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#151: Chun-Hui Chang – Employers need to understand what “entry level” means

The school-to-work transition was very difficult. Most bachelor’s degree programs do not have internship or co-op components integrated into the curriculum. As such, I did not have the opportunity to develop the skills needed for a good job.

Furthermore, many employers are not willing to give new graduates a chance to gain experience. I found very few job postings that did not require any experience, even for “entry level” jobs. Most “entry level” job postings I found still required at least three years of experience.

Possessing a degree did not help me at all in finding a job, and I struggled immensely for over a year. In that time, I was only offered a few interviews, with no success from any of them. I became incredibly cynical, unmotivated, and depressed because of how useless my university education was.

What I’m doing now

I am now back in school for a post-graduate college program in Human Resources Management. College appealed to me because there is a co-op component integrated into the curriculum. However, there is no guarantee of landing a co-op position. The college simply assists you in finding a co-op position – they do not place you. As such, there is still some slight anxiety about finding employment.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

Employers should be more willing to give new graduates a chance to gain experience. Many of my peers struggled to find meaningful work after graduation because they lacked experience. When no one gives you the opportunity to gain any experience, then it forces you into underemployment (if you’re lucky). This degrades morale and motivation, which can hurt that person’s job performance.

In addition, employers need to understand what the term “entry level” means. If the position requires experience, then it is not entry level. This is probably the most frustrating thing for new graduates who are looking for jobs.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Chun-Hui Chang

Post-Graduate Student
Human Resources Management
Humber College

Graduate
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Western University

Click here to share your own story.

#149: Kelsey Goforth – Career centres should advertise their services well, keep flexible hours for busy students

“When students approach their final years of education, universities and colleges should remind them that there are plenty of resources available.” —Kelsey Goforth, Graduate, University of Toronto

While pursuing my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, I studied Political Science with an emphasis on Human Rights and International Development. This past summer, I was finishing up my final credit while searching for the perfect summer job that would hopefully lead me into a career directly related to these interests.

I was aware that a company called Public Outreach fundraised for developmental and human rights organizations and had always been intrigued by the fundraisers that I had seen in Dundas Square, or even at my school’s campus, but didn’t picture myself taking on such a role. However, on the advice of a friend, I applied. The role definitely surprised me. I had no idea how much I would be learning about various not-for-profit charities and how many amazing conversations I would have with donors. One highlight is when I met a woman from Zimbabwe who actually received aid from one of the charities I was fundraising for.

The position turned into far more than a summer job when roles in the recruitment department opened up. I applied and eventually, in August, took on the role of U.S. Recruiter, where I am responsible for recruitment in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Minneapolis. I was able to transition quite quickly to my new role, going from fundraiser to recruiter in three short months. Being able to learn about the inner-workings of a whole new department has given me the opportunity to better understand and appreciate all that the company does.

What am I doing now?

I am currently in my 4th month as a Public Outreach Recruiter. In addition to my U.S. recruitment duties, I also contribute blog posts to our staff website. Outside of work, I like to pursue other interests that not only appeal to me, but also give me an additional skill set to include on resumes and applications. I write articles for TalentEgg and, additionally, I am beginning French courses in January in order to receive a Certificate in French Proficiency. Although I currently have a job, I do not want to prevent myself from continuing to learn more and develop my skills.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

When it comes to campus career centres and their related programs, it is important to be well-advertised and easily accessible. Students are busy with classes and extra-curriculars so having flexible hours is imperative. Secondly, many programs at schools aren’t given the exposure they should. Often students are bombarded with information in their first year. However, by the time fourth year rolls around and the job search becomes more intense, these programs are often long forgotten about. When students approach their final years of education, universities and colleges should remind them that there are plenty of resources available.

My advice for students and recent graduates

Get involved

As a student, it is important to think beyond essays and exams, and also take the time to get involved in your community. I personally found extra-curricular activities and volunteering to be extremely beneficial – both when it came to developing new skills and in seeking employment.

I applied for an executive member position of the United Nations Development Program’s University of Toronto chapter where I acted as a Project Manager for an International Women’s Day event. This opportunity not only helped me in developing my communication and leadership skills, but also taught me about event planning and the importance of teamwork.

Furthermore, I volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross, lending my time to various programs including the Mobile Food Bank, a Humanitarian Issues Program and Disaster Management. The Red Cross is one of the charities that Public Outreach has worked with in the past and having pre-existing knowledge about the charity was definitely an asset when coming into my position as a fundraiser and a recruiter.

The importance of networking

The job market is competitive. Learning to write an impressive resume is a great skill, however a piece of paper can only go so far. For me, networking has been the most effective means of both connecting with people with similar interests and landing new jobs. At the fundraising office, we often had Public Outreach employees from other offices come to our morning briefings to better bridge the gap between different departments. On one of these mornings, Marisa from the Recruitment department attended. Having recognized her from a TalentEgg article featuring her work with recruitment, I came up to her and introduced myself. When I sent my resume into the recruitment department about a month later, Marisa was able to put a face to the name. I knew that I wanted to advance with the company and introducing myself to Marisa that day was the first step.

Don’t underestimate your skills

Take a chance when it comes to your job applications. Often students and recent graduates feel either under- or over-qualified for certain positions. Don’t underestimate the experiences you have. Although you may be a recent graduate, your education, community involvement and past jobs all culminate to make you an excellent applicant. When applying for jobs you feel under-qualified for, keep in mind that the worst that can happen is being rejected. Even if that’s the case, there is the possibility that the hiring manager might suggest other opportunities at the company or at the very least, will recognize your name when you apply in the future. I was rejected from the first recruitment position I applied for but was immediately encouraged to apply for the U.S. Recruiter job which turned out to be a much better fit for me.

Don’t overlook great opportunities

If I had the mentality that being one of “those people on the street with the binders” was somehow beneath me, I would have never been given the opportunity to work within the recruitment department. To grow with a company, it is important to start small and work your way up. It is only logical: you must learn the very basics if you want to eventually build on that and take on a more advanced role.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Kelsey Goforth
Graduate
Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
University of Toronto

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#148: Shaheerah Kayani – Schools and employers should work together to employ talented students

“Schools play an integral role in encouraging students to pursue their employment goals” —Shaheerah Kayani, Student, University of Guelph-Humber

Through my high school Business Club, I participated in BizAcademy; a one-week apprenticeship program/team-based competition sponsored by Salesforce.com, an innovative cloud-computing organization. Here I collaborated with employees and mentors to create mock business plans and client presentations. The following year, being a BizAcademy participant made me eligible for a Salesforce.com internship, which I applied for and got! The year after that, I received a $2500 scholarship courtesy of Salesforce.com.

Where I am now

Today, I am employed part-time on campus as an office assistant for the Student Life Department, and as a Business Peer Tutor. I am also part of the school’s advertising club (GHAMA) and investment council (GHIC). I am actively searching and applying for student jobs in the finance/banking industry, falling upon some great opportunities on TalentEgg.ca.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

Based on my past experiences, my advice for schools/universities and employers is to connect with each other, playing the role of an intermediary to help employ bright and talented students, and to find a perfect fit between students and employers. Schools play an integral role in encouraging students to pursue their employment goals by providing essential career resources, job portals, and connection to leading employers.

My advice for students and recent grads

My advice for fellow students and recent grads is to join clubs, associations, volunteer and network with professors and university staff. Simple activities such as club involvement, networking, attending conferences, and summer volunteerism, can lead to bigger and better opportunities in the future. And finally, it can truly help if you have an online presence – whether it is LinkedIn, a professional blog, or another creative online community, such as Behance.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Shaheerah Kayani
Student
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
University of Guelph-Humber

Click here to share your own story.

#147: May Yu – Make sure the west coast is represented to east coast recruiters

“For business students attending school on the west coast who are looking for careers in eastern Canada, it will be more of a challenge as not all prospective companies actively recruit on the west coast.” —May Yu, Graduate, Simon Fraser University

At the end of my five years at Simon Fraser University (SFU) Business, I received a Bachelor in Business Administration Honours in Marketing and Management Information Systems. Yes, it was very exciting, and the certificate is proudly framed and hanging in my parents’ den. But that is not definitive of my time at SFU. Instead, the various out-of-classroom elements, including three co-ops, case competitions both local and abroad, an academic exchange at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and a community development internship in Brazil, have defined my past five years. It is those very elements of my SFU Beedie experience that have made me more competitive in the business world and allowed me to secure a role with Procter & Gamble one year prior to my graduation date.

What I’m doing now

After I signed with P&G in November 2011, I graduated from SFU in April 2012 and travelled to Southeast Asia with my friends, followed by a two-month volunteer internship via SFU AIESEC in the south of Brazil. I am now working at P&G Canada in Toronto as an Assistant Brand Manager.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

For business students attending school on the west coast who are looking for careers in eastern Canada, it will be more of a challenge as not all prospective companies actively recruit on the west coast. However, that allows students who are more engaged in the job-hunting process to step outside of the typical recruit process, and actively seek for informational interviews/referrals from their networks such as alumni, career centres, and past co-op employers. I recommend employers, career centres, and schools alike to bridge the recruitment gap, and ensure that the west coast is represented when the Ontario-based companies goes through their annual recruits. Schools with strong alumni networks, co-op programs and formal recruits with job postings/deadlines will really help prospective grads focus their energies on companies which are actively recruiting.

My advice for students and recent grads

When I reflect upon my past five years, co-ops and case competitions have undoubtedly honed my career-oriented acumen and skills. However, my most memorable experiences would be definitely exchange. From my exchanges in China and Brazil, I have emerged as more of a global citizen, with a better understanding of myself and where I want to be. I made friends with people from across the globe, I learned a new language, a new culture, and I made an impact with those who I volunteered with.

All in all, there’s only one thing left for you to do. Stop hesitating. Apply today and go on an exchange. I highly recommend doing at least one exchange. There are significant differences between an academic and an AIESEC exchange so I would recommend doing both if you can. There may be reasons such as “the school doesn’t offer transferable credits” or “I don’t have money”, but I know an exchange is worth delaying graduation by a semester or two. Also, you can pick countries which are less expensive to live to do an AIESEC exchange, where more often than not, you will be living for free with a local host family.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

May Yu
Graduate
Bachelor of Business Administration
Simon Fraser University

Click here to share your own story.

#146: Eric Bodourian – Employers, take a chance on new graduates

“Allow us access to the experience and resources we need to start our careers.” —Eric Bodourian, Student, Brock University

I have had such little luck looking for work.

I originally graduated with a three-year diploma in Chemical Engineering Technology in 2008, but I was unable to find a position. Then I then decided to return to school again to complete my undergraduate degree in Environmental Geosciences.

I have spent the last year or so testing the market for what is available in terms of internships, full- or part-time work and volunteering, and I have not been able to make any sort of impression.

I have even resorted to emailing/writing letters to consulting companies and other various firms, telling them I would be willing to work for free. This generated a tepid response at best.

I have been to some of the job forums in Toronto recently, including the Green Jobs Forum, and I tried making connections with some of the lecturers and professionals who I felt shared the same interests as I do. Same story: I cannot seem to get any further along in landing even an unpaid internship.

I have emailed, called and left voicemails for potential employers just for the purpose of asking some questions and maybe getting some information about their job outlook, but I have still come up short.

I have spent over six years in post-secondary institutions and I cannot get an employer to take a second look at me and offer me at least an interview. I am becoming very frustrated as I am unemployed and scheduled to start paying back my student loan this month.

Help!

What I’m doing now

I am currently taking correspondence to finish up my Bachelor of Science. I spend at least four to five hours a day building my resume and applying for jobs, internships and volunteer work. I have not even been able to find any sort of work-related volunteer position.

My advice for employers, schools and career centres

I would recommend that employers take more of a chance on new graduates. They do not need to pay us, but allow us access to the experience and resources we need to start our careers. That would be a big bonus.

I would also suggest that school career centres could be of more help, but from my understanding, even professors are having trouble finding internships for a lot of the students that are requesting them.

My advice for students and recent grads

All I would say is that you need to try to utilize all the resources you can. It also seems to be good to make as many contacts as possible.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Eric Bodourian
Student
Environmental Geociences
Brock University

Click here to share your own story.

#145: Harmanmeet Garg – I’m qualified but still struggling to get a good job

“Choose what you study according to your interests and study hard.” —Harmanmeet Garg, Graduate, Humber College

I came to Canada as an international student and studied Computer Networking at Humber College in Toronto. Then I moved to Winnipeg to settle and get permanent residency because it’s easier to get permanent residency in Manitoba than in Ontario.

When I graduated, I applied for lots of jobs, and I am still applying. Every day I apply for 20 to 25 jobs online, and on weekends I hand out my resume at stores.

I have computer knowledge, excellent mathematical, data entry, multitasking and interpersonal skills, and I am hardworking, but I have not yet received any replies to my applications.

What I’m doing now

I am working full-time at Wendy’s, where I am doing my best to get promoted because I don’t want to work on a grill dropping meat patties for $10 an hour. I respect every job and profession, but it’s not my career interest. Plus I am only earning about $1200 per month and I need money to pay back my student loan. I am qualified and do my best in my job, so I am trying to get a job with a good salary in a good company.

My advice for students

My advice is choose what you study according to your interests and study hard, because when you graduate it matters a lot how well you studied.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Harmanmeet Garg
Graduate
Computer Networking
Humber College

Click here to share your own story.

#144: Kelly Bowman – A message for liberal arts students: develop practical skills too

“Resilience and resourcefulness are some of the best tools you can have.” —Kelly Bowman, Graduate, Western University

Dear liberal arts graduate,

There are some things they forgot to tell you at convocation.

For many of you, there will be a gap between now and the beginning of your career. Most of the advice given to you that day, although inspiring and meaningful, will not prepare you for your immediate futures or the challenges you will face.

Most of you will not get your dream job. A lot of you won’t know what your dream is, or your dreams will change. Many of you won’t find jobs in your field for several years, if at all. Only a handful of people can become the new leadership, and if you all think it’s going to be you, only a few of you can be right.

Statistically, over half of you will still live with your parents if you’re under 25. If you’re under 29, it is closer to a third. For some of you, although this is rarely talked about when addressing youth unemployment, that means you might be financially bound to an abusive home.

Rejection will probably be a closer friend than usual for a while, as will unemployment (or underemployment), though they tend to come and go. Many of you will be in debt, which all too soon will start collecting interest. The excitement you feel about starting this new chapter in your life won’t go away, but you will be more angry, insecure, uncertain, disappointed, confused, depressed and scared at times than you expected.

The role nepotism will play in your future has probably been severely understated. Many of you who have avoided using these connections on principle will cave, and you won’t be sure if you like yourself for it. Many of you will not have many relationships to leverage, and you will feel you have wrongly been put at a disadvantage.

You have spent several years at school developing a set of ethics which may not be entirely compatible with the tasks you are asked to do. You might have to navigate the choice, like many others before you, between doing what seemed right when you were younger and what allows you to support yourself.

You will most likely work for free for a while (if your circumstances allow you to), and as much as this will pose a rather large problem for your finances, in some other ways it will give you an unexpected gift. You have the opportunity to explore, experiment, and make mistakes—and you will make a few.

I am not telling you this to be depressing, discouraging, or to dampen your enthusiasm. Resilience and resourcefulness are some of the best tools you can have. I am telling you this so you know the most important thing they forgot to tell you at convocation: if you are this person you have not failed.

There are a lot of us, and we’re thinking about getting jackets.

What I’m doing now

I currently work part-time, have an unpaid internship as a Public Relations Coordinator with a not-for-profit in Toronto, and am hoping to pick up a volunteer position with my local distress center. I graduated this past June and have explored four different internship/practicum programs within the last year. I live at home (thanks, Mom).

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

I honestly don’t feel my opinion here has much clout. I’m sure there are a lot of services, resources, and strategies I still know nothing about. I find new ones all the time, and the ones I have accessed have all been useful in one way or another (even if it wasn’t in the way I had hoped or expected). The best advice I can give is quite general: ensure your advice is backed by research, do your best to keep up with the changing work environment, and provide students with as much information as you can. Lastly, forgive us for being anxious and irritable by the time we get to you – we know you’re trying to help, we’re just scared.

My advice for students and recent grads

Take advantage of your student health plan before you graduate. Get a dental cleaning, have your eyes checked, stock up on any necessary medication, because chances are you aren’t going to have any coverage above OHIP for a while. Once you graduate it’s worth looking into free clinics, although some of these are limited to sexual health and contraceptives.

Use your university career resources while you can (resume help, interview skill building, job and volunteer postings, placements, etc), as they aren’t always available to alumni. Once you graduate, Employment Ontario offers the same services and resources, but they are not student-centred and you might find them less applicable.

The meaning of “entry level” as a job descriptor is inconsistent. Many organizations use it for positions that require a few years relevant work experience, which you are unlikely to have. True entry level work is more likely to be part-time with an hourly wage that is barely over minimum, and a job description that appears to be below your education and skill set. Do it anyways. If you’re good, they will think of you when other positions open up.

Do more practical skills development during and after your degree (internships, practicums, volunteer placements, technical or skill courses like computer programming, graphic design, video editing, etc). It will save you a lot of time in figuring out what you want, building personal connections, and making yourself more marketable. Many of these are only part-time and can be done from home if you have limited transportation or time to give.

Embrace your free time. You might have more of it than you’d like (or have it at unusual times), but now might also be the time to do something you never found time for. A passion you never pursued, travelling, going for a run, or eight hours of sleep. Take care of yourself. Your full-time counterparts will be jealous.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Kelly Bowman
Graduate
Honours Specialization in Media and the Public Interest
Western University

Click here to share your own story.

#143: Stephanie Wetmore – Employers should look at the whole package

“Employers and schools need to look at the whole package; sometimes the most important aspects cannot be expressed on paper.” —Stephanie Wetmore, Graduate, Georgetown University and UCLA

I am a 24-year-old athlete with three major transitions that have led me to where I am today.

My first transition was from high school to university. At 17 years old, I was nearing the end of my high school career and started to consider my options for the future. As an accomplished tennis player, I had a few choices for my next step, which included: pro tennis, university in Canada or a tennis scholarship in the United States.

I was on the fence because I thought I could be successful on the pro tour, but at the same time university seemed like the logical option. I ended up accepting a full tennis scholarship at UCLA, and as a Canadian from Toronto, moving to the U.S. was both challenging and exciting.

I chose school over the pros and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

The second transition was from undergraduate to graduate school when I entered Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., for Sports Management. Grad school helped me step out of my comfort zone and apply the material I was being taught in the workforce.

After finishing grad school, I’m now experiencing my third (and most difficult) transition. My path of education is complete and I’m now setting out to create a new one in the communications field.

What I’m doing now

During my graduate program I started working as an assistant tennis coach at Georgetown, which was a change from being an athlete. I’m now working part-time as an assistant tennis coach at Georgetown and part-time as a communications intern at Lagardere, a public relations company in Washington, D.C.

Another hurdle I’ve had to overcome in my transition to the “real world” has been securing employment in the U.S. Despite similarities between the two countries, getting paperwork to work over the border has been a challenge. Canadian students who attend school in the U.S. are eligible for up to 12 months of employment. After that, you need to find a company that will sponsor you for a work visa.

I’m currently in my 12-month period after school and who knows if I’ll find a company to sponsor me, but I’m trying to gain as much experience as I can.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

Look at the entire person as opposed to the GPA, work experience or resume. Meeting someone face-to-face gives you a better understanding of his or her personality. This is true in my case as my undergraduate GPA was not as impressive, but my other attributes I developed during my athletic scholarship made me invaluable as a potential hire.

Playing varsity tennis taught me leadership skills, time management and teamwork. I was constantly trying to improve – learning how to set goals and handle constructive criticism. Learning how to make result-oriented changes at a young age set me apart from the competition.

Employers and schools need to look at the whole package; sometimes the most important aspects cannot be expressed on paper.

My advice for students and recent grads

Pursue something you love. If I were to quantify my scholarship, it would have added up to approximately $90,000 per year. If you ask me, that’s a pretty great payoff for doing something you’re passionate about.

In high school I had to choose between professional tennis and my education. Choosing education was a great decision, and an invaluable part of my journey. I know my education and tennis experience helped me get to where I am today. I’m still coaching tennis, which I hope will always be a part of my life.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Stephanie Wetmore
Graduate
Master’s in Sports Industry Management
Georgetown University

Graduate
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
UCLA

Click here to share your own story.

#142: Ashley Proulx – Different goals don’t make me wrong for your company

“I still volunteer in theatre and I am slowly starting to get paid jobs in theatre, but nothing that will help me pay the bills.” —Ashley Proulx, Graduate, Algonquin College

When I was in school, I was getting a lot of volunteer work as an assistant stage manager and other production positions in theatre. That is kind of my dream job — to work anywhere in theatre. And it was great; however I didn’t get any money from it because it was all volunteer.

So I worked in retail to pay the bills. It was good, but I have really bad luck. Every job I’ve ever worked for so far either closed shop or went bankrupt. It’s very hard to maintain contacts to these businesses because when it comes time to ask for references they can’t be reached. So I have to use my theatre references, but of course that probably seems odd to someone in retail or any other job because to them it seems like I didn’t get along with my peers in non-related theatre work.

I even worked with my family’s company that had been in business for 40 years until it went under. So I had to go find another job and I cannot stress enough that I have the worst luck with jobs. I am not a horrible person or at least I don’t think so. Everyone I work for in theatre loves to have me around on a project because I am a trooper. Of course they don’t pay me, but I know they wouldn’t say it if wasn’t true.

I have been applying to so many full-time positions, but I haven’t gotten any. I’ve been on second interviews, even third interviews, and nothing. So with years and years of getting nothing it’s starting to take a toll on my self esteem. All I want is a job to pay my bills so I can do something I love to do, or maybe even go back to school to further my career, but without knowing how I am going to make money the future for me seems dim.

I used to be a very happy-go-lucky person. I still act like it in my job, but now I just want to get out of this situation so I can be my real happy self again.

What I’m doing now

I’m still looking. I got a Job Creation Program contract that ends in November and I have yet to find anything. I still volunteer in theatre and I am slowly starting to get paid jobs in theatre, but nothing that will help me pay the bills yet.

My recommendations for employers, career centres or schools

Just because someone’s goals are not the goals of your company doesn’t mean they are going to be terrible for your company. I worked for two years at our family’s photography printing business. I never cared for photography, but I loved the people I worked for and the clients who came in because those employees were rooting for me to get my dream job. That made me work harder for my family’s company.

My advice for students and recent grads

Don’t get a theatre arts degree. If you do, at least go back to school again to do art administration or technical design as a backup.

This Student Voice belongs to:

Ashley Proulx
Graduate
Theatre Arts
Algonquin College

Click here to share your own story.

#141: Jake Choi – Employers, leave room for grooming in entry-level applicants

“Even if I apply for entry-level positions, some demand exceptional skill sets. If there was room for potential candidates to be groomed, that would encourage students like myself to apply more often.” —Jake Choi, Graduate, University of Waterloo

I’ve completed four co-op work terms with the University of Waterloo. I had the unique opportunity to work in various industries including banking, finance, project management and properties/real estate management. I’ve been applying to new graduate jobs on the University of Waterloo’s campus recruitment website (JobMine) as well as reaching out to people whom might be able to offer a job opportunity.

It has been very frustrating because I have received very few interviews through online applications. It’s also hard to compete with other students interviewing who are, in most cases, better qualified or better experienced than myself. In the worst case scenarios, I’m competing against those candidates with professional designations.

I’ve been focusing on acquiring a job in the banking/finance sector. However, I find it extremely difficult to find new opportunities that will utilize my past co-op experiences as most job descriptions will specify very detailed and strict qualifications, even for new graduate students.

I am actively seeking open job opportunities via online applications. At the same time, I am putting more effort into contacting previous managers to seek personal recommendations.

Where I am now

I just finished up my bachelor’s degree and returned to one of my previous employers on a temporary basis. My plan is to pursue my CMA designation as I build up my financial experience.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

I feel limited in terms of the positions I can apply for. Even if I apply for entry-level positions, some of them demand exceptional skill sets. If there was room for candidates to be groomed, that would encourage students like myself to apply more often. I truly believe that in each new university graduate possesses potential strengths that can be awakened and utilized for benefits. Unfortunately, I notice that many employers will focus on finding the “best fit” candidates.

My advice for students and recent grads

I believe that everyone has the ability to be successful and accelerate in their career. Don’t give up because you never know if the next application you are about to submit might become your dream come true. One important thing to keep in mind is to use your networking skills to your advantage. I truly believe that connecting with people you already know will be far more effective than handing out 100 copies of resumes.

This Student Voice belongs to:

Jake Choi
Graduate
Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Business
University of Waterloo

Click here to share your own story.

    What is Student Voice?

    Student Voice is an award-winning initiative to fight Gen Y under-employment by giving students and recent grads across Canada a platform to share your job hunting experiences, as well as your recommendations for employers.

    With your help, we are going to improve the way employers and students connect, and make the school-to-work transition easier.

    Student Voice appears in Metro newspapers across Canada every Wednesday.

    In June 2012, Student Voice won the CACEE Excellence in Innovation Award in the Student Engagement category!

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    416-479-4186