If I Knew Then...

Skule Alumni share their advice and best wishes with the 2T0 & 2T1 graduating classes.


We asked alumni "What wisdom or advice would you share with your younger self, if you could travel back in time?"

Read their heartfelt answers below, submitted as a gift to their Skulemates.

Join CONNECT to be included in the next ''If I Knew Then...'' campaign, supporting the next cohort of graduates.


The Value of Community

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Name: Al Qureshi | Program: Engineering | Graduation Year: 9T6 | The long arc of your careers is just beginning. And an arc it will be. I didn’t quite appreciate just how many twists and turns there would be in my own story. It might be difficult at times to imagine success given the current… Read more »

Embrace the unexpected

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Name: Graydon Bell | Program: Industrial Engineering | Graduation Year: 7T5 | Congratulations on graduating from U of T Engineering! Be confident your education has prepared you well for your career. Not so much in what you know now but more about your heightened ability to grow and develop yourself further. Realize you are starting… Read more »

Lead don’t follow

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Name: David Sadleir | Program: Industrial Engineering | Graduation Year: 6T4 | Someone once said, “The trouble with following the herd, is stepping in what it leaves behind”. Our ever more complex and challenging world needs empathetic and informed leaders … not followers. The poet, Robert Frost, ended his famous poem, “The Road Not Taken”… Read more »

It’s not about what you learned, it about how you learned to learn

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Name: Sylvia Kudaverdian | Program: Chemical Engineering | Graduation Year: 9T8 | When I first started out in my career, I was worried about forgetting “stuff” I learned in Skule, and not having answers when I needed them. Early on in my career, I realized that my education was not so much about what I… Read more »

Family and friends

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Name: Donald Pruner | Program: Engineering Physics (Communications) | Graduation Year: 4T9 | As you are about to graduate, you are understandably looking forward to the beginning of your career, and from that perspective, the career seems to be all important. When you approach or reach the end of that career, the successes that you… Read more »

Rookies and Rockstars

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Name: George Nowak | Program: Civil Engineering | Graduation Year: 7T3 | I received two great pieces of advice from the Dean of Civil Engineering at U of T and a senior (Rockstar) professor when I graduated in 1973: 1. “You don’t know anything – you leave here with a hopefully logical mind and everything… Read more »

Mental health and the 3 A’s

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Name: Inna Sharsf | Program: Engineering Science | Graduation Year: 8T6 | I wish I knew how to better manage stress and anxiety. One of the most powerful techniques I learned later in life is the 3 A’s: Acknowledge, Accept and Action. Acknowledge: get into the habit of clearly acknowledging what is bothering you, what… Read more »

Open minded

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Name: John Roeleveld | Program: Geological Engineering | Graduation Year: 8T7 | Be open minded to new opportunities: after completing my Engineer-in-Training program at my first job I was asked if I would consider working as a Sales Engineer. I took the offer even though I had never thought of sales as a career for… Read more »

Work Experience Matters

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Name: William Cheung | Program: BASc | Graduation Year: 9T0 | I’ve been in the software development business for 30 years now and when I interview for new hires at various companies I’ve worked at, I don’t look at the candidate’s academics. I look at their work experience. So even if you didn’t get honours,… Read more »


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Name: Brian Clark | Program: Industrial Engineering | Graduation Year: 7T0 | I’m seventy-three years old. Here’s what I know… Workplace — If you do not enjoy going to work each day, then you are in the wrong job. Make a move sooner rather than later. Find a job that you enjoy and it is… Read more »

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