As a fresh graduate of the University of British Columbia (opens in a new window)’s Master of Library and Information Studies program, Karan was interested in finding a job in her field. “I was a bit apprehensive and unsure about how to go about the process, like marketing myself and preparing for interviews, and how to present my strengths and abilities in the best possible way.”
Karan has cerebral palsy (opens in a new window), which mainly affects her legs. From following the Neil Squire Society’s Facebook page (opens in a new window), Karan was aware that the Society offered employment-related services. She wanted help creating a strong resume and overcoming her anxiety related to her job search.
That is how Karan joined the Working Together Program, which helps people with disabilities develop the skills they need to achieve their employment goals. Shortly after, Karan was contacted for an interview at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (opens in a new window) (KPU). She didn’t feel ready, and that is where Working Together came in to help.
Karan’s Career Facilitator helped her prepare for potential interview questions as well as disclosing her disability. Along the way, she also learned about crafting effective resumes and cover letters. And she landed the job!
Describing it as a “dream job”, Karan says, “My position is the Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian. One part of my duties is to make sure the library has a presence at KPU events. I also do community outreach to local high schools. We let them know how the library can help students when they begin post-secondary.”
At KPU events, Karan acts as a representative of the library, guiding students with respect to their education and research related needs.
“I was really happy that I got my dream job straight out of my program,” she says. “And it all worked out perfectly. Neil Squire was a great resource for me to make sure I have the accommodations that I need to be able to function to the best of my ability at my job.
“I use an electric wheelchair at work for help with getting around, especially if I’m going to different places on campus. I’m not able to do any work that requires heavy lifting – which librarians usually don’t do anyway – so I chose my career wisely!”
Karan will also soon go through a workplace assessment. She hopes to be able to receive assistive technology such as a laptop with voice activated software, along with a voice recorder for meetings.
“I am very grateful and thankful that Neil Squire’s services exist,” says Karan. “Because they really do help level the playing field for people of diverse abilities to be able to showcase their best in their work environment.”