If you would have asked me in high school or University what I would like to do as a career, I would have likely answered “I don’t know” or “I’m currently taking Accounting/Computer Science/English and I’d like to do something related to that”. I never imagined that I would be doing this type of work. I went to U of T St. George with no idea as to what I would study or what I’d like to do. Eventually, after shopping around in a number of subjects I ended up graduating with a degree in English.
One of my first summer jobs was as a “Shampoo Bottle Filler”. Yes, it’s as exciting as it sounds! It was in a factory where my job was either to pull the lever that put shampoo in the bottle or to pull the lever that screwed the top on. Some of my other part-time jobs were as a sales clerk in a pet store (where I got to play with the puppies), a busboy, a data entry clerk for a clothing store, an usher at two theatres and an administrative/ clerical support role in the Faculty of Medicine.
My first full-time job was at the St. George Campus Career Centre. It wasn’t the most exciting job to start with as much of my time was spent photocopying academic credentials for Ph.D. students. Very quickly, I was able to spend time working with students and new graduates who were looking for work and I was hooked. I learned so much about what motivates and scares job searchers and got to get the employer perspective. I also realized how much I enjoyed working with people and especially students and recent graduates. Since then, I’ve received additional training through the George Brown College Career and Work Counselling Program and various coaching programs.
Over the years, I’ve had a variety positions in career development ranging from front line customer service, coordinating a job shadowing opportunities, and my current role as an Employment Advisor where I work one to one with UTM students and facilitate workshops on a wide range of job search related topics. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to work at all three U of T Campus Career Centres and at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Career Centre. The variety of positions and locations has given me the opportunity to work with many hard-working, diverse and talented students from a wide range of academic programs.
On a more personal note, those who know me well either love or hate my sense of humour (admittedly, I tell some of the worst puns you’ll ever hear). I applied my “punderful” skills while appearing on the game show Definition. I’ve taken Improv Training at Second City. I’m also a huge Blue Jays and Leafs Fan. I love travelling and try to go somewhere different every year or two. My favourite holiday was spending one month in Australia where I got to hold a koala and dive at the Great Barrier Reef.
I look forward to meeting you!
Ron Wener, Employment Advisor