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Grad wins career practitioner award

Photo by Greg Ehlers

Ning Huang has always loved helping people. This passion led her to the Career Development Practitioner Certificate program and a career as an employment counsellor with Richmond Youth Service Agency, where she excels at helping clients find their own passion. Her dedicated work earned her the 2018 Emerging Career Practitioner of the Year award.

How did you hear about the Career Development Practitioner training program?
I was exploring my career options with help from Work BC and the woman who helped me mentioned that I should think about doing something similar to her work because she saw me as a very good candidate. When I had my baby, I decided I wanted a bit of a career change that would offer more stability and would match my areas of interest. I’ve always loved helping people and did my research into different options. I went to informational interviews and networked, and they all recommended the SFU program.

What interests you about a career in this field?
I think a job is one of the most important things for any human being who would like to prove themselves as useful and contribute to society. Finding a job that suits you and that you really like is a big factor for having a happy life. For me, being able to cultivate personal growth and self-exploration in others so they can find something like that is extremely rewarding. I get to make a difference and help them with the next chapter of their lives. I feel so lucky to share that joy with them.

Photo by Greg Ehlers

Do you use any of the skills you learned in the Career Development Practitioner program in your day-to-day work?
Yes. I think the program helped tremendously in terms of theoretical knowledge and practising the theory we learned in class. It gave you the foundational knowledge and the opportunity to actually use it. [For example] we did role-play during the practicum on how to handle upset clients and that was really helpful. Because I practised those scenarios I felt calmer and more confident at my job [as an employment counsellor with Richmond Youth Service Agency]. Without this program I wouldn’t really know the true power of networking and how important it is to get your foot into any industry. I learned the skills to interview and navigate the job market for myself and my clients.

Have you benefited from the connections you made in the program?
Absolutely. Both of my jobs after I graduated were largely due to the support of an alumni member’s guidance and the network built through my practicum experience. You have supportive classmates and instructors, and they listen to you and your feedback. It’s wonderful. Even now, I keep in touch with all my classmates and we update each other and share job postings and congratulate each other on promotions. I feel so lucky for all the help I received and continue to receive and because of that, I can always find strength and energy to give back to the community through my work with youth.

By Alison Brierley