Stories From The Arch:
Chronicles of a Mac Student
After five incredible years as a both a student and employee of McMaster University, I knew that I was craving an adventure even though the thought of leaving the Mac community behind sounded like an awful decision; however, I knew that travelling was something that I wanted to do. When my contract job ended, I recognized that I wasn't committed to anything and had no actual excuse for why I shouldn’t go.
With exams right around the corner and yet another convocation rapidly approaching, many students around campus are scurrying to meet their last few deadlines before the sweet release of freedom. It’s a great time of the year if you ask me. I mean, sure, it’s busy and stressful and all that, but what lays ahead is totally worth it.
I always see posts floating around social media titled ‘Top 10 Useless Degrees’ and ‘The Best Degrees of 2017’, which aim to highlight why certain majors are deemed ‘worthless’ or why others are “guaranteed” to make you a lot of money. Why are some fields of study considered so worthless over others? Who gave these authors the know-all anyways? These types of posts tend to irritate me to my core. Aside from being clickbait that drives traffic to a website, these types of posts also drive prestige to certain majors over others.
Throwback to my first year, wobbling around with my oversized Roots backpack, stepping foot on campus in total awe of all the adventures yet to come - a ball of nerves and excitement wrapped into one. I remember Frosh week and Clubfest as clear as day. I was a curious and energetic soul ready to explore, strive, and learn something from anyone in sight. It was a time to start fresh and present myself any way I wanted to be. A time to diversify myself with new people and discover fresh interests.
After last week’s tips, you went to the job fair and approached employers with great eye contact, confidence, and a firm handshake. You probably picked up a bunch of pamphlets and business cards. So many names and so little time. Even though you printed out copies of your resume, perhaps you had some left over that you didn’t hand out. Like I said, most employers these days want online copies of your resume. So now what?
Are you an undergraduate student seeking literally any type of employment? Well, 2017 is the year of opportunity! So, whether you are a younger student curious about the job market or an older student seeking out legitimate work and networking opps – you have got to book tomorrow off for Hamilton’s LARGEST Career Networking Job Fair!
You’re walking to class and you pass by a billboard with a bunch of flyers on it. Your eyes glance across a couple of them: “Student Leadership Conference in January”; “A Long Night Against Procrastination”; “Mary Keyes Certificate”; “Company Coffee Chats” … “These events all sound so interesting” - you think to yourself. Then your vision stumbles over the same repetitive phrase on each poster: “Register on OSCARplus!” Suddenly, going to those events feels like a lot of work.
I have listened to so many motivational speeches, but this one really got me. Shonda Rimes, the director and writer behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder speaks about the challenges and happiness that has given her life meaning. While she speaks about her career and her life as a parent, it relates so heavily to the struggles we face while at university.
As the school year comes to a start, you should be thinking about building habits that will help you to succeed. Probably the first suggestion people will tell you is to put away the phone because it’s a distraction. I think that’s a bit close minded because your phone is a brilliant little piece of technology that has adapted to be a device of success. I encourage you to take advantage of downloadable apps that will make your life ten times easier this year in university.
This summer has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. After a lot of up’s and down’s in my job search, I finally did it. I achieved the ultimate adulting goal; I found a full-time job, and here is the best part, it’s in a field that interests me and in a city I love. For my first “big girl” job, I’m pretty excited about it all! Life right now, although different and challenging, is pretty darn good and only getting better.
We all know it's crucial to get on your professors' good side, but how do we go about forging those relationships? Chantal Godin, a recent graduate of McMaster University, has some great advice for those of you who want to work on these connections without being too "goody-goody." Check out her recent post on Unwritten to get some tips!
This year I had a conversation with the president of BAM (bloggers at MAC), and we discussed a common challenge related to the blogging community; blogs, no matter how good the content, or how passionate the writer, often have trouble generating traffic. We could pour our hearts and souls into creating sentences that for hours we painstakingly string together into beautifully crafted content, but alas without readers, that content lands in a beautiful but abandoned virtual landfill.
Recently I came across this article and it gives a pretty interesting take on life goals. Should our generation follow their passions? Is it leading us to failure? Some would say yes, some would say no, but this article provides a perspective that I think most students and young people could benefit from reading if some time was spent afterwards in reflection.
This has been a pretty brutal start to my summer. Within the last week, I have had to deal with some pretty heavy topics. It’s unfortunate that things have come to be this way, but I think I have made the best decisions I could have in light of the situation.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about is that a summer job is not always just a means to an end – it is an opportunity for growth, realization, and change. Every year I have used my summer job as a means to simply gain money. I was willing to do very laborious jobs to get a good paycheck at the end of the week. While this is okay and has worked out well for my budget, I’ve started thinking more and more about the value of trying to land a summer job in a field related to future career interests in order to support longer term goals.
Success; something which we all strive to achieve, yet what exactly is it we are looking for? Working for a Success Centre, I often get this question and I wish there was a clear, definitive answer. By definition, success is accomplishing an aim or purpose. But when I think about success, the definition seems to run much deeper. For me, success isn’t about just achieving a goal; it’s about the process that gets us there.
You went around to every booth, talked to every employer you could, and even collected some business cards along the way; now what? As a student we are quickly moving from one thing to the next, but before you’re on to the next, here are some easy tips on how you can make the most of the time you spent attending the CtoC Job Fair.
For those of you who may not know, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. Currently over 40 million students and recent graduates are on the site, making us the largest demographic using LinkedIn. The likelihood that you have created a LinkedIn account is high but it’s also just as likely that with school and other social media sites vying for attention, you (like me), have probably not invested a huge amount of time into creating an “all-star” profile.
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes when your resume is reviewed? Or, what the interviewer is really thinking while you sit nervously in anticipation of how well you answered the previous question? I know I have, and that’s why I decided to take matters into my own hands. I decided to interview the interviewer! Recently I had the chance to sit down with Emily Taylor, a certified Human Resources Professional with over 8 years of experience in the field of HR, to find out what it’s really like on the other side of that table.
Last week I got the opportunity to attend a networking session with TD top recruiter, Nancy Moulday. I found out about the opportunity through OSCARplus (I check there pretty often so I don’t miss out on any events happening on campus) and decided that as a graduating student, I should sign up and grow my network. TD has been a company of interest to me for some time now, so I decided to attend the session and hear what those working at the company had to say about the organization.
Do you want the chance to win? The Student Success Centre wants to hear from you! Tell us what you think by filling out our survey.
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love to use all of the new services we offer at McMaster. That’s why when I heard about the McMaster Alumni & Partners Advisor Network, I had to check it out.
This post is inspired by Ariel. No, not the red-headed mermaid that lives under the sea, rather one of my co-workers; or at least she was one of my co-workers as little as 24 hours ago. Ariel just ended her contract with the SSC and will be moving to the London area to continue pursuing her career in marketing and communications – congrats Ariel!!
The new term has just started and I can already tell this is going to be a hard semester. My course content is tough and my brain is already in graduation mode. I’m also super anxious that I’m not going to be ready for all the work ahead of me. Like many of you, I’m sure, a lot of things in my life are currently up in the air after graduation, including whether I will be attending post-grad school. So, like previous years, I will be looking for a job this summer.
Holiday office party season is here!! Before you start listing out excuses as to why you can’t (or just don’t want to) attend, hear me out for a second.
If you read McMaster’s Daily News, you probably saw the article about Mac Alumni Matthew Sheridan winning the Ontario’s young entrepreneur of the year award for 2015. This is a huge deal considering the company began in 2013, and gained its $70,000 dollars in funding as the first Canadian company on Kickstarter. Sheridan’s company, Nix Sensor Ltd. created a device called the Nix sensor, which measures the colour of any surface by using a calibrated light system to make accurate colour matches. Once the surface colour is measured, it is sent to your smartphone so you can organize and save colour palettes for future reference.
As you know, Bloggers at Mac and I have done a little bit of collaboration for our blogs. The article I wrote, called “Illiterate to Blogger: My Journey Through Writing,” is about a more personal topic on some struggles I had in school while growing up. It’s something I don’t normally share with people, but I’ve realized that its a pretty big feat that I have accomplished. I guess I am just proud of how far I have come, and I hope to continue to be successful in my development.
For all of the final year students here at Mac, let me start by saying I know that this is one of the most stressful times of the year. I have been speaking with a couple graduating students on campus, and many of us are unaware that applications for graduate level jobs start in October, and run through to January. If you’re feeling a little misguided about the steps you should be taking towards preparing for the career field, I’m hoping this post will help with the process.
A musician, a public relations and ethics specialist, a Doctor, an Engineer, and the VP administration walk into a room. While this sounds like the start of a really crappy joke, it actually was the start to a really inspiring and interesting day spent talking about Success and leadership in the Community.