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

January 2010

Volume 11, Issue 5

"Work Your BA" Careers Week

Are you a BA student who is wondering what kind of job you can get when you graduate?   Then you’ll be interested in attending the “Work Your BA” Career Week events from January 25 to February 4. There will be workshops on Job Search Strategies for BA students along with panels that will include McGill alumni who have graduated with a BA and who are now working in a wide variety of fields.   

Panels include:

- Writing, Journalism and Editing

- PR, Marketing & Communication

- Volunteer, Activist & Community Work

- Working in International Development

- Creativity, Design & Technology

- And more

Organized by the AUS, CaPS and the Arts Development Office, we look forward to providing BA’s from all years with ideas and strategies about how to tackle “life after your BA”. 

Details to be on myFuture shortly as well as sent to you by email.

SUS Academia Week

SUS is having its annual Academia Week starting January 25th, 2010.

Check their website for workshop and event details at www.mcgillsus.com.

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 January 20th from 14h30 to 16h (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.


AIESEC is the world’s largest student run organization, operating in more than 107 countries. AIESEC offers diverse opportunities for young adults from leadership development to international internships. There are two ways to become involved with AIESEC.

a) Become a member of AIESEC McGill

Whether you are interested in developing your personal, professional and leadership skills, or just want to make some cool new friends, come join our crew! We have information sessions on:

January 12th 7:30pm in Bronfman Room 647

January 13th 7:30pm in Bronfman Room 647

January 14th 5:30pm in Bronfman Room 647

b) Participate in our Internship Exchange Program

We are currently recruiting for motivated students to send off abroad for development, education, management or technical internships. If you are interested in this amazing experience, our information sessions are on:

January 21st 7pm in Bronfman Room 599

January 25th 5pm in Bronfman Room 011

January 26th 11:30am in Bronfman Room 422

Job Finding Club

Work with fourteen other students all looking to find a job. You will have each other for support, with the assistance of the CaPS facilitator, Janice Tester, and career advisors. It is a two-week intensive program designed to empower you to find work in your field and in a job you will love.

There is no administrative fee to participate. The only cost to the student is for the purchase of the Job Search Handbook ($8).

You need to apply and we consider people on a first-come-first-served basis.  You will register at the CaPS reception by filling out an application form and submitting your CV. After which, we will contact you for a selection interview with an advisor. 

The next Job Finding Club runs from January 18th to 29th.

Are you ready for this wonderful opportunity?  Check out the program on our website at for full details and/or come to our office.

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 in to 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.

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.


Make your New Year's resolution to get your career sorted

Welcome back to new classes and a new semester! Believe it or not, now is the time to start thinking about your summer plans. Do you want to work? Do you want to find an internship related to your studies? Do you want to travel?

If you are graduating in May, start thinking about what you are going to do post-graduation. Do you have a job lined up? Are you planning on going back to school?

If you need help figuring these questions out, CaPS is here to help. With thousands of resources available to you and a knowledgeable staff of career advisors, we can help you develop a job search strategy, point you in the right direction, or just offer moral support.

Stop by for a visit!

Also in this issue:

Your Choices Define You
Do you have a Mentor yet?
Helicopter Parents
Labour Market Information for January
Musical Crossroads: After Your Music Degree, What Next?!
Upcoming Career Fairs
Upcoming Information Sessions
Workshops and Events
Contact Us

Your Choices Define You

by Doaa Farid, Peer Educator Program Coordinator

Waiting to board a flight, sitting beside the former plastic surgeon of Saddam Hussein, or losing your bags at the airport are all experiences that could be allegories for the human condition. Indeed, we are constantly experiencing new events that are unfamiliar to us and usually unexpected. Travelling for 20 hours continuously could make you realize how we are just mere strangers in this life. Nothing is stable or sure. Anything can happen. Making the decision to go to an exotic place for the holidays may alter the way you think of your own culture and possibly make you choose to shift your career goals 180 degrees. When exposed to a very different mentality and environment, you get to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and weight objectively your choices. Decisions shape you: in positive or negative ways. We make decisions, live with the consequences, experience a different condition, and then begin a new cycle over and over again. Hence, dropping out of school, applying for graduate studies, or venturing into the marketplace are all decisions that would shape you for the rest of your life. Therefore, you should choose wisely to avoid regret in the future.

On the plane flying from the Middle East to Canada, I was delighted to meet three beautiful human beings: a lawyer planning to be a US diplomat, a PhD political science student at Georgetown, and 15 year veteran female firefighter who travels the world.  Upon asking them the same question: how do you define a right decision that leads you to success? They all agreed on one point: success is driven by the decisions you take that brings about joy, to yourself and your surroundings, and satisfies the accepted morality.  Hence, when thinking of leaving your own mark and choosing your primary goal, don’t base it on materialistic and mere short-term gains because they fade away and leave behind pain and boredom. One of my friends pointed out that morality could indeed bring about the contentment you are looking for. Your goal to work in a bank shouldn’t be just for the money you make out of it. Even if you do enjoy the corporate world, try not to just get assimilated in a tight closed box but rather shape it in your own framework of morality.

How can we make the right choices?

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Do you have a Mentor yet?

by Carrie Armistead, CaPS Mentor Program Coordinator

McGill has one of the best kept secrets!  It doesn’t have to be that way any longer, now is your chance to learn how to get a mentor and get connected with McGill Alumni.  Currently we have mentors from very diverse industries such as accounting, biotechnology, government administration and relations, international affairs, law, media, medicine, pharmaceuticals and many more.  McGill mentors are past graduates and they volunteer their time to help students make the transition into the workplace.  They are friendly and informative and genuinely want to see their mentees succeed. 

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Helicopter Parents

by Alysha Kassam, U3 IDS

Are you attending university away from home? Do your parents call several times a day, just to check up on you? Do they remember what time you had your last meal at and constantly know your whereabouts? Do they persistently remind you of your pressing to-do list? These questions can go on if you answered yes to all or most of the previous questions, then you may be experiencing some serious helicopter parenting.

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Labour Market Information for January

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:

  • Beaucoup de nouveaux emplois au Québec d'ici 2018
    La Presse Affaires, 4 December 2009
    A new study predicts that Québec’s economy will create 271,000 jobs between now and 2018, only half the number of jobs created in the previous decade. The slower growth is attributed to the recession. Unemployment is expected to decrease to 5.5% in 2018.

The bad news:

Other news:

Occupational highlight:

  • Conductors, Composers and Arrangers (NOC code 5132)
    This group includes those who conduct bands and orchestras, compose musical works and arrange instrumental and vocal compositions. For 2006-2008, unemployment was very low. Trends for 2008-2012 predict a 1.6% growth rate and the outlook is fair. The placement rate is weak. It is not obvious if this profession is vulnerable to recession.

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

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McGill’s Career Planning Service (CaPS), MUSA, and the Schulich School of Music present:

  • Musical Directions and Beyond: You, Your Musical Identity, and Your Career Options, presented by Jan Bottomer, CaPS Music and Arts Career Advisor
    Monday, January 18th, 16:30 – 18:00, Room A-412

    Wondering what career path is right for you but don’t know what you have to offer and not sure what’s out there? Come to this interactive workshop to explore your interests, values and skills, to learn about different career options and to get tips on how to make your music degree work for you.  

  • Show Me the Money! Grant Finding Workshop for Musicians, presented by Brian McMillan, Music Liaison Librarian, Marvin Duchow Music Library
    Wednesday, January 20th, 16:30-18:00, Room C-204

    Your degree’s almost over and real life is looming on the horizon. This workshop will focus on locating resources – organizations and funding agencies in particular – that can help you build your career. Learn what you can do now to make the transition from student to working professional less financially precarious.

  • McGill Music Café: Networking Made Easy
    An informal networking and information event for music students
    Thursday, January 21st, 18:00 – 20:00. Rooms A-832/A-833

    Don’t miss this chance to meet and talk – over coffee and cookies – with a range of working professionals in different music-related careers. Learn about options and hear about their career paths, and advice and suggestions they have for young musicians. Come prepared with questions!

Please register for these events through myFuture. Click on the "Events" tab, then the "Workshops/Events/Panels" tab. Keyword search "MUSA."

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Upcoming Career Fairs

  • McGill University Health Centre Career Day
    January 23, 2010, 11h00-16h00: MGH, MCH, Lachine Campus

    We are very pleased to announce that we have set a new date for the MUHC’s Career Day: January 23rd from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On that date, the McGill University Health Centre will hold its first MUHC-wide Career Day—opening its doors to students and giving them access to sites and staff.

    For more information, visit http://www.muhc.ca/careerday or call 514 934-1934 ext. 48077.

  • McGill Technology Career Fair
    January 26, 2010, 9h30-15h30: New Residence Hall

  • McGill Education Career Fair
    February 1, 2010, 10h00-15h00: Shatner Ballroom

    For a list of participating organizations, sign-in to myFuture. Click on the "Events" tab and then the "Career Fairs" tab.

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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."

  • BMO Capital Markets
    January 12, 17h30-19h00: Faculty Club

  • UBS Securities
    January 13, 11h30-13h00: Faculty Club

  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
    January 13, 17h30-19h00: Bronfman, Room 620

  • McKinsey and Company
    January 14, 11h30-13h00: MDHAR G10, 815 Sherbrooke St.

  • Credit Suisse
    January 14, 17h00-18h30: Faculty Club

  • Goldman Sachs
    January 15, 15h00-16h30: Bronfman, Room 600

  • Boston Consulting Group
    January 18, 11h30-13h00: Bronfman, Room 620

  • DPDHL Inhouse Consulting
    January 19, 11h30-13h00: Bronfman, Room 625

  • Environmental Careers Organization
    January 19, 14h00-16h00: FDA, Room 5

  • L'Oreal
    January 27, 11h30-13h00: Bronfman, Room 600

  • ExcelaCom Inc.
    January 27, 13h30-14h30: FDA, Room 5

  • Microsoft Corporation
    January 27, 18h00-19h30: MDHAR G10, 815 Sherbrooke St.

  • Omniglobe Networks
    January 28, 17h30-19h30: FDA, Room 5

  • 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!

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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."

  • Tap (and Dial) into the Hidden Job Market
    January 12, 14h00-15h30: Brown 5001

    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. 

  • Finding and Obtaining the Ideal Internship
    January 19, 11h30-13h00: Brown 5001

    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.

  • Case Interviews
    January 19, 14h30-16h00: Brown 5001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Understand the importance of, and define what is involved in, thorough case interview preparation; 2) Identify the skills an employer is assessing during a case interview; 3) Understand and experience the process of a case interview. 

  • One-Stop-Shopping: CVs, Cover Letters, Interviews and Action Plan
    January 20, 10h00-11h30: Brown 5001

    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.

  • Summer Jobs
    January 20, 14h30-16h00: 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.

  • International Students: Summer and Part-time Jobs
    January 26, 13h00-14h30: Brown 3001

    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.

  • How to Prepare for Med School Interviews
    January 27, 13h00-14h30: 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.

  • Researching Employers
    January 28, 14h00-15h30: Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Understand the importance of researching employers and industries; 2) Effectively research occupation, industry and employer profiles using specialized web services, websites, databases, and directories in both print and digital formats.

  • MMI Practice Session for Medical School Applications
    February 5, 2010, 10h00-15h00: Brown, Room 2200

    During this 1/2 hour session, students will go through 3 scenarios similar to those used during the MMI (multiple mini interview). In addition to experiencing what an MMI is really like, students will also receive feedback for each scenario and additional documents to help them better prepare for future medical school interviews.

    As space is limited, priority will be given to students who did not have the opportunity to participate in the 2009 Mock MMI Days.

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