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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Wednesday, September 15, 1999

  • Marketing to find more co-op jobs
  • Graduate students learn to teach
  • Events today at Waterloo
  • Auntie gives her first advice

[Two on bench]
After Monday's rain, it was clear yesterday, and that made the campus's prime sit-spots, such as the kiosk bench outside Physics, the perfect place to study. Taking advantage of it were Payam Ghafari (first-year computer engineering), left, and Anne Kenney (first-year psychology). Forecast for today: sunny with cloudy periods and a high of 19 to 22. (Photo by Barb Elve.)

Marketing to find more co-op jobs

The department of co-op education and career services has hired a "marketing co-ordinator" for the first time -- someone whose central job is to make the co-op program known to potential employers and find more jobs for the crowds of students who need them.

Michael Hunt, marketing officer in the faculty of science for the past two years, moved into the new job this fall. Officially, he'll "develop, co-ordinate, implement and monitor comprehensive marketing strategies" for the CECS department.

Co-op 101

First-year co-op students are getting the lowdown this month on some of the things they'll know as they move towards employment.

A four-week series of sessions dubbed Co-op 101, run by the department of co-op education and career services, includes such topics as preparing resumes and the job search process; developing interview skills; writing work reports; employer/student perspective (a panel of co-op students and employers shares insights and experience); critical incidents in the workplace (such as harassment and discrimination); and workplace safety (for engineering students).

The seminars are scheduled into a weekly two-hour slot in first work term students' timetables and run for four weeks. All the seminars are taking place in the Humanities Theatre this term.

The marketing appointment comes as the number of students at UW is growing, thanks to the Access to Opportunities Program in high-tech fields and record numbers of acceptances for first-year places. Other universities are expanding their high-tech programs too, so that there's keen competition to find student jobs.

But the co-op department was feeling the need for a marketing person well before job competition started to heat up this year, says Olaf Naese of CECS. Gone are the days when one company -- IBM -- would hire co-op students by the hundreds; now the co-op department finds itself working with thousands of companies, many of which will hire only a single student. And there's a constant need to find more openings and tell more companies about Waterloo.

"When we conducted our departmental review in 1995-96," Naese says, "we were well aware that our marketing efforts consisted of one-on-one contact with employers and individual networking opportunities, primarily through the co-ordinators. We recognized that there was a need to support the co-ordinators with their job development efforts by developing broader marketing strategies."

[11 students]
The marketing team were among these 11 students hired by the co-op department itself during the spring term. UW as a whole is now among the largest co-op employers, with some 200 students taking jobs with the university last term.
The department's front-line staff are the 35 co-ordinators, stationed across Canada to deal with employers and students. Says Naese: "Things like advertising, brochures, trade show exhibits, speeches, etc. are, areas that individuals cannot realistically handle, and if they do, there are economies of scale to be gained by centralizing.

"The increased number of students pushed this enhanced marketing need into the foreground and made the decision to go ahead with the creation of the new position a must."

"What is co-op doing to find more jobs?" first-year English student Jennifer Marshall asks in an article in the co-op department's newsletter for students, Inside Sco-op. She answers her own question:

"One plan of attack was the hiring of co-op students to form a marketing team to attract more jobs to the University. This last term four co-op students were hired to launch the new marketing campaign. They began calling previous co-op employers who had stopped hiring for one reason or another, as well as UW alumni. This initiative proved to be very successful and the students were able to develop job leads and future potential in many of the companies called. Any job leads or names of companies that planned on hiring in the future were then passed on to the appropriate co-ordinator to follow up on the information. This concept will continue into the upcoming term.

"The Department has also been screening applicants for the new position of Marketing Co-ordinator. The person who fills this role will be responsible for overseeing the marketing efforts for each of the field co-ordinators and the Department as a whole. Attending trade shows and other networking functions to attract companies to our co-op program will also be a part of their job.

"CECS has also been developing new marketing brochures. One of the brochures currently in the works is a 16-page view book that will showcase the variety of work students at Waterloo are able to do. The view book will encourage employers to seek students with relevant skills rather than students in certain faculties.

"The prime objective of CECS is to develop more jobs, and the Department continues to successfully do this despite increasing competition from other universities. University of Waterloo is no longer the only major player in co-operative education, but it is still able to attract the most employers because of its reputation, years of experience, and high quality of students."

Graduate students learn to teach

"Will you be ready to teach when you graduate?" asks a flyer from the teaching resource office (TRACE), aimed at UW's roughly 1,500 graduate students. Many of them will be moving into academic jobs when their PhDs are done -- but the requirements for a PhD emphasize psychology or chemical engineering, as the case might be, not teaching.

That's why UW introduced a Certificate in University Teaching program last year, sponsored by TRACE and the dean of graduate studies.

The flyer asks grad students some setup questions: "Would you like to become a more effective teacher and communicator? Would you like a forum in which to discuss issues in teaching with others? Would you like to develop skills that will prepare you to compete in today's job market?"

And the follow-up: "If you answered yes to these questions, then UW's Certificate in University Teaching may be for you. In 3 to 6 terms, you can complete the 3 required courses which include activities such as attending teaching workshops and writing response papers, preparing a research paper and presenting a synopsis at a workshop, developing a teaching dossier, and completing a teaching practicum.

"The program is based on continuous improvement which enables you to hone your teaching skills throughout your graduate studies at Waterloo. And when you complete the program, you will receive a Certificate, a statement confirming the award of the certificate on your transcript, and mention in the Convocation program."

Anybody interested in knowing more about the program can attend an organizational meeting this Thursday at 12 noon in Needles Hall room 3001. "You can also pick up program information at the Graduate Studies Office," or read the details on the Web.

Events today at Waterloo

"Go high tech, stay local" is the theme of an information technology career fair being held in the Davis Centre today and tomorrow from 10 to 4. Sponsored by a number of high-technology firms based in Kitchener-Waterloo, the fair is recruiting students for "both full-time and co-op positions" in such fields as software development, computer engineering and technical support. "Bring copies of your resume," the sponsors suggest.

Many books borrowed from UW's libraries on term loan are due today and need to be renewed or returned before the day is over.

The meal choice at Bon Appetit in the Davis Centre today is "homestyle bean curd" or "roast chicken with BBQ sauce". I think I know which I'd choose. At Brubaker's in the Student Life Centre? "Special buffet lunch . . . buffet dinner." Today's soup at food services outlets across campus: cream of cauliflower.

UW president David Johnston will be speaking tonight on one of his favourite topics: "Smart and Caring Communities". His talk takes place at the second annual general meeting of the Community Care Access Centre of Waterloo Region. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Waterloo Recreation Complex in central Waterloo.

Participants in the mature students program will gather at the Fox and Pheasant tonight, starting at 8, for the first pub night of the fall term. "Take time out from your busy schedule," the mature student newsletter suggests, "drop by one of the area's most popular watering holes for a pint of oh-be-joyful, and get to know your fellow mature students." More information: ext. 2429.

Auntie gives her first advice

"Dear Auntie E-mail," writes a worried staff member, "I have an important issue to discuss with my colleague on a project. We have a really good working relationship and are keen to see the project succeed, but this is the first time that I've had to disagree. The things I need to talk about are things that he won't really want to hear. I would rather do this by e-mail, because I think he'll be angry about the comments I have to make. Am I on the right track?"

No, says UW's newest source of advice, Auntie E-mail, who begins a series of columns in the Gazette today. She gets introduced, and deals with that first urgent question, on page 2 of today's issue.

[Auntie] Auntie E-mail -- pictured at left -- joins the ranks of mythical and larger-than-life characters at UW, along with the Warrior mascot, Pounce de Lion, Simon the Troll, the still nameless moose at Renison, and Egfrth Spleng of WatClaus.

Over the coming weeks -- she'll appear in alternate issues of the Gazette -- Auntie will have comforting comments and advice about how people (sometimes known as wetware) at this university can cope with the high-tech demands they're constantly facing. A couple of etiquette tips and recipes are also not out of the question. And by the way, before anybody asks, I can candidly say that whoever's helping Auntie E-mail put her thoughts on paper, it isn't me.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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