Abstract: Are we teaching students about the complexities of health informatics then leaving them to use generic and ill-fitting formats to assert what they know and can accomplish? While we progress, in the field, sporadically towards standardization and certification, are our students each stuck re-inventing the wheel of how to translate what they offer to domains beyond academia? As educators, how can we best close the loop of theoretical and applied teaching with instruction on how to address an employment environment in constant flux? This workshop is tailored for educators to use their own CVs to explore the tensions between form and function in professional communications. Attendees will engage in energetic self-reflection exercises, and emerge with useable tools and methods to teach students how to build bridges from academics to workplace settings.

The workshop will be divided into two parts to first examine assumptions and pitfalls of the CV form that frequently deconstructs experience into fragments; and secondly to suggest opportunities for reconstructing cohesive narratives. Using a variety of hands-on methods and props, attendees will create building blocks reflecting competencies and knowledge, and then create a personal equation that serves as an individualized basis of CV, cover letter and even interview content. By learning via their own examples, educators will come to recognize the communication impulses, gaps and errors and will be able to lead students in ensuring that function supersedes form in their professional expression.

Based on a workshop taught to hundreds of health informatics and health administration students over the past five years in Canada’s top-ranked university, Julia Zarb will draw on a PhD in communications theory, 22 years in management in the health informatics field in Canada and the US and a current role that includes practicum oversight, curriculum, and faculty development for a professional graduate HI program.


Julia Zarb (Presenter)
University of Toronto