I genuinely can’t believe that it is already March. This school year has been a lot of work, but has also flown by so fast. It’s hard to think that in two months I will be finally done my college experience and off into the workforce.
When it comes to deciding how you want to enter the workforce after college, there’s a lot of options and I am definitely having a hard time deciding. Do I want to take some time off and travel or try and find a full-time career right after school ends? I always had the plan to go straight into a full-time career after school ends, but now do I want two part-time jobs instead? So many options.
There are a lot of options available to Conestoga students if you feel as though you are unprepared for a full-time career.
Career Centre – the Conestoga Career Centre is open to all students and offers a ton of services to help students attain their dream career – for free!
Job Search Support
Employment & Career Planning Workshops and more
MyCareer – Located on the left side of your MyConestoga home page.
Hundreds of Job Postings – with new ones everyday
I also check Indeed.com every single day. I like to stay updated with all the job postings and definitely recommend it. I would also recommend volunteering in your field of interest to add experience to your resume. It also shows that you care about your community and giving back.
Do you have any tips regarding getting prepared for the workforce and finding jobs? Let me know in the comments!
If you were ever interested in volunteering, Conestoga makes it extremely easy to do since there are so many options and positions. You are able to get recognized for your volunteer positions through the CCR (Co-Curricular Record). The CCR is an official document that recognizes learning/volunteer positions that you have achieved through approved co-curricular experiences at Conestoga! It is a great piece to add to any portfolio or resume to show to employers.
There are so many ways to volunteer at Conestoga and different positions for every interest! Here are some volunteer opportunities that are typically always open:
Student Ambassador – Represent Conestoga at events, student panels and campus tours! Important as they promote the school to prospective students.
Student Panelists – Sit on a panel and tell your story to prospective students. You only have to speak for 5-7 minutes about why you chose Conestoga and your program, the process of applying, highlights and graduation plans!
Event Volunteers – Some events that need volunteers are the College Fairs, and Fall & Spring Open Houses. You will be in charge of greeting and directing guests, giving tours, assisting with set up and help with vendors. These are incredibly important because I know I would have gotten lost when I went to the Open House if it wasn’t for the volunteers.
The CCR (which can be accessed through MyConestoga) has even more opportunities! Make sure to keep updated on all the possible opportunities and consider volunteering at Conestoga!
To get prepared for the workforce there are a couple of different strategies to use. These strategies are beneficial to enhancing skills, introducing new connections and enhancing confidence.
LinkedIn – This website is great for showing potential employers what you have to offer. I recommend everyone create one. Remember, it needs to be professional. Ensure your profile picture is not a selfie. Connect with everyone! Although you may have not met people in “real life”, if they are related to the field you are interested in, there is no harm in sending an invitation to connect.
Job Boards – Some boards that I check on a daily basis are MyCareer (Located in your MyConestoga tabs) and Indeed. These boards are full of job postings and offer new ones every single day. When it comes to potential employers, Indeed has an area where employees can review and leave helpful information about the company or organization. I highly recommend reading these!
Job Preparation – Conestoga offers so many different events and programs to prepare students for the workforce. Job searches, career fairs and career fair preps, the leadership conference, connect workshops, employment advising, drop-in sessions, resume essentials, fake interviews, recruiting sessions and so many more. Be on the lookout for these events on MyCareer’s calendar and Conestoga Student Inc.’s calendar. These events and programs are so great for developing skills and preparing students for the workforce.
Those are some of my tips, let me know if you have any other strategies to becoming prepared for the workforce!
Let’s be honest, eating well is one of the hardest things to do, especially as a student. Life is so busy that it feels overwhelming to also have to try and eat well. Here are some tips to help guide your eating habits into a healthier pattern.
Try to always pack a lunch and snacks – this will help you to not eat the fast food on or around campus.
Meal prep – this is seriously a life saver. Devote a day of the week to do all of your meal prep for the entire week, then you will not have to worry about lunches for the entire week!
Pack fulfilling lunches and snacks – sandwiches, salads, granola bars, fruit, etc. Pack stuff you know you will eat, but are still healthy. Try not to pack any junk like chips, chocolate and candy.
Eat breakfast – breakfast is the most important meal of the day and fuels your body for the rest of your day, so please do not skip it! A healthy, fast breakfast is oats or granola, berries and yogurt.
Skip the coffee – instead of coffee, try making a tea in the morning. It will save you money and time because you can skip the Tim Horton’s line!
Smoothies – smoothies are incredibly filling and nutritious. Try finding different recipes online and you could have a different one every morning!
Farmer’s Market – try and buy your vegetables and fruits from the Farmer’s Market. You can often find great deals. There are lots of different options such as the St. Jacob’s Market, the Kitchener Market and the Uptown Market to name a few.
Balance – it is completely fine to treat yourself every once in a while, but just realize that every once in a while should not be every day, even though I know that is what I want to do most times!
Saving money is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially during college. Luckily, I have found some tips and tricks to make saving money easier.
Textbooks – One easy way to save money is to not buy new textbooks. Textbooks are surprisingly expensive, but there are some things you can do to get them cheaper. One option would be to buy them used from the bookstore. Textbooks are also sold used on Kijiji and Facebook Buy and Sell groups. If you do end up buying textbooks brand new, the bookstore offers to buy back textbooks for up to 50% of the retail purchase price. Watch out for posters around the campuses stating when the buyback periods are.
Eating out – During college, it is very hard to find time to cook homemade meals and takeout becomes a much faster option. If you did not know, you can actually load money onto your OneCard and use it as payment at the different restaurants in Conestoga and some select off campus locations. Not only that, but you also receive 5% off any non-branded item at Chartwells locations, Pita Pit, Pizza Pizza & The Venue during the Fall 2017 semester.
CSI Health and Dental Plan – A lot of students do not realize that a health and dental plan is automatically included in their tuition. If you are already covered under another insurance, you can actually drop out of that plan and get your money back. That is a whole $286 for the full year return!
Awards, grants, scholarships and bursaries – Conestoga offers so many awards that can help greatly with the price of tuition. A lot of the time, if you qualify for an award, you will need to write out an essay. Although this sounds like it might take a lot of time, it is worth it to take that time out of your day if you end up receiving the award. Check under the financial tab on Student Portal and Conestoga Student Inc.’s website under scholarships for all of the opportunities.
Hopefully some of these tips can help you save up money during your years at college as I know they have come in handy for me! The smarter you become about saving your money and finding some deals, the easier it will be to navigate college!
I am sure you have heard about Conestoga Student Inc.’s Leadership Conference before. When the event starts creeping up on the calendar, information can be found all over Conestoga College. The Leadership Conference is a two day conference that is held annually during the fall semester. Students are invited to evolve their leadership skills in fun and interactive ways. Although you might feel like you have heard everything about the leadership conference and that it will not be beneficial for you, trust me, it is a great experience that everyone should try at least once. Let me tell you why:
The speakers are incredible – seriously
Everyone always says that the speakers are amazing and life changing, but genuinely, they really are. Delatorro McNeal and James Robilotta have been attending the Leadership Conference for the past few years and I can honestly say their sessions helped me think of leadership differently. James Robilotta actually had just released a new book the year I went and provided all the students with a free copy. Not only were his sessions eye opening, his book was incredibly personal and thought provoking. Delatorro has a way with crowds that I have never experienced with another speaker before. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience to hear them speak.
The activities challenge you and are interactive
The year I went, we had an activity where we had to get through a desert with a team of people we had just met. Each person had a role and a goal of getting through the desert. We were given a certain amount of fake money and had limited time to make decisions. It inspired me to become a leader and sparked something in myself that I had never seen before. Delatorro’s personal and heart-warming activities had me crying more than I would like to admit. Not only was it great for learning how to be a better leader, it was an incredible connecting experience with a bunch of people I had never met before. The conference was worth it just for that activity.
CCR Recognition, official certificate and great food
For attending the conference you receive CCR (Co-Curricular Record) recognition, an official certificate for your professional portfolio and the conference features delicious meals and snacks. The CCR is a great way to show employers how you were involved during your school years. It also shows the skills and personal growth areas students gain as a result of their co-curricular efforts. Professionals actually love to see official certificates that you have gained during your education because it shows that you went above and beyond what you are required to do and leadership is incredibly important in any job position. Lastly, the conference had a breakfast, lunch and two snacks each day and are always super delightful.
I truly hope that this post changes your mind if you were thinking about not attending the Leadership Conference. It really is a great event, even if you only try it once. Trust me, you will get your money’s worth.
Students can buy tickets at their CSI Service Hub for $30 and the conference is October 14th and 15th
There are a few things I wish I knew before starting at Conestoga College that would have made me feel a little bit more prepared. Here is my list for you to read so that you hopefully have more knowledge than the average College go-er!
How many Work Study positions there are – There are so many job positions across Conestoga College that I did not realize in my first year. Conestoga Students Inc., is a very popular one for students wanting to get extra money throughout the year that I definitely recommend.
MyCareer – Speaking of jobs, I wish I knew about MyCareer before starting Conestoga College. If you do not know, MyCareer is Conestoga’s career portal. They post a ton of job postings and career related events on the student tool. I believe Alumni’s can use it as well! I have found some of my jobs through MyCareer and I did not even realize it existed till my second year! Definitely stay updated on MyCareer.
Recreation Centre Programs – When I first started Conestoga College, I though intramurals were the only options regarding fitness, but the Recreation Centre actually offers a lot more than just that. They have fitness classes such as Zumba, yoga, cycle and more and fitness related events such as Hoops for Halloween, fitness challenges and Yoga on the Lawn.
Location, location, location – I really wish that I had visited Conestoga more than once before I had to start full time studies. My very first day I made it to class with one minute to spare because I was so lost. I highly encourage practicing finding your parking location or bus routes before the first day. Also, go into the college before the first day and find all of your classes. This will help you tremendously, trust me.
How much is included in the CSI Health Plan – During my first two years, I decided to opt out of the CSI Health Plan because I thought I was covered under my parent’s coverage. Turns out, I was not covered and needed the CSI Health Plan, but once you opt out, you cannot opt back in until you start a new program. (At least, that is what I was told, it might have changed, but I am not a 100% sure. If you have any questions about the health plan, definitely ask the incredible team at CSI). I also did not even realize that travel insurance is included in the health plan! This is incredibly useful if you are planning a study week trip!
Food Options – While you are practicing the bus routes and finding your classes, check out the different food options that Conestoga offers. I always would try to bring a lunch as much as possible to try to save money, but Conestoga has a lot of delicious options and can actually end up saving you money with your One Card.