FEB 2014 | VOL. 16 No.5
CAREERS. EDUCATION. IDEAS. ALL OF IT.
ACCOUNTING E-BUSINESS MARKETING FASHION MANAGEMENT FINANCE HOSPITALITY & TOURISM MANAGEMENT HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT STUDIES MARKETING PARALEGAL STUDIES SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE FRONT PAGES THE FRONT PAGES
06 Crunchin’ Numbers
Learn about the many aspects of the retail industry in Canada.
10 Success Stories
Rachel Russo, national training and recruiting manager at Michael Kors, talks the importance of people and doing what you love.
12 Interview Tips
Jasmine Cumberland, senior campus recruiter at Target, asks and answers “Tell me about yourself.”
Al Roback, founder of Grass Frames, discusses the ups and downs of working on a team and the creation of something totally unique.
CAREER REPORT 16 A summer outdoors
Looking for adventure? There are plenty of summer jobs in the Canadian wild to make the season memorable.
SPECIAL REPORT 19 Retail life
We look at how best to choose which store you should work at, retail education to move up in the company, and internal management training programs to help foster the best talent.
24 what is supply chain and logistics? Although many young people haven’t heard of this field, SCL is one of the top industries across the country. We talk to industry professionals about why you should consider it as a career.
27 Careers in video games
The game design industry in Canada is the thirdlargest in the world, with a diverse set of careers available. We hear why gaming is exploding for interns and recent grads, with the added option of working for yourself on indie game design.
32 Supply chain postgrads
Getting started in this field can be a lot easier if you learn from experts beforehand. We tell you why you should consider a postgrad in SCL to leap into your career.
33 Gaming programs
One of the fastest-growing fields of study in Canada is game development. We look at a variety of programs to show you how best to get started producing games for a worldwide audience.
THE BACK PAGES 35 The salary report
Wondering how much you’ll actually make in gaming? We weigh different salaries to see who makes the big bucks behind the computer screen.
36 Revamp your resumé
Our HR expert Heidi tells us what to focus on and how to create an exemplary application.
FEBRUARY 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
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LOOKING FOR INDUSTRY INFO?
CHECK OUT OUR NEW CAREER GUIDES! www.jobpostings.ca/student-career-guides
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Anthony Capano email@example.com MEGAN SANTOS firstname.lastname@example.org @megnifisantos
Mishraz Ahmad Bhounr email@example.com
Nailah King, Heidi Murphy
Senior national account manager Mary Vanderpas
national account manager Mirelle Shimonov
EDUCATION ACCOUNT MANAGER Shannon Tracey
Communications Coordinator JAMIE BERTOLINI
Photos from thinkstock.com are used throughout this issue; individual artists have been credited. Jobpostings Magazine is published eight times in the school year. Copies of jobpostings are distributed to over 105 universities and colleges across Canada. Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reprinted in whole or part without permission of the publishers. “Thank you, Mario! But our princess is in another castle!” — Toad
You’ve got potential. We’ve got jobs.
It’s time to unplug, get outside and do something. With College Pro, you’ll get to spend a physically active summer working outside with your peers. Yes, it’s work. And it’s also fun.
1-888-277-9787 collegepro.com Find out now about jobs available in your area!
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Combo breaker From the desk of
James Michael McDonald Video games were my life. I was that kid that stayed in his basement in the summer and played game after game—pushing to beat Dr. Wily, M. Bison, and Kefka. (All you gaming nerds should get those references.) I’d only go outside when my mom made me or when I was walking to another friend’s house to play more video games. I craved the latest games and went so far as to get a job at a gaming store, I drew pictures of characters, I wrote stories about alternate adventures, and I sketched out my own levels. I was (am?) a geek and I loved it.
It never crossed my mind that thousands of people contributed to making those consoles and games, that even more manufactured the games, shipped them on trucks, and stocked them on shelves. I had no idea, at first, that games were predominantly made in Japan. All I cared about was that my princess was in another castle and I had to go get her. This issue is all about that process: getting the idea for a game all the way to you for your entertainment. Our main feature is on careers in video games. We speak with two Canadian indie game designers that have taught themselves how to develop award-winning games and we find out exactly what it takes to make it in game design. Colin from Electronic Arts Vancouver gives us the inside look at working for a large company and tells us what you need to get there. We also look at gaming programs at Niagara College and the Academy of Design at RCC Institute of Technology. What do these programs actually teach you and are they right for you? Once the games are made, it takes a complex system of people to get them to the shelves. We explore the supply chain and logistics industry to find out exactly what it is and what roles are available to you. Lastly, we have a special report on retail,
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
an industry that is guaranteed to thrive, no matter the economic climate. We look at retail management programs, retail education, and determining which retail environment is best for your personal style. We even talk to EB Games, to tie all three industries together!
have ideas for a career guide we don’t have yet, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you’re looking for information on retail, or any industry at all, Jobpostings just launched its online career guides. We’ve compiled stats, job postings, industry leaders, editorial content, and more to help you find as much information as possible on a career field.
You can find our career guides at jobpostings.ca/student-career-guides, and if you
If you’re like me and you have a passion for gaming, jobs in any of the fields above could yield great rewards, helping the game community thrive in your own way.
There’s lots of excitement in store for you as Executive Team Leader. We’re getting our Store Leadership team in place and are seeking ambitious people who can create the best shopping experience for our guests. If you have a passion for developing dynamic, sales-driven teams and are looking to grow your career, we can’t wait to hear from you.
Join our team. Expect the best.
target.ca/careers © 2012 Target Brands, Inc. Target and the Bullseye Design are registered trade-marks of Target Brands, Inc.
THE FRONT PAGES
CRUNCHIN’ NUMBERS Retail is one of the largest industries in the country. What would we do without the buyers and salespeople responsible for helping us fill our homes, closets, and bellies? We take a closer look at the retail industry in Canada.
Words Megan Santos // Illustrations Anthony Capano
1.9 MILLION CANADIANS MAKE UP THE RETAIL SECTOR, ACCOUNTING FOR 11.5% OF CANADA’S WORKFORCE.
BETWEEN 2002–2011, LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY IN THE RETAIL TRADE INDUSTRY INCREASED 2.2 PER CENT PER YEAR, COMPARED TO THE ENTIRE CANADIAN ECONOMY, WHICH INCREASED 0.7 PER CENT PER YEAR. RETAIL TRADE INDUSTRY ENTIRE CANADIAN ECONOMY
OF THE RETAIL WORKFORCE HAVE MANAGEMENT/TACTICAL OCCUPATIONS. (STORE DESIGN/PLANNING, LOGISTICS, MARKETING)
0% ON AVERAGE, FULL-TIME RETAIL EMPLOYEES EARN $19.03/HOUR.
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
ENTRY SALARIES FOR SOME POSITIONS WITHIN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY MARKETING ASSISTANT ANALYSTS
MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
OF THE RETAIL WORKFORCE HAVE OPERATIONAL OCCUPATIONS. (CUSTOMER SERVICE, MERCHANDISING, MATERIAL HANDLING)
Sources: ic.gc.ca, thestar.com, retailcouncil.org, ryerson.ca/retail
EUCALYPTUS IS GREAT FOR LOTS OF THINGS.
BUT DR. GRACIE WAS WHAT SAMSON REALLY NEEDED. www.avma.org
Healing animals like Samson is an amazing experience. So is studying Veterinary Medicine at AVMA and CVMA-accredited St. George’s University. You’ll study alongside aspiring doctors, public health professionals, scientists, and faculty from 140 countries in a fully integrated One Health, One Medicine environment. And SGU is small enough that students get plenty of individual attention but large enough to offer 52 degree programs.
Find out about information sessions and webinars in your area at sgu.edu/dvm
US/Canada: 1 (800) 899-6337 ext. 9 1280 sgu.edu/dvm • email@example.com ©2014 St. George’s University
Grenada, West Indies
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Your personality type: life of the Party You love meeting new people. You’re the one sending out mass texts to your friends on Friday night, pulling everyone together for an evening on the town. Whenever a visitor comes through, you’re happy to recommend the best restaurants, bars, and neighbourhoods—and you’re always looking out for new things to do or see in your city. These are the reasons why you’re well-loved and why your friends call you for help when they’re stuck on an awkward date. Congrats! You’re the Life of the Party.
The job for you: Sales Associate
The Home Depot Canada edition Depending on your personality, some jobs just look better than others. If you’re a die-hard creative type, you don’t want to spend your life filling out forms. And if you’re a high-level, abstract-thinking type, you probably wouldn’t want to chop wood for nine hours a day. That’s why we paired up a bunch of personality profiles to jobs available at The Home Depot Canada. Hope you find your fit!
Your personality type: The Charmer
You might not know it yet, Life of the Party, but you’re friendly and customer-service oriented, the key traits of successful sales associates. For The Home Depot Canada, that means being the first line of defense, the person who introduces customers to the store’s many departments, products, and services. And you’ll get to learn more about Home Depot’s ever-evolving array of services, all while meeting boatloads of awesome people.
Your personality type: The Brain
Aaawww, look at you! You’re such a gosh-darned sweetypants! Give yourself a hug. You deserve it, because everyone loves you and you love them back. You’re always eager to please, and can stay cheerful even when your bus is late and Tim Hortons is all out of crullers. Some people get energy from coffee; you get your energy from being around other people.
You’re someone who can handle information. Whether it’s dialing all your friends’ phone numbers from memory, or recalling the names of all 151 original Pokemon, you have every scrap of data at your command. In short: you’re a pretty smart person and when you have a spare moment, we’d like you to come over and help us program our microwave. Now, your gargantuan brain is impressive enough, but the icing on the cake is that you can use that knowledge to help people make complicated decisions.
The job for you: Cashier
The job for you: Kitchen Designer
Cashiers are the last people that a customer meets before leaving the store, and they can make all the difference in whether that customer comes back. Cashiers need to resolve problems, build relationships, and satisfy customers all while staying calm, collected, and cheerful. Some people would find that challenging, but for the Charmer, it’s just another day of being you.
Kitchen designers navigate and simplify the sometimesdaunting worlds of products, labour, and customer satisfaction. Using their in-depth knowledge of products, prices, and sales, they help customers find out what they need and recommend best practises. If you love being relied upon for your expertise, this is the job for you.
Your personality type: The Rock You’re organized and stable. You were probably the only student in your class with colour-coded notes and an agenda filled with dates and assignments instead of doodles of dragons fighting on unicycles. At work, you don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when you’re done. When people ask you what you’re doing next weekend, you already have an hour-by-hour timesheet printed out for them.
The job for you: Merchandising Execution Associate Merchandising Execution Associates are constantly creating shopping environments with strong visual appeal. But how, you ask? By executing merchandising strategies. By sculpting and following directives. And by using their keen eye for visual dynamics. And if you’re successful, you’ll be hitting deliverable benchmarks, which are ever-important to the Rock: You’ll be helping products fly off shelves.
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
Your personality type: The General Ten-hup! Sir, yessir. You’re the leader of this outfit, sir, and your outfit wouldn’t have it any other way. You know how to manage a group, fulfil objectives, and climb the ranks. You’re dedicated, and you’re always ready for action. When things go FUBAR, you’re never MIA. Whiskey tango foxtrot. Over and out.
The job for you: Department Supervisor Department Supervisors provide coaching and training for The Home Depot Canada associates. When they’re not pushing their team to the next level, they make sure everything is running smoothly in their kingdom. Supervisors don’t just lead from afar; they adapt to any position, filling in for any role, any time, and they’re ready to work any time. Day, night, or weekend, it doesn’t matter to the supervisor.
I’ve got the energy to help people.
And the power to make a difference.
Because working here is about more than helping customers choose the right product. It’s about making a difference in their lives and their homes. We call it “unleashing your inner orange” and it’s my ability to tap into my inner potential to help customers create a space worth calling home. Working at The Home Depot gives me the training and support I need to help customers plan projects from beginning to end. I take pride in knowing about all of the products and services we offer—and exactly how to suggest them to bring home improvement ideas to life. That’s the power of The Home Depot. – Anna, Home Depot Associate
We are committed to diversity as an equal opportunity employer.
Learn how tapping into your inner potential has the ability to help yourself and others.
Apply online at homedepot.ca/9174 and discover how youWecan unleash your inner orange! are committed to diversity as an equal opportunity employer.
THE FRONT PAGES
Rachel Russo COMPANY: Michael Kors Position: National Training and Recruiting Manager EMPLOYED: Two years Degree: BA Education & BAH Psychology change to ensure you are getting the best out of your people.
What skills have you learned through your work experience? The true learning and growth comes from the real-life dynamic work experiences. I have learned people management, people development, recruiting, sales, P&L statements, operations, customer service, and the list goes on.
SUCCESS STORIES Wondering how to get to the top? Read on to find out how this young professional is succeeding in the business world. Where did you go to school? I completed my BAH in psychology with a minor in child & family development at the University of Guelph and went on to complete a BA in Education at York University. What drew you to your current field? Retail was never a field I thought I would end up in. I took a sales associate role with lululemon as a part-time job and fell in love with retail. I love the interaction with customers and finding that perfect piece that will make a difference in their lives. How did you find your position? In business, it’s all about networking and who you know. I reached out to my network and found a past colleague who had previously worked with a manager at Michael Kors and asked her to pass on my resumé. However I didn’t stop there. I also went into a store to meet with the manager. Through both of these avenues, I was able to connect with the regional manager of Canada.
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
When I met with Michael Kors, there was not a position for me; six months later they gave me a call with a new position! Tell us about your responsibilities: I am responsible for recruiting and training for the retail division. I support the district managers and the stores in both of these areas of their business. From a recruiting perspective, I support the stores with any aspect of the hiring process from job fairs to new store openings to filling existing positions in our current locations. In my training role, I am able to create new trainings that are implemented into our stores. The training programs range from managers to new hires and include everything they need to know to be successful. What is the most challenging aspect of your job? The most challenging and rewarding aspects for me are the same: the people. When you are working with people, every situation is new and you need to always innovate and
What do you think it takes to be successful in this career? Drive and passion! I can’t teach someone these skills. If I see someone who has these two skills coupled with an egoless learning attitude, the sky’s the limit. Is there one accomplishment you are most proud of to date? My accomplishments live in the success of my people. One of my past successors has gone on to be a national training manager and he has shared with me that when he doesn’t know what to do, he thinks, ‘What would Rachel do?’ Now that’s success! Any future career aspirations? To become a director of people. I would love to be able to look at the big picture of a company in regards to people and culture and develop ways to make it better. What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job? Always tailor your resumé, your email, and your cover letter to the position you are looking to be hired for. If you send your resumé out to more than one company via email, never send it as a group email. Always research the company prior to heading into an interview with them. Finally, you always need to think of how you can stand out from the competition!
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE FROM RETAIL MANAGEMENT TO LOGISTICS, THIS PROGRAM OFFERS THE UNIQUE SKILLS YOU WILL NEED TO LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AS A FASHION BUYER, BRAND MANAGER, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, VISUAL MERCHANDISER AND MANY OTHER EXCITING CAREER OPTIONS.
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Do interviews make you sweat? Our HR connections and recruitment friends on the inside let you know what they ask and exactly what they want to hear.
Jasmine Cumberland CHRP, Senior Campus Recruiter, TARGET
Our question this issue: Tell me about yourself. As a recruiter, this interview question is one of my favourites, as it gives me a chance to learn more about the candidate I am speaking with, going beyond what’s in their resumé and cover letter. As someone who’s been on the other side of the interview table as a recent graduate, it’s also one of the questions that I have struggled to answer. After working through my own responses and asking this question to candidates I speak with, here are a few tips and tricks for how to best respond. First, put yourself in the shoes of your interviewer and think about why they are asking this question. All they may know about you is what you have submitted in your application, so this question is your chance to shine and to really get your interviewer excited about learning more about you throughout your interview. I like to ask this question to really get to know a candidate as a person—the person they would be if I were working with them,
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
beyond this interview when they might be wearing their “interview hat.” I like to think that this question helps candidates relax, which sets the tone for the rest of the interview. The best way to answer this question is with confidence! You are talking about yourself, after all. One way to help prepare is to think about what your personal “elevator pitch” is and use that as your starting point. If you met someone in an elevator, how would you tell them about your major accomplishments and contributions from a work, volunteer, and educational experience perspective in just a few short minutes? Are there other unique experiences that you can speak about to further tell your story? Unlike other questions you’ll be facing in your interview, you can usually expect that this question or a variation of this question will be asked. It should help give you an advantage in preparation and allow you to walk into your interview with confidence, hopefully landing your next role!
PHOTO © ADAM GREGOR
HE DELIVERED YOU.
Chances are you already know a St. George’s University doctor. There are over 11,000 SGU doctors in the US and around the world. And, SGU has put more doctors into the US health care system than two-thirds of US medical schools.* In 2013 alone, SGU graduates obtained over 800 residency positions in the US and Canada. Study medicine at SGU and join hundreds of SGU doctors from Canada. Find out about information sessions and webinars in your area at sgu.edu/md US/Canada: 1 (800) 899-6337 ext. 9 1280 sgu.edu/md • firstname.lastname@example.org *From an AMA data source, distributed in February 2010 ©2014 St. George’s University
Grenada, West Indies
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GRASS FRAMES IS Riding tall Al Roback carves his own path with bamboo bikes. Every business starts with an idea. The stand-out startups start with uncommon ideas, and that’s exactly what Al Roback had. During a trip to Japan, subcontractor Al Roback began experimenting with bamboo and immersed himself into cycle culture, starting a cycle co-op with local students, repairing bikes and encouraging cycling. But it wasn’t until he returned that the idea for a business was sparked. “When I got back, I was kind of in a rut and in reverse-culture shock,” he says. “I felt disenfranchised from things I was doing and thought ‘heck, why don’t I start a company?’” And that’s when bamboo bikes popped into his head. Al was familiar with Renovo wooden bikes out of Portland, Oregon. Because of his background with materials, he decided that bamboo would overcome any limitations related to wood.. He
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
says wooden materials “don’t lend themselves to being bicycles very easily, so you really have to structurally engineer it, whereas bamboo is point-to-point construction and you’re good to go.” With two long-time friends—a carpenter and a professional in middle management—Al began Grass Frames in Vancouver, but it wasn’t an easy road. “We had to learn quite a bit from the ground up,” he says. “What does a business need? What permits are needed? What connections are needed to source parts?” And he had to really know, inside and out, what a bike was, how it worked, and how to make it work well with a bamboo frame. “We came into it with a passion for cycling and cycle culture but that didn’t mean we were necessarily qualified for it. Because we didn’t carry a lot of bias from metal bike construction or carbon construction, we were able to rethink a lot of the process.”
wooden materials don’t lend themselves to beING bicycles very easily, so you really have to structurally engineer it, whereas bamboo is point-to-point construction and you’re gooD TO GO. The trio self-funded the company in the beginning by working on the side, using savings, drawing from several lines of credit, getting some help from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, and a matching loan from a local credit union. “I felt I needed to do something for myself and my future customers and I really want to build a company from the ground up,” says Al. “I was willing to take on the personal debt.” After some time, Al’s two partners decided to leave Grass Frames, leaving Al to run the operation, while still working on the side. “I’ve had quite a bit of mentoring over the last three years and one of the key pieces of advice has been to not get partners,” he says. “You’re the one with the vision, so if you can get the funding, it’s much better to have people working for you.” Al does admit that he likes receiving feedback from others and a flow of
ideas but, after his ordeal, he sees partners as problematic as well. Despite these obstacles, Al continues to have a lot of inquiries about his unique product. He was just at Capilano University, for example, being pitched to by marketing students. “When they were choosing topics, Grass Frames came up as an option and eight students thought it was interesting enough to jump at it. It was a really neat experience.” Al has two key points of advice: First, start small. “No matter how many people told me that three years ago, I just wouldn’t accept it,” he says, “so I ended up with a studio about four times too large.” And the other is to be realistic about profit and money and to focus on sales. “If you don’t have sales, it’s not a business. It’s a hobby.”
FEBRUARY 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
Summer work in the wild
Bring out your adventurous side with an outdoor summer job. We know—it’s February and practically the dead of winter. While the negative temperatures can be a let down, don’t let that keep you from planning ahead and bulking up your resumé with a summer job. This year, your plan is to step away from the popular retail gig or summer office job to try something different. What about a job in the wild? Perhaps the thrilling opportunity to fight wildfires in the West or work outdoors as an environmental engineer would be a good fit for you. Whatever it may be, now is a great time to start looking for the opportunity that best suits you. “Many summer students use seasonal jobs as a starting point in their career and continue working with the same employer after graduation,” says Ann Normand, communications specialist with Work Wild, Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA). “Forest companies provide a multitude of opportunities for summer jobs working with technology in mills or working outdoors in the forest.”
a great lifestyle to those living and working in these communities.” Along with the abundance of forestry in Western Canada comes the constant threat of wildfires in the area. Whitney Exton, wildfire information officer with the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) ministry, says there are summer job opportunities for young people interested in anything from lookout observers to camp bosses to firefighters. “We always get a lot of questions and requests for the wildland firefighters,” says Exton, mentioning that there are different positions available for those looking within the ESRD. “People love to fight fire and it’s sexy; it’s something that looks like fun and there are lots of opportunities and lots of competition for that.”
The AFPA is a non-profit industry association representing companies that manufacture forest products from lumber to pulp. Work Wild is a campaign from the AFPA that strives to help people find the career they’re most passionate about in the industry.
Spending your summer break fighting fires isn’t only a good look for your resumé, but it also offers valuable work experience and good income. “If there’s a lot going on, you might be on your shift for seven days or 12–15 days,” says Exton, “and maybe you’re working 12 hours a day so you get lots of money out of it.” According to Exton, those working in wildfire can make anywhere between $20–$26 per hour, with the opportunity to make more with overtime or depending on the fire season.
Normand says that the jobs currently in high demand are those in skilled trades as millwrights, electricians, and heavy-equipment mechanics, as well as forest technologists and general labourers. “There are forest communities located all over Alberta—some near mountains, lakes, and other natural recreational areas—providing
“One of the best ways to ensure graduates will be competitive when seeking postgraduation work is for them to get practical work experience while studying,” says Normand. “Summer jobs and co-op programs contribute to competitive resumés for those starting their careers in the forest industry.”
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
PHOTO © CODY MARSH
CANADAâ€™S LARGEST PARTY RENTAL COMPANY IS NOW HIRING
WAREHOUSE HELPERS We offer excellent wages, day/night shifts, plenty of hours, task variety and public interaction all in a safe work environment. We are looking for people who are enthusiastic, well groomed, trustworthy and enjoy working with the public.
Start Date: May 1, 2014 or earlier in Toronto
Apply now: email@example.com Fax: 416-391-4742 www.chairmanmills.com
Opportunity to be more than a employee.
to be a partner.
to be more than a employee.
Be Connected to Something Bigger Have you ever wondered what it’s like to manage a million-dollar business? To have direct accountability for your business’ operations, such as staffing and training, customer satisfaction, product quality, financial performance, security, and safety? Have you ever thought about leading a team of great people committed to creating a welcoming environment and a world class customer experience? Would you like to engage in volunteer opportunities and help your community? If so, a role in retail management at Starbucks may be just what you’re looking for. Managing a Starbucks store offers a unique experience unlike any other career. Starbucks store managers are the people who create the perfect setting for customers and partners (employees) to have genuine moments of connection each day. We asked four Starbucks retail managers from across Canada to share with readers what makes them passionate about their retail career at Starbucks.
What started out as a part-time job for Hilary while she attended college has turned into her full-time career. For Hilary, the role has been about connecting with the community. “Each day I have the privilege of having an impact on each person who walks through my doors,” says Hilary. “The relationships I’ve built with my customers over the years are what move me and drive me to succeed. The world we all exist in moves so quickly. We all need space to experience our own humanity. And this is what I get to create: a space for the businessman to take a breather and talk about his kids; for the student to gain a little perspective on life in the midst of exam season; for the widow to experience the warmth of friendship in the midst of grief. For me, retail is the opportunity to meet the deepest need we all experience—to be known and loved. - Hilary Branch, store manager | Saint John, NB Eager to explore the world of retail, Loic applied as an assistant store manager in Quebec after he graduated from university and was quickly promoted to store manager. “As a store manager, I had the opportunity to develop a new store and grow it to a million-dollar store in three years. Through this position, I had the opportunity to develop my skills and competencies by supporting not only my store, but the entire area of eastern Canada.” In his role as store manager, Loic also became a manager coach mentor (MCM), certified to lead newly hired store managers through their training. “At Starbucks I developed a strong knowledge of the retail industry. Four years after my first day at Starbucks, I was promoted to district manager and now supervise 14 stores in Montreal.” - Loic Lebrat, district manager | Montreal, QC With a bachelor of commerce, Charese thought she had an idea of what her office job would be like after she graduated, but she says her personality did not fit her office. “I couldn’t sit at a desk all day, which is why I am so glad I found Starbucks.” As a Starbucks store manager, Charese says she’s encouraged to ”be the outgoing personality I truly am. I make a living making someone’s day. I mentor a team of 25 partners and have an ability to fit my work schedule around my crazy hockey mom schedule. But my true fulfilment is creating a place where people can leave any other pressures somewhere else and know that they will leave with a perfectly made beverage and a smile. We are challenged as business owners to lead through the lens of humanity. (That’s a Howard Shultz quote, by the way). That fits my personality. That makes me thankful for my degree and that I have found my way to a company that lets me grow into the businesswoman I can be.” - Charese Chorney, store manager | Edmonton, AB “It seems like yesterday that I donned a green apron for the first time as a part-time barista while attending college, “says Jennifer. “Today, I am a district manager to 11 stores. Thanks in part to Starbucks’ tuition reimbursement program, as well as the focus Starbucks puts on partner development, I have been able to exceed goals that I had made and set my sights higher.” For instance, last year Jennifer travelled to two different countries to train Starbucks partners (employees) and assist with opening new markets. “Travelling to other countries to help open new markets and stores provided me with the unique opportunity to develop others as I developed my own facilitation skills and leadership capabilities.” While I never imagined that I would have had all of the opportunities and experiences that have been provided to me, I know there are even more to come!” - Jennifer Polz, district manager | Victoria, BC
Become a partner. starbucks.ca/careers
NUMBER OF RETAIL EMPLOYERS IN CANADA BY PROVINCE | 2011
30K 20K 10K AB
FLYING OFF THE SHELVES
More than just operating a cash register, retail is one of Canada’s largest, most lucrative industries, with a multitude of jobs for all types of people. | Megan Santos & Jamie Bertolini PHOTO © XIANGYANG ZHANG
FEBRUARY 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
RETAIL WORK ENVIRONMENTS & RETAIL DEGREES Retail smarts
Spotting a bad work environment before accepting the job offer. You’re the type with a gregarious personality who’s always open to team building and constantly encourages transparent communication at the workplace. After an hour-long interview with your potential employer, you realize that perhaps that work environment doesn’t quite meet your expectations: the store or office is quiet and seems like a mismatch with your outgoing personality. Although the interview may not have gone as planned, we think it’s beneficial that you can catch the red flags before saying “yes” to the offer. We look at how to spot the bad and the good as an applicant, ways to learn from it, and how some of Canada’s top retailers are executing their hiring processes.
20 The red flags
Refining the hiring process
Communication is key, whether it’s verbal or displayed on the backroom bulletin. Paul J. Bailo, CEO and chief digital officer of Phone Interview Pro, says job seekers should have an idea of company communication from the initial phone screening. “Look at the words they’re using and the feeling you’re getting from the emails inviting you to come into the office for a faceto-face. These are very indicative signs of a culture and a behavior that’ll be exhibited when you’re actually physically there.”
The bounce back
As the retail industry continues to expand in Canada, hiring managers are strongly focused on the talent acquisition process. “These pressures have really created a competitive landscape for talent,” says Ross. “Companies really want to make their candidate’s experience positive, and it starts by treating every candidate as if they’re the perfect hire for your organization and really romancing them through a process.”
Upon arrival for your interview, watch for human cues and observe, says Bailo. “Look and listen to see if people are talking to each other. When you’re walking and looking around, most times there will be employee communications or information on a bulletin board.” Holiday parties and team contests are often signs of an upbeat, non-mechanical workspace.
Don’t be discouraged if an interview doesn’t go as you originally planned. Jackie Ross, principal and lead recruiter of JRoss Retail Recruiters, says to assess the situation instead. “If you don’t have a great initial first experience, you have to decide whether that is a reflection of the individual you’re dealing with or the overall nature of the organization.”
Bailo says job seekers should use their “spidey sense” and just be aware of their surroundings. “You have to get a sense, and it’s nothing physical; it’s more psychological that’s going to say either ‘I fit’ or ‘I don’t fit.’”
Bailo adds that a candidate should avoid dismissing the situation simply because it was a negative experience, but instead to use it as a tool to learn from. “Don’t forget, if it didn’t go well it just means there’s a better opportunity for you out there.”
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
Retailers are also aware of their competitors and are continuously striving to attract the best and brightest candidates, says Ross. “The companies that are doing really well at it are those with really simple, comprehensive, and really branded-focused [processes]. Remember that the candidate experience ultimately starts with a click.” As companies become more competitive, Ross says that job seekers should seek out all aspects of an organization from training to benefits. “Those are areas I think candidates coming into the marketplace should be looking at in terms of aligning themselves with great brands.”
PHOTOS © Ciaran Griffin
Getting educated in retail
As a booming industry, retail is making moves on the school scene. Today retail is more than just a store associate and customer relationship. It is a multibillion-dollar industry with career opportunities for different expertises, yet it’s taken quite some time to receive the respect it deserves compared to its peers in other industries. Noticing the rapid growth of the industry, retail professionals reached out to post-secondary institutions in an attempt to educate retail hopefuls, rather than simply having them start from behind the sales counter to work their way up. Following this proposal, Ryerson University and the University of Alberta introduced their schools to the retail industry through a major within the degree in commerce and have become two of the top retailing schools in the country.
21 Schooled in retail | “What we’ve done is we’ve pretty much dissected retail as an industry,” says Celestine Saddler, academic coordinator and student academic advisor at the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University, adding that students study the roles of buyers, store operations, private label companies, and multichannel retailing. As more and more students study retailing in the classroom, Emily Salsbury, retail strategist at the University of Alberta’s School of Retailing, suggests students should also work part-time jobs in retail while in school. “Retail will give you so many personal skills that you otherwise wouldn’t get working another job in school,” she says. “The multitasking skills, talking skills, and the time management skills are the ones that are valuable when it comes to the workplace later on.” Aside from the in-class learning, retailing students also have the opportunity for hands-on experience through internships. “We offer a great internship program that we’re gearing up to do with all of our partners,” says Salsbury. “We pair [stu-
PHOTO © Wavebreakmedia Ltd
dents] up with our partners, look at specific jobs, and try to really line them up with good jobs.” At Ryerson, paid retail internships for its students are mandatory and the 400 hours are completed during their third year. “The reason why it’s designed in the
We offer a great internship program that we’re gearing up to do with all of our partners third-year level is because it allows the students to take their first two years of foundation in retail and understand what that means in terms of going out there and being a manager,” says Saddler. Academic advantage | According to Salsbury, retail careers as marketers,
analysts, and of course as managers are just a few areas where students find themselves after entering the industry. “Right now is the busiest time for retail; we’ve got so much expansion coming in from international, as well as national retailers,” she says. “Retail is changing and becoming a more lucrative career.” As retail programs are fairly new to universities, majoring in retail management can give students a competitive edge in the job hunt after graduation. Saddler says retailing students today have an advantage when entering the field compared to the retail baby boomers. “Retailers decided [it] is becoming one of the major industries in Canada and that people need to be educated,” adding that in the past, retail degrees were nonexistent and only retail and merchandising certificates were offered at universities. “Retail is a business; it’s a corporation,” says Saddler. “You are running a multibillion-dollar corporation. Should you not know how to look at the books and should you not know how to deal with people, you can’t be a manager.”
FEBRUARY 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
RETAIL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Leadership development in retail A look at different retail management programs fostering internal potential.
Getting more out of your retail career is now easier than ever with leadership development opportunities available at many companies across the country. Young professionals who thrive in a retail environment could find themselves an opportunity to move up in the company they currently work for. Here are a couple large-scale Canadian examples.
Loblaw | At Loblaw Companies Limited, recent and soon-to-be post-secondary graduates can apply to be accepted into their grad@loblaw development program. According to Loblaw’s careers website, grad@loblaw is a full-time program that provides successful applicants an opportunity to learn more about their company from a variety of different perspectives. Asma Moten, talent manager at Loblaw, says grads participate in three rotations over 15 months: store, merchandising, and destination department. Everyone completes the first two standard rotations where they learn how stores operate, how to provide a great customer experience, and how Loblaw chooses and sources products that end up on their shelves.
adding to the value of programs like these.
have contact with them on a regular basis.”
EB Games | The group manager program at EB Games is intended for store managers in the top 30 per cent of in-store results, says Janine Tadier, divisional vicepresident of people, risk, and organizational culture of EB Games.
During the final portion of the training program, candidates receive a mentor who is either at the senior manager or director level in the company. They receive the hands-on training during this time and learn what it takes to become a district manager.
“We very much pride ourselves on developing our internal talent and we’re committed to ensuring that they can be the best that they can be [by] giving them opportunities to do so,” she says. Successful candidates must go through a three-step process that focuses on theory and hands-on experience on how to become a successful multi-unit manager.
“The area that they have applied to and have been accepted into is considered their destination department,” says Moten. Grads can be placed in any destination department such as IT, store management, marketing, and finance, for example.
According to Tadier, the first two sections of the program involve conference calls. Candidates from across the country participate in biweekly calls to first talk with subject experts from EB Games for the traditional “classroom” learning segment. On the off-week, they participate in a conference call amongst each other to help promote their own personal development.
“The last rotation is where they get a rounded perspective of that department before they assume a full-time role within that department,” she says. And not only do the trainees receive valuable retailrelevant skills, they’re also guaranteed a position at the end of the program, only
“We also have them read selected readings regarding what makes a good leader and leadership that get results,” she says. “Really looking deep into what they’re doing, how they’re managing currently, and how that affects not only their business but the individuals who are reporting to them and
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If they’re successful, “they have the potential to be promoted into an area manager position,” says Tadier. Whether the development program is intended for internal employees or external applicants, they’re an excellent way to gain a deeper understanding of how a certain company operates and does business. “I think for both the organization and for the grad it’s win-win in a sense that the grad or the colleague in question gets an exposure to a variety of areas in the business,” says Moten. Both Tadier and Moten agree that establishing solid relationships by networking with colleagues, managers, and other participants in the program and throughout the company is also a great benefit. “If our future leaders grow, develop, and progress within the company together,” Tadier adds, “we believe that they are more committed to those relationships and, in turn, this has an effect on the team dynamic as well as long-term retention.”
PHOTOS © BONNINSTUDIO
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE FROM PROJECT MANAGEMENT TO PUBLIC FINANCE, THIS PROGRAM OFFERS THE UNIQUE SKILLS YOU WILL NEED TO LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AS A COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, PROGRAM OFFICER, POLICY ANALYST, BUSINESS ANALYST AND MANY OTHER EXCITING CAREER OPTIONS.
The beginnerâ€™s guide to supply chain and logistics Introducing a career in this fast-paced industry that takes care of moving your everyday essentials from producers to your front door.
Words Megan Santos // Illustrations Anthony Capano A career that consists of many hours of planning, purchasing, strategizing, and delivering. The supply chain and logistics industry continues to evolve and create jobs for young Canadians across the country.
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
Defining SCL | Supply chain and logistics (SCL) is the branch of business that overlooks the strategic sourcing and flow management of a product or service to an end user. To ensure the complete process is executed smoothly, SCL companies like UPS house a wide range of departments from direct operations crews to marketing and solution development groups to finance teams. “You end up with a fairly broad group of people involved,” says Jim Ramsay, vice-president of Global Freight Forwarding at UPS Supply Chain Solutions. “In terms of grads coming in from school today, quite often with some sort of background in finance, marketing, or operations; when you work for a company like UPS, there’s all of that.” Supply chain management often uses a tool called strategic sourcing which aims to drive savings through building strong companysupplier relationships, while also incorporating research of market conditions, customer needs, and organizational goals. “We offer our clients assistance in demonstrating their savings,” says Lindsey Fandozzi, director at Source One Management Services. “We do that through different types of reporting tools that we have, we help them track things like compliance and loss-saving opportunities through these tools that we’ve put in place.” Source One Management Services is a procurement service that focuses on guiding clients to ultimately drive cost savings. They provide expertise in not only strategic sourcing, but also in project management, negotiation, and inventory management, just to name a few.
Fandozzi. “It’s really important to have a supply chain be a central part of an organization and make sure supply chains are aligned with the company’s goals. I think that’s how things have shifted within the industry itself. It’s moving more towards that proactive approach to get the results and value that you see today.” According to Fandozzi, supply chain is about change management. “It’s really about demonstrating supply chain value, showing that sourcing and supply chain groups are more strategic than tactical,” adding that the operations within the industry were once very tactical. Technology | There’s no doubting that the advance in technology has contributed to the growth of the supply chain and logistics industry. It has enabled more efficient interaction between customers, companies, and suppliers, while also introducing services on a worldwide scale. Databases, online resources, and tracking systems are just a few examples of how technology has engrained itself into the industry. “From a technology perspective, we have proprietary databases of price points and suppliers, and that really helps us quickly identify areas of opportunity for our clients,” says Fandozzi. “We have a lot of real-time data when it comes to markets, tariffs.”
Part of the fun of the job is the fact that you’re dealing with a high level of complexity, meaning multiple countries are typically involved with transactions.
“We’re really there to be an extension of [our clients’] team,” says Fandozzi. “The reward is really getting the results for the clients and demonstrating the value that the supply chain team can bring to an organization.” SCL evolution | In the earliest days of supply chain and logistics, the abundance of resources, strategic minds, and technology ceased to exist as much as it is present today. “When you think about supply chain and logistics, it really has been through a remarkable evolution—almost to the point of a revolution—in the 106 years that UPS has been in business,” says Ramsay. The company started solely as a package distributer, providing delivery services within cities. “Today, supply chains typically cover thousands of miles, dozens of time zones, hundreds of suppliers and customers,” says Ramsay. “They brought a whole new level of complexity and excitement to what’s involved in the supply chain and logistics business.” The development of supply chain management and logistics has resulted in a much faster turnaround of products regardless of its location. “Whether that product is manufactured in Asia, as a lot of high-tech product is, it really is astounding how quickly you can get product from Asia onto a store shelf here in North America or Europe for that matter,” he says. Supply chains have developed into a vital part of a company, says
The ability to receive real-time data is a huge advancement for the Global Freight Forwarding department at UPS. “UPS is a transportation company that used a lot of technology, but in many ways, we’re becoming a technology company that provides transportation services,” says Ramsay. “The reason why I word it that way is we’re seeing more and more companies wanting to integrate their computer systems with our computer systems.” One particular way this is achieved is through a cloud-based system, which allows Canadian companies the opportunity to coordinate with UPS overseas to manage orders, quantities, and deliveries in a cost-effective manner. Education | In the supply chain and logistics field, the learning never stops. The Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University offers a master’s certificate in supply chain and logistics management for professionals in the field. The course has13 classes spread over a three-month period, including 11 different modules and discussions in everything from supply chain strategy, inventory management, sourcing, transportation, and other topics. “The reason that we do that is we like to have a solid basis of the supply chain and logistics approaches and concepts,” says Mark Edward Thomas, program director of the master’s certificate in supply chain and logistics at SEEC. “It’s like the wheat from the field all the way to the bread on your table—all of those things have to be coordinated all the way through the supply chain.” With an executive certificate in supply chain and logistics comes the opportunity to grow as a future leader in the industry.
FEBRUARY 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS
“They’re people that see themselves as upwardly mobile and they really want to take on more of the world and have that kind of energy,” says Thomas. “We get a wide range of people coming, but they all contribute well to the discussions.” As a course that is tailored to accommodate the busy schedules of business professionals, Thomas stresses that it less resembles a lecture-type environment, but instead acts as an opportunity for discussion. “This is a course where the facilitators come with a whole range of material and concepts to bring to the class; they engage the class to bring out good ideas that others have and cement ideas,” he says. The added learning experience at SEEC allows for professionals, with little or ample training in the field, the chance to develop skills they otherwise may not have acquired solely through their work experience. Thomas says it’s crucial to apply the knowledge acquired through the course into the field. “It’s one thing to learn the techniques, but it’s another thing to actually put them in place and be an effective manager. We try to make effective managers that have a supply chain expertise.”
The opportunity to participate in an industry knowledge refresher and the chance to network and collaborate with other professionals is what makes having the executive certificate in supply chain and logistics management beneficial. “They come out with clarity, knowing what the supply chain is about, and confidence in what they’re doing, so when they go back to work or in an interview they know that what they say has solid grounding,” says Thomas. “The industry has been doing nothing but growing over the past 20 years,” says Thomas, adding that most companies today employ chief logistics officers and supply chain vice-presidents, when physical distribution in the past used to report to sales departments. “Companies realized that it’s how you deliver to your customer that’s going to make them come back and buy more from you,” he says. “With that realization, companies are going to look for skilled professionals and the people that can relate to
In Canada, the average salary for a supply chain manager is $81,000.
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other companies’ supply chain people, so that they’re talking the same language.” Challenges and rewards | “I actually consider it part of the fun of the job,” says Ramsay, when speaking on the challenges of working in supply chain and logistics. “Part of the fun of the job is the fact that you’re dealing with a high level of complexity, meaning multiple countries are typically involved with transactions.” Issues with working with 12–14-hour time zones, cultural differences, and unpredictable weather conditions can add to the challenge (or fun) of working in the industry. “Anytime you have a supply chain that covers the distances that today’s supply chains cover, there’s always the opportunity for something to happen that causes a disruption in the supply chain,” he says, adding that despite those issues, SCL companies are on constant deadline. “Anytime you have a supply chain that covers the distances that today’s supply chains cover, there’s always the opportunity for something to happen that causes a disruption in the supply chain.” For Source One Management, a company who helps to manage the supply chains of its clients, at times may find challenges with stakeholders who feel uneasy with the sourcing process, fearing disruption of their current strategies. “They’re also afraid of sacrificing quality or they feel like the stakeholder doesn’t have enough time to participate in an actual sourcing process,” says Fandozzi. “We work through these issues everyday, and getting through those internal challenges and being very collaborative with the stakeholder, keeping them involved in the sourcing process, and let them know that our role is not by any means to take over.” However, with challenges come the rewards and Ramsay says it’s a very exciting time for supply chain and logistics. “In a lot of ways, [the industry] is a well-kept secret, but it shouldn’t be because there is some very interesting and fun stuff that happens behind it.”
Between 2001 and 2010, the industry added approximately 15,300 jobs per year.
More than 767,000 Canadians work in supply chain management.
Canada is the third-largest producer of video games in the world. Find out why tons of grads are jumping into this ever-expanding field. Words James Michael McDonald // Illustrations Oktal Studio The video game industry is bigger than ever. With the launches of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Playstation 4 showing three and four million units sold respectively, as well as blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Minecraft dominating global sales, the gaming industry is full of opportunity. And while some may think all the gaming careers are in Japan, Canada is actually a leader in the field. According to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada and Nordicity, there were 329 studios producing and contributing to games in 2013, directly employing 16,500 full-time employees and stimulating the economy of numerous other industries like no other. “The video game industry in Canada is enormous,” says Colin Macrae, senior director of communications at Electronic Arts in Vancouver, a studio that takes care of EA Sports, producing industry staple titles like NHL and FIFA. “We’re the thirdbiggest developer of video games in the entire world, behind only the US and Japan.” With studios like EA, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Games, Disney Interactive, and BioWare, just to name a few, it’s easy to see why Canada is a powerhouse in gaming. With that said, many people still don’t understand what goes into creating a game or how to carve their own path to a gaming career.
VIDEO GAME DESIGN
Level 1: The components “Video games is still, in some ways, a new-ish industry,” says Macrae. “The perception is that it’s just a group of five guys in their basement building games.” In reality, the industry has matured exponentially, even since he started eight years ago. “We’re much more effective in terms of how we manage our projects, we’re much more predictable in terms of how we do what we do, and it’s just exciting.” In rudimentary terms, games are created by two groups of people: programmers and designers. “On any given team, typically the largest community of people is the programmers and software engineers that are working on the game,” he says. Essentially, programmers are the people that know the technological side of things and assemble code to make the game a reality. “They typically have a bachelor’s or, in many cases, a master’s degree in computer engineering and programming,” many of whom arrive in a studio through co-op or entry-level placements. “The next biggest community on a game team would be the art team—the people that are actually building the athletes or characters within the game.” The art team creates everything visual, from landscapes to model animation and everything between. Like the programmers, designers should have post-secondary education as well, likely from visual arts or animation programs.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of other positions across Canada for non-techy folks. Gaming companies need salespeople, accountants, marketers—you name it. So if you’re not tech-savvy, don’t worry; there could still be a place for you.
Level 2: INDIE GAMING With the drive from the mainstream gaming industry, the independent gaming community (or indie, as it’s been affectionately dubbed) has exploded in the last decade, making Toronto and Canada central hubs for independent developers and studios. Indie designers typically work alone or with a small group of other developers, working on smaller games distributed directly on con-
soles or online on platforms like Steam. While it may sound much less exciting than working in a giant corporate gaming office, indie designers make their own hours and guide every part of the game. And while sales are not the same as big titles like Diablo III, there are major blockbusters like Fez, Braid, World of Goo, and Super Meat Boy which has sold over one million copies. Although education helps, independent gaming artists tend to be very into games themselves, oftentimes teaching themselves how to code from an early age. For Jonathan Mak, developer of Everyday Shooter and Sound Shapes, his parents owning a computer store helped him become familiar with computers as a child. “I learned about computers there and I met someone in school who knew how to make programs,” he says. “He wasn’t making video games but he knew how to program a computer. He taught me how to code and I started making games from there.” Mak studied computers in university, but learned all game development on his own time. He says it’s debatable whether his education helped. “It’s good in that it taught me a different way of thinking,” he says. “I don’t think the practical stuff was that useful, but it was good in that it gave me a sampler platter of different ideas that I can dive deeper into. The idea of thinking theoretically and making that practical, that bridge, was good.” Throughout his life, Mak’s created dozens of small games, starting extremely basic and working his way up from there. He hit it big when he created Everyday Shooter, a vibrant shooting game that made its way onto the PC indie game scene and eventually the PS3. Following that, he created Sound Shapes with musician I Am Robot and Proud, winning numerous awards and gaining more notoriety. Although it seems like a quick and fun task to create a game, he says Sound Shapes took approximately four years, with nine prototypes. Matt Hammill, designer of Gesundheit!, among other games, studied computer animation and illustration, also learning programming on the side. He says one of his obstacles starting out was that programming seemed like a whole other world. “Until I was near the end of college, I thought I couldn’t be a programmer because I didn’t take computer science and I hadn’t done programming before,” he says, “but then I downloaded an engine and just started reading some tutorials and realized that programming is not this magical, impossible thing for people to do.”
He says Gesundheit!, a multi-platform game, took five years to complete, but was the first to garner him a lot of awards and nominations. “I have a habit of working on games slowly over longer periods of time,” he says. “I probably started it five years before I finished it but it started as a side project while I was in school and working, so I’d work on it on the weekends.” This is a consistent problem for indie designers: until you have one or two successful games under your belt, you rely on grant money and wages from other jobs, slowing down the creation process.
Level 3: GRIT Being an indie developer is tough for very different reasons than working for a gaming company. Because you’re working for yourself, you have to be self-motivated and be an excellent multitasker. “When I started, I was entirely at home in my home office, so getting that separation between your work life and your home life was not the easiest thing,” says Hammill. “When your computer is set up next to your bed, you can just work all night and you try to go to sleep but you can’t because you’ve just been working up until a minute ago, so that was a bit wacky.” He stresses the importance of having people to get you out of the house and to bounce ideas off of. Mak agrees that his days vary greatly, especially working from home. “I don’t really plan out my day, like ‘today I’m going to program,’” he says. “Sometimes I intend to write code but I end up just playing guitar or piano for the next three hours.” Essentially, because you’re leading so many elements of the project, you have to work on anything or everything at once. “When the inspiration hits you, you should capitalize on it because it could turn into something,” adds Mak. “It could only be four minutes, but those four minutes could be good.” He says there is always an intent for the day, but if there’s any inspiration, indie developers have to act on it. Hammill is now working with two developers he knows from high school and college in a collective called Asteroid Base on a cleverly titled game, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. In a small team, there are more hands to help out and more voices to weigh in. The tasks are typically divided depending on each member’s skill set. “We’re a
team of three people, so I mostly do art, design, and some programming,” he says. “One does all programming, and the other does some programming, marketing, PR, and business stuff.”
The ideal developer Although each game is different and each game designer is different, there are some things to keep in mind when deciding on this as your career path. “When we’re looking for new candidates across any of the disciplines that go into making games, we’re looking for people that are passionate about games, they’re fans first, they love this, they make it part of their lives,” says Macrae. He adds that they need people who are problem solvers, who are able to use critical analysis and critical thinking, no matter your role. Mak insists that you make sure you’re honest with yourself. “It’s really easy to make something and spend a lot of time engineering it and then it works. The engineering side of you says ‘That’s great! I built this thing! Under the hood, it’s so pretty!’ But when you play it, you have to ask yourself ‘Is it good? Does it play well’” Keeping a critical eye on your own work can be difficult, so having some honest friends as testers and getting feedback is very important. That said, be sure the people around you are supportive and that you believe in your decision. “When I started making video games and was getting serious about it—I graduated, this is what I’m going to do, and I’m going to make money doing this—there was a lot of negativity surrounding that,” says Mak. “A lot of people telling me I shouldn’t do that.” He says not to ignore it, but to surround yourself with like-minded people and to follow your passion. “The biggest separator of who gets to do it and who doesn’t is who’s willing to put in the hours to learn how to make things in these engines,” says Hammill. “The best thing to do is to just start doing it, even if you don’t come from a background in it. There are a ton of free resources online about learning game engines or learning animation.” “Liking games is a different thing than liking making games,” he adds. “If you don’t have a passion for making games, you probably won’t want to stomach all the hours.”
are you Career Ready? The Business School at Humber gives you ten ways to launch your career.
All of Humber’s Postgraduate Business Certificates prepare degree holders from any academic disciple for management and business careers. They all emphasize practical skills and knowledge and feature a work placement to make you career ready as soon as possible. Most are delivered in less than a year. Postgraduate studies at The Business School at Humber include:
New! Advertising - Media Management. This unique program prepares you to work in the dynamic field of media management at advertising agencies, media placement and sales organizations or in client marketing departments. Includes TV, radio, print, outdoor and digital media. Financial Planning. This program provides a pathway to careers in financial planning. It prepares you for the exams required to obtain the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, and to become licensed to sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and a variety of insurance products. And its four-week work placement will help you to connect with the financial heart of Canada. Global Business Management. The Global Business Management program prepares you for a wide choice of careers and gives you the time to decide which is best for you. Besides providing you with knowledge and skills in virtually all of the major functional areas of business, this program covers skills every business wants in every manager: leadership, communications, numeracy, creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork. Two flexible work placements – one in each year – give you the hands-on practical experience that employers desire. International Development. This program is designed for people who want to see the world and make a difference within it. It gives you the skills and knowledge required to coordinate and manage international socio-economic development projects and humanitarian and disaster relief initiatives. And features an eight-week work placement that often takes place overseas. Marketing Management. Humber’s Marketing Management program is one of the most comprehensive available. It covers all of the key areas: branding, product development, advertising, distribution, sales, direct marketing, planning, budgeting, strategy, and more. Plus, it includes a four-week work placement to give you the practical experience that employers demand. Prepare for management roles in the exciting world of advertising, promotion, public relations and brand marketing. Public Administration. This is the only program of its kind in Canada. It provides all of the knowledge, skills and experience graduates need to start successful public service careers. You will receive advanced training in communications, policy analysis, project management, information technology, public finance, governance, leadership and human resources management. These studies are anchored by an eight-week work placement program. Human Resources Management. Humber’s Human Resources Management program prepares graduates for careers that link organizations
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to their most important assets – their people. It covers all the bases in this diverse field, including: recruitment and selection, compensation, training and development, pensions and benefits, health and safety, and labour relations. And it includes a four-week work placement. Plus, it is accredited by the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) and prepares graduates for their Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. Event Management. This is one of the most comprehensive event management programs available. You will learn to develop, coordinate and manage events, sites and facilities; implement financial initiatives, program events, and apply marketing, human resources, operations and business management principles. Additionally, you will gain hands-on experience in event management practices such as planning, design, marketing, sponsorship, budgeting, risk management, evaluation and much more. Plus, it includes a fourweek work placement to give you practical experience. Fashion Management and Promotions. This program prepares graduates to work in the dynamic fashion industry. It focuses on new product development and branding, fashion buying and retailing, cosmetics and fragrances, multi-channel sales, promotion, merchandising, colour theory skills and trend forecasting. Graduates may find employment in companies that develop, manufacture, market, import, wholesale, distribute or retail fashions, accessories, fragrances and cosmetics. Alternative Dispute Resolution. This program is for students with a keen interest in negotiation, mediation and arbitration, whether as part of their current job responsibilities, or to acquire these skills for career advancement. The curriculum includes insurance law, labour law, family law, commercial law, system design and community mediation, together with intensive workshop training in the foundations of negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Graduates may find employment as conflict resolution facilitators and agents representing parties participating in the mediation or arbitration process in the areas of legal practice, human resources, health care, education, social work, real estate and insurance. Humber’s postgraduate business programs are offered in the intimate setting of the Lakeshore Campus, which is a study in contrasts. The surroundings have retained the Old World charm of 19th Century buildings, but they have also been updated to boast the latest advances in electronic classrooms and computer labs. There are also a fitness centre, student centre, cafeteria, coffee shops and performance spaces that will further enhance your experience. In addition to holding postgraduate degrees, The Business School’s instructors are actively working in the fields that are associated with their classes, bringing a real-world relevance to your studies. They all know the business skills that graduates will require in the workplace. Humber graduates know the value of the skills that are developed through The Business School. After all, they use them every day.
CHOOSE YOUR CERTIFICATE
ADVERTISING – MEDIA MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION EVENT MANAGEMENT FASHION MANAGEMENT & PROMOTIONS FINANCIAL PLANNING GLOBAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MARKETING MANAGEMENT PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
SUPPLY CHAIN & LOGISTICS AND VIDEO GAME DESIGN
Build your expertise in supply chain
Get ahead of the pack with a postgraduate education in supply chain and logistics management.
It’s an opportunity to sharpen your business skills and take on a career in a fast-growing industry. With over 700,000 Canadians employed in supply chain and logistics, the industry only continues to expand and create more careers for new grads. Postsecondary institutions across the country are offering graduate programs to students who wish to take their knowledge in supply chain and logistics to the next level. “There are a number of people who graduate from general BAs, so they need to have something that says ‘I need to stand out from everyone else,’ ‘I need a career in this field.’” says William Tennant, program coordinator for the School of Business, Kingston Campus at St. Lawrence College. The school is set to launch their new graduate certificate program in logistics and supply chain management at the Cornwall campus this fall.
roles range from distribution centre management to transportation managers to analysts. “There are a variety of things, but they are trained to be decision-makers,” he says. “We have many companies coming to us with programs set up to take our graduates in, train them in their own specific systems, and then off they go.” As one of North America’s fastest-growing sectors, employment opportunities have been on the rise, even for those coming from abroad. “It’s a good, growing field to get into where demand is still outpacing supply,” says Crupi. “Because of that, we see a lot of international students coming into the program, and even the Canadian students we get tend to be first-generation Canadians that come from somewhere else.”
It’s a good, growing field to get into where demand is still outpacing supply.
The program will include a four-month field placement, designed to introduce students to professionals in the field and to demonstrate their acquired skills. “With everything they were taught in the classroom, they will have an opportunity to put into practice,” says Tennant. “It’s a look for both the employer and the student for whether that’s the place they fit.”
Students focus on topics in purchasing, distribution, business communications, and international logistics, says Angelo Crupi, program coordinator for the supply chain management postgraduate certificate at Humber College. Crupi adds that the two-semester program is designed to lead graduates to “entry-level management positions.” Some of these
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When describing the ideal logistics and supply chain professional, Tennant says commitment is a key trait. “They have to be ambitious, motivated, and have to have done their homework. It’s not something that you go into saying ‘I’m going to give this a try and if I like it, I’ll take it;’ you’re really committing yourself to this field.” With much of the buzz for supply chain and logistics coming from abroad, Crupi says the job is exciting because “it involves every aspect of the business” and is an international industry. “Companies are sourcing material and labour, and they’re outsourcing production, so what happens in a small part of the world will have a huge impact on your business,” he says. “It’s a great field if you’re looking for an interesting and exciting job with good job prospects.”
PHOTO © Ciaran Griffin
Work and play
Studying video game development can lead to a career that is challenging, rewarding, and tons of fun. You’ve made the decision to work in video games. Now what? If you’re anything like me, you love video games but have no idea how to make one, and that’s okay! There are programs all across the country that will show you the ropes so you can find your place in this immense industry. At the Academy of Design (AOD) in the RCC Institute of Technology in Toronto, for example, you can enrol in video game design and development or design and animation, both specifically for gaming. “Both the programs also offer design courses, production courses, business for games, and audio,” says Jean-Paul Amore, chair for both programs. “Each student collaborates with one another to create games.” Collaboration and networking are key in these programs, a significant perk while learning design and programming. Students interested in indie gaming oftentimes come out of a program with a group of people they’ve found they work well with. “Ultimately what makes the program strong is working in a team environment,” says Conor MacNeill, professor of game development at Niagara College. “The projects they’re working on, that’s very close to working on an indie game or in a studio environment where relationships are very important. Everybody in your class has strengths. If you want to learn bowling and you have your expertise and the person next to you has their expertise, they can reach over and show you exactly how that’s done.” Game development strengths that you build while in these programs range from model development to landscape design to character ani-
PHOTOS © AODT.CA
mation, not to mention everything on the programming side. There are many different focal points, but you’ll get a basis in all areas, no matter the program. “We’re trying to develop wellrounded video game developers here,” says MacNeill, “so if there’s a young entrepreneur who wants to build a whole game by themselves, they can come here and learn everything that they need to do that.” These programs aren’t only focused on the fundamentals of game development, though. There is also game theory and history, as well as the business side of things, something that’s becoming more important as the indie game scene gains steam. “We have courses that train them on production, so how to manage a project, budget, and schedule,” says Amore. “We have courses on how to market games and how to complete proposals for funding.” At some schools, like AOD, students can complete a follow-up bachelor of business administration at partnered universities— Yorkville University, in this case. “The benefit to the student is if they worked on games that they would want to commercialize, they’ll have the means to do it.” Ultimately, these programs are about starting a career, so many will have internships available with local studios. And the instructors likely have backgrounds in game development, meaning getting on their good sides may lead to networking opportunities. Programs like these are for all types of students, from recent high school grads to mature students. It’s an open, exciting field, so if you’re interested, schooling in game design is definitely the place to start.
FEBRUARY 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
Berkeley Master of Engineering Program funginstitute.berkeley.edu/masters
Leadership in today’s tech world takes more than technical knowledge. It requires the management and business acumen to lead. The University of California, Berkeley Master of Engineering Program integrates engineering coursework with classes in leadership and management concepts, tackling real-world industry challenges through case studies and the capstone project.
Conestoga College, located in Waterloo region, is Ontario’s fastest growing college and a leader in polytechnic education. Our career-focused programs – from apprenticeships to diplomas, degrees to graduate certificates, continuing education and part-time studies – all reflect Ontario’s changing job market and will help you build the skills and knowledge that today’s employers are seeking.
Sheridan one-year graduate certificate programs enhance your diploma or degree with a blend of theoretical knowledge and work experience that fully prepare you to launch your career. Choose from more than 20 programs in arts, business, management, communications, technology, or digital media. Get the rewarding job you want.
100+ graduate programs with world-class research opportunities and strong support to enrich your educational experience and advance your career. Set your ideas in motion. Consider graduate studies at Queen’s.queensu.ca/sgs
University of Lethbridge
Brock is a rapidly growing University, offering 43 dynamic Master’s and PhD programs within 6 academic faculties. With our strong sense of community and personal investment in our students, Brock is a great choice for your graduate education.
Vancouver Island University viu.ca
Established in 1936 and located on Canada’s magnificent West Coast, Vancouver Island University (VIU) is a public university offering over 200 programs in popular areas of study like Business, Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Hospitality; Humanities, Social Sciences and Education; Sciences, Computers and Technology; and Art, Design and Performing Arts. VIU’s graduates are in demand by employers in the United States, Canada and around the world.
Ross University School of Medicine RossU.edu
Founded in 1978 and located in Dominica, West Indies, RUSM is a provider of medical education offering a MD degree program. RUSM graduates have attained more US residencies annually than those of any other medical school in the world over the last five years.
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
What will you discover? Explore innovative and interdisciplinary areas of research while working alongside world-renowned faculty members. Graduate studies in over 60 disciplines with many financial resources within your reach.
Dalhousie University dalmba.ca
Dalhousie’s Corporate Residency MBA - Enter our 22-month program directly from any undergrad degree, no work experience required. Within six months you’ll be working in an 8-month, paid corporate residency with a top employer. Our personal and professional effectiveness course combined with career coaching from our Management Career Services team will accelerate your leadership skills.
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine has provided students with a quality medical education since 1978. In the years since AUC’s founding, more than 5,000 graduated physicians have made a significant impact in the field of medicine in countries around the world.
THE BACK PAGES
SALARY REPORT Capitalizing on the pixel boom.
Games on the brain? If you’re like me and want to be in the game, the closest thing to that is to help create it. Gaming professionals come in many shapes and sizes, from programmers to testers to businesspeople, so you have plenty of avenues into this growing field, (a field that consistently outsells even the film industry). And the job market is looking bright. Layoffs are decreasing and the number of benefits packages are increasing. The average salary for the industry hit an all-time high at $84,337 in 2012. Recent grads will find the most financial success in the business sec-
tor of gaming; the average salary for business professionals is the only in gaming that is six figures and the average for entry-level business employees saw an increase of $14,000 in 2011. That said, these stats are based on developers working with gaming companies. If you’re working independently on an indie game or in a small team, you likely won’t be seeing these large numbers. In 2012, sole indie developers averaged $23,130 per year, while parts of indie teams only averaged $19,487. Although indie games are making big waves in the gaming world, it’s a rough path to high-scale success like Fez and Super Meat Boy, so choose your career path in this industry wisely.
ANNUAL INCOME CHANGE — VIDEO GAME OCCUPATIONS
Art & Animation
110K 100K 90K 80K 70K 60K 50K 40K 30K 20K 2010 2011
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THE BACK PAGES
A modern-day resumé for A modern-day employer A resumé is the first impression you give a recruiter, so make sure it leaves a good one.
For a recruiter, there is nothing more exciting than a beautifully crafted resumé. In the piles of dull, black-and-white, 2–3-page resumés, an esthetically pleasing one is like a breath of fresh air. The resumé of 2014 combines graphics, colour, design, and the motto that “less is more” all wrapped up in a perfect one-page package. The Look | A modern resumé can be designed using different software. Generally something designed for working with graphics like Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign works best, but Microsoft Word works just as well. There are four main aspects that make up the look of a resumé: The first is the layout. As a suggestion, before you start looking through Pinterest or Google, get an idea of the layout you think best represents you. Generally, modern resumés enable you to fit more on a page than you normally would. You should aim to condense everything onto one page. Next, you need to consider graphics. Most programs will allow you to create basic shapes and lines for your layout. However, if you have the ability to create a custom logo for yourself, go for it. If you want to include your social media links, you may want to add some icons. There are many places to get these online, but thenounproject.com has some good options. From there you need to decide on a font—maybe something a little different from the standard offerings? There are lots of websites out there that will allow you to download free fonts such as dafont. com. Search for something clean and modern for your main font
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | FEBRUARY 2014
and maybe something a little more interesting for your headings. Finally, there is colour. How do you decide on one? You can just pick your favourite or you can go further and complete an online colour personality quiz to find your match. You don’t need a ton of colour, but little touches can really take a resumé from dull to eye-catching. The Content | The main content of a resumé shouldn’t change. Of course you still need contact information, education, job experience, and volunteer work. However, as you are writing, remember: less is more. Most recruiters give your resumé a quick look at best. You need to make sure the most important and impressive information can be gathered quickly. There are some other interesting things you may want to include like interests and technical skills. Listing extracurricular activities adds some personality and can be a conversation starter. Also if you have a professional webpage or blog, you should consider including that as well. With that said, your goal is to make your resumé stand out in a pile. While most companies would appreciate a modern resumé, you need to tailor yours to the company and job you are applying for. Keep an up-to-date, traditional resumé handy for more traditional organizations; use your judgment. Creating a one-ofa-kind resumé will not only make you stand out as an individual, it can also demonstrate your ability to be a potential forwardthinking and creative employee.
PHOTO © dmitryfet
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Visit rogers.com/LTE for coverage details. Offer available for a limited time and subject to change without notice. 1 Based on tests comparing download speeds on the Rogers LTE network vs. Bell and Telus’ LTE networks within Rogers LTE coverage area. LTE device, LTE SIM and plan required. Actual experienced speeds may vary based on device, topography and environmental conditions, network congestion and other factors. Rogers LTE network available in select Canadian cities. Visit rogers.com/LTE for coverage. 2 Available on 1GB or above Share Everything plans. With up to 10 additional devices including a tablet, mobile hotspot or internet stick. 3 A Connection Fee of $15 per line also applies (to first invoice, applicable to new line/ device only) to activate your service on the Rogers network. Where applicable, additional air time, data, long distance, roaming, options and taxes are extra and billed monthly. Device Saving Recovery Fees and/or Service Deactivation Fee(as applicable) apply in accordance with your service agreement. ™Rogers and related names & logos and Live Like Never Before are trademarks used under licence from Rogers Communications Inc. or an affiliate. ©2013
FROM MEDIA PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT TO ACCOUNT COORDINATION AND SALES, THIS PROGRAM OFFERS THE UNIQUE SKILLS YOU WILL NEED TO LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AS ACCOUNT COORDINATOR, MEDIA SALES REPRESENTATIVE, MEDIA BUYER, MEDIA PLANNER, AND MANY OTHER EXCITING CAREER OPTIONS.