Name: Sofia Serrano
Title: Special Care Counselling Technician
Study Program: Special Care Counselling
Degree obtained in: 2022
1. What is your position and what are your main responsibilities?
I am a Special Care Counselling Technician at LaSalle College. I am working alongside the Senior Special Care Counselor. My role is to follow-up her intervention plan, meet up with the students and listen to them. So I am in contact everyday with students.
I see how they are doing and how they are feeling. I also give them strategies, for example, for managing stress and anxiety. I also create content for Omnivox, like blog articles about anxiety.
2. How did you hear about this position and what was the LaSalle College hiring process like?
I was the president of the AGEL last year, so I worked a lot with the Students Affairs Service. They contacted me telling me that they had an open position in the field I studied in. I was nervous because it was my school, but the role was also really appealing for me for this reason…
After having applied, I had an interview and I got the role. They asked me if I would be comfortable working with my former teachers. I said yes because I think it allows me to have a more complementary perspective.
3. Why did you pursue a professional career at LaSalle College?
First, because I knew it would be a smaller adjustment because I knew the people already. I know that the Students Affairs Service is very efficient, and I liked working with them.
But also, because the College is close to where I live and because I enjoy working downtown Montreal.
4. What concepts/skills learned during your studies have you been able to put into practice in your current position?
I could apply what I learned in my program in any position or even in any situation. You basically learn how to interact with another human being, so it is something you use everyday.
In my actual role, I apply mostly what I leaned regarding anxiety tips and stress management. I also use a lot what I learned regarding mental health because I often explain to students the concept of mental health issues. They know the importance of mental health, but they don’t understand very well their illness, so I have the tools to explain them to them.
For example, right now, I am working on creating tools for students to explain the different illnesses in a language that everyone can understand. We will hopefully share it on Omnivox. It will be very useful for people that are anxious but are not diagnosed.
5. What have you learned in your current role that you’ll use throughout your professional career?
I learned to adapt myself to the different people. I discovered the importance of matching your energy to the people you speak with. I personally have a personality that is in between, so I can adapt how I speak with them depending on their needs.
6. What are your future professional goals? What would be your dream career?
I want to go to University. As an international student, it is better if I work before going to University to have my Canadian residency.
I want to work with immigrants because I know that, in other countries, mental health is, sometimes, not a priority, and I want to put my knowledge to the service of the minorities.