Monday, June 15, 2015

Alternative Paths for New Grads!

Convocation week has just ended here at Brock which means it's time for a blog about alternatives after graduation. For most, the expectation is that they will slide into a career right away and start working full-time. For others, this expectation may not be attainable or ideal. If working full-time right after you graduate isn't your plan, there are many alternate routes that can be taken! Here are 4 different paths to take after graduation that don't involve working full-time, but are guaranteed to give you some practical knowledge while still being a fun learning experience!

1. Go Abroad

Why not skip out before that cold Canada winter comes and head overseas? With so many different work, internship, and volunteer opportunities, your time abroad can be more than just a fun vacation, but can double as a way to gain professional experience while becoming more culturally knowledgeable. Going Global, accessible through Careerzone for Brock students & alumni, has thousands of opportunities overseas, ranging from work to internships to volunteering, in a vast number of countries, from the US to Italy and even Finland! They even provide detailed city guides so you'll know all the logistics, like the cost of living, visa and embassy information, and how to fit in with the local culture.Other sites like Go Abroad also offer valuable resources and information on working, interning, or volunteering abroad. 

2. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to dip your foot in the pool without fully committing yourself so to speak. For example, if working with kids has always been fun for you but your not sure if you want a career in that field, spending a few hours a week volunteering might help you realize if this is the right path for you. Along with being able to try new things, volunteering allows you to network with other professionals, gives you extra experience to add to your resume, and is extremely rewarding, especially when the volunteer opportunity is something you are passionate about. Directories like 211 Ontario offer endless information about foundations and organizations who regularly take volunteers so the opportunities are truly endless. Also, if there is a specific place you would like to volunteer, a quick google search should give you the information to find out about volunteering there and what it would entail.  

3. Intern

Another great way to gain some practical experience that doesn't require a major commitment is through internship opportunities. Much like volunteering, many internships do not require the same amount of time or commitment that a full-time job would, but will allow you to get a feel for the industry and whether or not it's something you wish to pursue further. Internships are also a great way for entry level grads to break into the field! CareerEdge is a great program which offers paid internships to students looking for their big chance to shine! Even the Ontario government offers a paid internship program

4. Part-Time Jobs

If the thought of going right from graduation to full-time work is daunting, why not start with working part-time? This will allow you to gain experience and make money, all the while allowing you time to explore other opportunities simultaneously. Maybe you'll work 20 hours a week and volunteer for 10 hours. Or maybe you'll see that the part-time job you took isn't for you and take on another to explore different industries. Whatever it is you decide, part-time work opportunities are plentiful and are a great way to get your feet wet! Be sure to utilize advanced search options on websites like Careerzone, Indeed, Monster, and Eluta (to name a few) which will allow you to narrow down these part-time opportunities with ease!

So don't feel like you are limited if working full-time after graduation isn't the right path for you! As you can see, other opportunities are available and are just a few clicks away!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

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