APRIL 2014 | VOL. 16 No.7
CAREERS. EDUCATION. IDEAS. ALL OF IT.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN MOBILE APP AND GAME DEVELOPMENT
THE PERFECT SALES PITCH | FINANCIAL INSIDER | HOW TO NEGOTIATE YOUR SALARY
ADVERTISING – MEDIA MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION EVENT MANAGEMENT FASHION MANAGEMENT & PROMOTIONS FINANCIAL PLANNING GLOBAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MARKETING MANAGEMENT PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE FRONT PAGES THE FRONT PAGES
08 Crunchin’ Numbers
Graduation day is here! Before you venture off into the real world, get the facts you need to know that’ll get you there.
Bridgit founders Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Hasegawa are breaking into the construction industry with the newest tool: a mobile application.
CAREER REPORTS 13 RISKY BUSINESS
As an underwriter, credit analyst, or asset liabilities manager, handling risk is an everyday responsibility. We take a day-to-day look at working in risk management.
14 Financial operations
A career in banking and finance calls for more than just crunching numbers. We look at three different financial departments: the trading floor, lending, and pension funding.
17 Insurance insider
Working in claims isn’t simple. Complex client situations and piecing together valuable information is just part of the daily grind. Here’s how claims adjusters get the job done.
18 Call centre kindness
After most call centre jobs opened up offshore, Canada’s now bringing these opportunities back within its borders. Before you put on your headset, we provide you with the essentials in telecommunications etiquette.
FEATURES 21 IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
We can all name at least one mobile application we’re addicted to, but who are the minds behind it all? Mobile app developers share their experiences working in this revolutionary industry.
25 PITCH PERFECT
What’s your perfect sales pitch? We’ve got your pitch essentials, as said by the sales pros.
EDUCATION 29 APP 101
There are mobile applications of all types—from games to news to weather. If you’ve ever thought of building your own, a mobile app development program may be right for you.
30 Robotic education
Was R2-D2 your favourite Star Wars character? Studying robotics can give you the design, engineering, and electrical skills you need to break into this innovative industry.
THE BACK PAGES 34 The salary report
With the right person and the right product, sales can be a lucrative industry. Here’s a look at the top paying sales careers and the bonuses that come with the job.
36 Negotiating your salary
If you’ve been in your job for a while, it may be time to ask for a raise. Our HR expert takes you through the steps to getting what you’re worth.
APRIL 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
THE FRONT PAGES
LOOKING FOR INDUSTRY INFO?
Nathan Laurie firstname.lastname@example.org
The Investors Group
The New England Center for Children
David Tal email@example.com @DavidTalWrites
schoolINDEX IFC Humber, The Business School, Postgrad
CHECK OUT OUR NEW CAREER GUIDES! www.jobpostings.ca/student-career-guides
St. George’s University
St. George’s University
Mark Laurie firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNICATIONS AND PROJECT MANAGER
James Michael McDonald email@example.com @mcjamdonald
Anthony Capano firstname.lastname@example.org
MEGAN SANTOS email@example.com @megnifisantos
American University of the Caribbean
UC Berkeley Master of Engineering
University of Lethbridge
Vancouver Island University
Ross University, School of Medicine
Humber, The Business School, Advertising Management
Media Job Search Canada
Canadian Youth Business Foundation
Young Canada Works
Forest Products Association of Canada
Insurance Institute of Canada
IBC Rogers Wireless
Mishraz Ahmad Bhounr firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Murphy, Jesse Cole
Senior national account manager Mary Vanderpas
national account manager Mirelle Shimonov
EDUCATION ACCOUNT MANAGER Shannon Tracey
Communications Coordinator JAMIE BERTOLINI
Photos from thinkstock.com are used throughout this issue; individual artists have been credited. Jobpostings Magazine is published eight times in the school year. Copies of jobpostings are distributed to over 105 universities and colleges across Canada. Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reprinted in whole or part without permission of the publishers. You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. — Tom Brokaw Published by Passion Inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON M5P 1B9 jobpostings.ca 416 932 8866 ext. 221
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
I’ve got the energy to help people.
And the power to make a difference.
Because working here is about more than helping customers choose the right product. It’s about making a difference in their lives and their homes. We call it “unleashing your inner orange” and it’s my ability to tap into my inner potential to help customers create a space worth calling home. Working at The Home Depot gives me the training and support I need to help customers plan projects from beginning to end. I take pride in knowing about all of the products and services we offer—and exactly how to suggest them to bring home improvement ideas to life. That’s the power of The Home Depot. – Anna, Home Depot Associate
We are committed to diversity as an equal opportunity employer.
Learn how tapping into your inner potential has the ability to help yourself and others.
Apply online at homedepot.ca/9174 and discover how youWecan unleash your inner orange! are committed to diversity as an equal opportunity employer.
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Keep your thinking cap on From the desk of
James Michael McDonald
It’s that season again! Final exams, thesis reviews, end-of-term beers, job hunting, caps in the air—it’s graduation season! For many of you reading this, it’s the end of your semester and you’re scrambling to land the perfect summer job. I hate to break it to you, but there isn’t really a perfect summer job, but there are so many key qualities you can extract from your working summer.
During high school and my (extended) university career, I worked a variety of summer jobs: retail in a games store, working in an office for a company that makes signs, retail in a department store, working as a bookkeeper, working in a bank, washing dishes in a little fancy restaurant, working in a call centre, organizing an arts festival, and running the school newspaper. Although I didn’t love all these jobs, there were qualities I gained and use in my career today. I learned to talk to clients in the call centre. I learned event management in organizing the festival. I learned task management in retail. And as much as washing dishes sounds “grueling,” it was actually one of the best jobs I’ve had—shifts that flew by, free gourmet food, and hilarious people. So if you can’t find anything, take something out of your comfort zone and run with it. If you’re finishing school right now, well congrats! Make sure you sit back, relax, and absorb this moment. Okay, all absorbed? Because it won’t last. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your butt in gear and figure out your next steps. If you’re looking for your first job, pinpoint the companies you want to work for and work on applications until they sparkle. You need to stand out amongst thousands of other recent grads, so your cover
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
letter and resumé need to be specifically tailored to the position. Look at unique resumés online and try to think of subtle ways to get your application noticed.
think and develop new skills. Adaptation and continuous evolution is more important now than ever, so keep your school caps on for as long as you can.
If you’re thinking of further education, find out everything you can about the school, program, campus, and city you’ll be in; the more comfortable you feel in your new environment, the more focused you’ll be on your grad studies.
(And have a celebratory beer for me!)
No matter your path after this month, remember that learning doesn’t just end here. The most successful professionals in any industry are those that continue to
It’s that time of year again…
La période d’inscription est enfin arrivée…
The Young Canada Works in Both Official Languages program (YCWBOL) is launching its recruitment process. Here are many reasons why you should participate in this year»s YCWBOL program! Le programme Jeunesse Canada au Travail lance sa campagne de recrutement! Voici une multitude de possibilités que vous offre le programme JCTDLO!
ince! Work in another prov Travel for free! pport for your rent! Receive financial su languages! Work in both official win Have the chance to
a $500 scholarship! Discover Canada!
autre province! Travailler dans une t! Voyager gratuitemen
loyer! financier pour votre Recevoir un support s! ux langues officielle Travailler dans les de
500$! gagner une bourse de Courez la chance de ! Découvrez le Canada
YCWBOL gives students the chance to work in different fields such as education, administration, project management, architecture, journalism and many more. JCTDLO offre la possibilité aux jeunes de travailler dans plusieurs domaines d»études; Éducation, administration, gestion de projets, architecture, journalisme et bien d»autres encore!
Or contact us Ou contactez-nous
By e-mail Par courriel
If you are interested in participating and eligible, please apply directly on our website: www.youngcanadaworks.ca. Note that the job ads will be posted as of May 1, 2014. Si vous êtes intéressé à participer et admissible au programme, visitez notre site web interactif et appliquez dès maintenant en ligne au : www.jeunessecanadaautravail.ca. Notez que les emplois seront affichés dès le 1er mai 2014.
By phone Par téléphone
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CRUNCHIN’ NUMBERS Congratulations on your graduation! A total of four (or more) years filled with essays and all-nighters has finally led you to this day. We take a look at stats that’ll ease the transition from your school life to work life.
Words Megan Santos // Illustrations Anthony Capano
THE AVERAGE WAGE FOR CANADIANS INCREASED
2.5% BETWEEN 2013 & 2014
THE MEDIAN MID-CAREER SALARY FOR THE TOP THREE DEGREES THAT LEAD TO GOOD PAYING JOBS
$26,000 ON AVERAGE, CANADIAN STUDENTS ARE $26,000 IN DEBT AFTER GRADUATION.
ON AVERAGE, GRADUATES MAKE $45,000 IN SALARY AFTER TWO YEARS IN THE WORKFORCE.
COMPUTER SCIENCE $97,900
ENTRY-LEVEL SALARIES FOR DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE ENGINEERING
SALES (INCLUDING COMMISSION)
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
IN 2010, THE AVERAGE EMPLOYMENT RATE FOR UNDERGRADS SIX MONTHS AFTER GRADUATION WAS
Sources: The Globe and Mail, monster.ca, yahoo.ca, workopolis.com
NURTURE YOUR FUTURE. YOUR ENVIRONMENT. YOUR LIFE. If you want good pay, opportunities to learn on the job, a great lifestyle and the chance to work in Canada’s greenest workforce, then the forest products industry is right for you. Canadian forest product companies will need to hire 60,000, or more, new workers by 2020 to meet demand and you could be one of them!
FIND OUT MORE AT THEGREENESTWORKFORCE.CA /TheGreenestWorkforce
JOBS IN DEMAND SKILLED TRADES: • Industrial electricians Heavy-duty equipment • mechanics Millwrights and • industrial mechanics • Power steam engineers • Process engineers •
CORPORATE AND ONSITE OFFICES: • Accounting and related administrative clerks • Forest economists and risk analysts • Human resources and • Information technology specialists • Logging and forestry supervisors
SCIENCES: • Chemical engineers • Electrical and electronics engineers • Forestry professionals • Industrial engineers • Mechanical engineers
For a complete list visit TheGreenestWorkforce.ca
WOODLANDS OPERATIONS AND GENERAL LABOUR: • Environmental supervisors • Forestry technologists and technicians • Heavy equipment operators • Logging truck drivers • Silviculturalists
THE FRONT PAGES
Bridgit ON bridgING the gap Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Hasegawa create mobile solutions for construction’s imperfections.
It all started at The Next 36’s undergrad entrepreneurship program. Two fresh-faced university grads, Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Hasegawa, teamed up to become the business owners of a mobile application that would soon be called Bridgit. Having not met before the program, Brodie and Hasegawa collaborated despite coming from opposite academic backgrounds. “Lauren is a civil engineer so for all her summer jobs she worked in construction,” says Mallorie. “As soon as we got on the same team, she knew there was opportunity to improve the communication on-site. I was coming from a business background, which is also helpful.” As an aspiring entrepreneur, Mallorie says her partnership with Lauren helped her focus on an industry despite her broad business education.
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
Both women fused their expertises and research, put on their hard hats, and took on the construction industry with a technological twist. With the help of The Next 36 through mentorship and funding, Mallorie and Lauren were able to launch their startup software company with a focus on construction. What they came up with was a mobile application designed to effectively communicate deficiencies on construction sites. Bridgit was officially launched in March after its first release as a beta product in September 2013. To start, Mallorie and Lauren spent months visiting construction sites and speaking to project managers, site supervisors, engineers, and architects. “It kept coming up time and time again that deficiency management was one of their biggest pinpoints on site, so that’s where we got
We want to revolutionize the construction industry. I think mobile technology has the potential to really transform the way communication happens on construction projects. started building our solution,” says Mallorie. However, their mobile solutions didn’t come without their fair share of challenges. As new entrepreneurs, Mallorie says it was difficult for her and Lauren to focus strictly on construction deficiencies, especially with the input from potential users. “It took a lot of restraint for us to say ‘no, we’re just going to focus on deficiencies in the beginning.’ Of course we’ll expand into other products eventually but we really needed to focus early on and it’s easy to get distracted.” Despite those challenges, Mallorie says the industry’s response to the product was “extremely positive.” Through listening to clients, product iteration, and back-and-forth communication with
PHOTOS © TongRo Images
sites, she attributes her and Lauren’s main business vision to their genuine interest in helping the industry out. “Obviously it is sort of unexpected when two university students just walk up to a construction site unannounced, but as soon as we got to talking with everyone, they realized we knew what we were talking about and we really wanted to help.” Currently, with a small team of software engineers and a technical lead, Mallorie says she hopes to expand and hire sales employees and account managers to join the Bridgit team in the near future. “We want to revolutionize the construction industry,” she says. “I think mobile technology has the potential to really transform the way communication happens on construction projects.”
APRIL 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
At the end of the day, clients receive a certain amount of joy and satisfaction WITH what we’ve done.
Proceed with caution Day-to-day roles and challenges of working in risk management. The main focus in working in risk management is—you guessed it—the risk factor. Whether it’s monitoring and measuring corporate assets, client loans, or credit, risk management requires a great deal of mathematical savvy and problem solving expertise. “The [mortgage] underwriters wear many hats,” says Ken Walus, director of mortgage credit, banking, and mortgage operations at Investors Group, adding that risk management is just one area mortgage underwriters focus on. Depending on education and experience, each underwriter “would have an assigned lending limit. If a transaction is assigned to them within their assigned lending limit, they take on the responsibility for the risk management of the actual transaction.” As underwriting experience increases, the level of responsibility and accountability rises as well. At Investors Group, Walus lists the four levels of underwriters: mortgage loan administrator, associate mortgage underwriter, a full-fledged underwriter, and a senior underwriter. “It’s a combination of experience [and] more understanding of what goes on behind the scenes,” he says. “We have to be certain that what we’re lending not only makes sense from our internal guideline, but it also fits into what the regulators are looking for. In addition to underwriting, risk management is also present in asset liability management. Before joining Edward Jones as a product specialist of financial solutions software, Kenton Zathey worked as a co-op student in the asset liability department with another financial institution. “My responsibilities were compiling risk metrics such as duration management, security concentra-
PHOTOS © MEDIO IMAGES
tion, and pricing of some exotic derivatives,” he says. With high-pressure days and months of experience in risk management, Zathey says it was a solid stepping stone towards his current job. “I did learn a lot because you’re very much in the thick of things and the work-life balance was much better compared to other finance jobs.” Time sensitivity and balancing the needs of both the client and risk department are just two daily challenges mortgage underwriters face. “Quite often we’ll receive the request this morning and the financing condition has to be removed by 6 p.m. today,” says Walus. “So you have a client on the end of the transaction that is waiting for us to provide the answer that they’re hoping for.” But once the transaction is approved and completed Walus says it’s a rewarding feeling to assist clients in fulfilling their dreams. “At the end of the day, clients receive a certain amount of joy and satisfaction with what we’ve done.” What you do matters, Zathey adds. “You [are] advising on positions that would impact the firm-wide books,” and the responsibility is rewarding, as nine-figure dollar options are material to the firm’s overall position. For young people interested in pursuing a career in risk, Zathey has one piece of advice: “Try to get as much exposure as possible.” As risk management has many different areas of focus, like asset liabilities management, enterprise risk management, and the compliance and quantitative finance aspect, “you won’t know it is right for you until you try it and find out you like it.”
APRIL 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
TRADING, LENDING, & PENSION MANAGEMENT
Students right away get exposure to working with some senior people on the team and are also able to add value right away.
Financial operations 14
A behind-the-scenes look at careers in trading, lending, and pension funding. It’s a career path that seeks more than just the talent of crunching numbers. Aside from the mathematical intellect, the financial services industry demands a significant amount of teamwork, organization, and the ability to work well under pressure.
campus recruitment, Global Banking and Markets, Global Risk Management, and Group Treasury at Scotiabank. “Students immediately get exposure to working with some senior people on the team and are also able to add value right away.”
With the ability to learn from seasoned professionals, young people are not only able to develop their research and analytical skills, but are also able to witness how the business runs in real time.
As senior individuals in trading often contribute to daily commentary on trends in the market, Winberg says “students coming into these roles can expect to be in a position where they’re supporting the rest of the team with their analytical work, [and] their ability to use software to provide an analysis.”
Trading | The trading floor is often described as loud, fastpaced, and exciting. Keeping up-to-date with market trends, preparing presentations, and pricing trades are just some of the responsibilities of working on the trading floor. “It would be any market centric role that would give them a real life experience in capital markets,” says Jessica Pezim, senior manager, wholesale banking campus and rotation programs at CIBC, when speaking of the roles for students and new grads. These positions are broken down between analysts and associates. “Analysts would be our junior level roles—so typically coming in with an undergraduate degree and associates may have a graduate degree.” Co-op opportunities focusing on global capital markets is just one of the paid student programs offered at Scotiabank. Focusing on sales and trading, these finance hopefuls take on a 12–18-month rotational program. “[They] will go through a series of rotations to learn about the different areas of the business,” says Lisa Winberg, manager of
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
Possessing strong communications skills is also an important aspect. “For trading, you actually join a specific desk and every desk is very different,” says Pezim. “We look for well-rounded, highly-motivated people with excellent communication skills as it’s a very client-centric business.” Lending | Lending covers a range of financial areas from personal mortgages to business loans to risk management. In corporate banking, new graduates have the opportunity to engage in risk management and lending roles within the banking operations. “Companies come to the bank looking for loans,” says Winberg. “So the credit analytics group at Scotiabank, which hires recent graduates, helps support the department by doing a great deal of research, running analytics, and working with different numbers to put forward a recommendation to the more senior people in the group to determine whether or not it’s a good decision for the bank to issue the credit.” Along with a strong accounting acumen and the ability to handle
PHOTOS © DRAZEN
a portfolio of client accounts, time management in lending is critical, says Pezim. “When you have two very senior people sending you things with a similar deadline, how to prioritize and how to manage expectations is hugely important.” Winberg believes the “drive and passion for the business” are key traits they look for in their new hires. “At the end of the day, we can teach them the technical skills, as long as they have the basic knowledge that they’ve learned in their program or that they’ve learned on their own.” Pension funding | As working Canadians, we all contribute to the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) to help build pension benefits for our retirements. The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is a professional investment management organization that invests assets of the CPP currently not needed to pay benefits, in order to ensure the financial security of Canadians. The CPP fund’s assets are currently at $201.5 billion. CPPIB invests the fund’s assets in a diversified portfolio that includes public and private equities, fixed income, real estate, and infrastructure. To accomplish this, they employ a number of young and experienced employees to work on its public and private investment portfolios. For current students and new grads, the opportunity to gain experience in various areas of asset management through mentorship and work experience provides a valuable stepping stone to a career in the field. “A majority of our roles for students are within investments teams, whether in private investments or public markets,” says Michelle Mendes, talent advisor for the campus programs team at CPPIB. “In terms of undergraduate students, for the most part we look for candidates to fill our analyst-level roles and draw candidates from a variety of programs including commerce, business, mathematics, and economics.” According to CPPIB’s campus recruitment consultant Jamie Allison, regardless of position, CPPIB looks for individuals with “a strong interest in financial modelling, evaluations, and analytics. At CPPIB they could find themselves working alongside experienced employees on the trading floor, participating in analytical work with portfolio managers, or conducting analysis on potential investment transactions.” As well as taking on analyst positions, students at the master’s level may work as associates. “In this capacity, they would be participating in the higher level investment decision-making process with a deal team,” says Allison. “This could include travel to different parts of the world, working with other people in private investments to complete the due diligence on a potential investment. To be successful, Allison says young people must be able to thrive in a transparent work environment. “A key difference between CPPIB and many other organizations is that while we are usually involved in large transactions, our organization is small enough that our teams have to be very collaborative.” Mendes adds that a passion for the field is also important. “We look for people that are willing to dive head first into the team that they’d be working in. As well, leadership skills are quite important because we do need people who are willing and able to put up their hand and ask questions.”
and get paid what you’re worth.
At Investors Group, your earnings potential is based on your hard work and drive, not your seniority or experience. We are looking for motivated people to help turn their ambition into a successful career as a financial advisor.
We offer the advantage of… Unlimited income potential Flexibility and independence Industry-leading training So contact us. Together, we can help you achieve personal and professional rewards far beyond those associated with a traditional job. Check out this video of one of our leading Consultants:
For more information or to apply, visit:
jobpostings.ca/investors-group Connect with us at: facebook.com/investorsgroup twitter.com/valueoftheplan youtube.com/investorsgroupcanada linkedin.com/company/7441 ™ Trademarks owned by IGM Financial Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations. This is a full-time opportunity to establish your own variable-income and self-employed business in association with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec, a financial services firm). Submissions are subject to an initial and ongoing review process. Investors Group offices are located in all provinces and territories in Canada. Please submit your Resumé/ Application only to one office.
APRIL 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
Choose a career that values who you are What are you good at? What are your ambitions? No matter what your answer, you may be surprised to learn that the insurance industry has a career path that could take you exactly where you want to go. Insurance affects virtually everything we do in life and in business. And because insurance is all around us, the industry has a wide variety of careers to match your ambitions. Look for us on campus! Visit our website to find out more about our events and rewarding career paths in the insurance industry. www.career-connections.info
Most people haven’t gone through an experience like this, so we want to be able to make the process as easy as possible.
Claims adjusters work to piece together sensitive situations and strive to identify the best solutions for clients. Working in claims isn’t an easy task. Dealing with distressed clients, complex claims, and determining the appropriate benefits are just a few responsibilities that come with the job. A career in the field can focus on multiple areas like personal injury, automobile, and property claims. As just a piece of the insurance industry, claims requires strong communication skills, investigative work, and decision-making abilities. That’s where the role of a claims adjuster comes into play. “What I enjoy the most is that my role varies so much from day to day that there is no typical day,” says Adam Tuori, claims representative 2, bodily injury at RSA Canada. “Some days I will spend in the office reviewing medical records and surveillance, calling police officers and witnesses to get a better sense of how an accident occurred. Other days, I could be in court or attending a mediation.” In addition to the investigative aspect of the role, claims adjusters also work closely with their clients. “I’ll get a new claim in my computer system and call the client to determine what happened,” says Eugene Rau, accident benefits adjuster 4 with TD Insurance. “Most people haven’t gone through an experience like this, so we want to be able to make the process as easy as possible,” adding that part of his job is to ask tough questions and learn about the client’s current personal and career statuses to best determine the benefits they are eligible for.
PHOTOS © JIRSAK
As an adjuster, dealing with complex and sensitive claims can be challenging. Tuori lists one of the biggest challenges as “figuring out what really happened in an accident. Of course, the different parties involved remember different snippets of the events that took place, and part of my job is to piece those different recollections together.” But as challenging claims are overcome, the end result is rewarding. “The reward, on the flip side, is directly having an impact on helping our clients get back to their pre-accident state,” says Rau. Explaining the progress of one of his clients, he says through progress reports he’s able to see the impact of the funded treatments. “The client is able to converse with her family a little bit better, so seeing the improvement as a direct result of my involvement gives me a lot of personal achievement.” As a client-focused career with a challenging job description, entry-level adjusters can make $50,803 annually, with seniorlevel salaries averaging $71,432. “To be the ideal candidate for this role, you need to possess intellectual curiosity, drive, a strong attention to detail, a willingness to think outside of the box,” says Tuori. A client-dedicated individual with a passion to bring an individual back to their pre-accident state is what Rau lists as an important quality. “I get quite a lot of personal gain in this position. Like every job, there are its own challenges, but the pros outweigh it. I go home and feel like I’ve done quite a lot to help my clients.”
APRIL 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
Essentially what we want to do is instead of listening to respond, we want to listen to understand our customer.
Call centre kindness
What you need to know to be successful on the other end of the line.
The call centre is often considered the noisiest room in the office—filled with voices, typing, and dial tones. A decade ago, these jobs were typically outsourced to job seekers on the other side of the world; however, many North American companies are bringing those opportunities back locally today. According to an article published in The Globe and Mail in 2012, high turnover rates and decreased customer satisfaction has driven bigname companies to re-evaluate their overseas call centre jobs. With blooming opportunity for customer service enthusiasts back here in Canada, we seek advice from call centre professionals to learn more about telecommunications etiquette. Learn to listen Call centres provide different services, whether it’s designed to sell or to resolve a client issue. Regardless, it’s important to listen to your client on the other end of the line. “Essentially what we want to do is instead of listening to respond, we want to listen to understand our customer,” says Dannielle Chaput, loyalty and retention representative at Telus’s call centre department. “A lot of it is listening to the customers, what their intent is of the phone call, and trying to come up with a solution that works with the customer and also works for the provider.” In a sales environment, stellar call centre agents are able to seek the next best call, says Grant Thomas, manager of professional services at Voices.com, an online business connecting companies with voice talents. “We have a vast database of existing clients
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
and new client sign-ups, so it’s really about managing your time and making sure that the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t feel pressured to use our service at any given time, but is appreciated for finding our service.” The prep work As with any other profession, call centre jobs take practice. At Telus, Chaput assures that new hires won’t be thrown directly into the call centre. “They go into class for three months and learn all about the systems and the processes that we go through,” she says, adding that after completing the program, the new hires are mentored by experienced staff. “When the agents come onto the floor, they get to sit with a more experienced agent who sits and listens to the calls with them,” she says. Additionally, they also go through a coaching process where they are fully supported by these agents. “I find that the training is very extensive and they’re pretty much setting you up for success with the types of training programs we have.” For new grads entering a call centre environment for the first time, the job description could often be intimidating. “Don’t be afraid to speak in a real way on a one-to-one level,” says Thomas. “Don’t be afraid, there is a certain trial-by-fire that’s required especially for a new person coming in expecting to get into sales,” adding that mistakes are expected and “effective environments are the ones that can push to make someone comfortable enough to keep at it.”
PHOTOS © WAVEBREAK MEDIA
TINY GOT A TOOTHACHE. SHE GOT A LADDER.
Healing animals like Tiny is an amazing experience. So is studying Veterinary Medicine at AVMA and CVMA-accredited St. George’s University. You’ll study alongside aspiring doctors, public health professionals, scientists, and faculty from 140 countries in a fully integrated One Health, One Medicine environment. And SGU is small enough that students get plenty of individual aention but large enough to offer 52 degree programs.
Find out about information sessions and webinars in your area at sgu.edu/dvm
US/Canada: 1 (800) 899-6337 ext. 9 1280 sgu.edu/dvm • email@example.com ©2014 St. George’s University
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In 2013, for the first time in history, smartphone sales were greater than basic cell phone sales. This may seem obvious—or even surprising that it didn’t happen earlier—that more people are buying fancy smartphones than old, clunky flip or home phones. But many people, especially in older generations and in more rural settings, rely on home phones, not wanting to switch to some gadget. They can make calls, receive calls, and access voicemail and caller ID. And basic cells send and receive texts (and might even have an ancient version of Snake or Tic-Tac-Toe). What more could they want?
MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT
Enter apps. Suddenly in 2008, cell phones became entertainment devices, dating devices, communicate-across-the-world-for-free devices, ever-changing the tide against home phones. Close to one billion smartphones were sold in 2013. As of October 2013, there are approximately one million apps in the iPhone app store (up from a mere 800 in 2008) and nearly 1.2 million apps on the Android market. Breakout apps like Whatsapp have been sold for record-breaking amounts, while breakout mobile games like Flappy Bird are creating international superstars out of a silly pixelated side-scroller. Mobile apps are now a massive industry, with entire education streams dedicated to app development. With one million apps come countless jobs, but what do you need to break into this new, ever-changing field?
APPS “More than anything, mobile products need to be simple,” says Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik Interactive. “To succeed, you and your team will need to iterate on your product over and over again until you arrive at the simplest possible solution. This takes a lot of talent, but even more perseverance.” Kik is one of Canada’s most successful apps. It allows users to chat to one another on many different mobile platforms, sending multimedia no matter the distance or country. The app now has over 100 million users worldwide, (myself included). The app began at the University of Waterloo with a small group of students, including Livingston. They began with a different app, Unsynced, which allowed users to have music on Blackberry and PC, sharing with friends through BBM. “When we were working on Unsynced, the iPhone started gaining popularity and we realized that the messaging functionality needed to be cross-platform for it to succeed,” says Livingston. “That idea had a lot of appeal, so we started working on Kik Messenger. We released the app as a beta in early 2010 and fully launched in late 2010. Within a few weeks, we had over two million users and realized that Kik Messenger really resonated in the market.”
Like many app developers, Livingston didn’t specifically study app development in school, but rather mechatronics, (a combination of mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control, and computer engineering). Like many of the designers in our careers in video games article in February, many developers take on app creation as a side project, feeling the need to create something in this technical space. “You can learn a lot from other people who have done similar things in the past,” he says. “For example, there are a lot of amazing books with stories of companies that succeeded, people who have created new markets, and leaders who have a lot of experience and insights to share. Hearing other people’s stories lets you pick and choose the things that are helpful and relevant to you and apply them right away with your product or your team.” Designing a home run app doesn’t come without its share of challenges to balance the successes. “We’ve had a lot of major turning points at Kik, where something has happened that was out of our control and we had to respond really quickly,” says Livingston. “Every time that’s happened to us, it’s led to the creation of an even better approach and an even better product.” But he says there isn’t something that is more problematic or difficult to deal with, but that the entire process is challenging. “In general, building something from nothing is hard. That’s why the team is so incredibly important. You’re going to be working side-by-side with your team for a really long time, under some pretty intense circumstances. I’m really lucky to be able to work with people that I can learn from, people I trust implicitly, and people who are willing to debate with me about how we approach our work. That’s really important to Kik’s success.”
GAMES On the other side of mobile development is less function and more fun. Mobile game development is the new way for indie designers to get noticed and make a big stamp in the industry, creating their own full careers. “I’ve always been interested in games, since I was very young,” says Tom Frencel, CEO and founder of Little Guy Games, an independent game studio out of Toronto. “I wondered how computer graphics were made and was always interested in it.” Frencel’s path is much like other designers. He went to school for computer science and wanted to make games after graduating. After a long stint as a database programmer, he started working on games, first at Capybara Games, and eventually starting Little Guy Games with his business partner Bill Kouretsos. Brent Disbrow, CEO and founder of Nine Tail Studios, also got his start with other gaming companies: Smoking Gun Interactive, High Moon Studios, and even Electronic Arts. “I’d been in the industry for 14 years when we decided to found it,” he says. “Me and some partners said ‘we’ve been in the industry a while and we’d like to try our hand at our own studio’ and that was the genesis of it.” He says the group were looking at successful marketplaces and identified mid-core games for mobile and tablet as a launching point. “We’d been doing this a long time so we had a ton of ideas,” says Disbrow. “We barfed all our ideas up onto a whiteboard. We looked at it with a variety of factors and asked ‘What’s a good fit for the platform?’ It’s a touch platform, it’s portable, and there’s a different play session length. There are a variety of factors associated with every platform.” There’s a different mentality to creating games on a mobile platform than either creating games for consoles or creating mobile apps. “I found myself playing mobile games both as a consumer that consumes them in bite-size form, meaning I would only
play for minutes at a time when I’m waiting in line for something,” says Frencel, “but I also play mobile games at home when I do have some free time and I can almost play them as I would otherwise play a PC game.” This shows that mobile games have to be more accessible and appeal to a wider audience so they can be experienced in a number of ways. To do this, there are plenty of steps a designer has to go through to develop a successful mobile game. “The very first stage is the conceptualization stage,” says Frencel. This involves learning more about the ideas you have discovering the essence of your idea. “It can be a pretty grueling process because typically ideas, when they’re prototyped, don’t quite work as well as they work in your head.” “If you’ve found something worth pursuing, you go into the production phase, where you can scale your team up a bit,” he says. “You can start planning the other aspects of your game, content-wise, whether it’s going to be a game that tells a story or a game that’s level-based. You basically start planning all the other elements of your game that are on the periphery of the core idea.” Following that comes a long period of actually developing the game, designing every element. To keep up, Disbrow says you need a variety of skills, including communication, self-motivation, a constant desire to learn, and a willingness to work hard. He relates the constant work with the Pony Express, a Wild-West-esque mail service from 1860 that only hired orphans. “They were going to work you to death and didn’t have to worry about your family,” he says. “For a while that was the video game industry. You get in there, the studios take advantage of the youthful exuberance and excitement, and then work you to death.” Luckily, with the ability to work in small studios, on your own, in modern environments, the mobile game scene has flipped that 180 degrees. Although you still need to work hard, you’ll still be standing when the game is done.
So, what does it take to jump into mobile app development? “Immerse yourself in that world,” advises Frencel. “If you want to tell stories, create games, and be a designer—which I find a lot of people aspire to be—immerse yourself in the worlds of art, literature, film, music, and games.” He mentions that successful games often reference other forms of art and culture, so don’t keep your focus narrow on just apps and games. “Work for somebody else first. Get some experience with the mobile developer,” adds Disbrow. “Get some experience on somebody else’s dollar.” He believes networking is extremely important, so meeting other developers can only benefit your process. Festivals and other events are great ways to get out there. “If you get noticed, you get a whole bunch of free press.” This isn’t an easy industry, since there’s so much competition in the app store. Think about standing out and creating something that you want or need. And take a risk, because sometimes it’ll pay off. “At Kik,” says Livingston, “we’ve learned that it’s better to just launch something and then work like crazy to overcome all the challenges than to never launch something at all.”
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Gaining clients and attracting new business are major goals with every company looking to turn a profit. Though the presentation of today’s modern pitch has changed a bit over time, its function has remained. The sales pitch no longer has the primary focus of informing the client on how your product works.
“How it’s changed is that you as a sales person are less the technical expert that you used to be because people can inform themselves so much better online,” says Erin Scheel, community manager at College Pro. “People can go and find consumer forms, they can go to websites, they can check blogs, they can Google as much information as is available.” Yet for these pitches to successfully sell your product, there are certain elements that every great sales pitch should never go without.
THE PERFECT SALES PITCH
Build a rapport Trust goes a long way when building a relationship with a potential client. Would you pay somebody that you didn’t trust? Chris de Corneille, advertising and marketing professor at Seneca, Durham, and Centennial colleges says he believes “trust has to be provided through action, not through talk.” “I could come in and sit down with you and say the words: ‘I’ll save you money! I’ll save you money!’ I could say it 10 times but If I don’t give you the reasons why and prove it,” he says. “If I don’t make it personal to you for whatever need you might have ... for you to then sign on the dotted line and do business with me.” “You don’t necessarily know if somebody wants you to just chat about the weather and their week for 20 minutes,” says Scheel. “But there has to be something that bridges you into a conversation that warms people up to you.”
Pitch to the right person Don’t spend your time pitching to every other person in the company. “Make sure you’re talking to the decision maker,” says Kopchuk who has seen many people attempt a sales pitch only to find out that the person they’re talking to needs to ask someone in charge. “Whoever that person is, that’s probably the person you’ve got to be talking to.”
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LISTEN UP “The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” This famous quote spoken by Alfred Brendel is one that sums up one of the most important elements of a sales pitch. “It sounds harsh but it’s the idea of ‘shut up and listen,’” says Scheel. “Ultimately it’s not about what you’re saying; it’s about how you’re listening because if you’re the only one talking, you’ve missed the boat in a sales call.” Sales professionals must first understand the potential client and their needs before launching into a presentation about how much they need this product. Greg Kopchuk, CEO of ActionCOACH Canada, suggests turning the sales pitch into a natural conversation. The seller should only be talking a third of the time, he says. The goal is for them to come to the realization that they need your product as opposed to you telling them.
Don’t waste their time In all senses of it. Be punctual and stay on topic. “Give people clear expectations of how much of their time you want,” says Scheel. By telling them you’re only going to need five minutes of their time when these meetings usually take closer to 30, it’s not only disrespectful but also “tends to piss people off.” Raising “hypothetical objections” is also something you should try to avoid. “Suppose [the business owner’s] got a great team and he has no problems hiring people,” he says. “You don’t start talking about issues of how to hire people and create a great team because that’s not an issue for him. The only things you want to talk about are concerns and issues of the business as it relates to them.” Similarly, Kopchuk says to stay away from starting conversations about a client’s trophies or plaques you may see in their office during your meeting. “Talk to them about their company and listen,” he says. That way you’re demonstrating how much you care about partnering without going off on a tangent and wasting your time. If you keep these tips in mind the next time you meet with a prospective client, you’ll be sure to not only make an impression, but maybe even seal the deal!
ASK FOR THE SALE
It sounds very obvious. So how could any sales person trying to sell a product or service not say some form of the “so, have we got a deal?” question following their pitch? Kopchuk says he’s encountered the problem with many people he works with.
The goal of this step isn’t to catch the client by surprise but to help them remember you by asking questions they don’t normally get.
“There’s a lot of sales people that feel because they have a great conversation with someone and that it’s going well, they think, ‘Oh, this person likes me. They will ask to do business with me!’” he says. “And that never happens.” Scheel agrees. “It’s rare that somebody is involved in a sales meeting or sales call where the person that you’re hoping buys doesn’t know that you want them to buy from you. But a lot of people don’t actually ask the question, which leaves the door open to all kinds of other things.”
De Corneille says salespeople should also ask questions that the prospects themselves wouldn’t think to ask. Though they didn’t consider the question themselves, the answer could still be very important to them. For Scheel, asking questions is essential to ensure you’re not making assumptions in the pitch. In general, “most people don’t just buy for the sake of buying, they buy because it improves their life, or it saves them time, or it’s a cause they care to support,” she says. “You have to ask to understand.”
APRIL 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
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background just because this program is fairly intense; however, those without previous experience can ease in with NIC’s diploma program”. Both Griffith and Sampson agree that the biggest challenge with working in this industry is keeping up with technology. “We cover all the bases, so we teach students how to work with the native technologies, the web-based technologies, and the various design aspects,” says Griffith, adding that students tend to find their niche after studying these subjects. NIC’s mobile application development certificate will be going in its second year since its soft launch last September. When describing the ideal person for this industry, Sampson says students should first be a user. “I think that’s really key, so they understand where this is going to go and what it means to them as opposed to learning it cold,” she says. “They need to be patient and they need to be long-time learners because once they get the mobile done, there’s going to be something else around the corner.” With the technology constantly evolving in the mobile world, job demand is also on the rise. “Within a week I was getting emails from people asking for graduates. We hadn’t even brought in students to teach them and we were already having people asking us for graduates,” says Griffith, after first getting approval for the program in 2012. “There is such a lack of mobile app developers out there right now,” says Sampson, noting the top key search words on job board Indeed.com are mobile-related. “It’s a competitive world; so if a competitor has an app, you have to get one and that means you have to find someone who’ll develop it for you.”
APRIL 2014 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA
Robotic education How is building robots creating exciting and innovative careers? What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “robot?” For me, I think of the sci-fi thriller I, Robot. By studying robotics, you’ll find it’s a much more complex field (and a little less terrifying) than the Will Smith film from 2004. “You may have heard about programs or courses like ours—they’re typically called mechatronics—so you’ll find mechanical engineering, design, drawing, electrical,” says John Tielemans, professor and program coordinator for the robotics and automation, mechanical engineering technology program at Conestoga College.
Students gain lab experience on industrial-scale equipment and not on educational trainers. “The problem with training on toys is you don’t recognize how dangerous the real one can be,” he says. “You’re best off to practice with the level that you’re going to be working with.” Aside from the in-class learning, students participate in a co-op program over three work terms where they acquire industry experience with local employers. “They typically start off with the simpler jobs, drawing and helping engineers, and in the second or third work term they’re working on automation and designing with the engineers,” says Tielemans. In addition, he says the third-year capstone project is the key course in the program. “The projects that they build are actually completed manufacturing work cells and they do this from the ground up,” adding that the courses and co-op program enable students to prepare for their major project. “The top three proposals are chosen by the class and then they start doing solid design. In May, they start building, and in August, they have a completed presentation.” The Chang School at Ryerson University offers a certificate for mature students in robotics and embedded systems, with a hands-on approach. “Students work on projects with real hardware and they get experience that’ll help them in the future,” says Jimmy Tran, coordinator of
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
the certificate program. They also have the opportunity to show their projects to potential employers. “It gives them an edge up compared to someone who just walked in with a piece of paper with their credentials. One of the biggest challenges with working in automation and robotics is keeping up with the changing technology, says Tielemans, “which means the safety regulations are constantly changing to adapt and that’s something that we have to train our students to be well aware of.” However, working in such a technical field can be a challenge and reward in itself. “The challenge is building something you can actually see that works,” says Tran. “You’ll love your robot when you’re finished and it works, but during certain times you’re going to want to smash your robot because it’s so frustrating and you can’t figure out what’s wrong with it. Those are the ups and downs of working in this industry.” With the industry exposure through co-op programs and additional learning, students have the opportunity to enter a market with great job demand and high salaries. “Some people will go to an automotive company and be a maintenance expert on the robots, others will be an assembly line designer,” says Tielemans, adding that the co-op opportunity also develops communication skills. “[It] gives the students the ability to interact with people and the employers really appreciate that.”
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THE BACK PAGES
Rising to the top of the sales chain. In an industry where cold calling and stellar negotiation skills are your bread and butter, a career in sales can offer a pretty paycheque and an even prettier bonus. It’s a lucrative field with the top positions earning six-figure incomes before commission. Sales is everywhere, from the gentleman in the mall selling you the 50-inch television you’ve been saving up to buy to the woman working on Bay Street. Whether it’s on a local level or on a global scale, industries of all sorts have teams of sales professionals that ultimately do a large part in keeping these companies afloat and successful. For the seasoned professionals, sales directors can earn more than $180,000 annually with commission; and those in technical sales
can earn just over $90,000 including bonuses. Job opportunity in sales has continued to grow in different industries. For instance in the manufacturing sector, there is a demand to fill positions in three main areas: sales, service, and natural and applied science. According to WantedAnalytics.com, the role as sales representatives in wholesale trade rose 22.7 per cent from November 2012 to 2013. Before you get too anxious to jump into the sales field, it’s important to remember that getting to these positions takes years of experience, hundreds of dropped calls, and business deal fallouts. But thick skin, the right words, and a lot of patience will surely get you to your ultimate sales job.
CURRENT MEDIAN SALARIES IN SALES, WITH AND WITHOUT BONUSES: Sales Director
Channel Sales Director
Pharmaceuticals, Field Sales
Advertising Sales Director
District Retail Sales Manager
National Account Sales Specialist
SALARY WITH ADDED BONUS
160K 140K 120K 100K 80K 60K 40K 20K
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
Sources: payscale.com, salary.com
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THE BACK PAGES
Get what you’re worth Negotiating your salary is a key aspect of career success for any professional.
36 Negotiating a salary, especially for the first time in a young professional’s career, is tough. However, it’s necessary to have that discussion to ensure you are being properly compensated for the work you do. If you don’t have a formal salary review process in your organization, it’s safe to request a chat about your performance and compensation after your first year. Schedule the meeting with your boss then prepare the steps below: Find market value | You need to find out to the best of your ability what your worth is in the market. There are tons of places online to do this: payscale. com and salary.com are examples. However, take these sources with a grain of salt, they’re generally on the higher side, as there is value in driving the market up. You should look at as many sources as possible to find an average of your market worth. Show your worth | Spend some time reviewing what you have accomplished since you last had your salary reviewed. For your own reference, make a list and choose three or four major things you think are the most impressive and have
JOBPOSTINGS.CA | APRIL 2014
added the most value to the organization. Have a range in mind, from best-case to worst-case scenario. A good performer could expect to see a 3–5 per cent raise, if the organization isn’t struggling. The discussion | Once you finally sit down with your boss, start off by asking for feedback—what you do well and what you could improve on. From there you can mention some of the projects that you’ve worked on in the past year that you really enjoyed. (You already mentioned the impressive ones.) Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn; just be sure to do so in a professional manner. From here, it’s time to get to the negotiation. If you can, keep the power in your hands by asking your boss what amount they would consider giving you as a raise. By allowing them to throw the first number out there, you don’t risk shooting yourself in the foot by throwing out a lower number. If the number is what you’d hoped for (or higher), graciously thank your boss and close by telling them how excited your are to continue taking on more challenges and continuing to grow in your role.
If it’s not what you’re looking for, tell your boss that based on your research, your role is worth X and you hoped to be closer to that number. Explain that based on your accomplishments—be sure to name one or two—this year you hoped to see a larger increase. If you can’t arrive at an agreeable number, don’t push your boss too much. Ask if your boss would be willing to re-evaluate your compensation in six months and set a date. Ultimately, if you don’t receive a raise or the amount you were hoping for, don’t take it personally. There could be many reasons that have nothing to do with you or your work. In six months, you still don’t receive what you are worth, you need to re-evaluate your current job. Are you still learning? Do you feel growth? If the answer is yes and you can financially afford to stay, you probably should. If the answer is no or you can’t afford to wait it out, it’s time to start the job hunt. It’s important to be comfortable with this process as you will have to do it many times throughout your career. (Ensuring you are compensated for what you are worth is why we work, after all!) | Heidi Murphy
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