Co-curricular programs prepare Brock students for career goals

To achieve their career goals, two Brock students took action during their undergraduate studies.

Mohammed Abbas and Madison Motyka each knew they wanted to pursue professional careers with stringent examination criteria. To better the chance of admission into highly competitive fields of practice, both enrolled in Brock’s co-curricular ‘Plus’ programs when they began their time at the University.

Abbas heard about Brock’s Med Plus program from a friend before he enrolled at Brock and immediately recognized the potential it showed in allowing him to achieve a dream of helping others through a career in health care.

“Med Plus has helped me to understand that being a health-care professional is the first thing I want to do,” said the fourth-year Biological Sciences student. “I heard from a family doctor who described the job as ‘being a teacher where you stay up to date with scientific advances,’ and that definitely aligns with how I see my career.”

As a four-year, co-curricular program that runs concurrently with students’ full-time academic studies, Med Plus aims to prepare its nearly 200 student participants for careers in health care by connecting them with dozens of volunteer and networking opportunities, as well as the resources needed to apply for further studies in the field of health.

Along with linking him with mentors, the program also connected Abbas with volunteer opportunities at places like Positive Living Niagara, which he harnessed to further zero in on the areas of health care that most appealed to him.

“Volunteering with Positive Living Niagara gave me a good idea of being non-judgemental and non-biased while providing care,” he said. “Seeing the impact community outreach can have made me want to further develop that trust with vulnerable people so I could more effectively help them.”

While Abbas has already secured a medical school interview and submitted several graduate school applications, he’s not the only one to find career clarity through co-curricular studies.

Motyka had known she wanted to go into a career in the legal field since she was in kindergarten, but achieving that goal became much clearer when she enrolled in Brock’s Law Plus co-curricular program, which she says played a pivotal role in securing her admission to law school at University of Windsor.

“I really don’t know where else I could have found all of the information I needed to pursue my career without Law Plus,” said the fourth-year Political Science student. “The program provides you with access to professionals who are ready to help and volunteer opportunities to gain experience. Both co-ordinators also helped me with my law school applications and offered to give references.”

Like Med Plus, Law Plus is a co-curricular program that connects nearly 100 aspiring legal professionals with a variety of job-shadowing, networking skill-development and community service opportunities.

Through the program, and volunteer opportunities with Pathstone Mental Health and Big Brothers Big Sisters Niagara, Motyka was able to establish her focus going forward.

“It has helped me solidify that I do want to do family law,” she said. “Everyone we spoke with in the program helped me solidify that and my volunteer opportunities re-affirmed that interest by heightening my awareness that there are underlying issues that legal expertise can address when people can’t do it on their own.”

With the Law Plus co-curricular application deadline of Saturday, April 15 quickly approaching, Motyka hopes incoming Brock students will take advantage of the same opportunities she did.

“It gives you a taste of being a lawyer before you even get there,” she said. “It’s the ideal first step if you want to go to law school because you’ll have a real leg up on your peers.”

For Abbas, the sentiment is similar, and he hopes new students will enrol in Med Plus, which also has its application deadline on April 15.

“It’s a great way to learn what a career in health care entails and what responsibilities you’ll be taking on,” he said. “The continued support of everyone in the program is a great way to stay focused and open up your eyes to so many career options.”

To learn more about Brock’s co-curricular Plus programs, visit the University’s Plus Programs website.

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