The roads taken ... work AND Grad School

Author: Kyle

Posted on Jan 22, 2018

Category: Student Stories

"Two roads diverged in a wood..." so goes the classic poem by Robert Frost capturing the turmoil around deciding which among life's precious options to persue. This a conflict appropos too for many students approaching the end of their undergraduate program: to continue-on with graduate studies, or to join the workforce. Which is the better path? This was the choice faced recently by Brandon Searle, a 2016 graduate of UNB's Bachelor of Engineering program.

As an undergraduate student living on campus, Brandon set out to be involved with the university community, including specifically with associations and committees within the Faculty of Engineering. This decision and experience eventually led to a move into the Technology Management and Entrepreneurship program and to assuming the role of President of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Student Chapter.

His time spent in various academic societies opened additional doors, and Brandon eventually found himself entering a pitch competition where he would develop important skills in time management and public speaking, as well as expanding his network in the civil engineering community.

And this time with diverse undergraduate societies and associations made the decision to join the workforce that much harder, but ultimately he took the plunge, joining the Fredericton chapter of OPUS International Consultants shortly before graduation day.

Although fully committed to his new colleagues at OPUS, Brandon continued to feel the call of research again, and, with the support of his friends and colleagues at OPUS, he has decided to return to UNB to persue his Masters degree in Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Rankin and Dr. Xiomara Sanchez-Castillo.

Brandon is now in the second year of his program and hopes to finish in 2018 when he will return to full-time work with OPUS international with advanced skills and a fresh look on the industry from his graduate experience.

And thus Brandon has resolved Frost's classic dilemma differently ... by taking not one of the two paths faced, but both! ... and THAT has made all the difference!