Before, During And After Graduation – Part 1: Before


We all know what they say when we’re young: “The world is your oyster!”

Naturally, upon hearing that, we all think that the possibilities are endless and we can actually accomplish anything.

While this may be true, I don’t think any of us anticipated the reality of all those possibilities.

The truth is that getting a job after graduating isn’t as easy as it seems.

“I’m not exactly worried about finding a career; for me, it’s more about getting it and actually being happy with it. You know, not settling for anything less than what I want.” —Ferdelle Capistrano, University of Toronto student

This series, called Before, During and After, will profile three different individuals at each of these stages, showing the real-life struggles of students before, during, and after graduation.


Name: Ferdelle Capistrano

Studying: Book & Media major, History minor, Buddhism, Mental Health and Psychology Minor (Honours B.A.) at the University of Toronto

End goal: Advertising, public relations or copywriting

How do you feel about the job market in the field you‘re studying?

Ferdelle: It’s intimidating, especially because my end goal is not having an actual end goal. It means I have no idea what steps to take to get to where I want to be and it makes me feel overwhelmed because I have so many options.

I don’t go to school for what I actually want to do and it feels so distant. My friends who are going to school for what they want to do are taught which companies to look for and what to do. I’m starting out in the “real world” with a random Honours B.A. and I really don’t know where to begin. I know a lot of people feel the same way because they have all these ideas and they don’t know where to start. A lot of these jobs require different experiences and it’s just full of competition.

Would you like to end up in a career in your major/minor or something completely different?

Ferdelle: I would, but the thing is that my major and minors are all so different from one another. All these different streams don’t exactly justify the classes I’ve taken because it wouldn’t go toward a certain career. If you put all these different courses that I’ve taken into one knowledge base, I feel like I would have the preparation for something. In that case, I would be grateful to have a job that would pertain to something I’ve learned. It’s all so different and I’m not really into the “traditional” concrete jobs.

Have you done any research for potential fields you want to try out?

Ferdelle: I’ve done some. I’ve always kept on top of certain ad agencies. I’ve even tried to make sure I’m on top of certain books on ads or blogs about social media and technology. Through constantly being updated on these different streams, I know what to expect when I get into them in the future.

Have you done anything proactive to try to reach your end goal at a faster rate?

Ferdelle: For a few years, I’ve worked for marketing companies doing promo work. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of quantitative marketing. I’ve kept the mindset that everything I plan on doing (especially part-time jobs) will always go toward something in terms of experience. I’ve been building up on these general experiences since I was 16.

Do you have any anxieties about graduating and getting thrown into the “real world”?

Ferdelle: I think it’s a general common misconception that after graduating you get your career right away. Nowadays a lot of people are doing their own start-up things. The internet is really opening that up for people. I feel like having these anxieties means that you have more options for yourself. I’m not exactly worried about finding a career; for me, it’s more about getting it and actually being happy with it. You know, not settling for anything less than what I want. Anyone can settle for any job, but I don’t want to.

Can you relate? Share your experiences in the comments below!

About the author

Francesca Castor is a freelance writer from U of T with an Honours degree in English and Book & Media Studies. While her passion lies in writing, during her “time off” she can be found getting lost in books, laughing along with The Office and Community, and making pop culture references every chance she gets. If you ask her what her favourite things are it would be: word games (although she is terrible at them), fashion, attempting to DJ on her DJ app, and anything to do with Community. You can find her on Twitter: @hellochesca.