Gianna Giardino

Getting a professional leg up

McGill’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS) has long offered learners the opportunity to explore new career options. Now, thanks to a series of workshops made possible through generous gifts from its supporters, the School is providing students with even greater means of getting an edge on the competition.

“We’ve known for a while that, given the nature of our adult learners, we need to expand some of the services that we offer,” says Gianna Giardino, BCom’86, Senior Manager of Client Services at SCS.

Over the course of Campaign McGill, SCS has done just that. In addition to staple workshops on topics like career exploration and job hunting, it has held a session on LinkedIn to teach learners to use the popular networking tool; launched New Beginnings, a series designed to help individuals educated outside of Canada find jobs that match their skills and experience; and hosted Pathways to Personal Success, which offered newcomers to the country insights on successfully integrating into society.

In giving annually to SCS, Gerson Vineberg, DPA’81, had objectives like these in mind. “The reason I directed my gift to the School of Continuing Studies is to help give students a greater sense of direction,” he says. “No matter their level of education, they need to speak to someone who can offer them insights on what they can do next, and help them make the difficult transition from school to work.”

Paul Leong, BCom’81, has also had a lasting impact by establishing the School’s first endowed fund to support advising, career transition and cultural integration services. Born in Macau and raised in Hong Kong and Mozambique, Leong’s decision to give back to McGill was based on admiration for the people who strive to improve their lives through SCS programs. “I was once an immigrant to Canada and I applaud the School’s goal of establishing a service that will help under-employed immigrants to be more successful, more quickly,” he says. Giardino is proud of the steps the School has taken. “We’re addressing the needs expressed by our clientele,” she says. “They want to be equipped for the job market.”