Extraodinaires: students who work part-time

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Until I was in university, I never had a job during the school year. Last year I got hired at my first part-time job (this one!) and I’ve realized how working during school is an awesome advantage.

Working and studying at the same time…

1. prepares you for the workplace

2. pays you for (hopefully) doing something you enjoy

3. gives you perspective on what you’re learning in class

Many of my friends have a part-time jobs and like me, a lot of them work right on campus.

Some of my friends who work on campus

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of my friends and their part-time jobs. Full disclosure: I’ve only asked people who like their jobs!

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Michelle, Helpdesk Technician

“I help students with their Passport York accounts, email addresses, and Moodle, first and foremost. I also sometimes install computers for staff and faculty, troubleshoot weird technical things and feel like a superhero if/when I fix them, and set up the A/V for campus events. The people who work here are awesome and I’ve made some great friends. I’ve also gotten to learn a ton about super practical computer things and I’ve gotten to know a lot of faculty and staff through my job.

Having a job during school pulls in some extra cash that students so desperately need, as well as helping you practice time management and all that fun stuff. Working on campus is a great experience, especially if you’re a new student, since you get to meet so many people.”

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Sienna, Student Researcher

“I research human-bonobo communication by analyzing and transcribing audio and video files from the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary (IPLS).

The things I’ve learned from my research have really humbled me as a human being. The similarities between humans and animals like bonobo apes just remind me how connected we are to the rest of the world – and it’s also really amazing to see a bonobo playing Pac Man with more success than I ever could!”

Juan Garrido

Juan, Office Ambassador and eAmbassador

“I work as an office ambassador with Student Recruitment. This means that in addition to being an eAmbassador I sit at the front desk of the Welcome Centre, answer emails and phone calls and help the Liaison staff with their projects. It’s awesome because I get to work with some amazing people and I get the chance to really help future students ease the bridge to university!”

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Ana, Receptionist at the Glendon Athletic Centre

“I’m a receptionist at the Glendon Athletic Club. I’m responsible for greeting members, handing them their towels, washing and folding towels, answering phone calls, renting/selling gym equipment, and signing in instructors and personal trainers. My job is awesome because I get to interact just enough with students from Glendon and people from the community, but not to the point of getting people-fatigued. Working at a gym also keeps you motivated and eager to get/keep in shape! Plus, I can now fold in my sleep!”

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Sarah, Academic Services help desk

I work at the front desk of Academic Services. I greet students as they approach the counter, and try to answer any questions they may have about academics (classes, credits, graduation, degree requirements, the Explore program, the pass/fail option and petitions).

My job is awesome for a couple reasons:

  • My colleagues are AMAZING! I am so fortunate to work with a fun group of people who are knowledgeable and caring.
  • I get to use both English and French. I love that my job challenges me in this way and allows be to practically apply my language skills.
  • The job has lovely hours, the office is open between 9-4, but closes for an hour between 12:30 and 1:30pm, so I never work past 4pm. Plus our office is closed during the weekend.

More questions?

If you have more questions about any of these jobs, leave a comment and I will pass it on to the right person. Glendon Tip: once you get to campus, don’t forget to check out Counselling and Disability Services for career counselling and more.

And a big thank you to all of my friends who told us about their jobs! Y’all are the best!

Choice and a comic from Candy Chang

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The other day I was thinking:

I’m twenty years old + that is a young age to be.

The world is my oyster.

Heck.

I could have a baby.
I could backpack Europe.
I could study more to become a business consultant.
I could live as a nun and memorize scriptures for the rest of my life.

I’m at the crossroads of 100 different paths. Which do I take?

My friend Elissa Mielke blogged this Sylvia Plath quote the other day:

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It helped me realize how choice is burdensome.

And then I realized:

I need to start making some choices.

Agh! (A full week of panic/despair/list-making follows.)

One of my friends, Erin, often teases me for trying to conquer the parts of life that can’t be conquered (i.e. relationships, self-growth, the future). You have to live it in the moment, she says. You can’t “finish it” or “achieve it” in one thrust.

I often look for happiness in arriving (at a state of perfect circumstance, or something). It doesn’t work. Life starts now, and that is a beautiful, liberating thing.

Candy Chang’s comic (shared here with permission) is about how not having to choose one thing is a good thing. Read it if what I said is resonating.

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What choices are you struggling with? 

To read more about Candy, go visit her website. It’s rad.

3 lessons for career-hunters

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“Think of networking like dating.”

“Keep knocking on doors. No doesn’t mean no, it just means not right now.”

“You can’t know what your destination is.”

I recently attended a Career Centre panel discussion on “Discovering Careers in Non-Profit, Charitable, Non-Governmental, and Social Justice Organizations.” While I was there, I was inspired and surprised by what I heard.

There were six great panelists, with backgrounds as diverse as commerce, medieval history, environmental studies, communications, sociology, and political science.

Some of the panelists from the discussion (left to right): Sarah Asgari, Mary El’Bably, Nora Priestly (Photo taken by Sjoerd Witteveen), Christopher Tuckwood, Cecelia Paoluca (Photo taken by Colin McConnel)

Given that diversity, it’s no surprise that the first lesson to emerge was…

“Don’t let your degree define you – you define the degree.”

A degree is just one part of your journey. There is no perfect degree for landing your dream job. Really. It’s more likely that you will have a non-linear career path filled with jobs or experiences that might not seem directly related to your goals.

If you’re feeling directionless, don’t freak out, because…

“You’re probably on your career path already.”

What are the things that you love doing? The clubs that you gravitate towards? The jobs or volunteer positions that you’ve filled?

Whether you know it or not, you have been developing your personality, connections, knowledge, experience, and passion since day 1. You’ve been preparing for your career.

But don’t just focus on yourself…

Network, network, network! “You cannot underestimate the value of [other] people.”

Connections and serendipity can open up doors that you wouldn’t be able to plan for or force open yourself.

“Think of networking like dating.” It’s better to follow up with someone you’ve already made a personal connection with than to look for an advert online when you’re career-shopping.

Being proactive, passionate, and people-oriented will make a great career an achievable goal. Do you have other great advice for career-hunters? Let us know in the comments.