Do you ever wonder why most alumni or adults say, “University was the best years of my life”? Regardless of what age you start university, when you finish, you should look back and share that similar feeling. University is about learning to explore, discovering who you are and who you want to be and creating the foundation for a lifetime of successes. University is the place where I learnt to make the most of opportunities and became who I wanted to be. It made me aware that just attending university isn’t a silver bullet to success, not unless you take control. The university experience will provide endless possibilities and opportunities, but it’s up to you to take the first step. You will face a roller coaster of emotions. You’ll feel excited and scared, challenged and stimulated, but when all is said and done, YOU determine how you want to look back on this experience.
Starting university can be the most sensational experience of your life, but it can also be the most overwhelming. In fact, it can be downright scary if you do not equip yourself with a plan on how to navigate through university. That is why I wrote this guide. My goal is to not only share my experience and lessons learned, but, to channel this into a helpful guide that may help you adapt rapidly and efficiently to ensure that you make the most of your higher education experience.
This guide will not define success for you. You define success and you can start by creating personal goals. Take some time and think about where you want to be in a couple of years, when you graduate, and 10 years from now. You could have educational goals, career goals, salary aspirations, a list of activities to learn, family and other types of goals. Try writing these goals down and revisit them every couple months to see how you’re doing. By taking the first step of writing them down, it shows that you are committed to making these goals a reality. This guide will discuss topics ranging from what you’ll experience in your first few weeks of university, finding a mentor, networking, and post-graduation. At the end, there is a summary of the main takeaways and the top 10 themes. This guide will help you get through the tough times and excel in the good times of university to achieve your definition of success; it may even become your survival guide.
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About the Author
Born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Aly Madhavji completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Toronto in June 2012. In his first year, Aly served on the Board of Directors of the Student Union representing the voice of all first-year students. He was instrumental in the introduction of a campus-wide pre-exam study break by involving over 1,800 students, faculty, and staff. Aly coordinated two successful referendums that annually raise $12,500 and $25,000 to support the campus food bank and to help student refugees in the pursuit of Canadian higher-education respectively. In his second year, Aly was a residence Don for upper-year students. He spearheaded a number of significant improvements by gathering suggestions from students across campus. He was named the Residence Ambassador of the Year. In his third year, Aly was the President of Residence Council, a student government, which was known as one of the most active and successful student groups on campus. Aly was a Peer Academic Leader for first generation first-year students to ease their transition into university. He was recognized with the Top Residence Student of the Year award. In his fourth year, Aly was an elected Governor of the University of Toronto representing over 42,000 undergraduate students where he was a member of the Executive Committee and Academic Board of the institution. He was a teaching assistant for two courses, Management in a Changing Environment and Operations Management. He held part-time positions as a Microsoft Campus Leader, Awards Agent for CampusPerks, and as a Bloomberg Ambassador to help secure students internships and full-time jobs. Aly was the Executive Director of Residence Council where he strategically came up with the idea to secure $10,000 of financial need based bursaries for Residence students. Aly was a Books with Wings Coordinator with the University of Toronto International Health Program where he raised 312 university textbooks, with an estimated value of $15,000, for students in rural and impoverished areas around the world. Aly was awarded the Principals Involvement award and the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership award. Throughout his four years, Aly served on the highest governing body of the University of Toronto Mississauga along with two terms on its Academic Board.
Aly served for one year in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with the rank of Officer Cadet. He is a recipient of the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence. Aly holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) designation which he earned through the Canadian Securities Institute and is pursuing his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designations with PwC. Since graduating in June 2012, Aly played an active role to bring a Co-Curricular Record to the University of Toronto, which was introduced in September 2013, to officially recognize the extra-curricular activities of students. Aly served as the VP Strategy and Chair of Access Empowerment Council, a not-for-profit organization created to inspire disengaged and marginalized youth and engage isolated elderly around the globe. He volunteers as a Civilian Instructor with the Royal Regiment of Canada Army Cadet Corps. Aly serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Mississauga Alumni Association and the College of Electors of the University of Toronto. He is also an Advisory Board Member for Advantage Mississauga, an innovative initiative aiming to bridge the gap between higher education and the business sector. He is a Senior Associate in the Assurance group at PwC with clients in private equity, real estate, natural resources, structured finance, insurance, broker dealers and pension plans. As the author of the #1 College book on Amazon, Aly continues to energize and develop thousands of current and aspiring University and College students through speaking engagements and mentorship. He continues to be a strategic volunteer in the community and serves on the Board of Directors of various not-for-profit and charitable organizations. Aly has been featured in The Medium and The Varsity newspapers, the Ismaili Magazine, Mississauga Magazine, and University of Toronto Press. Aly loves to spend his free time outdoors, playing sports, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great Book, useful for students.