Getting a head start on career planning

Carleton student Visheka Oeur is working towards her BA, Directed Interdisciplinary Studies - Major in Corporate Social Responsibility and hopes to graduate in 2016. She is also a peer helper in Co-op and Career Services, and Career Startup. (Kristy Strauss Photo)

Kerry Eamer wants students to start thinking about planning their career before they graduate.

“It’s never too early to start,” says Eamer, director of Co-op and Career Services at Carleton. “And, it’s a process.”

Co-op and Career Services is introducing that process to students this year through Career Startup – a campaign to build student awareness of the services available to them, and to help them launch their careers.

“Career Startup is based on career development theory, in which there are four phases,” says Eamer.

Through Career Startup, students develop a better sense of the different phases before deciding on a career. They include: self-awareness, research, putting together a plan and implementation.

Eamer adds that there is also a fifth phase for people who are changing their careers.

“A large amount of students are really interested and dedicated to being in charge of their own careers,” she says. “We don’t have all the answers, but we can help them go through a guided process.”

As part of the Career Startup campaign, there will also be a variety of events on campus including resume reviews in the Atrium and career workshops.

Eamer adds that Co-op and Career Services has hired peer helpers who can help walk students through the process.

“It’s less intimidating for students. You want to speak to someone who’s like you and that’s okay,” she says, adding that peer helpers are represented from all different disciplines.

Visheka Oeur is working towards her BA, Directed Interdisciplinary Studies – Major in Corporate Social Responsibility and hopes to graduate in 2016.

She works as a peer helper and says she wanted to give back to other students since Co-op and Career Services has been invaluable to her.

“Basically, Career Startup helps a lot of students with defining a direction,” Oeur says. “A lot of students who come to university don’t know what they want to do with their life.”

She adds that Co-op and Career Services is an important place to help students find their direction and gear their academics towards their career goals.

“This place is full of resources and I suggest it to everybody who has no idea what they want to do,” she says. “Or, those who have an idea, and need help getting to where they want to be.”

Eamer says that knowledge is invaluable to all students – even those who seem sure of what they want to do after school. There are situations where students might pick a career because of the salary or the company, but the employer’s values might not align with the graduate’s.

“Some people have an understanding of who they are and what kind of work they want to do but it doesn’t hurt to take a look at what the options are – because education is power,” Eamer says. “Access to information only sets us up for more success.”

For more information on Career Startup, visit:

This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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