Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Initial Impressions

I was never too big on the orientations during the "Week of Welcome" held at my University. I remember my first year was filled with half-hearted cheers and chants within our arbitrary groups. We toured around the campus all day as the coordinators tried to get us excited for the upcoming term.

Then the following week all the "cheer" and "enthusiasm" is gone and everyone goes their separate ways to their own classes, never to interact with each other again. You don't feel any sense of unity or pride being a student at this University. I was pretty meh about the upcoming term.


I really didn't expect anything different for the Business orientation but I opted to go anyways. You're supposed to network as much as possible so I thought it be a good headstart for myself. Get to know a few people maybe, figure out if anything could be useful for me in the upcoming year.

The orientation certainly started out differently than I was accustomed to. I really didn't expect the Dean of Business to come in, call everyone in the room "One giant dysfunctional family", and then proceed to wear a green t-shirt over his suit.

Then he got all of us to wear our complimentary green Business t-shirts. Now we had a way to identify other Business students throughout the day. We were special, we had earned the right to wear this green t-shirt. No one else on Campus did.

Pride. Check.

The Dean wasn't the only person of interest during the opening speeches. A few people talked about the co-op program that I  recently got accepted into. I knew the general basis of what was going, I mean I got in.

The next couple of weeks for me will have a lot of seminars and workshops to help me prepare and optimize my chances of getting hired by a potential company. But I don't think I could have prepared for the stats they threw at me such as:

  • Co-op students have a ~100% hire rate upon graduation.
  • Co-op students earn 5-10% more than the average graduating business student.
  • There is an abundance of Human Resources positions and not enough people applying to these positions (I'm a Human Resources major).

Excited for upcoming term. Check.

Next we were broken up into arbitrary groups, introductions, what's your major, blah blah, standard orientation stuff. What differs though is that immediately afterwards we started competing against other groups.

Like trying to market innocent objects as highly inappropriate adult toys for a panel of judges.

I think my group should have won, but apparently we got disqualified because we used additional props. I guess binding up one of our presenters with our belts was a bad idea.

But in this way I got to interact with other people, actually want to know their names. After the orientation I joined a random group of other business students (which I identified by their green shirts) and we went for drinks. 

Just like that, I was a part of their group and laughing like I'd known them my entire life.

Unity. Check.

If there's anything bad about this I have to re-enabled Facebook. It's the only way I can maintain this growing network of new associates and potential meet-ups, events, drinking nights, etc. etc.. in the future.

It also means no more stupid cat pictures as my profile picture. Or rather, I have to tone it down, significantly.

But it's a small price to pay. A week later I'm still greeting and spending small amounts of time with the people I met during orientation. I'm looking into joining a few clubs as well to help bolster my resume, my volunteer experience is abysmal.

Things are looking good so far, I hope it keeps up.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Back to Classes

Anyone who has followed my blog for the last few months know I've been trying to figure out whether to go back to classes in the Fall or search for work. While I had applied for the Business After-Degree program, my friends warned me that it would take until mid-August until I would get accepted or rejected. It could be wise to job hunt in the scenario where I wouldn't be going back to school.

But while I was in Vancouver, I woke up to an email on my phone, an acceptance email. Huh, while I had no idea why they had sent this to me so early I wasn't complaining.

And then I rewarded myself by sleeping in way into the afternoon.

What's nice about the After-Degree is that all my courses are laid out. Take this, take this, shove this here, no thinking needed on my part. But I'm only able to take 4 courses. A majority of the courses I need to take have this one prerequisite, that's only offered in the fall.So that's just great.

So in standard Damian fashion I arranged my schedule haphazardly and came out fine otherwise on the other end. No classes before 11, and I never stay any later than 4PM.  It'll do. I mean, I'm used to having 4 day weekends from my previous terms but it's time to stop being so spoiled.

A big reason why I wanted to get into Business was because of the Co-op program. I wasn't able to get a Psychology internship due to a certain administrator and I'm still very bitter about it. I contacted the Business people and learned that I would only have one chance to apply because I was an After-Degree student due to my credit limits, my old nemesis.

Not a problem, let's get this done, I mean when is this thing due?

Oh crap the deadline is next week.

My resume hadn't been updated in months, I wasn't confident in the structure of my cover letter, and who could I find in time to look these over to make sure things were ok? I scrambled, deleting and rewriting entire chunks. I managed to get a friend to look things over the day before I had to submit but I wasn't confident in most of it.

Fast forward two weeks, and I get another email.

Another acceptance.

Man, everything is rolling my favour this summer.

Bella, I owe you another drink, you're a life saver.

Oh and while I'm at it, I'd like to leave a few words for that Psych admin that screwed me over many years ago.






Well, I haven't quite gotten an internship yet, but a series of orientations, seminars, and workshops being held in the next two weeks should help me prepare. The soonest I can get a placement is January. And one thing that they stress is that you may not get a placement within the city, I could end up going anywhere in the province.

Hence, it may be time for Damian to (temporarily) move out. Wouldn't that be nice? I mean, my sister Bree has moved out for the next 4 years. Surely as the older brother I should make an effort to leave the nest as well, even if it would only be for a year.

I have a clean slate, my old grades don't matter, it's a new year, full of opportunities, new people, and for the first time for as long as I can remember I'm looking forward to the future.

Come at me.