The application process and your “digital footprint”

It’s funny how unintentionally circular life can be. Five years ago I was frantically putting together my supplementary application for my Concurrent Bachelor of Education, just as many of you who are reading this are doing. Today, I am (not frantically) polishing my applications to school boards for teacher hiring.

Five years flew by in what seems like five seconds, but when I look back I am always so surprised and proud of all that I accomplished in that time. And, not surprisingly, the easiest way for me to look back is to scroll through what I’ve posted online—also known as my digital footprint.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned over these past five years as a student, an educator and an eAmbassador, it’s that an online presence is not only delicate but crucial to have. Contrary to popular belief, changing your name on Facebook and disappearing off the face of the internet is not the answer. Give yourself a persona that will make you undoubtedly hirable by putting yourself out there; make your Twitter and Instagram feeds public and fill them with content relevant to your professional field, and make online networking connections with higher-ups that could potentially help you out post-grad.

It can be as simple as something like this:

On a similar note to that of relevant content, start to be mindful of how your work and volunteer experiences are relevant to what you want to do in the future; you’ll get your “edge” from the skills that you can draw from your experiences and bring to your career. I have grown aware of how adaptable the skills I acquired through my leadership experiences really are, and I am very grateful to have had those opportunities.

Still putting your supplementary application together? Keep everything relevant and concise—maybe your first job delivering newspapers isn’t all that, but maybe your experience mentoring incoming high school students is! Choose references that have seen you in those “all that” capacities, because they’re the ones who will really be able to show you off to the decision-makers.

Bonne chance, and comment below if you have any questions about your application(s)!

PS. Interested in scoping out my relevant experience since high school? Visit my linkedIN profile; I worked really hard on it… 🙂

How it all began

My Mum discovered Glendon when I was in grade ten. She put the handbook in front of me and said, “This is what you need to do; there is no doubt in my mind.” In grade ten, I hade made my decision. I was going to go to Glendon no matter what it took. I studied that handbook front to back and back to front and when it came time in grade eleven for a rep from Glendon to visit my French Immersion class, I was beside myself with excitement. I wish I could remember who it was that visited that day, because it was she who I credit for re-affirming all of my dreams. A list of things I had decided when I was a mere fifteen years old (because I’m a huge keener):

  • I was going to go to Glendon
  • I was going to study French
  • I was going to become a French teacher
  • I was going to study abroad during my degree
  • I was going to love all of the above

I have done or am still doing all of these things. WHAT. I wish for all students applying to post-secondary institutions to feel this way about their futures, but the path towards feeling this way is different for every single person! I feel so fortunate to have known so early on what I wanted to do and to have been able to stick to my dreams throughout my years at Glendon, but some of you who are reading this will change their path several times over the next few years. Please know that this is ok! It’s normal to question your previous decisions, and it’s normal to wonder if you would succeed in a different field. The important thing to remind yourself of is that your path, no matter how sharp its turns, is what shapes you as a person to be successful in the future as you face all kinds of insane endeavours. If you’re applying to universities this Fall, I hope that you are considering Glendon as a part of your path. We’re all experiencing our sharp turns together! — eAmbassador Juan wrote a really great post about why he switched programs in his third year. Read it here!

I did something exciting!

I changed my program a little bit! Just a little bit, though. Not a lot. Because I graduate next year. And that freaks me out. In a good way.

I added an English minor to my degree! I was originally specializing in Honours French Studies, which means I take double the major elective credits of a regular honours degree in French Studies. After much deliberation, I recently decided that specializing in French wasn’t necessary for teaching, but having a second teachable subject under my belt could definitely help me out in the future. But since I’m on exchange in a French-speaking country, it would be difficult to take equivalent English courses here. SO, I’m officially enrolled at Athabasca University, a Canadian institution that offers online courses in anything and everything. I’ll be taking  a 6-credit Literature for Children course starting in a couple of weeks!

Between now and graduation I’ll be able to combine my English credits earned at Glendon and my Athabasca credits to total the 30 credits needed for an English minor. If you’re ever uncertain about a program/degree change because you don’t think you’ll have enough time to fulfill your requirements, explore your options because it’s probably doable! Though you can’t complete all of your credits at another institution, Glendon is quite flexible with transferring credits. Yay for that!