Holly Kletke knew she would attend post-secondary but wasn’t set on what to study. After applying to several universities for political science, she took a chance and applied to the music/education combined degrees program at uLethbridge based on its strong reputation. When she was accepted, she chose to follow her passion for music and teaching. Holly hasn’t abandoned her interest in politics though, she is the current University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) president.
What piece of advice would you give to future students?
"Invest in your university experience. Not only is university your chance to gain academic and professional development, but it’s your chance to find your community, and your own sense of belonging. It will challenge you, but I encourage you to embrace the challenges, because they may be the best learning experiences for you. Whether it takes a moment or a month, you will build irreplaceable relationships, and find new, exciting opportunities, take a chance, I promise it’s worth it."
When I think of the challenges that I've encountered as a student, I think back to my first year, university was such an unfamiliar territory for me, it was my first taste of independence. So, the challenge for me was balancing my academics with my more personal life, really striking that balance and figuring out how to be independent successfully.
Have you had the chance to participate in hands-on learning opportunities outside the classroom?
"My extra-curricular experiences have been a defining aspect of my university experience. My first exposure was a by-election for the first-year representative on the Students’ Union. If I hadn’t participated and been elected, I would not be involved with many of the things I am a part of today. I was a founding member of several clubs, including the Music Undergraduate Society, Humans of uLeth and the U of L Singers. I was also a founding member and president of the PACT (Philanthropy, Advancement, Community, Traditions) club – where I served as the student engagement coordinator for the Alumni Relations team. Through my involvement with PACT, I have been able to bring forward the best of uLethbridge culture, traditions and fortify the sense of community here."
How are these experiences enhancing or complementing what you're doing in the classroom?
"I’ve realized that advocacy is integral to the student experience. Student advocacy does not always involve talking about the needs of all students. Advocacy can be incredibly individualistic because every student has unique circumstances impacting their education. Students must advocate for themselves and their needs; it can be as simple as attending office hours or asking for an extension when necessary."