Meet Our Summer Student: Jennifer Sumner

This summer, we utilized the Canada Summer Jobs program to hire a summer student, Jennifer Sumner. Below she shares her experience with us. 

My name is Jennifer Sumner and I am an elementary and high school teacher currently completing my Masters in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia. I am passionate about lifelong learning so when I found out there was an opportunity at Life Strategies as a Project Assistant under Dr. Roberta Neault, who had instructed my recent program development course, I was very eager to apply. After discussions regarding work flexibility, I felt reassured that I could continue my own career development while continuing to give the love and attention my 9-month-old daughter deserved.

The major projects I have been involved with include reviewing Learn Online course reviews, analyzing qualitative data supporting the ongoing revisions to the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners, and drafting/coordinating author’s contributions for the next edition of Beyond the Basics. I have learnt so much through each of these projects. Course reviews for Learn Online had me considering my own work in classrooms and inspired me to do more assessments of my own teaching as well as to explore how I can better utilize technology to support student learning. Conducting qualitative analysis and reporting results has been a huge learning curve for me and will support the work I hope to do in the future in educational psychology.

So often I have had resources recommended to me only to find that what is technically good practice on paper is not relevant for what is actually happening “in the field.“ I feel very fortunate to be involved in the Beyond the Basics revision project; this new edition provides a wealth of information from professionals sharing tips from their rich practical experiences, grounded in relevant theoretical perspectives. It has also been a pleasure to connect with professionals from such a range of backgrounds and areas of expertise.

As a new mom, a Masters student, and a teacher returning from a maternity leave this September, I am in the process of a major life transition. Working with all the professionals connected to Life Strategies has inspired me and revealed so many career possibilities due to the changing nature of work, the role of technology to provide flexible work, the growth and utilization of personal and professional networks, and the opportunities that emerge when we embrace our entrepreneurial spirits and creative energy. Thank you to all I’ve connected with this summer. I hope the rest of the summer brings some form of reprieve from work before the academic new year begins!

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