Hello, my name is Lora and I am just a young professional who wants to help other young students find their footing. I currently work as an Industrial Microbiologist for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies. Although I am young and not at all an expert, I am in the same shoes as you. I hope to offer the Lessons Learned from my experiences, so you can plan out your path without falling through some of the cracks in mine.
My family migrated to Canada in Sept ’07, I was 12. I knew that when we moved here my parents would not be able to financially help me in any way shape or form for my education. I also knew that since they were older, I would need to provide assistance to them once I make my career. I had to be strategic, I had purpose. If they uprooted everything that they have for me and my sister, I can give them what they want. I only had 5 years to adjust and plan how I can successfully support myself and my family. I implemented my plan at Grade 12, at 17 years old. Currently, the best I can do for them is to make sure that they don’t have to worry about me. At 16, I got my first job scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins and that was the last time I ever really asked for money. At 17, I moved out to go to school, University of Guelph, and I have not fully moved back in.
I went through a detailed and strategic plan to get to where I wanted to be by graduation for my undergrad. The classes I took were all carefully planned in the summer between high-school and university. I planned every class, every prerequisite, which terms to do it in and why each class was chosen. I didn’t drop any classes that was in my roadmap, nor did I fail any of them. I moved stuff around and incorporated a minor. I followed this same document for 5 years. It was so tattered, yellow and scribbled over by the end. I also planned what jobs, volunteer activity, and other fun things I had lined up to help maximize my undergrad experience and maintain a healthy school-work-life balance.
Closer to graduation, I noticed that other students did not have the same outlook on education and extra-curricular activities as I did. I was often asked “How do you manage to get that?”, and “Did you do extra schooling?”. Comments such as: “I wish I had co-op” or “I should’ve done that” were common when I tried to explain how I got to where I am.
Shortly after graduation, I was asked to visit campus for certain Alumni events to help provide advice and talk to undergraduate students on what they can do. I start to recount my past experiences and explain to them why I made certain choices. I was then asked if “I had further education”, and I clarify that I did not, not yet.
I am blogging to share my path and pitfalls. Navigating young adulthood is scary and plenty of studentsd have feelings of anxiety when asked “What’s after graduation, what do you want to do?” I’ll write about what you can do to minimize this anxiety, break down undergrad and work-life in manageable chunks, and gaining self-confidence by knowing yourself. I would love to connect with other students and young professionals who can also share their experiences and path. I can only talk about my experiences and what I’ve seen happen to others. But that is only one way to look at something that can be tackled a million different ways. If I blog successfully throughout the next year, I would hope to have accomplished to help at least ONE person. I want to maintain a relationship where we can help each other.
Finding a career doesn’t start nor end at graduation, it’s constantly evolving.
I am a graduate of 2018. However, most activities that I signed-up for during my undergrad were deliberate and involved careful planning. And I continue to plan what step is next and hope to go through the journey with you.