Mentor Program Newsletter Fall 2014: Issue 1

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McGill Career Planning Service Mentor Program Newsletter Fall 2014 Issue 1



    Photo Credit: Omer Juma

  • Introductions Alumni Mentor Interview Diane Morneau from IBM Alumni Mentor Interview Suheil Tandon ProSports DevelopmentAlumni Mentor Interview Bruce Hill from Kidney Foundation of CanadaMcGill Mentor Program Speaker Panel SMART communication Jeff Osweiler US Embassy Consul to Madagascar speaks at McGillInteresting Facts about Recruiters LinkedIn StatsMentor Program Stats / List of Previous Mentor InterviewsMessage from the Coordinator





    Welcome to the fall 2014 issue of our Mentor Program Newsletter which has been prepared for our Alumni Mentors and our Student Mentees.The Mentor Program is an integral part of our career development and experiential learning programming at

    the Career Planning Service. We are grateful to our Mentors, who are willing to give of their time to share their ex-periences, their career paths, and words of encouragement to our students who are exploring their career options and making informed career decisions. We encourage our Student Mentees to make the most of this program, and to speak with several Mentors as they progress through their academic careers and plan for their future.

    Twelve years ago, the CaPS Mentor Program was launched, and since then, we have over 1800 mentor match-es. Over this next year, we will be introducing some new activities to provide mentors and students additional opportunities for engagement. In addition to our newsletter, our Mentor Coordinator and the Mentor Program Team, whom you will meet in the following pages, will be organizing a speaker panel and planning a pilot extern-ship/job shadowing program.

    The Career Planning Service (CaPS) is McGills central Career Centre assisting all students from their first year in their Bachelors degree to Post-Doctoral Fellows. In addition to career advising, we offer career discovery pro-grams, speaker events and workshops to help students begin their career exploration and planning. We urge stu-dents to begin the career discovery process as early as their first year, and have prepared a Four-Year Plan to help guide them in the choice of activities that can shape their skillsets. Gaining experience and skills while at university is important. This is why we strongly encourage students to look for experiential learning opportunities and extra-curricular activities. Additionally, CaPS connects students with the world of work, employers, and alumni through career fairs, our Alumni- Mentor program, and a myriad of networking events. To learn more about our services and programs, I invite you to visit our website ( or contact us.

    We hope you enjoy reading this issue and meeting a few of our mentors and alumni who have shared their career trajectories and words of advice.

    Darlene HnatchukDirector McGill Career Planning Service


  • IntroductionsMuhammad Omer Juma MENTOR PROGRAM COORDINATORI am a 3rd year Bachelor of Arts student with major concentra-tions in Economics and Psychology. In 2010, I co-founded the Adopt An Orphanage NGO in Karachi, Pakistan. I led 8 Execs and over 40 volunteers in the Education, Healthcare, Renovation, and Sponsorship departments to transform lives of over 160 children in 2 orphanages. Since an early age, I have had a passion for So-cial Entrepreneurship and I am pursuing a career in Consulting and Social Business Development. I have been working for McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) since June 2013. Previously, I managed the Peer Educator Pro-gram, Mentor Program and the CaPS Scoop Newsletter. From May 2014, CaPS has expanded its efforts for the Mentor Program. With a team of 4 enthusiastic representatives and 2 passionate journalists, we wish to enhance the experience of current partici-pants, and encourage more students and Alumni to be involved in our activities. I understand the value of this program and I want to engage the entire McGill community to benefit from this incredible resource.


    I moved from Vancouver to Montreal last year to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Mid-dle East Studies. Im interested in how the politics of language play out, especially in English literature and in academic papers about the Middle East. I love to write, and so Id like to explore career possibilities in journalism, publishing and/or editing.

    Sue Jeong MENTOR PROGRAM JOURNALISTI study both International Development and East Asian Studies. I was born in Seoul, but have mostly grown up in Los Angeles and Richmond Hill. Coming to McGill University in Montreal has exposed me to new ideas, people, and a different environment. It has been excit-ing to learn about where my interests lie. I like listen-ing to what others have to say, and am open-minded towards culture and ethnicity. With these qualities as well as an aptitude for critical and analytical thinking, I would enjoy being given a chance to work with policies on international trade and development.


  • I came to Canada from Ukraine to become a part of McGill Com-munity. I am currently in my second year, studying Sociology. The two of my minors are Psychology and Anthropology, which, along with my major, make up for a perfect combination. I can see myself involved in Social Work, but at the same time I try to stay open to various career opportunities, as I understand that many different fields may interest me in the future. I am very happy to be a part of the Mentor Program. I am certain that by helping build strong relationships between mentees and mentors I can learn a lot from them, and also share some of my knowledge!

    Kateryna Gordiychuk

    Mentor Program Representatives

    I am a second year Economics student in the Faculty of Arts at McGill University. I am minoring in International Development Studies and Finance. I aspire to one day go to business school and pursue a job in Marketing or Finance. I hold a wide array of interests ranging from video production to financial accounting. For this reason, I hope to help out fellow students who might not have finalized their career aspirations and want to learn more about various fields to complement their various interests.

    Ariana Katsanis

    I originally come from the prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I am currently in my fourth year Majoring in Sociology with a Minor in Hispanic Languages. I am interested to pursue a career path either in Marketing, Sales or Human Resources, as the skills I have acquired and developed could be put to use in one of these fields. I am open to many different opportunities and would like to jump into a position of any sort to find out what path is for me and to see what I will enjoy.

    Meghan Gutnik

    Im an International Development major and Educational Psy-chology minor entering my fourth and final year at McGill. I hail from Chicago, Illinois, but after four years, I consider Montreal to be my beautiful second home. While I plan to one day attain my doctorate and pursue a career in education consulting, I look for-ward to graduating this May and taking some much needed time off from academics. I hope to work as a teaching fellow, prefer-ably someplace warm.

    Mary Louise Leger

    Interested in working for the Mentor Program? Positions for the next semester will be posted on myFuture in mid-November

    These positions are funded by the Arts Undergraduate Society


  • High-Tech Advice for a Career in IT

    with Diane Morneau from IBM

    What do Tim Hortons, Air Canada and the U.S. gov-ernment all have in com-

    mon? All three are on the long list of high-profile clients of IBM, one of the worlds strongest global technology and business consulting corporations. Over the summer, our mentor program coordinator, Omer Juma, sat down with Diane Morneau, a McGill alumna and IBM employee, to gain an insiders per-spective on developing a career in the information technology industry with-in a multinational corporation.

    Morneau, who joined IBM 17 years ago, took pride in the company when asked to tell us about the organisa-tion. She mentioned that IBM is one of Canadas top 5 R&D (Research and Development) spenders. In 2013, IBM was awarded more US patents than any other company (6,809).While IBM started out with a hardwarefocus, its main efforts now center on software and consulting services. Morneau men-tioned that today, more than a third of IBMs Canadian employees focus on global innovation.

    28% deliver outsourced IT infra-

    Interview by Omer JumaWritten by Niyousha Bastani


  • structure services. Another 15% provide profes-sional services for strategy, planning and imple-mentation of transformative projects. They are focused on building products and solutions used by clients worldwide, she explained.

    Morneau herself is part of the IBM Global Ser-vice Group. She is currently the Director of the Ac-celerated Value Program at Industry Cloud Solu-tions. What does this look like in action?

    We provide technical support and consultancy to high-end customers for their infrastructure- things like email, collaborative software, social software, e-commerce, and smarter city software. I personally manage a team of 11 professionals who service Canada and the Caribbean territo-ries, Morneau explained.

    Morneaus current position confirms that when it comes to careers, we rarely end up where we think will. Originally planning on becoming a math teacher, information technology caught her attention in a programming course in CEGEP. She attended the McGill School of Continuing Studies to obtain her certificate of Management in 1992. She began working for IBM in 1997 and later pursued a Masters degree in information technology at UQAM. Morneau believes that IBM values all computer degrees and advanced academic degrees because a deeper skill set ap-peals to IBMs vision of being a world leader in terms of innovative technology. Higher edu-cation can also facilitate job-mobility within the company and the industry.

    Changing roles regularly is important: its a great opportunity to expand your network, said Morneau.

    The IT industry is dynamic. Morneaus only career regret is that she wasnt more proactive in changing roles. If she could start again, she would ideally not stay in any given role for more than 3-5 years. She described an ideal candidate as a dynamic individual with extensive networking skills who is also a curious and fast-paced learner. She added that entrepreneurship skills can add a competitive edge. Entering such an ever-chang-ing field can seem daunting. Morneau helpfully stressed that internships are key for getting a foot in the door. If an internship seems doubly daunt-

    ing, Morneau assured us that businesses are keen on seeking young interns.

    We are in the business of delivering change. The more interns we have, the faster these chang-es can take place. Morneau added that IBM has its own internship program, and that a fair per-centage of IBMs job openings are accessible to students. When recruiting, IBM looks for team players who share its corporate values. When ap-plying, students need to research the company and to show how they share its values in their cover letters. Morneau summed up these values as dedication to every clients success, innova-tion that matters to the world and our company, as well as trust and personal responsibility in all relationships.

    When asked about the work environment at IBM, Morneau focused mainly on IBM in US and Canada. As it turns out, domestically, IBM has often been ahead of its time in terms of civil rights.

    For over a hundred years, IBM has introduced social change and set trends before they became fashionable, politically correct or mandated by law, said Morneau, IBM hired its first employee with a disability in 1914, ensured salary equity between men and women in 1935, and established an Equal Opportunity Policy in 1953. In Cana-da, IBM was among the first to include same-sex domestic partners in its benefits coverage in the early 90s. Year after year, you will find IBMers in-volved in community work and in rebuild efforts after natural disasters.

    Finally, Juma wrapped up the interview by ask-ing for some tips for those starting out in the field. Morneau suggested using LinkedIn to follow com-panies and individuals. IBM employees use Linke-dIn to network within and outside of the company. Morneau also highlighted the importance of having a crisp and concise CV to create a striking impres-sion. Above all, she stressed the need to take charge of your own career.

    So what exactly does taking charge look like? Morneau left us with a unique trick:

    Think about the job you want after your next job, then use your next job as a stepping stone to where you want to be.


  • Starting a career in theSports Development Sector

    The sports development (SD) sector is not one that you hear about too often if youre not in the ath-letic world. With increasing media visibility, how-

    ever, the sports for development sector is gaining in popularity. We spoke with Suheil Tandon, the founder and director of Pro Sports Development, about the SD industry as well as its more recent offspring, the sports for development sector.

    Pro Sports Development belongs to the sports for development sector in India. The organisation cur-rently operates in Odisha, aiming to support the ath-letic development of marginalized youth who lack the necessary resources to participate sporting activities. Pro Sports Development currently has 12 full-time employees and 8-10 volunteers and interns who work for 2-6 month periods. In their current initiative, the Khel Vikas project, PSD functions as an implementing

    agency for Gram Vikas (GV), a rural development or-ganisation. Pro Sports Development works with 1500 kids from four schools run by GV. Khel Vikas provides Odishas youth with the opportunity to participate in recreational sports or to pursue sports competitively. However, Tandon sees his industry as about more than just a social service.

    You need to see it as a potential sport profession-als development, he states, We aim for sustainabil-ity by training local coaches, establishing nutrition programs, and constructing infrastructure.

    Tandon graduated from McGill in 2009 with a BSc in Mathematics and Economics. An avid sportsperson from an early age, Tandon played cricket at McGill as well as in other Quebec teams. After graduation, he took a gap year to do collaborative research with a prominent Delhi economist. Together, they observed

    Interview by Omer JumaWritten by Niyousha Bastani

    With Suheil Tandon, Founder and Director of Pro Sports Development


  • Starting a career in theSports Development Sector

    the stark difference between sports development infra-structure in the UK and in India.

    I began to wonder how an emerging economy of over a billion people barely has any Olympic medals, and is still not part of the football world cup, Tan-don ex...