Western Career Launch and Professional Development Program for New Graduates


About the Program

The Western Career Launch and Professional Development Program for New Graduates (Career Launch Program) is a pilot project that was created with new staff positions for new graduates – positions with full-time hours and competitive salaries and benefits, for twenty-two months beginning in June 2022.

Graduates hired into diverse professional careers across the university are working on projects that will advance Western’s new strategic plan, Towards Western at 150. As new employees, they are gaining skills and experience in their field, enjoying a comprehensive calendar of professional development activities, and building relationships with a network of professional colleagues at Western and within the community. 

The Positions (*Please Note - these roles are now filled)

Digital Content Creation Associate (Western Communications)

The Digital Content Creation Associate (or Content Creator) will serve as a member of the Western Communications team and collaborate closely with colleagues in the Office of Student Recruitment, Western International and Student Experience. In this role, you will develop new content for student-facing digital channels to promote Western as a top university of choice and to highlight all that Western has to offer to students. Content could include social media posts and accompanying graphics, short videos, website content, and story-writing.

As the ideal candidate, you are a graduate of FIMS or Arts & Humanities, including (but not limited to) the programs of MMJC, MIT, Creative Writing, Professional Communications, or SASAH. You are a strong communicator, an excellent writer, and a creative thinker. You have the confidence and the initiative to proactively and regularly bring ideas to the table about new content and approaches to content sharing. You also have a comfort level with technology – in particular, creating short videos (using phone and basic editing software). Basic experience or comfort using Photoshop (or eagerness to learn!) is also an asset.

Communications Associate (Office of Indigenous Initiatives)

In the role of Communications Associate, you will be responsible for responding to communications briefs from colleagues within OII as well as from other clients, such as faculty or Western staff engaged with Indigenous issues. You will receive briefs, identify the appropriate communications vehicles for delivery, engage with relevant Western communications partners where required, source required ancillary materials or services (e.g., photos, video, graphic design), and write content. You will also prepare communications plans for major strategic initiatives undertaken by OII. This will involve developing strategic communications objectives, identifying target audiences, articulating key messages, and actioning appropriate tactics.

The ideal candidate has insight into Indigenous worldviews, histories and cultures. You also have a background in communications or creative writing, and demonstrates clarity and precision in writing, command of grammar and idiom, the ability to edit, and familiarity with basic principles of graphic design, as well as an understanding of the relationship between written and graphic elements. You have an understanding of strategic communications planning (identifying objectives, messages and audiences), as well as the ability to manage multiple projects at one time. In addition, you have excellent relationship building skills, with the ability to navigate different points of view and understand different perspective.

Communications Associate (Human Resources)

In the role of Communications Associate, you will be responsible for the development and implementation of projects with a goal of recruiting top talent, increasing staff engagement, and enhancing awareness of events, programs, services and initiatives. You will develop and deliver content, and leverage communication tools to develop digital and print content, as well as mass email communications. You will also monitor and maintain communications on a variety of platforms (e.g. web, social media, etc.) and research, analyze and present information on effective communications strategies.

As our ideal candidate, you have an undergraduate degree in communications, public relations, journalism/media or a related program. You have experience coordinating various communications projects and knowledge of principles of writing and communications best practices. You are familiar with trends and tools in communications, and you have the ability to develop communications plans and recommendations for engagement initiatives. You have compelling and persuasive communication skills, you are creative and collaborative, and you have an ability to build relationships with individuals and groups at all levels of the organization.

Digital Learning Associate (Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)

As the Digital Learning Associate, you will help with the research and development of learning modules, website resources, guides, newsletters & informational posters that will promote equity, diversity, accessibility, inclusion and belonging at Western, in London, and beyond. In this role, you will collaborate on the development of modules and associated campaigns on Anti-Racism, Anti-Islamophobia, and Anti-Semitism, as well as the topics of addressing race talk in the classroom, and intercultural conflict resolution.

As our ideal candidate, you have foundational knowledge in digital learning, media, and/or communications, as well as a commitment to Equity, Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion, and excellent intercultural communication and listening skills. You are motivated by engaging in new projects and initiatives, supported by your time management and organization skills, and you work equally well independently and as a team member.

Learning Support Associate (Faculty of Health Sciences – Arthur Labatt School of Nursing)

In the role of Learning Support Associate, you will support teaching and learning activities within the Nursing Clinical Education Suites (Lab/Simulation). You will coach and mentor students during their laboratory and simulation sessions, assist faculty in scenario development and lab experiences, and participate in the development of new learning modalities, including virtual reality and other forms of learning.

Our ideal candidate has an undergraduate degree in a health-related field, science, or education, as well as knowledge of medical terminology and/or human anatomy/physiology. You have experience coordinating projects or programs, as well as strong communication skills, and the ability to manage your time while keeping your multiple projects or assignments organized.

EDI Project Associate (Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)

As the EDI Project Associate, you will help with the research and development of learning modules, website resources, guides, newsletters & informational posters that will promote equity, diversity, accessibility, inclusion and belonging at Western, in London, and beyond. You will also assist with the planning for Western’s involvement in London’s Pride celebrations and Black History Month, while working in collaboration to support events planned for National Truth & Reconciliation Day. In addition, you will support accessibility at Western by reviewing training modules and websites, and assisting in the preparation of a guide for Universal Design for Accessibility.

As our ideal candidate, you have foundational knowledge in operations management and/or project management, as well as a commitment to Equity, Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion, and excellent intercultural communication and listening skills. You are motivated by engaging in new projects and initiatives, supported by your time management and organization skills, and you work equally well independently and as a team member.

Indigenous Curriculum Project Associate (Office of Indigenous Initiatives)

In the role of Indigenous Curriculum Project Associate, you will support the Indigenous Curriculum and Pedagogy Advisor in carrying out recommendations by the Indigenous Curriculum and Learning Subcommittee in the Maamwi Gzekewag Report (2021). You will be involved in delivering and facilitating new and existing Indigenous teaching and learning programming, creating curriculum resources and modules, and promoting learning events. You will also work to update and edit online learning resources and tools, plan events and programming, and host Learning/Debrief Circles for The Path, as well as facilitate Indigenizing Your Syllabus labs.

As our ideal candidate, you have lived experience as an Indigenous person, with knowledge and ability in engaging and integrating Indigenous knowledge and pedagogies into curriculum. You are familiar with diverse Indigenous cultural protocols and you have knowledge and understanding of colonialism. You also have experience or familiarities with curriculum writing and development, along with communications and writing skills. You have the ability to conduct research, manage projects, and facilitate education, with the confidence to deliver programming. It is an asset (though not required) if you have experience in audio/visual editing, GIS, graphic design and/or social media.

Finance & Investment Associate (Financial Services)

In the role of Financial & Investment Associate, you will provide support to the Responsible Investing (RI) Strategy and Pathway being implemented by the University Investment Team. You will gain valuable experience helping the investment team monitor and report progress on our responsible investing journey, and helping the team execute on our RI pathway workplan over the next two years. You will also provide research, reporting, and analysis for RI projects underway and aggregate historical material in a meaningful way. In this position, you will be exposed to real world, global challenges as the University refines and executes on its RI strategy and Pathway.

Our ideal candidate has working knowledge of finance and responsible investing concepts. You may also have knowledge of climate change concepts, the Paris Agreement, and responsible investing reporting frameworks. You complement this knowledge with your project management skills, organizational abilities, critical thinking, and strong communication skills.

Sustainability Associate (Sustainability Office)

As the Sustainability Associate, you will work in collaboration to promote, develop and implement sustainability initiatives at Western that will educate and engage staff, faculty and students on sustainability, waste reduction, and energy conservation opportunities across campus. Working the Sustainability team, you will coordinate sustainability projects and programs, and prepare related reports for internal and external audiences, develop communications plan and themed topics. You will also participate in intercampus sustainability collaborations, while researching and implementing best practices for increasing engagement and program development.

As our ideal candidate, you have a working knowledge of sustainability concepts, including energy, water and waste management, complemented by excellent communication skills, the ability to build relationships and partnerships with peers and stakeholders, and strong organizational and time management skills. You are comfortable with public speaking, and you are capable of coordinating projects from conception to completion.

Western Athletics Advancement Associate (University Advancement, in partnership with Western Sport and Recreation Services)

As the Western Athletics Advancement Associate, you will work closely with University Advancement fundraising and alumni engagement professionals, as well as leaders and coaches with Western Athletics to assist in building the culture of philanthropy amongst our athletic alumni and strengthening awareness of and support for Western Athletics mission and goals. You will create, implement, and evaluate fundraising strategies with a focus on stewardship and engagement activities that strive to enhance the Mustang experience and alumni community, now and in the future.

Our ideal candidate has lived experience as a Western student varsity athlete, with a commitment to Western Athletics’ mission and values. You have an undergraduate degree in business, communications, or a related field. You have excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills, and you are committed to providing outstanding customer service. You are proactive, creative and enthusiastic, and you have an interest in fundraising and events.

Web Developer Associate (University Advancement)

As the Web Developer Associate, you will work in collaboration with the Web Project team to support the design and implementation of a University Advancement web presence. In this role, you will help to develop and enhance internal web tools, while also working to update and modernize the intranet system and its content. You will bring new and innovative design thinking to web tools to showcase Western Advancement culture in order to make a larger impact amongst the Western community.

As our ideal candidate, you have a background in computer science with skills in web development. You may be a graduate of Computer Science, or MIT, for example. You also have experience working on projects and assignments from conception to completion, with the ability to plan projects using attainable milestones and deadlines.

Human Resources Associate (Human Resources)

As the Human Resources Associate, you will work with the Employee Relations team to support Western leaders in strategic workforce planning; change management; application of policies; employment statutes and collective agreements; performance feedback; and other related supports. You will also work on a variety of HR projects, including contributing to the development and implementation of new policies and procedures, conducting research and analysis of external comparators and partner organizations and making recommendations, and developing and/or facilitating workshops or sessions to educate Western staff and leaders on policy and process.

Our ideal candidate has an undergraduate degree in business, human resources, industrial relations, social science, or a related field. You have excellent interpersonal skills and confidence to collaborate with individuals at all levels of the organization. You are tactful and diplomatic, and you can skillfully navigate potentially difficult conversations. You also have some familiarity with HR principles and employment legislation, and you are able to deal with confidential or sensitive information.

Let's connect!

Interested in starting your career at Western? These positions are now filled, but we still want to hear from you. Email Katie Osborne and tell her a bit about who you are and what interests you.

Professional Development

Learning never stops

Participants have been partnered with a mentor throughout their two years of employment. Mentors are Western staff leaders who will share advice and learnings from their own careers, while helping program participants to be successful in their roles and community initiatives.

In addition, the career launch program includes a three-day intensive professional development program in each year of the two-year pilot.

This professional development will provide ongoing learning, and skills development but it will also provide the group of employees a chance to network with each other. The program also offers ongoing professional development opportunities such as guest lectures and Zoom webinars. All these components will help these new young professionals continue to hone their skills and add credentials to their resumes as they start their career journeys.

Giving Back to the Community

Community project proposals:  The program is designed to tap into new ideas and new energy from the group of employees participating in this program. Particularly, it will provide an opportunity for small groups to work together in teams to develop ‘community engagement’ project proposals that will contribute to creating a sense of belonging on Western's campus and into the broader London and surrounding communities.

Proposals will be encouraged that support existing or new on campus initiatives or broader community initiatives that are a good fit for Western or the department(s) where they’re working.

*This program was made possible with funding from the University Priority Investment Fund.

Western’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID)

Western University’s new strategic plan, Towards Western at 150, outlines the University’s commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID). The University has created this Career Launch program, in part, to help to fulfill our commitments to hiring more Indigenous, Black, women, persons with disability, racialized, and LGBTQ2S+ employees.

Why this is so important

Western’s Workforce Analysis Reports, which reflect data collected by the Employment Equity Survey (replaced by the Western Equity Census in late 2021), indicate that members of racialized groups and Indigenous persons are underrepresented on campus. In 2019, racialized persons represented 8.1% of administrative staff on campus, whereas Indigenous persons represented 0.8% of administrative staff.

Through its commitment to employment equity, Western is:

  • Providing the best student and employee experiences possible by understanding and responding to the needs of our increasingly diverse students, faculty and staff;
  • offering diverse role models for students;
  • attracting the best talent in a more diverse labour pool;
  • improving our competitive advantage (for faculty, staff and student recruitment) through innovation and leadership;
  • achieving greater creativity and improved problem-solving capacity;
  • helping to increase retention rates, build morale and confidence and reduce absenteeism and miscommunication.

The Career Launch Program's Commitment to Diversity

Western University invited applications from all qualified individuals and sought out candidates who share the University’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and decolonization. Western strongly encourages and welcomes applications from women, Indigenous persons, Black persons, members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

As a strategic pilot initiative, the Career Launch program invited graduates of Western University’s Class of 2022 to apply, with priority given to qualified individuals who identify as Black or Indigenous. This initiative is a special program under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

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