July 23, 2021Print | PDF
For its work adapting to the pandemic and supporting students during a difficult year, the Canadian Association for Career Educators and Employers has awarded Wilfrid Laurier University’s Career Centre with the Excellence in Innovation Award in the category of Remote Career Education Delivery by a Career Centre.
The Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers is a national network of employer recruiters and career services professionals. The association presents awards every year in recognition of its members’ achievements.
“The pandemic forced us to rethink how we operate and how we assist students and alumni in their career pursuits in an unprecedented year,” says Jan Basso, Laurier’s assistant vice-president of Experiential Learning and Career Development. “Our talented and creative staff reacted quickly and nimbly to these challenges and worked hard to ensure we met the needs of our clients. Overnight, we introduced new processes and techniques to create new value for our stakeholders.”
In March 2020, Laurier’s Career Centre, along with most other in-person services on campus, closed its physical doors and began offering its services and appointments for students, alumni and employers remotely. They also adjusted their programming to better reflect the realities of job searching, networking, interviewing and working remotely during the pandemic.
The job market uncertainty caused by the pandemic led to a 27% increase in the number of career consultation appointments. An extra 291 workshops and programs were added over the previous year to keep up with demand.
Laurier’s Career Centre met the needs of students planning their careers, recent graduates entering the workforce and alumni looking for work or a career change – and they continue today.
To best serve its clients, the centre offers a variety of workshops and information sessions, including sessions on career and further education planning, job searching, resumé and cover letter writing, and interviewing, as well as certificate programs, including the new Career Prep Program for First-Year Students, Engagement and Employability Certificate and the Non-Profit Sector Experiential Certificate Program.
Students and alumni also have access to scheduled and drop-in appointments; resumé feedback; online career education modules available through MyLearningSpace; career fairs; employer panels; networking events; and a peer support program, among others.
Throughout 2020, the Career Centre supported thousands of employment and experiential learning opportunities both inside and outside of the university, including the International Student Work Experience Program, the Laurier Work-Study Program, the Laurier Work-Learn Experience Program and recruiting activity with approximately 1,300 external organizations.
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