professionally. One of my favourite memories of working as a peer mentor is organizing various events and competitions for students, such as a Gingerbread House Competition for the Holidays and a Drag Race! If you have a chance, I encourage you to reach out to your peer mentor program and volunteer as a mentor or participate as a mentee! Where can I Find my Peer Mentor Program? Most universities will have peer mentor programs available. Here is a compiled list of peer mentor programs for most universities in Ontario. If your university is not listed, I encourage you to visit your university’s website to search for your peer mentor program.   Algoma University student?  Click here. Brock University student? Brock University has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you! Carleton University student? Click here. University of Guelph student? Click here. Lakehead University student? Lakehead University has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you! Laurentian University student? Click here. McMaster University student? Click here. Nipissing University student? Click here.  OCAD University student? Click here. Ontario Tech University student? Click here.   University of Ottawa student? Click here. The University of Ottawa has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you! Queen’s University student? Click here.   Ryerson University student? Click here. University of Toronto student? Click here. Trent University student? Click here.   University of Waterloo student? Click here. Western University student? Click here. Wilfrid Laurier University student? Click here. University of Windsor student? Click here. York University student?  York University has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you!
  • My Experience Taking-on Extracurricular Activities ...

    Taking part in extracurriculars enriched my university experience, and it can do the same for you. Gaining experience in clubs, sports teams, and school-wide events can support your transition into university, expand your social circle, and elevate the level of knowledge and skills you bring to a prospective future employer. Below, I look back at the experiences I gained through extracurricular activities throughout university and how I landed them.   When I started at Wilfrid Laurier University, I wanted to join a few clubs to make friends. I did not know anyone from my high school that was going there, and it was my first time living alone, away from my family, and in a new city. I wanted to make the most of my university journey but knew I needed more community to embrace university life fully.     My Experience with the Foot Patrol Club   The first extracurricular I joined was the Foot Patrol Committee - as a general member. I have to admit that this was my favorite one to date, despite being the first one I participated in. The Foot Patrol committee ran during the night. If students wanted to be accompanied on a walk back to their intended destination, they simply called the Foot Patrol office. From there, volunteers were dispatched to the students’ location to accompany them on their trip to their final destination. This volunteer activity allowed me to develop my interpersonal skills when comforting students by engaging in small talk. It also enhanced my quick-thinking and adaptability because certain situations required 'foot patrollers' to react professionally and with sound judgment. Mostly, I got to achieve my goal of making friends that I met through Foot Patrol team, and in doing so, it slowly broke me out of my shell and made me feel involved and a part of the university community. (Oh yeah, I also got to learn how to use a walkie-talkie and communicate through a two-way radio, which was cool!)   My Experience with U Walk Laurier   I was also a first-year representative for U Walk Laurier - a charity walking club. I was interested in joining the club because I'm motivated to make a difference in my community. Of course, my role as a first-year 'rep' was pretty minimal, as I essentially helped out the other club executives to fulfill their responsibilities. This experience provided insights into event planning and the immense logistics that go into it, such as a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes operations of the club event planning, logistics when it came to booking the room/space for events, spreading awareness about the event/marketing, and financial planning (when it came to monitoring the club’s budget).     As someone unsure what they wanted to do following graduation, it gave me an idea of what work environment I would prefer. I would undoubtedly thrive in a creative, fast-paced environment where I interact with various people daily. This particular club also gave me confidence in my work ethic, and I'm grateful for this. My fondest memory of this club is our “Winter Walk & Watch” event. This fundraising event donated proceeds to the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation. While the club set a fundraising goal of $3,500, it was exciting to see when we surpassed it to reach a donation total of $3,800.   My Experience in the Laurier Disney Club    During my second year, my university was operating entirely remotely. Classes happened online, and extracurriculars were no exception. Due to the transition, I did not get as involved as I would like to. The only extracurricular I joined was the Laurier Disney Club as a Marketing Coordinator. I had more structured responsibilities with this role. I designed the club’s content, managed our social media accounts, and facilitated online engagement with students. It was a great experience! While the club’s executive team could not meet in person, we managed to stay in touch through virtual meetings. As for our events, we adapted them to an online format, such as movie nights and even a pot painting class! I joined this role since I love animation. As I mentioned in my introduction, I want to create an animated show someday. Building off this passion for 'all things animated,' I am fond of many Disney movies such as Tangled, Treasure Planet, and Snow White. The company is quite impressive at what they do- creating content. It's always good to join extracurricular activities, especially for your long-term career path, but in this case the role was particularly suited to my interests, and that was nice.   My Experience with The Cord & Women Leading Politics Association   Now, I am currently in my third year, and I am participating in two extracurriculars. The first one is on The Cord, my university’s long-running student newspaper. It is a valuable news outlet that is by students, for students. I am a volunteer writer and copy editor. Since I am a communications student, I felt joining an initiative like The Cord would allow me to improve my writing and critical thinking capabilities.   As for my other position, I serve as a graphic coordinator for the Women Leading Politics Association. This club focuses on female empowerment within politics, encouraging female students to surpass any obstacles and reach their dreams with the utmost determination. Since my role requires me to design the club’s online content, I look forward to embodying the club’s values and key messages throughout the upcoming year.   Informing the Experiences I Pursue Next   By this point, I had a general idea of what I wanted to do after university. I am currently looking for a job that allows me to produce visual and written content. I also want to work in a position where my work is considered meaningful because it helps break down societal issues. My job interests vary between copywriting, marketing, or public policy. Looking back on the last few years, I found that extracurriculars allowed me to grow into my 'own person' and discover genuine interests/ passions. I am no longer anxious about my future. I attribute this (partially) to the extracurriculars I joined and the chance each experience provided me to develop skills and enhance how I navigate my career path.   What About You?   If anyone is ever interested in extracurriculars, my advice is this:    Reflect on your current responsibilities and only be sure to join clubs if you know that you have the time and energy for them Make sure your focus continues to be on your academic work vs. your extracurriculars - you need balance If you decide that you have the time to join extracurriculars, be sure to check on their social media platforms (ex. Instagram, Facebook) and try to find your university’s social media accounts. They most likely promote their internal extracurriculars there and it may give you recommendations on other accounts from affiliated clubs Usually, at the start of the year, there is a large club fair held at universities for first-year students to explore but it is open to anyone to check out. Attending it doesn't hurt! :) Be optimistic. If you are on the fence about joining a club, you are unsure about, attend the first meeting. There is no forced obligation to join a club and you are still open to dropping out of the club if it’s not appealing to you. (Of course, trying to quit a sports team after passing the tryout stage is completely different.)   If you have friends who can join with you, ask them to attend too! Joining a club with a group of friends/ acquaintances can support you to stay with it.     Hopefully, you take these tips to heart and...get involved! I appreciated all of my experiences participating in extracurriculars while studying at Wilfrid Laurier University and I know you will too.  
  • Meet Eileen Nugraha, York University Student + New ...

    Hi there, welcome to Outcome Campus Connect, and thank you for stumbling across my introduction! I’m Eileen, a fourth-year student at York University, currently studying English and Philosophy—a weird combination, I know, but not as weird as you think. Philosophy has a lot in common with many areas of study and it has enhanced my learning—but that’s a story for another time. I’m a new content writer here at Outcome Campus Connect, and so excited to start this position. Ever since I remember, I’ve always had a passion for writing, creating content, and engaging with various communities on social media. In the beginning, I started with a small Instagram account dedicated to book reviews and now I help run social media channels for school and work. One of my favourite aspects of content creation is how creative you can be—the sky’s the limit, and I love exploring new avenues of creativity. I’m so excited to work with Outcome Campus Connect to continue my journey in learning more about content creation. Please keep your eyes out for my future blog posts, and I hope what I write and produce 'connects'!
  • “I Don’t Know What to Do With My Life!”: My Experi ...

    As a fourth-year student, probably the most common question I get asked is: “So, what are your plans after you graduate?”. It’s a question that, if you don’t know what your plans are, can be scary to think about and exhausting to try to answer. Approaching graduation without a clear goal in mind feels overwhelming at times. I have never had a ‘dream career'. My goals and passions seem to change constantly, and there are times when I doubt what my interests are. Over the last few years of school and travel, my career goals have changed from psychologist, journalist, marketer, lawyer, nutritionist, and pretty much everything in-between.  I have always been amazed by those who seem to just know what they want to do. My aunt, for instance, always knew that she wanted to work within advertising. My mum always knew she wanted to work with children. I had classmates in high school that knew they wanted to work in medicine and are now (after six years in university) approaching their medical school graduation. At times, it felt like I was the only person who didn’t know. Though a lucky few find something they’re passionate about and set career-related goals to achieve it, for those who don’t know, it’s not quite that simple.  I really thought that by now, after seven years of working, two years of travelling, and three years of university behind me, I would have a good idea of which career path I wanted to take. I thought I would “find myself” during my gap-year travels or wake up one day having had a career epiphany and suddenly just know what I wanted to do with my life. Only that never really happened.  If anything, my moment of realization came when I began my university journey and discovered just how many students were having the same worries and confusions as I was. Out of the many people I have met in my three years at university, I can think of only a handful who have had clear post-graduation goals. Whether first-year, fifth-year, art students, or engineers, a large number of students and recent graduates seem to feel just as anxious and overwhelmed by the thought of entering the workforce as I do - particularly now. Statistics released in 2015 by allaboutcareers.com revealed that 44% of undergraduate students don’t know what they want to do when they graduate. While this may seem like a worryingly large number, it also shows just how normal it is to lack concrete career plans. So if you’re feeling stressed and confused about the future, you can find comfort in the knowledge that there are a considerable number of other people who feel the same. While I am still a member of the 44%, one thing that helped me personally overcome my fears regarding the future was to stop trying (and failing) to decide on one specific career. While having clear goals is impressive, uncertainty is the green light to gain experience and try out what truly interests you! Here are a few small things that have significantly eased my stress and anxiety around career uncertainty while giving me a clearer idea of my goals for the future:   Speaking with careers advisors: If you’re a student, you’ll likely have access to a host of career resources, whether online or in person. For me, speaking face-to-face (or rather, over Zoom) with a careers advisor was incredibly helpful in getting a firmer grasp on my future career options. Advisors can also look over your resume, cover letter and help you prepare for interviews, so make good use of them!   Making connections: Learning about what others in my field have done with their degree gave a great insight into my career possibilities and graduate life as an English Major. If you want to get first-hand advice, knowledge, and reassurance, speak to past or recent graduates in your faculty/major.    Career quizzes: This may seem obvious, but if you’re not sure where to start, where your interests lie, or what exciting career options are available to you – take an online career quiz!    Write pro’s and con’s lists: This is a great way to compare, contrast, and eliminate or highlight potential careers/pathways based on your personal preferences. For example, writing out my primary career interest helped me understand my options and what interests are most realistic for me to pursue.   Focus on the present: If you see a part-time internship opportunity that interests you, or a volunteer position you think you would enjoy, then apply, apply, apply! Researching graduate opportunities is great, but applying to (and trying) different roles and interests is one of the best ways to figure out what you do and don’t enjoy. Instead of trying to single out your dream future career, start exploring your interests now.   Though I spent a long time fighting my own uncertainty, I realize now that it’s okay not to know what you want to do with your career. It’s unrealistic for many to have one specific, concrete career goal, especially when there is a seemingly endless number of possible routes to take post-graduation. If you’re unsure about what you want to do after university, use your uncertainty to your advantage. Gain new skills and experience, discover your true interests, and appreciate the many exciting opportunities waiting for you when you graduate. You do not need to take one narrow path. Fact is, a non-linear career path can be advantageous when a prospective employer sees the breadth of skills and experience you've gained. In other words, go ahead, be okay with not knowing. You will figure it out in time, and 'it' might be more than one thing.       References   https://www.concrete-online.co.uk/44-students-dont-know-want-graduation/#:~:text=do%20after%20graduation-,44%25%20of%20students%20don't%20know%20what%20they%20want%20to,work%20in%20once%20they%20graduate.
  • A Midterm-Season Survival Guide: What to Do When Y ...

      University life isn’t exactly plain sailing. If you’ve ever made it through the midterm season as a full-time student, then you’ll know what it feels like to get inundated with multiple exams, essays, assignments, and 100s of pages of reading, all due in a two-week timespan. To say the very least, it can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. So with the midterm season on the horizon once again, it’s more important than ever to take the necessary steps to avoid burnout. The good news is, there are multiple ways to help combat the stress of midterms and prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s learning how to manage your time more effectively, avoiding over-commitment, or simply getting outside and moving your body, here are a few small steps to calm your mind and make this midterm season feel a little more feasible.   Get organized and manage your time effectively. We’ve all been guilty of putting off our essays and assignments for just that bit too long. Suddenly, it’s the night before the due date, and you have a 2000 word research paper to try and write within the evening. Poor time management is one of the biggest culprits (for myself included) when feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out. That's why this first tip is arguably the most important on this list. Laying out all of your commitments and due dates in an organized fashion is a great way to break things up, allowing you to face your obligations one by one and avoid large backlogs of work.    Write Daily To-Do Lists If you don’t have concrete plans, classes, or commitments during any particular day, it’s easy to get side-tracked and spend the day napping rather than studying. Like the above point, writing daily to-do lists is a great way to break up your day, give yourself a clear schedule, and reserve some well-needed time.    Sleep This is a big one. We’ve all pulled an all-nighter in a last-minute bid to study for an exam or finish a research paper that’s due the following day. While it’s sometimes tempting to leave an assignment to the day before and finish it in one sitting, there is no denying the importance of adequate sleep when it comes to being your best, most-clearheaded self.    Exercise Studying for hours upon end can leave us feeling pent-up, stressed, and frustrated. While it may seem obvious, exercise indeed is proven to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Even just going for a thirty-minute daily walk is a great way to get the endorphins flowing, improve your mood, reduce your stress levels and give you some well-needed headspace away from studying. So if you’re feeling smothered with schoolwork, sometimes the best remedy is to get outside and move your body.    Learn to say ‘no’ when it’s necessary Over-commitment is a recipe for feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. Sometimes our fear of missing out, letting people down, or our aversion to simply saying ‘no’ can cause us to commit to things we don’t have time for. For example, if you’re currently feeling overwhelmed with school work, now might be a good time to say no to that party or to turn down that extra shift at work.   Plan something new and exciting!!!  If you’re feeling stressed and stuck in a rut, a great way to boost your morale and give yourself something to look forward to is to plan to do something new and exciting in the near or distant future. This could be purchasing tickets for an upcoming concert, taking a pottery class, or planning a day trip with friends.   Don’t forget to slow down and take rest days. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself during stressful times! While taking a day away from university work can seem counter-intuitive to some, on days when you’re feeling burnt-out and overwhelmed, it’s crucial to take a day or a few hours away from staring at your assignments and essays. If you think that being away from your work will only make you feel more stressed, focus your energy on to other areas besides schoolwork. For example, chores, hobbies, or alternative obligations do not involve university work (such as going to the gym, cleaning the kitchen, or watering your plants). That way, you know that you’re productive while taking some much-needed time away from work and study.
  • The Advantages & Disadvantages of Working While in ...

    During my three years in university, I decided to work part-time. I worked in various positions ranging from an event floater for homecoming, cashier, study space host, and research assistant. From my personal experience, it gave me the chance to explore different fields while providing an income. I found it quite delightful! Of course, I wanted to go more into detail about the pros and cons of working through your post-secondary studies. I am sure many students are contemplating this idea as the school year is fast approaching.    PROS of Working While in University or College    1. Improves Your Time Management   What really helped me to manage my time was the use of a virtual planner. When I got into university, I found Notion, an online multi-use workspace with a concise design and a layout that was user-friendly. At the start of each school year, I used Notion to create a weekly calendar template where I inserted all my times for classes, labs, tutorials, study sessions, and blocked out time for my work shifts. From there, I was left with an idea of how much free time I would have.      2. Better Comprehension of Personal Finance  When you begin to earn money for yourself, the realization starts to sink in that your money can leave just as quickly as you received it. In my experience, this realization makes you more self-aware and pushes you to think about finances long term. While there may be some new clothes that you’ve been eyeing, for instance, paying for next month’s rent takes your top priority! (Trust me, you'll begin to see the money you save versus the money you spend). Taking it a step further, this could be an opportunity not just to save but look at investment options. Given that you do your research and don’t make emotionally fuelled choices, you have the potential to create long-term gains - cool, right?       4. Source of Income & Work Experience  Working part-time gives you a dependable income that can be used to pay tuition fees and bills.  Depending on how much you have, you may be able to save some money (as mentioned above) or splurge on yourself (every once and a while). Having an income during university can also aid in creating an emergency fund for the event that something unexpected arises. These are more apparent advantages, but it is worth noting.   5. Personal Growth & Development  Entering university, I considered myself an introverted and reserved individual. It was not until I began working in customer service that I became more comfortable interacting with others. I started to grow more approachable and friendly. I enjoyed talking with complete strangers and became less anxious in doing so. Working a part-time job as a responsibility gave me a boost of confidence in knowing that I can challenge myself to achieve the best I can and push myself toward greater heights. Even if you never worked a job, it is a similar sense of self-fulfillment as holding an executive position in a club or playing on a sports team.    CONS of Working While in University or College 1. Stressful Sscheduling  While I don’t recall going through this issue myself, some employers may be pretty rigid in their scheduling. Due to this, you may be double-booked and have to choose between missing a shift or missing a class. It feels like a lose-lose situation where you would have been better off not getting a job during school.  If you reach the interview stage of a job, be sure to address the interviewer about your involvement in school. While some stores/ businesses may be strict on schedule, others are lenient and recognize that their employees have other responsibilities to attend to.  2. More Work, Less Play  Even if your employer is quite flexible with scheduling, work still takes up a considerable amount of time. While some students can be extremely diligent in their time management, others may not keep up. Working a part-time job comes at the cost of hanging out with your friends or even studying time; it's a choice that requires sacrifice. For me, I enjoy getting involved in extracurriculars. I acknowledge that working a part-time job sometimes took me away from club events/ activities that I would have wanted. It left me feeling like I was missing out whenever I heard my friends talk about it afterward. If there is one recommendation I could share, you can aim to work a seasonal job during the summer (a part-time or full-time job). Assuming that you will be finishing your courses for the school by April, it will give you a chance to work this seasonal job for about 3-4 months. Once you go back to school in September, you would have saved up some money and worry less about working a job throughout your studies.  3. Likelihood of Burnout  Whenever I would have a closing night shift, I would aim to study a little before heading to bed. Despite this expectation, I would occasionally underestimate how exhausted my body was from the responsibilities of my part-time job. I would end up heading straight to bed after my shift. Once I wake the following morning, I would regret my decision. There have been times when I would skip out on my morning classes, too, just because I was so exhausted.  This sense of burnout can also come from trying to juggle various responsibilities. Sometimes, we tend to get caught in this possible cycle of school, work, sleep, and repeat. When we go through the motions for so long, we tend to focus on what we are doing and undermine our body’s well-being. Burnout can happen when, despite our time management skills, we simply bite more than we chew. Remember, we are not robots! We only have one mind and body, and with that, we must attend to our physical and mental well-being whenever possible.    4. Counterproductive  It would help if you recognized whether working during post-secondary is worthwhile for you when it comes down to it. Specific academic programs, like health science, can be strenuous in course material and require more time to digest. While these programs may prove to be a challenge now, your efforts can pay off in securing the grades necessary to pursue internships or even grad school. Since working a job during school can take away valuable time to complete coursework or study, you should reconsider trying to work during the school year. If your job undermines your current efforts in school, then forget it.    This proves a similar case to students who are already financially set. These students may already have the necessary savings to pay for their yearly expenses. Unless they are looking to earn extra money, these students wouldn’t be keen to spend their time working.    If anything else, it comes down to whether you will find the job worthwhile. I did not need to get a job during university, but I decided to. I felt it would have been a great way to spend my time and improve my skills. While I may miss out on time to socialize or check out clubs, it does not take away from my satisfaction. If you simply do not want to work because you do not want to take on an additional responsibility or want more time to be with loved ones, then working during school isn’t for you.    Biggest Takeaway    Working a job during post-secondary has its ups and downs.  It is ultimately up to your discretion whether a job would be worth it for you.    Nevertheless, it is good to start early in preparing yourself to enter the workforce.  From my knowledge, most universities offer a career center where knowledgeable staff provides employment-related support. I certainly recommend this resource while in school. At my university, they hold various workshops on topics like writing a cover letter/ resume and networking. The career center also holds speaker panels where professionals from industries like communications or sustainability provide insight on their career development.  Even if you are not looking for a job now, the career consultant staff can help gauge your future aspirations and aid in setting up a plan for future success. 
  • The Seven Worker Archetypes + How Passionate Worke ...

    Is 'the only way to do great work, to love what you do'? Steve Jobs thought so, and he was worth $250 million by the time he was 25, just over two decades following the launch of Apple, with his friend Ronald Wayne, out of Job's parents' garage. Finding passion in our careers and applying ourselves to grow professionally is essential. As seen in a study by Deloitte University Press, "Passion at Work: Cultivating worker passion as a cornerstone of talent development," passionate workers outperform non-passionate peers. The study outlines seven worker archetypes and the virtues of passionate vs. non-passionate workers. "Passionate workers," sometimes also referred to as "Explorers," exhibit three consistent characteristics  questing, connecting, and, commitment to domain.   'Questing' means: the drive to go beyond core responsibilities. constantly probing consistently testing,  pushing boundaries,  seeking out new opportunities,  learning new skills, resourceful, imaginative, Non-complacency - always seeking out the next level of achievement.   'Connecting' means: seeking out others to help find solutions to challenges they are facing, searching for deep interactions with others in related domains to attain insights they can bring back to enhance their approach and improve their value (vs. 'networking), building connections not for the sake of a larger network but to bridge deeper meaning in their careers and expand their capabilities. 'Commitment to domain' means: the desire to have a lasting impact, the intention to commit to building and expanding on long-term impact through consistency, constantly seeking out lessons and new practices from other domains to influence and innovate their domain.   According to the study, all workers can be siloed into one of the seven archetypes, but to be a truly 'passionate worker,' sometimes referred to as 'The Explorer,' you need to embody all three of the above characteristics - all the time.   How do you embody passion in your career? Find your archetype below:   The Performer: Committed, connecting The Mad Scientist: Committed, questioning The Player: Questing The Learner: Questing, connecting The Loyalist: Committed The Connector: Connecting The Passionate Worker/Explorer: Questing, connected, committed No Elements of Passion (none of the above)   Passionate workers make the most dramatic impact and drive transformation within any organization, and Deloitte's study found that businesses need to get better at recognizing them.  However you pursue your career, remember this: "A great leader's courage to fulfill his/a vision comes from passion, not position." - John C. Maxwell
  • Student Habits That Help With Career Searching, By ...

    When I embarked on my education, I assumed I’d become career-ready by acquiring information and developing skills related to my field (as an English major: reading literature and writing criticism). The “in-between moments”—late nights prepping for my week, writing emails, cleaning my study space, reading uninteresting books for uninteresting program requirement courses—felt like a means to an end, a necessary-but-subjacent step toward meatier accomplishments. Then, after I graduated, I discovered that, strangely, all the organizing, side-duties, and work-life balancing played a crucial role in my ability to write a cover letter, prep for an interview, and work alongside employers. I imagine this is obvious for many, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it easy to grow impatient with the “secondary” labours of education. So here are some of the secondary labours and habits that have helped me on my career journey.    Writing in different forms. Maybe you’re a pure-blooded numbers person. Perhaps you feel comfortable writing only in specific registers and formats. Regardless, most of us have to write cover letters, resumes, emails, proposals, etc. In high school, I wasn’t taught how to write a professional email. This skill came in university. And it was only after writing hundreds of emails to professors, students, peers, and administrators, that I began to feel comfortable using email to communicate on a wide range of situations, including conflicts and misunderstandings requiring nuance and careful language. Having spent time teaching and knowing many teachers, I can attest that students who write professional, clear, and polite emails leave powerful impressions. Moreover, in the job market, where employers aren’t required to keep you around, emailing could make or break promotions and hirings.  Or consider cover letters. Honestly, cover letters are the hardest things I’ve had to write. I’m perpetually asking: What should I focus on? How do I stand out from the crowd? How do I highlight my skills and successes without sounding arrogant? How do I compensate for lack of experience without sounding desperate? Luckily, I can draw on my time applying for scholarships. University has also given me lots of practice writing when I don’t know where to start or finish. I know I should begin first thing in the morning with my coffee when my mind is fresh and sharp. I know I then have a few solid hours before I feel frustrated. At that point, I’ll have to make toast or get exercise before getting back at it. I know when to push through, keep momentum, and leave sloppy sentences for revision; I know when to slow down and take things word-by-word. Postsecondary education is a training ground for the tedious, difficult writing that accompanies career searching.   Working with different people. Postsecondary education is a training ground for communication in general. It’s a rare gift: you learn to work professionally with various people while having room for error. (Unless it’s serious, you won’t be fired). A talk with a professor mirrors a talk with a boss; a university presentation mirrors a job interview. Working through problems with an institution’s administration may continue into your career. When I go into a job interview, I take the same approach for a university committee meeting or a tutorial lecture. I ask myself, "Who is my audience?", "What are their expectations?", "What do I have to offer?", "What is the major point I want to leave?", "Should my tone be formal or casual?" As a teaching assistant, I talked to students who were angry with their marks. These situations required attentiveness, care, and sympathy on one hand; on the other, the strength and confidence to articulate my reasons for giving the mark. During my employment, I’ve come back to these experiences, again and again, as a way of remembering how to balance listening and speaking, taking, and giving. I like to think that it’s helped me establish strong, fruitful relations with employers and colleagues. Postsecondary education is more than secluded studying and good grades; it’s a communal experience demanding good interactions with a host of people and situations. Hopefully, it will provide the interpersonal skills needed to build a meaningful career.   Keeping focus: Every student post-2000 has spent workdays that are 20% work and 80% YouTube, social media, and Wikipedia rabbit holes. We’ve all had to find ways of remaining productive in a digital age, whether through timers, web-blocking programs, personal reward systems, or device-free study areas. These same tricks and practices are needed when scouring countless job boards, writing countless cover letters, and sifting through countless lists of qualifications, duties, and company values. It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. Believe me, after a few days of job hunting, that Netflix icon has never looked so tempting. If you’re looking to break into a tough job market, if you experience a series of disheartening rejections, the tenacity and focus of academic work are needed. Like student life, career-building requires self-motivation, work done on your own time, and attention to your mental health.   Planning your day and week: For most students, a successful postsecondary education demands organization and planning. As mentioned earlier, career searching often involves the same self-imposed deadlines, goals, and schedule. To avoid the slippery slope of distraction, get some productive momentum by setting weekly/daily targets: apply for five jobs a week, research one prospective field a day, take a day off each week to recharge. As I hinted above, I treat cover letters like essays. I set a deadline, write when I’m freshest, take breaks, and have someone look it over (for further motivation, I tell the person when they can expect it). For me, this is how it won’t forever plod in limbo.   Ultimately, I want to promote a holistic understanding of education. Nothing’s wasted; everything matters, even the small things, even the seemingly insignificant, mundane parts of the student grind. As you embark on finding a meaningful career, remember the skills and habits that have helped you succeed during your education and find how they transfer to your new context. For me, keeping some of my student mindset has made job hunting far less stressful.
  • The Most In-Demand Roles in Tech This 2022

    Looking to break into a career working within tech? Not a bad idea, considering technology underpins every corner of society and its use will only grow with the coming of the 'metaverse' and our increased reliance on remote connection, streamlining and documentation of processes, innovation, and data analytics. This year, the top trending occupations within technology include:  Developer/Programmer IT Project Manager Cloud Architect Business Analyst Security Analyst/Architect Business Systems/ Data Analyst Network Engineer  Quality Assurance Specialist Here's what you will do working in each of these roles and how much you can get paid: Developer/Programmer As a developer or programmer you interpret technical specifications, designs, flow charts, and sometimes creative briefs, and use code and other tools to adapt or build software applications. In fact, you may be in charge of constructing the specifications, in the first place. Once the work is complete, you are responsible for testing your prototype and design thinking to ensure it is well executed and identify growth opportunity areas.  Salary range: $60,000 - $125,000 + annually   IT Project Manager As an IT project manager you oversee, delegate, and ensure smooth reaching of an organization and its departments' IT goals. This requires an advanced knowledge of computers, systems, networks, resource planning, budgeting, and more. Salary range: $77,000 - $135,000+ annually Cloud Architect Cloud architects are specialists in data storage fundamentals, Java, networks, security foundations, front-and-back-end technologies, big data, and more, in order to design and oversee the functionality supporting cloud computing at an organization. Salary range: The average base pay for this role is $125,000 + Business Analyst In this role, you will analyze the existing conditions of a company's profits and processes in order to identify growth opportunity areas, and then work within the various departments and teams to get 'buy in' on the new direction and implement the strategy for growth. Salary range: $75,000 - $150,000 + Security Analyst/Architect Security analysts and architects seek to build against, identify, prevent, and support overcoming security breaches within a company's IT systems. Salary range: $81,000 + Business Systems/Data Analyst In this role, in essence, you solve the problems or hurdles a company is experiencing within their IT systems by identifying the issue and working through the technology and/or data to strategize and implement processes that fill opportunity areas and improve outcomes. Salary range: $82,000 - $106,000 Network Engineer As a network engineer you will design the networks that empower data to pass between systems, people, and workflows. Salary range: $72,000 - $100,000 + Quality Assurance Specialist In this role, you work to monitor, test, and recommend changes to ensure that a company's final tech products meet their standards of excellence. Salary range: $45,000 - $100,000 +
  • Meet Noor Qaiser, York University Student & New Me ...

    Hi! I’m Noor Qaiser, a third-year student at York University, majoring in Law and Society. I was an avid reader and, eventually, an enthusiastic writer as a child. Today, I enjoy writing content that connects with people and creates stimulating discussions. My experience so far has been writing wellness, mental health, pop culture pieces, and for my university's magazine. As a part of the OCC Content Team, I'm excited to write pieces that give answers I wish I had as a student - especially since the onset of the pandemic has adapted the academic and employment landscape. (For example, a student trying to gain experience and establish a professional relationship with any professor seems complicated during this pandemic, but it's something a great deal of us will need to know. What better way to receive those answers than being the one to find them!?) I'm excited to be a part of this team, learn, write about my experience, and expand my comfort zone by interviewing successful individuals in established positions. I hope we all learn something along the way and can't wait to get started!
  • Take a Chance: A Q&A with Philip Lee, Head of The ...

    The head of the Journalism Department at St.Thomas University speaks about his career and what it means to enter the world of employment.      In the world of employment, there has always been a certain level of competition. However, finding your competitive edge in a crowded candidate pool means owning the relevant skills you've earned and worked toward. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘fat resume', a resume filled with a wealth of relevant experiences. If you're looking to break into journalism, the competition is exceptionally high as it's an industry with fewer available permanent jobs and less long-term security. So, what does a path into journalism look like, and what advice should you consider when pursuing it? I sat down with Philip Lee, a former journalist and teacher at St.Thomas University, to answer these questions. Lee’s advice and personal experience show that life will not always be what we expect, but we must put ourselves out there and accept failure along the way to reach success.    Q: What was it like applying to jobs when you finished college?     A: I graduated with a major in classics. I studied greek poetry and literature philosophy. I didn't study journalism. So, after graduation, I went to an employment counselor, and I took a test. He said that my only skill was writing, then pulled out a job listing form for a Newspaper in Newfoundland. It was in central Newfoundland, in a place called Grand Falls. I applied and soon heard back. They wanted me to come in for a job interview, and I did. Luckily, they offered me a job at a paper called Grand Falls Advertiser. It was a twice-weekly paper, and I said yes.     Q: How was your first job experience?     A: When I first got there, I didn’t know how to type, and I also didn’t know how to write a news story. I had to learn everything on the job, and I decided that I liked journalism. About six months after I was there, I got a new job at a bigger paper in Saint John, Newfoundland, for a paper called  Sunday Express - that was a good paper. I did a lot of things there, it was a good job, and I learned to be a journalist there. I stayed with them for several years. That’s how it all started.      Q: What was the thing you liked most about working at Sunday Express?    A: One of the good things about working for a small paper was that I was able to do different jobs: I learned, I wrote news stories, I even laid out the paper (pasted together the pages), I went out to take photographs... I did everything! I learned a lot - quickly. I learned to rely on myself, to develop ideas and things that I probably wouldn't be able to do at a larger paper, where I would be assigned and told what to do.       Q: Did you move a lot? Work part or full-time jobs?     A: At my first job, the pay wasn’t the best, so I'd opted to move any time I got offered more money. Every job taught me new things. There are full-time jobs, but one of the things that I would tell journalists, especially young journalists: “You should expect to move often from one job to another, so when new opportunities come along, you want to be able to take them.” I was always moving, trying to find new opportunities, to work for bigger papers, to make more money.       Q: Was there a time where you outgrow your job?     A: Sometimes I would outgrow the position I was in, but sometimes it’s because things changed. I think it is very strategic to move from one opportunity to the next. It’s something to expect, and it's a good thing. For example; When I worked at Sunday Express, there was an editor that I liked working with, and when he left for another job, the atmosphere changed and I was ready to move on.       Q: Do things always go as you planned?     A: I think, in your life, you have great periods and some others that aren’t. You ‘kinda’ have to work your way through it. You are not going to have a professional life, unless you are really lucky, that every year and every job will be fulfilling. But, especially when you are young, you can move around to fulfilling opportunities that make you happy.       Q: How did your job expectations change over the years? What was the most challenging part?  A: I think that the hardest thing for me was when I came back to NB, and for a time, the paper was not that inspiring. I was doing daily editing, waking up early at 5 a.m., and doing work that I was not particularly proud of or didn't love. Maybe what I wanted to do was be in a job where I could do good work and do the work I wanted to do, not work for the sake of work. I search for that. Then a new editor came in who became a life-long mentor and friend; he changed my life. I was lucky, I stuck long enough in this job, and things got better. We did a lot of great work together. I think that if you don't want work somewhere you can’t be honest and truthful for yourself… you can’t do work you don't believe in. You don’t want a daily moral dilemma.       Q: Do you think companies’ culture, beliefs, values, morals, objectives, and image are important when deciding to work with them? How did it influence your choices?     A: Is not always possible to align morals, values, objectives from a company to someone’s perspective…Some of the best work I did was owned by a multi-billionaire family…we did great work, but I wouldn't say that our values lined up. I believe it's important, but I don’t think that is necessary. Especially in the world of journalism, you should be able to be independent in the kind of content that you do. For example, The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, and you may say, “Amazon is ruining the world. It's a terrible company.”  I'm not saying that’s true, but you can certainly take that position, which doesn’t mean that The Washington Post is not filled with good journalistic work. So, I think that is something to take into account because you are certainly not doing promotional work for your ownership; you are just doing independent journalistic work.     Q: Why do you think people settle for mediocre jobs?     A: I think that people don’t just settle for mediocre jobs. It just depends on the time of your life. I was just at this point in my life where I had small children and bills to pay. I had to make a living. I was willing to do what I needed - that was my priority. But I think when you are young, it gives you more freedom to choose what you want when it comes to jobs and being unemployed. If you find yourself in a conflict with your soul, then you should find another job. Sometimes the mortgage, health insurance, house payment…it’s more important than liking or not the job.     Q: Did you ever quit a job just because you didn’t like it?     A: My Father always told me: never quit a job before you found another one. The only time I quit my job was when I wanted to work on my book, but then I got another job once I finished the book.  Q: What do you think is the #1 mistake everyone makes when applying for a job?     A: I think not being prepared enough for the interview is a problem that I’ve seen. You don’t want to go in unprepared. I think a lot of companies weigh the interview. Let say you do poorly regardless of your experience, and you get pushed aside. You want to be strategic, have stories to tell; always have 2-3 stories ready to go in the back of your head. You should always do your research about the company but also be prepared to show who you are. You don’t want to fill up space and 'just talk' but be thoughtful about it.     During interviews asking about salary, hours, and all those types of questions are valid but should be secondary. You always want to talk about what you are going to do, how you are trying to contribute to the company, and how you will make their lives easier. You need to be useful to them.       Q: How do you handle rejection?     A: Rejection. There is a lot of rejection that comes with a creative job. You probably have this idea and believe it is a great idea, but then someone else will not think the same. I believe that if you give your best and don’t get the job it is because it wasn’t meant for you       Q: Do you think job expectations have changed from back when you were a graduate till now? How?     A: There’s a problem in journalism with creating good jobs with a decent lifestyle. As a teacher, I see that graduates are hesitant to work in a newsroom because the long hours and demands that the job has don’t match their lifestyles. Remember, balance is important, but you can also bring balance to your job, work as much as possible, and keep a healthy life - not getting consumed by the job. I wasn’t very good at that. I often would leave work with my computer to keep working.       Q:  Do you regret working at any job in the past or recently? Why or why not?     A: I don’t regret any of my experiences…taking or leaving any job. I think I tried to learn something new at every job. It was all a learning experience - for better or for worse. One thing, when you are young, you shouldn’t tie yourself down to a specific place. You want to be able to move. So take time out and don’t settle for a job. Travel, learn and see the world.   Q: Along your path did you reject job opportunities? How did you know it was the right choice?     A: You never really know if you are making the right decision by taking or not a job offer. I think considering options is important to help you make the best call you can. You never have any guarantees that things will be perfect or how you expect them to be. So I think that you need to be strategic but know you can’t control what happens.      Q: Are you happy with your current job?      A: 20 years ago…St.Thomas Vice President of Academics called to ask me if I would be interested in teaching and starting a Journalism Program. There wasn’t one. It was a program partnership with a Community College in Woodstock. So, I took a chance, I got a one-year contract teaching and working in the development of the program, for that I had to quit my job and took a big pay-cut to come to STU but I thought that my payoff was down the road and would increase. So, I took less money for a job I thought would have more possibilities. I was intrigued by the idea of teaching.       I’ve been here ever since, and I love it.       Q: What advice would you give to this future generation of students and graduates?      A: I think when you are young, it’s good to take some chances, take jobs that would make you stand out from your comfort zone; you will eventually get to settle down, but you won’t have the opportunity to jump and go, so take a chance. Also, if you are in a situation where a job is not bringing you joy, and I’m not talking about every minute of every day, there is no such thing as a job like that, if the job is not bringing you joy, then you should starting looking for another job. Find something that does, because life’s short and having joy and happiness in your life is the most important thing.     Editor’s Note: Personal growth and focusing on yourself is as important as getting a job that eases your soul and makes your life worth living. 
  • Ten Signs You've Landed in The Right Career

      The path to success is subjective. Many different drivers excite people on their career journeys, and while money is a basic need and motivator, it is not the root of long-term career motivation or personal success. Recent studies show that employees seek community, cause, and career (autonomy and purpose) when pursuing fulfilling careers.   But how do you know that you've landed the right role for you?   Here are ten signs:   1) The Sunday Blues are gone - Those feelings of anxiety about the week ahead are sure to disappear when you've found the right fit. You might even start looking forward to Monday!   2) You're always learning - Just like any relationship in life, the right role will make you feel like you're constantly learning, growing, and expanding to reach higher states of purpose and goals   3) You like the people you work with - They say there's 'no I in team'. So, it's essential to enjoy the people you work with when it comes to your day-to-day. If you're in a role where you appreciate those around you, you're on the right path.   4) You can be yourself at work - It's important to feel like you can bring your whole self to work, and feeling this way reflects a workplace culture that is conducive to you long-term.    5) Your To-Do list feels exciting - When your To-Do list feels less like a Have To-Do list, you're enjoying the work, and experiencing joy in what you do is fundamental to your long-term success in any role!   6) Your ideas are making a difference - If you don't feel like your ideas are being fully heard and you don't feel fully seen by leadership at your company, then chances are it isn't right. If you think your ideas are respected, digested, and utilized for the evolution of the business, you're definitely in the right spot.   7) There's room to grow - No one wants to stay somewhere that they can only make lateral moves. So, if you feel your career is moving side-to-side instead of 'on-up' then it's probably time to 'move out'!   8) You can have bad days - A big part of a positive workplace culture is fostering an environment where you can be honest about needing a day or taking time to focus on yourself outside of work. If you feel your role allows you to be human and go through the ups and downs alongside it, you're in the right place.   9) The company is investing in you - Not just your pay but building your skillset. If within your role you are offered chances to take courses or go to retreats to advance how you do, what you do, then you've landed in a great place career-wise.   10) You feel you're being paid what you're worth - Not just getting paid what you are worth now, but you see it only growing in response to your skillset and experience expanding. Money, after all, is fundamental to why we work despite the mentioned reasons for keeping us motivated and thriving in our own minds  
  • The Pros And Cons of Job-Hopping, By: Fahmida Shai ...

    Whether you’re a student or a graduate, finding jobs can be difficult. 'Job-hopping' refers to having worked, or working, multiple positions within a short time, and it has become more common due to the pandemic. Before landing a more stable career, people may job hop throughout university or college - or after graduating. As a recent graduate, my career path did not go as planned during the pandemic, and I found myself taking different temporary jobs instead. While that was not my plan, I’ve noticed both the advantages and disadvantages.    The Advantages of Job-Hopping:   You Gain an Array of experience: Job-hopping is one of the most effective ways to try different career paths, learn more about them, and determine if they are right for you. Unlike volunteering, you receive monetary compensation and have more roles and responsibilities. In my own experience, temporary job positions and internships were also more lenient to students and graduates. Job hopping is a perfect way to try different roles and different work cultures, hours, and pay. A variety of experiences and positions on your resume now shows employers your willingness to try new things, flex your skills, and adapt.   Building a Wider network: Job-hopping provided me, so far, with a wide network of people to call on and seek out support or guidance from. By working within environments where I met more people - from my different supervisors, managers to colleagues. I ended up meeting people I could not have met otherwise, and they offered me different perspectives. I was also introduced to new roles that I did not know existed.   You Attain the Advantage of Different Types of References: Another benefit I've learned from job-hopping throughout the pandemic was that different supervisors could advocate for the breadth of my skillset from different positions I've held. I now have a wider array of strengths and experience and can lean into my contacts at each role to vouch for my skills to employers for various prospective roles. Although the references knew me for less time, I fing myself walking away with different perspectives and advice on what I could improve on and what I was already good at! The increased number of references available also allowed me to have a more well-rounded view of my performance. Not relying solely on one person to give the full scope of my performance and skills further offered me more flexibility in asking for a reference for a specific role - as mentioned above, this is worth its weight in gold.   Liberate Yourself With Fewer Restraints and Stagnation: Job hopping allows one to move to different companies and organizations and fill various roles - this goes without saying. Fact is, by doing this, there are fewer possibilities of getting stuck in the same routine or position and, in turn, becoming disinterested in it. There are also fewer restraints in terms of time commitment. It also allows a person to become more adaptable to changing environment - critical in building a long-term career path.   The Disadvantages of Job-Hopping:   Less Stability: Contract or part-time work means that you will need to keep moving and keep up the pace when it comes to seeking out new roles and keeping doors open. This constant cycle and commitment can also lead to more significant gaps in a resume - if you don't find a job immediately after their current contract ends. If you have to move or commute for their work, it could also mean less stability in schedule and place of living. This can be especially tricky for students who have to balance studying with work.   No Long-term Experience: Job-hopping often means changing roles and positions unless you stay in the same roles - just in different organizations. Holding these positions for a shorter time may limit future jobs, where recruiters may be looking for longer-term experience. It also may lead to prospective employers asking why the job let you go, or didn’t extend your contract, or why you switched jobs so often. However, it should be noted that if you’re honest about it and can show how that experience was still critical and you have the skills, this may change people's perspectives.   Fewer Benefits: Sad fact, job-hopping means that you’re less likely to get health or other benefits, which can cost more in the long run. It also means unpaid lunch, and sick days, and vacations. You also miss out on pay increases over time. When it comes to laying off employees, temporary workers are usually also the first to go. Lastly, the changes in salary range can also be tricky.   If you’re reading this and are worried about job-hopping during the pandemic and how employees will view it...don't. Worrying solves nothing, and (most importantly) job-hopping has been more common as of late, so all you need to do is be honest with your prospective employer. No one is unaware of the limiting effects of this global pandemic on our global economy and how we are all impacted. We have all been working against a tide of restrictions and a 'new normal' and employers, well, good employers, should understand this. This means that they should take away from your resume that you have committed to improvement and gaining experience and skills throughout a trying time globally - that you are resilient. If they don't? You can always hop on over to another prospective employer... Editor's Note: Job-hopping during a pandemic is a far cry from 'job-hoppers syndrome' which is when you hop from job to job and are never happy where you land. If you feel this way, it's important to assess why and try to discover how you can hone your strengths toward something more deeply aligned with your personality - with what makes you happy. :)
  • The Do's & Don't’s of Resume Writing

    Joining the job hunt isn't as daunting as it seems. Of course, you need to prepare yourself, as you need to advertise your employability to hiring companies. Where can you start? Well, you can start by formulating your resume and cover letter. Since fellow journalist Ariana went over how to create a cover letter, I will be covering the dos and don'ts of resume writing.    A resume, aka a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is essentially your first (formal) impression for a hiring company. This document highlights your qualifications relative to the job you are applying for. While resumes can vary in format, there are various tips to keep in mind to ensure your resume gets the message across.    When it comes to the job search, it may be daunting to reach out and look for vacant job openings. Fortunately, A resume is essentially your first impression to a hiring company on whether you would serve as a great candidate.  DON’T: Make Your Resume Too Long  Keep in mind, you are not the only candidate applying for an open job. You may be competing with tens, hundreds, or thousands of people, depending on the company.  This company’s hiring team can only spend a few seconds scanning and filtering out resumes.  A common misconception is that the longer your resume is, the better.  The thing is that to make your resume longer, you would probably resort to filling out your resume with every single detail you can think of.  Despite putting the necessary information, it may be outweighed by the abundance of irrelevant information.  A hiring company would be disengaged to sift through your resume and find what they are looking for.    DO: Keep Resume Short and Sweet  Since a hiring team only looks at the resumes briefly, a good rule-of-thumb would be to make your resume anywhere between 1-2 pages. Setting this limit will make you more cautious of the information you put them and assess whether it would showcase your employability. If you are applying for a shift supervisor position, the company does not want to hear about that one school performance you did in your middle school talent show. However, they would be more interested in your time as a part-time cashier over the summer. If you are having trouble thinking of what you need to put on your resume, take a moment and think about your involvement in the following categories: Education, Work Experience, Skills, Certifications & Licenses, and Extracurriculars/ Side Projects.    DON’T: Use Passive Language  When describing an activity or job on your resume, you may be start off with phrases like “Responsible for” or “was required to.” Making a habit of writing in such a passive manner can be detrimental. These phrases somewhat distract from the description of the activity. It creates a more mundane tone. To add on, it gives hiring teams the impression that you did not place as much initiative or effort in your previous endeavors.    DO: Use Action Words & Keywords  Instead of passive language, go right into describing your involvement and responsibilities through action words. Action words bring emphasis and get straight to the point. When describing your former job as an administrative assistant on your resume, for instance, you can explain your task of preparing documents by saying: Produced company stakeholder documents by organizing company’s contacts using Microsoft Excel. To hiring teams, action words can make you seem confident in your abilities.    When you apply for a particular job, pay attention to the keywords mentioned in the job advertisement. Some of these keywords may include training, technical, research, analytical, and so forth. They are generally highlighted in the section about working expectations and qualifications. Use that to your advantage and find a way to incorporate them into your resume. Various companies utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) software. What the ATS does is scan the given resume for the frequency of specific keywords. If it achieves a certain result, the resume can then be passed to the hiring team to have a more in-depth look into it. You should aim to pass this obstacle of ATS software, so be sure to lock-in your keywords.  
  • The Prosperity Project, By: Eileen Nugraha 

    The Prosperity Project is a registered charity created to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on Canadian women and girls. Led by a group of more than 60 trailblazing women leaders, the project strives to explicitly link women and prosperity by underscoring the economic importance of gender equality. To achieve this goal, The Prosperity Project has launched five initiatives, one of which is the Modern-Day Rosie the Riveter-Inspired Initiative.   I sat down with Amadea Gareau, Rosie Initiative Program Manager at The Prosperity Project, to talk more about the Rosie Initiative and the upcoming internship opportunity for a co-op student this fall 2022. Keep reading to learn more about The Prosperity Project and what students can expect for this internship role.  What is the Rosie Initiative?   The Rosie Initiative was inspired by the iconic figure of Rosie the Riveter during World War II. Rosie’s , “We Can Do It!” rally call made her a powerful symbol for  women’s independence. Today, the Rosie Initiative continues to encourage women and girls to rejoin or stay in the workforce and contribute to the Canadian economy.   The Initiative’s vision is to increase women’s labour force participation and the number of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), skilled trades and leadership roles. Since women are typically under-represented in these areas, the Rosie Initiative wants to ensure that women and girls can have access to the role models and mentors they need to succeed in these careers.   What are some programs established under the Rosie Initiative?   Currently, the Rosie Initiative has two mentoring programs available for women in STEM, skilled trades, and leadership: the Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program and the Rosie Peer Group Mentoring Program.   The Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program pairs protégées with mentors for a six-month period. Mentors guide and assist protégées one-on-one as they work towards their personal and professional development goals and help them create a strategic path to reach them.  The program is now accepting applications for their 5th cohort, which will begin at the end of July. You can find more information about the program and apply here: https://portal.canadianprosperityproject.ca/mentoring-program/rosie-1-1-mentoring-program/   The Rosie Peer Group Mentoring Program provides women the opportunity to join a diverse and influential community of like-minded women who are interested in skills development and broadening their personal and professional networks. The peer groups offer a supportive and developmental environment where participants can share their work/life experiences, participate in insightful discussions, and seek guidance. Two peer groups will be launched at the end of May. You can learn more about the program here:  https://portal.canadianprosperityproject.ca/mentoring-program/rosie-peer-group-mentoring/     About the Rosie Intern Role  The Prosperity Project is looking for a Rosie Intern for the fall 2022 term. This intern will work with Amadea Gareau for a four-month work term.     What are some of the expected day-to-day responsibilities?   Some of the intern’s daily tasks will include planning, developing, and organizing online events such as workshops and information sessions, etc.   The Rosie Intern will also work with the marketing and communications team to create social media campaigns, graphics, promotions and help develop strategies for the Rosie Initiative. A key element of this role is to create relationships with external stakeholders, assist with outreach and create various communications and marketing materials to reach various demographics.   Furthermore, the intern will have the unique opportunity to work with the Initiative’s co-chairs, The Prosperity Project’s Founding Visionaries and Visionaries as well as other women in the community.  What is the company culture like at The Prosperity Project?   A total of 5 interns (including the one Rosie intern) will work with a small team of passionate, hardworking women dedicated to ensuring Canadian women and girls are supported through the pandemic and beyond. It is a welcoming and supportive environment where everyone works hand in hand towards a mutual goal.  What is some advice for students applying for the Rosie Intern role?   Show us that you are passionate about what The Prosperity Project is doing and that you can help us further our mission. We are looking for applicants who are not afraid of hard work and are eager to learn. Attention to detail, strong written and verbal communication skills and an open mind are essential to fully succeed in this role.    Applications for the Rosie Intern role are now open.  Please submit your résumé  and cover letter to Amadea Gareau by email to amadea.gareau@canadianprosperityproject.ca before  May 27. Don’t miss out on this opportunity because, when women succeed, we all prosper. 
  • Journalism Will Always Be Journalism, An Interview ...

    "Journalism is the same; we have just changed the vehicle in which we communicate it," Pablo Herraiz, Investigative Journalism Reporter for EL Mundo.  The pandemic accelerated the digital era of journalism. Since the onset of COVID-19, people have consumed news 50% more than pre-pandemic and at all hours. In addition, the media bridges people in isolation or at home, living remotely from friends or family elsewhere, to the outside world.  I had the privilege of interviewing Pablo Herraiz, Investigative Journalism Reporter for El Mundo, Madrid, Spain's largest newspaper, and exploring how the pandemic has influenced the profession of journalism – from how we consume the news to how journalists deliver it.  Pablo Herraiz started working 20 years ago for El Mundo, one of the top newspapers in Madrid. According to him, one of the most significant challenges of being a reporter is generating new information every day. For example, after the pandemic hit, many people were told to stay at home and work from there. But for a journalist, working from home is not the most effective way to get a story - even if the workplace can present it as a benefit.   "Before the pandemic, I was always in the streets looking for stories, people to interview, or covering events, but now, that is lost."  While journalists adapted to working from home, anywhere in the world, they also adopted new methods to support getting the job done and delivered in the format that was now widely consumed. Journalists can now more easily access information about government, trials, speeches, etc., which would be harder to follow on foot because everything, absolutely everything, is now online. Instead of face-to-face interviews, platforms like Teams and Zoom became the next best thing. By using these platforms, journalists have free access to create good interviews that can be smoothly edited rather than telephone interviews or other mediums. However, there are also times when lousy internet connection or scheduling difficulties due to time changes can bring another host of issues.   Despite the sudden change from where the job was done, the pandemic benefited media outlets: news traffic, subscriptions, and readership went up. The pandemic also accelerated journalists' pace, from expectations to constantly post news online to the rate of discovery and storytelling.  For print media, sinking sales were also amplified by the pandemic. Within a few clicks, people can find a news source online and don't need to go out and find (and buy) a physical newspaper. The hyper-digitization of news and the rate we consume it may be convenient. Still, everything has a cost: the loss of human interaction and an overflow of information that isn't always vetted through all the necessary channels before its release.    "Human interaction has been lost as everything now relies on online platforms."  With the chaos of the pandemic, one of the biggest mistakes media outlets committed was abusing their power. News saturation through online platforms often doesn't give people enough time to process the information. Constantly bombarding the public with information, facts, details, discoveries, and more information can also lead to confusion. A clear example of this negligence is seen in the current pandemic status: No one holds information on the updated restrictions, daily infections, and strains. So naturally,  people could no longer continue absorbing more data and the media, unprofessionally, kept giving them more. There is now an excess of information, and it gets lost in the 'vast internet of everything' that is uploaded – to read something is not the same as processing it.  "The media has failed us because it was not reported gradually. It was like a slap of information in the face of the public."   With the pandemic more controlled, journalism mediums are returning to more traditional approaches. Still, most media outlets have their offices empty since they've adopted working from home as mainstream.   Despite these drawbacks and the saturation of news on the internet, Herraiz believes that the media remains committed to standing up for the public and the world. All journalists and media outlets have worked together to keep people informed and safe. The power of journalism can impact millions, opening the eyes of those who a twisted truth has blindsided.   "Journalism, for me, has always been telling a story; in the end, it's a lifestyle," concluded Herraiz.  
  • A Look at Life as an Entrepreneur with Mateo Yanzz ...

    A 23-year-old from Ecuador, gives us an insight on what it is like to be an entrepreneur of his own business, not only allows him to follow his dreams but finance his lifestyle.                                              Life doesn't need to be linear; especially when it comes to finding your passions. There has always been a societal stigma that pressures young individuals to decide their future early. Discovering what works for you should not be, and isn’t, a straight-forward process. It’s not about graduating from school, going to university, then doing a Masters or getting a job. At some point in life, it becomes clear that it’s important to pursue your dreams.   This is what Mateo Yanzza did and, for him, living your dreams means “nothing risked, nothing gained”.  Yanzza had always dreamed of being his own boss. The freedom that comes with owning a business is liberating. Yanzza’s vision took him to make his dream a reality, as the founder and managing partner of his own business (Pragmatic).   Where did you study and what field did you choose?   I studied at the University of “Los Hemisferios” for 2 and a half years. There, I pursued business management. and discovered my passion was not being part of a company as a worker but to run my business plans.   Did you graduate from college? Why or why not?   No. After my 5th semester, I started to observe the world around me differently. Building my businesses from the ground-up was arduous work. I made the choice to leave my studies on hold to dedicate 100% of my time to my business projects to see where it would take me.   Are you planning on graduating from college?   Yes. I think that maybe next semester or in a year I will enroll back in school and finish. Even if I do run my business now, I also believe in the importance of a degree.   When did you start your business?   I started my business when I was 19 years old, everything came from the need to be independent. For my first idea, I wanted to saw an opportunity in the lack of motivation people feel getting up in the morning to go to the gym – that's why I founded Pragmatic.   How did you manage to fund the beginning of the build-up of the company?   I’ve always been big on saving money. Finally, when it was the right time, I invested my savings on the idea of the company and everything that entails.   What’s the name of the company?   The main company is called Global Enterprise, which is divided into 4 businesses: an insurance broker, a recycling project, Pragmatic, and a marketing agency.  Global Insurance guarantees benefits to the client through micro insurances that allow low income-people access to a variety of areas, like health insurance.   The first model of the recycling project will take place in Pimampiro, a city in Ecuador. There, our company will recollect all the waste, recycle it, and turn most waste into eco-friendly fuel.   Pragmatic is a business focused on selling machines for home workouts. This allows people to be healthy from the comfort of their own homes.   The Marketing Agency manages Global Enterprise’s branding and content. Also, it associates with other businesses and companies by offering their services to manage their social impact.   What is the focus of Global Enterprises?   All these businesses focus on benefiting and improving the quality of life of the public nationwide.   How much time do you dedicate to the business?   I believe that building a brand and building credibility can’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a company from scratch and it does require full dedication, management, and hard work.   Do you have partnerships?   Yes, now we have a few with some companies that provide benefits for us and for them. I believe it is important to build credibility through partnerships with various companies, businesses and people that will make the public more engaged with our company.  Little by little we want to expand our brand and reach more and more audiences through connections.   Do you consider yourself as independent?   Yes. I moved out of my parent’s house and have been living with a roommate for quite some time. I’m the one in charge of my own bills, so that’s why knowing how to manage your money is extremely important.   How did you gain so much experience on how to manage a business?   Most of my learning was during the five semesters of the degree. I believe that self-education is a key addition, that’s why I’m always reading, learning and improving my skills.   Did you have a previous job before starting your business?  I became part of the labor force at the age of 17. Before starting my business, I worked in three different places, they all helped me to build the foundations of business management.  What is the thing you like most about having your own business?   I believe that the thing I like most is the freedom that comes with it. There are so many benefits to this, for example I get to schedule and manage my own time. Having a business is consuming, yet it feels so rewarding to have something of your own.      
  • What You Need To Know About Getting Your Masters, ...

    Deciding to go to graduate school is one of the most important academic decisions that one could make. I sat down to talk to my friend, Aleena Dar, who attends the University of Toronto about her experience with pursuing a Masters in Community Development. Aleena is one of the most motivated, career- driven, and outgoing personalities I have had the pleasure of meeting. She recently started her graduate studies and had valuable insights from her experience in pursuing graduate studies.    Q: What made you consider going to grad school?   A: I’m being quite honest, my parents. They always wanted me to pursue a masters and that was logical, especially because my degree was too broad, and I wanted to specialize.     Q: How did you decide what you wanted to study further?     A: During my undergraduate, I had a part time job within the university and made a lot of connections. My mentor’s job appealed to me greatly and I started to consider it as a serious potential career choice. I partook in a lot of varied work opportunities and volunteer experiences but, her job was what I felt most resonated with me.     Q: What was the most difficult part of the application process?     A: I applied a little later than expected. I also did my research late too, around the end of fourth year and I only applied to one program as that was what I most wanted to continue my studies in. As I was underprepared, it was a bit difficult getting the documentation, and ensuring all components of the application were fulfilled. However, I had developed a good repertoire with my professors and so, receiving a letter of recommendation and guidance was not a hindrance when it came to applying for my program.       Q: What advice would you give yourself? Others?   A: Take a few months off before pursuing graduate school. I had not and jumped straight into my master's program and I felt the effects of burn out quite early on. Luckily, I am now able to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity, but I will say it was quite difficult in the beginning. Pursuing graduate studies entails a great deal of commitment and requires genuine interest and passion so it’s not always wise to jump straight into a program. Also, imposter syndrome is almost inevitable. In my program, there are people with businesses, 5 years of work experience, and research papers published — it can be incredibly intimidating. However, it is important to recognize that you do deserve to be in that space, and you are qualified.  
  • The Career Journey of Journalist Matthew Daigle, B ...

    “Going into university, I kind of always knew what I was going to study because my dream job was to be a sports broadcaster. I love sports but I'm not very good at them, so I figure talking about them would be the next best thing,” Matthew Daigle As a 10-year old Daigle was already thinking of diving into the world of journalism. He used to pretend to be an announcer at family game night or his sister’s hockey games, shaping Daigle’s idea of what we wanted to pursue in the future. “I used to always watch hockey with my family and there’s always an announcer for the games, so I would pretend I was the one calling the game."  Miramichi, his hometown for 17 years, incentivized Daigle’s decision to move to another province to get his degree since they only offered a community college at NBCC as post-secondary education. Some of his options were: Quebec, Halifax and Fredericton, which were liberal arts institutions. His decision making took a last turn when he accepted admission to St. Thomas University (STU). “After knowing what I didn’t really like in high school like chemistry and physics, I understood that writing was my passion, something that motivated me and I wanted to go to a school that would expand on that knowledge.”  His main reason for choosing STU as the next 4 years of his life was being close to home. In the end it all came down to being able to go back during holidays or special dates and feeling close to the family. The second reason was being able to work alongside the CBC newsroom professionals, whose knowledge and professionalism caught Daigle’s attention. In the fall of 2017 he arrived on-campus and took his first steps toward his hopeful career as a journalist. Going into university, Daigle had no clue what 'communications' was but he fell in love with every aspect of it as his studies progressed. He says that his professors' guidance were key to his confidence and commitment to his pursuits. Daigle’s first journalism class was with professor Philip Lee, and had a significant impact on his studies, as he learned how to properly write articles and express himself in a journalistic sense. What he learned in communications and journalism classes like Professor Lee's were also complimented by his other studies. According to Daigle, St.Thomas encourages students to expand their major and minor studies, offering an arsenal of complimentary mediums to pursue as a career. Journalism is not always just print, writing, radio, podcasting or TV, it can be a mixture so diversifying your skillset helps learners. Plus, it empowers students with free access to technology like software, video, audio, and camera offerings deepen the students' connection to the world of journalism. “For me, every little tool, skill, knowledge and practicum was worth it. I can’t speak for every journalist, but these experiences  really helped me to form myself as a journalist.”  Being a student is never easy, for Daigle it definitely had its ups and downs, and it can be challenging if you are trying to gain work experience while studying. During his time at STU, Daigle worked as Editor for the Aquinian and he also took on two internships during his fourth-year. Through these experiences, he discovered that essays and report papers were all about filling information to hit the word count; while journalism writing is concise, direct, and has no grey area or opportunity to create additional information (often irrelevant). Learning to unlearn what he knew and embrace new ways of thinking was a large part of preparing him for the world of work beyond classroom walls. “It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but then by fourth year I was pretty sure about it and now I don’t even struggle with it anymore." Daigle also had to overcome personal hurdles throughout his studies and career journey. Self-described as shy, he needed to work hard to speak more confidently - a critical skill as a journalist. Jan Wong, another of Matthew’s professors, used to tell him to exercise his ability to speak up, to use that fear as fuel to get the interview done. With the help of his professors, experience building, and time, Daigle grew out of his shyness by fourth year. Above all, the pandemic was also not an easy transition since most courses had to adjust to the new online format. The stress and the workload were sometimes unbearable, plus staying inside played a huge impact on mental health. According to Daigle, friends, family, and professors made great effort to alleviate the unique pressures of being a student, an intern, and a human navigating Covid and social distancing during fourth year. “I got through it but it was not easy, I really have to thank my family, friends and some profs for helping me through that last stretch of getting my diploma. As a journalist, I believe Jan Wong was one of my biggest influences. She really helped me with my confidence and being able to stand up on my own feet, as I move forward with stories, interviews and forming myself as a professional.” Before concluding his studies in the spring of 2021, Daigle put himself out in the professional world - sending out resumes, applying for different positions, and maintaining connections to any opportunity that might be presented. This led him to his landing a job and since late May he has been working as a reporter for the Telegraph Journal with the St. John Times Globe section. In his role, Daigle covers a little of everything in print, mostly written articles and photography. Adjusting from school work load, and weekly articles to the new schedule of writing two articles per day was definitely challenging for Daigle but its a challenge he can tackle - every little bit of effort and all the ups and downs of his post-secondary and internship experiences was worth it.  “ I’m happy with how I have found my place in the world. Not everyone is as lucky.”
  • Tackling Soft-Skills, by Justin Andrews

      For some, it’s easy to overlook the realm of “soft skills.” (In case you’re unaware, soft skills are, according to LinkedIn, related to “cognitive ability, workplace behaviors, and emotional intelligence”—qualities linked to personality and intuition). Hard skills like “cloud computing” or “forklift operation” seem more concrete, easier to pin down, than seemingly subjective, ubiquitous soft skills like “adaptability” or “critical thinking.” And yet a strong set of soft skills are needed across job sectors—they’re especially important for jobs involving public service, teamwork, ideas, etc. A US Chamber Foundation study finds that “the importance of these skills is widely acknowledged, and yet they are not taught with consistency or given prioritization.” Thus, in a competitive job market, when all applicants will have the right hard-skill boxes checked (and then some), demonstratable soft skills can make all the difference. They show, among other things, that you’re not simply a work machine but a well-rounded person; in fact, soft skills are demanded more than ever because they cannot be reproduced by the tech and AI that are increasingly central to many sectors. “Demonstratable” is the keyword here: it’s easy to ream off your soft skills like they’re favourite desserts, but if you write, for example, of your “excellent communication skills,” make sure your writing and interviews are perfect(ish)!   So, what soft skills do employers look for? A quick search will bring to you to a surplus of results pertaining to a surplus of sectors, so I’ll focus on a list with all-around appeal. Every year, LinkedIn gathers employers’ most sought-after skills from their platform. The top soft skills for 2021 include adaptability, collaboration, creativity, emotional intelligence, and persuasion. The top three missing soft skill areas are:    Problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity Communication   The language here—“innovation,” “emotional intelligence,” “creativity”—is broad, somewhat ambiguous, and adaptable to a variety of circumstances. It’s difficult to develop skills when there’s no standard, definitive model to mimic. There’s no comprehensive “creativity certificate”; creativity for a journal editor looks different than creativity for a data entry assistant. Knowing how these soft skills translate into your field may be key to your education. Luckily, soft skills overlap. “Critical thinking” is needed to “deal with complexity and ambiguity.” “Persuasion” needs “communication.” “Collaboration” needs “emotional intelligence.” Personally, I find it helpful to think of all soft skills as different sides to the same thing: responding to my environment in constructive, meaningful ways. This holistic approach relieves the stress of treating soft skills like a to-do list. (“Now that I’ve mastered ‘adaptability,’ I can finally move on to ‘collaboration.’’) I know that when I “problem-solve” by finding a different, more effective teaching method for a particular student, I’m also learning how to adapt, communicate, empathize, etc.               So while the broadness of soft skills can be intimidating, it also has a plus side: you can develop soft skill in all areas of life. You can practice “self-control” and “conflict resolution” on the soccer field, at a party, at home. Modern science suggests that much of our behaviour derives from unconscious habit. Many pre-moderns thought so too. Aristotle, for instance, believed that we become virtuous though practice; the more we decide to, say, show compassion or “put ourselves in someone else’s shoes,” the more we’ll do it consistently and consciously, even under pressure when it’s easy to talk ourselves out of virtuous behaviour. It’s like learning guitar chords: at first, you must slowly and painfully press your fingers in the right position, but after doing these hundreds of times, you move smoothly from chord to chord just by “feel,” without looking. Then you’ll be able to perform under the pressure of a large audience. The same goes for soft skills. In elementary school, I was that kid who ran away crying amid my class presentation. As an adult, I’ve tried to jump on any chance at public speaking, despite the true torture it gives me. Why? Because it’s helped me adequately teach a class or undergo a job interview when, only years earlier, my ability to speak under any pressure was barely passable.              “Practice makes perfect” may be cliché. Still, if you’re like me, it’s easy to overlook intentionally practicing something like “listening skills,” which, in the end, may be essential for that dream job—or life in general!  
  • An Interview with Artist Rachel Hawkes Cameron

    1)  What post-secondary institution did you attend and what did you study there? My education is a bit all over the place! After attending 5 different high schools, I moved from Toronto to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University, where I started in a General Arts program. After second year, I applied to the Architecture program, which required 2 years of an undergrad to be considered. The program was small and competitive, so I took Calculus and Fine Arts courses to boost my portfolio and was accepted! I completed that program (officially a Bachelor of Environmental Design) and took a year off to work and live abroad. I later returned to Halifax to complete my Master of Design at the Nova Scotia Academy of Art and Design. 2)  How did you get into your industry and land where you are now? I worked in architecture for a while but did not find it to be as creatively fulfilling as what I had imagined. The house, the rigor, and the technical aspects just were not a good fit for me. So, I took the design still I had and the experience and education in the field of architecture to start working as an in-house designer for an architecture firm in Toronto. When I moved to Hamilton to start my family, I was so lucky to find an amazing roll at IKEA, as a designer at the Head Office. After my second child was born and I experienced the loss of my little brother very suddenly, I sort of fell into painting. But truthfully, my education and work experience have always had a thread of creativity, so perhaps it was all leading to this! 3) Describe your process - what’s it like? How long does a typical painting take? My process starts with a lot of water and washes of colour, which I let dry and layer to create energy and movement through the piece. Then I go in with sharper lines to “clean up” those organic shapes and create conversations between the shapes. I paint on porous, watercolour paper (the more the colour is able to bleed, the better) and canvas. The final steps, of course, are varnishing and packing up the painting - sometimes for shipping across the country. All the while, I try to communicate with my client, maintain my social media presence, and I find that people love to see the process behind my work. 4) What do you love most about what you do? What do you find the most challenging? I love painting so much. It’s just so calming to me. It allows me to clear my head and channel my emotions. I also love that my paintings give joy to others, it’s so flattering when people express that they are moved by my work. I do find the business side of it challenging sometimes! When all you want to do is paint, but you have orders to pack and ship and invoice, it can be frustrating. But I’m just forcing myself to enjoy it by putting on a podcast or starting a painting and waiting for it to dry while I go about my work. Having two little kids at home during this lockdown, it is also obviously really challenging to find the time to get up to my studio and paint without interruption. 5) What’s a recent project you worked on that you’re really proud of? I recently “took over” an Instagram account called @carveouttimeforart, which I have been following for years. I put a lot of work into demonstrating the story and spirit behind my work and being honest and vulnerable about my life as an artist. I was proud of how it looked, aesthetically, and I was happy with the response it got from others! 6) What’s your single greatest lesson in your career so far/advice you have for university/college students? Don’t be afraid to go towards something you might not feel is your best strength — there’s probably a reason you’re being drawn to it and it’s going to teach you something. Architecture was not the best fit for me, and I certainly was not the best student in the class. But it taught me discipline, hard work, attention to detail and most importantly; that my failures are not a step back. It was all leading me to here. 7) Favourite quote? “Trust the process” 8) Who do you look up to? I’m really inspired by another woman that I went to architecture school with named Rubeena Ratcliffe, who is also an artist and parent. I think being able to see yourself in someone you admire — even in a small way — is such a motivation. Social media can give us that opportunity. 9) What are you reading right now? I’m reading Little Fires Everywhere! And my Earth to Table cookbook. 10) What skill (besides painting!) would you say is most important as an artist today? You have to be prolific in order to maintain a presence and engage with your community. Luckily, that works really well for artists; I actually read a quote this morning by Andy Warhol that I love: ”Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art”.      
  • So, You Want to be a Strategy Manager?, By: Ariana ...

    What is a Strategy Manager?   Strategic managers are the key planners, analyzers, and risk leaders who establish strategic plans in a business. They also handle oversight and development of corporate strategies to support business growth and stability.  Strategy Manager Activities: Planning  Risk management  Performance management  Coaching Collaboration Data analysis  Crisis management Creative problem solving  Ethics development  Market leadership  Creating value  Branding What Education do Strategy Managers Typically Have?   Degree in business or related field, MBA preferred. 3-5 years of experience in business administration, management consulting or strategic planning. Excellent understanding of business operations and procedures, or branding. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.  What Essential Skills should Strategy Managers Have?   Communication skills  The strategic management position is collaborative and demands great communicators in speech and writing. As business leaders, strategic managers need to inform and instruct all employees. Proper communication will determine the effectiveness of the instructions they give. Exceptional communication skills are essential when interacting with consumers, gathering information, expressing oneself and preparing business reports  Analytical skills  Strategic managers need to convert raw information into applicable strategies. They should also be able to perform various standard analyses in the business, such as: - Competitive analysis: Assesses the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors - Performance analysis: Analyzes the business progress, systematically.  - Market analysis: Gathers information on conditions affecting the marketplace  Interpersonal Skills  Interpersonal skills are behaviors and abilities that help you manage emotions and cope with challenges. Strategic managers need to be proactive, demonstrate outstanding problem-solving skills and work in a group setting.  Strategic managers should be exemplary leaders who inspire and motivate team performance. As team leaders, strategic managers should strive to build strong and lasting connections with others.  Leadership   Strong leadership is the ability to motivate, inspire, encourage and challenge the team you lead to maximize their production. Developing effective strategies for an entire company and ensuring their implementation in a set timeline requires quality leadership.  Strategic management candidates need to have strong leadership qualities to help them deal with potentially difficult strategies, stiff competition, financial crises or business losses.  Organizational skills   Enable you to prioritize, plan and achieve set goals. Strategic managers require strategic organizational skills to structure and rank priority tasks to meet strict deadlines.  Project Management   Project management is applying knowledge, tools and techniques in a project's activities to meet its requirements. Strategic managers should be able to apply their skills and experience to help the business archive its goals.  Problem-Solving Skills   Some situations in businesses require quick and sound decisions to avoid losses. Strategic managers need to be able to often make difficult decisions quickly and accurately for both immediate goals and the wellbeing of their company.  What Companies Hire Strategy Managers?   Google   Microsoft  Bank of America  Deloitte  Accenture  IBM J.P Morgan Meta  H.P Inc HSBC  (Branding/marketing agencies or individual brands/start-ups) What is the typical Strategy Manager Salary?   The average strategy manager salary in Canada is $97,795 per year or $50.15 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $82,169 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $126,774 per year.    Job Titles for a Strategy Manager  Chief operating officer Investment fund manager Management analyst Operations manager Human resources specialist  Brand strategist
  • Meet Justin Andrews, OCC Graduate Journalist

    Hello, my name is Justin Andrews. I am a writer living in Hamilton, Ontario, and a recent graduate of the University of Toronto with an MA in English in creative writing. My work has been published in Canadian literary journals, and, currently, I'm writing a novel (or attempting to, at least!). Beyond writing, I spend my free time reading, board-gaming, and meandering down backstreets and trails. Writing for the OCC Student and Graduate Journalist Team is meaningful because I understand the difficulty of making substantial career connections, especially amid the hastiness of academic life. As an OCC Graduate Journalist, I’ll be eager to help students gain work experience and find fruitful careers. It’s a pleasure to support a platform that simplifies and democratizes a complicated and frequently inaccessible process.
  • When to Leave Your Job for a New One

    Like so much of life, most jobs have expiration dates. Unlike that can of soup that lets your nose know when it's time to toss it, the signs that it's time to leave your job for a new are more nuanced. Over time, though, these subtle signs can feel like one big (flashing) ad with bold copy reading: "Move On!" or "I quit"! Before you reach that fork in the road, the little signs along the way can help you avoid being held back or stuck saying goodbye to your job with no new one in sight. If you're feeling any of the following, it could be time to leave your job for a new one: Boredom It's not like work is supposed to be super fun all the time but it shouldn't be so boring that you feel like you're watching the paint peeling - you know? What begets boredom is often lack of challenge and in a typical role this comes from your skills being underutilized (or unrecognized) by your employer. If you're not using your skillset, then you're not learning and growing - not good. Burnout Burnout is a tricky topic because the reason for each individual's burnout is very personal. Some experience burnout at work because of a combination of what they are tackling in their workload, work environment, or company culture, while others experience it because those things are combined with personal challenges. This said, if you have personal challenges but can't discuss anything with your employer, that might be a sign that it's not a culture you want to be a part of anyway. Your life is your life, and you only have one, do not waste it feeling less-than or shining less-than. Undervalued In truth, what you are worth and what you are paid won't always feel balanced but it should feel, at least, close. And, while this isn't likely what you've heard the fact is that it takes time to build up your resume and your salary to get it where you want it to be - it takes experience. However, and that's a BIG 'however', if your compensation is not empowering you to live happily, with financial security, and there is no room for negotiation or clear path toward increased compensation...say bye bye! Unbalanced The tight-rope walk of work-life balance is rarely streamlined or steady but it is possible. So much of making work-life balance achievable is up to the values, ethics, and corporate culture of the company you're working for but what you choose to accept is up to you. If you are answering emails, phone calls, and feeling pressure to work outside of your scheduled work hours consistently then you won't have balance - it's either your work or living your life to its fullest - don't sacrifice your personal time for a job that is making you miss out on what's truly important.  Unethical This is a BIG one. How you feel about yourself when you rest your head on your pillow at the end of the day is arguably the most important, life-shaping considerations in life. If you are working in an environment, a workplace culture, a role, or an industry that doesn't align with your values-system, beliefs or ethics then you are not in the right place and it is absolutely time to look for an employer who will not make you feel this way. Unhappy If you feel unhappy going to work, talking about your work, or with your colleagues then it's time to have a conversation with your employer. If you want to make it work, this gives you an opportunity to constructively and proactively seek resolutions to your hurdles hindering happiness but if you feel there are too many non-negotiables, signs all point to finding a new job so you can leave your current one. Stuck This one is two-fold.  You should have opportunities in your current role to progress and advance. If you do not have a clear pathway for career progression then it is time to either speak with your employer or start looking for an employer who understands your value. You may be presented with opportunities from recruiters at other companies, or working for other companies, who offer exciting roles with competitive compensation packages - if this is the case, and you are sure that you are no longer content where you are working, then it could be time to trailblaze a new path right 'outta' your office and into a new one!   Sometimes, unfortunately, you have to choose between quitting a job or quitting yourself and we feel, wholeheartedly, that you should never stop believing in your capabilities.     
  • A Midterm-Season Survival Guide: What to Do When Y ...

      University life isn’t exactly plain sailing. If you’ve ever made it through the midterm season as a full-time student, then you’ll know what it feels like to be inundated with multiple exams, essays, assignments, and 100s of pages of reading, all due in a two-week timespan. To say the very least, it can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. So with the midterm season on the horizon once again, it’s more important than ever to take the necessary steps to avoid burnout. The good news is, there are multiple ways to help combat the stress of midterms and prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s learning how to manage your time more effectively, avoiding over-commitment, or simply getting outside and moving your body, here are a few small steps to calm your mind and make this midterm season feel a little more feasible.   Get Organized and Manage Your Time Effectively   We’ve all been guilty of putting off our essays and assignments for just that bit too long. Suddenly, it’s the night before the due date, and you have a 2000 word research paper to try and write within the evening. Poor time management is one of the biggest culprits (for myself included) when it comes to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out. This is why this first tip is arguably the most important on this list. Laying out all of your commitments and due dates in an organized fashion is a great way to break things up, allowing you to face your obligations one by one and avoid large backlogs of work.    Write Daily To-Do Lists   If you don’t have concrete plans, classes, or commitments during any particular day, it’s easy to get side-tracked and spend the day napping rather than studying. Like the above point, writing daily to-do lists is a great way to break up your day, give yourself a clear schedule, and reserve some well-needed time.    Sleep   This is a big one. We’ve all pulled an all-nighter in a last-minute bid to study for an exam or finish a research paper that’s due the next morning. While it’s sometimes tempting to leave an assignment to the day before and finish it in one sitting, there is no denying the importance of adequate sleep when it comes to being your best, most-clearheaded self.    Exercise   Studying for hours upon end can leave us feeling pent-up, stressed, and frustrated. While it may seem obvious, exercise indeed is proven to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Even just going for a thirty-minute daily walk is a great way to get the endorphins flowing, improve your mood, reduce your stress levels and give you some well-needed headspace away from studying. So if you’re feeling smothered with schoolwork, sometimes the best remedy is to get outside and move your body.    Learn to Say ‘no’ When it’s Necessary   Over-commitment is a recipe for feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. Sometimes our fear of missing out, letting people down, or our aversion to simply saying ‘no’ can cause us to commit to things we don’t have time for. If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed with school work, now might be a good time to say no to that party or to turn down that extra shift at work.   Plan Something New & Exciting    If you’re feeling stressed and stuck in a rut, a great way to boost your morale and give yourself something to look forward to is to plan to do something new and exciting in the near or distant future. This could be purchasing tickets for an upcoming concert, taking a pottery class, or planning a day trip with friends.   Don’t Forget to Slow Down and Take Rest Days   Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself during stressful times! While taking a day away from university work can seem counter-intuitive to some, on days when you’re feeling burnt-out and overwhelmed, it’s crucial to take a day or a few hours away from staring at your assignments and essays. If you feel that being away from your work will only make you feel more stressed, focus your energy toward other areas besides schoolwork. For example, chores, hobbies, or alternative obligations that do not involve university work (such as going to the gym, cleaning the kitchen or watering your plants). That way, you know that you’re productive while taking some much-needed time away from work and study.
  • Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone: My Experience Liv ...

      It all started with my acceptance letter from St. Thomas University, where I would be spending the next four years of my life. After 18 years of living under my parents' roof, it finally came time to step out of my comfort zone and explore the world. The days leading up to departure were rooted in excitement and fear. So many questions flooded my head with doubts and curiosity about my new adventure. The day I arrived at Fredericton airport, I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. Coming to a new country, I now looked ahead to my first week at a new college. Meeting fresh faces and exploring a different culture and region was so exciting. Every time I met a new person I wondered if they felt as afraid (yet free) as I did. Everything was different.    The differences I experienced as an international student new to St.Thomas University, include: 1. People eat at different times here. Don't be surprised if you crave McDonald's late at night! I found myself really surprised by the Canadian lifestyle. Back home, I lived by a routine - especially my eating schedule. I was so confused because here lunch was at noon and dinner started in the cafeteria at four o'clock. But, back home, I had lunch at two o'clock and dinner at eight o'clock. By the time it was evening, with this new schedule, I was starving and fantasizing over McDonald’s fries! 2. Living in residence means sharing (almost everything) and, obviously, not living at home. Living in residence was also a brand new thing for me. Back home, I shared a bathroom with my sister, so sharing the washroom with some other girls didn’t matter to me, but it took time to get used to splitting a room with another person. Thankfully, I quickly realized that having someone there to keep me company and laugh was like having my sister there to support me. The thing is, my family was still in Ecuador, and I could still feel their distance. So, after a long day in class, I would call my parents and sister every night before bed - it was calming and reassuring to know that they supported me and were there for me regardless of the distance. 3. As a new student, you will also be tasked with making new friends (later in life it's different). All my life, I have been around the same type of people. (I don’t consider myself shy when it comes to making friends, but it was easier when we were kids, we just chose the one we thought was the craziest and started playing with them.) Anyway, making new friends in a new country felt different. Navigating classes, well, that was new to too and a challenge (at first). For example, I had a five-minute lapse to rush through three buildings and get across campus to my other class. During the fall it wasn’t bad, but I can’t say the same about winter! I am sure I had a fair number of falls in front of strangers. But, over time, strangers became friends.   4. You adapt but, like anything, you can't control the outcome. Over time, you adapt, but you need to prepare for the unexpected in life, living anywhere in the world. Year three as a student at St. Thomas can be described with one word: rollercoaster. In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and my country's borders were on the verge of closing, so I had to quickly uproot again and return home on a last-minute flight. Then, I had to finish second-year exams online before getting ready for summer. Little did we know that it would be just the beginning of a long and exhausting quarantine. I must say the relief of coming home to my family before things got worse was the greatest blessing. I spent all of 2020 re-discovering myself as an artist, a writer, and an individual. I got to make up for the two years I missed by my little sister’s side. Honestly, even if the world was falling apart, a piece of me felt so peaceful and blessed to be back home. When classes began, and the university had launched all of the right platforms to acclimate us to the online form of learning, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, with the help of professors and interactive digital platforms, I was able to push through this and overcome any lack of motivation I felt. I believe that going through this made me more deeply appreciate having access to a proper education. In summary? Growing up, I fantasized about my life in college but arriving in a new country, finally there to study, was surreal. In truth, no one talks about the deep feelings of moving 5,000 km away to a different country. There was no way to know the challenges of being a first-year international student or of what was to come - the world fighting an unprecedented global pandemic. Today, I'm grateful for my experience studying abroad and for where I am now. I am just shy of my last year and excited to return to St. Thomas for the winter semester. However, this time, I have a greater understanding of what I'm heading toward...and what I'm leaving behind.  Remember, even if there are obstacles, never give up because it will make you stronger to confront everything life throws at you. All of my experiences as an international student have empowered me to build a future worth looking forward to.
  • How do You Get Research Experience as an Undergrad ...

    Getting research experience is quite helpful for students. It helps determine your interests, enables you to get involved on campus, make connections, and gain valuable experience – particularly important if you plan to attend graduate school or thesis-based programs. However, departments in universities, labs, and healthcare have limited spaces. So, how do you get a research position while in university or if you have already graduated? Well, you need to do your research…before doing your research.   Step 1 – Preliminary Search for Information   For undergraduate students, the first step is to grasp what kind of research takes place at your university. One way to uncover this is by finding your university’s faculty lists online, along with links to their personal pages that often will list their current and past papers. Alternatively, you can also ask professors during office hours or by e-mail if they have any available positions at their labs. If you’re asking professors about research opportunities in-person and over e-mail, start by making a list of professors whose research and/or courses interest you, and check out their lab page. Having a better understanding of their work helps you understand how you can contribute to and gain skills from their future work.    Important information to gather: The general sense of the professor’s research interest: the big questions that their lab asks, why they ask those questions, and what kind of methods they use What kind of technology (if any) does the lab use? What their graduate students’ study Their most recent or ongoing studies What specific courses and skills they are looking for   Step 2 – Informed Outreach Next, before e-mailing, check the website for each lab - if any exists. Most labs will have an opportunities page that will directly state whether they are looking for volunteers, independent study students, or any other positions available at their lab. Unless the lab states explicitly that they do not currently have any opportunities for students, it never hurts to send an e-mail. The e-mail can be brief. Start off with a brief introduction of the year of study, major, and how the research ties into your interest and future career plans.  One of the most important tips that I have learned from a graduate student is to read the research produced by the lab of interest (as recommended in step 1) and go through their articles to get a sense of their work. This process can help you generate questions about the paper to include either in the e-mail or in the cover letter. The question could be about the paper itself, curiosity about the overall topic, or the outcome of using a different approach to the question. This helps show that you’ve thought more deeply about the article, and it also launches a discussion, especially for upper-year independent research project courses.  For your very first research positions, without any prior experience, the trick is to look into multiple different places and speak about your interests and future career plans with professors and teaching assistants. To do this, you can: Take part in summer research opportunities (see below). Look for volunteer opportunities Ask and e-mail professors Submit your relevant courses and grades   Places to look for research opportunities include: Platforms such as the OCC, Research programs and courses on-campus, University job and volunteering opportunity boards, E-mailing or talking to professors and teaching assistants, and, Hospital and healthcare centres.   Step 3 - Keep Going Last but not least, being informed in your approach means actively seeking out opportunities. Below is a compiled list of Ontario-based summer research opportunities to keep an eye out for that is mainly geared towards students:   SickKids Summer Research (SSuRe) Program SRI Summer Student Research Program For BIPOC in psychology, management or neuroscience: Canada Summer Research Opportunities Programme (Canada SROP) Women’s College Hospital Summer Student Research program Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Bloorview Research Institute Ward Family Summer Student Research Program  
  • Building a Career Exit Strategy

      You've likely heard of the concept of an 'exit strategy' as it pertains to business but have you considered the application of this concept when it comes to leaving the company you work to pursue something else? For those unfamiliar, an exit strategy is essentially your business plan in reverse. Just like you planned for how to build up your business, now you have to plan to transition what's been built without losing value, ideally, for all. When leaving your role, remember that although your time at the company you work for may feel over, at one point, the person you will be handing your resignation letter to was the person you eagerly gave your cover letter and resume.  Leaving a job is a delicate dance, one where you must consider the optics, feelings, and legacy of your impression on your peers and employer.   Here are some playful ways to apply the concept of a business exit strategy to leave your current role:   Liquidation What assets have you helped to build in your role, within your teams, or your company's culture that you will no longer handle? If you can identify what you have built up and achieved while working within your role, you can provide your employer with a reflection on what you've learned during your time with them while reinforcing what you have contributed.  You are not selling off the value of a business but re-selling your employer on the value you brought, which can help them appreciate what you've provided and more easily see the areas they will need to find a candidate to fulfill.   Selling to Someone You Know (Keeping it in the Family) Although it's important to know that leaving a company and recommending a candidate to fill your role won't always be welcomed, employers are much more open to and appreciative of new talent recommendations in this employment marketplace. If you know someone who is job-seeking and has the right personality and skillset fit for the role you're leaving, someone you trust and can vouch for, recommend them to your employer. Helping the company you work for find the right person to take over your responsibilities, and help to continue growing their business in your absence, is strategic and thoughtful. Heck, they may even bring you in on the hiring and onboarding of the candidates or new hire...how's that for a seamless transition? No doubt, everyone will be happy this way.   AN IPO (Public Offering) Okay, okay, this one is a bit of a stretch. Still, the idea reigns true enough: If you are considering leaving your role for salary or job growth reasons that have been non-negotiable to date, having an alternative (competitive) job offer can help you to bring strong negotiations to the table with your employer so that you can work out ways for the role to be more conducive to what you need to stay. We advise you to tread lightly here. Offering your skillset to the 'public,' i.e., another prospective employer should only be done if you are genuinely interested in leaving due to your unhappiness or discontent with your current offerings. Although it can raise your 'capital' it can also plummet it - loyalty, to this day, is invaluable for anyone.
  • These Four WFH Tips Made My Days Better, By: Brend ...

    As a new graduate who completed half of her post-secondary education online, did two fully remote internships, and has received both in-person and WFH positions, here are four things I’ve started incorporating into my work-from-home (WFH) routine to help create better work-life boundaries and succeed in my positions.   —   Wake Up Early—Or At Least Try To   It can be super tempting to roll out of bed 5 minutes before your work or school day starts and just jump into it. It’s easy, takes little to no effort, and sounds like a great idea if you’re not a morning person. But doing that blurs the boundary between work and general life. If the first thing you do in the morning is start working, what is there to stop that from being the last thing you do before you fall asleep at night?  Waking up early also gives you time in the morning to go through a morning routine, whatever that may be. Whether it’s lounging around in bed for half an hour scrolling through social media, going through a morning skincare routine, or whatever else you choose to do.  I was not and still am not a morning person. But giving myself the extra hour between waking up and starting work has been so helpful in giving me time to decompress and actually wake up. I don’t feel as groggy and grumpy when I start working and I don’t feel like my brain is constantly stuck on a “loading” page.    Get Dressed Before Work How tempting is it to work in loungewear? Office appropriate clothing can feel so restricting and uncomfortable, especially when comparing it to the loungewear worn around the house. When wearing the clothes you wear to sleep to work, it blurs the lines between work and home.  By making the effort to get dressed in the morning, even if it’s just changing into an office appropriate top, it can help you differentiate the two areas of your life and make a cleaner transition into working. It also sets good practices into place if you either plan to WFH from a local café or get a job that’s in-person. As someone who has a WFH job and an office position, getting dressed for both jobs has been a big part in starting off my day right. It helps me get myself in the headspace for work and shift away from the “lounge at home and do nothing all day” mindset.    Make An Effort to Eat Breakfast Before, Not During   Breakfast may not actually be the most important meal of the day, but being able to separate your eating time from your WFH day is important. Whether it’s making and eating a full, balanced breakfast or just having a coffee or tea in the morning, do it before you start work. Decompress in the mornings with your breakfast and beverage of choice. Take the time to eat and/or drink without working. Relax, take a breath, and when you’re done, start working. I’ve found that taking the time to eat and drink before working generally has me starting off my day in a better mood. I don’t feel as rushed and anxious about time and I can generally enjoy my hot breakfast and hotter coffee.    Separate Your Workspace From Your General Living Space It’s definitely easier said than done, I mean how often are we using our laptops and phones in bed? It’s so comfy and warm, especially when the weather is colder and all you want to do is stay in bed all day. Creating a workspace separate from your bedroom, or at least separate from your bed, is helpful in establishing and enforcing a healthy work-life balance.  Keeping work and general living separate is hard to do when working and even harder to do when working from home. Whether you choose to do your work in the kitchen, dining room, or you have a desk in your room, make sure to keep it consistent and to have that be a dedicated space for you to work. Lines are blurred and if you’re not able to separate those areas of your life, you may start to feel guilty for stepping away from work at any point during the day. Before I separated my workspace from my living space, I had horrible work-life balance. I had a desk in my room, but it was too close to my bed and I would just end up moving my laptop and other devices into bed to do work “because it’s cold”. After moving my work area to the kitchen, it’s helped me to stay focused and minimize those kinds of distractions during the work day.    —   These things, though they are simple, are habits that I am still trying to practice in working from home. I’m not perfect at it, nor do I claim to be an expert in working from home. These are just things that have been working for me lately as I navigate a WFH and an in-person job. These are just my personal tips and though they may not all work for everyone, I hope this has been helpful in either affirming what you’ve been doing or introducing new tips for creating better balance in your life while WFH!  
  • Breaking News: Canada Post-Graduate Work Permits C ...

    Recent international post-secondary graduates in Canada can now apply to extend their post-graduate work permits. Are you one of these 100,000+ grads looking for an extension on your post-graduate work permit? Here are some resources to help unpack what this means and how to make this PGWP (post-graduate work permit) extension work for you: "New Measures to Address Canada's Labour Shortage", Government of Canada "IRCC to resume FSWP & CEC invitations in July; and offer open work permit to PGWP holders", CICI News, The Voice of Canadian Immigration, Shelby Thevenot and Kareem El-Assal "Canada to Provide Another PGWP Extension", Canadian Immigration Law Firm", Lauren Boorman "Minister Sean Fraser, why exclude us from the post-graduate work permit extension?", Toronto Star, Minu Matthew "Canada Work Permits Extended for International Graduates", PIE News, Helen Packer Oh, and we've got jobs for you (from employers across Canada seeking recent grads)! Sign-in or up to start searching.
  • How to Spot a Micro-Manager & Not be One

    Starting a new job comes with a certain level of pressure - some self-imposed and the rest because you need to deliver and contribute toward meeting the aims your boss or team has set. It's normal to feel "all the feels" that come with plugging away at a new role, within a new company, and to do everything you can to manage and meet expectations within the organization. Good things come to those who work hard (and are nice to people) but there is a fine line between having a drive for success and micro-managing others' work to get what you want out of them.    Yes, the flip side of managing yourself, is when you start managing others - and that is an entirely different tune. Sometimes, people who've come up through the ranks, working long hours and "micro-managing themselves" to ensure success, get promoted and suddenly their working style is applied to the people around them. Uh oh! Now what!? While it's okay to manage people, it's a true artform perfected only through time, and the fall-back all-too-often is that these individuals, striving and worried about meeting deadlines and gains, become what's known, unlovingly, as "micro-managers". This is, essentially, the work version of a "helicopter parent" and it's not pretty.   How to spot a micro-manager:   They have very detailed forms of communication and organization that they lure you into following, even when you've been tasked with a project and the process they use isn't how you'd go about doing your best work. (Hint: they probably didn't even ask you what works best for you, in fear they lose some control over the outcome - and you!) They constantly check in on your work and progress, popping up from behind cubicles, desks, suddenly peeping out of offices you didn't realize they were in, messaging you throughout the day, and emailing you reminders about due dates. (Ah!) They repeat themselves, even when you've heard them the first time, use detached tones, and leave no wiggle room for creativity that goes against their initial concept. For example, they may use expressions like, "With all due respect," or "Good idea, but this sounds like a 'make-work project'" a lot.  They talk a whole lot in meetings, often leaving very little room for anyone else in the forum to get a word in. When someone else speaks, they find a way to shut it down and move back to what they were saying. They run hot and cold because they are worried that maintaining a consistent positive dynamic won't equate to the base level of anxiety from you that they feel supports their positioning and stature within the organization    Now, clearly, that list is tongue-in-cheek, but, sadly, much of it can be true when you're dealing with a micro-manager - an individual who gives excessive supervision to employees. If you're lucky enough to have a long career (and we know you will), you will either come across one or verge on becoming one (it's easier than you think). Because we can't prevent you from crossing paths with a micro-manager, here's a list of things that you can do NOT to be one!   Hold group brainstorming sessions for large projects that require innovation and make sure everyone on your team gets a chance to speak, feel heard, and contribute. Applaud their ideas, and encourage or elaborate on their thoughts to push good thinking further and elevate the potential of those around you. Empower your team members to use platforms and tools that work best for their organization or work style, and then try to work around how they work best. Set check-in times periodically, and save your questions about an individual's work or progress for those meetings so that you're not always reaching out or pushing them for updates. Work alongside, don't oversee. This means asking for feedback on how you can do things better for your team and being open to your own imperfection to adapt to meet your team with what they need for success. Use "we" not "I' language when speaking of successes or wins. No human being is an island, and no achievement is due to the input of solely one individual. Spread awareness within your organization about the excellent work of those behind each project - when you manage, it's not about you, ever, really.   All in all, micro-managers are usually coming from a good place. They are Type A or "high achievers" who just want things to go well! But, unfortunately, their approach is, honestly, entirely unnecessary and brutal on team members. If you so happen to spot a micro-manager on your team, don't run; maybe try to manage up and help them understand how you work better rather than passively allowing them to guide you in a direction that negatively impacts how you feel about work or get the job done. But, how you handle it is up to you! We don't want to micro-manage...
  • Motivated by Activism, By: Shoffana Sundaramoorthy ...

    Working a job has become an integral part of our lives. It is as though finding a full-time position following your post-secondary graduation is like this “rite of passage” into adulthood. When we contemplate precisely why we strive to work, a prominent reason would be to ease our impending financial obligations. Other common answers would be to fulfill our life’s purpose or be satisfied by the work at hand.    Motivations for Work    First and foremost, I do want to highlight the prominence in why people tend to work. Richard Ryan and Edward Deci were both professors from the University of Rochester. They co-published the book “Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior,” which centered around a human’s internal and external motivations and their application into certain life aspects (McGregor & Doshi, 2019). One of these aspects that they covered was work. They were able to compile six reasons why people worked, these reasons include:          1. Potential    If you are motivated by your potential, you perceive your job as an avenue to elevate your capabilities and achieve your fullest potential. For example, a store cashier would feel inclined to perform well on the job as they believe that they can obtain a higher position as a store manager by working at fulfilling their potential.          2. Play     If you are motivated by play, you tend to work because you find the work to be entertaining. For example, a veterinarian who likes taking care of animals would enjoy their work.           3. Purpose    If you are motivated by purpose, there is a strong alignment between the job’s result and your identity. You acknowledge the work’s significance as it resonates with your self-fulfillment. For example, a policy officer may resonate with their job as they value morality and justice. Moreover, a police officer may identify with their intentions to ensure the safety of their citizens.         4. Economic Pressure  If you are motivated by economic pressure, you are driven to work by an external force/ circumstances that relies heavily on money. These economically fueled stressors include paying monthly rent or providing for your family.         5. Emotional Pressure  If you are motivated by emotional pressure, you seem to work as outside forces/ circumstances threaten your identity and well-being. These external forces exert emotional strain, whether it is guilt from your past actions or fear of not having a roof over your head.         6. Inertia  If you are motivated by Inertia, you frankly do not have a clear-cut reason for why you are working. In this case, it is tough to put into words what exactly drives you.    Some interesting trends have arisen regarding these work motivations. We can arrange these six reasons into two groups. The first group comprises Potential, Play, and Purpose. Research has backed up that possessing any motive in group one can improve your overall performance. The second group consists of Economic Pressure, Emotional Pressure, and Inertia. Conversely, research has showcased that having any motive in group two can hinder your overall performance.    Jobs in Activism    With these motivations in mind, I feel that there is a growing demand for activism-related jobs. With the widespread use of technology, connecting people and events globally, we can transcend borders and boundaries. We have also grown in self-awareness towards social issues and become deterministic in making headway against the ordeals around the world.   Now, activism jobs do not have a concrete image of what they entail, unlike the job descriptions of, for example, a teacher or scientist. Activism, in itself, is such a broad and abstract concept. Activism-related jobs and roles within the field do not exist in the same industry or demand the same skill set. The key principle behind both is that activists push through obstacles to facilitate positive change in society. Considering all this, those interested in pursuing roles in activism or related fields need to have a firm resolve for working with a purpose and making a difference in the lives of others. I will be going over a few jobs that employ these activist elements below.    Social Worker    Social workers pave the path for their patients when it comes to navigating their everyday lives. They recognize that their patients may endure prominent hurdles, so social workers try to provide their patients with resources to overcome these hurdles. Social workers develop and monitor a patient’s treatment plan, refer patients to suitable community initiatives, conduct research to draw connections between their patients' struggles and overarching social issues, and administrative work. They operate under various categories such as family life, school, mental health, and so forth.  Social work is a job sector that heavily intertwines with activism. Professionals within social work advocate for change, especially for marginalized groups, and work to increase accessibility for these groups to pre-existing services and resources.   Activism Jobs in Social Work    Child welfare specialist  Mental Health Counselor  Case Management Aide  Behavior Supervisor      Policy Analyst    Policy analysts look to implement long-lasting, meaningful policy initiatives. To achieve this goal, they are expected to do the following: Assess the effectiveness of current policy legislation. Conduct extensive research. Consult with third-party stakeholders. Make sure that their policy recommendations align appropriately with their given objectives.   You can specialize in a particular field as a policy analyst. If you are interested in improving healthcare, you can look to be a health policy analyst. If you are interested in improving education, you can look to become an educational policy analyst - and so on.   Policy analysts possess an element of activism when enforcing laws/ recommendations to address social issues impactfully. Little known fact, policy analysis is considered a legal field. Besides the duty to enforce the law and exercise morality in society, legal professions are responsible for protecting the rights of vulnerable citizens and establishing suitable punishments for those who do not comply and put these rights at risk.    Activism Jobs in Law    Lawyer  Probation Officer  Prosecutor  Government Lobbyist    Photojournalist    A picture is worth 1,000 words. As a photojournalist, one intends to capture the compelling narrative of significant events through taking photographs. On top of that, they need to develop captions for their pictures. This job certainly sounds more accessible than it seems. Depending on a photojournalist’s vision, it may require them to travel to different countries to get a genuine glimpse of these events. Of course, these events can be either good (ex. Presidential inauguration) or bad (ex. A natural disaster). To add on, the combination of visual elements (color, size, proportion) can encapsulate engaging dynamics between notable individuals and vivid emotions. It takes a creative talent to excel at this talent truly. Going back to a previous point about the widespread use of technology, it has disrupted the traditional means of photojournalism through newspapers. Alternatively, social media more quickly distributes these impactful images while sparking a conversation online for thousands who are invited to engage freely.    Jobs in the media are crucial in activism. They help to record these precious moments from the present. Years from now, we can look back on these archived photographs or written pieces as evidence of past events. More importantly, the archived material can be a learning resource to have citizens reflect on the dual-sided nature of humanity. With the 'good side' captured in positive world events, we can be more appreciative. With the 'bad side' captured, we can reflect and ensure history does not repeat itself from adverse world events.     Activism Jobs in Media    Documentary Director  Biographical Writer  News Reporter  Social Media Manager    Become a Fundraising Director    A fundraising director generally works within a nonprofit organization (NPO). They work on the financial side as they are responsible for monitoring an NPO’s fundraising patterns. With this responsibility, the director must brainstorm effective fundraising strategies to implement in the local community, create positive relationships with stakeholders (ex. event sponsors, media companies, donors), and prepare crucial documents (ex. Budget statements, press releases).     Fundraising directors can determine the existence of NPOs. If these NPOs cannot obtain government grants or rather the grants cannot cover all the necessary costs, members of the NPO must secure other forms of income. Their money can be generated from merchandise, memberships fees, and mainly donations. By focusing on the longevity of these NPOs, these organizations can hold community events and initiatives that can spread awareness about social issues alongside assisting disadvantaged groups in the community. After all, any extra revenue made by these NPOs is meant to go back and help the community in any way possible.    Activism Jobs in Nonprofit    Grant writer  Community Outreach Worker  Administrative Services Manager  Event Manager    With that, I would like to emphasize that you do not have to wait. You do not have to wait until you achieve an activism-related job to give back to your community. You can give back through volunteering at a local community organization or even donating. Moreover, the amount of information disposable is incredible. We need to utilize this privilege of knowledge to understand the underlying circumstances of social issues, how they vary across countries/ continents, and whether there are pre-existing mechanisms in place to alleviate these social issues. We cannot tackle a problem through naivety and ignorance.     Though, there is another point I want to make. At the start of this article, I mentioned that there are various motivations for one to work. Even if you are not interested in an activism-related career, I want you to know that you should choose a job that fulfills you. Recall around the start of this article where if you were motivated by either Potential, Play, and Purpose, you will find yourself achieving better results. Many of us have encountered a situation where we were inclined towards a specific job just because a friend/ family member wanted us to pursue it. Despite the job not resonating with us, we tried to go down a specific path out of fear of disappointing our loved ones.      How are you supposed to do well out of your job if you find it mundane and draining? Sticking to a job you do not enjoy or feel fulfilled by is a regret that will eat away at you. Everyone has their unique aspirations that they want to reach. No ambition is better than another’s. It is relatively based on an individual’s personality and skill. Even if you do not intend for an activism-related job, we all have to eventually advocate for our desired futures in the face of adulthood.      Work towards your goal, and do not get discouraged.      ------ Work Cited  McGregor, L., & Doshi, N. (2015, November 25). How Company Culture Shapes   Employee Motivation. Retrieved from   https://hbr.org/2015/11/how-company-culture-shapes-employee-motivation
  • Three Benefits of Language Learning, By: Eileen Nu ...

    One of the personal goals that I have been striving for is to learn a new language. In the past academic school year, I’ve had the opportunity to learn Japanese, a language that I’ve wanted to learn for a long time. I never thought I would enjoy learning a language so much, and I’m grateful I had the chance to do so.   Learning a new language comes with many benefits, and today, I want to share with you why you should consider learning a language and some tips and tricks to help you get started!   Three Benefits of Language Learning    1. You get to learn about another culture   You can learn a lot about a culture just by studying their language! When I was studying Japanese, I found it fascinating how Japanese has different approaches to certain social situations and how it has words to phrases that don’t even exist in English! I appreciate my sensei (Japanese for “teacher”) for sharing a bit of her culture with me.   It is not every day that you can engage with cultures and communities outside your own, so language learning is an excellent opportunity to do so! Learning about other cultures is not only fun, but it also widens your perspective. Especially today, the world is getting more connected through technology, and it is important to be open and ready to learn about different cultures.      2. You get to connect with different people outside your own culture   Learning a new language also allows for your network to expand. You will get the opportunity to interact with many other people you could never have interacted with because of a language barrier. Creating those new connections can aid you in your personal life, your professional career, or even when travelling to other countries!    3. Employers love candidates who speak multiple languages  Knowing multiple languages creates more job opportunities and makes you stand out in interviews. In Canada, especially, being bilingual in English and French is an asset that many companies look for because it caters to both the English- and French-speaking communities.   Communication is a big part of an organizational structure. Thus, knowing multiple languages means more access to communication pathways to different communities, opening up more opportunities for the company and you as a worker.     3 Tips and Tricks to Learning a New Language  Are you interested in learning a new language? Here are some tips and tricks for you to get started!    1. Invest in good textbooks and materials to help in your studies  Although language textbooks can be quite 'pricey', finding some that can supplement your learning is well worth it. I would also recommend using flashcards to learn vocabulary or grammar, which has been one of my favourite tools for learning Japanese.     2. Find a good tutor to teach you  Finding the right tutor can be tricky, but the difference between a good and a bad tutor may mean feeling motivated to study or giving up entirely. Here are some ways to find a good teacher:   Check if your university offers any language courses. This is a great way to learn a new language while working towards your degree if you need elective courses.   Online Learning. There are many great apps to help you in your language learning. YouTube, for example, often has great videos on the basics of language learning that you can use to supplement your studies. Other sources include apps like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone.   NOTE: I would not recommend only using these apps to learn a new language; investing in lessons with a professional tutor is also essential.   Find language classes near you. Search your area to see if anyone is offering any language classes. If there are no available classes, there are many alternatives to finding a tutor. For example, Preply or Italki are great websites to find an online tutor.     3. Practice, practice, practice every day   “Practice makes perfect” has never been a truer statement regarding language learning. The key to language learning is to integrate it into your everyday life. Review your notes, vocabulary, grammar, etc., every chance you get and slowly incorporate them into your daily speech.   There is a lot of dedication to learning a new language because it is like adopting a new lifestyle. If you slack off in your studies, it will become harder and harder to pick up where you left off. So, don’t stop learning, and soon, you will see the results of your hard work! 
  • 5 Ways to Connect with your Campus Community, By: ...

    For the past two years, going to school meant signing onto Zoom. Unfortunately, with everything being online, students have found it way harder to connect with their community, make new friends, or experience university life. It’s already hard enough transitioning into university from high school outside of a pandemic; it is now especially challenging because of the lack of in-person interaction.   Community is one of my favourite parts of the university experience—you meet so many new people, gain new experiences, and enjoy school more. So, whether your university has finally returned to in-person learning or decided to stay online for the rest of the year, here are five ways to get more connected with your school community:   1. Attend events and participate There are always so many events happening around campus. These events are an excellent opportunity for you to meet new people and engage with your community. Events can be academic-related, such as writing workshops, or social, such as game nights and competitions.   As someone who has attended and organized many events, I can vouch that they are always super fun! Some examples of events my team has helped organize are a speed-friending event, a gingerbread house competition, and even a drag race! All you have to do is sign up, show up, and participate! These events are a great way to meet new people and have some great fun along the way.   Most universities will have social media accounts or weekly newsletters to inform students of upcoming events. Keep an eye out for these events, register, and participate!     2. Join clubs and organizations   Another great way to connect with others at school is by joining a club or organization. There are always plenty of student-run clubs all around campus. There is something for everyone from more casual clubs, such as book clubs, or more formal clubs, such as student associations.   Start by searching what clubs are available at your university and join one that interests you! Joining a club creates a great opportunity for you to meet people with the same interests as you.     3. Volunteer or take part in a work/study position  Want to help your community a bit more or make some money on the side? Chances are, there are many volunteering and work/study positions available to you. Check out your university’s career portal or look out for opportunities around campus, in emails, or on social media.     4. Create group chats for your classes  Attending an online class can feel lonely. People don’t have their cameras on most of the time, and communicating with your peers is limited. One way to connect with your peers is to create a class group chat! Not only are these group chats helpful when discussing course materials, but you can also make new friends who are part of the same program or year as you. No longer will your peers be black boxes on a screen, but people you can interact with.    5. Connect with your professor  Last but not least, connect with your professor. It might seem strange to be friendly with your professor, but your professors genuinely want you to succeed and want to help. Instead of treating classes as a transactional process, I encourage you to go to office hours, ask questions about the class or assignment, and discuss the class topics more with your professor. Not only will this help you understand the course material more (and help you get a better grade), but this is also a way to network during your time as a student. I’ve had the same professors for a few of my classes, and I have to say, it is very nice when they remember you. 
  • Celebrating Black Diversity in Canada, By: Eileen ...

    With the arrival of February comes Black History Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on Black history in Canada. Diversity always has and will always be part of Canada, and today, Canadian society is proud to accept people from different races and backgrounds. However, we must not forget that racial discrimination persists even in 2022, and we still have a long way to go.   In celebration of Black History Month, here are three notable Black Canadian figures that have paved the way for Black Canadians. Even after February passes, let’s continue celebrating Black diversity all year long.     The Honourable Jean Augustine  In 2002, the Honourable Jean Augustine became the first Black female MP and Cabinet minister in Canada. Later that year, she was also selected to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, and in 2003, was appointed as the Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women).   In parliament, Jean Augustine served for three terms as Chair of the National Liberal Women’s Caucus. In 2005, she retired from politics but remained actively engaged in advocacy work. In 2007, Ontario appointed her as the first Fairness Commissioner, an office that ensured foreign-trained professionals received the credentials required to work in Ontario. In 2014, the Jean Augustine’s Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment was founded, an organization that supports the well-being and prosperity of young women and girls.   In the mid-1990s, Jean Augustine played a significant role in establishing Black History Month in Canada. Back then, many communities celebrated Black culture and history informally, but it was through Jean Augustine’s support and push that aided the unanimous agreement that February would be named Black History Month.  (The Canadian Encyclopedia).    Rosemary Sadlier  From 1993 to 2015, Rosemary Sadlier was the president of the Ontario Black History Society. There, she sought to raise Black history awareness through education, research, and programming.   In 1993, Sadlier proposed the idea of Black History Month to the Honourable Jean Augustine, both of whom played a significant role in pushing the Canadian government to acknowledge February as Black History Month, to which they were successful. In that same year, she also helped establish Emancipation Day, now acknowledged on August 1st. Emancipation Day marks the anniversary of when the British Government abolished slavery. Today, Sadlier continues to spread awareness of Black history throughout Canada.    (Speak Truth to Power Canada).     Dennis Mitchell   Dennis Mitchell is the CEO and CIO of Starlight Capital. Before acquiring this leadership role in 2018, Mitchell held high leadership positions in the financial industry, including the Senior Vice-President for Sprott Asset Management. Mitchell has won several awards, including the Brendan Wood International Canadian TopGun Award in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and the Brendan Wood International 2012 Canadian TopGun Team Leader Award (Starlight Capital).   In a study conducted by Corporate Knights, which surveyed 60 companies, they found that out of the 79 executive leaders, only 6 were Black—that’s less than 1%. Black people make up 3.5% of Canada’s population, and this ratio gives us a stark reminder that although Canada has become much more inclusive, there are still ways to go.  (Toronto Star).  In an interview in The Globe and Mail, Mitchell discussed the importance of diversity in organizations. “When you’re putting together a work force, you want people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. [...] If your work force is diverse, you can pull the answers from a wider range of knowledge and experience.”   . . .   Works Cited  McLeod, Susanna McLeod. “Jean Augustine.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 23 Feb. 2016. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/jean-augustine Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.   “Our Team.” Starlight Capital. https://starlightcapital.com/en/about-us/our-team Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.  Ravilojan, Uhanthaen. “New study finds less than 1 per cent of Canadian corporate leaders are Black.” Toronto Star, 4 July 2020. https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/07/04/less-than-one-per-cent-of-corporate-leaders-at-tsx-60-companies-are-black-researchers-find.html Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.  “Rosemary Sadlier.” Speak Truth to Power Canada. https://sttpcanada.ctf-fce.ca/lessons/rosemary-sadlier/bio/ Accessed 15 Feb. 2022. “Where we stand: Four leaders on being a Black person in corporate Canada - and what needs to change.” The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-where-we-stand-three-leaders-on-being-a-black-person-in-corporate/ Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.    
  • Ten (oft-neglected) ways to optimize your resume, ...

    Alas, the grueling road of resume writing! One spends hours fretting and agonizing over a resume for the glazed eyeballs of future employers skimming through reams of lists and dates and soft skills. How to craft a resume that doesn’t dissipate into the resume-ether? Here are ten frequently neglected tips to help catch an employer’s eye. 1. Skills-based resume  Without thinking, many of us stick to the basic rule: work history first. But if you’re a student applying for a job outside of your work experience, consider a skills-based resume. Here your skills are listed first and emphasized. It shows employers that you’ve developed relevant abilities through untraditional means. You may be fresh on the scene, but that doesn’t mean you’re unprepared.    2. Find key words in job descriptions  Larger companies often use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), software that filters out weaker resumes so human eyes have less to read. One way of appeasing ATS bots: incorporate key words from the job description into your resume (and cover letter, too). If the job requires “time management” skills, note how you successfully managed your time at different jobs. The ATS will see that your resume matches the employer’s requirements. Also, human eyes will see that you’ve read the job description carefully and understand their brand or goals. But balance is everything. Too much copy-and-paste looks lazy and manipulative. Remember: use your own voice!      3. Quantify, Quantify, Quantify  Sometimes a detail, a single number, turns a dull statement into something sharper. Compare: “I helped students achieve better grades,” versus, “I helped forty students achieve grade-A marks.” The latter is precise and concrete. It shows that you’re attentive to your work and allows employers to better process your accomplishments.     4. No to adverbs/adjectives   An old writer’s truth: adverbs and adjectives often (not always!) signify a weak verb. When you have limited space, when your reader will be skimming, concision reigns. A few words need to say a lot. Too many adjectives and adverbs will clog sentences and strain weary eyes. Instead of saying, “I successfully made very accurate predictions on outcomes,” simply say, “I predicted outcomes.” Everything else is unnecessary.      5. Yes to action verbs   Action verbs describe, well, action—things happening. They are dynamic, forceful, and engaging. Instead of writing, “Because of my influence, the math club was popular again,” write, “I revitalized the math club.” 'Revitalized' grabs readers’ attention. It’s more direct and sophisticated.     6.  Avoid cliches   Cliches like “team player” and “hard worker,” as true as they may be, suggest that you haven’t taken the time to write something original. Find language in your own voice, not from a thousand other resumes. Get specific: how were you a hard worker? What separates your hard work from others’? That said, avoid the other extreme: thesaurus writing. In the context of a resume, “indomitable worker” sounds forced and somewhat pretentious.      7. List volunteer work   Some conventional wisdom says that only those with little work experience should list volunteer experience, but this has changed. Yes, volunteer work can show that you’ve acquired relevant skills; it may also suggest something about your integrity as a person. Employers worth their salt look for employees who care for more than monetary success.   8. List successes, not duties   Saying you’ve built a table doesn’t prove you’re good at building tables. Saying you’ve built an award-winning table does.     9. Highlight remote work   As more employment opportunities remain remote, new skills are needed. Have you led a Zoom meeting? Have you worked independently from home? Consider highlighting your remote work on your resume.    10. Keep it clean   When formatting, don’t get creative. Keep things minimal, direct, and consistent. You can’t go wrong with 1-inch margins, 12-point font, and Times New Roman. If you want a little spice to stand out from the crowd, keep it subtle and cohesive. Do everything possible to cushion the employer’s weary eyeballs. Remember, within a short period of time, you want them to know who you are and what you offer. Fancy borders, weird fonts, and a plethora of emphasized words is tiring and unprofessional. A well-structured resume demonstrates your ability to structure things. Your resume’s aesthetics is the first impression you’ll give.    
  • Kick-starting Your Career with a Canada Grant

    It’s a truism and an understatement: Starting a career in the arts or a creative industry is difficult. But for some, a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts could be the first step. You don’t need to belong to the stereotypical “arts crowd”—thespians, musicians, illustrators, etc. Canada Council supports a range of creative types: programmers interested in emerging digital arts, gymnasts interested in circus arts, engineers interested in the artsy side of robotics—the list goes on. You can apply for grants at any time, for substantial amounts (tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands), for projects of any span (okay, most spans—think weeks to a few years). A grant can help you develop a portfolio for that dream company or provide the needed expertise to start your own company. If you want to build a non-profit (say an arts program for low-income families or a festival that celebrates deaf and disabled artists), then developing your own artistic practice may be the first step toward future funding and opportunities. Regardless, Canada Council grants look great on resumes and CVs. They show that professionals in your field—who are hired to assess applications—believe in your project and abilities.    Obtaining a grant is a particularly competitive process, but don't let that sway you. Applications are free, and Canada Council is committed to supporting new voices. Peruse the website: you might qualify for as a “New/Early Career Artist,” an applicant profile that requires little experience and keeps you from competing with veterans who’ve perfected their craft. Canada Council also commits to supporting underrepresented voices. There are particular opportunities for Indigenous or deaf and disabled artists. If you have a disability or face cultural or language barriers, you may qualify for “Application Assistance” where someone helps assemble your proposal. And while the application process is long, it’s straightforward: introduce a project, supply a sample of your work, and create a tentative schedule and budget. Four or five months later, the results are in.     I’ve talked to those who have applied for Canada Council grants and those who have assessed Canada Council applications. I've also won one myself. If you’re interested in applying, here’s some wisdom I’ve gathered:  Start early. Like, months before the deadline. This pertains to both the application and your project. Before applying, you must create a “profile” that, among other things, shows you’re committed to your discipline. The “New/Early Career Artist” profile, for instance, asks for some evidence of “training, experience or accomplishments” within your field. Then, once your profile is accepted, the application may require long responses to difficult questions. Five hundred words explaining how your project will contribute something new to the genre and yourself: more difficult than it sounds! Also, if you begin your project before applying, you will have a better sense of what you’re proposing and how to propose it. Projects can billow in unexpected ways; you want your budget to cover your costs. Grant writing is an artform. Start now and take it slow!  Don’t get fancy. I’ve heard a grant assessor emphasize the importance of clear, unpretentious project proposals. Often artists will have a strong intuitive grasp of their project, which, when translated to paper, seems convoluted or ostentatious. Remember: assessors may read your application at the end of a long day, hours beyond their last coffee. Keep it neat and down-to-earth. You’re selling a proposal, not a finished product. Assessors are artists too, and they know projects have nuances and theoretical underpinnings that cannot be fully articulated in an application. They know end results may look quite different than what’s first proposed. Concentrate on writing an elegant, compelling proposal, even if means leaving out certain aspects of your project.  Don’t be afraid to ask for money. Assessors find that emerging artists frequently ask for too little. You want to demonstrate a realistic understanding of your project’s viability. Don’t be sheepish; be fiscally truthful.    All in all, don’t be discouraged by rejection. I’ve heard a grant assessor call the process a “lottery.” Assessors, no matter how open and fair, are humans with preferences and perspectives. A rejected project isn’t necessarily a subpar project. An editor at a respected press told me that one of their authors, despite years of applying, hadn’t received a Canada grant. Why? Who knows. He’s a talented writer who’s published several books with a respected press. The point: rejection, or the fear of rejection, shouldn’t keep you from trying. Keep going for it!     
  • An Introvert's Guide to Networking During a Pandem ...

    Ah, networking! Can we agree it's an introvert’s worst nightmare?! I’m sure many of us would rather put pins in our eyes than attend a five-hundred-person networking convention, or awkwardly amble around handing out resumes and business cards. For an introvert, networking is not only anxiety-inducing, it’s physically and emotionally exhausting. Luckily there are ways to make the process a little bit easier.  Whether it’s making the most of your close personal relationships, taking advantage of the current COVID-related restrictions, or increasing your online presence, there are many introvert-friendly ways to network effectively. Here are a few tips and tricks to make networking more stress-free for introverts.    Make the Best out of a Bad Situation The current state of the world isn’t exactly ideal, but when it comes to networking, we can try to make the best out of a bad situation. Introverts may find a kind of guilty pleasure in the current climate. Being forced to spend more time at home also means that there’s a great excuse to avoid all unnecessary physical and social contact! While it may seem like the worst time in the world to network, for introverts, networking just got much easier.   Most networking events are now digital, which removes much of what makes them so stressful and exhausting for introverts. Would you rather attend an in-person networking convention with hundreds of people, or sit in the comfort of your own home and simply leverage your online presence?  If you’ve considered attending a networking event but are put-off by the idea of large crowds, then join a virtual event. Where you would have previously made only local connections, digital networking opens the door to endless new possibilities.    Go Online  Establishing yourself online is not just a professional asset, in the current climate, it’s crucial. With businesses, events, and just about everything else transitioning to the digital realm due to this pandemic, it is has become just as important for us to move our own professional and personal achievements online.     Polish up your social media accounts: Refine your LinkedIn profile, put your profession (or your desired one) in your social media bios, and join job-specific Facebook groups.  Make sure you’re staying active on social media: There’s no need to leave the house, take just 10 minutes a day to interact with accounts and posts that inspire you. If your goal is to one day work in marketing, follow inspiring marketing professionals and take a few minutes during your morning coffee break to like and comment on their posts. This not only increases the likelihood of building a relationship with the individual, but also elevates your online presence, making it easier for other aspiring or established professionals to come across your account.     Don’t Underestimate the Power of Existing Contacts (i.e. Friends and Family)  A large part of what makes networking so intimidating is the idea of reaching out to total strangers. It goes without saying that meeting new people is the key to networking, but there is no reason that this can’t be done through existing close connections.   Maybe your friend is close with someone that works for a company you’re interested in, or maybe a family member happens to have connections with someone who is interviewing for an exciting internship. Whoever it is, your network and professional opportunities can be increased tenfold simply by reaching out to your nearest and dearest for help. Whether it’s a cousin, a dad, a best friend, an old acquaintance: reach out and ask! Not to mention, ties with close friends and family greatly increases the probability for new relationships to be more long-lasting and meaningful. If this feels intimidating, write a list of the people you’re closest to: Start with your closest friends and family to get more comfortable with the idea of reaching out. With time, you may feel confident enough to also rebuild old connections.  Despite the current restrictions, people all over the world are more within reach and more eager to make meaningful connections than ever before. Though forming new relationships can be particularly difficult for introverts, now really is the best time to go online, leverage your social media and job platforms (like this one), and reach out to those closest to you.  
  • Why Humanitarian Work Should be on Your Resume, By ...

    I wouldn't recommend underestimating the value of volunteer and humanitarian aid experience. Not only can humanitarian aid experience be grounding but it also empowers networking, skill development, and a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves through community. A few years ago, I took part in an initiative by my high school that focused on poverty alleviation in a small city in Malaysia. For a year, we worked through various fundraising projects to collect enough money to help kids in Sabah, Malaysia build a school for their community. There was an option at the end of the school year to go to Malaysia and actively help in building the school. Truthfully, the cost of the trip, as well as the fact that it would take up most of the summer, almost deterred me from going. However, I really wanted to be able to see the village and people for whom our team was collecting funds. Luckily, I did  go and the highlight was meeting the kids, teachers, and the community in-person. Connecting with people, learning how to lay cement, carrying barrels of rocks and construction equipment...everyday was tiring and incredibly rewarding. My friends and I learned so much during the trip that we implemented the practical and theoretical lessons into our lives when we returned home. I share this with you because as a third-year student of York University, I found myself hesitant to even apply for many of the internships I was interested in because I didn't have work experience but decided to take a chance on myself and apply anyway. Much to my delight, I did secure an internship with Orbis and Outcome Campus Connect, and have recently landed a summer internship for Public Policy. Both times, my volunteer experience, genuine interest for their companies, and willingness to learn gave me a competitive edge. In short? There are so many reasons humanitarian work should be on your resume, these are just some of mine and how I was empowered to where I am now by empowering others.  
  • Travel While Working or Work While Travelling

    Did you ‘catch the travel bug’ for good? You’re not alone and you don’t have to give it up. If a life of travel is a way of life for you then it’s time to consider a career in travel. Now, post-pre-whatever part we’re in, globally, pandemic-wise there are so many career options to consider because not only are their roles that require and empower travel but remote means the geographic point where you work is changeable.   This said, here are a few career choices that will support you to travel, while working - or work while travelling!  Tour Guide: As a tour guide you lead groups who have paid the business you work for (or you) through various regions, ensuring the safety and overall experience of customers is fulfilled. This role means you’re always learning, immersing yourself in various cultures, perhaps acquiring new language skills, and adventuring.              - Companies to consider: G Adventures. Butterfield & Robinson    Retail Buyer: As a retail buyer you are responsible for planning, budgeting, managing, sourcing, testing, and sourcing the products or apparel items that a company sells and a big part of this means visiting suppliers internationally or ‘sourcing’ the right items to maintain and expand sales.             - Companies to consider: Aritzia, Zara, Hudson’s Bay Indigo Virtual Assistant: As a virtual assistant you are available to support customers, remotely, through their virtual assistant offerings - like pop-up chat, or ‘support’ channels online.              - Companies to consider: Most businesses have virtual chat, so the world ‘is your oyster’ on this one.  Consultant: Consultant work for companies to analyze their current conditions, frameworks, offerings, messaging, and workplace cultures, even, to recommend informed approaches at betterment. Consultants can be ‘business consultants’, ‘marketing consultants’, ‘strategists’, or ‘financial consultants’ for example.            - Companies to consider: Bain & Company, Mckinsey & Company, Ernst & Young, Publicis International Aid Worker: As an international aid worker you improve the conditions of a region and the community in it by supporting those in need – in particular, in the developing world. This can involve responding to emergency situations, like disasters, war, or flooding, and the aim is to help others.            - Companies to consider: Oxfam international, Canadian Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders  Engineer: An engineer uses knowledge of math, science, and design to build and test various structures. This role means budgeting, planning and approving design specifications, creating and using detailed drawings, and more. As an engineer you may choose to work in civil, mechanical, chemical, or industrial arenas, for example. This role comes with a great deal of responsibility. You don’t wear ‘the iron ring’ without recognizing that what you build must uphold those who use it and protect them!             - Companies to consider: Aecon Corporation, EllisDon Athletic Recruiter: The name says it all. As an athletic recruiter you are responsible for keeping tabs on who is up and coming from university leagues or opposing teams and working to assess the success, cost/budgeting, and ways to acquire their athletic skills for your team.            - Companies to consider: NCSA Sports, individual sports teams  The above are more out of the box examples of the types of roles that undoubtedly require travel, we didn't even include the obvious like: working for an airline, travel advisory, ESL (English as a Second Language) Instruction, working on a cruise ship, travel photography/writing/journalism, content curation, and so on. As mentioned, today so many companies are unconcerned with where you live when you work and more concerned with how you contribute to their teams and growth - the skills you bring. Gaining experience in your hopeful fields always lays the foundation for 'take off' no matter what path you choose.
  • Scholarships Available in Canada & How to Apply, b ...

    Financial strain is a burden to anyone - particularly post-secondary students. The pandemic has exasperated this strain, creating a job shortage and diminished overall job prospects. But, before you panic, there are resources available to support you. You can fund a portion of your post-secondary expenses by securing a line of credit from a bank or applying for provincial/ federal grants and loans. Scholarships are another means to fund your education, and frankly, I believe it is one of the most underutilized options out there. Advice on Weighing Your Scholarship Options In Canada, the value of unclaimed scholarships, annually, can amount to over $10 million (Edwardson, 2021).  This number is so absurd that it makes you wonder why exactly all of us students aren't jumping at this free money. One reason could be that students may feel as though they are not qualified enough to be in the running for a scholarship. When 'scholarship' comes to mind, you would probably imagine an essay-writing competition open to students, where the best written essay is awarded a cash prize or may see the winner of scholarships as all-around students with a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) and strong involvement in their schools/ communities. All of these thoughts can be intimidating. Truthfully, all scholarships do not follow such a rigid structure nor demand for exceptional feats. Scholarship opportunities are offered by a plethora of organizations/ companies that demand a unique set of requirements - requirements you might not have thought. Although some scholarships may look at specifically academic performance or volunteer experience, extracurriculars, or ask for you to write a small essay about why you would be a great recipient (many company-funded scholarship applications ask this), others may simply ask for your resume or to input your contact information - you could win based on a random draw. Yes, scholarship opportunities come in a variety of forms! If you are a tall first-year student entering university or college, there's a scholarship for you: consider applying to the Tall Clubs International (TCI) Foundation scholarship; for the minimum height requirement, they are looking for females that are 5' 10" and males that are 6' 2.” Unorthodox? Maybe. An opportunity you probably didn't know was out there, that could help finance your education - yep! Landing a Scholarship Means Additional Support Beyond The Financial Planning out your scholarship applications is done similarly as one would prepare a resume and cover letter. Like a resume and cover letter, you would not put all your extracurriculars and community experiences onto your scholarship application. You would pay attention to the scholarship requirements and tailor your application based on that. With that, applying to scholarships can reinforce your critical thinking and make you more accustomed to marketing your desirability. This can translate to the job search as you try to advertise your employability to open companies. Speaking of employability, certain scholarships offer mentorship and exclusive activities (e.g networking or research opportunities) to its recipients.  Having a mentor would be a great asset in directly guiding your professional development and getting a grasp of your goals. You have someone you can come to for questions and concerns that you may feel uncomfortable opening up to others about. Networking does not hurt either.  Maintaining a diverse web of connections can come in handy in exposure to unique job insights and understanding what values and skills employers look out for. Who you know can take you far, especially when you have a dream career in mind! Further, winning a scholarship is a feat worth placing on your resume - no doubt. It can make a great talking point in job interviews and exemplifies your initiative to go after what you desire. You've Got to Start Somewhere When you dedicate the time and energy, scholarships can certainly be worthwhile. They carry a handful of benefits in not only financially supporting the post-secondary expenses of students, but also present a tool in molding themselves into an ideal job candidate. With seeing the bright side of scholarships, it is time to work on where to start exactly.  A good place to start would be your post-secondary institution. Colleges and universities offer scholarships that are limited solely to their attending students, so I recommend reaching out to yours to understand their process for applying to in-school scholarships. You can also ask around within your connections of family members and friends to see if they know of any organizations/ companies that are currently offering any scholarships. Hands down, the biggest tool at your fingertips for this scholarship hunt would be online scholarship websites. They bring immense accessibility and awareness to scholarships that you would otherwise never hear about. When it comes to my personal scholarship hunt, I recommend the use of Scholarships Canada, ScholarTree, Student Awards, and Yconic.  I guess what I'm saying here is, you don't have to financially support your post-secondary journey alone. At least, you have options work toward. While preparing for, submitting you application, and trying doesn't mean you'll land a scholarship, the options out there are far more abundant and varied than you may have thought. If you don't try, you'll never know, right? And that, friends, is worth its weight in gold!!! Final Tips to Land a Scholarship: Create a spreadsheet/ Calendar of scholarships, their corresponding requirements, and deadlines.  Be sure to start early. Plan out time in your schedule into making scholarship applications Given that you meet the minimum requirements, apply to as many scholarships as you can If scholarships require letters of recommendations, reach out to your postsecondary professors at an early date to see if they are available. If they aren’t available, try asking your former employers or volunteer/ extracurricular supervisors. Proofread and revise your scholarship application before submitting Be confident and proud of your accomplishments, regardless of whether you win the scholarship. It will motivate you more to continue applying, and it will shine through in your application
  • Meet Brenda Nguyen, OCC Content Writer

    My name is Brenda Nguyen, and I'm a recent (honours) graduate from Humber College’s Graphic Design program! Since graduating, I've been working, 'in print', as a Junior Prepress Technician and, 'in digital', as an OCC Student Journalist. I also run a small business (NGYN Designs) and volunteer in content creation with AZN Zine (creating social media posts and layouts for their digital and print magazine), and with my local church. In short? I do a little bit of a lot of things...and I'm learning how to manage all these 'things' as I go. I am super excited to join the OCC content team as a student journalist and to grow my experiences and knowledge about digital content creation. I will be sharing my tips and tricks on graduating, job-seeking, and working throughout a pandemic because these are subjects I always navigated, and am still navigating, and wish someone had shared with me. Hopefully, by imparting what I’ve learned (and what I’m continuing to learn), I can help ease some of the anxiety of graduating and job-seeking in a highly competitive and unprecedented environment.  
  • Lollipop Moments: Redefining Leadership, By: Eilee ...

    Today, I wanted to share a video that my team shows us every year as a reminder that leadership is not always about grand gestures and breakthrough moments but can be something as simple as a kind gesture or a helping hand.   In the Ted Talk above, Drew Dudley does a fantastic job redefining leadership. I encourage you to watch the video when you get the chance and think about your lollipop moments! This could be a moment where you impacted someone in a small way or a situation where someone else has impacted you. Many times, the word ‘leadership’ can be daunting because there are preconceived notions about how a leader should be—assertive, taking charge, and being successful—but I wanted to show how leadership is not always like that. Even small actions of leadership should be celebrated.  To drive home this thought, I wanted to share with you my lollipop moment of a professor who greatly impacted me during my time at university. In my introductory blog post, I talked a bit about myself, noting that I’m studying English and Philosophy. Although the reason I decided on being an English major is straightforward—I simply love reading, writing, and analyzing text—the reason I also chose to study philosophy is very different.   In my first year, I took a wide range of courses to see what other courses were available, and I took an introductory philosophy course to see what philosophy was about. The content of the course drew me in, but what sparked my passion for philosophy was the professor. My professor always came to class with a bright smile on his face, delivered his lectures with extreme giddiness and passion, and always made classes so enjoyable. For that reason, I decided to continue studying philosophy, and to this day, he is still one of my favourite professors.   This professor didn’t do anything newsworthy, but the simple act of just being passionate about his work and caring towards his students encouraged me to pursue the field. Although I didn’t speak with this professor often, he was one of the reasons that led me towards my particular educational path. This is an excellent example of how our day-to-day actions significantly impact the people around us, and it is important to be aware of that. We have a lot of power in our actions, and we don’t necessarily have to have a leadership title to lead others around us. So, I encourage you to lead with lollipop moments and share your own lollipop moment with us! 
  • Is Loving Your Job a Unicorn with a Rainbow Horn?

    Studies have shown that over half of Canadians hate their jobs and over half of our country's senior managers are considering quitting due to exhaustion: Is the idea of loving your job 'a unicorn with a rainbow horn'? While statistics give us a meager fifty-fifty chance of happiness in our jobs, studies also show passionate workers outperform their peers, accelerating their career journeys. The trick to landing on the upswing of that fifty-fifty is to see each role, even the ones you aren't excited about, as an opportunity to learn something new, improve, and advance your personal career journey. To back us up, here is how some wickedly successful people started their careers: Jeff Bezos - McDonalds Bernie Sanders  - carpenter Elon Musk - lumber mill worker Ellen Degenres - oyster shucker Richard Branson - amateur 'bird breeder' In short, your first roles won't likely be love at first sight but will teach, test, and strengthen you for what's next. Like any good 'unicorn', your ideal role will also be hard to catch, rare, and highly valued aka: extremely competitive. This said, the only myth in finding your ideal role is that it's luck - the competitive advantage you need to end up where you'll truly love your job is acquired through skill and experience building - through time. This said, here are 3 easy ways to (try) to love your job (even if you don't like it): See it for what it is: A stepping stone. This means approaching your days strategically so that you squeeze the most value out of your work for your personal and professional (hard and soft skill) development.    Write down a list of skills and experiences you want to be able to own and articulate: Apply yourself toward those skills and experiences each day and document what you did so that you can easily articulate this new value to your future employer.    Find a mentor: Look within the company and see if there are roles that you can work toward, ones that excite you more than where you're at, and then find a mentor within the company - someone who can teach, motivate, and inspire you (maybe even advocate for you).  Loving your job is earned. Like anything valuable, a great career takes time, dedication, and patience. We're not saying that following the above three steps will instantly make you feel positive about your work but reframing how you see your work can make your pursuit toward bigger goals more meaningful - and that, well, that's something to love.
  • Why Fake It 'Til You Make It is Bad Advice & How t ...

    “Fake it ‘till you make it.”  Sounds like solid advice right? If you’re not confident, just pretend that you are and the confidence will follow. Not so fast! As a new grad, who has gone through the interview process many times, I've learned to do better. Knowing what you're doing is one thing but admitting when you don't know can be much more valuable. In fact, it tops my list on why you should NOT fake it 'til you make it.   1. Admit When You Don’t Know I promise, it’s going to look a lot better if you’re upfront about what you don’t know than if you pretend you do know it. Honesty is more valuable than embellishment of your skills and knowledge base. This approach also helps employers help you because they can teach you, and help fill your skills gaps, at the beginning of your training with them. During one of my interviews, the manager asked me how much knowledge I had about the field. As it was the first job remotely in my field that I was interviewing for, I told him I didn’t know much. He told me he knew that I was a new grad and that I had no work experience. It wasn’t necessarily a trick question, but he wanted to see how much I was willing to admit. And because I was upfront, even though I didn’t meet all the requirements as an applicant, he was ready to give me a chance.     2. Be Willing To Learn “I don’t know, but I’m willing to learn” is such a powerful sentence. It shows that you’re taking the initiative to follow through and be proactive about your learning. I lack experience and knowledge as a new grad, and chances are you will too—there’s no shame in that. However, when I was hired, my manager told me that he appreciated that I said that I was willing to learn when I didn’t know the answers to certain things he asked me. It let him know that I was ready to put in the work and not be passive about it.   3. Ask Questions Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It shows that you want to take charge of your learning and know what you need to learn. As mentioned earlier, you’re not going to know everything about the field you’re in. Even when you gain more experience, you’re never going to know everything, so ask the questions. Then, take that step to make sure you know what you need to know about the job you’re doing.  I ask my manager and coworkers for clarification about what I need to be doing daily, if not multiple times a day. When new tasks come up that I’ve never done before, I make sure to ask how to do it. It reiterates that I want to know, and I’m not just going to sit around and wait for someone to ask if I know what I’m doing.  In my experience, “fake it ‘till you make it” hasn’t been a valuable piece of advice (however well-intentioned). It tells us that we’re not allowed 'not to know' and that we can’t ask questions or make mistakes. It forces us to paint the best picture of ourselves to employers and be inevitably disappointed in ourselves when we mess up or don't meet the mark. Instead of 'faking it 'till you make it' why not do better? Try bringing your whole, true self to work and be open to learning - especially from peers or mentors. You may be surprised what you can do…  
  • Five Less-Obvious Careers for English Graduates, b ...

    When asking the question, “What can I do with my English degree?” the first careers that typically come to mind often include writers, librarians, or teachers. While these are great options for many English graduates, they only scratch the surface of possible careers available to someone with an English Degree. The broad and transferrable skills (such as communication and critical thinking) developed as an English major means that English graduates are prevalent in almost every industry.   So, what can you do with an English degree? This article will break down five less-typical career paths (with salaries) that you may want to consider as an English major.           1. Marketing Executive  If you have a creative flair and found yourself enjoying the research-based, analytical side of your major, then you may want to consider a career in marketing.  As a marketing executive, you will need to produce creative, eye-catching content to help campaign for and promote a product or service, such as videos and blog posts. Ultimately, the goal is to help develop and create more awareness of the company’s brand and ethos.  Other responsibilities involve conducting market research, writing/proofreading marketing copy for campaigns, and building customer relationships.  To succeed in this role, you will need to be creative and analytical, have strong interpersonal abilities to liaise with customers and clients effectively, and possess a well-rounded commercial awareness.  Median Salary: Marketing Executive: $51,202, Marketing Manager: $64,065            2. Human Resources  An HR Officer’s overall goal is to look after employees by providing adequate training opportunities and dealing with workplace grievances.  The responsibilities of a human resources officer include promoting diversity and equality, enforcing workplace policies, recruitment, and ensuring the welfare of all staff.  As a human resources assistant, effective communication (both written and verbal) is critical - an area where English majors shine! You will also need strong interpersonal skills, as employees will need to feel that they can approach you to discuss personal, confidential, and, often, sensitive issues.  Median Salary: HR Assistant: $41,500, HR Manager: $70,721          3. Events Manager/Planner  If you find yourself thriving in a fast-paced environment and have a strong set of interpersonal and organizational skills, then consider a career in events management.  An events manager’s primary responsibilities involve producing proposals for events, researching venues, and negotiating with clients and suppliers, managing staff, and all-in-all making sure that the event in question runs smoothly and within budget. Events managers are usually hired by corporations such as hotels, charities, and business associations, but some are self-employed, working on a project-by-project basis.  Excellent communication and attention to detail is the key to success in this role. An events manager must also have strong organizational skills, problem-solving abilities, and experience managing projects.  Median Salary: $53,462           4. Paralegal/Legal Assistant  Though some English graduates go on to complete a three-year graduate degree on their journey to becoming a lawyer, there are other routes into the legal realm that are less timely (and less costly)! If you are an English major interested in pursuing a career in law but are unsure about pursuing a graduate degree, then you might want to consider a career as a paralegal.  As a paralegal, responsibilities vary greatly depending on the type of employer. Still, they typically include drafting and proofreading legal documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, analyzing legal data, and providing support in the courtroom at hearings and trials.  To succeed in this role, you will need to be detail-oriented and technologically savvy. Effective communication (much like within the other roles we’ve discussed) is also critical.  To become a paralegal in Canada, you will need to complete a paralegal diploma, which can be completed in as little as 12 months.  Median Salary: $53,409            5. Public Relations (PR)  If you’re quick-thinking, adaptable, and can cope well under pressure, then maybe consider a role in public relations.   In general, a public relations officer uses all forms of communications and media to manage the image and reputation of their client. These clients can range from businesses to public bodies.  Responsibilities within a role in public relations involve planning and implementing PR strategies, researching and distributing press releases to targeted media, monitoring media opportunities, and managing social media platforms.   To succeed in this role, you will need excellent interpersonal and writing skills, organization, and creativity.   Median Salary: $65,908    If you have an English degree, you will be a strong candidate for roles in various industries. If none of the above careers interest you, there are many alternative opportunities to consider. Other possibilities include multiple careers in psychology (with additional studies), media and journalism, publishing, freelance writing, and translation.     All information on median salaries sourced from payscale.com 
  • The Canadian Mobility and Aerospace Institute Offe ...

    Orbis and Magnet are excited to announce that The Canadian Mobility and Aerospace Institute (CMAI) is turning to Outcome Campus Connect to reach students and graduates nationwide, with new WIL opportunities in the mobility sector. Through Outcome Campus Connect, CMAI is supporting the next generation workforce with skill building experiences meaningful to pursuing careers in aerospace and mobility. Universities and colleges using Outcome Campus Connect will receive these new WIL opportunities, elevating support for students in the wake of this pandemic.    “We are excited to extend our reach to even more students, from all fields and levels of study, through this partnership with Outcome Campus Connect. It reflects the collaborative spirit that has distinguished CMAI since its inception in 2018,” said Sylvain Larochelle, Chair of the Board and Technology Collaboration Office Manager.    Using Outcome Campus Connect, CMAI expands recruitment for their new WIL opportunities to a highly targeted demographic of students and graduates across Canada. Streamlining early talent recruitment is a strategic ingredient required to support the anticipated growth of these sectors through the support of post-secondary students. CMAI architected all WIL opportunities to offer the future workforce hands-on, multidisciplinary experiences reflective of what their prospective employers need for rapid business growth in a post-pandemic era.   “We’re thrilled to be working with the team at CMAI and appreciate their thoughtful approach to reaching students and graduates with opportunities to enhance their futures and our nation’s aerospace and mobility sectors,” says Daniel Gagné, Product Success Coach and On-boarder, Outcome Campus Connect, at Orbis. “Collaborations and use of the platform like this will have a tremendously positive, long-term impact.”    All WIL opportunities will funnel into Outcome Campus Connect, one of the channels that CMAI is using to build an early, career-ready talent recruitment pipeline for the aerospace and mobility sectors. Outcome Campus Connect is Canada’s skill development and job opportunity platform built for university and college students and empowered by a network of partners working together to support the next generation workforce with access to skills and opportunities to gain experience and get hired. ?   About CMAI Founded in 2018, the?Canadian Mobility and Aerospace Institute?(CMAI) is a pan-Canadian non-profit organization that provides work-based learning opportunities for students from post-secondary institutions in the mobility sectors (aerospace, rail, marine, land). Among its services, CMAI offers a talent and workforce development tool known as?Placement SPOT. Placement SPOT offers value-added collaborative services for both students and companies. It aims to support students and develop their skills. In concrete terms, CMAI and its members – SMEs, large corporations, and post-secondary institutions – organize internships, mini-WILs, and micro-WILs for the benefit of students. The WIL activities are made possible by two partnerships. One with BHER with funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development and one funded by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning program.    About Outcome Campus Connect  Outcome Campus Connect is Canada’s skill development and job opportunity platform built for university and college students or recent graduates. It is Canada’s largest campus recruiting platform and experiential learning resource for university and college students. Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as a part of the Student Work Placement Program, Outcome Campus Connect is free for all students, graduates, post-secondary institutions, employers, and delivery partners. The platform is offered in partnership between Orbis and Magnet and empowered by its network of partners supporting the next generation workforce to get experience and get hired.    About Orbis  Orbis develops experiential learning and recruitment software solutions, unpacks data, and drives mindsets that lead to institutional growth through student and graduate potential fulfillment. Through?Outcome,?Outcome Campus Connect, and?Mindset, we have supported post-secondary institutions and employers to drive the success of over 1,000,000 students and graduates and 350,000 businesses. We believe experience matters and have twenty years of it.    About Magnet  Magnet is a digital social innovation platform, founded at Ryerson University. Through the Magnet Network, our mission is to accelerate inclusive economic growth for all in Canada by advancing careers, businesses, and communities. Through Outcome Campus Connect, Magnet enables employers from all sectors and regions to post job opportunities for free and connect to early talent across the country easily and quickly.     
  • Meet Fahmida Islam, OCC Graduate Journalist

    My name is Fahmida, and I graduated from UofT with a life science degree. I am very excited to be part of the OCC Journalist team because it gives me a platform to share my experiences as a recent graduate. I wish I had this during undergrad because I love learning from others' experiences. Everyone's career and learning path are different. My journey begins in healthcare, working mainly with seniors. I'm excited to share advice and stories with fellow graduates and students, informed by my current roles as an assistant at a psychology lab, a community organization worker, and a volunteer. Look out for my pieces on navigating jobs, internships, and volunteering with a life-science degree.
  • Meet Ariana Calvachi, OCC Student Journalist

    As an Ecuadorian living 5,000 km away from home, adapting to new surroundings has been quite a challenge but the first step to my dream of becoming a journalist - a dream I've had since I was a little girl. Journalism is a good fit for my personality because I am ambitious, generous, thoughtful, determined, and calm. I believe in fighting for what you desire, no matter the obstacles.  I´m a full-time student, and I will be entering my fourth year in the fall at St.Thomas University in NB, Fredericton, where I´ll complete my major in Journalism with a minor in Communications. I continue to be motivated by my love of learning and writing. It is my goal to become an outstanding and successful woman in today´s society. I want to become a professional and well-known journalist who empowers the voices of others.  My passion for writing also awakens my curiosity and leads me to explore different fields of knowledge such as arts, science, and history. I dedicate my time to learn from the outside world since it makes me grow and understand the different situations in which people find themselves daily. That's why in the summer of 2019, I was an intern at Diners Club International. In this role, I engaged in a community project while working with Human Resources to better their customers’ experience.  As an artist and writer, I have written several pieces alongside The Aquinian as their reporter - jumping outside my comfort zone to connect with my community. Since the pandemic hit, I have pushed to adapt my journalistic skills online, but even though many challenges presented themselves, I pulled through, and it was worth it.  A new chapter in my career journey is now starting as a part of the Orbis’ OCC Student and Graduate Journalist Team, where I am excited to keep developing myself as a professional. I’m looking forward to exploring my fields of study, connecting with projects to help my community, and gaining experience.    
  • The Work Environment: Does it Work for You or Do Y ...

      As a pandemic grad, I know how intimidating finding a job can be. Online applications can be daunting and online interviews can be few and far between. So it’s a huge relief to receive an offer of employment from somewhere finally, and most new grads, myself included, jump at the opportunity immediately.  Something you should remember is that as much as employers are vetting you through the interview process, you’re vetting them too. Part of the interview process for them is seeing if you fit the company. So during the interview and probationary period, you should also be seeing if they’re a fit for you. But how do you know that place is right for you?  What should you be looking for in a place of employment?  Here are three questions I’ve kept in mind throughout interviews and during my time working.   ——   1. What is the Training Process? How do you learn best? Are you someone who needs to walk through the process of doing something a couple of times before picking it up? Are you someone who likes figuring out how to do things independently? Do you like taking notes while being shown what to do so you can follow your takeaways for future reference? Think about all this, and ensure that employers can appropriately accommodate what you need to fee onboarded. As new grads, you’re not going to know everything about the field you’re entering. There will be a training process, whether on procedures, protocols, software, hardware, and more. If you’re told that the training process is relatively hands-off and you need that extra guidance, maybe that isn’t the place for you and vice-versa.   2. What is the Management Style? Is management overly involved? Distant? Available? Take that into account with your work style; what do you need from your manager? Do you need them to be around or more hands-off? Do you want daily check-ins? Weekly? Bi-weekly?  Management is a considerable part of the way you view your job and can affect whether you enjoy working or not. For example, you may love the field you’ve chosen for yourself, but if the management style doesn’t work for you, it may be hard to love your job. Vice-versa, if you struggle to find enjoyment in your new work (the job), but management is stellar, it can be easier to find joy in your role.   3. What Kind of Atmosphere is It? You can only really answer the above question after you’ve started working. Discovering what your co-workers and the departments are like comes through interaction with your team. Everyone needs different qualities out of their workplace atmosphere. For example, if you go into work expecting to talk to your co-workers about things that may be unrelated to work, maybe you’d prefer a more casual atmosphere. Your coworkers can make up a big part of how you view your job. If you don’t get along with them or the department’s atmosphere isn’t what you want in a workplace, maybe that isn’t the place for you. It may take a period of adjustment for you to figure out your groove with your coworkers, but give it ample time! You’ll soon see if the atmosphere is conducive to growth within and outside your workplace.   ——   Based on these questions, I’ve figured out what I want (and alternatively what I don’t want) in an employer. It’s helped me be a little pickier in what I’m looking for in work and filter out what I’m not looking for. Being “picky” isn’t bad; remember that you’re an asset to the company as much as they are to you. Make sure companies meet your criteria as much as you’re meeting theirs; this is an equal partnership, even if it’s not presented that way. Check to ensure that your work environment works for you as much as you work for the company.  
  • How to Use the STAR Method in an Interview 

    Remember: Situation, task, action, and result. Simple enough, right?  Simple is good and it's memorable, which, in this case, is very good. Often the most complex interview questions derive from a competency-based inquiry. For example, “Tell me about a time when you faced a challenging situation and what you did about it.”  If you have work experience – if you have been an intern, worked co-op or in a work placement, or flexed your career as a part-time employee – it will be easier to seamlessly answer a competency-based question in an interview. If you have not, there’s no time like now to think on moments in life that have tested your skills and encouraged problem-solving to good results.  Suffice to say, using the STAR method will help in any interview and here is how you do it: When you’re asked to reflect on or elaborate on a time you faced a hurdle and overcame it start with ‘S’ and work your way to ‘R’:  Situation – Communicate the foundational information to lay the groundwork for their understanding of what the situation was that you were faced with.  Task – Explain your role within this situation, for example, were you a team lead or a support? What was it that you were specifically tasked to do?   Action – Explain what action you took within the context of this role and this situation outlined.  Result – Give a high-level overview of what the result was in the scenario you have been discussing and how achieving the desired result helped the team to overcome the obstacles or hurdles that threatened progress initially. Don’t hesitate to explore what you learned from the entire process.  Example:   Question: Tell me about a time you confronted a stressful situation and how you handled it?  Situation: Our senior graphic designer left without providing notice and we were in the middle of a large-scale brand strategy project, days left until the deadline, and the clients were eager to see the results. Being short on both time and staff was a great hurdle as getting the project done by the deadline would have been a tall order anyway.  Task: As a key communications team member within the team I was aware of not just the situation but the importance of how we represented the progress on the project to the clients.  Action: To support the team, I worked to assure our clients of the work that was done to-date and carefully crafted a follow-up email with a bulleted list outlining our progress on the project and reassuring that we would be done within the approved timelines despite our scaled-back team. I then went to work overtime with my peers to bring the copywriting, mission, vision, values, and core communications components of the project to the finish line. Because graphic design is contingent on the strategy of the brand and messaging, I also doubled-down on the management of our outsourced graphic designer to ensure that we were consistently aligned on the vision and lessen any margin for error – and time to achieve positive results.  Result: Thankfully, because of our thoughtful approach, quick reaction, and teamwork we were able to produce an award-winning brand strategy on time and budget for a client who then helped us to win more clients because of the positive review they gave.  Remember, you are a star and asset to any team but when in doubt...use STAR. 
  • You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don't Take: Fifteen ...

      Whether you're studying sports marketing, sports administration and business management, sports management, recreation and leisure, sport conditioning, or maybe even something entirely unrelated to sports but you'd like to gain applicable skills to apply to your hopeful industry, be a good sport and check out these 15 job opportunities on OCC NOW:   Marketing and Advertising Coordinator, Elite Soccer Clinics Ice Hockey Scorekeeper, JAM Sports Toronto ASICS Running Apps, Development Manager ASICS Running Apps, Development Manager, Technical ASICS Running Apps, Sales Manager League Associate, JAM Sports Toronto Security Analyst, Goodlife Fitness Summer Camp Afternoon Specialist, Bayview Glen Day Camp Water Sports Equipment Rental Associate, Muskoka Wake Water Sports Equipment Rental Manager, Muskoka Wake Active Sports Coach, Kleinburg Nobleton Sport Club Summer Camp Staff, Royal City Soccer Club Swimming Instructor, North Hatley Club HR Agent, YMCA of Greater Toronto Team Lead, Membership Services, YMCA Muskoka-Kawarthas TOUCHDOWN and access these opportunities by signing into your account today.  
  • Content Marketing Trends Dominating 2022, By: Aria ...

    The social media world is always evolving. In this modern world, the art of posting has become a phenomena - a key tool to build a brand or image. Learning the correct way to generate content and speak to a targeted online audience is critical for strong social media presence. It is challenging to engage with your target audience through social media because it is a highly competitive arena. Due to the saturation of social content from brands and individual, globally, companies can easily hit a wall of doubts and feedback loops. In this article, we’re discussing the top social media marketing trends emerging this year and how to harness these tactics to empower your hopeful career in marketing, content, brand ambassadorship. or social media marketing! 1. Brands Go Niche with Content Going for a more specific audience can increase the probability of brand-building outcomes. Online posts are in competition and so knowing and writing for your audience will increase visibility. Click here to unpack how to get to know your audience and plan niche content - from building personas to writing content that is easy to read for online audiences. 2. Voice Search Will Evolve How Content Marketing Sounds How we speak and how we write can be easily interpreted differently. Having content that adapts to a natural language search will benefit your audience and make them become even more engaged with your content. Voice search accounts for at least 20% of all searching and is growing. Click here to discover ways to optimize your brand's content and copywriting for voice search. 3. Diversified Content Methodologies Expands Your Audience Diversifying how you represent your content keeps audiences engaged and helps build new ones. Try mixing it up with a range of infographics, galleries, videos, podcasts, and dynamic imagery to ensure that your brand doesn't sign its own 'death sentence'.                4. Don't Be Afraid of Using Live Video & Interactive Content Although Live Video options available through social media applications like Instagram can be scary to use, in that you are speaking in real-time with your audience, this approach also builds brand trust and has the potential to deepen connection with your followers/brand community. What's more, Live Video and Interactive Content give viewers the comfort that their questions can be immediately answered by you. Click here for some Instagram Live Tips.            5. AI Powered Marketing AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered content is the biggest game-changing content marketing trend to-date. AI methods can help you discover what people are searching for and create a content strategy that [erfectly captures traffic and consumer interests. For example; Netflix and Amazon suggest things their user might like according to what they previously watched. AI-powered intent analysis ups your content game as it helps you offer content that appeals to the user's intention, thereby improving your online ranking. AI can also help you check if your current marketing efforts are working. Click here to learn more.             Of course, the basis of any effective content strategy is a good action marketing plan rooted from a company who has clear sense of who they are and, in turn, their audience is. Marketing strategies this 2022 will continue to move forward into a more technological and advanced world, the real question is: Can we keep up?        
  • What Makes Our Platform Different & How it Will Ma ...

    We're well aware that Outcome Campus Connect is not the only opportunity platform but we're doing things differently and in ways that will make a difference for you. This entire platform is built for you and that's what makes it really have influence.  The way that our team approached building this platform is with the intention of giving every university and college student at least one work-integrated learning experience before graduation. Why does this matter? Employers want you to have experience to get hired but you can't get hired without gaining experience first, in the majority of instances. This said, there are other platforms who are trying to fill the skills gap and help you get hired but none are doing it quite as holistically, with wraparound support, as we are. Here's what makes our platform different and why it will make a difference for you: This platform is partners with universities and colleges across the country, which enables employers to post job opportunities through Outcome Campus Connect by specifying which universities or colleges they want to hire from and funneling the opportunity not just onto our live site but into the opportunity platforms of our campus partners, nationwide. The opportunities you see on our platform as put there by hiring managers or recruiters who are building early-talent recruitment pipelines, meaning, more often than not, the opportunity you see is for someone with 3 years of experience or less - a student or recent graduate, like you. Skill development (internships, co-ops, work placements, research projects, etc.) and job opportunities that you see on Outcome Campus Connect are targeted to specific years or fields of study (at specific universities or colleges) so you know that the employer that is hiring on our platform has already been carefully considering the type of talent they bring on (that's you). The opportunities that you see are Outcome Campus Connect are posted by businesses who already align with our vision to support students and graduates, so you can rest assured that whoever hires on our platform understands the journey from student-to-career and is invested in supported the next generation workforce. Employment and Social Development Canada funds this platform so you pay zero fees to use it - OCC is free for all university and college students or recent graduates in Canada. When you apply on our site you're not competing with people with decades' long experience in a specific role, field, industry, or even region. This is a platform made for students and graduates and it works like that too.   Employers are hiring on Outcome Campus Connect now and they are looking for early talent. Who knows? Maybe that next hire is you?!  
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