Inspiration During Crunch Time

Tania MacWilliam

April 14, 2011

*PDF of newspaper article and photographs here 

Students who are feeling overwhelmed with the workload in the final stretch and are looking for inspiration need look no further than Sheridan’s Advertising program.

Getting through college takes organization and dedication, says Kayla McQueen, second-year Advertising student, who has more on her plate than most students could dream of managing.

On top of her full-time studies she is a co-leader of the Canadian Cancer Society’s marketing and social media for the Relay for Life.

The 22-year-old is involved with on-campus organizations such as the Sheridan Advertising Association. She also leads fundraising and gala events for the as- sociation.

In the last year, McQueen has volunteered during Advertising Week, Social Media Week, the Ontario College Marketing Competition and has built a house for Habitat for Humanity.

To top it all off, McQueen works two part-time jobs.

It is the need to keep busy that has helped her do well in the program, she says. “I like having something to do. I need stress in my life. Stress motivates me.”

How does she do so well under pressure? Organization is key, she says.

She recommends that students stay organized by making to-do lists, using sticky notes and a planner. Most of all, it is her drive that keeps her afloat when deadlines are weighing her down. “You have to want whatever you are going after,” she says. “You have to want it really badly.”

Some students may get through college while slacking off, but for people like McQueen, getting by isn’t enough. She wants to do well, and to do well she has to work hard.

“Hard work pays off in the end,” she said. “You have to be ready to make sacrifices even if those sacrifices are hard.”

McQueen started in the Ad- vertising program in January of 2010 after learning of a friend’s success in landing an industry- related job after completing the program.

When she first started the program, she had to commute by bus to Sheridan from Guelph. If she had a 9 a.m. class she would have to take the 6 a.m. bus.

She now has a car, but at least it doesn’t take as long and she can use her car to store all of her school work.

“I live in my car,” she says. “It looks like a disaster hit it. I’m [usually] so organized. Everything in

my agenda is colour co-ordinated, but my car is a complete disaster zone.”

School may take up car space and a lot of her day but she still makes time for a social life. While she does go to pub nights, most of her socializing takes place in the Learning Commons. There she can work toward meeting deadlines while spending time with people who understand how intense the college experience is, she said.

“Your friends can make or break you,” she says.

College life is what you make of it. You can attend class and work toward your goals but don’t forget how important it is to connect with people, said Mc- Queen.

“I came into this program thinking ‘I’m just going get my stuff done and leave,’ ” she says. “I never thought I’d meet the people I did.”

Instead of graduating in June, she is taking the third-year option so she can access more volunteering opportunities and enter more industry competitions.

McQueen hopes to get involved in event planning and promotions once she graduates.


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