BA: Psychology

Where did Fatima work? 

Work Term 1 and 2 (8 months):

Junior Human Resources Advisor, Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC)

What did Fatima accomplish? 

Main Tasks

Fatima had two main responsibilities. The first was processing requests submitted by managers to FSWEP, a student hiring program for federal government departments. Fatima’s job was to apply a data algorithm and consider students for various positions across the federal government. In Fatima’s role, she also attended career fairs on behalf of Government of Canada Jobs or BC Jobs, with the goal of helping the PSC reach more students and job seekers and to promote the hundreds of employment opportunities that exist in Canada and the government.

Major Accomplishment

The ‘Pilimmaksaivik’ is a hiring tool that the PSC uses to assist various departments in the recruitment of people across Canada, specifically for those who self-identify as Inuit. Fatima provided support by organizing requests and applications sent through this inventory. To make the process more efficient, she created a system that allows the PSC to track and search for hundreds of candidates’ resumes. This significantly simplified how her department sent lists of candidates to hiring managers. “It has been interesting to work on this project because aside from learning the different tools, I was able to learn about the different initiatives that the government has implemented,” stated Fatima. Her work term has given her an insider’s view to the government; many of the priorities she had thought were being overlooked – such as increasing accessibility and representation for all Canadians – are actually being addressed by the government.

What challenges did Fatima overcome? 

Fatima revealed that at first, she found it hard to be assertive as a new student. She’s learned that although it can be intimidating to be a student working alongside more experienced individuals, it’s important to be more confident about questions or comments and to clarify if any project instructions are unclear. “It’s good to note that this is exactly what co-op is about, experiencing new things and getting feedback on things that will improve the work you put in,” she expressed.

How did Arts Co-op Benefit Fatima? 

Link Between Academics and Work

Although initially, Fatima did not see how working in Human Resources (HR) would be transferable to her degree in psychology, attending the career fairs helped with that. Fatima was reminded that she has a passion for listening to others and finding ways to support them to achieve their goals. “Before attending I was nervous to do this on my own, but the career fair conversations I’ve had have become my favourite moments thus far and have motivated me to continue the academic path I am on,” she claimed.

Preparation for Post-Graduation

“100 percent I feel more prepared,” Fatima stated. The whole process of applying for jobs during the search term and working a 9-5 shift has shown her the world outside the classroom. Additionally, through co-op, she learned what she likes, doesn’t like, and what she can improve on. Working at the PSC in the field of HR has especially helped Fatima, by allowing her to talk to colleagues and see what makes a good application. “The hiring process from the other side seems a lot less scary,” she stated. Also, by attending career fairs, she has been able to spend time with managers outside her department and has been able to create a network. “I am now more confident in who I am, and my skills and what I can bring post-graduation,” she proudly expressed.

What is Fatima’s favorite part of Arts Co-op?

Fatima believes that the confidence she gained is the best part of Arts Co-op. Before her work term, she did not think that any of her skills would set her apart from other students. However, now she feels less afraid to pursue different opportunities in the future and much more confident in her skills and abilities.

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