For Victoria Hale, a tour of Huron’s campus clarified that this was the place for her. “I had considered big universities, but I thought the classes might be overwhelming,” she says. “We were here for 20 minutes and I knew that this would be the best fit; the tour just reinforced that this is a friendly community.”
Like many students, Victoria found the initial transition during Orientation Week challenging. “In the first week I was about ready to pack up and go home,” she says. “It’s pretty tough leaving home, but it became obvious pretty quickly that the community was worth sticking it out for. Once you get involved and established, being on my own became well worth the opportunity.”
Now in her 3rd year pursuing a History degree, this past year she has been part of The Next 36. “This program is called an entrepreneurship incubator,” she says. “They take 36 undergrads from across Canada and they put you together in a residence at the University of Toronto, divide you into teams of four and give you some start-up money with the idea that you’ll be able to start a business.”
After a grueling selection process, Victoria is relishing this opportunity to work collaboratively and meet “amazing mentors. Top CEOs from across Canada took the time to talk to us about our business and they’re genuinely involved.”
Now a little over halfway through this process, this engaged History student highlights the experiences Huron has provided. “Being at Huron means communicating constantly,” she says, citing that classrooms are filled with discussion. “Everyone, all of my professors, they all know my name and they all are very involved in your success. So, when I have to ask for a reference or when I have to do a presentation the professors are 110% behind you. And I think that knowing people are motivated to help you succeed and being forced to address issues critically has contributed a lot to my education.” She concludes by observing Huron students are “expected to show personal growth.”
Alongside the Next 36, Victoria is an active member of the Western Debate Society and Huron’s French Club. With hopes of starting a business following graduation, it’s clear this student is finding her stride through classroom pursuits and extracurricular passions.
Her advice to future students is honest, and founded in her own experiences. “There’s no such thing as a perfect fit,” she observes. “You have to spend time finding a community within the community that works for you. Invest time in meeting people and try to really find where your place in the community can be. “