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The Fulcrum and Career Services give students a hand

WITH WINTER ON its way out and spring around the corner, students on campus are looking for jobs, either just for the summer or beyond. The question is, how can students find summer or post-graduate employment in Ottawa, and what can students do now to get a head start on the summer job market? Claire Cayen, job search specialist at University of Ottawa’s Career Services, has the answer.

“Start now. The sooner the better because there is a lot [of] competition … employers start as early as October to recruit for summer jobs,” she advises.

Students have some advantage over other potential employees because of the many websites and programs customized to help students find summer and post-graduate employment. Cayen says one useful website for students to find employment related to their field of study is called What Can I Do With My Studies, which allows students to select their choice field and provides related job resources.

“[The resource] was created by Career Services to help students understand …  examples of potential employers, types of organizations, fields of work, professional associations … and even job search websites related to a specific program of study.”

Giancarlo Cerquozzi, Government of Canada student ambassador at U of O, recommends as a starting point for students looking for government employment. The website offers student employment, post-graduate employment, and job postings open to the general public.

“What is great about is that it directs you toward full-time and part-time positions, but also lets you search co-op and internship opportunities that are available at your post-secondary institution and that are in your field of studies,” Cerquozzi explains.

Current students can also apply for the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP), which provides full-time students with government experience, offering full-time work during the summer and part-time work during school sessions. There is the opportunity for FSWEP students to be bridged into the government full time after they graduate. Cerquozzi advises students to apply as soon as possible.

“The major hiring push occurs in the spring for summer positions; thus, students should begin creating their FSWEP accounts now,” says Cerquozzi. For those students who already have FSWEP accounts, Cerquozzi recommends updating them for the upcoming hiring season.

“It is important to maintain your profile throughout the year. I would suggest every 3-4 months taking a look at the information you included on your profile and verifying if it still applies.”

The City of Ottawa offers a program similar to FSWEP with their Summer Student Employment Program. The program supports students in their studies by aiding with funding, work experience, and providing insight into future employment opportunities. The program’s 2012 recruitment campaign is not yet underway, but should begin before May 2012.

Cayen also recommends students start networking and building support contacts now in order to stay ahead of the masses in the job market. According to Cayen, “Eighty per cent of jobs are found through the hidden market (networking, personal contacts, research).”

As for other job resources, Cayen advises students to consider attending Career Services’ workshop Summer Job Search, to be held on Jan. 30. Career Services also has workshops on networking, resumés, and interviews, held in English and French.

Students can contact Career Services by phone at (613) 562-5806, through email at, or in person at UCU 312.

To learn more about City of Ottawa student employment, visit 

Students can contact Giancarlo Cerquozzi at or on Facebook at

Sam Cowan