Career guide: Building your Action Plan


Working experience

  • Work-study: A part-time job allows you to gain work experience while studying. The key is to find the right balance between your work and academic obligations. On-campus employment is a great option for this. Besides being conveniently located and providing flexible working schedules, an on-campus job provided by the Financial Aid and Awards Service’s Work Study Program allows you to give priority to your studies. On top of that, the JobsNow Web site also holds important information concerning employment opportunities on campus.
  • Summer employment: A summer job is a great opportunity to work full-time without interfering with your studies. It also allows you to develop important skills and contacts relevant to your field of interests. A summer job may even be a stepping stone to a contract or a permanent full-time position once you graduate.
  • Full-time employment: A full-time job is an asset for your résumé, as it reflects solid professional development in your fields of interests. However, know that full-time employment can present challenges when it extends beyond the summer months, for example trying to balance your commitment to both options or having to choose between them. To measure the consequences of this eventuality and to build a good action plan, use the resources provided by the previous section: Making a Decision section.

Volunteering experience

Volunteering is an excellent way to gain professional experience, as it is an opportunity for personal growth and community development. It also demonstrates, among other qualities, that you have a sense of compassion and responsibility. Note that some educational or career fields require a prior involvement in the community. For example, such is the case of medicine and teaching. Employers generally say that any volunteering experience enhances your options in any career field because it reinforces your personal values and develops your employability skills no matter your field of interests. With the University of Ottawa’s online job search tools, you can proceed to a volunteering opportunity research that’s right for you.

CO–OP Programs and internships

  • Co-op programs: A co-op placement is a great opportunity to apply the knowledge you learn in class to various work situations and to gain educational and professional experience, enabling you to develop essential skills specific to your field of interest. A co-op work placement can also lead to a permanent full-time position upon graduation. For more information on co-op programs, visit the Co-op Programs Web site.
  • Internships: Employers can offer a determined period of employment through internships such as 3, 4, 6 months. An internship:
    • can have different eligibility criteria (e.g., be employed or underemployed, be a certain age, have a post-secondary degree)
    • can be a paid or an unpaid work experience
    • can be a summer job, a part-time job, a contract, a co-op term or a volunteer position

Exchange Programs

Studying abroad during your university studies can be an enriching opportunity. For more information on exchange programs helping you build a good action plan, visit the University of Ottawa’s International Office Web site.

Building a contact network

Every day, you meet people that provide a wealth of information to guide you in your career path. Know how to build and maintain these relationships, whether it is with your family, classmates, colleagues, employers, professors or other professionals. Be sure to read up on networking and information meetings to take advantage of all situations.

What next?

You have built your action plan? Then go to the guide’s next section: Planning your Job Search. (Remember that you can come back to this section at any time to review your action plan.)

Action Plan

Use this employment action plan to take write in, print or save your preferred options and all other information related to your plan.

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