Chemistry student turns to art for income

May 08, 2017
Tara-Gae Monroe beams with pride as she shows off her art work.
Tara-Gae Monroe
Tara-Gae Monroe poses with one of her paintings.

For a little more than a year Tara-Gae Monroe searched in vain for a job.

The University of Technology (UTech) graduate, who pursued a Bachelors of Science degree in applied science with industrial and analytical chemistry, decided to abandon her search for employment after sending out numerous applications letter.

"I personally walked, took taxi for days, dropping off resumes and consistently proposing internships," she said.

Instead of sending out application letters, Monroe now focuses on making the right impression on paper with her pencils and paint brushes by creating visually appealing artwork.

"I have been sending out resumes since April 2016, but I stopped in December," she said.




She turned to art while still in university because of her struggles in landing a job. She said she also had a passion for creating and drawing, which she had developed as a child.

"While at UTech, I turned away from it so as to be more focused with my studies. After I finished school, with the job hunt going very poorly, I decided to start drawing again to keep myself occupied," she said.

She explains that persons became interested in her pieces and enquired about them. She said she also started doing commissioned pieces as well as creating artwork for sale.

But Monroe's struggle to find a job was not a complete surprise.

"Time after time, I heard the current students who are part of the workforce mention the lack of jobs related to their discipline," she said.

Luckily though, she recently managed to get an internship in her field.

And despite her struggle to find employment in the sciences, Monroe does not regret pursuing tertiary education.

"School taught you a great deal of life lessons, social skills and definitely increased my knowledge to communicating efficiently, challenging me within my disciplined, and exposed me to other subject areas. Definitely, now I am very capable of scheduling my time well," she said.

Based on her experiences good and bad Monroe is encouraging fellow university graduates to acquire a skill, become entrepreneurs and not just rely on their degree to get a job.

"The truth is, you're not owed a thing in this life. That 'dream job' you so desire does not have your name plastered on it, and it isn't just waiting for you to claim it," she said.

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