A Reflection on 3 years and 4 roles with the Academic Success Centre
My name is Katrina Ann del Rosario. I’m a 4th year Business Technology Management co-op student and currently an ITM100 Facilitator Team Lead for Fall 2017. Previously, I have worked as an ITM100 Facilitator in Fall 2014, as a Student Support Specialist in Winter 2015, and Peer Academic Coach in Winter 2016. I would like to share my working experience with the Academic Success Centre and how it has helped me develop and discover the best version of myself today.
My First Year Experience
I was not outgoing and sociable when I was in first year, but I promised myself that I would change. Coming from the Philippines, I didn’t know what kind of challenges I would be facing in university in a different country. In fact, I remember during my first year, I was so scared but excited to start a new chapter of my life at Ryerson University. Thankfully, we had ITM100 breakout facilitations. These sessions assisted me in my transition and my program. My facilitator encouraged me to join student groups such as Women in Information Technology Management (WITM) and eventually apply for co-op and the role of ITM100 Facilitator the following year. Without ITM100, I would not have applied.
Working at the Academic Success Centre
Being a facilitator for the first time was life-changing for me. I had to get out of my comfort zone and lead two breakout sessions with 25 students in each. I had to create PowerPoint presentations and facilitate weekly discussions to engage the group. At first, I was very nervous but towards the end of the semester, I definitely saw an improvement in myself. Thanks to my team lead and supervisor, I continuously grew to love serving students and helping them discover their potential, similar to how my facilitator inspired me.
After the Fall semester, I was encouraged by my supervisor to work as a Student Support Specialist (SSS), a front desk support position in the department. This gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of students and answer questions regarding the support that our team offers, such as tutoring sessions and mock exams. I learned how to plan events such as our team recruitment event. I was assigned to coordinate and plan the event together with other student staff and professional team members.
After my term as an SSS, I worked a co-op term at CIBC for 8 months as a Technical Process Analyst in the Technology and Operations department. The skills that I developed while working at the Academic Success Centre have been very valuable to me. I was able to apply my presentation and communication skills to the working environment of CIBC.
After finishing my co-op term at CIBC, I became a Peer Academic Coach (PAC) where I was assigned to work one-on-one with students who had GPAs of less than 1.3. I supported these students by helping them set career goals and providing them with learning strategies to improve their academic standing. Not only did I mentor students, but I am very proud to say that I motivated them to persevere despite all the challenges they were facing.
In my summer 2017 co-op term at Canadian Tire Corporation, I have worked as a Project Coordinator (4 months) for a multi-million project of CTC, the Point of Sale Refresh project for all 503 Canadian Tire stores in Canada. I was exposed to an agile project management environment which once again pushed me outside of my comfort zone. As a result, I have learned new management skills that I can hopefully bring to the team as an ITM100 Facilitator Team Lead in the upcoming Fall Term.
Reflection and Gratitude
The Academic Success Centre helps students within the big network of Ryerson, through the support of a team of learning specialists. Mock exams, tutoring sessions and peer academic coaching are definitely very helpful for students. As well, co-op education pushes students to explore the world for after their studies. It helps them explore different working environments and hopefully helps them find the true career goal they will have after graduation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Academic Success Centre team for helping me discover myself through working in our department for the past four years of my undergraduate studies. I would not be who I am now without all the experiences that I have had as a student staff member. Through all the skills that I have gained by working in the department, I was able to work in one of the top Canadian retail companies, Canadian Tire, and one of the top Canadian financial institutions, CIBC.
I am very proud to say that through working at the Academic Success Centre, I have not only impacted the lives of students in a positive way, but I have discovered the best version of myself. Through helping students, I inspire myself at the same to do better and to continuously persevere to be a leader.
If you are thinking of applying to co-op or working with the ASC – let me tell you, it’s worth it! Just apply and have the best years of your life. Discover a new world outside of your comfort zone, just like I did.
Visit the Academic Success Centre website to learn more about how you can get involved.