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Experiential learning at work

New reflection component of student jobs helps with career-focused skill development and improves confidence.

More than 1,000 Queen’s students, working on and off campus, have benefitted to date from the introduction of an interactive experiential learning (EL) component to their position.

The EL WrapAround program provides students and their supervisors with an easy-to-use structure that integrates experiential learning into existing and new student roles.  The use of an evidence-based high-impact, low-time-commitment form allows supervisors to engage students in guided reflection. Research has shown that on-the-job reflection results in better work performance and boosts resilience and confidence.

Conversations between students and supervisors also provide an opportunity for students to identify and track the skills they are developing, and how those skills align with their current and longer-term employment goals.

This past academic year, the EL WrapAround was added to 481 work-study and 686 Student Affairs student staff and volunteer roles.

Helen Wong, BCom’22, worked part-time in a Communications and Marketing position with the Division of Student Affairs this past year. She found that the EL WrapAround form helped her connect the tasks she completed on the job to transferrable skills that she will use in the future, and to better articulate her employment experience.

“Having spent the time reflecting and reviewing the skills and goals I wanted to develop, I am better able to remember what I did and how I grew from it,” she says. 

The program also supports supervisors through workshops and one-on-one consultations. Career Services provided training to over 80 staff in 2018-19 on topics such as providing effective feedback and having effective conversations with students about their skill and career development.

The EL WrapAround is continuing to expand. Faculty members and staff who are interested in adding EL to existing student roles or want to learn more about the program and upcoming supervisor training dates are invited to visit the Experiential Learning Hub website for more information.

Students who are interested in learning more about experiential learning and career development opportunities, are invited to contact Career Services.