Thursday, 10 March 2016

Career Snapshot - Kateryna Pashkovska - Career Mentor Program - Part 2 

In what ways did the Career Mentor Program help you establish a career path at a time when you were uncertain about your future? 

After seeing the power of connecting with professionals first hand, I decided to explore it further. Upon returning from Ukraine, I learned about the Career Mentoring Program and I was waiting for it to re-open in the new academic year. There was no question for me of the high value of this program because of my friend Ruslan’s personal experience as well as the deep respect that I have for Amy’s expertise in running the program. Similarly, the very idea of having an experienced mentor who could guide me through my endless “how to” questions for eight months felt terrific. I did my summer homework and entered one of my last semesters with a much clearer idea of what kind of job I wanted to focus on. My studies in socio-cultural anthropology have such a great scope of possibilities that I had to discover what some of my options and interests might be.     
Some of the important areas in my dissertation research are human ecology - interaction between humans and their urban environment in a multicultural context and how we find ways to cooperate in joint international projects without major misunderstandings. I’ve been working on social sustainability issues during my fieldwork in north-west Russia and I realized that this is what I want to continue pursuing here in Edmonton. 
Part of the application process to the Career Mentoring Program is to sit down with the Career Education Coordinators at the Career Centre. Amy and Jasmine did a superb job of questioning and challenging me on what I hoped to get from the career mentoring program. Thanks to them, I was able to realize my priorities which made my preparation for the program much more efficient that it could otherwise have been. 
In short, I decided that after having completed the program, I wanted to be able to put my skills to work outside of academia.  I crave hands-on experiences that would help me understand the functions of a real workplace including the dynamics between colleagues as well as team work. I want to learn about my prospective marketability, my strengths and weaknesses and work on them to raise my chances of getting a job. I don’t want to just feel good about my skills but also be able to prove that I can use them to the best of their ability.

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