Student Hub  • Student Sentiment Series: Sarina Gotkin on Discovering Your Passions in High School

Student Sentiment Series: Sarina Gotkin on Discovering Your Passions in High School

Student Sentiment Series: Sarina Gotkin on Discovering Your Passions in High School

Throughout high school, teachers, guidance councillors and even parents emphasize the importance of post-secondary school. Whether it be university or college, getting a post-secondary education is considered to be the light at the end of the high school tunnel.

For me, this was extremely scary.

By the time I was in grade 10, I was already expected to choose Grade 11 and 12 courses that would ultimately determine the path I’d be on for the rest of my life.  Needless to say, at the age of 16, with all this pressure and not enough knowledge on what I was interested in, I felt overwhelmed and began to stress about my future even more.

After a while however, I told myself that enough was enough. I took it upon myself to go out into the world to look for experiences to help guide my decisions and figure out if the field of business was truly right for me or not.

My curiosity and ambition led my 16-year-old self to landing a one-week internship at IBM IX’s marketing department. During this internship, I was assigned to a new project where I was asked to provide input from a millennial’s perspective on a wide range of initiatives. I was fortunate enough to meet associates across a range of disciplines and learn the journey’s that led them to their current positions. The experience and knowledge I gained within just a week of interning seriously changed my life and solidified that business was my passion.

By taking my high school anxieties into my own hands and getting experience, I was able to identify what my interests were and the direction I wanted to take in my future. This ultimately led me to being accepted into my dream school and landing my current job as a compliance summer student which has been incredible!

If there is any advice that I would give to high school students who are struggling with the thought of post-secondary school or their future, it would be to take extra initiatives to figure out what your passions and interests are. From my journey, I learned that when you are faced with challenges it is essential to go out and learn as much as you can so that you have the right knowledge to navigate your way through them.