McMaster’s undergrad resources
I don’t know what I’m doing for Halloween. I don’t know what the weekend will consist of, what life after my next midterm will be like or what’s for breakfast tomorrow morning.
“I’m keeping my options open,” was usually my response whenever someone asked about my plans for life after McMaster. While this is true enough, it was a cop-out answer that really meant short-term goals, school or work related, were taking priority over the intimidating reality of how I want to define myself after university. It’s difficult to think about a year or more in advance when your day-to-day challenges are current and more obvious.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the present. If it weren’t for the pestering of nearly everyone I knew and a coincidental Avenue notification in one of my classes detailing an upcoming grad school information session, it is very unlikely that the idea of preparing for post-McMaster would have occurred to me.
While McMaster has a substantial amount of resources related to preparing students for the inevitable, the worry is simply that the university doesn’t do a good enough job promoting these.
On Oct. 18, 19 and 20, there is a “Continuing Education Fair” in the MUSC Marketplace. Between Oct. 11 and Oct. 17, a total of eight posts were made between the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the McMaster Student Success Centre about the event. It doesn’t show up on any of the main McMaster University social media accounts, and it doesn’t show up on any of the events calendars on the McMaster Daily News, the McMaster Alumni website or the McMaster site.
The chances of you finding out about the event were about the likelihood you happened to follow one specific subset of McMaster related content and were coincidentally one of the impressions. Why should you care about the event when McMaster barely seems to?
With over 70 post-graduate representatives showing up, you would think there would be more of an effort to ensure current students know what’s happening. While the MUSC Marketplace has heavy traffic, it does not account for students who may not have classes close by enough to stumble on the event. It certainly doesn’t help that workshops at the fair require registration on OSCARplus too, so a student finding out about it last minute may not be able to participate.
Maybe there’s an overreliance on hoping the initial “apply for graduation” option on Mosaic suddenly sparking motivation. The logic that post-university is inevitable and thus should be considered is fine on paper, but often fails when life right now is so prominent. I’m simply not sure if the university assumes students will find out about events through their own means and drive, or if they don’t actually care about pushing the community towards becoming productive alumni.
It is disheartening to see constant news about McMaster alumni and their successes, but so little about how to actually achieve similar success. The most tragic part is I have absolutely no idea what other events or resources I have missed as a graduating student because I wasn’t in the know, didn’t follow the right niche on social media or didn’t see a poster in a hallway I’ve never gone down.
While the university has prepared me for the future education-wise, I feel like the university has let me down when considering the lack of importance placed on how to actually use this education. All it would take are a couple more reminders about what McMaster is already providing to its students.