Catching up with alumni: where are they now?
Three students share their journeys post-graduation.

You are about to walk up that stage, receive your degree, and exit those doors with a scroll in your hands. You may attend a few graduation parties and celebrate with your family and friends. The excitement will eventually simmer down, forcing you to choose your path. So, what’s next? 

Everyone’s path looks different. University creates inspiring, unique, and talented individuals who impact this world—and you are one of them. The Medium reached out to three different alumni to hear their stories and to inspire and excite you about this new chapter of life we call postgraduation!

Karanveer Dhanjal, Bachelor of Science, Applied Statistics and Communication, Culture, Information, & Technology (CCIT)

Dhanjal works for Keyence, a Japanese company, as a technical consultant. He says that his path didn’t end at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), but instead, university was the sole reason he found his job after graduating. It was through the UTM career fairs that Dhanjal had the opportunity to network and land his current position. Advice that he offers to recent graduates and applies to his own life is, “Never stop learning. Always be open to try[ing] new things, grow your own skills, and be curious to ask questions. Lastly, don’t feel down if you don’t know which direction to go in life. You will always find your path.” 

Even though he’s not in university anymore, Dhanjal believes that learning is continuous. The CCIT program offered a wide range of courses, from graphic design to web development, because of the joint program with Sheridan College. He found this to be the most valuable experience from his program. Dhanjal was able to learn different creative skills and participate in hands-on workshops at Sheridan College. He cherishes his memories from UTM, stating that he made friends and relationships in courses that have lasted beyond university. 

Sierra Peca, Honours Bachelor of Arts, Art & Art History and Professional Writing and Communication (PWC)  

Peca teaches art classes at Visual Arts Mississauga as a resident artist. She also works as a marketing specialist for a Canadian publisher and is a blog writer for an art company. She has exciting plans for this summer, which involve an art residency in Malta. Alongside that, she plans to pursue her graduate studies in art history.

Peca is a passionate artist and published author who conveys powerful storytelling through her art pieces. The advice that she shares with recent graduates can be useful for most of us. “It doesn’t end when you graduate. Keep creating. Keep submitting your writing and art everywhere you can. Don’t be afraid to hear ‘no’ because at some point you’ll hear ‘yes,’ and it’ll be worth it. I feel like undergraduate was a time when we could experiment and not take life too seriously; risks didn’t seem as risky. If you can and life permits it, I’d recommend trying to keep that perspective when you’re out of school and do whatever it is you’re passionate about, as much as you can.” 

During her undergraduate studies, Peca published her first novel, Mizia, in the PWC WRI420: Making a Book course. She found that both the Art & Art History program and the PWC program lacked diversity, stating, “When I started the Art & Art History program, though, I would say it lacked diversity in the art history courses offered. It’s improved a lot since I started, but I think that’s one area that I disliked, even in the writing program—the writers we referenced seemed to lack diversity.” As a woman of colour and a Maltese artist and writer, Peca hopes to diversify the creative industry and give a platform and voice to people from underrepresented communities. 

Sidra Sidra, Honours Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science and Geographical Information Systems

Sidra works Islamic Relief, a non-profit organization, as a Junior Project Coordinator. After graduating, she had many paths ahead of her and one dream she wanted to pursue: traveling. With Islamic Relief, Sidra travels to different countries around the world to contribute to charity work, build orphanages, and advance education in those areas. 

Her time at UTM diversified her skillset. She found that both of her majors allowed her to learn core scientific research skills alongside her skills in mapping, programming, and policy making. Sidra wants to pursue further education within U of T in the Environmental Studies Master’s program. At UTM, she found that her program did not offer many paid internship options. “As a student, it can be difficult to land part-time paid positions in your discipline,” she explains. 

Sidra’s passion for traveling, the environment, and helping people has led her to where she is today. She helps people around the world and makes the impact most of us hope to make!

The Medium encourages you to chase that goal even if it doesn’t align with your degree or what you studied. Open a small business, start a social media account, travel the world, apply to grad schools, or simply find joy in every passing day. Remember to constantly celebrate the small milestones. Your twenties are only the early years leading to an incredible life. The Medium and our entire team want to wish the best of luck to those graduating this spring. We hope future pieces will capture your stories and how it all started at UTM to where you will be in the future.

Associate Features Editor (Volume 50) — Rafiqa is a recent graduate from the Professional Writing and Communication program in which she wrote her first novel The Custard Apple Tree, an ode to her grandmother who survived the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition. Drawing on her background as an author specializing in historical fiction and a love for storytelling, Rafiqa hopes to bring forward compelling articles challenging Western narratives and societal stigmas and bridging a pathway for diversity. She hopes her experience at The Medium will be a platform for her to bring unheard and oppressed voices to be heard through human interest stories and other interesting articles!


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