‘Life after school’ for Lambton College’s International Students

Making a Plan to Succeed

Pictured are just a few of the many international students at Lambton College. From left are Pragya Singh, Maria Alexandra Zambrano, and Nick Gr.

The future can be excitingly promising for a student after graduation, if one makes a plan that is achievable.

The students graduating from the various disciplines of study needs to be flexible to adapt to the different opportunities available to them. Job opportunities are not like marriage: It is not “better for worse.” One should be willing to try something new or explore other jobs, if the opportunity available is not satisfying or not one’s dream job.

Lambton College’s population includes international students from across Africa, South America and Asia. Some of these students have shared their plans for life after-school.

While some intend to return to their country with the wealth of knowledge they have acquired in Canada to impact the lives of their people, others plan to remain in Canada to gain more experience and give back to the country that has provided them with quality education.

Still more, not a few, have made their choice open to accept opportunities anywhere around the world.

For Pragya Singh, an Indian student, her plan is to return to India after the completion of her studies. She is currently working with Enactus, an organization that helps in nurturing student entrepreneurs, and other social and justice programs run by Lambton College.

“Canada is an excellent place to study, because it gives me the opportunity to live independently making me more self-reliant and self-confident,” said Singh. “In Canada, there is much emphasis on human dignity irrespective of the nature of the work. Every kind of work one does is appreciated here which is not the case in my country. I am trying to get best out of all my experiences so that I can go back and contribute something meaningful to my society and help correct many negative social and cultural perceptions in India.”

Singh plans to return to India in order to champion a cause that will break down barriers that have held back women in India from progressing to where men have reached for many years. She wants to change the erroneous perception about the management ability of women and to promote the cause for social justice, equity and fairness regardless of the gender. These are values that she has observed in Canada and she feels that they are worth promoting in her country.

For Maria Alexandra Zambrano, a Venezuelan student, stepping out of her comfort zone is something she enjoys. It is one of her motivations for choosing to live in Canada.

“My family and I spent just couple of months living in Sarnia, and it was enough for us to decide that we would love to remain in Canada,” she said.

Zambrano says that while she has traveled to other countries, Canada is one of a kind. The amazing people she met and the culture she experienced in Canada won her over. Currently a full-time student, she is optimistic about staying and finding a suitable job in her area of specialization in Canada. She is using all the available resources provided by My Career department and International Office of the Lambton College to accomplish her dream.

Nick Gr, an Indian student on his co-op term, also prefers to remain in Canada after graduation. Already he has risen to the position of assistant manager at his workplace. He envisions entrepreneurship as a path to follow after his graduation because it encourages ideas, innovation and autonomy, improves economic growth and reduces unemployment.

“With my experience so far, I am gradually establishing a market in Canada,” said Gr, who has business plans to contribute to the economic growth of the country, Canada, that has equipped him with business knowledge.

The fact is, the world is vast and the window of opportunity wide open. Graduating students must step out of the comfort of school and walk into the world. There is no waiting for the perfect job to be available before one graduates. What the future holds forth is part of the big question of life that the student graduate has to wrestle with.

It might be helpful not to let the anxiety about the future rob one of the joy of the accomplishment of having completed a program of study. One should be mindful to consider oneself as blessed and privileged to be graduating even when one does not have a clue of what they want to achieve in future.

The students who shared their thoughts about either going back to their country or remaining in Canada to seek opportunities have done well. As a prospective graduate, I would also like to offer helpful insights for dealing with this important period that shapes the future of many:

  • Stay Calm: This period of transition is fraught with anxiety because of the uncertainty about the future. Figuring out what to do with one’s life is one of the big challenges facing every graduate. Staying calm to make plans can make the difference between success and failure. Exercises that promote mindfulness can be helpful in dealing anxiety, for instance, meditation, prayer, yoga, and retreat.
  • Stay Dynamic: Finding no job to practice in any course one graduated from necessarily do not amount to waste of two years of one’s postgraduate studies. Lambton College Advance Education includes the teaching of a desirable skill-set. Statistics has shown that employers seeking for employees do not focus mainly on specific discipline, but rather on skill-set and competency to do the required job. One must be willing to adapt one’s skill-set to other opportunities available.
  • Think Out of the Box: It is often more rewarding to think outside the box. This involves eschewing the pursuit of short-term goals and seeking instantaneous fulfillment. One should evaluate one’s behaviour map and envision projects that will impact not just one’s life but the whole society for the next 100 years of your life.
  • Stay Hopeful and Positive: One of the secrets to success is to enjoy every role one gets. Enjoying whatever responsibility one has, optimizes one’s power, ambition and creativity to do more and continue in the path of growth. Challenges in one’s path calls for a response called attitude. Accepting life’s challenges with open mind makes one stronger and empowers one to deal with it and, possibly, surmount it. That is the attitude of highly successful people.

Are you going into your last semester and worrying about life after graduation? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • Xtian Asu

    This article is something else,the writer had my mind going through what an International student get to experience or tend to experience during studying or after studies. I applaud the write for a great write up, with the mix of anxiety and suspense as I read through,the writer is indeed a pen maestro.
    Thumbs up.