October 21, 2011

Work Placement Worries

So the time of the year has come where students apply to be accepted for a work placement as a part of the second-year curriculum in Creative Communications.

To be clear, we submitted our forms this week, however I have noticed despite the list not being available (from what I've heard) until November/December, everyone's having minor panic attacks at the prospect of being placed somewhere they don't want to be, or not being placed somewhere they would love to be. I'll fully admit that I have my heart set on a work placement with True North Sports & Entertainment, working under former CreComms Christina Caligiuri and Scott Brown, and being a part of the excitement this company is bringing Winnipeg.

However with that being said, with growing up comes the realization that nothing will ever be the end of the world unless it truly is a tragedy. The need to exaggerate seems to be something of the norm these days, with attention-seeking being at an all time high on social media for personal matters, full of dramatics and "my life is over." Until you have experienced a tragedy, it seems harmless. The beauty of being able to discover what's important in life is that you see the positives in more situations than you ever had, and relating to the work placement, I see it (no matter where I get placed) as a huge gift. As students rarely are we given such great opportunities, and the program is trusting us to represent it- a big responsibility that says a lot in terms of the instructors confidence in us.

The companies and non-profits that do take us are essentially opening their doors to students, trusting that we'll listen and excel in their work environment, not having the right to necessarily interview someone as they normally would upon hiring.

I urge my fellow CreComms to realize that no matter where you are placed, whether it be somewhere you dreamt about or somewhere you've never heard of, be grateful. If this were "real life," I guarantee you we would all be psyched to just have a job, and probably not be quite so dramatic about where it is.

I have full confidence my colleagues will all represent the college in the upmost manner, BUT in case we all need a small reminder.... here are a few tips I have learned in some of my jobs, and picked up from wise individuals around me. Please comment and send me some of your tips as well!

1) Be on time. Early= on time. The people taking us under their wings are doing us a favour, whether we think ourselves to be super skilled or not, and shouldn't have their schedules affected in a negative way.

2) Dress to impress. Don't show up in your sweats, stretchy pants, etc... personal style should be muted, or toned down, and you should investigate dress code prior to showing up. Dress like you work there.

3) Be timely on your tasks. If they ask for it in three days, try and finish the project in two, or better yet one. You should be pushing yourself to produce high-quality pieces quickly, like you will be in the
'real world'.

4) Know the corporate culture you're walking into. Research the company or non-profit and know the language they use, the mission statement and values they have.

5) Ask questions and offer help. You don't need to be trailing your supervisor like a shadow, but offering helpful advice can get you experience on projects you might not have been initially signed up for, and can show in small ways your skill set and strategic thinking. Asking questions shows that you are thinking about what they are doing and are making sure you are 100% certain on the task at hand or their goals coming out of it- it doesn't mean that you're slow or stupid.

6) Be personable, but not too personal. Don't come into the office venting about fellow students, instructors, or even your boyfriend. Act like a professional and thou shall be treated like one! (-K Larsen)

7) Treat it as a project that you are getting graded on, and pretend you are getting paid. These are small things that may help your motivation sky-rocket, if the simple truth that the company/organization may hire you doesn't.

That's all for now! Send me your suggestions!

Happy weekend bloggers (Go Jets Go)

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