Learning strategists advise current and prospective students on educational issues, career planning and personal development, and co-ordinate the provision of counselling services to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff.
$60,000 - $100,000+
Like this career?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I chose my current profession because I genuinely love helping people to succeed. My current role allows me to be quite holistic in my practice. I get to see the whole person and help them learn to build healthy habits and make choices that are conducive to their desired lifestyle. I love the transformation that occurs as a result…when someone learns how to become the best version of themself.
What is your educational background?
I always loved sports growing up and thought that I would eventually become a gym teacher. So I went to Brock University and got my Bachelor of Physical Education. When I graduated, I got a job as a Kinesiologist and after a year of working, I decided to go back to school and obtained a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. I worked as an Occupational Therapist for 10 years before transitioning to be a Learning Strategist. I still incorporate many of the things I learned in university in my current role today.
What are your daily responsibilities?
I work full time as a Learning Strategist at Centennial College in Scarborough. In my role there I meet with students for 1:1 academic counselling. I talk to students about their struggles and help them to achieve academic success by teaching them important skills such as time management, healthy habit building, dealing with digital distractions, and how to study and learn more efficiently and effectively. I also do in-class workshops where I teach learning strategies to large groups of students. Another part of job included training and supporting all of the tutors that are hired to help support students with their studies. I also have a personal business called “Study with Joanne”. I started this business when I realized that so many students had never been taught HOW to study and learn effectively. So I wanted to work with students of all ages and to do workshops in high schools and also for parents so that more students could be equipped with the tools they need to succeed.
What hurdles did you face?
I took some time off when my son was born, and when I was ready to return to work, I had an interview for a job that I really wanted. I was so sure that I was the best candidate and that I would definitely get the job and I was completely devastated when I did not get it. Then a year later, another opportunity came up for a job that I really really wanted. It was only a temporary position but it was the perfect fit for me. I applied and interviewed and once again I was not chosen for the position. My self-esteem was very low at this point and I kept applying for jobs while working part time and took any course I could find on how to improve my job seeking skills such as resume and cover letter creation and interview skills. Almost exactly one year later, the temporary job that I had wanted became available, and this time is was a permanent full time position with amazing pay and benefits. I worked so hard to prepare for the interview and used what I had learned from my previous experiences and all of the professional development courses I had taken and guess what?! I got the job! it is the current position that I am still in to this day and I couldn’t be happier. I’m proud of myself for not giving up and for working hard to improve my skills. It definitely paid off.
What advice would you give to the 15-18 year old version of yourself?
Your path may not be obvious to you now, but you have to have faith that you will end up where you are meant to be. Every experience you have will help to shape your journey and in the end you will end up helping so many people.
One of my favourite quotes is by J.k Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. “It is our choices that determine our path, far more than our abilities” I interpret that to mean that we all have the ability to be successful in whatever endeavour we choose, but it is your daily choices that will get you there…your choice to stay focused, your choice to take care of your mental and physical health, your choice to ask for help when you need it, your choice to believe in yourself. These are the choices that will ultimately lead to your success.
Provide 1 0n 1 training with students
Offer workshops aimed to build student achievement and overall well-being
Act as a valuable resource for parents and community stakeholders aiming to support youth
Employed by educational institutions (Colleges/Universities
Some are self employed
The work can be very rewarding. Watching the development of students improving overtime.
Attributes & Abilities
Analytical and problem-solving skills
Organized & detail-oriented
Leadership (GPP3O) (Recommended)
Designing Your Future (GWL3O) (Recommended)
Cooperative Education (Recommended)
*5 Additional 4U/M Courses For University Candidates*
Have a questions about this career?
(647) 968 – 3304
4 Aquila Court
Etobicoke, ON M9W 5J2