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

March 2011

Volume 12, Issue 7

Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie

What do you think of the CaPSScoop?

We are rethinking the look and content of this monthly e-newsletter, written by students, for students. We want it to meet your needs! If you have any suggestions or ideas, please email them to our editor, Christine Herr: caps.cpe@mcgill.ca.

Meet the CaPS Bloggers

Virginie Crouy-- U3 - BSc en sciences infirmières

Elizabeth Lenz--Graduated - BSc in Computer Science, Minor in History

JaeHyung Sheen-- U0 - BSc in Psychology, Minor in Anatomy & Cell Biology

Vicky Tobianah-- U3 - BA in Honours Political Science, Minor in English

Our bloggers have agreed to write about their job search experiences with their triumphs and failures and their emotional ups and downs - be it for a summer job, an internship or a full-time position after graduation.  As well, they will talk about how they discovered (or not) their career passions and what they would love to do for the rest of their lives.   They will give you tips that could help you with your job search and tell you how CaPS did or didn’t help them along the way.  We invite you to follow them and comment on their blogs with your thoughts and/or questions. 


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Join our CaPS LinkedIn Group!

Our  group is designed to help you build a solid career-focused online network and to exchange job search experiences. You will also benefit from the career education expertise of the qualified staff at CaPS and have the opportunity to view information regarding job search strategies and networking events. CaPS also invites McGill faculty, advisors and other staff members interested in helping students with their career-related endeavors.

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!

Vault Guide (Career Insider)

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).

Apply for Summer Government Jobs NOW!

by Emma Williams, McGill BA, 2010

Hello everyone! I represent Public Service Canada on campus and want to inform you about the variety of jobs that students can apply for within the Government of Canada.

For those of you who are currently full-time students and will be returning to full-time studies next year, it is possible to work for the government throughout the year or over the summer. Over 8000 students are hired each year through The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) to work for different federal departments and agencies. There is a tremendous variety of jobs located all across Canada. All you have to do to be eligible is fill out the on-line FSWEP application.

If you would like to know more or have any questions at all, feel free to contact me or come to my office hours in CaPS on Tuesdays from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

Good luck!

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.

For other career centres on campus, click here.

Pick up the P.A.C.E.

Do you need help choosing a major or a career path?

CaPS, in collaboration with Counselling Services, offers the Program for Advancement of Career Explorations (PACE). This amazing series of four workshops includes vocational testing and a complete self-assesment. Upon completion of PACE you will be able to understand your personality type, identify your skills, interests and values, and how they relate to various occupations. As well, you will have a better understanding of the available resources and be able to create a realistic action plan with measurable goals.

P.A.C.E. is available to undergraduate and graduate students, both at the Downtown and Macdonald campuses.

There is a fee of $20 to cover the cost of vocational testing. Each session is limited to only 25 students, so register soon to ensure that you get a spot!

To register, please go to the Career Planning Service office at either campus.

Join the Mentor Program

The Mentor Program links current McGill students with working McGill alumni. It gives you the rare opportunity to enter into a professional relationship that can help shape your career path by giving you insider information. You will have the opportunity to receive advice, build professional networks and ask any and all questions about the realities of work and life beyond the classroom.

With the McGill Mentor Program, advice is free. Sign up or get more information online at caps.mcgill.ca/ci2 or contact the Mentor Program Coordinator at mentor.caps@mcgill.ca.

myFuture Resume Builder

myFuture has within it 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.

CaPS CV 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.

Redpath Library CV Drop-In

Monday: 2:30-3:30
Tuesday: 1:30-2:30

Location: Redpath table, first floor entrance (by the computer lab).

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.



Volunteering Edition

Welcome to the Volunteering Edition of the CaPSScoop: Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and network in your field, while doing something meaningful and fulfilling! While you're here, don't forget to check out this month's listings of company info sessions, career fairs, and workshops to get an idea of what we have to offer.

If you have any questions, drop by one of our offices. We are always happy to help you!

In this issue:

The Importance of Volunteer Experience
Heather's Picks: Top Three Volunteer Websites!
Green Careers Week
Le bénévolat: activité agréable et profitable
Volunteer Experience with the Chinese Christian Mission
Labour Market Information Report
Company Info Sessions and Tours
Career Fairs/Career Days
Workshops. Panels. and Events
Contact Us

The Importance of Volunteer Experience

by Corina E. Sferdenschi, BSc. Psychology

Volunteer experience is one of the biggest sought after assets in graduate school and the work force. Doing volunteer work shows that you are so passionate about something that you are willing to do it for free. It shows that you care and that you are capable of carrying responsibilities on your shoulder. Volunteering provides you with experience and it can be the make or break point when it comes to getting accepted into graduate school or getting the job you applied for.

There are many places on campus where you can volunteer and put yourself ahead of other candidates. McGill has many clubs that are involved in numerous activities on campus and off campus, as well as the Student Services offices that are in constant need of volunteers. All you have to do is ask for it or attend the various events that are planned at the beginning of each semester. Look out for Activities Night in September and January which is organized by the Student Society of McGill University. This is an excellent opportunity for you to learn about over 200 McGill clubs.    

Volunteering can make a huge difference in your life and it can also be a deciding factor when choosing your future career.  Last but not least, volunteering can help you meet new people and make new friends, which is called networking. Networking is one of the best ways to promote yourself and to find out new information about things that matter to you.
Go volunteer and make a difference in your life and others!

For resources on volunteering please visit this section of the CaPS website:  http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/experience/volunteering/.

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Heather's Picks: Top Three Volunteer Websites!

by Heather McTavish, Bachelor of Arts, Major Political Science

1. Volunteer Bureau of Montreal
If you are looking for volunteering opportunities in Montreal this is the place to look! A comprehensive website, with lists of organizations as well as a downtown office where volunteer placement counselors can hook you up with your ideal volunteering experience!

2. idealist.org
A great website where you can look for volunteer, internship and job positions, both locally within Montreal and internationally. If you are going to be in a different city this summer and will be looking for volunteer opportunities, check out this site!

3. Engage McGill
If you are looking to get involved more on campus Engage McGill provides a number of links to get involved around campus!

For more awesome sites check out our CaPS website and come in to browse our library resources for fun ideas!

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Interested in making a difference? This week will provide you with the opportunity to hear from people who work in "Green Careers." Come to the Panels and the Career Fair.

Keynote Speaker
March 8, 2:00–3:30pm, Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry Building, M1

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament, Lac Saint Louis.  Mr. Scarpaleggia is the Liberal Water Critic and a Vice Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Green Careers Week: Where are the green jobs?
March 9, 12:00-1:30pm, Macdonald Campus, Faculty Lounge MS-Building

A special presentation by HRSDC [Human Resources & Skills Development Canada] on how and where to find "green jobs". Do not miss this eye opening seminar to find out where you can start your career.

Green Careers Week: Professionals On Campus Panel
March 9, 4:00-5:30pm, Macdonald Campus, Faculty Lounge MS-Building

Professionals include:
-Tanya Drapeau, Director of Educational Programs, Falcon Environmental Services
-Aline Bennett, Sustainable Development Coordinator, City of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue
-Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament, Lac-Saint-Louis

Green Careers Week: Environmental Career Fair
March 10, 11:00-2:00pm, Brown 5001

Confirmed organizations to date include:
-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
-Climate CHECK Corporation
-Natural Resources Canada
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (UNEP/SCBD)
Horizon Cosmopolite
Groupe Uni des Éducateurs Naturalists et Professionelles en Environnement GUEPE
NMP Golf Construction Inc.
SNC-Lavalin, Environment Division
FMA Congresses

Green Careers Week: Professionals On Campus Panel
March 10, 4:00-5:30pm, Brown 5001

Professionals include:
-Bruce Ringrose, VP Business Development, ClimateCHECK
-Bert Revenez, Ecometrica
-Jamie Webbe, Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (UNEP/SCBD)
-Gweneth Thirlwell, Policy Advisor, Office of the Leader of the Opposition / Liberal Research Bureau

Go to myFuture for details and registration.

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Le bénévolat: activité agréable et profitable

par Liliana Rizzuto M. A. Littérature et langue françaises

Le sens commun veut que l’on définisse le travail bénévole par rapport au travail salarié, c’est-à-dire que le bénévole, comme le travailleur, s’engage volontairement à accomplir un certain nombre de tâches, seul ou en groupe, mais que, contrairement à lui, il n’accepte aucune rémunération salariale pour les fruits de son labeur. Bien qu’essentiellement vraie, cette conception du bénévolat me semble étriquée et réductrice. Il existe certainement des âmes charitables qui se réjouissent à l’idée de renoncer à tout gain pour servir une cause ou pour venir en aide à autrui, mais ils sont aussi nombreux les bénévoles qui recherchent avant tout une expérience agréable et profitable.

Il ne faut pas perdre de vue que, pour la majeure partie de la population active, l’engagement volontaire s’accomplit pendant ces heures si rares et si précieuses que sont les temps libres. Pour ces personnes affairées soucieuses de maximiser leurs heures de loisir, « perdre son temps » n’est pas une option. Selon cette optique, le bénévolat peut bien sûr être considéré comme toute autre expérience de travail, soit une occasion privilégiée d’acquérir de nouvelles connaissances, de relever des défis et de faire des rencontres personnelles et professionnelles intéressantes. Le tout sans argent, mais aussi sans le stress de la performance qui accompagne généralement un emploi payant. En effet, il me semble que l’un des grands avantages du bénévolat réside justement dans sa gratuité.

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Volunteer Experience with the Chinese Christian Mission

by Anna Lou, Bachelor of Commerce, Major in Marketing

In 2006, my church received an invitation from the Chinese Christian Mission (CCM) asking us to sing for a Christmas concert called the Youth Christmas Celebration (YCC). CCM is a non-profit organization that aims to serve the community by providing different services such as French, English, Chinese language classes and computer courses for low-income families or immigrants. The organization also plans annual events including summer camps and concerts targeting youth. Since 2006, I decided to volunteer at CCM and be part of the Event Coordinator group that organizes YCC. Although the Christmas concert usually takes place during final exams (mid-December), I still managed to attend all the meetings and finish the tasks that were assigned to me. It was not easy but I always kept in mind that the rewards would be greater than the stress experienced and that it will pay off in the end – and it did!

At the beginning of last summer, I told one of the Event Coordinators at CCM that I was looking for a job. She then told me that every summer CCM hires a summer student to work full-time only if they receive funding from the government. When the organization finally received a positive response from the government, they immediately called me. My responsibilities during the summer included organizing workshops and events which were highly related to my field of study: Marketing. I was in charge of the promotion and creative side of the events. I absolutely loved my summer job!   

The benefits of volunteering are endless and I sincerely believe that volunteer experiences open many doors. It’s best to pick an organization that fits your area of interest and will provide you with the opportunity to gain valuable experience. You never know what you can get out of it! Good luck! 

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Labour Market Information Report

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.library@mcgill.ca.

In this issue:

  • Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate is the second-lowest in Canada

  • U.S. jobless claims plunges despite January’s poor job creation numbers

  • Despite 69,200 new jobs, the unemployment rate continue to rise in Canada

  • University-educated immigrants earn significantly less in Canada than in the U.S.

  • Occupational highlight: Biologists and Related Scientists

  • and more!

[to view this bulletin, click here]

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Company Info Sessions and Tours

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."

  • Apple Inc.
    March 2, 12:00–2:00pm, Brown 5001

  • Youth Challenge International
    March 2, 12:00-2:00pm, Brown 3001

  • BNP Paribas - United States
    March 10, 11:30-1:00pm, Faculty Club Heritage Room

  • SWAP Info Session
    March 15, 2:00-3:00pm, Concordia Hall Bldg, RM 771
    March 31, 2:00-3:00pm, Brown 5001

    March 18, 10:00-12:00noon, Martin Theatre at the McIntyre Med. Building
    March 18, 2:00-4:00pm, Martin Theatre at the McIntyre Med. Building

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Career Fairs/Career Days

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 "Career Fairs/Career Days" tab. Select the event you would like to attend and click on "RSVP."

  • Experiences Abroad Day
    March 3, 2:00–6:00 pm, SCC Montreal Youth Café 330 Emery Street, Montréal

  • Health Careers Interaction and The Marskell Group Live Career Fairs
    March 4, 11:00-6:00pm, The Westin Hotel Montreal - 270 St. Antoine Quest

  • Study and Go Abroad Fairs
    March 5, 1:00-6:00pm, Le Centre Sheraton Montréal, 1201 Boulevard Rene-Levesque West

  • Green Careers Week: Environmental Career Fair
    March 10, 11:00-2:00pm, Brown 5001

  • McGill School of Information Studies Career Fair
    March 17, 1:00-4:00pm, Grande Bibliothèque, Montréal

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Workshops, Panels, 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."

  • Successful Interview Techniques for Education Students
    March 1, 4:30-6:00pm, Education Bldg, Room 233

  • Careers in DFAIT [Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada]
    March 1, 4:00-6:00pm, Stewart Biology S 1/4

  • Workshop #1 = Build your Job Search Tools (CV, cover letter, interview)
    March 1, 10:30-12:00noon, Brown 3001
    March 23, 1:00-2:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #2 = Discover the Hidden Job Market (cold calling, networking, researching employers)
    March 2, 10:30-12:00noon, Brown 3001
    March 24, 2:30-4:00pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #3 = Perfect your Professional Image (business etiquette, school to work transition)
    March 2, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Work in Wildlife: A Conference on Environmental opportunities available for students
    March 2, 3:00pm – 4:30 pm, Macdonald Campus, Celidh, Centennial Centre

  • International Students: Adapting to the Canadian Job Market
    March 7, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Writing an Effective CV and Cover Letter for Education Students
    March 8, 4:30-6:00pm, Education Bldg, Room 233
    March 31, 10:30-12:00noon, Education Bldg, Room 233

  • LGBT Students: Heterosexism, Career Choice and the Workplace
    March 8, 3:30-5:00pm, Brown 3001

  • PACE - Session 7
    March 14, 1:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Networking & Information Interview for Education Students
    March 16, 4:30-6:00pm, Education Bldg, Room 233

  • Workshop #4 = Practice your Networking (prerequisite: workshop #2)
    March 16, 2:30-4:00pm, Brown 3001

  • Where to find Summer Jobs: Beat the Heat
    March 22, 3:00-4:30pm, Brown 3001
    March 30, 10:00-11:30pm, Brown 3001

  • How to Write Personal Statements
    March 23, 12:00-1:00pm, Brown 3001

  • Job Search “Boot-Camp” for Social Work Students: CVs, Cover Letters, Interview Preparation and Job Search Strategies
    March 25, 11:30-1:00pm, Wendy Patrick Room, Wilson Hall

  • Where to find Internships: Test the Waters
    March 29, 11:00-12:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Where to find Worldwide Work: Passport to Adventure
    March 30, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #5 = Practice your Interviewing (prerequisite: workshop #1)
    March 30, 10:00-11:30am, Brown 3001

  • Careers in Industrial Relations
    March 30, 6:00-8:00pm, Faculty Club Old McGill Room

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