If I had been asked at 19, when I began university, what I thought I would be doing for a living, the job I currently hold at UTM would not have occurred to me. Probably because it didn’t exist! That is a reality for the students I now work with as they try to figure out what they will do to support themselves – many of the options don’t exist yet! Who would have thought even 5 years ago that we would tweet our thoughts to the world and that there would be a place to do it? If I could go back in time, I would tell my 19 year old self how important it is to have curious conversations with people and be open to opportunities that come from conversations and new information.

My career has followed a “Happenstance” path since I began work. As opportunities presented themselves, I assessed which would be right for me and then took the leap and went where it led. I have worked as a camp counsellor, short order cook, worked in retail, as a junior economist & consultant working on economic forecasts, special projects & outreach coordinator and managed a resource library. Although some of them are quite unrelated, looking back I see the patterns of what I learned and how those experiences were and are still useful to me. They allowed me to “learn by doing” what I was good at, what I liked to do and what I didn’t like.

The most recent opportunity has led me here to UTM where I work as a Career Outreach Consultant. As the Outreach Consultant, I work with faculty, staff and students to bring career education to UTM students. A big part of my job is meeting people and seeing where the Career Centre can help UTM students with their questions like: what am I going to do when I graduate, how can I get started building experience, how do I figure out what I’m good at? Have you thought of any of these questions? What opportunities have recently presented themselves to you?

Stamps with "Happenstance" written in calligraphy script

Image credit:Happenstancemusic.com