When you’re an upcoming graduate, a few things start to happen. You brace yourself for the inevitable questions that can range anywhere between “Are you looking for a full time job this summer?” to “What’s your 5 year plan?” You wake up each morning with an impending to do list as the first thing to cross your mind. From creating the perfect CV to finding an affordable place to live, there are countless decisions you now face on your Road From Ryerson. As someone that is graduating this summer, I’m constantly having conversations with my friends about how for the first time in our lives we don’t know what’s next, and that fear of the unknown leads to several questions — What’s next? Were the past 4 years worth it? What if I’m not passionate about my major anymore? I thought who better to answer these questions that Ryerson’s own alumni, and after receiving advice from both them and the Career Centre I broke down the biggest questions graduates face in the hope of making the Road From Ryerson a bit easier.
CHANGING YOUR MIND ABOUT YOUR MAJOR
When I look back at who I was at 18 years old and the decisions I made I can’t help but notice how many things in my life have changed. Whether it was my fashion sense, my friendships or my favourite way to spend a Friday night, so many little and big things have changed in my life and along with that my passions have changed too. As many upcoming graduates realize our early twenties are an incredibly impressionable time, and sometimes we find we’re not as passionate about the things we would love forever. So what happens when you graduate with a major that you thought you wanted to turn into your career, but find yourself changing your mind?
Denise Chiriboga majored in finance at Ryerson, and it wasn’t until she graduated and started her 9–5 job that she realized how much she hated it. So when she got pregnant she decided to create her own brand called Fitritious for which she designed her own website and has started teaching fitness classes. I asked Denise for advice for those students who are unsure if they want to make their major their job.
Q: What was your first job post grad?
D: I was actually working part time during my years at Ryerson. Because I was a direct entry student from Seneca College, I was working at Scotia McLeod Direct Investing (now called Itrade) working at the call centre for the brokerage firm. I kept that job on a part time basis from my last year at Seneca and throughout Ryerson. Once I graduated Ryerson I increased my hours and worked there full time.
Q: When did you start to realize you weren’t as passionate as your major as you thought you were?
D: I was never passionate about numbers. How I ended up in finance was all about the dollar signs I envisioned for the future! However, I realized I wasn’t passionate and didn’t want to make this a “rest-of-my-life-career” once my daughter was born. I knew that I wanted to be home for my kids after school, that my life was more than my job and that I really wanted to find a way of making myself happier and our family life flourish by doing my own thing.
Q: What gave you the idea for the FitTritionist brand? Do you find your business major helped you in pursuing this venture or was it more of a hobby that became a passion?
D: I don’t think my major in school helped me purse my venture. It was more my husband and family who helped me work out and really drill down to what I wanted to specialize in and the path that I was going to take to get there.
Q: What advice would you give to grads that are finding their passions are changing and that no longer want to work in their major-related industry?
D: Go with your gut. Life is too short to have a job that you hate. So take the risk early on, save money so you can do it, research the education you need, make connections, reach out to people and let them know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t forget to enjoy the path to your future career.
Q: What gave you the confidence to start your own business and what advice would you give to someone wanting to do the same?
D: My confidence came from my husband. He’s backed me 100% of the time. He’s my marketing guru, he’s my video editor, he sees the bigger picture, he’s the dreamer! He’s believed in me even when I had doubts. He’s been amazing. And it’s because of him and his belief in me that has helped me transform and grow my business, while also caring for our family and being able to really take care of the kids, make sure my daughter gets on and off the bus, make sure her homework is done, or take her to swimming lessons, and make sure dinner is made by the time we all meet and sit down together at 6pm. This is what dreams are made of! I’m living it! My advice to someone looking to do the same: do you have 100% confidence you want to do this? Can you realistically make this happen? If yes then do it. Don’t just do it because you’re tired of doing what you’re doing now. Do it because you have passion, because it’s what you do in your spare time, perhaps it’s what consumes your time, and what you’re good at. Do what you love and the money will follow!
What are your thoughts about changing your passion? Let us know @RUStudentLife!