Susana Baez : Life After UBCO!

We recently caught up with Susana Baez, a former student  here who hails from Columbia, and interviewed her on life after UBC-O! During her time here, Susana was one of the most influential student leaders in her class. She continues to be a purpose driven young lady, brimming with confidence and taking Canada by storm. In this article we cover her experiences at UBC-O and what she’s been up to since she graduated from UBC – O in 2014.

  • How are you finding life after UBC-O? 
  • In terms of work and social life? Life in another Canadian city in general?  How was the transition from university life into working life?

I love this question because I used to always wonder about those students who had graduated already while I was still in school. I couldn’t wait to be done with school and start my life in the “real world.” Life after school seems exciting and full of adventures, but the reality of it is that this life after school also comes with many ups and downs. I loved my time at school and I felt like I took full advantage of every experience it offered. Now it has been a couple of years since I graduated and there are new and different exciting adventures and experiences that I am taking advantage of at the moment. Although every step has been worth it, it definitely came with a lot of hard work, sacrifice, solitude, and courage. I have been with the same company for about 2.5 years and still loving it! I love the people, the challenges and the rewards.

I left Kelowna about 6 months ago now and it was by far harder than I thought it would be. Kelowna had been my home ever since I arrived to Canada about 6 years ago. It felt like I was leaving all the memories, the friendships made and my second home. But I was ready for more! I am constantly craving new adventures and new challenges and trying to succeed in whatever I set my mind to. So far, Langley has been treating me well and it soon can be considered my other second home.unnamed

  • Did you find that certain skills you learnt at UBC are being applied in your workplace?

 Absolutely! Leaving the comfort of my home to become an independent student brought many challenges with it but rewarding ones! Best useful skill was probably learning how to cook decent meals (lol). After that I would say: doing my own laundry, smart spending, open mindedness, time management, working under pressure and teamwork. Open mindedness is a very cool one. I got to meet more people like myself who come from very far to get an education in Canada. I soon learned that Canadians are really nice too! These interactions made my university experience that much better and enhanced my overall outlook on life.

  • Were there any challenges you faced during your transition? If yes, how did you manage to deal with them?

There were times where I would start to doubt if I was doing the correct thing. Sometimes I even felt like I should probably quit, since being so far from family at times got really hard. No matter the distance, talking to my family and close friends makes these kinds of changes much more bearable. My family just always somehow helps me stay grounded and helps me keep a good head on my shoulders. They are 100% supportive of all my decisions and they know that me being far away from them is one of the many sacrifices I will have to make along the way in order to fulfill my dreams. Advice: Never loose touch of your loved ones! They will always be there for you no matter what.

  • You moved from Kelowna to Langley. Do you miss anything about Kelowna?

 Kelowna will remain that one special place that watched me grow from high school graduate to university graduate and working professional. I met very important people who I will stay friends with for the rest of my life and the memories I made are irreplaceable. Yes I will miss Kelowna but that doesn’t mean I’m never coming back! I love to visit a lot. Summers are the best in Kelowna!

  • It is a known fact that you were a student leader involved in many initiatives at UBC-O. Are there any that you’re still involved in? Are you now involved in anything new?

This was a key part in my personal development at school. Not only did it help me get out of my comfort zone, but also I met my life-long friends while being involved in so many cool initiatives! Work keeps me pretty busy so for now I am solely focused on advancing my career, but I would love to set some time to volunteering in an organization outside of work!

  • Do you have any advice for current students especially the first and final year students?

Your university experience is what you make of it. Everyone has a different story to how they spent their time at school. Just make sure that by the end of it you are able to look back and say, “I took full advantage of every opportunity that came my way and I am proud of how far I have come”.

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