Hello Darlings, After 20 courses, 4 languages, 4 internships, 1 specialist — I finally finished my degree and this week attended my University of Toronto convocation as part of St. Michael’s College. Although I finished my courses last year, I delayed my convocation until this summer, and could not have asked for a more beautiful day t0 share with my family and friends.
While sitting in Convocation Hall and listening to the University president discuss our great achievement, I began thinking what exactly these fancy diplomas will do for us graduates. With the spiel about University of Toronto being one of the twenty best universities in the world, I was pondering that something like 1 in 2 recent graduates are unemployed. In my own case, while already in a career it still has little to do with what I studied! So with tens of thousands of dollars spent on my degree, and even more time spent on internships and working — I became a professional blogger and a business owner.
I was determined to complete a specialist program in architecture/art history, a program that accepts about twenty students a year and is primarily intended for those who plan to complete a PhD. The program was enjoyable despite being rigorous and also requires two languages. While completing the specialist, I worked part-time as a research assistant for three years, was a student editor of a textbook, completed an internship at Sotheby’s Auction House and at University of Toronto Art Center. I loved my program and was looking forward to completing Sotheby’s Business of Arts Masters.
It turns out that things do not always work out according to plan, because during my third year and three days before my December final exams I was in a car accident. I suffered a severe concussion and number of complications, so while my final two years were hard, I was able to finish my degree.
However, as my blog began to gain a larger following and various companies began to approach me to do projects for them, I decided to give my social media career a try full-time. Soon after finishing my courses, I applied for a government grant for young entrepreneurs which I received in August 2011. After receiving the grant and some business training, WithLoveGabrille.com seemingly became a real business, and thus I had a career that never could be imagined when applying to university.
As I shook hands with the university dignitaries on stage and received my diploma, I felt lucky to have taken a career path that inspires me. I do not regret completing my specialist, but just the same think that universities could better prepare students to apply their degrees to an actual career.
I hope that those who attend university do apply their degree in establishing a career. I hope that all of my fellow graduates find their place in a workforce and that the years spent on studying are not only seen on a diploma but are felt in a work place.
I am curious to know, what did you study/studying ? What are you doing now or plan to pursue?