Discovering your passion
When I attended university decades back in the previous century, there were very few opportunities to gain workplace experience as part of one’s degree program, other than at a small handful of universities with co-op programs. My journalism program at Carleton University was also one of the exceptions, in that we were encouraged to do voluntary one- or two-week internships at various media outlets. (University Affairs participates in that program, which continues to this day. We offer up to three internship opportunities to Carleton journalism students each year.)
Much like the anecdote that leads off our cover story on work-integrated learning in this month’s issue, one of my internship experiences – a short stint with the news team of a now-defunct country music radio station – certainly revealed to me what I didn’t want to do. I realized I felt more at home working in print than in radio, and here I am all these years later at this magazine.
Work-integrated learning, experiential learning, community service-learning, co-ops and so on, have become a much greater force within universities over the past few years, prompted not just by the desires of companies and the needs of community organizations, but by the students themselves. A group composed of business and higher education leaders has even set a goal that all postsecondary students have some form of meaningful work-integrated learning before graduation. While such programming is complicated and demanding, it’s a trend that should be applauded and supported.
There are so many other great stories in this issue, I’m not sure where to begin. Sleep disorders are a growing problem in society and we have an interesting look at the research in this area by a new (for us) writer, Kerry Banks. We also look at some of the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to keep our universities running. And, in a follow-up to our February 2017 cover story on predatory journals by Alex Gillis, we have a news story on the related phenomenon of predatory conferences. For the sake of your career, they are one type of experience you don’t want to have.