Expectation Gap in Canada’s Workplace and Academic Institutes

I am an ENFP, which makes me a revolutionary and independent team worker who can become an “Idea Bomb” when trained properly. I am releasing the following statements after carefully analyzing Canada’s workplaces and academic institutes.

Canada has very deep and ancient Expectation Gap and Experience Gap—the reason I feel that Canada has both types of gaps is because there is not enough pressure on universities and colleges to create courses that will definitely lead to a stable job. I think that in most universities and in some colleges, information is not taught in a way that can lead to stable employment. I have always wondered why some Canadian Academic Institutes took so much money from me and I was still unable to secure my future properly and in a timely manner. I landed a “real” job around one year after graduating from University of Toronto’s Honours Biological Sciences program (Major: Biological Sciences; Minors: Philosophy and Mathematics) in 2005. This “real” job was not in any of the areas I had studied simply because what I had been studying was irrelevant. I sent out so many well-tailored resumes including resumes through PetriDish and Career Edge, but I never got a reply back to most of them. My marks were great and I also had two or more awards so this failure has nothing to do with my potential; my “first set of real supervisors” were very satisfied with my work and communication skills so this has nothing to do with my personality or character traits; and, I did land a job at the end so this failure has nothing to do with how I wrote my resumes and cover letters.

Unfortunately, my story does not end here. In 2011, I enrolled for Technical Communication at Seneca College. I completed two volunteer placements—most of the students completed only one placement—and landed two awards. Furthermore, I was commended by my class and teachers for conflict resolution and leadership; but, I could only land another insignificant volunteer opportunity in around 1 year and my first “real” job was in around 2 years after graduation. This was not because I didn’t apply to enough jobs but because most jobs were demanding lots of other concepts and software that were never covered in the college. It’s like this: the program’s actual length is 2 year but it should be 3.5 years; and, students are required to produce 2-page long Requirements Document that is actually supposed to be more than 20 page long.

Again, my story doesn’t end here at all. After thorough research, I found the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, which offers only $10,000 to each applicant. I believe this is too less because one needs around $2000 to live like a real person; i.e., pay for rent, gas, medicine, training, and clothes. So, if you do the maths right, you should be able to drain all the funds in 5 months given that large or medium-sized companies aren’t entertaining you. And, how are you going to overcome an Expectation Gap that is created over 4 years or more in 5 months? Furthermore, large companies can offer you great jobs but they are also not in need of grant money because they have too much money to begin with. Do you know that once an employer from a great company mocked me by saying, “Why do I need a grant if I need to hire you?”  He sounded like he was just having fun and not a strong conversation. I could tell that he said this only to me because I am Brown and he doesn’t care about my qualifications, awards, or references. That’s how they are abusing me as well as several other individuals; they know how to do this because they select their victims in a very creative manner, which is how everyone else who isn’t being abused ends up believing that the “victim is the bully” or “the victim deserves it”. This is an example of narcissism that exists in Canada’s workplace, which is how Workplace Rights or Human Rights don’t work so well in Canada.

As a result of all of this, I came across some employers and Employment Councillors who ended up sharing their personal concerns about how academic institutions are mistreating and exploiting international (those who don’t know about how everything works) and domestic (those who know less about how everything works) students. Furthermore, I strongly believe that Canada’s discriminatory and misogynist attitude complicated my situation. There is this strong sense of hyper-responsibility that women will make it on their own even if they don’t have the right set of resources, education, information, or network simply because they are smart. I feel that this is because Canada’s legal system expects hyper-responsibility from the women and people are just reflecting back exactly that attitude through relationships of any sort. But the reality is that success in the workplace or academic setting requires emotional support and it has less to do with intelligence.

I decided to speak out about all of this because I came across an article titled “The expectation gap: Students’ and universities’ roles in preparing for life after grad” and because several other reputable individuals narrated similar stories to me. I had kept notes about this mistreatment and neglect for years; and, after reading this article a couple of times, I realized that the rest of the students were also forced through this extremely abusive system and I was not the only “warrior” or “survivor” here. Lastly, I believe that there isn’t sufficient coverage about this issue and there is lots of cover up. For example, if you google “Canada expectation gap”, then only one relevant article actually shows in the search results. Here are some snapshots of the Google results going from page 1 to page 3. Like I said, LOL! Only the second article is relevant to my inquiry and I can tell that it is handling a “hushed” issue because it was published in 2014 and I started observing all of this in 2005. Like I said, OMG! The fact that Google is playing it very silent on this only shows that not many individuals including the government officials are focused on this issue or willing to share money to resolve it. And, I know that this post is telling the truth because I have already spoken to some young graduate women, including White women, who have complained to me about being neglected by the employees. I think its a “hushed case” because why else would Google place less data about “Expectation Gap” and allow more data for keywords “Skills Gap”; wouldn’t this harm the ranking and popularity of the rest of the relevant articles given that some people might have heard only the phrase “Expectation Gap”.

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Added May 08, 2018.

The game does not end here at all. I am currently taking “Event Management”, an Ontario College Graduate Certificate, at Algonquin College. I am watching how some teachers keep telling us that this program is very challenging but then the rest of the teachers keep saying that this program is basic. It is actually a very easy program but it is set up in a very bad way. They give us short assignments that are worth like 2% or 4% but most of these hybrids aren’t teaching us anything other than basic definitions or minor tasks like finding information from the web. There are some bigger projects that are worth it but I feel that in some assignments I am getting away with using resources that are considered “not so great” by employers. For instance, when I was asked to write a Business Plan for a Wish Event, I was not introduced to the right set of websites like Statistics Canada or Reference Canada. I did not complain about this because I already have some Marketing Guides (here is one helpful guide that I got from an event) that I found after attending some events that are designed for Marketing professionals. But, what about other students? I have been told by someone that other students are “none of my business”; but can I really do this given that I am an ENFP who has been made to watch all of this for a really really long while? This program has lots of International students who don’t have any information on Canadian databases or places to find these databases. Another thing that I noticed is that this specific assignment required imagining things like Audience Demographics but then again its called a “Business Plan”. Furthermore, the Elective “Programming for Meetings and Conferences” is a very bad course simply because it only offers PowerPoints and no group projects. Now, I need you to look at how it is marketed. If you visit the Event Management page at Algonquin College, you will see the following blurb when you hover over “Programming for Meetings and Conferences”.

Students develop a conference program including speaker and entertainment selection, delivery methods, such as workshops, plenary, round tables and webcasts. Participant and spousal program options are introduced. Students gain the skills and knowledge to plan and execute successful meetings. Strategies for the creation of green meetings and conferences are discussed.

problem-event-management

The blurb states, “students gain the skills and knowledge to plan and execute successful meetings”. Very frankly, I did great in this course but I feel that I did not gain sufficient skills to “plan and execute successful meetings”. I only learned how to create a “Meeting Outline” and a “Function Sheet“. I know that in real life the interviewer is going to say, “Did you learn how to use software X to create template for Y?” And the answer is very likely going to be NO!; this is because the other course “Computer Applications for Events” is offering only easy software like Canva and “Excel” (Assignment, Instructions and Template) and there is nothing on more creative and important software like “Adobe Photoshop” or “Whova”, etcetera—the only creative software that we learned a little bit (5%) was Lucidchart. Do you know that “Adobe Photoshop” has more fonts and thus it is unlikely to run into a Branding issue while using this software? I feel they are rushing us through two semesters (each is only 4 months long) and that is why they are teaching us really less things. True! I get to meet people who are working inside Meeting Professionals International but shaking hands with someone does not always guarantee a real and stable jobI spoke to a graduate of this course who told me that she had to work real hard for 2 years after graduation until she got a stable job offer. In addition, I have a co-op placement but it is at a small company simply because the skills that are currently being taught are basic; for instance, I only know the definition of an “Request for Proposal” but I don’t know how to create an “”Request for Proposal”. I can imagine getting kicked out of many interviews because I know that lots of interviewers are going to say, “Do you have a sample ‘Request for Proposal’ for me to review?” I am choosing to work with this company because I am very happy here owing to their loving and nurturing culture and because there is a strong opportunity to gain more information through collaboration. But to ponder further, what’s even more butchering about this entire situation is that the Event Management students are fundraising for a local charity with zero dollar budget. The domestic students are finding this easy because they know the area. In contrast, the international students do not know much about this city; and on top of all this, some of them have ESL issues and thus they can easily get mistreated and humiliated under the guise of “plagiarism”.

I spoke with some other students and graduates and they some of them complained about feeling like they are going through a cycle of some sort where they are being asked to do too many things and then not given the jobs that they deserve—I even spoke to a student who was waiting at a bus station and she said the same. Despite these agreements, I am careful about catching things from students because a lot of times they are telling me excuses that are being drilled inside their minds by the system itself; for example, “maybe, we will make it this time” or “maybe, we are wrong and this program isn’t that bad”.

So I reviewed Twitter profile of AlJazeera and found the video “Migrant Dreams: Canada’s Broken Promise“.  What these migrant workers are going through is very similar to what the Canadian students and graduates are being put through. Here is a screenshot of my comment. 110,000 workers are paying more than $700,000,000 but where exactly is this money going? I am putting an example that “kind of relates” because I am trying to show that the entire Canadian system is corrupt in many ways.

aljazeera-low-wage-workers

 

I strongly feel that Canada is getting rich by pushing money out of helpless and poor people. Look at me! I am writing this in a haste while I have college assignments due and while I am still unemployed. If you feel that my story isn’t real, then please start looking for White or colored people who are standing in cafes as cashiers and servers. You will find plenty of very talented and educated White and colored graduates there. Why must they hold an odd job in order to get an education and a real job? When will they get a real and stable job? Feel free to check out organizations like the Meeting Professionals International or Society of Technical Communication and you will find so many unemployed volunteers there that you will start losing your hair and perhaps your sanity.  All this is happening because Canada has a very strong and wide Rich Poor Gap. What is making things worse is when the victims are left very hazy simply because someone who had the right authority to make some changes decides to gaslight them; for instance, Professors who are constantly telling students that “this is a basic course” vs. “this is a post-graduate certificate” are both gaslighting students. I find it funny that some of them don’t wish to believe us even after the “Conference Board of Canada” has issued this particular infographic that states that there is a gap between what the employers are looking for and the subjects that are being taught to the Post-secondary Education (PSE) students—PSE includes many kinds of academic institutions such as colleges, universities, and career schools.

So what do you all think now? Do I sound stubborn or what! LOL!

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

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