York University’s Work/Study Program joined forces with Career Education & Development in 2019 to offer a program designed to help Work/Study students recognize the value of their experiences. Through Becoming YU’s goal-setting and reflection framework, the program was designed to support students with greater clarity about their career goals while articulating their skills and accomplishments with confidence.
Wrapping up the Fall/Winter 2021-22 academic year, more than 1,000 students participated in the program.
Since its launch, Becoming YU has seen more than 2,500 students complete the program, allowing them to create meaningful goals and objectives, recognize the value of their personal, academic and professional experiences, identify their competencies and skills and articulate their skills and experiences with confidence.
“This program has really progressed so far beyond my imagination. Students now have coaches. This is, to me the most exciting part of why I come to work… the opportunity to act as a coach or a mentor, to engage in these deeper conversations and to really impact individual students lives,” said Vice-Provost, Students Lucy Fromowitz.
Recognizing the accomplishments of Work/Study students and Becoming YU coaches, the Work/Study program and Becoming YU team partnered to organize their first end-of-term celebration on March 30, bringing together students, coaches, Becoming YU alumni and employers.
The celebration included an employer panel discussion, where recruiters from Longo’s and Enterprise Holdings spoke about the value of transferable skills during the hiring process and in the workplace.
A second panel discussion was held with former York University Work/Study students who took part in the Becoming YU Program during their time as undergraduate students. Alumni were asked to speak on their experiences as Work/Study students and how it impacted their careers today.
“I had some phenomenal coaches who sat with me and talked to regularly with me about my life goals, the skills that I thought I was really good at. I used those check-in moments as a mentorship session… I had a coach who understood all the components and intersections of my education, with my goals and my hobby of leadership development… they were able to give me the confidence that I needed at the time,” said Becoming YU alumni Althea Parala, student success coordinator at the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
The Becoming YU end-of-term celebration was complete with an acknowledgement of this year’s most notable Work/Study students and the Becoming YU Coach of the Year. Students were asked to nominate coaches they felt had the most impact on their experience in the Work/Study program, while coaches were asked to nominate students that left an impression on the department which they worked in.
The Students of the Year award was presented to Raven Lovering and Julia Romano.
“We’ve relied on Julia to add a student voice to many of our program and team decisions, and her insight has always reminded us to keep students and their needs at the centre of what we do. Julia has always demonstrated professionalism and maturity beyond her years,” said Becoming YU Coach and Associate Director, Experiential Education Melanie Belore.
Becoming YU Coach and Learning Skills Specialist, Learning Skills & Retention Nicole Joron recognized, “[Raven] has done an excellent job of setting new Becoming YU goals each year that cover different skills. She engages in active reflection to measure her progress and identify new areas for growth… Raven actively pushes herself out of her comfort zone to learn new skills that will be valuable to her in both her work-study role and career beyond.”
Honourable mentions were given to students Catherina Blair, Michelle Thomas, Gary Bold, and Mariyam Tanveer during the event.
The Coach of the Year award was presented to Tina Ranta, assistant director, well-being.
“Despite being a new member of the York community, Tina actively connects to various departments across York and seeks out opportunities for me to engage with other York departments. Because of Tina, I had the chance to work in areas of student leadership, a role in which I would have never entered on my own, where I was able to foster facilitation skills and connect with students from a wide range of disciplines,” said Jennifer Tran, a fourth-year Becoming YU Work/Study student.
Learn more about the Work/Study Programs online.