For students new to it, learning how to lead can be hard, not to mention intimidating. Even for students with some experience, leading is a concept that isn’t the most intuitive. Are you supposed to just take charge in every group assignment? Make sure your voice is the loudest? Delegate responsibility until all that’s left is you as supreme overlord of the Sith and—ok, maybe not that last point. The truth is, leadership is something so dynamic and diverse that there isn’t a single way to learn it. That was one of the main guiding principles behind this conference I attended last Saturday called UConnect, a leadership conference based in University College.
I stepped into the halls of Sid Smith, resume in hand, feeling confident. I had a few questions in mind that I wanted to ask the career educator I was placed with at the Resume Blitz, but I wasn’t feeling completely hopeless or lost. (For now, at least.)
Before I was even accepted to U of T, I heard rumors about how supposedly difficult and heartless it was. It was a place where 4.0s were unachievable, peers were competitive, and social lives were obsolete.
However, once I actually arrived at U of T, I found out that wasn’t true. There are all sorts of opportunities for career-related and academic success, as well as networking and friendships. One way I like to network, seek out opportunities, and explore my career options is through U of T events and workshops.
“So, how’s school going?”
“What are you studying?”
“And what do you plan to do with that degree?”
The only thing scarier than homemade fruitcake and the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” during the holidays is the bombardment of questions from relatives and family friends pertaining to my career during holiday get-togethers. However, I could easily be persuaded that their responses to my answers are even scarier.
Networking makes me uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I try to do it as infrequently as possible. That’s why I decided to attend the Career Centre’s Talking to Professionals workshop to learn more about how to network, and how to become more comfortable doing so. Since networking can sometimes be just as important in finding a job as your actual resume, I decided that it was time to overcome my fear.
For a perfectionist who’s extremely insecure about my ideas, it’s a wonder I’ve been able to publish weekly blogs without collapsing under my own pressure.
In order to gain some insight into how to come up with good ideas—and how to make sure they’re actually good—I attended Entrepreneurship 100: Conversations, a live, interactive panel hosted by the Impact Centre in collaboration with the Career Centre. The panel featured three University of Toronto-affiliated entrepreneurs and centred on discussing where ideas come from, and how to tell if they’re any good. The audience could participate in the discussion through text, take part in polls, and ask the panelists questions. The entrepreneurs answered the audience’s questions and spoke about their experiences throughout their careers.
As a work-study Career Centre blogger, I think it’s about time I blog about U of T’s Work Study program.
U of T’s Work Study is available to U of T students registered in at least 2.0 courses from September to April of the school year. You cannot work more than 12 hours per week, and are paid at least minimum wage per hour. Usually, these jobs are relevant to your studies, interests, or anticipated careers.
Intrigued? Read on to hear how I found my work study position, how I make time for work with a full course load, and the lessons I learned from my current blogging job.