by Stacy Dunn
Finding suitable employment while keeping up with studies and after graduation are on the minds of many students. The Employment Journey asked the Academy of Learning College and UPEI how they help students and recent graduates connect with employers.
About Academy of Learning College career planning services
Katherine McQuaid, Director of Training, says the business college helps students and graduates with resumés, cover letters, cold calls, informational interviews, job interviews, thank you letters, and follow-up.
“We encourage students to document and keep good notes when looking for work,” she says. “Following up and keeping everything organized are critical when searching for the right career fit.”
Katherine and her staff encourage students to do research and informational interviews. “Most employers are more than willing to talk with students and let them know what they are looking for in prospective employees.”
Once students complete their program, career services are still available. “We are here if they have questions around job searching until they find a job. Many employers reach out to us and we do our best to connect our graduates with employers looking to fill positions.”
She says Marguerite Connolly Training and Consulting takes the same approach in helping Resident Care Worker students find work. “We set up interviews with the Public Service Commission for all students before they graduate. Most of our RCW students are offered jobs on or before graduation day.”
About UPEI job career planning services
The Career Studio is a support service delivered by UPEI’s Department of Experiential Education and Work-Integrated Learning. Since the pandemic, drop-in hours for students and alumni have been offered by phone or virtually. Individuals can receive virtual assistance with things such as resume/cover letters, interview skills and job search strategies.
Career skills workshops are held on Google Meet. “Students and alumni can view the list of free workshops through the ‘program schedule’ link on the Experiential Education website and register for those that they want to participate in,” says Kylah Hennessey, Career Counsellor. “We could also meet in person. However, everyone present must wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
“We are also still coordinating career-related events such as employer information sessions, but these are now happening virtually.
“The best way to stay informed and up to date with the services we offer is by visiting our website and follow us on social media,” she says. “Experiential Ed is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.”
For more information on Experiential Education, visit www.upei.ca/exed
The department has a new digital platform called UPEI Connect to bring alumni and students together for networking and mentorship opportunities monthly.
Individuals who sign up are matched with a new connection once every four weeks and can schedule a chat to take place either in person or online.
“This could be a 15-minute conversation or an hour-long meeting,” Kylah says. “It’s a great way for students to connect with alumni and for alumni to give back to the university community.”
UPEI students or alumni interested in networking or giving back to the university community can visit www.upei.ca/exed/students/upei-connect