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Experience Guide

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Year-to-Year Experience Guides

The following is a year-to-year outline of the kinds of experiential learning activities that work well with your program.

Be Inspired: Maximize Your Academic Opportunities

First Yearbrain

  • Take required Geography courses and explore other programs of interest.
  • Learn about co-op – apply at the end of your first year.
  • Review your program requirements and plan for a successful degree path.
  • Attend departmental events with other first-year students and meet the Geography faculty.

Middle Years

  • Explore courses in related areas of study and begin thinking about a minor or an option to complement your degree.
  • Consider taking social entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship courses.
  • Complete your required field studies and methods courses and take courses with a field placement/lab component.
  • Submit your academic work to the Laurier Undergraduate Journal of the Arts for a chance to be published.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to make key academic decisions including choosing your area of interest.

Final Year

  • Learn about Research or Instructional Assistantship opportunities in Geography.
  • Consider completing a thesis in your final year to research an area of interest.
  • Obtain your certification for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
  • Register for a seminar or capstone course with a field or community placement.
  • Pursue the Professional Geoscientist designation (BSc students only).
  • Thinking of pursuing graduate school?
    • Talk to your professors and visit the Career Centre.
    • Sign up for a scholarship proposal-writing workshop or book a writing consultation for help with your proposals.

Be Involved: Explore Work, Volunteer and Leadership Experience

First Yearspeech bubbles

  • Join student clubs such as the Laurier Naturalists, Geographers Without Borders or a special interest club. Or create your own!
  • Participate in residence leadership opportunities (e.g., Sustainability Council, Geography and Environmental Studies Residence Learning Community) or attend LOCUS events.
  • Contribute to Laurier’s weekly newspaper, The Cord, or submit a creative piece to Blueprint Magazine.
  • Volunteer in the community at a school or a non-profit organization.
  • Explore your interests by volunteering on campus (e.g., Sustainability Office, Schlegel Centre's Innovation Squad, peer programs, Students' Union and more).
  • Join intramural sports or participate in recreational activities.

Middle Years

  • Be a note taker through the Accessible Learning Centre.
  • Enrich your learning experience by enrolling in a course with a Community Service-Learning component.
  • Seek leadership opportunities on the department council and organize special events in the department.
  • Build important networks through educational outreach and environmental work (e.g., rare Charitable Research Reserve, Laurier Sustainability Office, Waterloo Region Nature club).
  • Look for summer fieldwork with faculty members to gain hands-on experience.
  • Apply for an executive position in an on-campus club.

Final Year

  • Provide environmental assistance to outside advisory panels (e.g., Laurel Creek Citizens’ Working Group).
  • Attend the Career and Job Fairs to network with employers.
  • Consider submitting a paper and/or attending a conference to showcase your research.
  • Look into the LaunchPad program for the opportunity to discover, validate and launch an innovative new venture.
  • Attend the Geography and Environmental Studies "Life After Laurier" event.

Be Engaged: Broaden Your Perspective

First Yearhead

Middle Years

Final Year

Be Inspired: Maximize Your Academic Opportunities

First Yearbrain

  • Take required Environmental Studies courses and explore other programs of interest.
  • Learn about co-op – apply at the end of your first year.
  • Review your program requirements and plan for a successful degree path.
  • Attend departmental events with other first-year students and meet the Environmental Studies faculty.

Middle Years

  • Explore courses in related areas of study and begin thinking about a minor or an option to complement your degree.
  • Consider taking social entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship courses.
  • Complete your required field studies and methods courses and take courses with a field placement/lab component.
  • Submit your academic work to the Laurier Undergraduate Journal of the Arts for a chance to be published.
    Meet with your academic advisor to make key academic decisions, including choosing your area of interest.

Final Year

  • Learn about Research or Instructional Assistantship opportunities in Environmental Studies.
  • Consider completing a thesis in your final year to research an area of interest.
  • Thinking of pursuing graduate school?
    • Talk to your professors and visit the Career Centre.
    • Sign up for a scholarship proposal-writing workshop or book a writing consultation for help with your proposals.

Be Involved: Explore Work, Volunteer and Leadership Experience

First Yearspeech bubbles

  • Join student clubs such as the Laurier Naturalists, EcoHawks or a special interest club. Or create your own!
  • Participate in residence leadership opportunities (e.g., Sustainability Council, Geography and Environmental Studies Residence Learning Community) or attend LOCUS events.
  • Contribute to Laurier’s weekly newspaper, The Cord, or submit a creative piece to Blueprint Magazine.
  • Volunteer in the community at a school or a non-profit organization.
  • Explore your interests by volunteering on campus (e.g., Sustainability Office, Schlegel Centre's Innovation Squad, peer programs, Students' Union and more).
  • Join intramural sports or participate in recreational activities.

Middle Years

  • Seek leadership opportunities on the Sustainability Campus Committee or department council and organize special events in the department.
  • Be a note taker through the Accessible Learning Centre.
  • Enrich your learning experience by enrolling in a course with a Community Service-Learning component.
  • Volunteer with Sustainable Waterloo Region.
  • Build important networks through educational outreach and environmental work (e.g., rare Charitable Research Reserve, Laurier Sustainability Office, Waterloo Region Nature club).
  • Apply for funding for a sustainable initiative on campus through the Sustainable Hawk Fund.
  • Look for summer fieldwork with faculty members to gain hands-on experience.

Final Year

  • Apply for an executive position in an on-campus club.
  • Provide environmental assistance to outside advisory panels (e.g., Laurel Creek Citizens’ Working Group).
  • Attend the Career and Job Fairs to network with employers.
  • Consider submitting a paper and/or attending a conference to showcase your research.
  • Look into the LaunchPad program for the opportunity to discover, validate and launch an innovative new venture.
  • Attend the Geography and Environmental Studies "Life After Laurier" event.

Be Engaged: Broaden Your Perspective

First Yearhead

Middle Years

Final Year

Your graduate degree at Laurier will take you in many different directions and prepare you to be a leader in both your field and community. Your Laurier experience includes many opportunities to engage both in and outside the classroom.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies provides academic leadership, administrative support and program advice to all graduate students. There are also scholarships and financial awards, fellowships and other teaching and research assistantship positions that you can access during your time at Laurier.

Graduate students gain knowledge about professional skill development through Laurier’s ASPIRE program. This program provides a framework for you to design an extracurricular learning plan for navigating your professional journey and entry to the workplace. There are also teaching certificates, career development workshops and other skill development opportunities.

The Graduate Students’ Association provides many services and supports with a focus on wellness. They provide various opportunities to be involved and contribute to the Laurier community.

The Laurier graduate school experience is more than research and scholarship – it’s about becoming an engaged citizen and applying your advanced knowledge to real-world problems.

Checklists

Completing the checklists below will also help ensure your academic, professional, and personal success during your time at Laurier – and beyond.

Academic Success Checklistpencil

Experience Checklistnotepad

Career Opportunitieshandshake

When you're ready to start thinking about your life after graduation, you should check out the career and postgraduate options for people with degrees in Geography or Environmental Studies.