Hey, U of T! My name is Farah, and I’m a guest blogger from the University’s Career Centre here to tell all about my semester tweeting, posting and liking away as the Career Centre’s Social Media Ambassador.
When I decided to leave journalism school last winter for another, to-be-determined career path, I was more confused by my life decisions than I was figuring out the St. George campus. I was more frustrated with the idea of a ‘career’ than I was with course enrolment.
My mind turned into the anatomical equivalent of the infamously chaotic Convocation Hall.
That’s when I decided to come to the University of Toronto to pursue a broader degree in science – something versatile that would allow me to explore courses before I figured out a set career.
In an interesting – and perhaps fortuitous – turn of events, I joined the U of T Career Centre team as the Social Media Ambassador. It seemed ironic at first: I had no career goals in mind, yet I was working to help students and recent graduates recognize theirs.
As I attended more workshops, events and programs through the Career Centre, I learned that the University offers countless resources for students at all steps of their career paths to learn about careers, learn skills you can apply to literally any profession and plan future moves.
I can honestly say that I’m closer to figuring it all out because of the opportunities I received through the Career Centre. You can learn about them, too, through the Career Learning Network (CLN) at cln.utoronto.ca. Here are some of the highlights I’ve experienced so far:
Career Information Days
Over the course of three days every fall, employers from the arts, life science, computer science and engineering industries came to inform students about their opportunities. This was a great way for me to practise my networking!
Graduate and Professional Schools Fair
Every year in the fall, Medical, Law, Business schools and more visit the University to guide prospective graduate students. Not only did I network, I was able to see just how many schools there are out there for me to choose from after my undergrad, if that’s the route I choose to take.
Working For Change Conference
In partnership with New College, the Career Centre offered students an opportunity to explore the non-profit sector and careers in social justice. Students and faculty heard from a great keynote speaker named Dave Meslin, a Toronto-based activist and artist. His ideas on civic engagement were presented at TEDxToronto in 2010, and we were lucky enough to hear from him at Working For Change.
Through a series of workshops and panels, I also learned from people of different careers working to bring about social change such as social entrepreneurs who have brought youth-engagement programs to their local communities
Extern Job Shadowing Program
For two days, I was able to explore the office space of a non-profit called Youth Challenge International and speak with members of the team to learn how they got to where they are today. It was a fantastic career exploration opportunity and I had the opportunity to exercise my informational interview skills.
There are a lot more workplaces to choose from, and you can take part! Visit the CLN’s “Programs” page to register for the program from now until January 8 for February placements. You can apply for June placements in May. Look out for our social media updates reminding you of all these dates or visit the CLN.
I’ve attended countless workshops this semester. I learned how to identify which skills to put on my resume. I learned how to plan for graduate school, if that’s something I choose to pursue. I even learned how to effectively use social media for work.
Looking to attend these workshops? You can view them all and register through the CLN’s St. George Calendar under the “Events & Workshops” tab. You can also visit us in person at the Koffler Student Centre for workshop times and dates.
Next semester, join me for Resume Blitz, a two-day event dedicated to providing students one-on-one resume advice on a drop-in basis. Using the advice I get from Resume Blitz, I’ll network and apply to jobs during the Club and Summer Job Fair. Visit the CLN, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for event updates.
It looks like it’ll be a busy semester, but a successful and productive one! Happy New Year and happy holidays, U of T! See you in 2015.