The Semester has Started. Are You Considering Working?
Advice for international students looking to work in Canada.
One of the advantages of coming to Canada to study is the fact you can legally work up to 20 hours per week during the regular semester. For a lot of students, this is an important part of their education. Besides making money for living costs, it also helps to build your resume, as employers like to see some form of a job history. However, for many students — especially for those who maybe have never worked at all — they don't know where to start.
Here are a few things to think about when it comes to student employment:
Your time management and study skills
How good are you at juggling your time? Your first priority is to study. Are you able to balance many priorities? Working can take up opportunities to study or finish important assignments. Colleges and universities have professionals to assist you on how to properly budget and spend your time. These services are free, so take advantage of them.
Join a club
You probably question this one. Most major programs have a student club that you can join. Besides a chance to meet people, most of these clubs also organize networking nights with the faculty where you can meet people in your future industry. These connections could well be key to your future employment goals.
Utilize the employment and career centers
Visit your college or university employment office to get assistance on your Canadian resume, as there are specific items which you cannot include that may be required back home. The career office will also help guide you with finding jobs and practicing for interviews. As well, most institutions host career fairs where employers come to campus to hire students for part-time, summer and full-time positions. For example, at SAIT we do campus wide events twice a year.
Talk to your advisors
If money is an issue talk to your advisors to assist. Do not be afraid to reach out for help if financial issues come about. We have people to assist you.
Volunteering is always an option
Sometimes a paying job does not happen right away. If you have never worked, you may want to start with a volunteer position to build your resume. Check with your international office, as they may have volunteer options for you to get out into the community.
While it can be a long road to get your first job, don't get frustrated. Reach out to the experts on your campus who can assist you with the tools you need to get the job.