By Andrew Kochergin
Sarah Fritz has always enjoyed helping family and friends with résumés and cover letters. Now, she is using her Career Development Practitioner Certificate to make a difference in people’s lives.
Fritz is a job developer at an organization that provides vocational services for people with mental health barriers. She works closely with youth clients to help them build their employment skills and find work placements. “It’s so awesome to help people empower themselves to find work, volunteer or go back to school,” she says.
She believes that if her clients have a little support and a positive work experience placement, chances are good that they will continue to build on their success. “It’s a very powerful feeling when someone believes in you,” she says.
Before taking SFU’s Career Development Practitioner Certificate, she tried a variety of jobs, but didn’t find any of them fulfilling. She took some time off, saw a vocational counsellor and wrote some career assessment tests. One of her top results was the career of the person she had consulted: Vocational counsellor.
Initially, she was concerned that SFU’s full-time program would be difficult. However, it was the first time she truly enjoyed being in school. “It was a subject that I was really interested in, which made a huge difference,” she says. “I had never earned straight A’s in post-secondary before, and that felt amazing!”
She liked her instructors because “they actually work in the field. The knowledge that they imparted to us is current, and the examples they used are real-life situations that I now face on the job.”
The highlight of the program was her practicum. “It allowed me to apply what I learned, build confidence and gain experience for my résumé,” she says. “At the end of my practicum, I thought, ‘Okay, I can totally do this.’”
Fritz accepted a job offer only one month after she graduated, from the second company she applied to. Both job applications landed her an interview.
Always wanting to give back, Fritz will continue helping her clients achieve their goals. “I am finally in a meaningful career that I love,” she says. “It has changed my life.”