As the school year comes to a close, many students are left wondering what their future holds. A mix of excitement with a tinge of apprehension encapsulates the overall feeling of finally being done with school after 18 long years (unless, of course, a graduate degree awaits). For some, graduating means the end of childhood, the closing of a chapter that’s been almost their entire life so far. To gain a better idea of what life looks like after university, I got in contact with two recent McMaster engineering graduates to see what they’re up to now that they’ve moved into the grown-up world.
WHAT DID YOU STUDY AT MAC?
Andrew: I studied Biomedical and Materials Engineering as part of the Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences (iBioMed) program at McMaster University.
Anthony: I studied Civil Engineering with a Minor in Sustainability at McMaster University.
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
Andrew: I am currently a first year medical student at the University of Toronto St. George Campus.
Anthony: I am working at a small structural consulting company in Mesa, Arizona and I live in Scottsdale, Arizona.
FIVE YEARS AGO, WHERE DID YOU SEE YOURSELF TODAY?
Andrew: I was actually in Grade 11 five years ago from now which is very surreal to me. While I was certainly interested in science, I had a lot of other interests too, including theatre. Five years ago, I wasn’t really sure where I’d end up—I’m a pretty indecisive person. I was ambitious though! I knew I wanted to make a big impact with my life, and medicine spoke to me in a way that other fields didn’t.
Anthony: Five years ago I saw myself venturing out somewhere I wanted to visit and explore; I had no idea the US was going to be an option for me but my degree allows me to have special visa permissions in the States.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
Andrew: The next five years are hard to imagine at this point in time! Medicine offers so many paths and directions (I thought choosing an engineering major was tough enough!!). I’m still open to any potential career path at this point in time, but my gut has been pulling me toward a career as a surgeon scientist.
Anthony: In five years I see myself somewhere different with new and exciting opportunities to be capitalized on.
WHAT WAS YOUR BEST MEMORY AT MAC?
Andrew: This is tough! I have so many beautiful memories from the McMaster campus and community. I’d say one of my fondest memories of undergrads was my first time as an engineering welcome week rep.
Anthony: My favourite memory at Mac was likely the extracurricular activities spent with professors. One that sticks out is playing soccer with my transportation class professor, Dr. Moataz.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR UPCOMING GRADUATES?
Andrew: I think graduates should remember that everyone’s path is different, and entering the real world is not a straightforward process. This means that it’s important to be kind and patient with yourself as you figure out what comes next for you. I think it’s also important to recognize how lucky Mac Eng grads are to have belonged to such a kind and supportive culture. Create that space for others, so much of the world hasn’t seen it yet.
Anthony: My advice to upcoming graduates would be that it’s okay not to know where you want to go or what you want to do. Use your degree as a way to enable yourself to go and experience the things that truly matter to you.
Wishing the best of luck to the graduating class of 2022, and a happy few years to those still finishing their undergrad!