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Undergraduate Students - October 2013

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

Articles in this edition

Tackling the Grad School Applications

CEO x 1 Day

Labour Market Information


Tackling the Grad School Applications

By Muhammad Omer Juma, U2 Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Psychology) & CaPS Mentor Program and Peer Educator Program Coordinator

With hundreds of Graduate and Professional schools around the world it gets really difficult when you need to shortlist just a few for your ‘final university list’. Applying and getting to a Grad school is a daunting process consisting of numerous appointments with faculty and career advisors, preparation for admission tests, countless attempts to the perfect personal statement and making the final choice of which school to attend. There are a few ways in which you can tackle this overwhelming experience and transition into a grad school while enjoying your time as a McGill undergraduate.

The most crucial component of any application process is “Research”. Finding the right books and resources for grad school will require time-consuming trips to libraries and career resource centres. Surfing online will result in a plethora of new browser tabs and you will keep clicking links without ever getting back to where you started from. However, all this needs to be done to know where you really want to go. An easier way to survive it is to think smart. Meet up with a faculty advisor to discuss the programs and with a career advisor at CaPS to understand the market opportunities and application process. Create a list of things you would like to research on. For example my list would consist of ‘schools specializing in Economics & Psychology’; ‘international student and financing’; and ‘extracurricular activities’. Instead of reading all the books and online guides about Grad school, I will just peruse only those that focus on the contents of my list. A smart research is quicker and reflects your organized thinking.

After all the research comes the time to display it in the form of a personal statement. A personal statement is nothing more than your introspection expressed in words. Sometimes students have no clue about what to write and many a times they don’t know where and how to start. Instead of disregarding ideas in your brain as useless, start writing them on a pad or a notebook and if you feel that they are not relevant enough then just scratch them off. This way you may not know what to write, but you will surely know what not to write. Also writing ideas or quirky phrases leads you to ways in which you can describe yourself on a piece of paper and start your personal statement. These techniques may seem extremely simple but that’s what it really is. The admissions committee isn’t looking for a solution to the world problems but a person who may bring a solution and that is why they want to know who you really are. Research is necessary for writing a personal statement because if you know why a school attracts you, you would be able to write your personal statement much easily.

Finally, the key to a successful application process is starting early. Personal statement is usually written in the year you are sending your applications, but research needs to start a long time before that. Starting early doesn’t carry any harm, instead it eases the burden you might have in the final year. Now you know the simple tricks to make your application extraordinary and land in your dream school.

CEO x 1 Day

CEO x 1 Day, exclusive to Odgers Berndtson, a global executive search firm, is a program that gives third and fourth year university students an opportunity to spend a day in the shoes of a senior executive. Through a rigorous selection process, Odgers Berndtson will identify students with outstanding leadership potential and match them with a CEO from a leading Canadian organization. Year one of the program will focus on the Toronto and Montreal markets.

Benefits to Students

  • Participating in the recruitment process will give all students valuable skills and experience for future job searches.
  • 2 out of 3 applicants will have the opportunity to complete an online leadership assessment and receive a personalized report from Hogan Assessments, a global leader in assessments. The report will provide feedback on aspects of their leadership skills like relationship building, goal setting and strategic thinking which will help them in choosing a career path.
  • Semi-finalists will spend a ½ day participating in group exercises and one-on-one interviewing which will strengthen their presentation and interviewing skills. They will also have an opportunity to review their personalized leadership assessment report with a consultant from Odgers Berndtson.
  • Each finalist will spend a full day shadowing a CEO (including one-on-one time) and learning about their background, career path, and how they create value in their organization.

Third or fourth year students enrolled in any undergrad program at a university in Ontario or Quebec

Application process
Students my apply online at www.ceox1day.ca between October 1st and October 25, 2013

Selection Process

  • A total of 10-15 students will be selected and matched with a local CEO for a day (in Toronto or Montreal)
  • Details on the selection process, including the time commitment and evaluation criteria for each phase can be found at http://ceox1day.ca/selection-process/
  • CEO x 1 Day events with the CEOs will occur in February 2014

Participating CEOs
Details on the participating CEOs are posted at www.ceox1day.ca

For More Information
Go to www.ceox1day.ca or contact the ceox1day [at] odgersberndtson [dot] ca (Program Coordinator )

Labour Market Information Bulletin – October 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

  • Alberta the place to be for young job seekers
  • ‘Payback time’ as job market falters: Canada slipping behind U.S. after strong recovery
  • Occupational highlight: Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers
  • Lisa’s Corner: Career Mash


Alberta the place to be for young job seekers
Calgary Herald, 16 September 2013
Young job seekers may want to consider a move to Alberta in light of recent labour data.

‘Payback time’ as job market falters: Canada slipping behind U.S. after strong recovery
Montreal Gazette, 13 September 2013
Canada’s jobless rate will be higher than the U.S. in 2014 according to a Bloomberg News economist survey, ending a five-year advantage touted by policy makers as evidence of the country’s stronger economy.

Will Target deliver on job front? Many former Zellers workers feel left out in the cold
Montreal Gazette, 13 September 2013
Will the Quebecers hired by Target — over 4,000 — really get what they’re looking for?

Job situation may get worse for Ontario graduates
Maclean’s, 11 September 2013
Two years after graduating from college with an accounting degree, Amanda Coombes expected to be working full-time in her field. Instead, she’s living with her mom and working at McDonald’s.

U.S. private sector adds 176,000 jobs, jobless claims fall
The Globe and Mail, 05 September 2013
U.S. private employers added 176,000 jobs in August and new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, which could bolster expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin winding down a bond-buying stimulus program this month.

Widening ‘skills gap’ leaves ‘lost generation’ of graduates unable to find jobs in their field
National Post, 03 September 2013
This week, thousands of young Canadians will start or continue in specialized higher education programs at colleges, universities and professional schools in fields where thousands of graduates are already finding it next to impossible to find work.

Statistics & Studies

Statistics Canada – University tuition fees, 2013/2014
September 2013
Canadian full-time students in undergraduate programs paid 3.3% more on average in tuition fees for the 2013/2014 academic year this fall than they did a year earlier. This follows a 4.2% increase in 2012/2013.

Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey
August 2013
Employment increased by 59,000 in August, mainly in part-time work, and the unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 7.1%. Over the six months to August, employment gains averaged 12,000 per month, lower than the average of 29,000 observed during the preceding six-month period.

Statistics Canada - Payroll employment, earnings and hours
June 2013
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $919 in June, up 0.2% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 2.6%.

Occupational highlight

Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers (5243)

Designers in this unit group conceptualize and produce designs for film, television, theatre and video productions, garments and textiles, displays and exhibits, and for other creative items such as jewellery and trophies. Theatre designers are employed by performing arts and broadcasting companies and by festivals; fashion designers are employed by clothing and textiles companies or may be self-employed; and exhibit designers are employed by museums and retail establishments. Other creative designers in this unit group are employed by manufacturing establishments or may be self-employed.

Job prospects in this occupation are fair.  Over the last few years, the number of theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers has increased significantly. The significant increase is attributable mainly to rising consumer demands, forcing fashion companies to regularly change the style of clothing and designers and merchandisers to pay attention to how their products are presented. Since this trend is expected to continue the number of theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers is expected to continue to increase significantly in the next few years. The outlook varies greatly, depending on specialty and area of activity.

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

Career Mash http://careermash.ca/ spreads the word about the endless possibilities of today's tech careers.  You can explore career options in a variety of industry sectors - arts, sports, fashion, business, healthcare, music and more.  Also, the site offers career profiles giving a snapshot of what it is like working in the field. 

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