Believe it or not, fall semester is coming to an end. For many students, this means it is time to start planning where to go next year. We have compiled some tips based on the opportunities and resources available to you so that you can point yourself in the right direction.

At this point in the year, students must start making decisions about where they will be next year. Photo by Cody Hoffman

At this point in the year, students must start making decisions about where they will be next year. Photo by Cody Hoffman

Job Searching

Employment Consultant Jenn Hicks at Laurier Brantford’s Career Services located in the SC Johnson building, said all graduating students are a part of the Graduating Student Employment Service (GSES).

“We work with employers, and the employers start their recruiting as early as September so they will do the interview process and hold the job for you until you [graduate].”

Anne Muniandy, a fourth-year criminology student, works at a law firm as an assistant to the law clerk. She said her goal for next year is to secure another job at another law firm to branch out. “A lot of people complain that they don’t have the prior knowledge or experience to walk into a job [interview] and get hired,” said Muniandy. “The best way to do it is to volunteer and to branch out to different employers.”

Many students worry about a lack of work experience on their resume, but academics, volunteer experience and extracurricular activities are beneficial to include. Hicks said, “The resumé is about highlighting your best skills for the job you are applying to, so you want to have a targeted resumé for every application.”

Top tips: Keep an eye out for weekly emails from the GSES that are sent out with new information. Visit the Career Planning website at http://navigator.wlu.ca/career/student/planning.htm to book appointments to narrow down your interests, skills and goals to determine your options.

Hicks hosts a workshop on preparing students for job fairs, which will run before the next job fair. The fair will take place in Waterloo on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2015, and Brantford students can take a bus to the event.

Further Education

Going back to school is an option for many graduating students, whether they want to pursue a master’s degree, post-graduate certificate or diploma programs at college or even try an apprenticeship.

Nicole Rodrigues, a youth and children’s studies student in her fourth year, hopes to attend teacher’s college. She said she was always interested in education but after completing placements as part of her program, she found her passion in teaching.

Rodrigues recommends attending open houses of potential schools. She attended the University of Toronto’s open house for the Masters of Education program where she spoke to both faculty and students. “Actual students [told us] what it’s like and how to get in or how to better prepare your application to apply … things professors or recruiters wouldn’t tell us.”

Top tips: Make sure you read the program descriptions carefully before you apply to a school, keep track of application deadlines and know what to include in your application such as a letter of intent and reference letters.

House Hunting

Laura Bassett, Associate Vice President of Laurier Brantford’s University Affairs, said the Student Rights Advisory Committee advises students on both their academic rights and landlord-tenant rights.

“We do lease reading, so if students are nervous about signing their first least and don’t know what to look for, we [help],” Bassett said. “If they’re having a hard time getting in contact with [landlords] we can help them write letters, we can help them fill out paperwork for the landlord tenant board.”

Frances Liang, a first-year student, began looking for off-campus residence in late October. She said it is easy to find places to live but it is necessary for students to visit potential homes and talking to landlords before settling on a place.

Liang advises students to “start early and make sure you know who you want to live with for the rest of your university career.”

The house hunting process can be worrying. Liang said, “I have my heart set out on [a place] but I’m scared it’s not going to happen so you [must] always have a backup plan.”

Top tips: Check out the booth in the RCW Lobby on Nov. 19 and 20 for more information on your tenant rights like what to look for or avoid in a lease. There will also be a House Hunting 101 session on Nov. 24. Search trusted websites like www.places4students.com to get in touch with landlords. If you are interested in upper-year residence, contact the Residence Life Office at brantfordresidence@wlu.ca.

Leave a Reply