Graduating seniors will end their journey with BYU-Idaho July 23, 2015 as they finish their education and receive their bachelor’s degree.
Alastair McKee, a BYU-I alumnus who currently works for Google as an associate account strategist, said life is different as a graduate than what he expected it to be. He said he has advice for BYU-I students who are either graduating this semester or who are still early on in their education.
“Learning how to learn is very, very important,” McKee said.
He said if a person cannot keep up with the rapidly changing products in the company of his or her choice, then he or she is not going to be a profitable employee.
McKee said he has learned that when students graduate and enter the professional world, they will likely hold a few undesirable positions before attaining their dream job.
“One of the biggest concerns to me is when people lose track of their goals and they settle for less,” McKee said.
He said graduates need to realize graduation is the beginning of a long road for them to achieve their dreams.
“Even though I know getting to my goals is going to take 10-15 years, I’m going to get there,” he said.
McKee said his ability to work while in school has been of great benefit to him.
“It’s just another way to have more responsibility,” McKee said.
He said that since becoming a father and beginning his new job, he has to juggle his responsibilities. He said the earlier people can develop the ability to manage their time and responsibilities, the easier it will be when they enter the professional world.
“The battle starts a lot earlier than graduation,” McKee said.
Terry Song, a senior studying applied mathematics, said he has embraced this principle in his years at BYU-I.
Song said there are times he asks himself why he is studying math if he hates it so much, but is studying it for the purpose if learning something new.
“I believe that I learned how to learn,” Song said. “I learned how to study. That’s what I learned. I think that’s what college is all about.”
McKee said he did not do very well in school until he met his wife.
“It kind of made me realize that one day, I’m actually going to have to support a family, one day I’m going to grow up and perform.” McKee said.
He said that as he and his wife embraced deferred gratification by sacrificing their temporary desires for their dreams, they have been a source of support to each other in school and life.
Christina Canwell, a junior studying communication, said she feels like graduation is still far away.
She said aside from her internship this fall, she is unsure about her future.
McKee said internships hold more value than merely checking off a box on the graduation requirement list.
“An internship is essentially a 12-week job interview that you’ve got to take very seriously,” he said. “You’ve got to intern where you want to work.”
Mckee said one of the most important pieces of advice he can give was for students to take advantage of the opportunities they have at BYU-I, such as free tutors, clubs and the chance to speak with professors.
“Everything is there at BYU-Idaho to help you succeed if you want to,” McKee said.