Spring 2017 Convocation: Decisive moments
Hakrae (Terry) Cho (BCom '17 in accounting) found that playing water polo with the Gee-Gees club team helped him reach both his social and academic goals.
I’m originally from South Korea and first visited Toronto eight or nine years ago. I liked Canada a lot and decided to stay, even though I couldn’t speak English and didn’t know about winter yet! After three years of college in Toronto, I moved to uOttawa to study accounting and finance.
I finished classes in December 2016 and today I am working in my dream job as a financial auditor in the Office of the Auditor General. I’m also studying for the CPA (Chartered Profession Accountants) exam.
I joined the water polo club team three or four years ago when I was a Telfer student with a lot of academic goals. Playing with the Gee-Gees really helped me academically, teaching lessons about teamwork and how to think strategically.
The team’s roster is about 15 to 17 players, with two coaches, but during a match only seven players, including the goalie, are in the pool at any one time. Our competitors are Queen’s, Carleton, and other teams in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) league. At the 2013-2014 OUA championships, we won the bronze medal. We were happy, but of course we wanted to win the gold the following season!
Water polo is a rough and tough sport. I’ve had quite a few shoulder injuries and some of my teammates have broken their fingers. We practise three times a week and train really hard. Combining this sport with studying means that you have to juggle a heavy schedule, so many guys leave the team after playing for just one year. I played for three years.
I felt proud to be a Gee-Gee and to play for uOttawa – even though we didn’t win the gold! I enjoyed my life at uOttawa and appreciate how the University delivered a great program to students like me. I got everything I wanted out of the experience. All my family members live in Korea, but my mother is coming to Ottawa for my convocation – I’m excited!