It’s orientation week and your educational journey in Canada is about to begin.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how confident do you feel about starting this journey? please answer as honestly as you can because this week, the institution that you chose to study at is going to introduce you to the different departments that will support you throughout your schooling.
Although it is great to have this exposure, orientation can be overwhelming because you are going to be bombarded with information, pamphlets, and all sorts of handouts; numerous resources will be presented to you and it is up to you whether you use them or not as you move along within your program. The more you use those services, the better prepared you will be for planning your career path strategically.
For now, here are 3 easy steps you can take so you sail through orientation week and start making the most of the investment you made to upgrade your skills in this country:
Forget about those handouts: Reality is that you will never look at them, so instead, focus on writing down the names of the people who introduce you to the services from the departments you will visit so you can connect with them at a later date and find out how they can support your learning process. Start a conversation with them; tell them who you are, your story, share the goals you have set for yourself and how you would like them to help you meet them.
Start making friends: It really comes down to this! hopefully they are new friends who do not speak your native language – This is by far the best thing you can do at orientation because these are the people you will be spending most of your time with for the next 2, 3, or 4 years, and as you know, making strong connections is the key to thrive in Canada. Make plans with the new people you meet this week; go out for lunch, dinner, have a beer, go dancing, organize a party and invite everyone. The possibilities are endless!
Connect and find out what are the things they are into, what made them choose that program, if their interests match yours, and based on those first impressions and interactions, start evaluating if these are folks whom you see yourself developing a business initiative with or collaborating in projects outside of school in the future.
Connect with faculty: If there is an opportunity to speak with your program coordinator and your professors, do it please! introduce yourself, get to know them, their journey, ask them how they got to where they are right now, what sort of connections and relationships with employers they have in the field, and if there are still questions that were not answered during the enrolment process, this is the perfect time to have them clarified. If you feel courageous enough to ask these questions in front of the larger group, do it so that everyone benefits from the information that the coordinator will share with you. Get noticed!
Bonus points if you make friends with students who are in other programs as well. Imagine the opportunities you could create if you joined forces and combined the strengths you will develop in your field with the strengths they will develop in their field. Imagine the problems you will be able to solve together!
Get in the mood for learning. Get in the mood for growth. Get in the mood to experience an incredible educational journey. Welcome to Canada!
How excited are you?
Written by David Mendoza for Orbit 5
REFLECT – PLAY – ADVANCE