Last Thursday, 200 eager first years attended the annual Tips For First Years event. Experienced and involved upper years ran a few workshops on topics important to the average first year SAF student. For those of you who couldn’t make it, we’ve collected the highlights.
What to do Over Your First Year Summer:
Looking at our co-op schedule, this coming summer in 2013 is the very last long summer break we get for the next few years! Rosanne Lai and Judith Ma shared their advice on how we can make the most of it.
Interested in getting a summer job? While it’s definitely not necessary to gain summer employment in a job that’s specifically relevant to the program you’re in, it’s a great idea to plan to save some money from the summer to help pay off the increased upper year tuition. Research around and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the internships and government career positions specifically meant for university students over the summer.
Travelling is also what comes to mind whenever a long break is mentioned. Try looking into programs and opportunities that enhance the experience, or scholarships that subsidize the cost!
And of course, use the summer to chill. That should go without saying, though.
http://www.myexplore.ca/en/ – The Explore program is a French exchange program in Canada funded entirely by the government. Applications are due end of February.
http://portail.unice.fr/jahia/page11910.html – The International Summer School at the University of Nice, France is a French exchange program abroad. The registration deadline depends on demand; spots may still be available in April but best would be to apply before the suggested date.
http://www.centerforstudyabroad.com – A useful compilation of various exchange and volunteer programs abroad to compare prices and experiences.
http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/SEP.asp – The Summer Experience Opportunities program with the Government of Ontario. Job postings typically come out in February and March, and the program length ranges from 7 to 16 weeks.
http://studentcatalyst.ca/ – Portal to connect volunteers with local non-profit organizations and startups
Life Outside of SAF:
What better time in your life than in university to explore new interests? Jenny Ho and AFSA Blog’s own Ronald Chui [Editor’s Note: me?] explained some options available at UW. Waterloo offers dozens upon dozens of clubs to fit every passion, from cheese to dance. Take your time to look through the Feds club listing. Don’t be afraid to tread out of your comfort zone!
Part-time jobs on-campus jobs opportunities range from Teaching Assistants, to Housing Dons, to retail services, and more! Conestoga Mall is also just a bus ride away, great for part-time employment, and all the local businesses in the area need someone to run operations.
When the new semester starts, definitely look into joining the various intramural sports you can sign up for in the first week of the term. The CIF and PAC offer great fitness classes. Buying a $50 shoe tag for the entire term for unlimited access to any of the classes is a smart deal you should look into!
Feds Clubs Listing: http://www.feds.ca/clubs-section/clubs-listing/
On-Campus Retail Service Employment: http://www.retailservices.uwaterloo.ca/home.html
On-Campus Housing Employment: https://uwaterloo.ca/housing/
Intramural Sports: http://intramurals.uwaterloo.ca/
Open Recreation and Fitness Classes: http://www.varsity.uwaterloo.ca/sports/2010/7/21/CR_0721100658.aspx?tab=openrecreation
Networking Tips and Tricks:
Ian Weng and Arthur Chan shared some of their best advice on the topic of networking. They advise to always keep an open mind, as networking comes in many forms. A simple friendship with a friend from a club can lead to securing an exciting career.
However, keep in mind that that the point of networking is to meet people, not just get a job. Be comfortable and confident when approaching people. Use the networking sessions provided to find out what type of opportunities interest specifically, instead of blindly rushing into all prospects.
Finally, try to keep your business card on you at all times! You never know who you’ll run into.
Lucky for you, AFSA is offering free business cards to those to sign up and complete a survey!
Business Card Registration: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGYybmJPX3VlUlZrVHk4WDNnVE5HMlE6MQ#gid=0
– Annie Seo