contracts † when the attack fine print

How to read and understand an employment contract. And what to watch out for…

the fine print

environmental ProFessionals

The Mining industry needs you

march 2011 | careers. education. ideas. all of it.

&

Wine, Food, Business
Run your own restaurant

BUSINESS DEGREES
BUSINESS DEGREES IN:
Accounting e-Business Marketing Fashion Management Human Resources Management International Business Tourism Management

business.humber.ca

who’s

Hey. Did you know that these companies have lots of entry level positions? Visit their websites to see a full list of positions available. 7 9 9 9 11 11 13 20 23 23 27 29 29

hiring
The Home Depot (Merchandising Execution Team) Chair-man Mills Inc. NAV Canada Tim Hortons College Pro The New England Center for Children The Home Depot (Part-time) Sun Life Financial Air Canada Jazz Delta Hotels and Resorts College Pro Cameco P&H MinePro Services

16

The Fine PrinT
Employment contracts can be tangled, technical read. But before you sign on the dotted line, you should know the standard clauses and how they pertain to you. knots to untie. Not to mention utterly boring to

IFC 3 15 30 30 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 IBC OBC

yay! more school
Humber, The Business School (Undergrad) Humber, School of Social and Community Services Humber, Accounting Humber, School of Media Studies and Information Technology Queen’s University Brock University Canada’s Automotive School of Business, Georgian College Centennial College Conestoga College Fanshawe College Ithaca College Queen’s University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Sheridan College Trent University Humber, The Business School (Postgrad) Humber, Global Business

Plus: When Contracts Attack! (p. 19)

4
Success Story
— Danijela Covic on how to take advantage of unexpected change. Brought to you by Rogers Wireless.

22
Into the Frying Pan, Lovingly — Want to start your own
restaurant? Networking and paying your dues will get you there.

8 interviewsmarts — This
month: What is a challenge you have faced while working on an important project?

6
From our blogs
— Travelling on the Company Dime.

24
Found in Translation — From
financial institutions to governments, translators are in high demand. Inside this often unappre— The wonciated, but highly lucrative, career.

10 careercupid
You’re not alone.

— Does the

thought of networking make you want to hide under your bed?

30
Edu-ma-cation
derfully awesome and practical uses of an Agricultural Economics MA.

26
Hard Science
— The wildly fascinating and utterly important work of a pharmaceutical chemist.

who else?
6 25 3
Images: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

12 oneonone
Woo-Paw, MLA.

— From non-

Insurance Institute of Canada Scholarships Canada Mining Industry Human Resources Council

32
JobLife — Lessons Learned: failing a course paid for by the company. Whoops.

profit to politics. We get some sage advice from Calgary’s Teresa

28
Getting in Step — The mining
industry has plenty of opportunities for environmental professionals: A look at the nature and importance of a growing profession.

14 startup — Milun Tesovic on
communication, running a company while attending school, and song lyrics.

stuff to buy
5 Rogers Wireless
jobpostings.ca | march 2011

1

our favourite quote this month:

jobpostings
publisher
Nathan Laurie nlaurie@jobpostings.ca

"Some people only want success and status, to work in a good restaurant or start their own without putting in the time to really learn the business, to learn the subtleties that make it the craft that it is, instead of a mere trade. It’s not enough to want it, you have to live it."

associate publisher
Mark Laurie mlaurie@jobpostings.ca

editor
Jason Rhyno jrhyno@jobpostings.ca

graphic designer
Sonya van Heyningen svanheyningen@jobpostings.ca

editor’snote
Jason Rhyno
This past January I attended a conference called CANNEXUS, the annual get-together of Canada’s career counsellors/ practitioners/advisors/consultants — basically anyone who helps other people with their careers. Former Prime Minister Paul Martin stopped by on the last day of the conference to talk about the Martin Aboriginal Initiative; he explained the challenges they were facing implementing their programs(mostly educational in nature), and the role of career practitioners in regards to education and career issues facing Aboriginals. He also threw some cold-water on our inflated sense of Canadian do-gooderness. How can we, as Canadians, wrap ourselves in our human rights flag, saddleup our high horse, and lecture other countries about their violation of human rights when we are home to some of the population)? It was the right crowd to talk to about this issue: speech, as well as the conference itself, got me thinking, and in the world around us by simply having a job. world’s most impoverished communities (read: Aboriginal a collection of very passionate, very caring people. Martin’s not for the first time, about how much we can affect change We can use examples like doctors, and teachers, and of

Jennifer Mooers, Into the Frying Pan, Lovingly (p. 22)

web editor
Emily Minthorn eminthorn@jobpostings.ca

contributors
Christine Fader, Ross Harrhy, Naoise Hefferon, Rodney Larmand, Allison Mitchell, Kevin Nelson, Eleni Papavasiliou, Jeff Sebanc

editorial intern
Andrew Williams

conscious. “He’s going to a school dance,” his mom told me, “and needs some clothes.” As I started to pick out some clothes, the mother, to my surprise, said “I’m going to leave

national account managers
Sarah-Lyn Amaral, Lori Blanchard, Mary Vanderpas

him with you guys. I have some other shopping to do.” It was

a quiet night in the store, so myself and the other associate were able to give the boy lots of attention, and we dressed him to the nines. Two weeks later, during a busy Christmas ket. “The other kids loved his clothes, he’s been beaming for fore thanking us for giving him the attention we did. See?

rush, his mother popped in and dropped off a large gift basweeks,” she said. “He’s got a girlfriend,” she said proudly, beChange! While I didn’t topple a dictatorship, it was still visible change, albeit on a small scale — but I’m of the mind that there are no such things as “little things.” Too often, I think we undersell the far-reaching implications of the work we do, only fully noticing it when we hear of oil spills or the unethical decisions made by CEOs and politicians. If we can nearly destroy an entire ecosystem through our work, then can’t we do the opposite? If thousands of jobs are lost because we make a bad investment, can’t we
jobpostings is published eight times in the school year. Issue dates are September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and May. Copies of jobpostings are distributed to over 105 universities and colleges across Canada. Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reprinted in whole or part without permission of the publishers. Is spring here yet?

Published by Passion Inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON M5P 1B9 jobpostings.ca 1-877-900-5627 ext. 221

course electrical engineers (thanks for keeping the power on!) or food inspectors (thanks for keeping the salmonella out!), but what about trades people? As Mike Holmes pointconstruct the buildings where doctors operate on patients. spect? Like retail or serving? Do we affect change by helping somebody find the right size of pants?

create a thousand jobs by making a good investment? In fact, I wonder: what would have happened had we dressed with pricey clothes that didn’t fit his frame, and sent him off to that dance looking like a fashion victim? We should never forget how, who, and what our work that boy with only our commission in mind, loading him up

ed out in a past interview with jobpostings, trades people And what about those other jobs that really don’t get re-

affects. And by using our unique skills to help overcome

shared challenges such as Paul Martin using his skills as a politician to tackle education issues among Aboriginals, and Mike Holmes building stable shelters for families in the world.

During my first year of post-secondary, I worked at a then-

growing retail outlet that sold clothes to teenage men. On

one very slow evening shift, a mother came in with her son. He was maybe 13 years old, a bit pudgy and very self-

New Orleans, we can (in our own little 9-5 way) change

on the cover: © iStockphoto | Anne Clark

2

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

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successstories
Taking Advantage of Change
Name
Danijela Covic Century Group Financial Solutions Inc. Sun Life Financial

Where did you go to school? What program did you attend?
I first attended Conestoga College where I received a diploma in Human Service Foundations. I then moved to Niagara on the Lake and received a diploma from the Business Sales and Marketing program at Niagara College.

What skills have you learned through your work experience?
Time management and organizational skills are the first two I have learned the most about. Knowing how to organize your calendar is so important in this industry. The more organized you are the more work you will be able to get accomplished. Another important skill this job will teach you is troubleshooting. Things can always change in a split second, and through experience you can learn how to take advantage of those changes.

How did you find your current position?
After graduating, I decided to take some time and explore my options and see what careers were suitable to me and my education. During this time I had a meeting with my advisor to review my personal finances and that’s when he asked me about considering a career as an advisor. This was a career that I didn’t entertain entering into; however, since my initial interview, I have never looked back.

Company

Position
Advisor

What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and honesty. You have to be prepared to work seven days a week if needed and love every moment of it. It’s not hard work if you love and believe in what you do.

Time in Role 2 years Degree
Business Sales and Marketing

Tell us a bit about your responsibilities.
The biggest responsibility I have is ensuring that all “prospects” and clients are fully educated on the importance of having life and health coverage for their entire family, as well as having a well-versed investment portfolio.

Is there one accomplishment you are most proud of to date?
In my first full year as an advisor, I was able to achieve a company target goal to get invited to a conference in Hawaii. This was not an easy goal to set or even achieve, but I managed to accomplish it with a lot of hard work. This great success has allowed me to prove to myself that with the proper drive and tools you are able to achieve any goal, no matter how big or small it is.

What is the most challenging aspect of your position?
The most challenging aspect of my position is time management. While running your own business has many positives, it presents challenges. You have to be accountable for all of your clients and your office. So, delegating your time in a proper manner is very important. It takes time to get a system in place and get accustomed to it.

What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job?
Make sure that you look at all of your options,. Sometimes the careers that you don’t see in the limelight and that are not always the most obvious ones turn out to be the best ones. Also make sure that you walk into every opportunity with an open mind because until you fully understand what you are being offered, you can’t make the most educated decision.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of this career is the feeling that you have made a difference in someone’s life. My clients trust that I will always do the right thing for them and their family. That is a very big responsibility but also a rewarding one to know someone believes in you that much to entrust their current and future plans to you.

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travelling on the
I always wanted to have a job where the company flew me out to meet with clients, and attend conferences. I thought, "Man, how cool would that be?" Friends would ask me, "Hey, Jason, wanna get together this Monday?" and I would say, "No, sorry. I'm flying out to New York for a quick conference — I got important connections to make, and deals to sign over a few fancy-pants dinners, but I'll be taking the redeye back Wednesday so I'll meet you for squash in the a.m." (In other words: I’m a big deal.) Well, I finally have a job at a company that periodically flies me out to attend conferences, and it's great, but it's not as fun as I envisioned it. In fact, it's actually serious work and kind of takes its toll on you. This Sunday I'm flying to Ottawa to attend CANNEXUS, the national conference for career counsellors/consultants (and a few recruiters). Saturday I'll be working from home researching the conference (there's a ton of sessions each day, and I like to have a little background knowledge on each subject), finishing off a few things I didn't get to this past week, and trying to pack 50 copies of the magazine, my clothes, dress shoes, toiletries, and Jay Z's Decoded into one small carry-on bag. The first day will be a long day of sessions, broken up with brief phone calls back to jobpostings' HQ as we are going to print while I'm away, followed by a dinner with some career counsellors, and then back to the hotel

Q

from our blogs | 01/21/2011

comPany dime
to check emails, do some proofreading, and prepare for the next day. And I have to keep track of all my purchases, including receipts, for obvious company finance reasons. (Wanna know how I keep track of all my receipts? I stuff them into a ziploc bag and worry about them later.) Everyday is long, exhausting, and requires excellent time management skills. Still, though, I'm pretty excited... Just wish I had room to bring my skates. I can hear the Rideau Canal calling my name from here.

P
by Jason Rhyno

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Image: Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock

Unleash Your Vision
Merchandising Execution Associates
Are you a self-motivated team player with an eye for the details? The Home Depot, one of Canada’s top 100 employers, is currently hiring Merchandising Execution Associates (MEAs). MEAs enhance the environment for our customers by executing merchandising strategies and ensuring products are displayed correctly in our stores. You’ll also provide product knowledge to store associates. You bring the strong communication skills and experience of working on teams and we’ll offer competitive benefits including tuition reimbursement, health & dental plans and 70+benefits. Travel to various store locations may be required.

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So you screwed up in the interview, huh? They asked the ol’ “What’s your greatest weakness” question and you responded with “cupcakes,” hoping to get a laugh. Awkward. Lucky for you we have friends on the inside – recruiting friends (the people who’ll be interviewing you). It cost us a few favours, but they finally agreed to explain why they ask what they ask, and what the best answers are. It’s a cheatsheet for interviews. Good luck!

by Rodney Larmand President Painters Canada

@ College Pro

* interview

smarts

Q a

What is an example of a challenge you have faced while working on an important project?

I like this question because it’s general enough that it makes you think of an example, process through it and then explain it back to me. You can bet I’ll be following up with lots of questions to learn the details of how you worked through the challenge. First though, I’ll try to establish why the project was meaningful. I want to make sure this project was important to you because we all like to think that when you come work with us you’re going to find all the work you do to be very meaningful — or we hope so anyway! Throughout your professional life you will face setbacks, and when something is important to you and it isn’t going well, your emotions can really begin to get in the way of your performance. What I want to know is what does that emotional rollercoaster look like? How did you react in the situation? Were you able to control your emotions? Perhaps you flipped out but then moved on and still got the job done? Or did it take you several weeks to process and get over the issue? We are all emotional beings, and as much as we don’t like to admit it, our emotions govern our behaviours. We are all going to have hard times keeping it together at some point — especially when we have a lot on the line — but some people are better than others at taking that stress, pushing it aside and still executing at a high level. You can see this in high level athletes in how they train with sports psychologists. For athletes, the difference in performance is often being able to deal with the stress of competition and pushing it aside so that they can go and execute at a high level. This ability to control your emotions in pursuit of a meaningful goal is one of the major traits I look for in a good candidate. 

8

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Image: © Andrew Williams

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9

Don’t tell anyone, but I hate networking. Yes, I know that I work as a career counsellor and I’m supposed to be all “networking is the way to success” but I personally don’t like doing it. Don’t get me wrong. I am a people person but I have residual shyness left over from my childhood and teenage years as a four-eyed, braces- and acne-endowed bookworm. Walking into a room full of strangers and feeling as if I have to confidently deliver a rehearsed “blurb” that sells my attributes to as many people as possible makes me feel nauseous. And, even if I did manage to blurt it out, what if there was spinach in my teeth or something? I’d rather pitch myself down an elevator shaft than actually recite the oft-touted-as-the-wayto-career-success “elevator pitch.” And, I’m more than a little certain that I’m not alone. Despite my aversion to networking, I do understand and agree with the notion that one path to satisfying work — or any work at all — is through connecting with others in both informal and professional situations, rather than exclusively through job postings. And, since most employers tend not to advertise jobs if they can avoid it (expensive and time-consuming), we are much more able to offer and consider opportunities if we are actively engaging in conversations and building relationships on a regular basis around topics of mutual interest. But, knowing that networking is helpful and actually wanting to do it are two different things. Why is it that I can comfortably talk for one and a half hours to a room with 700 people in it but I get clammy just thinking about “working a room” full of 30 potential contacts? Cathy Keates, Career Counsellor and former Associate Director of Career Services at York University, delves into a possible answer. In her book, “Not for Sale – Why We Need a New Job Search Mindset” (Career Considerations, 2009), Cathy argues that in being traditionally encouraged to think of ourselves in the job search process as “products” that need promotion and selling, we turn career communication into sales pitches — something that is uncomfortable, if not downright unfathomable, for many people. Many people equate networking with “schmooz-

ing” and for some of us, schmoozing comes more naturally than for others. Personally, every time I think about networking, I flash back to grade two when I spent what felt like hours standing on my various neighbours’ front steps, shifting from one foot to the other, eyes downcast, stomach in knots, trying to sell Girl Guide cookies. Networking certainly feels like sales to me — and sales are not my thing. But does networking really mean schmoozing? Or, has the good name of job search (and networking by extension) been sullied by the sales slant perpetrated upon it by career practitioners, recruiters, best-selling motivational speakers and authors? Cathy acknowledges that I am not alone in my dread and suggests thinking about job search differently, using something she coins, The Integrity Mindset. She proposes that the entire process of job search could be a lot more comfortable and rewarding if we chose not to adopt the sales mindset and instead, considered three pillars of a new job search mindset: ethics, dignity and authenticity. It’s a radical yet completely common-sense idea, and career counsellors might need to be the first ones in line to learn this new way of thinking about job search. After all, if you’ve ever visited a career centre, you have probably realized that, as a rule, we tend to be well entrenched in propagating the sales metaphor. Our advice and literature is littered with phrases that come from that model such as “your marketing documents” and “selling your skills” and even, “your 30-second infomercial.” No wonder many students would rather just hit the ‘refresh’ button on GreatGigs.com over and over and over… So, speaking as both a victim and perpetrator of this sales mindset, let me recap. Instead of feeling like networking and job search are competitive sales situations where I have to schmooze, memorize and deliver an “elevator pitch,” I can instead choose to navigate through these situations in a way that is authentic for me. Instead of feeling pressured to “work a room,” I can focus on enjoying as little as one naturally-occurring conversation that is meaningful to me and the person with which I’m having it. Hunh. Suddenly, networking feels a lot more comfortable and achievable for me — and for the students with whom I work. So, I’m ready to boldly try this au naturel-networking (my term, not Cathy’s) and to recommend it to others. I can handle this idea of job search done the authentic, non-salesy way. But, I have one question before I head into the fray: Is there any spinach in my teeth? 

career cuPid
by Christine Fader

the wallflower’s reprieve

Christine Fader works as a career counsellor at Queen’s University and is the author of, “Career Cupid: Your Guide to Landing and Loving Your Dream Job.” Visit her website at careercupid.com

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

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11

mentor /' mentor/ 1 n. an experienced and trusted advisor or guide (who usually buys lunch, too). 2. Yoda 3. Or Mr. Miyagi (“wax on, wax off”). 4. Professor Dumbledore – he was a mentor. 5. So was Gandalf. 6. Morpheus! Nearly forgot about Morpheus! He was a pretty sick mentor. Man, how cool would it be to have Morpheus as your mentor? (Hey, why aren’t there any women mentors in pop culture?) 7. v.tr. act as a mentor to (a person). mentoring n. & adj. mentorship n.

oneonone
When it comes to Female rePresentation in Politics, canada is
55th on the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s ranking system behind Rwanda,

Teresa Woo-Paw, Member of the Legislative Assembly in Calgary
Interviewed by Eleni Papavasiliou

Sudan, Iraq and even Afghanistan. The results are counter-intuitive

considering that comparatively, Canadian women enjoy more personal freedoms. Clearly, being a woman in a man’s world isn’t easy. So how does a female immigrant become a politician in Canada?

From non-profit to politics, how did you manage the transition? I never planned on a career in politics, but looking back, the non-profit industry laid the foundation for my present career. It started when I founded the Calgary Chinese Community Services Association in my basement while raising three children. After years in non-profit and diversity management, I saw how my experience and resources could be used to give a voice for those who are never heard. Becoming a politician seemed like the obvious next step. Have you experienced racism and/or sexism during your career? Sexism was more subtle, while racism was more blatant. For example, people would ask me rhetorical questions like, “What kind of last name is that?” Facing attitudes like “the yellow race is taking over” was typical. represent all of my constituents’ needs because of my race.

oratively and make compromises is essential. Being a good listener and being empathetic are valuable skills too. Lastly, mastering the art of time management is a given. What are the major challenges facing women in politics today? The lack of representation is the most damaging. As a result, we can’t put forward any analysis from a woman’s perspective for major issues. lines to embrace our common ground. Are politicians “married” to their jobs? Yes. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, having young children while in office is very challenging. Fortunately for me, my children are also very demanding so when I got into politics the impact on my from home. are grown and my husband has always been supportive. Non-profit jobs family was minimal; they were already accustomed to me being away Got any advice for those pursuing a career in politics? Determine your guiding principles and stick to them, because it is both a mitment to public service, set goals and focus on building your networks optimistic, even in the face of adversity. privilege and an opportunity to influence change. Demonstrate a comand credentials early. Your attitude will make or break you; always remain

Currently, there is also a lack of willingness to work together across party

My credibility was also undermined by people who believed I wouldn’t Non-profit equals Left, and Conservative equals Right. You’re both, huh? Conservatism runs across a broad spectrum and where you stand depends on how you interpret the ideology. Peter Lougheed [former Premier of Alberta] was a visionary leader who embraced fiscal responsibility and progressive social changes. Likewise, the non-profit world encourages you to live within your means. With these principles I merge the two polarities. What skills are required to be an effective politician? Aside from committing to working long hours and remaining flexible, people skills are crucial. The ability to find common ground, work collab-

12

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

If you don’t know which paint dries faster, but you like helping people…

then we want to talk to you.

You may not know everything when it comes to home improvement, but after our training and hands-on coaching you will. The Home Depot, one of Canada’s top 100 employers, is hiring for spring. You bring the desire to put customers first and we’ll offer competitive rewards including company paid health & dental plans, 70+benefits, tuition reimbursement & much more. Many positions available including: • Cashiers • Sales Associates • Department Supervisors

Apply online at homedepotjobs.ca/1924
We are committed to diversity as an equal opportunity employer.
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jobpostings.ca | march 2011

13

Can you tell me a little bit about MetroLeap Inc., from a user perspective and a client perspective?

what it aims to do, and what makes it unique both We’re a content based company, and our primary asset is metrolyrics.com — the third largest music website in the world and North America. We get about 50 million unique visitors a month and we

Owner of MetroLeap Media Inc. Studying Business Admin at Simon Fraser U. (but currently taking a semester off), 25 years old. 2009 ACE National Student Entrepreneur Competition Champion

serve over a billion ad impressions every month. large audience that’s closely related to the music the music market, or relate to the music market, we are a natural fit.

From an advertisers standpoint, we have a very industry, so for any brands looking to penetrate

As a company, we strive to be the most comprehensive and accurate lyrics database out there, and we add secondary content, such as music, news, videos and pictures to keep the users engaged and give them the entire music picture rather that just the lyrics. We’re making sure we provide anything

and everything about song lyrics; it’s really about encompassing the entire music experience around music lyrics, and bringing that to the user. You’re a student and a CTO. Can you describe an average day in your life, in terms of balancing the school books and maintaining your company?

Typically, I wake up between 6:00am and 6:30am.

Milun Tesovic
myself and making myself better than a means to a career. I have my career, I have my job and I’m not looking for anything other than this. So I take a different approach to school: ‘What am I going to out and get a job’. learn’ rather than ‘I can’t wait to finish so I can go Aside from confidence, what type of personality traits do you think an entrepreneur needs? You need to be vocal, and you need to communicate your ideas the right way, and you need to have leadership qualities. At some point in time it’s going to be more than just you. You’re the leader, and if you can’t communicate a proper vision, if you product the best chance of success. Any advice?

Interviewed by Jason Rhyno

The first thing I do is check my email — usually bethen I head off to work or school. The way I schedule school is a maximum three hours a day, either

fore breakfast — send off any important emails,

first thing in the morning or at the very end of the day, and night classes if possible. From the office, I have an early morning meeting with all of the developers, make sure everyone is on track, and from there either go to school or catch up on the rest of everything in a meaningful way, you’re really not setting yourself up for success. So communication nect with other people so they believe in you and the product as much as you do to help give the is being able to formulate your thoughts and con-

my emails. Studying is usually over the weekend, but what I find is key is paying attention in class. If you pay attention in class, you can spend half the Once I clued into that, I didn’t have to study more than a couple of hours every couple of days. you ever tempted to leave school? time studying and do equally well, if not better.

One of things I keep noticing is that when I go to empty seat. Not taking that opportunity to network

So when the business started taking off, were School for me is not what school means for a lot

different universities to speak, is one full seat, one and start communicating early on, and building up your skills as a communicator, as someone who is approachable and somebody who is confident in approaching other people, is a shame. School is an ideal place to do that, so start building your skills early on, and start getting that support group.

of other people. For me, it’s more about educating

startup

can’t communicate the product, the values, and

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

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15

The PrinT
by Allison Mitchell

You may have had a job before, but have you had to sign an employment agreement? As you embark on an internship, a co-op work term, a summer job, or your first job after graduation, you may be faced with having to sign an employment a daunting task. Instead of breaking out into a cold sweat and wondering what you are getting yourself into, you need to unthat you can anticipate what to expect.

Employment agreements are meant to protect the employer

and the employee by clearly establishing the terms of employment. The obligations that each party has to the other, as well as the benefits that each party will receive from the other should be clearly documented. Employment agreements differ from company to company in terms of format, length, lanthat includes elements of an employment agreement; some

agreement. Signing your first employment agreement can be

derstand the different parts of an employment agreement so

guage and content. Companies may use a 1-2 page offer letter may use thicker agreements that incorporate elements of an

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Fine T
how to read and understand an employment contract
offer letter; while others will use a combination and ask you to sign both an offer letter and an employment agreement. Some agreements may be very easy to read while others require a law degree in employment agreements, however the content can you expect to find in an employment agreement? Read on… to understand. There are some common elements will change depending on the company. So, what

† Job Related Information Title, start date, compensation, duties probationary period, and term and responsibilities,

…if you leave, you can’t ask your work friends to leave and join you at your new company. you’ll just have to make new work friends.

of time attached to this clause. In other words, if you leave, you can’t ask your work friends to leave and join you at your new company. You’ll just have to make new work friends. † Intellectual Property Intellectual property is the product of the creations of the mind, such as trademarks, designs, copyrights, slogans, etc. Since a company’s success is dependent on its intellectual in the employment agreements. The degree of emphasis on you are working for. Obviously, technology companies tend to have a strong emphasis on intellectual property. † Termination Clause This clause establishes any period of notice that the employer or employee needs to give the other party in the event that the employment relationship ends. This clause will also outline the elements of termination for cause to reduce as much ambiguity as possible. † Other Clauses There are many other clauses that can be included in an employment agreement. Some other clauses that you may encounter include a clarification clause stating that the comproperty, it is important for companies to include this clause intellectual property will depend on the type of business that

of agreement should all be

included in the offer letter and/or the employment agreement. bonus/incentives, and vacation.

The compensation will include details about salary, benefits, A probationary period is a period of time following a start date

where the employer and employee can ensure that each party is meeting the employment requirements of the other. The length of the probationary period may differ among compamost likely be between three and six months. Whether or not will depend on the length of the work term.

nies, if there is one at all. If there is a probationary period, it will there is a probationary period for a co-op term or internship The agreement should also specify if the position is a fixed-term assignment — meaning there is an end date — or is an indefiships will be fixed-term assignments as they are temporary. † Confidentiality Confidentiality clauses, also called non-disclosure clauses, are protect their information in order to maintain a competitive a key part of any employment agreement. Companies need to edge. These clauses generally include provisions for product or service related information, client information (including client lists), and other information that you acquire simply what is classified as confidential information. It’s important you are an employee, but also after you leave the company. Once you are no longer an employee, you will still be covered under the confidentiality clause of the agreement, which means that you cannot disclose any information deemed to be confidential even after you are gone. † Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation The non-competition clause means that you will not work for the employer’s competition during or after your employment with them for a certain period of time after you have left, and nite term assignment. For example, your co-op terms or intern-

pany owns all customer lists, customers’ records, copyrights, patents, etc. This is often covered in the Intellectual Property clause, however you may see it separately.

The employment agreement should also outline the company’s policies. If they do not summarize the policies in the agreement itself, then they may reference the company policies and require you to abide by these policies. If you have any questions about the policies before you sign, then ask!

This list of employment agreement clauses is not exclusive; there are other clauses that can be included in an employment agreement. When you are presented with an agreement, en-

because you are an employee. Most agreements will specify to note that confidentiality clauses are not only in effect while

sure that you take the time to read. It is important that you unImage: © Getty Images/ Comstock/Thinkstock Images (Previous Page: Hemera/ Thinkstock)

derstand the agreement so that you make an informed choice as to whether or not you should sign it. Don’t assume that the agreement is okay to sign without careful review. Make sure that the duties and responsibilities in the agreement accu-

rately reflect what you understand the responsibilities of the position to be. At the end of the day, it is going to come down to what is written into the employment agreement and not

what you were told in the interview process so make sure that you are comfortable with the information that is written into the agreement. Some agreements will be easier to read than others. If you have questions or need clarification, then it is your duty to ask questions.

usually within a certain geographical region. The last thing information and go work for the competition down the street. business or employees away from the employer during or after your employment relationship has ended. There is also a period

your employer needs is for you to take all of that confidential Non-solicitation clauses mean that you are not going to solicit

Remember that employment law will dictate certain minimum hours that you can work in a week, to name a couple. Agree-

requirements including minimum wage and the number of ments can offer you more than the minimum stipulated in the applicable employment law (for example, more vacation
march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

18

or more termination notice),

but it cannot offer less than what you would be entitled to under the appropriate employment law.

At some point in your career, you will be presented with an employment agreement. ployment agreement lightly.

Don’t take signing an emEnsure that you understand you sign it. Ask the employer to go through the agreecan ask questions along the

When ConTraCTs aTTaCk f
by Andrew Williams

Pets aren’t the only thing that might turn around and bite you. Words on a sheet of paper could be just as dangerous when not properly leashed.

table, you must sign on the dotted line before you can say “Show me the money!” But of course, wading through a contract’s tangled technical language might seem like translating Klingon. It’s also, well,

or most jobs, at least those that pay you over the

for the company” arguments. “He did what he felt was the only option and signed the contract,” says Lublin. Due to the recent recession, he ended up losing the job shortly thereafter, but was denied any compensation for leaving his previ-

boring to read. So we skim through the sheets, glossing

ous, secure job thanks to the contract he was made to sign, which had relegated him to a probationary employee. “Had he known what he was agreeing to, he would have never left his old job and would probably still be employed today.” According to Lublin, the most common stipulations that are

over paragraphs, and sign our life away with no regards as to what we just did. Eventually, the-you-know-what hits the proverbial fan.

what you are signing before

“I see up to 500 clients a year,” says Daniel A. Lublin, an emhalf of those clients have a dispute concerning a contract in

ployment lawyer at Whitten & Lublin LLP. “Approximately one form or another.” Here are just a few (kinda scary) exemployee have butted heads:

a source of grief for employees are the contractual clauses

about termination. Also, if you’re planning on leaving that

ment with you so that you way. If you are not comfort-

dead-end job at the Beans & Chili Shack to open your very own Beans & Chili R’ Us, you might want to think twice. competitor or soliciting old clients or contacts cause a lot of conflict between employers and employees,” explains Lublin. “Clauses preventing past employees from working for a

amples that Lublin has shared with us where employer and A 21-year-old landed a job with a large financial services com-

able with the answers that you are getting, then take

pany as a financial advisor. The heads of the company were thoughtful enough to conveniently bury some fine print under pages of documents in her contract. Unbeknownst to the money it cost to train her, a small fee of $75,000 (which would have it, she had to leave after a year and a half when the employer turned out to be less than diligent in meeting

Lublin also dishes on what occupations and positions have the highest frequency of contract grievances. “Unfortunately, the average Joe and average Jane have the most lopsided is because they have less leverage in the negotiations surrounding that contract, and are often given little to no choice but to sign what the employer asks. Executives tend to negoupon termination, leading to a lower likelihood of dispute.”

at the end of the day, it is going to come down to what is written into the employment agreement and not what you were told in the interview process.
the agreement to a lawyer to review. Before you put pen to you need to know what you paper to sign the agreement, are signing. Always rememany offer letter and/or employment agreement.

her, it stipulated that if she quit she would have to fork up I’m sure most would agree is completely reasonable). As luck

contracts, in favour of their employers,” says Lublin. “This

the job conditions they had previously agreed upon. True to its not-so-obvious word, the company sued the young lady for the 75 grand, claiming she had “agreed” to it. “We are still fighting this one in the courts,” says Lublin, who suspects the ligation to bring clauses or unclear details to the employee’s attention for clarification, according to Lublin. “Courts do not

tiate contracts more and are often treated more generously So are employees and employers actually trying to screw

each other over, or are contracts just convoluted by nature with both parties genuinely trying to discern them fairly? “I would say that twenty-five percent of the time, the employer or employee is trying to take advantage of the other,” says Lublin. “Twenty-five percent of the time, there is a general

employer will find it difficult to win. Companies have an ob-

appreciate when an employer hides the language it later wishes to rely upon, especially from an entry level employee.” Another example tells of an employee who was talked into leaving one job for another after the hiring manager made employment contract, he tried to negotiate the conditions

misunderstanding. The remaining fifty percent is generally

ignorance of the law.” Obviously, I’m not saying you should legal consultant for Law & Order (though I won’t stop you). signing, and of course, understand what it entails. As I much as I hate to use clichés, prevention is better than cure.

grab a law text book, study it day and night until you’re a Nonetheless, it’s important to be cautious of what you’re

him certain promises. After being told to sign a “standard” with the employer, but was slapped with one of those “ev-

ber to get a signed copy of

eryone has to sign the contract, otherwise they couldn’t work

jobpostings.ca | march 2011

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the list. Lorenzo was happy [working] at George and, having worked closely with Ted before, recommended him highly. Now Teddy’s the Executive Chef of Everything at the ROM. He’s got the golden ticket — he’ll do whatever he wants when his contract is up.” Carolyn Hogg and Teri Cordileone, owners of Three’s Company, a restau-

into the frying pan, lovingly.
Wanna run your own restaurant? You’ve got some dues to pay first.
Jennifer Mooers and Joel Kechnie have had big dreams ever since they met at The Stratford Chef School in 2004 but they have no intention of taking the culinary world by storm. Yet. The restaurant business is as relentless and unforgiving as it is rewarding and invigorating, but bright young sparks with heads full of hope will need more than a hefty backer and a clever concept to become the next Oliver & Bonacini. In an industry where countless more businesses fail Jennifer’s partner, Joel, spent a time at Auberge du Pommier, Toronto, ON before moving on to Harbour 60 where he continues to hone his front-ofhouse career path. “I grew up in the service industry and, honestly, I just love helping people have positive experiences. Working in service to others is at the crux of this industry and it’s something I find very fulfilling. That’s why we do it.” Like fine wines and Anthony Hopkins, the chances of making Head Chef or Restauranteur Extraordinaire only get better

rant, catering company and café trifecta, have over 30 years of experience between them in leading hotels and restaurants across Canada and in the Pacific Rim, and echo the need for experience across all areas of the business. They recommend going everywhere and learning how it’s ALL done because, if there are 100 restaurants, there are at least 110 different ways of doing things. The more experience, and the more varied experience, one acquires along the way, the more valuable she will be as a chef or entrepreneur. Especially as general consensus dictates that a lack of experience leads to failed exploits. Carolyn underlines that there is no room for ego in restaurants. “No job can be beneath you and you need to know how to do every job in your restaurant better than your employees.” And whether aspiring to create the next Canoe or just wanting to grow a local bistro, the requirements for success are the same: Impeccable service, exquisitely prepared food, and prowess — real prowess — in the business and your craft. “People make food so complicated,” laments Teri. “It’s not mysterious and there are really only a few ways to cook it. It’s more important to be authentic, to be good at what you do, to cook the food you like than it is to try to come up with the [next big thing] just for the sake of being different.” Truly, we eat for nourishment and comfort. So while it may be ideal to have a sizeable bankroll, experience and a hot idea to run with, humility and undying passion will be the fuel that drives your success. “You’ll always underestimate how much money and time it costs to start up, and then once you start making money, something will break,” Carolyn warns. “But if you know your market and listen to your customers, if you know your weaknesses and work with those who make you stronger, your odds [for success] improve.” And… love food.
Image: © Getty Images/Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Thinkstock

“ it’s not enough to want it, you have to live it. with time. And for two good reasons, being and love food… and wine. a lot!” the first and most important.experiencekitchen If every
is a training ground, an opportunity to learn than succeed, with both outcomes fuelled by vast amounts of blood, sweat and personal time, there is little room for passing fancies and egofed notions. “Cooking isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle,” explains Jennifer, Sous Chef for C5 Catering at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) who cut her teeth working at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Grateful for the privilege of learning from the bottom up, she is in no rush to get anywhere. “There is no such thing as a fast track. Some people only want success and status, to work in a good restaurant or start their own without putting in the time to really learn the business, to learn the subtleties that make it the craft that it is, instead of a mere trade. It’s not enough to want it, you have to live it. And love food… and wine. A lot!” more from those who know more, clever culinaries will see the benefit of watching the epic wins and staggering defeats of their co-workers without having to risk a penny. “It’s the best deal going — the longer you stay working for others, the more you walk away with, especially where contacts are concerned.” And contacts are the second must-have. Restaurants become make-shift families where members work under pressure in close quarters. The more eateries you work in, the more families you are a part of, then the more support you’ll have when and if you do venture solo. Such close ties may just land you your dream job. Jennifer muses on her boss’ experience: “When C5 was in its early stages, Lorenzo Loseto was at the top of

by Naoise Hefferon

industryinsiders
march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

22

Canada’s second largest airline, Air Canada Jazz, currently serves 85 destinations in Canada and the United States with a fleet of regional jet and turboprop aircraft. We operate over 848 flights a day and carry approximately 8 million passengers each year. Headquartered in Halifax with an employee base of close to 5,000 people, Jazz offers a professional working environment and opportunities for individual career growth. Air Canada Jazz is an Employment Equity employer. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. We are currently hiring for the following positions: • administration • customer service • operations • ramp operations Interested candidates may apply for positions online at www.flyjazz.ca under Careers.
We would like to thank in advance everyone who applies, as only candidates to be interviewed will be contacted. No telephone inquiries please

Deuxième transporteur en importance au Canada, Air Canada Jazz dessert actuellement 85 destinations au Canada et aux États-Unis grâce à un parc aérien composé de jets régionaux et d’avions à turbopropulseurs. Elle exploite plus de 848 vols par jour et transporte quelque huit millions de passagers annuellement. Ayant son siège à Halifax, Air Canada Jazz est dotée d’un effectif de plus de 5 000 employés et offre un environnement de travail professionnel ainsi que des possibilités d’avancement. Air Canada Jazz pratique l’équité en matière d’emploi et invite les candidats qualifiés à postuler un emploi dans les secteurs ci-dessous : • Administration • Service clientèle • Opérations • Opérations de piste Les personnes qualifiées sont priées de poser leur candidature en ligne sous « Carrières » à www.voljazz.ca.
Nous vous remercions à l’avance de poser votre candidature. Nous communiquerons uniquement avec les candidats retenus pour une entrevue. Veuillez ne pas téléphoner.

Our guests aren’t the only ones who like to stay here.
With 44 hotels and resorts across Canada, Delta Hotels and Resorts excels at offering guests both exceptional service and value. We are looking for creative, bright and ambitious graduates to join our team. Come and grow with a company that values your skills, your determination and your goals. Check in at Delta.

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Delta Hotels and Resorts is committed to employment equity throughout all levels of the organization. For more information about career opportunities, contact the Director of People Resources at your nearest Delta hotel or resort or visit deltahotels.com/careers
jobpostings.ca | march 2011

23

industryinsiders
by Andrew Williams Although translator and interpreter may be used interchangeably, there is a distinction. Translation involves converting a written text from one language to another. An interpreter, in particular a conference interpreter, acts as an intermediary between speakers. People who work in these fields typically need a BA in translation, offered by a number of schools in Canada such as Glendon College’s School of Translation, in Toronto. For interpreters, a Masters in conference interpreting is the minimum requirement. Donald Barabé is vice president of the Translation Bureau, a division of Public Works and Government Services Canada. The Translation Bureau has a staff of about 1,200 translators, interpreters, and terminologists in all major departments of the government. He explains that the past decade has seen a staggering increase in demand for translation services. “Demand is actually doubling up every three to seven years,” he says. “And we don’t see any end in sight.” Barabé names globalization as one of the factors that accounts for this increase. Most of the 9-5 jobs in interpreting are in the various levels of the government. Staff interpreters are used in the senate, the House of Commons, and parliamentary committees. Interpreters also work for government agencies, such as the Canadian International Development Agency. Aside from those, there is also the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency based in Montreal. Outside of these circles, most interpreters work as freelancers. For translators there are plenty of options as well. Like interpreting, many positions are with the government but there are a number in the private sector. CLS Lexi-tech is perhaps the largest translation company in Canada, but given growing population trends, the skills of translators can be applied to just about any industry. “Major areas where there is work available [include] pharmaceuticals, law firms, accounting and consulting, public administration, insurance companies, big retail chains, anything,” explains Barabé. Even exporters and supply chains need translators for their target countries. According to Andrew Clifford, chair of the School of Translation at Toronto’s Glendon College, most banks have translators, but lately have been offering more work to freelancers. The type of income you can receive in this industry varies. Freelancers in the private sector can make anywhere from $80,000 to around $120,000, provided they’re putting in a serious amount of work. Translation for the government would usually start around $45,000-$65,000. Federal interpreters, on the other hand, can expect $65,000-$85,000. Although we have a well-established infrastructure for French and English, Canada has been slow adapting to languages of immigration and acknowledging indigenous languages. “In Canada, French is king,” says Clifford. “Ninety percent of the translating jobs out there are between English and French.” Clifford explains that change is on the horizon, with Canada’s diversity encouraging growth in other language markets. Across the pond, Europe is already seeing the importance of translation and interpreting services for economic growth. “You go outside of Canada and the story changes dramatically,” says Clifford. “The European Commission works with 24 different languages, so the situation is very different there. Sometimes I have students who say, ‘I’m really interested in working in Europe.’” He also notes that in Europe, knowing an Eastern European language would really make you attractive to an employer. “In Canada we have a lot of expertise in [translation and interpreting],” he continues. “To take advantage of that and acquire more market share, nationally and internationally, we need to get our act together and consolidate things, because the room for growth is absolutely huge.” Among the financial services taking this into account is TD Bank, which has an in-house translation group. “Language skills are important when it comes to connecting with the customer,” says Anna Zec, a human resource representative at TD. “If you look at our customer base, it’s very multicultural. We have multi-language online services and automated banking networks where various languages are being used.” She explains how reflecting the face of a community is always a priority when serving the customer. “When you think of our branch locations in various ethnic communities, we would speak their languages, and of course our advertising and marketing material would correspond with their languages.” In Canada, Barabé points out that more services in Spanish, Chinese, and Punjabi are needed. “[Demand] varies from year to year, according to the relationships we have with specific countries at that point in time,” he explains. Although translators and interpreters are in demand, the supply is low. “The demand is for 1000 graduates per year, and the output is around 300 per year.” Barabé attributes this deficiency to competition from more popular university and college programs. “You don’t hear about translation a lot,” he says. “You hear about business schools, med schools, law schools, things like that.” Clifford explains that schools and organizations are taking steps towards building more opportunities for translators and interpreters, allowing services to go beyond our two official languages and keep up with Canada’s accelerating diversity. At the same time, there are a number of internships and programs to help young translators and interpreters get off the ground. The Translation Bureau itself works with 200 students per year. For more information, check out this story online at jobpostings.ca

24

Image: © iStockphoto | Peeter Viisimaa

found translation ın

As diversity rises, so do language barriers. But those who serve to break these barriers are in short supply.

Name Address

Bring hard science to the front lines of healthcare

as_a_Pharmaceutical_Chemist
lotz says, of the average student — a graduate will need a masters or PhD degree. Because the U of T program is still in its infancy (the specialist program began in 2005) the program coordinators have yet to see what positions have been taken by graduates. “Quite a few… graduates are actually in grad school now,” he explains. “However, since the first students graduated from this new program only a few years ago, few, maybe none, [have] had a chance to finish their PhD yet. That means it will take a few more years to assess the success of the graduates on the job market.” Unfortunately, according to Christopher Walpole, executive director of medicinal chemistry at AstraZeneca Research and Development Montreal, job opportunities in Canada are limited when compared to those in the United States and Asia. However, he says, “there are attractive opportunities in Canada in pharma, biotech, and in contract research organizations, which provide pharmaceutical chemical synthesis, sometimes together with biological screening, to pharma companies.” Most job opportunities tend to concentrate in the research-based pharmaceutical industry, he says, “both in major pharma and smaller biotechs, as opposed to the generic-drug industry which engages in little research. In Canada, the research-based pharmaceutical industry tends to be largely concentrated in Quebec. Medicinal chemistry requires a very highly educated workforce with most positions requiring PhDs or MScs.” While getting these jobs often isn’t as simple as heading to the local career centre and checking out job postings, there is another way to get that foot in the door. “The co-op programs in several Canadian universities enable students to undertake a three to four month internship in drug-discovery research labs. This is a great opportunity for students to get real life experience [in the] industry and improve their chances of being recruited into medicinal chemistry.” Catherine Chiu, president of the U of T Pharmaceutical Chemistry Student Union, recently finished a co-op, or Professional Experience Year as U of T calls it, with Bayer Inc. A useful experience, she says, as she’s still in touch with former colleagues, keeping her up to date with potential job opportunities. However if you choose not to apply for this optional internship, old fashioned networking within the school is the next best option. “Various professors… also have connections in the industry, so it may be possible to get recommended that way if you’ve worked for the professor in their laboratory for undergraduate or graduate research.” While pharmaceutical chemistry may naturally seem geared toward left brain thinkers, Walpole praises the satisfaction of creative inventiveness that the job provides. He describes his fascination in the business with obvious enthusiasm. “Medicinal chemists design and create the molecular entity which ultimately becomes the drug substance… Medicinal chemists possess the multidimensional skill-set which is needed to understand and translate desired properties, defined by the profile of candidate drugs, to molecular structures which can then be physically created, using synthetic chemistry, to deliver this profile as innovative potential drugs.”

What kind of person is attracted to the pharmaceuticals industry? While still relatively new, the pharmaceutical chemistry program at the University of Toronto has been drawing in students who are anxious to speak the different “languages” of medicinal fields. According to associate professor and current acting program director Dr. Heiko Heerklotz, it “should be attractive for people who want to learn and apply and contribute good interdisciplinary science to, ultimately, medical issues.” Calling the pharmacist a link between the many aspects of the pharmaceuticals industry, Dr. Heerklotz explains that “pharmacists have become primarily active in the dispensing, prescription and supervision of drugs.” As a result of being the proverbial gate-keepers to medicinal drugs, he says, “pharmacy education must include a great deal of administrative and legal matters, skills to deal with patients, et cetera. In my view, the pharmaceutical chemist is required to fill the gap that has been created by this development. Drug discovery, development, and production have become an interdisciplinary effort of physical chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and a grain of soft matter and chemical physics.” All of which, he says, should be the responsibility of the pharmaceutical chemist. Dr. Heerklotz explains that understanding the many pieces of the pharmaceuticals machine “renders [the pharmacist] perfectly suited to coordinate and integrate an interdisciplinary research team and work in it in a broad variety of ways.” As far as getting a high-profile research position in the industry — a typical goal, Dr. Heerk-

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by Jeff Sebanc

industryinsiders
march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

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There’s more to modern mining than just digging a big hole in the ground. Unlike the old days, governmental regulations aimed at keeping mining operations in step with environmental simple way, so you’ve got to keep mine personnel educated on environmental responsibilities.” Coordinating and communicating with so many varied groups of people is also a complex task. “A mining company must work closely with government agencies during the permitting stage to make sure that everyone is on the regulatory path forward,” says Duquet-Harvey. “Working with community groups through newsletters, open houses and meetings helps provide information to all about the project and address any concerns of community members.” Blake Schreiner worked as a chemical technologist for over 5 years before deciding to pursue his interest in Geochemistry in the mining industry. Currently, he’s in the midst of completing his Geological Sciences degree at the University of Saskatchewan, but he’s already planning his entry into his chosen field. “The biggest advantage I’ve obtained is from embracing opportunities like mentorship, scholarships and trade shows, and becoming a part of associations related to the mining industry,” he says. He’s also been helping his fellow students segue into the industry as well by sharing what’s worked for him. “There are a lot of ways to become familiarized with what you’ll actually be doing, like labs or classes with real scenarios you’ll encounter in the field.” Of course, networking is also a key to success. “Become involved with associations like MiHR, CIM and PDAC, regardless of your grades,” he offers. “It’ll let you become aware of what lays beyond the classroom through conversing with experienced people, and likely land you a summer job, which is a great way to gain experience before graduation. Many companies will hire you back year after year.” Numerous graduates enter the field with little to no experience and expect to start earning top wages. “In this industry, experience rather than the number of letters after your name is more valuable,” cautions Byron-Fortin. “Volunteer for job-shadowing, or take a summer job as a technician,” she advises. “Be willing to spend time in the trenches.” Times have changed, and so has the mining industry. “Mining is no longer about big, burly men working only with their muscles,” says Duquetchallenging and fun.” by Kevin Nelson
Images: Both iStockphoto/Thinkstock

the involved Work oF an environmental ProFessional in the mining industry.

laws are enforced aggressively, and large firms are taking care to distance themselves from the ways of the past. Companies hire environmental professionals to interface with regulatory bodies and communities, and to ensure best practices. While they may not be doing any of the actual digging, there’s no shortage of things for an environmental professional to do at a mine. “Duties can include permitting and approvals, which is a large task when opening or re-opening a mine,” says Nancy Duquet-Harvey, a 14-year industry vet currently employed as environmental coordinator at Northgate Minerals Corporation’s Young-Davidson Mine. “You could also be out in the field collecting samples and managing data in preparation for reporting results, or overseeing the implementation of permit conditions and ensuring compliance with rules and regulations, and the training of the workforce.” To add further variability to the job, the work may change depending on how a mine matures. “At this stage of the project, I’m heavily involved in the permitting aspect,” she says of her current assignment. “It’s mostly paperwork and liason with aboriginal and community groups and government agencies. As permits are received, programs that include manuals, procedures and training have to be created and implemented.” Linda Byron-Fortin is the director of Blue Heron Solutions for Environmental Management, Inc., and has been working in the industry for 21 years. Of her time as an environmental coordinator she remembers that, in addition to the paperwork, there was also a strong social component to the job. “Some days might be spent being inspected by regulatory agencies or responding to audit/inspection findings,” she says. “Some time is also spent conducting regular site inspections and doing emergency response drills to ensure environmental emergency plans are up to date and effective.” The challenges of the job can be as varied as the tasks involved. “The workload is a big challenge — there are pressures from regulators to ensure compliance with their requirements; pressures from corporate office that all corporate standards are being adhered to,” says Byron-Fortin. “There’s an additional challenge in that the most environmentally friendly way of doing things isn’t always the most inexpensive, efficient or

GeTTinG in sTep

Harvey. “It’s sophisticated, high-tech, diverse,

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careers. education. ideas. all of it.

More power to
Cameco’s training and skills development program was rated as exceptional in a recent national employer survey. Just because you’ve finished school doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. With a career at Cameco, you’ve only just begun. Cameco. Among the best places to work in Canada.

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edu-ma-cation

keep it real
We often hear of organic farming and fair-trade coffee, but those are just a few causes célebrés in the complex web of food producto the more fiscally-flummoxed

The highly practical world of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics.

tion. Economics can be baffling among us, which is why Agricultural Economics — increasingly known as Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics — is such a misunderthe tools of economics and statistical methods agriculture — there’s a lot to deliver on to society,” says Ker, before listing the significant challenges like the use of food for health; food sustainability tainability of rural communities, to name a few. in a growing world; and the existence and susAs in any field with world-class issues to tackle, uates have jobs usually before the end of their

to identify market failures, analyze government

policies and examine how markets function.”

stood field. It is, however, a burgeoning field, and quickly becoming more renowned for its crucial analysis of a significant issue. “The agriculture and food sector is the biggest

And Agricultural Economics also differs from the “Our degree is significantly more applied and

general field of Economics in a noteworthy way. focused on real-world problems and issues than men adds, “There’s less emphasis on theory and more on institutions and data analysis.”

employer in Ontario,” says Alan Ker, giving some perspective. As professor and chair of the Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics departthe discipline is blossoming. “The ‘food’ part is expanding exponentially, [in terms of] where and and how it’s sold, [and] is becoming of much greater interest to society,” he says. As far as applied aspects of economics go, it doesn’t get much more hands-on. “Agricultural Economics addresses a wide variety of real-

a straight economics degree,” says Ker. Vercam-

there are opportunities to be had. “All of our gradfourth year,” says Ker. “In fact, it’s difficult for us to recruit into our graduate program because of the opportunities students have coming out of

ment at the University of Guelph, he’s found that

A highly practical field demands highly practical students with sharp mental tools. “The ability to question and think critically is very important. At

our undergrad program.” Vercammen’s experience is similar. “Students with a bachelor degree in agricultural economics tend to do well in the job market because of their diverse and valuable

how it is grown, how and where it is processed,

the graduate level, an affinity for math is very helpful,” says Ker. A touch of creative magic also doesn’t hurt. “Agricultural economists must be solving real-world problems is the central goal. creative thinkers,” says Vercammen, “because Students who are narrow and technique-oriented are less successful than students who learn to collaborate in disciplinary and inter-disciplinary teams, and who learn a variety of methods to tackle problems.” With all sorts of looming issues surrounding food,

skill set and problem-solving approach,” he says,

although he’s quick to add that, “like many disciplines, the really good jobs are available to students with a masters — they’re routinely hired by ing firms.” Ker notes that the opportunities are many and diverse. “Most students work in food or agricultural businesses, as well as government agencies, and these are very well-paying jobs with great opportunities for upward mobility.” government agencies, NGOs, banks and consult-

world issues associated with food-production, ternational trade and development, and natural

agri-food markets and marketing, as well as inresources and the environment,” explains James and Food Systems and Sauder School of Business

Vercammen, a professor in the Faculty of Land at the University of British Columbia. “We use

the pressure can be tough. “Because of the sig-

nificance of food — and of course its reliance on

by Kevin Nelson

POST GRADUATE PROGRAMS: Lakeshore Campus
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Our one-year graduate certificate programs enhance your
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Trent University
Trent’s commitment to research excellence, innovation, and
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Lessons learned: Failing a course paid for by the company
You’re ambitious. You’re self-motivated. You’re always open to opportunities to learn and get better at what you do. And a good employer will make sure you, as an employee, have the opportunity to learn, grow, and be a more valuable employee. I’m lucky and I work for a large company that is willing to invest in its employees' growth and excellence. I’ve taken day-long professional courses aimed at enhancing my abilities with Microsoft Office, I’ve been able to attend trade shows and conferences relating to my industry, and I’ve even been able to take university level courses to further my education. More and more companies these days are getting on this track; incorporating educational benefit proBut let me tell you a little cautionary tale based on my own recent experience in furthering my education — I definitely learned something.

grams for their employees in order to add value to their investment: you — and I encourage you to take advantage of those opportunities.

jlife
with Ross Harrhy

ob
When I first got my job I was encouraged by my boss to take some of the single-day courses for computer and software skills available as soon as I could get into them. I jumped on me be more efficient in my job and help me enhance my boss’ when we’re talking university level, the price tends to go up, and so do the stakes. My company was willing to pay for half me motivated they would pay me the remainder on completion of the courses. And so it began. the tuition up front while I covered the other half, and to keep the opportunity knowing that anything I learned would help perception of me. I started with two separate courses, one have since taken another two. They helped me do my job better, they expanded my skill set, they got me out of the office for a day, and best of all, they were paid for by the company! day out of the office each, and soon after took two more, and I work in a busy office, and I’m in a busy, busy position. When my textbooks for my new courses arrived in the mail I was a little stunned. At roughly 600 pages each, I knew I was going to have to cut out reading the newspaper on my way to work every day. Soon, I was spending eight to ten hours at the office, and then coming home and doing another two hours were spent graphing and filling in dummy accounting ledworkday was over and I made it home, all I wanted to do was clear my head and veg-out in front of the TV. Of course, other opportunities for growth and professional ally) in the form of trade seminars, conferences, and panels. development started popping-up (and tend to occur annuThese were great chances to head out with some of my other lower-on-the-ladder colleagues and get some great insider information, be a part of the bigger conversation in regards type of work at other companies. of homework before going to bed. My weekend afternoons gers. And then work got a lot more busy — by the time my to my trade, and also network with people doing the same I was getting comfortable enough with being out of the office to yearn for a little bit more. I discovered that my employer college program, and I figured I may as well take up the offer. A month passed. I tried to get back into the swing of doing

homework every evening. Work at the office wasn’t letting

up, so my time for doing homework lessened. Suddenly, it running out. I did a tally: I was 60% through the course work In the end, I had overstepped my own capabilities. Since I wasn’t able to finish the course the company requested the

here and there for the chance to educate myself, and I started would pay for up to two courses per semester in a university or I come from an arts background, and knowing what my company wanted and needed, I thought it would be best to start working my way towards a business degree, starting with two basic Accounting and Statistics courses. I proposed

was time to start booking my exam because my time was for one class, 35% done for another. I wasn’t going to make it.

anything, but suddenly I was out $1500, and in my opinion had only learned $50 worth of Accounting and Statistics. It and higher skill set, but make sure you know what you’re getend up learning a different lesson the hard way.

the idea to my boss, and she welcomed it, and next thing I knew I had registered with a university to do the two courses through distance education (online). Now, taking a day long course is one thing the company will invest in no problem, but

may pay to let the company treat you to a better education ting yourself into, and know your own abilities before you

32

march 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Image: Andrea Chu/ Digital Vision/Thinkstock

first half of the tuition they had paid back. They weren’t out

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