Corey Shenken is the newest team member at Workforce WindsorEssex. He began his journey here as an intern through the University of Windsor. As a Research Associate, he uses the skills he learned throughout his Masters of Political Science.

We talked to Corey about his formal and informal learning that brought him where he is today:


What was your first volunteer experience?

In high school, we had to get forty hours of volunteer experience, so during the summer in grade nine, I started volunteering at a day camp with kids aged five to twelve. I was in charge of planning daily activities and playing sports with the kids. I volunteered there for three summers in a row. I had more than forty hours by the end. I ended up working for the same company (they hired me after my volunteer experience) for numerous other summers with various ages of children.

That taught me leadership values. Volunteering was a great way to start getting experience, and it looked great on my resume. Working with kids taught me how to be responsible and timely. It was good to start at a young age to learn those skills.


What is your educational background?

My Masters was in political science at the University of Windsor. I did the internship stream, which is a year-and-a-half with six months dedicated to an internship. The Masters was more customizable than an undergraduate degree because you could take classes that you had more of an interest in. Being a Graduate Assistant was also a good experience: being able to help students in undergrad classes, grading their projects and reports.


What was your Masters internship like?

My internship at Workforce WindsorEssex was a great learning experience. I started in May of 2017 and it went to the end of October. I worked on numerous projects like NAFTA, the planning and scheduling of Manufacturing Day, and the Workforce Summit. The internship was an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and to build on skills that I already possessed. I was glad to be placed here.


What advice would you give to someone starting an internship?

Be on time. Be eager to learn. Be open to new things. You might not be doing exactly what you thought you would be doing. Adapt and learn. It’s good to be doing different things because you are learning different skills and experiences. Learning soft skills, like being able to communicate well with a team, is important. Enjoy it!



How are you continuing to learn after finishing school?

Yesterday, I was in Toronto for a Statistics Canada seminar on how to use census data. I already knew a lot before, but the seminar helped me to learn different ways to use the data and access data I didn’t know was available.

I’m always trying to do array of activities at work. Right now, we’re doing webinars, so I’m learning more about the technology behind those. It’s good to widen your skillset.


How can high school students get started?

Volunteer more than your forty hours. Sometimes it’s hard when you have other responsibilities, but you should always try. There are lots of places willing to take on volunteers. If you do a great job volunteering, they could potentially hire you in the future.

Do co-op. Getting work experience in high school is a big thing. You come out of high school now, get your undergrad, and then apply for jobs that are already requiring two years of experience. You think to yourself, how am I going to have that? A good way to start is in high school through volunteering or taking a co-op.