Transitioning from university to the working world can be tricky. That’s where Adelia Neufeld Wiens comes in.
This past October, Neufeld Wiens joined CMU to provide additional support related to career resourcing.
Each Tuesday, Neufeld Wiens is available to meet one-on-one with students who want to discuss their studies and career aspirations.
From resumé creation to strategizing for work after university, Neufeld Wiens—who worked at CMU as Coordinator of Student Advising from 2006 to 2013—covers a variety of different topics depending on the student’s needs.
Neufeld Wiens can help students narrate transferable skills from university studies and practicum; find vocabulary to describe their aptitudes and interests; identify networking opportunities for employment; strategize for a “gap year” before continuing further studies; and give them things to think about as they consider what to major in at CMU.
It’s a valuable role that gives students an additional resource as they prepare for the working world.
“This is a conversation that a lot of students want to have, and it can be a source of tremendous anxiety,” Neufeld Wiens says. “In my sessions with students, they can talk about what they’re thinking and dreaming, and we can strategize the best way forward.”
Occasionally, Neufeld Wiens introduces students to different theories of vocational development and career planning, and helps them assess their learning style.
“Every week, I’m learning about different questions to ask the students I meet with, and I’m discovering different resources that are out there that I can bring to my work with them.”
CMU’s career resourcing efforts help students understand the link between the knowledge and skills they acquire in the classroom and their career goals, says Marilyn Peters Kliewer, Dean of Student Life.
“They’re learning how to be critical thinkers, how to be problem solvers, how to communicate well, and how to work with others as a team,” she says. “These are important skills.”
Neufeld Wiens has a variety of work experience. After earning a Master of Arts degree in Religion from the University of Manitoba, she taught courses at the U of M and at Canadian Mennonite Bible College, one of CMU’s predecessor institutions.
At the same time, she was working at St. Boniface Hospital as the volunteer coordinator in the palliative care unit.
Neufeld Wiens later became the chapel coordinator at CMU. Eventually, she and her husband Werner moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where he taught and she worked as a guidance counselor at Rosslyn Academy, a school serving the children of missionaries, diplomats, and internationals.
She also writes for the Winnipeg Free Press on a freelance basis.
“I sometimes tell students about the nonlinear career path I’ve taken, and how serendipitous events often come into play,” Neufeld Wiens says.
Her work experience and deep knowledge of CMU’s programs make her well suited for her current role.
“Adelia’s very good at what she does,” Peters Kliewer says. “She is helping our students embrace the skills they are learning in the classroom. If they feel good about those skills, they will also feel more confident in getting a job.”
Neufeld Wiens says the biggest thing she tries to express to students is that carving out a career is an ongoing process.
“It’s important to recognize that this is a journey, and the journey is life-long,” she says. “Find allies to help you on your journey, and be an ally so you can help others along the way.”