Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"I got a new job, now how do I make sure it will last?"

Keep a thesaurus with you and look into both positive and truthful words/adjectives that best represent your personality and work habits. DON’T LIE! BE REALISTIC! Don’t hesitate to reword clich├ęs such as “I often tend to overwork myself...”  

Multi-task. This just means learning how to manage your time and not behaving hastily. It is important that communication is maintained with coworkers with regards to using equipment or any other resource applicable to your work position in order to ensure that time is not wasted simply over miscommunication.

      Be "green".  Even though most companies obtain paper/stationary resources at a discounted price, it's safe to say that cutting back on paper will definitely earn you points with your boss.

       Take initiative and be willing to learn new procedures.  Try to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try to take on projects that would be beneficial to the growth of your company.

      Accuracy and Attentiveness.   Undoubtedly, social skills and your ability to greet coworkers and customers with a warm smile will definitely bring forth positivity to your group.  However, it is also just as important to pay attention to the job as a whole.  Essentially, your focus should be on completing the tasks assigned with accuracy and attentiveness, because a lovely smile alone will not be enough to satisfy and meet the requirements of your boss. 

     Be open to working with different types of people.  You may be familiar with the famous interview line, “I get along with everyone.” Take part in light (not heavy or controversial) conversations,  and as you gradually begin to have a friendly exchange over time, cautiously take it a step further, and discuss issues that may affect the community that he or she may be a part of. 

      Dress appropriately. Professionalism is considered top priority.  Dress according to your work place requirements. It’s best to find out from your supervisor.  Often times, a combination of a simple outfit, with light makeup is preferred.  Simplicity is key!  Not something too extravagant.  For men, it is recommended to go natural and keep facial hair neat. The idea of men wearing visible cosmetics is not a concept that is universally accepted.  If you have facial scars that you feel may be a distraction in a professional environment, look into coverage products.

Stay Positive. Even if the job you’ve signed on for isn’t what you expected, make sure you maintain a positive outlook about the situation you’re placed in.  It’s important to remember that even though the job may not be your “ideal job” (which few entry-level jobs are), it will definitely serve to your benefit aiding in the development of your resume.   However, if you have been there for a while, and are growing increasingly unhappy, speak to your supervisor and make a “pros and cons” list which will help you make that decision as to whether you should stay there longer.  It may also be wise to continue looking for other job opportunities.  

After reading this, and having made sure that you have met this criteria, I assure you that you will absolutely have no problems keeping your new job.  Good luck with your new position, and I hope you found this useful!

Until next time,
Priya :)  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where to Find Academic Help on Campus

Writing assignments and studying for exams in university may seem challenging, especially in your first year. However, there are different resources on campus you can use to assist you.

The Academic Advising and Career Centre: The Academic Advising and Career Centre have many services to help you academically. For instance, they offer many tip sheets on common issues students have, such as procrastination, concentration and note-taking. Students can also have one-on-one conversations with Academic and Learning Strategists regarding study skills, programs and courses. 

Peer Academic Coaches at the Department of Student Life: Peer Academic Coaches are upper year students who work with the Department of Student Life to provide you with advice regarding effective study habits and assistance with their courses. You will be paired with coaches of the same discipline (i.e. management, arts and science) and you communicate with your coaches on a weekly basis. The benefit of having a Peer Academic Coach is that you can connect with someone in your discipline and hear what they felt about first year, what they did and didn't do well and things they wished they did in first year. 

The Writing Centre: The Writing Centre can assist you with your written assignments during appointments and during drop-in hours. The Writing Centre also offers writing workshops on essay-writing, lab reports and grammar.    

Math & Stats Learning Centre: Personally, I have always struggled with math. If you are like me, then the Math & Stats Learning Centre is a perfect place to go for math help! The Math and Stats Help Centre is located in AC312 and the Math Aid Room is in IC404. The difference between the Math & Stats Learning Centre and the Math Aid Centre is that the Math & Stats Learning Centre helps all students whereas the Math Aid Centre usually helps students who taking math courses. 

Studying in university can be difficult but with assistance, you can definitely succeed in your courses!

Until next time,


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Going the Extra Mile to Impress Your Professor

Hi UTSC-ers!

Ever wondered how a good student becomes an outstanding one? To truly impress your professor, getting good grades just won’t cut it. It only demonstrates that you understood the course material. This won’t impress any professors as they already expected there to be strong academic performers in class. To be an outstanding student, one must go beyond such expectations. You have to take the extra mile to differentiate yourself from the rest of the class. The following are ways to differentiate yourself:

   1. Reading Course Relevant Material Outside of Class – It is always good to go beyond class material (the course book is just for basic understanding of the course subjects as well as the perspective of a single author). By reading external course material, you will be able to understand and compare different perspectives of the course subjects. Such knowledge can pay dividends when writing essays or doing assignments. This will really impress the professor because you took the initiative to further your learning outside of class. It shows you have a real passion for the course. It also gives the professor positive feedback on how well he connects with his students.

   2. Emailing the Professor and Starting Discussion on Class Forums – Emailing or chatting with the professor allows you to get noticed on an individual level. When I say discussion with the professor, I do not mean asking preliminary questions (which could probably be found in the course syllabus) or having casual talk. I mean creating an academic discussion (e.g. I have always talked to my professors about the news and how it relates with the topics discussed in class). This can really impress your professor as you are able to relate and apply class material to real world settings. It also tells them that you are constantly thinking about their course subjects even outside of class. Professors are also interested in hearing different opinions other than their own (keep it constructive and positive).

   3. Class Participation – Class participation is a good way to make a good impression. It shows the professor that you came prepared for class. You will also stand out compared to the students who did not participate for the class. Active participation also demonstrates to the professor that you are learning in class. It also indicates that you are paying attention which is a sign of respect between the professor and students. Most of these professors are devoting their free time to teaching students (they have other things to do and a family to take care of).  They are teaching for your benefit so you should show some respect by paying attention.

   4. Taking Initiative – The final way to impress your professor is to take initiative. There are a variety of ways one can show initiative. Being a leader in group projects or choosing to present first is a great way to show your leadership abilities and confidence (which is useful if you want to use your professor as a reference). Another way to demonstrate initiative is to voluntarily help out your professors when they require it. Usually professors will state this in class by asking for a volunteer.

The key to impressing a professor is not to flattery, but rather to demonstrate to the professor that you have a real passion and interest in what he is talking about in class.

Hope this helps!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Post-Graduate Job Search

 After countless all-nighters and numerous exams, you have finally become a U of T graduate! Congratulations! Next step: Job seeking. As we all know, job searching can be a challenging process; however, there are some tips you can take to make your job search much easier.
  1. AA and CC Services: Academic Advising and Career Centre can assist you with your job search.
    - You can use Career Centre Online to find part time and full time jobs based on your areas of Interest
    - You can also use GSES and RGES. Graduating Service Employment Service (GSES) is an employment service for graduating students that provides job listings, workshops, and employer events. Recent Graduates Employment Service (RGES) is the step students take after using GSES.  RGES offers students with full-time job postings from organizations of all sizes from all manner of industries, looking for immediate hires.

  2. Networking: Networking is crucial to the job seeking process. In fact, statistics show that at least 60% of all jobs are found by networking. Contact people in your network; friends, family and peers to get connections to jobs. You can also attend networking events and meet employers who are looking for students to hire.
  3. Use LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to use because many employers post jobs on LinkedIn. To get the most out of LinkedIn, there are some steps you can follow. Update your profile on LinkedIn by including a profile picture and by providing a detailed description of skills and experience.
  4. Broaden your horizons: When applying to jobs, try to open your mind to many new opportunities. Having a narrow focus may hinder you from landing a job that you may end up loving. That being said, do not apply to every job you see. Apply to an array of jobs that interest you and make sure you tailor your resume and cover letter to the job position.

The post-grad job search can be hard at first but with determination, you will definitely be able to secure a job!

Until next time,


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Choose your Courses wisely, and Plan accordingly for the upcoming Academic Year!

Course enrolment is just around the corner! Don’t forget to view your course enrolment start times on ROSI beginning July 16th. Course enrolment begins on ROSI on July 22 for first year degree students, July 23rd for 3rd and 4th year students, (which also includes 5th year CTEP students), July 25 for Second Year degree students, and July 26th for Non- degree students!  Hopefully, by now, I am assuming you have all made your decision as to which program you will be pursuing for the upcoming academic years, here at UTSC- a TOUGH DECISION INDEED!  When selecting your courses, keep in mind, the new regulation that has come into effect as of April 1st, 2013. Careful consideration must be taken with regards to satisfying both admission and program requirements, keeping in mind that these requirements do not remain constant, and are subject to change from year to year.  As of April 1st 2013, the program requirements should correspond to the year in which the student has declared that particular Subject Post.  This information is available on ROSI.  If you feel as though there is any sort of discrepancy, DON’T PANIC! Discuss this with your program supervisor to see whether any adjustments can be made.  A very helpful resource which will aid in your course selection process is a newly developed web-based system introduced just this year, called Degree Explorer.  It will help track your progress towards completing your degree:

The following resources will be  very helpful for course selection:

·         Course Calendar: lists your program requirements, and corresponding course requirements

·         Course Timetable: contains information with regards to course offerings, time period offered, Instructors, Course Codes, etc

·         Course Planner: which would provide a visual representation of your fall/winter semester timetable with appropriate courses

·         Course Finder: find courses offered at all three campuses

Good luck with course enrolment, and best of luck for the academic year of 2013-2014.  Make it a productive one!


Priya Antony, July 2, 2013