“Make it easier for students to find job opportunities with your company/organization. For those companies in Toronto, make the trek outside of Toronto and attract students from top schools around Ontario.”
—Lucy Gao, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
I’m still in university so my school to work story only applies to my summers.
My first “real” job was with Service Canada through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP), a program for young people to find jobs in the federal public service. Jobs span from Border Services to Heritage Canada and Parks Canada.
The program is a great way for university and even high school students to start gaining real job experience.
Currently, I’m working at Ashoka Canada, a not-for-profit organization that supports social entrepreneurs across Canada.
I also applied to HSBC through their online career website and will start there as a Public Affairs intern in June.
Employers: Make it easier for students to find job opportunities with your company/organization. Reach out to universities and host information sessions and be proactive about posting job listings on each university’s career websites.
For those companies in Toronto, make the trek outside of Toronto and attract students from top schools around Ontario.
Schools: It would be great if a school’s student council could create a program that, through an application process, would give financial support to students doing unpaid internships.
Such a program would allow students to gain valuable experience in an industry they’re actually interested in, as many students settle for jobs that are paid but perhaps not beneficial to what they really want to do.
Getting a job is a process that takes a lot of time, effort and commitment.
I find it helpful to start by listing out my interests, and then researching the key organizations related to my interests.
Then, search for job listings with those companies or contact someone who you’re interested in learning more about and who you think can give you some valuable insight. Ask to speak to them over coffee or over the phone for 15-20 minutes and start your relationship there, continuing to follow up and build the relationship.
This is great when there’s an internal job opening because the person you’ve contacted may be prompted to remember you and perhaps recommend you!
Having a network of such individuals is definitely a great investment of your time.
Richard Ivey School of Business
University of Western Ontario