I recently spoke to group of York University Communications students when they visited TVO for a tour. It was a really cool experience because not too long ago, I was in their shoes – wide-eyed, eager, but also very unsure and worried about the future.
I remember it like it was yesterday: “Am I going to be working in retail for the rest of my life? What am I going do with an English and History degree?” For those asking themselves the same questions, I say follow your gut and stick to what you ultimately feel passionate about. This is so cliché, but I’m a firm believer that if you work your butt off and are persistent, things will eventually work out.
I never would have thought I’d end up in a career in digital marketing, but my Arts degree and university experience instilled a relentless work ethic and developed critical thinking and writing skills that have been invaluable in the workplace. In fact, I continue to take part-time continuing education courses at U of T to expand my skill-set. Learning new skills keeps me motivated and excited about future opportunities and should never stop at any age.
The best thing about being an Arts grad is that there are endless possibilities in terms of career paths. Mind you, that path will not be instantly clear and you WILL face adversity and are sure to experience a healthy amount of failure along the way. While the rejection will undoubtedly hurt, learn from your failures and use them as motivation to prove the naysayers wrong. There will always be people who don’t believe in you, but it’s important to never settle and never to give up on your dreams.
My other piece of advice is to network, network, network! I would’ve tried to do so much more of it during my undergrad years if I knew what I know now. Step outside your comfort zone and develop relationships with your classmates and instructors – they can provide valuable career advice and you never know how your paths may cross in the future. School is NOT ALL about your grades!
So study hard, network and don’t worry – you’ll find success sooner or later if you seek it hard enough.