This past Wednesday I graduated. It sounds strange, because for almost a year I’ve been out of university doing what adults do. Out in the field, working. I handed in my last piece of school-related work way back in October and frankly haven’t thought of it all since. But I’ll take this moment to reflect on the experience.I’ll be honest and say I went to University because it was the thing to do. I’d seriously considered doing photography professionally but, as you well know, that didn’t happen. I’d dabbled in start-up work before entering a special communications program focusing on, guess what, interactive media AKA all thing internet-mobile-web-application related.
My first semester was fascinating. Theories and intro classes and new people, for the first time I was learning things that truly interested me. I was challenged and intrigued and enjoyed 80% of my lessons. It was so different to high-school, so much more suited to my way of learning, that I took to it – and for the first time in my life was excelling. Dean’s List was made that first year and I was proud.
Second year felt like more of the same, and I found myself wondering. I’d started working at a new start up during the summer break and wanted to put my heart and soul into the job. I used a good deal of knowledge gained from lessons at work, put things to the test and badgered faculty about things related to it. Things picked up near the end of the year, more challenging courses and seminars. More reading, more theories, more challenges. I took my first business course, Intro to Finance, and discovered my love for rates.
Third and last year started off with me wanting it all to end. I wanted to be out of school, working for real. I wanted to see how my knowledge and ideas could be executed, to see results. I took some courses, they were fine. I had an HTML course that was, while not challenging, taught by a lovely instructor who gave me insight on things. Final seminar, loads of research into networks and their effects. Scoured twitter for data and researched blow back effects of interactions between bloggers on there. It was interesting, got a good grade. Final workshop, worked with 10 people on an app idea from brainstorming to execution. It was challenging, frustrating but ultimately enjoyable. Finished my exams, got to work on my blog whilst keeping the part time job at a start up. Relaxed.
November rolled around, went to London, got engaged. December came and the company I was working at closed, became a part of the start-up statistics. Not everyone’s a unicorn. Started looking for something new, didn’t find it. Did consulting work via my father’s firm, got to pitch ideas to small ventures on their digital strategy and social channels. Had fun. Kept looking for that thing I really wanted to do. Learnt that it’s not the job but the people, talked to other people for advice. Got a direction. Got a job offer, turned it down. Regretted that, but persevere. Found a listing for a job I really wanted. Sent in details and forgot about it. Got a call, interviewed. Interviewed again, this time in person. Clicked so bad. For the first time came home with a real passion at the opportunity of working somewhere. Got called for anther interview. And another. And a Skype one for good measure, had a mini freak out and made sure my lighting was spot on. Thursday, 3 PM phone rang. Got the job. 2 weeks later I started. Loving it ever since.
A lot has changed for June 1st, 2015 to June 1st 2016. It’s all for the best, I got 3 years full of interest and discovery, frustration and elation, of learning and applying.
Was it the right choice? Maybe, maybe not. Was it a good choice? Yes.