What Was It Like Being Back In School After 12 Years?

Buying shoes online or studying? 😀 Photo Cred: Gabriela Oviedo

Today’s post is going to be a little different than some of the posts you’ve read here.  For those who are visiting this site for the first time…Welcome!  I am going to recap my decision to go back to school, the factors that triggered it, my experiences being back in a classroom and what’s next on my plate.

Why I Went Back

In the spring of 2016, I was in the final stages of securing a new job with an emerging tech company.   At this time, I was back again working in the dairy industry, unchallenged and unmotivated.  I returned there after being laid off from a digital marketing company.  While I was very keen in getting back into the digital world, my gut instinct was telling me to hold off.  The title role was a client success specialist and I just felt like I wanted something more specific.  If you have ever been in a position where you took a job just for the money and you knew you’d still be unhappy – well that was where my head space was at.

For those who know me, I am willing to put the work in and bust my tail off if I believe in whatever the concept/idea/value is.   So in between interviews, I started Googling the idea of upgrading my education, to strengthen my resume as well.  My position was if I was going to make a commitment and go back to school, it had to be something that would fit my schedule, that had an interesting curriculum and that I would genuinely enjoy.

After a series of e-mails exchanged with one of the program coordinators at Seneca College, I decided now was the time to make the leap.  On April 22, 2016, I contacted the employer who offered me the client success specialist position and declined.  I now made the commitment to enroll in a one year, post grad certificate in social media, the first of its kind offered in the GTA.

College vs. University

The thought of being back in a classroom after a 12-year absence was going to be interesting.  Some of the questions I asked myself was, could I handle this?  Could I keep up with the other students?  Would I be the oldest fart in the room?  It was an intense, eight month course load that covered all aspects of social media and digital marketing.  After the first six weeks into the semester, I settled in pretty nicely and felt confident that I would be able to complete this program.

Looking back on my time in York University, I felt a four-year program was too long.  You would have theatre sizing classes that would fit as large as 500 students, yet you would only know maybe 25-30 of them in your tutorial classes.   What I liked about college was that we were the same 20-25 person class for the entire calendar year.   In university, almost all of the teachings were theoretical, which in my own theory is useless because you need practical knowledge in the real working world.  Thanks to Google, Wikipedia and so on, you can search for that theoretical information at any time and educate yourself.

Having the opportunity to work in group projects and do presentations in college was also very refreshing.  I welcomed that with open arms because university didn’t provide much opportunities in that aspect.  In addition, while assignments were submitted in printed paper at York, for this program they were all submitted online.  I remember back in the day, maybe one or two students in the room had a laptop.  That was considered luxury.  Taking notes on a paper pad was the norm.  Today, everyone in the class is equipped with some sort of technology whether it be a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone.

#SenecaSoMe aka SMD
#SenecaSoMe aka SMD

Continue reading “What Was It Like Being Back In School After 12 Years?”

The Views Are Different Here Showcase Toronto In A New Light

Toronto
Image courtesy of City of Toronto

Views.

Recently Tourism Toronto released their 2017 campaign to promote tourism in the city of Toronto. Needless to say, the reaction was extremely positive and receptive by many, including local Torontonians.  In the 71-second clip, the viewer is introduced to many quick shots showcasing various parts of the city, focusing on popular destinations in the city as well as hidden gems. J. Walter Thompson Canada directed the visual,  which features vocals performed by Toronto poet and singer Bethany Lee.

While the focus of this video is to promote Toronto tourism, it also doubles up as a civic pride exercise.  For many years, Toronto has constantly been labeled as a micro town comparable to the bright lights of its counterpart in New York city. However, in recent years the city affectionately known as “The 6” has established their own identity, their own culture and uniqueness.  Dubbed as “Canada’s Downtown”, a lot of locals took to social media praising the clip for demonstrating what they already knew about their city.

Diversity and Equality.

As Toronto is the most visited destination in Canada, the city does not discriminate.  It has one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the world and is home to a large array of diverse and unique cultures. The town openly welcomes new visitors who are looking to find a place both in their professional and personal lives.

With that mindset comes opportunities for multiculturalism and immigration to the city.   There are various pockets in Toronto that cater to different communities like Chinatown in Spadina, Little Italy on College street and Polish town in Roncesvalles to name a few. Toronto truly embraces and shows love in its vast diversity.

The world in one city.

Toronto no longer wants to blend anymore with other cities in the world.  It wants people to know that they clearly have their own established identity and are not afraid to break barriers down.  No longer does the city want to be known as the best kept secret, but to let the international audience know that culture wise there is a little bit of everything all in one city.  Last month I made a presentation highlighting this campaign, which you can check out below.