On March 31st, Ms. Olaizola and King Supports Niners hosted an alumni business panel with King graduates who are currently pursuing a business degree or have already completed their undergrad. Guest speakers ranged from the class of 2015 to last year’s graduates. They all had insightful advice and wisdom to share with anyone seeking to venture into post-secondary. So if you missed it, or need a refresher, read on for the top 5 pieces of advice from the panel!
Tune out the rumours
It is hard to tune out rumours about particular universities when the internet and social media can easily amplify hateful reviews. There are pros AND cons to ALL universities, and individual experiences will differ. Factors such as program interests, the opportunities they present, and the environment, to name a few, should matter more than prestige or reputation. Individuals will thrive in a university they choose based on what they believe is best for their personal, academic, and career development.
Self-reflection and self-awareness were recurring topics throughout the panel discussion. This makes sense because when a high school student is looking for a university, a significant portion of their consideration depends on their likes, dislikes, interests, values, and goals. University is a launching pad meant to help students achieve their goals, passions and aspirations. So, to have a valuable and enjoyable university experience, reflecting on who you are at this stage of life is a must.
Grades can only get you so far, so network!
Once in post-secondary, there are more work experience opportunities, such as paid or unpaid internships and co-op (depending on the field of study). Previous work experience significantly increases one’s chances at employment because employers look more at specific skills and experiences than GPAs. NACE’s 2017 Job Outlook survey claimed that around an astounding 91% of employers prefer that their candidates have work experience.
However, many students who allocate their time toward extracurriculars or work experience do sacrifice some of their study time. But, don’t fear; no matter the field, networking and connecting with people will provide incredible openings and opportunities that dedication to grades solely cannot. According to a 2016 LinkedIn survey, around 85% of jobs are filled through networking. Therefore, networking and work experience are no less valuable than grades!
Don’t let others affect your university or college decisions
Maybe it was fun to follow friends to the same high school, even if the choice wasn’t for the best for you. However, students who want to continue education through post-secondary will have to pay (a lot of) money for it, so decisions will have to be considered carefully and thoughtfully. Friends and family can influence major life decisions, but should not be the defining factor for them. Without enough confidence in their own judgement, students may have a tough time bringing out their authenticity and instead rely on others to make decisions for them. Trust in your abilities and decide based on what burns passion in YOU.
Involvement, not only in school but also in the community, is crucial to bettering oneself
Experiencing a vast amount of extracurriculars allows students to discover new interests or skill gaps, and hone their abilities. Involvement in school is different than involvement in the community, so prioritizing and experiencing both can help cultivate an accurate view of what’s beyond the education system. Students who can get out of their comfort zone can improve and mature by experiencing failures and shortcomings, as well as growth and success. Trying things out is better than not being involved at all. It’s never too late to go out and participate in both one’s community and school!
Special thanks to guest speakers Raza Durrani, Shenduran Sivasubramanium, Arjun Sahota, Alana Ramdeo, Kiksha Tandon, Prapti Paul, and Shairi Islam for sharing their life experiences in this illuminating panel!
And a big thank you to Ms. Ola and King Supports Niners for organizing this event for students!