Introducing Our New Program Placement Student, Liliana Furlani!
My name is Liliana Furlani and I’m the new Programs Placement Student for the Summer term. I’m super excited to be part of the GEM team and really looking forward to learning and contributing to the organization. I’m finishing up my second year at George Brown College in the Social Service Worker Program with plans to continue my studies in Social Work in the near future.
I was born in Dominican Republic and moved to Canada to attend UBC for my undergraduate. While there I had a wonderful time making friends and learning interesting things, but to be honest I didn’t have a clear plan of what I actually wanted to do after I graduated. I took courses mostly in Literature since reading had been my absolutely favourite thing to do since I was a child. I ended up majoring in Spanish Literature and minoring in English.
After graduation I started working as a teller at Scotiabank part time. That part time position turned into a full time position, and my Manager soon recommended me to the financial advisor training program. I spent several years as a financial advisor and while I learned so much during that time, I felt that something was missing. Upon reflecting about what I loved most about my job, I realized what brought me the greatest sense of fulfillment was helping others. Working as a financial advisor gave me ample opportunities to do that, yet I realized there were limitations to whom I could help. I spent a lot of time researching various vocations and volunteering, which led me to pursuing studies in social work.
Studying social work has been an eye-opening experience. For the first time I found my interests and passions connecting with the world at large and filling me with a sense of purpose. I truly believe by tackling the systemic barriers holding certain groups back, we can build abetter world for everyone to live in. I want to deepen my knowledge of the social work field through a Masters with a focus on clinical social work and issues revolving around mental health.
While at GEM I hope to use my critical thinking skills to contribute to the ongoing process of making programs even better for Mentees. I would have benefited immensely from GEM’s MentorshipProgram when I was younger, and I’m happy I get to contribute to it today. My advice to GEMgirls is: explore what you like, reflect, put yourself out there, and participate fully in the vision of who you want to be. In the end you may not end up exactly where you first envisioned but take every step of that journey with purpose and the process will be as fulfilling as the destination.