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CAPS Scoop
Students' Edition
A Publication of McGill's Career & Placement Service (CAPS)
Volume 8, Issue 4
December 2006

In this issue:

1. Networking Short and S.W.E.E.T.

2. L'intérêt du bénévolat

3. Working for Special Events

4. Lecture Series: What Can I Do With My Poli-Sci Degree?

5. December Events

Season's Greetings! The staff at CAPS wish you the best of luck on your exams and final projects, as well as a peaceful, restful and well-deserved break.

The CAPS Office will be open until Friday, December 22nd, so be sure to stop by if you want to book an appointment, schedule a mock interview or use any of our other services. CAPS will reopen on Wednesday, January 3rd.

Happy holidays!

CAPS Career Month

Get ready for the McGill Career and Placement Service (CAPS) Career Month starting on January 15th, 2006.  This year's career month will be filled with events to help students explore their options and network with professionals from various walks of life.  The schedule of events for details on career fairs, targeted panel discussions, company presentations, career development workshops and much more will be available on the CAPS website by mid-December.  Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to improve your chances of finding the right job for you. 

Contact Us

To find out more about CAPS' services or to get career advice, e-mail us.

To write for the Scoop or to volunteer with CAPS, contact Laura Massé.


Networking Short and S.W.E.E.T.: 5 Essentials for Creating Your Informercial by Linda Cicuta, Career Advisor

Many people are so fearful and nervous about the concept of networking that they avoid it at all costs (which includes the possibility of getting a job!).  Networking can be daunting, especially if you feel it forces you to schmooze and are worried about sounding fake, conceited or pretentious. But it does not have to be this way. Preparing for these events (where you can meet a recruiter, human resource professional, career fair representative, or someone in your field of interest) is your chance to be proactive in your job search. The challenge now is trying to figure out what to say during the 30-45 seconds you have with this contact person, otherwise known as your “infomercial”. This is your opportunity to impress them with your communication skills and convince them you would be a valuable employee. It is important to remember not to monopolize the person’s time (especially if you are at a public event), but also not to be rushed and come across as impatient and unprepared. The solution is to provide them with the essential information about you, keeping the content short and S.W.E.E.T..

(continue reading Networking Short and S.W.E.E.T.)

L'intérêt du bénévolat by Joëlle Grundman, Career Advisor

Les offres d’emploi dans les journaux demandent 5 ans d’expérience. Mais, vous êtes étudiant et vous avez une expérience très limitée. Que faire ????

Pourquoi les employeurs exigent-ils des candidats expérimentés ? Parce qu’ils veulent être certains qu’ils n’auront pas à passer beaucoup de temps à former ces personnes et qu’ils seront capables d’entrer en fonction rapidement sans beaucoup de supervision.

Pourquoi ne pas commencer à offrir vos services comme bénévole ? Les occasions de faire du bénévolat ne manquent pas. Il y en a pour tous les goûts : tenir compagnie à des personnes âgées dans un centre hospitalier, animer des groupes de conversation française dans un centre communautaire, nourrir des animaux, garder des enfants, enseigner une langue, donner des cours d’informatique, organiser des activités pour des malades, etc.…

(continue reading L'intérêt du bénévolat) [back to top]

Working for Special Events by Vickey Habel

Would you like to be paid to socialise? Have you ever considered employment in special events? It’s a perfect student job that permits you to work intensely but for a very short amount of time while being well remunerated. Many events occur during the weekends and can be quite flexible with students’ schedules. The functions are never long enough to get bored and there are plenty of opportunities in this growing field.

Year round there are events occurring all around the country ranging from music festivals to medical conferences and trade shows. Staff is needed to man booths, assist with surveys, offer information and welcome visitors, even to participate in office tasks or cashiering. Whatever your talent there is at least one position you can fill.

There are certain attributes that will aide you in your job hunt in this industry. As this kind of employment involves direct contact with the public, you must be presentable, friendly, polite, patient and dynamic. Other helpful skills are multilingualism and prior customer service experience. Highlight any problem-solving aptitudes and team-oriented or sales experience you have acquired. For some positions, you must possess a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel. But the most important aspect to this job is your ability to endure long hours on your feet and remain smiling all day long!

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Lecture Series: What Can I Do With My Poli-Sci Degree? by Hilary Papineau

Political Science at McGill is the largest and one of the most popular departments in the Faculty of Arts.  Political science students develop a wide range of versatile analytical and critical thinking skills.  While a career in law and government typically comes to mind, Political scientists are employed in a variety of exciting careers from business and administration to journalism, public relations and non-governmental organizations.  Yet many students are uncertain of what they want to do after they graduate, overwhelmed by applying to grad schools, don’t know what kind of jobs are out there and wonder how they will use their degree to find a job they love.  Whether in one’s first or final year of university, as we all know, it is never too early to start thinking about life after McGill.  What we don’t always know is how to get there.  With this in mind, the Political Science Students’ Association (PSSA) is organizing a Lecture Series in conjunction with CAPS around the theme of “What Can I Do With My Political Science Degree?” 

The series will consist of 3 Panel Discussions designed to help students make informed decisions about their future and answer their questions.  Each panel will begin with an introduction by a McGill Political Science Professor and conclude by opening up the floor for a Q&A period.   The following panels will be held early next semester, dates & times to be announced shortly.  Refreshments will be provided.

(continue reading What Can I Do With My Poli-Sci Degree?) [back to top]

December Events


1st: Careers in Africa: North America Summit; CEGEP Panel Discussion; UBC Master of Management in Operations Research Information Session
4th: Workshop: Business Etiquette: More than Just Eating Right
5th: Workshop: Successful Interview Techniques
6th: Workshop: Networking Your Way to the Job You Want
7th: McKinsey & Co. Company Presentation
21st: Tokyo Winter Career Forum

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