Monthly Archives: October 2008

RDC Open House Saturday, Nov 1

If you’re interested in becoming an RDC student or just want to know more about the school and its programs, then visit RDC for Open House tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be booths representing all sorts of programs, and this year’s hands-on theme is “When you get here, you understand.” So there will be all sorts of interactive activities to help you understand just what it will be like when you are at RDC.

The B.A. program will have a presence for sure! With tables representing Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, and Communications Studies, you can learn more about each of these majors. There will also be a table for the Bachelor of Arts program on how different majors can lead to all sorts of different careers. As well, the U of C Collab program will have a table with information on applying to the program, as applications open on Saturday.

Whether you’re a current student or a prospective student, come on by and see us at the B.A. Table!

If you’re a current or former student, be sure to attend the Catch-Up Coffee in the Cafe Conference Room. Drop in sometime between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. to catch up! There will be coffee and cookies.

See you at Open House!

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What To Do With a Psychology Degree

Will you be graduating with a psychology degree? Do you have one already, but are in the market for a new job?

Need some ideas of where to start looking?  

The University of Calgary’s Career Services recently put on an event for psych students to provide information about what might be out there for them after they’ve got the degree in hand. You can link to this information here.

If you are a U of C student or alum looking for jobs, JobLink is a great place to start. Use the same eid and password you use to log into My U of C. (If you’ve forgotten your eid and password, don’t despair. Click here to regain access to your account).

You can also check out a graph detailing different work settings of psych grads.

And at RDC, you can visit Career and Employment Services in 1402 to get some one-on-one advice about finding a job with your degree.

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Career Fairs (What They Can and Can’t Do For You)

At some point in almost everybody’s life, they will fork over a couple dollars in return for a canvas bag, some pamphlets, and possibly a free, cheap pen, as well as the opportunity to mill about with a large number of people in a stadium bursting with exhibitors and the possibilities of a great new future.

The career fair. Sometimes attendance is mandatory (hello, high school students with questionnaires that have to be filled out for marks) and sometimes voluntary (hello, parents who are checking out every postsecondary booth to see what the best fit would be for little Jamie or Joanie when they go to school in a couple of years). Whatever the case may be, career fairs are unique events that can either be very helpful or completely overwhelming.

There are a couple of ways to approach a career fair – it’s your call.

Just Looking, Thanks.
This is a good attitude to have if you’re still in highschool and just beginning to think about what’s out there as far as your future goes. Do you want to work for Greyhound? Do you want to go to design school? Do you want a career with a retail company? Not sure?

Head to the career fair with an open mind, ready for a huge variety of possibilities for the future. Have the attitude of a window shopper – it’s too soon to be handing out resumes or filling out applications, and you’re not even sure what you want to hand out a resume or fill in an application for. But you can do some pretty good brainstorming just by looking around. Maybe you’ll see some things to add to your “Future possibilities” list. Take time to ask some general questions at booths that really interest you. Don’t get into too many details – although if you come across a program that really piques your interest, check on the entrance requirements so you can make sure you match up your highschool classes with them.

I Have a Few Ideas – What’s Next?
Maybe you have a few ideas. You know you want to become an elementary school teacher, say, or work in journalism. But you aren’t sure how to get from A to B, or where to go to get there. Come to the career fair with some specific questions in mind. You don’t have to read them off a clipboard unless you really want to, but make sure you know what you want to ask so that you don’t get overwhelmed and forget to ask what you wanted to know. Find the booths with schools that offer your program of interest. Ask about entrance requirements, acceptance rates, application deadlines, job prospects afterwards, and so on. Ask some general questions about the atmosphere of the school – the recruiters love to go on about this kind of thing. Get a feel for the places you’re most interested in and collect their viewbooks or calendars. Fill out an “I want more information” card and get the website address.

Now that you’ve done some good background research, you can go home and sift through it all. Over the next little while, you can start to narrow down to a few schools and programs that you are the most interested in, and you’ll be ready to roll once the application process begins.

If it’s a job you’re looking for, same deal. You might not be ready to hand in a resume and ask for an interview quite yet, but talk to the recruiters about the different aspects of the jobs you are most interested in, and then take that information home and dwell on it for awhile, until something even more specific takes shape in your mind.

I Know What I Want, I Just Need to Get It
If you know exactly what you want – say a particular school you want to attend or a particular job you want to have or a particular career you want to train for – then make finding out everything you can about that your mission at the career fair. Head in early in the day or closer to the end of the day to avoid the big crowds and have a chance to really talk to the recruiters. Have some very specific questions – you know you want to apply, what do you need to do that? If it’s a job, bring a resume and dress nicely. Ask all the questions you can think of, and find out what the most important next step is for you in order to get what you’re looking for. Stay focused and make sure you get the specific information you need – feel free to interrupt a recruiter’s spiel to ask what you really want to know. Check out the exhibitor information and maps before you go and plan out a direct route. Get it over with before you wander around and get distracted by everything else. You’ll get the most out of the career fair if you are focused and have a plan.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed and Overstimulated
Career fairs are full of people who are just there because they want to get out of the house and see what’s going on, check out the different booths for fun, and load up on free stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in the crowds and circle around and around the building without anything real useful happening. Ignore all the booths that don’t interest you, at least on your first trip around.

Don’t Get Frustrated
Career fairs can be a bit frustrating. You might ask at a dozen postsecondary booths only to find out that none of them have the program you’re interested in, or that you don’t have the entrance requirements yet. Or you might hope to find a job and just get a bunch of “Thanks for the resume, we’ll be in touch!” comments. Whatever the case may be, career fairs aren’t magic. They’re just a way of putting some information in one place. There are lots of other opportunities available in the world beyond the career fair, so don’t be too disappointed if you don’t generate any leads or find anything you really want. It’s just one stop in a million.

Here are a few upcoming career fairs in Alberta where you will see some friendly RDC recruiters:
The Career Show, Calgary: Calgary Stampede Roundup Center on October 31 and November 1. 2008 Canada Career Week Fair in Edmonton: Northlands Agricom on November 14 and 15

And of course, you can always get in touch with an RDC advisor by phone – 403.342.3400 or email – regarding the BA program. Or call Jen at 403.342.3313 or Alison at 403.357.3674 for details on the University of Calgary Collaborative B.A. degree – a chance to complete all four years of a U of C degree right on the RDC campus.

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Keep Your Online Persona Tasteful . . . Or At Least Private!

MySpace, Facebook, blogs, online forums, You Tube, Flickr . . . just a place to relax and be yourself online, right? Just a few places to connect with friends and share something of yourself with the world.

Well, yes. But what if “the world” includes a future employer? Because chances are, it may.

According to research results found by ExecuNet, which is a career and business networking organization, about 83% of companies they surveyed are using the web to figure out if potential hires really are as great as they come across on those carefully crafted resumes we all have. In fact, 43% of these companies say that they would eliminate candidates from the hiring pool based on what they see online.

Think about it – is there anything online about you that you wouldn’t want an employer to see? Maybe some crazy party photos that might freak out a potential employer. Maybe a blog post about how much you hate your current job and boss. Maybe your MySpace username is a little on the risque side or your Facebook profile picture is somewhat shocking.

It could even be photos somebody ELSE has posted of you! Something you have little to no control over could be causing problems in a job hunt.

Or what if you’re a regular commenter in a forum on something that you might not want an employer to know about?

There are all sorts of places an employer might be looking, starting by just googling your name. What is going to pop up? Is it going to make you look good, or make you look unprofessional and like a risky choice of a hire? It’s not against the law. It’s publicly available info.

Well, if you want to manage your online persona to make sure that if and when somebody DOES google you, they see the information you prefer them to, here are a few tips:

  • Google yourself. On a variety of search engines, type in your name (and location, if your name is really common) and see what pops up.
  • Turn your privacy settings ON! If you have MySpace or Facebook and more info than you would like is accessible to anyone who looks at your profile, then make sure you use privacy settings to keep things personal. Same with blog posts.
  • Get a username. If you are posting on a forum about something you’d rather keep private, then don’t use your full name (not that most people would, but just in case!) Stay anonymous.
  • Post some good things about yourself! Nothing wrong with purchasing a domain name where you keep honest and professional information about yourself posted.
  • Be careful about your friends who are online. If they are going to post stuff about you that you aren’t comfortable having visible to others, then don’t allow them access to that kind of info if you can help it. If they’re good friends, ask them to use their judgment when posting stuff about you, and they should be willing to comply.

What if there is stuff out there that is less than ideal? Well, don’t freak out. Be proactive. Try to post a bunch of stuff that is more complimentary: for example, a LinkedIn profile that confirms your resume information, a blog where you discuss your above-board hobbies and interests or volunteer experiences, etc.

Be honest, too! If you’re submitting a resume claiming that you’ve done something, and an employer could confirm that by doing a little online research – well, make sure that they will be able to find some evidence of it!

You can always prepare yourself as well. If you get to an interview and are asked about some of these things, make sure you are ready to answer. For example, you could say “Well, I did volunteer at this place, but they don’t include volunteer names on their website for security purposes” if that is the case.

Be your own PR person. Do your research on yourself, and expect that somebody who is looking to hire might be doing the same. Then take what measures you can to ensure your online persona is positive where easily accessible and private or anonymous if you choose to keep it that way.

Thanks to jobpostings magazine for the information! (

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