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Undergraduate Students - January 2013

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

Articles in this edition

Resources for Summer Internships

Family Matters at Service à la famille chinoise du Grand Montréal

Labour Market Information


Resources for Summer Internships

By Sarah Cameron, CaPS and MECC Career Advisor


The time is here to start planning for the summer. Consider using this time to test out potential career paths in a manner that enhances and compliments your academic experience! Internships are temporary positions that do just that (they can range from 8-weeks to 16-months depending on your program). Completing an internship is a great way to build your professional network and to gain skills and experience. Your internship experience is all about learning new things, seeing concepts in action, and exploring career options; to ensure that your experience is successful, set yourself some goals—define what it is that you want to learn and achieve.

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Internship Program
Students at MacDonald campus have several internship options to choose from, for students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. These internships will vary in length according to your program.
For detailed information visit:

Faculty of Arts Internship Program
The Arts internship office helps undergraduate and graduate students gain experience; Arts internships typically range from 8-12 weeks. Many departments offer an internship course where students can complete an academic component to receive internship course credit.
For detailed information visit: www.mcgill.ca/arts-internships/

Desautels Faculty of Management
Students have the chance to gain real-world experience in the Canadian and International business markets through internships. MBAs will complete an experiential element through internships, international exchanges, or practicum.
For detailed information visit: http://www.mcgill.ca/desautels/career

Engineering Internship Program
Undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering can acquire paid, relevant work experience through internships*. Work terms last 4, 8, 12 or 16-months and will be noted on your transcript. Students who complete 8-months or more of internship experiences graduate with the Engineering Internship Program designation on their transcript.
For detailed information visit: www.mcgill.ca/careers4engineers
* Co-op is mandatory for students in Mining and Materials Engineering

Science Internship Program
Undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science, who have completed a minimum of 27 credits, are eligible to participate in the Science Internship Program. The program has 2 options: Industrial Practicum (4-months) or in an Internship Year in Science (8, 12 or 16 months). These paid internships range from 4, 8, 12 or 16-month opportunities. Students who complete 8-months or more of internship experiences graduate with the Internship Program designation on their transcript.

For detailed information visit: www.mcgill.ca/science/student/internships-field
There are lots of other opportunities to gain practical experience while you are at McGill; check with your department for further internship and practicum information. Keep in mind that finding an internship for the summer is very competitive, so book an appointment with a career advisor soon to perfect your CV.

Family Matters at Service à la famille chinoise du Grand Montréal

By Stephanie Gutnik, Bachelor of Arts (2011) and CaPS Scoop Journalist


There is no denying that Montréal is a multicultural hub of activity; around the clock, this can be witnessed in daily interactions, the high variety of restaurants featuring international menus, and the orchestra of languages being spoken on the street.  It is easy for those who have lived in the city for a certain amount of time to not only accept and enjoy Montréal's “je ne sais quoi”, but to become accustomed to it.  The orchestra has become so familiar that it is mere elevator music, practically unnoticeable.  Then again, the noise can be deafening to residents-- both newly arrived and established--who have yet to find the instrument that will allow them to integrate into society.

Luckily, the Service à la famille chinoise du Grand Montréal was established in 1976 for just this purpose.  At the time, the association sought to aid the Chinese community in its daily life in Montreal, as many Chinese immigrants (among others) did not speak French or English, and the city was not quite adapted to the specific needs of such new residents.  Today, the organization continues to facilitate the integration of the Chinese community into the Quebecois way of life, alongside its activities to promote openness to a variety of cultures and human rights, and to guarantee access to educational, health-, and work-related services.

Due to the wide range of activities and support offered by the association, the volunteer opportunities are plenty; these differ depending on the background, language comprehension, and personal interests held by the given volunteer.  The following are three typical options that a volunteer might select:

  • Office support: These volunteers will help to steady the high volume of administrative tasks, including: record keeping, document creation, as well as the preparation and distribution of invitation letters for special events.
  • On-site support: The Service à la famille chinoise organizes many events throughout the year, such as the Spring Gala fundraiser, the annual China Town cleaning, and a summer day camp for children.  Volunteers would assist with event coordination, decoration, and even photography.
  • Medical appointment interpretation: These volunteers should typically have knowledge of Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese), and French or English, with a medical background as an added bonus.  The volunteer is expected to accompany the client to the hospital and to act as an interpreter between the client and medical personnel – roughly a three hour commitment per trip.

Non-paid and paid internships are also offered by the organization, depending on need.  Those who wish to apply for either a volunteer position or internship are asked to register at the association's office; this will be followed by a brief interview with the coordinator of the volunteer department.    For more information, please visit http://www.famillechinoise.qc.ca – after all, there's nothing like spending some quality time with “la famille”.

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
  • Job market gap widening due to skills imbalance
  • Occupational highlight: Conference and Event Planner
  • And more!

The good news

2013 hiring climate looks good, employers tell Manpower
Montreal Gazette, 11 December 2012
Canadian employers expect the hiring climate to remain favourable for the first quarter of 2013.

U.S. jobs growth beats forecasts; jobless rate falls to 4-year low
Financial Post, 07 December 2012
The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% last month, the lowest in almost four years.

Bad news

Upturn in youth jobs picture seems more than a blip
The Globe and Mail, 10 December 2012
For months on end, the jobs picture among Canadian youth has been either little improved or deteriorating.

Zone euro: le chômage au niveau record de 11,7%
La presse, 30 November 2012
Another month, another record unemployment rate for the economy of the 17 EU countries.

Other news

Job market gap widening due to skills imbalance
CBCnews, 03 December 2012
Canadian job market increasingly breaks down into industries that have them, and those that consistently don’t. 

Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey
November 2012
Following little change in October, employment rose by 59,000 in November, the result of an increase in full-time work. The unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 7.2%.

Statistics Canada - Payroll employment, earnings and hours
September 2012
In September, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $902.29, down 0.5% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.4%.


Occupational highlight

Conference and Event Planner (1226)

Conference and event planners plan, organize and co-ordinate conferences, conventions, meetings, seminars, exhibitions, trade shows, festivals and other events.

Job prospects in this occupation are fair.  Over the past few years, the number of conference and event planners has increased sharply. The larger number of major conventions, festivals, trade fairs and exhibitions, as well as smaller events, accounts for this strong growth. Since this trend is expected to decline, it is expected that the number of conference and event planners will increase significantly in the coming years, but at a slower pace than it did in the past.

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 https://csm-caps.mcgill.ca/students/index.php and search for Career Cruising under the tab "Resources" -> "Career Resources" -> "Career Resources”.

Lisa’s Corner

HelpX (http://www.helpx.net/index.asp) provides short-term cultural exchange opportunities for people who like traveling abroad but at the same time gaining practical experience with local people.  This site offers a listing of host farms, framstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpakers hostels who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.  You will need to register to become a free member to use the site. 


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