It was during my summer orientation back in 2006 when I first heard about Career Services. At the time, I had no idea that two years later I would be on the other side of the table, explaining its services and helping first year students understand what it offers.
I always wondered why I avoided learning more about Career Services and it wasn’t until I started working here that I began to reflect on the actual reasons.
Lack of time is a given, but perhaps there was something more to it. I had been exposed to many negative stereotypes about guidance services in high school and I was terrified of speaking to counselors only to be pigeonholed into that generic doctor/teacher/lawyer trap that so many see as inescapable. I’d rather have had no plan, than to do something I disliked.
But, once I started working here as the integrated learning researcher—a job I got through Queen’s summer work experience program, which sets students up with on-campus summer jobs—
I realized why stereotypes are so dangerous: in most cases, they couldn’t be further from the truth.
Career Services is a department that helps students with all stages of career development. The career counsellors provide assistance with practical concerns such as resumes, cover letters and job searches, through multiple channels including workshops, one-on-one counseling and drop-in consultations with the information desk.
Since the services at Career Services are so diverse, what the person will get out of it really depends on what they are looking for. Some people come in wanting to help with degree direction; others just want help with their resumes. Career Services set me on the right path by showing me that there are jobs available in my field. I learned that there does not necessarily have to be a clearly marked path from degree to occupation. Knowing this gave me the confidence to pursue a subject that I love and still be successful in the future.
Career Services provides students with the tools to discover
their dreams, shows them the steps to get there and then helps them on their journey. The counsellors show you opportunities you never even know existed—even just walking around the resource centre can be inspiring.
It’s never too early to start making connections between education and the rest of your life. So why are people afraid of Career Services? Maybe it’s because the word “career” is such a strong word, with such long lasting implications. It’s terryifying to look beyond the safe-haven of Queen’s, where the real world is waiting. But the sooner you begin to think about it, the sooner you find out that with the right planning, it’s not that big or bad.
At Career Services, we don’t presume to have all the answers. We encourage students to drive their own journey of self exploration.
What we can do is give you a road map for that journey.
Career Services is located on the 3rd floor of Gordon Hall, right across from the JDUC. Students can go there to sign up for an information workshop, a counseling appointment, review the extensive library or volunteer as Peer Career Educators.
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