I’m sitting here on my very last day of work here in the Office of the Registrar, I’ve finished my semester and my undergraduate degree and I’m about to leave the university for good. Since this is the end of my journey in the University Works program, I’m reflecting back on my experience here and I have some thoughts I want to share.
If you're interested in, have applied to or accepted an offer at Ontario Tech, I hope to convince you that when you attend this university, you should absolutely work on-campus through our University Works program.
Don't have time right now to read this post? Check out this quick video featuring some of my experiences in the work study program:
Before I get into my experience specifically, let’s go over what working on-campus is all about. Here at this university, we have something called the University Works program, which is designed to provide students in financial need with employment.
This involves working full-time in the summer, and part-time during the school year. Virtually every department in the university has positions available, this could be anything from communications, the Faculty of Science, the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE), IT Services, Campus Recreation and so much more!
Pictured above, is me in a photoshoot I participated in through my job, pretending to be in an appointment with a Student Awards and Financial Aid officer.
I personally have been employed through the University Works program since May 2017. I'm a student communications assistant in the Office of the Registrar.
In my role I have done a lot of different things. I helped edit the Viewbook that's on the right side of this very page, I've written content for the university, monitored their social media, designed a print piece, edited websites, participated in photoshoots (also see me in photos inside that Viewbook), and much more. The point is I had a wide range of experiences.
It is really cool to help work on big projects for the university, and then to see the finished products after and know that you helped make that happen. I'm going to insert photos of me in various photoshoots I've participated with my job in in this blog to show you some of the fun I've had over my time here.
I gained a lot of professional experience in an office setting, things like effective communication skills, collaboration, writing, editing, problem-solving, taking initiative, working in different programs, etc.
I also grew a lot through this role and this program. Not only professionally, but I learned that I am capable of a lot; I can push myself to dive into things that are new and uncomfortable and I feel ready to go out into the world!
I also made friends at work, and I got to become a part of a team here with colleagues that really made this experience so positive for me. My team was so understanding of me being a student and they made sure I put school first, meaning they were very flexible with my hours if I was getting overwhelmed with school and work and everything else in my life.
They supported me through my professional and educational journey and rooted for me the whole way. They challenged me to grow and take on new tasks, made work fun and showed me what the real work world is like. I owe a lot to them for getting me to where I am today.
So why should you work on campus?
To give you the TL;DR, it's a great way to get full-time summer work and part-time work during the year. They also pay a competitive wage (above minimum wage), which is a great way to earn some money while attending school.
You can work for an employer that is very understanding of you being a student and will support and accommodate your needs during your educational journey. You can get experience that is industry-relevant and gain skills that are universally desirable in employees. You can also have a fun job, and make friends along the way.
I'll leave you with one final photo of me in a shoot, sorry to ruin the illusion for you but here I am in the Hunter suit, overheating but having fun.
I hope you'll consider applying to be in the University Works program when you're here, and that in a few years you'll be writing one of these blog posts. Let me know in the comments if there's anything else you want to know about working on campus!