The TASTE (Take A Student to Eat) program, which is a partnership between York’s Career Centre and York Community and Alumni Relations, offers students a “bite-sized” mentoring opportunity with a York alum.
Two students are paired with a York grad for a meeting over an informal lunch during which students are offered valuable inside information and career advice. Alumni typically share information about their job, industry and organization, as well as the path they followed after graduation. In some cases, students are given a tour of the grad’s workplace to provide them with a better sense of what it’s like to work within their field of interest.
Peace Omozusi, a third-year criminology student, was looking for insight into a career in corporate law from a practicing lawyer. She learned about TASTE on the Career Centre’s website and was paired with Randy Williamson, a partner at Aird & Berlis LLP. During the lunch, they discussed career advice, volunteer experiences, preparing for law school, goal-setting and even hobbies.
“You get to make connections and learn from the experience of another individual,” said Omozusi. “Learning is essential and the TASTE program is a form of learning outside the classroom. What is better than learning while eating?”
TASTE has also helped recent York graduates. Chino Arellano, who graduated with a BA (Honours) psychology degree in 2013, wanted to learn more about the education field. He was paired with Jeremy Cox, a Membership Assistance Officer at the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board. The two discussed getting into the field, demand in the industry, skills and strategies for success.
“The TASTE program is an opportunity to LAUGH – Learn, Ask questions, Understand the industry, Get your foot in the door, and Have an amazing meal,” said Arellano. “They invite quality participants – professionals who are established in their industries, and who are willing to share.”
TASTE lunches take place year round and lunches for the winter term are now being scheduled.
Students interested in the program can visit the Career Centre website to view upcoming TASTE lunches and alumni profiles. Alumni interested in mentoring students can also visit the website to learn how to participate.