28 Ryerson’s Career Boost Program: Creating Valuable, Off-Campus Employment Opportunities for Students & New Grads


Caroline Konrad, Jean-Pierre Fernandes & Nikki Waheed, Ryerson University Career Centre

As part of its commitment to preparing students for today’s labour market, Ryerson University launched the Career Boost Off Campus work experience program. Its core goal is to create meaningful work experience opportunities for students and new graduates (up to one year out) outside of the traditional co-op model. Career Boost is aimed at supporting two particular student cohorts: 1) equity-seeking groups who have traditionally faced barriers in the labour market and 2) those enrolled in non-linear degree programs (e.g. Humanities) which do not have a direct career path.

Additionally, Career Boost’s intent is to broaden and strengthen engagement between the employer community and the University. Built with a shared funding model, the program enables nonprofit organizations and encourages small to mid-sized enterprises to recruit top university talent to support a dedicated business need.

Our goal is to share with colleagues an in-depth case study and lessons learned in building inclusive, collaborative programming for our students and employer partners, knowing it will better prepare our students to enter a more inclusive and diverse workforce.



Caroline Konrad, Ryerson University
As Director of the Ryerson University Career Centre, Caroline has experience implementing new career models at Canadian and British institutions. Complemented by eight years working with multinational companies and major government organizations in Brussels, London and Budapest.

Jean-Pierre Fernandes, Ryerson University
Jean-Pierre, Campus Engagement Specialist at the Ryerson University Career Centre, has experience in non-profit and post-secondary sectors. His background includes working with diverse populations to create connections with employment and develop training programs/workshops.

Nikki Waheed, Ryerson University
Nikki, Career Education Specialist- Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University Career Centre, brings experience supporting jobseekers. Through career counseling and job development, she prepares clients for sustainable employment, while working with employers to identify diverse talent.



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