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Graduate2019

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  1. Thought it might make it easier to compile a list of different volunteering sites in Ontario and across Canada and save them all in one place. You might find these helpful if you are currently looking to volunteer within your community or even remotely: SPARK Ontario – You can filter volunteering opportunities by location and/or suitability (i.e. looking for opportunities for anyone, adults, youth, etc.) https://www.sparkontario.ca/ Gigit – You can choose whether you are looking for a volunteer gig, paid gig, events, services or rentals and where. https://gigitmarketplace.com/ Canadian Red Cross – You can find volunteering opportunities depending on the province that you live in and you also have the choice to select a role type and a category. https://www.redcross.ca/ YMCA Canada – Volunteering opportunities may vary depending on location, so their main site advises you to visit your local YMCA site to learn more (they make it easy for you too and actually link all of their branches!) https://ymca.ca/Get-Involved/Volunteer Volunteer Canada – This site works a little bit differently. Instead of letting you search for a particular position, it gives you a list of different local sites that you can visit for more information based on where you are located. For instance, if you are in Ontario and within the GTA, it links you to Volunteer Toronto so you can search for opportunities in that specific area. Or if you are more towards Ottawa, then they also include Volunteer Ottawa and a couple of other sites. Apart from that, Volunteer Canada also gives you the option to fill out a form so you can be matched with possible volunteering opportunities within your preferred location and based on your talents/skills, what cause you are looking to serve and what group of people. You can also choose the duration of the volunteering position and if you are volunteering on your own or with a group. All of this is found in the Pan-Canadian Volunteer Matching Platform tab. https://volunteer.ca/ Charity Village – You can find volunteering opportunities (or even paid positions) just by typing a keyword, job title or the organization’s name as well as selecting a specific location. https://charityvillage.com/ I would also suggest that if you do have something specific in mind you want to do (i.e. helping out with COVID related jobs, helping out newcomers get settled in, etc.) and said job is not showing up on any volunteering site or there is even a specific organization you want to contribute to, you can easily go to your local centres’ websites or reach out to them via email or phone and ask if they have any volunteering opportunities and how would you go about the process. They are always looking for volunteers! I will make sure to keep adding more sites as I come across them but please feel free to comment with any others that were not mentioned that you may know of! 🙂
  2. These are all great tips! I'd actually like add to the point about seeking help and setting your priorities in the beginning: University/college can be overwhelming especially on your first year where you're kind of trying to figure out your place within this institution and in this new phase of your life. Essays, assignments, projects, etc., can also get a bit too much especially when it is not just one course you are taking but multiple at the same time. That said, there will be people there to help you. Even talking to your TA and your professor if you're struggling! And in my case, my university also offered free counselling and you could also even go to your academic advisor. Additionally, the university itself would sometimes even offer workshops on mental health, essay writing, etc. So no matter where you go to for school and what program you are in, there is bound to be someone you can talk to and reach out to for help so don't be afraid to do so. Professors do actually mean it when they tell you to come see them during office hours. They are not as scary as they might seem at first! Setting your priorities is definitely a good thing to do when you first start your post-secondary education. Everyone may be going to the same institution but everyone is different and has different priorities and things they're worrying about. It is good to kind of assess yourself and decide what exactly you want to get out of this experience so you don't waste any time. As mentioned in the previous post, some people are concerned with volunteering in the community and if that is also your case then you might want to reach out to volunteering places that first year or attend volunteering events and get as involved as possible. But it would be good to know what you want to "achieve" so you can use your time wisely! Of course if you are also not sure or don't have any idea yet then that's completely okay too. I know it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do and I'd really just try different things every year so it's all up to you. 😁
  3. This is a great list! I definitely agree with everything that's been said and second a lot of these points. Especially the one about procrastination. Depending on your program of study and how many credits you decide to take on that first year, you might or might not end up with quite a bit of "free time" throughout the week. And for every class, you'll get the syllabus on the first day so you can see what the assignments will be and when they will be due. So it is easy to think that because something is due in a month or two, there is still plenty of time to get it done and obviously there is! But then you start to get busier and busier because maybe you got a part-time job or are taking other courses that also have assignments due or you decided to join a club and now have more responsibilities, etc. Point being that the due date gets closer and you still haven't started your assignment so you end up panicking and maybe pulling a few all-nighters because you realized that the assignment was more difficult than it looked at first so it requires more time. I know I found myself in similar situations and luckily I pulled through but if I could go back in time and redo them again, I'd definitely try to keep a schedule and space things out throughout the week/month and give myself enough time to work on things that are due. And I think that is the advice I would give in that case: Plan ahead and give yourself enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Space things out and work on them a little bit each day if possible! And about extracurriculars, chances are your institution will be hosting a vendor fair at the beginning of each term. Vendor fairs are great ways to not only get free goodies and food (!!!) but also to get to know and join clubs on campus and find out more about businesses in the local area! I know for mine, gym, shops, banks representatives, etc., would also be there waiting to talk to students and offer them great deals on their services. 😄
  4. Another great website for volunteering opportunities in the area (or even across Canada) is https://charityvillage.com/! They do have quite a few remote opportunities as well if that's something you might want to do while the virus is going on and sites are closed.
  5. In my experience, I did not have to get a degree in Business in order to go into the Human Resources field. As mentioned in my previous education post, I actually went into Psychology and then after I decided to enrol in a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management. Even if you have not gone to university, there are certificates that are not necessarily for post-graduate students but instead just for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Human Resources field and wants to go into it. I do want to mention that because it is fully online, there is not a work experience component and all discussions are done through the forum on the course website. You would only have to go to campus to take the final exam or you can even just take it online and pay for the online proctoring service. I would highly recommend it, but it really depends on whether you are someone who is okay with learning on their own and do not need much guidance from a professor. That said, there are certificates that are not online and can be done normally face-to-face.
  6. As I previously mentioned in my education post in regard to Psychology, you can go a different way if you are not interested in becoming a therapist or a researcher. What I mean by that is that Psychology can be applied to a variety of different fields. Actually, when I was a full-time student, I was also enrolled in my university’s co-op program which allowed me to further develop my skills and gain new ones related to my major while being a student. One of the jobs I had was a specialty camp counsellor and administrator for a not-for-profit organization in my area. As a specialty camp counsellor, I had the opportunity to not only work with individuals of all ages and abilities, but I was also able to put to use all of the knowledge acquired through my Psychology related classes up to that point and learn even more. As an administrator, on the other hand, I was able to make use of my research skills which I had been developing through the different assignments for each course. Most of those classes did require you to conduct in-depth research about the subject at hand. Another job where my degree also came into play was as a summer travel counsellor. Although not necessarily directly related to Psychology, my education did play a big part in it as well as my transferable skills from previous jobs such as the one mentioned above. This particular job allowed me to further develop my communication, active listening, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, all of which were constantly being put to the test in Psychology related courses. As of now, I'm working towards my Human Resources Management certificate to then be able to work in the field as either an HR assistant, generalist, recruiter, etc. All within the same path and all making use of Psychology related theories and concepts.
  7. Based on my own educational journey, you do need some post-secondary education when it comes to Psychology. Of course, it also depends on what you are looking to do in the future. If you’re leaning more towards conducting research or becoming a therapist, you’ll definitely need to get a master’s or a PhD and get all the credentials in accordance to the province where you are. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in following a career path outside of ‘psychology’ per se then a post-secondary certificate or a master’s might be enough. Again, it would all depend on your career and what you ultimately hope to do. At an undergraduate level, it is really about first getting either an Honours’ degree (if you’re going to graduate school for Psychology) or a 3-year or 4-year degree if you are looking to go into any other field. Aside from that, it would also depend on what school you choose to go to. When I started my university career, I was not really sure what I wanted to get into later on, but I knew I was more interested in the behavioural aspect of the field as opposed to the research part. Although if you were interested in conducting research, you did have to maintain a certain average from your 2nd year onwards in order to stay in the Honours’ program. However, if you were not interested in research at all, then you could simply do a normal 4-year program. At my university, you were also allowed to do a minor or even a combined major. In my case, I decided to minor in Italian Studies. After I graduated last year, I did decide that I wanted to go into the Human Resources field, so I decided to do a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management right after. And I’m currently working towards that.
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