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5 essential tips for convocation at Concordia

It’s time to put on your gown and collect that hard-earned diploma. Here’s how to get the most out of your day
June 3, 2016
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By Tom Peacock

Elena Raznovan graduated last spring with an MBA from the John Molson School of Business. | Photo by IQ Photography Elena Raznovan: “Convocation is a day full of emotion, elation and excitement.” | Photo by IQ Photography


Exams are over. You’ve picked up your academic regalia. The valedictorians are polishing their pearls of wisdom. The honorands are recalling their educational experiences.

That’s right: on June 6 to 8, 2016, convocation comes to Concordia.

Soon you’ll be walking across the stage at Place des Arts to collect a diploma you worked toward for years — and you’ll want that particular moment in the sun to go as smoothly as possible.

Elena Raznovan graduated last spring with an MBA from the John Molson School of Business. She combined forces with convocation veteran Pina Greco, the events coordinator with Enrolment Services, to provide some essential advice.


1. Be on time

Almost every person in the world has had one morning (or 10) when they’ve overslept and found themselves running from one place to another. If there is one day in your academic career when you don’t want this to happen, this is it.

You’ll need to show up at least an hour before the ceremony begins to find out exactly where you’re supposed to be, and then to line up to receive your diploma on stage.

The ceremonies take place in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, which is in downtown Montreal. If you don’t want to risk having to find parking in a hurry, you can always do the green thing and take public transit. There’s a metro stop in the basement of the building, three stops away from Concordia on the green line.


2. Dress for success

A key thing to keep in mind is that June in Montreal can get really hot and humid. Dress accordingly.

While Concordia’s new convocation gowns have a zip in the front, Raznovan points out that it’s still important to be sporting something presentable underneath.

"It doesn't stay on all day. You need to return it after the ceremony, so be mindful of what you’re wearing.”

For women, a summery dress or blouse are both safe bets. Guys may want to opt for a light shirt and tie, and long pants.

Then there’s the matter of footwear. Including the time it takes to get into position, ceremonies run about two and a half hours. So wear comfortable kicks, says Raznovan, who opted for low heels that felt good and looked sharp.

"The entire day culminates in that one moment when you cross the stage to get your degree," she says. "Be confident, be proud and be comfortable."


3. Come prepared

In addition to yourself (and that light summer outfit), you’ll want to arrive at the ceremony with your marshalling card, your gown, your hood and your guests.

A coat check is available for students, but it doesn’t accept bags, so you’ll want to leave any valuables with your fan club in the audience.

When you’re thinking of what to bring to convocation, a good rule of thumb is that less is more. You’ll need both hands free when it’s time to receive the symbol of your hard work and academic accomplishment.


4. Plan for photos

Convocation is one of those major life events you’ll probably want to document.

Make sure to take lots of pictures with friends and family after your ceremony.

Concordia’s Advancement and Alumni Relations crew will once again be at Place des Arts to provide a frame for your special moment.

Rain or shine, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be abuzz with activity, so hashtag your photos #CUgrad and #CUalumni.


5. Take it all in

In its essence, convocation is about taking pride in your achievements — and having fun. “The most important thing to remember is to be happy,” Greco says. “Savour every moment.”

Raznovan agrees. “Convocation is a day full of emotion, elation and excitement,” she says. “Enjoy every moment of it, and smile for the camera!”


Find out everything you need to know about Concordia’ spring 2016 convocation, taking place at Place des Arts’ Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, from June 6 to 8, 2016.

 



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