Three Reasons to Take Advantage of Free Workshops at Ryerson

by guest author, Shiwar Jabary, 4th year law and business

When I got accepted into Ryerson four years ago, I promised myself that I would make the most of any opportunities that would enhance my university experience.  

Although I’ve tried my best to keep my word, every student knows that the seemingly endless choice of extracurricular activities, teams, on-campus organizations and events can be overwhelming. When you take a busy school schedule, work commitments and commuting into consideration, it can be even harder to take advantage and explore what Ryerson has to offer.

So when I saw an email about the Legal Innovation Bootcamp, hosted by the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ), applying to the bootcamp program was an easy choice because it wasn’t even a semester-long commitment.

The bootcamp was set-up as six, three-hour-long sessions and was designed to introduce students to the impact of technology and innovation in the legal domain. Participants would meet successful entrepreneurs, lawyers from Canada’s top firms, and industry leaders in Toronto’s growing legal tech scene.

As a law and business student, I knew that taking this workshop would put me ahead of others because I would gain practical skills and be meeting important industry contacts. Thankfully, I was accepted into the 2016 bootcamp.

The bootcamp program, which focused on legal innovation, allowed me to practice seeing things through an entrepreneurial mindset and the benefits of thinking up ways of getting two steps ahead of any industry I am in. This was the theme throughout the workshops, as we were exposed to new and innovated ways of doing things.

Additionally, we were taught the basics of various tools which were valuable in the legal tech industry. This included the basics of coding, design thinking, and we went on tours of workspaces that focused on legal tech.

Making the most of Ryerson’s free workshops

I loved my experience in the Legal Innovation Bootcamp but was surprised that a lot of my peers aren’t taking part in similar workshops. Personally, I think that a lot of students aren’t even opening their eyes to all that campus has to offer in terms of unique programming of free workshops, similar to the Legal Innovation Bootcamp.

Below are three reasons why I think every Ryerson student should aim to sign up for more of the free workshops the university has to offer.

1) You can acquire new skills in an accelerated learning process  

From my experience in the Legal Innovation Bootcamp, I can say that the knowledge I gained was condensed and efficient. The bootcamp didn’t take much of a time commitment, but I learned a lot in a short amount of time.

This saved both time and money, as many internships only offer stipends (or aren’t paid at all) and taking extra courses from Ryerson costs additional money (which can be tough on a student).

2) You get to explore an industry that might not be related to your major

As part of the Law and Business program, I was always interested in exploring a career in law and so the Legal Innovation Bootcamp was right up my alley. However, many workshops like the Legal Innovation Bootcamp are open to all students in all faculties.

3) You get to meet industry-experts (and might just get a job out of it)

Networking can be tough, but it’s an essential skill to have and it’s a good thing to practice as much as you can.  I’m proud to say that I worked really hard in the Legal Innovation bootcamp and following its completion I decided to apply to a student staff position at the LIZ.

And guess what? I got the job! I’m now working as the Startup Experience Assistant at the Legal Innovation Zone. According to my manager, one of the reasons why I was hired was because he was very impressed with my work from the bootcamp.  

Working at the LIZ has greatly affected my decision in exploring a career in law. Being in the law and business program, I was already interested in the career. However, after being at the LIZ, I was exposed to different career paths possible in this field.  

The LIZ and other zones at Ryerson always promote new levels of thinking and help with your ideas. For someone like me who’s always trying to push the status quo, this is an amazing opportunity and something I now can’t see my Ryerson experience without.

Shiwar is a 4th year law and business student at Ryerson. He is relentless in his journey for everlasting success and enjoys many passions.