During convocation, the new cohort of Concordia graduates walks across the stage at Place des Arts. If you’re graduating, you’ll want everything to go as smoothly as possible as you collect the diploma you’ve worked toward for years.
Here are five tips to help you prepare for the big day.
1. Prioritize punctuality
If there’s one day on the academic calendar when you don’t want to be late, this is it. Whether you're getting there by car or commuting, give yourself enough time: plan for potential traffic or unexpected stops and slowdowns on the metro.
Show up at least one hour before the ceremony begins to find out exactly where you’re supposed to be receiving your diploma.
The ceremonies take place in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, downtown Montreal. There’s a metro stop by the same name in the basement of the building, three stops away from Concordia on the green line. The venue has health and safety measures in place.
2. Dress smartly
Your gown covers most of your outfit, but still, it's worth dressing up for the occasion — whatever that means to you. Graduation garb eventually comes off, so you’ll want to dress smartly underneath it — business smart, not business casual — for candid photos.
Pick your outfit a few days ahead of time and plan for dry cleaning if needed. Also think about potential wardrobe malfunctions.
For footwear, you should probably only wear high heels if you’ll be comfortable walking across the stage in them. Ceremonies can run about two-and-a-half hours and students are on their feet at different times throughout the event.
Who wants to hobble around with sore feet?
3. Do you have everything you need?
Arrive at the ceremony with your marshalling card, gown, hood and guests. A bulky handbag will only get in the way.
A coat check is available for students, but it doesn’t accept accessories, so leave any valuables with your guests in the audience.
Keep nothing but your marshalling card and phone, so that your hands are free to accept your diploma. Remember to tuck your phone away when you walk across the stage, though.
After the ceremony, many people pack into the reception area. Make sure you have your phone to text your family and friends to organize a meet-up.
4. Hone your diction
Many people don’t know this, but graduates may be asked to say their name to the announcer a few seconds before it’s announced into the microphone. This is a safeguard against misidentification.
Practice saying your name aloud. Say it slowly and clearly a few times before the ceremony. If you don’t articulate, you might be surprised by how your name is pronounced.
5. Plan for photos
Convocation is one of those major life events worth documenting. Make sure to take lots of pictures with friends and family after the ceremony.
The University Advancement crew will also be at Place des Arts to take photos at the reception following the ceremony. They'll be equipped with visual aids you can use, so make sure to have fun posing for the cameras — and smartphones. Find your images later on Concordia's Flickr photostreams.