A summer of opportunities and priorities

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A photo showing the entrance to the Riddell Centre on a nice, sunny day.
This looks nice and sunny, but it’s probably too windy to keep one’s eyes open long enough to enjoy it. lee lim

Summer breaks can be a time to re-evaluate your plans

Have you ever found yourself standing at a crossroads, wondering how to make the most of your well-deserved summer break by securing a job, earning some money, and gaining experience as a student at the University of Regina (U of R)? With a range of prospects available, including co-op programs, summer student jobs, and academic coursework, this season is an opportune moment for students to leverage their skills and expand their horizons.  

Yet figuring out how to make the most of this time can be the most challenging part, but with the right mindset and some planning, students can have a productive summer by updating their resumes and engaging in an internship or job related to their field of study. 

For students looking to gain some practical experience, co-op programs, internships, or full-time jobs can be viable options to consider, especially for those taking a break from classes at this time. While internships, which can be paid or unpaid, are short-term placements more appropriate for students looking to gain industry exposure, full-time jobs or co-op programs give students the flexibility to earn an income while gaining hands-on experience in their own field of work.  

It is worth mentioning that the U of R’s co-op program is over 50 years old now. To get into this program, all one has to do is to complete an application form and meet the requirements for the PGPA and the minimum credit hours. International students need to have applied for their work permit prior to applying for a work term. Students can even have the opportunity to work overseas, and many co-op students have permanent jobs lined up even before they graduate. The exact requirements usually vary by faculty, but the Centre for Experiential and Service-Learning (CESL) Office at the Dr. William Riddell Centre, Room 163, is your one-stop shop to get access to these comprehensive job opportunities, as well as receive career counseling on how to add to your work experience. 

Another useful resource is the university’s career portal, a centralized hub that connects students with current career opportunities. Simply visit their website at urcareers.uregina.ca, and it will take you to the university’s employment website. Students, sessional instructors, academic, staff, and research postings are available on the website. Be sure to check out the career opportunities at the U of R’s Federated Colleges as well on their online career portal.  

Moreover, don’t miss out on attending U of R’s annual spring and fall career fairs which are big recruitment events, connecting Canadian employers with the university’s students and alumni. Another important event you should plan on attending is the Education Career Expo, which was held on January 30 this year. This event is designed specifically for school boards, public service departments, and any other organizations who are seeking employees with a background in education, connecting the them directly with students looking to enter those fields. 

The most important part of finding a job that meets your interests and career goals is having a tailored resume. Your resume serves as a first impression to potential employers and plays a big role in showcasing your qualifications, experiences, and skills. Your resume must be up to date, as this will enable potential employers to gauge your suitability for specific positions and increase your chances of being contacted for interviews. Go to urpath.uregina.ca to register for career workshops including customizing resumes, interview preparations, and marketing your skills workshops. By participating in these workshops, you can refine your resume and develop the confidence and expertise necessary to leverage your skills and excel in the job market. 

Now, while focusing on career development is vital, it is also essential to recognize the value of balance and self-care. Breaks from classes give students the opportunity to explore other areas of interest. Students can also use this time to volunteer, either on or off campus, which is equally important to give back to the community and expand your network. 

As students navigate the countless opportunities available to them during their summer break at the U of R, it’s important to acknowledge the significance of personal growth and exploration alongside professional development. While securing internships, co-op placements, or part-time jobs can help grow one’s resume and provide valuable industry experience, the summer also presents a unique chance to delve into hobbies, passions, and volunteer work that may not directly relate to one’s academic pursuits.  

Engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment can foster a well-rounded individual, equipped not only with professional skills but also with a strong sense of self-awareness and empathy. Moreover, taking time for self-care and relaxation is integral to maintaining overall well-being and preventing burnout. By striking a balance between career aspirations and personal enrichment, students can make the most of their summer break and emerge from it with a renewed sense of purpose and direction. 

During this process, it is also essential to avoid burning out. It is a good idea to set aside some time over the summer to relax and recharge. You may consider scheduling time for yourself, whether that’s setting boundaries, spending time alone, with your loved ones, friends, or pets, or simply taking a step back from activities that do not align with your priorities.  

As students head into the spring and summer semesters, there are plenty of options to make the most of their time. What’s most important is to choose the paths that best match with their goals, while also taking care to look after their mental and physical health. Make the most of it! 

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