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career options For Canadian Post-Secondary Students

www.careeroptionsmagazine.com winter/spring 2010 / Volume 24 No. 1

Finding a Summer Job Your Plan for a Successful Search

06 “Me, Inc.”: Marketing Your Resume

24 42

Starting Your Own Company This Summer Commerce Students


career options winter/spring 2010

<< I n the summertime when the weather is hot, it’s tempting to take it easy. But a summer job is the best way to gain work experience and hone many skills. Get started on your job search with our national list of online job resources on page 30

06

“Me, Inc.”: Marketing Your Resume By Minoo Bhutani

11 a career in retail offers endless possibilities By Peter Pilarski

14 Advice for Students from Employers in Today’s Economy By Susan Malcolm

16 New Year’s Career

Resolutions: Setting Professional Goals for 2010 By Elaine Balych

18 Creating and

31 Mapping the Road

By Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier and Jane MacDonald

By Stephanie Vicic and Brooke Browning

Marketing Your Edge: Your Portfolio

Ahead: A Look at One Summer Job and the Skills Developed Along the Way

20 Are You Standing out

33 Einstein got it right:

By Paul Copcutt

By Jan Bottomer

for the Right Reasons? Why Personal Branding Is Key to Your Job Search

Why Imagination Is Absolutely Critical to Successful Career Decision-Making!

23 The Mining Industry:

39 From Student

By the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR)

By Regan Seidler

Yours to Explore

24 Starting Your Own

Company This Summer By Marc Belaiche

to Supervisor: Co-op Is the Key

40 Teaching cAreer:

Get Your Feet Wet Through Community-Based Learning By Maxine Dubuc

26 Finding a Summer Job: 42 Your Plan for a Successful Commerce Students: Search

By Panagiota Panagakos

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Dreams in the Downturn By Alicia Woodside

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EDITOR’S LETTER

career options

W

elcome to January 2010 and a whole new year. Term one is history and term two is here. It often seems like the academic year flies by at warp speed. Suddenly, school’s out, and you need to find employment— hopefully, in a position that’s both enjoyable and productive, a position that will help you gain experience, build your credentials and fill out your resume. All this is to say that whatever year you are in, the job search is probably increasingly occupying your thoughts.

Managing Editor

Anne Markey Project Management – gordongroup

Kita Szpak Art Direction / Print Management – gordongroup

Leslie Miles Design & Layout – gordongroup

Kelly Read-Lyon

Readers who are not in their final year will be focused on finding summer employment, and those of you graduating in May will be preparing for your full-time job search. So here’s an interesting statistic: in the summer of 2008, the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) surveyed 340 Canadian employers about their recruitment patterns; employers responded that 78.5% of students employed for a summer work term later accepted a full-time position with that same employer upon graduation.

Advertising Sales direction – gordongroup

Thomas Krayer Advertising Sales – gordongroup

Fred Hanson Kirill Kornilov Contributors

Elaine Balych Marc Belaiche Minoo Bhutani Jan Bottomer Brooke Browning Paul Copcutt Maxine Dubuc Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier Jane MacDonald Susan Malcolm Panagiota Panagakos Peter Pilarski Regan Seidler Stephanie Vicic Alicia Woodside

Furthermore, the percentage of internship students who, upon graduation, accepted a full-time position at the same place they interned was 77%, and the corresponding statistic for co-op students was 80%. The point is: gaining experience with an employer through a summer job, co-op, internship or some other short-term placement greatly increases the likelihood that you will be hired permanently by that employer down the road.

Career Options is published bi-annually in January and September by the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE), 720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 202, Toronto ON M5S 2T9. For subscription information, contact Anne Markey:

Tel: 416-929-5156 ext. 223 Fax: 416-929-5256 E-mail: annem@cacee.com Website: www.careeroptionsmagazine.com For advertising inquiries, contact Thomas Krayer, Director of Sales, gordongroup:

Tel: 613-234-8468 ext. 223 Fax: 613-234-8655 E-mail: tkrayer@gordongroup.com Website: www.gordongroup.com ISSN: 1712-1183 The Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) is a national, non-profit partnership of employer recruiters and career services professionals. Our mission is to provide authoritative information, advice, professional development opportunities and other services to employers, career services professionals and students. Career Options is distributed to students at post-secondary institutions across Canada. Career Options is available free of charge through campus career centres. NOTE: The opinions expressed within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect CACEE policy. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. The National Student Resource of: Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers 720 Spadina Ave., Suite 202 Toronto ON M5S 2T9 www.cacee.com

If this is your final year of study and you were not offered a position through the on-campus recruitment process in term one, don’t despair. Many employers are moving to “just-in-time” recruitment, visiting campuses between January and April. Head to your career centre and enquire about any employer involvement on campus. Make it a habit—if it’s not already—to scan your school’s job posting system daily, or sign up for daily email updates if this option is available. On the other hand, those of you considering graduate school may want to seek on-campus employment with a professor instead. As part of your grad school application package, you’re going to need research experience, references and a professor who will accept you as a graduate student; working with professors or research staff in your area of specialization will help you obtain all of these. On-campus jobs go quickly: if you haven’t yet investigated your options, start now. Approach professors that you know—especially those who taught courses in which you obtained strong marks, and with whom you have interacted outside the classroom. Investigate the availability of any undergraduate research programs at your institution. Learn about potential wage subsidies, work-study opportunities and NSERC funding. You’ll soon see that there are a number of ways to earn and learn simultaneously. This issue of Career Options – Post Secondary edition includes articles on summer employment, how to prepare for the job search and websites that may be helpful in your search. We always welcome your feedback and invite you to visit our all-new website, www.careeroptionsmagazine.com, to blog about your experiences. Best wishes for 2010! Anne Markey, Editor

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We Would Like to Thank Our Advertisersâ&#x20AC;Ś 05, 44 ATB Financial

01

Ontario Real Estate Association

09

ATCO Group

36

Ottawa Police Service

21

BC Hydro

36

Queenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s University

17

Brenntag Canada

32 Schlumberger

22

Canadian Payroll Association

04

46

CGA Ontario

44 Symcor

38 Communitech

02

Sun Life Financial Talisman Energy

08, 35 Concordia University College of Alberta ii

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

41

Federated Co-operatives Ltd.

44

Halton Regional Police Service

34

Home Depot

45

Humber College Business School

29

Hydro One

10

Insurance Brokers Association of Canada

38, 44 National Energy Board 44

Naylor-McLeod Group

37, 44 Nexen

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By Minoo Bhutani

“Me, Inc.” Marketing  Your Resume

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ou’re starting your summer job search and confused about where to begin. Well, you can start by stopping to think! The summer job that you accept could have a huge impact on your future career direction. Take your time and consider the bigger picture. A little planning can help you make the most of this important opportunity. First things first: know who you are. Evaluate yourself. Determine what your learning objectives are, and what type of organization you would like to contribute to and learn from. Know everything about prospective employers. If you have not completed a SWOT analysis—Strengths/ Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats—both of yourself and of potential opportunities, do one before building your resume. (You can learn more about SWOT by searching online.) By evaluating yourself, you identify the strengths and skills you bring to the table that an employer can use. Now you may begin the process of marketing “Me, Inc.” with your resume. A resume is a factual picture of your major work accomplishments, not merely a list of places you have worked to date. Anyone can say that they held a certain job for a certain time period. Your resume must detail what you accomplished, what you learned and the abilities you gained in each position. New car buyers don’t base decisions exclusively on the glossy pictures, but also on the technical data on the last page, and how this compares to the technical data from other cars. Your resume should offer the technical data that distinguishes you from other candidates. How you present your strengths and skills to a prospective employer will determine how well you do on your interview, and eventually on the job. In order to make “Me, Inc.” appear a wise investment, you must provide the facts while also painting vivid, memorable images that will sell you as the “product of choice.”

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So, how do you market yourself on paper? Here are some rules to keep in mind:

1

You must fully understand who you are. What are your strengths and skills, and what type of position would you excel in? This information will help you to focus on your best qualities and experience to present to a potential employer. An honest SWOT analysis will help you know yourself much better.

2

Build your resume on your own, at least to start. You know yourself best, and you can act on your ideas about how best to market yourself. Don’t have someone else type the resume for you; if you are concerned about formatting, ask for help with that step only. The idea behind creating your resume independently is that when you evaluate yourself, you will be better able to present your skills and strengths in the interview. The flow of information from start to finish will be natural to you.

3

Know whom the resume is for: it isn’t for you! Your resume is for the prospective employers that you have targeted in your SWOT analysis. The resume should be geared toward the position you’re seeking as well as at least one level above that. This will give the employer some insight into your ambitions and abilities. What I recommend to all students is to take a piece of paper and make two columns. In the left column, write down the skills and qualifications required for the advertised position and the key words that you feel define the company. Place your resume on the right column, and then go down the left column and make sure all those key words are reflected on your resume. The employer should feel that you are a perfect match for the job requirements and the company culture.

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4

Use complete sentences and thoughts on your resume. Most recruiters spend an average of 30 seconds on your resume. If they have to guess at what you did in previous positions, or scan for more details in different parts of your resume, it will likely be discarded. Do not put comments like “Assisted in product promotion”; rather, say “Assisted Marketing Director in promoting the baby products by hosting display booths at trade shows.” A comment like that will immediately give the reader an idea of your skills. Remember to substantiate everything you have on your resume with facts, dates, etc.

5

Keep your resume simple. Do not use fancy jargon or overly complex terms. Use buzzwords sensibly: don’t overdo it, and make sure that they relate to what you are getting across. If you’re using terminology that does not relate to what you have actually done, this will be obvious to most recruiters.

6

If you include an “Objective” section in your resume, make it as specific as possible. Never have the reader guessing what your distinctive competitive advantages, product positioning or career objectives are. The Objective statement should be like a movie trailer or an introduction to a novel: you need to set the scene, engage the reader and prepare them for what they are about to see. Do not use generic statements or key words that could indicate multiple career paths, such as finance and marketing. Try to emphasize how your skills would be further enhanced by a position like the one you are applying for. Your application should seem like a natural progression on your career path.

7

Go easy on the Bolds and Italics. Only use bold or italics for company names or job titles. Do not use them to highlight words or accomplishments, as it makes the resume look messy and unprofessional.

8

Keep your resume to one or two pages. Believe it or not, every resume—no matter how many years of experience and accomplishments must be covered—can be contained within one page. You may use two pages, but not more than two. Anyone contemplating work in the U.S. or in finance must always use one page only.

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Resumes are like real estate: you should invest in location – location – location. The top half of the resume captures the greatest attention—make sure that your greatest attributes are presented first. If your experience is your strongest feature, put it on the top half of the page, where it has the most impact and relevance. Remember, you have only 15 to 30 seconds to market “Me, Inc.” Your resume is your personal brochure. Are you proving to your target audience that you have the skills, qualifications, experience, interest and passion to excel in their position and in their firm? If you can say yes to this question, you’ll enjoy a valuable, worthwhile summer job experience. CO

Minoo Bhutani is Director of the Career Development Centre, Schulich School of Business at York University.

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By Peter Pilarski, Retail Council of Canada

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or most people, the friendly sales associate at their favourite store is probably their main contact with the retail sector. Whether it’s helping customers find clothing in their size or explaining the difference between one camera and another, these frontline employees are the main touch point between the store and its customers. The sales associate’s skills in customer service and product knowledge can make the difference between making the sale and losing a customer to a competitor. What most people don’t see, however, is behind the storefront: a large and sophisticated corporate infrastructure of innovative, highly skilled, committed professionals who have chosen careers in retail. This article highlights some of the exciting and varied careers that are possible in the retail industry and describes how

Retail Council of Canada is bringing retail to the forefront—a sector with endless possibilities and advancement opportunities for professionals in countless areas of expertise. Retail Offers Opportunities for Career Advancement Retail is the number one employer in Canada, with over 2.1 million jobs nationwide. It’s the front line of the market economy, an early adopter of new technologies, and the kind of business where hard work, dedication and an entrepreneurial spirit can lead to endless opportunities. “One of the misconceptions about working in retail is that it means working at the store level,” says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of Retail Council of Canada (RCC). “But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of opportunities to grow and progress in a retail organization.”

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“One of the misconceptions about working in retail is that it means working at the store level… But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.” An industry this large and complex requires every type of professional: accountants, lawyers, marketers, logisticians, human resources specialists and truck drivers, to name just a few. The work is as diverse as the range of professions needed to get the job done, from designing a store’s floor plan to optimize sales to implementing the latest supply chain management technologies. Fierce competition is a hallmark of retail. That means professionals who work in the sector need to constantly think outside the box—an attractive w in t er/s p rin g 2 0 1 0

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draw for creative people. Retail is also a major economic force in Canada, with several larger retail organizations publicly traded on various stock exchanges. No matter what the area of interest, this industry has something for everyone. “There are job opportunities of every kind and in every area, from frontline customer service to senior executive positions,” says Brisebois. “This is why this industry is so exciting—it incorporates so many different professions and provides people with an opportunity to learn and grow while following their interests.” Retailers Are Still Hiring Despite the Economic Downturn Jenny Cruickshank, Home Depot’s District Talent Manager, Southern Alberta, never planned to work in retail. But after several experiences as a human resources (HR) professional in various industries, she decided that retail was the industry for her. “The biggest draw for me was the flexibility this industry has to offer,” says Cruickshank. “Everything is different every day.” HR professionals working in the retail industry spend little time in an office. They have the opportunity to get out on the floor and into the community. While a number of industries are laying people off, many retailers are still hiring. They continue to have challenges in finding professionals to fill certain positions. Cruickshank says that finding HR managers can be difficult because “you need to be very flexible and need to be able to make very quick decisions. Retail is fast and there is not a lot of time to be analytical.” This is different from many HR settings, where professionals often work at a slower, more cautious pace. Most HR professionals who get some experience in the retail setting get hooked very quickly. Other difficult-to-fill positions include Assistant Managers and Loss Prevention Specialists. Cruickshank says that both positions pay well, give people a great learning experience and have a lot of potential for upward mobility. In the case of Assistant Managers, retailers look for a combination of retail and management experience. Loss Prevention is largely considered an elite force in the industry. Retailers look for professionals who are interested and experienced in the security field, but want to expand into more dynamic parts of the business, and hone skills such as investigation and complex problem solving.

“this industry is so exciting—it incorporates so many different professions and provides people with an opportunity to learn and grow while following their interests. ” Retail Offers Many Career Options To remain competitive, retailers must constantly evolve. A result of this evolution is the continuous creation and development of new positions that likely don’t come to mind when people think about careers in retail. A great example of this evolution is the career of Michelle White, Director of Sustainability for Indigo Books & Music Inc. Michelle, who has a master’s degree in Environmental Science, has skills that are transferable across many industries. She chose the retail industry because she “was inspired by the commitment of Indigo’s executive team to the environment, and because they incorporated their sustainability program into the company’s overall strategy.” She is thrilled that Indigo’s environment program touches every aspect of the decision-making process and allows her to make a personal and professional contribution. She also loves the retail industry because of the incredibly fast pace and the fact that she “never has the same day twice.” Encouraged by the progress that the greening retail concept is making, Michelle says her job is “continuously evolving because of new demands and expectations in the retail environment, including new legislation and stewardship programs.” She adds, “It’s personally very rewarding to see Indigo’s program evolve in a short period of time.” Michelle recommends a career in retail and believes that the industry will offer many more nontraditional opportunities in the future. She predicts that, like Indigo, other retailers will be looking for in-house expertise to help guide the company. These non-traditional opportunities, she believes, will provide many professionals with a way to help shape the direction of retail companies as they move toward sustainability.

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Developing Tomorrow’s Retail Business Leaders To help build the leadership base, Retail Council of Canada has created the Canadian Retail Institute (CRI), which is the Association’s education arm. CRI strives to promote retail as a fulfilling and rewarding career through educational programs, scholarships and partnerships with post-secondary institutions offering retail programs across the country. To help new retail leaders develop the skills they need to succeed in management, CRI offers the Retail First Level Manager (FLM) Certificate. FLM program modules focus on customer service, communication and leadership skills, operational and marketing skills, and administrative and planning skills. Retail Council of Canada has also partnered with many industry sponsors to offer students $50,000 in scholarships and benefits each year. These scholarships are available to students entering or currently enrolled in a business, marketing or retail-related program at a Canadian postsecondary institution. Benefits of the scholarship program for students include financial assistance with their post-secondary education as well as a chance to connect with top industry professionals by attending the industry’s annual STORE Conference in Toronto. Seeing that a healthy retail sector is important to the provincial economy, the Government of Alberta and HR AdWorks have partnered with Retail Council of Canada to create an industry HR Web Portal and career posting website. In addition to listing retail career postings, the site will be used as a tool to promote retail as a career and will provide visitors with career path information. The site was launched as a pilot project in Edmonton and East Central Alberta in Fall 2009 and will be expanded to cover the rest of Canada in 2010. Beyond the Storefront Retail offers many exciting and dynamic career options. The sector is constantly evolving and growing, and the need for both traditional and non-traditional professionals grows with it. Want an exciting career? You don’t need to look any further than a career in retail! CO Peter Pilarski is Director, Government Relations and Membership Services, Retail Council of Canada (Alberta).

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Advice for Students By Susan Malcolm

from Employers in Today’s Economy

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tudents looking for summer jobs and new grads hoping to start their careers are talking about how the recent economic downturn has made it harder for them to find work. But things aren’t as bad as they seem: the Laurier Career Development Centre surveyed 48 employers from a variety of industries and found that most organizations did

not change their recruiting strategies during the downturn. No matter how many new recruits they are seeking, employers want to hire individuals who have excellent qualifications and can make a positive contribution within their organization. The difference is that the job market is now more competitive, so job seekers must clearly distinguish themselves from other applicants.

To help students in their job search, the Laurier Career Development Centre survey asked employers this question: “If you could give a student a piece of career advice during this economic downturn, what would it be?” Their responses offered a number of strategies to find work in a struggling economy, but most of them are useful in any economic climate.

employer TIPS » Here are some key areas of advice from employers who responded to the survey: CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS Asking questions will help you learn what employers are seeking. For example, knowing what will catch an employer’s eye on a resume and what a company expects of its employees will allow you to take steps to become the ideal candidate. Volunteering and getting involved in student clubs are great ways to build relevant skills. PRACTISE AND PREPARE Employers representing industries that focus on marketing, accounting, finance, insurance, information technology (IT) and retail have a strong message they want to send. That message is to practise and prepare. Researching the organization is a key part of preparing for the interview, but you also want to show that you have a depth of understanding of the industry 14

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If the company did not pursue your candidacy, ask what you can improve and then work on it.

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Offer, if necessary, to work for free for a short period of time to “prove” your worth. This is a different message than most employers hear and will cause the candidate to stand out.

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and of the position. Go beyond reviewing the organization’s website: talk to employees and research relevant professional associations, labour market trends and industry-based information. Although gathering information and deciding on relevant examples from your past experiences is important, it takes practice to make the transition from thought to verbal communication happen easily. Coming to the interview prepared and practised will show the employer that you are genuinely interested, can take initiative and are organized. STAND OUT AND KNOW WHAT YOU OFFER Are you able to communicate what you bring to an organization and why you should be hired? Employers get applications from many qualified candidates. What can you do to make sure you stand out? Ask yourself what you can do to achieve this goal. For example, you could join groups or associations to start building a network; establish a strong social media presence through blogs, where your expertise becomes visible; or create an online resume. CREATE A GREAT Resume AND COVER LETTER Resumes and cover letters are a key part of that first step in marketing your skills to an employer. Create a targeted resume and cover letter highlighting information that is meaningful to the specific employer and that says clearly what you can contribute in the workplace. BE FLEXIBLE AND DON’T GIVE UP As a job seeker in an economic downturn, you must focus your efforts on developing effective job search tools and strategies. Understand what sets you apart as a candidate, learn how to market your skills, build and maintain your networks, and stay committed to achieving your goals. Here is one last comment from an employer that sums up the current environment well:

“The advice I would give now is no different from what I would have given a few years back. Know your target, tailor your resume and cover letter to that target, network or volunteer to get the inside track, and don’t give up.” CO

»

Practise interviewing. Many students clearly have not done so, and do not come across as confident, polished and well-spoken. Those who have practised leave a lasting good impression.

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Prepare when you go to an interview. I find that applicants may research the company they are interviewing, but they have a limited understanding of the role.

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Really think about what your key success factor is. What makes you stand out above the rest? Compile a list of your experiences that showcase this key success factor.

»Be creative. Get

them excited by your capability and make them want to pull you in, versus you trying to push your way in.

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Know your target, and tailor your resume and cover letter to that target.

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Build your resume in all areas (skills development, relevant work experiences, extracurricular involvement and student club leadership) to stand out from the pack.

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Be professional, be respectful of an employer’s time, keep hunting—the right position will happen. Be cautious with social media and how you represent yourself.

Susan Malcolm is a Career Consultant at the Laurier Career Development Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Don’t give up, and focus on what you can offer— not what you expect to get.

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By Elaine Balych

New Year’s Career Resolutions Setting Professional Goals for 2010

Once again, it’s the time of year when most of us look wistfully back on our lives: what we’ve done, what we haven’t done and whether we’re on track with our own expectations. For most of us, thoughts quickly turn to the future. We resolve to make a fresh start in specific areas so we can move forward. Career-related resolutions are usually high on many people’s New Year’s resolution lists. With the recent downturn in the economy, it is a good time to think about career alternatives, looking beyond the turbulence to where you’d like your career to go. Taking a fresh look at your career hopes and dreams does not have to involve time-consuming self-assessment and long to-do lists. Here are a number of simple strategies you can choose from and personalize to start fresh, get unstuck or boost your career goals.

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Look at who you are today. When was the last time you checked in with your career goals? Things change—including you and the world around you. What you find satisfying changes with time and circumstances. That’s why you need to update your career plan regularly.

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If you are happy in your company, your work and your industry, identify what is so satisfying and what some next, equally satisfying steps might be.

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If you are less than happy, clarify what your work lacks, what you are missing that you enjoy doing, or what has changed.

2

Review how often you connect with your professional contacts and mentors—both formal and informal. The holidays are a wonderful time to resurrect neglected relationships and strengthen important ones. Former colleagues, employers and instructors may have fresh perspectives on career trends or avenues you can pursue. Your Career Services office can provide strategies and tools so you can easily reconnect with people.

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Re-research your industry and profession. What trends are emerging? What are the benefits and potential challenges of a changing economy? Who seems to be growing and what future opportunities does that growth offer you? Who are the current industry experts? The up-and-comers? What changes are they talking about in the next five to ten years? Compare what you learn with your 16

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current competencies and abilities, then look for professional development opportunities that interest you or may be key to your continued success.

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Become more active in a professional organization. Volunteer for an executive position. Sit on a committee. Speak at a conference or event. Publish an article in a journal or newsletter. Active participation improves your knowledge, exposes you to people of influence, and ultimately leads to more opportunities and greater personal satisfaction.

5

Become more visible at work. Volunteer for a company committee, event or challenging project. Often, these opportunities can showcase your leadership skills in new or unexpected ways, and remind current leaders of your contribution above and beyond your job responsibilities.

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Update your resume. Whether you are planning to look for new opportunities within or outside your current

company, or want to prepare for the unexpected in turbulent times, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great idea to take stock of your ever-changing skills, achievements and competencies. Target your resume to address what you know about the needs of your industry. Contact your Career Services office to gauge how it meets todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expectations.

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Update yourself professionally. Research and sign up for a class, conference, program or webinar related to your work. Think about what areas you need to brush up on to help manage your current responsibilities and support next-step goals.

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Get organized to help deal with interruptions that routinely cross your desk. Are your files (paper or electronic) no longer serving you well? Declutter, archive and reorganize to boost your spirit and productivity. Do phone calls and emails take you off track? Schedule a specific time slot each day to attend to these, freeing up blocks of time for other projects.

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Expand your horizons. Read books, take a class, attend a retreat or try out a new hobby outside your professional realm. Many people discover new opportunities and insights when they engage themselves in fresh ways.

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Plan how you will implement resolutions and celebrate your success. Write down your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-specific) goal(s) for each resolution you make. Prioritize them. Identify a personal reward you will give yourself to celebrate each big and small step in your success. Keep your prioritized list where you will be inspired by your resolutions every day. Have a Happy New Year and a great 2010! CO

Elaine Balych, B.A., CCDP, is Coordinator of Career Education/Career Development at Career Services, Mount Royal College, in Calgary.

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Creating and Marketing Your Edge:

Your Portfolio

By Wendy KraglundGauthier and Jane MacDonald

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ith an economy in turmoil, today’s job seekers face challenges that include downsizing, mergers and bankruptcies. It’s not an easy time to begin a career. Job seekers must be very creative and determined in their job search strategies. Now, more than ever, they should use multiple self-marketing strategies to showcase their unique potential—their “edge”—to employers. Finding self-marketing strategies that work means learning about yourself and others, and how each component of the job search process is connected. Looking for a job is about much more than taking 20 minutes to prepare a resume and cover letter. A targeted job search begins with taking time to become aware of skills, abilities and knowledge that go beyond what is communicated in your cover letter, resume and job interview. For job seekers who are changing careers, a portfolio is one marketing strategy they can use to present the blend of knowledge, skills and abilities that they have developed and refined through academic and workplace learning. A career portfolio outlines learning that you can transfer to other contexts. As we tell undergraduates, “You have to know yourself in order to sell yourself.”

binder filled with bulging plastic sleeves, but the possibilities are endless. Social networking, presentation and movie software have brought the portfolio into the 21st century. These technologies have provided both job seekers and employers with flexible and timely ways to tell others about what they have to offer. Storage and retrieval options provided by website hosting, USB drives and DVDs have improved the timeliness and portability of information sharing. The three-ring binder is still useful in certain contexts. Some artifacts may lose their impact when digitized. Depending on the audience, the tactile experience of documentation can highlight creativity and imagination. For example, a crumpled and sticky thank-you note from a child in Grade 1 may have more impact than its scanned image. Starting with quality content is essential, but your ability to use the technology effectively is crucial, too. Your use of the media itself can show your technical skill. Make sure you think about access to personal information and privacy, software compatibility and hardware issues.

Process leads to product The key to creating a portfolio is taking time to reflect. By answering the question “so what?” as they develop their portfolio, job seekers prepare to articulate and communicate their edge. By reflecting, they can explore personal qualities and learning that they can market as job skills. Once the portfolio is ready, the job seeker has at his or her fingertips specific examples of abilities that they can transfer to new opportunities. Also, a better sense of self makes it easier to answer interview questions clearly and concisely. Reflection means, in part, answering these questions: what, so what, now what, why and how? They may seem like simple questions, but they are difficult to answer. These questions call for soul searching: job seekers must admit to both their skills and the things they lack. In our busy lives, we often do not give ourselves time to answer the “why” and “so what” questions. For example, when reflecting on why they want to be teachers, candidates should be able to offer more than an exuberant “I love kids!” a Portfolio: What it is and what it is not A portfolio is not everything you’ve done since elementary school. It is not a pile of unrelated and unorganized life events and achievements. Rather, it is a place to reflect on previous experiences to assess positive and negative learning. The quality of the content is much more important than the quantity.

Marketing your Edge Once you have an understanding of yourself, your experience and your potential, you are ready to market yourself to employers. Effective marketing means giving consistent messages and concrete evidence of quality. Confidence and the ability to express yourself clearly translate into success. But how do you market yourself? Here are a few ideas to get you started: Research the industry to find out about trends and opportunities. Make a list of key words, qualifications and points of contact. Reflect on which of your personal qualities and skills match the opportunity. Identify strengths and gaps. Target your portfolio to the purpose and audience by selecting documentation that is relevant to the position or organization. Be prepared to spend time rebuilding the portfolio for each new application you submit. Present a concise package that is free of errors. Follow up within a few weeks and communicate the value of the portfolio’s content as proof of your qualifications.

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Now What? Some employers may not be familiar with the concept of a career portfolio as a tool that job seekers use. This situation gives job seekers the opportunity to market themselves even more. By gearing their portfolio to a specific position, they show that they can reflect critically, research efficiently, analyze appropriately and communicate clearly. Confident and competent job seekers who know their edge will stand out from the rest of the crowd. CO

When developing a portfolio, you must know its purpose and audience. Select meaningful artifacts that speak to the job opportunity and the industry. Through reflecting, you can identify the experiences and thinking that have led you to the employer’s door. For example, a portfolio created by a new teacher candidate may contain specific and creative examples that weave together teaching philosophy, curriculum design, personal values and personality. In contrast, a budding journalist may include samples of work that show the candidate’s skill in writing for different types of publications.

Wendy L. Kraglund-Gauthier, B.A., B.Ed., MAdEd. is a Ph.D. candidate and an Instructional Designer/Editor, Continuing and Distance Education at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Jane MacDonald, M.L.I.S., MAdEd., is Manager, Co-operative Education Program and Student Career Centre, St. Francis Xavier University.

The Portfolio of Today and Tomorrow What does a portfolio look like? Some people might picture a three-ring

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ME Are You Standing out for the Right Reasons?

By Paul Copcutt

Why Personal Branding Is Key to Your Job Search

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ave you been Googled recently? At least one out of every four times you ask this question, the answer is yes—even if you didn’t know about it. Googling people is now a common business tool and one of the latest reasons that personal branding, a new approach to career management, is becoming more popular.

In a recent Harris survey, at least 25 percent of business people used Google or other search engines to find out about the person they are about to meet. With the surge in people joining online groups such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and the growth of information networks, this number is set to rise dramatically.

Who you are and what people say about you are huge factors in your level of success. Many people are using the power of personal branding to ensure that the external identity they portray helps them connect with people and gets them the work they want to do.

6 Personal Branding Tips to MAKE IT During a Recession (Or Anytime) » Me, Inc. The only person invested in your career, and the person who knows it best, is YOU. Take the time to be sure that your personal brand is clear and consistent so that the people who need to know about you can understand clearly the unique skills and strengths you offer.

Knowledge Start with what you know really well. Running off and doing something new can be saved for another day. When you a r e o n so l i d ground, you can lo o k a t o t h e r opportunities.

Touch base Networking is always important, not just during tough economic times. Keep in touch with people rather than calling on them only when you need something. Make sure that everyone you connect with feels part of your network. When you offer help, advice or information, your efforts come back to you many times over.

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» Internet

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Achievements This is not the time to be shy or overly humble. Make a note of the contributions you make and their impact in all areas of your work and volunteer commitments. Communicate these successes in terms that are easy to understand, and tell people about them as often as possible.

Expertise In tough times, companies are not going to take risks with the unknown or the untried. They are going to invest in people who can add value to their organization. Be sure you are on the same page when it comes to their needs and your experience.

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Technology has great impact and offers a lot of reach during a recession or down market. You can connect with anyone in the world via social networks or blogging, but to exist in that world you need a visible online brand. Take time to build that online brand, and remember that it needs to be in sync with your offline brand.


Personal branding is the process of understanding one’s unique qualities and skills and communicating them in a clear manner to help build a career and find success. This approach to self-marketing has come about through the meeting of two key societal trends— the new world of work and egonomics. The new world of work is one where change is the only guarantee. Cheaper labour and faster technology have ensured that the “job for life” our grandparents enjoyed will never return. Young people today will see work as a mixture of contracts and projects; they will constantly develop new skills and move into new industries. Egonomics, a phrase coined by Faith Popcorn, a consumer trend spotter and marketing guru, is the demand to feel engaged and to contribute. No longer do people settle for just going through the motions—if they are going to spend the next 30 or 40 years working, they want to see that they are making a difference. We crave recognition and we want to be seen as

unique, as innovators. With innovation comes creativity, and with creativity comes diversity and a recognition of unique skills. To get involved in the work you want to do, make sure that the person you portray is someone who is suited to that work, that environment, that culture. Personal branding helps you to clarify and communicate differences and specialties and use those qualities to guide your career. By understanding your strengths, skills, passions and values, you can build on what makes you different to separate yourself from your peers and competitors. Interestingly, customer-focused employees who have gone through the personal brand process and discovered a “new me” through it are not found scouring job boards or classified ads. Instead, they have become more engaged in their current position. Their new sense of purpose improves their interaction with customers and the employees’ impression of their company.

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“By understanding your strengths, skills, passions and values, you can build on what makes you different to separate yourself from your peers and competitors. ” Personal branding is on the rise. As more young people—who are both used to the branding of everything and crave individuality—join the workforce, personal branding could become the new standard in job search techniques and career management. CO Paul Copcutt is a leading personal brand consultant. He combines a passion for people with the knowledge that strengths and specialization are the keys to success.

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By the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR)

The Mining Industry:

Yours to Explore

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nother school year is well underway. As you bundle up for cool winter weather and put in your earbuds for the walk to class, we have one request: consider us.

turned a tailings (waste water) site into a wetland habitat for ducks, and that another company looked at migration patterns of caribou before building roads to the site?

Who are we? The mining industry.

can dig underground in the Northwest Territories using a remote-controlled shovel in Toronto?

Why would you want to keep us in mind? Here are a few reasons: mining means rewarding jobs, great career prospects, exotic travel opportunities and good money. Here’s the deal. Over the next 10 years, a ton of people will retire from the mining industry. There are going to be some amazing careers opening up, so now is the time to get the education and training you need to jump on board. Mining pays really well, and because many companies operate all over the world, employees can travel and see some interesting places while making a nice salary. We talk to a lot of young people at career events. We know that most of them don’t have the facts about the industry. It’s too bad that so many people overlook mining as a career when most of the world around us (transportation, medicine, entertainment and countless other aspects of our lives) is possible because of mining. Plus, mining has changed a lot over the past five to 10 years. There are some really interesting things happening in our industry that you should know about as you explore your career options.

»

Mining companies care about the communities in which they operate. Did you know that the mining sector provides massive financial support to communities and social causes every year as part of the companies’ corporate social responsibility goals?

»

Mining companies care about the environment. Did you know that one company

» Mining is high tech. Did you know that you » Mining companies hire women

and men. Did you know that 50 percent of the huge-haul truck drivers for one of Canada’s major mining companies are women?

»

Mining work schedules and approaches vary. You might think that a mining work schedule involves a 16-hour underground shift with a pick and shovel every day. This picture is far from the truth in Canada today. Schedules vary depending on the type of mining career you choose. Some people in mining work 9 to 5, five days a week. Others may work two weeks on, two weeks off (fly in/fly out). Also, many mines aren���t even underground. Metals and minerals for your computer, kitchen sink, bike, makeup, sunscreen and so on are extracted using a process called surface mining. Mining includes four different phases: exploration, development, operations and rehabilitation. There are more than 120 occupations in the mining sector, ranging from sales and finance, to engineering and geology, to heavy equipment operation and health and safety, to environmental monitoring, community relations and human resources, to IT and graphic simulation. Perhaps you’re already working toward a degree or diploma in one of these fields and are planning to spend the school year figuring out which sector to tap into next summer or when you graduate. Read on… We have some interesting programs and resources you can use to Explore for More.

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For example, you might want to get involved in our Virtual MineMentor Program (VMMP). The VMMP uses technology to match postsecondary students with exceptional mining industry employees, boosting your knowledge and your resume. Where you live isn’t an issue among pairs, because you will connect online. Mentorship takes place mainly through the Virtual MineMentor portal. Participants can use instant messaging, blogs, community message boards, email and more to communicate with their partners in the MineMentor community. Even if you’re not sure whether you want to go into mining, you can join the program to learn more about the industry before you decide. If you want to know more about the VMMP, the best thing to do is to contact Jen, the coordinator, or read up on the program through the website: www.acareerinmining.ca. If you are graduating and on the hunt for an exciting career opportunity, come to our Explore for More Virtual Career Fair on January 27th. It’s easy! No need to travel or even to change out of your PJs to connect with employers from all across Canada. Simply go to www.virtualminingcareerfair.ca for more information. If you want to know more, check us out on Facebook by searching Explore for More, or on YouTube (www.youtube.com/exploreformore). Send us comments, ask questions, view our NEW Video Library and much more. Open your mind… A career in mining is more than you think! CO For more information about the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR), visit our website (www.mihr.ca) or send us an email (info@mihr.ca).

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By Marc Belaiche

Starting Your Own Company This Summer

S

etting up your own company for the summer can be a fantastic learning experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

This article covers some information you need to know if you’re thinking about starting your own company for the summer:

It takes the right kind of person to take initiative, get organized and be successful in business. Are you one of those people?

Do Something You Love Sell a product or provide a service that you are genuinely excited about. If your heart isn’t in it right from the start, your passion will quickly

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fade. Choose a product that you think people can really use or a service that is needed in your area. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you will really enjoy doing. Make a Business Plan A business plan is a document that describes your product or service, your goals, your target


market, the rates you will charge and other key information. This plan should give a detailed summary of how your company will be rolled out. Your business plan should be three or four pages. Decide on Timing When will your company begin operating? When can you start to provide your product or service? The sooner you start planning for your company to begin operations, the better off you will be. Consider Financing Will you need any cash for your company, such as for equipment or supplies? If so, how will you finance it? Can you ask family or friends for money? Will you need a bank loan? Find out about grants or subsidies that the government (municipal, provincial or federal) may offer for start-up operations or youth-run business. Keep your initial costs as low as possible so you have less to pay back later.

Ask Questions Talk to people who run or have owned a summer business before. What did they like or dislike about their experience? What worked well? What would they do differently? Plan Sales and Marketing How will you market and sell your product or service? Will you need business cards, flyers or brochures? Is it best to market your product or service online or by referral? Let as many people as possible know about your venture as early as you can. Most start-up businesses rely on referrals from family and friends to get the business going. Use free or low-cost online tools, such as Facebook, to market your company. If you’re not good at selling yourself, get some sales training. Find Your Competitors Research the industry. Who are your competitors? How much do they charge for the product or service? How will you set yourself apart from them? Think about Staffing What if you get too busy to handle everything on your own? Will you need to hire others to help you? Who will you hire, how will you find them, and how much will you pay them? Stay Organized Tally up the number of days you have to produce revenue during the summer. Plan your days, weeks and months ahead of time in order to earn as much as you can. Set up an Accounting System Set a budget for your company so you can measure your results. Keep all your receipts for everything you spend money on for the company. Answer the following questions:

» Will you need a bank account for your business? » How will you invoice your customers? » How quickly will your clients need to pay you? » Will you accept credit cards, cash or cheques (or all three) as payment? How much credit will you provide to your customers? How and when can you get financial information, such as financial statements, accounts receivable listings, and so on?

Key Points to Consider Here are some key points to think about before you plan your summer business venture:

»

Is the product or service something that people need, want or can use? For how much will you sell your product or service? If you’re selling a product, who is supplying the product to you? Is the supplier reliable? If you’re selling a product, how will you handle any returns? Would you be better off with a partner to help you get things off the ground? Where will your company be located? Can you be based from home or will you need space to store your inventory?

» » » » »

» Will you incorporate the business? » Do you need insurance for the product or

service you will sell? Do you want to create a website? What do you need to get it up and running? How can people contact you? What phone number, email address and other contact information will you provide?

» »

Winding down Some people shut down their business at the end of the summer, while others keep it going part-time during the school year. Think about what would work for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

» What will happen to the company at the end of the summer?

» Will you continue it part-time through the next school year, or will you wind it down?  Can someone else manage it for you if it continues to grow once the summer is done?

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Running a company can be fun and can earn you enough money to get you through the next school year. Before you start your own company, make sure your heart is fully into it, keep things simple, and keep your costs as low as possible from the very beginning. Good luck! CO

» »

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Marc Belaiche, C.A., is President of TorontoJobs.ca, an Internet recruitment business and recruiting firm (www. TorontoJobs.ca).

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Finding a Summer Job Your Plan for

By Panagiota Panagakos

a Successful Search


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hinking about looking for a summer job? To be successful with your search, you need to have a plan. Treat your summer job search with the same dedication and energy you would use in looking for a full-time job. Below are some tips to make sure you are successful with your summer job search. Start Early David Hurlbut, Career Advisor at George Brown College, recommends starting your summer job search early in the school year: “This is the most important thing to keep in mind when looking for a summer job. Begin looking by December. Don’t wait until April, because that will be too late.” In some fields, you must start applying even earlier. Accounting firms, for example, make their hiring decisions as early as September. Investment banking and consulting firms start recruiting in November for the following summer. Start early so you don’t get left behind. Visit your Career Centre Make sure to check out your Career Centre in the first week of classes to find out about recruiting events, such as summer job fairs, that will be held throughout the year. These events are a great way for you to get face time with recruiters, find out more about their organizations and learn about the types of jobs they are recruiting for. Your career centre will also post summer jobs, either online or on a job board, that employers are recruiting for at your campus. Get in the habit of checking these regularly. If you want to work on campus, ask professors early about campus jobs. These positions are highly valued and very difficult to get—especially for first-year students. Visit your Career Centre and ask a career advisor when summer jobs are posted, what type of student employment programs are available on campus and what resources your school has to support your job search. Note: it’s not unusual for on-campus jobs to be available only to students who demonstrate financial need (e.g. receive student loans). Make an appointment with a career counsellor or advisor Your career counsellor can help you link your long-term career goals to your summer work. By developing a plan with your career counsellor, you can build on and enhance your skills each year. Your career counsellor can also help you prepare your resume, give you feedback on your interview skills and coach you throughout the process to make sure you’re on track. Once your plan is in place and your resume is done, start applying for jobs. Look beyond on-campus recruitment and advertised jobs. Be proactive: find those “hidden” jobs. Here are a couple of tips to help you be successful: Make a list of places where you’d like to work, then contact the company to find out about any summer opportunities.

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» Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job. Don’t be afraid to ask people you know for contacts they may have. You never know where a summer job lead might come from. What If I Don’t Land a Job in My Field? Often students will say to me, “But I have no skills. I have only worked in retail or in the fast food industry.” If this is you, think about all the transferable skills that you have gained at these jobs that will help you land that dream job once you graduate. Employers identify communication, customer service, teamwork and leadership as key skills they are looking for in ideal candidates. When looking for a summer job, try to identify how it will help you build these skills. Hurlbut agrees: “Any summer job is a benefit to your future, regardless of your field, as it demonstrates transferable skills, which are a prequel to future jobs.” Let’s suppose you work in the retail or fast food industry. In these types of workplaces, you deal with a lot of customer service issues, which means you are constantly using and improving your communication skills. You are also a member of a team. You may have proven leadership skills if you show initiative or have been promoted to team lead positions. You’re working in a fast-paced environment, constantly juggling a variety of tasks. You know what it’s like to report to someone and to be accountable. These are all important transferable skills you can take to any work environment. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t land a job in your field. Instead, ask yourself, “What skills will I develop in this job that will help me find work once I graduate?” Here are some ideas and possibilities for your job search: Working Abroad Employers are impressed with students who have international experience, as this shows that they are adaptable, have experience with other cultures and may even know another language. Begin your international summer job hunt early, as many students are interested in these exciting opportunities. If you want to find work overseas, here are just a few places to check out: SWAP: www.swap.ca Going Global: www.goinglobal.com Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): www.acdi-cida.gc.ca Using Employment Agencies When I was a university student, I spent an entire summer doing temporary work and really enjoyed it. I spent time in a variety of work environments, met many different people, and gained a lot of valuable skills that I wouldn’t have gained if I had worked in only one place doing the same job all summer long. You can find a list of employment agencies where you live on www.canada411.ca. Simply type “employment agencies” as the keywords in the “Find a Business” section of the web page. Ca reer O p t io n s

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Your university or college may have a temp agency as well. UTemp at the University of Toronto provides temporary staff for the university: http://www.jobs.utoronto.ca/utemp.htm YUTA does the same at York University: http://www.yorku.ca/hr/services/ applicants/yuta.html Volunteering By volunteering, you will not only give back to the community and enhance your skill set, you will meet tons of people from a variety of careers who will become part of your network. Volunteering can also supplement your summer job experience. Let’s say you want a job in the healthcare industry after graduation, but are working as a cashier at a drugstore for the summer. Consider volunteering at a hospital, where you can gain some skills and meet people in your area of interest. Let’s face it: times are tough. If you can’t find a paying job this summer, or if you find part-time work, volunteering is a great way to gain some workrelated skills and avoid a gap on your resume. “A volunteer position isn’t less valuable than a paid job, because the experience alone is recognizable in the future,” says David Hurlbut. “If you can’t get that paid job, doing something is better than nothing.” Here are a couple of non-traditional volunteering ideas: www.planetvolunteer.net: Provides links to volunteering, internship and apprenticeship opportunities, working on organic gardens and farms in Canada and abroad. www.katimavik.org: Katimavik’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of communities across Canada through challenging volunteer service programs. Starting Your Own Business If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, think about starting a business during the summer. Are there dogs in your neighbourhood that need to be walked? Do your neighbours need their lawns mowed? Swimming pools cleaned? Windows washed? Kids babysat? Look around for a need in your community that you can fill. The Ontario Government’s Summer Company program awards up to $3000 to students who want to set up their own summer business: http://www.ontariocanada.com/ontcan/1medt/youth_summerco_index.jsp On a final note, Hurlbut reminds students to “start early, get creative, look outside of the service industry and be prepared to travel.” Whatever you decide to do this summer, push your limits! Remember that each step you take today will lead to great opportunities tomorrow. CO 28

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Opportunities » Here are some websites (in alphabetical order) that may help you find summer job opportunities in your province. Alberta Summer Jobs http://jobs.alberta.ca/ British Columbia Summer Jobs http://employment.gov.bc.ca/index. php?rLoad=1&rLoad=2 CampPage http://www.camppage.com/ A comprehensive listing of summer camps and wilderness programs for youth in the United States and Canada. Canada Summer Jobs http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ epb/yi/yep/programs/scpp.shtml Canada’s Wonderland http://www.canadaswonderland.com/ jobs/jobs.cfm Seasonal and permanent jobs at Canada’s Wonderland. Cool Jobs Canada http://www.cooljobscanada.com/ Job board for resorts, tour companies, camps and parks. Tour guides, site interpreters, outdoor education, lifeguards, and similar tourism-related jobs. Mostly summer and seasonal work. Choose your province or territory. Cool Works http://www.coolworks.com/ Summer and other jobs in the U.S. Students who are not eligible to work in the U.S. must have a special visa. See website for details.

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ExtremeJobs http://www.extremejobs.ca/ gretjobs2.php This part of ExtremeJobs features resort and adventure jobs. Includes links to ski and sun resorts, mostly in western and central Canada. Includes summer jobs in Rocky Mountain resorts and elsewhere. Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) http://jobs-emplois.gc.ca/fswep-pfete/ index-eng.htm Opportunities to gain valuable work experience with a number of federal organizations. For students studying in Canada, or Canadian students studying abroad. Candidates must be returning to school after the program. Intrawest http://www.intrawest.com/ employment/index.htm Resort jobs in Canada and the United States. Job Bank: Student job search http://jb-ge.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/prov_ en.aspx?Student=Only Job Bank is the largest web-based network of job postings available to Canadians. Search for the jobs collected and posted daily across Canada. An easy-to-use resource. Just for youth and students http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ audiences/youth/employment.shtml Link to Service Canada programs:


Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP), career programs, youth internship programs, Summer Work Experience for students, Skills Link program for youth facing barriers. Many more programs supported by the federal government, including information on employment insurance (EI), targeted wage subsidies and job creation partnerships. Language learning and exchange programs http://www.cmec.ca/Programs/ol/llep/ Pages/default.aspx Two programs for young adults interested in learning French or English. Manitoba Summer Jobs http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/youth/

Mazemaster job board http://www.mazemaster.on.ca/users/ jobbank/jobpostings.aspx Jobs for teens and young adults. Full-time, part-time, summer and seasonal, temporary and contract jobs in Ontario. New Brunswick Summer Jobs http://www.gnb.ca/0163/employ-e.asp National Research Council Canada http://careers-carrieres.nrc-cnrc. gc.ca/main_e.html NRC hires experienced university staff, co-op students, summer students and new graduates at the master’s and Ph.D. levels, including post-doctoral fellows. Also operational staff. See “Who we hire” for a list of core competencies.

National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/ Students-Etudiants/index_eng.asp Provides funding for organizations to hire science/engineering students. Both students and employers must apply for approval for this program. Nunavut Summer Jobs http://www.gov.nu.ca/hr/site/ studentprograms_2009.htm Ontario Rangers http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/ Business/Youth/2ColumnSubPage/ STEL02_163379.html Eight-week summer program of outdoor work and learning for young Ontario residents.

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Ontario Summer Employment Programs http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/RSSH.asp Opportunities for youth and students in the Ontario Public Service, its associated agencies and community groups through its summer employment programs. Positions in fish and wildlife programs in provincial parks, community-based recreation programs, administration of justice and law enforcement, and public safety. Also a student exchange program with the Government of Quebec. Parks Canada http://www.parkscanada.gc.ca/agen/ empl/index_e.asp This website describes types of jobs with Parks Canada, volunteering, information about Canadian Student Programs, training and information for non-Canadians.

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Parks of the St. Lawrence Employment Opportunities http://www.parks.on.ca/jobs/â&#x20AC;&#x2039;index.htm Jobs at the parks, Fort Henry and Upper Canada Village. Quebec Summer Jobs http://emploietudiant.qc.ca/en/ accueil.asp Saskatchewan Summer Jobs http://www.aeel.gov.sk.ca/see Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP) www.swap.ca You pay them to arrange work abroad summer opportunities. You may not earn much, but will experience living in a different culture.

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Summer company http://www.ontariocanada.com/ ontcan/1medt/youth_summerco_ index.jsp Come up with a business idea of your own and you could score up to $3000 to bring your vision to life. Get a mentor to guide you. Summer Work Experience http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ sc/youth/summerwork.shtml Under the Youth Employment Strategy, the Summer Work Experience program creates summer employment opportunities for secondary and post-secondary students. Find your local Service Canada Centres for Youth for help finding a job. http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ sc/skills/targetedwagesubsidies.shtml Information for employers and students about a wage-subsidy

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program that enables employers to create career-related summer jobs for students. Summer Work Student Exchange / Emplois dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Ete Echanges Etudiants http://www.emplois-ete.com/ A six-week summer exchange employment program for students aged 16 and 17. Apply through your federal Member of Parliament. TalentEgg http://talentegg.ca/index.php TalentEgg is a career portal for Canadian students and new grads. Entry-level jobs, summer jobs, internships. Work Study Programs Available at most academic institutions for students who are able to demonstrate financial need, these programs offer attractive

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opportunities to work on campus. Speak with your career centre or student financial aid officer. Working.com student jobs in Toronto http://working.canada.com/toronto/ sectors/students.html Student and summer jobs in the Toronto area. Youth Employment in Natural Resources http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/ Business/Youth/index.html Summer jobs, co-ops, exchanges and other temporary positions in Ontario. Yukon Summer Jobs http://www.yuwin.ca/english/index. cfm?cat=3?x&sub=12


weekly reports and meet targets set out by the client. Through this day-to-day management of their responsibilities, they hone their skills in organization, time management and strict attention to detail. Once they master these skills and keep improving them, the students have a better understanding of how to manage a project.

By Stephanie Vicic and Brooke Browning

Mapping the Road Ahead A Look at One Summer Job and the Skills Developed Along the Way

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hen it comes to planning your career path, it is tough to know what kind of summer job will give you the skills you need for future success. Even once you have had a summer job experience, it can be a challenge to identify the specific skills you have gained and shown in your work. While some skills may be obvious, others can be harder to identify. This article will help you answer these questions: What are skills? How do you describe them? What is worth adding to your resume? In this article, we will refer to one summer job that allows university students in British Columbia to acquire a range of skills. They gain first-hand knowledge and develop skills in marketing, and do some hands-on government, community and media relations work. At the same time, they tour beautiful B.C. on an all-expenses-paid road trip!

municipal and regional district contacts, take part in media interviews as spokespeople for the program, and attend community events to hand out promotional materials. The position involves a lot of responsibility, accountability and creativity. The team has some fun while gaining valuable experience in the field of communications. At each stop on their summer road map of experience, the students build valuable and important transferable skills that will help them in their future careers. Here are some of the skills they develop. Organization, Time Management and Attention to Detail Throughout the summer, the students must manage monthly budgets, plan their route and schedule for travel, coordinate meetings, deliver

Writing While school gives many students a solid foundation for writing skills, the work environment helps individuals hone those skills as they write for various audiences and outlets, including business, email, the web, blogs and other media. As ambassadors, the team must write formal, detailed summary reports of their meetings, as well as post regularly to their travel blog in a fun, catchy but informative manner. The job helps them gain valuable skills in understanding their audience and tailoring their written communications to that audience. Effective Public Speaking Effective public speaking is a key part of the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; job. The ambassadors are responsible not only for public speaking in the traditional sense (making a presentation to a captive audience), but also for speaking with the public one-on-one and mastering the art of speaking with the media in an interview situation. Knowing how to deliver key messages, getting the message across in a confident, professional manner, and ensuring that their audience is engaged with what they are saying are skills that will come in handy as they navigate through the working world. When you are looking for a summer job, try to find one that, like the BCUOMA Ambassador Program, will help you build and hone valuable skills that you will use throughout your career. By developing a range of skills early on, you will open up more career doors for yourself. Although the road ahead may be winding, and some roadblocks will appear now and then, if you have solid skills to offer you will always come across new and exciting opportunities. CO

Stephanie Vicic, a PR Account Manager at Grey Vancouver, oversees the intern co-op program, providing mentorship and helping students with their career progression.

Each summer since 2006, the BC Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA) hires two university students as â&#x20AC;&#x153;ambassadorsâ&#x20AC;? to travel the province in a branded vehicle and encourage people to recycle used oil materials responsibly. Over a 13-week period, the students visit registered return collection facilities that take back materials from the public, meet with

Brooke Browning graduated from the University of Western Ontario in April 2009. She recently began working as an intern with Grey Vancouver. She finds her work to be a fantastic opportunity for acquiring skills and experience.

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E g r


‘‘

I magination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Why imagination is absolutely critical to successful career decision-making!

Einstein got it right By Jan Bottomer

We live in an age of unparalleled access to information, with facts, stats, lists, directories, online links and print resources galore at our fingertips. Virtually everything you could ever want to know about a particular occupation, organization or industry is out there somewhere, and the career resource centre at your institution will be more than happy to help you find the information you need.

However, for students launching their careers, and attempting to make sense of the many options available, having enough

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relevant and timely information to make informed decisions is a key part of the process… but it isn’t everything. Current labour market statistics and information? Check. Lists of possible occupational titles? Check. Interest inventories and personality tests? Check. Salary scales? Check. Grad school admission stats? Check. Company/organization information? Check. Personally satisfying and fulfilling career path? Uh… not so sure. Astonishingly, despite the depth and prevalence of career-related information currently available, survey data reported in a recent Globe and Mail article (“Did you make the right career choice?” June 11, 2009) indicates that many North Americans report feeling unsure as to whether their chosen career path was the best one for them. An earlier article in The Vancouver Sun (“Dream job may only be a dream,” August 29, 2007) went even further in noting that a substantial majority (82%) of Canadians have not entered their ideal career path. The fact is that information may not be enough, in and of itself, for you to choose that ideal career—at a certain point you also need to indulge your imagination. For all that you benefit from knowing the concrete facts and parameters influencing your career decisions, allowing yourself the time and space to dream and to wonder, to imagine change and possibilities, is absolutely essential. Effective career planning is about getting a job, yes, but it can also be about so much more: honouring your beliefs and values; getting back to the essence of who you are and what you care about; deciding on the kind of life you want to lead and the kind of world you want to help build. In short, imagining the possibilities from the personal all the way to the global. At the recent Canadian Association of College and University Student Services Conference in Kitchener-Waterloo, I was enthralled by the final keynote speaker, Lisa Glithero, a committed environmental educator who spoke passionately about the need to inspire students to effect meaningful change. It is clear to Glithero that our planet simply cannot afford to continue on its current unsustainable course. Now more than ever, the world needs the energy, optimism and idealism of young people who can both envision and then work towards change. Environmental or social, cultural or political, the change will likely look very different to each one of us, but we need to start imagining it! Just as there is no one right way to effect change and build a more sustainable world, there is also no one right way to plan your career. The key to both lies in channelling your imagination, energy and sense of responsibility—in being true to who you are, who you want to become, and how you want to be in the world. This is a big task and the answers are far from straightforward, but taking a close look at your personal and professional values is a good place to start. Values are the beliefs and ideas you consider most important, the ones that ultimately motivate you to get up in the morning and make life worth living! 34

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śallowing yourself the time and space to dream and to wonder, to imagine change and possibilities, is absolutely essential.â&#x20AC;?

Unfortunately, they are frequently overlooked in career planning, as most people tend to focus instead on their skills, talents, achievements and interests. All of the above also play a role, of course, but research consistently shows that finding a position that fits with your values is key to your long-term career satisfaction. Allow yourself for the moment to put aside the values of your family, friends and others, and ask yourself what truly matters to you, what motivates you in your life. Is it the respect of your peers? Earning a comfortable income? Developing and using expertise? Making a difference in the world? Being at peace with yourself? Having a happy family? What are the themes that consistently resonate with you? Helping others? Adventure and travel? The outdoors? Community and relationships? Competition? Creativity? Intellectual stimulation? Environmental sustainability?

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Get back to basics by quickly jotting down on paper all of the things you wanted to be “when you grew up,” from as far back as you can first remember right up until the present day. Yes, even those embarrassing and seemingly irrelevant ideas from your kindergarten and grade school years! When I and my colleagues at the McGill University Career Planning Service (CaPS) ask students to do this activity, some come up with a handful of titles, others with close to 20. But in every list I have seen so far—even those that at first appear somewhat “random”—we are able to find some common threads, consistent values and themes that provide clues as to what is really essential and meaningful to each individual. Below, by way of illustration, is my personal list, in roughly chronological order: Figure skater Gymnast Teacher Journalist Librarian Orchestral musician

Doctor Audiologist University professor English teacher Travel writer/editor Career counsellor/Psychologist

Which consistent themes and values do you identify in this list? Here are a few that stand out for me:

» P erformance: a musician since the age of four, I have always loved to perform, be it in a musical/artistic capacity or a more educational capacity (e.g., putting on a workshop or moderating a panel of speakers) Working directly with people in a helping capacity Writing/reading/language Knowledge of and interaction with the wider world Involvement with the arts Connecting people with information and services Helping others to reach their potential Education: obtaining it myself, working in an educational setting and facilitating learning for others

» » » » » » »

I am fortunate that a great deal of what I value and care about comes together in my current professional role as a Music and Arts Career Advisor at McGill, a position I had no idea existed just two years ago. Even as early as childhood, however, the kinds of careers I dreamed about, and the things that mattered and continue to matter to me, all subtly pointed me in this direction. So by all means, be sure to avail yourself of the myriad career-related resources out there, and stay up-to-date and informed on labour market trends. But don’t forget to give your imagination free rein occasionally as well, and to stay in touch with your personal values, your optimism and your ideals. As a great thinker, Mahatma Gandhi, once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” while investing in your own personal and career satisfaction at the same time. Enjoy the ride! CO Jan Bottomer is the Music and Arts Career Advisor, McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS).

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“The Co-op program worked as an important stepping stone for me because it was on my work terms that I learned how to apply the skills I learned in university to business world problems. ”

I photo: Pam S plett, U niversity of Regina Arts Student S ervices O ffice

n just one year, Chris Burgess went from being an exceptional Arts Co-op student to being an exceptional (albeit occasional) supervisor of an Arts Co-op student. How did he advance so quickly from student to supervisor? Co-operative education was key to his quick transition.

By Regan Seidler

From Student to Supervisor Co-op Is the Key

Chris joined the University of Regina’s Arts Co-op Program in Summer 2006, taking part in the job search process to secure a work term to begin that September. With a young family and a mortgage, Chris may have had more job search challenges than other new co-op students. But with minimal professional work experience and a declared major of history, Chris’s question was one that most students who are starting co-op ask: “How can I get experience when I can’t get a job, and how can I get a job when I have no experience?” In Chris’s case, he found success by being persistent and willing to seek his first work term in a non-traditional work semester. For the Fall 2006 semester, Chris accepted a work term with SaskPower.

As Chris sought out and completed assignments that got more and more challenging each work term, he chose to return to SaskPower, where he demonstrated his value and his potential for full-time employment. By the end of his fourth work term with SaskPower, Chris had a long list of accomplishments. He had not only completed all the traditional assignments for his co-op position, including data entry and inventory management, but he was also coordinating the United Way Campaign for his work site and beginning to design a database. Back on campus, he was helping the Career Centre and the Faculty of Arts develop promotional materials to entice new students to join Arts Co-op.

excellent resume with some top-notch references. Co-op gave me the confidence, experience and skills I need to excel in an office environment.”

Reflecting on his choice to participate in co-op, Chris says, “The Co-op Program has been one of the best parts of my university experience. When I think back to how nervous I was during my first work term compared to how comfortable I felt at the end of my third work term, it becomes clear to me that I needed co-op.”

Chris says, “The Co-op Program worked as an important stepping stone for me because it was on my work terms that I learned how to apply the skills I learned in university to business world problems. Before co-op I was leery about applying for office jobs because I didn’t have a lot of business experience. Now I know that I am ready to graduate and enter the workforce because I have built up an

When asked how others might pursue a similar career path, Chris says, “My advice to any student would be to join co-op because it will give you an edge after graduation that you will not get in class.” CO

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In 2009, Chris began a permanent full-time job with SaskPower, where he offers guidance and mentorship to current Arts Co-op student Jon Milani. While Chris is quick to point out that he is not the official supervisor of his work group, he is prepared and required to provide management coverage when more senior managers are away. Chris shows leadership through action. As he explains, “I am always happy to give direction and help to [my fellow] employees and the co-op student if they require it.”

Regan Seidler is the Arts Co-op Coordinator at the University of Regina.

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Teaching cAreers Get your feet

By Maxine Dubuc

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f you’re a student aspiring to a career in teaching, community-based learning (also known as service learning) can be a great asset to help you reach your goal. Community-based learning (CBL) allows you to extend what you learn in the classroom in a practical, real-life setting. CBL also helps you to develop job- and industry-specific skills and experience. CBL can be obtained as part of a course you are taking or through extra-curricular activities. There are three common types of CBL: curricular, co-curricular and independent. Curricular: Part of a course At Huron University College, for example, students enrolled in the second-year English course “Victorian Literature: Major Authors” can opt to participate in a community-based learning project with Frontier College, a national non-profit organization that is focused on helping children and adults learn how to read and write. In the


course, students study literacy issues in the Victorian era and draw links to modern society. They are expected to volunteer with Frontier College for two to five hours per week, and one of their assignments is a paper that explains what they learned in school and in the community. By the end of the volunteer placement, students have acquired practice with teaching methods and experience working with children in an academic environment, as well as meeting the outcomes specified in the course. For Dennis Mungar, working with Frontier College helped him later during teacher’s college: “My CBL experience has been a great help to me in my young teaching career. Teaching is all about connecting theory and practice, and CBL gave me the head start I needed to become the best teacher that I can be.” Co-curricular: Facilitated by the school but no credits are obtained Many schools have alternative spring break programs in which students can participate. Sharon Lam, a Huron student, travelled to Honduras in 2007 with a group of 10 other

students and a faculty member. Sharon learned how to speak Spanish, how to fundraise in a group, and how to teach students from other cultures, as well as other valuable cross-cultural skills. “While we were staying in the city of Copán, we lived, ate, worked and played with the local people,” says Sharon. “It’s when you immerse yourself fully in this way that you begin to develop some actual understanding of the people and the dynamics of a society.” Independent: Your own project or volunteering Andrea Cole, a student at the University of Western Ontario, started a program to get teaching experience working with children aged nine to 15. Inspired by what she was learning in her writing course at Huron University College, Andrea decided to create her own tutoring program through the London Public Library. “I phoned and offered my services as a volunteer,” she says. “It took over a month to get in contact with the right people and get my proposal approved, but it was worth it. The best thing I could have done for

myself was to create a program that was specific to the type of experience I needed to gain.” For two hours a week over two years, Andrea scheduled appointments with students and their parents to review anything from a speech to an essay, in both English and French. Tutoring not only helped Andrea get accepted into teacher’s college, it also added experience to her resume and gave her an enormous sense of satisfaction. From working with children from various backgrounds, Andrea has also developed cross-cultural skills and experience that will help her teach in multicultural classrooms. “The most important thing I learned was how to communicate effectively, and instruct without bias,” says Andrea. “I probably learned more from my students and their parents than they did from me. I have no doubt that being open to different cultures will become increasingly important in today’s society.” CO

How to make the most of community-based learning opportunities » 2. Connect with your school: Contact someone at your college or university to find out about the opportunities offered. A list of contacts for many schools in Canada is available on the Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning website: http://www.communityservicelearning.ca/ en/partnerships.htm

1. Assess yourself and your career goals: Think about the types of careers that interest you and the skills and experience you would like to develop. Come up with a list of two or three areas you would like to explore.

3. Make the commitment: Make sure to allocate time to take part in your community-based learning activities. Also, keep a journal to log your experiences and thoughts to reflect upon later.

4. Reap the rewards: Make sure to feature your community-based learning activities prominently in your resume and cover letter.

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Commerce Students Dreams in the Downturn By Alicia Woodside

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any Commerce students choose their faculty for the lucrative careers a business education may inspire. With slightly higher tuition fees, a few suits and business cards, and specialized business classes, Bachelor of Commerce or “B.Com” students hope to break into these high-potential careers more quickly than their peers. But what are the realities in today’s economy? In the midst of the financial crisis in January 2009, the National Post reported, “Swiss bank UBS AG will announce more job cuts in its investment banking division next month, a spokesman said Thursday, declining to specify a figure.” This sort of statement was commonplace during 2009—yet another fearful remark about the broken state of jobs in the financial services sector. Can Commerce students rest assured that their degrees will still pay off with a great job after graduation?

“Can Commerce students rest assured that their degrees will still pay off with a great job after graduation? ” still a stable demand for students with a business background. Times of economic hardship create an even greater need for marketing efforts to stimulate sales, as well as financial expertise to cut costs and pass the savings on to price-sensitive consumers. Accounting jobs are known to be very secure, as accounting services continue to be needed regardless of the economic forecast. Shannon Thompson of Certified Management Accountants BC (CMA BC) reiterates this message, stating that “accountants are always in demand, whether we’re faced with a recession or a booming economy.”

According to a 2009 Forbes article about the top-10 most recession-proof jobs, Commerce students can still be envied for excellent job prospects. Ranked at the top of the Forbes list was Sales Representative, while Accounting Executive ranked fourth, Accounting Staff ranked fifth, Business Analysis/Research ranked ninth, and Finance Staff ranked a solid tenth. The majority of Commerce students are set for opportunities in these fields, with 29 percent of upper-year Commerce students registered in Accounting, 25 percent in Finance, and 22 percent in Marketing. Although investment banking opportunities are limited, there is clearly

Ernst and Young, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms that feverishly recruit students in the fall, echo a similar stability. Nancy Hudson, Campus Recruiting Manager for Ernst and Young in Vancouver, comments that the firm hasn’t made any plans to cut back on hiring students. “In fact,” she says, “our hiring was up approximately five percent [in 2009] from last year… We think it’s even more critical to attract and retain the very best people during an economic downturn.” She went on to say that the firm doesn’t foresee any changes to its hiring plans for 2010 either.

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So how will Commerce students ultimately be affected by the current economic climate? Those students who were looking to make it big on Wall Street may have an even slimmer chance of doing so than usual, but in other areas, there is room for optimism. While some businesses may turn to hiring freezes, the best companies will take advantage of this time to secure the best and brightest candidates, as financially weaker competitors are forced to cut back. Linda Gully, Director of the Business Career Centre at the Sauder School of Business, says,“What’s more important to them [companies] is the upcoming labour shortage, so they still have to keep their hiring funnel quite wide.” She adds, “The bottom line is, if you’re good at what you do, you will be picked up.” As for future prospects, once companies gradually recover from the crisis, they will have to confront the shortage in their human resources targets, coupled with an external labour market shortage. At that time, there should be a surge of opportunities and hiring activity. With a little patience and determination, today’s Commerce students can look forward to everything they imagined when they first set foot in the faculty. CO Alicia Woodside is a fourth-year student at the University of British Columbia who is specializing in the Marketing Bachelor of Commerce program. As a senior co-op student, she enjoys sharing her experiences and assisting others in their career advancement.


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Career Options Spring 2010