Work Integrated Learning
There are a variety of challenges with McMaster’s current career services. As it stands, most faculties as well as the Student Success Centre (SSC) provide 19 career and co-op services. This mix of decentralized and centralized systems causes many students to pay two separate fees to fund their faculty’s services as well as the services provided by the SSC. In addition, the nature of these services makes it natural for many students to approach their faculty for career and co-op advice, because their faculty will often understand their program better than the SSC. Thus, all these factors play into the current landscape feeling very disjointed at McMaster.
There are several approaches I plan to take to improve career services at the University.
- I plan to first consult with faculties and the University to determine whether a centralized or decentralized system is better to serving students. Since last year Student Affairs was very focused on the mental health framework these discussions largely fell to the wayside, but this year career and co-op will likely be a strong priority for the University.
- I will work to ensure that career services provide more experiential opportunities for students, and that these positions are in students’ field of study specifically.
- I believe that our career services should put a focus on local jobs as a means of connecting students with the community and encouraging student engagement and retention.
- We will also be using our research assistants to evaluate other universities’ career services. For instance, Waterloo is renowned for its innovative and entrepreneurial approach to co-op and careers, and the MSU needs to evaluate how it can benefit from the operation of other organizations.