Getting to Know Myself from My First (Failed) Job Interview

A black notebook with a piece of lined paper on top of it that has "Failure?" written on it
Was my first job interview a failure, or an opportunity for career exploration?

When I was legally allowed to work and ready to become a contributing member of society, I applied to be camp counselor for a kids’ summer camp. Although I was practically a child myself and the only knowledge I had of summer camps came from an old Scooby Doo episode about a haunted campsite, I was offered an interview.

When I stepped into the interviewer’s office, he jumped up from his chair and pointed at me. “Is it really you?” he asked, in awe. “Are you the genius who put down Microsoft Word as her special skill? I’ve never met anyone so qualified and so accomplished. You are now the CEO of the summer camp. Wait, scratch that. I now dub you CEO of summer itself.”

Needless to say, my first interview for that summer camp job did not go quite as smoothly as this scenario (I never heard back from the interviewer), but it did teach me a few lessons about myself and my career aspirations, as well as the surprising benefits of failure. Of course, my experience also taught me about the dos and don’ts of interviewing (come prepared, know about the company, rehearse questions beforehand, etcetera—you’ve heard these all before), but the most valuable lessons I took away from the experience were about myself and my career explorations.

In Her Place: Learning to be Aware of the Symptoms of Depression and Suicidal Behaviour 

When faced with someone showing symptoms of depression and/or suicidal behaviour, only the person who recognizes these symptoms and this behaviour will realize the person requires help.

I learned this lesson when I sat at Innis Town Hall’s theatre to watch one of the Asian Reel Film Festival’s films, In Her Place. Originally, I thought I would be watching a film touching on the theme of being a diasporic Asian. It turned out the short film preceding In Her Place focused on this theme, but In Her Place didn’t. In Her Place delved into the unfortunate reasons and dire consequences of being unware of the symptoms of depression and suicidal behaviour.

The Innis theatre with a screen showcasing the film.
The theatre where the movie took place.

Feature: MoveU Crew!

This week I thought I’d shed some light on how to get involved with physical activity on campus in an administrative role. I met with the MoveU team to talk about what they do, how they got involved and what they love about being a part of the team.

But first: What is MoveU and what does the team do? Well, in their words they “do so much!”

“The breadth of what we do is so broad because we promote health on campus and being physically active,” says Alcina Wey. Fellow work-study student, Naomi Maldonado, adds, “We try to promote physical activity in alternative ways. A lot of people assume that if you’re not working out you’re not active, but we try to make physical activity accessible.”

As volunteers, the MoveU Crew supports and leads events. They interact with students, make them feel comfortable and get them involved at events.

Graduation Inspiration: Meet Juliette

I work for my College’s residence building, and through this job I have the pleasure of meeting some really wonderful people. This week I decided to write about a coworker and fellow U of T student who inspires me to work harder and prioritize my long term goals.

Juliette is a third-year student, studying Employment Relations at U of T. Amazingly, this is her final year at university, as she has managed to graduate in three years by following a strict regimen of self-discipline, wonderful study habits, healthy lifestyle choices and a six-course workload. Born in Edmonton, Juliette spent her childhood Vancouver eventually moving to Hong Kong with her family at the age of seven to go to French school. Juliette eventually made the transition to a British International School, where she attended until Grade 11. In Grade 12, Juliette moved again; this time travelling across the world to finish her high school diploma in Toronto, where she would eventually make the decision to pursue post-secondary studies at U of T.

Feature: UC Yoga Club & Upcoming MoveU Events

For this week’s post I interviewed David London, the founder of the University College (UC) Yoga Club. David is a 3rd year undergraduate student studying computer science. He says he founded the club because he had a lot of friends who were interested in doing yoga but couldn’t afford to take a class. Knowing it was something David practised, it was his friends who brought up the idea of starting a club. David says he loved the idea because he wanted to teach but couldn’t do it full time.