Monday, March 30, 2015

Humber Goes Global: Jasmine in New Zealand

Name: Jasmine Baumann
Program: Bachelor of Commerce, International Business
Semester Abroad: Unitec Institute of Technology (Winter 2015)
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Jasmine Baumann is a student in Humber’s Bachelor of Commerce – International Business program. She is spending the Winter 2015 semester studying abroad at Humber’s partner school in New Zealand: Unitec Institute of Technology. While Toronto lies under a blanket of snow, it’s currently summertime in the South Pacific! Before the start of classes, Jasmine took advantage of the warm weather and spent two weeks touring her new home country. 

Image 1:Two days after arriving in New Zealand I was given the option to take a surf lesson in Raglan. Surfing has always been something I’ve wanted to try so I decided to hop on that board and give it a try. Surprisingly I was fairly successfully and caught numerous waves:)

Image 2: The Stray bus tour stops at some pretty unique places! We had the chance to stay with a Maori family (aboriginal people of New Zealand) and learn some of their traditional ways of living. One of these awesome experiences was cooking Maori fried bread for our large Hangi feast.

Image 3: We spent two nights at the Abel Tasman National Park. A beautiful park on the north-western coast of the South Island. Stunning views, beautiful hikes, and warm sand beaches. After a scenic 4 hour hike we took a Catamaran tour back along the coastline and saw some awesome sights such as the “split apple rock” seen above.

Image 4: In the town of Punakaiki we stopped for a pancake breakfast before heading out on several hikes where we were able to see the famous pancake rocks and blowholes!

Image 5: A steep incline up the Queenstown Hill brought us to a beautiful viewpoint where we could see all of Queenstown and its surroundings. At the top you find the “basket of dreams” where I had a few moments of reflection before the trek back down!

Image 6: This is a scenic photo of the landscape around Queenstown just before sunset.

Image 7: We took an awesome cruise through the Milford Sounds region where we saw stunning scenery and even had the chance to spot some seals and dolphins swimming around!

Image 8: I became very close with a Finnish girl and a German guy while on the Stray bus tour. This is a picture of us posing in front of the beautiful blue glacial lake near Mt. Cook.

Image 9: When staying in Mt. Cook we were at a wonderful hostel that had excellent views of the glacial region. To get closer to Mt. Cook we took a 3 hour hike to check out the stunning scenery!

Image 10: Near the end of my month of backpacking I found my favourite place - Kaikoura. A beautiful coastal beach town on the East coast of the South Island. It had a very laid back atompsohere with a lot of marine life to see and trails to explore. 

Image 11: In Kaikoura I did something I’ve always dreamed of doing…I swam with wild dolphins! The dusky dolphins were very curious and playful creatures. To keep them interested and excited you had to make funny noises through your snorkel, swim around in circles, and act as dolphin-like as possible! It was certainly an experience I will always remember:)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bringing sustainable innovation to Dragon's Den

Industrial Design student showcases biodegradable compost bin.

By Sara Laux

This article originally appeared in Humber Today on 18th February 2014.

Written by Melissa Johns, School of Applied Technology

Jackson Wyatt is an entrepreneur and designer, and he's saving the world -- one compost bin at a time. 

The Greenlid
The Greenlid

An Industrial Design student and co-founder of The Greenlid, Wyatt recently appeared on Dragon's Den with his brother Morgan. The pair showcased their innovative product -- a fully biodegradable green bin -- ultimately securing a funding deal with Dragons Arlene Dickinson and David Chilton.

The Greenlid is a waterproof organic waste container made from moulded pulp fiber. When the container is full, it can be disposed of in municipal recycling and replaced with no mess or feelings of guilt.

"Me and my brother were trying to figure out a way to make composting in your kitchen less messy," says Wyatt. "We thought we could make something and made a million mistakes along the way, until we worked with some people and had some help. We ended up with a product that we think people will enjoy."

The Greenlid was named one of the top 10 most innovative projects at the Grocery Innovations Canada conference in October 2014, and has attracted attention from the Toronto Star, Global News and CHCH. The brothers had previously run a successful Kickstarter campaign, surpassing their funding goal of $25,000 in March 2014. Their product is now available at Home Hardware stores across Canada, and will also be available at Home Depot in the future.

Wyatt credits his professors at Humber with influencing his ideas about design. "I didn't even know Adobe Illustrator until I did tutorials with Catherine Chong... all the packaging, marketing material, point of purchase comes from me making stuff in Adobe Illustrator. [We learned about] design concepts from Odin Cappello. We got a lot of help from everybody".

The young entrepreneur has some sage advice for students looking for similar success.

"Do exactly what's related to your field as soon as possible," he says. "That way you can get the mistakes out of the way early, and be ahead of the curve before anybody else. If you're in photography, go out and do photos. If you're in Industrial Design, focus on the things that matter, like product design or automotive design; things you're really passionate about."

Wyatt's next steps with The Greenlid are to increase its market share across Canada and the United States, and continue to make new products with the material he and his brother have developed. "We're pushing forward with Greenlid," he explains. "There are so many applications with the water-resistant pulp moulded products. Each new product, each new application is in its own way a new business."

Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Hunt for an Internship in Canada

By: Ishita Ghelani, Marketing Management student at Humber College
This article originally appeared on i-studentglobal on February 25, 2015

It’s that time of year again when students are either hunting for an internship, a summer job, or first job after graduation. Last year, when I was looking for an internship, I was very surprised to learn that, it typically takes anywhere from around 2-3 months to get hired for even an internship position in Canada. This is often because, the hiring process here is very systematic and the hiring managers often do a thorough background check by contacting your previous employers irrespective of where in the world you may have worked previously.

“As my program at Humber College is coming to an end  …”

As my program at Humber College is coming to an end, it is time for me to put together and use all the amazing tips given to me by my very knowledgeable professors. If you are looking for an internship or a job for the first time in the Canadian Job Market then, do try some of the tips listed below as they might help smooth out your process:

1.    Shortlist your Top 10 companies: Before starting your search, identify the type of industry you are interested in working in. Based on that decision, shortlist the top companies. I usually divide these companies into three different categories – ambitious, moderate, and safe.  This process always helps me set realistic goals and expectations for my search process as by the end of it, I always know in which companies getting a job is ambitious and in which company there is higher possibility of getting hired, etc.

2.    Select Roles: Once you have shortlisted a specific industry and companies where you would want to work, start shortlisting the types of roles you would enjoy. For instance, if you are interested in working in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies, then find out what department you would want to work in: marketing, operations, finance, etc. Once you know you want to work in the marketing department, find out what roles there are in that department such as brand manager, product manager, etc.

“Go For Informational Interviews …”
3.   Go For Informational Interviews: Through informational interviews, you get an opportunity to meet those who are currently doing your dream job. It is very important to understand that you are not asking for a job when you meet people for an informational interview. It only gives you an opportunity to know more about the company, its culture, people, etc. When going to an informational interview, make sure to ask for tips for your internship/job hunt, ask about the latest trends in the industry, the type of job the person you are interviewing is doing, etc. People working in the industry are often very helpful, and they will be more than happy to answer all your questions. Also, if the interview goes well, they might just refer you to speak to someone else within the industry, thus helping you make more connections.

4.    Attend Networking Events: On the upside, attending networking events helps you make connections with industry professionals. On the downside (not really), you will get comfortable introducing yourself to strangers and striking up a conversation with them. When going to a networking event, make sure you have a business card for yourself.  Get comfortable sharing your business card at such events. It will also make it easier for you to ask for a business card from someone you want to connect with. It is not necessary that, every time you share your business card, someone will share his or hers in return. But, 90% of the time, people don’t want to be rude and, as a courtesy, will share their business card with you.

“Attend Networking Events …”

5.    Do Cold Calls: A lot of times, companies don’t post internship listings online. It is worthwhile to call up the companies and ask whether they are currently looking for any interns and whom could you send your resume to within that organization. In the worst case scenario, they will say no. But, if they are looking for interns, you are already ahead of the game by making that phone call.

“Do Cold Calls …”
6.  Get your facts right: Whenever you see a job or internship posting online with a generic email address, call the company. Always ask the company to whom you should be addressing the application. Surprisingly, not everyone does that and it will help you stand out from the rest. It will send out a clear message about how serious you are about the position.

7.  Volunteer: If none of the networking events are helping you make the right industry connections, then volunteer! Volunteer for advertising/marketing annual awards shows or even conferences. These award shows or conferences are usually very expensive to attend and, as a student, you definitely cannot afford to attend. But, guess what!? You can still attend by volunteering for the event. Most of these conferences let the volunteers attend some part of the seminars for free in exchange for their help at the event. These are the events where industry experts come; you should definitely try to volunteer for one such event to connect with them.

8.  Get Help from the Career Centre: Go to your school’s career centre and fix up your resume and cover letter. This is compulsory for international students as oftentimes, our resumes may not be as per the Canadian industry format and standards. Since career centres, just like our professors, have years of experience, they can solve our problems within minutes. It is also good to always get your resume reviewed by at least two to three different individuals, as they may be able to correct your mistakes instantly.

9.    Maintain a Positive Social Media Presence: If you are interested in the advertising and the marketing industry, it is necessary to have some kind of social media presence such as an account on Twitter or Instagram. Most agencies nowadays ask candidates to share their Twitter handle. Also, make sure your Facebook privacy settings are well in place, as you wouldn’t want recruiters to see an unflattering photograph. It is better not to upload such photographs online. Why? If you can’t handle your image and keep your social media presence positive, no company will trust you with theirs!

10. Prepare Your Elevator Pitch: This 30-second pitch briefly describes your current education, past work history, industry of interest, etc. It is crucial not only to prepare your elevator pitch, but also to be comfortable and confident while giving it. It can be used at a networking event or even in interviews for questions such as, “Tell me something about yourself.”

“Prepare Your Elevator Pitch …”
Lastly, never underestimate the opportunities given to you. They may seem not as big as you dreamed of, but every opportunity when taken, takes you somewhere, and it only takes you a step closer to your dreams. You may not be able to connect the dots instantly, but later in life you will be thankful to yourself for grabbing every opportunity on your way to your dream!

Even though the thought of leaving Humber College saddens me, I am excited to start a new journey in my life and see how my life shapes up in Canada.