The Best University Activities That Look Good on a Resume

By News

While it’s definitely a good idea to choose the university activities you participate in according to your interests, it’s also worth thinking about what will look good on your resume. Certain extracurriculars will prepare you for the world of work and teach you valuable life skills. These are exactly what you want to have on your resume if your work experience is lacking (or nonexistent), as it can help you to compete even with candidates who have been working in the field for some time. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

1. Volunteer Roles

As a volunteer, you may have many of the same responsibilities you would with a paid position. The only difference, in fact, is that you don’t receive payment for your work. This is actually a selling point, since it shows that you’re willing to dedicate time to a cause that matters to you without requiring compensation. Depending on what the role involves, you may be able to gather a wide range of skills that you can put on your resume.

2. Fundraising for a Cause

A particular type of volunteering you may like to try is fundraising, although you can also fundraise to help a for-profit business get started. In any case, fundraising is much more difficult than it looks — and employers know this. You need excellent business, marketing, writing, and project management skills, all of which are transferable to virtually any graduate job.

3. Languages

Proficiency in another language is often a requirement for jobs, particularly at international companies. Plus, positions that ask for knowledge of foreign languages tend to pay higher. Just the fact that you’ve learned another language can be beneficial, as this indicates you have great communication skills, an understanding of other cultures, and a good work ethic.

4. Study Abroad Programs

Even better than just learning a language is putting it into use. By studying abroad, you’ll show employers that you’re able to adapt to unfamiliar situations and that you have a deeper understanding of another culture than what you can acquire from academics alone. Participation in a study abroad program also suggests that you’re able to work well independently, you’re resilient, and you have good interpersonal skills.

5. College Sports

Participation in sports shows more than just physical fitness: it’s also a sign of dedication and commitment to self-improvement. Plus, if being a college athlete takes up a large amount of your time but you’re still able to gain good grades, it will be clear that you have great time management skills.

Team sports are a particularly strong option to consider, since they mean you must possess teamwork skills.

6. Tutoring

Anyone who wants to enter a career in teaching, training, or leadership should seek tutoring opportunities at university. You’ll need to be patient, find creative ways to explain concepts, and have an in-depth knowledge of your subject matter.

7. Clubs and Societies

A large number of activities available at university are clubs and societies. You can include any of these on your resume — what matters is you show their relevance. Make sure you explain what kinds of skills you learned, whether those are softer skills (such as interpersonal skills) or specific hard skills.

8. Student Union

A student organization that will look particularly impressive on your resume is your university’s student union. You could be an active member (such as by holding an elected position, sitting on a committee, or starting your own club) or you may prefer to volunteer just occasionally. Whatever you choose, this will show great leadership qualities, the ability to make (often tough) decisions, active listening skills, and much more.

There’s no need to live on campus to participate in university activities, but it helps to live nearby. An OTU residence alternative is Foundry 1805. Our student housing is just minutes from Ontario Tech and has free WiFi throughout the building, which will allow you to continue contributing to activities when you’re back at home. Apply for a lease now before all the units are filled up.

10 Budgeting Tips for Students

By News

Even if you had a job before college and needed to manage your money to some extent, it’s unlikely that anything has prepared you for budgeting as a student. It’s crucial that you do have a budget because without one, you may overspend and struggle to make ends meet or graduate with a much larger debt than necessary. Besides, learning how to budget now will help you throughout your life.

Here are a few tips to consider.

1. Download a Budgeting App

Long gone are the days when you needed to use a spreadsheet to budget. There are now a number of apps to choose from, many of which are free. An app will take all the hard work out of budgeting and give you extra support to manage your money wisely.

2. Have Emergency Funds

It’s essential to include in your budget a certain amount you will only touch in the case of an emergency. This should be around 10 percent of your monthly budget. You never know when you may face an emergency — and the last thing you want is to be scrambling to find cash.

3. Never Use a Credit Card for Fun

An easy way to ensure that you stay within your budget for fun activities is to withdraw the amount you’ve allocated in your budget and only use that cash. Running out of cash before the end of the month will help you realize that you need to be more selective with your spending in the future.

4. Find Free Events

Limit how much you spend by finding free ways to have fun. Universities hold free events on campus all the time. These are also great for meeting new people and exploring new interests.

5. Eliminate Your Credit Card Balance

As credit cards have some of the highest interest rates, it should be a priority to get your balance to zero and keep it there. If you already have some debt, pay as much as you possibly can each month, perhaps adjusting your budget to pay two or three times what you’re currently paying. Going forward, only charge to your credit card what you can afford to pay off in full when the bill comes.

6. Pay Off Student Loans as Soon as Possible

It’s best to start paying off your student loans while you’re still in college. Even small monthly payments can make a big difference to how much you’ll owe when you graduate.

7. Invest the Rest

If you have any money left at the end of the month, instead of giving yourself extra to spend next month, invest it. Use a savings account or consider buying stocks and bonds. Investing apps are great for this. For instance, a robo-advisor app can build and manage your portfolio, meaning there’s no need for you to make potentially risky decisions.

8. Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Always ask stores if they offer student discounts and patronize those that do. You may be surprised just how many businesses (both online and offline) have special prices for students.

9. Search for Coupons

Before making any non-urgent purchases, see if you can find a coupon. Regularly gaining discounts in this way will add up to significant savings.

10. Create a Weekly Menu

Before you head to the grocery store, decide what meals you’ll eat in the upcoming week. This will help you purchase just the ingredients you need and prevent picking up products that you end up throwing out. It will also prevent you from giving in to temptations and buying things that look appealing but that weren’t on your shopping list.

You’ll have more to spare in your budget if you don’t live in an expensive dorm room with a meal plan but instead find a student rental. Oshawa students can turn to Foundry 1805. You’ll receive a room in a fully-furnished suite, all utilities included. Apply now while units are still available.

How to Keep Your Student Apartment Organized All Semester Long

By News

When you’re busy with classes, papers, extracurriculars, and all your other commitments, it’s easy for your apartment to become disorganized. The problem is it can be more difficult to focus when you’re faced with clutter. Plus, you’re more likely to become stressed if you’re unable to find what you’re looking for. Dedicate time now to creating a system to keep your apartment organized — that way, all you’ll need to do throughout the semester is make sure you put things back where they belong.

1. Divide Your Refrigerator into Sections

Purchasing storage containers is a quick fix for a refrigerator that seems too full to add anything else. It also makes it easier to find what you’re looking for without needing to empty the entire contents of your fridge. Plus, you can label each container with your and your roommates’ names to ensure any food is definitely yours before you eat it.

2. Store Cleaning Supplies in a Shoe Organizer

Buying in bulk can save money, but then you face the dilemma of where to store months’ worth of cleaning supplies. A shoe organizer is cheap and fits everything from bottles and toilet rolls to cloths and brushes. Hang one on the door of your utility closet where it will be tucked out of the way.

3. Take Advantage of the Versatility of Mason Jars

You can use mason jars throughout your apartment for storing all kinds of small items. They’re particularly useful for keeping your bathroom organized, as you can drop objects of different types into their own jars. Plus, it’s easy to make mason jars look attractive — simply decorate them with stickers, paint, ribbons, or glued beads.

4. Store Your Smallest Items in Silverware Organizers

An alternative to mason jars is a silverware organizer. This is particularly useful for your bedroom, where you may have various pens and other pieces of stationery, cables and chargers, makeup, and other small items that can clutter up your desk. Make sure to give every type of object its own section in the silverware organizer.

5. Create Storage for Your Towels

If your apartment lacks a linen closet, you’ll need to create your own storage for towels. One solution is to affix baskets to the walls of your bathroom — this prevents the need to take up cupboard space. Having extra towels in your bathroom is also great for those times when you forget to bring a towel with you for your shower. No more figuring out what to do when you’re cold, wet, and dripping on the floor!

6. Install Hooks on the Back of Your Closet Door

Instead of burying your belongings in storage containers in your closet, hang the items you use most often on the back of the closet door. You can either install a couple of bars across the door or purchase an over-the-door hanger. Use this to store things like your bags, shoes, jackets, and jewelry for easy access.

The problem with many student apartments is they’re unfurnished. This means you’ll need to purchase a large amount of furniture before you can even start to become organized. A better option is to look for a furnished student rental. Oshawa students have Foundry 1805. The suites come with plenty of storage and the bedrooms are spacious, meaning they don’t feel cluttered even if you accumulate a little too much. Apply now while there are still units available for next semester.

A Guide to Writing Strong Papers

By News

No matter how well you understand your course material, it’s difficult to achieve good grades unless you can write strong papers. This is much more complicated than answering a question with a right or wrong answer: you need to make sure you express yourself well, cover all the necessary information, and add citations in the right format. Eventually, you’ll develop your own tactics for tackling papers, but it helps to have some starting points to put you on the right track.

Know What the Question Is Asking

Before you can start writing, you need to be sure you understand what the paper should be about. Highlighting key words or writing a few notes about what you’ll need to cover can help. You should also identify what the question is asking you to do. For instance, “discuss” isn’t the same as “analyze,” and both are quite different from “demonstrate.”

If you’re unsure about what you’re supposed to be doing, ask your professor. While professors can’t tell you how to write a paper, they can make sure you’re on the right track before you start and ensure you don’t submit something completely wrong.

Put in the Research Before You Start Writing

You’ll find it much easier to write your paper if you have all the information you need from the start. It’s difficult to make progress when you’re researching as you write.

However, make sure you do limit the amount of time you spend on research. This is particularly a risk if the topic interests you, as you may start exploring more ideas than you need for the paper. Alternatively, you may spend too much time on research if you’re not looking forward to writing the paper and you want to procrastinate. Stop researching when you have all the basic information — you can always do more research later to fill in any gaps.

Avoid Superfluous Information

As long as you’re within the word count and you’ve covered everything the question asks, there’s no need to add any more details. Trying to impress your professor with your extensive knowledge won’t improve your grade — you’re only assessed on the topic you’re supposed to be writing about. Plus, there’s a risk you’ll explain something incorrectly if you haven’t studied it in class.

Keep Things Simple

Unless you’re a creative writing major, your papers simply need to be well written. This is no place to get experimental, neither in your language nor in the structure of the paper. Your professors may even be able to give you a template for the paper to give you an idea of what the final result should look like.

Edit Only Once You’re Finished

As you write, you may often feel that there’s a better way to word your sentences. However, you’ll go much slower if you aim for perfection straight away. Unless you immediately know how to improve a sentence, leave what you’ve written untouched until you’ve finished. Then, you can edit the entire paper at once without breaking your flow.

The same goes for places that need a statistic, quote, or quick fact that you don’t have on hand. Simply mark the spot and fill in the gap at the end.

Read Your Paper Aloud

It’s easier to notice typos, errors, and places where you could improve your paper if you read aloud. Even better, read your paper to someone who can tell you if any parts are confusing. For term papers and other important assignments, it may even be possible to receive feedback from your professor before you hand in the paper for grading.

Being constantly interrupted ruins your train of thought and makes it much more difficult to finish your paper. For this reason, it’s important to have somewhere you can focus on writing without distractions. A great alternative to Durham College residence is off-campus housing like Foundry 1805. You can write papers in your room or head to one of the onsite study rooms. Apply now to ensure you’re able to rent the floor plan you want.

Ways to Stay Healthy at University

By News

Starting university is a great time to learn healthy habits for life. If you’re like most students, this will be your first taste of independence. Since no one will be checking up on you, it’s down to you to practice some self-discipline. You’ll thank yourself if you do, as you’ll feel more energized, lose fewer days to illness, and be more focused.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

You’ll have much more choice about what to eat as a college student than you’re likely used to. Whereas there’s nothing wrong with occasionally choosing something unhealthy, it’s important this is the exception rather than the rule. Think about whether you’re receiving all the nutrients you need and eat filling meals to avoid the temptation of fatty or sugary snacks throughout the day.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Most people need around eight hours of sleep a night. It’s no good sleeping just a few hours some nights and catching up at the weekend — your body needs consistent rest. Using a sleep app can help you stick to a routine. Some remind you it’s time for bed or offer soothing sounds to help you fall asleep.

Other ways to ensure you sleep enough involve allowing your mind to relax before bed. Avoid screens at least one hour before bedtime and stop drinking caffeinated drinks by the late afternoon. If you find that you’re struggling to fall asleep, try meditating, drawing, or listening to music.

3. Exercise Daily

Regular exercise can also improve your sleep and provide other health benefits, including better immunity, higher energy levels, and reduced strain on your body even when you sit for long periods of time. College is the ideal time to improve your fitness because it’s easy to find new activities you enjoy. For instance, if you’re no fan of team sports, you could take up weight training, Zumba, or yoga. Exercising also encourages you to drink more water, and you may find that you start eating a more balanced diet as a natural result.

4. Keep Your Living Space Clean

A clean and tidy space is beneficial both for your physical and mental health. You’re most likely used to doing chores at home, but you’ve probably never been responsible for keeping the entire place clean. You’ll need to develop some discipline to tidy your living space on a regular basis, as well as whenever you notice something is dirty. If you’ll be living with other people, divide the chores amongst yourselves and make sure you do your fair share.

5. Create a Balanced Schedule

Socializing is important — in fact, it’s a key part of the university experience. However, it’s crucial to maintain a balance between your social life, studies, and rest. Depending on the friends you make, you may be tempted to go to parties every weekend, if not every weekday. Set limits as to how often you’ll go out and be sensible about how late you stay up. You’ll be glad you did the next morning.

6. Figure Out What Your Body Needs

Always stay alert to what your body is telling you. For example, if you start a new exercise regime, don’t push yourself too hard. If your muscles ache, stick to gentle stretches for a day. If you start feeling emotionally exhausted, take some time for yourself. Spending time alone to relax is critical for your wellbeing — don’t fall into the trap of thinking you always need to be doing something. Finally, if you’re physically exhausted, stop relying on coffee and allow yourself to rest.

It’s difficult to stay healthy if you’re living on campus. You face constant distractions and noise, your life is influenced by your roommate’s habits, and you’re stuck on a meal plan. If you’re committed to being healthy, a better option is to live in off-campus student housing. Oshawa students have Foundry 1805. You’ll receive a suite with a large bedroom and a fully-equipped kitchen — plus, there are restaurants and shopping just across the street. Pay us a visit to check out the amenities for yourself.

How to Make Your Student Apartment Feel Like Home

By News

Decorating your student apartment to match your personality will transform it from a place you live into a home. Although the prospect of decorating a new apartment can feel daunting, all it actually takes is a few simple additions.

1. Cover the Walls

There’s nothing more impersonal than bare walls. The good news is walls are one of the easiest things to decorate. As well as art, you can hang posters, framed photos, or even a tapestry. If you want to save money, create your own pictures for your walls. There’s no need to be an art student — printing out photos and pasting them together in a collage is a great way to bring memories to your new space.

2. Add Warmth to the Floor

Once you’ve finished decorating the walls, turn your attention to the floor. Use rugs to add colour and style — and to keep your feet warm! Make sure you choose a material that will be easy to maintain and won’t show stains.

3. Make a Luxurious Bed

To do well at university, you need a comfortable bed. As well as choosing bedding that’s soft and warm, pick a design you like to make your bed more welcoming. Since pillows are particularly personal, you may like to bring your regular pillow from home.

4. Bring Some Lamps to Adjust the Lighting

An overhead light is useful for illuminating the entire room, but a dimmer light is cozier. Floor lamps that produce yellow light are perfect for adjusting the light levels in your bedroom and living room. Also check if your bedroom comes with a desk lamp (it may if you’re renting a fully-furnished apartment). In addition to being a necessity for studying, this is ideal for creating ambient lighting.

5. Give Your Apartment Some Life with Plants

The right plants can improve air quality and add character to your living space. If you know you’ll struggle to keep plants alive, choose something that requires minimal care, like a cactus.

6. Create an Inspiring Study Space

Turn the area around your desk into a space that makes you feel inspired. For instance, you could add objects or pictures that keep your goals for after graduation fresh in your mind or hang a certificate above your desk to remind you of what you’re capable of achieving.

7. Infuse Your Apartment with Scent

Add scented candles to spots around your bedroom and living room. Take time picking out the candles to find a scent you love — perhaps something that smells like your family home, that makes you think of someone you care about, or has the natural scent of your favourite outdoor place, like the beach or a pine forest.

It’s difficult to make a space feel comfortable if you’re sharing a small dorm room on campus. Find a place you can call home by renting a student apartment at Foundry 1805. Our off-campus Ontario Tech residence has both fully-furnished and unfurnished units with one to five bedrooms. Check out our floor plans to find your perfect fit.

How to Find a Job at University

By News

Most university students are just starting out in their financial journeys, so it makes sense that making ends meet can feel a bit challenging. The pressure of meeting their living and study expenses often pushes many students to look for jobs.

But finding a job at university might not seem easy. Many in-demand positions are taken quickly, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find the right fit. With perseverance and a little creative thinking, here’s how you can find work during your time at university. 


Job Search Tips for University Students

Perhaps the most challenging part of searching for a job at university is finding an opportunity that caters to your skillset. Students generally don’t have much work experience, so they cannot expect a high-paying job. 

Moreover, university students cannot work extended hours as it goes against the law. Most well-paying jobs require significant work experience and flexible timing, which can be challenging to meet for students. 

However, you can use the following tips to find a job that can help you meet your expenses while being a student:


1. Check Your University’s Website

Perhaps the best way to stay up to date with job vacancies at university is by checking your university’s website. These websites have immense resources to help students find employment. 

Make sure to visit the Career Services or Career Section of the university website to see on-campus vacancies and short-term opportunities. In most cases, these sections list the job openings and summarize the job description and requirements. 


2. Use Your Connections and Networks

Networking is one of the most underrated ways to land a job. But, it is a great way to find a job either on or off campus. And, it can even lead to opportunities you might not have even considered.

Remember that building your network is also a great way to get your name out there so that you’re not just a faceless resume. Of course, it’s more than walking up to people you don’t know and telling them about yourself. It’s a mindset, or a way to approach your professional relationships and leverage your connections.

As such, it’s a good idea to meet new people and nurture relationships during and after university life. Who knows, one of your connections may help you to land your dream job. Besides face-to-face networking, you could also use LinkedIn to meet people you associate with and explore opportunities.


3. Look Out for Seasonal Opportunities

Many companies do seasonal hirings based on business flow because some seasons draw more customers and are more profitable than others, such as the holidays and summertime. 

Seasonal jobs are great for university students because they allow you to earn money and get some experience on your resume, typically when you don’t have to worry about classes. Also, you can choose to work long hours to make more money and add credibility to your experience. 

It is a good idea to drop your resume off at nearby stores and offices. We recommend talking to a manager or an authoritative figure face-to-face to build rapport, so you’re on their radar when an opportunity comes up. 


4. Get an Internship

Most employers look for work experience and specialized skills. If you lack work experience and the required skills, consider an internship to get your foot in the door.

Although not very well-paying, internships give you the chance to have professional experience, learn new skills, and prove your worth to your employer. And based on your performance, the company could eventually offer you a well-paying job.


5. Search for Opportunities Online

There are hundreds of job search websites out there that you can use to find employment opportunities. For example, you could use Robert Half, CareerBuilder, Indeed, LinkedIn, and others to apply for jobs.

The good news is that most student residences and rooms for rent in Oshawa have fast and free internet for students. So you can use this opportunity to look up jobs online. 

Make sure to filter your job search, turn your notifications on for daily updates and openings. If possible, upload a well-crafted resume to the job search websites as it helps simplify the job application process.

4 Tips For Networking in University

By News

Completing a university degree is an admirable goal to achieve. Yet, the work doesn’t end there. You’ll have to put in the effort to find a job and go on interviews. And, because competition for desirable positions can be fierce, getting a call back for a job you really want may not come easily.

You need strong networking skills to get ahead of the pack, regardless of your desired industry. Fresh graduates miss out on several opportunities because, sadly, they aren’t aware of industry dynamics and therefore fail to network in university.

By network, we don’t mean your social media friends and social followers. Instead, we’re talking about industry experts, professors, and seniors who can help you grow in your career. Networking allows you to build a system of supportive relationships to get ahead in your professional life.

But since nurturing relationships takes time, it’s always a good idea to start networking while in university – before you even start looking for a job. But how and where do you start building your professional network?

Here are some networking tips to start your journey:

1. Reach Out to the Industry Leaders

No, we don’t mean calling corporate leaders or visiting their offices when you’re still in university; you can save that for later. But, for now, it’s a good idea to try to find the most influential and resourceful people in your desired industry and connect with them online on platforms like LinkedIn and in person at different events.

Whether you need industry insights or information about an upcoming event, find where the experts hang out. You can meet these leaders in online communities, public speaking events, and workshops. You can also connect with these leaders and benefit from their experience and knowledge.

2. Consult Your Professors and University Alumni

Your professors have probably taught hundreds or even thousands of students by now. And most of them might be in key corporate positions to help you in your career. As such, it’s a good idea to stay connected with your professors and ask them for career tips.

Don’t shy away from asking questions. For example, you could ask your professor what should be your next step at networking and how you can grow your network. Most professors have connections with industry leaders and university alumni in the corporate world. You can meet these people through your professor’s reference.

3. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for virtually everything, from professional networking to growing your business. Whether you want to do a job or start a business after university, social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can help you reach out to people looking for what you have to offer, and vice versa. You can also use it to keep in touch with old friends and business contacts.

It’s a good idea to join your industry-related groups, follow insightful people, engage with public posts, and see what others are talking about on social networking platforms. Also, you can create engagement and get noticed by posting thoughtful content, appreciating positive criticism, and brushing up on your knowledge of industry happenings, news, and trends.

4. Attend Professional Events

Professional and career-focused events offer a great networking opportunity for university students. You get the chance to meet industry leaders and career experts at such events and learn from their experience and knowledge.

Also, be sure to attend on-campus and off-campus job fairs and other career events. Attending these gatherings will help you improve your resume and interview skills. And who knows, you might land your dream job at one of these events.

If you live in shared accommodation in Oshawa, look around to find public networking events nearby. These events will allow you to make new connections and nurture professional relationships. Don’t forget to talk to other people in your building, as they might know people in your field, too.

Be headstrong in your efforts to become an active member of these circles. But as always, follow professional etiquettes and don’t go overboard in trying to enter the professional communities.