A Different Kind Of Post-Grad Continuing Education


This summer, I learned how to mix the perfect cosmopolitan (it’s not as pink as you’d think; Sex and the City added more cranberry so the drink would show up better on camera), how to pour a Guinness, and how to balance in a suspended hula hoop.

Continuing education classes outside the classroom are a great way to meet people with similar interests and goals.

“I don’t think I’m destined to become a bartender or a circus performer, but I do see more beyond the classroom education in my future.”

Like many recent grads now removed from the place they attended school, my social network had become scattered across many cities. As an introverted person, it’s not easy to meet new friends.

When I was a student at a small university intensely focused on extra-curricular involvement and social events, I was able to seek out social environments with like-minded people who lived in the same city as me.

So, to remedy my lack of social opportunities upon graduating, I decided that taking fun and active continuing education classes would help me meet new people in the city and require me to practice my networking skills in an environment that encouraged a fun, social experience.

The first course I took was at the Toronto Institute of Bartending. The class was two nights a week, after regular business hours, which meant that the class was almost totally comprised of young people working day jobs in the city.

It was so much fun, I learned great random facts about drinks (useful for future after-work networking events) and I met with a fun group of recent grads or students in similar situations as me. There was even a test. I passed.

For my second continuing education venture, I decided to test out my ultimate career dream: circus performer.

I used to be a gymnast, so I love any excuse to get my feet off the ground. The second class I took was a circus arts class at the Toronto Harbourfront (check out the website for many other fun continuing education options).

I discovered a beautiful area of the harbour front and learned how to hang upside down in a suspended hoop. Although listing “Ability to hang upside down in a suspended hoop” on my resumé might catch someone’s attention, I think I’ll save that point for my application to circus school.

I don’t think I’m destined to become a bartender (I poured the counter a few drinks in my timed drink-mixing test) or a circus performer (my back wasn’t happy about sitting at a desk the next day), but I do see more beyond the classroom education in my future.

About the author

Nicole Wray is a Toronto, Canada-based online editor and freelance writer. She is a recent graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.