Advice in Choosing Post-Secondary: Thamar

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Strategically Planning Your Future

College Transition
In the articles and stories at Talent Formula, we often refer to work related topics or look at accomplished experts as role models.

Today I wanted to go back to leaving high school to start university or college. It’s a big transition into the initial stages of your career and, more importantly, the start of finding your formula for success!

For our career centre and enrolment advisor readers, I hope this article gives additional insights into how high school students make post-secondary choices and goals.

For our Gen Y readers, hopefully Thamar’s methodical approach helps you think about what’s important in choosing the right school.

Helen & Thamar: Transition to Post Secondary

I want to introduce Thamar, a first year environmental science student, who recently made the transition into post secondary.

Coincidentally, Thamar is my daughter and, through her, I’ve had the opportunity to re-live this transition (minus the long study hours for tests!). It has been a great chance for us both to reflect on the experience and provide tips to others going through this transition.

Thamar, what are you looking forward to in university?

I am looking forward to learning skills required for a career involving an environmental science Bachelor of Science degree.

University offers the opportunity to take courses that are more targeted towards my interests. I believe this will benefit my learning, allow me to develop skills, and focus on specific areas of importance in regards to my degree.

I am also looking forward to the summer work experience terms. They will provide real work experience, allow me to apply my knowledge, and grow into a professional before entering the work force with a completed degree.

Who influenced your decisions on where to apply and then where to accept?

My parents were definitely an influencing factor in both where to apply for university and where to eventually accept. All throughout high school I knew that I wanted to stay close to home, as this would allow me to access the support of my parents. They were very supportive of this decision.

I also considered the accessibility of my program of choice when applying to universities. For example, I wanted to apply to universities whose programs were competitive yet were still able to provide support for students.

In ultimately choosing which university to accept my offer of admission from, I took class sizes into great consideration. I believe that smaller class sizes allow for a more personalized university experience, which will support personal growth. The university I chose to attend has small class sizes, which allows me to maintain more personal connections with my professors. This helps me create connections and build a network to assist me in finding a future career.

What are you looking to get out of your post-secondary experience?

I am looking to gain industry specific knowledge that will give me a competitive edge when entering the workforce. Additionally, I want to gain more experience in regards to resume creation and marketing myself as a knowledgeable and valuable employee.

I also hope to gain personal connections with my professors and individuals in the industry I am targeting through university events such as career fairs.

What is important to you when you think of your job post school?

When I think of my job after completing university, it is important to me to have a career that I am passionate about and will enjoy every day!

Is there anything else you do or plan to do to help prepare for your job when done school?

I am currently focused on hands-on learning while giving back to my community in the form of volunteer work. Volunteering is fun, it allows me to learn while still contributing to conservation efforts and giving back to the community.

Thamar, do you have any advice for others making the transition from high school to post-secondary?

  • One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give is maintain good study habits as the workload increases by quite a bit in comparison to high school courses.
  • Become an independent learner and take charge of your own education.
  • Remember to balance education and relaxing, as the transition can be stressful!
  • Choose a campus that you enjoy and feel comfortable being on and try to find study spaces that work for you. You’ll be spending a lot of time on campus, make sure it feels right!
  • Advice to Other’s making the Jump into Post Secondary:

    Transitioning to post high school education can be challenging.

    There is a lot happening in life that might be new and needs to be balanced; moving out and looking after yourself, deciding on your course load, potentially work, and, last but not least, the fun social experiences that student life is famous for!

    It’s a unique time in your life and with some carefully planned approaches; you’ll help yourself to a great start.

    Tips to Support This Transition:

  • Chose the school that fits you! Shop around. Think what your key decision factors are (small class size, location, etc)
  • Start building your resume and look for opportunities to include: work terms, volunteering and projects – it counts!!
  • Network, network, network!
  • Developing Your Own Formula:

    Did you have a great start in university? Do you have any tips for new students? Or want to warn against any pitfalls? Let us know!

    Helen has more than 20 years of experience in Talent Acquisition working in Canada and Europe in a variety of industries including manufacturing, sales & marketing, and currently in Oil & Gas. No matter how challenging a recruitment project seems, Helen’s ability to break daunting goals into actionable steps have been proven time and time again. Watch for Helen's posts on recruiting tips and tricks. Trust Helen as an expert who has staffed projects targeting Olympic athletes, remote merchandizers, and hired over 1,200 students and new grads annually.

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