“I wish I had known how to navigate career advice. Seeking out your undergraduate chair is fantastic for getting the information that you need for your future career, but you also need to critically analyze your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the overall plan. Professors can help you get from A to Z, but you have to be conscious of the skills required for the intermediate steps. You also need to have an honest conversation with yourself about what you need for a fulfilling life, and if the courses you are taking are meaningful to you. Alain de Botton once said that ‘we should focus on our ideas, and make sure that we own them; that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions.’ UofT has a wealth of programs and resources to help you identify careers worth pursuing, but only you can determine if a career path is right for you. ”
No matter how things go, we always seem to look back and wonder what an alternative situation would be like. In the case of our courses, there are several things that we know we could have done to better our classroom experiences. What’s so great about our big and diverse campus is that we get to learn from each other’s advice, reflections and thoughts. I was having some really great conversations with two of my friends over the weekend and they have some advice to share with you!
Meet Victoria Sajtovich specializing in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, with a major in Genome Biology and Gisella Sinaga, specializing in Mathematical Applications in Finance and Economics.
“I wish I were more assertive in going to office hours to ask anything I was unsure about. In Math there are also a lot of things they assume you know so if you don’t make the effort to stay back and point out what you missed, you’ll never learn.
I wish I carefully looked over the program requirements for my degree and spoke to my registrar because then I would have been able to plan for my courses for the upcoming year. Going to the registrar and checking your program requirements ahead of time is so important!”
Other than the great advice, Victoria and Gisella remind us of the importance of reflecting on our previous class experiences. When you detect the things you did wrong, it sets you out to change that, and make it right. It’s a lot more useful than trying to implement a vague idea of just doing better as the new academic year begins. That being said, it is important to remember that no matter what your class experience, there is always going to be something you wish you had done a little differently! While reflecting, it’s important to not to be harsh, but rather to learn from things you did, or things you didn’t do, and try and demonstrate what you learned in your next set of courses. Hopefully this makes you think of one thing you could do differently in your course tomorrow, that’s an improvement from a course last year!