What Makes Your Degree Different?

As the campaigning period draws to a close, I wanted to take one last opportunity to elaborate on my platform and what I hope to do for the CSMMSS, if I’m elected president. Coming into this experience, I had a very clear vision of the goals I wanted to achieve, and through many conversations with my classmates, I was able to create a general picture of what others would like to see as well.

I’m extremely focused on professional development and assisting other students in creating their dream career. At first I was concerned that this may not be the vision that my classmates have for the Society, but it’s what I’m passionate about and hoping to impact if elected. I find it slightly disappointing that so many other McMaster faculties benefit from career-related services, while Humanities, and more specifically, the CS & MM departments, are left to fend for themselves. Yes, the HTLC continues to create extremely informative programming and the Student Success Center offers a variety of career-related services, but I’ve seen what’s available through these organizations, and I still feel as though something is missing. Some of my most successful interviews have turned out this way because of the portfolio I brought along with me (which G00gle taught me how to make), and some of my least successful interviews have been because I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer those tough questions. These are the skills that we will all use at some point, regardless if you’re looking for a full-time job after graduation, a summer internship, or a volunteer position. That’s why I think it’s necessary to have some workshop-style events where we can learn these skills, but in a friendlier and more welcoming atmosphere (because practicing interview questions with a total stranger is obviously a little intimidating).

So, why ‘what makes your degree different’?

Last summer I worked as the Marketing & Public Relations Assistant at African Lion Safari, and after my work term was over, I was confident that finding my next job in the field would be easy. And then I found out how wrong I was. This was when I realized that my degree and one entry-level job in the industry wasn’t going to launch my career as fast as I wanted. So I committed myself to getting involved in as many opportunities as possible, all of which were unpaid. As I looked for my summer 2014 position, I found that most of my interviews revolved around these unpaid experiences and what I learned in those positions. I mean, our professors consistently tell us that this is what matters, but you don’t really believe them until you experience it for yourself, right? This is why I want to better communicate opportunities like these to students in the CSMM programs – because there really are a lot of opportunities out there, but sometimes they just go unnoticed. So if you want more opportunities to make yourself stand out from the rest, let me help you make your degree different.

Don’t forget that voting opens tomorrow (March 12th) and will close on Friday March 14th. You will receive a link to your McMaster email account to access the online voting system. Thank you so much for reading, and supporting me in my campaign!

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