Tips for new students (from a student!) Part 2 of 2

Uvic_Commercial_2014-47Welcome back to my advice for students! If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you can find that here!

Let’s get back to where we left off!

  1. Don’t get left behind as courses ramp up. It took me several years before I realized that I was letting myself slack off and watch Netflix all day everyday for the first few weeks of class, before suddenly being swamped in homework with tests just a few days away.A solution that worked well for me was taking extra courses for the first few weeks, either auditing UVic courses that I planned to take in the future or by taking Coursera courses for subjects that interested me. (My favourites so far have been Gamification, Behavioural Economics, and Cryptography!)
  1. Pick up some extracurricular activities. It’s important to have activities that allow you to take your mind off of your school work for a while. This is especially useful if those activities are related to your dream job and/or offer a chance to get exercise. Since first year, UVic GameDev has been my way to blow off steam. It has given me a great network of people who can help with courses and other problems and opened doors to co-op jobs, scholarships and even contract work!
  1.  Attend events! There are so many events for students to teach you new skills or allow you to network with industry professionals. Events are thrown by student unions, clubs and UVic itself, usually by a specific department. There are many ways to find information about events, but social media accounts are a good place to start (for example, the Department of Computer Science Twitter Account) and you can keep an eye on the university website! If you still can’t find the type of event you’re looking for, throw one yourself! I recently got in touch with a bunch of Victoria start-ups to put together a 10-company career fair (which you can read more about here!). There are always organizations looking for help putting together events like this, so be sure to look into the course unions or student societies related to your faculties: ESS, CSCU, PsychOS, and Phasers are a few examples.

Thank you for reading my advice for new students. I hope you found my posts helpful! Next week I’ll talk about how best to break into your industry while you’re a student. Be sure to check that out!

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