In this blog post, we reached out to Palak Pandya, an international student who recently attended the Kickstart your Career Workshops we developed for Georgian College. As much as we believe in our process and our products, it’s always nice to get feedback from one of our participants. In fact, we encourage you to reach out to our team, if you have any suggestions on how we can meet your needs better with our offerings.
The series of questions below outlines Palak’s Canadian journey, her new learnings, and how she will be implementing them for career success in Canada.
Palak, we know that you have a lot on your plate. Can you please share a little about yourself?
My name is Palak Pandya and I’m an international student enrolled in the Research Analyst program (RAPP) at Georgian College. I previously completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in statistics in India and moved to Canada in January 2020 to begin my program. I love working with data and analytics to provide recommendations and feedback to organizations. Currently, I am looking for co-op opportunities in the research and data sector.
How did you learn about the Kickstart your Career Workshops?
As a Georgian College student, I learned about the program from our career services team. They are aware that I am currently looking for a co-op position, so they recommended this workshop for me.
What were the 3 biggest takeaways from the workshops?
Assessing my soft skills
The first thing I found extremely helpful was the 4D- i assessment, by One Smart World (Devant is a licenced reseller of 4D-i and certified training), which gave me an understanding of my soft skills portfolio. Not only did it outline my soft skills (decision making, critical thinking, creativity), it also informed me on how to express these qualifications in a clear way. One of my biggest challenges, when I am interviewing, is expressing my qualification beyond just work and educational experiences. I always knew my capabilities, but the challenge was communicating them using the appropriate vocabulary and examples. The 4D-i assessment helped me evaluate this, provided the right phrases and words to use, and gave me confidence to present them well.
Leveraging my LinkedIn profile
Although I knew the importance of online profiles, I had never taken an active role in developing them. It was especially eye-opening to hear about how beneficial a well maintained LinkedIn profile can be in my job search. Not only is it a place to display my education and job experiences, but it is also great for networking, learning about new trends, and searching for jobs. Some specific tips Devant provided include updating the “About Me” section, reaching out to new connections, and participating in online discussions. It was very beneficial to see, from a recruiter’s perspective, how I could better my LinkedIn profile for engagement. The opportunity to speak to Devant about my experiences would not have happened unless I started a conversation through LinkedIn.
Participating in a career coaching session
I really appreciated the one-on-one session with Devant’s career development coach at the end of the workshops. If any student is thinking about signing up for career coaching, I highly recommend it. I prepared for the session with a few of my own questions which was helpful. However, the overall process was very easy to follow if you don’t know where to start. We discussed my 4D-i assessment, plum assessment, career goals, and next steps. I may not have been able to get a personalized assessment, advice or resources anywhere else. Especially being new to the country and to the Canadian educational system, online learning and webinars can often feel de-personalized. I know I have failed to speak up or ask questions in other classes or workshops. The one-on-one meeting helped to build my confidence to overcome this.
How will your learnings impact your job search strategy?
I would like to focus more on building connections and networking. I have connected with the Devant team and want to reach out to employers on LinkedIn and take advantage of alumni connections.
For the future, I also have to think about my transition from student to employee. I need to consider how this will affect my job search strategy and my status in Canada. This is my next big goal.
As a new international student in Canada, I have a lot to manage. This includes adjusting to a new country, building a social life, maintaining my grades, and looking for a job. The workshop made me feel supported in my job search journey. I feel more motivated to put these strategies and tips into action alongside my college’s career services offerings for job search success.
Do you have ideas about how we can improve your services and content? Reach out to our team to help us understand how we can support you better.