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An Interview: Graduating Students
Ever wondered what it’s like to finally picture yourself wearing that grad cap and gown? If you’re graduating this coming June, I hope this provides you with confidence that whatever you are feeling, you are not alone! If you are still coasting through university with a grad date that still a blur from now, I hope this gives you an insight and some advice on what you can still accomplish while completing your degree!
Three graduating students happily accepted my invitation for this interview. Jennifer is a 5th year student in chemical engineering, Tanya is a 5th year student in communications, and Bipin is a 4th year student majoring in Astrophysics.
What does it feel like to be graduating? Excited? Scared? Relieved?
Jennifer: Excited! After 5 years, you just kind of get tired of school.. I also had an internship so I have a better understanding of what to expect after school. I have an idea that I’ll enjoy working full time. Its also scary as I’m easing into adulthood.
Tanya: All three! Excited as my last year was full of option courses and it was hard to stay motivated. Terrified as I will be having a full-time job with no security blanket.
Bipin: All! Relieved that its over, lots of suffering.. Scared that its going to be worse out in the real world.
What are your plans after you graduate? What’s next for you?
Jennifer: I have a job lined up so that removes uncertainty for me. If I didn’t have one, I’d feel more worried and concerned.
Tanya: Full time job
Bipin: Looking for a job and hoping for the best.
Are you ready to adult?
Jennifer: Yes. My internship helped me ease into the work life. I am still living with my parents so there won’t be too much change.
Tanya: I am already taking steps to adulting: paying bills, getting my own place, getting engaged! I will be able to apply my experience from part time jobs to a full-time job.
What are you going to miss the most? Least?
Jennifer: Most: continuous learning, being exposed to knowledge and just learning a lot more. You still learn at work but its not the same, there will be less learning opportunities as you do the same job everyday. Least: schoolwork, homework on the weekends, stress from exams!!
Tanya: Most: being able to make my own schedule, flexibility of not having to show up in class if not needed, and the people! Least: taking option courses not relevant, I’m excited to do something I’m actually interested in.
Bipin: Most: people, friends in classes – you really get to know people, the feeling of doing something with my life (assuming I get a job) Least: institutionalized notion of university – has to be this way and that, you can’t really change anything. There must be a better way to learn and a better system.
Any advice for upcoming graduates next year?
Jennifer: Start your job search early and consider other career paths. Be more flexible and open to other careers. Enjoy your last year, be a part of the university, get involved! Figure out who you are!!
Tanya: Plan ahead, network and get as many connections. The more people you know, the better chances at finding something after graduation. If you’re not in your last year: do the co-op program.
Bipin: Get something lined up, you don’t want to be like “What am I gonna do after next month??” Use resources here but they kind of suck, you think they work but they can do a lot better. Sometimes it feels more like a business than a place of learning…
How have you changed since first year?
Jennifer: Coming out of high school I was the typical academically focused person, I started taking on sponsorship roles so I was forced to network and sell my self and the club to organizations. I gained communication skills and became more extroverted. I also learned time management as I was doing extra curricular with school, fitness, and social life. I learned how to prioritize.
Tanya: Coming out of high school I was struggling to figure out who I was and was associated with a bad crowd. I was not confident, no friends, and grades barely got me to university, I was unmotivated. 2nd year is where I began to change, more motivated and proud of myself. I joined clubs and found friends who share the same interests as me. Now that I am leaving, I know I am confident in who I am. I found myself in university.
Bipin: I got involved!
On a scale of 1-10 rate your experience.
Jennifer: 9 – I did 2 group study abroad prorams, I went to Greece and China to take ENGG courses, I took courses while having fun. I also did a lot of extra-curricular activities and one being an ENGG Rep for the SU, I met a lot of people and that’s what made it a 9.
Bipin: 3 – atmosphere wasn’t that great but the people were good though
What helped you get through your undergraduate career?
Bipin: People in general – my department, students, profs and faculty
Pick 3 emojis to express how you feel this upcoming graduation.
Bipin: I don’t do emojis.
Sum up your whole undergraduate degree/experience in 3 words.
Jennifer: Not so bad.
Tanya: Challenging, motivating, friendly
Bipin: Growth, goodpeople (lets pretend its one word), systematic (in a negative sense)
Any other advice?
Tanya: (1) Don’t freak out if after 4-5 years you have a moment of “OMG this is not what I want”; there are a lot of people who work in a different field to what their degree is. (2) Don’t say no to any opportunities, remain open.
Bipin: Get involved! Cliché but you’ll understand in 4 years.
Thank you to all three graduating students in providing valuable insight in terms of what its like to be graduating! Overall, I think all three provided differing perspectives but a common theme that emerged is to get involved and remain open to opportunities. You may not have the same experiences with these students but just remember, it’s your degree and you make it happen! Congratulations graduates of 2017 and best of luck in your future endeavors!
Kim is a third year accounting student who loves volunteering and always down for food. Her actual career passion is to become a panda cuddler. She believes that in life, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me!”