By: Kaylea Groover
At 25, Victoria Lavers had already graduated from college once before.
She had seen those late nights, drank the pots of coffee and finished the assignments she thought she wouldn’t.
After finishing a three-year program in two years at Durham College, Lavers was out in the world alone.
“When I was 19 and graduating college, I basically expected to get a job, because I was a “college graduate”,” said Lavers.
She soon found out however, that expecting to get a job after post-secondary school won’t automatically get you the career you’ve dreamed about.
“Now I know you have to work hard, make the proper connections, network, try to gain experience while you are in school, and volunteer,” said Lavers.
“Nothing looks better on a resume than volunteering, and if you can volunteer in an area that pertains to your studies, even better.”
Lavers is taking the office administration-executive diploma program, as well as a medical terminology night course at the Pembroke campus.
She said being a mature student has helped her know what to expect after she graduates and has already talked to her program coordinator about where she plans to go after school.
But what if you don’t have plans, how do you start planning?
Lori Berketa, employment officer at the college, gives promise to future grads that the working world has many options available by urging them to start looking as soon as possible.
“If you start the process early it really takes the pressure off,” said Berketa.
“It allows you to start creating a strategy for yourself as to what goals you have, what types of businesses or organizations you want to apply for and start to get those feelers out ahead of time.”
Employment services at the college is one place where all students can start planning their future.
Berketa and Jane Norman are the only two employment officers for the college of 19,000 students and along with the help of Jennifer Jarvis, the employer outreach officer; they work hard to connect students with employers.
Berketa said they are there to help but are not a placement agency.
They customize a student’s job search process and do not have one “cookie cutter” recipe for all job searches.
“Start off by looking at whatever employment documents you have; resume, cover letter, portfolio, whatever it might be and it’s time to take it to the professional level,” said Berketa. “So it’s no longer a list of everything you’ve done but it’s an image of you as that new professional, entry level, but professional in that area of study you’re in.”
For students looking for more help, the employment services office is located on the third floor of the Student Commons and has drop in times every Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon. Students can also make appointments for one-hour sit-downs with an employment officer.
The student service also offers a digital job board located on ACSIS called MyCareerZone that helps students connect with employers and apply for jobs on a secure and private online forum.
The services can help you with everything from fixing your resume to scheduling mock interviews and even finding part-time jobs to help pay for next month’s bus pass.
Also, follow them on Twitter @accounselling for more useful tips.