So you have finally finished university and the world seems to be your oyster! So, what’s the next step? First of all congratulations to all graduates it is a great achievement and not a easy feat at all! I got a few friends to share their experiences and thoughts on life after school, to offer some perspective and encouragement to those in a state of confusion about their next steps and for those who are in eager anticipation of achieving this amazing accomplishment. I decided to share my response as well
Biochemistry, University of Alberta
1. What were your expectations for life after university?
My expectation was that it would be tough to find a job and try to figure out what the next step for my career would be. Especially graduating with a science degree it was pretty much expected that I would continue into a post-graduate degree but I was so done with school and needed a break to reconfigure my mind and refocus on what I actually wanted my career to look like.
2. Were those expectations met?
In terms of finding a job, the expectations were definitely met. It was quite tough and grueling. Imagine applying for so many different positions, those you are qualified for and those you aren’t. It even got to a point that I applied for positions I wasn’t really particularly interested in just so I could have a job. But I am grateful to God for teaching me patience and granting me wisdom in the form of counsel and the awesome people He surrounded me with that gave me advice and pointed me in the right direction. In terms of figuring out my career path I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing. You just have an idea of what you want the next few years to look like and you go for it. I don’t think my career path will be clearly defined, but I am satisfied with that for now.
3. What would be your advice for those in their final year looking forward to life after school?
Ensure you maximize your university experience as much as you can. Especially in your final year, if there is something you want to try out just do it! As much as it won’t affect you academically but even then I would say you should try and plan yourself in such a way that you have something to do apart from simply going to classes. Apart from the connections you make, the community and experiences learnt will be important for living and giving you something to think about during the tedious job searching vigils.
4. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were in your final year in order to better prepare you for life after school?
I wish I learnt how to take a chill pill and not overthink things. I found that a lot of the things I worried about, although valid it was quite stressful to think about. I would say try and start networking right now. Work on building your LinkedIn page and start by adding the people in your cohort/course. Spend your final year getting to know yourself better. Talk to people, take personality tests and figure out the way you want your life to look like. Once you have that image you have something to work towards and work for. Most importantly, develop your relationship with God. That will be the centerpiece holding you down. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I was ready to give up, was frustrated with the whole job search palavar and just the stress of not knowing which direction I was headed in. But, for the grace of God; the messages and sermons I had stocked up during my fellowship and the friends and wise counsel I had around me, really reminded me of the faithfulness of God. I know that even beyond this, God’s got me. I don’t have everything all fleshed out and figured out right now but I am learning to trust the One who has always had my back. Know this, no matter what happens we will all be alright and things will work out in the end.
Huge thanks to all the amazing guests who have shared their knowledge and experiences. Don’t forget to check out our Instagram page for a brief recap of the gems shared by the alumni!