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Undergraduate Students - November 2006

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

 

Articles in this edition


The Joys of Much Too Much (Book Review)

Job Choices: Tips on Entering the Job Market

International Students: Opportunities to Work Off-Campus


Articles

The Joys of Much Too Much (Book Review)

by Marshneill Abraham


Bonnie Fuller’s, “The Joys of Much Too Much” is an essential guide for young women looking to make their mark in the workforce. Fuller employs a unique blend of autobiography and self-help to deliver a set of commandments one must abide by in order to guarantee an abundant life. The book is divided into well-organized chapters brimming with engaging anecdotes and thoughtful insights from someone who has truly experienced the full gamut of the magazine industry. Bonnie Fuller has propelled herself from night-shift intern at a Canadian newspaper to editorial director of American Media, where she oversees a number of successful publications. Her book provides a refreshing look at the opportunities available for women in the workforce, provided they maintain the right attitude.

The first chapter dispels the notion that the ideal life must be perfectly balanced. Many women face a seemingly never-ending struggle between caring for a family and furthering their career. Fuller explains that there is no reason to sacrifice one for the other. An over-committed life with very little balance promises to be as rewarding as it is stressful. This mind-set, although rarely promoted, can be summed up in one word: liberating. It is but one of the many avant-garde outlooks Fuller bestows on her readers. She even goes so far as to detail the times she would bring her newborn son into the office while working at Glamour magazine. She encourages women to look for opportunities to incorporate, and not separate, these two equally important sectors of their lives.

The next few chapters tackle the ups and downs of climbing the corporate career ladder. Fuller outlines how to turn negatives into positives by sharing her own setbacks as a magazine editor. She speaks of her move to New York City and the disappointment of being jobless, her rise and fall as the editor of Glamour, and the harshness of critics who blame her for creating a celebrity-obsessed culture through her publications. Her current position at the top of the magazine industry assures readers that anything can be overcome with a solid mix of perseverance and dedication. This section also includes helpful interview and resume tips, as well as a list of ways to bounce back from even the most disastrous career blunders.

Though the book primarily focuses on women and their careers, Fuller also devotes a chapter to finding love and romance, but with the same approach one would use in job-hunting. She explains that modern-day society boasts a plethora of resources, including online dating services, which can be just as effective as the more traditional methods. She encourages women to take risks and to never settle for anything less than what they deserve – much like when building their careers.

The Joys of Much Too Much is a light but empowering read. It offers many valuable tips, and Fuller’s anecdotal approach prevents the work from becoming overly preachy. Some readers, especially those pursuing career paths vastly different from Fuller’s, may have difficulty relating to her industry-specific tales, but she does make a solid attempt at emphasizing the universality of her advice. Fuller’s book is a must-read for women who wonder how their endless list of goals can possibly be accomplished. Her work provides a blueprint for having it all: “…the great career, the perfect guy and everything else you’ve ever wanted.”


Job Choices: Tips on Entering the Job Market

published with permission of the National Association of Colleges and Employers


The latest issue of Job Choices has arrived at McGill's Career and Placement Service. It details what opportunities and choices are available to the class of 2007 entering the job market.

Andrea Koncz, the Employment Information Manager for the National Association of Colleges and Employers, has this to say about what the job market holds for the class of 2007:

"We're seeing a greater range of opportunities opening up for new college graduates," Koncz says. "And, employers in all sectors are projecting an increase in hiring. More than 20 percent of employers told us that they have raised or plan to raise their starting salaries to entice potential employees. "

In spite of the positive outlook, Koncz cautions against sitting back and waiting for a job.

"Students need to be proactive in the job search; they can start by going to their campus career center for guidance and resources. College students should not expect employers to hire ‘just anyone’ to fill a job,” cautions Koncz. “Employers are looking for candidates who have the right mix of skills and experience for the job; in a good job market, that can be tougher to find.”

Here are four actions YOU can take to increase your chances of getting a job offer:

  • Use the resources available to you through CAPS: Start your job search here. You'll find a variety of career and job-search related resources already collected for you, and you'll have access to expert advance or guidance. Among the services your career center provides are: individual advising appointments, Career Development Workshops, Job Listings, Campus Recruitment, Resource Centre, CV Drop In, Mentor Program, Career Fairs and more!
  • Research employers and their opportunities: This may be the single biggest secret to job-search success! Research can give you a direction for your job search; it will provide you with solid information you can use in crafting your resume and interviewing; it demonstrates to employers that you are interested in their opportunities and organizations; and it will help you figure out which organizations will be the best match for you. Surprisingly, many job seekers skimp on research or skip this important step completely. Employers say they can tell when a student hasn't bothered to investigate their organizations. Given the many resources available to today's job seeker—including corporate web sites—employers think there is no excuse for failing to conduct research.
  • Network: You'll gain an edge by building a network that can help you learn about organizations and their opportunities. Your network contacts may help you get your resume into the right hands or your foot in the door. In fact, many employers reward their current employees for referring candidates. And, your network can help you throughout your career.
  • Get relevant work experience. Employers place a lot of emphasis on relevant work experience gained through full- or part-time employment, or volunteer work because they show that you can flourish in a work environment. Internships and co-ops are especially valuable because the work you do and the environment in which you do it often relates to the position you’re seeking. Another way to demonstrate valued skills and qualities is to become active in student organizations. Among the groups you join should be one or more that is relevant to your major.

You can get additional advice on how to conduct an effective job search and connect with potential employers at CAPS (3600 McTavish street, Brown Building, Suite 2200)

In addition, CAPS now has copies of the Job Choices magazine available to help you plan and implement your job-search strategy- just ask for one at the front desk. Published annually, Job Choices provides job-search advice and information about employers interested in new college graduates.

In the latest issue of Job Choices, you'll find information on the job market for the class of 2007 (including what employers say you can do to make yourself a more attractive candidate), resume and interview advice, tips on completing online applications, and more. The Job Choices magazines are available in three editions:

  • Job Choices for Business & Liberal Arts Students highlights career opportunities with employers in the non-technical fields, including accounting, insurance, retail, finance, and more, and provides career planning and job-search advice for students pursuing degrees in the non-technical disciplines.
  • Job Choices for Science, Engineering, & Technology Students highlights career opportunities with employers in the technical fields, including engineering, science, computer science, and healthcare, and features career planning and job-search information tailored to the student pursuing a degree in a technical field.
  • Job Choices: Diversity Edition highlights career opportunities with employers in a variety of industries and fields, features career planning and job-search information, and addresses issues relevant to students of color.

Plus, you can use the Job Choices magazines to identify employers interested in new college graduates. Open your copy of Job Choices and narrow your job search by using the "Opportunities by Employer" index, and target a specific organization. Or, target a specific occupation with the help of the "Opportunities by Occupation" index. Looking for opportunities in a specific part of the country? Scan the "Opportunities by Location" index, where employers are listed by country, state, and city. Find out about the culture, history, and work of companies by surfing your way to employer web sites with the "Employer Web Site" index. Visit CAPS today and pick up your copy of Job Choices. Just ask for it at the front desk. The office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.


International Students: Opportunities to Work Off-Campus

by Adam Verwymeren


There is no doubt- it is expensive being an international student in Montreal. With tuition rates substantially higher than their Quebec and Canadian peers, the cost of moving overseas, and factoring in fluctuating exchange rates, it is definitely a costly venture. International students can breathe a little easier this year: they can now work off-campus to help pay those bills.

Last spring the government finally enacted its long awaited Off-Campus Work Permit Program. Under the plan, fulltime international students studying in Canada can apply for a workpermit, allowing them to work up to twenty hours per week during the school year, and hold a full time job during the summer. By allowing students to work off-campus, the government hopes to attract top international talent to Canadian universities. For students, it means a little extra income and an opportunity to gain some work experience while they study.

The program is not open to all students. It excludes ESL & FSL students, exchange & visiting students, part-time students, or students holding certain scholarships funded by the Canadian government. Applicants must also be in satisfactory academic standing; make sure to keep those grades up. Those looking to apply should also note that there is a $150 fee for the work permit, but it is good until a student's study visa expires, Therefore it must not be renewed every year.

The details of the program can be a little tricky to navigate, especially for those looking to do a full-time internship during the fall or winter semester (which is not covered by the program), so it’s best to check in with International Student Services after familiarizing yourself with the details of the program (see ISS's excellent and informative website).

“We want to walk them through the process,” says Toral Padia, International Student Advisor with ISS. “We want to meet with the students because it costs money we don't want them to spend [money they don't have to].”

Returning full-time students can apply for the program right away, while new students have to study full-time for at least six months before they are eligible. It takes about four to six weeks for the application to be processed before students can expect to receive their work permit.

Students should also keep in mind that this program only deals with off-campus jobs. Students have long been legal to work in on-campus jobs. So before you spend $150 on an off-campus work permit, you might want to consider on-campus employment instead.

Of course, getting a work permit is only half the battle. Landing a job is still going to be a challenge. International students can swing by the CAPS office to get some pointers on getting a prime on or off-campus job.

 

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