READERS PLEASE NOTE: This article was published
Third-year Ryerson student Musa Raveendran didn’t realize being an uncle would add value to his resumé.
But with the help of Student Life’s new program “Level Up,” Raveendran said the program helped him recognize the valuable transferable skills, such as organization, time management and innovation, he’s developed through being an uncle.
“Using these various forms of documentation, I was able to discover the transferable skills that I developed in my role,” said Raveendran. “These transferable skills allowed me to create a description for my position, which I put towards my LinkedIn, and for future positions.”
Level Up is a platform on Ryerson’s D2L that provides a set of tools to help students generate value from their own experiences and build their resumé.
Last year’s pilot included 153 student participants who led the Student Life team. They successfully made it a student-wide initiative for the 2017-18 year.
The program’s mission is to act as a reflective process, which helps students identify their accomplishments on campus and in their communities, as well as articulate them.
“Learning outside of the classroom is just as important as academics,” said Kaitlin Taylor-Asquini of Student Life.
Level Up was created differently from other co-curricular recognition programs, which typically recognize academic efforts over community involvement and seek faculty approval.
Fifth-year student Emily Marvel said learning her strengths in the online assessment was her greatest takeaway from the program, as well as receiving support and guidance throughout the process.
The online strengths assessment run by StrengthsFinder identifies students’ top five natural talents as well as strategies to apply these strengths.
“Being able to communicate all the skills and experiences that we do have, in addition to the knowledge we’ve gained in the classroom, gives a future employer a better idea of who we are and why they should hire us,” said Marvel.
Another tool provided in the D2L Level Up portal is an e-portfolio. The customizable e-portfolio helps guide students by tracking and engaging with their experiences and documenting their skills through text, photos and voice clips.
Ryerson grad, Karen Espinola, participated in the Level Up pilot.
“I would say that all of the work I have put in with different student groups, on-campus or off-campus jobs, or volunteering in my community are the best reflection of me,” said Espinola.
She added that being able to curate a multi-dimensional resumé that includes all of her experiences, not just those at Ryerson, is the most important message she wants to convey to her future employers.
Taylor-Asquini, who consults who asks for help with the process, said: “By finding ways to engage with their community and capture experiences, students discover what they like and what they’re good at, making critical reflection and connecting the dots in learning a bit easier.”
Level Up’s online portal also helps students narrow down valuable campus groups and programs that could be of interest for Fall 2017, including workshops offered by Student Life.