The Career Services team at University Canada West provides students with the skills and knowledge to navigate the professional world. Career Services Specialists, Tamara Papo and Devi Sharma, prepare students for the Canadian job market by teaching them important skills including networking and interview techniques.
Tamara and Devi have backgrounds in career advising and an extensive resumé of past experiences.
Tamara became a Career Services Specialist through her volunteer work. She discovered that she liked working with newcomers to the country as she was an immigrant herself, which fueled her passion for helping them settle and find jobs.
Devi Sharma, a Certified Career Development Practitioner, has 25 years of business management experience working for large corporations. While working with WorkBC, she discovered her passion for helping international students.
"It’s about coaching them because they may not know our culture. It was the combination of their culture, their integration and then their future success,” she said.
Tamara and Devi understand the job market and help guide students to better navigate it. They educate students on how it may differ from their home country.
"In our opinion, students don't do enough research about Canada, the labour market, and jobs… It's our duty to provide them with the resources to get a job here in Canada," Devi said.
Helping students plan their careers is one of the many services they offer as is teaching students where to look and how to properly apply for jobs. Career Services hosts a number of workshops and career panels each term as well as an annual job fair. They also offer one-on-one discussions by appointment to that UCW students will stand out to potential employers.
Career Services also conducts regular research and offers insights to industries such as banking, international trade, non-profits and many other fields.
Together with career and job planning, the Career Services team also helps students with what to expect when applying for work, what Canadian employers look for, where and how they should search and how to be more cautious when going through different posts and listings. More specifically, they teach students about awareness and how to be mindful of fraud.
"We put on privacy workshops that will educate students on scams and how to be careful and that we are here to help them", Tamara said.
These services are just limited to current students. UCW alumni can connect with Career Services and take part in the career panels, networking opportunities and job fairs.
They do have some advice for new students at UCW.
"Get in touch with Career Services,” Devi said. “The earlier you do, the better.”
Students can drop by the Career Services office to talk to Tamara or Devi or can schedule an appointment through the MyUCW Student Portal.
Written by Rafael Ramirez