Students share their success stories with support from UR Guarantee

Posted: April 13, 2017 8:00 a.m.

Students talk about the positive difference UR Guarantee has made for them. (l-r) Rachel Meana, Shelby Piechotta, Baohui (Jocelyn) Jia, Edwin Seto, Tea Gerbeza.
Students talk about the positive difference UR Guarantee has made for them. (l-r) Rachel Meana, Shelby Piechotta, Baohui (Jocelyn) Jia, Edwin Seto, Tea Gerbeza. Photo Courtesy of U of R Photography

The UR Guarantee program is designed to support you through every step of your university experience by empowering you to achieve your educational, career and life goals.

The program provides support to students from first year to academic program completion preparing you for your career after university.

What better way to tell the success of the UR Guarantee then several current students in the program - Edwin, Tea, Shelby, Rachel, and Baohui.

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Tell us of any challenges and how you overcame them, especially early on in university?

Baohui: When I came to University, my main challenge was homesickness. This was because that was my first time leaving my family and coming to another country by myself, it was scary and exciting for me at that time.

Fortunately, the University had lots of programs and events for students, and because I lived on campus in my first year, there were also a lot of activities for residence students.

Becoming active on campus helped me overcome my homesickness because I spent most of my spare time getting involved and meeting lots of new friends while maintaining my studies.

Joining the UR Guarantee helped me to find many of these activities and the program is also awesome because students can get an additional free year of classes if they cannot find a career job within six months after graduation.

Shelby: A challenge that I faced starting out was transitioning from the high school workload and schedule to the university's dynamics. In my first two weeks of university, I tried to attend almost all of the workshops offered by the Student Success Centre regarding topics like writing tests, study skills, and academic writing.

These workshops helped me understand the expectations of professors better and how to prepare for university-level exams.

Tell us about any guidance you may have received through UR Guarantee or any benefits of being involved.

Tea: UR Guarantee has provided guidance for me in many ways, including how and where to get involved on campus through volunteering and leadership opportunities, interview preparation skills, and a safe space to talk about future plans without judgment.

I have always loved literature and creative writing and I am currently pursuing an Honours English degree.

Having a UR Guarantee advisor has also helped me through learning how to put together a compelling and detailed resume that will benefit me when applying for grad schools and will help in tailoring a professional resume for a future career job.

Edwin: When I first joined UR Guarantee, I completed a number of activities that assisted in getting me involved on campus and I reflected on these activities in questionnaires.

Having done this helped me with goal setting and these activities helped me with making my resume stronger. UR Guarantee also did a very good job of preparing me for real job interviews.

Through my URG advisor’s support and mock interview, I have less anxiety because I have a better idea of what employers are looking for and through this activity, I became more aware of my weaknesses in regards to answering interview questions, and received advice on how to improve and this led me to becoming a more confident person.  

This May, I am entering a professional work term and without a doubt, the support I received from UR Guarantee played a big part in my success.

Shelby: The UR Guarantee program has given me a lot of guidance about my goals in university and about my future career.

The questionnaires in the program have helped me plan my involvements on campus and set academic goals. I am grateful to have my UR Guarantee Advisor to support me throughout my university career.

In my first year, he helped me get involved the Ambassador Program and with the U of R's Relay for Life event, which is a cause I am very passionate about.  The program has also assisted in developing my resume and interview skills.

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The UR Guarantee Program will support you through every step of your university experience to successful employment. Please visit here for more information.

Rachel: Upon registering with the program, I volunteered with other UR Guarantee students through their Rake-a-thon in support of Children’s Wish Foundation and at Habitat for Humanity day.

In addition, I attended the Customizing Resumes and Job Searching workshops offered through the Career Centre, and the Transferrable Skills seminar offered by UR Guarantee.

After attending these sessions, I realized how easy it was to get access to many career-related jobs being offered in Regina and around Canada. The Customizing Resume workshop helped me gain an understanding of what kind of information many employers are looking for in professional resumes.

Attending the Transferrable Skills workshop is what has made me think about how I can effectively present myself to future employers and most importantly: what I can do now to prepare for my future career, and how I can get the experience to get there.

Any advice that you would give incoming students?

Shelby: My advice for incoming students is to always ask for help when you need it.

Whether you have questions about your program or your homework, there are many resources on campus to help you succeed. Also, try to find someone who is ahead of you in your program; ask them for advice about how to balance your class schedule.

Time management is an important habit to follow as well. Keep track of your deadlines and exam dates on a calendar so you can figure out how to prioritize your work. The heavier an assignment or an exam is weighted, the more time you should expect to spend on that task! Finally, try to get involved with a group or club on campus because it is a great way to make new friends.

Edwin: I would recommend students to join UR Guarantee because there are a lot of resources to offer new students.

You also get updates on workshops and social events. This is very valuable because these workshops and events give people a chance to grow academically, and to make good connections with people in the university community.

Some social events could even lead to future career opportunities. You also have an advisor that can help you address concerns that you may have.