Hi my name is Alana and I am one of the Employment Advisors here at the Career Centre. I have to say, I honestly love my job! However, how I got here was NOT a straight line. Let’s back up a few hundred years and I’ll tell you my story! I am an UTM alumnus, although when I went here people still called it Erindale College. I took Crime and Deviance and Sociology. I dreamt of being either a teacher or a social worker. I am neither. I started volunteering with young offenders at a local community agency in my 2nd year. I thought this experience would look good on my teachers college application or my MSW application. I knew I wanted to help people but really had no idea what that meant. Needless to say, I never applied for my M.S.W or B.Ed. Instead, I got a job with my family’s business as an AP/AR clerk. I was miserable. Numbers and details are not my style. I needed to talk with people and spend my time with ideas. Fast forward a few years and I discovered a Post Graduate Certificate at Conestoga College called the Career Development Practitioner program. It had elements of educating and helping people through one of the most difficult times of their life-being unemployed. Hmmmm. I applied and got in. The program had everything I was hoping for: theory, hands on group work and practicum in the community. I finally got ‘it’, whatever ‘ it’ is. I felt like I had a calling and was willing to work hard to make sure I kept getting better and better.
I spent the last 15 years working at various non-for profits working with foreign trained professionals, career changers, individuals with intellectual disabilities, high school students and eventually university students. The underlying theme was always helping people find meaningful work that would allow them to use their unique skills and talents.
Even though I have been working in the same field for my entire career, I am always asking…what else? I never want to stop learning, whether it is formally or informally. I also want to have fun and see the bright side of things. You will notice this if you ever attend one of my workshops or have a one-to-one appointment with me! Come see me and let’s chat!