Why You, a College Student, Should Use LinkedIn

CSI Shirt PhotoLinkedIn is the most professional of all social media sites. Our professors and teachers tell us all the time – “make sure you have a LinkedIn account!” without really telling us why. Students start to question – “Do I really need a LinkedIn account?” the answer is YES! Here are 3 reasons why you definitely need to start using your LinkedIn account more or create one right away:

  1. Branding yourself – Social Media is all about branding yourself and creating an image. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to do this professionally. You can import your resume, skills, qualifications, education, upload photos and even customize your profile’s background. All of this will help when creating the image you want to portray of yourself. LinkedIn can be seen as a “show room” for what you are good at and what you want to be known for.
  2. Networking – Networking is a huge aspect of LinkedIn. This is great for introverted people as you do not have to actually go to in person networking events – instead you can use your contacts to your advantage and network through LinkedIn! A great tip to potentially finding someone to network with is to go through your contact’s contacts and see if they are connected to anyone who is working in your desired field. Ask your connection to reach out to them and to introduce you to them. This can lead to potential job offers.
  3. Hiring managers use LinkedIn – A study showed that 94% of job recruiters say they use LinkedIn to find candidates, but only 36% of job seekers use LinkedIn. Ensure you are a part of the 36% to get your name seen more – it could lead to a job offer.

Let us know in the comments – do you have a LinkedIn account and use it regularly or do you prefer to stick to the old fashioned way of finding a job? Check out my LinkedIn profile

Chrissy

End of an Era

21037756_732254460318937_880301144_oI 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.

  1. 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!
    • Career Advising
    • Job Search Support
    • Employment & Career Planning Workshops and more
  2. MyCareer – Located on the left side of your MyConestoga home page.
  • Resume Workshops
  • Hundreds of Job Postings – with new ones everyday
  • Job Fairs

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!

-Chrissy

Volunteering at Conestoga

ICSI Shirt Photof 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!

Chrissy –

Getting Ready for the Workforce

CSI Shirt PhotoTo 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!

-Chrissy

8 Student Survival Tips to Eating Well

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Chrissy – Event Management – 3rd Year student

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.

  1. Try to always pack a lunch and snacks – this will help you to not eat the fast food on or around campus.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. Smoothies – smoothies are incredibly filling and nutritious. Try finding different recipes online and you could have a different one every morning!
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

 

How to Save Money during College

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How to save money during college – Chrissy (3rd year Event Management)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!

-Chrissy

Why you should attend the Leadership Conference

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Why you should attend the Leadership Conference – Chrissy

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

-Chrissy