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#153: Samiha Fariha – Help students learn more about themselves and explore diverse career options

“I don’t know what drove me but I applied, and it was the best decision that I have made in my life because the internship opened my eyes to a whole other career possibility.” —Samiha Fariha, student, University of Toronto Scarborough

When I was applying to the Legislative Internship position at the Queen’s Park Office of MPP Rob Milligan, which was non-paid and was advertised on the UTSC Career Center website, I thought, what’s the point of applying to this position? It’s obviously going to be very competitive, there is very little chance that I might even get an interview, and to top all that, there was only one position.

I guess luck was on my side because I got a call to come in for an interview. After that, three weeks later, I got the call that I was hired.

So I guess what made me a competitive applicant for the Legislative Internship position was the diverse skills and experiences I had on my resume, as well as how well I was able to describe those skills and experiences on my cover letter and relate it to the position that I was applying for.

An internship at Queen’s Park in Ontario offers a look at how government works. As a Legislative Intern to the Queen’s Park Office of MPP Rob Milligan, I had the unique opportunity to work alongside politicians and had the great advantage of supplement my academic training with valuable practical experience. The internship entailed a broad range of duties such as responding to inquiries from constituents and community groups, preparing correspondences with constituents, business and stakeholders, and researching and contributing to documents, reports and private members bills. It opened my eyes and gave me greater insight and knowledge about provincial politics.

What I’m doing now

I am currently in my second year at UTSC and focusing on school.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

My recommendation for career centres is to provide students with more information and sights about how to standout in a competitive labour market. Probably give students access to more resources or hold useful workshops that will help students to learn more about themselves and to explore career options that will help students in the future.

My advice for other students

I am doing a double major in Mental Health Studies and Political Science, and I neither have an interest to pursue a career in psychology nor political science, or that’s what I thought. I like my psychology and political science courses, but I don’t know if I could pursue higher education in either subject, until one day when I was going through the internships that were posted on the UTSC career centre website that a certain position caught my eyes, and it was the Legislative Internship position at Queen’s Park.

The position sounded very interesting, but I had doubts about applying to the position – probably because I had not the slightest interest in Political Science, I don’t know what drove me but I applied, and it was the best decision that I have made in my life because the internship opened my eyes to a whole other career possibility. I suddenly became interested in provincial politics and I started enjoying my political science courses, and started asking more questions in tutorial about the government.

So basically what I really recommend to my fellow students is to explore different opportunities through volunteer activities and internships. It’s very hard to decide what career we want for ourselves in the near future, but if students start to explore their options through internships and other activities then their choices will broaden and their interests will expand to other career opportunities they never thought of before.

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Samiha Fariha
Mental Health Studies and Political Science
University of Toronto Scarborough

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