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Employers checked-out

April 2, 2011

Students interested in working for the BC government researched employment insights directly from ten "living books" – actual BC government employers from a variety of ministries. The employers allowed Camosun students to borrow them for 20 minute-sessions, where they could have a private conversation about real-life work experience and paths to employment with the BC government.

Students check out "Living Library" for government job insights.Benefits to students

The Living Library was co-hosted by the Camosun library and Student Employment department, along with six students from the Student Employment advisory team who were on hand to help out. "This is an awesome event, making it possible for students to make great connections," says advisory team member and Camosun alumna Heidi Bada.

Nathan Wong, current university transfer student agrees. As a psychology major, Wong is interested to see what psychology can link to, and he found meeting with Ann Evans-Locker, Recruitment Marketing Specialist with the BCPSA very helpful as she shared how she started out as a grad to be where she is now. Evans-Locker found the event to be very interesting and was impressed by the variety of questions asked by the students. "The students are keen and have lots of foresight – just need a guiding hand. I would certainly participate in an event like this again and would like to involve even more employers," says Evans-Locker.

Never too late

Kathryn Chapman, Barrister and Solicitor, Justice and Education Law with the Ministry of Attorney General, enjoyed the afternoon and said it was great fun. She felt that the students were very motivated, but quite nervous, and she reassures students who check out a living book that they don't need to carry the interview – it is a two way conversation. "We're not that scary," says Chapman with a smile. Upon interviewing Chapman, Mindy Jiang, current UT science student and member of the SE advisory team, was encouraged to hear that Chapman took her schooling later in life. "It shows that there is always hope for change." Jiang, who volunteered while taking full advantage of the event, says, "I walked in here thinking I was very knowledgeable in lots of career areas, but I leave realizing that I have a lot to learn!"

An afternoon well spent in the library

Pat McCallum, Career Advisor with BC Public Service, and Sybil Harrison, College Librarian assisted in the coordination and planning of the Living Library event. McCallum felt that the event was a great forum to explain to people what government employees do. "I hope to raise awareness of what we strive to achieve in public service, as well as give many eager students the opportunity to see how they may, in time, contribute," he says. Harrison comments, "The living library project demonstrated the power of story-telling, and some of the best learning occurs when we share real-life stories. Libraries represent the power of story on campus; our collections hold the stories of our culture and it's a place where we can come together in community to share life experiences. I hope this is the first of many living libraries at Camosun College."

The next Living Library event is set for September 28 at the Lansdowne campus.

Last updated: September 23, 2015 5:12 pm

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