career exploration programs
The more you connect with professionals working in the career you are exploring, the more you will learn about whether it’s a good fit for you. Our career exploration programs connect you with career professionals to ask questions and learn the latest about careers, companies and industries. Plus, you can include each of these experiences on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR) after successfully completing each program’s required steps.
Extern Job Shadowing Program
Connect with professionals in your career area of interest for a half-day to five-day job shadowing experience and learn how your values, skills, interests and goals come together to inform your career planning. Your job shadow may include a tour of the workplace, meetings with other members of the department, involvement in hands-on projects, departmental and client meetings and/or an overview of the organization and workplace culture. Register with Extern, attend an orientation session, go on your placement and complete a reflection exercise to maximize your career exploration experience.
When: Placements happen three times a year, in November, February and June.
Eligibility: Open to students of all disciplines, all degree levels, all years, as well as recent graduates.
Register: Visit the Career Learning Network (CLN) Programs page to register.
In The Field program
Go on a half-day or one-day group field trip to an organization and meet professionals working in a variety of careers all under the same roof. You’ll learn about the work environment, daily tasks, skills, and education required for each profession. The event usually includes a tour of the workplace, a group Q&A with 3-5 professionals followed by an informal networking session. Students must attend an In the Field orientation in order to participate in any of the visits.
If you are part of a U of T Club and you or someone from your executive would like to organize a half-day visit to an organization that meets the career interests of your members.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting time.
- Meet with a Career Exploration Coordinator at the Career Centre to brainstorm the industries and organizations, career options, and work activities you're interested in trying out.
- Advertise the event to your clubs members.
- Attend a pre-event Orientation, visit an organization you'd like to work for, and complete a post-event reflection survey.
Explore It program
This is a voluntary career exploration program for selected second-year courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science Step Forward program. Meet with alumni from your program of study, and see firsthand how their discipline-specific skills and knowledge translate into a breadth of potential careers. Visits with your alumni host last from a half-day to a full-day, are conducted within their work environment and will have up to eight students participating.
Each visit differs depending on the host, but in every case you will Attend an Explore It briefing and orientation session, go on your placement, see an alumnus’ career in action, grow your network and consider your education in a wider context, and complete a reflection exercise to maximize your career exploration experience.
This program is for students in participating courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science. You can be in any year of study, and don’t have to be majoring in the area of the course you are taking.
To register and for more information, see STEP Forward.
Informational Interview program
Talk to experienced professionals to find out how they got to where they are today! Informational interviews can be in-person, over the phone or Skype, and are typically 30-60 minutes long. Get an insider’s look at a particular career, organization or industry you would like to explore.
The Next Steps Conference
Part career exploration, part preparation for life after graduation, this intensive and energizing event is a great way to start building your professional network. Next Steps offers a wide range of guest speakers, career exploration panels, personal and professional development seminars and networking opportunities – don’t be surprised if you discover career options you never even knew you had! The two-day conference, held at the end of each academic year, attracts more than 150 alumni volunteers and 500 student delegates.
Graduating students in the Faculty of Arts & Science, recent University of Toronto graduates or earlier-year students who want to start planning for the future (additional spaces reserved for students from other faculties and schools: graduate students or undergraduates).
Backpack to Briefcase (b2B)
Wondering where your U of T degree will take you? Unsure what career opportunities are in your chosen field? Want to make connections with successful alumni who were once in your shoes? The Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) program provides opportunities for you to meet, mingle and network with alumni and faculty members from your department or academic unit who understand what you’re going through and who are willing to help with advice and guidance. Not only do b2B networking events, panel discussions and dinners give you the opportunity to understand your education in a broader context, they are a chance for you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about life after graduation with people who have been where you are and succeeded. Last year, more than 1,500 students and 350 alumni volunteers took part in b2B events. We hope to see you there this year!
Partnered career exploration opportunities
For more ways to explore your career options, check out one of our partnered programs:
- Opening Doors Conference connects graduate students who are exploring career options outside of academia with alumni who have taken a similar path.
- Career/alumni Mentoring Programs connects students to over 40 mentorship programs and opportunities.
- Industry panels give you the chance to speak with professionals in fields that interest you. Visit the CLN Events calendar to view upcoming panels.