your student life specialists

Archive for the ‘jobs’


how much study, how much work?

Hi, Aska I plan to apply for a work-study position, and I’m a part-time student. I just want to confirm that it would okay if I took one fall half-course and one winter half-course. I read the eligibility of the work-study position and I was confused by the wording. Thanks.


hey there,

i can’t fault you for getting confused trying to understand uoft’s meticulous (slash convoluted) wording when it comes to university regulations.

however, i think that since both of these links about work-study say that a student in the fall-winter term needs to be enrolled in at least 2.0 credits, you would be 1.0 credits short if you’re only in 0.5 per semester this term.




gasp, indeed

Hey Aska,
I just have a few first year questions that have crossed my mind since it’s almost time for school again.?*gasp*
1. I’m taking a first year language course that requires me to attend an interview on September 2…which is also during frosh week.? The interview is used to basically confirm that my language skills aren’t higher than the course that I signed up for.? My super awkward questions is: Do I have to dress up for this interview like I would for a job interview? I’m not sure if this is a casual quick interview type of thing.? As it’s during frosh week though, I don’t want to ditch the frosh activities and show up in my frosh t-shirt.
2.? I’m looking to find a Work-Study job.? But I’m having difficulty finding jobs that are geared towards first year students because most of them list “knowledge of campus and clubs and blahblahblah”, which obviously I have no experience with yet. Can first year students apply to be Askastudent? Are there any other jobs for first years?
Inexperienced First Year


hey there,

some excellent questions! frosh is definitely all about the big t-shirts and cutoff shorts, so formal wear won’t be very practical. i’m guessing (though i could be wrong) that your interview is for EAS100, because it has a september 2nd interview date. if that’s the case, there’s nothing on their site that indicates business/formal wear is required.

i think these interviews are more to test competency than anything else. just to be safe, you may want to pack a button-down shirt in a duffel bag and take it with you on that day, but i doubt it’ll be necessary.

(also, you can miss some – or all – frosh events, if you need to. just FYI.)

as for work-study, there are a LOT of work-study positions. i would steer away from research-based positions, which tend to go to upper year or graduate students. on the other hand, positions that require multiple people (for example, if a whole team is being hired) often take first years who can then be mentored by upper year students on the team, and groomed to take over in the following years.

as for askastudent, it has typically attracted upper year students because it requires strong writing skills and a good knowledge of the school (experience with WordPress is an asset). however, it’s entirely possible that a first-year student could completely SLAY any upper year candidates in any or all of those areas.

askastudent may not be hiring any new people this year, but keep an eye out on the CLN! if a position becomes available, it will be there, along with all other work-study jobs on campus.

generally, apply wherever you can. if you have most of the skills listed on a posting, but not all of them, apply anyway. the worst they can do is not call you. trust me, if you apply to enough places, you’ll move on pretty easily.




earning that dough

Hiya! Im joining UofT this fall as an international student.I read somewhere that I can work on campus only 12 hours a week ? Is that correct ? if not what are the rules to work on and off campus? thnx !


hey there,

you’re kind of right, but you’re also not. and if you wouldn’t mind serving as an example to the class for just a moment, this is why it’s always a good idea to ask questions. you’ll almost definitely learn something new, even if you thought you already knew the answer (*cue you sinking down into your seat, embarrassed that the teacher is using you as an example, while everybody stares daggers at you*).

the university of toronto offers many different kinds of jobs to students, including part-time jobs, summer jobs and research positions. these jobs vary widely in the number of hours per week that they require, and also in how much they pay.

however, there’s also a whole separate category of jobs offered by uoft called ‘work-study jobs.’ work-study jobs are a little more restrictive. they all pay the same amount (minimum wage), and you must be taking at least 2.0 FCEs in the Fall/Winter session in order to be eligible for a work-study job. as you can see, you’ve got options aplenty.

wow aska, that’s great, but where do i find all these wonderful jobs?

you can find job postings for work-study and other jobs (both on- and off-campus) on uoft’s career learning network (CLN). just log in using your UTORID, click on ‘Jobs,’ and let the search begin!

if you decide to work off-campus, then it’s up to you to self-regulate. you can figure out how much work is enough, and how much will send you into a complete burnout when exam time hits.



P.S. if you’re an international student, it’s worth?reading about the different kinds of work permits you may need to get a job in canada!


transferring, multiple POSts, working – it’s a busy life

Hey there!.. so I kinda need help. 🙂

I want to know if I can do a specialist and a major. I read one of your replies to someone else about a double specialization taking like 7 years or something? I’m trying to do Biochemistry, only it doesn’t have a ‘major’ option, and I really want to do computer science as a major and I want to know if I am capable of doing both of these without having to retake my entire university experience again.

Secondlyyyyyy I’m unfortunately a transfer student, and so I will most likely have to take courses over again because they’re not up to par with UTM. So I guess my question is whether I’m allowed to take longer than 4 years to complete my bachelors. And if I am, will it affect anything else? gpa? osap? anything? :/..

Aaand third things third :D…. because I’m a transfer student I was made to choose courses (that didn’t really have anything to do with biochemistry) in case my transfer credit assessment didnt come back to me in time. I’ve gotten the assessment now but I still need the green light from a few professors and department heads which I haven’t gotten yet (and probably won’t get for at least another week) Which means that I’ll be a bit late in choosing my courses after the limitations have been lifted from certain program courses. Although it has nothing to do with the paragraph I just wrote^, am I allowed to apply for on campus jobs (like bookstore and such) and give them my present schedule but let them know theres been a change? I feel like I’ll be losing an opportunity if the stability of my courses is the reason I am unable to apply.

In my head this was all supposed to be in like a single paragraph. I guess I have word diarrhea. Hey, at least you get good eye exercise.

And thank you by the way. I find askastudent extremely helpful. It’s kind of my go-to-place. (who wants to go to the office of registrar every time)


hey there,

1) man, did i really say a specialist and a major would take 7 years??? that is NOT true. if i did say that, i’m sorry, but i doubt i did. you CAN do a specialist and a major. it’s certainly allowed by the faculty (page 9). you may be stretching yourself a little, but depending on how much overlap you can manage between the POSts, it is possible in some cases to complete a major and specialist in four years. if it did take longer, you’d probably only go one or two terms over the four year standard. definitely not three years.

plan out all the courses you want to/have to take for both the specialist and the major, as well as the courses you need to take to meet breadth requirements, and see how long that hypothetical schedule would take you. that’s the best way to see if something is doable.

2) nope.

3) there are a LOT of different employers at uoft, so some of them will have more flexible hours than hours. usually they say if hours are flexible on the job posting.

generally speaking however, work-study positions tend to be catered entirely to a student’s schedule. if you’re not opposed to working a max. of 12 hrs/week for minimum wage, that might be a good option for you.

and hey, i get you. who wants to be in an office full of people hired to help you out? NO THANKS. (no but really, thank you for continuing to support aska, it means the world and i would never get to do this awesome job without all your charmingly fatalistic freak-outs).




work, study, and compliment aska

Dear Askastudent! Thank you very much for answering my question regarding waitlist for priority courses. I have another question that I am hoping you can answer. I am completing a work-study internship this summer. On the U of T Career Centre website, it says: “Students are permitted to accept one Work Study position per program year”. Would I not be able to apply again in 2014/2015? I am unsure when exactly I end my program year. Thanks once again and I truly admire your wittiness 😉


hey there,

no problemo, amigo. glad i could be of help.

you would definitely be able to apply again for Fall/Winter. what that rule is getting at is that you can’t hold more than one work-study position at a time.

their wording is a bit wonky, but since?”[s]tudents are permitted to accept ONE work-study position per program,” and they clearly separate the Fall/Winter and Summer Work-Study programs, you would be able to have one job in Summer, and one in Fall/Winter. or the same job in Summer and Fall/Winter, if they like you enough.

i appreciate your flattery – feel free to keep it coming. (i also accept monetary donations).

hoping you find a rad job,



what do marks really mean, anyway?

If my friend has a very BAD GPA (like very very bad) and wants to apply for a work-study position (which requires giving his transcript). Will they be looking at that? Does he have a worst chance at getting the job even if he has tons of work experience? What’s the need for giving the transcript anyways?


hey there,

well, the good news is that there’s no mandatory minimum GPA, at least as far as i can tell. in order to be eligible to do work-study for this coming school year, you just need to be registered in a minimum of 2.0 credits in the fall/winter terms. however, if the job posting requires a transcript, then there’s?probably for a reason for that.

as for how relevant work experience will be, without knowing the employers, the job, or what your friend’s work experience is, it’s nearly impossible to tell. like, what if he’s applying for an office?job and he has 10 years’ experience as a hand model? that’s a ton of experience, but it probably won’t help him here. unless the employer has a hand fetish.

yeah, work experience does matter. but i’m not the one employing people, so who am i to say what?exactly is important to them? i’ve been rejected from more positions than you can possibly imagine, so i’m really not an authority on the subject.

regarding the transcript,?allow me to?get just a tad preachy about this. it won’t be too bad, i promise. you’ll live. get over it.

as someone who worked a work-study job (this one) for the past fall and winter terms, i can see the benefit in providing a transcript. it may not seem like it, but working 12 hours every week?is tough. (i know that everyone who works part-time at a tim’s somewhere for 20 hrs/week is probably rolling their eyes at me – i don’t know what to say. i’m sorry. get a work-study job instead?)

depending on your program, 12 hrs/week can nearly double the time you’re at school. it saps your time and energy, and if you don’t have good time management and study skills, you may not be able to handle?that very well.

so, your transcript is a good way for the employer to judge whether you can handle the additional workload without sacrificing quality of work at your job or at school. i know it’s not perfect, but until we figure out a better method of measuring intelligence and work ethic, we’ll just have to roll with it. sorry, dude.




life after graduation


Could you tell me some of my options besides grad school after graduating? Currently I do not have a competitive enough Gpa to apply. Are there any other ways to further my education, specifically ones that do not require a high Gpa? If so, what are the requirements? Also, is there anything I can do besides obtaining another undergraduate degree with a higher Gpa that can help with my chances of getting into grad school in the future?

Thank you, I truly appreciate your help! 🙂


Hey hey

Things you can do other than go to grad school that aren’t entirely educational, may raise your GPA, and will possibly even raise your spirits:

1. Go back to UofT.

Requirement(s): a touch of masochism, money, desperation.

Note(s): You can always come back to raise your CGPA if you’re so set on grad school. Basically, this is the only real way of raising that bad boy sooooooo.

2. Get a job.

Requirement(s): resume, positive attitude, knowing people.

Note(s): It’s quite doable — the whole getting a job with just your bachelor’s degree thing. People actually do it. My friend loves to lament over the fact that her brother dicked around through university and just sent out a whole bunch of resumes/cover letters after graduation. Now he’s been promoted to something that is going to flying him to China multiple times a year on the company’s dime. Mmmmm good food.

Sticking to the whole school thing isn’t totally necessary. 😉

3. Go to college. Or anywhere that offers a post graduate certificate > MA/PhD.

Requirement(s): for the most part, just a degree.

Note(s): These sorts of programs are cheaper and in the long run, probably much more useful. Realistically, sticking around in university is for the would be scholar or researcher, so if you want something more hands on, go for a program that’ll require you to eventually hit up some sort of internship or co-op. Experience is always key!

4. Travel.

Requirement(s): money, sense of adventure, good shoes.

Note(s): Just drop everything and travel. Have over protective parents? Just book the ticket and tell them you’re leaving when you’re at the door. Got a boyfriend/girlfriend? Ehhh they can wait a little. Have friends you’re going to miss? Whatever invest in social media apps to keep in touch.

Like seriously just travel, education be damned.

5. Teach English abroad.

Requirement(s): TEFL/TESL/TESOL/whatever.

Note(s): I suppose we can call this little part 4b but seriously… you’ve been at UofT for four years. Spice things up. Flee. Wander. And make some money while you’re at it.

6. Gather alllllll the knowledge.

Requirement(s): books, Discovery Channel, access to Wikipedia.

Note(s): Learn everything. Read a book. Watch a documentary. I literally sat through a half hour of my friend talking to me about platypuses because he listened to a podcast about them. You don’t need school to learn something new.

7. Start a blog.

Requirement(s): internet, wit.

Note(s): Misery loves company and what’s more entertaining than the plight of the graduated millennial who can’t find a job and discusses his/her failures in blog form? Just go for it.

Now not all of these are going to bump up your CGPA (only one of them will technically) but they’ll certainly raise your spirits.

Lol #cheesy.




gotta keep your head up…

Hi Aska!

I just discovered your site and I have serious issues. I am currently going into fourth year with a 1.85 cGPA. (I know I’m such a failure at life). Do I have any options for having a stable career at this point? I’ve calculated it and it would take me 4+ years to achieve the B average every educational institution is looking for. What should I do? Should I finish my poorly sought degree in the fourth year because I can? Should I strive to raise my GPA before I graduate? Is it too late to transfer and more importantly will anyone take me with my GPA? Any advice will help.

Dazed and confused


Dazed and confused,

For starters, maintain that cGPA. Don’t forget that you need a minimum of 1.85 to be able to graduate. If that doesn’t happen though, if you’re lucky, you’ll be allowed to graduate — but with a regular B.A. or B.Sc., as in without Honours.

Now do you have options for a stable career?

Well duh!

Fine. You spent the past four years partying it up and forgetting that your primary goal was to be a student and now your cGPA is shot to hell. You can still work with that!

So you can’t get into grad school / law school /teacher’s college / whatever. Even people who DO meet that sought after B average don’t get in to said schools. At least you uh… know where you stand.

You just need to work with what you have.

Not ALL potential employers want to take a look at your transcript. I highly doubt a lot of them do. Just get your degree from the best university in the country and then apply for entry-level jobs in whatever places and work up from there. Take a look at the Job Search function the Career Centre offers — there are tons of really amazing opportunities to be found there.

Right now, personally, I think you should finish your degree because well… you’re RIGHT THERE. You’re at the end. But really, that’s up to you.

Now you should always try to raise your cGPA (or at least maintain it), but there’s hardly any point in lingering for another four years just to bump it up. Likewise, transferring to another university isn’t likely to get good results.

Just… finish up.

Your registration was yesterday if you’re going into fourth year, so I assume you enrolled. If you can afford it, just do it, and then since the concern here seems to be finding a job, keep in mind that not all jobs require you to have done some sort of post-grad degree/certificate/whatever.

But that’s just MY opinion, okay? Think about your situation and make good choices. 🙂




what counts is what’s on the inside — and maybe a bit of outside…


I’ve been thinking about dying my hair for a while now and I figured it would be cool to do it before I go away to school. I’m into the unusual colors; blues, pinks, purples… And I was just wondering, would it be a big deal at U of T? And would it be hard to find a job on campus?



Hey there!

I totally thought your message was spam when I started reading it. Thankfully I actually went all the way to the end!

Now is dyed hair a big deal at UofT? I can assure you that there will be very few people who care about the colour of your hair, and if they do care, they’re probably envious of its awesomeness.

As for trying to find a job, okay, that’s a possibility. It all depends? on where you want to work and whether or not you think it’s appropriate. For example, if you’re working in an office setting, whoever interviews you might not be too fond of it, but if you’re maybe a barista at Second Cup, I highly doubt it’ll make a difference. Honestly, it really all depends on the workplace and your personality. Lots of places are just looking for someone who’ll suit the staff and have a good work ethic.

And if it helps, I just asked my boss if they would have hired me if I had pink hair and got a yes! 🙂


boringly brunette,


loving law

Hi aska,

I have a couple questions if you don’t mind:

1. I really screwed up my first year finishing with a horrible gpa of 2.4. I was looking into going to law school or grad school after my undergrad, but now I’m terrified that I’ve ruined my chances of getting in. Have I completely screwed up my gpa? Even if I get a 4.0 for the rest of my undergrad years (which is highly unlikely), my cgpa still won’t be very high. I heard the minimum for most law schools is 3.7 :\

2. If I drop an F course before Nov 4th, there will be no record that I even took the course in the first place right? If so, is it possible for me to drop the course and start fresh by taking it next semester? Or will they know that I enrolled and dropped out of it first semester?

3. Do you have any info or know where I can find more info about internships? Or volunteering? And do you have any tips on applying? If law/grad school is still an option, I’m worried that my resume is not up to par.

Thanks so much and please reply asap if possible!


Hey there,

So I’m just going to number off my answers if you don’t mind:

  1. You didn’t screw up your first year, so you better take back those pity party invitations hun. While most post-grad programs want at least a 3.5 GPA, you have three whole years to raise your CGPA. How? By working hard. You sound like you realize you slacked off a little last year. Are you ready to change that? If you don’t know how or if you need some tips, try consulting the Academic Success Centre. They’re always really helpful. 🙂
  2. You are correct. November 4, 2012 is the last day to drop an F course without any academic penalty. Likewise, you can definitely drop the course right now (before November 4) and take it again next semester without any problems.
  3. As for info on internships and volunteering, head over to the Career Centre website. They always have listings for part-time work or volunteer opportunities. Moreover, they have loads of pages on writing proper cover letters, prepping for interviews, and general application tidbits. They also hold a number of workshops and info sessions over the year about applications or the ins and outs of resume writing.




i have sooo much nothing to do

Hey aska,

How do I get a cool campus job? Like one that would take up all my time and stuff?

With love from the cpt,
Ron Lou Bega


Hey Ron,

I guess having to attend lectures and complete readings and study your butt off isn?t enough for you to keep busy on campus, huh? You must love U of T so much that you don?t just want to study here, but you want to work here too.

The first place to look would be the Career Centre website. There, you can use the Job Search and find part-time, volunteer, and casual work opportunities listed by outside employers. But the best way to score a job on campus would probably be through the work-study program, which hires students to work part-time in jobs like assisting a professor with their research, working in a college registrar office, or helping out at the Career Centre. You can work up to twelve hours per week, but you?re capped at 180 hours for the length of your contract. But the work-study program is really great because your employer is perfectly aware of the fact that you?re a struggling student and if one week you?re cramming and need a little time off, you?ll probably get it.

Another little suggestion would be checking out the Rotman?s Paid Research Participation System. They usually have some easy 30-minute survey sessions that pay you five bucks that can fit around your schedule.

But if that?s not enough to take up all your time and ?stuff,? you can move onto the conveniently titled ?Working on Campus? page for some further suggestions.





Hi askastudent!
My name is Jack and I’m currently enrolled in BBA program in utsc but i’m not really happy in the program. i’m in 2nd year atm and i’m thinking about switching my major to political science but i heard alot of ppl saying if i do liberal arts degree i will never find a good job! is this true? should i just stick through it and do bba? please give me some advice and i have ask the academical advisor but all they do is tell me to take test! THEY ARE USELESS!!!! i just want your take on it and your knowledge of ppl in liberal arts and if they have found good jobs or not!
Thank you!!!!


Hi Jack,

What kind of a test is this, exactly? Is it an IQ test?? Because I’m pretty sure you just made up the word “academical.” That’s kind of cool, though, because it means that you’re creative and out-of-the-box of real words. I’m getting a soft, marshmallowy liberal arts degree, so I’ve often wondered which of Toronto’s fine bridges I will one day be living under. The Prince Edward Viaduct is a clear front-runner. Let’s consult a list of famous liberal arts graduates, shall we?

Prince Charles of England has an anthropology degree; Martha Stewart has a history degree; and Hugh Hefner has apsychology degree.

As you can see, Jack, graduates in the liberal arts grow up to lead successful lives in royalty, celebrity crime, and the adult entertainment industry. If any of these fields interest you, I would advise immediately switching into the arts.

This list also tells us that, in the liberal arts, your degree isn’t tied to any one specific job. Instead, employers focus on what skills you have and on how well they fit into their job description. According to the Career Centre’s helpfully misleading?list of “careers by degree”, a political science degree can lead to work as a lawyer, police officer, or member of the clergy! You should totally drop out of business school and adorn the devout and divine robes of righteousness.

Or, you can make this decision rationally. First of all, what is it that you dislike about your Bachelor of Business Administration? Is it the heavy workload or is it the course material itself? If the former, you might be clonked over the head with hard classes in other degree programs. Second, why is your alternative political science? Why not international development studies, french, or even the celestial studies of astronomy??

You seem to care most about getting a job. If that’s the case, having a BBA degree will be a direct route into the business world. While a liberal arts degree certainly won’t get in your way of growing up to be the next Mick Jagger (anthropology), your path to career rockstardom will be less straightforward and more windy. Like the yellow brick road.

Either way, you’ll always be a rocktar to me.



it’s my destiny

Dear sir/madam/supreme overlord,

I am an ignorant freshman who wants to work for the campus libraries as a page {shelver}. I did go to the library jobs site at around the beginning of September and the only positions I found were IT jobs requiring all these kinds of computer languages my eyes just speedread through automatically without further encouragement from my brain. That jobs site was all I had to go about, so I hope {and pray} to hear advice about informal stuff those sites don’t provide, such as:

1) When is the usual library hiring season? Have I missed my chance by now?

2) I heard they prefer raw fresh men, so if I only apply next year when I’m a sop soph, have I missed my destiny in life/ have less chance at getting that job?

3) The lib job site says only some libraries participate, for the rest, do I have to visit them one on one to inquire/drop a resume? (I tried looking at the sites of each non-part. library hoping for a “Student Jobs Press Here” button, but mention about the extent of my computer skills has been already made in the top paragraph.)

Thank you so much and I am so sorry to bother you and I do hope when I get a job there I could buy you lunch and stuffs,


Dear freshman underling,

Are you a fan of purple prose and old book smell? Do you daydream about the ancient art of bookbinding? Well, Aska sure does! And if you do too, then I bet working at one of the University’s libraries sounds like a dreamboat job.

Here’s the skinny: each and every faculty, departmental and collegiate library has its own internal hiring policy. Last time I checked, UofT has more than 30 libraries and that’s a whole lotta applying. So, I’ve put together a game plan for you:

To simplify matters, start with the jobs listed on the Library Student Jobs website. These are the positions available at the biggest central libraries on campus, like Gerstein, EngSci, and Fort Book. If compiling data inside UofT’s peacock isn’t exactly your thing, try one of the friendlier college libraries. Many of these libraries, like E.J. Pratt and Graham, do their hiring in late April and early May. Sadly, those dreamboats have already sailed.

But never fear – potentially false hope is here! Several of the libraries still have openings; for example, the Innis College library hires work-study students. So if you’re lucky enough to be drowning in debt, you may be able to hop aboard that dreamboat afterall. Make a few friendly phone calls and see what’s out there, Aska believes in you!

Your supreme overload,


p.s. lunch sounds lovely, I like pie.

  • Caution! student content ahead

    This site contains candid exchanges between students. Prepare yourself for vivid language and opinions.
  • Categories

  • Archives