Employer and Alumni Appreciation Breakfast recognizes contributions to student careers

Faculty, students, alumni and employment recruiters came together at York University’s Underground restaurant the morning of November 21 to enjoy a delicious breakfast and listen to the stories of students who benefitted from Career Centre resources and partnerships. The dual theme of the event was student success and ongoing growth. Aptly enough, the overhead TV screens featured the simple message “Thank you for contributing to our students’ growth”.

Attendees heard from Julie Rahmer, Director at York’s Career Centre; a student panel composed of Sheryl To, Zain Adil and Aneta Tasheva; as well as York alumnus and LinkedIn marketing manager Steve Watt.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done an appreciation breakfast,” Rahmer says of the event. “[Over the past few years] we’ve talked about doing something to thank employers, and then we talked about doing something for alumni, and we thought, ‘Bring them all together,’ because it’s the same sort of impact that they have on students in terms of making a difference and helping them make decisions about their careers.”

Sheryl To, a fourth-year Accounting student, took part in the Certified Management Accountants Internship Program at Hydro One and Scotiabank. When asked about her reasons for interning at the two companies, she answered that it had a lot to do with determining a career path and taking advantage of opportunities for growth. She says, “I interned not just to professionally grow but also for personal development.”

Fourth-year Computer Science student Zain Adil says it was a “very important step in my career.” He was a Technology Internship Program student at BlackBerry, a position he took in order to gain real-world experience in coding and technology, and to learn first-hand how the market works. He says that he wasn’t sure what career path to take at first, but the internship helped him focus on just the kind of work he wanted to pursue after graduation.

Aneta Tasheva, a York alumna who now works as a writer for hotel marketing company VFM Leonardo, participated in three TASTE (Take a Student to Eat) lunches. She says they gave her the opportunity to meet people in the line of work she was interested in, and she got great advice that helped her with her own career in the writing industry.

Lastly, LinkedIn’s Steve Watt, who earned a BA in Philosophy at York University and an MBA at the Rotman School of Business, presented a talk detailing a game plan for customizing LinkedIn profiles to get real results in any career path. After outlining the steps LinkedIn users should take to stand out from the crowd, Watt shared his own story of how he came to work at LinkedIn. When he finished, there was a brief question-and-answer period for audience members seeking clarification on various points of the talk.

At the event’s conclusion, each attendee received a gift of a small potted plant and a packet of York University’s own Las Nubes coffee, symbolizing growth and development.

The Career Centre organizes numerous events throughout the year, including job fairs, volunteer fairs, resumé critiques and internship programs, while also offering two kinds of alumni connection events: Career Conversations panels and TASTE lunches. An invaluable resource for current and former York students, the Career Centre provides career counselling and related student services.

Word Count: 546; York University Vice-Provost Students Blog & News

December 20, 2013: http://yublog.apps01.yorku.ca/vpsnews/2013/12/20/employer-alumni-appreciation-breakfast-recognizes-contributions-student-careers/

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