Earning a job related to your field before graduation may seem to be a massive feat, but regardless of the program, there are shared traits that teachers feel students can follow to make it happen.
Radio and audio storytelling Professor Jessica Bilson said in her two years’ experience at the college, she’s had eight students who’ve had job offers before earning their diploma.
That happened because of the extra work they put in.
“I’ve had students in the past who’ve actually emailed me after class asking for separate assignments that they can work on, just to work on their skills.”
One of the most common characteristics that all these students share, whichever program they’re in, is that they get their foot in the door with an internship. Many programs have opportunities and co-op offers that they advertise in conjunction with the school.
Matt Wheatley, the relations lead with the Algonquin co-operative education department, explained how there are 34 programs with co-operative placement, where participation heightens your chances of getting the job you want.
Jumping head first into a job search can leave students nervous initially. Participating in a co-op initiative can help students build confidence that will have them prepared to hit the ground running.
It depends on the program, but certain placements have a 97 per cent graduation rate, with participants finding themselves getting paid between two to $8,000 extra after graduation.
Even certain teachers at Algonquin can attest that distinguishing yourself early on is the key to helping earn a job out of the gate.
“I think most of the people, like myself, who got a job prior to graduation had done it from their current internships,” biotechnology professor Katrina Campbell explained. “I was completely honest with my employer but I also just showed up to show myself both at school and my internship.”
As with earning any job, networking is also key.
Perhaps more than any social skill it helps build relationships that will distinguish you in the job pool.
“You realize real quick that it actually is kind of a small world where everybody knows each other,” Bilson said. “So when there’s guest speakers that come to class or if even with your teacher it’s good practice; to have a demo on hand or a resume to hand out.”
The thing that compels a business to employ a student is the simple fact that companies are always looking to grow.
Matt Wheatley says that employers are always looking for young talent. “Algonquin is a pipeline for employers seeking prospective staff.”