Cathy Nguyen: Being an Individual in University

Position on O-Team: 

Events Lead


Fashion Communication



1. How have you been involved at Ryerson?

Outside of my academics, my experience at Ryerson has been primarily in Event Production, which I have always enjoyed. There’s something about the way you have to throw your entire self into an event in order to reap all the benefits. Most recently, I was Executive Intern for Mass Exodus 2014, which boasts the title of the largest student-run fashion show in the world. I’ve also been on staff with Ryerson Athletics for two years at the Recreation and Athletic Centre (RAC).


2. Why did you want to join the Orientation Team?

I fell into Student Affairs when I lived in residence, as many people do. I genuinely care about the student experience as I feel the impact of university, both on a academic and personal level, is unique and complex. Orientation is the first of many experiences at Ryerson, so to be a part of that is something I’m excited about.


3. What were you most nervous about coming into university?

Simply put, I was worried about how I would be perceived as a individual. The idea of a fresh start was scary and I wanted to be able to control my reputation. I was far from mysterious or alluring because I tended to make it a point to show my interests/character through the way I dressed, decorated my room, or even spoke about certain topics. I had spent 17 years deciding the type of person I wanted to be so I was adamant on making sure that didn’t change in university. Of course it still did, but it turned out to be the most exciting part.


4. What piece of advice would you give a group of incoming first years?

Get involved and stay on budget. As much as grades matter, for the most part you will be graduating with the same piece of paper as everyone else in your program, past and present (and that’s not counting other schools with the same program). It’s your experience outside of your classes that will truly shape your employability. This includes roles in student groups/societies/clubs, side jobs, internships, relationships with professors and colleagues and etc. Secondly, budgeting. Be realistic in creating a budget plan and cross reference with what you actually spend. You may be surprised.


5. What are you most excited for this Orientation & why?

I am most excited to meet all the new students and to hopefully see a lot of smiling faces at events!


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