Back to School
We asked two new School of Continuing Studies students to share their back-to-school experience.
“What convinced me to enroll at McGill’s School of Continuing Studies? Talking to their graduates.
My job as the Artistic Director of Akufen, a Montreal advertising agency, gave me the chance to interview several of the School’s students and alumni. The School is one of our clients and their graduates had such positive things to say that I began considering the idea of taking one of their language courses.
Akufen serves its clients in both French and English, but I find presenting in English stressful. I’d often thought of taking an English language course to improve my confidence and McGill seemed like the perfect place. I guess you could say the advertising campaign was very effective!
I began the Certificate of Proficiency in Written English – Workplace Communication (Online) only a few months ago, but I can already see an improvement in my skills. I’m writing emails faster, improving my grammar, and feeling more and more at ease using English both personally and professionally. I’m also enjoying the hybrid course format, which features online lectures once every two weeks supplemented by independent course work and emails and telephone calls with the instructors. They’re very present and provide clear feedback. The schedule is flexible, so it’s very doable for someone who’s working full-time. I’ve already recommended it to my colleagues.”
The best word to describe my first semester at the School would be “intense.” After spending the last 19 years building my career, I’m back in an academic setting taking two evening courses while working full-time as a graphic designer.
Did I have any apprehensions about going back to school after working as a professional? Yes. I went in knowing that I’d have to find the time to do everything, and that there’d be late nights and sacrifices. But I’ve already learned how to deal with stress and overtime in my career; that’s something I bring with me to my studies. The readings, assignments, mid-terms and group projects have been a lot of work, but now those group members feel more like friends than classmates. And my instructors recognize that I’m a professional.
I’ve tried to attend as many School events as I can, like the orientation session. I already knew about the McGill Writing Centre but I didn’t know that as Continuing Studies students we have our own building, can take Photoshop and Illustrator courses, and have free access to Microsoft software and career workshops.
One thing I’m still trying to figure out are my study skills. My previous education consisted of drafting tables and computer labs, so I’m still figuring out the best way to read and study while balancing extracurriculars. But it’s nice to be back in school – I’ve already learned a lot. By next semester, I’ll be ready.