Environmental Career Day: an annual spring event for all university students
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 11:30:00 AM
This year’s Environmental Career Day featured an expo with 28 exhibitors (top photo) as well as speakers who provided career advice, such as Cari Bourrie (bottom photo) who has worked in the non-governmental organization sector. (See below for more photos.)
By David Powell
The School of the Environment was pleased to co-present the 2016 Environmental Career Day, an annual day-long event open to all registered university students, at the University of Toronto and elsewhere. This successful event is a collaborative effort with the Environmental Students Union (ENSU), the Graduate Environmental Students Association (GESA), as well as the Toronto Undergraduate Geography Society (TUGS).
This year, the event was held on March 4, 2016 in the Hart House Great Hall, with 130 students in attendance. It included a career expo with 28 exhibitors from government, consulting and non-governmental organizations, as well as from professional graduate programs and student unions at U of T, all of whom provided students with useful information, career advice and many potential career, job and volunteer opportunities.
The day also included hey discussed and answered questions from students about what students should be doing now and after graduation to prepare for opportunities and possibilities. Some of the advice provided by the speakers included the following:
· Skills & Knowledge - hone strong written and verbal communication skills; take training courses/programs for specific tasks and job requirements; commit to continuous learning; get a graduate degree, when relevant to do so.
· Experience – get involved on campus with extracurricular activities; volunteer during and after completing university; make the most of any volunteer and paid work you do, and do that work with a positive attitude, in order to build your experience and reputation – if you are generous and helpful to others, you will be a desired candidate for jobs.
· Determining your career interest - develop and nurture a network, with professors, fellow students, individuals in the work world, professional associations, and employment-networking groups; do informational interviews with those working in jobs of interest to you; select a career focus in order to stand out as a job candidate, but also be flexible about what jobs you will consider, in light of knowledge gained in seeking work.
· Preparation and Presentation - take advantage of career support offered by your university; build a professional presence on social media (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter); have a current resume that reflects your skills, work history and volunteer experience – think advertisement not autobiography; ensure your cover letter addresses what the job requires, and accurately reflects what is in your resume; be well prepared for job interviews – dress appropriately for the job, research the organizations to which you apply, focus on answering the questions you are asked, and show enthusiasm for the job and the organization.
Stay positive and focused in a difficult job market – there are jobs out there, so being well prepared and building a network is the key to finding them.
The speakers were Kelly McLean, a staff biologist at Dillon Consulting; Dr. Ray Clement, President, EnviroAnalysis; Dorothy Gordon, Human Resources Professional and HR consultant; Cari Bourrie, who works in the NGO sector, most recently with the Jane Goodall Institute; and Christelle Broux, who just completed her BSc at U of T, with majors in Environment & Science and Physical & Environmental Geography, and a minor in Environmental Studies.
The School of the Environment looks forward to continuing to offer this event, which assists students as they plan their futures. For more information, please visit http://careerday.environment.utoronto.ca/
David Powell is Undergraduate Student Advisor and Placement Coordinator at the School of the Environment.