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Volunteering

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How are these EC's for Business School
I am looking to apply to Schulich, Ivey, Queens, Rotman mainly...
1. ) Project Manager at Volunteer MBC
2.) President and Founder of School Investment Club
3.) Heart and Stroke Volunteer
4.) Library Program Assistant
5.) Project Manager at Youth Leadership Development Program (Volunteer MBC)

How are these EC's?
AMA: Brock BAcc Graduate, Carleton MAcc Graduate, Big 4 Employee
My name is Neal, and I graduated from Brock's Bachelor of Accounting Co-op program in 2016 and Carleton's Master of Accounting program in 2017. I was a yconic Student Ambassador for 2016-17. Although I work full-time at PwC now, I'm still around answering questions about accounting as a career and universities. 

My co-op work experience includes:
-Corporate Accounting, Henkel (Germany)
-Assurance and Tax, Collins Barrow
-Risk Assurance, Ernst and Young

I currently work at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Assurance. . 

A snapshot of my time at Brock:  
-Served as an executive for several clubs  
-Participated in numerous internal/external case competitions and conferences  
-Served as a Tutorial Leader for Brock's first-year Macroeconomics course  
-Inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma (the top 10% of Goodman get invited)  
-Did co-ops and internships with 3 different companies in corporate accounting, assurance, tax and risk assurance located in Germany and Canada  
-Participated in a short-term exchange to France  
-Volunteered for the business school's Career Services office, where I critiqued students' resumes  
-Lived in residence (first-year) and off campus

A snapshot of my time at Carleton:  
-President of the Sprott MAcc Society  

Feel free to ask me questions below! Or you can add me on LinkedIn if you'd like to send a private message (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nsengupta).
Are my grades and extracurricular experiences good enough for Waterloo's Engineering??
Hi, I am a grade 11 student and will most probably have an 88% or 89% average. I am interested in going to the environmental or chemical engineering program at Waterloo but I am scared that my average is not good enough. I mean, I can still apply since the cut off for environmental engineering is around mid 80's and for chemical engineering, it's high 80's. How high do you think my chances of getting into Waterloo are??

Also, I am pretty involved with a lot of things. For instance, I am DECA chapter co-president, started MUN at my school and am a coordinator for the Peel GEMS... Plus I do many other lowkey things around my school, such as Appleleaders (it's kinda like a welcome team) and green team etc. I also regularly volunteer for the Credit Valley Conservation, work as a tutor's assistant, and am hoping to get a volunteer placement with the Trillium Health Partners, over the coming summer. Will my extracurriculars give me any advantage in terms of my admission?
What are some scholarships for Canadian students?
Post-secondary education can get really expensive. Even though you may have decided getting a bank loan or applying to OSAP is the way to go when it comes to funding your education, scholarships could still help lessen or even cover all of your tuition and expenses. Here are four scholarships for Canadian students:

1. Loran Award (Deadline: October 25)

The Loran Scholars Foundation's Loran Award is one of the most prestigious awards in Canada. According to their website, they "offer four-year undergraduate awards valued at $100 000 to young Canadians on the basis of character, service and the promise of leadership." The deadline is on Wednesday, so get your applications in ASAP.

More info: http://www.loranscholar.ca/becoming-a-scholar

2. Scotiabank National Scholarship (Deadline: November 2)

Brought to you by yconic and Scotiabank, the Scotiabank National Scholarship is back! There are $80 000 in awards available for yconic members. All you have to do is answer this scholarship question in 150 words or less: What word, quote, or phrase best represents your life as a student and why?

More info: https://yconic.com/program/scotiabank-national-scholarship/?utm_source=website_yconic&utm_medium=text_link_award_details&utm_campaign=sbnknationalscholarship

3. TD Scholarships for Community Leadership (Deadline: November 17)

The TD Scholarships for Community Leadership is open to Canadian students in their final year of high school or CEGEP. Students who are making a positive change in their communities could get a scholarship valued up to $70 000. 

More info: https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/banking/student-life/scholarship-for-community-leadership/index.jsp?cid=DFA:20256589:2951408:204277200:92459812

4. RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship (Applications will open in November)

The RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship is open to graduating high school, CEGEP, and post-secondary students. There are $150 000 in scholarships available for "Canadian students showing a passion to lead and inspire positive change in their community."

Applications are not open yet, but you can find more info about it here: https://scholarships.rbc.com/StudentsLeadingChange.aspx

Best of luck in your applications! 

Alyssa
yconic Student Ambassador
Which extra-curricular activities are you involved in?
Whether you may be in high school or university, there are many clubs, sports, and student groups that you can participate in. Being involved helps you gain leadership skills, network, and build your resume.

Which extra-curricular activities are/were you involved in?
Has your involvement impacted and helped you decide on a career path in some way?

Alyssa
yconic Student Ambassador
AMA: First-Year Business Management Student, Creator & SHSM Graduate
Hi everyone!

My name is Alyssa and I am a yconic Student Ambassador for the 2017-2018 school year. I am currently a first-year Business Management student at Ryerson University. I'm here to answer any questions you may have. If you just want to chat, that works too. Haha!

Here are some things about me: 
- Attended 9 different schools before university, including 1 private school, 3 international schools, and 5 public schools
- Worked several part-time jobs in high school
- Was a high school co-op student
- Completed Leadership Pathway high school specialized program
- Graduated with a Specialist High Skills Major in Arts and Culture
- Ontario Scholar
- A 2017 #RoadToRyerson Storyteller

Please don't hesitate to ask me anything, whether it may be about community involvement or university applications. I will answer them to the best of my ability and respond as quickly as I can.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Alyssa Vidal
yconic Student Ambassador
Are my EC's relatively good for U of T & U of Waterloo
Here are my EC's-

-Kid's Camp Volunteer
-FITC 2017 Volunteer
-Digifest 2017 Volunteer
-Hackernest Volunteer

Some other stuff:
-Created my own website
- Developed 2 Android Apps

I am planning to do some other stuff this year like joining clubs and student council, but as for now are they good or bad?

If you guys know any good places to volunteer in Toronto feel free to tell me.
Thanks
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What Captures Your Attention for Campus Groups?
Hey Everyone!

I am reaching out to all to gauge interest in different things that may catch your eye when deciding what to get involved with on campus/at university? What is important to you in terms of signing up for a club? (i.e., Free food, Cool swag, Positive rep on campus, etc.). Also, what kinds of groups/clubs are you folks interested in/would like to see more of at your university. 

I'm looking forward to your response! 

Mick
yconic Student Ambassador 
Do I have a shot at UofT Kin???
I have my heart set on UofT Kinesiology however the admission average is mid-high 80s. UofT requires bio, english & adv functions. I'm guessing my marks will be: 
1. English: 91(Summer School)
 2. Biology: 86 
3. Advanced Functions: 86 
4. Religion: 95
5. Phys Ed Leadership: 94
6. Drama Productions: 96
 So my average will be around 91%. I've also done a lot of volunteering with over 300 hours, I've been a part of multiple school teams and clubs and I have a part time job. What are my chances at getting into UofT Kin? 
volunteering positions for business (accounting/finance)
Anyone know of any firms or companies where they allow volunteers? I know co-op placements exist so i was wondering if they allow volunteers or no? I doubt they do but if anyone knows please let me know.
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EC's, Clubs, Positions and etc.
What are some of the best ECs, clubs, and positions I can hold (e.g. president), for top business schools like schulich or ivey? I know its how well you explain them but please give me excellent examples of what these business schools want in terms of ECs.
Volunteering
Do University's really care about how many volunteer hours you have?
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AMA: Student Council President, Rowing Coxswain, High School Senior, UVic Applicant
Hi! I'm Chanel, one of the Yconic Student Ambassadors for 2017-2018. As a student in high school, I can easily relate to any questions you may have and am readily available to help you. So feel free to ask me anything and I answer back speedily! 

About me:
- Student Athlete: joined many sports from basketball to volleyball but transited onto the water for rowing 
- On Student Council for two years as Fine Arts Rep and School President 
- AP English Student with courses aimed towards the Sciences (Bio, Physics, Chem) 
- Arts Student in Visual Arts (published illustrator), Choir and Drama 
- Guide International Students from numerous countries like Japan, China, Korea, Brazil, Spain, etc. 
- Volunteer at Women In Need, aiding women in transition homes
- Attended Private school and Catholic school
-  Applying at the University of Victoria in British Columbia in the Faculty of Science
Should I stay Home or Live on Res?
So Im from Scarborough and will be attending York University this fall. I consider myself as an outgoing person and fun to be with and I will be commuting from home in about 1 hour and 20 mins. Do you think I should commute or live on res?
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Is volunteering aboard helpful for university application?
I'm planning to teach elementary school students English in Costa Rica for 2 weeks. Does it help? Or is it too short that will make my application weaker?
U of Guelph or Ryerson for nutrition?
Hey guys, I need help! I am currently stuck between whether I should accept my offer to Guelph's applied human nutrition or Ryerson's nutrition and food program. I visited both campuses and I have pros and cons for both. I love Guelph's campus but at the same time I love the city since I'm from Toronto and I'm scared that I'll be bored in a small town like Guelph. Is there anyone from either program who can offer some advice about the program, professors, campus, student life or any other pros and cons? Also, which one would have more volunteer opportunities or ways to get involved to put on my resume? Thank you!!
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University of Guelph: Non-academic requirements for Ontario Veterinary College
Hello everyone,
I am a Gr.11 student in Ontario and I am extremely interested in becoming a veterinarian. However, what causes me some concern is the amount of experience I will need to get into OVC. I understand that both animal experience and veterinary experience are necessary to get in. This is where my questions come into play. Firstly, do you need to log the total number of experience hours that you have completed when you apply? Secondly, how many hours for each would be reasonable for acceptance? Thirdly, are there going to be many opportunities at Guelph for acquiring volunteer hours (this is significant because I am trying to decide whether to go to a more local university or Guelph for my undergrad)? Lastly, how many different places should I try to volunteer, in my local area there is potential to volunteer/shadow at LA and SA clinics (the latter which I currently do), work in pet stores, and work in animal shelters, would a decent amount of experience from all of these combined be enough variety? 

Thanks for reading, I am trying to get a good understanding of what I would have to do to make the requirements for this part of the program.
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Terry Fox Scholarship 2017
Have any applicants for the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award heard back about the interview? According to their timeline, interviews will be conducted in April/May, so how much notice do shortlisted candidates get?
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The Controversy of Voluntourism
For-profit trips to impoverished countries have become increasingly popular for students these past couple of years. Usually, companies advertise themselves with trips costing $7000-15,000 where you visit villages and build schools or participate other philanthropic activities.

The argument around 'Voluntourism' has been growing and I would like to your opinion. Have you gone on one of these trips? Would you be willing to go on one of these trips?

Consider these pros and cons and join the argument!

Pros: 
-Gain in-person insight on the struggles that these people are facing. 
-Offer students an alternative way to spend their spring break or summer break
-A new and refreshing volunteering experience outside of what student's normally do
-Offer an opprotunity to travel to places with many traditional travel agencies do not advertise going for students. 

Cons: 
-These volunteers are not forming true interpersonal relationships with children or villagers in the 7 to 10 days they spend on the trip
-By outsourcing work of building schools to students who have no construction experience whatsoever, they are actually hurting the economy by outsourcing work that would otherwise go to local contractors and subsequently, hurting their economy. 
-Students who are building houses and schools have no trade skills, meaning that their work is actually counter-productive as the quality is low.
-Many of these tourism agencies are treating these trips as an adventure where students stay in comfortable accommodations, go sightseeing in African safaris, and act as the suffering of these people are only a part of the trip, rather than the sole purpose of the trip.
-Have little to no understanding and training in local cultures prior to participating in these trips. 
-The money used to go on these trips would better be used to used in other humanitarian endeavors such as aid relief or supporting organizations that provide services that the local population cannot provide for themselves (e.g. Doctors without borders, teachers without borders, engineers without borders). 
-Many, if not all of these students come back home with pictures they have with village kids on their backs thinking that their trip genuinely helped the community.
-Many, if not all of these tourist agencies profit off the suffering of third world countries by treating them as a target of sightseeing. 

Do you have your own opinion on voluntourism? Got some of your own pros and cons? Comment and discuss below!

-Benson Law 
Yconic Student Ambassador.
Backpacking on a Student Budget (Read: No Money)
Backpacking is something that is on the bucket list of most students. While you technically can’t do it with “no” money, it is possible to do on a student budget. Having backpacked to over 40 countries as a student, here are some of my tips for maximizing your travel dollar:

#1 – Student Discounts  
Make sure you pack an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) before departing. Depending on your university, it is either free or $20 – either way, you’re eligible for some unreal discounts at major attractions like the Colosseum, Acropolis, and Louvre.  

#2 – Intern Abroad
In second year, I worked at Henkel in Düsseldorf, Germany for 6 months. Every weekend, I was off to a new place. By booking my travel weeks/months ahead, I was able to take advantage of cheap bus/train/plane tickets for travel throughout Europe; I don't think I paid more than 45 Euros round-trip per weekend, and I went to places like France, Poland and Scandinavia. Interning abroad is a win-win because you require little savings to actually do it – your salary is your travel money.  

#3 – Volunteer At A Youth Hostel   
Since youth hostels are cheap, most require on volunteers/cheap labour to function. Many have volunteer programs where people can do different things (reception work, cleaning, bartending) in exchange for a bed (and sometimes meals). Each hostel has its own unique volunteer rules.  

I volunteered at a hostel in Tallinn, Estonia for 4 weeks. For 7-14 hours of reception work per week, I had a bed to sleep in every night. Apart from making lifelong friends, I also backpacked to Sweden, Lithuania and Russia. Also, living in picturesque Tallinn for a month was incredible (Google it).  

Have any budget travel tips? Would you do any of the above? Comment below!  

-Neal, yconic Student Ambassador
How do you get your community service hours?

While some students have gotten more than enough community service hours by Grade 12, most students save those hours for their last year of high school – which can already be a stressful time because of university applications and (potentially) preparing to leave home for the first time.


So, what are some easy ways to get you volunteer hours?


#1 – Help Out Your Teachers

My friends and I got all of our hours by helping out our school’s science department teachers. For a month or so, they were in the midst of an internal move so we helped out with sorting textbooks and equipment. One of my other friends – who wanted to go to teacher’s college – got her volunteer hours (and a reference letter, I’m sure) by helping mark tests/assignments for Grade 9 students and being an in-class tutor.


#2 – Help Out At Your Religious Institution

If your family goes to church/synagogue/mosque/temple on a regular basis, ask if the staff there if they need help with anything. Helping for 1-3 hours per week could help you get your hours really fast.


#3 – Help Out A Neighbour With Outdoor Work

If you have elderly neighbours, offer to cut their grass and/or shovel their driveways. They will definitely appreciate it, and you won’t have to go far from home to volunteer. It’s a great workout as well!


Have any other tips for getting your hours easily? Post them below!


-Neal, yconic Student Ambassdor

Graduating University with a lack of job skills
Check out the following article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/01/26/why-are-so-many-college-students-failing-to-gain-job-skills-before-graduation/?tid=ss_tw-amp&utm_term=.c8ff4c759522  

Being a student myself, these are pretty shocking numbers, but I definitely think that it stresses the important of getting “real world” experience alongside one’s focus on academics. Yes, having a high GPA can help you find employment, but if the stats are true, employers may begin to shift their employment criteria away from academics. Here are some things that you can do to take advantage of this:  

1. Internships and Coops: Not only do you get that direct exposure to work but you also get to network with companies, allowing you to have that immediate connection for a job once you graduate.
2. Working during the summer: Internships are sometimes difficult to come by, but having a summer job allows you to build those skills and get that experience as well.
3. Getting involved with clubs/committees and volunteer: This does not only allow you to build a diverse amount of job skills but also show that you are committed to a cause.  

Moral of the story? Get Involved with activities you are passionate about! They will inevitably lead you to new opportunities and give you the necessary skills moving forward.  

Mathieu  
yconic Student Ambassador
Volunteering vs Work
Often times, the struggle to building one’s resume revolves around the types of experiences that we should do. This debate commonly revolves around doing volunteer and/or work experience. What do you feel is more valuable moving forward? Here are my thoughts:

Benefits of Volunteering:  
- More Opportunities: Often, these positions are usually more easy to gain and come by, after all, you don’t get paid! This allows you to get experience more easily in a field if you don’t have any previous background.  
- Gives Back to Community: Unlike work, you are doing this not necessarily for the money, but because you are passionate for the cause and program.  
- Flexible Hours: When you are running on a busy schedule, these opportunites only require a couple hours of work each week!  

Benefits of Working:  
- You Make Money: Being a student, we are usually looking for a couple of coins here and there, and work is definitely a great way to make a little on the side.  
- More Commitment: Because they are paid positions, you tend to have a stronger commitment to your role, such as working longer hours and having additional roles.  
- “Prestige” Outlook: For most positions, work positions are competitive to receive, often requiring an interview. Receiving a position can be beneficial to show that you were selected amongst your peers.  

Mathieu  
yconic Student Ambassador
Extracurriculars: Quantity and Quality
Quantity vs quality is an age-old question for students everywhere trying to find a balance for their student portfolio. This isn't a post about how passionately you should invest yourself in your extra-curriculars but rather how you should allocate your time so that when application season comes for scholarships/programs, you will find that you have no problem filling out your supplementary applications

Before I share my own method of approaching ec's, it's important to understand how they are often structured. More of than not, major supplementary applications ask for 1-3 essays with questions like "Describe what you consider to be your most significant volunteer contribution to date in terms of its value to your school or larger community. Why was it important to you and to others (word limit:300)?"-(Loran Scholarship 2016). In addition to essays, supplementary applications may ask for a list commitments ranging from school activities, sports, artistic pursuits, awards, employment etc

The goal is to strike a balance between your extracurriculars so that you maximize your ability to apply for every scholarship/program without having to invest an unreasonable time on extracurriculars at the expense of a social and academic life. 

Over the last four years, I have taken an approach that my mentor shared with me. It encompasses how you should differentiate between major and minor commitments as well as how varied each should be.  By no means is this an exhaustive or foolproof equation but I have found success, having been invited for interviews with major scholarships as well as winning several smaller scholarships. 

Major and Minor Commitments

Major Commitments (Have 2-3)
-Hours Committed for each: 100-300+
-Should be used for the major essays
-Should be a major part of your student journey (e.g. entrepreneurship, volunteering at a hospital weekly, etc)
-Demonstrate commitment, other important qualities, etc 
-References from major commitments tend to be stronger

Minor Commitments (Have 8-15)
-Hours Committed for each: 5-10+
-Should be used for the lists (Refer above)
-Can be a one-time thing (e.x volunteering at a parade)
-Will not be discussed in detail so time commitment it is not a big issue 
-Should be varied

Variety 
-Should not only be school activities. Extra-curriculars should encompass commitments with out of school organizations as well. 
-Having employment/entrepreneurship experience demonstrates time commitment, maturity, amongst other things
-Artistic Endeavors: Whether this might be being part of band, art club, etc. Artistic endeavors can usually help demonstrate that you are passionate about something beyond the usual scope of extra-curriculars that other students may have, therefore setting you apart. 
-Physical/Team Involvement: Being part of the school team or something as simply as a playing  badminton as a hobby can show that you are invested in working well with a partner, or a team trying to achieve a common goal. 

By no means is what I shared going to guarantee you admission to a program or acceptance for scholarships. At the end of the day, having a variety of major and minor commitments is important. But equally as important is how well you portray yourself in your supplementary application so that you will distinguish yourself from all the thousands of other applications.

What did you think about my list? Do you agree or disagree? Have your own approach that you have found success? Share in the comments below!

-Benson Law 
Yconic Student Ambassador