Written by: Sabrina Douglas
Experiential Education Intern
Social Psychology ’15
Hi SocSci! It’s Sabrina Douglas here – the newest Intern in the EE Office! I recently graduated in June 2015 with my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology from Mac and was fortunate enough to land this internship opportunity. I am looking forward to having an active presence on this blog to share my post-grad thoughts and perspectives on the value of EE programming and activities. My first blog post is dedicated to SOC SCI 2EL0 (Introduction to Career Planning through Experiential Learning), the phenomenal and invaluable course facilitated by the wonderful Cindy Schooley.
As part of my Internship in the EE office, I was given the opportunity to shadow SOC SCI 2EL0. Having not taken the course in my undergrad, I was looking forward to seeing what the course was all about and if I would learn any career planning tips I had not heard before. A common myth about SOC SCI 2EL0 is that it is only for students looking into our internship program as the course is a prerequisite. However, this career planning course is useful for all Soc Sci undergrads – especially for upper level students getting ready to start their careers! Going into my last week of this six-week (tuition free!) course, I can tell you firsthand that I have learned a ton of new and valuable information about effective job searching, tailoring resumes to different positions, writing the perfect cover letter, constructing a learning portfolio, and so much more!
I was quickly inspired to write this blog post because, as a new grad, this is a course that I wish I had taken in my undergrad and I am going to tell you 3 reasons why you should take SOC SCI 2EL0.
First, let me give you some background information about my experiences since completing my undergrad. After wrapping up my studies in April, my next steps were trying to secure a job for the upcoming year. I was unsure about going to graduate school and decided that taking the year to work and gain experience was the right path for me. I had started applying in February for various positions in the Social Services field as well as positions at McMaster. Most of my past work experience was at Mac – I worked as a Human Resources Assistant as part of the WorkStudy program, was an executive member of the Social Psychology Society in my third year, and volunteered with the Student Health Education Centre (SHEC) for 2 years, first as a peer supporter and then as the Addictions Awareness Chair. I loved my McMaster experience and was not ready to leave so soon.
This summer was a tough time for me because applying for jobs consistently for 6 months became tiring and the job market was so much more competitive than I ever could have predicted. It wasn’t long before I began feeling like all my work experience and my Social Sciences degree were not valued. I was unable to secure a position until late July, and that was a tough pill to swallow after seeing friends secure positions sooner.
This brings me back to why you should take SOC SCI 2EL0, here are my 3 reasons:
- You get to do multiple career assessments that will match your skills and personality to suitable careers which is really great if you are in a stage of career exploration! You are also told about many career resources and websites that are awesome for effective job searching.
- The course facilitator, Cindy, really cares about her students, is very engaging and will inspire you to work as hard as you can on your resume and cover letters to present yourself in the best way possible to potential employers.
- It really is SO valuable – it made me confident in the value of my Social Sciences degree again and you will learn tips and tricks about career exploration and applying to jobs that you haven’t heard before! I know that the skills I learned will really help me in the job search process once I complete my internship with EE.