Stuck at Home? Access College and Career Counselling Online

Just because kids aren’t at school, doesn’t mean they have to stop thinking about their future!

UAE schools may be closed because of the Coronavirus outbreak, presenting a challenge for us all with students needing to study from home, but don’t let that prevent your child from continuing preparations for university, career and life after high school – and beyond. Because the vast majority of these preparations and related services can be easily done or accessed online, meaning there’s no reason to put plans on hold or miss out on vital guidance from college and career counsellors.

My Path to Uni (MPTU) was launched in 2019 offering students a one-stop-shop for all university and post-secondary pathways – everything from test preparation and career coaching, to university, summer programme, essay and interview support. Under normal circumstances, students would access these services in person at the MPTU hub based at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail in Dubai, as well as online. Yet while the former is no longer an option given the UAE government’s directive to close schools, the latter has since been enhanced.

“MPTU continues to offer all of its services with even more convenience,” says Christophe Savard, GEMS Education’s Vice President – Student Career & Future Employment Architect, who manages MPTU as part of his varied remit. “All workshops and seminars are available online so students can access them from the convenience of their own home, or even on the go. In fact, there is now more flexibility to be able to meet and engage with MPTU partner institutions virtually, including through personalised one-on-one sessions. As a result, preparation for college or university could not be easier thanks to all the tools that we have available.”

Christophe says there is no reason for students to be doing last-minute university applications and he insists that uncertainties about post-secondary pathways should be a thing of the past. That’s because tools like UniFrog and Lifology can start to be used as early as age 12, helping students with career exploration, preparation, documentation and applications. “They are all available at no cost to your child,” explains Christophe, “and if you’re a GEMS Education student, you can now access all of Lifology’s psychometric testing for free. It means all the resources and expertise needed to empower you with information and knowledge on potential pathways are there.”

There is now more flexibility to be able to meet and engage with institutions virtually… Preparation for college or university could not be easier thanks to all the tools that we have available

Christophe Savard, Vice President – Student Career & Future Employment Architect, GEMS Education

In terms of doing research on universities and deciding which courses and programmes offer the best fit, Christophe emphasises that you can do all this online and virtually. He says: “If you’re tired of travelling to university fairs and continuously being approached by pushy recruitment officers (and, given the current situation, fairs have been cancelled anyway), you can simply participate in online webinars instead. And if you’re a GEMS Education student, you can use our GEMS UniConnect contacts to get a more focused information session. In addition, you can hear from MPTU partners such as IDP and Calibri (set to launch by 1 April 2020). All of these offer unbiased information and feedback beyond the universities and focus on lifestyle and post-landing topics.”

Finally, for those students eager to gain more experience to build and enhance their portfolios, Christophe points to “remote work”, which he says can start right now through internships, even with schools shut and children learning from home. “Through our partner Paragon One, you can enjoy the balance of work flexibility by participating in online internship programmes that are structured to provide you with the necessary skills to kick-start your career,” says Christophe.

Which leaves just one question unanswered – what are you waiting for?

Top tips on what you can do right now!

Dr Kierstan Connors, Head of College and Career Counselling Worldwide at GEMS Education, offers her advice on how students can continue to make the most of the support available to them during the distance learning period and beyond.

  • Get digital support for your high school leavers exams to transition to post-secondary pathways.
  • Continue your college thinking – build your resume with UniFrog and your record with your school advisors. If you’re not yet familiar with UniFrog, now is a great time to learn what it can do for you.
  • Continue to research college and career pathways, and remember: the world is yours to explore, so keep investigating options in other countries like Australia, Europe, UAE, Canada and India.
  • Explore Lifology and find out how it can help you. Psychometric testing is now free for all GEMS Education students.
  • For seniors, there’s still time to apply to back-up universities and get yourself through the current application season as your offers and admissions status results come in. Don’t worry, we have lots of additional options if you need more help!
  • After you get your A Level, IBDP, AP or CBSE results, we can help with options, so try your best but don’t fret as we have additional pathways for your university and career success – even if your results aren’t quite what you initially expected.
  • Check out MPTU’s newly-launched Indian University Pathways section, complete with test prep, admissions support, advice on university and course choices and more – all led by Calibri and a consortium of services including UniFrog.
  • Crimson Education can jumpstart your elite university application and essay prep for autumn 2020 applications, helping you navigate the complex US admission system.