Quick Links

Undergraduate Students - January 2012

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

Articles in this edition

Summer Internship with Imperial Oil

Getting your Summer Job Search Off the Ground!

Labour Market Information


Summer Internship with Imperial Oil

Hebi Gong, Bachelor Of Arts, Economics U2

Summer internships are valuable opportunities to get a taste of new functions, new industries and new cities.

Last summer I had a four-month internship at Imperial Oil in Calgary. I worked in the planning team of the Procurement Services Department. As a planner, I calculated the budget outlooks and the actual expenses for the department to report to both Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil, the parent company. During the internship, I learned basic financial reporting flows of multinational firms. I also learned about the oil industry and the procurement process. It was a great chance for me to develop my analytical skills and communication skills.

There were not typical days for planners. The planning cycle, May to August, is a constructive and adaptive process every year, due to internal restructuring. At the beginning of each week, the team usually sat together to divide the goals of the week into parts for individuals to conquer. Thus every week I spent some time working alone on Excel models, sometime communicating with other employees or managers for additional information, some time working with teammates reconciling discrepancies, etc. I usually start my day at eight thirty. Lunch hour varied with my job obligations. My day usually ends between five and seven.

I got hired through the on-campus recruitment platform provided jointly by CAPS and Desautels Career Services. After many trips to CAPS to fix my resume and my cover letter, I submitted my application both via my future and on the company website. Two weeks later I was invited to a behavioral interview at Desautels with the Quebec procurement team lead of Imperial Oil. I found some lists of questions for behavioral interviews online and practiced my responses thoroughly. On the day of the interview, all questions were familiar. Imperial Oil only had one round of interview for summer interns. Two weeks later I received an oral  offer through telephone.

Generally speaking the recruitment process was not easy for me. I participated in many workshops, read multiple career guides, consulted three career advisers, applied to some forty positions, and eventually landed in an offer. As an international student, I also had to apply for a work permit six month after the start of my studies in order to work legally in Canada. Despite the effort, I think all these are valuable experience in themselves.

If I could make a suggestion, I would say that one should try to identify career goals as early as possible, and keep working toward these goals. Motivation and perseverance make one's life more exciting.

Getting your Summer Job Search Off the Ground!

By Jan Bottomer, CaPS Career Advisor

Starting to consider jobs and internships for the summer? Here are some tips and ideas to think about:

  1. Identify your goals. Are you focused on making money? On gaining career-related experience? Expanding your network? Trying something new? Having fun? Knowing what you want to get out of a summer position will help you focus your search.
  2. Focus your search. Where are you looking geographically? What type of organization do you want to work for? What industries interest you? Are there any particular job titles or activities you would love to try out?
  3. Make sure your CV is up to date and professional. Take a look at the resources on our website: https://home.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/cv/, come to a CV drop in session or make an appointment with an advisor to have your CV reviewed.
  4. Look for opportunities; find and directly contact organizations of interest. CaPS is chock-full of resources to help you with your search. We have a great list of Job Listings sites for you to check out http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/jobs/ along with a dedicated Summer Jobs section on our website http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/experience/summer-jobs/ but don’t stop there! Research organizations and companies of interest using directories like The Canadian Summer Job Directory and specific sector directories such as Music Directory Canada and the Vault Guides, and then apply directly to employers you would like to work for.
  5. Tap into “word of mouth” advertising. Many employers advertise initially through word of mouth, especially when looking for short-term summer employees. Don’t be shy to let family, friends and acquaintances know that you are looking for a summer position, and ask if they know anyone in your field of interest who you could speak with for more ideas!
  6. Be proactive! Most great summer jobs are not found solely through online research and applications. Whether you are discussing your ideas and questions with those in your personal network, pounding the pavement or picking up the phone to contact employers you need to put yourself out there and let potential employers know who you are and what you have to offer!

For more information and advising, make an appointment with Jan or any of the other CaPS advisors or visit the CaPS resource center and speak to our Career Resource Consultant Lisa Lin. You can also check out “Where to Find Summer Jobs: Beat the Heat” workshop, offered five times in Winter 2012 – see myFuture for specific dates. Can’t make it to a workshop? We have also created a podcast! http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/publications/podcasts/summer_jobs/

Labour Market Information Bulletin

Lisa Lin, Resource Consultant CaPS

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

In this issue

  • American unemployment benefits applications fell to lowest level since late February
  • Quebec lost 44,000 jobs in October and November 2011
  • Since the recession, employment rates surged for older women
  • Occupational highlight: Authors and Writers
  • And more!

The good news

Job outlook in Canada could be brightening
Montreal Gazette, 13 December 2011
There’s a hint of improvement in Canada’s job market as Manpower survey results offer reasons for optimism.

U.S. jobless claims drop to nine-month low
The Globe and Mail, 08 December 2011
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits falls to lowest level since late February.


The bad news

U.K. jobless rate hits 17-year high
The Globe and Mail, 14 December 2011
Britain’s unemployment rate hits its highest level for 17 years with women and youth bearing the brunt of the deepening job crisis as the country’s austerity measures and economic weakness began to bite.

‘Bleaker reality’ hits Quebec’s economy
Financial Post, 12 December 2011
Quebec shed 44,000 jobs in October and November; the worst two-month loss since 1982.

Year of hard bargaining in public sector expected
Montreal Gazette, 03 December 2011
A number of large public sector institutions will be at the bargaining table in 2012 while the federal and provincial governments are focused on eliminating budget deficits, which will limit their ability to offer modest wage increases.

Canadians losing ground on wages to cost of living
Montreal Gazette, 25 November 2011
Canadians’ wages aren’t keeping up with the rising cost of living and will continue losing ground to inflation over the next 12 months.


Other news

Older women lead pack in job gains
The Globe and Mail, 11 December 2011
New figures show virtually all increases since recession have been among workers 55 or older, particularly women.

I'm in med school: Now the work begins
Montreal Gazette, 05 December 2011
A look at what it takes to become a doctor.  Gokul Chetty is a 23-year-old Montrealer who stated medical school in September at the Saguenay campus of the University of Sherbrooke.

Statistics Canada – Study: Aboriginal people and the labour market
2008 to 2010
In the economic downturn that began in 2008, employment fell further and over a longer period among Aboriginal people than in the non-Aboriginal workforce.

Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey
November 2011
Following a notable decrease the previous month, employment edged down 19,000 in November, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to 7.4%. Despite the recent declines, employment was up 1.2% (+212,000) from 12 months earlier.

Statistics Canada - Payroll employment, earnings and hours
September 2011 (preliminary)
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees declined 0.3% to $872.75 in September, partly offsetting an increase in August. Earnings have been relatively flat since the start of the year. On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings rose 1.1%, the smallest increase since November 2009.

Statistics Canada – Labour productivity, hourly compensation and unit labour cost
Third quarter 2011
The labour productivity of Canadian businesses rose 0.4% in the third quarter, after declining 1.0% in the second quarter.


Occupational highlight

Authors and Writers (4112)

Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches, manuals, specifications and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation. They are employed by advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Job prospects are fair.  Over the last few years, the number of writers has increased significantly. This upward trend should continue at the same rate over the next few years, but trends vary widely from one speciality to another.

For a complete profile of this and other occupations, visit Career Cruising http://www.careercruising.com/Default.aspx. Contact us at caps [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca for the username and password or login to myFuture https://csm-caps.mcgill.ca/students/index.php and search for Career Cruising under the tab View Career Resources.


Lisa’s Corner

Looking for part-time or seasonal jobs? 
Part-Time.ca (http://www.part-time.ca/) is a collection of part-time jobs in Canada. The website is founded and maintained by jobWings Careers, which also offers other specialized job boards including jobs in administration, retail, sales, paralegal, healthcare, finance, project management, Engineering, HR, IT and more. To search jobs from the specialized job boards, choose a specialization from the drop-down box under the section “Other domains” on the left-hand-side menu.


Classified as