School of the Environment: Marketing your Critical Thinking Skills to Employers

Offered by : School of the Environment

This three day intensive weekend workshop for up to 30 fourth-year students in the School of the Environment specialist, major or minor programs is intended to prepare you for the pursuit of a career by giving you the following: tools and strategies to market and present yourself effectively to employers by making you aware of:

  • a better understanding of the importance and the shortage of critical thinking skills in the
    workforce, as well as the demand employers have for such skills;
  • an understanding and awareness of the critical-thinking skills you have acquired during your
    undergraduate studies, and a review of those skills;
  • an understanding of how employers and graduate schools assess and view critical thinking
    skills, and how to present those skills during the entire selection process from resume
    screening to the face to face interview.


Location: Bancroft Building Room 315 (BF315), 4 Bancroft Avenue

Workshop Enrolment

Space is limited to 30 participants. Enrolment will be on a first come, first served basis. If you enroll but do not attend, you will be depriving another student of a place. Only enroll if you are sure you will attend.
To enroll send an email to David Powell, at

Friday Session

7:00 – 9:00 pm

  • Meet and Greet
  • Goals and expectations of the workshop
  • Introductions and sharing profiles
  • Concepts and propositions as related to critical thinking
  • Critical thinking & the professional world: Why employers value critical thinking

Saturday Session

10:00 – 12:00 pm | Connecting

  • Valuing critical thinking
  • Identify individual strengths, directives and intentions as they relate to critical thinking
  • Keys to Critical thinking: Reviewing the RED Model (Recognize assumptions, Evaluate arguments, Draw conclusions)
  • Critical thinking: Exercises, examining questions for research & solutions, decision-making, creativity, good judgment & analysis
  • Developing my career path using critical thinking skills (balance expertise with personal goals/values)

12:30 – 3:30 pm | Reflecting

  • Applying, developing, and promoting critical thinking
  • Professional, personal & community development: how critical thinking skills apply in your life
  • Applying your critical thinking through reading and writing: The ability to evaluate and analyze information, and communicate objectively
  • Creating professional profiles: How to create a personal narrative to develop and present your critical thinking skills

Sunday Session

12:00 – 4:00 pm | Projecting

  • Strategies and opportunities for marketing critical thinking skills to employers
  • Portfolio and resume writing: Bring in your working ‘script’ to develop the language and tools to market your critical thinking skills
  • Interview skills and strategies: Authentic language, recognizing critical thinking in the job search, and in how you project yourself
  • Pulling it all together & Moving Forward

Pre-Course Writing

Prior to the workshop (by Feb. 27, 2015 at the latest) we would like you to 1) fill out a Participant
Profile and 2) write and send to the instructors a short descriptive paragraph or two about
someone you admire and would like to emulate in your future career (and/or life) and the
reasons. We will use this paragraph as an opportunity to look critically at your goals and
objectives, and to examine and discover what inspires you, as well as deconstruct your
previously held beliefs and ideas as they relate to critical thinking skills.
Send us your profile sheet and your biography paragraph(s) before Feb. 27, so that we may
prepare to meet your individual needs and ideas. The workshop is intended to be a fun learning
experience that works best when you invest yourself. Taking these preliminary steps (reading
and writing) puts us all on the same page so we can use our time efficiently, effectively and

Pre-Course Readings

We would also like to request that you read one short essay for discussion:
David Orr’s (2004) “What is Education For?”
More information about the two writing assignments and the link for the required reading will be
sent to those enrolled.

Workshop Instructors

Rachel York holds a doctorate from OISE/U of T in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, with a Collaborative degree with School of the Environment, and a MA and BA in English. She has lectured in the US and Canada for many years, and has led skills-training workshops and seminars in both university and professional settings. Rachel frequently leads writing and creative workshops for educators and students, guest lectures in critical environmental issues, and is the recipient of the 2014 Gordon Cressy Leadership Award, and the 2013 Arthur and Sonia Labatt Fellowship.


Dorothy Gordon is a Human Resources Professional who possesses over 25 years of private and public industry experience. She is a graduate of York University, where she obtained her a BA in Psychology, and has had been a member in good standing of the Human Resources Professional Organization of Ontario. She has held her Certified Human Resources Professional designation (CHRP) since 1993.

In 1993, Dorothy became head of Franklin Templeton’s Human Resources operations for Canada, where she played a significant role helping this company build a presence in the Canadian Market, by managing and advising management on their selection practices, as the organization started to take root during its early years as a new operational entity in Toronto.

Since 1999, she had been consulting within the public sector, specifically at the provincial and municipal levels, where she has created and implemented best-practice hiring strategies for her clients, while providing expert-level operational and strategic planning skills for the senior management team.

Connect / Reflect / Project

  • Understand how the skills and critical perspectives you develop as an Environmental Studies student can apply to a variety of academic, personal, and professional contexts.
  • Practice communicating your critical-thinking skills, on paper and in person, to prospective employers and/or graduate schools.
  • Make a meaningful connection between your Environmental Studies education and the world beyond university.
  • Plan for the next stages of your professional development.


4th year Environment Studies students.


How to Participate

For more information about this activity or to enroll, email David Powell, School of the Environment, at

Contact information for the program instructors is provided below: