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Career Centre Voice: Simon Fraser University Career Services

“Promote your industry and your organization to the many students who are still undecided and undeclared. Students are an investment in the future.”

— David Lindskoog, Career Services, Simon Fraser University

At SFU Career Services, we’re all about reflection and action! We help students and recent alumni (up to 2 years after graduation) prepare for their career and life following university in a number of ways:

1) Student-Centered Services

We have dedicated career advisors at all three of our campuses, who conduct one-on-one advising appointments, design and facilitate a wide range of career workshops, organize career fairs and special events and collaborate with faculties to deliver specially targeted career-focused programming.

We help to explore broad questions like “What can I do with my life after school?” and “What’s the next chapter of my career and life story?” as well as specific ones, including “How can I perfect my resumé/cover letter/job interview/work search?”

2) Employer-Centered Services

On-campus recruitment is an important part of the services we provide and one that benefits both employers looking for quality talent and students/alumni in the midst of a work search.

At SFU Career Services, we have a range of options for employers to engage in recruitment efforts on campus, including information sessions, information tables, specialty events and several career fairs throughout the year including our biggest on-campus fair, the “BIG Fair.”

3) Faculty Collaboration

One of the most common reasons for pursuing a university degree is to increase job opportunities.

This finding shows up in survey after survey and one of our beliefs is that we can best help that ambition come to life by partnering with faculties on campus to provide specific services that best fit with their students’ unique needs.

What’s the one lesson you’d like to share with students?

You don’t have to have everything figured out! In fact, it might be better if you don’t.

The world is far too complex and unpredictable a place for career plans to have lasting value. Here are some statistics to help bring this point to life:

  • 50% of university students admit to struggling with career indecision.
  • 70% of university graduates admit that unplanned events significantly affected their career path.
  • Only 2% of surveyed mid-career professionals are working in the field they thought they would be when they began university.

Society tells us that we have to have our careers figured out but all this really translates into is a bunch of overly stressed out students. There is no set plan you have to take!

It’s far more helpful to focus on taking meaningful actions now and engaging in a variety of activities – be they volunteering, co-operative education, student clubs, part-time work, or anything – than it is to plan on what may or may not happen years down the line.

What’s the one lesson you’d like to share with employers?

Engage with students! This could be through co-ops, attending fairs, conducting on-campus information sessions, or inviting them to come visit your workplace.

Additionally, capture their attention early! Promote your industry and your organization to the many students who are still undecided and undeclared. Your interaction with a student during their 1st or 2nd year of university could be that “unplanned event” that changes a student’s path.

More than temporary help, students are an investment in the future. There will soon be large holes in the labour market left by the prominent outgoing baby boomer population and organizations that engage in employing youth in co-op, part-time, or other roles will have more human resources available to them when succession issues hit.

Not only will your organization benefit, but society – particularly the almost half-million of today’s unemployed youth – will be better served by a young population that is engaged in the work force.

This Career Centre Voice belongs to:

David Lindskoog
Career Advisor
Career Services
Simon Fraser University

Career centre? Contact us to contribute to Student Voice



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    What is Student Voice?

    Student Voice is an award-winning initiative to fight Gen Y under-employment by giving students and recent grads across Canada a platform to share your job hunting experiences, as well as your recommendations for employers.

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