My name is Michelle Atkinson and I am the Coordinator of Events and Employment Services at the Career Centre here at UTM. Basically, that means I am the first point of contact at the centre for employers who are looking to hire our students. It also means I organize our campus career fairs, networking nights, career panels, and our on-campus recruitment. I love it here, and I`ll share a bit of my story below to let you in on why:
I graduated from Trent University in 2007, with a feeling of accomplishment and absolutely no idea what I would do with my degree in Political Science and English. Since I spent approximately zero hours during my undergrad using our career centre services or participating in career related events, I started focusing on the most natural thing that comes to mind for most humanities grads: my application to teachers` college. I thought it would probably look snazzy on my application if I had more experience with children, so I began coaching a minor hockey league team. The experience ended up being a lot of fun, but when the season came to an end, I knew I did not want to be a teacher anymore. I love kids, but working with them every day requires super-human levels of patience that I simply do not possess. And the angry hockey parents? That same level of confrontation would more than likely exist during parent-teacher interviews or bad grades on a report card. No thanks. However, the experience ended up being a huge career-lesson for me: I was so focused on what I thought I loved about becoming a teacher (helping people), that I completely blinded myself to what I wouldn`t like about it (pretty much everything else).
My approach to my career then became as much about focusing on things I loved about jobs that I had (which, at this point were two corporate jobs that I learned a lot from but didn`t exactly love), as it was about focusing on things that I didn`t like about them.
By trying on a few different roles along the way, I found myself at UTM in the Career Centre, and I love it. Why? Because, if at some point during your undergrad, you`ve found yourself completely lost as to what you wanted to do with your life – I`ve been there too! (Plus it probably helps that I love to talk, so a career where I get to talk to employers
and external partners about how awesome our students at UTM are? Sign me up!)
Since this is a bio, a few other things about me are a love of reading, yoga, running, swimming, vegetarian cooking, and my sweet pup Ella (who is basically the happiest dog in the world!)