Robert De Niro To The NYU School of Arts “Graduates you made it, and you’re f***ed”

Last Friday student were in for a surprise when Robert De Niro was chosen as the honoured speaker at the graduation ceremony for the NYU’s Tisch School of Arts. De Niro opened his speech by being brutally honest to the Art students saying “Tisch graduates, you made it, and, you’re f***ed”. The crowd then erupted into laughter and applause.

De Niro continues to give a harsh but truthful speech to the Art graduates explaining “The graduates from the college of nursing — they all have jobs, The graduates from the college of dentistry — fully employed, The Leonard and Stern school of Business graduates — they’re covered, the proud graduates of the NY school of Law — they’re also covered, and if they’re not who cares? They’re lawyers.” De Niro continues to list off a number of other degrees that would lead to a career with much more job security than an Arts degree. Not only is it a difficult field to get employed in but a recent study by Stats Canada showed that Applied Arts is the worst paying degree.

De Niro says that these graduates didn’t use logic or common sense when choosing their arts degree “You didn’t have that choice did you? You discovered a talent, developed an ambition, and recognized your passion. When you feel that you can’t fight it, you just go with it. When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense”.

No one knows this better than De Niro himself who dropped out of high-school at the age of 16 to pursue his career in acting. “Now that you’ve made your choice — or, rather, succumbed to it — your path is clear. Not easy but clear. You have to keep working. It’s that simple,” said De Niro

Although De Niro says a tough road lays ahead for these graduates he applauds them all for pursuing their passions such as he did and encourages them to keep fighting to create careers in the Arts.

Watch the very entertaining graduation speech below.

Are you pursuing a degree that’s practical and secure or a degree that you’re passionate about?


Posted on May 26, 2015 By RCKTSHP With 0 comments

Apply Today for the Dear Future Self Scholarship

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau

Writing a letter to yourself is an insightful experience and it’s a great way to set achievable goals. Imagine writing a letter to your future self five years from now, and opening it at that exact moment five years down the road to read the message that the past you left for yourself. Writing a letter to your future self helps crystallize your ideal vision for yourself in the future.

Consider these questions to help you write your letter:

  • What hopes do you hold for yourself in the future?
  • What fears and obstacles do you currently face that you wish to overcome?
  • What internal resources do you inherently possess that will help you, now and always?
  • What goals do you have that you aspire to? Tip: Commit to the vision, but be flexible to the form.
  • What is the ultimate and underlying reason why these goals matter to you? (i.e.: I want to be a public speaker. Why? Because I want to share my knowledge openly!)
  • What faith do you hold in your own strengths?
  • How would you react if you met your future self? How would you interact? Create a sample dialogue—see where it goes!
  • What are ways that you can seek to love your future self no matter how much the future varies from what you expect it would be?


The last day to apply for the scholarship is is June 30th. Apply today and create a video of your letter to yourself! Below is an example of a letter to your future self.


Dear Future Self Scholarship for $500

RCKTSHP’s latest scholarship is now available and entry is easy:  We want to hear your advice, for your future self.

To apply visit:

Deadline to apply is June 30, 2015.

Good luck everyone!


Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Alberta recently underwent an election, that left the new NDP party atop of their competitors as a majority government. With this new government the NDP promised to bring young, and energetic party leaders to the province.

This leads us to the topic of Deborah Drever. Deborah is the new MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) in Calgary’s Bow area. Deborah is currently a 26 year old student at Mount Royal University. Deborah has recently come under fire for her racy, and alternative content found on her social media accounts. In Deborah’s case photos emerged dated back almost five years before her government involvement, posing the question of how far employers and the public will go to find areas of your social media that may differ from your current self and feature content that may be inappropriate.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.42.59 AM This is just one of the many photos that have surfaced after the election, found on Drever’s social media accounts. She has been suspended from the NDP’s caucus for her actions, and the public is now asking that she be removed from the government for her behaviour.

Social media is prevalent in many students lives, as it has now become the perfect way to share everything you encounter on a daily basis. This has been troublesome in the past for many people including athletes, musicians, politicians, and even students.

What are the implications of the content we post? Many companies now require that applicants undergo an extensive social media review before being hired, leaving many wondering how their past social media history will affect their future.

We have put together a short list of social media “best practises” to help you ensure your social media is safe, and appropriate for your future employers.

  1. Make all accounts private
  2. Keep pictures, statuses, and comments clean and appropriate
  3. Moderate tags, and check ins from friends and connections
  4. Always sign out of public computers
  5. Always keep you passwords safe

If you follow these five simple steps, you can make sure you keep your social media from becoming a “foe, and not a friend”. Let us know what you think of the reaction to Deborah’s social media discussion!




Posted on May 25, 2015 By Kyle Smith With 0 comments

New Trend: Game of Loans Graduation Caps

All across North America, tuition fees have been continuing to increase year after year. The increase in tuition is making it unbearable for some students to even attend and is putting other students in loads of debt. In 2013, the average Canadian student graduated with $27,000 worth of debt from student loans.  Similarly, students in the United-States graduated with an average student loan debt of $28,400 USD. When converted to Canadian dollars, (currently at $0.83), this equates to over $34,000 dollars in debt, not exactly the ideal start to your career. Students are feeling that once they graduate, the games have begun. It’s now a race to payback your student loans verse the high interest rates that will continuously increase your debt if it is not paid off.

At an attempt to make light of their bad financial situation, students have begun putting their own spin on their graduation caps. The caps read “Game of Lones, Interest is Coming”, equating their interest to the treacherous season of winter often referred to in the HBO series, Game of Thrones.  Take a look at some of the creative caps below. Not feeling crafty? You can even buy your very own Game of Loans cap pre-made here.




What would you put on your graduation cap? Let us know in the comments below.


Posted on May 14, 2015 By RCKTSHP With 0 comments

Digital Natives Scholarship Winners

During the months of March and April we received hundreds of applications from students across Canada explaining how they’re using their digital skills. We had two big prizes up for grabs, one scholarship worth $1000 and another $500 scholarship for an applicant who was a registered Yconic member. After looking at all of the graphic designers, video editors, web developers, and photographers we narrowed the applicants down to 10 finalists. Ultimately we had to only chose two winners, get to know more about them below.

$1000 Scholarship Winner

KayteeDavisName: Katherine Davis
School: Vancouver Island University
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia


Kaytee Davis is a Graphic Design student who will be entering her fourth and final year at Vancouver Island University in the fall. Her interest in graphic design began in the early years of highschool where she began teaching herself photoshop, and working on various self-directed projects. After working at a print shop to gain production knowledge, she entered the Bachelor of Arts, Major in Graphic Design program at Vancouver Island University.

Through the past three years of school she has worked on various design projects, the most successful being those focused on typography, layout, branding, and package design. One of her most noted projects being a fictional magazine anthology called “UNSUNG Canada”, which focuses on Independent Canadian Musicians. UNSUNG was awarded an Applied Arts Scholarship through the Graphic Designers of Canada in 2013, and The Fitzgerald Award in 2015.

Kaytee continues to fuel her passion for design by working on side projects including her current 100 Days of Lettering Project featured on her instagram page @kayteedaviss. Along side her freelance design work she is also the incoming Art Director for VIU’s student press, “The Navigator”, and the founder of VIU’s Design Club. Kaytee is continually inspired by cool jams, cooler typography, sunny days, witty puns, and her handsome cat Theodore.

$500 Yconic Scholarship Winner

MikeName: Michael Saby
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
School: Northern Alberta Institute for Technology


I have been very interested in digital media and entertainment for a long time. Throughout high school I would make dumb YouTube videos to try and make me and my friends laugh. On top of that I played a lot of video games, watched a lot of movies, and listened to a lot of music. At this point I wasn’t too sure on what I wanted to do when I graduated high school.

After graduating, I moved to Edmonton for Computer Science and then switched into Business at the University of Alberta. I ended up not liking either of those programs and decided to finally switch into Digital Media with a major in Video Production at NAIT. It took a lot for me to make this switch since the outcome is a lot more uncertain than having a degree in Business.

This jump would probably not have been made if I never bought my first professional DSLR camera the year prior and started doing weddings and music videos for friends, videos and photography for part of my summer job, and short funny videos to once again make me and my friends laugh. And after doing some video and photo work for the bands Lights, Wildlife, and One Way Traffic, I felt that all I want to do is entertain people or just be part of the entertainment industry. I have done digital media stuff as just a hobby for the longest time, but now I am going to actually study it in school and try to make a living out of it!

Congratulations to these great students who showcased their digital skills. Now it’s your turn to win. Apply to the Dear Future Self Scholarship and you could win $500. All you have to do is write a letter to your future self in under 400 words, apply here.


Posted on May 13, 2015 By RCKTSHP With 0 comments

Is a Prestigious University Really Worth it?

In collaboration with Matt Tran, we made a video on whether or not prestigious universities are really worth it. We asked 8 people that attended different universities if they thought they attended a prestigious university, how prestigious it is, and did the prestige of the university help or hurt them in their job search. The overall opinion was that the prestige of the university did not help or hurt their job search. However, it did give them an edge over other candidates when it came to networking with recruiters, getting an interview and obtaining an internship. Prestigious universities are highly recognized around the globe; however, recruiters are looking for what skills graduates have, not what university they attended because education is the same throughout all universities.

Based on the universities that each person attended the following is their ranking in the world, in Canada, or not at all:

University of California, Los Angeles is rated 12th in the world and 23rd in the U.S.
Mount Royal University is rated 57th in Canada
Georgia Institute of Technology is rated 27th in the world and 35th in the U.S.
Rochester Institute of Technology is not ranked
Penn State University is not ranked
University of Calgary is ranked 226th-250th in the world and 7th in Canada
Queens University is ranked 9th in Canada
Georgetown University is ranked 173rd in the world and 21st in the U.S.
San Jose State University is not ranked

The ranks were based on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The top 10 ranked universities in the United States in 2014-2015:

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University
  5. Stanford University
  6. University of Chicago
  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  8. Duke University
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. California Institute of Technology

The top 10 ranked universities in Canada in 2014-2015:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. The university of British Columbia
  3. University of Alberta
  4. Simon Fraser University
  5. University of Waterloo
  6. McGill University
  7. University of Calgary
  8. York University
  9. Queen’s University
  10. University of Victoria

Posted on May 12, 2015 By RCKTSHP With 0 comments

The Digital Natives Scholarship Finalists

At the beginning of March we launched the Digital Natives Scholarship. We asked students to submit the best work they’ve created using their digital skills. It was truly amazing to see how many young students have been adapting to the constantly changing technology available to the world. We have gone through hundreds of applications and have narrowed them down to just 10. Now we want to hear what you guys have to say, tell us in the comments who you think deserves to be the winner.

One lucky student will receive a scholarship worth $1000 while another student who is a registered Yconic member will receive a $500 scholarship.  Check them all out below:

Finalist 1
Name: Rachael Crocker
School: Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Rachel has been using photoshop since the age of ten! Eleven years later and she is designing everything from web sites to product packages, to mobile applications, to ebooks and much much more.

Check out her beautiful work here:


Finalist 2 
Name: Helga Jiang
School: University of Waterloo
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Helga started her own YouTube channel that boasts over 105,000 subscribers and 5 million views. Her channel consists of DIY polymer clay tutorials. She does all the filming and photography using her DSLR camera. She also does all the editing and even created the logo and all the thumbnails for her videos.

Finalist 3
Name: Katherine Davis
School: Vancouver Island University
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia

Kaytee has a diverse portfolio that showcases her graphic design skills, from brand packaging to logo design. Check out all of her work at her very own website:

gatewaybuscard       amusegueule2

Finalist 4
Name: Ryan Debergh
School: Ryerson University
Location: Kingsville, Ontario

Ryan has wanted to be a film maker since the age of nine. This past summer he created a short film that encompasses all that he has learnt. It has been featured at numerous film and festivals and it was awarded the honour of “Best International Drama” at the Delta Moon Student Film Festival in California. Watch his short film below:

Finalist 5
Name: Kiril Climson
School: St Theresa of Liseaux
Location: Richmond Hill, Ontario

Kiril has an impressive graphic design portfolio that consists of a diverse set of logos. He also has a YouTube channel that teaches viewers how to create isometric graphics. His YouTube channel has over 12,000 subscribers. Check it out here:

Also check out his portfolio of logos here:

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 3.59.42 PM

Finalist 6
Name: Nart Barlieva
School: Abbey Park High School
Location: Oakville, Ontario

Nart most definitely has all the skills of a Digital Native he’s a graphic designer, web developer, photographer and has his own YouTube channel. Check out all of his work below.

Personal website and portfolio:

Finalist 7
Name: Kathy Lam
School: Father Lacombe High School
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Through online tutorials Kathy has taught herself numerous camera and photography techniques as well as special effects makeup. These skills have all been incorporated into the videos she’s made to raise awareness about causes she feels are important. Check out her video “Slavery Still Exists” below:

Finalist 8
Name: Michael Saby
School: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Michael has done photography and videography for anything from weddings to live concerts for artists such as Lights. His photography has been featured in numerous publications such as Business World Magazine and Alberta Venture Magazine. One of his photos were also chosen to be featured on a bottle of Jones Soda. Besides all this he has two YouTube channels full of both professional and comedic videos. Check out all of his work here:

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.20.16 AM  mike

Finalist 9
Name: Janica Echavez
School: University of Calgary
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Although she is majoring in Engineering, she has taught herself how to edit videos and use programs such as photoshop to promote events around her school. She also has a YouTube channel full of videos that educate people on subjects she’s passionate about such as water sanitation.

Graphic Design:

Ambassador Poster Design 2

Finalist 10
Name: Heyang (Lucy) Wei
School: Brown University
Location: Surrey, B.C.

Lucy has ran a successful web development business all throughout high school working with clients on everything from logo design to product packaging design to website design. She’s even competed in web development competitions and in 2014 she won the Canada National Web Development Competition. She has also been able to use her web development skills to help worthy causes such as Model UN.

View all of her work here:

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 3.17.23 PM

Congratulations to all of the finalists! Please let us know in the comments who you think deserves to win.

Weren’t chosen as a finalist? Not to worry, we’ve got a brand new scholarship that’s just been launched. Apply to the Dear Future Self Scholarship here for a chance at $500.


Posted on May 1, 2015 By RCKTSHP With 119 comments

Dear Future Self Scholarship – $500 Prize

This month’s scholarship is based around planning for the future. We’re asking students to write a letter to the person they hope to be 5 years from now. The winner will walk away with $500.

Entering is easy: Complete the application form:

At RCKTSHP we believe in planning for the future, and in order to do that you need to have a vision. That’s why for this scholarship, we’re asking that students send a message to their future selves outlining who they hope to be and what they hope to accomplish. We’re asking that the message be sent to the version of you five years down the road from now. Where do you hope to see yourself? Where will you be working? What steps will you take to get there? What advice do you have for yourself?.  These are all things you should include in the letter to your future self.

We are going to award one scholarship worth $500 to a student who sends the best message to their future self. Not only is there a great prize up for grabs but this exercise will also work as a great tool to help you achieve your goals. Creating this message will allow you to clearly define your ideal vision for your future self and make you conscious about your current situation. As you read (or view) your message in the future you can assess how much things have or have not matched up to your expectations. Goals we set are often subjected to a lot changes such as unexpected obstacles and changing priorities. Maybe five years from now you will have completely different goals. This will be both intriguing and insightful for you.

Here are the steps to enter:

1. Complete the application form below – In order to be eligible you must subscribe to the RCKTSHP newsletter, which features new scholarships, internships, exciting student opportunities, and updates.

2. Write a letter to your 5 year-older self in less than 400 words

**BONUS MARKS** Turn your letter into a video and upload it to YouTube – Ensure the title of the video is “Dear Future Self – RCKTSHP Scholarship”. The video can be no longer than 5 minutes.

3. Share this scholarship on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn and Tag @RCKTSHP so we know you’ve posted it!

Application deadline: June 30th, 2015

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:

Check out some examples from others on YouTube:

Application Form


Posted on May 1, 2015 By RCKTSHP

Exams got you stressed? Meditate

Final assignments and exams are upon us. As many of us feel the crunch of time during these stressful periods, it feels as if there isn’t enough time in the day to complete the mountain of work before us. What if we told you that taking just five minutes out of your day could improve your mood, energy levels, and most importantly the amount of stress you are feeling.

Meditate! Taking five minutes away from work, and studying could greatly improve your overall success during these stressful times.

Here are 4 simple meditation methods that you can try today:

  1. Yoga– You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.
  2. Transcendental meditation– Transcendental meditation is a simple, natural technique. In transcendental meditation, you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way. This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.
  3. Mantra meditation– In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.
  4. Guided meditation– Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing.

What are we doing here at RCKTSHP? Envisioning a warm day spent on the beach with friends free of tests and assignments. We want you to give the meditation techniques we discussed here a try. Let us know what you envision!

Check out this video of a simple tutorial, and get meditating:


Posted on April 22, 2015 By RCKTSHP With 0 comments