My Experience as a Work Study Student

Written by: Jikai Feng (Hank), 4th year of Social Science
Photo by: Western Student Experience

Light travels like an arrow, and time is like a shuttle. As we grow, I have always believed that sometimes an invisible hand of destiny will push us to do what we are meant to do. My name is Jikai Feng, also called Hank, a Chinese international student. As I was about to graduate from Western University, I joined the Student Experience team and spent a wonderful and fulfilling two hundred hours. This work study position allowed me to fulfill my dream since entering Western, making tangible contributions to the university and students.

I learned about the work-study program through email and applied for it. Soon, I received an interview invitation from Student Experience. Despite my fairly normal performance during the interview, perhaps they sensed my desire and determination to serve the university, and Student Experience offered me my first job in Canada, titled: Digital Communication Lead. When I joined, each of my supervisors welcomed me with utmost warmth and friendliness, they explained things clearly when I had questions and praised me when I completed tasks. Their step-by-step guidance helped me transition from initial nervousness to quickly adapting to the Canadian work environment. I also learned a range of skills and technologies I had never encountered before.

During my time at Student Experience, I completed over fifty tasks with increasing difficulty, starting from creating PowerPoint, brainstorming ideas, and browsing websites to providing advice, to later creating Instagram stories, reels, and even web analysis and improvements. As the challenges of the tasks increased, so did my experience. My favorite task was creating Instagram reels because, as a TikTok content creator, video creation is a hobby of mine, and being able to apply my hobby to work was undoubtedly fortunate. I am a very quiet and introverted person, almost no one knows me on campus. However, as I deepened my work at Student Experience, I surprisingly found myself featured on Western Student Experience's Instagram, and I am also the interviewer in the latest study tips Instagram reel. This made me feel honored and proud because it gave me a sense of presence, more importantly, I felt like I was truly involved in the school's activities and left evidence of my previous existence.

I feel regret, that the hand of destiny pushed me a bit late, preventing me from contributing more to the student experience. So, to you, the reader of this blog, take some time to closely consider your career plans. There are many valuable opportunities at Western waiting for you to discover, each bringing a new experience. That’s how Student Experience was for me, it provided me with experiences and knowledge different from what I learned in textbooks. I also learned a lot about the three pillars of Student Experience: Leadership & Learning, Sport & Recreation, and Wellness & Well-being. I also observed how the Canadian workplace operates, learned ways to communicate with supervisors, and gained a deeper understanding of Western University where I spent five years. At last, I am grateful for the choice I made last year, thankful to Student Experience for providing me with such a rich experience, and appreciate Western University for designing this platform and opportunities that are so helpful to students. If you'd like to learn more about opportunities within Work Study at Western, check out this site.

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