New Year= Same placement, new lessons, new challenges

Welcome to the new year! I hope that all of you have managed to rest and relax a little before facing a new semester. For those who found a work placement and has started recently, or those who are continuing another term with your employers, congratulations! For the students who just stated attending classes, congratulations as well! For the next four months I know I will be able to relate to both groups since I will still be doing both. Again.

I’m still working on the same few projects that I left last December. One of them is in the beginning phase, and now to move forward I started to contact the Students’ Unions (or equivalent) in Universities across Canada. I did hit one major roadblock though; I can’t speak or write a single word in French! When my research partner and I split up the universities to contact, I ended up getting two from Quebec. Darn for me not knowing French! At least one of my bosses offered to help me contact them by him sending a message in my behalf. It was a relief but it was indeed slightly frustrating that I am not able to do it. I have always had second thoughts about taking introduction to French courses on campus, fearing it will ruin my GPA. I suppose I am naturally bilingual since I speak Filipino since childhood, but I am still not sure about my abilities to learn a language in a formal setting. Maybe I should consider using some of my seven free elective spots for this purpose.

Moral of the story: try to learn it! It could come in handy when you least expected it especially in Canada. Also, in jobs where it is not an absolute necessity, it could come out as a skill that really stands out. That’s how I view my bosses right now who are very capable in French communication. It is not limited to learning French as well.

Last week a large part of our weekly meeting was focused on making a tagline as a part of our re-branding process. Marketing is waiting for us to give them a new tagline to include in the new logo (which looks really awesome in its first draft). After twenty minutes of bouncing words and phrases that still didn’t sound quite right, we decided to continue searching on our own time for the current week. To compensate for my lack of natural ability for these things, I am trying to make up through research for tips on how companies with memorable taglines do it. I do hope that I can have a Eureka moment by the end of the week, not by dreaming it as suggested since I don’t remember anything when I wake up the next day.

The New Year also caused a big shift in my resume as I have gained a few more volunteer positions and have to end some of them. I just came back for the Co-op office this morning to have my resume reviewed again after I have done these changes. I was reminded that with the 30 second scan that employers usually do, the transferable skills should jump out and not the specific tasks that you do in either an employment or volunteer position. With that in mind, I’m hoping to revise it again so that I can start applying for those positions that I just found on Placepro yesterday.

I hope you have a good week settling back to your routines. For students currently in a placement, I encourage you to share a part of your experience here by contacting CESA so you can start blogging. I’ll bet many students will be looking forward to you sharing your experience and it’s a great way to reflect on your experience and improve communications skills (isn’t that one major thing that employers actually look for?) 🙂

– Giselle

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