Rahul D'Cunha

Name: 
Rahul D'Cunha
Grad Year: 
2009
Degree: 
BA
Program: 
History
Religion
Title: 
School Outreach Field Representative
Industry: 
Social Science, Education & Religion
Organization: 
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada

Q: Briefly describe your current position and responsibilities, including challenges/rewards. How did you go about your job search upon graduating -- what strategies were most successful and why do you think you were hired?

I am a school outreach field representative for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada. My job is to go across Ontario to secondary and elementary schools as well as aboriginal reserves and show a multi-media presentation. The presentation consists of a film being shown on 3 projection screens which is about 45 feet in width and about 12 feet high. The film that is shown is called "Wasted" and depicts the consequences of a high school student drinking and consuming drugs then driving.

I got my current job because of my part-time job working for the University of Toronto Mississauga Students Union. My supervisior at UTMSU was previously working at MADD Canada and was a very important reference that I used.

The most important strategies that were useful to me were networking with the people that were around me. This included previous or current employers, professors, recent graduates as well as friends and family. However, it was more effective when the networking was done in an informal setting and it was a casual conversation rather than a formal meeting.

Q: What personal characteristics/skills are most important for success in your job/field?

Public speaking is an important characteristic of my job because I have to speak to up to a 1000 students each day. In order to make the film that I show effective I have to be a strong public speaker. Each day I do a presentation I am trying to learn and improve constantly so that the message can be stronger and harder hitting. I think it is important to be flexible and easy going because there are a lot of obstacles that come up and it is important to remain calm and deal with them accordingly.

Q: During your university career did any key experiences assist you in making your career choices? If yes, how so? (Internships? Extern Program? Volunteering? Student clubs? Summer job? Mentorship?)

I do believe that it was all my extra curricular activities that played a very important role in my career success. I was the President of the Catholic Student Club and the Vice-President of the Historical Studies Society. I was also the coordinator of the International Student Resource Center. These three experiences alone helped me develop skills such as public speaking, time management, event planning, stress management and many more. All of those skills that are developed through those volunteer experiences are the ones that are very important to the job that I am currently doing. Being involved in all here organizations also allowed me to meet a lot of people and network in a informal way.

Q: What have been the keys to your success? What advice would you give to students who wish to pursue a similar career path? If you had the chance to plan your studies and your career path again, what would you do differently (if anything)?

Some of the keys to my success I think were having a balance between the academics of University and getting involved in the many clubs and organizations. My advice to students would be making sure every year you attend or get involve with at least 3 organizations or events that will enrich your university experience.

If I had a chance to plan my studies and career path again I would do more research in my first two years of university so that I would be more prepared when entering my final years of university.