Finding Your Space in the Workplace

By Western University Modified on March 17, 2022
Tags : Careers

Life beyond the classroom: summer internships and finding the right career path for you.

Finding Your Space in the Workplace

Written by third-year Western University Management & Organizational Studies and Ivey HBA student Kaitlyn Neto.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up? It's a question we've all been asked since we were in kindergarten. But at some point, the question starts to carry a little bit more weight to it — and that can feel overwhelming if you don't know exactly what the answer is.

Navigating the transition from student to employee can be intimidating. But discovering who you are beyond the classroom can also be exciting! If you want to open yourself up to opportunities, you need to embrace your career as a lifelong journey of self-discovery and personal development. It doesn't have to be perfect, and it certainly doesn't have to be linear. University is a time to explore who you are and who you want to be, so make the most of it!

Here are some tips I've learnt along the way...

Research, research, research

The first thing you need to do is some self-discovery. Take some time to reflect on yourself and your experiences. Ask questions like:

  • What are my favourite classes in school?
  • Which of my previous jobs or extracurricular activities have I enjoyed the most?
  • What skills and abilities do I have?

Once you have an idea of where your strengths lie, start researching specific job roles or companies that align with your unique interests and skills. Western Careers & Experience has some great resources about jobs, employers, and industries. You never know what opportunities are out there until you look.

To bring your research to life, reach out to upper-year students, alumni, and professors who have experience that you want to learn from. If you're not already on LinkedIn, I highly recommend making an account. It's a great platform for job searching and networking. Here are some networking tips for students on LinkedIn.

Landing a summer internship

When it comes to landing a job or a summer internship, you have to put in the work. From resumés to cover letters to interviews, there's a lot to learn. So, the earlier you start preparing for your recruiting journey, the better. Check out these open source career fundamentals modules to get you started.

And remember, ask for help along the way! There are more people around you than you realize who are willing to share advice from their own experiences. Everyone has their own path. Work hard and keep an open mind — you'll find your space in the workplace.

Learn more about career supports at Western University

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