So, you got accepted into Brandon University, and now you need to choose your major. Or maybe you’ve been a student for a year or two, but still aren’t too sure what your career goal is. Maybe you don’t have an answer to relatives’ favourite question “what are you going to do with a degree in that?” Well, good news, there is someplace you can go for advice!
Career Planning is located on the main floor of the Mackenzie Building in room 115. They offer a crazy amount of resources to students. I sat down with Doug Pople to discuss some of what student services can do for students.
He first directed me to the Career Planning webpage, which you can get to by going to BU’s website, and clicking “services” and scrolling down to “BU’s Career Planning and Placement Office.” On that main page, you immediately see a list of recently added job listings. On the sidebar, there are links for various resources, careers at BU, student resources and more. One particularly awesome feature was found under “student resources” then “Career Exploration and Planning.” This page allows students to look at careers based on their department! This is so great if you’re super interested in something but don’t know what you would do with it if you pursued it. There is also a link to Career Cruising, a website that allows you to answer questions and they give you the top careers that fit your answers.
So, why go to career planning if it’s all online, you may ask? Doug noted that many students that come into university and don’t know what exactly they want to do when they finish. He equated university to making a major purchase — which is pretty accurate, considering the price of university. You aren’t just going to walk in and throw your money away, you want to use it to get to where you want to end up. It’s a lot easier for him to help you out at the beginning, than when you’re finished and graduated with no clue what to do next. They can help you with both finding summer/during school jobs, as well as careers when you graduate.
They also work with TREK students, who are still in high school, and offer for them to come make appointments to talk about what their goals are and help make plans for attending university. Doug notes how important it is to make an appointment and come down as early as possible in your education so he can help! Doug found that he can help students who aren’t sure what they want to do by going over their passions and narrowing down career options. He also found that sometimes students can enter into a program because it’s what other people wanted them to do or put into their heads, and he can help them figure out what they actually have passion for.
Career Planning assists students with resumes, cover letters and interviews! This is an awesome thing to take advantage of because you can graduate at the top of your class, but you still need to be able to apply for a job and succeed at an interview. Having a good resume and cover letter are key because they are often the first thing a potential employer sees from you. They even help you prepare for interviews by setting up mock interviews, in which they ask questions to help you prepare. People often find interviews to be intimidating so this is a great way to get some practice in. Doug noted he runs a workshop for nursing students who are about to graduate where three volunteers from the class sit at the front of the room and do practice interviews. He said it was a great way to get them prepared for real job interviews. It benefits those three students participating, as well as the entire class.
Career Planning also has materials at the library on reserve. They are also helpful resources for students looking to start careers or be prepared for them.
A final note: career planning does five Career Days throughout the year where employers come set up tables in the Mingling Area of the Knowles-Douglas Centre to talk to students about job opportunities. This is a great way for students to get their foot in the door and network with companies.
So, schedule an appointment with Career Planning, because it’s such a beneficial service for students to help them get the careers they want! You can send an email to Doug at: Pople@brandonu.ca to make an appointment! Don’t wait until you’ve finished your degree to figure out your career!