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Counselling Psychology - Summer 2011

The full version of the Summer 2011 CaPsScoop for Counselling Psychology Students can be found by clicking here

Next Stop: The Working World
By Candice Stoliker, M.A. Counselling Psychology (2011)

In the age of email, internet, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook communication, networking in the working world is happening faster and faster. Whether one is ready to jump on the train of this ever increasing pace of career development and movement or not, it is happening. My question is: how exactly is one to keep up?

As a recent graduate of the M.A. Counselling Psychology Program at McGill University, preparing to enter the working world myself, I often feel like I keep jumping for this train but never quite get in. Sometimes the jump feels good: I catch hold of a cart, manage to get half in the door, but just as I am about to hurl myself in, a railroad crossing sign slams against my legs. The impact is painful, frustrating, and sends me flying to the ground. The train sails off and as I watch it fade into the distance I let out a sigh, dust myself off, and prepare to wait until the next one comes along. However no matter how painful the fall, I always keep an eye on the train schedule to see when another train of opportunity is due to come by. I am sure I am not alone in this process and know that some of my peers feel the same.

Luckily for me on Thursday April 7th the Quebec Counselling Association (QCA) and the McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) sent an amazing train filled with Social Workers, Counsellors, and Psychologists right to Thomson House for the first ever ‘Speed Mentoring Night.’ Working professionals from all over the Montreal region came to share their wisdom, experience and insight with young students aspiring to ride a similar train. Needless to say for this train I made sure to get my ticket in advance, jumped onboard, and road along with some amazing passengers for the two-hour journey.

Students were arranged in groups of 3 or 4 and rotated between 10 professionals to ask their questions and gather all the tips and ideas they could. The only “catch”? Each group spent only 8 minutes with each professional at a time. The atmosphere of the night was lively and the time restriction made for intense conversations with students eager to ask questions and professionals eager to impart all of the information and wisdom they could. To see so many people with similar interests and aspirations was energizing and inspiring. Even though the time at each table was brief I made some incredible connections and attained some incredible insight.

Overall the train ride was exhilarating and when I decided to jump off I landed on my feet and that felt good. The ride left me with new ideas on what trains to look out for, which schedules to check, and who else to speak with along the way. This is far from the last train ride I will take and who knows what will come of the ride itself. I figure the important things are to keep looking for trains, to keep moving and to enjoy the ride along the way.

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