Before I was even accepted to U of T, I heard rumors about how supposedly difficult and heartless it was. It was a place where 4.0s were unachievable, peers were competitive, and social lives were obsolete.
However, once I actually arrived at U of T, I found out that wasn’t true. There are all sorts of opportunities for career-related and academic success, as well as networking and friendships. One way I like to network, seek out opportunities, and explore my career options is through U of T events and workshops.
U of T (and its divisions, like the Career Centre) constantly has events and workshops going on to help students in their career searches, learn more about their programs, and build relationships. As a Career Centre Blogger, I’ve attended quite a few U of T events, and have found most of them helpful or—at the very least—good places to meet new people.
This week, I attended the Literary Fair, organized by the Literary and Library Committee at Hart House. As a writer, I was interested in the Lit Fair because it featured many campus publications that were interested in recruiting writers and sharing what they do. I learned about new publications, networked with editors, and ended up hanging out with some of my friends who also attended the event.
Unstructured events like the Lit Fair are the perfect places for planned happenstance. I wasn’t sure who I would meet or what opportunities would pop up, but I left the Lit Fair with new contacts and new insights into the student publication world at U of T.
I’ve learned that attending U of T events related to my major or future career, like the Lit Fair, are also great places for career exploration. I was initially interested in getting involved with academic journals in some capacity in order to explore writing and editing opportunities in academia, and perhaps complement my major.
However, after attending the Lit Fair and seeing the plethora of students papers and literary journals, I realized I was more interested in these creative publications, rather than the academic ones. I figured I was already getting my fill of academic writing through school itself, and—as basic as it may sound—I just prefer reading and writing non-academic material when I’m not in class. Basically, I like variety, and I like room for creativity in my projects.
Of course, in my experience, campus events aren’t these perfect, flawless utopias for career epiphanies. For example, although the Lit Fair was—overall—a good experience, I would have liked to see more campus publications there in order to explore more options and network with a larger variety of people.
But on the other hand, if the Lit Fair had been impossibly crowded, the intimate atmosphere might have been altered, and I wouldn’t have networked with the same people. I guess it’s all about perspective.
My insights from the Lit Fair might help me make career decisions in the future. Or, who knows, maybe I’ll meet someone or learn something new at another campus event and completely change my career direction.
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