Career Success Stories

Matthew Robertson, Class of 2015

Degree: Bachelor of Science

MatthewMatthew's story is a great example of persevering through uncertainty and using the resources available to him to achieve his goals during his time at the University of Guelph.

Mathew recognized the University of Guelph as one of the best-regarded research/comprehensive universities in the world. A perfect fit in pursuing a science education. He began his studies at Guelph enrolled as a Bachelor of Science student; however, after switching his major 5 times, with hard work and support, he is currently completing a general degree in Physical Science and a Certificate in Business. Aside from his studies, Matthew is an avid golfer and enjoys mountain biking in the Guelph area. He keeps busy working part time and expanding his professional network both within and outside the university community.

As you may have guessed, Matthew notes his biggest challenge in his studies has been indecision. He states, “Everyone knows coming to university is a time to establish an identity. Yes, I think it’s very common to change career paths. I originally intended to pursue a career in science/forensics, and then switched to a business/financial career”.

Matthew took advantage of resources offered by Co-operative Education & Career Services during his time at Guelph. He focused on the P4E Career Fair at RIM Park in Waterloo, sought out resume and cover letter advice from the career advisors and attended several of the conferences, workshops and panel events offered to prepare students for success at the fair, “With all the help I received, I gained full time employment in advance of my graduation in my intended field”.

During his time at the University of Guelph, Matthew developed and enhanced technical and computational skills from science related classes, people skills from upper level work and the Co-operative Education & Career Services office, and most importantly, life skills, “Living off campus as a young adult learning the ropes of time management and work life balance enabled me to set and achieve goals successfully”.

Matthew believes every University of Guelph student should experience living in Guelph over the summer months to really come to understand and love the city. His advice to first year students, “One of the most important things I’ve learned from university is to keep your options open. There are several opportunities at this university that will change and improve your life, academically, socially, and professionally. Try new things, find yourself, and surround yourself with good; success will follow.  Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no”.

We are excited to see the success that Matthew has enjoyed to date and wish him the best of luck in the future!


Marco Elia, Class of 2014

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce

Major: Real Estate & Housing

MarcoMarco’s university experience at Guelph is an excellent example of how getting involved and taking advantage of the many amazing resources offered is a sure-fire recipe for success!

Choosing to study at UofG for its unique real estate program, strong academics and rich sense of community, Marco’s passion for real estate was further reinforced in this dynamic environment. Marco supplemented his academic experience with many extra-curricular involvements – “many” being an understatement. Marco was a member of the Real Estate & Housing Students’ Association, Entrepreneurial Society, Real Estate & Housing Curriculum Committee, Botany Club, and the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition.

Not surprisingly, Marco notes that the greatest challenge of his university career was learning effective time management. He notes that having a lot on his plate was a positive experience - “In my first year, I immersed myself in many clubs and extra-curricular activities, which left me with me with very little free time. Such a busy schedule forced me to stay organized and keep motivated. I also learned early on that it was important to balance academics with healthy physical activity and a social life”.

Aside from all of his various commitments, Marco made time to take advantage of the many resources offered by Co-operative Education & Career Services. He says, “All of the help and support I received from CECS was very beneficial. I took advantage of the resume and cover letter workshops and drop in sessions. In addition, I scheduled career-advising appointments and regularly checked Recruit Guelph for employment opportunities. Co-op & Career Services gave me the necessary skills to succeed in the work environment”.

What is Marco’s best piece of advice for first year students? “Network, network, and network! In addition, I know it's a cliché but I also advise to participate and get involved in as many activities as possible. The more you are involved, the more people you will meet and thus the more you will experience. To recent graduates, try shadowing someone you know in the industry, even for one day and then keep networking and networking. Finally, never stop researching and reading about the industry”.

Marco is currently completing an internship with the Real Estate Division at Manulife Financial, and we wish him all the best in the future!

Dan Stapleton, Class of 2013

Dan’s story is an excellent example of how a little patience and a proactive attitude can go a long way in achieving your educational and career goals!

Dan, a Human Kinetics major, knew throughout his undergraduate career that he wanted to be a physiotherapist. During his time at Guelph, he was highly involved with volunteering at physiotherapy clinics in the city and in his hometown over the summers. This was a fantastic learning experience as he learned a great deal about the profession, made contacts in the industry, and ultimately managed to accumulate enough volunteer hours to apply to the professional program.

Dan recognized the tough competition of trying to get into a master’s program in physiotherapy, and after graduating in 2013, made the decision to return for an additional semester in order to boost his average and better his chances of being accepted. This extra semester certainly worked in his favour, as Dan was invited to an interview for admission at the University of British Columbia.

Wanting to make a great first impression and succeed in the interview, Dan took the initiative to prepare by researching what to expect and what kinds of questions would be asked. When he learned that Co-operative Education and Career Services at the University of Guelph offered mock interviews, he decided to take advantage of this fantastic resource and book an interview with a Career Advisor.

After completing the mock interview, he felt much more prepared and relaxed to do well in the actual interview. He must have made a great impression, as we are happy to report that Dan will now be attending UBC for physiotherapy in the fall.

Dan believes that attending the University of Guelph taught him how to form good work habits that he will use throughout his professional career, and to look at things with a more critical approach. Dan feels that both of these skills were major factors in the accomplishment of his goals throughout his undergrad and during the process leading up to his acceptance at UBC.

Dan’s advice to first year students and recent graduates: “Persevere and continue to work hard because it does eventually pay off. I believe it is also important to do your research to locate tools that you can ultimately use to accomplish whatever goals you may have”.

We’re so proud of Dan and his accomplishments, and look forward to hearing about his future successes!


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