Trinity Western University alumni go in many different directions after graduation, using skills they developed at TWU in the workplace, in travel, and in post-graduate studies.
From independent business owners to working for companies that they are passionate about, alum have a lot to share from their various experiences. Meghan Bustard (Hitchman ’11), Bachelor of Visual Arts; Kevin Deen (’14), Bachelor of Human Kinetics; and Larissa Kroeker (’14), Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication, and all understand the deep impact that Trinity has had on their lives. We asked them some questions: see their answers below.
What are you doing now?
Meghan: I’m currently running my own photography business, as well as pursuing graduate studies at Vancouver Art Therapy Institute, in Art Therapy. I’m really enjoying the balance between further education and my passion for capturing people’s stories through photographs.
Kevin: Last September, I postponed my plans toward graduate studies by declining a place in a Masters of Physical Therapy program and spent three months travelling with only a backpack and my old roommate. In those months I was able to explore the beauty of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Haiti. It was incredibly refreshing to have a period of life away from the stresses of both school and work, and I’m so grateful that I was able to choose to invest in a time of rejuvenating adventure before I stepped right back into academics or career. At the moment I’m working a full-time landscaping job with the potential of taking on a part-time position as a kinesiologist here in Langley. I have really loved being back and having opportunities to invest in a city that I really took for granted during my undergrad degree. Lord willing, my plan is to attend UBC in their Masters of Physical Therapy program this coming September.
Larissa: I am working as the Public Relations Coordinator at Jelly Marketing.
How was your transition from being a full-time student into life beyond Trinity?
Meghan: My transition post-grad was very positive. I felt very supported by my community of fellow TWU grads, as we all adjusted to the new rhythms and realities of full time work. My time at Trinity encouraged me to wrestle through my beliefs, gifts, and passions, and I felt I graduated with a strong sense of who I was and what I was interested in pursuing.
Kevin: The transition out of TWU life was definitely intimidating as I approached graduation last spring, but as I reflect now, I’ve actually felt that it has gone smoothly. I believe the factors that really contributed to this have been surrounding myself with solid friends, investing in a local church, finding creative ways to keep on learning, and of course trusting in the One who is faithful through season of life. Having the privilege of backpacking through South America this past fall really allowed me time and space to personally process the ups and downs of the past four years, while still being super pumped about where I was in my life as a grad. Now with both Trinity and travels done, I do definitely still feel like a student as I plan on heading back to the books. I’m definitely looking forward to the student discounts again!
Larissa: It’s actually quite funny – I was working in the Alumni Office part-time while finishing my last semester, but I decided I needed to get ahead of the game and start applying before others started. To my delight, I was offered a position at Jelly Marketing in March! I accepted and gave my two weeks’ notice right away, just as I was about to go on a pre-planned two week vacation. I am so thankful my Alumni Office co-workers were gracious and understood my situation!
What advice do you have for current students?
Meghan: Engage fully. Take advantage of all the amazing things TWU has to offer. Enjoy your classes, and friendships, but also all the opportunities to get involved, and impact lives. My life was totally transformed by my experience with Student Life. Being a RA and CF helped me grow so much in ways I would have missed out on if I hadn’t chosen to engage, and ignited a growing passion in me for community and mentorship, which has guided my work post-grad, directing Student Ministries at my church, as well as my decision to pursue further education in Art Therapy.
Kevin: I was gonna say, do your best to get some sleep, but that never worked on me so it probably won’t on you guys either. One thing I’ve learned is the value of viewing life in seasons. Time at Trinity is a crazy, stretching season of life that likely will have no comparisons when it comes to the rest of your years. Invest in it, for all that it has to offer: depth of community, quality of academics, etc. But also recognize that, once your status at TWU becomes “alumnus” rather than “student”, you will enter into another equally beautiful season of life that gives you many opportunities to use what you learned there to thrive and serve in ways that remaining a student at Trinity never would have allowed you to. Make the most of your time there, but don’t fear the post-university life. Your Trinity experience is meant to equip you for the ‘real world’, not to make you fearful of it.
Larissa: Do as many internships as you can! Experience and connections are what make you stand apart from your peers. Connections, connections, connections. If there’s one thing you should start working on while you’re still in University, it’s networking. You never know what opportunities can arise just from knowing the right person!