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Published by McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS)
Visit us online: www.mcgill.ca/caps

February 2010

Volume 11, Issue 6

Now is the time to start thinking about that summer job or internship

It may seem early, but as the old adage goes: "the early bird gets the worm."

Now is the time to start thinking about your summer job or internship. Watch out for CaPS' workshops on Summer Jobs. This month's workshop takes place on February 11 th from 15h00 to 16h30 (search myFuture for details and to register).

Also consider checking out the information and resources on the CaPS website pertinent to finding a summer job.

Check out these resources in your summer job/internship hunt

Going Global
Going Global is a subscription web service that provides international employment and career information. If you are interested in working and living abroad, then Going Global is an indispensable resource.

To access Going Global, click here. You must be connected to the McGill VPN.

Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas
The Big Guide is a comprehensive and interactive website designed to help you prepare for an international career. With over 800 resources and 2200 international organization profiles, the Big Guide gives practical advice on how to start an international career and acquire international work experience.

To access the Big Guide, click here. You must be connected to the McGill VPN.


Have you heard of ProNet, a new networking tool in myFuture?

ProNet enables current McGill students and alumni (both undergraduates and graduates) to get in touch with more experienced students and recent alumni in order to get help with their search for an internship, job, grad school or career.

For more information, click here.

* Note that ProNet is different than the McGill Mentor Program, which you might also be interested in.

YES Montreal Career Workshops

YES Montreal (Youth Employment Services) provides English-language support services to help Quebecers find employment and start businesses.

They hold a number of workshops on various topics for job seekers, artists and entrepreneurs.

To view upcoming events, click here.

Want to know how NGOs are helping in Haiti?

Action Contre la Faim, an international NGO dedicated to eradicating world hunger, will give a presentation on how their organization is contributing to the relief effort in Haiti. This session will help you to understand how large NGOs operate, as well as providing insight into the complex situation in Haiti.

Date: Tuesday February 2nd, from 2:00 to 3:30pm

Location: Brown Student Services Building, Room 5001

Please register on myFuture.

New “Position Type” in myFuture

While you were looking for jobs recently in our myFuture database, you may have noticed that there is now a new “Position Type” listed. The new type is “Commission/Franchise Opportunity”. These are the kind of jobs that do not pay a salary; instead your earnings are based on commissions you receive for sales. As well, there are others that offer you the opportunity to have a franchise in order to be able to sell a particular product or service.

We created this new section because we wanted you to be clear that these opportunities are not regular salary type jobs. Although some students have had great success with these types of opportunities, others have had very unsatisfactory experiences and have lost money. We want you to be aware of the advantages and potential pitfalls with these organizations. If you have any worries or questions about these opportunities, do not hesitate to contact CaPS so that we can give you our advice.

If you would like to see the policy that we have for employers regarding these kinds of opportunities, please click here.

Check out the Vault Guide

Vault is the world’s leading source of career information.  It will make your efforts at researching employers, industries, and career subjects infinitely easier and more efficient.

Vault also has a ton of material on finding summer jobs and internships.

McGill subscribes to this service and you can check it out today (you must be connected to the McGill VPN).

myFuture Resume Builder

myFuture has now incorporated a resume builder which you can find in your Documents tab.  This new feature provides all the resources you need to create and submit your resume. It's quick and easy to use and produces high-quality, professional-looking resumes you can access anytime, from any computer.

Check it out by going to your Document tab from your myFuture homepage and click on the Resume Builder tab. 

Click here for a quick training guide.

(But remember, CaPS also holds a daily C.V. drop-in where you can have your C.V. reviewed.

C.V. Review and Advising Drop-In

Undergraduate students can drop in to CaPS, where a Career Advisor or Peer Educator will provide basic feedback and suggestions regarding your CV. Should this revision period prove insufficient, we would recommend you make an individual appointment. Please know we unfortunately cannot review cover letters during this time.

For a listing of C.V. Drop-In times, please click here. Please note space is limited.

Undergraduate students can also drop into CaPS to speak with a Career Advisor without an appointment for a quick question as a preliminary meeting to help you set your future goals.

For a listing of Advising Drop-In times, please click here. Please note space is limited.

Don't have time to come by our office in person? Then check out our online "Ask a Career Advisor" service. Click on the icon below.

International Student Services Events

International Student Services would like to share some of the activities that our office is organizing in the next coming weeks. Please find below a short summary:

Permanent Residency Information Sessions

International students need to register online for one of the 4 sessions facilitated by Immigration Quebec.

Tax Information Sessions

No need for registration – international students can attend one of 2 sessions, which are co-facilitated by Revenu Quebec and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, on March 16, 2010.

International Education Week

An annual event – the week is full of activities that have been organized by International Student Services in collaboration with MISN, CaPS and Dialog Foundation.

For more information, please visit the ISS website.

Become of a fan of CaPS

Become a fan of the McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) on Facebook as an extra way to stay informed about the latest CaPS events!

Contact Us

CaPS is located in the Brown Student Services Building (3600 McTavish, Suite 2200).

We also have an office at Macdonald Campus in the Centennial Centre.

Check out our website for details on all our programs and services!

For further inquiries, or to book an appointment with an advisor, please email us or call 514-398-3304 or drop into our office.


Welcome to the February CaPSScoop which details events, workshops and help available from CaPS to assist you in finding a job and sorting out your career.

It's not too late to take in some of the events that are part of

Check out the events that are yet to happen:

  • Panel: Writing, Journalism & Editing
    Monday, February 1, 16h00-18h00: Brown 5001

    Have a knack for words? Does grammar get you all excited? If writing and editing is what tickles your fancy then you have no choice but to come to this panel to engage with writers, journalists and editors to find out what it takes to become the next Shakespeare.

  • Panel: Community & Activist Work at Home and Abroad
    Tuesday, February 2, 16h00-18h00: Brown 5001

    There’s a reason why Bono is molto buono. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the work he does is pro bono. Unfortunately, he won’t be speaking tonight. But if this is the kind of work that you’re interested in, you should come to this workshop! Community and activist work at home and abroad!

For more information and to learn about the panelists, click here.

Also in this issue:

Diversity Week - Take 2: Working in Communities
Finding a Research Job in Science and Applying for NSERC

Instead of Finding a Job, Create One
Get on the School Bus - Tips for Internships and Jobs
Labour Market Information for January
Upcoming Information Sessions
Workshops and Events
Contact Us

Diversity Week - Take 2: Working in Communities

Diversity Week this semester focuses on individuals working with aboriginal and disabilities communities. Come hear panelists' stories, experiences and tips on how to find work in these commnunities!

  • Working with Aboriginal Communities
    February 9, 16h00-18h00: Brown 5001

    Are you interested in working with Aboriginal communities? Do you want to work in these communities in the areas of education, health care and/or social services? If so this event is the right one for you. We will have a panel of five guest speakers who have experience working within various aboriginal communities. They will talk about their experiences, their career paths, what they love about what they do and what drew them to working in this area.

  • Working with the Disabilities Community
    February 10, 16h00-18h00: Brown 5001

    Working within the disabilities community is a growing field. There are many career paths within this area. This panel discussion will look at four individuals who work within disabilities community; their career paths, how they came to choose this particular area and what they feel are the rewards of what they do. So if you are interested in working in disabilities through education, social work, community work, occupational therapy, speech therapy, counselling,…this event will provide you with lots of valuable inside information.

To register for these panels and to consult a list of panelists, please log-in to myFuture. Click on the "Events" tab and then the "Workshops" tab. Keyword search "Diversity Week."

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Finding a Research Job in Science and Applying for NSERC

by Heidi Wat, U3 Anatomy and Cell Biology

For many first/second year science students, finding a research job seems impossible.  Although most research labs give the impression of only accepting Master’s students, most science students do work in a lab at some point in their undergraduate careers.   The obvious advantages are to have academic work experience to put on your C.V. or to obtain reference letters for applications to professional programs.  If you are one of the lost U0/U1 students, you may opt for one the following approaches to starting your search...

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Instead of Finding a Job, Create One

by Donald Oxford York, Graduate in Psychology

I graduated from McGill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to find a job upon graduation.

In Quebec, having a B.A had become obsolete in the present work force. During this time frame, another hindrance was based on my poor written and oral communication in French. Finding work proved to be challenging and getting a paid above minimum wage was difficult, the average hourly rate was about $6.50 to $6.90 at that time.

I attribute these complications to lack of career planning, poor advice, no mentorship and inappropriate guidance. These errors left me with no option but to work two part-time minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. My first job was within a library restocking shelves and the second was within a shoe factory assembly line. At some point, I needed additional hours to cover basic needs and assist my dependent. None of these jobs were full time or secure positions. So, I ended up at La Ronde sweeping floors, frying beaver tails and selling beer. Now, how’s that for three years of undergraduate study?

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Get on the School Bus - Tips for Internships and Jobs

by Doaa Farid, Peer Educator Program Coordinator

Standing at the corner of University and Sherbrooke at 7:30am, you may encounter an unusual episode among the normal walking zombies on the Montréal streets: a tall girl in a long black skirt sprinting across campus trying to get on a shuttle. Yup, that’s me! Being a student, I have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to catch my 45 min ride to go to class.  It makes me reflect on how, in order to arrive from one point to another, you sometimes need a vector to get to your target destination. In a similar vein, for a prospective job seeker, this ride may symbolize an internship, a summer job or even a volunteer opportunity. You can consider them as mediums for you to broaden your network and get a taste of the real world. On the bus, I get to talk to the half-asleep person beside me and learn of their background. Not only that, I meet people from different fields and get exposed to their research concentrations. Hence, you definitely increase your contact list!

When experiencing a rough relationship, we tend to brush off the positive experiences you get from it. You might end up understanding your complex personality and weigh your likes and dislikes.  Perhaps at that point in time getting what you wanted would be devastating for you in the future. Similarly, even if you fail in getting the internship or job you applied for, it is crucial to follow up and keep asking for prospective openings. Employers like to see persistency in a future employee: a value usually overlooked by the applicant.  Otherwise, try other options, like opportunities overseas, to experience a more diverse job market.    

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Labour Market Information for February

by Vanessa Franco, CaPS Career Resource Consultant

This monthly bulletin aims to inform you of major news and trends in the regional, domestic and North American labour markets. Your feedback is welcome.

The good news:

  • Belle fin d'année pour l'emploi
    La Presse Affaires, 9 January 2010
    Québec created 8000 part-time jobs in December, and a little over 10,000 per month in the final quarter, above the Canadian average.

  • Plus d'offres d'emploi que de diplômés
    La Presse, 18 January 2010
    Certain industries have more jobs available than candidates, including radio-oncology, chemical and geo-engineering, and chiropractics.

  • Online job ads up for fifth month
    Financial Post, 22 January 2010
    The Conference Board of Canada announces that job postings in Canada have increased for the fifth straight month.

The bad news:

  • Canada's jobs market stalls
    8 January 2010
    Canada lost 2,600 jobs in December, maintaining the unemployment rate at 8.5%. Recovery will likely be uneven.

Other news:

  • Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, December 2009
    Following a large increase in November, employment was unchanged in December and the unemployment rate remained at 8.5%. In the last nine months, employment has stabilized but remains 1.9% below the October 2008 peak.

Occupational highlight:

  • General Practitioners and Family Physicians (NOC code 3112)
    General practitioners and family physicians diagnose and treat the diseases, physiological disorders and injuries of patients. They provide primary contact and continuous care toward the management of patients' health. For 2006-2008, unemployment was very low. Trends for 2008-2012 predict a 1.7% growth rate and the outlook is good. There is a 100% placement rate. This profession is not vulnerable to recession.

    For a complete profile of this and other occupations, visit Career Cruising http://www.careercruising.com/Default.aspx . Contact us mailto:caps.library@mcgill.ca for the username and password or login to myFuture https://csm-caps.mcgill.ca/students/ and search for Career Cruising under Documents - Career Resources.

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Information Sessions

The events below are only a sampling of the many taking place this month. For a full listing of all events offered this month and to register, log-in to myFuture. Click on the "Events" tab and then the "Information Sessions" tab. Select the event you would like to attend and click on "RSVP."

  • University of British Columbia - Sauder School of Business
    February 4, 11h30-12h30: Brown 3001

    Lunch provided!

    For aspiring accountants, UBC DAP is the gateway between an undergraduate degree and professional accounting designation (CA, CGA, CMA, or CPA in the US). DAP accepts students from a diverse range of backgrounds, including arts, science, economics, business, etc. Accelerate your future...take the gateway to accounting. Visit www.sauder.ubc.ca/dap today!

  • L'Oréal Info Session
    February 11, 12h00-13h30: Brown 5001

    Open to chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate students. Lunch will be provided.

  • Dalhousie University
    February 17, 12h00-13h30: Brown 5001

    Register both through myFuture and online at http://dalmba.ca/cr/information-sessions. Food & beverages provided.

    Canada’s only Corporate Residency MBA promises to open opportunities for faster career advancement in your chosen field. Through an eight-month corporate residency, you will have the opportunity to work with one of Canada’s leading employers in an exceptional, paid work experience. This MBA program prepares talented and committed professionals to manage with integrity and get things done. Our 22-month program integrates top employers throughout the academic process, is delivered by award-winning faculty and provides personalized, integrity-based leadership development. 

  • University of Toronto - MMPA Program
    February 17, 12h00-14h00: Brown 3001

    The Master of Management & Professional Accounting (MMPA) Program is a graduate business program primarily designed for non-business undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in professional accounting. The Program consists of five academic terms with two co-operative work terms in a professional accounting environment.

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Workshops and Events

The events below are only a sampling of the many taking place this month. For a full listing of all events offered this month and to register, log-in to myFuture. Click on the "Events" tab and then the "Workshops/Panels/Events" tab. Select the event you would like to attend and click on "RSVP."

  • Finding Work & Volunteer Opportunities Worldwide
    February 8, 10h30-12h00: Brown, Room 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Identify some of their reasons and preparedness for going overseas; 2) List at least 3 international skills they already possess; 3) Effectively research programs such as youth exchanges, internships, professional exchanges, teaching abroad opportunities, volunteer, and independent work and travel programs, and summer opportunities; 4) Understand the steps in the international hiring process.

  • Finding and Obtaining the Ideal Internship
    February 10, 14h00-15h30: Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Identify the reasons for wanting to do an internship and set goals to assist in the decision making process; 2) Identify the steps involved in obtaining an internship; 3) List websites and databases specifically used for locating internships.

  • Summer Jobs
    February 11, 15h00-16h30: Brown 5001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Learn some of the legal considerations of work in Canada as an international student; 2) Identify the primary job search steps involved in obtaining a part-time or summer job; 3) Understand the importance of, and define what is involved in, networking; 4) Identify at least 3 leads of opportunities on and off campus.

  • One-Stop-Shopping: CVs, Cover Letters, Interviews and Action Plan
    February 12, 10h00-12h00: Macdonald Campus
    February 17, 14h00-15h30: Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Compose a more effective and tailored CV; 2) Define the essential components of a cover letter; 3) Understand the importance of, and define what is involved in, thorough interview preparation; 4) Identify the best forms of verbal and non-verbal communication in order to conduct themselves in a professional manner before, during and after an interview; 5) Understand the importance of an action plan which includes identifying the eight steps that guide the career planning process and which of those steps needs development.

  • Tap (and Dial) into the Hidden Job Market
    February 16, 10h30-12h00: Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Understand that most jobs are found through the hidden job market and that networking is a win-win situation; 2) Identify areas in which they need to expand their list of contacts and ways by which they can grow their contact base; 3) Formulate questions they would ask at an information interview; 4) Create their own script for a cold call to a potential contact in their field of interest. 

  • How to Prepare for Med School Interviews
    February 16, 10h30-12h00: Brown 5001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to identify the process and application components of applying to grad school; describe how to research potential schools and programs they would like to apply to; and use the general tips provided to enhance their future applications.

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