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Thinking About My Future (Briefcase)

This week I stepped out of my comfort zone.

After receiving an invitation to an Arts & Science Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) event, I found myself shimmying into business casual work attire after a seven-hour school day. Having plans on a Thursday night is pretty unusual for me, considering my average Thursday night routine consists of pajamas, a couple hours of reading, tea and probably frozen pizza. 

The Backpacks to Briefcase event I attended was for students interested in fields relating to the Health Sciences. If you have been following the blog for a while, you may know that I am constantly waiting to have that *Eureka!* moment where I suddenly know what I want to do with my life. I figured that maybe the b2B might show me some job opportunities I could create for myself using my degree.

A photo of Soldier's Tower near Hart House at dusk.

The event took place at Hart House, and as I was walking I couldn’t help but notice and appreciate the beauty of Soldier’s Tower. #JoyAtUofT

The event itself was extremely educational, and it was really nice to have a reason to connect with students who, like me, were also concerned that they wouldn’t find a “dream” job with the degree they had chosen. Being a second year student, I was one of the youngest attendees however, I think my youth might have improved the event for me because I wasn’t just learning from the alumni but also my fellow upper years.

Madeline wearing her B2B name tag.

At first I wished that my name tag didn’t immediately give my second year status away… but soon I realized that I could use it as a conversation starter.

b2B events are kinda set up like a mixer. They have delicious food free for the taking (which, considering the event is 100 per cent free for students, is pretty awesome), accomplished U of T alumni for you to talk to and provides you with the chance to meet students who are on the same career path as you.

To be honest, it is a little nerve-wracking to go into the event alone because the nature of the event forces you to introduce yourself to complete strangers. However, it’s important to remember that everyone else is in the same boat as you and that it’s okay to be a little nervous. I’ll admit that I definitely was.

Everyone I had the pleasure of meeting was so wonderful and very insightful about the best ways to get into the Health Science field and even though I’m (pretty) sure I’ve let my Med school dreams go, it was really interesting to talk to doctors’ and learn about their journey to doctor-hood.

From their disappointments to the turning point of their careers, the alumni were willing to share it all in great deal in hopes that their stories might help me navigate future career decisions. Even though I cannot guarantee that I will end up with a career in the Health Sciences, I strongly believe that the candid advice I received from the b2B alumni is invaluable information that I will definitely make use of in the future.

An instagram cut out for students to take pictures with.

Not only do the Backpack to Briefcase events bring you together with  wonderful alumni and delicious food, but also fabulous Instagram opportunities.

If you are interested in attending a Backpacks to Briefcase event, I strongly suggest you try it! To see what b2B event suits you best, visit their website and find the right event for your degree!