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Advice I wish I had gotten after graduating

Jul 4, 2018 | Leadership, Faces of HDGH


I’ll never forget the day I ‘graduated’ from Queen’s University with my Masters in Public Administration. It was the strangest feeling. I had worked so hard, given up time with my kids and husband, lived away from home for months and then suddenly I got the certificate in the mail. I couldn’t go to the actual graduation as I was moving that weekend. An odd feeling on many levels. Beyond all the graduation stress there was a feeling like I was ready to conquer the world and most of me felt terrified of all that at the same time. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one feeling this strange sense of excitement, nerves and fear of what’s next. Up to this point, a big part of my life had been about the routine of school; hours spent in class, studying, doing homework and balancing it all with being a wife, mom and nurse. Now, I was free, but free to do what?


As there are so many new grads out there at this time of year, I would like to take July’s blog as an opportunity to share some words of wisdom to everyone that perhaps is experiencing the array of emotions that comes with graduating post-secondary.


Here are some of the things myself and HDGH colleagues wish we had been told when entering that big scary “real” world when you feel you have to prove to everyone that all those years of school were worth it.



Your career is a marathon – not a sprint. We all have goals and aspirations and many of us…particularly the type As of us in the crowd want to achieve success the minute we hit the ground running but every job that we have…every project or piece of work is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Every one we meet along the way…no matter their role… is a potential teacher. So, instead of always looking to the finish line – let each step along the way be an experience that enables you to get to the next step. And… HAVE FUN!

- TERRA CADEAU, Director of Innovation, Research, and New Business Development


“Learn to fail, or fail to learn”; if we want to grow as individuals we need to be confident in trying new things and taking risks, without concerning ourselves with the possibility of failing.

- PAT BEGIN, Occupational Therapist, Inpatient Rehab 


Be a team player. Education and the job market can be very competitive. Sometimes people forget that we need to support one another, and not just look out for ourselves.

- JAMES STOREY, Operations Supervisor, Security 

Try to go with the flow, keep a positive outlook, and try to say “yes” to as many opportunities as you can because there will always be something new to learn, a new person to meet, and a new place to explore.

- JENNIFER VOTH, Research Associate 


From me Jan ….. This was a tough question for me, but a good one. I thought long and hard and came up with this bit of advice…


I wish someone had told me that your degree is a passport of sorts – it isn’t a guarantee of admission to the future you think you’re entitled to. A good university (or post-secondary) education opens a door – but you have to go through many doors to get to the destination you’re ultimately meant to arrive at.


Good luck to all of you, and remember doors are meant to be opened. Step through with confidence, excitement and an open-mind.




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