During my co-op work term this past semester, I was given the opportunity to work with ESES (Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services). I accepted this position with the usual expectations of getting a reference and some quality experience; however, I quickly learned that this office had much more to offer. Over the duration of my work term I realized just how many free services ESES provides, not only for current students, but graduates as well. As a fourth year student at this college, I was surprised to learn the amount of assistance that had been available to me all this time. I hope by sharing my experience, I will be able to encourage other students to take a trip to Fanshawe’s best kept secret down in D1063.
Within my first month in this new position I was given the opportunity to attend several events during my work hours. The first was Resumania, this workshop gives students the opportunity to have their resumes critiqued by professional Career Consultants. Consultants will go over everything from grammar and spelling to format and experience relevance. This is a drop in workshop that runs several times a year and gives students a tremendous advantage when searching for a job.
Several weeks later I attended the “speed networking” event. This event was created to give students the opportunity to speak to employers and discuss the most useful job searching skills. There were human resource professionals from a wide variety of highly reputable companies, including: TD Canada Trust, Magna and Western University. Chatting with these representatives gave me insight into the hiring process and showed me what the employer expects of me when applying to a position within a large scale organization.
Rising Leaders is another great program which offers a variety of helpful workshops. During my time as a co-op student I was able to attend several Rising Leaders events, including: Personal development, Introduction to leadership and mentoring/networking. These seminars are great resources for students wishing to gain valuable workplace skills that will help them in their careers. Students that attend five seminars receive recognition on their co-curricular record, which will look great on their resumes and increase the interest of employers!
One of the most beneficial events in my opinion was Ignite. Ignite is a Career Conference that is put on by ESES. The event is kicked off with a keynote speaker and includes an employer panel and various workshops to better prepare you for your future career. A full lunch is provided and students have an opportunity to win a wide variety of exciting door prizes. This event is a must for all students and alumni who are looking to gain valuable knowledge, while enjoying good food and good company.
In preparation for the Career Fair, ESES put on a professional head shot event, which gave the students the opportunity to get their photos taken by the staff of Library and Media Services here at Fanshawe. It was easily accessible to all students and ran for 3 hours, in order to help accommodate the scheduling of all programs. As I assisted with the event, I thought it would be a good chance to take advantage of the opportunity and get my professional head shot taken as well. I used the photo for my LinkedIn profile and was able to get pointers from a Career Consultant on how to improve my profile and increase my chances of getting a job.
Career Fair is one of ESES's largest and most important events. This event is a must for students and alumni seeking employment. This year it held more than one hundred employers, spanning across all of the programs in the school. With part time jobs, full time jobs summer and even co-op opportunities, Career Fair has something for everyone!
During my co-op I spent a lot of time working in Career Services, which gave me an opportunity to discover what the Career Consultants do first hand. Career Consultants offer one on one assistance with resumes, cover letters and designing professional LinkedIn profiles. They also offer mock interviews for students who have little experience in this area. Their services are available to students within the college, and even to graduates, within the first 3 years of completing their program.
Co-op consultants offer many of the same services as Career consultants, but are focused on finding jobs for students within their specified programs. There are over forty eight co-op programs and each consultant is in charge of a different grouping, allowing them to focus all of their efforts in one area and offer students the best assistance possible.
Co-op is the best way for students to gain hands-on experience in their field while studying in their program. Co-op students show higher marks, higher earnings after graduation, and are significantly more likely to have a full-time job six months after graduation! Co-op staff is here to help you find a fulfilling work experience and help students integrate their knowledge learned in the classroom to a real-world setting. Come see us today! - Kelsey Currie, (Co-op consultant)
After several weeks I had the pleasure of helping out with the “Stone Soup” event that is put on each year by Leap Junction. Leap Junction is the Entrepreneurial services center within the school and is run by Career and Entrepreneurial Services here on campus. I went to the event, with the expectation of enjoying myself, but taking little away from it, as at the time I was unsure of whether entrepreneurship was for me. However, when the event started I quickly realized the value. Stone Soup began with special guest speaker, Kelsey Ramsden, who is an accomplished Entrepreneur. She is the founder of Belvedere Place Development and was named Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur in both 2012 and 2013. Her presentation was inspiring, and the question/answer period after was extremely useful to the large number of aspiring entrepreneurs who attended! Since then I have learned how amazing their services really are. Leap Junction offers workshops all year round and assists students with research and creativity. Their services give students an opportunity they will not find anywhere else. This summer Leap junction is running a “summer incubator” program that will accept up to 12 students who possess an idea, a business plan and a drive for success. This program will give them the opportunity to work on their business idea all summer long, with the assistance of Leap Junction Staff and guests from relevant industries. The best part is, the students are actually paid to be a part of this program!
Leap Junction has worked with a wide variety of aspiring entrepreneurs and have helped guide them on their journey to success. Leap Junction has supported companies such as Gamer Link, SixFive Interactive, Fritter shop, Four Elks and much more!
"Leap Junction has supported me from the very start. Annette and her team are fun and inspiring people to be around and always do their best to guide anyone who comes their way in the right direction! We appreciate everything you do for us." - Tyler Scott Bryden (Owner of SixFive Interactive)
Nearing the end of my four month contract, I was told about an event that ESES was hosting at a London Knights game and was offered tickets to attend. When I got there, I was excited to learn that we had box seats, perfectly placed, with unlimited free pizza and popcorn. This was my introduction to the Larry Myny Mentorship program, which is a program created to provide ambitious students with mentors who have been successful in their desired field. After having such a great time at the game I decided to become more involved with the program. During my time working with the program facilitator on this project I heard so many wonderful stories, both from the mentees and the mentors. The students shared how having a mentor has benefitted them personally and professionally. In this program students are given the opportunity to meet with their mentors for several hours a week and get to attend all of wonderful events that are involved. This program runs September to April and just celebrated its year end event on March 30th at the Outback Shack. It was a great night, full of delightful people, amazing food, good networking opportunities and a whole lot of trivia!
Even more important than the services ESES provides are the employees who make them all possible. Each employee is fully invested in their job, going out of their way to provide the best service possible for the students. A great example of this is the Senior Manager, Darlene O'Neill. Outside of her work hours Darlene is chair of the Heads of Co-op Committee and has written an article called "Find The Work You Love", which can be found in the link below. Darlene works very hard to offer the best service possible and her staff perfectly reflect this goal.
As a co-op student I had used jobsite before, in fact I had used it to obtain this position; however, I know a lot more now. Jobsite is ESES's online resource for students looking for employment. Jobsite gives students access to hundreds of jobs spanning across all of the programs within the school. There are part time jobs, full time jobs and summer positions all available on Jobsite, and the listings are updated on a daily basis. Jobsite is also very necessary for students looking for co-op positions. Listings of cooperative education positions are available to each students specific program, and can be applied to right on the site. Jobsite is accessed through FansahweOnline.ca and is available for both student and alumni. Instructions on how to access and utilize jobsite can be found below.
Working with Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services has been one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had, the employees are great and the services are equally amazing. From offering free professional head shots and career consultancy, to offering a paid summer of entrepreneurial assistance, Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services can help you succeed and better your future! I would encourage anyone reading this to take a trip down to D1063 and find out how they can help you!