Now that the Career mentoring program has come to an end, it is good to reflect on my experience and what I can take with me for the next year – my last year of studies – before I embark on the search for a full-time job, for the first time in my life.
I am a pair-person. I am most efficient and happy while working with a partner/ supervisor/ mentor first and then expanding the circle of people I am working with on a particular task. So in this sense, my close cooperation (and I would be honored to call it friendship) with Heather Wheeliker from the City of Edmonton worked perfect for me.
Another important factor that made it work was our frequent meetings in downtown, most often over coffee in the morning. I remember heading to our sessions with a thrill and all agog to have another inspiring friendly conversation or an activity that we have been going over. Heather introduced me to her colleagues who in turn, threw new exciting opportunities at me. For example, I learned about the Planning Academy (a series of one-two day courses designed to provide a better understanding of the planning and development processes in Edmonton). We both had a busy summer and agreed to finish some of the activities after the program is over, like a mock interview. So, the end of the program does not mean the end of the relationship, and to my mind, this is the true indicator of our success.
In short, I highly encourage students to participate in the Career mentoring program. Its benefits – thanks to high proficiency of its organizers! – along with your own hard work, will definitely boost your confidence. It will also help you think in small but effective steps when you are ready to show up at the job market or to change your current career path.