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Meet Maria- Your go-to friend for job search tips!

Thinking about our careers is not always a top priority for us students, but depending on your academic timeline and graduation date, eventually we all have to begin our dreaded career search in order to end up in the job we want, in the field that we like.

While career searching may seem far away and insignificant in your first or second year, it can slowly turn into impending concerns during your final years of university if you have not done anything to prepare or expose yourself to processes of job applying and recruiting. Fortunately, there are experts on campus to help you overcome initial difficulties - my friend, Maria, is one of them. Currently working at the Career Centre and equipped with various resources and information, Maria has agreed to share some tips about her job and what she believe will help students to better find jobs in the future. 

Tell us about yourself (name, year, program, current positions).

My name is Maria Dumdumaya, 3rd year, double major in French and Linguistics. I am a Career Assistant.  

Tell us a bit more about your position at the Career Centre and what you do at work.

As a career assistant, I help students that come in the center in finding print and online resources in terms of further education, gaining experience through volunteering internships and job search. In my downtime when incoming student traffic is low I also update our print resources. 

What did you learn on your job and how did these things benefit you?

As a student staff I learned about other resources, events and workshops available. The center has an extensive collection of resources as well as our array of appointments such as resume and cover letter critiques, personal statement, CV reviews, employment advising and career counseling and many more. 

The work and study balance is every working students’ concerns; how do you manage your time between the two?

Working at school helps in this balance because at times I would be coming from class and heading straight to work or vice versa. The hours are flexible in the sense that it is made to fit with your class schedule. I strive to keep a balance by getting organized, breaking down tasks into multiple steps in order to avoid getting overwhelmed with one large task. I also make use of my time during my commute to school to review material as well as finish tasks well in advanced to reduce additional stress from time constraints. 

What do you think about the level of students’ involvement in their career search? Do you have any advice for those who wish to find job but are not aware or hesitant to get help from the Career Centre? 

We aim to make career search a priority in the minds of students, despite their busy schedules in managing their studies as well as extra-curricular activities. I find at times career gets pushed back in the presence of these other priorities. My advice would be to take a step inside the center the door is always open! You don’t even have to have a specific question in mind and it could just be to browse our print resources. If you feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start our staff is there to assist you. Too big of a step, you can also go on our website there is module: “Career exploration 101” that can get you started. 

Thank you for your the great interview Maria, hope you can support many more to achieve their dream jobs!

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Giang Tran

U Toronto

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