This month, we sat down with Michelle Robertson, one of our educational consultants, to learn more about her role at Options.
Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Options Solutions.
Over the past several years, I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of roles at Options Solutions. I opened and managed our South Surrey office while simultaneously wearing the hats of event coordinator, lead researcher and post-secondary liaison. For the past few years, I have been consulting students and parents one-on-one for Canadian post-secondary admissions, while still supporting our events and research initiatives.
What do you enjoy most about working at Options?
The people – our staff, the students and the families. No two days are ever the same, and each September I am introduced to new families, new goals, new challenges, and new programs to explore.
What would a “typical” appointment with you look like?
The initial meeting tends to have a similar structure; it does not matter if a student is in grade 12, or grade 10, and is looking ahead to post-secondary studies, a gap year, or a trades program. As a consultant, understanding who a student is, what they enjoy, their strengths and their interests creates the foundation for us to move forward. Students feel heard, and they get a better understanding of how to set goals and plan ahead. They leave our meeting feeling empowered and motivated to research, explore, and do and be their best. Depending on the student, their goals and their timeline, subsequent meetings build on this foundation. It is a (fun) process! Students can change their mind a dozen times (and they often do), but when this happens we re-group and create a Plan B. The goal is always to find a program and build a plan that best fits a student’s individual learning style, personality, and goals.
What’s been your biggest success or learning opportunity at Options?
No two people are the same and there is no ‘top’ school. On paper, many students appear to be quite similar, but when you take the time to listen and ask questions, each student is very unique. Understanding what type of program or which school features will provide an optimal learning environment for each individual student often determines which school will ultimately provide a great fit.