“Don’t be afraid of fear. Because it sharpens you, it challenges you, it makes you stronger; and when you run away from fear, you also run away from the opportunity to be your best possible self.” – Ed Helms (Knox College Commencement Address)
Throughout my last two years in the Top 200 Program, I have had the chance to meet amazing people and become friends with many of them. The great thing about the Top 200 program is that there is no intimidation factor. Everyone in the program is equally hard-working, friendly, and actively involved in various student groups. We participate in exciting conferences, such as the second-year Leadership Forum that took place in February. Similar to the first-year Leadership Summit weekend, students each received a personalized booklet for Lumina Leader that describes how our leadership qualities are effectively used or over-extended. The booklets we receive in each year are quite interesting to read, providing us with an understanding of why we act certain ways and what drives our behaviours.
During my second year in the Top 200 Program, I was able to focus more on my relationship with my mentor. I was matched with Cindy Dunn, VP of Human Resources at the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and I feel very fortunate to have been paired with someone in Human Resources, which is my major. Cindy and I usually meet on a monthly basis at her office and our meetings so far have included discussions of my academic experiences, her past work experience at TD Bank, how to apply for jobs, and even our shared hobbies. Recently, I applied for an HR internship at TD and she offered to try and connect me with her old colleagues at TD Bank. This is just one example of how the Top 200 Program can provide a fantastic opportunity to network within our fields.
Reflecting back, it seems like just yesterday I was nervously applying to the Top 200 Program. Even before I was accepted, Andre Serero, an executive-in-residence with TRSM’s Business Career Hub, was friendly and willing to help students. In the Top 200 Program, you will meet many people who will help you achieve your goals. Certainly, you must be willing to learn and be open to new ideas. Like the quote at the top of this page from Ed Helms says, do not be afraid of fear as fear can actually make us stronger. For me, being in the Top 200 has pushed me forward and developed my skills as a strong student leader. I am proud of my past self for seizing the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful community of students and faculty members. I highly encourage everyone to apply!