The Pros and Cons of the Co-op Program

Co-operative Education Programs are now offered at most Universities across Canada. The Co-op program is said to give students great work experience, an outstanding résumé, extra cash, contacts in their field and ultimately a better chance of success upon graduation, so why would someone decide against the program? In this video we explain in-depth the pros and the cons of the co-op program, or for the shorter version you can look at the list we put together below.

Have you participated in the co-op program? If so what was your experience like?

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Posted on January 27, 2015 By RCKTSHP With 0 comments

Tips To Acing Diploma Exams

“ insert cliché, yet consistently unnerving Jaws theme song”

Now keep this melody in mind, as we feel it is an appropriate entrance to the contents of this blog. This untimely anxiety mimics the precise mental states of Grade 12 students across Alberta – the emotion prescribed by the cruel baron that goes by the name of Diploma Examinations.

As today is the first official day of exam break, we know that every single Grade 12 student will most definitely have their noses buried deep into their textbooks… for about 5 minutes. Next comes the procrastination – the YouTube videos, the snacks, the bedroom tidying, and the calling of grandmothers. Snap out of it, and pull yourself together – at RCKTSHP, we want you to master your diplomas like Elsa mastered her frozen curse (gentlemen, don’t pretend you don’t know what we’re talking about. It was majestic).   

Three Little-Known Study Tips

Alongside all the procrastination, we know you’re reading similar tips for acing exams over and over again – they’re kinda like our tips from last month, and they’re awesome – check it here. So this time, we thought we’d throw together a few little-known study tips that will set your studying aside from everyone else’s. 

Tip #1 – Nest Into A Consistent Environment

This one is backed by science – create a consistent environment that you are able to take with you into the exam. By chewing the same flavour of gum, or drinking the same type of tea during your exam, as well as while you’re studying, it will be easier for you to recall the information that you studied. We suggest buying in bulk.

Tip #2 – Stretch Your Creative Muscles

Take the information you’ve studied and put it into a ridiculous story that you simply will not be able to forget. For example: There are five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario) – to remember them give them each a personality, or create a story with their first letters such as this: Super Man Helps Every One.

Tip #3 – Smell Your Way To The Top

Spray a distinguishing scent while you study – maybe even pick out a studying perfume/cologne. Scent is the strongest of the five senses at recalling memory – getting a whiff during you’re studying hours, and during examination hours will help you cruise to that A.

Alright, we’re pretty sure you’re violating our 50/10 rule by now (50 minutes of studying, 10 minutes of tomfoolery). Good luck, because it’s time to get back to crushing it.


Beat The Winter Blues

Raise your hand if the winter weather is getting the best of you. Yup, that’s what we thought. Even the most dedicated Canadians sometimes find that the cold winter weather leaves them feeling a little, dare-we-say-it, grumpy. And with good reason, each day you wake up and go to school or work in the dark, and return home in the same darkness – it leaves you questioning: is there even a sun? Is it mad at me? Not to mention the physical weight of all your extra clothes is a continuous reminder of how unbelievably out of shape you are…

Yet, all Canadians are well versed in the anti hibernation movement. Frankly, around here, it’s just plain practical. If we spent all the winter months indoors, unproductive, and unmotivated, our economy would fail drastically – because often, there’s snow on our grounds for six months. No wonder we’ve managed to make the toque a fashion statement. So to help you crush those winter blues, we’ve put on our lab coats and brought together everything you need to know in order to resist the hibernation movement and stay in your groove during these winter months.

The Science – You Are Not Alone

Feeling down in the dumps during the winter months is actually based in our physiology, and an upwards of 10% of the population experiences symptoms. Basically, seasonal depression disorder (which has oh-so-appropriately been abbreviated SAD), has been tied to wonky melatonin levels, which is the hormone which regulates sleep patterns. Thus, in the winter shorter days lead to a stronger excretion of melatonin, which essentially leads you to feel lethargic, and seek additional energy through calories – hence the abundance of sugar that may have recently made it’s way into your diet.

The Remedy – Or Why You Should Eat Chocolate

There are a couple things that you can do to dwindle the symptoms of SAD this winter, so we at RCKTSHP put together a few of our favourite.

1. Get Some Chocolate!

- because why not? But really, dark chocolate contains a chemical that increases dopamine production in your brain. Dopamine = happy.

2. Get A Move On!

Breaking a sweat impacts a mood regulating chemical called serotonin, which will help to ditch your new best friend Oscar the Grouch. Bundle up and take that exercise outside, and you’ll be able to take in a little bit of that vitamin D you’ve been craving.

3. Get Distracted!

Stop being a hermit, and do something productive. Make plans with your friends, sign up for a networking event, or go start on that novel you tell everyone you’re working on at a local coffee shop. By keeping plans and sticking to them, or accomplishing small goals, you’ll help to boost your mood, and cause you to forget SAD all together.

4. Get Kind!

Do something nice, even if you are feeling incredibly not nice. During the intensive research of this very scientific post, we uncovered a couple studies that explained that doing something kind for someone else makes you feel good about yourself, and promotes lasting happiness. So this week, pay for someone’s Timmies, shovel a walk that isn’t yours, or take your pick of any other do-gooder acts – we guarantee it will make both your day, and an unsuspecting stranger’s.

If you try all these tips, and nothing seems to quite be working, you may have something a little bit more serious on your hands. Consider sitting down with someone in your school’s Wellness department – you pay for their services, so you might as well take advantage of them, and make sure you’re staying healthy all year around!

Catch up on some of our research here: Kindness Makes You Happy… and Happiness Makes You Kind, Why Exercise Makes You Happy, Make Chocolate Your Medicine



With the rising cost of education in Canada, many students are turning to part-time jobs in order to keep themselves financially afloat. Unfortunately, most of these students are finding themselves in positions that frankly, they hate. There’s no way that these jobs will help us in any way for our future careers – or so we think… but there’s a secret to finding student employment that will actually help you in your career, and we’re going to do our best to lead you directly in the right direction.

Let’s face it, a huge chunk of students are not going to find their dream job when they’re still in school – that’s why we’re getting an education in the first place! But what you will gain is the skills that act as the stepping stones to one day lead you to reach that coveted dream job. Here are three characteristics that have helped us in our past at RCKTSHP, and you should look for as a student on the hunt for a part-time job that will do more than make your bank account happy:

1. Positions that require team work

At some point each and every one of us has faced a dreaded group project where your immediate impression after meeting your colleagues look a little something like this….


Welcome to the disheartening world of team work – and it’s a doozy, but frankly, it’s inevitable. When successful – and managers are always the optimist -, team work allows for improved efficiency, creativity, and communication in the work place. Thus, as it has proved itself inescapable for seemingly centuries, learning your strengths, and having the experience of working in a team environment provides you with an invaluable soft skill. Not to mention that this specific soft skill is one of the most employable skills of undergraduate students. So stop fighting the uphill battle and embrace the beast.


2. Positions that require some level of customer interaction


Enduring a seemingly sane woman break down crying hysterically when her cappuccino wasn’t made foamy enough was really the cherry on the top of my career in customer service – and boy, was it glorious. And we’re certain servers, baristas, and retail employees alike can resonate with this nothing-short-of-psychotic occurrence – yet, learning how to effectively serve customers is one more invaluable soft skill that you won’t get unless you live through the fire yourself.

Think about it this way – you are a brand. Once you have been hired by an organization, all interactions that you have – whether it is with supplier, clients, or colleagues – directly reflects on the company itself. Employers want to know that they can trust you with that brand, and when it comes to communication, experience goes a long way.

3. Positions that have quantifiable accomplishments

Quantifiable – kind of a big word, but what it comes down to is this – make sure that the things you achieve at your part-time job can be put down into a number. How much did you sell on your best week? How many shares did your best post on a company’s social media get? Does your company rate customer service – what was your rating?

82008-Walter-White-Felina-gif-I-did-jVahWhatever it may be, figure it out and put it down on paper. This is how most managers assess employees, so if you don’t readily have access to it, ask for it. By expressing your success in numbers to future employers, the subjectivity of your success is suddenly null. Hiring managers don’t have to wonder what “My sales were high… like.. a lot” means, because they are told “ I sold within the 98th percentile of my district” or “ I sold X amount of dollars in one week” . These statistics eliminate the guessing game, and take away a big chunk of the risk in hiring you.

Finally, the most important aspect of getting the most out of your part-time job is your MINDSET! When you graduate, everyone that graduates in your class is going to have a similar repertoire of technical skills, but your soft skills are what will set you apart. So start gaining those by applying for a job with the intention of gaining a specific skill set, whether it is networking skills as a barista at a coffee stop, or display design at a retail location, pursuing your passion within your professional environment will add a ton of shiny gold stars to your resume.


What have you learnt in your past part-time jobs that have helped shine the light to your dreams?


Student Resolutions & How To Stick To Them

Ahhh… it’s that time of year again – the time you break out a pen and paper for the first time since mid-December, and make a list of all the ways you are going to improve yourself. Resolution time. But let’s be honest, 90% of those resolutions are the same as last year, which are the same as the year before, and so on… We all have good intentions, but as a student, sticking to your guns is seemingly impossible when you feel like you’re being buried alive with deadlines, expectations, papers, and exams. As the semester progresses, goals you were once so gung-ho about suddenly become “that’s good enough”… sound familiar?

Don’t sweat it, this semester RCKTSHP has your back. We’ve gathered a few common resolutions on improving student life, and put together our advice on how to actually stick to them!

1. Improve Grades

It’s easy to feel good about a semester when you sit down at your desk on the first day with visions of success, A+’s, and sugar plums dancing in your head. Nevertheless, as classes pick up, these visions become clouded with the darkness of your course load. Fight the darkness by maintaining your perspective, staying organized, remaining committed.

Maintaining your perspective is easily one of the most difficult stages to improving your grades. Your friends are all going out, and you have to be the lame one that ditches your friends for a cozy night at home with el textbook. To get yourself through these nights, try to keep in mind why you’re here in the first place, and it’s not to pass the biology exam tomorrow. It’s a dream university, a foot-in-the-door at a coveted organization, or an opening door to your future. Once you remind yourself of that big picture, those nights won’t be quite as lonely.

Get organized. We can not stress this enough. Buy an agenda you love, use Google Calendars religiously, or download an app, such as Fantastical, that helps you get organized. Stop missing paper deadlines, coffee dates, and Grandma’s birthday – it will greatly reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling better prepared.

Once you’ve nailed down why you’re improving your grades, and organized yourself to do it, remaining committed comes easily. You can’t, with a good conscience, avoid the quiet ding of a calendar reminder telling you to pick up your statistics textbook for a couple hours, and you know doing it will land you where you want to be.

2. Spend Less

This one is a toughy – especially as a student, when either a Tim Hortons or Starbucks is always within 500 metres from your location. Education is expensive, and most students are working part-time jobs to keep themselves afloat; but there are a couple ways to stretch those hard earned dollars a little bit further.

Firstly, rather than just stretching your dollars further, add to it through scholarships. There are literally hundreds of websites that help students find scholarships – including RCKTSHP! Check out our scholarship page bursting with grants, scholarships and bursaries for students. And our advice? Apply to everything. Often, companies will give a scholarship out to the only applicant, even if that applicant did not meet the required qualifications. Not a bad return on investment for an essay that only took you an hour or so to write -amiright?

Secondly, make a budget. Budgeting is the sure fire way to save money in 2015, but it takes time. Sit down and draw out a monthly budget for yourself each month, and adjust accordingly from previous months. Be realistic. If you know you can’t stop buying coffee at school everyday, account for that in your budget. More coffee = less shoes that month – think about it as a balancing act. There are a lot of apps out now-a-days that help as well, if you’re more of a digital person. We like Mint – it connects directly to your bank account and keeps track of everything you spend money on, it even reminds you when your phone bill is due!

3. Get Healthy

Last semester’s cloud of darkness led you to eat your feelings, and now everything fits just a little bit snugger. Or maybe you’ve heard about all the stress benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and you’re ready to push it, push it, to the limit (insert appropriate Disney soundtrack). Regardless, it’s not easy to keep up the enthusiasm after January 2nd, when the couch and left over Christmas baking is so seductive.

Firstly, as if S.M.A.R.T goals have not been drilled into us enough, why not take this theory to the real world? Write down your health goals in terms that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Secondly, find a buddy that you’re accountable to. The power of our friend’s judgement is potent. We’re kidding of course, but only a little. Having someone you are accountable to provides us with the support we need to persevere, and inspires us to keep on trucking.

The final tip, that is little known, but most effective, is rooted in psychology – and it is this: limit sharing your resolutions with too many people. Seems a little counterintuitive doesn’t it? Well Derek Sivers explains otherwise in this Ted Talk. Here’s the CliffNotes version: by sharing your goals with too many people, you can activate the pleasure centres in your brain, which can lead you to feel as if you’ve already achieved your resolutions. So, in 2015, find the Robin to your Batman, and hold your resolutions as secret as your identities

Do your resolutions this year echo the ones above? We’d love to hear your formulas to successful resolutions in 2015!


10 Tips to Help Prepare for Finals (In GIFs)

1. Avoid Stressed Out People

Did you know that stress is contagious? While you’re trying to cram the whole semester’s curriculum into your brain the last thing you need is someone else stressing you out more than you already are “Omg how do you do this? Wait do you think this will be on the test? I am sooo not ready, let’s just dropout”. Don’t let their stress add to yours, if you know you can’t study with that person just tell them no and study by yourself.

2. Don’t Procrastinate

This one’s obvious but we’re all guilty of it, thinking we have more time to study then we actually do so we leave all of our studying to the last minute. Leaving the studying to the last minute causes unnecessary stress and cramming that doesn’t always result in the best grades. Look at your exam schedule and plan out which days you should study for each exam. Leave some additional time for extra challenges you face while studying.

3. Chew gum

Various studies have shown that chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain which can help with concentration, alertness and memory. Try chewing gum while you study and during the exam. Just try not to be that annoying kid that loudly chews their gum like a cow.

4. Study by Yourself, Then Meet With Partners

Take the time to study by yourself first, put all your focus and concentration on the subject your studying and along the way write down a list of things you don’t understand. Once you’ve accomplished all that you can by yourself meet up with some friends who are studying for the same exam. See if they can explain to you what you’re struggling with and vice versa. Teaching someone else the course material is a proven way to solidify what you’ve already studied.

5. The 50-10 Rule

It’s unrealistic to say you’re going to study for 4 straight hours with your focus entirely on studying. Your brain needs a break and you get anxious not knowing what’s going on in the world of Social Media. The technique is to give a 100% of your focus on studying for 50 minutes then take 10 minutes to do whatever you want (most likely check every single social media platform that exists).  After the 10 minutes, go back to studying and set the alarm on your phone for another 50 minutes.

6. Get Your Sleep

This is a pretty common tip but it’s so essential that it had to be a part of the list. This goes hand in hand with procrastinating, if you leave all your studying to the last minute, chances are you’re going to pull some sort of all nighter where you get close to no sleep and go into the exam feeling like a zombie. A lack of sleep has been linked to impaired cognitive performance and greater sensitivity to stress. Ideally try to get 8 hours of sleep the night before an exam.

7. Listen to Classical Music

Yes, I know you want to listen to the new T-Swift album (that includes you boys) but you can’t actually focus on studying when you’re dancing and singing out every lyric to the song. Classical music has been said to be the best thing to listen to while studying because it’s peaceful and harmonious. Studies have shown that listening to Mozart can actually improve mental performance; it’s called the “Mozart Effect”. Here’s a 6-hour playlist of his music, DON’T QUIT STUDYING TILL YOU’VE LISTENED TO THE ENTIRE THING (including your 10 minute breaks!). Whatever you listen to, try to find something that doesn’t have lyrics (this does not include intense EDM bro, save that for after the finals) and ensure the volume is at a low to moderate level. Music can motivate you and keep you calm but it is not for everyone so try it out and see if it’s right for you.

8. Relieve Your Stress

It’s inevitable that you’re going to stress out but luckily there are numerous ways for you to relieve your stress such as working out, lighting some candles, or getting a massage. One of my favorite techniques is simply by having a good laugh. Laughing helps release stress, so the next time you take a break, go to YouTube or watch a funny sitcom (only one episode though, DO NOT binge watch a season on Netflix).  The list is endless but you know better than anyone how to get rid of your stress, the important thing is you’re getting rid of it so you can calm down, get back to studying and write that test with confidence.

9. Do the Practice Questions

This one is dependent on the type of test you’re studying for. Students often focus all of their time writing notes and going through the textbook but don’t take the time to do the practice questions. Practice questions are often quite different than the theory of the textbook and will be a lot more similar to what will be tested on the actual exam. If your teacher gives you any practice material at all make sure you complete all the questions. Your exam is almost guaranteed to have questions that will be quite similar.

10. Study in the Right Environment

Be honest with yourself, are you really going to get a lot of studying done if you meet up with 4 of your friends? You know yourself better than anyone else, so decide where you can focus the best – is it at home by a big window with a lot of natural light or is it at the library far away from your family and TV? One day maybe study at home and the next at a coffee shop. Research has suggested that switching locations help us retain information. That’s because every time we move, it forces the brain to form new associations with the same material, making it a stronger memory. Wherever you study make sure it’s in a non cluttered environment where you feel comfortable.

When it comes time to write the exam, don’t panic, just know that you’ve done all that you can and write the test with confidence. It’s just another exam and when you’re done, you’ll be that much closer to finishing school for good.


Posted on December 17, 2014 By RCKTSHP With 1 comment

RCKTSHP $1000 Scholarship Winner

After reviewing all the amazing applications from all of you, we’ve selected the winner of the RCKTSHP $1000 Scholarship.

Congratulations to student Julia Mogus of Ontario!

Julia and her sister Emma are the co-founders of Books With No Bounds, an organization that is devoted to bringing books to improve literacy among youth living in remote communities!  They have sent over 68,000 books!

Julia Mogus of Books With No Bounds

Julia Mogus of Books With No Bounds

Books With No Bounds is currently running the #WeAreCanadian literacy campaign, with Off The Record host Michael Landsberg & Stephanie Zubčić PhD from #ChildrenReadingForChildren.


The Giving Back Scholarship for $500


RCKTSHP’s latest scholarship is now available and entry is easy:  We want to hear how you are giving back this holiday season.

To apply visit:

Deadline to apply is January 31, 2015.

Good luck to everyone on your projects and finals,

Happy Holidays!


The $500 Giving Back Scholarship

Despite the high cost of education and often taking on loans to pay for school, students are often the most generous in giving back during the holiday season.  We have 5 great examples of students across Canada who demonstrate what it means to give back.

To help recognize students helping in their communities, RCKTSHP is awarding a $500 scholarship to one student who can tell us what they’re doing to give back.

Entering is easy:  Complete the application form at the bottom of this page.


1. Collect food for the food bank

Students at Laurentian University have taken time out of their busy schedules to run their own food drives “Cans for Christmas”. All together they’ve raised $400 worth of non-perishable food items for the Sudbury Food Bank. They’ve also managed to gather assorted clothing and toys to donate to other charities.

Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen

2. Adopt a Family

A grade 5/6 class in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan initiated their own recycling program earlier this year. The class has collected mounds of bottles that they’ve been keeping in a shed at the school and are now ready to cash in. The class is planning on taking the money earned from the bottles and adopting a family this Christmas through the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program.

photo by Mickey Djuric

3. Create a friendly competition

The faculty of business is competing with the faculty of Continuing Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta to see who can raise the most socks for Inn From the Cold, before Christmas! A friendly competition is a great way to raise the stakes and make giving back fun and competitive.


4. Host someone who can’t be with their Family

Around the holiday’s a lot of people can’t travel home to see their family or just simply do not have a family. A program setup by the International Student Advising Program at Memorial University, in St. John, Newfoundland connects international students with family’s who want to host the students for Christmas dinner. McGill also has a similar program where students can spend the night or just stay for a meal with their host family. Sharing some hospitality this holiday is a great way to give back to your community.

5. Donate to a Charity that’s close to your heart

Ashley King went legally blind at the age of 19 when she accidently consumed methanol-laced drinks in Bali, Indonesia. Three years later she decided to pursue a degree in journalism. This past September she setup a crowdfunding campaign on RCKTSHP and ended up exceeding her goal of $8000 almost reaching $9500. She decided it was only right that she gave the extra $1465 to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, an organization that has been there for her through difficult times. Read the full story here.

Ashley CNIB











Now it’s your turn! Entering The Giving Back Scholarship for $500 is simple. Here’s a reminder on what you need to do:

1. Subscribe to the RCKTSHP emails, which feature new scholarships, internships, student opportunities and updates.

2. Tell us in just a few sentences what you’re doing these holidays to give back.

3. Share this article on either Facebook or Twitter and tag to include @RCKTSHP so we know you’ve posted it!

Application form directly below.



Any person who is 16 years of age and older at time of entry, who is a Canadian Resident or International student studying in Canada, on the Contest Closing Date and who is enrolled or will be enrolled in a Canadian High School, or Canadian publicly funded University or College for the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 school year, excluding any schools located in the province of Quebec.

View our Full Scholarship Terms