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  1. The possibility, and very probable reality that you may not get into the program or school of your choice is not talked about enough. A lot of times we hear of the success stories, we talk about our peers admissions and we post about our accomplishments. Very rarely do you see a Facebook post from a friend that says “I didn’t get into engineering!”. There is an obvious reason for this, and that is simply explained by human nature, we don’t celebrate what we perceive to be a ‘failure’ or ‘step backwards’ and I can tell you from experience that I personally felt a bit ashamed and embarrassed to tell my friends and family when I experienced my first rejection letter, but, im here to tell you that you are not alone if you don’t get accepted the first time and in fact everyone should be prepared for this possibility. One site {linked below} suggests that the University of Ottawa, located in Canadas capitol, has an admissions rate of only 15% meaning only 15 of every 100 people who apply will be admitted! The school I attended, Memorial University of Newfoundland, had a 67% admission rate in 2009, much better odds, yes, but I also know that the entrance to specific programs, such as the Faculty of Medicine, is highly competitive and can be as low as 8% some years. So let these stats be a small comfort that it’s not as easy as writing your name on the application, wiring 50$ to the school and boom you’ve landed in a university classroom in the program of your dreams. In reality, there’s a lot of hard work, perseverance, drive, and dedication that may, or may not, stand between you and the school or program. So, my short and simple story, I had great marks in high school and got right into the faculty of engineering, finished engineering with great marks, got a job fairly easy and realized that I wanted t go to Medical school. Chasing my dreams I applied and living in the bubble I was, I got rejected. Didn’t even get an interview! That was the first time I didn’t get what I wanted right away. I was upset and I cried when I got the letter of rejection. I initially thought “How could this be, nobody would be better in this job then me!?”. Then I applied again and REJECTED! Again, I cried and this time I had a whole weekend of self-pity. I got caught up in the idea that too much time would pass and I’d be to old to go back to school, id be really old when I finished school, I thought that my boyfriend would be upset that instead of adding money and starting our life together id be putting myself back into late nights and student debt, my worries went on and on. The problem was I just couldn't stop thinking that this is where I'm suppose to be and what I should be doing, for the long haul. So, it’s okay to be sad and ashamed and most importantly its okay to be rejected, the fact of the matter is that you haven’t failed and its hardly a step backwards. I sat back and evaluated what I needed to do to get in. More importantly, I took a breath and reminded myself how much I have done so far! I have a whole new year to better my application and try again. I am doing what I need to do, for me, that is talking with the admissions officers, paying for a course that can help me better my MCAT score, and redoing my application. For you that may be upgrading your average, adding more volunteer work to your resume, getting a tutor, doing the last course you need for admission. No matter the reason you got rejected, you have put tremendous work in and spent your time, energy and money to try. That effort isnt all lost, in fact its built a foundation for you. Build up and don't throw in the towel, don't let all your effort go to waste. Furthermore, at first talking aloud about these little setbacks to family and friends can be really dang hard! And that's okay. But I encourage you to come to terms with the rejection letter, come to terms with who you are and understand where you need to improve. Know that your rejection letter wasn't because you aren't capable of being a part of said school or said program but instead its because you need to grow and better a certain aspect of your application or portfolio. Once I learned this I didn't feel so awful telling others the truth when the subject came up, in fact, after I stopped avoiding the subject so many of my friends had similar stories! Setbacks make the story of your path to success and happiness that much more interesting! Im not going lie, the rejection stings and in the moment you feel lost, but how are you going to recover from that? Get back up on your horse and keep moving forward because that acceptance letter will feel sooo much better when you know how hard you worked to get it. YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL GET THERE. https://www.prepscholar.com/sat/s/colleges/Ottawa-University-admission-requirements#:~:text=The acceptance rate at Ottawa,the school is extremely selective.
    3 points
  2. Hi everyone, What you can do with OR without a psychology degree One could say that I enjoy learning or that I really did not know what I wanted to do with my degree. After my psychology degree, I knew I still wanted to do therapy but I didn’t’ really know how to do it at that point. I still had no idea what social work was (that’s a whole different blog post :)). However, I did find a program that absolutely changed the way that I view the world. This was the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counselling and Advocacy (AWCCA) program at George Brown. Although I had a psychology degree prior to enrolling in this program, it is not necessary as there is a 2-year diploma option along with a fast track option if you have the necessary requirements. AWCCA is a phenomenal program but very specific in who it supports, as noted in the title. This college diploma is a sister program to a social service worker program. Although AWCCA does cover a lot of the same topics, it does so from a feminist and anti-racist lens. Unfortunately, the AWCCA program does not allow you the same options for college registration as the SSW program. Similar to the SWW program, the AWCCA program gives you the opportunity for 1-2 placement opportunities at local agencies to understand how violence shows up in different forms. The AWCCA focuses specifically on supporting individuals who have experienced gender-based violence. The definition of violence covers many different forms from psychological to emotional, to physical and sexual violence. Unfortunately, this is a topic that is all too well known to many female-identifying, trans, non-binary folks and children. This is not to say that men do not experience violence because they absolutely do and their experiences are incredibly valid. However, this focuses specifically on the experiences of gender-based violence. This course opened my eyes to the injustices that I was ignorant about growing up in a predominately white area. This program taught me so much about myself but also how violence is much more common than I expected. This course will teach you about the psychology of gender while giving you the counselling skills to support individuals in times of crisis. This course will encourage you to be engaged in activism while teaching you about the necessary steps to organizing round table conversations or political activist events. This program gave me the opportunity to do my placement at a local refugee shelter, which taught me about the immigration process and how to support individuals who are new to Canada. After I completed this program, I was able to secure a job as a residential counsellor at a local womens’ shelter, supporting women and families who were fleeing violent situations. This is just one of the many opportunities that this program can lead you to! For more information, check out their website and watch their video on the student experience! https://www.georgebrown.ca/programs/assaulted-womens-and-childrens-counselloradvocate-program-awcca-c137
    2 points
  3. One of the main reasons I chose to attend Waterloo was because of the co-op program that was offered to its students, granted it was offered in your program and you were able to keep up a specific GPA. The prospect of working 4-8 months in between my study terms sounded very exciting, as there were a lot of benefits that could be considered: 1) Expanding your network by increasing the number of professionals you meet within your industry 2) Having relevant experiences to add onto your resume 3) Getting to travel to new cities/countries if you chose to work abroad 4) Applying to a variety of jobs to figure out what you are truly interested in 5) Earning money to help pay for tuition, rent, and other finances during university 6) Getting experience with job interviews and resume writing 7) Improving skills that can be applied to any job such as communication, organization, teamwork, etc. With all the benefits of a co-op program in mind, there are also downsides to consider before choosing to apply to one based on my personal experiences: 1) Applying to jobs and preparing for interviews takes a lot of time and effort, especially when this is done during a study term 2) The first co-op term could be extremely difficult - Lack of previous work/volunteering experiences can be a detriment to employers even if you are enrolled in a co-op program 3) Co-op guidelines - Not being able to apply to work that is unpaid (volunteer), mandatory to find a job by a specific deadline, cannot work for family businesses, and other factors that could prevent you from finding opportunities that arise 4) The stress of not receiving interviews or being turned down by an employer can be taxing on mental health during the study term 5) Finding that the job does not meet your expectations Although my own personal experience with co-op was not always easy, I can't speak for everyone. Perhaps you do one interview and get the job on the spot, maybe you apply to 100 jobs and still haven't received any interviews. It's important to remember that you need to focus on yourself and what your personal goals are when deciding on entering a co-op program.
    2 points
  4. It was the summer of 2013, I had just graduated high school and was ready to start my new life as a university student. I was so excited to be living away from home for the first time and experiencing what it would be like to make all of my own choices without requiring permission from my parents such as going out late, eating whatever I wanted, hanging out with my friends, and other typical activities teenagers liked to do. I think a lot of students can relate to the sentiment of living as their own person for the first time and truly figuring out who they are outside of high school and their respective towns. I for one was ready to dive into the full university experience, knowing I was living with a couple of friends from high school, I wasn't too worried about living arrangements. It was myself and three other girls living in a suite divided into four small rooms with a small kitchen, dining area, and living space with two bathrooms. I have to say we got pretty lucky with our living arrangement, as we never went through the experiences of sharing communal bathrooms or living off a meal plan exclusively since we had a kitchen. We were also in a fairly new dorm so it was cleaner, but also one of the few that included A/C so we could stay cool during the first few weeks of September. I thoroughly enjoyed the space and was grateful we got the privacy that other dorms didn't exactly have, but there were definitely a few downsides to the dorm as well. 1) Privacy - I know I stated this as a positive, as it was more quiet than other dorms available at the university, but it also took away from the socialization aspect of the "college experience". To elaborate, each room in our building was its own suite, meaning that you were mostly surrounded by the other three roommates that you had. Unless you actually made an effort to go out and meet the other people living on the floor... you were pretty isolated. Sadly for us, most of the people on our floor kept to themselves, so we didn't get much of a chance to make new friends. 2) THIN WALLS - As someone who is a light sleeper, accustomed to the quiet suburban lifestyle with minimum noises and distractions at night... let's just say I didn't sleep much for the first couple of months. 3) Chores - Splitting up chores is not always easy when it comes to living with a new group of people. Sometimes you need to have difficult conversations about how someone might be slacking in one department, or how you feel like you're doing most of the work. To be honest, I was guilty of slacking in some of my duties as well. University is hard and your schedule gets turned upside down when you have to balance not only your studies, but also cooking for yourself, cleaning, grocery shopping, and finding time to unwind and enjoy the hobbies and extra curricular activities you like to do. My only advice is give yourself time to adjust and hopefully you can figure out a routine that works for you! Those are just some of my experiences living away from home from the first time. Although it wasn't perfect, I still had a great time in first year learning how to live on my own and meeting a lot of new friends in the process. It taught me how to be more independent, balance my schedule, and figure out how to communicate with others about things that bothered me. Living OFF campus is a whole other area I will get into for another post.
    2 points
  5. Hi everyone! If you are reading this post it means you could be interested in a degree in psychology! I am here to help you figure out whether this is the best path for yourself and will hopefully provide a little bit of information that I wish I knew when I was making my career decision. I am 29 years old and finished my degree in Honours psychology in 2014. Growing up, I can remember fondly wanting to be a therapist, one that is depicted in movies with the beautiful office and outfits, supporting individuals and families with their experiences and problems. Truthfully, I wanted to be a psychologist, however, I did not know what this actually meant and really how long the process would take or whether there were other options out there. I picked a university that I ended up loving, but I chose it because my friend’s mom who was a psychologist did her schooling there. I thought well if she did it there it must have an excellent psychology program and quite frankly, it was fine but I did not know what to expect. Although my psychology degree did lay a foundation for my career, it took a college program and now my master’s in social work to get to where I really want to be. Questions I wish I knew prior to going into my psychology degree What can you do with a psychology degree? You can absolutely do many things with a psychology degree, but many will require additional training and education, including a psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist, researcher, or teacher. What’s the difference between a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science psychology degree? A bachelor of arts focuses more on the humanities and community work including social justice, whereas a bachelor of science focuses more on math and science. This distinction can be very helpful if you are interested in pursuing a psychology degree, specifically in what schools offer which programs. How long does it take to become a trained and licensed psychologist? After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will need to obtain at least a master’s degree if not your Ph.D. and a year of supervised interning prior to becoming a psychologist. According to the Canadian Psychological Association website, it can take between 5-8 years after completing your bachelor’s degree to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology. What does a master’s and Ph.D. require? Although I cannot speak to this completely, I do understand that a master’s and Ph.D. require conducting research. This personally was not something I cared to complete as I did not thrive in a research setting. However- I STRONGLY encourage you to explore what you are interested in. My experience definitely was not what I expected when I went to university. However, I also did not do the research that I should have done. I knew I wanted to do some sort of therapy but I did not understand even the different options that were out there, including a child and youth worker, residential counsellors at local shelters, community organizers among so many more. I hope for you as you explore your next steps is to really reflect and take time to figure out what you really want, utilizing journaling to explore your goals and figure out what that could look like. Have conversations with people who are in that field, ask them how they got there, who inspired them, what courses they found most interesting. Research the different programs at different schools. I can tell you that not every program is the same so figure out what best aligns with your values and goals. Lastly, I know that this time is very confusing but I want to let you know that it is totally OKAY for you not to know what you want to do. Everyone has their own journey and own timeline. However, I would encourage you also to figure out what you want to study prior to committing your valuable time and money to something you hate. Happy exploring!
    2 points
  6. Right after high school, I was in UBC Sciences. Over the years, I studied mainly Math. I was pretty good at it, but soon I felt very lost in life. I had no idea what I wanted to do with a Math degree. In the summer of my 2nd year, I fell into a heavy depression. In the coming years, I majored in Psychology in the hopes of understanding myself better and alleviating my depression. That was also the wrong move. I finished my time at UBC after 4 years and was still lost. Eventually, I got a job with my family business and went back to school years later. Lessons 1. Don't rush into University if you are unsure of what you want to do. Take a gap year before or even in between studies. 2. When feeling lost, don't force yourself to finish a degree just because you started it. Take some time to think things over and speak with a counsellor.
    2 points
  7. Back in high school, I felt that I really excelled in the math and physical science subjects. I wanted to be a Theoretical physicist. Thinking about physics allowed me to delve into the secrets of the universe. I felt that I was almost in this "dream state" contemplating the inner workings of the natural world. I remember other students praising me on my math and physics abilities. I thought this would be the path for the rest of my life. However, in the coming years after high school, I realized that the process of finding my ideal career path would include many twists and turns before settling on a seemingly "right path". Now, almost 9 years after high school, I'm building towards a career in Renewable energy engineering. Lessons 1. Don't take high school for granted. Get involved in the school not just academically, but especially in the social scene 2. Choose to pursue a subject that you are best at. Listen to what others praise you on. 3. Whatever your goals are, go ALL in. This will give you the basic experiences to achieve more in your adult life. 4. Develop yourself in all areas (health, relationships, academic, part-time job, higher purpose, ...). This will make you more well-rounded to tackle life after high school.
    2 points
  8. Due to the rise of MOOC ( massive open online courses), I just have a few thoughts on it especially for students. Many MOOC services such as coursera or edx offers courses that you can audit for free and pay (around 70$) to get a certificate. I recommend anyone to take these courses as they are taught by qualified university professors. These classes you can study at during your own pace, skip to certain topics you want to cover specifically and engage with others via the forum section of the courses. If you want to take a course for your own interests or just for fun, I recommend them as well as many of them are entry topics on languages, professional development and languages. Students should definitely use this to their advantage. In terms of how recognized these certificates, specializations and degrees are, there are mix opinions on that. Please reach out and lets discuss MOOC together!
    2 points
  9. Thought it might make it easier to compile a list of different volunteering sites in Ontario and across Canada and save them all in one place. You might find these helpful if you are currently looking to volunteer within your community or even remotely: SPARK Ontario – You can filter volunteering opportunities by location and/or suitability (i.e. looking for opportunities for anyone, adults, youth, etc.) https://www.sparkontario.ca/ Gigit – You can choose whether you are looking for a volunteer gig, paid gig, events, services or rentals and where. https://gigitmarketplace.com/ Canadian Red Cross – You can find volunteering opportunities depending on the province that you live in and you also have the choice to select a role type and a category. https://www.redcross.ca/ YMCA Canada – Volunteering opportunities may vary depending on location, so their main site advises you to visit your local YMCA site to learn more (they make it easy for you too and actually link all of their branches!) https://ymca.ca/Get-Involved/Volunteer Volunteer Canada – This site works a little bit differently. Instead of letting you search for a particular position, it gives you a list of different local sites that you can visit for more information based on where you are located. For instance, if you are in Ontario and within the GTA, it links you to Volunteer Toronto so you can search for opportunities in that specific area. Or if you are more towards Ottawa, then they also include Volunteer Ottawa and a couple of other sites. Apart from that, Volunteer Canada also gives you the option to fill out a form so you can be matched with possible volunteering opportunities within your preferred location and based on your talents/skills, what cause you are looking to serve and what group of people. You can also choose the duration of the volunteering position and if you are volunteering on your own or with a group. All of this is found in the Pan-Canadian Volunteer Matching Platform tab. https://volunteer.ca/ Charity Village – You can find volunteering opportunities (or even paid positions) just by typing a keyword, job title or the organization’s name as well as selecting a specific location. https://charityvillage.com/ I would also suggest that if you do have something specific in mind you want to do (i.e. helping out with COVID related jobs, helping out newcomers get settled in, etc.) and said job is not showing up on any volunteering site or there is even a specific organization you want to contribute to, you can easily go to your local centres’ websites or reach out to them via email or phone and ask if they have any volunteering opportunities and how would you go about the process. They are always looking for volunteers! I will make sure to keep adding more sites as I come across them but please feel free to comment with any others that were not mentioned that you may know of! 🙂
    2 points
  10. Hi everyone, If you know someone who has an interesting career and would be interested in sharing what they do, send them this google form: https://forms.gle/vz54vn56iwzx1cgFA. We hope it makes it more accessible for visitors on the site to share their career experiences! We will post any entries that we get regularly.
    2 points
  11. Today is a bit of a different blog, I am going to discuss why I am applying to medical school. As you know from my last blog entries, you know that I have always thought about the idea of medical school and entertained the thought that if I wanted to try after graduation, I could. To go to medical school you need and undergraduate degree, that’s how I ended up in engineering and although I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every part of the schooling, loved the work terms I completed, and enjoy my job, I just can’t shake the idea of being in the medical field. I feel that the medical field is where I can make the biggest impact on the most people during my lifetime, give back to my community and pursue my greatest interests, so, I am applying to medical school. Shortly after graduation, like a few weeks after graduation, I started studying a completely different type of science and wrote the MCAT exam. It didn’t go as planned and I did way worse than I thought I would ever do. Furthermore, I had a trip to Europe planned and really didn’t manage my time well, in the end my application to the one school I applied to was rushed, sloppy and I was embarrassed I even submitted it. I didn’t get an interview, no surprise, and I was bummed about it for a couple weeks, but in reality I didn’t deserve that interview. I picked myself up and got a full time engineering job. Life goes on and I had a fabulous degree that I enjoyed. I obtained a great job with awesome people and I didn’t want my skills as an engineer to fade away from me. I had to remember the medschool was never guaranteed for me and that is why I choose engineering as my undergrad, none the less engineering was feeling like second place in my heart and the longer I worked full time the stronger that medschool intuition got. I had to try again. Unfortunately, COVID struck, my plans to upgrade my MCAT score semi fell through and I was feeling defeated again. As I was sitting at my counter one day, tons of time on my hands from the lack of socializing and gym going, I realized this was a great time to get some new online volunteering experiences. This lock down provided me time to offer my services to this community, upgrade my application and try something new! Then I realized that besides getting some new and valuable volunteer work, I also had the time to really put together the best application of my life and I was going for it. This is where this story ends as I am still in the application process but I still have a few more points to mention. 1. I decided to apply to more than one school this round. Although still limited by my very average MCAT score I realized that I can apply to schools that don’t consider this score and schools that don’t heavily weight this score in their selection process. 2. Life isn’t always going to hand me what I want. Not getting in the first time is common and I could clearly see my mistakes. Not getting in the second time is very probable, but I am determined to put together a strong application and show what I have to offer. In the end its better to give it a shot then sit back and wonder what would happen if….. 3. I still work hard and do the best I can at my full time job. I enjoy the work and want to make a great name for myself. I continuously take extra courses and plan for a future in the organization I work because I still want to excel and plan for where I am in my life. 4. Find your weaknesses and work on them. I found mine, written communication and hitting on key themes of written responses, and then I worked on it! I read articles online for tips and advice, I seen a ‘tutor’ to help edit my work and provide suggestions. You can only go up from there! I hope you enjoyed this little blog and maybe in the future ill be writing about being a doctor! For now though I will bring it back to Engineering and my next blog will be about: Cover Letter, Resume, Interview!
    2 points
  12. I just want to make a list of what first years need to know or should expect, obviously this does not apply to every university and every program but just generally from most: - Professors generally don't care about first year students, won't bother to remember your name ( unless you do really well in a way) - You will be lost in the campus during your first few weeks so get to your lecture classes early - Books are expensive -Some TAs are good while others have no idea what they are saying - Exams and tests are WAY HARDER than high school - Be ready to memorize, memorize and memorize - Try to make friends in the first year, start building your connection web - You will procrastinate, so try to finish everything early - Always ask questions during your tutorials, your TAs are their for you, don't be shy - use your resources (some people never use the library, tutoring service ever) If anyone feels like something should be added to this list, please do not hesitate to add I welcome any questions or comments
    2 points
  13. It's important to recognize how much our mental health impacts our overall well-being and quality of life. May 3rd-9th is the CMHA Mental Health Week campaign, where CMHA is encouraging individuals to express and understand their emotions, no matter how uncomfortable they may feel. During this pandemic, many of us have experienced low feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation, making mental health more important than ever. Throughout my time in university, I struggled a lot with my own mental health due to the constant pressures of trying to balance school work, extracurriculars, social life, co-op jobs, relationships, and other external factors that made up my life during that period. I had many instances where my social anxiety blocked my efforts to improve my life, whether that would be personal or professional. I was constantly stressed and felt like I was underachieving in everything I did thanks to my own perception that others around me were always doing better, and that I was never going to catch up. That was a personal flaw I didn't realize I was doing at the time; instead of worrying about how others were doing, I could've chose to be more mindful and remind myself that I was just fine and how many things I could actually be grateful for. Today I'm a lot more self aware of my emotions and how my past experiences shaped me as a person. Speaking with numerous mental health counsellors, during and after university, taught me how to understand and cope with my emotions in a healthier way. That was a big factor in how my mental health had the chance to progress over the years through the good and bad days. They didn't encourage me to ignore and filter out all the bad things in my life as I had been previously doing, but rather how to cope with the anxiety and impulsive thoughts when they occurred. This is not to say I don't have days where I experience regression. Your mental health journey isn't always going to be linear, and it's okay to take a couple of steps back. I am able to be more self aware of my actions and not let my emotions surpass a threshold where I do or say things I may regret later. Overall, I recommend reaching out to any mental health services your school offers if that is something you feel you can benefit from. I personally find that speaking with a professional can always offer you an unbiased perspective on certain issues, and the feeling of being in a place free of judgement makes me feel safe and more open to talking about things that people in my personal life, such as friends and family members, may not always understand or show compassion for. Not every counsellor is going to be a good fit with what you are looking for, so be open to finding someone else, or even something different if that's what you need. Take care and stay safe!
    1 point
  14. My professor showed this to me in one of my first lecture classes. What is your opinion of this? Do you think it is possible to achieve all three? Lets discuss :)
    1 point
  15. In my experience, I did not have to get a degree in Business in order to go into the Human Resources field. As mentioned in my previous education post, I actually went into Psychology and then after I decided to enrol in a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management. Even if you have not gone to university, there are certificates that are not necessarily for post-graduate students but instead just for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Human Resources field and wants to go into it. I do want to mention that because it is fully online, there is not a work experience component and all discussions are done through the forum on the course website. You would only have to go to campus to take the final exam or you can even just take it online and pay for the online proctoring service. I would highly recommend it, but it really depends on whether you are someone who is okay with learning on their own and do not need much guidance from a professor. That said, there are certificates that are not online and can be done normally face-to-face.
    1 point
  16. Hi everyone, Recently, Dr. Simone reached out to us to offer a description of her career as an Educational Psychologist. Hope you all find this informative! "Personally, I was always curious about learning and learners so it made sense to me that I would become an educational psychologist. Educational psychologists are interested in how people (children and adults) learn, the difficulties they might have learning, how the learning environment might hinder or foster learning and what can be done to modify the learning environment so that people can be successful in their learning. Because I also wanted to work in a university environment where I could teach and do research I pursued my doctorate or Ph.D. in Educational Psychology which I received from Michigan State University. As a doctoral student in Educational Psychology, I took courses in statistics, research design, human development, cognition, and instruction. My minor was developmental psychopathology where I studied areas pertaining to mental illness. With respect to my degrees, after 11 years of elementary and high school, I obtained a B.A. in Social Psychology at McGill University which was a three-year program. Then I pursued a two year M.A. with thesis in Educational Psychology (McGill University), and subsequently another four years for my doctoral degree or Ph.D. (Michigan State University). Although I decided to become a professor educational psychologists can also work as consultants outside the domain of academia."
    1 point
  17. Hi everyone! I am Julie. I obtained my master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). What is TESOL? The TESOL program is designed for students who wish to become effective English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL) teachers after graduation. The courses of TESOL involve Understanding Second Language Learning and Teaching, Syllabus and Materials Design, Teaching and Learning Vocabulary, Teaching and Learning Grammar, Teaching Reading and Writing Skills, Teaching Listening and Speaking Skills, etc. If you wish to teach international students English or teach English in a foreign country, this program is suitable for you! What is ESL/EFL? ESL applies to learners who live in a country where English is the most commonly used language, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. ESL learners have frequent opportunities to use English outside the classroom. EFL applies to learners who live in a country where English is not their first language, such as Japan, China, Korea, Brazil, and France. EFL learners may not have many opportunities to encounter and use English outside the classroom. Admission requirements: You do not need to have a bachelor’s degree in English or education to apply for the TESOL program. Some of my classmates have bachelor’s degrees in business, psychology, and engineering! However, prior language teaching experience is recommended. I worked as an EFL teacher during my undergraduate period. Besides, there are many EFL and ESL volunteer opportunities. You could work as a facilitator in an English conversation program to help international students enhance spoken English skills.
    1 point
  18. What is your profession/industry? Medical device/medical equipment What do you do? Document control and regulatory affairs. What skills/experience do you need? Experience I actually started out as a receptionist, and have stayed with the company for 12 years, I’ve eventually learned our products and procedures to move up to my position. Technical skills (e.g. education, programming languages, etc.)Professional skills You don’t technically need a degree, but you do need to do training and certifications on the Standards to qualify for the position which you can do online. Technical wise, you’ll be doing a lot of computer office work so you need to be familiar with the regular software programs like Microsoft, Adobe, and any other programs your company uses. Professional skills Understand the domestic and international standard requirements (you learn when you do the certification classes). You need to be organized because you and the company will be audited by regulatory bodies like the FDA to make sure that your products are safe to be in the market. Attention to details is important for both titles, one is making sure all records are accurately kept and the other makes sure that all procedures and being followed properly. What inspires you about your work? (e.g. do you appreciate the challenges, problem-solving, management, your impact on a corporation/team) The industry changes to society needs. So there’s always something to learn. What I like the most about my job is researching requirements for each country because most countries have different sets of requirements. One of the biggest challenges is applying the standard to your product. There are regular standards that is kind of like a one-fits-all thing, and you have to figure out how your company/product procedure meets that requirement. What kind of person do you think it takes to do what you do? Someone who is good with details, being organized, doesn’t shy away from mundane and tedious jobs, and wants to understand standards. Someone who basically writes the procedure for producing a product.
    1 point
  19. What is your profession/industry? Profession: Administrator What do you do? I work as an assistant office manager, recall coordinator and administrator. What skills/experience do you need? Experience Experience in administration, business, and media/communications. Technical skills (e.g. education, programming languages, etc.) Proficient in English and also able to write proficiently. Computer skills. Professional skills Able to work in a team setting and also independently. Client and patient focused. Adaptability and eagerness to learn. What inspires you about your work? (e.g. do you appreciate the challenges, problem-solving, management, your impact on a corporation/team) What inspires me about my work is the patients and clients I meet on a daily basis. Getting to help people learn about dental hygiene and promoting personal hygiene and overall oral health. Dealing with insurance companies can be a struggle but it inspires me to work and aid people get the coverage they need for preventative maintenance check ups. Having a supportive team on your side also makes everything run smoothly and efficiently. What kind of person do you think it takes to do what you do? I think it takes a versatile person who is able to adapt in different environments. Some days you’re on your own and need to work independently and are tediously working on deadlines. Other days, you have to collaborate as a team and brain storm ideas. There’s give and take and I think you need to be confident in yourself in a professional setting and also be open minded.
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  20. What is your profession/industry? For five years, I have been dedicating my time to searching for good real estate investment opportunities all over the province and then buying and leasing out said properties, as well as managing the properties and the tenants. In the course of this endeavour, I also learned about many other investment opportunities that are more passive in nature. Slowly, I am gravitating more towards such opportunities and I have also had success with this. Additionally, part of what I do is to share my knowledge with others and hopefully inspire them to think about their retirement goals and about how they can get there ASAP! What do you do? I do a tremendous amount of research to understand the real estate market and where the maximum profit can be made. I also do a tremendous amount of research re taxation treatment of these profits - whether you buy and flip, buy and lease out as a regular rent agreement, buy and lease out on an RTO (rent-to-own) basis as well as the other options available to real estate investors. In addition, learning how to acquire a good tenant (or deciding to pay someone to do this for you) is also essential. What skills do you need? It should be clear that good research skills are a must. You also have to be able and willing to attend financial presentations (and know how to find out about such events!) and remain in the know and always be talking to the right people and monitoring the real estate market. You have to have a thirst for information and for expanding your knowledge base. The more you learn, the more you will find out how much you still have yet to learn and that should not discourage you; rather, it should drive you. Professional skills You don't need a degree to do this. You don't have to have a special type of educational background. You just have to have the ability to manage difficult tenants and also manage the properties -- whether you learn to do that yourself or hire someone to do it for you. You have to have the ability to be decisive and to be unafraid of taking risks. You have to have a keen eye and good instincts. What inspires you about your work? I love being able to manage my own time and put in as much or as little work as I wish. Obviously that will affect how much money I make, but I like having that option. There are so many careers that are not exactly available in a part-time capacity. There is a lot of money to be made in the real estate market. It is wonderful to be open to new things, new opportunities, new ideas. Generally speaking, when there is a topic that people don't know much about (e.g., investments, or finances in general), they find it intimidating and just automatically conclude that they shouldn't delve into something they barely understand. This fear is valid but we should not forever remain in the dark about something we don't know or understand. Do not be afraid. You will not become an expert overnight but you should be open, you should be willing, you should start somewhere -- baby steps. It is not rocket science. Learn. Educate yourself so that you can then make informed investment decisions re your hard-earned dollars. It is very unfortunate that we don't learn about finances/money/budgets/taxes/investments in school. If you are not the type to be able to acquire such information yourself or you don't even know where to begin, then hire a really good financial advisor. Or talk to me! What kind of person do you think it takes to do what you do? Much of the knowledge I acquired was self-taught. Also, to do this successfully, you must be willing to take risks and know that not all the risks you take will pay off but that that's okay. All in all, you can never succeed if you don't try. And real estate investors gain experience quickly and learn from past purchases, past tenants, past contracts, etc. so you will always find yourself improving. It takes a bold and brave person to do this. But of course, your risks need to be calculated and carefully studied. You must strive to gain as much information as possible before you make a decision. You have to have patience and be thorough but not let fear be your guide.
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  21. 1) What is your profession/industry? I’m in HR. 2) What do you do? I work for a high voltage electrical utilities contractor, where I focus on HR-related aspect of immigration law, legislation compliance, policy development and implementation, compensation and benefits analysis, records management. 3) What skills/experience do you need? I didn’t have any skills or experience in HR before joining this team. Most of the skills and experience I’ve gained is through direct training and learning through day-to-day work. I was given some guidance from my supervisor but most of the things I’ve learned is on the job learning and practice. I think obviously having HR specific foundation and experience will be highly useful but the skills I’ve gained and grown throughout my work is my ability to be flexible, continuously strive to learn and understand topics, always ask questions when you have any issues, take initiative to go above and beyond what is expected from you. 4) What inspires you? Inspiration is hard because I’m unsure if this is the profession I want to be in forever. So I can say I can answer this question with full honesty. What I do enjoy in my job is the atmosphere of the workplace and the people I work with. As far as my duties…. I enjoy the fact that I’m still learning about things, like if I don’t know about a specific topic I’ll just research it myself to get a better understanding. So there’s a something new everyday and it differs between provinces and states – which adds additional confusion and requires me to be on-point with your information and accuracy. 5) What type of person is best suited to this career? People person – you need to be able to connect with people especially when they’re not at their best. Ability to handle conflict – although I’ve yet to handle conflict directly at work, I have resolved issues and have been an open person for people to vent which minimized the potential for future conflicts. Great reader and writer – ability to read, interpret, and understand information in legislations, court cases, research articles, etc. Vice versa you have to be able to write policies, company wide communication, etc. in a way that is easily understandable to any and all people.
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  22. Hello Everyone, I am currently studying Restaurant Management: Food and Beverage management at George Brown College in Toronto. This program combines the intricacies of the hospitality industry along with the fundamentals of a management course. Towards the end of this program, several graduates, move on to become bartenders/servers, bar-managers, sommeliers, cicerones and many such designations across the hospitality industry. The industry not only includes hotels and restaurants but also airlines, cruises, resorts, clubs, resident homes, wineries, breweries and all those places that require customer service along with F&B services. Some graduates even work towards marketing, sales, accounting and HR aspects of the industry. In this write-up I would be focusing on bartending. It not only involves skills but also technical knowledge of the products and the various techniques that go into creating a drink. There are specific bartending courses/programs as well offered both online as well as in colleges/institutes. Similarly, along this path, people also opt for sommelier/cicerone courses. However, to become one of these, one has to complete certification programs such as WSET and Cicerone certifications. All the three paths stated above require a passion towards customer service and the eagerness to keep learning. These fields like most other keep evolving with time and it's important to stay up to date with what's happening in the industry. Also to be really succeed in this field, one should be able to commit a lot of facts to memory (a bit of history, geography, biology and chemistry) and also be good at the basics of mathematics(addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). There are several professional bartenders who do not undergo a lot of initial in-school training and learn hands-on while in the industry. Anyhow, bartending is a skill that cannot be acquired in a day or a week, it has to be developed over time and requires work. https://www.georgebrown.ca/programs/advanced-wine-and-beverage-business-management-program-postgraduate-h414 https://www.georgebrown.ca/programs/food-and-beverage-management-restaurant-management-program-h132 Hope this piece would prove useful. Best regards, Aprajita
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  23. Definitely possible to achieve. If I can, I would like to teach all people how you can manage your time and organize daily life. The key is here time management and determination.
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  24. Recently I’ve been finding myself using social media a lot more. Like most people, I am in need of entertainment and a little distraction from everything that’s been going on this year. I was on Reels, an Instagram feature/related-app similar to TikTok, when I stumbled upon a video by a PA debunking some assumptions people had about her job. When I saw the acronym ‘PA’, I immediately thought to myself, “she must be referring to the role of a personal assistant”. I soon found out she was talking about the role of a Physician’s Assistant, a profession I hadn’t heard of before. I did some more research and found out that PAs play an important role in our healthcare system, and in recent times, their role is even more crucial and necessary. They conduct interviews, give diagnosis, prescribe treatments etc. to patients in hospitals and clinics. Entry into the program isn’t as intimidating as it seems. For the 2-year program at McMasters there are no prerequisite courses, and they seem to offer a really comprehensive program. It is a great alternative (or even first choice) for those who want to be in the medical field but do not want to become doctors. My point is there are so many options and choices that we might not even be aware of. I’ve found that social media provides many options and alternatives in the social media, entertainment and business fields, but also provides a lot of helpful and informative content on more “traditional” career paths as well. Sites like the Student Career Hub and LinkedIn, and apps like TikTok and Reels can offer a lot of inspiration if you utilize them well. Don’t think that you can never join a certain field because you don’t meet the common criteria, you only need to do more research, and be open to finding career inspiration from multiple avenues.
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  25. Hi there! My name is Addy Keye, and I want to share a not-so-quick story with you. I graduated from York University with a degree in Sociology last year and had a very clear goal of what I wanted to do afterward. You see, since the age of 12 I’d had the goal of being a lawyer. Almost everything I did since then, the courses I took, my extra-curricular activities, and my effort in class had been geared toward reaching this goal. In March 2019, I received my acceptance letter from the University of Ottawa law school to join their common law program. Sounds like a happy ending, right? Well, at this point I had changed quite a bit. In academia I was still relatively the same, but my interests and passions had change. I decided to go to law school, but within a month I realized it was no longer for me and withdrew from the program. Although I consider it a very brave step, it did lead to a lot of fear and anxiety. I had been pursuing that goal for a decade! I didn’t feel like I had any skills or knowledge not related to law or criminology. Well, I love research, writing and organizing, so I got to work. I read endless articles on what to do with a sociology or liberal arts degree, watched TED Talks on choosing careers, and saved Pinterest posts on finding your purpose. I wrote down popular options, indicated to what level they “sparked joy”, whether I would need further education, and what sort of education that would be. Doing this gave me a lot of options but I still didn’t feel particularly drawn to any. One day I chose to rewatch a TED Talk and reread a Pinterest post, and I noticed a few commonalities. They provided some questions to ask yourself when you don’t know what to do. Here’s what helped me: 1. Ask yourself what you enjoyed as a child- activities, classes etc. 2. Ask yourself what you enjoy now 3. Ask yourself what people come to you for advice on or tell you you’re good at 4. Bonus- Ask yourself what you do if money weren’t an issue I asked myself these questions and got…law. Yes, that’s right. But I also got finances. I’ve been a treasurer and helped with budgeting in previous volunteer organizations. I knew I liked law but no longer wanted to be a lawyer, so I ruled that out. I reminded myself what my favorite subjects were in high school, which were Government and Commerce (I went to high school in another country in case those aren’t typical courses in Canada). It was basically law and accounting, so I asked myself how I could combine these two areas. I went through my ‘possible careers’ list again and saw an option I had overlooked- Human Resources. HR deals with employment law and compensation/accounting. It was a great fit. Now, why I told you this long story is because I totally understand how it feels to not know what you’re going to do or what talents/skills you posses. It took a year for me to arrive at HR, but it could have taken much longer. Finding the right career path takes time and can change over the course of your life, but if you’re finding it difficult to get started, try asking yourself: 1. What you enjoy or have enjoyed in the past 2. What people say you’re good at (or what you believe you are) 3. What you’ve done (as a job or in a volunteer capacity) that you really enjoyed- even if it was just one small aspect of it 4. What your personality type is. You could take a Myers Briggs personality type test and use that to find career choices that match (mine said counsellor or HR diversity consultant!) Write these down and create a list. If you’re in high school, you could visit your guidance counsellor and go over your list together. If you’re in university, you could visit your career center (if they have one) or see an advisor. There are so many professions available, and with technology advancing at the rate it is, there will be a lot more in the near future. I assure you; you will find something for you.
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  26. Just wanted to add the link to the personality-career match. I found it really helpful and reassuring. https://www.businessinsider.com/the-best-jobs-for-every-personality-type-myers-briggs-2020-9?amp
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  27. Hey Guys! Today I am going to write about my experience with the engineering coop program. I am only familiar with the engineering programs in Canada and most are generally the same layout at a high level. There are some minor differences in the length of programs, types of disciplines offered and finally the coop option but basically not much else differs logistically. Lets talk about the last thing, coop!! COOP So. My undergraduate degree was completed at a university where this wasn’t an option. Whether you wanted to or not you were going to do the coop stream. There are many pros and cons to this mandatory stream. And I have to say the over the course of my degree the faculty, many times, debated offering a stream that didn’t include coop. Bottom line is that there wasn’t enough people (professors and students) to offer a choice at my university, if you get a choice, that’s amazing and you should consider what’s best for you! First ill discuss the cons because I personally don’t think there are a whole lot! To start, a coop stream will undoubtedly make your program longer. Mine was five years, most other eng degrees are 4, so not a huge deal, especially for me right out of high school with lots of growing and learning left to do, however, some of my classmates already had related diplomas, other degrees and industry experience from other life choices and they found an extra year frustrating because they didn’t need the experience and assurance that coop offers (more on this later). Next, Because our coop is mandatory and there is little room for flexibility in our schooling schedule (i.e. courses are only offered once per year) we could only take 4 month workterms, because we had to get back for our courses or we would be behind an entire year. This strict schedule also made school a little stressful because if you were unsuccessful in a course, you would be behind an entire year, also you will quickly learn that 4 months is mearly enough time to get your feet wet at a job. This wasn’t a problem for me but I know of classmates that turned down some really big work terms at life changing companies such as Apple and Tesla because they only offered 8-month and year long work terms. This wont be the same for every school so do some research because you should understand the schedule impacts the coop stream will have on your life! Finally, the only other con I have was that possibility of getting a ‘bad’ work term. The coop program is competitive and there is an expectation to reach a minimum number of work terms to be able to graduate with that designation. Therefore if you fall on a hard time to get a job (oil and gas crash in 2014, covid in 2019, etc) or you have a bad semester and you are not as competitive against your peers then you may get a work term in an industry, program or location that you just don’t like. Then you end up thinking, well what was the point of this! But I choose to think of this as a pro. Read on to find out how.... The pros!! I think there are many! Can you tell im pro coop stream? Haha. In the cons I mentioned having a bad work term. I personally think that it just weeds out places you don’t want to end up long term. It also allows you to leave after a short period of time without any bad blood! Believe me, I had 5 work terms. 3 of them I hated and I didn’t even think I would hate them going in, but boy did I ever make some realizations while I was there. I also heavily avoided applying for jobs like those dreadful positions after I graduated. From my other posts you’ve also seen that coop helped me decide a discipline. One work term in civil and I knew I wasn’t going to be a civil engineer! Next a MAJOR pro, is that you get paid. You will get paid for being in school. It helps a lot with tuition, it helps to graduate almost debt free and it helps with stress levels. Another pro, every 4 months I got a ‘break’ from school. The late nights, assignments, frustration of having a midterm or final every two seconds, that disappears for four months. If you asked me I don’t know how I would have gotten through this pretty intense program without those short breaks. Another huge pro is the fact that you get, one, to decide if this is the life you see yourself in and two, real life experience for when you graduate. I know people who went out on a work term and the was the last straw, they didn’t want to be an engineer or they went out on a work term and was surprised to find out the 'thats what an engineer does'. Supplemental to this pro is that it's a fact that a large number of students in my graduating class were hired where they once did one or more work terms. Being in the industry, making a name for yourself and having contacts when you graduate is so so helpful. Weirdest thing is that at the time you may not think your being useful or making an impact or even meeting people that will remember you long term, but you are! I have been surprised. So in conclusion, if my pros cant convince you, I will state it: If you can do coop, do coop. The only time I wouldn’t recommend it is if you already had experience and contacts in the field you were entering, already knew this is what you wanted to do, or have a family or some other life obligation (because they do happen) that requires you to be in school for a shorter period of time and get out working. Placements Maybe your thinking about the coop office. Every school has one and from personal experience and talking to many an engineering student from many a university across campus, i'm here to ensure you that your paying for very subpar service and you can do better work yourself. I encourage you to use them since you are paying for their service but what advice they give you and what they tell you I would take with a grain of salt and use them as a stepping stone. When looking into your placements you should at the beginning be open to all kinds of work and as you go through the system pick work more towards what you are specializing in. For example, after my general year I tried work in civil and mechanical but later I choose companies that do ocean and naval work because I did ocean and naval engineering. I would also recommended trying different organizations. So I did work terms with small private companies, large organizations recognized worldwide and government work, all very different atmospheres and really important to experience them all! As a student, especially early on, don’t expect much responsibility. I found most of my learning was through being around, attending meetings and more absorbing information over doing the work myself. I did a lot of photocopying and lot of meeting minuets, a lot of nothing because really you’re a student and you will get little projects but they aren’t going to be as exciting and involved as you would have probably thought. That being said make sure you continuously ask for work if your bored and the work that you are given do it well! I asked so many questions and worked, probably harder then I had to, at the simplest tasks, such as the weekly newsletter I was responsible for. Gaining trust with your supervisor and showing that you are trying will gain you more work, and get you better references in the future! I learned that many of my employers were busy, had families at home and the novelty of being an engineer had worn off for them. Im telling you this because I felt early on that I was being forgotten, I wasn't given work, and that I deserved more praise for the work I delivered. I never felt anybody was as driven or working as hard as I could. Some employers/supervisors will be responsive and give you that feedback you will desire, some may even ask you to return for another term. BUT. most supervisors in my experience will do their job and go home to not think about it until the next day. They are not fresh out of school, they dont want to prove themselves anymore and I learned not to take that personally. My supervisors were generally more interested in their weekend plans then looking to seek me our for the next term. If your interested and you do your job/work well I encourage you to ask your supervisors or have the conversation that explains to them that you are interested in returning. Furthermore, ask multiple times and keep your name around because they'll probably forget. This goes for anything you want out of your work term. Make it known if you want more work, make it known you would like to go to site for a visit. ASK ASK ASK! My last note for this blog is a quick note on placements. The coop programs are really competitive and it can be a real mental test, it was for me. Its like a full time job making cover letters and applying to everything that comes up just to be rejected over and over again. What's worse is when you see everyone else getting positions that you would have loved to have. My advice is to not be to picky about your placements and apply to everything, you can learn something from any job you have. Also don’t compare yourself to others and give yourself grace. You don’t know who they know, what they said, or exactly why they got that job. Just know that you didn’t get it so pick yourself up and move onto the next, there is no reason to dwell. And, last thing I promise, do your best to have an open mind. Apply for the positions that you don’t think your qualified for, take the job that may not pay very much, and use your family/contacts because you’ll be surprised the experience’s you can stumble upon and the positions you can be offered. So that’s it from me! I hope this is insightful or at least eases your mind. Work hard, do your best (even if you hate what your doing) and keep chugging because you got to do the boring ‘useless’ work before you can get to the good stuff. NEXT UP: My up and coming posts will include: ➢ What I do as an Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineer ➢ Why I am currently looking at applying to medschool ➢ Cover Letter, Resume, Interview!
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  28. Going to university can be scary and stressful especially going as a high school graduate. Just want to share some tips on how to ease the transitioning phase so it doesn't impact you as much: - PLEASE GO TO ORIENTATION WEEK. This is extremely important for you as this is the chance for you to get to know your faculty members, get to know your campus, make friends at the early stage and most importantly connect with the community. I did not go to my university's orientation week and I regret this decision even till this day. - PLEASE SEEK ACADEMIC HELP IF NEEDED. I did not understand a thing my prof said for the first few weeks of classes. There were opportunities such as asking the TAs or going to tutoring but I just kept reassuring myself that I would be fine. I mean...I was find until the first exam hit... - PLEASE SET YOUR PRIORITIES IN THE BEGINNING. Some people's goal is to study as hard as possible, make it on the deans list and get into the most competitive program. However not everyone wants that. Maybe you want to focus on connecting with friends during universities. Maybe you want to focus on establishing professional connections during your years of study. Maybe you want to save time for your hobby. Maybe you want to go volunteer as much as possible to help the community. Maybe you want to work so you can increase some competencies as well as get experience. My point is, setting your priorities and knowing what you want to spend time on in the beginning is really important Please feel free to add anything!
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  29. Hi everyone! The transition from high school to university is different for everybody but I wanted to share some of the things I learned that you may find helpful during your own transition. Feel free to comment below if you have any further questions/concerns! Choose your courses wisely! Do your research on your program requirements and make sure you are taking any prerequisites you need for upper-level courses. There are lots of courses offered at any university, so I recommend searching for the course directory if you want to explore your options! Try not to contain yourself to the campus bubble! This is some of the best advice I've gotten from upper years during orientation week. Familiarizing yourself with campus is already a challenge, and sometimes you can get so busy that it's easy to forget to explore the city outside of campus! This is especially true if you live on residence. Although you should be taking your studies seriously and prioritizing your health and well-being, it's also great to familiarize yourself with the surrounding area! I am currently studying at McMaster and there are wonderful local eateries and shops located a short walking distance from campus. You can find wonderful cafés to study at or even nice hiking or biking trails near campus! I encourage you to get out and explore, you never know what you might find! Don't hesitate to ask for help or clarification. University classes, especially first year classes, can be extremely large and fast-paced, so it's your responsibility to approach your profs, TAs, and your peers when you need help with something (go to your prof's office hours or make an appointment for one-on-one help)! I know that this could be intimidating, especially in a new environment. But there are so many resources on campus and you're paying for most (if not all) of them in your tuition, so please take advantage! Also, the more you reach out, the more comfortable you'll feel doing it! It's great to build your own network. Your health comes first! Don't forget to take study breaks, to make healthy choices, and to make time for your hobbies. School is important, but your health is your number one priority. If you're interested in varsity or intramural sports, I highly recommend giving them a try! There is so much more to university than your courses. Take advantage of the new community and the enormous amount of extracurriculars that it presents to you. This includes things like clubs, committees, teams, fitness classes, creative productions, events, and volunteering! There is going to be so much to explore at your university, and it is up to you to get involved! I encourage you to nurture your interests, try new things, and find balance in your life. You probably already know this, but stay organized and don't procrastinate! I cannot stress this enough. I've always been somewhat of a procrastinator but it was so much more difficult to catch up in university than it was in high school. University moves at a quicker pace and the material will be on a higher level than that of high school, so my best advice is to stay on top of your work and to get ahead if possible! I highly recommend using your agenda and/or apps like Google Calendar to keep yourself scheduled and on track. Different things work for different people, and first year is your chance to figure out what works for you. Also, please remember to be kind to yourself and remember that it's ok to make mistakes. First year is all about finding your footing! Before classes start, I recommend compiling all of your course syllabi and noting all important dates/deadlines in your agenda or calendar. That way you have it all in one place and you can see how your courses are going to play out! I think that's all I can think of for now. Please feel welcome to continue the conversation below, I'd be happy to answer any questions regarding first year or the transition from high school to university!
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  30. Yep pretty much! To build off the points mentioned above: - Most first-year classes are gigantic and you are encouraged to visit your professor's office hours to connect with them better and/or to clarify course material! Try to make friends with the people you sit with and just remember that class size is likely to get smaller throughout the years! - Yes, please try to familiarize yourself with the campus before classes. It's already difficult enough as it is to orient yourself around campus but it becomes even more difficult when classes start and there are people everywhere. Also, I highly recommend taking campus tours at the universities you are interested in! This is a great way to explore the campus and get a feel for the atmosphere to determine which ones you would most prefer. - If you're ok with online copies or used copies of required books, they tend to be cheaper than new or hard-cover books! If you're required to buy pieces literature then sometimes you can find them online for free, I recommend checking online before you buy these! - Unfortunately I have to agree; I think that the quality of a TA is determined mostly by their own commitment and effort and you can't really control this. Regardless, don't hesitate to ask questions or to be referred to someone who can elaborate more if their knowledge is limited! Also, for those of you who aren't familiar, a TA is a Teaching Assistant. They are upper-year students paid by the university to assist professors in teaching. In my experience they have led tutorials, attended some lectures to keep up with the material, and have marked some minor assignments/evaluations. The responsibilities of your TA will depend on the course though! They can be a great resource having been in your position before. Highly recommend asking them for both course advice and student/life advice in general! - Yes, exams and tests are probably going to be harder than high school but the degree of difficulty depends on a lot of things, including which course at which university, the style of the professor and/or TA, your personal commitment and effort to the course, etc. Don't stress too much about difficulty right now, but when you get there just be sure to make use of your resources (as posted about above), your time, and to put in your best effort. It might be difficult to adjust to the level of university in first year but you'll get used to it as you go along. It's normal to struggle and there is no shame in asking for help when you need it! - Memorization is definitely key for several first-year courses. For me this was especially true for tests in cellular/molecular biology (BIOLOGY 1A03 at McMaster). You'll know when you need to memorize something because there will be no way around it. Just be sure that you understand the material as well; this will make it easier to memorize! Also for memorization, try to make use of mnemonics and silly ways to help you. Different things work for different people, and first-year is a great opportunity to discover what works best for you! - Friends are always great to have and it's always better to know that you're experiencing things together. Just make sure you're surrounding yourself with the right people. - I definitely found myself procrastinating and it hit me hard sometimes. Try to get ahead if possible and in general to stay on top of things! University courses will pile up quickly if you aren't careful. Hopefully these explanations were helpful! Don't hesitate to ask any further questions 🙂
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  31. Upon completion of high school I really had no idea what I wanted to do in my future, so my university applications were broad. I ended up settling on a BCOMM degree at Ryerson University because there were so many different options. It’s funny because I did not take a single business class in high school, yet that is the career path I decided on. In my first year I decided to go into the Business Technology Management program which balances essential business skills with a focus on Information Technology. I was quite technical in my knowledge of computers so this seemed like a good fit. The program in general begins with all the basic business courses, so if in the first year you decide that the Business Technology route is not for you, the same courses apply to the basic business (BCOMM) degree. This was key because it meant that even if I changed my mind, I still had options within the program without losing out on a year’s worth of courses. I decided to stick with the Business IT degree and was introduced to many different avenues in the years to come. You are exposed to all aspects of each specialization in the coming years and get to decide where you want to focus (IT Security, Networking, Database, etc). Networking and Security became my focus and both assisted me immensely when entering the working world. Upon graduation I used my BCOMM degree to assist me in getting a job as a technical support analyst. Basically, I was responsible for over-the-phone technical support for a large Canadian company that supports the major banks. The critical thinking and knowledge developed through obtaining my university degree were essential for my success in this job. Within my first year I moved on to a new role within the support team. The following year, I was recruited into the IT Security department of the company. One important thing students need to understand is that the most important step is to get your foot in the door. My first job was in no way something I ever expected to do; however, I excelled at it and it provided the platform for my learning about the company, thus positioning me well for other roles in different departments. I highly recommend IT Security for those that think it may interest them. The demand for IT Security professionals is very high. In my next role I was exposed to a myriad of different IT Security landscapes (Architecture, Identity Access Management, Risk Management, Control Testing). Eventually I decided to further my credentials and started studying for the Certified Information Systems Security Profession (CISSP) exam. This is a widely recognized credential that is highly respected in the security industry. After this I decided to get my CISA (Certified Information Security Auditor) certification. Although these certifications took considerable work to prepare for, it was well worth it – especially because most companies encourage continuing education and will pay for these training / certification exams. So in essence you are putting in your free time to position yourself better for growth in the future. Please note that many of these exams are extremely difficult and the best way to prepare for them is to have worked in the security industry. My earlier work experience was a huge asset when I took those exams. It is a lot easier to apply concepts when you are already aware of them / have put them to use in your work career. Both of these certifications strengthened my resumé immensely and the knowledge I took away was priceless. After many years of moving around within the IT Security landscape I moved on to run my own E-Commerce business which I continue doing today. I keep up my security credentials just in case I would like to return to the industry; however, for now I am enjoying being my own boss and growing my business.
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  32. With a Bachelor of Commerce, you will have the choice of what to major and minor in. I received a Specialist in Finance and Commerce , a Major in Economics, and a Minor in Philosophy. At the time, I felt that this was a good synergistic combination that also included some of my passions (i.e., Philosophy). I didn't necessarily know what I would do with this degree. During my university career, I realized just how much I love working with numbers, and more importantly, analyzing data to enable us to actually make decisions. I loved being presented with a scenario and being asked to make recommendations that optimize the outcome (whether the desired result is to maximize profit/minimize risk/etc). I loved being presented with a problem and coming up with the best most optimal most efficient solution. What also helped me to reach this conclusion was the part-time job I held throughout my university years and the particular aspects I enjoyed about it, as well as the fact that this is how I am in my life in general when it comes to everything I do - I try to challenge the status quo and improve the way I do things. After graduating, I looked for a job that would enable me to do precisely that. However, with a B.Comm, the sky is the limit. It is such a broad and all-encompassing degree so there is a wide variety of things you can do with it. You can also further specialize in something in particular if you so choose. For example, some of my classmates ended up getting their accounting designation. You will learn what you like in the years that you're working towards this degree. Another factor of course will be the types of jobs available upon graduation. One thing to note is - depending on what field you choose to get into, your grades may in fact matter tremendously. In my case, I was able to find a job and move up quickly due to my high GPA. But this is not necessarily true of all jobs.
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  33. Another great website for volunteering opportunities in the area (or even across Canada) is https://charityvillage.com/! They do have quite a few remote opportunities as well if that's something you might want to do while the virus is going on and sites are closed.
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  34. Based on my own educational journey, you do need some post-secondary education when it comes to Psychology. Of course, it also depends on what you are looking to do in the future. If you’re leaning more towards conducting research or becoming a therapist, you’ll definitely need to get a master’s or a PhD and get all the credentials in accordance to the province where you are. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in following a career path outside of ‘psychology’ per se then a post-secondary certificate or a master’s might be enough. Again, it would all depend on your career and what you ultimately hope to do. At an undergraduate level, it is really about first getting either an Honours’ degree (if you’re going to graduate school for Psychology) or a 3-year or 4-year degree if you are looking to go into any other field. Aside from that, it would also depend on what school you choose to go to. When I started my university career, I was not really sure what I wanted to get into later on, but I knew I was more interested in the behavioural aspect of the field as opposed to the research part. Although if you were interested in conducting research, you did have to maintain a certain average from your 2nd year onwards in order to stay in the Honours’ program. However, if you were not interested in research at all, then you could simply do a normal 4-year program. At my university, you were also allowed to do a minor or even a combined major. In my case, I decided to minor in Italian Studies. After I graduated last year, I did decide that I wanted to go into the Human Resources field, so I decided to do a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management right after. And I’m currently working towards that.
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  35. Here are some resources to get you started! Myblueprint - Excellent resource that can be a great starting point for understanding who you are, and how that might translate into a career! Many school boards around Canada have partnered with Myblueprint, so check with your teachers to see if you have an account if you weren't aware already! RBC Future Launch - This RBC initiative can be a good starting point for insight into the future of the workforce ("Future-proof: Preparing Young Canadians for the future of work", "Introducing RBC Future Launch: RBC’s largest-ever commitment to help young Canadians prepare for the future of work"). Ontario Skills Passport Specialist High School Major (Ontario) If you're curious at all and like to read, here is Ontario’s Career’s curriculum for students (updated 2019). There is a lot of great information regarding our educational system’s goals of getting students into the workforce. We will be trying to have a simplified version of this on the site soon!
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