Meet Matilda Oja:
Matilda Oja graduated from the University of Guelph this past Winter with a Masters of Science in Geography, Environment and Geomatics. She entered her further education journey after graduating from a Bachelor of Studio Art Honours with a double minor in Geography and GIS (Geographic Information System) in 2019, also from U of G. Matilda was involved as a Teaching Assistant (TA) during her masters, where she was able to contribute her love for teaching and remote sensing. Matilda shares her experience as a TA, entering further education, and her advice for current students.
Tell us about your experience as a TA. What was your role?
“I had a wonderful experience as a TA for 4 semesters. I’ve always loved teaching, so it was a great opportunity to conduct 1st and 2nd year geography labs. I especially enjoyed my role in the remote sensing courses for 2 semesters.”
What was the most rewarding part about being a TA?
“Connecting with and actually helping students. There was nothing better than knowing you helped a student reach that ‘lightbulb’ moment.”
Why did you decide to do further education? What was your research on?
“I felt at the end of my undergrad degree that I wasn’t done learning, I didn’t feel fully fulfilled. I knew I wanted to try out research and see which directions that could take me. My research focused on agricultural expansion in the boreal forest.”
What are you up to now?
“I currently work as a remote sensing/geomatics analyst.”
What is your advice to any students that are in a similar position as you were?
“If you’re in 3rd-5th year, consider taking an Undergraduate Research Assistant position in the summer, and/or do an independent study (or equivalent, department depending). That will give you a really good idea if research is for you and taking the graduate path. As for applying for a job, take any opportunity you can during school for side projects or summer positions, experience at the end of the day is what employers look for (remember this can be from a URA, etc.). AND keep applying, don’t get hung up on one job application. Apply to the ones you don’t fully want or don’t think you have a chance for. I also used the resume review appointment service at U of G through the Experiential Learning Hub which I could not suggest more. They take your resume from your old high school once that was revised through the years, and make it ready for the real world.”