The role of social interaction in career development: The Ambassadors Program experience

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This study sought to understand how social connection might play a role in the career development of those facing barriers to employment. The Ambassadors Program, which took place over one week at a university campus, was developed to provide opportunities for learning, work experience, and social connection to marginalized, unemployed individuals in the local community. The central question for this study asks, "What were the experiences of participants in the Ambassadors Program?" Additionally, the study explores changes in four domains of participants experience: Self-concept; Sense of connection; Sense of future; Knowledge and skills. The study employed a qualitative research methodology, involving semi-structured interviews with 12 participants of the Ambassadors Program. Key findings reveal that community-based approaches to employment programming such as the Ambassadors Program can foster a sense of connection, belonging, and community involvement, and improve conceptions of self. The results also reveal the diverse motives of those seeking employment support, and the multiple shortcomings of current service delivery models. The findings yield several recommendations for service delivery.
95 pages.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Magnusson, Kris
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