Jason Yue is currently a fourth year Computing Science student at Trinity Western who aspires to work as a programmer with Artificial Intelligence. He imagines one day creating a whole virtual world where people can easily interact with A.I. and each-other. But, like most students nearing graduation, he felt confused when he thought about how to achieve his career goals.
“Since I was already close to graduating, I felt a bit lost,” Yue says of his experience in his third year. “I wasn’t quite sure what to do after graduation, or how I would get a job. Actually applying for programming jobs requires a certain amount of experience and that’s quite difficult for me to get.”
But thanks to Professor Herbert Tsang, Yue heard about the Alumni Association and their first annual Career Meetup event.
“Once I learned about the Alumni Association, and all the connections they have, I realized it would be a lot easier for me to find a job and find the direction I wanted to go,” says Yue, who was eager to sign up.
At the Career Meetup, he was able to meet with several different employers who shared about their various programs. Through the experience, Yue was offered an internship with ImageX, a web development company that has hired alumni in the past.
“As a Computer Science major, this is the kind of opportunity I was looking for,” Yue says, adding that even though working in web development isn’t the same as working with Artificial Intelligence, this experience has been incredibly useful. He’s learned a variety of team-building skills and developed professional experience that he knows will help him in the future.
“Working with ImageX, a real company in the field that I enjoy, was a fun experience,” Yue adds, “and being a student didn’t really slow me down or alienate me from any of my co-workers.”
For those who aren’t sure whether they should go to future events like this, Yue says that it is worth it because it helps provide much needed insight into how internships work.
“The Career Meetup was a very integral part of my career path,” Yue says. “Not only am I getting an opportunity while in school, but I’m also able to plan out what kind of path I’d like to take in the future. I’m getting experience in the field I’ll be working in, and I’m able to make a decision based on this experience.”
Now nearing the end of his time at Trinity Western, Yue feels encouraged knowing that he has career options. And because of his positive experience with the Alumni Association, he knows he will be able to continue to have community.
“For those about to graduate, they’re about to exit the Trinity Western community. But that’s where the Alumni Association steps in,” Yue says. “They offer programs where you can still connect with others and form a community of your own after, so you’re not alone.”
This is exactly why Alumni Association President Dave MacDonald (‘98) is excited about events like the Career Meetup. He knows the struggle many new graduates and young alumni face when they’re without work.
“The longer you go without a job, the more you feel like you’re no good,” MacDonald says.
But MacDonald believes that new graduates shouldn’t have to feel that way, because of the thriving alumni network. “There’s people out there, looking for good workers. They’re paying recruiters, while we have great alumni looking for jobs.”
Events like the Career Meetup make it possible for students and new grads to have a chance to connect with alumni-connected employers and to get an early start.
“I hope we become the hub that people come to ask questions, to learn, and to make connections,” says MacDonald.