Not long ago I announced here on my blog that I was quitting my office job and moving to Toronto to pursuit my studies and a career in the fashion industry.

Having this diploma on my hands seems unreal ’cause being a student AGAIN (for a Post Grad) was harder than expected.

Now that I have lived through this experience I wanted to do an expectation vs reality post and give you some insight of what to do in every situation you might face in case you are considering to take this HUGE step in your life and pursue a career in the fashion industry.

E: I am passionate about fashion so lectures will be easier to learn

R: Each professor has a different method to teach you. Each course will be based on the skill needed, some are on the creative side, some others on the numerical and analytical side. We are not perfect and weakness on some areas is absolutely normal!

My tip: Don’t force yourself to be a straight A student. I am sorry, but it is not important and it has never been important in life (nor in the workplace). As long as you are learning and putting effort you will be OK. I suggest to focus on the courses that you know are not easy for you and juggle with the ones that are naturally easier for you.

E: My school/ professors will direct me to my dream job

R: What is a dream job anyway? Being 100% happy on a job is something that has taken years, even for very successful people! It is more than just a position, it is the company environment, your quality of life, proper retribution for your work.

My tip: The only way to know is to be employed on the position you are seeking and give it a try. And no, no matter how much you ask your professors or career advisors for your dream job, the only one that knows what you are really looking for is you.

The best way to find your dream job? Networking with someone that is currently working in something you want to do, in the company you want to be in!

E: I will be studying so I will save money

R: School is expensive, even if you are on a scholarship. Book expenses, field trips, transportation, food, events… are huge! I would really recommend having financial stability and a proper amount of savings that will cover your study period (or half at least)

My tip: Find a side hustle that will keep you earning some money and won’t interfere with your studies. Avoid corporate jobs, it will be really hard to juggle between school and a stressful job. I used to take care of doggies ( best job ever) with an App called Rover which is the Uber of dog sitters. If you love dogs as much as me you won’t even feel you are working.

E: If I focus on getting honours I will receive (FIND) better job offers

R: You need to create a network with your classmates and professors. Networking is crucial on the fashion industry, it is way more important than achieving perfect grades.

My tip: Attend Every.Single.Event you are able to, volunteer for Every.Single.Opportunity you get. Intern as many times as you can. Networking and attending to events will have a direct impact on your grades. I had situations where I had to choose between attending events or studying and I did choose networking. Believe me, it is totally worth it.

Going back to school is not for everyone. You will be taking the decision of pausing (or taking a few steps back) on the corporate ladder. Going back to school is not guarantee that you will get back to where you left it, it usually means starting again. Is it worth it? It depends on what you want. Was it worth it for me? I am still figuring it out but I will share my path right here.

At the end of the day, very few find the courage to pursue their dreams but those who take the step will find life lessons no other experience will give them.

Thank you for reading me,

Andrea

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