As an individual who just recently graduated from university, I had put little thought into what I wanted to do down the road – in 10 years time; 5 years time; or even what I wanted to do next month!  I had completed one of the toughest and most character-building chapters of my life, and all I wanted to do was live up the time I finally had to myself.

 

Only after a summer of light travelling, working, and relaxing did I started thinking about that eventuality known as the future.  It was then that I realized I didn’t have a game plan; no road lay before me.  I knew it was all up to me – I had long ago grown out of the age when other people planned my life for me, and I needed to do something about it.

 

I thought back on my interests that I focused on while in school, and realized that a pattern began to emerge in my last few semesters of my undergrad.  I, unlike many of my peers, did not know what I wanted to be “when I grew up” and so my undergraduate degree began to look like a mosaic; I took courses that I thought were interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, diverse, and fun.  I realized that I had developed a strong interest in international development, gender, human rights, and the issues that surround these when they become intertwined.  With that in mind, I began the process of asking myself what I wanted to do with this knowledge.

 

I decided on applying to graduate school and looking for meaningful work and volunteer experience.  The work experience I was lucky to attain: that is where Youth Challenge International comes in!  I am currently learning so much about what it takes to be a part of a development organization, and what kind of role I eventually want to take in this diverse field.  For school, I decided on graduate programs related to international development – specifically those that tie in many comprehensive courses and faculty so that I can continue to keep my education diverse and creative.  I realized after my time off from university (which was much needed!) that I enjoy the learning process, I enjoy the challenge that school provides, and I thrive on research and discovery.  Plus, with my love of travel and curiosity for people and places the world over, this path seems like a step toward being able to one day live and make a place for myself outside of Canada.

 

I am also looking for ways to make myself useful as a volunteer.  Anyone can tell you that a strong education is a great asset, but without meaningful experience, you haven’t got a leg to stand on.  As the only member of the YCI team who has yet to go on a volunteer trip, I am looking to try my hand at some volunteer experiences right here in Canada – after all, you need to know where you’ve been before you can know where you’re going!

 

- Sarah Tuckey, Administrative Assistant

 

If you’re interested in graduate programs in International Development, check out these select links:

http://internationaldevelopmentstudies.artsandsocialsciences.dal.ca/index.php

http://globalization.mcmaster.ca/

 

http://globalgovernance.uwaterloo.ca/index.html

 

http://www.carleton.ca/npsia/

 

http://www.queensu.ca/devs/

 

 

For more information on volunteer experiences in Canada and abroad, check out:

http://volunteer.ca/

 

http://www.globalcitizensforchange.com/en/index.php

 

http://www.otesha.ca

  

http://www.katimavik.org/section/index/id/1

 

http://www.habitat.ca/

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