Photo Taken from UAlberta International Website
Every student who goes away to university not only expects to grow academically, professionally and personally. Sometimes all three of these things can manifest themselves through the perfect co-op term, or your research position at UAlberta over the summer, or even through your involvement in the Student Union or Campus Food Bank on campus. The truth of the matter is that there are many ways to expand your horizons and build skills to become a future leader in your industry of choice here at UAlberta. Just looking back at my own experience at the University I am always impressed by the amount of opportunities I uncover every year as I listen to my fellow classmates talk about their experiences and as I do some digging on my own. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start though so here are some of my favorite “growth opportunities” that I wish I would have known about in my first year here at UAlberta.
The Green and Gold Professional Development Grant gives students that opportunity to access funds that will help offset, and sometimes entirely pay for, the cost of various professional development opportunities such as conferences, projects abroad, special courses etc. The application process is fairly easy to complete and everyone at the Green and Gold Professional Development Grant office will help walk you through it. It is the perfect program for helping develop skills and competencies that are required to become leaders in the workplace following graduation. I ended up using the grant money I received to attend a business sustainability conference in Montreal, and it was definitely one of the highlights of my University career.
While the University of Alberta does not have its own Journalism school it certainly has the next best thing which is its own well respected student newspaper and a radio station right on campus. Students can volunteer to help run, produce, create pieces for, market, maintain websites, and just work in the offices of both the CJSR radio station and the Gateway newspaper. Not only will you potentially produce work that you can use to build your own professional portfolio but you also get to meet students from a variety of academic disciplines and make new friends along the way.
We are really luck here at the University of Alberta to have an amazing International Office that is dedicated to helping students make the most of their time here at UAlberta by encouraging studying and working abroad through the many different internships and partnerships it facilitates. From working as a trade delegate intern in a Canadian Consulate in Washington, D.C. or Guadalajara, Mexico, to helping run and plan a children’s festival in Saxony, Germany, you really can do anything you want. Taking the time to talk to an abroad advisor will give you a better idea of the types of programs that will be best suited to you, so make sure to do that!
The Community Service Learning Program and the courses you can take under it are an awesome way to link your academic coursework to community-based experiences. Students bring their time and talents to community organizations as part of their studies, challenging them to engage with their learning in fresh new ways and to explore relationships between theory and practice. When you enrolled in a CSL class, you participate in a community project that is both relevant to the course content and useful to the partnering non-profit organization; and by completing a number of courses with a CSL component, including our CSL-designated courses, students can earn a Certificate in Community Service-Learning upon graduation. It’s the perfect way to build meaningful work experience, give back to the community, and receive academic credit towards you UAlberta degree.
By: Nathalie Batres