In choosing to study Therapeutic Recreation (TR), you have made an important decision about your future! You are investing time and money to become part of this amazing profession. If you hope to have the best learning experience, there are many things you can do to take as much away from your education as possible. By really embracing the opportunities that come your way, you will make yourself most employable.

TRO asked several professors and recent grads who got great jobs after graduating “What can students do to get the most out of their TR education?”. Here is what they had to say:

  • Research the variety of TR programs that are available and choose one that suits your needs / learning preferences. Become educated on the strengths / benefits of each program.

  • Remember that each year, there are many new TR graduates who will be looking to get the same kind of job you want. Think carefully about what you can do during your education to set yourself apart from others.

  • Stay organized! You don’t want to “just get assignments done”. Manage your time wisely so that you can really become engaged in each assignment rather than just rushing through each one.

  • Get to know your faculty and let them get to know you. They are there to support and guide you during your studies. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them when you need help.

  • Take every opportunity to meet with professionals in the TR field. If given assignment options that allow you to network and connect with people who work in the field, take them.

  • If you hear about opportunities through your program to volunteer, jump on those! The benefits of doing so are endless….you get something else to add to your resume, you may meet professionals you wouldn’t otherwise meet, you are demonstrating your initiative and interest, and you are setting yourself apart from others.

  • Treat school as a job by demonstrating the same kind of work ethic at school that you would at a job. Be on time, do what is asked of you, show initiative and respect for others, be enthusiastic etc.

  • Don’t discount the importance of being able to utilize your professors as a reference for future TR jobs. They are most likely to want to provide a reference if you have demonstrated great commitment, effort, maturity and responsibility while a student.

  • Your professors are well-connected and often hear about job openings in the TR field. The past or current students that they will reach out to when they hear about those positions are those that have made a super-positive impression while a student. You want to do everything you can do to be one of those students!

  • Gain as much exposure to different settings and populations as possible. This will help you narrow down the population with whom you will be best suited.

  • Stay in touch with faculty members after graduating. They want to know about your successes and how to contact you should they hear about an opportunity that might be a good fit for you.

  • If a position in the field requires you to have additional education or training, embrace it and elevate your qualifications.

  • When given assignment choices, don’t go with what seems like the easiest option. Look at the choices from the perspective of “which one will allow me to learn the most?”.

  • Make class attendance a priority. If you begin to miss classes to work on assignments / study for other classes, you will forever be playing catch up. You will learn the most when you are present and engaged during class.

  • Embrace research! It truly is what will push the TR profession to new heights and ensure that others are aware of our important role.

  • Get to know your classmates and embrace group projects. The people you work with are going to be your peers in the profession for a long time to come. If you make strong connections as a student, you will be able to share ideas and opportunities with them in the future as well as meeting new people through them as they go on to different places of work.

  • Treat your placements/internships like a job. They are a great opportunity to learn new skills and show what you can do already, which can lead to work at the end of your program.

  • Students need to realize that their network building begins the minute they enter into a program and will continue to build, grow and evolve throughout their career. You never know when you are going to need to rely on someone in your network!

Established in 1999, Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) is the only professional association that represents Therapeutic Recreation practitioners in the province.

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