Five Tips: Get the Most out of Going Back to School

2015-2016 Issue 2

IMG_2152If you’ve already made the decision to go back to school, congratulations. As the Career and Transition Advisor at McGill’s School of Continuing Studies, I know that adults who return to the classroom see it as an investment. They are ambitious, driven and looking to make the most out of their education.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to get you started and keep you motivated.

 

1. Go Beyond Grades
Yes, grades are important; strive to deliver the best version of yourself and your capabilities. At the same time, don’t lose sight of the connections you can make both in and outside the classroom. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities.

2. Bring Your Books to Life
You likely know what you want to accomplish when you’re done your program; bring that passion to your studies. Identify your strength and gaps, and you’ll be ahead of the game when you enter the labour market.
Some learners will be able to go even farther: entrepreneurship students can tailor their class assignments to their future enterprise, and the same idea applies to human resources, digital community management, and project management.

3. Take Advantage of Your Surroundings
Every educational institution offers resources to support its community of learners; many are included with your tuition fees. Here at the School, students can meet with academic advisors, attend career events, make an appointment with a tutorial service, as well as accessing the university’s libraries and computer labs.

4. Expand Your Network
Being a student is the ideal time to expand your network. Your professors and guest speakers are active in your industry, and fellow learners can potentially become your friends or even your future colleagues. It’s also the right time to reach out to industry professionals; as a student you’re not currently job-hunting, so the pressure is off and conversations are more authentic.

5. Have Fun
Although you may be eager to complete you studies and enter the workplace, it’s important to enjoy your journey. A positive attitude will serve you well when you’re meeting new people, exploring new ideas, and help you keep going when faced with challenges.

Good luck, and have fun!

Emilie Nketiah is the Career and Transition Advisor at McGill’s School of Continuing Studies, offerings workshops, networking events, individual advising and career tips via newsletter.

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