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Growing up I knew the one thing I did not want to be was a teacher!  Did my best to avoid it!  Yet, I got asked over and over to show the new person how to do specific tasks. I found out I loved helping people learn and I was curious about different ways people learn. So I returned to school and strengthened my understanding of adult learning. Today I work as an e-learning specialist. It’s great because it combines my interest in providing informal yet structured ways to learn with my curiosity with using technology. I still don’t want to be a teacher in the traditional sense, but I love working with technology and finding interesting ways help people process information.

My latest venture with learning and technology brought me to the UTM Career Centre. This month we rolled out the “You’re more than your GPA, Mastering the Personal Statements module” (best viewed using Chrome or Firefox browsers). The module works for students who are writing their graduate school application personal statements but their schedules are so tight they don’t have time to attend the Mastering the Personal Statements workshop.  Imagine having a resource tailored for UTM students that you can access at ANY point in your personal statement writing process – even at 2 am!

Two additional learning modules will be coming out soon. One that highlights activities you can be doing while you are still at UTM to explore your dream career. This exploration can solidify your desire to work in that area, highlight things you can be doing while still at UTM to make you successful in getting started in your career. Or it could save you the frustration of finding out in your first job, that it really wasn’t what you thought it would be.  The other module is for UTM students who graduated and returned home and found it difficult to return to campus to attend the Now that I’m Graduating What’s Next workshop.

Don’t be fooled into thinking these are your basic PowerPoint decks uploaded. These modules make you work. You will be completing worksheets; responding to questions where you write down/record  your ideas/ information that can be incorporate into a personal statement; filling in a personalized job search plan. The modules will definitely help you.   However the real payoff is bringing your drafts in with you to an appointment with a Career Counsellor or Employment Advisor.

Looking back, if I had done career exploration while I was in school, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to find the work I love.


Cathy Ann Cope, E Learning Specialist