The end of the school year is here, and I don’t know about you, but as much of a relief as it is to have made it through another year of school, it’s also kind of bittersweet for me. For some reason, I always get sentimental about the courses that I’ll never take again. This year has been especially bittersweet because I’m so close to becoming an alumnus. After I complete my summer courses, I will be preparing to graduate. It’ll be a welcome, celebratory end to a long tedious journey, but also a sad end because I really like being a student.
In any case, as the end draws near to this chapter of my life, I’ve begun thinking a lot about what I’ll be leaving U of T with. Of course, I’ll have my fancy degree, but more importantly, as I re-enter the workforce I’ve been thinking about what skills I’ve acquired to make me more competitive in the labour market. Surprisingly, this has been a lot harder than I expected.
You see, I’ve spent the past couple of years immersed in reading and writing, as have the majority of us. But what does that mean? I guess I can confidently say that my reading comprehension has greatly increased since I’ve come back. I’m also a lot more analytical about the information that I consume, and have come to understand the importance of being objective. But what does this mean for getting a job?
Well, I guess to be fair, I’ve already built up a pretty good foundation for my CV before coming back to finish my degree, but what skills have I added? Thinking about it more, I would say that the most important skill that I’ve sharpened while coming back is definitely my communications skills. Not only have I become a stronger writer (which, not many people are), but my comprehension has increased immensely. These two things together are extremely valuable skill-sets on their own, but coupled with the heavy analytical skills that come with a U of T education, I can confidently say that I am highly marketable in the job market.
But to be honest, as much as I plan to work for a year or so, I am a lot more motivated now than ever to continue on into grad school. At the beginning of this journey, I came back simply to tie loose ends and finish the degree that I left unfinished, but as I immersed myself into my program and became a deeper part of the U of T community, I realized that deep inside I absolutely love being in academia. I like researching, I like writing, I like learning. I’ve gained so much in knowledge in the short while that I’ve come back, but I think more importantly, I’ve begun to truly understand and map out the things that I don’t know and this has been the core of my thirst for more education.
So yeah, perhaps this isn’t the end after all, and the more I think about it, the more I can’t wait! Happy summer folks!