Friday, April 25, 2014

Courses At Another Campus

With the summer session fast approaching, there have been many students coming into the AA&CC office in AC213 to ask about their summer academic plans. More specifically, “Can I take a course at a different U of T campus” has been the question most heard in our office.  The answer to this question is a resounding “YES!” As a U of T student, you are allowed to take courses at UTSC, UTM and the St. George campuses. However, there are a few things to be mindful of before you start the first day of classes:

1 - Students are allowed to take up to 5.0 full credits (MAXIMUM!) at another University of Toronto campus. No more than 1.0 of a student's first 4.0 full credits as a UTSC student may be taken on another campus. 

2- Make sure to follow the credit limit rules because students may be withdrawn from courses after classes have started if their registration violates these rules. It’s your responsibility to check whether or not the number of credits that you are taking at another campus violates these rules.

3 - Check the prerequisites and exclusions of the courses you are planning to take prior to taking the course. Keep in mind that if you are taking a course at another campus, the prerequisites and exclusions will have different course codes than the ones you took at UTSC. It is best to contact the professor of the course that you are planning to take and inform them of the situation – they may be able to help you figure out if you have the appropriate UTSC course equivalents for the prerequisites and exclusions in order to take their course.

4 – Discuss your plan to take the course in advance with your program supervisor. If you are taking the course in order to fulfill a program requirement, it is crucial that you take to your program supervisor and get their approval BEFORE you take the course.  You don’t want to complete the course and do all that hard work only to find out afterwards that it doesn’t count towards your program requirements. 

5 – Fill out a Program Exception Form. Once your program supervisor has agreed that you may take the course from another campus as a part of your program requirements, you must get this in writing. An e-mail of approval from the program supervisor is not good enough. You must go to the Registrar’s Office and pick up a Program Exception Form. Fill it out and have the program supervisor sign off on it. One copy of this form will be kept by you, one copy will be left with the program supervisor and one copy will be sent to your file at the Registrar’s Office.

6 – Check the Calendar!! The Calendar is your best friend in the whole world when it comes to program requirements and courses. Make sure that you are checking the UTSC Calendar to make sure that the courses you are taking are in line with your program requirements. 

In the end, taking a course at another campus is always a new experience. Have fun with it and learn what a new environment has to offer you.

All the best,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spend the Summer Wisely!

Alright! The Final Examination period is almost at its end. While a couple of you might be thinking about going for a LONG vacation in Summer and taking the much deserved break, a fair bunch of you might be considering taking a vacation as well as invest some quality time in exploring the job market. Let it be a summer job that you are hunting for or trying to refine your skills to secure a position in the coming academic year - this post is for everyone to benefit from.

Looking back, the very first job I ever had was a summer job. One of the main reason I wanted a job was to build a resume, to gather some relevant experience in the field. I wanted to gain a competitive edge by having not just the relevant education but experience that counts as well. Apart from just the experience though, my first job ended up gavin me a lot more. It gave me confidence and made me believe in myself. I still remember how proud I felt when I managed to complete the tasks that were assigned to me. The small gestures of appreciation that came my way from the management team meant a lot, and so did the constructive criticism, believe it or not!

The beauty of the first summer job I had was it allowed me to explore the field that I was extremely interested in. I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I could remember, and it was for this reason that the first summer job I took was at a summer camp and I was responsible for designing and implementing the teaching program. Although it was not a full-time teaching position, it did me an opportunity to understand the responsibilities that came along with a teaching job. I identify this as a major contribution because it allowed me to experience the teaching profession earlier on my university career, helping me decide whether or not this is what I wanted to do every single day of my life.

It is always a good idea to maintain a connection between your education and work experience. While looking for any part-time work is a wonderful option in itself, it is important to understand that getting experience in a field relevant to your career aspirations could get you even closer to gaining that full-time job you have always wanted. This is mainly because of the various opportunity you get through these jobs, to connect with people in the field and establish valuable networks and connections. Apart from a networking opportunity, a job in the relevant field also helps establish clear connections between  theory and practical world.

Lastly, Always remember that AA&CC has lots of services available for students looking for part-time work opportunities both on and off campus. If you are not sure where to start, how to edit your resume in a way that screams attention, how to write your cover letter, or any questions related to such - Please come and visit us at Academic Advising & Resource centre at UTSC.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Eliminate your Distractions and Study Effectively for Finals!
As we are nearing the end of this semester, it's that time of year again! Yes, we are almost at the finish line..but before that, FINAL EXAMS!  It's a very important time to put in our maximal effort to achieve that satisfying grade! However, often times, distractions, temptations, procrastination tend to creep in, and make us lose sight of our initial goal.

Honestly speaking, it would be hypocritical of me to say that there should absolutely be no room for distractions in your life. In fact, without a few, I couldn't imagine how boring life would be. Now, that being said, when a task like final exams lies before you, I can assure you that distractions will delay the process of achieving your goal.  It's impossible to get things done with a million things on your plate!  Please take the time to apply the following 7 tips while studying for finals:
  1. Turn off internet: Literally pull the plug. The internet is ultimately the biggest contributor to time loss. Turn it off!  Now, if you absolutely need the internet, use Focal Filter or any other script to block out unnecessary, distracting websites. These sites are specific to internet browsers, so look into that!
  2. Turn off your phone: email, twitter, IM, text messaging are great forms of communication, but  could be distracting and interruptive, especially while trying to complete a task!
  3. Be selective with your study space environment: Ensure that your chosen study space is distant from potential sources of distractions: TV, computer, loud noise, etc.
  4. Headphones: Music is an effective method of eliminating or blocking out noise. If you feel that the music itself is becoming a distraction, keep the headphones on, but only without music.  
  5. Keep a neat and tidy study space:  Visual clutter can pose a major distraction. Ensure your desk is cleared, leaving space for only the study materials and utensils required.  
  6. Effectively handle interruptions: Although you manage to follow through this list, distractions are almost inevitable from time to time. If an individual interrupts you to provide you with important information, quickly make note of the task you left off with, so you can proceed afterwards. If friends decide to pay a visit, stand up (to stop them from sitting beside you), and politely let them know that you have an upcoming final exam, assuring them that you will contact them after exams are over.
  7. Distraction Time:  Allocate some time out of your study schedule for distraction time: emails, reading, Facebook or any others, but make sure you time yourself.  I usually go by 10 minutes for every half an hour of quality studying.   

With that, I leave you with hopes that you will take my advice seriously and do your best on your final exams!  

Best of Luck, 
Priya Antony

P.S. If you haven't done so already, read my blog on final exam prep also:  
Studying for Final Exams
Read up on the following tip-sheets also:
Of course, as I always say, come by and have a chat. We are located in AC213 and we'd be happy to address any of your questions or concerns.  
Visit our website also: Academic Advising & Career Centre

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hire Power Conference

Are you a 3rd or 4th year student? Or are you a recent U of T grad (undergraduate or graduate studies)? Are you thinking about what lies ahead after graduation in the work world? Well you are in luck friend because do I have news for you – the Hire Power conference is just around the corner!

What is Hire Power you may ask? It’s an interactive conference offered by the Academic Advising & Career Centre that helps future and recent U of T graduates equip themselves with navigating the new and uncertain waters of the hiring and employment process.  This three-day conference gives students a look into how a real professional conference is laid out as well as gives them the essential tools, strategies, skills and know-how of finding and keeping work.  You will learn a variety of employment tactics including (but not limited to!) building and targeting your resume and cover letter for specific jobs, creating a personal branding platform, interview strategies and etiquette, networking techniques and SO MUCH MORE!

I recently got a chance to sit down with E-Lin, one of our Career Counsellors at the AA&CC, who answered some burning questions that I, as a soon-to-be graduate, had about the upcoming conference: 

What are the benefits for students to attend the Hire Power Conference?

There are two main benefits to students attending Hire Power. The first is content - the actual topics covered during the conference are beneficial to students. These topics include self-assessment for employment, job search strategies, industry job trends, professionalism and communication techniques and so much more. The level of content that is offered during the conference is amazing and it's one of the main draws of the conference. A conference like this typically would be valued at a $500 cost but it's completely free to our students and it includes lunch as well as prizes!

The second benefit to attending is for students to understand that they are not alone. It can be overwhelming and at times isolating when students think of what lies ahead for them after graduation. At the conference there is a sense of camaraderie because you're with your peers for the duration of the conference which is an added bonus that isn't often advertised. This will let students make a real connection and friends for life.

What makes this conference stand out from other events/workshops that are usually offered on campus?

Hire Power is different in that it's a three day conference. The reason for this is that it was the AA&CC's intent to have the conference imitate a typical work day's 9 to 5 schedule. With this in mind, we do ask students to stay committed to stay for the whole conference. We also see it as different because we want students to dress professionally so that they truly get into the mindset of the conference. Additionally, we do bring in a lot of external resources with the presence of panels, speakers and recruiters to partake and present in the conference.

As an UTSC student in the Arts, I always had the impression that the Hire Power Conference was for Management students. Is that the case?

I can see why students would feel that way, especially since we are promoting attendees to dress in business attire; however that is not the case. The conference is for students from all programs because all industries look to hire from different backgrounds. Your specialist/major/minor doesn't always reflect your career path. For example, even at a bank the employer could look for employees that come from an arts or science background. We also do tailor our job search sessions according to different disciplines which is laid out in the itinerary for the conference that can be found on the AA&CC website.

What are some notable sessions/ or speakers at this year's conference?

This year is our 5th year anniversary of Hire Power which is going to be a lot of fun. I think one of the highlights is that we have the founder of TalentEgg, Lauren Friese, coming in to deliver one of our keynote speeches. She's a young entrepreneur with an amazing job search website that is student-focused. Conference attendees will really enjoy the opportunity to hear her words of wisdom. We also have several representative from the CGA also presenting (they are graciously sponsoring us after all!) as well as a few other surprise speakers that we're going to keep under lock and key for now. 

What kinds of networking opportunities are available during the conference?

Students will get to meet people from industry, CGA professionals, the external speakers that we have coming in, U of T based staff, departmental staff and some U of T alums. All of these opportunities will be present during various points in the conference but most focused during the Networking Café session and the Mix & Mingle session. 

A big bonus to this conference is that participants can also go to Leader2Leader, an event at which you can network with and learn from industry professionals and established alumni who are leaders in their fields. The theme this year is “A New Breed: Leading the C-Suite”, and the speakers and guests are emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship. You will hear from Preet Bannerjee, a personal finance expert who you’ve probably seen on TV, and Loretta Marcoccia, Manager Director and COO of Merrill-Lynch Canada. Hire Power attendees go to L2L for free! Check it out at:

Don’t worry about registering there – you’ll register for L2L when you register for Hire Power.

Can students bring a friend with them to the conference?

We encourage students to have their friends sign up to attend the conference as long as they are also a U of T student (any campus!) with at least 15.0 credits or more.

Well there you have it folks! The Hire Power conference is slated to be the workplace event of the season! Remember that spaces are limited so register on CLN right now (seriously, don't delay - pause whatever you're doing right now and register). 

For additional information regarding Hire Power, an itinerary of sessions and a step-by-step guide on how to register, click on the link below:

Hire Power is brought to you by:


All the best,