Page 1

Make networking work for you


Public speaking: How to sell your ideas


super skills focus harder, memorize better, read it faster, Google stronger



page mining report

Where’s the money at?

I’m on a boat

Shrinking pharma industry

Becoming a financial planner

Working on cruise ships

Where jack-of-all-trades thrive

| march 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

Scan here to watch a video and learn more. Balayez ici pour regarder une vidéo et en savoir plus.


ENGINEERS AND TECHNICIANS “I’ve always enjoyed helping others. Now I have the opportunity to do just that. Whether helping out with flood relief, or building a school where there was none, I know I’m making a difference.” 2nd Lieutenant JAMES KIM



« J’ai toujours voulu venir en aide aux autres. Et c’est exactement l’occasion qui m’est donnée ici. Que ce soit en participant aux efforts de reconstruction après une inondation ou en érigeant une école où il n’y en avait pas avant, je sais que je peux faire une différence. » Sous-lieutenant JAMES KIM


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



inside this edition




Hey. Did you know these companies have lots of entry level positions? Visit their websites to see a full list of positions available.

1 Department of National Defence 2 Sun Life Financial 13 College Pro 27 Target 27 NAV CANADA 27 Chair-man Mills 28 Kinross Gold Corporation 33 Cameco 35 Iron Ore Company 39 The New England Centre for Children 45 Investors Group Financial 45 Bayshore Inn 47 College Pro OBC PwC

Focus Harder. Memorize better… Everyone wants that edge. And we want to help you get it. In school (and in your future career), there are a couple of basic skills we can all supercharge to make us super productive. The mini tutorials found in this issue will teach you everything you need to learn those skills that can help you reach your full potential.

industry insiders I’m on a boat — There are hospitality opportunities all over the world, but the cruise ship business is in a category all its own. Where will it take you?

Where’s the money at? — Getting designated as a financial planner is one way to make a hefty chunk of change.

Making it in a shrinking pharma industry — How jack-of-all-trades are replacing specialists in the pharmaceutical industry.

mining report 29  It's all about the rocks and design — Always been interested in rocks? Geology and mining engineering students are in luck. The mining industry is hiring big time over the next few years.

30  In need of a mining mentor? — The Virtual MineMentor program puts students in touch with mining professionals. Hear first-hand what your job will be like, and gain valuable skills from someone who knows their stuff. 32  Gold rush — Gold mining is huge in Canada, and so are the job opportunities. If you’re looking for a shiny career, look no further.

34  Time to get dirty — Ever wondered what it’s really like to work inside a mine? We uncover the lifestyle most will never learn about. Image: © Ikhwanto

8  Success story — Claudine Lee shares her story of success as a logistics officer for the Canadian Armed Forces. Brought to you by Rogers Wireless.

12  Interview smarts — Christine O’Neill, Human Resources Manager at CN, asks you the tough question: if you’re hired, what will your impact be? 14  Career cupid — Having brains is one thing, but it’s certainly not everything employers look for. Our friend Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory needs this lesson. Do you?

16  The ME brand — Selling yourself and your ideas can be tough, so that’s why we’re sharing some advice to dust off your public speaking skills.

18  Soft skills — Make networking work for you.

37  Make the most of your first job — Got a job? Awesome! But how do you make the most of your first impression? Learn how best to ease into your new gig.

38  The art of negotiation — Don’t just settle for any job offer. Learn how to stand up for your best interests to get the best employment contract possible.

40  Edu-ma-cation — Bio-science can save the world, from detecting and altering disease to improving food. What kind of biology superhero do you want to be? 48  Start up — Jeffrey Ribeiro reveals the path he took from working at a car audio shop to owning his own consulting business.

yay! more school

IFC Humber, The Business School (Undergrad) 3 Humber, Fashion Management & Promotions 5 Humber, The Business School, Event Management 7 Humber, The Business School, Global Business 17 Humber, The Business School, International Development 39 Seneca College 40 Humber, School of Media Studies and Information Technology 40 Centennial College 41 Brock University 41 Niagara College 41 Oxford College 41 Queen’s University 41 Ross University 41 Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry 41 Sheridan College IBC Humber, The Business School

showcases 10 The Home Depot

who else? 25 35 36

Insurance Institute of Canada Mining Industry Human Resources Council Insurance Institute of Canada

stuff to buy 9 Rogers Wireless 15 Rogers Wireless 43 Skittles

March 2012 |

EVENT MANAGEMENT POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE From trade shows to cultural festivals; from sporting events to fashion shows; from conferences and meetings to weddings: this program offers the unique skills you need to launch your career as an: • • • • • • • •

Event Coordinator Marketing Assistant Special Events Organizer Promotion Coordinator Account Representative Trade Show Planner Conference Coordinator Corporate Meeting Planner


editor's note



Image: © Amani Zein.

on the cover:

publisher Nathan Laurie associate publisher Mark Laurie editor David Tal @DavidTalWrites

Learning Super Skills For many of us Canucks, this winter has been one to remember, not for the mounds of snow, but for the lack of it. Maybe winter called in sick this year. Either way, it’s already March and it feels like spring is coming early. But don’t rest easy. This time of the year is also when exams are just around the corner. This is the time when you start organizing cram sessions with your friends. It’s when you start bugging your prof for insider hints about what textbook chapters to focus on. It’s when you start avoiding calls from your chattiest friends, and when you ask your best friend to change the password to your Facebook. It’s when caffeine intake rises, when the bags under your eyes engorge, and when


s is in thi

fast food increasingly feels like a proper meal. But isn’t there a better way? A way you can learn how to study more effectively so that you can save time, stress less, and perform better at school? We’ve all seen them: those classmates who seem to make essays and exams feel effortless, those co-workers who regularly complete projects both early and under budget. “Good for them,” we say aloud. But in the back of our minds, a part of us thinks, “How do they do that? What makes them better than me?” The answer? Nothing. Very few are born with superhuman abilities. But those few who we perceive as superhuman are just people who’ve made that extra effort to learn special skills that allow them to accomplish things more produc-

tively and efficiently than those around them. Specifically, they learn skills that allow them to reach their full potential, a potential that exists in all of us. In the end, everyone wants that edge. And we at jobpostings magazine plan to help you get it. In school (and in your future career), there are a couple of basic skill sets we can all supercharge to make us extra productive. In this issue, you’ll find effective tutorials that will help you: focus harder, memorize better, read faster, and Google stronger. You usually pay top money for these tutorials, and here you’ll get them for free. But that’s not all folks. By continuing to read on, you’ll also discover more about the exciting world of mining. You heard that right. Think about this: Canada’s mining industry contrib-

© / Yogy Ikhwanto

art director Sonya van Heyningen

utes more than 54 billion dollars per year to the nation’s GDP. Canadian mining companies operate more than 350 mines in offshore locations, from Peru, to Australia, to Tanzania, to the United States, and more. And by 2020, Canada’s mining industry will hire more than 100,000 new employees.

web editor Simone Castello

The Canadian mining industry is growing. It offers a variety of career opportunities, and it’s among the nation’s top paying industries. In our special report on mining, we explore the career opportunities of Canadian mining in depth. From gold mining, to learning how to become a mining geologist and engineer, to what it’s like working inside a mine, to landing your very own mentor within the mining industry. Keep an open mind, mining may just surprise you. In all, this issue is packed with useful tips about how to improve your skills, and insights into industries you may have never thought of basing your career around. Read on, my friends. 

pg. 14

pg. 29

pg. 42

pg. 46

Big Bang Theory

Mining special report

I’m on a boat!

The shrinking pharma

contributors Jessica Calleja, Kaitlin Eckler, Christine Fader, Michelle Hampson, Barbara Kofman, Chris Lawson, Ofelia Legaspi, Ariadna Levin, Brandon Miller, Emily Minthorn, Allison Mitchell, Christine O’Neill, Eleni Papavasiliou, Mary Michaela Weber assistant sales manager Sarah-Lyn Amaral national account manager Mary Vanderpas sales assistant Shannon Tracey interns Jake Babad, Michelle Hampson,

Published by Passion Inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON M5P 1B9 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. “Skill to do comes of doing” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

industry March 2012 |

GLOBAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE From marketing to finance; from advertising to international trade; this program offers the unique skills you need to launch your career in: • • • • • • •

Marketing Finance Advertising International Trade Retail Wholesale Supply Chain Management


Claudine Lee

Logistics Officer @ Canadian Armed Forces How did you find your current position? I used to work at a bank. I studied Social Science at York University, and I always figured I’d end up in business or economics working at a company related to the business field. But while I was at school, I was also in the Reserves part-time working on the weekends and in the summer. After graduating university, I found myself unsatisfied working at the bank and started working at the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre. Working full time as a reservist offered me a lot of opportunity and challenges, so not long after graduating I decided to join the Regular Forces.

Tell us a bit about your responsibilities. I’m stationed at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, Wing Operations in the Orderly Room. My job isn’t always in the office. I go for courses, there’s domestic travel, international travel, and field training. You can’t do all that in the civilian world. I’m in human resources management, so like anywhere else in civilian life there is paperwork. But my duties go far beyond just that, I find the right people to do the right job to complete a mission. It’s a very dynamic job where every day brings new challenges and opportunities to grow and learn as a soldier and trade specialist. In

Trenton, I’ve had the experience of dealing with troops and ensuring they have a balance of work and family. With the high operational tempo here, it’s also important to keep a close relationship with the families of soldiers on deployment, ensuring they have the services they need. I’m also dealing with things such as contractors on base, security clearances, etc. On top of the daily office duties, I’m busy taking training and career courses, both to specialize more in my trade, as well as keep my basic soldier qualifications up to date. You never know what you’ll be doing one day to the next.

What is the most challenging aspect of your position? Leadership. I’m in charge of a section where I have to build a team to lead. What I’m working on has a great impact, there’s a bigger picture

What do you think it takes to be successful in this career? It’s different than at a private sector company. Being an officer in the Canadian Forces is about knowing how to lead. We’re moving people and supplies around the world on tight deadlines and under demanding conditions. Being a leader here, I have to motivate, encourage, and find a commonality among all these different people to complete the mission. It’s a very rewarding challenge.

What are your future career aspirations? I’m looking forward to my next deployment, my next challenge. My posting changes every few years along with my duties — there are so many fields in logistics. Here at Trenton, I’m working with people off-base, like families, contractors, members of the community. At another base, I

“If you want a change, a real challenge, and to make a difference, you need to join.” here and every decision we make impacts that. As an officer I’m responsible for leading and training my team and every skill set I learn from courses and deployments helps develop these skills. It isn’t like any other civilian administrative job out there. I lead troops. If I can do that well, then I go home feeling satisfied.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? You meet all sorts of people you wouldn’t find elsewhere. I deal with troops, contractors, civilians, and I even meet with soldiers’ families from time to time. I interact with all these different characters, with different backgrounds, all over the country. I have to inspire these people, and help them adjust and understand the life of a soldier. It’s an enriching experience, but it also really pushes you and you end up finding out a lot about yourself.

may be working more on policy and staffing. In the end, you’re working for Canada. There are so many roles you can fill, because it’s a bigger picture you’re involved in, and it doesn’t get much bigger than Canada.

What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job? This isn’t your typical office job — you’re a soldier first, your job description comes second. So if you want a change, a real challenge, and a chance to make a difference, you need to join. If you want excitement and personal fulfillment, join. Read the full interview on our website at

Length of employment: Claudine Lee joined the Reserves in 2002, and transferred to the Regular Forces in 2008. Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Specialization in Social Science, york university

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our entire life, so the approach has helped in working with people I’ve never met before and peers in school,” she says. “You end up with a whole new world of knowledge.”

Knowledge is also something that The Home Depot encourages in their associates. For eligible as-

sociates, The Home Depot will provide 50 percent tuition reimbursement, up to a maximum $5000

a year. The Home Depot also provides medical and

dental benefits to part-time employees. “I use a lot of my benefits, to be honest,” Shireen says laugh-

ing. “Being a student and being over the age to be on your parents’ benefits, they come in handy.”

“They train you from the bottom up, no experience necessary.”

A Whole New World of Knowledge Part-Time Associate at The Home Depot “You can always find a friend in the store,” Shireen

to know everything pretty well,” Shireen explains,

Judging by the amount of smiles from co-workers

ing where I got to know people from other stores.

Rajmoolie says about working at The Home Depot. and customers as she walks through the aisles, Shireen has developed more than one friendship in the three years she has been a part time associate. Yet for a student like Shireen, The Home Depot offers more than a place to make new friends; it’s

a place where she can gain life-long skills, receive

support for education, and grow within a company. As a Contractor Services Cashier, Shireen is tasked with building and fulfilling orders, including taking phone orders, and aiding with installs when

contractors need help getting the ball rolling on a job. “They train you from the bottom up, no experience necessary,” Shireen says. Employing both web-based training and step-by-step coaching, The Home Depot ensures that new employees are

confident in their ability to serve customers. And,

unlike many places, training doesn’t end after

your first month of employment. “I had been working for a couple of months already and had gotten

“and then I went to Store Support for further trainWe compared ideas and found out that we have a lot of the same issues and same strengths.”

While Shireen’s primary department is the Contractor Services Department, she has been cross-

trained to work in Customer Service, Expediting, and the Return to Vendor department. “There’s always room for growth within the company,”

she says. This has not only kept Shireen challenged, but has broadened her skills base as

well. It’s not all related to building and building

materials, Shireen points out. The Home Depot

has a very particular approach to customer ser-

“really is an all around company that does have diversity. We have people of all ages and creeds,

and some are still in school and in the same boat as me.” The Home Depot also maintains a social

committee that organizes events, like an Annual International Potluck. “Everybody brings in some sort of dish,” she says. “Recipes are exchanged,

and a lot of good times are had at the potlucks.” The Home Depot also champions volunteer work

through Team Depot, an associate volunteer force

that works within communities to make a difference. Add to that the Matching Gift Program where associate’s contributions to qualifying non-profits are matched, dollar for dollar. Respect

for all people, giving back, and building strong

relationships are all things that The Home Depot, and associates like Shireen, pride themselves on.

“Research what The Home Depot has to offer,” Shireen advises, “because you’ll see there are a lot of long-term benefits to staying here, whether it’s for a lifetime or for when you’re in school. There

are a lot of good things here, more than we can

advertise on a sign; it isn’t until you work here that you realize the extent of it.”

vice, whereby employees not only greet custom-

The Home Depot Canada received awards for

and provide informed, helpful advice. Those

in 2011. The Home Depot Canada hires for Spring

ers at the door, but also walk them down aisles, people skills have helped Shireen in her day-to-

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Through extensive training, tuition reimbursement and more, The Home Depot gives us the support we need to expand our knowledge, develop new skills and build promising futures. In turn, we have the confidence to contribute to home improvement projects— both large and small.

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q&A Find more intervew Q&As online at:




with Christine O’Neill Human Resources Manager

@ CN



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!

If you’re hired, what will be your impact?

This is a seemingly harmless question we ask at the interview’s onset, but it provides us with a wealth of information on the candidate when answered strategically. First, this is an opportunity for the candidate to tell us about the strengths they’ve developed that could be an asset to our organization. You should focus on one or two strengths, and provide examples where you’ve demonstrated these specific strengths in the past. Simply listing your strengths without facts to back them up makes the answer fairly shallow. Second, the savvy candidate, who has gathered information on the company’s goals and culture, will also be in a position to tell an interviewer how they would be a good fit within that environment. For example, CN’s website ( offers the public a lot of information on its mission, its challenges, and its opportunities. A candidate who has taken the time to read our information will be well equipped to explain how they can contribute to CN’s success. The answer should also remain specific and realistic (no, we don’t expect the candidate to revolutionize the industry in their first week on the job). Not being able to explain which aspect of

our business you’ll be most beneficial to, or advising us that you would change “everything” about the business leaves the interviewers with the sense that you haven’t done your homework. Or worse, it shows us that you wouldn’t have an impact (which is, after all, the question you’ve been asked to answer here). Finally, the successful candidate will be the one who uses this answer as a thread throughout the interview. If you’ve been candid about your core strengths in this question, then this theme will invariably resurface throughout the answers you provide as the interview progresses. If you’ve simply presented a generic response, then the interviewer will automatically notice your answers in the remainder of the interview don’t match up to the candidate you presented yourself as from that first question. As I said, this is a seemingly harmless question, but it requires some preparation and candidness on your part. Know yourself and the organization where you are interviewing, and you should be successful in dealing with this type of interview question. 

March 2012 |

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career cupid by Christine Fader

Skills, school, and a guy called Sheldon There’s a guy in my life, often sporting a Green Lantern or similarly “geek chic” t-shirt, by the name of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. If you’re unfamiliar with Sheldon, he’s a theoretical physicist and self-proclaimed genius, whose favourite expletive is “Bazinga,” and he makes me laugh out loud on a show called The Big Bang Theory. While obviously intellectually and academically accomplished, Sheldon and his friends often lack a few other skills — the kind that employers would call “soft skills.” For example, Sheldon has difficulty being adaptable and working with others. His friend, Howard, sometimes demonstrates inappropriate attitudes and behaviours towards women. Their friend Leonard often solves problems by simply avoiding conflict. The Conference Board of Canada’s Employability Skills 2000+ lists a number of key “skills, attitudes, and behaviours that you need to participate and progress in today’s dynamic world of work.” You’ve likely seen job ads littered with words echoed from this list: communication, managing information, using numbers, solving problems, demonstrating positive attitudes and behaviours, being responsible and adaptive, con-

tinuous learning, working with others, participating in projects and tasks, and working safely. Your fancy-pants program, and school or academic capabilities might get you an initial conversation or job interview, but landing the gig (and succeeding in it) depends mostly on your ability to demonstrate and use a variety of these skills. Case in point: my buddy Sheldon sometimes has difficulty keeping his job and relationships intact, despite all his intellectual brilliance and impressive diplomas. This is particularly noteworthy because he works in academia — a field that often involves more independent work and tolerance for diverse personalities than many other occupational areas. So, if you’re starting to wonder if you’re a bit like Sheldon, how and where can you gain these essential skills and which are most important for your career? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Skills are more than school. Some of these skills you’ll learn and practice in your program of study. However, for the remaining skills, you’ll have to look elsewhere to gather experience in order to demonstrate to future employers that you have them. Volunteering, student clubs, and

write a little more expansively and creatively than a technical report (e.g. for a campus fundraising campaign committee or for the student newspaper). If you’re in an arts program, seek out chances to write data-driven analytical documents or brief letters and notes (e.g. for a student group annual report, or write a paragraph of marketing text for a student government promotional brochure).

Get help highlighting these skills.

worried you may be a little too “sheldon”?

extra-curricular activities are all great ways for you to develop additional soft skills that will help you connect with future opportunities. The good news? Employers value all skills that they can use — no matter where you developed them!

Most employers talk about looking for these skills in applications and during interviews, and it can take some practice to get comfortable articulating them well. Simply stating, “I have great teamwork and communication skills” on your résumé doesn’t cut it. They want evidence — proof — connected to an activity that helps them see you developing and using the skill. Seek help from professors and career specialists on campus. If you’re having trouble knowing what skills you have, check out this skills credentialing tool:

The thing is though, most of us have limited spare time, so where should you concentrate your efforts if you have to choose which skills to develop? In my opinion, “the big three” tend to be communication, In his best-selling book, Disteamwork, and leadership. They cover Your Strengths, Marcus are in virtually every job ad. To Buckingham argues that even improve these, look for activities though we’re trained as a culture where you can develop listento focus on improving the skills ing skills, critical thinking, and we struggle with, people actutact — all crucial to effective ally see a much greater rate of communication, teamwork, improvement if they and leadership. Get focus on mastering comfortable with existing skills that public speaking come easily to them (Toastmasters clubs and they enjoy exist in virtually using. So, consider every community, super-sizing your and are an excellent natural gifts so they way to get experican become your ence and reduce Super Skills. It’s anxiety). Develop Christine Fader not just a path to well-rounded writworks as a career counseLlor at success, but also to ing skills; if you’re Queen’s University, and is the author career happiness. in a science, techniof “Career Cupid: Your Guide to As Sheldon would cal, or numbers-

Super-size skills you already have and enjoy using.

based program, look for opportunities to

Landing and Loving Your Dream Job.” Visit her website at

say… Bazinga!

March 2012 |

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock



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The ME Brand

Selling yourself and your ideas by Mary Michaela Weber

Advice to dust off your public speaking skills Why is it that a person might intelligently share ideas and crack jokes, but presents to an audience using stilted, boring language? Speaking in front of an audience can be nerve wrecking, whether you’re talking in front of a classroom or a boardroom. Over the years I’ve worked as a communications consultant and as a presentation and voice coach, I’ve learned to recognize the common mistakes speakers make. And I’m here to make darn sure you avoid them. The first mistake I often see is the use of ”report language” during a presentation. Connecting authentically at the podium means using natural language and natural speech patterns. The exception would be if you mumble or are overly casual when speaking. Saying, “Yo dude,” to your future employer isn’t always a great lead-in. Effective speakers use “conversational” rather than “report” language. When you write a presentation or share ideas, use direct language and active verb tenses. Try to cut down your sentence length by using interesting verbs. Don’t say, “In our report today we will discuss the following… . “Lead with a great question for people to think over and refer back to it. Second, people learn ideas using context. Think back to the

three most interesting things you learned in your life. You learned them in the context of a situation, because you remember the situation. Embed your listeners’ experience in an interesting story their minds can grab onto, not abstractions. Think of it almost as the difference between being spoken with and spoken to. For example, when trying to teach the value of humility, teamwork, and listening, you can use a well known story, such as the winning goal at the men’s hockey game at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. In this case, arrogance and presumption cost the Canadian team the gold medal only a few short

Here’s a quick checklist you can use when you’re rehearsing an idea to present:

 Do I sound too formal

and unapproachable?

 Are my words upward

inflecting at the end of sentences? Do I sound sure of myself?

 Do I sound monotone?  Am I using report or conversational language?

 Am I giving the

audience a metaphor they can work with during my talk?

years before, but their “humility, teamwork, and listening” was what allowed them to win out in the following Olympic games. It’s a fantastic story of a sincere team effort bringing a group back, and one that will more likely make you think about teamwork differently. Now imagine if the reporters at that gold medal game had commented on the game with the voice of one of your least favorite professors. Would you have switched stations? The third mistake is using a stiff monotone or singsong speech pattern in the delivery of your ideas, as it works to undermine your message. Think about it, you don’t talk to your friends in a monotone or sing-song pattern, so don’t why would you do the same to your audience? When it comes to fixing a monotone voice, the issue focuses around a lack of variety in your speech pattern. Try to stretch your comfort zone by practicing to raise or lower your pitch on specific words for emphasis. Record yourself, and listen to the changes. Alter what you’re practicing if it sounds unnatural. Meanwhile, singsong is caused (in part) by using upward inflection at the end of a sentence. Canadians love to upward inflect.

Mary Michaela Weber is one of Canada’s top communications consultants, known for using wit and a smart sense of strategy. Her company, Voice Empowerment Inc., brings her background of over 20 000 hours of training to CEO’s, Ivey League University professors, and upand-comers across North America and the Caribbean.

Women in particular tend to upward inflect. Upward inflection creates a question at the end of a sentence, and gives the impression of being unsure of yourself. Using a slightly lower pitch at the end of a sentence creates an impression of confidence. Changing speaking patterns takes time and a safe space to practice. You may feel uncomfortable at first, since our sense of identity is very linked to our speech pattern. Be gentle with yourself, and give it time. In the end, aim to share your ideas without hesitation, with humour, and in natural, conversational language. Approachability in language and speaking style will go a long way to having your ideas heard and listened to by your classmates and colleagues. March 2012 |

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock





soft skills

how to make networking work for you

Why network?

by Allison Mitchell

You’ve heard it before: networking is important for your career! Unfortunately, many people starting their careers don’t think they need to network or don’t know how to network effectively. Before I got my first job, I was one of those people. I would tell myself that networking was for other people and not me. I didn’t think I needed to network to get ahead in my career. Soon enough, I realized the truth — networking is important and it’s hard to do well. It’s time to get started on honing your networking skills!

Who do you network with? Ideally, you’ll want to ensure that you build your network within your chosen field. However, it’s important not to limit your network to only those people. Remember, people know other people. If a person you meet isn’t in your field, they might know someone who is.

What is networking? When you network, information is shared among people with common interests. In respect to your career, the more information and opportunities you’re aware of in your field, the better equipped you’ll be for success. Don’t mistake social networking with networking: it’s not the same thing. Social networking is one way to network, but it isn’t the only way. Face to face contact is usually the most effective approach, but it can also be done through email and phone.

Where do you network? Networking can happen anywhere, not just at networking events. Every person that you meet has the potential to be in your network, and you should go out into the world with that mindset. Be proactive. Seek out opportunities to attend networking events that are relevant to you.

• • • •

There will always be something new to learn in your field, and networking is a great way to discover the latest and greatest information. It allows you to promote yourself to others who are already in your field of choice. You won’t have to rely solely on job boards in your job search. Many companies have referral programs that encourage their employees to refer candidates. Networking is a great way to find out about career opportunities. Networking is a two-way street: your network can help you, and it offers you the opportunity to help others.

When should you start? Now! Don’t wait until you’re done school to start building your network. The earlier you start building your network, the larger your network will be when you graduate. Networking is unavoidable: even if you don’t seek out networking opportunities, you’ll eventually be in a position where you’ll have to network. So instead of being caught off-guard and unprepared, start polishing your networking skills. It’s a valuable skill you’ll use throughout your career!

how do you network effectively? Have business cards and a brief summary about yourself ready to go. If you’re still in school, your business cards should have your name, program, graduation date, and contact information. How will people contact you if they don’t have your contact information?

Be positive, confident, and authentic. You’ll attract others oozing those qualities. If you struggle with confidence — as many people do — then you need to fake it. If you fake it well, then people won’t know that you’re shaking on the inside. And over time, the more confident you act, the more confident you’ll become.

You need to meet new people to build your network, and you can’t meet new people if you’re sitting at a table full of people you know. I know it’s hard to sit and talk to people you don’t know. I’ve been guilty of using a networking event as a chance to catch up with friends, but doing so really wastes a golden opportunity to grow your network.

Send a follow-up email to the people you met, and thank them for the time they took to speak with you. That simple email will reinforce your brief conversation with them, and help you stand out among the others they met. March 2012 |

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock





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Learning super skills Focus harder. Memorize better. Read it faster. Google stronger. by David Tal

We’ve all seen them: those classmates who seem to make essays and exams feel effortless, those co-workers who regularly complete projects both early and under budget. “Good for them,” we say aloud. But in the back of our minds, a part of us thinks, “How do they do that? What makes them better than me?” The answer? Nothing. Very few are born with superhuman abilities. But those few who we perceive as superhuman are just people who’ve made the extra effort to learn special skills that allow them to accomplish things more productively and efficiently

than those around them. Specifically, they learn skills that allow them to reach their full potential, a potential that exists in all of us. In the end, everyone wants that edge. And we plan to help you get it. In school (and in your future career), there are a couple of basic skill sets we can all supercharge to make us super productive. They include: memorization, reading, researching, multitasking, and focusing. The following mini tutorials will teach you everything you need to learn to make these basic skills your super skills. Enjoy!

March 2012 |


lesson one

read faster Ah, the ability to speed read. It’s a skill

you after graduation. Elizabeth Allen,

that offers a variety of benefits. In

author and founder of Super Fast

particular, Abby Marks Beale, founder

Guides, says, “In the workplace, people

of Rev It Up Reading, says, “(Speed

are bombarded with written informa-

reading) provides the reading confi-

tion, such as emails, reports, memos,

dence and competence to get through

etc. The quicker people can read and

your academic reading workload.

digest the information, the quicker

Through increased speed, students

they can act on it, and perform their

increase concentration, which in turn

job effectively.”

supports increased comprehension, and ultimately better and longer retention. Reading becomes less of a chore and takes less time.” Speed reading is also a skill that will support

Overall, speed reading is a skill that students across the nation pay good money to learn, and here you’ll learn it within just a few minutes. Get ready!

the finger

Your eyes jump left to right as you read through a sentence (a motion called saccades). This is natural, but as you increase your reading speed, this can cause reading missteps which force you to reread sections of text. To help control this eye movement, use your finger (or a pen) to trace under each line as you read. Try doing this while you read as fast as possible.

the small skip


Once you’re comfortable skipping three words in and out of a sentence, start stretching yourself and read four words in and out, then five. Advanced speed readers only need to take two snapshots of an average sentence to read it fully.

intense practice

As you get better at using your peripheral vision to breeze through your sentences, continue to push yourself. This will heighten your perception of your future reading potential, and it will show you how much faster you can read with enough practice. In all, the more actively you practice the steps above, the quicker you’ll see the results in your reading speed.

Image: © Ikhwanto

As you get used to reading faster with your finger to guide you, begin skipping the first and last few words of each sentence. Everyone has peripheral vision, and this ability works wonders while reading. So when you start a new sentence, skip to the third word and let your peripheral vision automatically read the first two words for you. Do the same at the end of the sentence, where you end on the third word from the last word. Start reading this way, faster and faster, until the process gets easier and easier.


lesson two

What one piece of advice helped you the most in getting through school? “My father shared this advice with me: Try to study subjects that you enjoy, the rest will come naturally.”

Thomas Reed

22 years old, president of P.S. Warren Geological Society at the University of Alberta & 4th year ‘Geology’ student

“There is ALWAYS more work/ studying that can be done — time is your critical resource. So spend the most time on the things worth the most. Spending four hours on a report worth one percent equals a time management fail.”

memorize better Memory is a tricky thing. Science has yet to reveal how it fully works. And there are many factors that can affect it. In general, a memory is information that the brain can recall, and this ability has a variety of applications. “Memorization techniques can obviously help students recall information quickly and effectively for exams,” says Patrick C. Brown, founder of Occam Education, “but it also forces students to become more disciplined. Techniques, such as spaced repetition, require

Getting up off the couch once in a while can help improve your memory

students to revisit material at increasingly longer intervals, and structure their academic/ personal calendars accordingly.” Meanwhile, in your post-grad life, effective recall can really help your career. Chris Tobias, author and founder of, explains, “Remembering the names, history, and life details of your co-workers and business associates will greatly help you succeed in your post-grad professional life. How many kids does your boss have? Where did your coworker go for their last vacation? These facts will help you connect with people in conversation, build trust, and create great working relationships. Remembering business facts — such as how many units you need to sell this month — will help you handle the ‘hallway conversations’ with expertise and professionalism. This also builds trust and makes you a valuable member of the team, and to clients.”

Greg Overholt

26 years old, executive director for Students Offering Support. Graduated in 2009 with a degree in BBA & Com Sci from Wilfrid Laurier University.

“‘Take hand written notes,’ I was told by a group of students who were volunteering their time at a ‘head start’ program for first year students. It helps you formulate your own thoughts, keeps away distractions, and is good practice since exams are hand written.”

Mehria Karimzadah

21 years old, Co-Founder and Chief of Operations for DEM Society at the University of Toronto Mississauga & 4th Year ‘Digital Enterprise Management’ student

Lifestyle habits to improve memory what




Brain foods include complex carbohydrates, fibre, and lean protein.

Matcha (green tea), coffee, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, blueberries & acai berries, cacao beans, greek yogurt, quinoa, eggs

Activities By keeping your mind engaged with new

Listen to music, mental exercises (e.g. anagrams), puzzle games, learning new skills or hobbies, stimulate five senses


Rest, exercise, walk breaks

experiences, you train it to remain more open to and absorb new information

Your mind needs regular breaks in order to properly absorb new information.

Images: Jupiterimages/ Polka Dot/Thinkstock, © Ray

“My mother told me that: in life, you prepare for the worst and work for the best. If a bad thing happens, do everything to prevent it from getting worse. After that, take the mistake as a lesson learned.”

Angela Chen

21 years old, president of the York Marketing Association at York University. Graduating in 2012 with a major in ‘Marketing and Strategy.’

March 2012 |

lesson two

MORE MEMORIZATION TOOLS Depending on your learning style (visual, verbal, kinaesthetic, or auditory), one of more of these strategies might help you: Focus: The better you are able to focus on the info you want to memorize, the more effective you’ll be at doing so. More about this later!

 “I would like to have a zombie-on-brains-like fixation on dry academic readings. My brain disagrees.”

Karl Gutowski

25 years old, president of the National Finance Students Association at York University. Graduating in 2013 with a major in ‘Finance.’

“Picking brilliant, dedicated people out of a crowd. Working with amazing people is the best thing you can do in school.”

Derek Bennewies 21 years old, chair of CUTC – Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference at the University of Waterloo. Graduating in 2013 with a major in ‘Nanotech Engineering.’

“I’m open to improvement when it comes to speed reading. It’s important to be able to pick up and transfer information quickly. Efficiency is vital!”

Tien Nguyen

19 years old, vice president communications for the Engineering Science Student Society at Simon Fraser University & 2nd year ‘Systems Engineering’ student.

Chunking: Break things down into their smallest elements to make them easier to remember.

Practice & Repetition: Repetition encourages the brain to form stronger and faster neural pathways to the information you want to recall. Environment: Adjust your environment to allow you to learn more effectively, e.g. some people learn better in silence, others work better with music blasting.

Association: Attach images to words to assist in recall by linking to familiar things.

What skill would you most like to learn to do better in school?


Acronyms: Take a list of items that you need to memorize, summarize each item in one word. Then take the first letter of each word and form them into a single word that can be easily remembered.

Method of Loci One of the little known but wildly effective memory techniques is the Method of Loci. Used all the way back in ancient Rome, this is a mnemonic device that’s based on building relationships between spatial memories and the items to be memorized. How does it work? Basically, scientific research has shown that you can improve memory by associating something you need to remember with a place you’re familiar

with. Because of the way your brain works (especially your hippocampus), associating something with a place, supercharges your ability to recall info. This is fairly easy when memorizing a single factoid. But this process is awesome when you’re trying to memorize a list of related facts and info.

need proof? try this exercise: Grab a deck of cards and pull out one random card for each room in your house or apartment (bathrooms and kitchens included). Place the cards in any order you like, then assign each card to one room. Write down the order on a piece of paper. In your mind, imagine yourself walking through your home, and placing each card inside an assigned room (preferably on a flat surface, e.g. a table, chair, bed, etc.) in the order you assigned to those cards. Repeat this step a couple of times, walking through your home in your mind, setting the cards as planned out in step two. Open your eyes, shuffle the cards, then turn them over so you can’t see their faces. Now walk through your home (in your mind), and see how many of the cards you can remember in the order you originally set out. Match your answers to the order you wrote down in step three. Chances are you’ll be surprised by how many cards you remember correctly (and in the right order)! And as always, the more you practice, the better you’ll become.

you can use those cards for something other than taking your friends’ money.

“Wait, hold on a second,” you say. “I don’t have enough rooms in my place to match the number of things I need to remember?” Well, if that’s the case, you can always “place your cards” in different parts of a single room (e.g. try placing one card on your desk, another on your dresser, one inside your closet, etc.). You can also try walking down your local street, and “placing your cards” in each of the different stores along said street. Images: © lamb, John Howard/ Lifesize/Thinkstock


lesson three

google stronger

most students have no clue how to research it properly. Yes, we, the technologically literate generation, can barely enter a proper Google query. In fact, a well known project conducted by researchers at Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries found that only about a quarter of students studied were able to conduct “what a librarian might consider a reasonably well-executed search.” Well, that ends now. The following tips will have you doing online research like a pro. This means better information for your next project, better grades, and after graduation, more positive attention from your boss. Let’s start!

Unfortunately, with all this abundance of info out there,

How to search online In Google, there are things called operators: they are search terms that can help you get more specific and useful search results from your Google query. For example:

You wanna find: An article from The Oatmeal that explains how to use an apostrophe, but not a comma, written between the year 2009 and 2011. “how” ~use “apostrophe” –comma 2009..2011 Only searches the pages of that site Excludes this term from the search

Searches for the exact word or phrase within the quotation, not each word separately Shows all results from the selected time range

Will also search related words

To become a Google power user, visit:

You wanna find: A PDF report on globalization and its effect on various kinds of communities.

ext:pdf intitle:globalization and its effect “on * communities” Google calls this “the wildcard.” It fills in the blanks or replaces a missing or unknown word or words (in this case, the options can include: on local/indigenous/minority communities) Searches only results of the file type you select, e.g. pdf, doc, xls, jpeg, etc. | March 2012

Shows only results with that word in the article’s title (in this case: globalization)

Where to research Researching online isn’t just about how to search for information, but knowing where to search for information. When it comes to finding quality secondary research, keep these key tips in mind: Use Google Scholar: This service is a free, online, searchable database of academic and scholarly work — the stuff you can cite on your papers. Your library: Most libraries, especially those found in post-secondary institutions, don’t just carry books. Their online resources may offer access to a huge number of databases that contain academic and scholarly reports and journals (those that aren’t searchable online without a credit card), and free online subscriptions to newspapers and magazines. Bibliographies: You know those long lists of academic reports, journals, and books found at the end of most academic reports, journals, and books? It’s probably a good idea to start checking out those lists more carefully. They are an awesome source of information that will tell you where to find more relevant research sources for your project! Wikipedia: Counter to what your profs might say, this is a great source of information when you want to read up on the basics of almost any topic. That said, because the information on Wikipedia is produced through online crowd sourcing, you can’t trust the accuracy of everything you read there. So use Wikipedia to learn the basics about your subject, and where to find more accurate sources of information about it. And obviously, NEVER cite Wikipedia.

Image: © Ikhwanto

Learning how to research effectively is a vital skill you learn and use throughout your school and professional career. In our modern, tech-savvy world, however, much of our basic research takes place online. Sure primary research is important — interviewing people, conducting surveys, experimenting in the lab or field, etc. — but it’s through your secondary research that you usually form the basis for your thesis, your methodology, your topic’s supporting context. And much of that secondary research is now done online thanks to the world’s ever growing penchant for transferring the sum of human knowledge to the web.



lesson four

focus harder Okay, so we know we said we’d talk about multitasking right now, but we have a confession to make: multitasking actually doesn’t work. “The brain wasn’t designed to multitask,” says Margaret Moore, founder and CEO of WellCoaches. com, and co-author of Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life. “We can only focus our attention well on one thing at a time.” Sure, we can all breath and walk at the same time, but if you try to write a couple of work emails while in deep conversation with your significant other on the phone, your significant other may grow ever louder and more annoyed. That’s why instead of trying to multitask, we’ll give you tips and tricks on how to focus more effectively. To be clear, focusing is about prioritization and sticking to a single objective. The better you’re able to focus, the better (and faster) you’ll be able to complete projects, big and small. Unfortunately, focus has a pesky enemy: it’s called procrastination. Luckily, we’ve come up with some tips to both combat procrastination, and improve your focus.

Block Facebook (and other addictive sites). If you need to hunker down and focus on a project, consider giving your social media passwords to a trusted friend or family member, and have them change the passwords to lock you out until after you score your A+. Block the internet. For some of us, social media is not the only thing online that sucks up our time. For everything else, consider installing a browser plugin called LeechBlock. This ultra customizable plugin allows you to set the amount of time you allow yourself to visit a specific list of sites. Once you pass the allotted time you’ve set, LeechBlock will automatically disable your access to that site.

We live in one of the most mentally stimulating periods of human history. With so much access to ... well, everything (thank you Internet), can people really be blamed for being distracted? No, but we can put in place measures to limit distractions. They can include:

The time saving opportunities are endless. By finding those tasks in your life that can be batched, you replace a regular distraction with a single, focused period of time to accomplish the tasks.


Control your environment. Sometimes our homes offer too many distractions. If this is the case, consider working outside at a library, coffee shop, or park. Push in your earplugs (or earphones if you like music while you work) and let your fingers rip across your laptop keyboard.

Taking a vacation from your friends. For the outgoing types out there, your usual vice is people and connecting with them. But if you need to complete a project that’s worth 60 percent of your grade, politely ask your friends to not contact you until after you’re done.

Batching (the secret of efficiency)

Eliminate distractors

having to re-familiarize yourself with the previous day’s research progress. Instead of checking and answering your emails every five minutes, aim to do it only three times per day. At work, instead of spreading your calls throughout the week, batch them all into one day to free the rest of your week for more pressing matters.

Batching is the process of compiling all your most repetitive and tedious tasks and doing them all in one go, thereby minimizing the set up cost and time involved, and avoiding constant interruptions to your focus. This is a technique used throughout industry, but can be used in your personal life. For example, instead of doing your laundry or dishes everyday, wait for them to pile up and do them all in one go (once or twice a week). Instead of spreading your research out over the course of a week, batch it down to a day or two to avoid


Vilfredo Pareto, a little known economist who was recently popularized in Timothy Ferriss’ bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek, developed a theory called Pareto’s Law — today it’s commonly referred to at the 80/20 principle. Originally, this law demonstrated the predictable distribution of wealth in society — that 80 percent of the wealth and income was produced and possessed by 20 percent of the population. The trick is that this principle not only holds true in economics, but in every aspect of life. Take a look at your life and ask yourself, “Which 20 percent of sources are causing 80 percent of my workload or taking up 80 percent of my time?” Be thorough. It can be a toxic relationship with a friend/colleague/significant other; a hostile business client; a commute, a style of work; a membership (maybe you are a part of too many clubs or associations); an activity, etc. Find those sources that are eating up too much of your time and focus, figure out whether they are really essential to keep in your life, then focus on better managing, minimizing, or eliminating those sources from your life.

Goal setting “Set realistic daily and weekly goals (not your activities) that specifically include the quantity, quality and the pace of the goal,” advises Dr. Kevin D. Gazzara, senior partner at Magna Leadership Solutions LLC. “(This way) you get positive and timely reinforcement of your accomplishments.” Too many people try to accomplish ten or twenty things in a single day, then (surprisingly) they get discouraged when they only complete a handful of the items on their list. Sounds familiar? It should. It’s called trying to multitask. Again, it doesn’t work! Instead, focus on accomplishing one to three big goals per day. You’ll be amazed at the difference this makes.

Artificial stress The essence of procrastination is putting things off until a “more convenient” time, or to the last minute before they’re due. Steve Levinson, a clinical psychologist and co-author of the book, Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start, has some insight into this experience. “Procrastinators and non-procrastinators alike only do what they’ve decided they should when they actually feel like they must do it. The only difference between procrastinators and nonprocrastinators is that it takes procrastinators a lot longer to feel like they must do it. In other words, they wait until ‘the last minute.’ That’s why I believe that a key to overcoming procrastination is to learn how to deliberately make ‘the last minute’ come sooner.” To conquer procrastination, Levinson suggests creating artificial deadlines that force you to take action now, instead of an hour before the actual deadline. “Don’t wait for the last minute to come on its own because it will come too late. Deliberately put yourself in situations that create pressure and urgency sooner.” 

March 2012 |

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focus on mining

stuck in an office, and this was the first thing that geared me towards that.” Raley’s not even finished school yet, and already has experience in the field. She spent last summer working as a junior geologist, doing soil sampling, talus sampling, prospecting, core teching, and core logging for a gold exploration company.

It’s all about the rocks & design As a mining geologist and engineer, career opportunities are yours for the taking. by Michelle Hampson

Image: Jupiterimages/

There are plenty of office jobs, but the adventurous ones outside are a lot more scarce. Luckily, the mining industry has these dynamic jobs, and what do you know, they’re hiring. Big time. By 2021, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council estimated that the Canadian mining industry will need to hire 1,370 geologists, geochemists, and geophysicists, as well as 665 mining engineers. For recent graduates, the news gets better. Mining companies across Canada will be facing management shortages as baby boomers retire. Many positions will open suddenly, leaving room for advancement. And mining companies are preparing for this. Gillian McCombie, director of Human Resources at Capstone Mining Corporation, has noticed this growing need over the past few years she’s worked in the mining industry. “With the different cycles of mining, we have not | March 2012

necessarily helped build the bench strength as much as we would have liked. Not just our company but companies across mining. Right now we have a gap in talent at the middlemanagement level, so it’s absolutely critical for employers (to address). “One of our strategies here at Capstone is to build that bench strength and bring in young mining graduates, whether it’s mining engineers or geologists.” Quicker advancement isn’t the only perk on the horizon for geology and mining engineering grads. For starters, it’s not a straightforward office job. Far from it. Literally. There’s an adventurous flavour to these jobs, as a lot of time is spent outdoors, often in remote areas. Chelsea Raley, a fourth-year geology student about to graduate this spring from UBC, has been attracted to geology for a while. “It was the idea that I could work outside all day long for the whole year. I didn’t want to be

Geologists, like many workers in the mining industry, have an intensive, concentrated work schedule. Raley said, “I got ten days off all summer, and I was working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. So it’s hard if you have a family. It wasn’t too hard for me because I was working with my buddies, so it didn’t feel so far away from home. But for a lot of people it really gets to them.” As Raley points out, to work this kind of job you need to get along with people. You’re in tight quarters with the same people for big stretches of time. It’s going to be a long season if you don’t get along. “But the benefits are that you're doing what you love to do all day,” she said. “And it is seasonal work, so you can work five months of the year and have the rest of the year off, if you make enough money. So if you enjoy working hard and playing hard, it’s perfect.” Working hard in remote locations, don’t forget. Mines aren’t exactly near metropolitan areas, like Toronto or Vancouver. For example, Raley spent her summer working at a mining exploration camp in the Yukon. Then there are the actual metals and minerals. Young geologists are in luck. Because there’s such a demand for geologists, companies don’t necessarily look for geologists with loads of expertise on one specific material. The director, president, and CEO of Avalon Rare Metals, Don Bubar, said, “The basic skills required to be an effective geologist are the same regardless of what commodity you’re looking for. “We may look for people that have prior experience with those particular geological environments when we’re recruiting for a project such as ours. But these days, given the relative scarcity of geologists, you pretty well have to look for people who have the basics in place and not assign too much im



BILLION (in US Dollars)

Canada 16%

Chile 5% China, 4% South Africa, 3% Brazil, 3% Everyone else 33%

Australia 12% Peru 7% USA 6% Russia 5% Mexico 5%

Mining creates jobs and economic growth in



communities across Canada





Latin America



27% South America





Number of Accepted Time-Loss Injuries in 2010 Retail 29,662 Construction 26,934 Government 20,251 Education 7905 Mining 2395

Stats courtesy of: The Mining Association of Canada; Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC); Natural Resources Canada


focus on mining portance to having experience in that particular environment.” The personality of geologists is a high priority when it comes to employers’ hiring requirements. McCombie says it’s not just technical skills employers keep an eye out for. She says individuals need to be very adaptable, flexible, curious, and willing to explore. The same kind of qualities would make a good mining engineer. McCombie says a mining engineer with both technical and operational experience would be a valuable employee in the mining industry. On the operational side, someone who can effectively lead people and the production on the ground is a valuable asset to their employer. The technical side of a mining engineer’s job is to produce mining designs on the best way to extract the minerals from the ground. “They’re both very important roles,” says McCombie. “The most successful mining engineers that I’ve come across — who’ve really been able to leverage their careers — are those who’ve had experience on both sides.” Cindy Burnett, vice president of Investor Relations at Capstone, said, “A design engineer is so much more valuable if they have operation experience. When they come back to their desk and they’re designing a project, they know how it’s going to work on the ground.” Omar Aboulezz is a third-year mining engineering student at Queen’s University and, like Raley, he already has a summer of

valuable experience under his belt. Last summer, he worked as a mining engineer intern with Shell. There are several prospects of being a mining engineer that attracted Aboulezz to pursue this career. “I decided to do mining engineering because the opportunity to travel was a big motivator. There’s a lot of mining all over the world.” Money was also a factor. The mining industry in general tends to pay very well.

from practical applications in the workforce. Let’s face it: the classroom is not the same as trekking through the wilderness to collect rock samples, contributing on site at a mine, or even working out of an office.

by Michelle Hampson

The Virtual MineMentor program pairs you up with professionals who have years of experience in the mining industry. In university, your courses cover the theory and ideas behind the field you hope to enter. But for students who want to work in the mining industry, these classes are somewhat removed

So what can really prepare you for entering such a different situation? Talking with people on the front lines definitely helps. And that’s what the Explore for More Virtual MineMentor Program aims to address. Initiated by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) in 2008, MineMentor allows students, recent grads,

and anyone seriously considering working in Canada’s mining industry, to partner with an experienced professional in the field. Blake Schreiner, who received his diploma in Chemical Technology in 2003, is now in his fourth and final year of attaining his Geological Sciences degree at the University of Saskatchewan. Here’s someone who fully utilized the MineMentor program. Now on his third mentor, he says he’s looking forward to continuing with the program. “Each mentor brings new experiences, new messages, and new people to connect with.”

Mining accounts

Who has the most

'TOP 100'

for roughly

mining companies?



g urin


a nuf


of rail freight revenues are generated by the mining industry.

Help from someone who knows the drill




of Canadian port volumes and



McCombie noted this perk of the industry as well. “There’s always a sense of community that you build in this industry because of the nature of the work, the operations. You meet some wonderful, dynamic, interesting individuals that really help develop and mentor your career.” So young, future geologists and mining engineers, are you digging your careers yet? 

70% &


tru ons

minded. That’s the one thing I enjoy the most (about the industry).”

An estimated



As Aboulezz has become more familiar with the industry, he has discovered even more perks to the industry. “More often than not you’ll find very communityminded, team-oriented people in the mining industry. I worked in Calgary over the summer... I’ve talked to people in a range of ages, throughout the entire industry, and the general consensus is that the personalities this industry draws are very positive and open-


estr For




Canada 19 China


South Africa





of our real GDP and

$9.7 billion

in capital spending March 2012 |


focus on mining Learn more about the MineMentor program here:

“The mentorship teaches you things you can’t find in books, articles, or online, because it’s based on peoples’ actual experiences. It’s a two-way street. It’s a personal feel.” With his various mentors, Schreiner discussed anything you can think of that would be relevant to the workforce: work-life balance, possible career paths, various companies (i.e. potential employers) and what they have to offer, the importance of time management, and learning to prioritize. “Each mentor has gone over my résumé and suggested edits, and this has been very valuable. Specifically, seeing the various preferred styles, and what each (mentor) would be looking for when they receive your résumé,” said Schreiner.

In 2009, the mining and mineral processing industry directly employed

With his mentors, he also discussed attitude, working with colleagues, email etiquette, and going beyond your comfort zone to make the most of opportunities. “The mentorship teaches you things you can’t find in books, articles, or online, because it’s based on peoples’ actual experiences. It’s a twoway street. It’s a personal feel.” Ryan Posnikoff, a mechanical engineer at BHP Billiton, was Schreiner’s second mentor. He sees the benefits from another perspective. “For employers, getting involved as a mentor is a great way to share your experiences and help bolster our industry’s attraction efforts. It's a great way to be plugged into the new talent that's coming out of university. We need to cultivate those rising stars.” A mentorship starts as mentees entering the program view profiles of available mentors online. They then submit their top three choic-

es. Courtnay Hughes, the MineMentor program co-ordinator, is in charge of pairing up each mentor and mentee. “We do our best to make the fit work for both parties, since a good fit is obviously important to the success of each relationship,” she explained. MiHR initiated the MineMentor program to address the workforce shortage in the mining industry, and it just so happened to work out that virtual mentorship is something that’s easy for people to use and doesn’t take too much time. Posnikoff says he and Schreiner spoke about once a month, but sometimes every week, depending on Schreiner’s school work. Communication mostly occurs by phone, email, instant chat, or Skype, although some mentees and mentors do meet up in person if located in the same area. As Hughes points out, it would be dif-

Image: iStockphoto/THinkstock

Mining contributions to Canada’s GDP (2010)




ficult for a mentee going to school in a place like Toronto or Vancouver to connect with a mentor who is doing the job in a remote destination. “This platform really removes the geographical barrier.” Schreiner will work as geologist in training upon graduation in April, 2012. Now, Schreiner says he feels more well-rounded, and prepared for his job search. While learning some hard skills that will help him in the mining industry, he says his mentors have really helped him develop his soft skills. And the time will come to pass on the torch. “I will definitely become a mentor,” he said. “I have to pass along what I know. I feel like I have a duty now.” 





mineral extraction metal production


mineral processing manufacturing (in billions)







Labour shortages are expected for geoscientists, technologists, and technicians over the next 10 years, so talent with the necessary skills to occupy these roles may be in demand. Stats courtesy of: The Mining Association of Canada

focus on mining

Canada’s Next Great Gold Rush by Brandon Miller

To quote Kanye West, “I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger.” But maybe she should explore the option (literally). Gold mining offers a selection of diverse career choices that are challenging, exciting, and lucrative. “There is a very strong Canadian expertise in gold mining,” says John Hadjigeorgiou, director of the Lassonde Mineral Engineering Program and the Lassonde Institute of Mining, both at the University of Toronto. “Five of the top ten largest (gold mining) companies are Canadian.”


This usually means getting a summer internship in the second or third year of a program. Good grades, good references, and good luck will land you one of these hard-to-get positions, but the real jackpot is landing a spot in an En-

One stand out example of a high demand field is mining engineers. There are 11 accredited university programs in Canada that of-

2016 2011

364,167 306,974




gineer in Training Program (EIT). Branscombe explains, “Larger companies have EITs, where they train the rising stars and groom them for management. People who get in usually have summer experience, which is hard to get, but crucial. They’re looking for general skills like good teamwork, leadership, and experience in an industrial setting.” Act fast, because these EIT programs exist to fill a gap left by young engineers who ditched the mining sector during a downturn 15-20 years ago. The more experienced workers stuck around, but are now nearing retirement. This means that the engineers


362,940 378,839

fer degrees in mining engineering. An undergraduate degree is typically enough to start working in the field, although advanced degrees may help people jump to managerial levels quicker. But Ted Branscombe, program advisor for the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University, warns, “Students coming out now need to do internships, they need any exposure at all.”

Chad McMillan, president, CEO, and director of Canada Rare Earths, and vice president of Corporate Communications at Canada Gold, shared that there’s a need for workers in a variety of stages — from early exploration to mine production to marketing and investor relations. For example, business students might be interested in jobs in corporate finance. Geologists might be attracted to exploration and development work.


, 410

0 ,00 390 0 ,00 370 0 ,00 350 0 ,00 330 0 ,00 310 0 ,00 280

pot of opportunity

But wait...


New hires in 2016 are expected to almost double the number of hires in 2011

New workers hired by 2020?

112,000 WORKING WOMEN mining 20% everything (percentage of the workforce)

,000 30 from trades and

undesignated occupations. The majority of women employed in the mining industry are financial analysts


Image: iStockphoto/THinkstock


In this field, the world truly is your gold-plated oyster. between 30 and 35 years old are going to rocket up in seniority, leaving a big hole for novice and intermediate engineers to fill. Meanwhile, more than a dozen colleges in Canada offer mining programs designed for people interested in jobs, such as an underground miner, surface miner, or mining technician. While it’s possible to gain employment without a secondary school education, a diploma aids a career, especially when it comes to climbing the company ladder.

Images (Clockwise from top left): Hemera, iStockphoto, iStockphoto, Hemera (All Thinkstock)

Why gold? When people think of gold, they often think about jewelry, but the metal also plays a large role in manufacturing electronics. It’s also a popular investment, especially in times of economic frailty. “Gold is used as a reserve currency,” Hadjigeorgiou says. “There’s a strong demand for gold. In the current economic times, people see gold as natural investment.” McMillan agrees, “Generally speaking, the majority of people do have a bullish opinion

of where gold will go next.” Strong demand for gold means a strong and growing gold industry you can plan a career behind. All told, the perks of the sector are hard to ignore. While a plethora of gold mining opportunities exist in Canada, the field also offers jobs globally. The starting pay is incredible when compared to most other careers, and the demand for workers is high. The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) estimates that thousands of new workers will be needed each year until 2016.

Is this the career for you? Don’t let stereotypes fool you. Gold mining just might be your calling. “The perception most people have about mining is that it’s dangerous, dark, and deep in the ground,” says Ferri Hassani, a professor in the Department of Mining and Materials Engineering at McGill University. “Ninety percent of the world's mines are surface mines. You don’t even have to go underground.” Safety protocols are heavily enforced, and the ideal worker is someone who can accurately follow procedures. A passion for math and science, an appreciation for new technology, and a love of the outdoors are assets. And if a rural setting is a deal breaker, there are always corporate jobs, many of which are based out of Toronto or Vancouver. In this field, the world truly is your gold-plated oyster. 



2009 To




British Columbia  Ontario  Quebec British Columbia, Ontario and Manitoba provide



80-90% of the total value.


CHALLENGE Uranium mining offers continual challenges. If you’re looking to work in an exciting industry with global operations and diverse scientific and environmental components – then Cameco has a career for you.

Making a

difference Minerals (in billions)

British Columbia


Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador produced all of Canada's nickel in 2009. | March 2012

Stats courtesy of: The Mining Association of Canada; Mining Industry Human Resources Council


focus on mining

by Christopher Lawson

Digging your career Life and fortune working inside a mine Have you been hunting far and wide for a job in the trades? Try looking down. “It’s a period of tremendous growth in the Canadian mining industry, one that we haven’t seen since the post-war era,” says Paul Hebert, VP of Government Relations at the Mining Association of Canada. “We expect to have a need for 100,000 new hires over the next 10 years.” Skilled tradesman will make up the bulk of these new hires — according to the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, the industry expects to hire more than 35,000 new people by 2021, with mechanics, welders, millwrights, machinists, and electricians being the most sought after. There’s more than just gold

in them hills — there’s also your new job. Still, let’s not forget the gold. “On average, mining is the highest paying industry in Canada,” says Hebert. How high, you ask while sipping coffee from the new 60oz Tim Horton’s cup? On average, an apprentice tradesperson walks away with $80,000 to $90,000 at the end of the year, while journeymen can make up to $140,000. I’ll wait while you mop up the XXL spit-take you just performed. And it gets better. Most mining facilities are equipped with state of the art gymnasiums and fitness equipment, and provide world-class living accommodations that rival the Hilton. But don’t be fooled, this job isn’t a

free ride. It’s hard work. Mines are often established far away from friends and family. Shifts are upwards of 10 hours a day, and you can expect to sometimes work up to 21 days consecutively, depending on your employer, making family life a bit tricky.

do a job that would stimulate me and would allow me to do something I’d be passionate about. The mining industry is very dynamic. The teamwork also appeals to me. Everyone has a job to do and if we all work together, we achieve awesome results.”

Plus, every mine has its own unique set of challenges. Ingrid Lahaie, a student at Northern College’s Haileybury School of Mines, works in an underground mine near Quebec's northern tip. She describes a concern of some people who work in Canadian mines: “In our case, weather is the main challenge. Surface workers have to deal with cold weather sometimes reaching -60 with the wind-chill factor. Underground, it is always a bit warmer but it stays below zero most of the year.”

Want to get in on the action? You can land an entry-level job as a general laborer or serviceman by having almost any sort of technical college-level or apprenticeship education, plus some good workplace references, related or not. Bonus-points for having at least a ‘Class 3 with airbrakes’ driver’s license.

Mining doesn’t just attract lizardblooded workaholics though. It’s great for travel junkies since most jobs are contracted for set blocks of time, and new opportunities pop up all over the place, encouraging you to migrate across the country, or even the world to a new job site. Mining also appeals to rural, outdoorsy folk, since most sites are hours away from civilization and the ones that are really far out are designed like tiny cities so that you can live there in relative comfort for your contract’s duration. It’s perfect for someone like Lahaie, who quit her office job to learn how to work in the frontlines as a ground control technician. “I decided that I deserved to

But to get into the trades, you also need to be likeable. Sylvain Godbout, general foreman of mine maintenance at Mount Polley Mining Corporation, explains how being a team player isn’t just part of the job — it can also bump you up a pay grade. “I’d rather hire nobody than somebody,” says Godbout. “We hire most of our new apprentices from the laborers and servicemen who’ve worked long enough to have the right to apply to in-company postings. We look at their personality, see if they believe in working as a team.” You’ll be spending so much time with the other tradespeople that a foreman like Godbout will consult with other managers to decide if you’d fit in with the group. Your aptitude for teamwork is often more important than how skilled you are. Think you’ve got what it takes to join that team? Turn your job-hunt into a job-dig. 

(in billions)
















Iron Ore


See if you qualify at:





The Canadian Mining and Metallurgy foundation has many scholarships available for students in any level from high school to 3rd year university.


coal (in billions)

Stats courtesy of: The Mining Association of Canada







$66 BILLION March 2012 |


Canadian Mining Key Exports (2009)



Sara Runnalls Broker

Where do you want your education to take you? Here’s a career path with unlimited potential. What are you looking for in a career? Earning potential? Security? Whatever you've learned in school and in life, you’ll have the chance to use it in the insurance industry. It’s hard to imagine a career choice where you’ll have the opportunity to use more of your skills than insurance. Why? Because insurance is already a part of everything you do. It protects homes, jobs, cars, property and the continuity of lives. And because insurance is all around us, the industry has a wide variety of careers to match your education and amazing flexibility to change directions along the way.

“A college diploma or university degree in any subject is helpful for entry into the profession, although those who have studied

Broker / Agent

mathematics or business would have an advantage.”

You’re a people person and a great communicator Insurance brokers and agents help consumers find the right coverage to protect their cars, homes, businesses, boats and belongings against loss through accident, fire or theft. While brokers usually represent several insurance companies, agents are more likely to sell policies for just one. These are the entrepreneurs of the insurance industry with many of them working for themselves or for small independent firms.

Gavin Mascarenhas Loss Adjuster

There are more than 110,000 Canadians working in the property & casualty insurance sector. It’s an industry that reflects the face and the values of Canadian society and has a constant need for talented, creative, motivated people.

“The best advice is to specialize in law or business-related courses.”

Are you a people person? Brokers work with clients to create a strategy to protect their assets. Gifted at math? You could thrive as an actuary. Good at listening? As a claims professional, you’ll help people who are coping with an accident, fire or theft. Strategic thinker? You could work as an underwriter and develop the products that keep people protected from unforeseen loss. As your career in insurance progresses, every day can present interesting new opportunities, new challenges, and the flexibility to pursue new goals.

Loss Adjuster You’re part private investigator and part therapist The loss adjuster is responsible for ensuring that those who have suffered a loss receive the compensation and assistance they are eligible to receive. Whether employed by the insurance company or working as an independent contractor, the loss adjuster investigates the accident, arranges medical treatment if necessary and negotiates the final settlement to restore policy holders to where they were, as closely as possible, before their loss.

To find out more about where you might fit in with your post-secondary education, please visit our Web site at You may be surprised to find that insurance isn’t what you think. It’s a whole lot more.

Your interests and your experience may add up to a great career in insurance.

Michelle Snowdon Underwriter

“For a greater advantage and the highest placement value, I would recommend courses in law as well as successful completion of a business or insurance program.”

Underwriter You’re a relationship developer and decision-maker Underwriters accept or reject risk on behalf of insurance companies. They assess the kind of insurance required by organizations as diverse as a shopping mall, a professional sports team, a manufacturer, a city government or a construction company. Underwriters examine every facet of the organization’s operation and its request for insurance, then decide what the insurance company should cover and how much it should charge.


Your first lob: Make the most of it.

Image: Rupert King/ Photodisc/Thinkstock

by Jessica Calleja

Your first post grad job is something you’re supposed to look forward to, but it can be a little nerve wrecking as well. You want to make a great first impression, to prove you can put those years of studying and classroom theory to practical use. But in the end, we all start at the bottom of the employment totem pole. So how do you make the most of that initial experience to get ahead? jobpostings career expert Sue Ross shares some tips on how to make the most of your first job, even if it’s not exactly what you may have expected. | March 2012

Approaching the first job Consider all jobs as opportunities. “If it isn’t your dream job, but the position you seek exists within the company, create a reputation for excellent work in your current role, so if the dream job becomes available, you’re an eligible candidate,” says Ross. Make sure you know people in that department, and ask what they require for the job to mold yourself into the ideal candidate. “If the company isn’t where you want to be,” notes Ross, “then get as much as you can from them. If they offer training, take it. If they don’t have upward mobility, do your best where you are. Positions may come up. Use

great work, and the relationships you develop, to help when you need references down the road.”

“I want more responsibility!” Volunteer for more. Ask for more. Speak to your supervisor about the process, but remember the easiest way to get more responsibility (and do more of the work you enjoy) is to excel at your current role so you’re prepared for a promotion if the opportunity arises.

Search for a mentor “(Mentors) can provide you with perspective on your job, company, or career that you may not get from your supervisors,” says Ross. She warns that although supervisors can be a good source of guidance, they can sometimes be clouded by their own agenda. “If you’re a great employee who would be hard to replace, some supervisors may not encourage you in the same way as a mentor would to go for the promotion,” she adds. “Remember: people are generally good, but not all people have your best interest at heart. Mentors can help to clear away the clouds of a hidden agenda.”

Organizational structure and culture “When I speak to employers, FIT within the company is sometimes the most important quality they look for, even above experience or specific qualifications,” reveals Ross. “’Can they survive and thrive within the com-

pany?’ This does not just mean ‘Can they do the job?’ It also encompasses, ‘Can they work within our team? Can they deal with the level of stress involved in the position? Will they speak candidly about their opinion? Will they enjoy the job? Will they be challenged in the role?’ The list could be endless depending on the company.” So do take the time to learn about the company culture, before you apply to it to ensure you and the employer are a good fit for one another.

Developing interpersonal skills According to Ross, there are three basic skills you should always improve upon: TIME MANAGEMENT: “Regardless of the job, figure out how to be as productive as possible. It will help you manage the balance between work and life.” PEOPLE SKILLS: “After visiting an employer, I was told that some new hires forget that general courtesy is necessary. I’m not just speaking about being nice versus nasty, but saying good morning to your team mates, thanking the payroll person, and asking about their weekend. You don’t need to go into a full ten minutes of time wasting conversation. Just speak to people the way you speak to your grandmother.” NETWORKING: “You never know who you’ll meet and how this relationship may be of help to you in the future.”

Feedback and evaluations

The easiest way to get more responsibility is to excel at your current role so you’re prepared for a promotion if the opportunity arises.

When you start with a company, ask about the goals or expectations they may have for you. Also ask if you will have evaluations. In these cases, you never know until you ask. Most organizations may have written evaluations, while others will sit down and chat with you only if they have a problem. It always pays to know their strategy.


the art of

negotiation by Barbara Kofman & Kaitlin Eckler

Learn how NOT to settle for just any job offer So you graduated (or are about to graduate) and your highly focused job search results in an offer from a company you want to work at. Awesome! But what if that offer falls short of your expectations? Will you just accept it hoping it will all work out, or walk away? We suggest a third option: moving into the negotiation phase. While you may feel you’re in no position to negotiate the terms of your employment, the reality is that during each interview you’ve been establishing your position and why you’re the right candidate for the job. That’s why the best time for “real” negotiation is after an offer is extended. This is when you have the greatest amount of clout, a power that shrinks the moment you accept the offer.

Prepare to negotiate

Job offers, even for ideal roles, seldom come with a package that meets all your expectations. When faced with an offer, never feel pressured to accept it immediately. Instead, thank the interviewer, express your interest in the job and the company, clarify any additional Image: George Doyle/ Stockbyte/Thinkstock

information you may need (such as role, results, and benefits), and ask for time to consider the details and an acceptable response date. Now get ready to move into the negotiation phase.

evaluate the content of your offer against this weighting to determine how to focus your negotiations.

Check back on the work you’ve done to get to this place and on the information you need to ensure your requirements are in fact reasonable, and that you’re prepared to negotiate from a position of strength. Do your research. Establish a clear picture of what the market value is for ‘your offer,’ the critical features of the job you want, the career path you’re seeking from it, and how to get ‘insider’ information. And be sure to focus on the whole job, not just the “show me the money” aspect.

Begin the negotiation meeting by expressing your enthusiasm for the job, and reiterate what you bring to the role that’s in line with what the employer is seeking. Acknowledge the elements of the offer that you agree with, and communicate your desire that both parties leave with a fair deal.

Musts and wants

During negotiation, anything can be on the agenda. (See the sidebar for examples of elements that can be negotiated.) Start with a clear list of what you MUST have in order to achieve job satisfaction vs. what you’d like to have if you’re able to get it. Your MUST criteria are your “walk away” factors. When these criteria are not present, they become the starting point of your negotiations. Simply put, if they’re not met during your negotiations, the negotiation is over and you’ll turn down the offer. Meanwhile, consider your WANT criteria as important but “nice to haves.” Give each WANT criteria a rating between 1 (low) to 10 (high), and

During the negotiation

Throughout your discussions, stay positive, listen intently, and be prepared to make concessions and to offer alternatives. Be careful not to say one thing when you actually mean something else. Stay focused. In negotiation it’s vital to keep the door open for dialogue by using neutral language, such as “Would you consider…” or “based on my research…” to avoid sounding like you’re making demands. And always, keep the spotlight on honesty and fair play, bargaining in good faith will establish your relationship with your employer on the right foot.

Closing the deal

Once you’ve worked out the changes, confirm that consensus has been achieved, and that the end result is truly a win-win for both parties. Settle on the start date, get the agreement in writing, and follow through on your promise to deliver.

What can you negotiate for? Here are just some of the items you can negotiate for. Note the ones that are important to you, and consider any that would be desirable:

MONEY: Base salary; Guaranteed salary increases; Annual bonuses; Incentive pay; Stock options; Pension; Overtime

DEVELOPMENT: Training; Association dues; Tuition assistance; Performance and/or salary review dates

BENEFITS: Healthcare benefits; Health club; Parking; Travel rewards; PDA or blackberry

WORK/LIFE Telecommuting; Flex time; Leaves of absence; Vacation; Relocation expenses Barbara Kofman of CareerTrails and Kaltlin Eckler of KE&A Consulting are career management professionals with extensive experience in the youth and employment marketplace.

March 2012 | 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.

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PREPARE FOR A FINANCIAL SERVICES CAREER IN ONE YEAR OR LESS. Toronto is the third largest financial services centre in North America and more than 79% of the 230,000+ employees in this sector have post-secondary credentials.


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• Real Property Administration—Accelerated

Some programs include a co-op option or field placement opportunity. | March 2012

• Financial Services Compliance Administration • Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting • Financial Services Practitioner • Public Administration Municipal—Accelerated • Accounting & Information Technology • Professional Accounting Practice • Accounting Techniques





* what

you can do with

a biology degree? by Ariadna Levin

Be a part of research that solves today’s big problems Modern biology is the study of life’s tiniest processes in the hopes of solving the world’s biggest problems. Specifically, by studying living organisms and their relationship to the environment, basic biological research works to identify and find solutions to current global problems. Fields of employment range from medical research, agriculture, wildlife management, business, education and law to military and space exploration. Meanwhile, there are a growing number of opportunities in emerging new fields, such as: bioinformatics, genomics, nanotechnologies, biofuels, nutraceuticals, and computational biology. Whew, that was a mouth full! These new branches of bio-science provide us with opportunities for precise diagnostics and predicting of diseases, more efficient and customized medical treatments, better family planning, creating new energy sources, as well as reducing the cost and improving the quality of nutrition. But to give you a quick overview of the fields your biology masters can take you, here are three of our top picks. Nanotechnology, for instance, is a new area where scientists work on the fundamental level

of molecules and atoms to produce technology that delivers creative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Many applications of nanotechnology include: creating lighter and higher performing materials, low-cost filters to produce clean drinking water, medications and medical devices to better treat diseases with less side effects, toxic waste clean up, and more. Dr. Pearl Sullivan, the founding director of the Collaborative Nanotechnology Graduate Program at the University of Waterloo, said, “Professors from science and engineering work together. They co-supervise students and they are able to work on new materials, new processes, and new instruments that have potential commercial applications.” “Nutraceuticals” refers to foods that have medicinal properties with demonstrated health benefits. Nutraceuticals have increasingly entered the mainstream consumption as more people are realizing the benefits of natural products and supplements versus traditional medicinal drugs. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are responding to that demand by investing heavily in the discovery of nutraceutical agents. As explained by Janelle Ritchot, graduate program assistant at the Faculty of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba, the graduate program in Human Nutritional Sciences provides opportunities for research in experimental nutrition, community and clinical nutrition,

and research related to the development of functional and nutraceutical components from grains, oilseeds, and legumes. In bioinformatics, scientists collect biomolecular data using computer algorithms to find out more about cellular pathways and predict patterns and processes that trigger disease. “Modern neuroscience research is increasingly reliant on data-intensive technologies, such as DNA sequencing, transcriptome profiling, and brain imaging. Dealing with that data (organizing it and analyzing it) would be impossible without people trained in bioinformatics. That goes for all of medical research,” said Paul Pavlidis, associate program director of Bioinformatics at the University of British Columbia. How would you know if a degree in biology is the right path for you? A good way to test the waters is to volunteer or find summer work in a lab. “That should give you a clear idea what the Master’s or PhD studies in biology will look like, except that you’re going to be pretty much on your own, without senior students to watch over the shoulder,” according to Konstantin Savitsky, a graduate with a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from York University. As reported by the Committee on a New Biology for the 21st Century, biology today may provide solutions to some of the most urgent challenges facing our world. How will you use your biology degree to make the world a better place?



Discover your passion today at

or call 416-289-5300.

The Future of Learning

March 2012 |

graduate school directory

Brock University

Niagara College

Brock is a rapidly growing University, offering 41 dynamic Master’s and PhD program within 6 academic faculties. With our strong sense of community and personal investment in our students, Brock is a great choice for your graduate education.

Top-rated for student satisfaction, Niagara College provides outstanding applied education for a changing world. With stateof-the-art facilities on newly redeveloped campuses & responsive cutting-edge programming, we offer students real-world experience before graduation.

Visit us at today at

Oxford College

Queen’s University

Oxford College is a leading private career college in health and pharmaceutical education. We offer hands-on training in two post-graduate programs ideal for those with medical or science backgrounds — Clinical Research Associate and Pharmaceutical QA/QC Technologist.

100+ graduate programs with world-class research opportunities and strong support to enrich your educational experience and advance your career. Set your ideas in motion. Consider graduate studies at Queen’s.


Ross University Ross University is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering MD and DVM degree programs, and has over 11,000 successful physicians and veterinarians practicing in the US and Canada. If you are interested in a career in medicine, contact us today.

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry The University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry provides state-of-the-art research facilities and mentorship by internationally recognized scientists. We offer 15 graduate programs. Create tomorrow’s discoveries today.

(Need some helpz!)

careers. education. ideas. all of it. | March 2012

Sheridan College Our one-year graduate certificate programs enhance your diploma or degree with a blend of theoretical knowledge and work experience that fully prepare you to launch your career. Choose from more than 20 programs in the arts, business, technology and community service fields.



Industry insiders

by Emily Minthorn

Cruise ships: have a blast building your travel and professional experience

Shipping Out As a student nearing graduation, it’s not a question of if but when you’re going to wake up one day and realize you need to see the world. But we’re not all Kardashians, and plane tickets are pricey. How do you bite the travel bug back without bankrupting yourself? You make like Jack Sparrow and go to sea aboard one of those floating pleasure palaces we know as cruise ships. “Cruise jobs are not only for travel students,” says Mary Lendway, professor and program coordinator of Tourism Management, at Humber College’s Travel Industry Services program, in Toronto. “There are many different positions available, such as: counsellors for kids’ camps, assistant pursers, bartenders, shore excursion leaders, photographers, and retail store sales people.” Ships need to hire everyone from lifeguards to servers, bartenders to Blackjack dealers, musicians, dancers, AV technicians, and many more. Sara Law had just graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Fine Arts and English when she shipped out. “At that

time, my cousin worked on cruise ships for several years and really enjoyed it. I wanted to travel, but didn’t have a lot of money to spend. It seemed like the best option,” she says. After applying through an agency and enduring an extensive hiring process — including a health screening and an intensive training camp — she landed a job in her field, as an art associate in one of the galleries common to many larger ships, working solely on commission.

Lendway says lots of her students seek work on cruise ships after finishing school, but warns it’s not all fun in the sun and fruity drinks with paper umbrellas. “You need to be committed, hard working, adventurous, flexible, fun loving, and a team player. Most cruise jobs are seven days of work a week for the duration of a contract that is usually a minimum of six months.” Stephen Belyea, a Seneca College grad from New Brunswick, had been interning on land before he got his job on a cruise ship as a broadcast assistant and AV technician. He says the biggest challenge of the seagoing life was the culture shock. “There was a

Image: Steve Mason/ Photodisc, iStockphoto (Both Thinkstock)

Not so hot on tropical seas, screaming kids, and old people playing shuffleboard? A cruise job could still fit your travel dreams. Many cruise lines now sail to more exotic locales, like the Galapagos or Antarctica. But those ships are much smaller, so competition is fierce. You’ll need a stacked résumé and some experience under your belt before you cast off.

definite and all-consuming class system on a ship that comes from a navy-style hierarchy. The captain was the all-powerful ruler and his top guys could get away with whatever they wanted, while every step below got fewer privileges.”

If working on a cruise ship sounds more like an episode of Survivor than a vacation, then you’re getting the right picture. Expect long days, cramped living quarters, and no privacy. But do expect to leave the experience a changed person. “I hadn’t been outside of Canada and the US before I worked on the ship, so I really had no concept of how other cultures genuinely lived,” Belyea says, describing the ports he explored in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia during his contract. “The whole experience definitely burst my early-20’s full-of-myself bubble.” “For five months, every day I was able to enjoy a new country. How many people can honestly say that?” Law reminisces. “I had great friends and met people from all over the world. I experienced things and explored places I never would have been

think Alaska or Antarctica if you’d prefer to avoid the tropics

able to otherwise. I had free room and board. If you talk to seasoned crew members, you find out about cheap, awesome places to eat and relax on shore. The experience wasn’t always easy, but it was great fun.” Due to family obiligations, Belyea left his job when his contract was up. “But while it lasted, I got to see the pyramids, get pursued by Somalian pirates, climbed mountains in Oman, get robbed in Bangkok, drank in the streets of Hong Kong, and toured the museum for the Hiroshima bombing. I ate and drank exquisitely foreign things at every possible moment — and I made damn good money while doing it.”

March 2012 |

Skittles ® is a registered trademark of the WM. Wrigley Jr. Co., Wrigley Canada Licensee. Skittles MD est une marque déposée do la WM. Wrigley Jr. Co., en vertu de la licence de Wrigley Canada.


industry insiders

money talks by Eleni Papavasiliou

Over 40 percent of all financial planners are over the age of 50, according to the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) of Canada. As these boomers head towards retirement, jobs in financial services are increasingly opening to new graduates. Financial planning offers a variety of career paths and a desirable income. But walk into a bank and you’ll find yourself scratching your head wondering what all the titles mean: financial advisor, financial services representative, even financial planner — they all sound the same.

So, what is a financial planner? The FPSC defines financial planning as the process of creating strategies, considering all relevant aspects of a client’s financial situation, to manage one’s financial affairs to meet life goals. Investment advisors, (yet another title) arguably provide the same service — so what’s the difference? It’s important to distinguish the roles advisors in the financial services industry play. As a rule of thumb, financial planners tend to develop the plan, and other professionals execute the plan by selling insurance products, mutual funds, individual stocks, and other financial instruments.

50% of finan in 2010, over

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“Some financial planners just sell the plan, others are also licensed to sell products too,” Tamara Smith, VP of Marketing and Consumer Affairs at FPSC, explains. So basically, those financial planners with the proper licenses act like a one-stop-shop of financial services for their clients.

Becoming a financial planner The Canadian Securities Institute and the FPSC both offer industry standard financial planning designations, the Images:, Stockbyte/Thinkstock

PFP and the CFP® respectively. To earn either set of letters after your name, completing recommended courses, and passing several exams is required. Regardless of which designation you seek, both involve three years of work experience in financial services to complete the certification process. It’s possible to work strictly as a financial planner, but most positions require both planning and sales skills.

Where to start More than half of all Certified Financial Planners work for financial institutions, with many getting their start in entry-level positions. Points of entry vary across the board, but if you choose to work in retail banking, positions include: financial service representative, personal banking officer, investment representative, and sales assistant. With securities firms, junior analyst or investment banking analyst positions are common. To launch a career in financial planning with an insurance company, look for titles like sales associate or advisor services representative.

Benefits and challenges With about 50 percent of financial planners reporting over 100k in annual gross earnings to the FPSC in 2010, the potential for lucrative salaries is a major draw. Compensation structures vary between firms, but according to the FPSC, 41 percent of salaries are purely commission based while 30 percent benefit from a combination of salary, bonus and/or commission. “For those who excel in performance, they can expect to increase their earnings in comparison to their colleagues in other disciplines, but this can also be a challenge if your salary is solely commission,” Michael Manirakiza, a personal financial advisor at Desjardins Voyageurs Credit Union, and York University grad, explains. Earning the big bucks isn’t

a piece of cake either, especially during economic downturns. “Explaining macro and micro issues to clients, while their investments are showing negative returns can be stressful for both the planner and the client,” he adds. “But learning to manage your client’s expectations is very important for the relationship to work.”

Trends Clients’ needs tend to mirror changes in society, so not surprisingly, more in-depth knowledge from financial planners is emerging. “There is growth in niche markets. More financial planners are beginning to specialize to accommodate specific circumstances in their clients’ lives, including: divorce, new immigrants, families with disabled children, and the sandwich generation,” Smith explains.

What employers look for “Completing a degree is an indication of performance. It shows they can get things done,” says Chris Skerik, general manager at Imperial Service and Business Banking, at CIBC. Putting credentials and education aside, when hiring new planners Skerik screens for soft skills and personal traits to round out the ideal candidate. “I look for people who have confidence, understand the sales process, life experience (to better relate to others), an above average financial acumen, and the ability to perform.”

43% of all financial planners are over the age of 50 March 2012 |

Stats: Financial Planning Standards of Canada.

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Industry insiders

Making it in a shrinking pharma industry

How jack-of-all-trades are replacing specialists

by Ofelia Legaspi

It’s bitter medicine to swallow for those chasing after a coveted pharmaceutical career: the pharmaceutical industry’s once healthy and desirable job market has been ailing since 2010, symptomatic of the world’s weakened economy. “Right now in BC, it’s pretty tough with all the government’s budget cuts,” says Yi-Te, a third-year pharmaceutical science student at the University of British Columbia. What Yi-Ti is referring to is Ontario and British Columbia’s 2010 decision to slash the price of generic drugs. In December of 2011, Ontario won the appeal to reinstate the ban on private label generics and the multi-million dollar “professional allowances” they pay to pharmacies for stocking them on shelves. “(Overall), the government is cutting back on healthcare, and we can feel the ripple effect,” says professor Pollen Yeung, of Dalhousie University’s College of Pharmacy in Halifax. “The job opportunities in pharmaceutical companies are not as good as they were five or ten years ago.” In fact, foreign pharmaceutical giants from the U.S. and Europe have shed research laboratories worldwide in dramatic company restructurings designed to cut costs, while they suffer lost

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

revenues from expiring drug patents. “There are major plant closings in Canada. Merck & Co closed down [in Montreal],” says Yeung. Last month, AstraZeneca also closed down its Quebec research and development plant. Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer are all facing the same patent expiration and company downsizing. But despite the doom and gloom reports, pharmaceutical jobs still exist, says Lisa Ross, senior manager of Corporate Communications at Pfizer Canada. But with downsizing, there is opportunity for those who have the ability and ambition to absorb more roles. “The environment is changing in the sense that in the past, you could do your whole career in one area if you were in sales or marketing, or science. You would gain credibility through your knowledge of that area,” she says. “Nowadays, because of the connecting, the links, the scope you will have adjust to, you will become a more attractive person in the organization.” For the incredible, shrinking pharmacy giants, surviving the downsizing will simply mean being able to do more with less, while meeting customer needs. To keep a job, or get an entrylevel job, the more skill sets you bring to the table, the better, which in the pharmaceutical industry means having a science

degree and being business savvy. For pharmaceutical sales representatives, their role in Pfizer will change. Ross says that in the past, science and credentials were top priority for a salesperson candidate. Now, what Pfizer is looking for are connectors and key decision makers who are able to link in a complex healthcare environment. “We’re not changing the titles of people. We’re not saying we’ll

“We have lots of people who do not have any business degrees who came from a lot of obscure backgrounds, but they showed the potential and they were hired.” need totally new people in the market. ... Now, it’s much more about ‘connectors’ — people being able to manage a complex environment, and have more of a business background, more of a business mindset,” says Ross. Clint Cora, who has 14 years of experience in pharmaceutical sales, including managing, agrees that a science degree, while extremely useful in this area of sales, does not quarantee a job.

“We have lots of people who do not have any business degrees who came from a lot of obscure backgrounds, but they showed potential and they were hired,” Cora says. He adds that it’s about the aptitude for sales that matters more in the indirect selling of drugs to physicians. People who are in drug research, says Ross, are not in research purely. “They need to have a business perspective behind the science,” she says. Why? Cora explains that the pharmaceutical industry is competitive and doctors have an overwhelming number of choices for drugs to prescribe for one illness. The sales and marketing people behind these drugs need to know how they will compete, and sell their products against other brands. Meanwhile, the study of pharmacy leads to many possible avenues, so even if there’s an oversaturation of community pharmacists out there, pharmacy graduates still have options. For third-year University of Alberta pharmacy student Darlene Korn, it’s this flexibility that she savours in her chosen career path. “You can help patients in a variety of settings, whether in a hospital, in the community, or working behind the lines in the industry doing research and consultations. It’s a very diverse profession.”

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start up

Jeffrey Ribeiro Interviewed by David Tal

“It all started when I was threeyears-old,” Jeffrey Ribeiro shared. “My parents had somebody come by our house and offer a garage door installation service. He ended up ripping us off, as well as about 20 other neighbours in our area. My dad took him to court, along with everyone else who got scammed. From there, he ended up contacting everyone who was affected, asking them if they wanted him to install their garage door for them. Many said yes, and ever since he’s been in business doing these installations for over 22 years now. “I guess that’s what showed me it was okay to put myself out there, and start something of my own. So when I was 16, I did a co-op at a Toronto car audio place. I noticed how much money they made off their customers, and how much they overcharged

Nowadays though, this George Brown graduate has ventured into a whole new industry: consulting — specifically in the area of small business and environmental consulting. “I launched Gold Leaf Consultants with my partner, Alex Theodore (a fellow George Brown alumni, who specialized in business administration and marketing). We offer digital strategies, online brand development, social media management, and environmental consulting. We primarily focus on small to medium-sized businesses.” Asked to explain what each of those parts actually meant, Jeffrey summarized, “Well, with digital strategy, what we do is come up with the greatest return on investment (through social media) for a business. For online brand development, we custom design Facebook and Twitter pages, website floor

“Our clients appreciate our extra level of support, and that’s a big reason why we’ve grown the way we have.” them. I understand overheads, but I really felt their mark up just wasn’t necessary. And that’s why I later competed against them. I ran my car audio business out of my garage to save costs and charge less, and that’s how I differentiated myself from every other car audio installer back then.”

plans, as well as search engine optimization, so what you’ll find is the business’s name at the top of Google search rankings when you search for its services or products. When it comes to social media management, we analyze a business’ current social media stream and then help them manage,

23 years old; graduated in 2011 from George Brown College with an advanced diploma in both mechanical engineering and business administration, with a specialty in project management. Currently operates Gold Leaf Consultants, a small business and environmental consulting organization. He is also an ACE Canada alumni.

update, and automate their posts. Finally, for our environmental consulting, we take businesses through different workshops where we show them how to green their operations, and in return save money on their operating budgets.” Sounds like quite a mouthful, but Jeffrey was quick to point out an example of how his consultancy delivers real results. “Because of my experience back when I was 16, I knew the car audio industry didn’t really utilize social media, or any kind of online brand development, at all. So when we ended up working for one of those car audio companies, we created an online brand strategy that ended up seeing a 350% increase in their revenue.” With successes like that, we were quick to ask Jeffrey how Gold Leaf Consultants stood apart from its competitors. “We don’t just go to a business, do the work for them, and then we’re done. We actually take the time to teach our clients how to manage their online brand, on their own, after our contract

ends. A lot of our competitors keep their clients in the dark to try and get more business from them after their contract runs out. Overall, our clients appreciate our extra level of support, our private workshops, and that’s a big reason why we’ve grown the way we have.” “In all, it’s not only the thrill of closing a sale, but also the thrill of seeing the businesses you’re helping succeed that I really value as an entrepreneur.” But Jeffrey cautions those starting out, “Do try to get a mentor to help you in your early stages (we got ours through SIFE). For us, our biggest challenge starting out was scheduling. We were all over business analysis and social media management, but with our first client especially, we really took for granted how long it would take to complete each step of the project, and all the paperwork involved. It takes experience to know these things from the start, and that’s where a quality mentor can add value to your business and to your career.”

Are you a young entrepreneur? Want to be featured in Jobpostings Magazine’s Start Up column? Email our editor and share your story:

March 2012 |

10 launch ways to


POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATES IN: Alternative Dispute Resolution Event Management Fashion Management & Promotions Financial Planning Global Business Management Human Resources Management International Development International Marketing Marketing Management Public Administration

Building your brand PwC launches Personal Brand Week - March 2012 Our interactive helpful tools include: • Your online image makeover • Build your network • You are what you write • Inter view/career fair preparation • Inside the mind of a corporate recruiter

A strong and positive personal brand can help you connect with opportunities, build relationships and promote you more effectively. Participate in PwC’s Personal Brand Week to help you develop your personal brand. Like us on and join the discussion.

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jobpostings Magazine (Vol. 14, Issue 6)  
jobpostings Magazine (Vol. 14, Issue 6)  

Canada's largest career lifestyle magazine for students and recent graduates. This issue features a six page report on Canada's mining indus...