By: Mariam Khalil
You’re on your way 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”; “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.
What if I told you that OSCARplus isn’t all that bad? Or, that it’s one of the best-hidden gems on-campus?
OSCARplus serves as McMaster’s Online Career and Academic Portal for our “career development, recruitment, and experiential education needs.”
If you know about OSCARplus, but maybe feel confused about how to navigate it, then I’d like to help. While its clean platform with simple menu options creates an illusion of simplicity, there’s a wealth of hidden resources actually at our fingertips.
First, login as a student with your Mac ID and password.
Second, when you’re logged, you start at the Dashboard: this is the main page, where you can access any personal uploaded documents, update account settings, view individual calendars, explore the events you have previously attended or manage any pending appointments.
Third, there are maoon at the top which provide our main functions. To me, these functions are the most useful and that’s why I have dedicated myself to focusing on three of them: search postings, register for an event, and book an appointment.
When you click these buttons, there are sub-functions that lead to other action pages.
For the first button, labelled “search postings,” there is a choice to apply for SSC postings (general job postings in all of the GTA), volunteer postings, internships & coops, and in some cases, many others.
Remember, there is always a list in further detail of a typology of postings on the left drop-down menu.
Within these options, you can organize postings by date, location, and time posted for easier navigation, or search postings by category, field, or program. If you click on the posting, you will find the method of application (which you may upload your CV’s and Resume’s directly on to the website for future use!) and the due date for final applications.
Tip: Save your searches because every time we add a posting that meets your search criteria, the job will appear on your saved search.
Remember, any time you want to go back to the main page, just use the backwards chain menu and click “My Account.”
Register for an event
For the button, labelled “register for an event,” here are some of the categories that may appear:
- Faculty events
- SSC events and workshops calendar (this is the most useful for me), and
- Non-McMaster events
The most convenient thing about this section is the calendar or list view, in which you can organize by type of events or type of display using toggle buttons on each side.
Once you click on these events, you can find the event description, further details, and you can even register right away. Registered events will then appear on your personal calendar within your Dashboard section, and in your upcoming events. Furthermore, you have the option to be reminded by email so you will never forget your commitments. How benefiting is that? Wow!
Book an Appointment
For the final button labelled, “book an appointment,” there are many options through the Student Success Centre, including Academic Skills, Careers, Global Experiences, International Student Services, Mac’s Money Centre, etc. You can view these bookings by type and availability.
I want to focus on two specific appointment types that I have found extremely useful throughout my undergraduate degree and I encourage you to take advantage of them as well.
1. General SSC appointments: Included but are not limited to – volunteer and leadership opportunities, career or continuing education advising, employment preparation (career exploration, resume, cover letter, LinkedIn reviews and photo, job search support, networking, interview prep, strategies, personal branding, starting own business), experiential education learning opportunities, equity-seeking support, alumni career counselling, decision making, entrepreneurship, experience builder program, immigration and international student support, etc.
2. Academic and Writing: One-on-one academic skills coaching per your availability and academic needs, undergraduate writing assistance as well as graduate writing assistance.
OSCARplus has a lot to offer. There is literally something for everyone. Personally, knowing this information has been transformational for my academic and professional career success, however, I only found out about it in my third year!
So again, I seriously encourage you to play your cards right and “Register on OSCARplus!” (haha).
Mariam Khalil blogged for the Student Success Centre from 2016 to 2017.