Every year the Saltus SGY1 students complete a week of Work Experience in the local community. During this time, students are given the opportunity to work with professionals in a range of positions and organisations.
As part of their career and university guidance, Tanja Walker, University Support and Guidance Counselor, helps place the students in various sectors thatthey have expressed an interest in. Often these placements help to solidify the student’s aspirations and provides them insight into what a future in their chosen career would look like. Students are given the chance to enter the workforce and gain experience which they can use to support their university and scholarship applications.
In recent years, students from Saltus have worked in a diverse array of organisations such as as the meteorological station, insurance and local primary schools. These opportunities have helped develop an awareness of professional codes of behaviour in the world of work and have allowedstudents to build a network of contacts in their industry of choice.Work experience can make a candidate look more attractive to employers, by demonstrating a proven interest and commitment to that particular career. It can also help make a candidate more well-rounded and give them the opportunity to develop some of the vital softer skills required in the workplace.
This year, as in many other areas, we have had to make adaptations. Saltus student participated in their first Virtual Work Experience. The students went through a process of picking a job from a jobs board and then worked on their application letter and resume. Over four days students completed a number of workshops that covered a range of topics which included writing a competitive resume, skill building, developing engaging application letters, understanding office etiquette and completing in-depth job research.
Students worked with Saltus Alumni as they researched for jobs in their chosen area of interest. They had the opportunity to work with a panel of experts whose expertise ranges from Actuarial Science to Film Editing. Additionally, students worked with Pauline Dawson, the Manager of Co-Op, Career and Experiential Education at Brock University and local Human Resources expert Kelly Francis, Founder and President of Performance Solutions Ltd.
At the end of the week, students were interviewed via Zoom calls and they were given tips and feedback on their interview techniques.
2020 has seen students miss out on a number of events and opportunities, however we felt that Work Experience was not one that we wanted them to miss out on. There are so many positive and worthwhile benefits and despite the disruptions due to COVID-19, we felt that the Work Experience should go on!