Six months since officially becoming Mohawk graduates, the 2017 grads share their financial worries and successes, as well as share their advice to fellow grads.
Alex – Financial Services, ’17
It’s November, that time of the year when OSAP wants all their money back, but you’re still trying to catch up on other financial things and adult life and maybe move out of your parent’s homes. Maybe some people aren’t working in their field yet, or have come across struggles.
Personally I was feeling a bit stressed, because all I did when I got back from Alberta is apply for jobs, almost anything just so I can have some type of income for when I am home. I think the biggest problem these days is employers take way too long to get back to people looking for jobs.
Before I moved away I had waited 3 weeks for a phone call back. That is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for a job when people have monthly expenses. No one can afford to live like that. The job I took had called me back within the same day and also hired me two days after the interview and I had started the following week. I think that’s how it should be. Advice to employers would be to check your emails every day for new applicants and get back to them within 24-48 hours. No one has time to wait around for phone calls to see if they get hired or not. I think it’s a waste of both parities’ times.
I feel better now that I’m working again. Not in my field yet, personally I do not feel ready, and I have some personal barriers to overcome first. But I am happy doing what I’m doing. I think its hard for people to start careers if they are behind in so many aspects on their life. Maybe that’s why 6 months after graduation people drop out of their field. But that’s okay too. Its not like our diplomas will expire.
I think my advice would be just to do what makes you happy and take your time with things, everyone’s path is different.
Chanchal – Canadian Health Care for Foreign Trained Professionals, ’17
It is almost the end of the year and there were a lot of ups and downs. But so far, I believe, this year has been good to me. I graduated from my program, and then struggled to find job, did part-time jobs, dealt with financial problems and yes, now I can say that I do feel financially secure.
It is not always easy to find what you want in your life. But, I believe, if you have determination, will power and you are ready to do hard work, you can achieve anything. Success does not come at once, but if you work hard, you will definitely achieve your goals.
I would like to suggest a few things that may help somebody. One should focus on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. Try to make long term and short term goals, so that you know where you stand and how far you need to go. Be organized and comfortable in whatever job you are doing. If you do not like your current job, you should not feel disappointed. Instead, think positively and try to learn something from it until you find another job. Also, Mohawk College has counseling services where you can go and ask you questions especially on how to manage money and how to overcome difficult situations.
Also, there are lots of workshops organized by the Mohawk College. You can work on lot of things, such as, resumes, your elevator pitch, interview practices and lots more. I personally have been attending the Backpack to Briefcase series workshops where I learned a lot of things. They taught me how to find a career network, how to dress properly for different situations, how to manage money, how to become a leader and a lot more. All these small events and workshops helped me to know more about myself and made me more confident.
Lastly, I would say stay calm in every situation, some days are good and some are bad. But if you have a positive attitude, there is nothing that you cannot conquer.
Natalie – Occupational and Physiotherapist Assistant, ’17/ Health, Wellness & Fitness, ’15
Money always makes me stressed. I am working over 45 hours a week and I still constantly worry about my finances. I am financially fine with my two jobs, but I think the thing that makes me concerned is the instability of a contract job and a part-time job.
I am fortunate enough to have received a job within Mohawk College and another job in my field right after my placement was finished. Not everyone is lucky to find something right away!! Finding these jobs right away allowed me to worry less as my bills were still coming in and I had the financial stability to pay them on time.
I now have to worry about the dreading OSAP repayments. This process has been very stressful and frustrating but with long phone calls and waiting on hold, I have finally finalized the process and that starts in January.
Any advice I would give to a recent grad would be to figure out what loans you are paying back right away so when the time comes to repay, you are confident and know what’s going on.