"Knowing my professors was a huge benefit in pursuing this program. Additionally, the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant in undergraduate classes as well as complete paid internships at local museums and galleries has provided me with hands on experience."
Always ask for help. When in doubt, ask; When not in doubt, ask. Enrolment in graduate courses can be very small, and grad life can sometimes feel isolating; so, try to form great bonds with other grad students. You have a lot in common! Try to take some time off to have fun, and when you inevitably encounter students pulling a tractor in September, do the opposite of what I did; and be cool! If you can, participate in the 3-minute thesis competition (3MT); it's a lot of fun!
Try your best to reach out to faculty and make connections with people who share the same passions as you. Everyone at the University of Guelph is happy to share their expertise and provide guidance, and those connections are very valuable in expanding your knowledge and reaching your goals.
There are lots of help available with regards to mental health, writing a thesis, finding data for research, etc and students should not hesitate to seek help anytime they need it. For international students, do well to visit the international student advisors and seek help on issues regarding study permit renewal, health insurance, etc.
My first piece advice to prospective grad students would be to find a lab or an advisor that you mesh well with and are excited about working with. If you are on the same page and feel comfortable from the start, it makes all the difference. After that, trust yourself and your abilities! You are capable of more than you think.
Grad school opens doors! SO many doors have opened up for me just in the last two years of my degree here.
Make sure you choose an adviser who is well-known in the industry because they will help you grow quickly in the field. I saw my adviser as a professional mentor and I'm able to go to her with questions about the industry. She has given me so much insight into the future of our professional field which has helped shape my future career goals. Take advantage of all the mentorship opportunities that you can. Grad school is the BEST place for that! Finding mentors when you're not a student is hard. Being a student is a great excuse to find mentors who will be so strategically useful to you, if you take advantage of your time here!
The most rewarding component of this journey has been discovering the ways in which I can make a difference in the community. You can join a club, volunteer, be a teaching assistant, attend conferences, complete a work-study program, and apply yourself in new and exciting ways. The opportunities are endless and highly accessible! Being a graduate student in such a supportive, intellectual and practical program has pushed me to realize that the sky is the limit!
Guelph was actually one of my top choices for my undergraduate degree. Having chosen a different university to do my undergrad, when applying for graduate school, I knew I wanted to attend Guelph to continue my studies! The CCJP program appealed to my criminology background and my work experience in the criminal justice system.. I knew this was the program for me!