Undergraduate Students - February 2008
The full version of the February CAPSScoop can be found by clicking here.
Articles in this edition
by Jillian Gora
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of working at Walt Disney World. My family and I would visit Disney World relatively often, and I knew that one day, I would be a ‘cast member’.
This dream recently became a reality. This past summer I worked at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida; I ‘played the role’ of both character attendant and lifeguard.
The first position that I held at Disney was that of a character attendant. As a character attendant, I was responsible for the safety and the integrity of the many characters that populate ‘the world’. This job was pretty exciting because I got to learn a lot about the inner workings of Walt Disney World and I also got to learn a lot about how to communicate with guests effectively. It was my job to ensure that all of the characters were well taken care of, but also that each guest was satisfied with their greeting experience. Although this job had it’s definite perks, I decided to transfer over to the life-guarding team.
As a lifeguard, I was placed to work at Typhoon Lagoon. This water park has the largest wave pool in North America, with waves that reach heights of at least five feet; needless to say, this job seemed quite daunting at first. It turned out to be however, the greatest job I have ever had. I learned so much while I was stationed at Typhoon Lagoon, and I made friendships that I know will last a lifetime.
Working for Disney was definitely one of the more interesting summer job experiences that I have ever had. The Walt Disney company truly does work like a well-oiled machine; everything in Walt Disney World is planned down to the most minute detail. As cast members, we are put through an intense week of training, in which we learn the history of the company, the company’s business philosophies, and the Disney basics about customer service. A job with Disney is invaluable, because any employer who sees the Disney name on a resume knows that the applicant has gone through this type of extensive training.
Getting a job at Disney World is much easier than you might think. As a University student, you have the option of working either as a college program participant for four months in the summer-time; or once you graduate, you are eligible for the year-long cultural representative program. As a participant in the cultural rep. program, you represent Canada in the Epcot theme park. Interviews for these positions happen on a yearly basis, right here in Montreal. Working for Disney is definitely a great opportunity, and if you have ever entertained the idea, I strongly suggest that you look more seriously into it. Not only will you be gaining a wealth of transferable skills, but you will also be forming bonds with people from all over the world – bonds that will remain with you for a long time to come.
by Lucy A. Armstrong
As many of you already know, from January 28 to March 27 the CAPS office is hosting “Backpack to Briefcase,” a treasury of exciting and informative seminars that offer sound advice regarding that great transition from inside the classroom and out into the vast world. This will be a tremendous initiative for many students to experience a taste of the career realm, meet fascinating people, and have a chance to practice their communications skills in regards to setting off a good impression for prospective future employers. The latter point is one I wish to capitalize on in detail – given the calibre of career gurus who will be present during the next couple of months, it is essential to take advantage of approaching them on a one-to-one basis, getting to know them and giving them an idea of who YOU are. And for those among the go-getters who are especially avid, there is always the possibility of conducting your own interviews on the special guests – after all, they are here to set off as appealing an impression, just as an eager student in an important job interview. So bite that bottom lip and make a beeline straight for that person who has made such an impression on you – and you have already taken a step towards cultivating your career world.
First and foremost, I would recommend doing your homework. For a particular employer you will want to research their organization, what they do and how they do it, who they are affiliated with, impacts they have made on the world (both negative and positive) so as to give yourself a learned background about the people you are approaching. Prepare your questions with a concise, focused mentality and when requesting an interview, present it as an exciting venture for your speaker in which they would like to participate. If they suggest another time, you could give them the options of either a: email, in which they can think over the questions and respond at their own ease, b: over the phone, at their own time, or c: in person – what I consider the best kind of interview, where you can absorb the essence of the entire person and build a better professional relationship. Afford the interviewee the respect they deserve – no matter what the deadline, I always assure the people whom I interview that they will be the first and only to read the drafts of our conversation, until they give me the “O.K.” to submit to the editor. This insures comfort and security, as well as a basic gesture of good-natured humanity.
Now sometimes, you might walk into a seminar on a whim and be completely blown away by the speaker and not have a chance to do any investigating (hopefully during the seminar they will have given you some insight on what they do, however) so you have to thrive on your enthusiasm alone. In many circumstances this will more than suffice – ENTHUSIASM is the best ingredient of all interviews. Your interviewee will be more than delighted to discuss their career – not simply for networking purposes, but all of us love to talk about what drives us in life, especially when we have the chance to impart that kind of fulfillment on others. Articulate your questions so that you can enable your interviewee to exude that fulfillment as much as possible – i.e. “Why did you choose this profession?” “What difference is your work making on the world?” “How has this changed your life?” A tactful follow-up to these questions, which will unleash an abundance of information for yourself, and convey even more interest, is to ask what YOU can do in this particular field, how you can get involved, what education is required, what you need to do to apply. In cases like an environmental organization, you can ask what you need to do as a responsible citizen to “do your bit.” There will always be plenty of answers.
Take heed that business etiquette as always applies here. Dress respectably, be polite, walk proud, firm hand shake, full smile, direct eye contact. Confidence is communicated through your body language and the respect you harness for yourself. Always balance this with modesty and be certain that your interviewee is the one who does the most talking – but when they turn the conversation over to you, take advantage of that to showcase yourself. As mentioned before, there is a good chance this could be a spur-of-the-moment, casual interview – in which case you will have eagerly absorbed all that the speaker has expressed to you. Thank them and leave them with a note of future promise – that you will consider their organization as a potential ambition to aspire to, and if the opportunity arises to exchange contact information, do so.
To reiterate the enthusiasm aspect, ENJOY YOURSELF! Meeting other people who are doing what they love – especially if you are interested in the same field, is an exciting and inspiring opportunity. And even in a field which you may not entirely have your heart set upon, there is always a learning experience to be found, a resonance to be felt. Go and indulge!!
by Gus Nawfal and Phillip Holcomb
“The Marcus Evans business model is about integrity and success for our clients.”
Have you ever thought about a career in sales? Maybe selling is not your thing or maybe you have wanted to try it, but you are afraid to take the risk. In your mind you see sales as a profession that involves cold calling and begging people for their business. If that is the case, I would like to sell you on becoming a leader in sales.
The world of sales revolves around everything from mops and brooms to conferences that deal with battlefield medicine and e-warfare. People who sell these products find success because they believe in the product and give it 110%
Below are some of the most common myths about selling -
One myth about a sales position is no one likes sales people. If you are honestly addressing a genuine need or providing a service that is of high value then there is no reason that clients will not love you. Being a sales person is not about persuading people into buying things that they don’t want. Being a sales person is not about helping clients become aware of their needs and helping then define them and providing them with appropriate solutions.
Another myth is sales people are born to sell. Like any occupation becoming a sales person requires a certain skills set. With the right attitude, the right training and coaching support one can acquire and develop the skills needed to become a great sales person. And who ever said that you have to be a “hustler” to be a sales person is wrong. The best sales people talk far less than the client. Selling is not all about talking people into buying or doing things they don’t want rather than listening to what they need. To become a great sales person you have to get your clients talking and thinking by asking them the right questions. By doing so you can unearth their needs and problems and that’s where you come forth with a solution.
A career in sales can be very rewarding, and if you are looking for a new challenge this is a good area to be involved in. It always amazes me the variety of backgrounds that people bring to our company, and they range from Philosophy to Art History. Our top sales woman last year majored in Art History, and she is now on track to creating a lucrative and long last career with Marcus Evans.
Gus Nawfal is a Senior Sales Executive with Marcus Evans Montreal and focuses on product development and training. Phillip Holcomb is the Recruiting Manager for the Montreal office, and oversees recruiting and human resources for its staff.