Work experience programs build skills, confidence

June 7, 2016 - 4 minutes read
Akcinya Kootchin - back row, third from left

Akcinya Kootchin – back row, third from left | Photo – Appnovation

Akcinya Kootchin, a Grade 12 student at Rockridge Secondary in West Vancouver, has been part of the work experience program for 2 years now. Her passions include art, meeting new people and going on adventures. She is a big believer that life is what you make of it.

Akcinya wanted to share a message with others about her involvement in the work experience program and what she has learned.

“After two years, I am confident in saying that the diverse experiences that I and my peers have gained because of the Rockridge career centre have given us the tools to make something great of our lives. The range of volunteer placements, internships, jobs and educational opportunities is incomparable with any other resource I have come across during my high school years and I believe, is key in creating well rounded students ready for the so-called ‘real world’.”

Her journey through work experience included meeting a local entrepreneur who owned a design and stationary company as part of a job shadowing assignment. After one day spent with this designer/entrepreneur, going from meetings to printer to advertiser, Akcinya wanted more and managed to earn herself an internship. The second part of her journey began when she came into the careers office expressing how she wanted to have her voice heard in the upcoming election and was disappointed she couldn’t vote, so we offered her the next best thing: a job at Elections Canada. The story doesn’t end there. She never stopped searching for her next “experience” and she ended up joining the Technovation Challenge where she worked with a team of three girls to address an issue in the community. Just recently, her team placed in the global semi-finals. Throughout all of this Akcinya also had a part time job and school, including AP Art and English, which she was juggling.

As Akcinya puts it:

“These experiences are not unique only to me. For anyone with the will to pursue them, opportunities can be found in all fields. This past summer, a volunteer placement with the Vancouver Aquarium turned into paid work as a tour guide for a good friend of mine. Another spent a week at BCIT this winter learning about cellular division and being a doctor. A third spent their spring break interning at a mining company. These diverse opportunities were all provided to them because they signed up for Work Experience”.

As they embark on their journey beyond high school, Akcinya reflects on how opportunities like these benefitted her and her peers in their applications to university and helped bolster their resumes.

“We leave with a unique set of experiences and skills, with a more finely tuned sense of what we want to be doing in the world, and when we look back at all we have achieved, we leave with a pride at what we have accomplished.”

We are so proud of Akcinya and all other students, and what they have accomplished. We are also grateful for all the parents and people in the community who have reached out to us to provide students with opportunities.

If you are interested in work experience, mentorship, internship or job shadowing please contact the careers centre at one of the secondary schools in West Vancouver.

We thank the following employers for their participation in the work experience program:
View employer list here.