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Key to Career Success Starts in First Year

While many students traditionally start thinking about their careers toward the end of their academic studies, Joe Henry, Associate Dean of Student Success at Sheridan College advises that the time to start planning is during a student's first year on campus.

In a talk earlier this week to 4,000 prospective applicants at the National Association for College Admissions Counselling (NACAC) College Fair at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, Henry had the following advice to share:

  • ·         Think about who you are. Research has shown that being indecisive about one's career choice impacts degree completion rates.

  • Take the time early on to explore career options and personal development opportunities.

  • ·         Colleges admit people who they believe in.  However, it is up to students to recognize when they need help and to reach out and ask for it. 

  • Every institution has a wealth of resources in counselling and advisement that are there for the taking.

  • ·         Get involved.  Students who are actively engaged outside the classroom have been shown to do better academically. 

  • ·         Get to know the library staff. Information literacy is crucial.  Librarians can help with research, citation and academic integrity.

  • ·         Take a break. Visit the athletic facilities, eat lunch in the green space outdoors when you can, or socialize with friends in lounge areas. Having time to wind down impacts overall well-being.

Henry stressed that resilience, adaptability, and personal responsibility underpin all of the above. He also advised students to set important parameters with their parents early on, such as who is allowed to view a student’s record of academic progress.  “Colleges cannot release this information to parents without the written consent of the student.  Now is the time to have this conversation to avoid disappointment or confusion,” said Henry.