Getting the most out of your summer job

“If you’ve identified what kinds of skills you’d like to develop, you can make any job more challenging and related,” says Jenny Peach, Job Search Programs coordinator at York University’s Career Centre in a story published in the Toronto Sun June 14. She encourages you to seek out new initiatives or offer to get involved with other projects. Are you performing a task you think could be done more efficiently or cost effectively? The relationship you have with your manager or supervisor should dictate the best way to approach the topic. “In general, before even approaching them, really think through the problem and your proposed solution. Be clear about the variables and your arguments,” Peach says. “If and when you decide to present your suggestion, be sure it is not presented as a criticism of the current process, but rather as a suggestion for an improvement.”

Don’t be disappointed if your suggestion is rejected. “Be ready to hear that there may be reasons that the work task cannot be changed,” Peach says. “Take this from your manager with grace and respect and keep maintaining your relationship with him/her as a primary goal.” If your idea is accepted, be sure to keep track of how much money and/or time it saved your employer – that’s definitely an accomplishment worth listing on your resume. Documenting the skills you develop as the summer progresses will make it easier to update your resume for future job prospects.

Check out York University’s online “CyberGuide” for useful tips on summarizing your key accomplishments, the Sun said. Often students aren’t that clear about their skills, Peach said, and highlighted that feedback from a supervisor can point out new ways of looking at skills and identify potential areas for improvement.

York student has the magic touch

York University graduate Tam Nguyen (BSc ‘06) was this year’s president of York’s Amateur Magic Organization, reported Metro (Toronto) June 13. Though being a magician isn’t her life-long dream, the mystery behind magic is what first attracted Tam Nguyen. The 23-year-old graduate of the School of Kinesiology & Health Science plans on becoming a doctor but, during her four years of studies, being a part of the school’s Amateur Magic Organization was a hobby she couldn’t deny. “I was interested in magic at a young age, but I never really pursued it until I was in university,” says Nguyen. “It’s just a hobby and I’d like to keep it like that, it’s just fun. If I were to get paid for it that would be great too but sometimes when you get paid for something you really enjoy it doesn’t become as much fun anymore.”

The club, which was founded by two former York students, David Orlov and Sean Law (BSc ‘05), continues to gain interest at the University and now boasts about 20 to 30 members who meet once or twice a month. Nguyen, this year’s president of the club, says she doesn’t perform in any magic shows, but does enjoy learning new magic tricks and teaching what she learns to others.

Friends follow their taste buds to catering success

Career changes are hard to make, but when stomachs start to growl for homemade East Asian cooking, two ambitious cooks answered the call and left their degrees at the door, reported Metro (Toronto) June 13 . Daryl Chow and Lily Cheung (BDes ‘04) abandoned their formal education and followed their taste buds to create their own catering company, Rempah Catering. “We wanted to create something for the Asian community in Toronto as well as others,” says Cheung, who studied graphic design in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Story on Memorial University TAs’ organizing drive cites York precedent

A story about the organizing drive by 400 graduate student teaching assistants, research assistants and graduate assistants at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus in The Telegram (St. John’s) June 10 made reference to an item in York’s labour history. In 1975, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that TAs at York University were employees. They concluded that the work performed by TAs “forms a necessary and essential element in the administration of the academic courses conducted by the respondent university.” Since the work is of “a direct and immediate benefit to the employer,” TAs are employees under the conventional legal criterion of employee status.

Atlantic Canada needs Asian strategy, says McMillan

Atlantica is the name that many are now giving to the natural economic region that straddles the border between Quebec and the Maritimes on the one hand, and northern New England and upstate New York on the other, wrote Brian Lee Crowley in an opinion piece for the Times & Transcript (Moncton) June 14. We represent eastern Canada’s only opportunity to participate in the trade carried on the giant ships from Asia. As Charlie McMillan, a Maritimer and professor of international business at York’s Schulich School of Business, argued just the other day, Atlantic Canada needs an Asian strategy. He’s right, but what should it look like? The model is our offshore gas and the pipeline that traverses our region to bring it to market in New England, wrote Crowley. 

Cockburn’s honorary York degree is recalled as music history

In its “Today in Music History” feature of June 14, Broadcast News noted that, in 1989, singer Bruce Cockburn received an honorary degree (DLitt) from York University for his work in aid of humanitarian causes.

On air

  • Paul James, master soccer coach for the York Lions men’s and women’s teams and a participant for Canada in the 1986 World Cup, spoke about Toronto’s entry into the North American Soccer League and how that will impact Canada’s World Cup future on CBC-TV’s “The National” June 13.