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UTSC helps students find career success

Students build their career skills at the annual Hire Power event.

 Over three days last week, upper-year students learned the ins and outs of transitioning from studies to career.

From networking to what to wear to an interview, the annual Hire Power conference organized by the Academic Advising & Career Centre (AA&CC), helped senior-level students polish their skills in finding, getting and keeping the jobs they want.

New this year was a “fashion show” with style expert Lynn Spence for U of T Scarborough students preparing to enter the job market. The show featured student models wearing appropriate interview clothes chosen by Spence from shops at Scarborough Town Centre.

The conference mirrored the kind of support the career specialists at AA&CC offer students throughout the year. Sessions included job search techniques, personal branding, improving resumes and cover letters, interview strategies and entering a new position, as well as networking events and advice from a panel of recruiters.

“It’s really about getting students what they need to succeed,” says Jen Davies, Manager, Career Development, and lead organizer of the conference, the sixth UTSC has held. “Students have a lot thrown at them through the year, so the conference also attracts those who may not yet have taken advantage of our services.”

UTSC’s career counsellors are available for one-on-one sessions with students every day, both by appointment and during extensive drop-in hours. Working with the academic advising team, they help students assess their career prospects and give them detailed advice on how to reach their goals. The centre also holds regular workshops and job fairs through the year, and increasingly works with faculty to hold sessions in classrooms, talking with students in a particular discipline about their career possibilities.

Increasingly, too, the centre is turning to group and one-on-one networking sessions with invited employers, often involving “speed networking” where students take turns meeting a series of industry people before a more informal gathering, says Marg Lacy, Manager, Employer and Community Engagement. “So many people get jobs through networking,” she notes. A new program, In the Field, even gives groups of students the chance to visit employers directly.

Career services, which are a tri-campus function, remain open to new alumni for two years after graduation. Many tools, including job postings, are available on U of T’s online Career Learning Network (CLN).

Conference attendees Tiffany Kwong, a fourth-year media studies student, and Yang Wang, in fourth-year computer science, have both benefited from UTSC’s career support. Wang, who says he gained important interview feedback at workshops, found a summer job through a U of T career fair highlighted on CLN. Kwong, who is now working with AA&CC on the Get Started program for new students, says she received valuable advice in pursuing a communications role in the fashion industry and even found a fashion blogging internship through CLN.

“AA&CC has so many resources,” says Kwong. “Being in fourth year, I feel like I should have been in the centre more – I could have gotten so much more out of it.”

 

 




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