Discover Year Timeline
Discover Year by The Numbers
- 40 Skill-Building Workshops
- 30 Career Mentorship Conversations
- 35 Group Coaching Sessions
- 10 Off-Site Career Exploration & Team-Building Days
- 12 Individual Meetings with a Personal Coach
- 4-6 Networking Events
- 100+ Amazing Mentors to Offer Guidance & Networking Opportunities
The Discover Year Program
At Discover Year, we recognize that our participants have different skills, interests and expectations when it comes to employment. Whether you have previous work experience, you're looking for your first job, you have a particular field in mind, or you are willing to try anything, we will help you identify opportunities and build the skills to help you move forward in your journey. We start by helping you craft a professional résumé and cover letter. Then we coach you on effective communication strategies to connect with employers interested in hiring young workers. We also provide access to our extensive network of mentors and professionals to help you explore the world or work. During the work phases, participants are expected to work approximately four days per week, with another day dedicated to skills development, through our Discovery Days.
Discovery Days: Crucial Skills Development
One day every week – Discovery Day – we all come together for fun and engaging education. These days are dedicated to skills workshops, career panels and group discussion.
The skills workshops focus on both “hard” and “soft” skills related to communication, entrepreneurship, career development, organization & time management and critical thinking. Subject matter experts from within our committee deliver interactive sessions to help participants build fundamental career skills for the 21st century.
The mentor-centred career conversations introduce our students to a plethora of successful people from a wide range of industries, careers and backgrounds. They help shape our students' knowledge and understanding of the skills and attitudes required, as well as the day-to-day realities in a variety of fields. This portion of the program is intended to pique our participants’ curiosity and inspire them to start exploring potential interests for future careers and ambitions in a meaningful way.
Our learning model is based on the Harkness method, an educational philosophy centred around dialogue, reflection and feedback. Our principle objective is to help our students develop self-awareness, critical thinking and communication skills. This model enables our students to ask questions, express their feelings and develop their reasoning skills. Discussion themes include career development, post-secondary decision-making, current events and the group’s collaborative projects.
The travel component of the program is intended to enlarge the participants’ world view and build their confidence while stepping outside of their comfort zone. Adaptability, problem solving and cultural awareness are considered crucial skills in today’s job market. Without exception, our students improve these skills during their travels.
We understand that independent travel can seem intimidating for both young adults and their parents, and that resources and interests vary greatly among participants. That is why - similar to the work component - the travel portion of the Discover Year is flexible. Whether you want to travel to Montreal, Marseille or Manilla during your trip, our travel experts will provide guidance and helpful suggestions as participants prepare your journey. You may prefer to join a structured volunteer opportunity for your month-long travel experience, you may choose to visit family overseas or explore unchartered territories on your own or with a companion. Whatever the format, there are many lessons to be learned in traveling to an unknown land.
At Discover Year, we believe strongly that community service is most beneficial when the mission and job tasks are closely aligned with the individual’s interests, talents and values. With the community project, we aim to create a spark for our students with respect to a particular social issue.
The goal is to carry out a group project that speaks to your authentic values and enables you to create a meaningful stake in the project's mission. Discover Year staff support the development of the project, but ultimately the decision of what issue to tackle, what impact you seek to make and how to implement the project lies with you. Project delivery dates can vary, but are expected to be towards the end of the Discover Year.
Individual Coaching and Self-awareness
With the multitude of education and career pathways available today, it is easy to understand why many students become overwhelmed in the post-secondary decision making process. There are close to 200 post-secondary institutions in Canada alone! Thanks to online marketing and well-developed recruitment strategies among these institutions, the abundance of admissions and program information can often lead to feelings of despair. Simultaneously, students are faced with perceived societal pressure urging them to pursue high-status or well-recognized fields and careers. This combination of information and perception often leads students to make arbitrary post-secondary decisions based on incomplete or irrelevant information.
During your monthly individual meetings with your life-path coach, you will gain a better understanding of how you can make use of your authentic interests, values and talents within the context of the current labour market. Through a combination of personality assessment tools and exploratory discussion, our coaches aim to increase students' confidence and self-awareness to incite meaningful action.