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Career & Education Advisor Talk with Cherryl-Lyn Holder-Olamuyiwa
Cherryl-Lyn Olamuyiwa is from the island of Trinidad, but later she relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba to pursue her university education. There, she successfully obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Women and Gender Studies, coupled with a minor in Family Social Sciences.
Upon completing her studies, Cherryl-Lyn came across an opportunity to work at an organization that supported young immigrants in their search for employment. This experience sparked a deep passion within her to continue helping individuals find and retain suitable employment.
Over the years, Cherryl-Lyn’s career path evolved, starting with employment advising and eventually moving into employment program management. During this time, she skillfully developed and introduced various programs that catered to the specific needs of individuals seeking assistance in their career pursuits. Her dedication and commitment have positively impacted countless people as they navigate the journey towards finding fulfilling career opportunities.
Educational counsellors advise current and prospective students on educational issues, career planning and personal development, and coordinate the provision of counselling services to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff. They are employed by school boards and post-secondary educational institutions.
The employment outlook will be moderate for Educational counsellors (NOC 4033) in the Toronto region for the 2022-2024 period.
The following factors contributed to this outlook:
- Employment is expected to remain relatively stable.
- Several positions will become available due to retirements.
- There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.
Here are some key facts about Educational counsellors in the Toronto region:
- Approximately 2,250 people work in this occupation.
- Educational counsellors mainly work in the following sectors:
Educational services (NAICS 61): 84%
- A bachelor’s degree in counselling, career development, education or social sciences is required for counsellors in school settings.
- A master’s degree in counselling psychology or a related field such as educational psychology, developmental psychology or social work is usually required.
- Educational counsellors in post-secondary settings require an undergraduate degree and may require a graduate degree. A particular academic specialization may also be required.
- In Quebec, membership in L’Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation is mandatory to use the titles ”vocational counsellor”, “guidance counsellor” and “vocational guidance counsellor”.
A teacher’s certificate in the province of employment and some teaching experience is usually required for counsellors in school settings.
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Complete Episode Transcript
Coming up next.
One question a lot of interviewers ask is how do you show that you are someone who is organized? I bet you everyone will have a great answer for that.
But the difference between me and other people is I will show them.
So you ask me, how am I organized? I’m going to pull my phone out and say, This is my calendar.
All of my bills are in red, That is one specific thing I always tell people to do.
Can you take something with you that’s going to make yourself memorable? Welcome to the Job Talk Podcast, where we talk with people who love their jobs.
Our guests open up about their challenges, surprises and secrets to success in their industries.
Through conversation, we explore their careers, past work experiences and the education that got them to where they are now.
Today’s guest is Cheryl Lynn Holder.
Allow me. You are.
Here’s our job talk with a career and education adviser.
Cherryl Lyn, I want to start this podcast off by asking you if you have gotten used to Canadian winters.
first 12 years in Canada, I lived in Winnipeg and honestly, I would never say it wasn’t that bad, but I learned how to adapt.
So now that I live in Toronto, which is significantly warmer, it’s funny when people where like the Canada Goose jackets, I have never even worn my jacket from Winnipeg yet because I don’t think it All right, so where are you from? And then maybe we’ll get into how you came to Canada.
So I am originally from Trinidad, so I was born and well, the politically correct is Trinidad and Tobago, but the actual island I was born on was Trinidad, and I lived there till I was 18 and my mom had this great idea for So my mom was a single parent and she had she has not had she has three kids, three daughters.
And so she had this great idea to go do Hamas’s degree, but she didn’t want to leave us behind.
So she actually got visas for all three of us or four of us to come abroad and go to school.
And the unspoken conversation we had or the unspoken idea we had was come, go to school and go back home.
And for some reason we just never left.
It turned into permanent residence that turned into citizenship.
So that was back in 2003, which was 20 years ago.
And all three of us, All four of us, sorry.
Well, all three of us kids who are no longer kids, but all four of us, we never left.
aside from the weather, was there much of a culture shock coming to Canada? Huge, huge.
So When I first moved to Winnipeg in 2003, I had to do a year of high school.
At 19 or at 18 I had to do a year of high school and graduated at 19.
And the reason is because the Canadian system and the Trinidadian system was a little different, so they couldn’t quite figure out where to put me as far as I didn’t have all the credits to get into the university yet, but I kind of had more than I needed for high school.
So they said, You know what? Just to grade 12, you’ll be fine.
So my experience of Grade 12, which probably is like the equivalent of what we call Form six and in Trinidad, was so different.
For one thing, they don’t wear uniforms or that school didn’t wear a uniform.
And for me that was a big deal because I come from a very English type, military type school background back in Trinidad.
So we wore uniforms, we couldn’t wear nail polish, we had to have our hair a certain way, our shoes had to be clean, like we would get sent home if our shoes were dirty.
And then I come to Canada and my grade 12 experience is people are wearing short shorts and crop that shock, but also the shock of being around.
People who spoke like I saw on TV was so strange to me.
So hearing these Canadian accents, which at the time I would say American accents, now I know it’s not the same, but hearing all these Canadian accents was very different.
Even being a lot of around a lot of people who didn’t look like me.
So I was one of the few blocks that went to my high school at the time myself, my two younger sisters.
And then three months later there was this huge influx of Ethiopian immigrants or Ethiopian refugees that came in.
And all of a sudden there were all of these refugees at my high school that looked like me, and that became my group of friends who were from Ethiopia just because there were black students as well.
So but even so, Ethiopia and Trinidad of two very different countries, so even getting accustomed to their way of life and their friendships were was a culture shock in itself.
And also I found that to be very honest, people ask some very stupid questions like, did I drive or did I fly so do you think.
Yeah, people here.
But in Winnipeg it definitely was.
It was a transition.
It was a transition.
let’s talk about your post-secondary experience and see graduating from high school, what did you take and what did you want to be? the what? I wanted to be changed a lot.
So growing up back in Trinidad.
So I always loved to travel.
I didn’t travel a lot, but I always liked the idea of traveling.
We went to we moved in quotations to New York when I was four years old.
My mom will be okay with me saying this.
I think with the intention of being illegal in the U.S.
and being one of those Yeah, I wanted to be a flight attendant.
And then that turned into wanting to be a pilot.
So this was my childhood dreams.
But then fast forward when I came to Canada and reality hits a little more that flight attendants don’t really make great money.
I thought that I wanted to be a business owner, so a lot of people always told me I always had that business type.
Those business skills because my dad actually is a business owner.
He he owns a recording studio back in Trinidad, which actually did very well over the years.
And I always just automatically had that entrepreneurship kind of feel or even in school.
Sometimes I would buy earrings on eBay and try to sell it for a couple of extra dollars.
And so my plan going into university, so I went to the University of Manitoba was to do business management.
And I thought that doing business management courses would mean that I would be taught how to start a business and how to run a business.
But I think my first year of university, I was taught about more business theory, which I found so boring.
So like the the definition of words and the structure of a business, which I really couldn’t relate to.
So that turned into me looking at, okay, what other things can I do? I knew I’m a people person, but I didn’t really have words for what I wanted.
Keep in mind too, I was also thinking with a Third world Trinidadian brain where I didn’t know about things like employment counseling and all that just yet.
I just knew working with people would be great.
like it just just, just, I it doesn’t get any really.
I mean, biggest part.
more family social sciences courses and I graduate.
And so I was at a point in my life where I thought, okay, I have a degree, what do I do? And I literally opened up LinkedIn.
Keep in mind, two of my entire four years of university, I also worked the entire time.
So my resume was full and I opened up the computer on.
Indeed, and I just hit search.
I left a blog and I just had search and I was just searching through job, searching through jobs.
Now, also at the time, a lot of my experience was in hospitality.
So I worked for the Marriott I worked for in Manitoba.
There’s a hotel called Victoria and I worked there for a couple of years.
I worked for Separate and I worked for the Holiday Inn.
So I was thinking, you know what, maybe hospitality is for me.
It’s a people person type job.
I’ll enjoy it. I like it.
Maybe I could see myself as a manager because, you know, a business owner, a manager, they go together.
Maybe I could be a hotel manager.
You never know.
So I kept I kept that to the side, even though I felt like I was trying to encourage myself to stay in hospitality.
But then I also had the idea that, you know what? I don’t know if I really want to stay in hospitality.
So looking on indie, just searching, searching and I see this position show up that says marketing specialist with a company called Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services.
I open it up and it says the position says something like They’re looking for someone to assist immigrants or immigrant youth with finding jobs and with with employment, education.
So is that what brought you to Toronto then? Was that position in Winnipeg.
Yeah, it’s, it’s just, it’s just.
Oh, how far north do you have to drive from Winnipeg to see polar bears? Churchill and Churchill? Yes.
I want to say you fly to Church Hill because I didn’t even go as far as one of our other locations, which was in Glen Flat, I believe.
And for Flint alone, you had to fly there, especially in the summertime, because a lot of a lot of the ways to get there are over the lakes.
And in the wintertime you can drive over it because it’s within.
But in the summertime there aren’t a lot of paved highways to get there.
Yeah, the photo was quite a ways up.
Yeah, that and so, yeah, that’s what I did.
I did that for about two years again.
So you obviously wanted to go to the big city because he chose Canada’s biggest city.
So you, you arrive in Toronto, did you lined up did you line up a job prior to getting Toronto or did you just go to trial.
Yeah, Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So your career as a career and academic advisor, it’s so interesting to me because that’s a great career, but and I want to talk to you about some of your day to day and what what you love about it.
But also I wouldn’t mind giving our listeners some tips on like resumé and and job searching.
But I, I guess I would just start with what do you love about being a career and academic advisor So the position that I have right now as career academic advisor, I am working solely with students pretty much.
And what I really love about it is even though my position says as front line, meaning it’s supposed to be only, only advising, it’s not.
I do do quite a bit of program management in it.
So on one hand that I really, really love as a demographic of the students I work with, I think the 18 to 20 twos are the best group of people that you could work with in general.
And this is coming from someone who worked with the 15 to 18 and the over 22.
And the reason is because they are very honest, which I appreciate.
So they’re the ones who say, I can’t do this, this is horrible.
I’m over this because I like that they are open and honest with me about the fact that they’re frustrated because that gives me a clean slate to work with as opposed to coming to me and saying, oh, I have it all put together.
Never have I had a student do that.
So the actual academic and career advising side of it, they do go hand in hand academic meaning I do have to know about the way that the school that I work for, the way that the academics work.
So like what credits you need to graduate, what credits, what credits, what courses, what courses, what courses you can do together, things like that.
But also there’s a part of what education are you doing in order to get into your career.
And the irony about it is education’s great, the degree is great, but the reality is an employer is not usually going to ask you what GPA did you have? An employer is going to ask What experience do you have? And so that even shows in my in my story where I was able to get a job pretty quickly out of university.
And that was because, yes, I had the checkmark of having a degree, but my employer was really set on the fact that I had four years of work experience.
And so I have a lot of students who, when they come to me, they say, But I have a 4.0 and you know, I do so crazy in my classes, but they have absolutely no work experience.
And so what happens is they take pride in the fact that they’re do so great in their courses and they do so great on their GPAs.
But then when it’s time to find a job, an employer is saying, Yeah, but how does that show me that you can get up and go to work on time? How does that show me that you’re not going to say something stupid and cause me to get sued by a client? Right? So I really love having those open and honest conversations with students and coming up with plans.
I especially like to grab the first year students and come up with a four year plan so that as soon as they’re graduated.
Yes, you have your degree. Awesome.
But what is it that you need as well to be able to fill your resume, to be able to get in that career that you need or even after your Master’s degree as well? it’s a very it’s a career where it can be very fulfilling.
Do you have any stories of some success stories that you’ve worked with and helped Yeah, definitely.
So a general story that I have that quite a bit of the students that I have have are Okay.
So the first one is sort of typical.
What does everyone want to do? I want to be a doctor. I want to be a lawyer.
But a lot of law schools and a lot of med schools these days are also asking for work experience, though, which actually surprises a lot of people.
And so I’ve had quite a bit of students who when they come to me because they’ve been rejected from med school or rejected from law school, even though they’ve had their very high GPA, I was able to actually go through with them and say, okay, let’s get you a job and let’s figure out a way in order to be able to get you something on your curriculum vitae or on your resume in order for you to get a job.
So that’s a general success story, a specific one I could think of as Right now I am working with a student who she really is downplaying her experience.
So this student, she did not have a lot of funding to come to university.
So it’s very similar for me where she has been working quite a bit, but it’s her self esteem that is sabotaging her.
And so what it is that’s happening or has happened because now she was able to get actually a pretty decent job.
But what has happened is she would look at she would look at jobs or she would look at job postings and say, oh, well, they’re not going to want me because I they’re saying seven years experience, but I don’t have seven years experience in that field.
Or they’re saying, you know, she’s making it sound a lot better than it really is.
And so what we did is we actually went through actual job postings and I said, okay, what here does not you cannot do.
And she would say things like, Oh, but there are so many people who have so much more experience than me and there are so many people who do so much better than me.
And so because of that, she wouldn’t really apply to a lot of jobs.
And the reality is after it is we had the conversation of actually looking at the reality of applying for the job.
You have the skills, there are transferable skills and the things that you can do.
And also one thing that an employer told me that I that sticks to me to this day is once you can prove to me that you can be a good worker, I can always train you.
And that goes for any field.
And so when this specific student in working with her and doing actual simple things, I was going through LinkedIn, looking at actual jobs, figuring out ways for her to be able to put on her resume, add on her a couple lessons, the skills that she has that she can take to the job.
She actually got a very good job.
A very, very good job.
And that’s something that happens a lot where a lot of the students, they are their worst critic.
Right. Right. And employers.
And another thing that people do a lot to that I’ve really had to cut down on is people would apply for one job and just cross their fingers.
I wanted this one job, but the actual process of applying for a job, a lot of times it’s a numbers game and it’s a numbers game where the more applications you send out, the more likely it is for you to get an interview.
You must be great.
Sure, but sure.
So are millions of people, right? So if it is that you’re applying to just one job and you expect it to be that you think you’re the best since sliced bread because of this one job that you’ve applied to? Well, sorry to tell you, there are also thousands of other people who also applied to this.
So sometimes you just need to get the numbers out yeah.
Well, reading a job posting from an employer, they’re trying to sell their company in this job posting so it can be quite intimidating when you read like they’re describing the perfect employee and not everyone’s going to have every single item on that.
told me more than one many times when they put together job postings, they Google a job posting that sounds like something they would want.
And that’s what they use because many times it’s not that they necessarily want someone in 5 to 7 years experience.
Many times they’re like, Oh, that sounds good.
I’m going to put that in there.
And that’s how they come up with many of the for sure.
What are some of your biggest challenges in your day to day work? time management, that’s the biggest one because kind of like what I was saying before my job is not just advising, it’s also program management.
So right now I’m managing a mentorship program and then I also have another program that I’ve come up with that I’m just waiting for some approvals on that where students want to go into med school, law school, grad school, where they can get work experience in their field.
So we’re still waiting for that.
And I also have what I call work studies students where I actually supervise students who work for me.
And I also do I also do advise a program called First a Learning Learning Community, where it’s pretty much a group of students who in their very first year, they’re put in groups and they do the same courses and they also attend courses where they learn about how to do university life.
And then I also have and I am also the only employment counselor in my department for hundreds of students.
So time management definitely is a big one Yeah.
So is your day Does it consist of a lot of meetings? Are people coming to see you? Ah, Ah.
You’re on the phone a lot. I’m assuming in 2023 it seems like the phone is a thing of the past.
I can tell you the last time I had a phone conversation.
So we have online teams meetings, so usually what my day looks like and so I work 9 to 5, so usually 9 a.m.
to 1 p.m.. It’s only for the students.
So students who have requested one on one conversations, students who need employment counseling, as well as students who need academic advising.
So literally half an hour slots nonstop from 9 a.m.
to 1 p.m.
on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I do have from 930 to 10 staff meeting and then 1 to 2 as my lunch break and then 2 to 5.
That’s when I have the programing stuff.
So that’s when I’ll probably meet my work study students.
That’s when I work on connecting with the employers.
So I’m trying to get to give students work experience.
That’s where I’m working on.
So we do a version of Case Notes.
So when we work with students, we do have to write notes.
So that’s when I finish off the notes and any other admin stuff that I have that’s usually so even saying it doesn’t even sound like a lot, but it’s a lot Yeah.
And how do you how do you stay up to date on the latest market trends.
Yeah, So LinkedIn is one of the places where I have a lot of conversations with people.
Sometimes I would just pick a person, send a message and say, Hey, how is the towers? I’m just interested to know what is your hiring right now? How is it going? I do read some finance.
Like lately I’ve been into Yahoo Finance and things like that too.
Like just gets employment trends.
But I find that hearing from people in the field a lot of times for me holds more weight than just reading an article. Many And do you advise on every industry, every job or is it a specific field that you look at.
So for the students, I do work with arts and science so arts and sciences, life sciences like biology, chemistry.
So you know, they go into medicine and things like that.
And then I do have arts, so arts to be anything from the women and gender studies to social sciences and things like that.
However, I do have students because the way our jobs work is just because you do a science degree does not mean that you’re going to be working in a lab.
You can do a science degree and become a photographer. So.
So I do, yes, I do advise on every single industry, but there is a big box of that.
What I do is I go by the teacher man to fish, feed him for a lifetime kind of analogy.
And the reason is because this generation of students, many times want me to tell them what they should go into.
So one question I always get is, Well, what is everybody doing? Well, there’s no answer to that.
But what I do is I try to teach them ways to be able to research, ways to figure out what feels there are and what they would be interested in.
So kind of like how I was talking about, being on top of trends and not really being big on, you know, on articles and so forth.
Even though I do look at them every once in a while, I teach students ways to go do their own research.
So I do know that there is a career cruising and other apps and things like that where you could answer one question and then they would give you a list of jobs to go into.
I’m not a fan of it, and the reason is because when I did that, it told me that I should be like a garbage collector.
And it gave me like these random things where I’m like, people clearly you don’t know me, right? So I teach students to go online or LinkedIn.
Just put in words, use the search bar, see what speaks to you.
That’s something I say all the time.
So kind of like when you’re going on your clothes shopping, you know, you want to buy an outfit for the Beyoncé concert, but you know, you have an idea of what you want to get, but it’s not until you see that one outfit you think, Wait, that’s what I was looking for.
Even though you didn’t know what it was.
It’s kind of the same thing with looking for a job or looking for a career, right? So like, sometimes what you need to do is you need to just search up what there is.
Just look at random things.
And what you’re going to realize is you’re going to start gravitating towards certain things.
So if you’re a people person, you’re going to realize counseling is starting to speak to me or teaching is starting to speak to me, or even another thing that I’m really big on is making the LinkedIn algorithm work for you.
So many people do not realize how powerful of a tool LinkedIn is.
And I’m not talking about the LinkedIn where you just reach out to strangers.
I’m not a fan of it.
I’m not a huge fan of just reaching out to people in an But, but that’s how we met.
That’s the difference. Gotcha.
Okay, no problem.
don’t know if you get this, but I do get it.
I do get the emails of people say, Oh, I have such great skills.
Are you hiring? And it’s I mean, I’m flattered.
But the reality is there is so much more to LinkedIn than just connecting with people.
People are putting their business on LinkedIn.
Look at it.
People are telling you what schools they went to, where they worked, what jobs they’ve done, things like that.
Follow their journeys and see what you can follow.
I tell people to do that all the time. Yeah.
are there any career fields that are stand out to you that you could see are going to be in huge demand in the coming years as I get skilled trades.
looking back, something that I have my friends, my personal friends, and we’re all in our fields and, you know, things that I think our parents are proud of, right.
And I’m talking about, especially my Caribbean friends. Right? Because one thing about being from the Caribbean is we’re very big on what career my child has so interested.
I would call it a big job.
You have a big my child has a big job.
But but something we always joke about and talk about is, Man, I should have started a plumbing business because as a woman who owns her own house and needs a plumber and time’s up, my husband is away.
I don’t know if I don’t want anybody coming into my house, but if I see someone that looks like me, I probably would feel a lot more comfortable about that.
That’s just reality, right? And so we joke about, you know, we could have started plumbing businesses and how much, you know, how many people would have been would have given us business because of the fact that we are not the typical, you know, pans falling down plumber.
I mean not a lot of people are coming to us for trades.
But just in general, when people ask me, I’m always I always say, are you good with your hands? Because they’re really neat.
We always need mechanics, we always need plumbers, we always need we always need tradespeople.
I was one of those feels, especially from an immigrant perspective, is looked at so negatively.
But the reality is there’s a lot of money in those fields Oh, you could build a very nice life for yourself if you have the skill traits.
Yeah, I, I have a couple specific questions, maybe some tips that you can give people listening to this.
What is your best tip for a resume writing? okay.
So resume writing is one of those things that people think that the employers care about all these fancy words and so forth.
The thing what resonates is people do not read it word for word.
If I have 500 resumes to go through, trust me, I am not reading your resume word for word. I do not care that your template looks great.
I do not care.
I mean, yes, I care that your resume looks good.
But honestly you don’t need a fancy template that has swirls and all sorts of stuff.
All you need is a microsoft Word document y background block words, Size 12.
That’s all I need and highlight your skills.
The thing that resonates is you have to be really strategic with them as if it is an employer has on their job posting that they’re looking for someone who can work with Java, who can work on their own, who can, who is independent or has specific skills trust.
I believe that’s what my resume is going to highlight.
I am not going to put the effort into the template on how pretty my resume is.
I’m going to put the time and the effort into making sure that my skills are shown.
That’s my biggest thing.
And it’s also a pet peeve of mine.
Some of the resignations that are coming out now, you know, they look more like storyboards, which is great, but sometimes it’s like you really don’t need all these bells and so font size 12, not 11.
Not 11, Definitely not 11.
That’s the only thing people are going to.
And one specific question to an interview.
What’s your greatest tip for somebody to stand out in an interview just word standout because that’s something that I always talk about.
So think of an interview like so, you know, the Food Network always.
Well, I don’t know if they do anymore, but back in the day, the use of all these food competition shows, so like greatest cookie or greatest ribs or whatever.
And so a lot of times when people go into these competitions and think of that, think of it as the people going into this competition are the people who are going into the interview and at home.
They have the greatest cookie recipe.
Like everybody talks about their cookie recipe, they have to convince these judges that there’s of the best.
And so you have, like, I don’t know, 50 contestants and then when the 50 contestants go in, the judges are trying it.
That is good.
And then by the time they get to number five, number five, accidentally put salt instead of sugar.
So the jurors are like, oh, yeah, we know, we don’t like number five.
And then they get to like number 12.
And number 12 is like, I don’t know, they use salted caramel.
So they’re like, oh, number 12 is the best one.
But then they reach a number 15 and then 15 has something else that that is really good.
And then by the time they get to number 25, they’re like, Oh my gosh, I just remember number five was terrible, but everything tastes the same.
Interviews are exactly like that.
So the way that people usually start out in interviews are if you do something that really is going to make yourself memorable.
So again, back to the cookie analogy, maybe the cookies were presented in a table in a in a basket that one of the judges remembered that their grandmother had on their mantle.
That was very sentimental to them.
Was it the best cookie? Probably not.
It was good, but it was memorable.
So when people go into interviews, I usually say, What can you take in an interview that’s different from the usual going in with their elevator speech? It’s been done going in with, you know, you dress well.
Okay, we know, right? This is the interview talk. We know it. We know what a dress.
Well, dress, professional elevator speech, speak well, blah, blah, blah.
But One question a lot of interviewers ask is how do you show that you are someone who is organized? I bet you everyone will have a great answer for that.
But the difference between me and other people is I will show them.
So you ask me, how am I organized? I’m going to pull my phone out and say, This is my calendar.
All of my bills are in red, All of the train schedules are in green.
All the bills that I, you know, like something like that, Right.
And I show them if anything, there are definitely going to remember that over all the people who give them great answers.
That is one specific thing I always tell people to do.
Can you take something with you that’s going to make yourself memorable? How about nervously knocking over a cup of coffee on their desk? story.
My story, as you mentioned that.
So I had a really good friend, have a really good friend as we’re still friends, what am I doing? So this is like some like ten years ago she was pregnant.
She got an interview for this job.
Amazing job. Amazing. Amazing job.
So she thought, You know what? I don’t care.
I just want to. I’m pregnant, but I want this job.
So she goes into the interview presented ready to go, interview goes really well.
They got to the last question.
She says, I’m sorry, just give me one second.
Pulls the garbage bin, throws what? Of that? That’s amazing.
Yeah, that’s right.
I think that’s.
Yeah. We do want to throw up a disclaimer.
We’re not telling people to vomit in job interview.
It worked for for her.
Just make it memorable.
Yes, that’s right.
What are your thoughts around A.I.
and what industries should be nervous about the development of A.I.? Yeah, you know.
see, I’m one of those people who I go against the grain, right? So I’m pretty sure Beyonce is not going to listen to this podcast, but I’m not a Beyonce fan.
And the reason I’m not a Beyoncé fan is because every black girl is a Beyoncé fans.
So I’m like, you know what, all y’all, I’m not going to follow you guys.
All right? So kind of like but if Beyoncé does listen, sorry, Beyonce, I love you.
But that being said, if it is, my thing is things will always change.
Technology all have always happened.
So welcome back to my days back when I was in Trinidad.
I do remember hearing conversations about things like, okay, so back when I was a child, because in the Caribbean now a little different because of technology, but in the Caribbean back then, all of the things that here we take for granted back then, it took us a very long time to get there.
I remember that the cash, the the cashier at the supermarket back then.
So see how we go to the supermarket and you just swipe and it goes, Beep, beep.
It took a long time for us to get that.
It wasn’t even it was like a thing that we heard of, but we’re like, Oh, we’re good.
We want to do the, you know.
And so the cashier used to actually put in each thing one by one.
And it was such a big deal to have this skill that actually is it was a class.
We had classes at school that were like typing classes and classes on how to, to to punch buttons quickly.
That was actually, of course, in school.
And the thing about it is now going back that doesn’t exist anymore, right? Things evolve now.
Am I worried about my job? No, because if it is that it takes over my job, something else will be invented as well that I can also do right? Or that probably will be greater.
Or maybe they need a manager to manage these guys.
Or maybe they need someone to overlook that.
Then I will take that.
I say embrace it, embrace the technology.
So the same way how back in the day planes flying in the sky was not a thing, right? I’m sure there are people in both were like, Oh, well, I love my little boat.
Why is it that you guys want to be flying in planes? Boats are great, right? And now flying is like the thing.
We embrace it and we move on.
So it’s not something that I’m really scared of, Right? The more it comes, the more jobs will come for that, right? Or the more things all evolve.
I’m always very polite when I request something from chat, because one day they will be our overlords.
What has Are you surprised that you ended up making your life in Canada? Yeah, Yeah, yeah.
Because I think in my head as a child, I always thought that and even coming here, I always thought my place would always be in Trinidad, at least in the Caribbean, but for sure in Trinidad.
And also to add to that, I’m surprised at the success that I had when I was here, because to be very open and honest, being a black immigrant who speaks differently or I feel like my accent is a little more tainted now, but being a black immigrant, you definitely have to push quite a bit harder when it comes to when it comes to to breaking boundaries and there are many times that I actually there was one time that I decided that I’m going home.
I went home for three months and then I turned around and I came back and so, you know, it’s one of those things where looking back at it, I don’t have the desire anymore to go back.
But also looking back, I said, I do look back and say, how did I get through some of the things that I dealt with? I have no idea. Yeah.
What is your future look like? What are you working towards? So one thing that I talk to my students about all the time is I too.
I’m in my career journey. I’m not quite there.
So right now I’m 38 and, you know, I’m at that point of life where I have the family.
I have, you know, I’m in a in a company that I love.
I love where I work.
But I am in the process of really trying to get to the director role.
So that goes back to what I was talking about before, about having that itch where I’m like, you know, I kind of want to get into that managerial type thing.
I have been a manager for the past four or five years.
I was a manager before this role and I enjoyed it.
I mean, it has its ups and downs, but I’ve decided that I’m working towards a director role.
Is that director role in the department I work in right now? In a perfect world, I would love it to be, I don’t know, but that is where that’s my goal for the next two or three years.
To get to the director role.
Is there anything they didn’t ask you that you would love for your students or anyone that took the time to listen to you? This topic that you would want them to know? you might think you have it figured out.
Or if you don’t have it, figure it out.
If you’re not in a place where you know what I know exactly.
Want to be a nuclear biologist.
What? Nassar I 2036 If you’re not in that board, you are fine.
That’s the first one.
But you know, what’s the second one? Stop listening to people.
I can’t tell you how many people come to me and say how many of my students come to me and say, Oh, well, I heard you need to have a 4.0 in order to be able to become a pilot for Emirates or, I don’t know, something like that.
Right. Like I always hear.
I heard. Okay, well, where did you hear this? Well, people have been saying, okay, who are these people? Right? A lot of times this is things we make up in our heads or these are conversations we have where we have heard it.
Nowhere. Right? So if it is that you are in a place in your life, especially as a student, first year, second or third or fourth year student, where you feel like I just don’t know where I am going, You are in the same boat as millions of other people and you will be okay.
I get that all the time.
It’s excellent advice.
Well, Sherilyn, you are a very positive person.
I wish you the best of luck with all your plans and, you know, thank you for taking the time to, to come on the podcast today.
appreciate it too.
Being able to tell my story and and give advice.
And I’m very excited for my students to hear this.
Thank you for tuning in to the Job Talk podcast.
For more information, please visit us at thejobtalk.com Our podcast music was created by our friend Mike Malone in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.