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Like a Boss - Five Pieces of Professional Advice I Wish I Had Received Earlier in My Career, vol. 1

Woman smiling at her co-workers

We are already midway through summer, and this welcome break from school may have given you the opportunity to take stock of what you have achieved so far, and to reflect on what you want to accomplish next in your academic and professional journey. With that in mind, five staff members at the Student Services Centre (SSC) have graciously accepted to share with you key pieces of professional advice they wish they had received earlier in their career.

“Know when to be a sender and when to be a receiver. I have always had a go‑getter attitude and wanted to be “part of the conversation”. Whether it was to prove myself as a professional or to ensure I had a say in the matter. I often chose to speak when it would have been wiser to listen. Listening is a learned skill, and there is a tremendous value in listening to those around us and actually taking in what they are saying and learning from their experiences.”

Amanda Richardson
Telfer Career Centre

“When I was a kid, I never had a finalized game plan for when I would "grow up". I held several types of jobs: salesperson, teacher and researcher, project manager, publisher, administrator at Telfer! Two things have helped me grow in all of them: remaining 1) open; and 2) flexible. When presented with a project or task I had never tackled before, I would volunteer with enthusiasm and use that opportunity as a stepping‑stone towards the development of a new skill.”

Esther Ouellet
Interim Academic Administrator
Student Services Centre

“I hate interviews. Of course, you will tell me that we all have to go through them. That being said, when our self‑esteem is faltering, it becomes difficult to display the kind of confidence that employers are looking for. With hindsight, I would give my younger self the following advice: “Prepare.” Researching the employer, rehearsing, organizing my thoughts, those are all skills that I already have. And if there is one thing that shows your will to work hard, it is preparation.”

Karianne Lessard
Events and Special Projects Assistant
Telfer Career Centre

“Focus on you. So many of us feel compelled to compare ourselves to others on various fronts (what they studied, how quickly they finished, where they work, how much they get paid, etc.) The truth is, each and every one of us is different and possesses a unique set of interests and talents. Don’t worry about what other people are doing… simply make choices that make sense for you. Concentrate on your own journey and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.”

Marion Lajoie
Career Counsellor
Telfer Career Centre

Get to know yourself. Get to know your personality, your values, your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses. Accept and appreciate all of it. And then, pursue opportunities that allow you to put it all into practice. Pursue careers, relationships and hobbies that are in line with it all. And remember to keep evaluating as you go. In the end, you will have lived a life that is truly fulfilling.”

Stéphanie Dion
Academic Development and Student Retention Specialist
Student Services Centre

We hope that these small pearls of wisdom will enlighten your reflection as you are preparing (not to hastily, hopefully) to go back to school. Always remember: whether you need a professional opinion, a guiding hand, a friendly advice, or an invigorating pep talk, you can always rely on the staff at the Telfer Student Services Centre.

About the Author

(Elle/She)<br><br>Coordonnatrice de développement professionnel au Centre des carrières de Telfer, Véronique Bélinge est titulaire d’un baccalauréat ès arts en traduction, d’un baccalauréat ès sciences sociales en études internationales et langues modernes, ainsi que d’une maîtrise ès arts en littératures et cultures du monde. Avec plus de 20 ans d’expérience alliant traduction, révision, édition, rédaction publicitaire, création de contenu numérique et élaboration de messages organisationnels, elle offre aux étudiants du B.Com. et du MBA des services d’encadrement en développement de carrière et d’image de marque personnelle, depuis l’adaptation du CV jusqu’aux techniques d’entrevue en passant par LinkedIn.<br><br>Véronique Bélinge is the Professional Development Coordinator at the Telfer School of Management Career Centre. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Translation, an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences with a specialization in International Studies and Modern Languages as well as a Master of Arts in World Literatures and Cultures. With 20+ years of combined experience in translation, revision, copywriting, copyediting, publicity writing, digital content creation, and corporate messaging, she provides B.Com. and MBA students with personal branding and career coaching services encompassing everything from resumé tailoring to LinkedIn and interview techniques.

Profile Photo of Véronique Bélinge