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How to tackle student debt — and set yourself up for a 5-star career

From financial aid to on-the-job learning, here are 9 Concordia services at your fingertips
August 18, 2015
By Tom Peacock

How to avoid student debt and set yourself up for a 5-star career

This week, a CIBC poll found that nearly half — 48 per cent — of Canada’s post-secondary students are concerned their debt load may be too much to bear in the upcoming school year.

Almost as many (37 per cent) are worried about securing employment after they graduate.

Fortunately, Concordia is on the case: here are a handful of the many campus services tailor-made for new and returning students.

Manage your finances

Concordia’s Financial Aid and Awards Office is a great place to go for advice on how best to plan and manage your personal finances. You can also find out about the many scholarships and bursaries available to undergraduate and graduate students through the office’s web page.

The Student Hub also has an entire page dedicated to all aspects of financing your education: student loans, scholarships, bursaries, work-study programs, and budgeting guides.

Plan for your career

A major part of the mission of Concordia’s Student Success Centre is to help students figure out their career direction, connect them with employers and help them find jobs.

Consult the centre’s online job bank; attend workshops on everything from resumé writing, to networking, to choosing the right profession; or read through the many resources available on the Career and Planning Services web page.

Consider Co-op

Signing up as a member of the Institute for Co-operative Education is a great way to gain professional experience during your studies at Concordia.

Recently, Co-op developed a new blended-learning curriculum designed to help its student members secure a position with the right employer for their work terms, and show up ready to hit the ground running.

“Our innovative e-learning strategies enhance students’ confidence, competitiveness and instil the key benefits of lifelong learning,” said Gerry Hughes, Co-op’s director, in a recent article about Co-op’s blended learning program.

Business students: get a boost

The John Molson School of Business offers a range of resources, programs and networking opportunities through its Career Management Services (CMS).

Recently the CMS added a new International Student Programs Initiative to help visiting business students with career management and job search strategies.

Go international

The world is getting smaller. What better way to set yourself up for employment in our global society than by gaining overseas experience, either through an exchange or a volunteer program?

Concordia International manages the university’s exchange program. It also offers a range of support services for students who come from the 150-plus other countries represented on campus.

To learn about volunteering opportunities both locally and abroad, visit the LIVE Centre.

Ask questions

The list of above-mentioned Concordia services is far from comprehensive: check in with student groups and faculty to find out about resources and opportunities related to your specific interests.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to a student success mentor. These well-connected and informed upper-year students can help steer you in the right direction.

Find out about 2015 Orientation at Concordia

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