Career Development

As part of the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers, the Career Development office supports the professional development of emerging OCAD U creative talent. We provide direction, resources and opportunities which lead to the realization of transformative personal and early-career goals.

The Career Development office has the experience, networks and agility to take on ambitious partnerships which benefit students and recent alumni. We facilitate connections and develop strong relationships which result in recruitment for all manner of paid creative work opportunities. We foster inclusive, accessible and supportive spaces that allow aspiring individuals to develop new skills and take risks with their work, in any number of contexts and sectors.

Talent Network

Student and alumni job board where employ­ers recruit for paid cultural and creative work.

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Art & Design Graduate School Fair

Connect directly with schools to learn about graduate education in various creative disciplines.

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Creative Career Workshops

Workshops and presentations which offer insights that contribute to long-term career success.

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Career Launchers

Unique, high-profile opportunities to help senior students and new graduates start their professional practice.

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Cultural Community Expo

An event that highlights potential career paths for students interested in visual arts & culture.

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Design Career Fair

Meet with cutting-edge companies and learn about their approach to talent recruitment and careers in design.

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Ten Thousand Coffees

Students and alumni can use our dedicated OCAD U Hub to meet with a range of professionals.

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Curriculum Support

The CEAD can bring enhanced opportunities into classrooms which add immediate value to curriculum.

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Student Career Ambassadors

Students who are trained to offer specific support and can quickly direct you to valuable services and opportunities.

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Good w/ Food Dinner Series

Brings together students and professional practitioners, in an effort to build community while sharing a meal.

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Design Charrettes

These short, intensive design "sprints" bring together 5 - 10 students to create work based on a specific brief from a real client.

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Creative Professionals- In-Residence

Special guests who meet with students for portfolio reviews, on-campus studio visits, informational conversations and mentorship.

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For students

How can Career Development help me find job?

Career Development can assist students in several ways. All manner of opportunities and paid creative work can be found on the Talent Network; a job board exclusive to OCAD U. Students can meet with cutting-edge companies at annual on-campus events such as the Design Career Fair. The Career Launcher program provides access to supported opportunities which help new graduates start their professional practice after school. And one-on-one career advising appointments can be scheduled.

What events can I attend to support my early-career advancement?

Throughout the academic year, Career Development hosts a variety of workshops and info session, engaging events like the Cultural Community Expo, and specialized fairs such as the Design Career Fair and the Art & Design Graduate School Fair. These extracurricular events are designed to demystify potential career paths and to equip students and recent alumni with the knowledge required for further successes. They are open to all who wish to attend.

How can Career Development help with my skills development?

Career Development hosts workshops and info session throughout the academic year; covering various topics related to professional skills development. We are regularly involved in the classroom, providing enhanced curriculum support in collaboration with faculty. The Student Career Ambassador program also equips upper-year students with specialized training to provide discipline-specific peer support.

What exciting opportunities can Career Development offer me?

Beyond jobs on the Talent Network, as a student you can participate in a Design Charrette, which are paid, extra-curricular opportunities to address real-world design challenges. As well, the Career Launcher program is open to senior students and new graduates. They are unique, high-profile opportunities which can help jump-start your professional practice after school.

Can Career Development connect me with mentors in my field?

Creative Professionals-In-Residence are available to meet with students on a regular basis for conversations and mentorship. The Good w/ Food Dinner Series brings students and professionals together while sharing a meal. The OCAD U Hub on Ten Thousand Coffees is a dedicated platform where students and new graduates can connect with established alumni working in creative fields. Student Career Ambassadors are your peer connection to Career Development and discipline-specific supports. The Talent Network connects students and alumni with professional clients and employers for all manner of paid creative work.

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For faculty

When would I direct my students to Career Development?

Students who find themselves in need of a job - or the means to find and land one - can be directed to our office for guided support. Career Development is able to leverage a broad network of organizations who are actively recruiting in order to help students achieve real results. Faculty also play a critical role in sharing employment opportunities that require advanced skills with particularly talented students.



What supports are offered when it comes to curriculum?


Career Development has a strong track record of collaborating with faculty who are teaching at all year levels, and across all programs, in order to bring relevant resources, workshops and guest speakers into their classes. We are able to offer funding support to enhance Professional Practice curriculum, and tie-ins to larger initiatives like our Creative Professionals-in-Residence and other programs.

How do faculty collaborate with Career Development?


Career Development frequently consults with faculty for their expert insight into industry standards and for assistance socializing unique opportunities to targeted student audiences. Furthermore, faculty can assume roles to lead special projects with employment partners, such as Design Charrettes, for which they are compensated.

Can Career Development help individual faculty members recruit students?

As with any employer, we can work internally with staff hiring managers or faculty in order to locate potential students who could take on a paid work opportunity. Whether it’s for a student monitor role, a studio project or as a research assistant we have a number of channels, such as the Talent Network, that can help attract candidates to the job. If a student is expected to earn course credit, a discussion should be had with the other major portfolio in the CEAD, the Experiential Learning Program.

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For employers

How do I recruit from OCAD U’s pool of top emerging talent?

The Talent Network connects employers who are offering paid creative work to OCAD U’s pool of student and alumni talent. The Design Career Fair is a unique opportunity to interact with students and alumni, conduct portfolio reviews, and provide valuable industry insight. Career Launchers are high-profile opportunities developed in partnership with industry. In particular, this program provides arts, culture and creative organizations access to talented new OCAD U graduates.

How can I collaborate with students and alumni to address my real-world business challenges?

Design Charrettes, or “sprints”, present an opportunity for an interdisciplinary group of talented emerging designers to address a real-world design challenge, solve a problem or bring a fresh perspective. The Talent Network job board is our greatest tool for those offering paid creative work and seeking a commitment from OCAD U’s pool of top student and alumni talent. By hosting an Experiential Learning Placement, partners create opportunities for students to apply their skills in a real-world context, and contribute to and reflect on cultural production.

How can I provide mentorship and support to students and emerging creatives?

The OCAD U Hub on Ten Thousand Coffees is an online mentoring and networking platform. This platform offers a method to provide guidance, share experiences, and easily schedule a time to meet in person. Our partners who facilitate Experiential Learning Placements can prioritize students professional and creative development, by making space for mentorship, service-learning, and experimentation in the workplace.

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Staff Contact Information

Farah Yusuf

Outreach Coordinator, Career Development
fyusuf@ocadu.ca
416-977-6000 x3848

Tak Pham

Special Projects Coordinator, Career Launchers
tpham@ocadu.ca
416-977-6000 x361