The 2008-09 academic year presented Aboriginal students with increased opportunities to find work, build job search skills, and explore careers, as UBC Career Services and the First Nations House of Learning collaborated to develop new career development opportunities.
Career Services started the year by welcoming Kimberley Rawes to the Career Education team. Kimberley is a recent UBC B.A. graduate (2008) with a double major in First Nations Studies and Political Science and with previous presentation, marketing, and relationship-building experience. She continues to be enthusiastic about combining her professional passion for coaching and supporting students with her academic interest in Indigenous issues.
Kimberley had an opportunity to introduce herself when Career Services joined other campus partners, faculty, staff, and students at the First Nations Longhouse Welcome Back Barbeque in September 2008. Later, Career Services and the First Nations House of Learning began to meet more formally to discuss
how to better support Aboriginal students on campus.
One of their first initiatives was to partner with LYNX, an Aboriginal Student Career and Employment Program. LYNX features a job board for Aboriginal students at nine post secondary institutions, connecting students with opportunities across Canada. Students can visit the website to find employers who are eagerly recruiting co-op, summer, part-time, full-time, and permanent positions. In October 2008, representatives from UBC Career Services, the UBC First Nations Student Association, and the First Nations House of Learning attended the launch event for LYNX held at the University of Calgary. LYNX also visited UBC throughout the 2008-2009 winter term to promote their job board resource and to encourage students to sign up and upload their résumé therein. If you’re interested in accessing this resource, in addition to the UBC Career Services online job board, sign up at www.aboriginallynx.ca.
By November 2008, UBC Career Services and the First Nations House of Learning had begun to work together to schedule and advertise events throughout the term to help Aboriginal students revamp their résumés, find summer work, and discuss career questions directly with a Career Educator. The first event was a résumé clinic and pizza lunch where students received individual feedback from Career Service’s Career Educators. Students received answers to their questions, including how to present relevant course work for a job posting, what to do about references, what experiences are relevant for particular postings, and how to describe “community involvement” to employers. All students in attendance left with new strategies to write winning résumés.
In January 2009, Career Services hosted an employer panel where enthusiastic professionals shared the valuable experiences they gained from building their own careers. Students guided the conversation towards topics like the importance of graduate school, opportunities in law and public legal education, careers in banking, and careers in consulting for First Nations communities and business. The employers represented CIBC, the Legal Services Society, and independent consulting business. Thanks again to Patrick Kelly, Fran Auckland, Pamela Shields, Ronald Perron, and Amanda Brophy for generously donating their time to further our student’s career development through their unique insights.
Click here to visit the UBC Career Services website.