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Undergraduate Students - February 2013

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

Articles in this edition

"Solidarity in Action" at Alternatives

Alumni Interview with Winnie Hu: Talking Coke with Monica Jaielka

Labour Market Information


“Solidarity in Action” at Alternatives

By Stephanie Qutnik, Bachelor Of Arts (2011) and CapsScoop Journalist


For those of us who still use paper calendars, the flip to February brings a uniform thought to mind: Valentine's Day. The 14th day of the month evokes numerous emotions, ranging from excitement and anxiety to cynicism and indifference; but this year, why not think of the holiday in an alternative way? In addition to showering your special someone with affection and candy, spread the love with a bit of volunteering. It's what Alternatives is doing across the world.

Alternatives is a non-profit organization that seeks to harness global respect for issues pertaining to international solidarity, democratic and environmental rights, as well as human dignity and empowerment. Since its establishment in 1994, Alternatives has come to host projects in over 35 countries throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. The movement sees itself not only as a charity organization, but as a “community of communities” boasting international credibility through training, informing, and mobilizing.

With so many projects and events underway across the world, there are many volunteer and internship positions to be had; most of these are related to communications and media. Examples of specific internship titles include: photographer, reporter, translator, and public relations specialist. While the positions are unpaid, they offer flexible schedules, with a time commitment of roughly 10 to 15 hours per week. Upon the completion of required hours (as determined necessary by your faculty), academic credit can be obtained.

Internship seekers may stem from a variety of academic backgrounds, such as Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Communications, and Fine Arts. With that being said, Alternatives is open to hiring people with just about any major concentration, so long as they are willing to work both autonomously and in a team, are dynamic, as well as demonstrate flexibility and an openness to change . Candidates should also be interested in issues pertaining to the projects and campaigns executed by Alternatives, and exhibit good writing skills to boot.

Volunteer positions are reflective of those who occupy them, in that the more an intern takes initiative and presents new ideas, the more benefits the role will deliver (in terms of exposure for the intern and assistance to the organization). Furthermore, several international internships are available to those with a basic understanding of French – a great opportunity for students who desire to gain experience abroad!

Though it may be cold outside, the young and open environment at Alternatives is bound to warm up any volunteer with excitement. The organization looks forward to giving responsibility to its interns and provides students with a unique hands-on learning experience. Additionally, the office is a great place to meet new people and learn about social movements in Québec. For more information, please visit www.alternatives.ca or contact Laurence, at laurence [at] alternatives [dot] ca, with application-related questions.

Alumni Interview with Winnie Hu: Talking Coke with Monica Jaielka

By Winnie Hu, U3 Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and English Literature) & CaPS Scoop Journalist


Although finals have come and passed, the academic marathon isn’t quite over just yet. And no, I’m not referring to plunging into that new course-pack from the Bookstore. Feburary is a particularly important month for internship recruitment. This is the period where corporations and organizations are hauling in CVs and applications. You want to look your best on paper and in person so what better way than to take some advice from someone who has recently done it all?

Monica Jaielka graduated from McGill in 2010 with a Bachelor of Commerce. She is one of four Canadian candidates chosen by Coca-Cola’s University Talent Program to complete a two-year rotational program. This Coke package includes one-on-one leadership training, mentoring, and exposure to multiple sales functions. In two years, Monica effectively developed revenue-increasing strategies, sold in new brands, and managed account development. Now that her training is almost over, she’ll head back to Coca-Cola’s head offices in Atlanta in May. She doesn’t have to worry about job security; Monica’s set to step into a new role as a district sales manager.

Fortunately, Monica has a lot of advice for students on the job hunt – both for the summer and for life after graduation. The recruitment process can be very competitive. So what really helps a candidate stand out on paper? The first step is to master the cover letter and resume. For Monica, she believes that students should pay particular attention to their cover letters. It is one of the key methods your employer comes to know you and your interest in their work. In order to enrich their knowledge of the company, Monica advises “students [to go] the company’s info sessions and retain key words from them”.

Monica also encourages Arts students to explore opportunities in the corporate realm. Companies are always looking for creative and well-rounded employees; and Coca-Cola, especially, likes students with great communications, interpersonal, and leadership skills. However, as with any career choice, it is important to make some preparations. For Arts students who are looking to pursue a business career, it is important to enrich your education with some basic knowledge and experience. In fact, if you haven’t already done so, a minor in Management or another equivalent program would be a great boost on your application.

There are many rich opportunities for students of all specializations in the sleek world of commerce. Consider your assets and what you can offer to the enterprise. More importantly, identify the company or the kind of company you want to work for. Monica chose Coca-Cola because reputation is important to her and Coke is an internationally recognized brand. Know what you want; and your future employer will see that you possess the drive to produce excellent results.

Labour Market Information

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 feedback is welcome caps [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca.

In this issue

  • Canadian employers expect hiring climate to remain favourable at the start of 2013
  • Canadian economy exceeded expectations
  • The jobless rate rose to a new record in the euro-area
  • Employment rate for immigrants improved but still lags
  • Occupational highlight: Secondary School Teachers
  • And more!

The good news

StatsCan says economy created 40,000 jobs in December, unemployment rate down
Toronto Start, 05 January 2013
New jobs were jumping in December, with the Canadian economy vastly exceeding expectations and creating 40,000 net full-time jobs.

Bad news

Eurozone unemployment climbs to new record
Financial Post, 08 January 2013
The euro-area jobless rate rose to a record in November as the fiscal crisis and tougher austerity measures deepened Europe’s economic troubles.

U.S. job growth cools slightly as recovery grinds on
The Globe and Mail, 04 January 2013
The pace of hiring by U.S. employers eased slightly in December, pointing to a lacklustre pace of economic growth that was unable to make further inroads in the country’s still high unemployment rate.

Employment rate for immigrants improved last year, but still lags
Montreal Gazette, 03 January 2013
Immigrants are seeking better employment prospects in Canada but still lags behind their Canadian-born counterparts.

Other news

Medical Productivity: Schools fail to produce enough pediatric specialists while one in six doctors can’t find a job: study
Financial Post, 07 January 2013
Medical schools across Canada are training far too many doctors for some pediatric specialties — but failing to produce enough in other key areas of child health care.

Jobs with the lowest (and highest) unemployment
CNNMoney, 07 January 2013
The top jobs with the lowest unemployment rate for 2012 include fields in areas from health care and finance, to social services and engineering.

Statistics Canada – Study: Canada’s immigrant labour market, 2008 to 2011
In 2011, employment among landed immigrants in the core working-age group of 25 to 54 increased 4.3% from the previous year. The majority of the growth occurred among established immigrants who had been in the country for more than 10 years. Over the same period, employment among core-aged Canadian born was virtually unchanged.

Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey
December 2012
Employment rose by 40,000 in December, the fourth increase in five months. December's increase was all in full-time work. The unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 7.1%, the lowest in four years.

Statistics Canada - Payroll employment, earnings and hours
October 2012
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $909 in October, up 0.9% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 2.8%.

Occupational highlight

Secondary School Teachers (4141)

Secondary school teachers prepare and teach academic, technical, vocational or specialized subjects at public and private secondary schools. Secondary school teachers who are heads of departments and high school librarians are included in this group.

Job prospects in this occupation are fair. The number of secondary school teachers rose significantly between 2002 and 2006, then remain fairly stable. This movement is primarily explained by changes in enrolment and government-funding. Because the effects of the anticipated sharp decrease in the number of students in our forecast period (2011-2015) should be somewhat offset by some government decisions, the number of secondary school teachers should decrease significantly over the next few years.

For a complete profile of this and other occupations, visit Career Cruising http://public.careercruising.com/ca/en

Contact us at caps [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca for the username and password or login to myFuture and search for Career Cruising under the tab “Resources" followed by "Career Resources".


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