BLOGS

 

Tips to A Successful College Experience!

If you’ve ever dreamed about College and envisioned it as everything it could be and more, that’s only half of success. When you graduate from College and land a dream job in your field of choice that is when you can say you had the true college experience and utilized the opportunities you had access to!

In the following blog, we here at the Co-op & Graduate Employment Services office have listed various steps and tips to improve your chances of career success!

Tip 1) Attend workshops to ensure career development. The workshops that we provide are informational and beneficial for all students. We hold basic workshops from Optimizing Career Strategies to workshops about Working Abroad and Creating Your Professional Brand. These workshops are a great opportunity to make new connections, meet new people, and gain knowledge about things that interest you.

Tip 2) Connect with us on all social media. NC Employment Support has created Social Media channels for all students to access including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Our Twitter page offers great job search tips, as well as influential and inspirational quotes. We also post all of our upcoming career events on Twitter and our Facebook is a GREAT place to watch for upcoming career events on campus, and as well in the region! The NC Employment Support Pinterest page offers USEFUL tips & tricks on everything from tough interview questions and what to wear to an interview, to how to optimize your social media and how employers view it. LinkedIn offers great discussions from our very own Employment Services Assistants as well as member of the group.

Tip 3) Prepare & attend career events & employers on campus. Attending the events offered can help you build your professional network, gain skills and knowledge in a particular field. Also help with researching the job market and companies to work for. Doing research early can help you prepare for the workforce and help you pinpoint the exact places you want to go throughout your career.

And finally,

Tip 4) Come visit us! Drop by our offices anytime Monday-Friday between 8:30-4:30 for help with your social media, personal branding, and resume and cover letter reviews FOR FREE! We have Employment Services Assistants available every day at both campuses (W115 at NOTL or SE101 at WC) for students to drop in and get assistance or just answer basic questions.

We hope this helps maximize your time at College and prepare you for the work force!

~Coach Andrea

No Plans for Break Week? Think – CAREER!

Break week is quickly approaching! If you don’t have plans – are you left wondering what to do? Don’t worry! Here in the Co-op Education & Graduate Employment Services office – we have some ideas!

GOING HOME?

It’s a great time to get caught up on class assignments and make progress in your career development efforts. A wise way to use your time at home would be to perfect your resume and start researching potential employers. Using Optimal Resume is an easy way to format a resume and use the guidelines given in the program. Optimal offers a “Review Center” option which will send a copy of your resume to a career expert for review and offer suggestions to send back.

Researching potential employers is a great way to gain knowledge about the industry, and really give you a chance to stand above the rest in the career competition. Researching should not only include searching for company websites, but also checking out their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Having knowledge about the topics organizations tweet about, will give you an upper hand in the interview – especially when asked What do you know about us? or Why do you want to work here? Also, be sure to check out our Pinterest account! We have a variety of tips and ways to maximize your job search, hone your personal brand, get started with social media, and much, much, more.

STAYING HERE?

For those of you staying around – take advantage of the opportunities offered while most students will not be at the college. Our office is open normal hours all week at the Welland and NOTL campus (WC SE101 & NOTL W115 both 8:30-4:30). Drop in any time for assistance with resume/cover letter reviews, optimal resume, MyCareer, or interviewing. From home you can access all of our resources online via MyCareer to help start or tweak your resume and job search skills.

We have designed a program for the break week called “Career Club Boot Camp”. It will help YOU pave the way to your dream job in just 3 days! Attending this boot camp will be extremely beneficial as you will get expert advice and tips towards your career as well as points for your co-curricular record. Both campuses are offering the 3 day boot camp to make it easier for students staying in residence or nearby. Something else to note is all Career Club members are entered into the December 2, 2013 draw to WIN A SAMSUNG TAB2!!

SPACE IS LIMITED, so please be sure to register by next Friday October 18, 2013 through Career Events on MyCareer to ensure a spot. Come with friends and begin your path to feeling confident in the job search world.

~ Coach Andrea

How Does Poverty Affect Us?

In a follow up to our recent Volunteer Fairs and Camp Hours at both campuses, we learned a lot about poverty and the importance of doing our part to make things better. The speakers we heard told us about the many benefits to themselves and others they gained by deciding to volunteer, and we came away with a greater understanding of what many people are facing in this world, and how we might consider getting involved.

Poverty is a topic that most people shy away from. Sure we donate to the soup kitchen or bring in our canned goods. But that’s where it stops. Poverty is much deeper than that. Although the can of soup or bag of pasta will help somebody in need for a meal, this is not a solution to poverty; it’s just a band aid for right now. Poverty affects old & young, disabled & well-bodied, the well-educated & the poorly educated.

Many different people find themselves living in poverty for a variety of different reasons – some due to life situations, or often due to a personal or economic crisis beyond their control. The causes are not always as straight forward as many of us assume, examples include the affordability of housing, the adequacy of employment insurance, access to health, education, and training and the lack of pay wages.

Children

Children in poverty are more likely to experience a range of negative outcomes due to the circumstances compared to most adults. In Niagara, over 5,400 children are living in poverty.

Health

People living in poverty are more likely to get sick and their illnesses are likely to be more serious. According to the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network, the poorest 20% of Canadians, when compared to the richest 20% have:

  • More than double the rate of diabetes and heart disease;
  • More than three times the rate of bronchitis;
  • Nearly double the rate of arthritis or rheumatism;
  • 358% higher rate of disability
  • 128% more mental and behavioural disorders;
  • 95% more ulcers.

These statistics are in part because they are unable to afford healthy foods and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and also because they cannot afford health care, prescriptions and medications, and other treatments such as dental care.

How can we help to eliminate poverty in Niagara? As an individual we can get involved in an issue that we feel passionately about (housing, social assistance, mentoring etc.) We can donate time, money and talents to community organizations that support families and individuals in need. Participating in clothing or sports equipment drives in the community assists with both children and teenagers to help give opportunities to those who would not otherwise get the chance. Another way to get involved is to volunteer at school nutrition, literacy and library programs in the community to offer support, time and knowledge to children.

Poverty is an individual experience and the whole community’s problem. It is a drain on hope, dignity, and possibility for those suffering. Taking a small amount of time from our day to lend a helping hand is a small way to make a big difference in someone’s life. Get involved today!

~ Coach Andrea

Why Volunteer?

Here at the Co-op & Graduate Employment Services office we hope everyone is enjoying their courses so far and is gearing up for a busy year. We have lots of events and opportunities planned including our upcoming Volunteer Opportunity Fair on Thursday September 26 at WC and October 1 at NOTL. This fair gives students the chance to meet with organizations looking for volunteers in the Niagara Region and beyond. Also join us on September 23 for Camp Hour (12:30-1:20) in Lundy 1 at WC and W114 (1:30-2:20) at NOTL to talk about Volunteering with guest speakers who are working in the community.

Below are some benefits you’ll gain from volunteering:

Benefit #1: Volunteering connects you to others

One of the best ways to make new friends is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering offers a great way to meet new people in the community. This helps broaden your support network and revealing you to people with common interests, resources and activities. Volunteering as a family or a small group of friends may also be a good idea if you feel shy or nervous. Children and peers acknowledge everything you do. By giving back to the community it shows them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference.

Benefit #2: Volunteering can advance your career

If you are considering a new career, volunteering can help you gain experience in your area of interest and meet people and make connections in the field. Even if a career change is not planned for the near future, volunteering is an excellent way to gain experience and skills in a new field. Just because volunteering is unpaid does not mean that the skills learnt are basic. Volunteering opportunities usually provide some type of training.

A survey carried out by TimeBank through Reed Executive showed that among 200 of the UK’s leading businesses:

  • 73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without
  • 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills
  • 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted

Benefit #3: Motivation and sense of achievement

Volunteering is about giving your skills and time for free. Spending most of your time working is something we have to do. On the other hand, volunteering is something that you choose to do and organizations recognize that! Choosing a volunteer position somewhere that interests you, makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something, and you’ve helped the organization.

Benefit #4: Develop new interests

Volunteering is an excellent way to escape the ordinary day-to-day job and add more balance to your life. Finding new hobbies and interests can be relaxing and energizing. If you are doing something voluntarily on a regular basis you may find yourself less stressed, and more motivated to learn new things.

Remember we are always here to help with your career development questions. Feel free to drop by any time!

Good luck volunteering

~ Coach Andrea

Welcome Back!

Welcome back students, faculty and staff! Everyone at Co-op Education & Graduate Employment Services hope you had a relaxing and fun summer. Now that the reality of homework, assignments and due dates is back in full swing, don’t forget that we can help – and here is a quick reminder of what we do.

For students we offer free resume & cover letter reviews, interview tips as well as job search advice. We also have on-campus and off-campus job postings online, and the very cool Optimal Resume tool for resume & e-portfolio/website development, as well as state-of-the-art interview practice. There are many additional resources and samples available for download 24/7, and don’t forget to connect with us on social media.

Our walk in services are in full operation Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30. Please feel free to drop by Room W115 (NOTL) or Room SE101 (WC) to speak with any one of our Consultants or Job Coaches, or give us a call at 905-641-2252 ext. 4165 (NOTL) or 905-735-2211 ext. 7777 (WC). We have lots of great events and opportunities planned for this year (2013-2014 Events Calendar ) including the upcoming Shop For Jobs event on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 taking place at the Pen Center – the Peninsula’s largest shopping mall (Glendale Ave. & Hwy 406) from 12:00 – 6:00pm. Look sharp and bring copies of your resume and reference contact info to apply on the spot for part-time employment.

In short, drop in & stay in touch with MyCareer & NC Employment Support. We look forward to helping YOU! Have a great year!

~ Coach Andrea!

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