2nd Annual Nursing Networking Night: From Graduation to Occupation

On Monday. February 22, 2016 – 6pm – 9pm – I had the opportunity to attend the second annual Nursing Network Night at Ryerson University – “From Graduation to Occupation”, hosted by the Nursing Course Union and Canadian Nursing Students Association (NCU-CNSA). This event began last year as a way to engage nursing students at Ryerson to be more involved, engaged, and take initiative in their career and professional development. It turned out to be highly successful in 2015 and garnered a lot of positive feedback from attendees. So this year, they announced their second event in order to continue encouraging nursing students at Ryerson to facilitate a smooth transition from graduation to occupation.

IMG_0875

The evening began with a few words of welcome from representatives from both NCU and CNSA. Then we jumped straight into a few words from a representative at Ryerson’s Career Centre, who shed some light on the basics of Networking. She was able to teach us the ins and outs of the process of networking – the do’s and don’ts, and the how to’s. She was also there to advocate and speak for the resource available on campus that is Ryerson’s Career Centre. The Career Centre is a highly valuable resource for Ryerson Students when in the pursuit if a job or to help facilitate an easier transition post-graduation to work and career life. They help students with things like making the ideal cover letter and resume, building your LinkedIn profile, interview tips and practice, etc. If you’re ever in need for great ways to build and improve your professional self, you can find Ryerson’s Career Centre at POD60 (located just below The Hub).

IMG_0872

After the presentation from Ryerson’s Career Centre, a couple of speakers who were Ryerson Nursing Alumni, spoke about their own personal stories and their journeys. They shed some light and inspiration as they talked about the different ways in which they were able to reach their goals of becoming an registered nurse (RN). This portion of the evening was especially helpful for the nursing student attendees as we were able to truly relate to these alumni, knowing that not too long ago, they, too, were in the same situation that we currently are in. Their stories of their journeys were captivating, motivating, and inspiring. It truly highlighted how personal the process is of becoming an RN and how nursing students can better prepare themselves for not just a job, but a long-lasting and fulfilling career.

IMG_0873

After the presentation from the alumni speakers, the evening moved forward to the dinner, graciously supplied by Chipotle.

After dinner was the highlight of the night: the Q&A panel. NCU-CNSA was able to get nursing managers from the major hospitals in the downtown to represent each hospital organization, and answer any questions we may have. The nursing managers and representatives came from Michael Garron Hospital (formerly known as TEGH – Toronto East General Hospital), UHN (University Health Network – comprised of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre), and The Hospital for Sick Children. The line up of panellists truly excited the nursing students in the room – the majority of whom eager to work for such established and world-renowned organizations. The Q&A panel was the opportunity of the night to ask any and every question running through every nursing student’s mind.

“What is the ideal candidate for you?”

“What kinds of people do you prefer to hire – internal or external applicants?”

“What are the different kinds of interviews you conduct?”

“Do you hire applicants prior to completion of graduation and/or NCLEX examination?”

“How do you build a strong mentor relationship?”

IMG_0876

Needless to say, the Q&A of highly experienced registered nurses in executive positions within the most renowned hospitals in the country, did nothing short of answering each questions with clarity and efficiency. Not only did they answer questions well to the highest degree, they also offered valuable insight and advice as to how to begin your career as an RN. They were more than generous with their time and their thoughts on how to transition from a nursing student, graduate nursing student, to RN. The panellists were gracious and true role models for each nursing student attendee in the room.

IMG_0877

The night was a great success, as anticipated! Everything went smoothly, all in attendance enjoyed themselves, and nursing students were able to connect with their peers and their prospective employers. We learned how to market ourselves in the health care industry, how to appeal to employers and organizations, and how to prepare ourselves for the near future.

Find a Job that’s Right for you!

facebook-employment-625x1000Many of you have one more year of university to complete, or have even graduated this past June. What does this mean? It means it’s time to face the real world and get a ‘real job’. Now, when I say ‘real job’, it is not to disregard employment one might have had during university. Many of us had to work during our undergrad whether it was through retail, customer service, the restaurant industry etc. which all involved our time and effort. What I do mean by ‘real job’ is a job that will eventually bring us closer to our ultimate career.

With that said, after being out of school for over a year, and working full time for the past two years, I can say that even in that short period of time I have learned a great deal in how to find a job that fits my needs and desires (based on both positive and negative experiences). Here is a list of helpful tips in no particular order:

  1. Don’t jump the gun – When it comes to finding the right job, patience is a virtue. Don’t take the first thing that becomes available (unless you’re really, REALLY, in a jam). Finding that perfect job takes time and research. Surf the web and see what’s out there. Don’t take the first job you get offered unless you’re sure that it is a good fit for you.
  2. Do your research – Find out as much as you can about the company. Surf the web, or if you know anyone who has been employed or is employed there, ask him or her what the job and work environment is like. See if there are any reviews or even ratings online (but of course, take this information with a grain a salt. A company should not solely be based on online reviews and scores, which in many cases are biased).
  3. Interview them when they interview you – When having an interview, come prepared to ask questions that will give you the information you need when choosing a job. Find out what the compensation is, what the company stands for and their philosophy, whether there is room to grow in the company, whether there is opportunity for raises and what staff turnover is like. These questions will of course depend on what job you are applying for, but it’s important to gather the information (both general and specific) you need to make a sound decision and to ensure that with taking this job, your needs and wants will be met.
  4. Choose a job that best fits your needs – after doing your research and asking the right questions during the interview, decide which factors play the most important role in your decision. Is it work environment? Compensation? Work place relationships? Work place responsibilities and duties? Working hours? Work place philosophy? Benefits? There are a ton of factors to consider when choosing a job and your decision should be based on what you believe to be most important.
  5. Go with your gut – For the most part, our ‘gut feeling’ i.e. intuition is something we should pay attention to when selecting a job. Some people are more in tuned to their gut than others, but in many scenarios, your gut is usually right. If a job feels too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. If a job just doesn’t feel right, it’s probably because it’s not. If a job feels wonderful, than it very well might be. So long story short, go with your gut!

I hope these tips will help you in your discovery of new, fun filled job opportunities that may arise and which job might be best for you. Take these tips into consideration and they should help you on the right path to your future career. Good luck!

Image from:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/facebook-users-five-times-more-likely-to-land-a-job-talking-to/#!bGo28g

Fun Happenings at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Toronto-convention-center

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show Sunday March 23, 2014

Want something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon? Check out the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show at the MTCC for some fashion finds! This show is great for men and women looking for vintage clothing and accessories that go beyond that of the traditional Queen Street or Kensington vintage shopping. Vendors from all over Canada will be presenting their authentic and chic apparel in every price range. Love name brands?  You got it! Love flapper dresses from the 20s? This is just for you! Spend a day travelling back in time and be a witness to the fashion modeled in the 20s, 30s, 40s and right up until the 90s for only $10.00.

Below you will find a $2.00 discount coupon to the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show.

http://www.torontovintageclothingshow.ca/pages/6821–2-00-off-discount-coupon

http://www.torontovintageclothingshow.ca/

 

The Yoga ConferenceFriday March 28th-Sunday March 30th 2014

For a minimal 15$, you can spend all three days of this conference gaining more knowledge on yoga practice, stress relief, deep breathing and all things yoga. There will be over 250 exhibitors and 80 master yoga teachers present within the three-day conference. There will also be over 70 classes offered during the conference. In the Yoga Garden Area, there will be classes on various yoga topics such as yoga secrets for releasing stress, Bollywood and Bhangra dance and Yin Yang infusion. In the Cultural Arts Area, there will be classes on yoga for addictions, Kundalini Trance Dance and Mantra Chants and a Kids Mandala Workshop. In addition to classes, various exhibitors will be selling yoga gear such as yoga “jellies”, yoga towels, yoga mats, yoga apparel etc. Feeling Zen? Then this is the show for you!

http://www.theyogaconference.com/toronto/index.php

 

The National Job Fair and Training Expo Wednesday April 2nd-Thursday April 3rd 2014

Are you in the midst of graduating and contemplating potential employment opportunities? This expo might be for you! This career fair will provide you the opportunity to meet with various recruiters, career service agents and admissions officers from a variety of different fields all over Canada. This expo will provide knowledgeable information of the career possibilities that are out there today in addition to personal encounters with important personnel that could lead to potential employment. In addition to learning about various companies and what they have to offer, you can also have your resume critiqued and undergo a career development assessment at no cost.  So what are you waiting for?

http://www.thenationaljobfair.com/n/en/home/

Address: The Metro Toronto Convention Centre

255 Front Street West

Toronto ON, M5V 2W6

Union Station subway stop

 

Sources:

http://www.mtccc.com/?m=0&t=0&c=1

Image from: http://gethiredca.blogspot.ca/2013/03/torontos-biggest-job-fair.html