I graduated from McGill University in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and minors in Management and International Development Studies. In the summer of my third year at university, I had an internship at one of the largest banks in Canada and continued my work there part-time during my final year of studies. Currently, I am a Consultant at a Big 4 Consulting Firm in Toronto, ON.
Throughout this article, I share my insights on how you can approach job search as a student at a Canadian University.
You should start by exploring the student-run organizations on campus. These organizations bring like-minded students together to exchange experiences and start building networking skills. Women in Business initiatives, investment clubs, publications on campus, faculty and program specific societies such as Economics Students’ Association (ESA) or Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) are great examples of such organizations. These organizations promote learning opportunities outside the classroom and often host networking events with professionals from different industries. There are also a lot of leadership opportunities in these organizations that can challenge and help improve your time management and teamwork skills.
Your next step should be taking initiative and reaching out to professionals on LinkedIn. Once you identify the industries and potential firms you are interested in, you should reach out to professionals in those places and schedule virtual coffee chats with them. You should ask a lot of questions about what they do to make sure you have a clear understanding of what that industry/firm demands. If you are still interested in the field after your research and the conversations you had with professionals, then you should start looking into how you can build those skills that will help you get in that industry/firm. For example, I was advised to look into different Business Case Competitions in order to build those business skills that are very important when applying to consulting firms. I looked into opportunities on campus and also in the greater Montreal area to get involved in these competitions. I also started registering for certain classes to build useful technical skills such as information systems.
Another resource you should definitely consider taking advantage of is co-op. Co-op is an opportunity to pursue an optional work experience to apply your academic knowledge and skills in the workplace. It is an invaluable learning opportunity as it helps you gain a better understanding of the kind of work you are interested in, or maybe the kind of work you are actually not interested in. University of Toronto, Guelph, Western University, Windsor University, University of Waterloo, and Queen’s University and many other Canadian universities offer co-op and internship opportunities to their students. Even if your university does not offer co-op, you should still be looking for internship opportunities to gain outside the class experience in the workplace. You can navigate all your options with the expert team of Collab International.
Note that you are eligible to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after graduating from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. However, it does not guarantee a job for you. Graduating from a prestigious institution will certainly help during your job search. However, you should always look for learning opportunities and challenges to build new skills.
Contact Collab International Team for further information for all your educational consultancy needs!