What is one of your favourite memories of living at SJC?
This is a tough one. It is difficult to choose between so many new experiences. Maybe I would go for “My first formal dinner”. Meeting people from all over the world is already pretty amazing, but seeing them in formal attire, often a traditional one, is even more so. This is a great ice-breaker. Plus, the after parties were pretty neat.
What unique qualities of SJC did you appreciate the most?
I liked the fact that we were all in the same boat, dealing with the stress of studies, but we still had opportunities to do many things on the side (hiking trips, going down to the beach, having dinner with friends) which made life much easier.
You get to meet amazing (smart, adventurous, funny…) people from all over the world, and you will likely meet some of them in the future wherever you go.
What do you miss about living at SJC?
I miss the common breakfasts and dinners, life around the table, variety of topics for discussion, and the confrontation of ideas.
How did living at SJC support your academic and/or career development?
For the academic part, the meal plan surely helps. You save so much time that you can spend on your studies.
It also brings you new ways of thinking and new perspectives, if you actively take part in the community. In the different committees, you can build up some experience and skills that might not be directly related to your academic field, but could help in terms of project management or in dealing with difficult situations. Every new experience is good to take in.
What kind of career opportunities have you had since living at SJC?
Since living at SJC, I’ve been hired by the company that sponsored my PhD. I’m now working in a research center.
What advice do you have for residents currently living at SJC or preparing to leave the College?
Enjoy your experience as long and as much as you can. You have a unique opportunity there, and you will never find this type of experience anywhere else. Get involved in the life of the community, get out of your comfort zone (easier said than done, I know).
Leaving the “student life” and going into “the real world” is both exciting and challenging. Off course you will gain some independence, more responsibilities, a “real job” and money, but sometimes it also means a certain routine. There are a lot of things to look forward to when you finish your studies, but you might also hear from some former residents that they miss the student life. You do not want to regret not enjoying every unique moment and opportunities you will have at SJC. “If I had known, I would have….”. So just do it now, when you can.
And when you leave SJC, keep in touch with the people you met there. They are worth it.