THOMAS PYPER | Forever a Student


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This past week I started working at a commercial printing company in Mississauga as a customer service representative. In this job I plan print jobs, and track them as they go through the factory, making sure they are printed error free and on-time. I originally interviewed with this company during my third year at Ryerson as a part of the job fair that my program puts on every year and then went on to be an intern at the company last summer. I stayed in contact with the company through the school year and decided to go back to the company full time.

I may be graduating but I’m defiantly not done learning.

Even though I graduated from a program that focuses on the printing industry, I find there is still lots for me to learn.  Thats not saying anything bad about what I learned at school, as Ryerson GCM has given me a very good knowledge base of both printing and business, but I can see that my learning is not going to end anytime soon. For the past week at work I have been job shadowing various people in the company. Some of the things they were showing me was a review from school or from last summer, although there has been many changes during the winter.  So much of what I am being shown is new information. The knowledge I gained during my time in GCM gave me a great basis and I’m building on this knowledge during the training I’m receiving.

Even though I learned so much during my 4 years at Ryerson, it would have been very unrealistic to expect to know everything. For example, at GCM, we get experience with many different print related softwares. However there are many different companies that make similar softwares, and the place I’m working at is using different software that what I learned at school. Each company does things differently, whether that be different software or different methods, and if would have been very hard to learn each different way of doing things in the span of four years. I would think that this is the same for most industries.

I don’t imagine I’ll be done learning anytime soon. Many people say that print is dying.   While certain areas of print are shrinking and many things are becoming digital. I often think about this and it sometime worries me that I’m getting into a “dying” industry, but I optimistically say that the Printing industry is not dying, but it is one that is changing. After all, so much of what we come in contact with is printed such as packaging, advertisements or textbooks. Printing is changing very rapidly in order to compete with new digital methods and finding new ways to do things in order to be more efficient. This means that even after I have finished my training, there will be continuous learning of new things as the printing industry changes, through new software or different methods of printing.


I now find myself not a university student, but a student of the industry, and I look forward to continually building on my knowledge and learning.  Taking on new challenges and learning new things was one of the things I liked about being a student and I hope I can continue to gain knowledge both at work and outside of work. I may be graduating but but I wont be done being a student anytime soon.