McMaster career counsellors share their top recommendations for students

We know career exploration and decisionmaking can be complex. There are so many variables and considerations. Our Student Success Centre career counsellors are here to support you. 

January 15, 2024

By: Kerri Latham, career counsellor

We know career exploration and decision making can be complex. There are so many variables and considerations and some are in your control and some are not. But there is a process to help get some clarity and sense of direction that is both straightforward and messy. I know, not the most inspiring thing to hear but there is a way through that complexity and uncertainty!

Kerri Latham, Career Counsellor

Kerri’s recommendations:

  • Participate in Career Planning Essentials: A free asynchronous program to help you reflect on your strengths, values and interests to helps you explore your options. Register on OSCARplus (listings are posted to the events calendar at the beginning of each month). Then, participate at your own pace on Avenue to Learn. 
  • Try the Digital Challenge Cards: A quick and fun way to consider what is important to you. This can help you focus your energy and connect with courses, people, clubs and organizations that align with your priorities. 

All experiences count, including volunteering, community engagement and campus involvement, as well as extra-curricular activities, so be sure to acknowledge the value of each one in your applications. Transferrable skills gained from different areas will can be easy to recognize and understand. If you don’t land your dream job right away, that’s okay! Give it time to evolve into an opportunity to grow your skills and experiences.

Tanya Kett, Career Counsellor

Tanya’s recommendations:

  • Learn from other peers on how they gained their experiences and get tips at events like the Summer Job Peer Panel (January 31). 
  • We all know you should be on LinkedIn, but do you know why? Join the LinkedIn: Start Here! session (January 30) to learn more and make the most of your LinkedIn account.  Remember to check OSCARplus for more upcoming career webinars. 

Managing the emotional side of the job search is not talked about enough. Not hearing back from job applications can be tough. Embrace a growth mindset, be self compassionate and focus on the things you can control. Approach the job search by learning all you can about how to be most effective in your efforts.

Jillian Perkins-Marsh, Alumni Career Counsellor

Jillian’s recommendations:

  • Participate in Job Search Essentials: A free asynchronous program that will give you the tools you need to know to land a job in this competitive landscape. Register on OSCARplus (listings are posted to the events calendar at the beginning of each month). Then, participate at your own pace on Avenue to Learn. 

January is an ideal time to start preparing for your summer job search and SSC has many resources and services to support you. If you’re not available to attend workshops or events, check out these resources when it’s convenient for you.

Vanessa Hayward, Career Development Advisor

Vanessa’s recommendations:

  • Check out our Job Search page for application strategies.
  • Visit OSCARplus / Student Success Centre / Employment / Job Postings for a range of summer job opportunities coming in daily. Tip: Go to Advanced Search and select Summer Employment to narrow down your list. Remember to check back regularly.