What it’s like to be a part of the GradProSkills Team
In an interview with Chukwuka Okafor, GradProSkills Workshop Assistant and Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering student, Chukwuka shares his experience as a graduate employee in the GradProSkills Team. Find out what skills he developed in taking on such a role, and why you might want to join next years’ team. We are recruiting our 2019/20 team between March 27 and April 15, 2019. See the job postings.
Why did you decide to apply for the Workshop Assistant position?
I participated in several GradProSkills workshops before applying for this position and I easily recognized the positive effect on my professional and personal development. I was also looking for opportunities to be more involved in campus activities, so I decided to apply. As an international student, it was a great way to integrate into the Concordia graduate community. I am happy to have found this excellent opportunity to continually learn diversely and be a part of the process of delivering valuable skills to graduate students, which they can be as proud of as I am.
What do you do as a workshop assistant?
My work is typically three-fold. Firstly, I work with the workshop facilitator to ensure smooth delivery of the workshops. Secondly, I am a representative of the School of Graduate Studies, ensuring that graduate students are well informed of the various workshops that are available to them. Lastly, I serve as a representative of graduate students by listening to their various feedback and communicating it with GradProSkills administration (which they take very seriously) for the improvement of the workshops offered to students.
What do you like best about your role as a workshop assistant?
Nothing beats knowing that you will learn something new every workday (both the knowledge you need and that which you didn’t know you needed). No two days are the same and this excites me.
My best experiences from the role include having the opportunity to learn diversely from a wide range of quality content across all workshop skill domains, as well as learn from the experiences of various multicultural students.
What has been your experience being part of the GradProSkills Team?
Starting a new role can be quite nerve-racking, but the support of the GradProSkills team helped to quickly ease the tension. The support and respect I received from everyone on the team since day one made me confident that I was going to have a great work experience. The flexibility of being assigned to workshops that I was already familiar with, as well as new workshops that I was interested in attending, was fulfilling. I partly define success as being able to share my knowledge and experience with others, such that their learning process is much easier than it was for myself. Being part of such an amazing team, which shares my personal goal of knowledge transfer, has made me feel like I am part of something much bigger than myself. This has been truly gratifying.
What skills have you developed working with the GradProSkills?
My soft skills for sure, particularly my communication skills. Participating alongside fellow graduate students in the workshops presented a myriad of opportunities for me to actively listen to and learn from the ideas and experiences of various students from different disciplines and cultures. I also had numerous avenues to share my knowledge and experiences with fellow students and workshop leaders. As a result, I have seen an exponential improvement in my confidence to effectively communicate. The quality of my networking skills has also evolved.
Would you recommend others to join the team and apply for this coming year? Why?
Absolutely! My beliefs and experience are summed up in the words of Anthony J D'Angelo, "Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow". My growth in the past two years has been evident to me and those around me. The knowledge and skills I have acquired from GradProSkills, both as a workshop participant and as part of the team, are responsible for my growth. I can guarantee potential applicants that an extra sense of accomplishment comes with experiencing GradProSkills either through actively attending workshops, volunteering as an ambassador or becoming a part of the amazing team.