LIFeGuArds dOn’t Get enGIneerInG JOBs
InterVIeW: dAVe WILKIn, CAMPusPerKs
DOeS YOUR PeRSONaLITY FIT YOUR COWORKeRS aND YOUR JOB?
Canada’s future tech superstars See how young entrepreneurs find success through collaboration, at ryerson’s digital Media Zone
The ultimate combo
Eat or be eaten
When a university degree isn’t enough
Business and computers
Software sales is a tough industry
| april 2012 |
BUSINESS DEGREES 4-YEAR DEGREES THAT ARE BUILT FOR BUSINESS. Accounting e-Business Marketing Fashion Management Human Resources Management International Business International Development Paralegal Studies Tourism Management
It’s that time of year again…
La période d’inscription est enfin arrivée…
The Young Canada Works in Both Official Languages program (YCWBOL) is launching its recruitment process. Here are many reasons why you should participate in this year»s YCWBOL program! Le programme Jeunesse Canada au Travail lance sa campagne de recrutement! Voici une multitude de possibilités que vous offre le programme JCTDLO!
ince! Work in another prov Travel for free! pport for your rent! Receive financial su languages! Work in both official ip! win a $500 scholarsh Have the chance to Discover Canada!
tre province! Travailler dans une au t! Voyager gratuitemen
loyer! financier pour votre Recevoir un support s! ux langues officielle Travailler dans les de 500$! gagner une bourse de de ce an ch la ez ur Co ! Découvrez le Canada
YCWBOL gives students the chance to work in different fields such as education, administration, project management, architecture, journalism and many more. JCTDLO offre la possibilité aux jeunes de travailler dans plusieurs domaines d»études; Éducation, administration, gestion de projets, architecture, journalisme et bien d»autres encore!
Or contact us Ou contactez-nous
By e-mail Par courriel
If you are interested in participating and eligible, please apply directly on our website: www.youngcanadaworks.ca. Note that the job ads will be posted as of June 1, 2012. Si vous êtes intéressé à participer et admissible au programme, visitez notre site web interactif et appliquez dès maintenant en ligne au : www.jeunessecanadaautravail.ca. Notez que les emplois seront affichés dès le 1er juin 2012.
By phone Par téléphone
InsIde tHIs edItIOn
CANADA'S FUTURE TECH SUpERSTARS We don’t have teleportation stations or lightsabers … yet, but the futuristic innovation taking place at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone sure makes it seem plausible. We interviewed several of the young student entrepreneurs at this start up incubation lab to find out how they founded their innovative companies, and what we can learn from their success.
Hey. Did you know these companies have lots of entry level positions? Visit their websites to see a full list of positions available. 4 7 11 11 13 22 29 31 31 31 33 OBC
yay! more school IFC 3 13
industry insiders Eat or be eaten — Software sales is a tough industry, but did you know your commissions can increase once you’ve exceeded your quota? We explore the perks and challenges of selling software.
Chemical engineers can do it all — discover the breadth and versatility a chemical engineering degree can offer you.
The ultimate combination — careers in computer science and business are in high demand these days. Becoming a computer information systems manager lets you do both!
Image By mark BlInch. ©dIgItal medIa Zone. all rIghtS reServed
Success Story — Troy Hawkes, a young
plant manager at Ocean Steel, shares his career path, from school to work and back again. Sponsored by rogers Wireless.
Career Cupid — Lifeguards don’t get engi-
neering jobs. So how do you transition from a high school job to an engineering internship?
Interview Smarts — amy Squire, a campus recruiter at Target, asks you, “Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty. How were you recognized?”
23 Does your personality fit your co-workers and your job? — Liking your co-workers and having your personalities click can make the difference between loving and hating your job. Learn which industries attract certain personalities.
Sun Life Financial Aecon Target The New England Centre for Children The Source The Home Depot College Pro Magna Electric Corporation OSCO Construction Group Chair-man Mills General Dynamics Canon
24 25 27 34 34 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 IBC
Humber, The Business School (Undergrad) Humber, Fashion Management & Promotions Toronto Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology Centre for Education & Training Humber, The Business School, Global Business Humber, The Business School, Event Management Humber, School of Media Studies and Information Technology Centennial College Brock University Niagara College Oxford College Queen’s University Ross University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Sheridan College Humber, The Business School
who else? 1
34 Edu-ma-cation — college: when a university degree just isn’t enough to score a smooth career path.
36 Start Up — dave Wilkin, founder of campusperks, shares his insights into building a company based on providing the things that fuel student life on campus.
stuff to buy
April 2012 | jobpostings.cA
FASHION MANAGEMENT & PROMOTIONS POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE From retail management to logistics: this program offers the unique skills you will need to launch your career as a(n): • • • .
Event Manager Logistics Coordinator Product Development Manager Visual Merchandiser
Sun Life Financial welcomes our New grad recruits of 2011.
Brent Anderson Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Jonathan Bégin HEC Montreal
Suzanne Blake SIAST Wascana Campus
James Breault University of Windsor
Joel Brooks Simon Fraser University
Randy Butt Conestoga College
Aaron Cadrin University of Saskatchewan
Michael Chan McMaster University
William Chan Ryerson University
Rajvir Dosanjh British Columbia Institute of Technology
Zachary FaubertTetreault Wilfrid Laurier University
Alyssa Fisher University of Western Ontario
Robert Frigon University of Alberta
Mavis Fung Trent University
Emily Gadula Carleton University
Amanda Groten University of Lethbridge
Cris Guo Cambrian College
Allan Howat University of Saskatchewan
Greig Humphrey Trent University
Eric Jagodich Mohawk College
Dean Laframboise Algonquin College
Mathieu Landry Cégep de St-Jerôme
François Leblond UQAR
Shi Liang St. Clair College
Jeffrey Ling Wilfrid Laurier University
Cheuk Liu University of Waterloo
Joanne Lotfallah St. Lawerence College
Joshua Martino Ryerson University
Katherine Auger Cégep de Matane
Austin Bai Ryerson University
Allan Balmaceda George Brown College
Yvonne Carroll Niagara College
Lewis Chan, B.A. Simon Fraser University
Yee Jin Chun University of Toronto
Zack Din Mohawk College
Ahmed Hatim El Kabbaj Concordia University
Liam Forrestal Wilfred Laurier University
Phillip Fung Simon Fraser University
Nicolas Gauthier UQAM
Bob Kovacs Durham College
Tammy Lamont Mohawk College
Yi Liu Université du Maine
See yourself with a bright start Be excited to go to work every day – become a Sun Life Financial advisor. March_06_12_SLF_New_Grad_Ad.indd 1
Duncan McIntyre University of British Columbia
Sameer Mullani York University
Alex Mustafa McMaster University
Thach Nguyen Conestoga College
Greg O’Brien Memorial University
Sheila Pan Queen’s University
Brett Parker Thompson Rivers University
Troy Parkes Conestoga College
Conor Pollock Ryerson University
Conor Pommerville Camosun College
Pascale Provencher Cégep de Matane
Troy Redick Humber College
Heather Siegner Conestoga College
Jaspal Singh University of the Fraser Valley
Matthew Skeard Memorial University
Ramnil Solidum University of Waterloo
Jason Taylor St. Lawrence College
Patrice Turcotte Cégep de Matane
Aleksandar Udev Vancouver Island University
Cat Wong University of British Columbia
Yuqi Yang Centennial College
This could be you. Derek Yeung Algonquin College
Brian Yu Grant MacEwan University
Rosana Zeng Carleton University
Sylvia Zheng, University of British Columbia
Xiao Li Zheng University of Toronto
Lulu Zhou University of Toronto
Abdul Rahman Mansour Concordia University Jennifer Whyte University of Lethbridge
Bobby McMann Algonquin College
Leanne Meredith Cape Breton University
Elizabeth Milner Mohawk College
Shujie Song Carleton University
Jeanne St-Pierre Cégep du Vieux Montréal
Terrel Tian Trent University
Interested in learning more about becoming a Sun Life Financial advisor? E-mail your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website at www.sunlife.ca/careers/advisor or scan the tag with your mobile:
Get the free mobile app at
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on the cover:
puBlISher nathan laurie email@example.com aSSocIate puBlISher mark laurie firstname.lastname@example.org edItor david tal email@example.com
ToMoRRoW'S TECH STARS Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft: these and more are the tech giants we’ve all grown up with and hear about in the news. While none of these companies became behemoths overnight, they all seemed to share a similar origin story where an entrepreneur (or team of entrepreneurs): 1) Came up with a unique idea; 2) Became obsessive about said idea, and found the guts to spend months or even years creating a prototype; 3) Found investors, or established partners, who invested in the idea to help it grow; 4) Continued to develop the idea into a working business that disrupts the status quo, shattering business as usual (e.g. Facebook basically created social media; Google revolutionized online search and web advertising; Apple redefined user-friendly design for tech products;
Amazon conquered the book and cloud computing markets; and Microsoft created the first everyman operating system); 5) Crossed a tipping point where the public took notice of this new business, got excited by it, tried it out and fell in love with it; 6) Then reigned as a new tech superpower, whose competitors cower in fear of its name. And how did most of these tech superpowers start? With students or recent grads who each started out with an idea and followed the path outlined above. That’s what entrepreneurship is. Regardless of the industry, it’s about a great idea and the hard work to see it through. In this spirit, we got a chance to visit Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (the DMZ), where tomorrow’s home grown tech stars are working on the next big thing. We profiled three entrepreneurs who
hope to make their name by revolutionizing three dimensional advertising and living spaces; simplifying social activism and company feedback; and empowering the public with better options for their financial investments. From these stories, it’s my hope that you’ll glean some insights into what it really takes to make it as an entrepreneur. From my experience — I started the Arbitrage Magazine while in university — entrepreneurship generally starts out as lonely process. I toiled away on my magazine, three to five hours a day (in addition to school and work), while all my friends and family assumed I was wasting time on a pet hobby. But after completing the magazine’s first issue, largely by myself, people took notice. And after the second issue, people started to ask about joining my one man production team. Two years later, it’s
IS NI THIS
© mark Blinch. digital media Zone. all rights reserved.
turned into North America’s largest, student-driven business magazine, with more than 100 contributors and counting. It just goes to show how far things can blossom from an initial spurt of initiative. But one can’t make it big all by oneself. From my experience, it takes a team to create something truly extraordinary. That’s why we’re also focusing on the importance of personality fit between yourself, your work, and your coworkers. Whether you hope to become the next Zuckerberg, or just to get your career started right with that first post-grad job, personality fit is one of the most underrated things people think about during their career hunt. Even if you don’t actually care about jiving with your co-workers, odds are your co-workers will care about jiving with you. You’ll have to get along if you don’t want to be left behind. Hopefully, this issue will help you do just that. Read on, my friends.
Lifeguards don’t get
Does your personality fit
Eat or be eaten
The ultimate combination
art dIrector Sonya van heyningen firstname.lastname@example.org contrIButorS christine fader, michelle hampson, christopher lawson, ariadna levin, eleni papavasiliou, amy Squire aSSIStant SaleS manager Sarah-lyn amaral natIonal account manager mary vanderpas SaleS aSSIStant Shannon tracey Intern Jake Babad
published by passion Inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 toronto, on m5p 1B9 jobpostings.ca 1-877-900-5627 ext. 221
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. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs April 2012 | jobpostings.cA
BUILD YOUR FUTURE WITH US As the largest, publicly traded construction and infrastructure development company in Canada, Aecon is a beacon for new and soon-to-be graduates focused on building their careers with an industry leader. We offer challenging work, diverse opportunities, the latest technologies, and a culture of continued learning to feed your career development. As a Best Employer to none. If you are an Engineer (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical) or an Industry Technologist (Engineering or Construction), visit our website today to learn more about joining Canadaâ€™s best at Aecon!
// MINING // OIL & GAS // TRANSPORTATION // POWER // UTILITIES // SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Troy Hawkes Plant Manager @ Ocean Steel Where did you go to school? My career with Ocean Steel started after I graduated from the Civil Engineering Technology program, from the New Brunswick Community College in Moncton. After working for Ocean Steel for a number of years, I decided I wanted to further my education. I started by attending courses part time at the University of New Brunswick, then chose to take a leave of absence from Ocean Steel to pursue the final two years of my Civil Engineering degree full-time.
How did you find your current position? I am a member of the Canadian Air Cadets. The summer after my graduation from the New Brunswick Community College I spent flying with the Cadets. At the end of the summer, I received a call from an instructor at the community college that Ocean Steel was looking for Civil Engineering Technology graduates. I applied and the rest is history.
What positions have you held with Ocean Steel? What is your current role and responsibilities? One of the benefits of working for Ocean Steel is the advancement opportunities. My career with the company started in the Detailing Department. My role there was to take the draw-
ings from our Engineers and add the details in the drawings for the shop or site. After about a year in that department, I moved into Estimating and spent approximately two years in this position. My next role with the company was in Project Management. I spent four years there before taking my leave for two years to return to school. After graduating from Civil Engineering, I returned to Ocean Steel as the plant manager of our 120,000 square foot, Saint John
was going to be beneficial. The rewarding part was seeing them realize that it did work, was cost effective, and less dangerous than other methods we have used.
What accomplishments are you most proud of? Choosing to go back to school and obtaining my degree is the first one. Another one is getting through our manpower issues. We had a
You need to continue to learn. Learning doesn’t have to take place in a classroom, it can also be done on the job. steel plant. The plant employs 12 full time staff and 60 unionized workers. I’m responsible for every aspect of the plant, from production and maintenance to staffing.
few years where many of our staff were retiring and we needed to hire a new workforce. Skilled labour is hard to find, but we were successful in transitioning our workforce.
What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
What are your future career aspirations?
It takes a willingness to work with your team, learn new skills, and an ability to think outside the box. You also need to be able to sell these new ideas to both upper management and to the trades.
There are still some more challenges and opportunities in my current role. However, a goal I would like to see myself fulfill is the Canadian Steel General Manager position with OSCO Construction Group.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job?
The most rewarding part comes from the most challenging aspect of my position. I need to stay up to date with new technologies and changes with codes. It all boils down to staying competitive in the industry. Ocean Steel sends me to trade shows, pays for courses and seminars, which enables me to bring the information back to our plant. There are lots of ideas out there, I need to sort through them, and decide which ones are beneficial to us. The next part is to sell the idea to the rest of the company. When I brought in the magnetic heat induction, it took sometime to convince others that it
Be honest with yourself about what you want. I know when students are looking for that first job, and you have bills to pay, it’s easy to just take anything that comes along, but job satisfaction counts for a lot. When you do land a job, keep pushing, keep learning, no one owes you anything just because you have an education. You need to continue to learn. Learning doesn’t have to take place in a classroom, it can also be done on the job. Be open to new ideas and suggestions. Ask others what their thoughts and ideas are, and be open to try them.
Length of employment: 7 years Degree: Civil Engineering Technology degree from the New Brunswick Community College
L w p a ro
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career cupid by Christine Fader
beside the role you had. When reordering sections, be sure to put related experiences high up in your document. Move less-related experiences further down. Suddenly, you’re starting to look like a scientist/engineer/lab technician who also happens to have valuable transferrable skills (safety orientation and leadership) gained as a lifeguard.
Go old-school on your search.
Newsflash… Lifeguards don’t get engineering jobs
Many organizations still advertise for summer students in — betcha haven’t picked up a real one in a long time — the newspaper. Check the local on Saturdays. Still can’t find summer ads? Use full-time job ads as a start to your cover letter or conversation. “I noticed you’re advertising for an (X), and I know it can sometimes take a while to get someone in that position. I’m a technical/science/ engineering student available for summer work, and I’d love to help you out while you’re finding a longer-term person for this role.”
Top tip Send a hard copy (not a Word document via email) when prospecting, and try to send it to a manager or leader in the area where you’d like to work, rather than human resources. Managers are closer to the work and often know about opportunities before HR even gets involved.
Finding “hidden” opportunities doesn’t require super spy resources. Check sector and professional directories (e.g. Consulting Engineers of Ontario; The Biotechnology Directory) in libraries, or your campus career centre, to find places that align with your interests and location. There are lists of organizations and key personnel for almost every sector of work. You can even use technical keywords in the Yellow Pages as a good, local starting point for the region you’re searching in.
Avoid the infomercial.
Cold calling is often uncomfortable for you AND employers. I recommend approaching organizations with a professional cover The usual stat is that only letter and résumé, enquiring 20 percent of jobs tend to be about possible summer opportuadvertised, while 80 percent nities (this is called “prospecting”). are “hidden,” and are broadcast In the last paragraph of your through networking and direct letter, indicate that you’ll follow contact with organizations and up by telephone in the next people. For summer work, the couple of weeks “to ensure you “hidden” job statistic is often received this and to answer any much, much higher than 80 questions you might have.” This percent. Why? The organizations allows you to increase your visget you for a mere four months ibility without being a nuisance (if they’re lucky) and advertising or having to come up with some is expensive, often slick sales pitch resulting in thou(uncomfortable for sands of responses most of us to deliver (many of which are and receive). It also very irrelevant). The gives organizations good news out of a chance to review this is that even if your skills and think you’re not seeing a about possible ways lot of summer job you could add value ads, there’s still lots to their organization Christine Fader of work. Most orgaworks as a career this summer. counseLlor at nizations do hire for Queen’s University Nope, lifeguards don’t and is the author the summer. Now, of “Career Cupid: get engineering jobs. they need to know Your Guide to Landing and Loving But by using these that you exist and Your Dream Job.”
Hide and seek. So, you’re in a technical program at school, and you’d like to get a related summer job. How can you make the leap from valuable but non-technical work, like camp counsellor/golf course attendant/server/lifeguard, to scientist/engineer/lab technician extraordinaire? There are a few things to know that will help you in your quest for that first, subject-focused internship or job.
Lifeguards don’t get engineering jobs. If you’re looking for a technical job, your résumé can’t scream “lifeguarding” — even though that’s what you’ve done in the past. Technical work requires technical skills. Sure, you might not have technical paid experience yet, but you DO have experience. Minimize the emphasis on less related work experience (if you’re running out
of space) and maximize detail on related experiences. Education is a good place to start. For many students, it’s the primary source of their related technical experience. List related courses from your program, give details about technical projects, field trips, and marks (if they’re advantageous to you). Then, look at your experience outside the classroom. Do you have extra-curricular activities, clubs, volunteer work, or hobbies that are technical in nature? Don’t bury them on page two of your résumé. Consider having a “Technical Experience” section on the first page of your document. Include the role, dates, organization, location, and description for each of your technical experiences — whether you were paid for them or not. If it wasn’t a paid role, simply put the context (e.g. volunteer/student club/ educational project) in brackets
Visit her website at careercupid.com
tips, YOU can.
April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Adriana Berned
Target is coming to Canada And we want you to be part of our team.
In 2013, Target stores will open all across Canada. And we’re looking to build a team of talented people who can deliver the kind of innovation and difference our brand is known for.
There will be opportunities to grow and lead in a whole range of sectors, from merchandising to store management. So, if you’re looking for a fun, dynamic career where goals are clear and results are always rewarded, we want to hear from you.
Learn more about Target and our range of career opportunities at target.ca/careers.
© 2011 Target Brands, Inc. The Bullseye Design and Target are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc.
...to bring out human potential and create productive lives. A bright future awaits you inside The New England Center for Children • Join us and earn your master's degree in one of our on campus programs. • Work with colleagues in a world renowned school on the leading edge of research and treatment for Autism. • Learn to use the principles of ABA to improve the lives of children with special needs.
Send your resume to email@example.com 33 Turnpike Road • Southborough, Massachusetts 01772-2108 | 508.481.1015 Fax 508.485.3421
www.necc.org jobpostings.ca | April 2012
q&A Find more intervew Q&As online at jobpostings.ca/category/interview-smarts-1
with Amy Squire Campus Recruiter
So you screwed up in the interview, huh? They asked the ol’ “What’s your greatest 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 why they ask what they ask, and what the best answers are. It’s a cheatsheet for interviews. Good luck!
Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty. How were you recognized?
This is a great interview question for a number of reasons. Behaviour based questions help to determine actual performance in situations rather than just theoretical behavior, which will give the employer an idea of how the candidate will act in future situations. In this way, this question allows the candidate the opportunity to really highlight a scenario where they are truly proud of what they accomplished. The depth of the example given can also help the interviewer gauge what the candidate feels is going above and beyond their typical job description. Candidates should try to use an example that has some complexity, to show that they know the difference between doing a good job on a day-to-day basis, and truly going above and beyond the job description. To do this, be sure to follow the “three bucket approach” to a Structural Behaviour Based Interview (SBO); with 10% of your answer describing the Situation, 80% of your answer explaining your specific Behaviour in the situation, and the final 10% to tell the interviewer about the situation’s Outcome or result. In this question, the ‘probing’ or follow up question usually is: “How were you recognized?” This is a great time to tell the interviewer how or if your hard work was recognized by your manager, client, or peers. That said, avoid using examples where you were just part of a group. Rather, highlight your specific
behavior in the situation, and take accountability for your actions and the overall end result. Use words like I/me instead of we/us. Personally, I love answering this question in an interview. For me, I respond with an example of the time when I created, implemented, and executed a new, cross-border internship program at my previous employer. I drew upon my background experience in not only campus recruitment, but immigration and relocation policies in order to make the recruitment, selection, and execution of this program an amazing success. The hiring managers were so impressed with the new internship program and the candidates they hired, that most provided them with full-time offers to return after graduation. Many of the students thanked me for helping make such a difference in the start of their long-term career. To this day, the program continues to grow and be a success at the company! Overall, it’s important to give the interviewer a good, holistic picture of your past performance, and how you’d be a good fit for their team and the total organization. The key is being prepared for your interview, yet ensure you’re coming across as genuine and not overly rehearsed. Let your personality shine through!
April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
jobpostings.ca | April 2012
sons as a wide receiver for Winnipeg’s River East Collegiate Football Club. Today, at 19, he’s repaying the coaches who supported him as a young athlete. “I wanted to give back to my coaches, since they spent so much time and energy on me and my teammates even though
Being not much older than his players makes Brendan an ideal role model, says head coach, Robin Mead. “Brendan is easygoing, friendly, and competent, and we’re lucky to have him as a coach,” says Robin. “Brendan runs individual practice time with many drills and skill development techniques. He also makes sure that his receivers’ timing, blocking, and route running are spot-on. During games, Brendan is in charge of watching the opponents’ defence, looking for weaknesses, coverage
“Some of our kids can’t even afford to play football, so this CN grant goes a long way to help give them that chance.”
Making a difference
they all had full-time jobs elsewhere,” explains Brendan, a proud fifthgeneration railroader. “I just thought coaching would be a good experience for me, and I never thought I’d enjoy it this much, or have as much fun as I’m having.”
For the second year, Brendan is a receivers coach for players aged 15 to 17. He spends about nine hours volunteering at three practices a week, plus he helps out at all the games between May and mid-November. In recogHow a career with CN can benefit your community nition of his devotion to the team, Brendan’s charitable organization recently received a CN RailCN is one of North America’s leading freight roaders in the Community grant — a CN charrailroads and is widely seen as the continent’s itable program that recognizes employees’ most efficient rail carrier. It’s the only railroad contributions in countless volunteering hours that delivers all kinds of freight across Canada by providing grants to the charitable organizaand Mid-America, from the Atlantic and Paciftions they serve. “Some of our kids can’t even ic oceans to the Gulf of Mexico. The job’s not afford to play football, because it costs about easy. It requires the passion and teamwork of $300, so this grant goes a long way to help give all CN employees. And that’s why CN makes them that chance,” says Brendan. it a priority to develop employee passion and teamwork in the best way possible: by supporting local communities. CN Railroader in the Community, Brendan Hosfield (photo above), is one such example of a young CN employee going above and beyond for his community. Countless teens have benefited from the tireless generosity of volunteer coaches, yet most don’t give it a second thought. But Hosfield has proven to be the exception to the rule. Brendan, a switchman and conductor who joined CN in October 2010, spent three seaSponsored by CN
schemes, and changes that may occur during the course of a game. He’s a valuable member of our team.” As you can see, corporate social responsibility is a big deal at CN, and this is just one of many examples where CN employees have taken the initiative to make a real difference in their community. More impressive, each year CN and its employees collect and donate millions of dollars to charitable organizations of all kinds. Interested in a career with CN? Then you’re in luck. A combination of retirements and new market opportunities means CN is focusing on replenishing its workforce with a new generation of railroaders who will carry the company well into the 21st century. In fact, last year CN added almost 3,000 people to its employee ranks. From train crews, to engineers, to IT specialists, CN has many positions available for professionals just like yourself! CN offers well paying jobs and health benefits, a diverse, inclusive, and positive work environment, locations in most Canadian provinces and parts of the US, regular training and development programs, and the opportunity to build a career in a strong, growing, and innovative company. It’s no surprise so many employees make CN their long-term career.
Find your place
CN operates the largest rail network in Canada and the only transcontinental network in North America, encompassing over 20,000 route miles of track. It’s a big job, involving the transportation of almost five million carloads of freight annually. And it’s a job that requires the passion and teamwork of its 23,000 employees. Being an industry leader doesn’t just happen overnight. Our success wouldn’t be possible without our people, who take us to the next level through innovative thinking and a high concern for performance excellence. Right now, we have tremendous opportunities for people who share our passion to join CN’s growing team. A large number of retirements coupled with new market opportunities means we are able to offer exciting, well paying careers with a stable and innovative company.
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Find your place at jobs.cn.ca
We have a diverse range of unionized and management roles available including:
• • • • • • • • • • • •
mechanics welders labourers dispatchers electricians clerks construction managers civil engineers train crewmen accountants marketing specialists IT specialists
Canada’s future tech superstars by Michelle Hampson
The young entrepreneurs of Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone are incubating their start ups and paving the road to the future. Check out the various technologies and platforms these incredible innovators have created, and see how you can follow in their footsteps!
jobpostings.ca | April 2012
Image by Mark Blinch. ©Digital Media Zone. All rights reserved
Hossein Rahnama, Research Director of the Digital Media Zone.
Perched over the heart of Toronto lies a room where the future is being created. From here, high above Yonge and Dundas, some of Canada’s well-known buildings can be seen: the Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, Manulife and CN towers, as well as the Eaton Centre. Every day, thousands of people walk through Dundas Square, looking up at the massive jumbo screens above the mall. They watch the flashy Absolute vodka ads, and romantic getaways to Mont Tremblant. But these screens only show regular, 2D ads. Inside this little room, a much more advanced form of advertising is being developed using interactive technology. For example, Adrian Bulzacki, one of the many innovators in this futuristic lab, has leased his technology to condominium sales offices, so that as people walk by the company’s display, it will track their movement to create a 3D view that moves in whichever direction the observer moves. This is just a taste of what’s being created at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ). Some of these ideas could completely revolutionize society — from an online platform that gets the public’s most supported ideas into the hands of politicians, to Bulzacki’s virtual 3D technology which could one day form an entire market of virtual goods (to be explained in detail further on).
The DMZ, launched in April 2010, provides innovative young entrepreneurs with the space and resources to start a company. It’s a unique learning hub where students — undergraduates, grad students, or alumni — can “incubate” their ideas. “We began by working with students and alumni who needed a collaborative space and mentorship to take their start up to a stage where they had a greater chance of success,” explained Valerie Fox, DMZ Director, in an email to Jobpostings. The DMZ was created with the help of StartMeUp, a student run program from Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Ryerson. To apply to the DMZ, one must pitch his or her idea to a StartMeUp Ryerson “Idea Consultation,” a Dragons’ Den style pitch infront of a panel of industry professionals. They look for unique and innovative ideas, enabled by digital media, that have commercial or social value, and a solid business plan and prototype. Fox says they look for entrepreneurs who are passionate, creative, collaborative, and knowledgeable. And after touring the DMZ space, that much is evident. The following are profiles of some exciting DMZ teams. Jobpostings looks into how they came up with their ideas, grew their businesses, and their plans for making their startups a success.
drian Bulzacki, founder of ARB Labs, came up with his innovative technology through a game of virtual charades. It begins by using a Kinect camera, which projects a grid of infrared light onto you, and then calculates how far away you are based on the grid. A computer creates a virtual representation of you, which can be used to play charades over the internet with people from all corners of the world. But Bulzacki had more in mind than just a video game. They used a priority crowd-sourcing algorithm to gather data from the game. “If you got that gesture really fast, the learning algorithm knows to prioritize that as a better quality gesture. We kept sucking in all this data. And we in turn, have an algorithm that recognized the occurrence of those gestures anywhere,” explains Bulzacki, 29. ARB Labs can sell that data to gaming studios hoping to make their games better, or to the oil industry, which needs it to interact with 3D samples of oil. This technology is even applicable to security companies. For example, ARB Labs can sell an aggressive gesture pack, which analyzes a bunch of gestures that shouldn’t occur in public areas, such as punches and kicks. But Bulzacki has more in mind than selling off bits of accumulated data from his learning algorithm to security companies and gaming corporations. All of April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
19 Adrian Bulzacki, founder of ARB labs. www.ARBLabs.com
go from there. I don’t see that anymore. I see it now as, I’m building the foundation to a company that could be — and I say this in all seriousness — could be the next Facebook, could be the next super company. A lot of people have that feeling in the DMZ. And I really hope it works out. But I’ve seen more and more evidence to my hypothesis.”
these bits of technology — 3D interactive displays and gesture identifying algorithms — were developed for one ultimate goal.
Images by Mark Blinch. ©Digital Media Zone. All rights reserved
“If we pitched this product line first, nobody would give us money,” said Bulzacki, with a grin. He hopes to create one device that you place in the centre of your living room, or a low-cost wallpaper, which will create an immersive environment. “Just like buying apps today, you’d be able to buy virtual items for the home.” Artists or designers could post their virtual goods on the internet. You could buy a “lamp” for a low price, download it, and put it in the corner. It would still give off light, but there’s no physical object. You could have multiple versions of your living room. “And when you’re done with it, you can save it, archive it, delete it, whatever,” Bulzacki said. “If you wanted to, you could have a window overlooking Paris in your basement apartment. It would make living environments extremely reconfigurable, very fast, at a low cost. So that’s what we’re trying to get to, and it’s all built off of this technology.” For all you Trekkies out there, think of this as an early version of the holodeck. While Bulzacki has always had this ultimate goal, he didn’t expect ARB Labs to make it this far. “I thought somebody would just buy up our technology in a year or two, I’d make a few million dollars and
jobpostings.ca | April 2012
While conducting a demonstration of his technology at the DMZ, a businessperson approached Bulzacki and told him his ideas were great, really unique, but his profit margin was terrible. The technology was expensive to develop, and yet he was selling it individually to companies. This person pointed out that Bulzacki already had patents on the technology, and there was no competition in terms of 3D displays — why not license the technology out? “And since I started doing that, it really changed how my business operated. I would charge a monthly fee, a yearly fee, or a daily fee, to have the technology at a specific location.” And so, the DMZ entrepreneurs learn the ropes of running a company. As Bulzacki points out, this is the real deal. In the DMZ, you’re not looking at a theoretical situation. “Every choice you make has a ramification, and that’s the challenge. But it’s a learning process. That’s the only way you’re going to learn.” The bonus is you get to work with your own idea. Bulzacki says during his previous jobs, he used to hate getting up in the morning, and felt like a zombie or drone doing work someone else created for him. But that’s not the case at the DMZ. “If I’m waking up early, I’m waking up differently. I’m working for myself. I’m a slave to myself, but I’m a slave to my dreams. So it pays off in the end.”
Bulzacki has no formal training in business. He’s currently finishing up his PhD in computer and electrical engineering at Ryerson. While he has had some experience starting up mini businesses of his own in the past, he didn’t truly delve into business until he joined the DMZ, about two years ago. The DMZ’s collaborative environment has helped him in several ways.
Key ingredients that contribute to the success of DMZ companies, and what you can learn from them: Diverse specialties and skills. The DMZ is an environment where computer science students can pair up with business folks, and arts majors can team up with data analysts. This type of interaction doesn’t happen in a classroom with only one type of student. Think of it as connecting with people who can balance your skills to help drive the company forward. When creating your own start up, find people who can think of company progress from a perspective other than your own, and add to the skills you don’t have. Connections to clients and experienced professionals. The DMZ is constantly hosting demonstrations for companies. This attracts professionals who can either give you valuable business advice (e.g. the tips Bulzacki received on licensing technology out), or can even turn out to be a paying client (e.g. Indigo ended up buying into HitSend’s online platform). When starting your own company, attend industry networking events and reach out to veterans in your field. A strong spark. Without a good idea, all the connections and skills in the world won’t help your start up. The companies profiled in this article came up with brilliant ideas. Bulzacki used his imagination to envision a technology no one else has begun to work towards, leaving this niche market open to him. McEachran saw inefficiencies in a factor so important to today’s society: communications. Shain used his knowledge and experience with financial institutions to come up with a concept that’s very appealing to customers and has never been done before. When delving into entrepreneurship, think outside the box. A lot of successful technologies in the near future will be things society has never even dreamed of — but maybe you have.
Brennan McEachran, founder of HitSend. www.hitsend.ca
Back then, people would take wooden boxes, called soap boxes, to Hyde Park in London. They’d flip them upside down, hop on top, then make a speech about their ideas or passions. Usually it had to do with politics or economics. The people in the park would stop and cheer them on if they liked the idea, or boo and throw lettuce and tomatoes if they didn’t. But every once in a while, there would be an idea that really resonated within the community. If a lot of people supported the idea, they’d stop merely talking about it and actually march from the park to Parliament, rallying for change. This is the idea behind HitSend. The company produces an online platform that allows anyone to submit ideas on a topic. People can vote, yay or nay, on the issue. The ideas that gather the most support are then automatically sent to the person who can bring about change. The platform is applicable to a wide range of scenarios. It could be used internally by a company to get feedback from employees to improve working conditions. Or it could be used
externally by customers to direct the attention of CEOs to customer service issues. Only the ideas that gather a lot of approval are sent to the person who can bring about change, and the platform even allows the recipient to respond to the idea. “A lot of times, people have these really great ideas, but they don’t get them out of their mind. They don’t take them anywhere,” said Brennan McEachran, founder of HitSend. “The goal was to build something that could take their idea and put it somewhere useful, as simply as possible.” McEachran came up with the idea of the Hitsend platform when he was given an unusual opportunity. He was discussing ways to improve Ryerson with his friends, but that night he couldn’t sleep. So he emailed the school’s president, and was shocked to receive a response — he had a meeting in two weeks with Sheldon Levy, the president of Ryerson University. “So for about a week and a half, two weeks, I was trying to think up better ideas instead of these little crappy ones. I asked my friends over Facebook, Twitter, and real life, on paper, in class. It was super ineffective,” he explained. “I was hoping for a better way of doing that.” And
so HitSend was born. He pitched his idea of the platform to the DMZ, and on the one-year anniversary of joining, HitSend signed a contract with Indigo-Chapters, which now uses HitSend’s platform for customer feedback. To optimize their product, HitSend makes sure the platform stays brandable, so companies can easily upload their colours and logos. The Facebook and Twitter apps can easily be turned on or off. McEachran, a fourth-year business student, says that while parts of the project have been challenging, the DMZ’s environment has helped him in many ways, such as connecting with the other members of HitSend. “Hanging out with (people who have) PhDs in computer science is never a bad thing when you’re an app developer.” As well, potential customers come through the DMZ on tours, making it easier to connect with people who might be interested in the platform. Like Indigo representatives. In the future, McEachran says he hopes to continue working towards giving the silent majority a voice, and getting those great ideas that people think about on their commute home to the people at the top who can bring about positive change.
really great combination at the DMZ is when someone already has an insider’s knowledge of an industry and an innovative idea. Take Daniel Shain, who worked at a bank for several years before a lightbulb went off above his head, leading him to quit his job to work at the DMZ. “It’s interesting,” said Shain. “When it comes to GICs, mortgages, and other discretionary priced products, banks have quite a lot of discretion. So even if you see advertised in the paper, let’s say, a GIC that’s usually at one percent. That’s just the posted rate. The banks can usually do much better.” While Shain knows this, many banking customers don’t. He says there are two kinds of banking customers. Those who don’t realize that banks can often negotiate a better interest rate, and those who shop around, then go to a bank saying they’ve found a better interest rate at another institution. With the latter type, banks might offer a better interest rate. Using this financial knowledge, Shain created Finizi, a reverseauction platform where financial institutions bid against each other April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
Image by Mark Blinch. ©Digital Media Zone. All rights reserved
he story of HitSend’s innovative idea, despite the ground-breaking activism feel of it, actually has its origins from about 200 years ago.
21 The lab at the DMZ is one floor, crammed with more than 50 computers in clusters. A whiteboard covers the length of the longest wall, coated with company names and brainstorming lists. It’s a room for business meetings and development, but it still has that student feel. Coffee cups are on every table. There’s a box of cereal and a bunch of tea bags next to a computer, along with a bottle of cough syrup. Beanbag chairs make a nice seating area near the entrance. It’s a mix of the student and business life here.
Daniel shain, founder & CEo of finizi. www.finizi.com
Image by Lisa Sakulensky Photography. ©Digital Media Zone. All rights reserved.
The Digital Media Zone
for customers’ business. A customer entering the live auction will state the amount of money they have and how long they wish to invest it for. Customers can be individuals or businesses, and there’s a minimum investment of $1,000. The financial institutions then bid on the money by offering the highest interest rate. It’s clearly a good deal for the customer, but at this point you can probably guess what was the hardest aspect of starting Finizi. “The issue with getting banking institutions on board is that they’re really big organizations. There’s a lot of red tape. There’s a lot of regulation. There’s a lot of reputation risk,” said Shain. “Even getting in front of CEOlevel people can take weeks, not to mention all the legal paperwork.” Things got easier after the first two financial institutions signed on, because then Shain could tell the remaining jobpostings.ca | April 2012
While some companies in this space have already reached an incredible amount of success and have “graduated,” other newbie groups are just beginning to contribute as innovative entrepreneurs. Here students find support and networks. Shain said, “It’s great to combine resources and leverage each others’ ex-
financial institutions that their competitors were on board. Finizi was launched last September, but getting there wasn’t a simple task for this entrepreneur. He did extensive research before quitting his comfortable banking job, speaking with bankers and potential customers. “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overlooking anything. The worst thing you can do is quit your job and then realize that, due to regulation, you’re not allowed to launch it.”
It’s been a long road for Shain, but while he says it’s good to get a job for the corporate experience, he’s sticking to entrepreneurship, where every day is different. At his old job, he knew when he was going to finish work, knew what was expected of him, and could do his job with his eyes closed. “That’s when you get comfortable, when you get lazy, and the creative juices stop flowing. So I’d say getting out of my comfort zone is what I enjoy.”
periences. For instance, when I started fundraising, I reached out to a few companies here that have been through the process, and asked them to introduce me to some potential investors.” Hossein Rahnama, Research Director of the Digital Media Zone describes the incubator as an ecosystem. It’s not only about university or just entrepreneurship, or merely teamwork, but about everything. He’s seen cases where good computer programmers come in but don’t have the communications skills necessary to start a business, yet they can do so anyway. “This is possible because there are people from business school, engineering, people from arts and humanities. They are all working together. So you can use your skills sets, you can be great at it, but you can also work with people as a team to move your ideas further.”
finding balance within the team While Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone brings people with different educational backgrounds together in the name of entrepreneurism, there’s more to a thriving team than a balanced set of skills. Balanced personalities are also important. An example of a young company that formed without the aid of an incubator like DMZ is Simply Good Technologies, a company launched in 2008 that compiles analytics about online coupon sales for various companies, mostly retailers. Run by partners Winston Mok, Ambrose Choy, and David Man, the three friends are all computer engineer grads from the University of Waterloo, and worked at RIM together. Mok says he had great career growth at RIM, but knew he wanted to work with Choy and Man beyond RIM because they had that special “kind of energy together.” He added, “It’s funny, we’re polar opposites in many ways. We like to do a lot of things together, but we’re very opposite in the way we work.”
Mok says he’s more of the extrovert and drives the vision, while Ambrose is more thoughtful about what will sustain the business and how the company will compete. But numbers can affect dynamics as well. Before Man joined the Simply Good team, it was just the two cofounders who were key decision makers, leaving room for deadlocks in some situations. “You see it a lot with two co-founders,” explains Mok, “either one (founder) is dominant while the other’s not, if you set it up like that. ... But if I’m thinking one way and somebody’s thinking another, having a third person is very important.” Man joined the company in 2009, providing the team with a “swing vote.” He’s more in the middle ground, with a tendency toward innovation and moving quickly, but also holds reservations in some situations. By balancing personalities and a dedication to selftaught business skills, the Simply Good Technologies
ambrose choy, Winston mok, and david man (images Courtesy of Simply Good Technologies)
team has been able to successfully grow their company. But Mok stresses to budding entrepreneurs the importance of building a network outside your comfort zone, outside your network. He encourages young tech people to attend business events, and vice versa. “Business and tech folks often do mesh well together, but there’s a chemistry that has to occur.”
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23 teresting to Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers, the older folk who’re likely to be doing the hiring. It conflicts with the attitudes they held when they got their first jobs. These points are important for two reasons: a) Employers know how vital it is for their personnel to get along. Life, business, and marketing coach Monica Magnetti, from LunaCoaching.com, should know, she talks to a lot of them. “Almost all (employers) will tell you they will teach you the skills and the knowledge — but it’s the personality that’s important,” she says. “When it comes down to it, each company knows its personality. They’re looking for someone who speaks their language.”
your personality — does it fit your co-workers & your job? by Christopher Lawson
Liking your co-workers and having your personalities click can make the difference between loving and hating your job. Certain industries attract certain personalities. You’ll have to do a lot of self-reflection and experimenting to figure out which one matches your personality best.
Let’s pretend you’re throwing the party of a lifetime. (Of course you’ll also have to pretend that you have enough cash left over after tuition, textbooks, housing, transit, cell phone bills, and pet food to spend on said party.) You’ve got reservations at the hottest club in town, paid for full bottle service, and your best buds from Daft Punk are DJing. You send invitations to all your friends highlighting how awesome this party’s going to be. You figure it’ll be a matter of
jobpostings.ca | April 2012
minutes before your guest list is overflowing. But instead of RSVP cards returned with check marks and smiley faces next to “attending,” you receive the same discouraging response from nearly everyone you invited: “Maybe. Who else will be there?” Offended? Don’t be. You and your friends, who are today’s crop of soon-to-be entry-level workers, often ask the same question about everything. Even about their career choice.
Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc. (in partnership with DECODE) did some research on what today’s graduates look for in potential employers. President Graham Donald said, “(A) finding that I thought was very interesting, almost across the board, is that students place a very high priority on working with people they like. So they’re looking very carefully at, ‘Who will my colleagues be?’” That probably sounds obvious to you, but this revelation is very in-
b) Even if you don’t actually care about jiving with your co-workers, odds are that your co-workers care about jiving with you. You’ll have to get along if you don’t want to be left behind by your peers.
Let me introduce yourself For today’s graduates, knowing yourself could be even more important than knowing your field of study. Career coach and author Karen Schaffer helps her job-seeking clients find out for themselves. “I try not to make recommendations so much as guide clients to their own answers. However, that guidance takes the form of getting people to understand and articulate what they desire from their work. More than saying, ‘I want to like my co-workers,’ they need to ask how they want to like them. They need to know what their own strengths are, what they value, what they’re passionate about.” Depending on your experience, these may be hard questions to answer. But that’s the key right there — experience. You can’t know yourself until you’ve put yourself into action and learnt from your mistakes. Make the most of your horribly embarrassing blunders by engaging in heavy-duty reflection,
Alright, don’t roll your eyes so loudly — lest you think I’m telling you to drop out of school and start freelance navel-gazing. I suggest you make an appointment with a career coach or counsellor at your school who can give you some much needed focus.
Homework If you’d prefer to do it on your own, here’s a quick alternative you can try that will not only give you a roughly accurate personality portrait of yourself, but you’ll also be getting other people to do the work for you: ask someone else. Ask anyone who knows you even a little. It could be mom, dad, your teachers, your parole officer, cult worshipers, that guy in line at the cafe you work at who never leaves you alone. Anyone. Get them to
guess what job you’d be really good at. You might be surprised. Those who know you very well will answer with something you’d predict because they know what you study, but they will also be unafraid to consider the aspects of your personality that you dislike and try to hide. Are you a granola-eating animal lover, but ashamed of being an insufferable rules stickler? Your mom might suggest working in conservation law. And she might be right, because although you may want to fight against your dark side, you’d tear your hair out trying to get a family of orangutans to sit still for the zoo’s photo op.
What hue is your jetpack? Once you have a better understanding of what you’re all about, it’s time to understand what the industries of the world are all about. You’ll have to do some research, but here’s an approximate
rules-oriented relaxed team player high energy independent judgmental open minded analytical personable adventurous introverted extraverted
says Schaffer. “As we gain new experiences, we grow, and that leads to discovering new things we want in our career.”
accounting energy engineering emergency services entertainment finance hospitality law mining pharma sales tech trades
According to a Pew study, we Millennials consider ourselves unique from previous generations because of our “immersion in music and pop culture,” while Gen X’ers and Boomers often consider “work ethic” to be their calling. So don’t be offended if your boss yells at you to turn down the dub-step and get back to work — she doesn’t have a problem with your personality. It’s just an age thing.
map of which industries attract which personality types.
been working to get for years, only to find it wasn’t her scene.
Keep in mind, the world is a large and strange place, so not everyone fits nicely into an infographic, nor does every industry require only particular traits to the exclusion of all others. We can, however, get a quick glimpse at the big picture (see graph above).
“It’s not that my coworkers were bad. We were just different. Politics, music, movies: you name it. I was a stranger in a strange land. And like any relationship where the fundamental values of the two parties just don’t click, things fell apart pretty fast — I was only there for a year.”
Once you’ve embraced your true personality, and are equipped to make an informed decision about what industry you’re going to apply to, go full force. But don’t be surprised if you want to back out.
The funny thing about experience… …is that you have to have a bad one now to make a good one later. It doesn’t matter how many questions you ask or how much research you do, you simply don’t know how something will turn out until you do it. Take it from Jess (name changed to protect her social network status), who landed the entry-level publishing job she’d
Jess thought a publishing company would be overflowing with people who love books just like her, but it turned out that her field was more suited to business-savvy and marketing types. Now she’s dabbling in a few different jobs to discover the next career path to take. But now she’s got experience. Now she knows more about her own personality and the personality of the industry she worked in — things that are invaluable in a job market where so much depends on being in the right place with the right people. And if you don’t want to end up at the wrong party, you’re going to need that knowledge and experience too. April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
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iNduSTrY iNSiderS by Eleni Papavasiliou
EAT oR BE EATEN don’t let the size of the major players in the It industry fool you. the Canadian software sales industry is pretty small relative to the states, and most of the jobs in Canada are in Vancouver, toronto, and Montreal. these jobs boast fat pay cheques, and a cool corporate culture. Being a small industry allows you to rake in the dough, but has its disadvantages for those who aren’t careful. “your reputation follows you, whether you did something bad at the company Christmas party or if you don’t make your sales,” OJ Cherry, sales manager of Corporate sales at sophos, warns. It’s an industry where everyone knows each other and as people talk, gossip spreads as easily as pushing the send button. despite often being described as cutthroat, software sales attracts candidates willing to challenge the stiff competition.
SALES REp VS. pRE-SALES ENGiNEER depending on which niche you work in, some sales reps work on their own, while others work within a team. In a team environment, the sales rep does all the prospecting, qualifying of leads, and the negotiating of prices. Pre-sales engineers support the sales rep in closing the sale by providing product demonstrations, and going deeper into the problem’s logistics. “they can’t move the deal forward without the sales engineers. We’re the technical component,” Abdul-rehman Khan, a solutions consultant at netsuite, explains. teamwork isn’t always easy however. It can pose problems, especially when both the sales rep and pre-sales engineers depend on different pay structures. “Pre-sales engineers have a higher base salary and capped commission, whereas sales reps have a smaller base and often uncapped commission,” said Khan. IMAGE: MICHAEL BLANN/ DIGITAL VISION/THINKSTOCK
SHoW ME THE MoNEY
every company is different, but you can count A degree gets you an interview, but on a base salary plus a commission compensathe ability to close a sale gets you the tion structure. the commission portion is dejob. “education isn’t the primary driver termined by forecasting your sales and estabin software sales. It’s looked at in the lishing a quota, which is called your Ote — On initial stages of the hiring process target earnings. “the system is designed to enthough,” Cherry explains. But those courage you to go over your quota,” Cherry exwith a proven track record for closing plains. Once you’re over, the accelerator (indussales are desired, making this job poptry lingo) kicks in. this means once you exceed ular with career changers. new grads your quota, the formula adjusts and the perwith no sales experience have to prove centage of the commission you earn increases. themselves and start in entry level “Most base salaries start at roles, like a sales devel50k, and with commission oper, with typical duties factored in, the average rep such as cold calling and Software sales is mainly a makes 100k,” Cherry adds. lead generation. B2B industry. They specialize in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). If a business needs something streamlined, organized, “Choose a stable company Being a sales rep can or automated, a software to work for, with a prodopen doors too. “you sales company can do uct line you can sell in the can move upstream to it. Products can range good times and the bad. a larger company with anywhere from anti-virus don’t ever get complacent. bigger and more comprotection, database mansqueeze every ounce of juice plicated products, beagement, business intelfrom the lemon,” Cherry adcome a director with a ligence, and HR managevises. the software sales inlarge company, move ment. Companies include: dustry reputation for being into sales management, Oracle, NetSuite, Salesforce. a dog-eat-dog world, where or join a small upstart com, SAP, Sophos, EMC2. you must eat or be eaten, can and share ownership,” be intimidating. But looking Cherry said. rob Lunback, Khan would have choney, director of Western Canada from eMC2, believes sales careers offer transferable skills. “sales professionals must sen the sales route over the learn their products and customers inside and out. this technical route. “I would’ve gives them an advantage if they wish to pursue other It focused on it back then if I related professions in the future.” knew how good they have it.”
WHERE TO GO
WoRDS FRoM THE WiSE
April 2012 | jobpostings.cA
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Industry Insiders by Ariadna Levin
compiles libraries of known onpatent and off-patent drugs, and screens them to identify agents of previously unrecognized purity that target leukemia cells and stem cells population. For Schimmer, the primary benefit of the career in biomedical research is the opportunity to be engaged closely with issues facing patients and the immediate relevancy to the work one’s doing. “A lot of people enjoy the close links between what they are working on and the problems their patients currently face.”
Chemical engineerscandoitall Discover the breadth and versatility a chemical engineering degree can offer you.
In the past, chemical engineers have been employed in process engineering, mainly in two industries: chemicals and petroleum. Not anymore. Today they have a wide array of career choices. Among the many industries utilizing the skills of chemical engineers are: food processing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, electronics, renewable energy, biofuels, and nanotechnology. Just as they were instrumental in discovering and harnessing fossil fuels for energy production, chemical engineers are now engaged in developing new, sustainable sources of energy: biomass, biofuels, hydroelectric energy, geothermal energy, solar power, and wind power. Another achievement of chemical engineers is inventing new technologies to reduce pollutants entering the environment. One example of these technologies is bioaugmentation — the use of microbes to transform and detoxify pollutants in groundwater and soil. What exactly happens in bioaugmentation? Dr. Elizabeth Edwards,
a professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto, and a leader of Biodegraders Research Group, explains, “We’ve identified new microbes capable of biodegrading common groundwater contaminants. There are so many microbes in a gram of soil, and depending on how you coax them into growing, you can get different members of the community to bloom. The trick is to learn how to promote the activity that leads to detoxification of pollutants.” When it comes to employment prospects for chemical engineering graduates, Edwards says, “I believe they are good, and that all grads eventually get a job. Perhaps not right away, but they do within about six months.” How relevant is further education beyond a bachelor’s? “There’s no question that there’s a lot more learning needed after the bachelor’s. However, some companies really like to hire right out of the bachelor’s and provide the training in-house. Others like to have someone with more expertise. It’s
really up to the individual and their personal goals and opportunities. It never hurts to take a job if you’re offered one. You can always go back to school.” Chemical engineering often becomes intertwined with biology and biomedicine, so many chemical engineers work in proteomics, genomics, and biomedical engineering as a result. Dr. Aaron Schimmer, a staff physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the Princess Margaret Hospital, scientist at OCI, and assistant professor in Medicine and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, is recognized in the field of biomedicine for the discovery of novel routes for treatment of cancer. Schimmer’s research team has established therapeutic strategies that target leukemia on a cellular level, killing off the affected cells while sparing the normal healthy cells. What makes Schimmer’s achievements outstanding is the re-purposing of old drugs for new treatments. To identify new therapeutic strategies, his team
To get into this field, it’s helpful to have a synthetic chemistry background. “Once you get additional training in biology, it puts you in a very unique niche,” said Schimmer. “Biologists can’t do chemistry and very few chemists have an understanding of biology, so that kind of training becomes highly valuable. It puts you in a niche where there is a lot of job potential.” So what’s it really like to study chemical engineering? Jine Jine Li, studying for a Master’s in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto, said, “The major challenge of being in a research-oriented program is time management and motivation. There are certain times where results don’t work out or no progress is being made, and it becomes really difficult to move ahead. At these times it’s important to think about the big picture, and really be able to motivate yourself to think outside the box. “The benefits of this program are the exciting problems that need to be solved, and once you do actually get results, it’s quite exciting to discover and see what you’ve actually achieved. You learn a lot about being an independent individual, planning out your schedule in advance, and solving problems in general.”
April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
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the ultimate combination Careers in computer science and business are in high demand these days. Becoming a computer information systems manager lets you do both. by Michelle Hampson
A few years ago, Aashish Kumar was enrolled in business at McGill University and working parttime in IT sales, but he worried about landing a job after school with just a business degree. Reflecting on his strengths, he decided computer science would be a good route. He moved back home to Calgary and enrolled in a four-year Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree at Mount Royal University, which offered that attractive combination of business and computers. An information systems manager is the middle person between the computer programmers and management. As Ricardo Hoar, associate professor of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Mount Royal University, explains, knowing the technical lingo and some neat web development and programming tricks is important — you need to have a technical aptitude. “But you also need a good set of business skills, because you may talk to a
Stats Courtesy of: workingincanada.gc.ca
programmer and then you have to turn around and talk to a VP. A VP and programmer don’t speak the same language, so the ability to be a really good communicator is essential.” Hoar says that before creating this degree, the university spoke to employers who hire computer science grads. They found while the students have great technical skills, they lack many important soft skills. He says a lot of computer science students see their skills set as useful, and while that’s true, Hoar points out that it’s even more useful when you know how to apply it to business. “When you can do the tech, but also understand how it will affect the business, it’s way more impactful.” You can’t just start at the top though. Adriana Bidegain knows this. After attaining her undergraduate degree in computer engineering and an MBA in economics and indus-
trial management, she began her career as a programmer. At various companies, she was then a systems analyst, then a project manager, then senior project manager, then director, and was recently appointed VP of Global Delivery at Telocell. She says her organizational skills, ability to collaborate, willingness to learn, and communication skills allowed this career path to unfold for her. “It is a stressful job because most of the time you’re dealing with tight timelines, and nowadays you have virtual teams, so not everybody sits together. They are in different time zones, have different backgrounds, different cultures. And all of these impact the timeline.” The job description covers a lot. Your day could involve meetings with your customers in order to discuss project status; internal team meetings to track the plans and see where everybody is; and managing the budget and meet-
Average hourly wage of a Toronto-based:
Computer and information systems managers Information systems analysts and consultants Computer engineers (except software engineers & designers) Software engineers and designers (All numbers from 2010)
ing with your finance group. Of course, then you need to manage the project itself and update the project plan. If this is the career path you desire, Bidegain warns that you have to be willing to work long hours, even weekends. “So sometimes you’re not going to be able to see your kids as often as you want, or see your friends. You have to think about whether you’re willing to have that unbalanced lifestyle. “But the benefits — the salary is usually one of the highest in the market. IT pays well. It’s always in demand. So people usually don’t struggle, or find themselves out of a job for a long time. You can work pretty much anywhere in the world, because if you’re a Java developer for instance, it’s the same skill, the same knowledge here, as in Brazil or Spain.” Bidegain has fully taken advantage of the universality her skills offer — she has worked in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Israel, and is now based in Toronto. Kumar decided to try the business side of computers, because he likes dealing with people. “I don’t like getting stuck behind a computer all day. ... I like talking to people more.” Given his previous IT experience, he knows it takes lot of work to get to the top, and that he’s not going to graduate and become the next Steve Jobs. Not right away at least. April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
The demand for people who understand both computers and business is only increasing as technology plays a bigger role in society, making computer information systems management an attractive career path. The pay off will be great, but don’t underestimate the workload necessary to reach this position.
* a fresh start in your
continuing education by Ariadna Levin
When a university degree just isn’t enough to score a smooth career path
When I graduated in the summer of 2009, a newspaper title said, “This is the worst year in decades to graduate from university.” Three years forward, although the darkest of the recession days seem behind us, university grads are still having a hard time finding meaningful jobs that would make their degree worthwhile. According to the National Post, the rate of youth unemployment in 2011 is 14%, twice as high as the national rate. Worse, tuition fees aside, grads find themselves competing against a significantly higher number of degree holders, as universities produce more graduates than ever before. Eventually, you start wondering how wise of an investment your university education was. For some, the solution was to stay in school for a Master’s degree, hoping the situation will improve when they finish. However, where’s the guarantee you won’t be faced with the same bleak prospects when you graduate with your Master’s, with even more debts to pay off? A practical and much cheaper solution might be going to college to get a certificate that
builds up upon your university degree. Maclean’s survey of Ontario Colleges Performance Rates shows very attractive numbers for 20072008 graduates, with an average employment rate of 88.9%.
how to prepare an adequate résumé, how to put your best self forward, and how to best describe your skills. We also prepare students to meet the expectation of a workplace, in terms of hard and soft skills.”
So how common is it to see university grads enrolling in college programs nowadays? According to Shrin Kosravaneh, the coordinator of an Editing Program at George Brown College, it’s becoming very common not only for undergrads, but for graduate students as well. She says, “Even Master’s students come to college because they want to get some hands-on experience leading to employment. Some students use this training to supplement their degrees, others take different programs from what they studied to make a transition to a more practical career.”
Even though it could be frustrating to go back to school after having spent so much time and effort on your degree, it doesn’t have to be. Just ask Mona Besharati, one of the students in the Editing Program at George Brown.
Different colleges have various ways of preparing students for employment. Tene Barber, the Dean of Continuing Education at Vancouver Community College (VCC), explains, “Some programs at VCC offer practicum and internships, so there’s a direct connection (with the labour market). We have training programs, for example our ACE program in the Essential Skills Centre actually coaches students that are coming up to graduate how to research different job markets and opportunities, so they are more prepared upon graduation.” “You’ll also find that every program at VCC has a strong, what I would call, ‘transition to employment’ piece, teaching you such things as:
“It feels good. I get to learn about something I’m interested in, while also advancing my skills. I’m at a point in my life where I have the resources to do this, and I realize this isn’t always the case for everyone. So I’m happy about and thankful for my current situation. Knowing I’d be walking out of university with a BA honours degree, I also knew that going back to school was always a serious possibility for me. My program — a combined degree in Communication Studies & Multimedia — was very theoretical and broad. Going back to school lets me hone in on my genuine interests and skills.” How’s continuing education in college different form university studies? Says Mona, “I felt a lot more pressure in university, and what I was studying was significantly theoretical based. In college (specifically a cont. ed. program), the classes are much smaller in size, and focused in topic. Also, the material covered has a much more ‘hands on’ approach. In comparison to university, I am learning more practical skills in college.”
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April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
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jobpostings.ca | April 2012
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start up way they see this return is that we find brands’ true advocates and give them the opportunity to become a part of their advocates’ organizations, networks, and events by giving them the tools to make student life bigger and better. We find those students who not only love the brand, but also when they get access to the brand, they are able to really mobilize and empower their friends and on-campus community. ... We’ve seen it time and time again that when brands actually help and support students, when they learn how they can use their brand to help empower students to do great things, they will have a longer term and more meaningful relationship with them. Very simply, this is a more effective and meaningful use of their marketing budgets.”
Dave Wilkin Interviewed by David Tal
“I was involved with a lot of activities on campus, from intramurals, to clubs, and societies,” said Dave Wilkin, founder of CampusPerks, recalling where his business idea came from. “I saw how we were always trying to go out there to find support from various organizations, and at the same time I saw a lot of companies restricted to putting up posters or flyers, basically sending in people to set up big tents on campus. And I thought, all of us were running different organizations, whether it was sports tournaments, or clubs, or conferences, socials, you name it. What if we could have the opportunity to work with those companies to make our student life bigger and better?” And that’s when Dave, a 24 year old Waterloo grad, with a Bachelors in Biochemistry, decided
to turn his idea into reality by launching CampusPerks, an online, student community that aims to fuel student life on campus. Launched in 2010, CampusPerks works with top Canadian brands to create sponsorship, scholarship, and exclusive opportunities for students. By visiting CampusPerks.ca and signing up, students “from fashionistas, to athletes, to clubs, and student life leaders” can receive the resources and experiences they need to grow their own initiatives, better their campus life, and enjoy little perks every month. When asked how CampusPerks benefits the brands it works with, Dave explained, “Brands always struggle to find a meaningful and effective way to engage with youth. They need to see the return (on their investment), and the
One example of CampusPerks playing matchmaker between students and brands was its recent opportunity with a major international brand, a leader in the youth space. “They came
“When brands actually help and support students... they will have a longer term and more meaningful relationship with them.” to us and said, ‘Hey, it’s February. It’s Valentines Day. It’s time to spread the love across communities.’ So we partnered them with some really cool charities and student associations to help them spread the love even more within their target communities, with everything from sandwiches for at-risk and homeless youth, to canned food drives in local communities. And so this brandwas able to partner with some of the best advocates in their communities, and help those students bring their initiatives to a whole new level.” Examples like this are just one of many, and it’s for that reason that CampusPerks has grown so much since its launch. “In two years, we’re leading the youth initiatives for some of Canada’s biggest brands, and we’re already on track for over $500,000 in sponsorships and giveaways for students in Canada.” But all this success couldn’t have come without setbacks, Dave recalls some of the difficulties he came across when first starting up. “Something we were slow to do was to build partnerships with the right types of groups. In the early stages, we worked directly with students, now their national head offices are calling us to see how we can benefit them from coast to coast. In many cases, we have since been named their preferred ally for students and youth.” In the end, for all those budding entrepreneurs, Dave advises that you should, “Find something you’re truly passionate about. Entrepreneurship is truly a matter of finding a project you’re passionate about and chasing that.” April 2012 | jobpostings.ca
10 launch ways to
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Published on Apr 9, 2012
Published on Apr 9, 2012
Canada's largest career lifestyle magazine for students and recent grads. This issue's cover story focuses on Canada's future tech superstar...