Do you want to make an impact during your work experience?
If the answer is yes, we invite you to participate in our work experience activity, SDGs at Work.
This is an opportunity for you to engage in meaningful and strategic conversations with your supervisor and get to know the organization better through the lens of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Benefits of participating in the activity
There are many advantages for you and your employer, including the opportunity to:
- Gain an insider perspective into your organization
- Help your organization with the sustainability goals they hope to achieve
- Provide solutions and initiatives that will help your employer’s sustainability business needs
- Learn more about the SDGs and global challenges in your field
- Develop deeper professional engagement with your supervisor
- Explore opportunities and other areas of work you might not have considered previously
- Understand the possible impacts that you can have on global challenges
Here are the steps to participate:
The steps to participate are outlined below and coincide with the SDGs at Work activity workbook PDF. Use both to guide you through the process.
1. Learn more about the SDGs.
What are the SDGs?
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The 17 goals are an urgent call for action by all countries to partner and align their priorities towards mitigating critical social, economic, environmental and technological global challenges that are threatening humanity.
Why are they important?
Finding timely solutions to these global and regional challenges is urgent. As you are the future workforce, finding and implementing solutions for a healthy planet is up to you. Every contribution you make, whether it’s individually or with a team, is one step towards designing a sustainable future for humanity.
2. Confirm participation with your supervisor.
Chat with your supervisor about the merits and benefits of participating in the SDGs at Work activity. If your supervisor is willing to engage in it with you, set up a 30-to-60-minute time slot with them to discuss the SDGs.
Please note: You can also participate in SDGs at Work on your own, without engagement from you supervisor. If you decide to do so, move on to steps three and four (listed below) and skip step five (Meet with your supervisor to exchange perceptions of the SDGs). Use the guiding questions in the activity workbook to research and find out more about sustainability actions in the industry you’re working in (if the information for your organization is not available). Then, attend the debrief webinar (step seven) and continue your connection with the SDGs (step eight).
3. Participate in the webinar: Intro to SDGs at Work.
You and your supervisor are invited to attend this webinar introducing the activity. It will help you to begin thinking about the SDGs and how to frame them throughout the term. Refer to the event listing for the date and registration details.
Can’t make it to this webinar? Don’t worry! The webinar is encouraged, but optional. The activity workbook and information on this page are enough to participate in the activity.
4. Review section one of the worksheet: self-reflection.
Within the next two months, you can work on these sections of the activity workbook: self-reflection, conversation with your supervisor and learn more about the organization.
Start by filling in section one: self-reflection of the activity workbook. This section will help you to understand the SDGs and which goals resonate with you. Review the self-reflection section of the workbook before the next step, meeting with your supervisor.
5. Meet with your supervisor to exchange perceptions of the SDGs.
In this meeting, you and your supervisor will share your perceptions of the SDGs and how they relate to the organization. If it’s helpful, use section two of the activity workbook to guide the conversation with your supervisor during this meeting. Decide if you would like to continue meeting to discuss the SDGs and who else in the organization may be helpful to complete the activity.
6. Learn more about the organization’s sustainability efforts and how you can contribute.
Use section three in your activity workbook to organize the information you have learned about the organization’s business model, sustainability culture and governance and value-chain influence. This will help you further understand how the organization is currently prioritizing or immersed in any sustainability initiatives. Your supervisor might be able to provide or point you to the information or someone who can help. This portion can be done in one sitting or throughout the term with ongoing discussions.
7. Participate in the experience debrief and survey.
Towards the end of your work experience, we encourage you to join the experience debrief and skills articulation webinar. We typically schedule this webinar in the last two weeks of the standard co-op work term. It is an opportunity to share your experience and learn about the experiences of your peers. The debrief webinar will also provide tips to help you articulate your experiences in future professional and academic endeavours. Refer to the event listing for the date and registration details.
After you’ve completed the activity, please take time to complete the student survey and encourage your supervisor to complete the supervisor survey. We hope you will each complete the corresponding survey, as it helps us build the activity for future work experiences.
8. Continue incorporating the SDGs into your academics and professional work.
Many professional development courses require Major Reflective Reports. Often, one of the prompts is connecting your work experience with the SDGs. This SDGs at Work activity can be a great way to position your response. You can also continue to engage with the SDGs by learning more about their application across industries.
Wondering how you can integrate the SDGs into your own career purpose? Talk to advisors in the Centre for Career Action about your interest in the SDGs and how you could explore them in your career.
Check out section four and the appendices in the activity workbook for opportunities to learn more and become involved in the SDGs.
Ready to get started?
For optimal use, please download the PDF to your device and open/fill it using Adobe Acrobat.