By Dave McLean
Life would be shits and giggles if I could sit here week-in and week-out and criticize everything I thought deemed such analysis. It would be a gas if I could just ponder my life away at the university, bagging ancillary services or slagging the Students’ Union flavour of the year. But eventually, one must consider that life’s not only short, but so is school and eventually I’ll have to get off my hypocritical ass and prove my worth to society.
I was lucky enough to attend a Communications Studies conference conveniently sandwiched between two separate shifts at my part-time job. It was at this conference that I recognized that I can’t stay in university forever (GPA notwithstanding). The time is nearing when I’ll have to get a real job. While few of the "professionals" in attendance at the conference interested me, I found that there are many ways to prepare for the real world.
If your faculty or program does not deliver technical skills such as those at other fine post-secondary institutions around the city, it would be wise to pay close attention. Typically, our non-technical programs get less support and financial assistance from the university in favour of skill workforce initiatives. What does this mean, Canadian Studies majors? It means it’s all up to you.
Of course we have career services on campus, but after speaking to one of their advisors it became apparent that there are few job postings for those of the General Studies, Humanities or Social Science persuasion. It’s all about getting out there, meeting people in places of influence, and winning them over with your charm, smile and… résumé padding.
So get out there. There are plenty of volunteer positions available in all sectors of business and non-profit organizations–check volunteer services (MH144) for more information. Word on the street is co-op education can be very valuable. Some people have more trouble getting in than others, so get some background before you apply.
Use your contacts. Like it or not, you might as well resign yourself to the fact that you have a better chance of getting a job if you know the person or have come recommended by someone. Hey, we all want jobs, there’s no shame in admitting that you got it by knowing someone; many underestimate the power of being known.
And finally, if you know what you want to do, do it. Get involved with associations and focus on your ideal job. Build your skills accordingly and keep your options open. Get your foot in the door and make the most of your opportunities. Sometimes you’ll have to do some grunt work, but face it, unless you’ve got a diploma in cement mixing, there’s no guarantee of anything out there for you, even in a booming economy. You have to do it yourself or you might end up staying in university for the rest of you life. Hmmm… maybe that isn’t so bad after all, with cheap healthcare and discounts that abound.