After graduating from the University of Toronto in Canada in June, my friends and I had each made different plans for what we would do next. Some started full-time jobs right away, while others spent their summer travelling or working before beginning graduate school in the autumn.
I got to enjoy the best of both worlds, and divided my summer between travelling with my parents and picking up a summer job.
I had been lucky enough to find the perfect job for me while I was still in Canada – working at a summer programme for gifted secondary school students. Understandably, I was excited to start work in July. The programme was held in Hong Kong, but organised by a university in the US, which meant my colleagues came from a wide range of backgrounds.
While many were summer camp veterans and already knew each other, everyone was very welcoming and I settled in right away.
With nearly 250 students and 50 staff there, keeping the camp running smoothly was an immense operation. Everything, from ensuring that there were enough supplies to reassuring worried parents, had to be carefully planned and executed. I learned a lot from the office manager, who was able to handle every situation with ease, and made each member of staff feel valued.
When I was still in school I took part in similar summer programmes, but it was interesting to look at how things differed from behind the scenes. There were so many little details that the camp participants would never think of, but that the staff have to. Still, I loved my time at the camp; the whole experience was truly unforgettable, and I could not have asked for a better summer before I started graduate school.
Now that I am finally settling down at the University of Cambridge in Britain for my masters, I’m eager to explore and discover all the gems that this magical town has to offer.
The quiet small-town life here is vastly different from the city life I experienced in Hong Kong and Toronto. Now, getting to my classes involves walking past a field full of cows and a river dotted with people punting on boats.
I will definitely cherish my time here and make the most out of it. The MPhil (Master of Philosophy) programme lasts just one year and students have to handle both courses and a dissertation in that time. I imagine that it will be very intense, but I am very excited as well.