By Rebekah Prette:
In December 2017, myself and eight other first and second-year students participated in the 2017 MLIS Career Discovery Tour in Toronto, organized by Robert Wooden (Management Career Services). This tour gave us the opportunity to explore some of the diverse employment options available to us after graduation, practice interviews and network with professionals.
Sites visited were the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Library, University Health Network and Michener Institute, Ontario Library Association, Ryerson University Library, and Deloitte.
One of the core aspects of the tour was meeting and interacting with professionals including public, academic, health sciences, and business librarians. During several information sessions and a discussion panel, we were able to ask them questions about their career paths and tips for finding our first job. Two of the key tips, repeated many times, were: 1. to network as much as possible, and 2. to get involved with associations, as a way to both increase connections and to add to a resume.
Another beneficial aspect of the tour was the practice interview session. This gave us the opportunity to hone our interview skills, especially with competency questions (i.e “Tell about a time when…). After the interviews finished, the professionals gave us concrete feedback on how to improve our answers. For example, they encouraged us to use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to improve our examples. We also received feedback about our resumes. It was very beneficial to practice these skills in a low key, relaxing environment.
The tour helped all of us grow our knowledge of the profession, and make valuable connections. It was an extremely helpful experience that made our potential career paths much more clear.