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Undergraduate Students - December 2013

The full version of the December CAPSScoop can be found by clicking here.

Articles in this edition

Alumni Interview - From Employee to Entrepreneur: Neil Cuggy, Co-Founder of MTL Capital

Labour Market Information


Alumni Interview - From Employee to Entrepreneur: Neil Cuggy, Co-Founder of MTL Capital

By Zoha Azhar, U3 Bachelor of Arts (Economis and Political Science) and CaPSScoop Journalist

On one of arguably the chilliest days in Montreal, I met with Neil Cuggy to pick his brain about his work in Entrepreneurship and Investment Banking, and the transition from school life to the workplace. Neil is the co-founder of MTL Capital here in Montreal. He graduated from McGill University in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Commerce. He was kind enough to dedicate his Saturday morning to speak with me, and had some interesting things to share.

After the necessary introductions and sips of morning coffee, I asked Neil if he thought that there were any skills that he learnt or developed at McGill which are proving to be valuable at this stage in his life. He then very decisively answered with one word: communication. “Speaking in front of the class, be it presentations or case studies, was very helpful,” he told me. “Discussing something in front of an audience can be intimidating at first, but it helps build up confidence.”

It is no wonder Neil values the communication skills he developed at McGill; employers in every field value effective communication and many jobs require strong communication skills. Socially, too, people with enhanced communication skills usually have better interpersonal relationships, which make for a better work environment.

We then got talking about the transition from university into the workplace, which is absolutely fearful for some and perfectly pleasant for others. Fortunately for Neil, his passage was very smooth and devoid of any rough patches. I then asked if there was something that he hadn’t realized before he started working that might have caught him off-guard. He thought about it for a second or two and then replied that as a young graduate the idea of total self-sufficiency and the notion of a steady stream of income were in hindsight a bit romantic. It takes a bit of time to get to that stage and most young graduates do not realize this. He continued and added that although graduation opens up a whole world of possibilities, it also adds as much responsibility to your shoulders; “There’s no next ‘natural’ step; you’re done with middle school, then high school, and before long, you’re finished with university. Then you realize that you’ve gotten a job and you’ve got to plan the next 60 years of your life yourself.”

Neil is also a part of the CaPS Mentor Program at McGill which is designed to connect current McGill students with McGill alumni to assist students in achieving their highest potential as they explore career options. I asked him what he thought of the program and how he thought it was being received. He told me that he wished he had known more about this offering when he was in university because interactions with the alumni were fairly limited around his time at McGill. He believes it is a great opportunity for current students. One suggestion he has for students planning to engage in this program is that they should widen their objectives. He remarked “students come in with a specific focus, hoping that we can get them in touch with people who may offer them a job, but discount the advice we give them.” The advice mentors like Neil can offer may prove priceless for students because it comes from their own first-hand experiences.

Neil Cuggy is an extremely approachable gentleman, and I had a lovely conversation with him. For the final question I asked him that now that he’s gone from the role of employee to employer, what he looks for in a candidate and potential employee. He told me that the ideal candidate needs to be focused, driven and tenacious and he would like to see eagerness - “a twinkle in their eyes.” And in the same vein of things, I would like to congratulate Mr. Cuggy on a positively bright beginning, and lots of luck on his future ventures.

Labour Market Information Bulletin – December 2013

By Lisa Lin, CaPS Career Resource Consultant

 This monthly bulletin aims to inform you of major news and trends in the Québec, Canada and U.S. labour markets. Your caps [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca (feedback )is welcome.

In this issue

  • Job creation steady, but factory employment tumbling to near-record lows
  • US businesses boost hiring despite the shutdown
  • Occupational highlight: Urban and Land Use Planners
  • Lisa’s Corner: Bridge: Worldwide Music Connection


Job creation steady, but factory employment tumbling to near-record lows
The Globe and Mail, 08 November 2013
Canada continues to create jobs at a steady pace, but shifts below the surface show factory employment tumbling to near-record lows while food-service firms and the health-care sector boost payrolls.

US businesses boost hiring despite the shutdown
ABC News, 08 November 2013
Employers added a surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs in October despite the 16-day government shutdown, the Labour Department said Friday. And they did a lot more hiring in August and September than previously thought.

Yellow Media cutting 300 jobs by early 2014 in shift to digital from print
CBC News, 12 November 2013
Yellow Media is cutting about 300 positions, mainly related to its print directories and legacy operations.

Rogers cuts about 100 jobs at media division
Financial Post, 05 November 2013
Rogers Communications Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it has cut close to 100 jobs at its media division.

Kellogg Co to cut 2,000 jobs by 2017, lowers forecast
Financial Post, 04 November 2013
Kellogg Co., the maker of Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies, will cut 7% of its global workforce, or about 2,000 jobs, as part of a four-year cost-saving plan amid a persistent slowdown in breakfast items and snacks.

Statistics & Studies

Employers adapt to keep Gen Y happy
Maclean’s, 11 November 2013
Millennial workers are young and restless but essential.

Only 16% of Canadians engaged in their jobs
The Globe and Mail, 01 November 2013
Canadians might love a lot of things – hockey, poutine, apologizing for no reason (sorry about that last one). But it appears “working” is not high on the list.

Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey
October 2013
Employment was little changed for the second consecutive month and the unemployment rate remained at 6.9% in October.

Statistics Canada - Payroll employment, earnings and hours
August 2013
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $918 in August, up 0.4% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings increased 1.3%.

Occupational highlight

Urban and Land Use Planners (2153)

Urban and land use planners develop plans and recommend policies for managing land use, physical facilities and associated services for urban and rural areas and remote regions. They are employed by all levels of government, land developers, engineering and other consulting companies or may work as private consultants.

Job prospects in this occupation are fair.  Except for a slight slowdown in the mid-90s as a result of government cutbacks, the number of urban and land use planners has grown significantly over the past few years. These changes are mainly due to the increasing complexity of issues related to the use of land, both rural and urban. Because these issues will remain important over the next few years, the number of urban and land use planners should continue to grow significantly.

For a complete profile of this and other occupations, visit Career Cruising http://public.careercruising.com/ca/en
Please first login at the top of this page Career Periodicals & Databases http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/resource-centre/database to obtain the username and password for Career Cruising

Lisa’s Corner

Bridge: Worldwide Music Connection https://www.myinterfase.com/nec/Account/LogOn

Looking for a career in music or arts administration?  As a service of New England Conservatory's Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department, Bridge is a database that provides 3000+ worldwide job opportunities.  Once you are logged in, click the menu "Opportunities" for auditions, teaching positions as well as listings of competitions, festivals, workshops, conferences, scholarships and grants.  To obtain the username and password, login this site http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/resource-centre/database

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