how affects your student debtcareer New game
Careers in the video game industry
to boldy go
The future of biomedical engineering
| april 2011 | careers. education. ideas. all of it.
BUSINESS DEGREES BUSINESS DEGREES IN: Accounting e-Business Marketing Fashion Management Human Resources Management International Business Tourism Management
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3 The Home Depot (Part-time) 9 Aecon 11 College Pro 13 The Source 15 OSCO Construction Group 15 Chair-man Mills Inc. 15 The New England Center for Children 25 Tommy Hilfiger Canada OBC Canon Canada Inc.
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IFC Humber, The Business School (Undergrad) 21 Seneca College 29 Hult International Business School 29 Humber, School of Social and Community Services 29 Durham College 30 Humber, School of Media Studies and Information Technology 30 Queen’s University 31 Brock University 31 Canadian Automotive Institute, Georgian College 31 Centennial College 31 Conestoga College 31 Fanshawe College 31 Ithaca College 31 Queen’s University 31 Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry 31 Sheridan College 31 Trent University IBC Centennial College
6 21 22 24
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5 Rogers Wireless 7 Excel
jobpostings.ca | april 2011
how student debt affects your career What happens when the money you borrowed to pay for school affects your career decisions? A look at how student debt can have you putting off your life plans, and what you can do about it.
— Keira De-
To Boldly Go…
— The bright
nyse Balderston on dedication,
future of biomedical engineering.
hard work, and finding time to
play guitar. Brought to you by Rogers Wireless.
What the Textbook Won’t Teach Ya! — When it comes
From our blogs —
meeting people, and getting your
Probably the worst job. Ever.
hands dirty can bring your career
to the next level. —
The last impression.
26 Pick your Character — Tester, programmer, animator, sound de-
cheat on your new job with another job.
14 startup — Kendal Netmaker on sports, Aboriginal youth, and Moose Meat Apparel.
signer, producer… these are just
a few of the positions in the video
Save the world with a Master’s of
game industry. Press start to con-
Paul Sayers from Hydro One gives us a few tips.
to trades, getting out to shows,
8 interviewsmarts —
— Showing up is half
One Rung at a Time
Climbing the retail ladder can be tricky, but you can’t beat the view from the top.
our favourite quote this month:
jobpostings publisher Nathan Laurie firstname.lastname@example.org
"I probably wouldn’t have been as confident today without the sports that I’ve played. And I think if more Aboriginal youth would find these teams to play on, we could develop more positive things for the Aboriginal communities." Kendal Netmaker, from Start Up (page 14)
associate publisher Mark Laurie email@example.com
editor Jason Rhyno firstname.lastname@example.org
graphic designer Sonya van Heyningen email@example.com
contributors Jeff Sebanc, Kevin Nelson, Christine Fader, Allison Mitchell, Laura Manuel.
editorial intern Andrew Williams
national account managers Sarah-Lyn Amaral, Lori Blanchard, Mary Vanderpas
I have debt. A lot of debt, actually. And I’m very late on mak-
what you are studying, what you are investing in, is worth the
garnish my wages any day now. I try, though.
if you are studying something that you don’t enjoy, stop it.
ing payments. In fact, I’m pretty sure that they are going to I had to drop out of university during my fourth year because
I had too much debt, and couldn’t pay my rent (ever get an
I recently received an email from a student who is torn be-
which was the bees knees at the time, but I needed to make
I attended. Being a reader of jobpostings magazine, she dis-
Published by Passion Inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON M5P 1B9
tiative to ask me a lot of questions. She was curious about the
jobpostings.ca 1-877-900-5627 ext. 221
eviction notice? Not fun). I landed a position with a magazine,
more money. So I quit, and decided to work in another industry where I could potentially make more money. I was miserable working that job, and it soon became apparent that I
wasn’t paying off my loan any faster than I was at the last job. I was working longer hours, had no vacation, and no benefits. Then, the company I was working for fell on dark financial
days, and I took a pay cut. And then the creditors started calling. I used to wake up sweating, panicking about that bill that
I couldn't pay. So I asked myself, is the stress I’m experiencing from my debt worth this job?
It wasn’t. If I was going to be stressed and poor, I may as well
be happy in my career. So I enrolled in a post-grad program,
tween two programs, both of which are housed at the school
covered that I attended one of the programs, and took the iniquality of the program, whether or not there were work-study
options, how well did the program prepare me for a career in book and magazine publishing, and whether the program would make her more “marketable” in the “real world.” I an-
swered her immediately, and then passed her email off to some of my former classmates so that she could benefit from their unique perspectives. If you are thinking of doing a postgrad, or a master’s, this is one of the smartest things you can
do to make sure you are getting the best educational bang for your borrowed buck.
ignored all my bills, and took out more loans to get to, well,
It’s going to be tough finding a career in your chosen industry,
live, food, and lots of pride. But I’m here now, doing what I
But stay positive, stick to your guns, and don’t get disheartened.
to where I am now. Since graduation, I’ve given up a place to love. Was it worth it? Yes. Could I have done it a little more strategically? You bet.
If you take away anything from this month’s feature story on how student debt can affect your career, make sure that
cost. Higher education typically leads to a better career, but
and probably even tougher with all that debt on your shoulders. If you love what you are studying, you’ll end up loving your career. And hopefully the money, as they say, will follow. Best of luck with the spring job hunt.
jobpostings is published eight times in the school year. Issue dates are September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and May. 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. Take the time to write a really good cover letter. Standard cover letters will not get you the job.
on the cover: © iStockphoto.com | Olena Chernenko
april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
If you don’t know which paint dries faster, but you like helping people…
then we want to talk to you.
You may not know everything when it comes to home improvement, but after our training and hands-on coaching you will. The Home Depot, one of Canada’s top 100 employers, is hiring for spring. You bring the desire to put customers first and we’ll offer competitive rewards including company paid health & dental plans, 70+benefits, tuition reimbursement & much more. Many positions available including: • Cashiers • Sales Associates • Department Supervisors
Apply online at homedepotjobs.ca/1924 We are committed to diversity as an equal opportunity employer. Oh, by the way, the paint that dries faster is the latex paint. See, you’ve already learned something.
successstories Keira Denyse Balderston
What drew you to your current field?
Length of employment 1 year
My father was a partner with a big firm and was able to talk to me about all of the opportunities available to CAs. With a true passion and interest in the field of business, I knew that this designation would be invaluable in shaping a successful future career. A few key attractions of the accounting profession are that I would be exposed to a wide variety of industries and business issues while working with many different, highly intellectual individuals; being able to travel and being placed in a nourishing training ground to develop my skills. Every day I learn something new, something I can take forward with me in anything I do in the future. This is why I chose accounting.
Tell us a bit about your responsibilities.
KPMG (Vancouver office)
Bachelor of Commerce (BComm), Currently Completing Masters in Professional Accounting (MPAcc)
There are many responsibilities. Working for an accounting firm means that you have to be “accountable” (no pun intended), not only on a personal level but also on a team level. On a daily basis, I am responsible for completing key sections on an engagement. I am responsible for communicating any issues that I find with my senior in order to ensure they are properly resolved. I am responsible for communicating with both the team and the client on related business matters. Overall, the responsibilities can be summed up as working hard and ensuring that I continuously work efficiently and strive for excellence in meeting all deadlines.
What is the most challenging aspect of your position? There are many challenging aspects of my position, but all of them are incredibly positive. I would say that one challenge would be learning to balance personal time and work time. I am just finishing my first “busy season,” as it is called in the industry, where we have to work hard to get all of the work done in order for our clients to issue their year-end financial statements. Because there are long hours sometimes, it was important to ensure that I set time aside for the things that I love to do. Finding time in my week to run, play the guitar, and hang out with friends was challenging but also taught me how efficient I really can be on both a professional and personal level. Another key challenge would be that there is a huge learning curve in this job. This challenge is also one of
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the most rewarding parts of my job as well. Every day I am faced with something new and it is important to confidently and assertively assess the issues and be aware of what questions I need to ask.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? That is an easy one — everything! Honestly though, it is the people I get to work with and the daily learning. I am constantly either strengthening my work skills or developing new ones. There is not a day that goes by when I do not have a positive take-away in terms of skill development. And back to the people — my teams have all been fantastic. We have a lot of fun together while at the same time supporting each other both on the job and in personal and career-related development. KPMG has an amazing support system in place, which, through being both a mentor and a mentee, I have the opportunity to learn from others and create new stretch goals.
What do you think it takes to be successful in this career? Dedication, hard work, and accountability to personal and career-related growth. It requires that you take advantage of all of the opportunities available within the firm. Opportunities can range from on the job experience to getting involved in the community with the support of the firm. From what I have seen, the most successful individuals are those that take full accountability for their own learning and development, ensuring that they are truly enjoying as well as benefiting from the work that they do.
What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job? Talk to as many people as possible—friends, family, teachers, counsellors, firm representatives. Get as much information as possible and then assess it on a personal level to figure out what works for you. Create specific goals and analyze the path and support that you will need to attain them. Also, make sure that you are developing the skills that firms are looking for. Get involved in the community, act as a mentor for others, be dedicated to your studies. If you are working hard, then a potential employer will recognize this. Remember that landing a job is a two way street — yes a firm is hiring you, but you are also hiring them as well.
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from our blogs | 02/25/2011
And you Thought you
had a Bad Job… A bad job is in the eye of the beholder. What one
That said, some jobs are really just... awful.
ers who posted them. Rapidly cycling through
person considers to be an endless grind of suck,
Take the psychologically-damaging, low-pay-
pages of 300 images each, they are asked to
another might find a limitless source of chal-
ing, truly craptastic plight of the Internet Con-
flag material that is obviously pornographic or
lenge and joy. For example: I know people who
tent Reviewer, for example:
violent, illegal in a certain country or deemed
about anything — undertake a third or fourth round of schooling, participate in some seriously shameless schmoozing — to escape the front lines. I also know several career servers who've been perfecting their craft for decades, who would never think of doing anything else; one of these recently opened her own restaurant. And regardless of the particulars, even
"Ricky Bess spends eight hours a day in front
inappropriate by a specific Web site.”
of a computer near Orlando, Fla., viewing some
You can read the rest in The New York Times then
of the worst depravities harbored on the Inter-
get back to me on this. What was your worst job
net. He has seen photographs of graphic gang
ever? The one with the barely-there pay, the in-
killings, animal abuse and twisted forms of
sufferable colleagues, the total lack of redeem-
pornography. One recent sighting was a photo
ing qualities — the one you quit with Maguire-
of two teenage boys gleefully pointing guns at
esque fanfare and aplomb. And did you need
another boy, who is crying...
counselling after you escaped? Let's hear it.
the worst jobs often have something to teach
“Workers at Telecommunications On Demand,
us about ourselves, the world, or whatever.
who make $8 to $12 an hour, view photos that
by Emily Minthorn
have been stripped of information about the us-
Image: © Getty Images/Jupiterimages/ liquidlibrary/Thinkstock
work in the service industry and would do just
april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
GOODBYE COFFEE BREATH
So you screwed up in the interview, huh? They asked the ol’ “What’s your greatest
process works. It is an immediate indicator of a candidate’s personality since those who are “people persons” tend to respond in a reasonable amount of time and have numerous life experiences to pull from to answer this question. Candidates who struggle with this question tend to lack a proper response or sit in uncomfortable silence.
weakness” question and you responded with “cupcakes,” hoping to get a laugh. Awkward. Lucky for you we have friends on the inside – recruiting friends (the people who’ll be interviewing you). It cost us a few favours, but they finally agreed to explain
I’ve seen several candidates go into a tailspin in a job interview because they struggle with this question. However, if people skills are not your strong point, here are a few tips to remember if you want to develop this skill:
why they ask what they ask, and what the best answers are. It’s a cheatsheet for interviews. Good luck!
Be open and friendly to everyone. Treat others the way you like to be treated. It’s simple, but effective.
Be yourself but remember to keep it within a professional context.
Become a good “listener.” People skills are not only about being an effective communicator, but also about really listening to what a coworker or business contact is saying. Effective two way communication is the end result if all parties involved are engaged and really listening to what the other person is saying.
Find out if your school offers public speaking workshops or clubs, and sign up and join. It is proven that active participation in these groups leads to improved communication skills.
Maintain semi-regular contact with co-workers and business clients who are not a part of your everyday work day. A short email to touch base with them every few months says that you value them as a colleague/client. This will always be beneficial especially if there is a possibility that you may work more closely with them in the future.
by Paul Sayers Aboriginal Recruitment Consultant
@ Hydro One Networks
Describe a specific situation when you built a good working relationship with others?
The ability to create and maintain successful working relationships is an essential component of success in any job. However, people skills do not come naturally or easily to all people. Although work experience and education are two critical criteria in obtaining a position, increasingly it is the personality of the candidate that sets them apart from their competitors and successfully lands them the job. Relationship building is important for numerous reasons, but in the workplace it’s a valuable skill to have in everyday dealings with co-workers, and equally important if your job requires you to work with external clients.
These are some of the tips that have worked for me and guided me throughout my career. Remember, when you are applying for a position, your competition may have an equivalent level of experience and education, but in an increasingly competitive job market, a person with exceptional interpersonal skills will walk away with the job.
This is one of my favourite questions because it allows me to gauge how a candidate interacts with people, how they would work on a team and how their relationship building 8
april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
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romantic equivalent of getting engaged) but don’t notify outstanding job applications that they’re now
I’m recuperating from a crush. You know the feeling. You can’t stop thinking about them, you wonder what they’re doing right now and you
daydream that they’re dying to call you. I thought I looked pretty good. I wore the good shoes and took my fancier
by Christine Fader
pens, and it seemed as if there was… y’know… chemistry. They stood
my cheatin’ heart
there day after day, all
employed (the romantic stayed home in Canada
equivalent of continuing to
and got buried in more
date while you’re engaged).
snow. Okay, so, I guess it’s
It happens easily. After all,
not hard to see the begin-
you have to hedge your
ning of the attraction.
bets, right? You apply to
But it didn’t end there. There were campus tours and meetings with fascinating faculty and students from all over the world. There was even some overcoming of adversity (I’m always a sucker for that)
more than one job to help increase the odds that someone will want to interview you and hopefully offer you a job. And from there, it’s one small step to drama which can end badly.
as we learned about what
Perhaps the outstanding
it’s like to live in a place
applications look a little
where there isn’t a single
more appealing but you
Tim Hortons or Starbucks
don’t want to lose out on
(or even reliable electricity).
a job in hand for a job you
But most of all, there was
don’t know you’ll get. So,
an incredible community
you accept the first job
Funny, how an invitation
of people who were so pas-
but sort of stick it in your
from a Caribbean medical
sionate about what they
pocket and keep going to
school can do that to a
were doing that it made me
other interviews or waiting
girl. I was invited to tour
want to join them.
for the call from the other
friendly and interesting and sort of twinkly to boot and they made me get a crush on them, even though I’m already in a long-standing relationship.
their Miami and Dominica campuses — in February — while my regular job
Now, we’ve gone our sep-
jobs. You might not think
It’s like a big ol’ Hollywood divorce and you thought that all you were doing was backing out of a job at Flap Jack Attack. So, before you accept a job, ask for time to make the decision. Then, weigh the pros and cons. Even though the jobs you are dreaming about look really amazing, it’s important to note that most times, you will rarely be accepting A PERFECT JOB. There are always compromises to make.
it’s a big thing but if you
Ask yourself: on balance,
do get offered something
can I give and gain some-
by hot job down the street,
thing from this job that
first job is not going to be
makes it worth pursuing at
happy to be thrown over.
great family. Even though,
And sometimes that
Don’t accept a job until
y’know, officially, I’m
unhappiness has teeth
you’re ready. And once you
already in a committed
that will bite your career
do accept it (remember, it’s
career relationship here
for some time to come. Re-
like getting engaged!), with-
cruiters in particular fields
draw from the outstanding
often know each other. You
applications you have out
might want to work for the
there. There will always be
first organization at some
things that look like better
point in the future. You
options so remind yourself
will probably see the first
that you are leaving those
organization at industry
exciting possibilities intact
events and how awkward
for the future.
will that be? In particularly
As for me, I have steeled
arate ways and I won’t lie, I’m feeling quite bereft. It’s as if I’ve been dating a pretty hot guy and he also happens to come with a
You don’t have to stay in the same job forever, but, my little crush is a prime example of how easily and quickly you can complicate your career. Most students I see don’t have a longterm job that they’re being wooed away from, but they often mess up their career relationships because of a crush, nonetheless. A most common career blunder is students who accept a job offer (the
harsh cases, first organization might actually sue you for reneging on your job offer because you’re breaking a legal contract.
myself against my Caribbean crush by reminding myself of something I hadn’t fully considered while I was dreaming about my hot new, palm tree career: life without Starbucks. I love my Canadian job.
Christine Fader works as a career counsellor at Queen’s University and is the author of, “Career Cupid: Your Guide to Landing and Loving Your Dream Job.” Visit her website at careercupid.com
april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
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Closing the Interview » Once the interviewer has finished asking their questions and you have finished asking yours, it’s time to say goodbye. This goodbye may happen
wherever your interview took place or, if the interEveryone knows how important it is to make a great first impression; especially when you go to a job in-
terview. You spend time preparing for the interview and looking your best so that you can wow the inter-
viewer, but have you ever thought about the last impression that you are leaving? Imagine that you‘ve made a stellar first impression but didn’t bother
worrying about the end of the interview: what impression is the interviewer left with? It’s that last im-
pression that can propel you into the next round of interviews, so you need to make it memorable.
Interviewing the Interviewer » In my mind, the last impression starts as soon as
the interviewer gives you an opportunity to ask
your questions. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the position, the team, the
manager, the company, and the next steps in the interview process. Use this opportunity! Failing to ask questions means that you don’t get the infor-
mation that you need in order to make an informed decision of whether this position and company are
the right fit for you (remember: when you go to an
viewer walks you out, it may happen at the front door of the company’s building. This could be the last face to face contact you have with the inter-
viewer: shake their hand, look them in the eye and thank them for their time and the opportunity to meet. Most people are pretty good at this, but it is
so simple that everybody should be doing it. Starting to walk out the door and then turning around to do this step as an afterthought doesn’t count.
aren’t done with making a good last impression.
The next step is to send a thank-you note. Some
interviewers don’t put a lot of weight on receiving a thank-you note while some consider it extremely
important. Play it safe and always send a thankyou note, and while you never know how the interviewer feels about them, it certainly can’t hurt;
it can only help you. An interviewer will be meeting with several people so why not give them another reason to remember you?
note? Tough call. It really comes down to timing. decision quickly, then email is a good option. If you know that the decision will be made in a week or
so, then try a handwritten note. If you are local to
the company, then drop it off instead of relying on the mail. Even when dropping it off at the compa-
ny, it may take a few days to get to the right person, by Allison Mitchell
(and if they didn’t tell you this timeline, then that should have been one of your questions!). For ex-
ample, if they told you that they would be contacting you with their decision within a week and it has
been two weeks since your interview, then by all
porarily sidetracked; either way, you want to know.
left the building — congratulations! But, you still
If you know that the interviewer will be making a
you want to leave the interviewer with?
told you about the timeline of the interview process
You made it through the interview and you have
It could also tell the interviewer that you aren’t in-
pare and ask questions. Is that an impression that
view. It will really depend on what the interviewer
means, follow up. Maybe you weren’t the successful
Now the question: email or handwritten thank-you
terested enough in the position or company to pre-
You may or may not have to follow up after an inter-
Thank-You Note »
interview, you should be interviewing the com-
pany as much as the company is interviewing you).
Follow Up »
so keep that in mind.
candidate or maybe the interview process got temYou can follow up with a phone call first, and if the interviewer isn’t available, then send an email. Just let them know that you are following up on the in-
terview that you had on (insert date) for (insert po-
sition title) and you are wondering if a decision has been made. If you were not the successful candidate, then ask for feedback; you can use this information
to improve your chances the next time you go to an interview. Following up in a professional manner is a great last impression to leave them with.
A great first impression is extremely important, but you cannot rely solely on that first impression. You
have to follow through and leave an equally great last impression. Even though I am referring to only the first and last impressions, you really need to bring your A-game to the whole interview; there is no room for coasting in an interview. Some people
are so nervous about the interview that they breathe a sigh of relief when the interviewer stops asking
questions and they don’t follow through on the last
impression. The first and last impressions tend to
make the most impact, so keep this in mind the next
time you are in an interview… and thank you for taking the time to read about last impressions!
Image: ÂŠ iStockphoto.com/Jenny Horne
jobpostings.ca | april 2011
23 years old. Athlete, coach, student and owner of Moose Meat Apparel: The first clothing company in Canada to
create, support and develop Aboriginal youth-based sports teams and have sales
year-round. Studying Native Studies at
University of Saskatchewan. ACE 2011 Student Entrepreneur
Where did the inspiration come from for Moose
What were some of the biggest challenges at
It all started back on my men’s volley ball team. We
The first challenge for me was having the confi-
cally that name kind of created a big fan base for
background; I’ve never taken a business class be-
started calling ourselves “moose meat,” and basius. People liked our name, they liked our slogan, our
humour — everything. So I thought there’s an opportunity here to make a clothing line because of
the response, and there’s also an opportunity to do something good with it as well, as in creating more sports teams with the name Moose Meat.
Can you tell me a little about those initial stages of getting Moose Meat off the ground?
I found some mentors to help me because I don’t
dence in myself to do this. I don’t have a business
fore, even prior to starting the business. I think that
was the biggest challenge — believing in myself. The competitions really gave me that confidence.
If I hadn’t won any of the startup competitions, I wouldn’t have started right away
Can you talk about the importance of sports in relation to youth? There are some funding problems
The first thing is being part of a team. I think be-
curious as to your thoughts on that.
for a lot of First Nations people, we’re brought up
with sports and youth teams here in Canada. I’m
have a business background. I made my first busi-
I’ve seen the problem back when I was growing up
tions, one being the Aboriginal Youth Idea Challenge
of mainstream sports teams. The primary reason
ness plan and I entered in a few business competiin Saskatchewan, and the second one being the Wil-
son IQ Idea Challenge at U of S. I ended up finishing first in the Aboriginal one and fifth in the Wilson one. So that’s how my start up plan came, and that’s how I was able to get my first batch of inventory.
You mentioned some mentors. How did you go about finding mentors?
I found someone who was an Aboriginal clothing company owner, and his name was Timothy
Lewis. What he owns is Tansi Clothing; what he does is promote Aboriginal languages through
his clothing. I asked him via Facebook if we could meet up, and that’s how it all started. He met with
me after classes and evenings once a week, and encouraged me to do this. He helped me with my first business plan as well.
— that Aboriginal youth had trouble being a part
for that was funding and the whole income situation. That’s what I faced as a youth. I had trouble getting to and from the city to play on the volleyball team. I was fortunate to be gifted in many sports, but I could only afford to play one sport, and I think
I could have excelled in all of them. But I was still fortunate to play volleyball and it carried me on to
college; I played two years there then transferred to
U of S. That’s why I created these sports teams as well as pursue my clothing line, because I’ve seen what it does for me, I’ve seen what it does for my
friends, some of whom are top players in Canada. Sports are very powerful and that’s one area that needs to be developed, funding-wise for sure.
How do you think sports can combat some of the
ing part of a team allowed me to open up, because,
a little differently than mainstream society, especially if you live on a reserve. We’re more traditional and taught to not be too open to everything, so I guess being part of a team kind of opened me up
that way and helped me meet new people. And it helped me develop my skills — one of them being
confidence. I probably wouldn’t have been as confident today without the sports that I’ve played. And
I think if more Aboriginal youth would find these teams to play on, we could develop more positive things for the Aboriginal communities.
Any advice for students starting their own business? I would find really positive people to inspire you, because that’s the hardest part — just believing that you can do it. I was the only one holding myself
back from pursuing this idea. If you find positive
people to help you, they will really help you start up any idea you have.
traps that a lot of youth fall into, especially Aboriginal youth?
Interviewed by Jason Rhyno april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Image: Courtesy of carleyoliviaphoto.com
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how affects your career
by Laura Manuel
jobpostings.ca | april 2011
sions when it comes to managing their money and career. Nearly 60 percent of Canadian post-secondary students graduate with some form of debt, and the average Canadian graduate owes tens of thousands of dollars. It’s a debt that can tie your hands, holding you back from moving onto the next stage of your life.
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Olena Chernenko
t is a frequent refrain: a post-secondary education is the key to a professional job. And a professional job should be one’s ticket to saving a nest egg, purchasing a home, perhaps starting a family, and saving for retirement. Students, for the most part, tend to be comfortable financing their postsecondary education with loans; they are told that this is ‘good debt.’ Yet today’s graduates are facing difficult deci-
STUDENTS GRADUATING WITH STUDENT DEBT 1995
the average debt for university graduates doubled between 1990 and 2000
CURRENT AVERAGE DEBT UNIVERSITY vs. COLLEGE
Source: Tallying the Costs of Post-secondary Education: the Challenge of Managing Student Debt and Loan Repayment in Canada, CCL. September, 22, 2010
eet university graduate
Jordan Stanley from Nanaimo, British Columbia. He’s well educated but
paralyzed with debt. Two years after graduating
Managing Student Debt
from Thompson Rivers University with a tourism
degree, Stanley went back to school. “I was having trouble finding a well-paying job in the tourism field, and my student loan payments were diffi-
cult to manage on my monthly income.” Stanley returned to school to study accounting, taking on
more student debt. With over $50,000 in student loans, he now feels immobilized when he consid-
ers his career. “I have been forced to take jobs that I really didn’t want because I need to pay back my
student loans. The jobs that I have taken have usu-
ally not been in the area that I wanted, or even in the firms that I wanted to work for.”
At Wilfred Laurier University Career Centre, career advisors confirm there is a trend in how students
approach their career search. “Anecdotally speak-
ing, we would say with debt increasing, students are more apt to take the first job that comes along
having student debt is effective manage-
ment. Rice suggests making a budget of
Is it worth it?
monthly expenses, and accounting for
hile student debt increases,
the outlook is still optimistic
for new graduates. According
to the University of Alberta’s
most recent employment survey, those with a post-
secondary education are likely to secure better paying jobs in the long-run. The key is to avoid a hap-
hazard approach to attending college/university. A post-secondary education is an investment. And,
like any serious financial investment, a strategic approach is best.
versus investing energy, volunteer time, and more
Bronwyn Rice, student aid administrator at McGill
lucrative paying career. Students have a sense of
education with an investment-like strategy. Rather
taining ‘a career’ becomes second to getting ‘a job’
rected, Rice advises students to carefully examine
where borrowed money is spent. She also
stresses that government student loans are su-
perior to bank loans, credit cards or lines of credit. “All Canadian government guaranteed loans are interest free for the student while they are [study-
ing] full time. With all programs there is also a pos-
sibility of loan forgiveness should the student finish their studies within the prescribed time frame, so the overall debt could be reduced.”
Don’t underestimate other sources of financial support, either. Rice advises students to consider other methods of financing their education: savings,
part-time work, scholarships/grants, and family
money on additional credentials to pursue a more
University, encourages students to approach their
urgency to just pay the bills, and that means ob-
than get bogged down in loans that may be misdi-
to pay their debt.”
and plan for their education, finances and career.
Tracy Watson from Money Mentors, an Alberta-
uate earning power relative to their level of educa-
young graduates are often not aware of how much
writing out a list of debts including student loan
In the fall of 2010, the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) released a report about the long-term
consequences of student debt. According to the CCL, the average debt for university graduates dou-
support. They can help decrease the amount you need to borrow year after year, and much of it you don’t need to pay back.
“Students need to be realistic about their postgrad-
based credit counselling organization, warns that
tion — underestimating that could be dangerous,”
debt they have accumulated. She recommends
bled between 1990 and 2000. Today, the average
The career advisors at Wilfrid Laurier University
average for college graduates is $13,600. The report
their reasons for pursuing a post-secondary de-
ating with student debt increased from 49 per cent
they suggest that you do effective occupational
debt for university graduates is $26,680, while the
echo Rice. They encourage students to consider
also found that the proportion of students gradu-
gree. Before embarking on additional education,
in 1995 to 57 percent in 2005.
research. This way, you can assess whether or not a
These high debt loads are impacting the career
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Olena Chernenko
or many students, financing their edu-
cation with loans is a given. The key to
degree/diploma is worth the time and money.
choices of graduates. There is evidence that current
Sometimes, the post-secondary education road is
with the government or work in the not-for-profit
two off to think about one’s education and finances
graduates, like Jordan Stanley, are faced with a large
dent has calculated the cost versus the resources
es. Erin Mills, senior research analyst with the CCL,
ing studies is a better option than going into more
post-secondary students are keen to secure a career
not the best fit for an individual. Taking a year or
industry. But these aspirations may evaporate when
is a sign of wisdom, not foolishness. “Once a stu-
student loan and juggling day-to-day living expens-
available, it may indeed come to light that suspend-
agrees. “Some [graduates] may re-consider their ca-
debt,” says Rice.
payments, credit cards, and any other debts such as car loans. This way, you can have a clear picture of how much you owe and when it is due. Watson encourages new graduates to seek help if they are
having difficulty managing their debt. Credit Coun-
selling Canada is an organization that can assist
graduates. Often, free credit counselling is available.
Looking Forward ice maintains that “Higher education
is surely worth the cost.” The key is to
apply a strategic approach when taking
on student debt. And, if necessary, have
the courage and wisdom to take time off from pursuing higher education to re-evaluate one’s strat-
reer choice, particularly in the event of poor wages.”
egy. This way, debt can be kept to a minimum and
The CCL’s report also found that large student debt
affects more than careers. As Mills explains, “Gradu-
easily managed when you embark on your shiny,
ates who had borrowed were less likely than non-
Stanley admits that in retrospect he might have
investments, and were less likely to own their own
definitely tried harder in my classes and applied for
borrowing graduates to have retirement savings and
done things a little differently. “I think I would have
homes.” Stanley confirms that he is part of the group
more scholarships and grants than I did.”
that Mills refers to, admitting that he’s had to put off buying a house. “I have no savings for retirement.” jobpostings.ca | april 2011
To Boldly Go… “It’s alive! Oh, in the name of God! Now I know
upon many areas of medicine, Yip explains,
what it feels like to be God!” Dr. Frankenstein
“having a solid grounding in biology, chemistry
shouts none too subtly to the skies in the 1931
and physiology, in addition to one’s core engi-
film — you guessed it — Frankenstein, thus
neering training,” — chemical/mechanical/elec-
becoming one of the most iconic portrayals of
trical/et cetera — “is essential in order to fully
what could be fiction’s first modern biomedi-
understand the complexity of the biomedical
problems.” The scope of work is mind-boggling-
classier than Dr. Frankenstein was, but the basic idea is more or less the same: apply engineering techniques to the many fields of medicine. Only instead of dirty old used body parts dug up from Victorian graveyards, biomedical engineers are in the business of putting people back together
ly enormous, he says, adding that that’s also what makes it such an attractive field. “There are opportunities for individuals with core training in all of the classic engineering fields.” So while an undergraduate degree is definitely enough to enter the field, an advanced degree will prepare you for a more focused position.
using brand spankin’ new, state of the art artifi-
Meanwhile, over at Ryerson University, Peyman
cial bits and pieces. From joints and limbs to or-
Moeini is studying in his third year of biomedi-
gans and tissues, what we’re seeing today rivals
cal engineering. “Biomedical engineering [at
any mad scientist of fiction as far as displaying
Ryerson University] is an engineering discipline
the ambitious drive toward a future where hu-
that is closely related to electrical engineering,”
man beings can be fixed as easy as any vehicle.
adding that it’s 60 percent electrical, 20 percent
“Engineering has always been about solving problems,” explains Christopher Yip, associate director of graduate studies for the biomedical engineering program at the University of Toronto. “In biomedical engineering, the focus is now on solving problems in the medical context.” It’s a discipline of medicine that has had, and will continue to have, significant impacts in the world of health care. “Biomedical engineers are involved in everything from medical devices [and] imaging to regenerative medicine. Stem
science and 20 percent mechanical. Students in the field are expected to become highly specialized engineers, applying these engineering skills toward different disciplines of medicine. “[Medical] devices are rapidly becoming more complex, meaning strong knowledge in both engineering and science [are] required to design medical machines,” Moeini explains, stressing the importance of how the electrical and mechanical tie into the science when it comes to creating biomedical tools and equipment.
cell bioengineering, tissue engineering and bio-
Yip speaks of the future of biomedical engi-
materials to biosensors and diagnostics devices
neering positively, calling it not only bright but
to rehabilitation engineering and clinical care.”
talking of the huge opportunities being brought
forward by “exploiting some of the exciting new
Yip goes on to explain the potential for “rapid
insights in stem cell biology, systems biology,
diagnosis of disease and facilitating treatment
regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, bio-
strategies to cure disease.” He breaks down the
sensing...” It’s obvious he could go on for hours
engineering approach to help in all aspects of
discussing the possibilities. Of course there are
health care delivery: “From diagnosis to preven-
always the more conventional applications as
tion, treatment, rehabilitation and cure.”
well, such as medical devices and robotics. Be-
Obviously it’s a field for not only the forward
ing receptive to new advances is important, he
thinking but the creative as well. So now you’re
explains, as well as being able to understand
thinking, “Great! With biomedical engineering
and work within them.
having its finger in so many delicious medical
So perhaps the Frankenstein analogy isn’t too far
pies I’ll have no problem choosing an area to
off. With the future potential of biomedical engi-
specialize in!” So just what should you know
neering looking vastly infinite, who’s to say what
before heading in to a biomedical engineering
incredible advances in medicine might be discov-
program? Well, because it’s a field that touches
ered… just don’t attack anyone with pitchforks.
industryinsiders » 20
the bright future of biomedical engineering
by Jeff Sebanc april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Okay, so today’s biomedical engineers are a bit
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what the textbook canâ€™t teach ya. ~ begin ~
k canâ€™ t teach
by Andrew Williams jobpostings.ca | april 2011
Think of any field, and you’re bound to find successful people who didn’t wait for school to teach them how to do their job. Instead, they dove headlong into what they love, turning a passion into a skill and becoming the best at what they do. And like knives, skills need to be honed and sharpened, especially in the trade industry where skills are an asset. In this industry, hobbies and extra-curricular activities
e t t e b
are your whetstone.
Landscaping is among the more accessible trade careers
out there. Indeed, serious revenue is made here, enough to
make it into a full-time job. But landscaping also presents
s i g n i o d Reading is great, but doing is better.
the perfect mode to get a taste of a major trade industry
when not in class. Manufacturing is another area where
fields often overlap, including fabricating and construction. Apart from that, home renovation allows students to work
with lighting, windows, wiring, and roofing with proper safety equipment and supervision.
Car modification is a great way for auto enthusiasts to get a hand’s on feel of the automotive industry, especially if you plan on being a mechanic or engineer. Vehicle customization
can help you develop a keen knowledge on the multitude of car parts from the various manufacturers, and also learn the
basics of automobile assembly and aesthetics. Nick Samain, show manager for the Canadian Manufacturing Technology
Bag one in the grocery industry. Where’s the action? Just about everywhere – from grocery to warehousing, from store management to store design, from marketing to real estate. You could be a store manager running a multimillion dollar operation, a pharmacist dispensing pharmaceuticals to customers, or a grocery clerk making sure shelves are stocked and customers are served. Whatever your career interests are, you’ll ﬁnd a career path that’s right for you.
Get inspired at
april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Show (CMTS), says “The larger demographics of
Paul Maryschak, BUILDEX show director, adds
other, explains Maryschak. “Just because you’re
attendees that you’ll find coming to CMTS is for
that it’s the responsibility of the student to get
in interior design doesn’t mean you have to work
the automotive industry.” Samain is a four-wheel
out there and meet people. “It’s all up to the
for an interior design company; you may end up
drive enthusiast himself, and an active partici-
individual student as far as how effective they
working for a builder,” he says.
pant at a Jeep club. “Definitely, motor sports are
are with [networking],” says Maryschak. He ex-
something. From a student perspective, you don’t
plains that at the BUILDEX expos, held annually
need to have a lot of money, you just need to ask
in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary, you have
around and ask if you can help out and volunteer.
the chance to meet representatives from various
The good thing about those types of communities
companies dealing with interior design, renova-
is that you’d mostly find people who want to pass
tion, construction, and real estate management.
on the knowledge provided there’s interest.”
You also have to opportunity to meet top execs
CMTS is just one of the trade shows that could help students prepare for a career, aside from hobbies. These exhibitions are one of the best
Images: Previous Page - Digital Vision/Thinkstock; Current - George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock
ways to see what the industry has to offer and
and vice-presidents, who walk the show floor and attend the seminars themselves. “If you want to meet with some higher-ups, there’s defi-
One thing to note with some types of trades is that they require supervision, especially for novices. This makes having one as a basement hobby rather difficult. So whether you’re working with heavy machinery or hazardous material in the classroom, or sharpening your welding skills in your garage, make sure you’re doing it with someone who’s experienced. “If you’re going to try something, ask,” Samain insists. Learning never depended on having to open a
nitely plenty of opportunity there.”
network with others. CMTS heads to Toronto
At the core of any trade hobby is the idea that
every two years, and of the 10,000 attendees,
practice makes perfect. Samain asserts that
roughly 700 to 1,000 of them are students in
when it comes to the field of design, students
the trade and manufacturing industry. “We see
should work it into their daily routine, even if
two types of students,” says Samain. “We see the
they’re designing something for their apartment.
ones who come to the show dressed any way
In addition, schools typically make computer
they want, and walk around for magnets and
programs in design available for students at dirt
pens. [But also] we see a lot of students who
cheap prices, so saying you’re broke is no excuse.
come to the show, and they’re looking at this as
The more adept you are with a skill set, the eas-
a real opportunity to go and make connections.”
ier it could be to transfer it from one field to an-
text book. In fact it’s quite the opposite. It’s the hands on experience that really solidifies your skill sets. When not in the classroom taking notes from the instructor, or in the library studying for that exam, you should make the time to get your feet wet, and look for opportunities to meet those who are doing what you love, no matter the industry. ~ end ~
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Pick your Character by Andrew Williams
In the old days, video games were confined to the vice of socially awkward, sports-phobic nerds who sat in front of the Nintendo and saw dating as a horrifying and alien concept. Or so the stereotype goes. But now, video games themselves have matured and hit the dating scene, so to speak, and are among Canada’s most diverse and fastest growing markets of the past decade. If you aim to get in this industry’s entourage, there are a number of roles that can suit your skills, background, and what you’re passionate about.
“Lately, there’s definitely been a big push in the portable — iPhones, iPads, tablets and that kind of thing,” says Antonio Santamaria, head of engineering at Ottawa’s Artech Studios. He explains that touch interfaces and different kinds of input mechanisms are making these portable devices, including cell phones, an avenue where the industry is heading. Also, more opportunities are becoming available for teams to be working on content aimed at portable and mobile markets. Alex Hyder, studio lead at Playfish Montreal, adds that mobile devices have been contributing to the popularity of social network games, which have introduced whole new groups of people to this market.
Perhaps the most multi-fac-
eted aspect of game develop-
ment. In the gaming industry, Images L-R: Stockbyte/Thinkstock; iStockphoto/Thinkstock; Hemera/Thinkstock; © iStockphoto.com/Doug Berry; © iStockphoto.com/Valerie Loiseleux; iStockphoto/Thinkstock
programmers write the code
Before official release, games are tested for quality assur-
for game engines, which can
“[Producer’s] a more senior
determine how the finished
not something you’ll start out
Another senior level posi-
sor role and oversee much of
conceptual and less tech-
be tweaked here and there to
role,” says Santamaria. “It’s
product would look and feel..
as.” Producers play a supervi-
Programmers also code for
the base functions of characters, game play, even sound. They’re essentially the tool and die makers in this in-
dustry, but work closely with
many other personnel on the development team.
Animators typically work with powerful software en-
gines such as Maya and 3D Studio MAX. Like the other areas of development, ani-
mators work as a team along with the artists and mod-
elers. “Usually, we look for
people who have the technical skills and the traditional artistic ones you would learn
It’s a fairly comprehensive
role in that they deal with au-
dio mixing, music and sound tracks, and sound effects.
“Making realistic sounding dialogue is very difficult,” says
doing old fashioned animation,” says Santamaria. They
would also work closely with programmers, as this area may require a programmer’s coding expertise.
Hyder, explaining the play-by-
Modelers are a distinct but
Madden and NBA Live. Sound
opment. “You can almost
technical proficiency to suc-
sculptors,” says Hyder. Mod-
sound data into a cohesive
animators must bring to life,
seamlessly during game play.
such as texture.
play in sports games such as
related role in game devel-
design requires considerable
think of them as digital
cessfully compile all the raw
elers design any object the
“package” that would weave
while artists provide details
jobpostings.ca | april 2011
the logistical and marketing aspects of a game (much like in film), and work closely with management. That’s not to
say game producers have no technical know-how. “Usu-
ally they’ve come up from a development role, so they’ve
been in the trenches,” says Santamaria. “I wouldn’t expect a producer to crack open
some code and start writ-
ing something, but certainly when
team is saying they can’t do something, you should have an idea why.”
tion. These folks are more nical. As a designer you’ll
conceive of the content of the game, layout, and even its overall theme. “[Game] Designers are typically very
difficult to categorize,” says Hyder, explaining how some
might have PhDs in philosophy, while others might be
writers. “They come from all
over.” A game designer may not necessarily deal with
any of the programming,
but typically knows scripting language and would work
closely with the programming team among others.
ance, ranging from compli-
ance to corporate guidelines, compatibility, bugs, and other issues. “Essentially your
responsibilities are to verify the integrity of the game it-
self and verify that it meets the criteria that’s necessary
for it to get published,” says Santamaria. Gamers might
be familiar with beta testing, which is when a developer
allows external users, mostly volunteers, to test the prod-
uct and relay feedback to the development team. This
method reveals bugs the programmers
missed, but also gives game
enthusiasts a chance to get a taste of the industry.
Employers such as EA and Artech Studios are looking for students who have a technical background in scripting, art, programming, and communication skills. But as always, having that hands-on experience outside of your studies would really make you stand out.
school teacher Mr.Davis always said, ‘arm yourself with knowledge and utilize it to the max’,” he recalls. “The more experience you have and knowledge you develop, the more an individual stands out from the next candidate.” It’s true that some people work their way up from the ground-floor, but sometimes there are other ways to prove yourself. While attending Humber College of Business, Khangura heard from his classmate Meetul Shah about the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program. As a non-profit initiative of Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE), the program aims to help students become adept at business through the development of projects that better their communities. “At the time, I was working for myself, doing video production and providing DJ services for various private events,” says Khangura. His classmate’s passion about starting a SIFE group on-campus inspired him. “Being an entrepreneur at heart, I spoke with Meetul and of-
ONE rung the reAT A TIMEClimbing tail ladder can by Kevin Nelson
be tricky, but you can’t beat the view from the top.
fered my services to assist with the start up at no cost.” As he became more familiar with the program, he assumed more of a hands-on role in the campus group and opportunities arose from there. Through SIFE, Khangura was offered a summer internship at Walmart that carried on as a part-time job while in school, doing special projects for the company. He has now accepted a fulltime position as an Assistant Store Manager when he graduates. “The ACE initiative had helped generate an interest from employers in recruiting a SIFE student,” he explains. “I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet with employers at that particular time in my education without the program.” Once you’ve got your foot in the door, it’s important to maintain the upward momentum. “It can be hard to get noticed,” says Diotte. “Offering to take on anything that helps the team achieve common goals and making yourself the ‘go-to’ person definitely helps.” When things go wrong at work, opportunities can arise. “Some people are lucky in that they find themselves in a situation that can make them shine,” says Laurent Lapierre, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. “A crisis
Those of us who’ve done time at a retail store know there’s
can provide a chance to show commitment to the firm, but it can also be risky,” he warns.
more to keeping it running smoothly than stocking prod-
“It can reveal a person’s lack of managerial potential.”
vice and business savvy. If you’ve got the drive and knowhow, but feel like it’s a long ways from working the retail floor to sitting in that cushy office chair, don’t despair. It’s not impossible to climb that ladder — you’ve just got to know where you’re grabbing.
feedback provided, ask your boss to help you identify areas for growth,” offers Diotte. “That way you’ll know your boss is paying closer attention to your performance and you’ll understand how you can develop to meet your goals.” It might seem obvious to you, but it doesn’t hurt to let others know of your ambition. “The first step is letting your employer know you’re interested in moving up,” says Khangura. “Once a manager is aware of an associ-
While some of the more menial tasks associated with retail
ate’s development plan, they’ll do their part in developing an individual to the level where
might appear pointless, putting your time in at the bottom
they can perform that particular job’s duties.” Checking your attitude and pre-conceptions
doesn’t have to be fruitless. “Sometimes gaining experience
at the door is advisable. “Avoid assumptions that you won’t have a good relationship with
in various departments can help you gain a better under-
your boss,” says Lapierre. “Carefully determine what your boss expects from you. Put simply,
standing of how a business works at a macro-level,” says
they will invest more time in helping you progress if they view you as having the talent and
Monique Diotte, career advisor at the University of Wind-
commitment to help achieve managerial objectives.”
sor’s Odette School of Business. “It can make you a more effective manager with a more long-term perspective in your approach.” As an entrepreneur and a business student, Sunny Khangura has learned this lesson well. “Like my high
Another way to advance is to keep communication open. “If there’s no formal performance
It’s also important not to burn out on the way to the top. “Good friends have pulled me aside from the beginning and, even if it was only half an hour or so, we would hang out at a coffee shop,” says Khangura. “My family also stresses the importance of home-time. Those are the key ingredients in achieving a balance.” april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Image: Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock
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focal point # A Master’s in Social Work
offers a chance
As the backbone of
ever, it’s not necessary to have a Bachelor’s in Social
prepare is through diligent work at the undergrad
come from psychology, political science or women’s
skills in critical analysis and reflective practice, and
the Canadian social
workers are on the
front lines, offering
but what are its
ple at risk. It can be
key services to peoa demanding line of work, and preparing to face the challenges that arise on the
job takes a lot of mental and emotional stamina. University degrees in social work give a student the necessary skills, and the theoretical and practical background necessary to grapple with real-world
problems. But knowing how far to pursue education to achieve one’s career goals can be a dilemma
in itself. If ‘Master’s or Bachelor’s?’ is a burning
question in your mind when considering your career in social work, read on!
It’s important to note that policies and programs differ from school to school in Canada, or even in On-
tario alone. “At Ryerson, we offer a one year Master’s
program to those who’ve completed a Bachelor’s in Social Work,” says Judith Sandys, interim director of the School of Social Work at the university. When
screening applicants for the program, there are
some important factors that come into play. “We look for students who have demonstrated a high academic achievement in the Bachelor’s program,” she continues. “Also, ideally, people with substantial
social work experience.” At some universities, how-
Work to enter the master’s program. “A lot of people
studies backgrounds, or even other professions, such as law, nursing or teaching,” observes Andrea
Litvack, director of the Master’s of Social Work program at the University of Toronto. “The first year of
our two year master’s program is generic, introducing students to various subjects that are important. By the end of the first year, however, the playing field
is pretty level. Those with a Bachelor’s in Social Work enter the second year of the program.”
One of the differences between obtaining a master’s
and a bachelor’s in social work is the question of fo-
cus. “The bachelor’s is a generalist degree that prepares students to work in a variety of settings, while the master’s is characterized by particular areas of
specialization,” says Sandys. “The master’s curriculum includes theories, policies and practices relevant to a student’s major area of social work practice.” This is also the case at the University of Toronto. “Our
master’s offers a specialized understanding of social work,” explains Litvack. “For example, if you choose to
pursue a specialization in mental health, you’ll have a much better grasp of issues, work and research in that area.” It’s not all theory, however, as Social Work
is one of the more applied areas of the social sciences. “At Ryerson, our master’s program includes 450 hours of field experience,” confirms Sandys.
As far as preparing to undertake a master’s, there
are some important things to keep in mind. “It’s an intellectually demanding degree, so the best way to
level,” Sandys advises. “Students should develop good, clear writing skills are a major asset. Also,
experience working with diverse populations is a must — the more, the better.”
A master’s degree can be a valuable asset for recent
graduates and experienced social workers alike. “It enhances one’s employability in the short run,” says Sandys, “and increases the likelihood of moving into
supervisory roles in the future.” Of course, the deci-
sion to pursue further education should always be subject to a person’s view of the big picture. “I think
it’s important to have a clear understanding of what
social work is, and why a student is choosing social work as a career, as opposed to law, sociology or an-
other related field,” says Litvack. A person’s academic
and practical background should also factor into the decision. “Consider whether you’ve had a solid enough experiential background to get the benefit
from advanced study,” cautions Sandys. “Students need to have a solid understanding of the societal
factors that lead to the marginalization of certain groups within society, and be deeply committed to
issues of social justice and equity.” This commitment is important, as the stakes are high and the road is long. “I would urge prospective students to consider
whether they’re up to the difficult but rewarding task of working to promote change,” continues Sandys, “even it requires years of dedicated effort.” by Kevin Nelson
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If my dad taught me one thing over the years, it’s
Often, it’s the time you put in during the first few
When I was a kid it seemed like my dad was always
basics of your new job, the type of working envi-
always been that you have to work hard for success. working — he made time for us kids, no worries there, we just went to work with or for him — but
he was ALWAYS working. He would get calls late at night that would drag him out to a work site and he
months that count the most: you’re learning the
ronment that you are in, and proving that you should stay past the probation period.
Show up early, and stay late.
Go home sick, after you’ve shown up for work. I don’t know about you, but I always feel guilty when I get sick, and worry that people think I’m
playing hooky. Not to mention, sometimes you
may feel sick first thing in the morning and then
wouldn’t return until early the next morning, crash
This is crucial for making a good impression; it
feel fine a few hours later. So, unless I’m vomiting
couple hours later to shower, change, and head
done. You may not be able to do it all the time, but I
make it impossible to even get to work, I head
getting older and the kids have all (but one) moved
before you, and if you can help it, you should rarely
fice. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Then I’m
company he’s helped build to what it is today. He’s
in and sees you sitting at your desk already knee
condoning going to work in dire straits — I’m just
think he’s found success in his own way is the fact
tice. When they sign off for the night and you are
it’s better that you head in and tell your boss. They
that you are serious about what you do. Of course,
compared to if you call and fake a cough because
dawdling all day on your regular tasks, but this is
you’ve earned your sick day in my books.
on the couch fully dressed, and wake up again a
shows that you want to be there getting your work
all over myself and other horrible things which
back out. He still does that now, even though he’s
think you should never let your boss be in the office
out as usual and see how I feel once I’m in the of-
out. He’s still out and moving, now in charge of the
leave before he or she does. When your boss walks
spreading my bug to all of my colleagues!” I’m not
smart, he’s got the skills, but the biggest reason I
deep in the day’s projects, they are bound to no-
saying if you’re feeling a little under the weather,
that he shows up! He always shows up.
just finishing up another project, they will know
can see that you look a little pale and groggy,
you shouldn’t be staying late because you’ve been
you’re unsure if they will believe you or not. Then
a great time to go the extra mile. Try it, you’ll be
Show up for EVERYTHING.
I’ve taken this to heart with each and every job or position I’ve taken. For me, it’s imperative that if you want the job, and you want the people who
count to see you mean it, you show up, you stay late, you do whatever it takes to get the job done.
surprised how many of your colleagues don’t use this simple practice to their advantage.
When I started my current position, I was show-
ing up early, leaving late, sweating streams at my desk as I pumped through project after project and tried to overcome what I didn’t know and make
better what I did. If I was invited into a meeting or
Showing up is half the battle
presentation I made sure I was there, and if I needed to make up the time afterwards at my desk, I
did. Then the annual dinner came up where all of our customers attended as well as staff. It was a
big to-do where relationships could be grown from formal meetings into casual conversations
and friendships. And I got sick. Now, I know what I said a minute ago, but at the time everybody was scared of Swine Flu and so nobody wanted me
around them, let alone eating dinner and drink-
ing wine with them. I can understand that — but the missed opportunity came up all the time at meetings only letting up once I was able to attend
the following year. So for an entire year I was null
on conversations about the dinner, how good it was, funny things that happened, and of course everybody seemed to forget I was sick; in fact, I felt people just thought I didn’t show up because
I must not have felt like it (free fancy dinner and bottomless glasses of wine! Are you nuts?). It just took that much longer
to build and work on my relationships both within the company and out. So I’m telling you, you have to work hard, but show-
Image: Digital Vision/Thinkstock
ing up is half the battle.
with Ross Harrhy
april 2011 | jobpostings.ca
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Published on Apr 11, 2011
Canada's largest career lifestyle magazine for students and recent grads. This issue's feature story outlines how student debt affects your...