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Career Spotlight: Thrive Natural Family Health

We all know about Family Doctors, and surgeons, and many of us pursue these careers, but how many of us know about complimentary health professionals? At our Thrive Medical coffee chat, GEM girls were able to sit down with a chiropractor Dr. Jennifer Wise, a Naturopath Dr. Kristen Heins, and a Psychologist Dr. Chelsea Sherrington to chat about their careers, and the path they took to get there.

It is an expectation, that by the time we get into high school, we have a career path planed out. As if we are supposed to know at 14, what we want to do for the next 50 years of our lives. Many of us choose obvious jobs in fields that interest us; if you are interested in medicine, you chose Doctor, if you are interested in the Arts, you chose painter, and if you are interested in Law, you chose lawyer. The Doctors at Thrive, thought us that the career you choose in high school does not necessarily have to be career you end up pursuing.

The three women, who seem to have everything planned out, and in order at their cozy midtown office, reveal that it was not always that way. In high school, Dr. Sherrington took advice on her major from a stranger on the phone, and ended up with many classes she did not like due to this Major in politics. Eventually she figured it out, and found a way to switch her majors and her classes to suit her interest in Psychology. Doctor Kristen, was on the path to become a lawyer, until she also eventually found her passion, and became a doctor.

The point is, being high school students it’s okay to not know, or to be unsure of what you are going to be doing for the rest of your life, and it’s okay to change your mind multiple times. That’s the point of University, you get to explore the different career options available in the field you’re interested in, or maybe even fields that you have never considered before.

Thank you to Dr. Wise, Dr. Heins, and Dr. Sherrington for hosting the GEM girls and for the insightful coffee chat.

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl.

 

Calling a Minga: Influencers of Tomorrow Summit

The call of a “minga” is a very powerful thing. We came together on April 16, at the annual Influencers of Tomorrow summit, to benefit all people. That is essentially what the call of “minga” is, at least according to Marc Kielburger, the co-founder of Free the Children and Me to We. The Influencers of Tomorrow Summit, was organized by ten young women from Girls e-Mentorship (GEM) and The Bishop Strachan School (BSS), and consisted of many influential guest speakers, with various activities, and amazing SWAG bags at the end of the event.

IOT Summit was all about how we can make Toronto more inclusive? and how we can get more women accepting leadership roles? We had influential women from all over Canada to speaking at the event. Canadian physician and womens rights advocate, Alaa Murabit, Canadian ambassador for UNICEF, Zahra Al-Harazi, Premier of Ontario and Women’s Advocate, Kathleen Wynne, and Humans Rights Watch, Jasmine Herlt, and Independent Film Director Shadeism, Nayani Thiyagarajah. As well as a musical performance by Nefe.

An average 16 year-old might just be finishing the eleventh grade, but Alaa Murabit, finished high school at 15 years old.  Alaa then moved on to finish medical school, at 22. Alaa’s secret to achieving her level of success, was that she thought she knew it all. It didn’t make her popular, but it made her successful, it made her an ‘overachiever’. It made her intellectual, understanding, confident, and finally it made her the voice of women in Libya. It made her women’s rights and youth activist. At only 26, Alaa has achieved more than one can imagine. Alaa said that only 1-in-10 women ask for promotions, while 9-in-10 men do. Women are capable of being leaders, so why shouldn’t they ask for a promotion? One of the most important things Alaa said in her captivating speech was that the IOT summit was not impressive, it was expected. We as women, should be expected, to come together, and talk about how we can create change, how we can shift the paradigm, and work towards a better future. It is expected of us to put in work, and get results.

Kathleen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario, but she is also the first openly gay head of government, and only the second in the entire English-speaking world. She not only represents women, but also the LGBTQ community. When she first decided to run for school trustee, she didn’t know much about what it entails, but she has learned along the way. She has learned to make educated decisions, by not only listening to the citizens, but also listening to scientists, and professionals who she can trust. Kathleen Wynne has learned that everyone will never be pleased with you, but the best thing to do, is what’s best for the country.

Throughout the day, we heard from many other influential people, like Zahra Al-Harazi, who spoke about her personal experience of getting married at 17 and then moving back and forth from Canada to Yemen to finally having a successful marketing and communications studio. We got to listen to the beautiful voice of Nefe. Canadian Olympic Gold-Medalist, Clara Hughes also sent a video message talking about how she overcame depression, and came to win multiple medals in speed skating, and cycling. 

Thank you to all the guest speakers, and sponsors Burgundy Asset Management, RBC Canada, Empire Life and MaRS Discovery District. The IOT summit, was both rewarding, and influential.

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl.

 

How To Get Your Dream Summer Job

GEMinar 6 was all about the prepping for interviews and landing the job. It was hosted by GEM mentor Jenna Claires, who gave a wonderful presentation, which involved many activities like; drawing your interview outfit, and interview role play. This served by giving us a better understanding of the situations, and the activities that will help us remember the tips for longer.

We might as well make use of the two months we have off from school to get a summer job, and work experience. The question is, how do you get a job, when you have little work experience? Getting a job can take months of preparation, and requires a lot of attention to the smallest of details. Everything from the shoes you wear to an interview, and to the last line on your resume says something about you.

Resume and cover letters: One of the first things you’ll need to get a job, is a good resume. A good resume will contain a brief description highlighting your objective and the skills you can use to achieve it. It also shows the employer what you have to offer and should be unique as it is at the top of the page.

First Impressions: Arrive on time, and be prepared. Bring a pen, and a note-pad, a portfolio of your work, and a list of your references. Also give a firm handshake, and maintain an appropriate level of eye-contact.

Formalities: It’s important to send a Thank-you letter or e-mail, to your interviewer. Thank them for their time, and when they do receive your letter or e-mail, they will be reminded of you again.

Interview Outfit: Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for the interview. It may even help if you have your outfit picked out and ironed beforehand. Stick to neutral coloured, and modest clothes. Perfume is not recommended, but deodorant is.

Prepare for the Interview: Have someone ask you mock questions that you have to answer on the spot. This way you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of questions to expect, and how to respond under pressure.

If you’re planning on getting a summer job, it is in your best interest to get started as soon as possible. Use apps like the Workin App, and check job postings on LinkedIn, Jobposting.ca, and Youth Employment Services.

AND BIG THANK-YOU to Marc Anthony for the hair product SWAG! We’ll look and smell good at our interviews!

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl.

March Break. Are you bored yet? Ideas to make the most of it

March Break: a much needed time off from high-school. The obvious thing to do during these 120-hours of freedom is to sleep in and relax. But in order to make the most of your March break, you have to do the most. There are little distractions, like school, homework, and extra-curricular during the break, so the opportunity is ideal for getting things done.

University/College Campus touring:  If you are going to spend more than a year at one school, it is in your best interest to tour the campus. Taking tours will also help you learn about the resources, and events available on the campuses, before you start classes. Most schools hold open houses during March break, so high school students can attend.

Catch up with the newest episodes: Normally I would never recommend binge watching TV shows due to how time consuming they can be, but for this one time, I’m making an exception. I’m sure we can all relate to being several episodes behind due to real life obligations. It’s alright if you take just one day to stay in, make some popcorn, and watch some Netflix.

Staycation: You only have one week off, so why not go and see all of the Toronto and nearby attractions that you’ve never seen. Maybe a day at Ripley’s Aquarium, or talk some friends into heading to Niagara Falls?  We all look forward to getting out of our normal routines, so make the most of it and act like a tourist in our fantastic city.

Make that Appointment: I happen to be one of those people that always puts off making appointments.  Make that doctors or dentist appointment, and while you’re at it that hair appointment too, because if we’re all being honest, those split-ends need to go.

Try A New Recipe: One of my favourite things to do is to try new recipes. Usually the outcome is worth the pain you go through. One of my favourite things to make are dessert or snacks. If you’re into really sweet, and chewy cookies, try this recipe. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9589/chewy-coconut-cookies/

Volunteer: In case you’re not doing anything, and have time to spare, there are many places looking for volunteers. A quick Google search can find you plenty of kids’ camps and workshops, who will love the extra help. It’s also a great way to finish your 40 volunteer hours requirement for school.

Don’t forget to make time for your family and friends. March break is the perfect time to tick things off your checklist, so don’t waste a moment.

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl.

Career Spotlight: Finance with Burgundy Asset Management

During the last coffee chat on February 19, myself and twenty-two GEM girls got to spend their time at Burgundy Asset Management. Burgundy is a global investment company that provides discrete investment management for private clients. GEM mentor Anne Maggissano organized an afternoon where GEMgirls were shown the red carpet. Roz McLean, a private client associate, gave us an amazing presentation with group discussions. Not to mention the fantastic food and free taxis for everyone there and home!

Roz started out the by telling us about her journey, and how she was hired to start working for the company. Roz didn’t have a business degree, she wasn’t even finished taking her exams in University when she got the job. Roz told us how important and effective networking is. It proved to be very effective for Roz; as she expanded her circle, her resume soon got passed on to her boss at Burgundy Asset Management, and she got hired before she even finished university.

Roz gave the GEM girls honest advice that a lot of us could relate to. Many members of Roz’s family had careers in the business field, which led to her having an interest in business too. In high school Roz was still interested in economics, but believed she would get a job at the Central Bank of Canada. Roz didn’t let her gender pose an obstacle for her, although she did admit it was difficult for her at times. In an Economics class Roz was the only girl, and felt intimidated to ask questions. It’s important to be engaged in the class, and not hold back for any reason.

We also had an interactive session, where we got into groups of 5 to talk about how to differentiate a good investment, from a fad. Certain items that can be considered fads are; Beanie Boos, Crocs, or Silly bands. Those are items that have their fifteen minutes of fame, before they disappear and are only spotted on those few odd occasions. A good investment would be a company with a wide age range of loyal customers, a product/service that provides something the customers will want or need for a long time, an affordable product that still brings in profits, and a company who can always one-up their competitors. Our GEMgirls had great insights and questions which really impressed Roz. Roz had many compliments and comments that were really valuable to the girls in the audience.

We all left with a better understanding of what a job in asset management is like, and the confidence that a woman can have a great career in finance too. Roz left us with some advice: that overall it is important to be curious and open-minded in all situations, and to never be hesitant because you’re a girl.

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl.