Networking events offer students a boost of confidence

Networking events like this one help students make lasting connections with employers.

Networking events like this one help students make lasting connections with employers.

Guest post by Afiya Altaf

Career Development and Experiential Learning offers many events to connect students with prospective employers. The networking event that took place during Career Week 2015, February 23-27, gave students a chance to appreciate all the academic and non-academic qualifications they have built up in their lives to this point. This pre-exposure to the job market was a boost of confidence for all who attended.

The companies who were present at this event were: The Genesis Centre, D2L, Kent, Johnsons Insurance, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, NATI, and the Board of Trade. Representatives  offered students advice to assist them in gaining perspective about interpersonal skills to focus on alongside their academic education. These events act as informal interviews and give students a chance to address any concerns they may have about searching for jobs, and to glean professional opinions from the professionals themselves.

The employers also highlighted how their own volunteering and extracurricular activities played a major role in preparing them for their future endeavors. There was passion in the air and that seemed to be the atmosphere around every table. As the professionals talked about their journeys, students felt more encouraged and hopeful about their own futures.

Students took away a lot more than just business cards from this event. As the students departed from the session, they realized that their current field of study did not restrict them towards their future as long as they were willing to take risks and experiment with what they really wanted to do. All the attendees, as they walked out the door, were open to opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have considered.

It was quite an inspiring and motivating experience and I personally felt lucky to be a part of an institution that promotes such events where students get a feel of the real world while motivating them towards their goals. Such events offered by CDEL are a great place for students to hang out and gain more than just a few business cards.

What is your story?

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Jennifer Browne, Director, Career Development & Experiential Learning

I love stories.  Hearing, reading, telling, and sharing stories has been and continues to be an important part of my life.  The great thing about stories is we all have one.  I have chatted with many people who are not happy or uncertain about where they are in their lives.  This quote reminds us we are the ones who decide what’s next.  Does the plot thicken or is some conflict resolved?  Is there action or do things slow down?  Is there a twist that you never saw coming or does your story unfold like the rungs of a ladder?

Our careers are a big part of our story and when we start university it is hard to imagine where our education, studies and experiences will take us.  While that may be scary, isn’t it also exciting?  Trusting that great things do lie ahead and being open and ready when opportunity strikes, whether planned down to the second or coming out of left field, is exciting.

The story doesn’t end when you graduate, it doesn’t end when you get your first job or even twenty years into your career.  Who knows what’s behind the next door you open or next travel experience or new contact.  New opportunities, new networks, new goals and dreams will present themselves.  The trick is to be ready for the opportunity when it arises.  Look at the opportunities all around you right now while you are at Memorial.  Do you want to study abroad for a semester? Then do it!  Check out http://www.mun.ca/goabroad/ and make it happen.  Do you want to work with a renowned professor in an area you are passionate about?  Then go after it and apply for a MUCEP position or just go chat with them and see if they are hiring.  Explore the opportunities available all around you and then turn some of them into reality!

I can’t wait to keep writing my story and I have no idea the ending just yet but I know the chapters ahead will be full of surprises, maybe some disappointments but the main thing is to remember that I am the author of my own story.

I hope you think about your story so far and where you may want to go.  The stories of the bloggers that will be shared here will engage you over the coming months and I invite you to share your thoughts and even a bit of your story.