Guest Blog: What I Wish I Knew About Career Stuff In My First Year

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Ryerson student, Osei Poku, shares his thoughts on the Ryerson Career Centre. 

When you think about it, the first year of university can feel a lot like The Chamber of Secrets from Harry Potter :

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Or like young Simba going through the hyena’s habitat back in The Lion King:

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Or even those times as a kid when you were afraid to get up and go pee when the whole house was dark. All of these scenarios show an individual trying to manoeuver their way past some sort of obstacle to find their way out of an ambiguous environment or situation. Speaking from my own experience, that is how I felt in my first year when I thought about what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up’.

Upon entering Ryerson, the change from high school to university hit me the hardest. From quiet Mississauga to the non-stop inner city workings of Toronto: this was a setting I had never been placed in before. It’s easy to curl up, keep to yourself and adopt an in-and-out mentality towards going to school when all your friends live an hour and thirty minutes away via public transportation. As a result, through the hardships, I became oblivious to the resources on campus that were available to help me combat the same issues. One particular issue I had was how to get around the non-stop question about what my career path would be after graduation. The tables had turned now, and I was paying so much money to be educated. I tried to do a lot more than I could handle because of the thought that I would end up jobless if I did not go hard with the books. I constantly felt like I had to come up with an answer for what I wanted to do professionally and how I would go about getting there. Being a first generation student, trying to make my family proud, I had my head down to the point that I ignored resources like the Ryerson Career Centre.

As a business student, I have access to 2 career centres, and both are places where it is okay that I do not yet know my ‘final destination’, so to speak. I can still utilize the resources available there to prepare myself should an opportunity present itself. Much like Simba had Zazu to mentor him as young lion for his future position as king, each career centre can help me sharpen my professional toolkit.

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Although they’re not as mouthy as Zazu, I do see each career centre act like my “sensei” to guide me through my own chamber of secrets, Ryerson University, and the world beyond. My personal competencies and strength serve me just like the sword of Gryffindor helps Harry fight against the Basilisk.

Knowing exactly where and how my skills and talents can have the most impact is key in navigating through a fast paced and ambiguous job market. This is something I wish I had taken advantage of in my first year. From learning how to re-format professional tools such as my resume and cover letter through to job search techniques, I am now much more effective in following up with my research if anything interesting is brought to my attention about career options.

Uni is big business, and knowing what you’re trying to get out of it is important. Being prepared is just as important as knowing where you’re headed, or you’re just steady headed nowhere fast, cuz. It’s been real. ‘til next time people, Anon.

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