~All of my life I’ve been surrounded by people who have gone to University, but I was never one of those people myself. We are always told as children to get good grades in school so we can one day go off to college and get a good career.
Well I did that and it really didn’t work out for me.
So what happens when you do what you are supposed to do, get the good grades, go to college and then get a “good job” only to leave that job because it’s not right for you? Well I have struggled with that dilemma for a few years now and I can only figure out one solution: you go back to school 🙂 I now have to prepare myself to be a 30 year old student at the University of Victoria.
I’ve never thought of myself as the “University type” but I realized that I don’t have to be a scholar or a genius to go. I just have to put my mind to it!
It can be incredibly intimidating going back to school when you are older. You’re surrounded by students working on their masters, a PhD or pushing through some crazy degree to become a scientist. But there are so many programs and courses you can do without paying thousands of dollars or having to endure 4 years of school… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I am the queen of changing my career, but after a number of jobs didn’t work out for me I had to change my way of thinking. I may have had a ton of different positions BUT I don’t really have a lot of transferable skills. Placing a rubber dam prior to a filling or polishing someones teeth doesn’t really transfer into anything else. And I could try to become a body builder and eat protein bars all day, but standing at 5 foot nothing that look really wouldn’t suite me. After I was deemed “The weakest link” at the last fitness studio I was hoping to work for I decided I didn’t want to be a fitness buff. I like wine and cheese WAY too much. 😉
I’ve done a few continuing education courses at the University just for fun because I love learning but those short 6 week courses usually don’t have any homework or a piece of paper at the end stating you are hire-able. Now I am ready to put my head down into some serious text books and dedicate my time to an incredibly intensive course: the Business Administration Fast Track program.
I figured since I have been in a few reception and administration type positions, this course would be perfect to build on the skills I already have. Without formal training it’s tough to move up into a better position so with this course I will walk away with a certificate and a head full of great business knowledge. And the best part, which I am so grateful for, is that it is completely funded by a government grant. My tuition, transportation and living expenses are going to be covered in the 4 months I’m in school.
Would you like to know how I did that?? Well I am happy to tell you!
Here in British Columbia, we have some amazing opportunities that a lot of people don’t have. If you play your cards right you can get government funding, as long as you’re willing to jump through some hoops and fill out a lengthy application. Since I have been on Employment Insurance I am eligible for funding but I do have to prove to the government that I am worth it.
I hired a career counselor at a place called GT Hiring solutions, which is an affiliate of EI and WorkBC. My counselor, Cathy Oleson, was so helpful in finding the perfect program for me at the right institution. Cathy helped me prepare a very thick application to submit to Amber Education and the BC government which took about a month in total to complete. I had to fill out my career goal, make a schooling action plan, conduct an exhaustive job search, interview potential employers, print out job leads and then prove that I could not fund the schooling myself… which wasn’t to difficult. I also had to attend workshops and a job fair to show my initiative and then meet with Cathy on a regular basis to complete each section of the application. It was a lot of work.
So now I get to go to University for free!! 😀 Whoo hoo!!
The program I am starting is a condensed course, that’s why it’s called the “Fast Track” program. I’m going to learn all the business essentials I need to get a great deal of transferable assets. I will be able to apply those skills anywhere. Everything is a business so it’s perfect.
During the course I have to keep up a good grade average and attendance record. Regular reports must be made for my living allowance and I must have my instructors sign off for me each week. This is defiantly not the time to be a slacker! It’s time to get into the grind and prove to myself that I can do anything.
So if you are considering changing careers, going back to school or just looking for a brad new change in your life, there are opportunities out there for you if you look hard enough. Like I said, I’ve never thought of myself as the “University type” but now I will be, and I couldn’t be more excited. 😀
Here are some links to help you get started:
And here is some information on the course I’m doing and other business courses available at UVic: https://www.uvcs.uvic.ca/business/forms/