During my first two years at U of T I lived in the Innis Residence. It was a great opportunity to have both the privacy of an apartment and the social environment of a dorm. In my second and third years I was a Frosh Leader; this was a great way to meet new people and to offer help to students in adapting to their new surroundings. Furthermore, I was on Student Council for my last year as the Innis College Orientation Coordinator. The position entailed a lot of work but I learned so much. Oh yeah, I can't forget playing basketball for the Innis intramural team as well. The activities noted above gave me the opportunity to make friends, help others, and learn how to work together in groups in order to accomplish a goal. all marketable skills when looking for work upon graduation!
In addition to my time spent at Innis College, I had additional activities on the go off-campus. Throughout my undergraduate years, many weekends were spent on exercises with the Canadian Armed Forces-Primary Reserve. Furthermore, I volunteered with the Toronto Police Force doing crisis intervention for victims of crime. Summers were spent working for minimum wage as a security guard and camp counsellor. low paying, but great experience!
For the last two years at U of T I lived off-campus with my fraternity. I was involved with our Executive Committee by being the House Manager and Vice-President. These jobs allowed me to work not only with fraternity members, but also for Toronto civil servants. The skills acquired at the fraternity assisted me in preparing for the "real world" as I was introduced to interacting in an "official" capacity with professionals.
I have mentioned how I remained active while in university. but "so what?" you may be thinking! Well, I truly believe that because I was proactive in discovering opportunities during my university days, I developed marketable skills for acquiring a job upon graduation. During job interviews, I was asked questions which had very little to do with the knowledge necessary for the positions. The focus was on interpersonal skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. Employers are looking for individuals who can apply their knowledge in an effective and efficient manner!
There are four principles that I followed during university. I believe that these principles may assist others (be it the first-year or fourth-year student) in preparing for a job upon graduation. These principles include the following: 1) Have a goal; 2) Keep active at the university &/or community level; 3) Be proactive in discovering the "hidden" opportunities; and 4) Be flexible. The importance of being flexible is what I learned the most!! I remember telling friends and family that "I will be a Police Officer when I graduate". Even more ironic, I remember telling myself that "I would never work for the government". As it turns out, I currently work for the federal government with the Correctional Service of Canada and I was hired as a Correctional Officer. Therefore, I personally have learned never to be so bold as to say that I will "never" do something or that I will "always" be doing something. It is essential to be flexible, creative, and sometimes take risks in order to keep advancing to reach your goal. After being employed for only one year and nine months, I have advanced to the position of Acting Parole Officer and I am also the Chairperson of the Kingston Penitentiary's Restorative Justice Committee. I love my job and I feel that I am applying what I learned in university as well.
How did I advance so quickly? I followed the same approach I had while at university. I proactively met people who shared similar interests, did volunteer work in my new community, communicated my interests with my supervisor, and created opportunities myself. The experiences I had in planning Innis College's orientation week prepared me for the planning and organization of an awareness week (Restorative Justice Week) held at my workplace. It is important to show an interest in something, and more importantly, to demonstrate that you are capable of completing a project (thus reaching your goal). I still have areas that I believe I can improve in and I have developed a plan to work on these skills in order to reach my new career goal. Advice: It is never too late to be involved with clubs, organizations, volunteer work, or other social activities because the experiences will assist you in your career. Experience and knowledge, I believe, is the formula for success in preparing for, and maintaining, a career upon graduation.
Paul, graduate: Major in Actuarial Science, Major in Statistics, 3-Year B.Sc.(1990).
I have been continuing my education with the Society of Actuaries (SOA)since graduation. The examination process imposed by the SOA is very vigorous, we are required to pass a series of exams that are divided into 2 stages. The first stage involves 6 courses that test a student's ability to solve mathematical problems, as well as the student's knowledge and understanding on the subjects of economics, finance and investment. The second stage is geared towards teaching the students about the designing of the insurance products, pension plans, the reserving of the insurance liabilities, financial reporting, investment planning and some education on taxation. Upon completion of the first stage, a student is granted an associate designation and a fellow designation on the completion of the second stage. The exams are held twice a year and are uniform across the globe. The pass rates have been in the low 40s percentile and the grades are bell curved.
A typical employer for this profession may be an insurance company, a reinsurance company, a pension firm or a consulting company. There are roughly 2330 fellows and 1100 associates in Canada. The US may have 4 times those numbers. The degree is world wide recognized and the actuarial profession is widely practiced across the globe.
When a student is employed in an insurance related organization, that student is known as an actuarial trainee. The actuarial trainee will be working directly with a senior actuary, preferably a fellow, or a seasoned associate. The trainee will be exposed to different functions throughout his/her training such as learning how to price a product or how to set up a reserve liability or how to create financial statements for reporting purpose. The trainee is also required to study and pass the Society of Actuaries' exams. The insurance companies provide study times with pay to the trainee and also impose a strict standard on the number of exams that a student must take per session and must pass per 3 consecutive sessions. Upon passing an actuarial exam, the trainee would receive a raise in addition to the usual annual increment. If a student does not pass an exam in 3 consecutive sessions, the study time, the raise, the exam fee payment etc will be removed. In some instances, a constantly failing student may lose his/her employment as well.
I have been employed by various insurance companies through out my 10 year career. My first employer was with Aetna Canada in Toronto (now known as Maritime Life) and my most recent employer is American National that is located in Galveston Texas. I am the life and product pricing actuary with American National. My typical responsibilities involve designing annuity/life insurance products with marketing staff, leading system staff to implement new products, working with outside consultants to identify niche market, working the reinsurers to establish reinsurance treaty etc. For example when a new product is designed, the actuaries and the marketing directors would brainstorm new ideas to have a product that will meet market needs , while at the same time will meet the profitability target imposed by the corporation. To price such a product, I would have to do an expense study to identify all expenses relating to the issuing and maintaining the product, the commission payable to the writing agents. I would need also to determine the expected mortality and the lapse rates that may impact the product's profitability.
Advice: Looking back, the profession has been rewarding though there were many obstacles to overcome. The exam process is long and difficult, however, the profession allows me to interact, to connect and get educated by the other professionals that I have had contact with over the years. It gave me a chance to earn a decent living as well as further improving my education and knowledge. If I had to do it over again, I would choose this profession but I would start to write the SOA exams during the university years to shorten the process.
Thiru, graduate: Major in Actuarial Science, Major in Economics, Minor in Statistics, 3-Year B.A.(1996).
After graduating, Thiru went to work in South Africa. He found a job with the Standard General Insurance Company (a sister company to AETNA Insurance) where he worked in the Pensions Department. The South African economy is undergoing a major metamorphosis as a result of its return to the world market. Smaller companies are merging, and being bought up to form larger, more cost-effective businesses. The company he worked for was bought out by a dynamic player in the local financial services industry, Capital Alliance Life. He is currently working with Capital Alliance in the Life Office of the Actuarial Department. He feels that the exposure in his present environment is invaluable for someone studying changes in the economy.
Advice: My advice to students, when choosing a program, is to have goals that you can work towards. The more defined your goals, the greater the chance you give to yourself. Also ensure that your degree will enable you to find employment easily in the workplace. The time will come when you have to use your potential to earn your own dollar, and you want to maximize that potential!
Ekua, graduate: Minor in African Studies, Major in Sociology, B.A.(2002).
Ekua chose to graduate with a B.A., as she was interested in quickly moving forward to graduate studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT) in the Sociology and Equity Studies. However, the graduate department advised her to return to U of T to complete her Honours degree. She decided to follow their advice, and is currently working towards finishing a Major in African Studies program.
At the beginning of her undergraduate studies, Ekua found the SOC101Y course to be somewhat overwhelming because of the large class size, the many theories that were presented, and her difficulty in remembering all of the material. However, she did find it interesting, and persevered. She was glad to discover that the class sizes of subsequent Sociology courses were smaller, and just as interesting. Ekua was also interested in studying African Studies as she didn't have an opportunity to learn a lot about her background in high school (her parents are from west Africa). She loves the program here and feels that she has learned a lot. She especially enjoyed NEW322Y, The Contemporary African Novel, taught by Professor Eyoh. She had a chance to read books from many parts of Africa in this course, learn about the history, literature, etc.
During the summer of 2001, Ekua began working with the Ontario Association of Food Banks on a full-time basis. She had previously volunteered with the Daily Bread Food Bank, and when the position became available, they put her name forward as a candidate. It was a very good
experience for her, as she conducted research on "the right to food". Her work was linked to an Equity Studies courses here at U of T, and she ultimately put together a potential reading list for an undergraduate course. Ekua volunteered again with the organization during the 2001-02
academic year, and was then rehired for the 2002 summer. Her project for that summer was to compile a media handbook.
After completing a graduate degree, Ekua plans to study law, and is interested in specializing in the area of human rights/civil rights.
Advice: Get to know your professors. Go see them because it helps.
Make yourself stand out and keep up with the readings.
Alex, graduate: Specialist in Social/Cultural Anthropology, Hon.B.A. (1998).
Alex made up her mind to take Anthropology no matter what. Contrary to those who cautioned her against studying something "impractical", she embraced her study of Anthropology with enthusiasm. Graduating from university was a difficult time for her. Because she had made no preparations for the acquisition of a summer job, she reluctantly found herself pounding the city pavement in the hot month of June, with resume in hand and a smile glued to her face. Eventually, she enrolled in a temp agency, where she was hired to work at a consulting firm. Soon after, she was hired to do handyman work at a local school, and shortly thereafter accepted a part-time position with the U of T Housing Service. That summer, she had the feeling of being simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. At the end of the summer she finished all of her jobs and was hired by an organization called Canada World Youth (CWY) to help run a nine-day camp for its participants. CWY is a cross-cultural exchange program for young Canadians. When she was seventeen, she participated in this program and lived in Alberta and Honduras for seven months. Since that experience, she has been volunteering with the organization, running workshops focusing on cross-cultural learning and teamwork. When she returned home, she started working full-time at the Ph.D. Examinations Office at the University of Toronto. It was there that she started to look at a full-time job in a different light. Rather than simply working for a paycheck, she took advantage of the lifestyle that a job had to offer, and volunteered on a regular basis with Canada World Youth. As well, she took a Teaching English as a Second Language course. Alex applied to the JET Programme, a well-recognized Japan Exchange Program funded by the Japanese government. She was accepted in May and went to Japan in July for a great adventure. She lived in a small town of 17,000 people and taught at the local junior high school. Living there gave her a true perception of what it would be like to be famous. She found it very useful having a background in Anthropology, as it helped her to understand and adjust to elements of Japanese culture. All in all, she had a wonderful time and was touched deeply by the generosity and warmth of the people she befriended. Alex had planned to work at U of T for a year and then apply to teacher's college upon her return to Toronto, and that is exactly what she is doing. While she doesn't know where she'll be in ten or even five years from now, she is certain that she's never regretted specializing in Anthropology.
Advice: Enthusiasm in your subject leads to academic success.
Currently he is the museum director of the Guelph Museums. In the past he has held a number of positions, including: library assistant, owner of his own antique shop and building restoration/renovation business, museum curator at the Elgin County Museum, sessional lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Ottawa, researcher for the Canadian Museums Association, director of the Strathroy Museum, and curator of Windsorís Community Museum.
Advice: Follow your longstanding interests; take advantage of opportunities while reflecting carefully on them; read and avoid television.
After graduation, Kelly worked in the Continuing Medical Education office at U of T for five years. She began as a Registration Clerk and was then promoted to Financial Secretary. Next, she transferred to Innis College, where she currently works as an Academic Secretary. As well, she has taken advantage of many job-training opportunities in order to improve her skills, and is working towards completing an Information Systems Management Certificate at Ryerson University. Her long-term career goals include holding a position as a Business Officer within a university setting.
Advice: Study what you enjoy.
After completing his undergraduate degree, he continued his education and obtained a B.Ed. in primary and junior education. Presently, he is a grade one/two teacher in Toronto and Vice-President of the Kensington Youth Theatre and Employment Skills (KYTES). In addition to these positions, he is also active with other social service, union, and environmental volunteer positions.
Advice: It is important to balance a broad humanities degree with a degree that offers specific skills and a clear career path. As well, donít necessarily assume that you will only have one career.
After turning down an offer to go to law school, he took a year to work and apply to graduate schools. In September he plans to begin a Ph.D. program in Cognitive Science and Philosophy.
Advice: Try as many things as possible while following your long-term goals.
Rebecca, graduate: Specialist in Bioethics, Hon.B.A.(1998).
Currently, she is pursuing a Masters of Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Advice: When choosing first year courses select them from many different areas
Susan first became involved with Citizensí Environment Watch (a province-wide monitoring program) while a student, and was then hired by this organization after graduation. As well, she volunteered to assist the Innis College Alumni Development Officer, and began to perform various tasks within the office. As a result, when the Officer went on a leave of absence, Susan was hired to replace her. She finds this experience valuable in developing skills such as fundraising, working within a volunteer organization, and she enjoys the community spirit. Susan would like to move back into the environmental field, and may later pursue a Master of Arts in Eco-Tourism degree.
Advice: If you stay involved in your program you meet many people that can help you out.
Sam, 23, graduate: Specialist in Botany Ė Molecular Plant Biology, Hon.B.Sc.(1998).
He plans to immediately enter a M.Sc. program at U of T in Medical Genetics, and perhaps continue on to complete his Ph.D.
Sara, 22, student: Specialist in Botany Ė Molecular Plant Biology, Minor in English.
While working towards completing an Hon.B.Sc. degree, Sara is currently exploring opportunities for graduate studies abroad. One program that she is particularly interested in is a Master of Science in Ethnobotany (the study of peopleís use of plants) offered through Kent University in England. Other areas of interest are phycology (the study of algae) and mycology (the study of fungae). She is also interested in teaching English as a Second Language, which she is doing now on a volunteer basis. Long-term goals may include being a science writer or teaching botany at a university level as well as conducting research.
Kathleen, graduate: Minor in Botany, Specialist in Environmental Studies, B.A.(1984).
Kathleen works at the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), where she is responsible for research, writing, advocacy, organizing and networking on environmental issues at the provincial and national (and to some extent international) level. In addition to her participation in numerous environmental causes and organizations, she has co-authored a book entitled A Citizenís Guide to Lead.
Rupert, see ANTHROPOLOGY
Robin, graduate: Specialist in Cinema Studies, Major in German Language & Literature, B.A.(1988), M.A.(Berlin).
Currently, I am a "Wissenschaffliche Mitarbeiterin", similar to a "research fellow", in the Media Studies Department at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen Polsdam Ė Babelsberg. I began teaching as a tutor of the Freie Universität Berlin in 1992 and then as an adjunct from 1995-1997, then got my current position. I donít know if I would advise anyone to follow this path (i.e. in Germany) since the future of an academic in Germany is extremely questionable and, until one becomes a professor, each position is limited to a five-year stint!Advice: Try to spread yourself out as much as possible into various branches of the field (in my case: translation, scholarly to journalistic writing, filmmaking, and teaching) so youíre never stuck.
Venetia, graduate: Specialist in Cinema Studies, B.A.(1992).
I am currently a photographer and executive producer. I have also held positions as a make-up artist and a receptionist in an agency.
Advice: Never engage in any job but the one you want most, even if you think it will lead to the one you want most.
Andrew, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Minor in French, Minor in English, B.A.(1988), L.L.B. (U.B.C.).
Since 1993, Andrew has been a lawyer. He attended law school at the University of British Columbia from 1990 to 1993. From 1988 to 1990, Andrew studied Cinema Studies in graduate school at the University of Paris and the University of Toronto.
Advice: What you study matters less than your interest and passion for it.
Barbara, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Minor in French, B.A. (1998).
I presently attend Concordia University where I am completing certificates in Advertising and Graphic Design. I am also completing a Certificate of Proficiency in French at McGill University. I hope to obtain employment in a creative department of an advertising agency.
Advice: Think thoroughly about the things you like to do and the things you are good at.
Debra, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Minor in English Literature, Hon.B.A.(1987).
Debra began at Twentieth Century Fox Canada as an Assistant Print Traffic Co-ordinator. She then moved on to Cineplex Odeon Home Entertainment, C.O. Classics, Cinematheque Ontario, and the Toronto International Film Festival as their Director of Advancement and Promotion. Debra now owns her own company, Debra Kwinter Communications, which specializes in marketing and fundraising for the arts.
Advice: Be diverse. Your area of study is less critical in undergraduate than the skills you develop. Get in touch with professionals in the field of interest and get to know the industry.
Demetrius, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Specialist in English, B.A.4-Year(1995).
Since graduating, I have shot and directed music videos for MuchMusic and Country Music Television. I directed "Schmooze", a four-minute, 16mm comedy that premiered at The Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival in June, 1999. Currently, I work in Toronto as a camera assistant on television series and feature films.
Advice: In the film business, you must be extremely versatile. Be prepared for personal sacrifice and be ready to make things happen on your own! Go to the Hart House Film Board and pick up a camera!
Jennifer, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Minor in Fine Art, Major in History and Philosophy of Science, Hon.B.A.(1990).
Currently, I live at home with a twenty-month-old child. My second child is due in May 1999. I have been living abroad (France & England) with my husband since 1995. In 1991, I attended the Vancouver Film School. I returned to Toronto in the fall of 1991 and pursued a career in editing, first in sound, and then in picture. I worked on E.N.G., Libertyst, Kids in the Hall, and Time of Your Life until 1995.
Advice: If you want to make films, University of Toronto is not the best place to learn technical aspects, although it is very good for editing. However, it will give you a well-rounded education for life. I feel my university education was abstract, in retrospect.
Jordana, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Minor in English, Minor in French, Hon.B.A.(1996).
Currently, I work as a researcher at Egon Zehnder International, a consulting firm in Toronto (and worldwide). When I graduated from University of Toronto, I worked as a Film Programmer at Criterion Pictures. My next position was an Export Marketing Intern (Youth International Internship Project) for the Department of Foreign Affairs. In that position I marketed and promoted Canadian cultural training infrastructure and worked in Paris, London and San Francisco.
Advice: No matter what you studied at university, there is not necessarily a direct correlation between the course of study you chose and the career you will pursue.
Michael, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Specialist in English, Hon.B.A.(1986), M.A. & Ph.D. in Cinema Studies(New York University).
I am an Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario. Previously, I held adjunct teaching positions at a variety of colleges in New York and New Jersey. I completed graduate study at New York University. As well, I participated in internships in Toronto production companies, a stock short archive in New York City and film distribution and exhibition companies in New York City.
Advice: Donít be seduced by the current "educational" rhetoric of pragmatism which makes your degree into job training. Use your four years (plus) to learn, communicate, reason, speculate, play, read, research and explore.
Nadia, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Major in History, Hon.B.A.(1997).
I am currently a second-year law student at the University of British Columbia, specializing in Aboriginal Law. As an Aboriginal woman, I would like to see more Native films in the curriculum.
Advice: Whatever you study, ensure that you are engaging in a positive educational experience and that you have a conviction to carry you through to completing your degree.
Samantha, graduate: Major in Cinema Studies, Minor in Philosophy, B.A.(1994).
After doing a variety of office jobs following graduation, Samantha decided she wanted the freedom and flexibility of her own business. She also wanted to do what she loved, which is to organize, so she started Getting Organized. It provides organizing solutions to small businesses. Samantha is also the President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association, a networking group dedicated to assisting youth and achieving their entrepreneurial goals.
Advice: Always do what you love and if youíre not sure what that is, read the book Finding Your Perfect Work by Paul and Sarah Edwards.
Aaron, graduate: Minor in Cinema Studies, Major in English, Major in Philosophy, Hon.B.A.(1987).
I currently work as a film director, writer and producer. I started directing and writing while at U of T at the Hart House Film Board. After graduating, I started to receive grants from the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council to make further films. I also worked as an editor on such films as Atom Egoyanís Family Viewing and Claire Obscur.
Advice: If interested in getting into film start making films and working on other peopleís films as soon as possible. Thereís no experience like hands-on, visceral experience.
Irena, graduate: Minor in Cinema Studies, Specialist in Economics & Philosophy, Hon.B.A.(1993).
Currently, I am working as a News Editor at City TV, cutting stories for the 6:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. newscasts. I got a lot of hands-on experience working as a volunteer at a local cable company. That experience landed me a job as a Cable Television Producer. I then made the jump to Broadcast Television. I have been taking workshops over the past five years to stay up-to-date on new editing systems and to improve other skills.
Advice: Hands-on, practical experience is invaluable in jump-starting your career. Do whatever you can to get that experience.
Jim, graduate: Minor in Cinema Studies, Specialist in Philosophy and Political Science, B.A.4-Year(1986), Political Science, M.A.(1990).
Jim has put together Brakhage, a feature-length documentary on the work of avant-garde film genius Stan Brakhage, which premiered at the Tellurine Film Festival. He worked for ten years at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and has moved on to a new position as project manager at Bruce Mau Design, one of the most dynamic design companies in the world. In his new job Jim will be travelling around the world to such places as Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bordeaux, Los Angeles and New York.
Mary, graduate: Minor in Cinema Studies, B.A.(1987), L.L.B.(University of. British Columbia).
I studied law at the University of British Columbia for three years. I am currently employed as Crown Counsel in Vancouver.
Advice: Be confident, work hard and you will succeed.
Rupert, see ANTHROPOLOGY
Upon completion of his B.Com. degree, George went on to graduate studies in economics at U of T. He worked in the government on a contract basis, developing economic policy, and has also been working as a research assistant for economics professors at U of T. Currently he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 2 candidate, and is preparing to write the final set of qualifying exams (Level 3). He hopes to obtain a job in corporate finance or investment banking.
Advice: Grades are not everything; what counts is involvement, as this is what employers are looking for Ė get involved in things other than schoolwork, because you need to maintain balance in your life while being a student.
Jimís first job after graduation was in the Accounting Systems of More Business Forms and Systems. While there, he worked on obtaining his Certified Management Accountant (CMA) qualification. The Commerce & Finance program helped him to receive advanced standing, since he already had completed some of the required courses. He is now in the last level of the CMA program. He is currently employed with the Internal Audit department at U of T. Future plans include continuing to work at U of T, possibly in another capacity such as an Accounting Administrator.
Advice: Donít decide too early on your program. Use your first year to explore your options. Donít pigeonhole yourself as soon as you start.
In high school Mark knew that he wanted to study commerce. He also enjoyed history and political science, especially at the international level, and during his first year at U of T he discovered the International Relations program while browsing through the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar. Also, during his first year while taking IAS200Y, he happened to speak with his professor who mentioned that a new minor program in Ibero-American (Spanish)/Commerce Studies was being started. This all led to his current combination of programs. Mark is interested in working within the field of International Relations after graduation, as well as doing some consulting in the private sector where he can use his knowledge of commerce and finance.
Advice: Know where you want to go and look at a variety of options. You can always combine things. Try and look at all your options.
Matthew, 24, 4th year student: Specialist in Computer Science.
Matthew had originally planned to study Biology, but took CSC108H for interest in his first year. He then decided to study Computer Science. While he was a student, he held a position as a teaching assistant for two terms at U of T and really liked it. Matthew enjoys coding, but doesn't want to do that type of work for too long in the future. His long-term goal is to teach, ideally at a university.
Advice: Do a Professional Experience Year placement, but be careful of who you choose to do it with. Look over all of the small companies as they may offer you more opportunities than bigger ones. This is a good way to build up your resume.
Michael, 25, 4th year student: Specialist in Software Engineering.
When he first came to U of T, Michael didn't know what program he wanted to study, but he took the CSC108H course, Introduction to Computer Programming, and discovered that he really enjoyed computers. He found them easy and fun, and felt there were great opportunities in the Computer Science field. (Originally he had thought that he might study Humanities.) Michael chose to specialize in Software Engineering based on the courses required for the program. He felt that the computer science courses would be enjoyable, and the math courses needed would be less difficult for him than the math courses needed for a Specialist in Computer Science. He believes now that he made a good decision about his program. His immediate goal is to get a job and make some money while working in Software Engineering in a place that will allow him to learn the processes and methods of documenting his work so that others can understand it. His long-term career goals include getting into the software design field. He's also interested in looking at entrepreneurial opportunities and hopes to be running his own company in ten years or be in a top position with a small company.
Advice: Do what you like. If you're lucky, there will be a lot of jobs out there. Actively think about your future career.
After completing his degree, Baber was married in July, and then moved to Seattle, Washington, where he is currently working with Microsoft.
Advice: Remember that having a professional degree or technical degree is vital in the employment sector, however, having courses in areas that may seem more enlightening to you such as arts, humanities, etc. are just as important, and will prove to be useful in your personal as well as professional lives.
While completing his B.Sc. degree, Moez began working part-time at Mount Sinai Hospital in the research institute. A few months later he was hired on a full-time basis, but continued to take courses part-time. He works in the field of Bioinformatics (a combination of Computer Science and Molecular Biology) where the main purpose is to apply computer algorithms to solve complex problems in biology. At the same time he also works part-time at St. Michaelís Hospital where he provides computer systems analysis and support. He is currently taking some courses both for interest and also in order to complete a Major program in Biology, and upgrade his degree to an Hon.B.Sc. His long-term goal includes possibly doing an M.Sc. degree in Computer Science and computational biology.
Advice: Do a lot of research if youíre not sure; go and talk to people, look at the papers, be a little aggressive in making contacts, and know what youíre getting into.
When Jane first enrolled in her programs she had wanted to do police work, focusing in particular on missing and abused children. Over the last year her interests have changed, and although she loves the criminology program, she now wants to become a teacher. In order to prepare herself for this career she is obtaining volunteer experience working with children.
Jeremy, see ABORIGINAL STUDIES
David is currently employed as a Research Technician in the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute within Mount Sinai Hospital. He is involved in a research project focusing on determining genetic predispositions for cancer development. Although he is working in the science field now, he has had a variety of jobs in different fields. Upon graduation, he applied to several positions that he found interesting.
Advice: When selecting an area of study, think about: potential careers you may be interested in and what factors you look for in a job; if your educational background is a more essential basis for the job or the skills you acquire during your schooling; careers in the area of study that appeal to your interests as opposed to your financial desires.
Upon completion of her B.A. degree, she plans to return to Hong Kong and possibly find employment with a non-profit organization where she can work with them on environmental issues.
Mark is employed as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs. After graduating, he completed an M.A. in East Asian Studies at U of T. He then studied Indonesian at the University of Hawaii, after which he began a Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. In 1991 he returned to U of T to study Political Science. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1994, and served in Ottawa and at the United Nations in New York before being posted in Taiwan. He is currently the Director of General Relations at the Canadian Office in Taipei, which includes overseeing Political, Economic, Academic, Cultural, and Media Affairs. He never did finish his Ph.D., but may yet someday!
Advice: Only study something you are really interested in.
Alice is interested in working in the field of Finance or Urban Planning after graduation. However, she may also apply to do an M.A. degree in Economics. She is currently working on the Canadian Securities course, and plans to continue taking other related courses which will assist her in reaching her goals.
Advice: Think before you enrol in programs.
Upon graduation, he worked for six months at Future Shop selling computers. Having worked for a few summers helping in a U of T College Registrarís Office, he subsequently obtained a contract and then a permanent position in that office. He is currently an Associate Registrar (Administrative).
Advice: Look far ahead and keep trying.
Kevin, graduate: Major in Economics, B.A.(1992).
After graduation, Kevin was hired by Continental Insurance for their Management Training Program because of his French skills. The company decided that he could be an Insurance Adjuster, and provided him with in-depth training in New York, Ohio and Toronto. Kevin conducted property and automobile adjusting, carrying a heavy load of 200-300 cases. From that position he moved into a Liability Adjuster position with the same company. During his one and a half years in this position, he spent two to three days per week in court. This work was
quite interesting for Kevin, as he used his knowledge of insurance law to try to settle matters. He still, however, carried a heavy load of 100-200 cases. From there he moved on to a position as an underwriter, in which he had to sell products to insurance brokers. He found this work to be quite enjoyable, and offered many benefits. About one year later, Kevin's father asked him to join the family business, and he agreed. He has been working with FlexMaster Canada Ltd., a company that manufactures industrial hose and ducting, ever since. Kevin feels that his education at U of T helped him to develop his writing skills, and he developed confidence in making presentations. As part of his current duties, Kevin makes many hiring decisions. He indicates that he is less interested in applicants' field of study than in their enthusiasm for
the job. In the future he plans to complete an M.B.A. degree, as he believes this will help him to advance the family business even further.
Advice: Get out and see as much of the business/manufacturing world as you can. Take every opportunity to understand what careers in these sectors involve. Gain understanding, get as much work experience as you can, and don't worry about how much money the job pays.
George, see COMMERCE & FINANCE
Irena, see CINEMA STUDIES
While taking courses at U of T, Preston worked part-time for two years in Information Technology with the Bank of Montreal. He enjoyed this combination of working and studying. After one of his coworkers left the BOM and went to Altamira Investment Services Inc., she referred Preston to a recruiter there. He has recently begun a new job with Altamira as an Investment Specialist. Preston states that he didn't enjoy his first year at U of T very much because he commuted from home rather than living on-campus. However, he used that period to learn how to study, and to try a range of subjects to see what he could do. He was interested in geography, especially urban economic geography, but was concerned that the job market for this field would not be very good. He also ruled out doing a B.Com. degree because he didn't feel that his strength was in economics and wasn't interested in accounting. After some searching, Preston discovered the Employment Relations program, partly due to his interest in Human Resources. He indicates that his degree gave him an ability to learn in a structured as well as an unstructured environment, plus helped him develop the discipline to get things done.
Advice: Learning is the greatest skill that I've gained at university.
She intends to graduate in the spring with a B.A., but plans to take two more credits in the summer in order to complete her Hon.B.A. (She was a part-time student this year because of limited finances.) She plans to take the next year off and then go to graduate school to complete a Master of Health Administration degree.
Advice: Get involved! U of T gave me several awards for my school participation as well as a job during the school year. After my four years here I have gained practical experience and several valuable references and contacts.
Nancy believes that learning how to write and read with a purpose during her undergraduate studies has helped her greatly since graduation. She is now finishing her fourth year at the Ontario College of Art and Design where she has been studying photography in a fine art context. Most likely she will continue to pursue an M.F.A. degree so that she can produce more work in a learning environment and teach at some point in the future.
Advice: Find what you love to do and do it. Youíll find a way to make money if you truly love what you do.
After graduation, Timothy took courses through the Canadian Securities Institute, as well as some courses in advanced French language training. He worked for a while "in-house" at the Royal Bank Financial Group. Currently, he is the Legal and Policy Counsel for the Investment Dealersí Association of Canada (IDA). The IDA is the Canadian Securities Industryís national trade association and self-regulatory organization.
Advice: The ability to focus is a key ingredient of success, but it is okay to focus on being a generalist, especially early on.
After graduating from U of T, Kim completed a two-year, full-time program in recreational therapy for senior citizens, obtaining a Diploma for Activation Co-Ordinator/Gerontology from George Brown College. She then took some time to travel. Upon her return, Kim began to work in a day program for seniors that was situated in a long-term care facility.
Kim believes that the programs that she completed at U of T provided her with a theoretical basis for communication skills. She also felt that by having completed a general degree, she developed an open mind that may have led to her interest in work with seniors. During her high
school years, Kim had worked in a retirement home, but while doing her undergraduate studies she had no contact with seniors, and missed them. She then decided to return to that area. As well, Kim had completed a course on the Sociology of Aging at U of T, which she had enjoyed. Her long-term goals include working in the public sector with people. She might apply to a Master of Social Work or Occupational Therapy program in the future. Also, she would be interested in working with seniors programs at a management level, or contributing to policy making on issues relevant to senior citizens.
Currently, I am about to enter my second year of elementary school teaching. After graduation, I worked in various office jobs, including a stint at the Faculty of Engineering, U of T, and had a great job as Assistant to the Assistant Dean (Alumni and Development) and Director of Student Affairs at the Faculty of Law. In that job, my function was to plan parties! Seriously, it was great fun. Unfortunately, my then two-year old daughter got sick and I had to leave that job. I subsequently had a son and stayed home with my kids for four years. In 2000 I returned to school, completing a Bachelor of Education at the age of 34. I drove to Buffalo every day for ninety minutes to get my teaching degree, but it was worth every minute. Last year I taught a grade four class in the Peel Region. This year, my husband and I realized a life-long dream of moving to Port Stanley, Ontario. I am currently applying for elementary school teaching positions in the Port Stanley area. I plan to begin a Master of Education program in 2003.
Advice: My experience is proof-positive that a "general arts" degree can prepare you for amazing and diverse jobs and experiences, not the least of which is further studies and graduate school Ė you donít have to have an engineering degree to get fun and enjoyable jobs!
During her third year of studies, Robin worked part-time at a cybercafe providing technical support. She had developed computer skills around applications and connectivity on her own, which helped her to obtain that job. After graduation, she looked for computer-related work as well as journalism internships for most of the summer. In August, her boyfriend informed her of an opening for a tester for Lafontaine, Gauthier & Schattner, a Montreal-based company that was recently bought by IBM. Because they needed someone immediately, and she had some experience, Robin was hired on a contract, and later became a full-time employee. Her duties included testing computer software. This required an ability to recognize patterns and replicate specific phenomena in order to try to understand why certain things were happening. She believes that her background in sciences aided her problem-solving ability. She also believes that holding a degree assisted in her gaining increased responsibility over a shorter period of time than those employees who didn't have a university degree. While she found this work challenging, after two years she decided to return to U of T to upgrade to an Hon.B.Sc. degree. Her future plans include doing graduate studies in the Philosophy of Science.
Advice: In the computer industry it's not always necessary to have completed a degree or program that exactly matches the position. Skills are definitely transferable. In fact, most of the people that I worked with had non-science degrees. Skills that are self-taught can be just as much an asset as more formalized training.
Aaron, see CINEMA STUDIES
Andrew, see CINEMA STUDIES
Debra, see CINEMA STUDIES
Jordana, see CINEMA STUDIES
Michael, see CINEMA STUDIES
Sara, see BOTANY
After her third year at U of T, Laura took advantage of the Professional Experience Year program and worked with IndEco Strategic Consulting, a company which offers consulting services in industrial ecology, strategic planning and environment policy. Upon completion of her placement, she was offered a position with this company. Currently, Laura is working full-time with IndEco designing and developing environmental software, while completing her Hon.B.A. degree. Long-term goals include continuing her studies in graduate school or pursuing an M.B.A. with a specialty in environmental issues.
Advice: Donít put all your eggs in one basket Ė develop your skills in more than one area, and within areas that complement each other.
Zohra, see Peace and Conflict Studies.
Kathleen, see BOTANY
Laura, see ENVIRONMENT and RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Susan, see BIOLOGY
Lulu, see EAST ASIAN STUDIES
Jennifer, see CINEMA STUDIES
Belonging to a student organization truly helped me form a circle of friends. As well, belonging to a "small" college gave me a close relationship with the writing centre and Innisí guidance office who were a great help. After graduation I did an M.B.A. degree in Paris to complement my language degree. That helped to get me a job with a Belgian import/export firm as a marketing representative. In mid-1997 I came back and worked as an Account Manager and later as a Business Analyst with an American utilities broker. In October of 1998, I started my current position as a Business Consultant with the Ministry of Economic Development & Trade for the Ontario government. I develop, design and promote our youth entrepreneurship programs.
Advice: If you study something that interests you, regardless of how practical you may think it is, it will ultimately help you develop the same skills which you can use in all facets of life, not only to find a job.
Andrew, see CINEMA STUDIES
Barbara, see CINEMA STUDIES
Jordana, see CINEMA STUDIES
Marthaís involvement in student council, sports and studies as an undergraduate student taught her organizational skills that she continues to use today. During school and for nine years following graduation, Martha worked in the educational travel industry. She organized tours for students, sold the programs to schools, and trained guides. From there she went on to sell group tickets for Raptors basketball games. Currenly, Martha is the Manager of the Tour Program at the Air Canada Centre, where she is responsible for the development, implementation and management of public tours through the Air Canada Centre and the Maple Leaf Gardens.
Advice: Follow a path that allows you to enjoy your work!
Chris plans to complete his Major in Urban and Economic Geography and graduate with his B.A. next year. He is currently working part-time with a management consulting firm while attending school full-time. He hopes to continue working there while returning to U of T to upgrade to the Hon. B.A. by completing his Major in Urban Studies program part-time. Future plans include possibly attending graduate school, or working either in the securities/finance industry or in urban planning.
After graduation he worked as a customer service representative with the Bank of Nova Scotia for a year, then returned to university to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at St. Michaelís College. He hopes to graduate in another year and his future plans include working in pastoral care, social work and education.
After graduation, she hopes to work for an international or German company as a translator. She believes that her combination of programs will make her marketable for such a position.
Robin, see CINEMA STUDIES
Riccardo, 23, 4th year student: Specialist in History.
Riccardo intends to do an M.A. program at U of T in the History Graduate Department beginning this fall. Afterwards, he may do a law or B.Ed. degree. His long-term goal is to become a professor in a university. Riccardo has always enjoyed history, and knew since high school that he would study this subject at university. During his first year at U of T, he also considered doing a program in political science or religion, but then decided that in comparison, he enjoyed studying history more. He has found the Specialist program at U of T interesting, and particularly likes the investigation involved in the study of this subject. He believes that there are no clear answers to questions and enjoys the challenges that this poses. As well, he states that the study of history is ongoing, regardless of the specific area, and that there is always room to contribute to the existing body of knowledge.
Advice: Do what you're interested in. Don't do something just because of the money. That will come later. Your passion for the subject is more important.
A summer job with a tour company led to a full-time position for Steve. In 1989 he became Vice-President of the company, and then took on an additional role as Managing Director of a ski company. He changed jobs in 1992 to become Director of a camping organization, but then returned to the travel industry in 1995. Steve is currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors of Ontario.
Advice: Nothing is written in stone. Choose a career that you love, but you may discover that this leads you to a totally different career, which you find is more rewarding. This is part of growth, discovery, experience, and maturity. Follow your heart!
Edward, graduate: Major in History, Minor in Political Science, B.A.(1995), L.L.B. (1998, Osgoode).
After graduation from U of T, Edward began his studies at Osgoode Faculty of Law. He found the critical and analytical skills that he had developed at U of T very helpful when studying law. A historical perspective of law can also be helpful, and his historical training was useful when looking at precedents. Having studied political science, Edward found that he was better able to understand the public policy forces that impact on the nature of law. He feels that laws will change to factor in new experiences, but public policies also affect law. He stated that his undergraduate programs served him well. Edward also believes that the level of competition at U of T helps prepare students for doing graduate/professional faculty degrees. He feels that people respect U of T and it has helped that he graduated from here. Furthermore, the training helped him with his critical thinking skills. Edward began his own management consulting firm in 1999, and also develops solution-oriented, web-based software. When hiring for his company, he admits looking for U of T graduates. Edward's long-term goals include producing motion pictures, but he also hopes to do an M.B.A. at Harvard or Stanford University.
Advice: Never undervalue your education. Pursue studies that you love. There are a constellation of skills that you'll acquire regardless of what you study. You will have passion, energy, and focus if you love it, and you can adapt to anything else. Don't close your doors. Enjoy every opportunity that you can, as you never know what it can lead to.
Nola is the President and C.E.O. of the Registrar of Imported Vehicles where she liaises with all federal and territorial/provincial ministers of transport. Her law practice at the firm Crew & Marks focussed primarily on child protection, education and family.
Advice: Choose an area that excites you, then you will want to read your texts for all the answers.
Jessica recently completed a post-graduate program in Resource Development and Fundraising at Georgian College and now works for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She is doing a lot of research on foundations, corporations and individuals who might be interested in funding various programs within the Society, and will then work on developing relationships with these different sources of funding. As well, Jessica has just registered a business, Grand Trunk Clothing Company, with her partner. They produce socially responsible clothing; the goal is to provide quality leisure-wear that is mindful of the environment in the manner that it is made and of the people who make the garments and fabric. They contribute a portion of their profits to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Kelly, see ANTHROPOLOGY
Lisa, see ENGLISH
Mark, see EAST ASIAN STUDIES
Nadia, see CINEMA STUDIES
Robert, see GEOGRAPHY
Jennifer, see CINEMA STUDIES
Having recently graduated, Anmar is currently working part-time in a restaurant, while in the process of seeking full-time employment. Ideally, he would like to obtain a position in a health science setting such as a lab or a hospital where he could conduct research. At the same time, he is also interested in studying internal medicine or dentistry. To that end, he is preparing applications for a Faculty of Medicine in the U.K., as well as dentistry schools in the U.S.A.
Advice: I realize now that the best thing to do is to get a job while studying in order to get some relevant experience so that itís easier to obtain a job after employment.
After graduating, the road Doreen followed was rather interesting because she had a degree in science but no lab experience. She began working as a summer student at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment as a Records Management Trainee. After the summer, she was offered a contract as an administrative assistant. About a year later she accepted a contract position with the Medical Review Committee Department of the Ontario College of Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario. Recently, she began a new position with Pasteur Mérieux Connaught Canada. She is very pleased to be working in the pharmaceutical industry as this was her goal. Doreen found all her jobs through the U of T Career Centre.
Advice: When it comes to job searching, be confident, be persistent, and be informed!
Cameron completed two years in the Human Biology program before being accepted to the U of T Faculty of Medicine. Currently, he is in his second year of residency at the Toronto General Hospital where he is specializing in general surgery.
Since she recently began to work part-time at Royal Trust bank after being sent there by a temp agency, Deepani has discovered her interest in financial planning. She was given the opportunity to meet with the bankís Learning Consultant who provided her with much information about possible career paths within the financial industry. As a result, she is currently taking the Canadian Securities Course, and is gathering information about requirements to become a financial planner or a chartered financial analyst.
Ken, graduate: Major in Human Biology, B.Sc.(1997).
Ken is currently working for TeraGo Networks Inc. (www.terago.ca) as its Vice-President of Marketing. TeraGo is a fixed wireless broadband ISP with headquarters in Calgary. After graduation, Ken went to the Netherlands to do an International MBA degree at Nyenrode University, The Netherlands Business School (www.nyenrode.nl). He did an internship at Apple Computer (www.apple.nl) as Project Manager for iMac in the Netherlands. After that, he returned to Canada to work for Corel Corporation of Ottawa (www.corel.ca) as Product Manager. He moved back to Toronto to work for PSINet Canada (www.psi.ca) as Senior Product Marketing Manager and then worked for PSINet Transaction Solutions (www.psi.com) as Director of eProduct Marketing - North America. He then landed a new job at TeraGo to lead their product management, marketing, marketing communications and PR activities as VP of Marketing.
Advice: Find a job that you like most and you'll fly.
Sylvia plans to apply to the Faculty of Pharmacy next year. If she is not accepted, she will complete a Specialist in Pharmacology or a Specialist in Human Biology. Afterwards she would like to attend graduate school to continue studies in pharmacology. Ultimately she plans to work in a research setting, doing work which will improve the health of the population.
The manner in which Vishal obtained her current job is quite interesting. She had worked part-time in a Sears retail store, where word of her pleasant personality and positive attitude spread within the company. As a result, she was invited to an interview by the IT department despite her lack of background in computers. They were sufficiently impressed to hire and train her. Vishal is now employed as an Information Technology Coordinator, where she provides hardware and software support for retail network communications for Sears stores across Canada. Vishal is interested in mainframe support and wants to upgrade her degree to an Hon.B.Sc. because she feels itís particularly important for advancement.
Advice: Donít ever give up (I almost did) because you donít know what will happen. The harder you work here while at U of T, the more youíll benefit.
David, see East Asian Studies
Robin, see ENGLISH
Mark, see COMMERCE & FINANCE
Valerie, graduate: Specialist in Immunology, Hon. B.Sc.(2002).
After completing my undergraduate degree, I was admitted to dental school. Iím currently in my first year at the University of British Columbia. Since I started university, I have always been interested in Dentistry. I applied for two years before I was finally admitted. I think that the experience of going through this stressful process Ė anticipation of test scores, and disappointment from rejection, etc. would enable me to help mentor a student who is also interested in this field.
Advice: Always remember the big picture and donít ever forget what your goals are.
She is currently employed at U of T as an Information Officer. At night she works towards completing a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, as well as a Business Certificate by taking courses at Woodsworth College.
Advice: Itís important to develop people skills, interpersonal skills and to be able to adapt to change as you find your career.
Mark, see COMMERCE & FINANCE
Greg is currently employed as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor with the Toronto District School Board. Because he felt that a B.A. degree in Japanese Studies did not promise a job after graduation, he took a year to complete a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Certificate [at Woodsworth College]. He subsequently taught ESL for most of the local community colleges, York University and the University of Toronto before obtaining his current position.
Advice: Study what interests you. You can make accommodations to a career later.
After graduation, she did a post-doctoral fellowship in association with the Womenís Health Scholarship Program at Womenís College Hospital for one year. During this time she obtained registration with the Ontario College of Psychologists. She then joined the Counselling and Learning Skills Service at U of T and also began a private practice at the Centre for Womenís Health and Family Care. Long-term goals may include a combination of writing and private practice.
Advice: With perseverance, itís possible to eventually discover a career that you can feel satisfied with.
Doreen, see HUMAN BIOLOGY
Baber, see COMPUTER SCIENCE
Sevil is currently a Manager at the Academy of Math and Science. Within a year after graduation she began working as a tutor at another learning centre of this company. She was quickly promoted to Assistant Manager, and then to her current position. She is now interested in doing an MBA and is exploring various programs which she can use to increase her qualifications and expand her knowledge of business.
Advice: In your early years you should take courses in different areas to find out what interests you the most; focus early rather than waiting until your fourth year; use your time wisely to keep your options open for the future.
While taking courses at U of T, she is also working part-time as an accompanist for a ballet school. After graduation she hopes to work full-time at the ballet school. Long-term goals include becoming an accompanist for the National Ballet of Canada.
After completing her undergraduate degree, she came to U of T where she did graduate studies in School Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. After graduation, she was able to obtain several contract positions as a Psycho-Educational Consultant with a number of school boards in Metro Toronto. However, these experiences led her to the decision that she didnít particularly enjoy working with young children, and after much searching, she is now working with university students as an Associate Registrar (Academic) at U of T, which she loves.
Advice: Itís o.k. not to work in the field which you studied in school; if you decide to change careers just keep exploring other options and learning new things.
Joshua was a Visiting Lecturer in Health Sciences and Optometry at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is currently a Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. His research area includes pharmacotherapy of inflammatory bowel diseases and gastric ulcers, and he teaches Pharmacology to medical, dental and nursing students.
Advice: Choose a field of study that you are really interested in, since a lack of enthusiasm will reduce your future competitiveness and eventually ruin your career.
Zohra, 23, graduate: Specialist in Peace and Conflict Studies, Major in Environment and Resource Management, Hon.B.A.(2000).
Upon graduation, and thanks to her four-year involvement with the campus-based Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG-Toronto), Zohra began a short-term contract working with the Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto (CAST). Employed as a Youth Outreach
Worker in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual Youth Program, she developed an outreach brochure to increase awareness about some of the Program's services. She also ran a focus group to research what queer and trans-identified youth in CAST felt about the Program, and how it should be developed over the next couple of years. Her last main task was to coordinate weekly Speak-Outs, a program where experienced youth come into CAST's group homes to run anti-homophobia and positive space workshops for both staff and residents.
This experience at CAST ended up providing zohra with the necessary credentials she needed to take on her next major challenge: a one-year contract as the Coordinator of Youth Action Network (YAN). YAN is a national, non-profit, youth-for-youth organization that has a mandate to
empower and motivate young people to take action on social and environmental justice issues. As the sole staff, zohra was responsible for the day-to-day administrative operations of the organization, as well as volunteer recruitment and support, program development and
implementation, and outreach, follow-up, and networking with other like-minded youth and organizations. During this year, she developed a variety of quite useful skills including how to: run a conference, develop newsletters, write grants, juggle and manipulate databases, run
workshops, train volunteers and board members, speak in public, manage large budgets, relocate national organizations, and work well within chaos.
After this life-changing experience, zohra took some time to look at the world, travelling in South Africa and Europe. She has since decided to take a year to broaden her skill set, re-evaluate her plans for the future, and spend some energy living. She is currently working
part-time at Innis College, part-time at the Geography Department on a GIS project, and part-time deciding which non-Canadian Masters in International Development she should settle down with for the next year.
Advice: Take some time to get involved in extra-curricular activities that you care about while you study. Not only will this nourish your soul, it will suggest ideas about what to do upon graduation, as well as provide you with some practical, employable, skills.
She has just graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy and is completing her internship for Pharmacy, after which she hopes to find employment in the Pharmacy industry. While she is working, she plans to complete her Hon.B.Sc. degree in order to be more competitive when seeking other employment.
Aaron, see CINEMA STUDIES
Why law school?
At the time, I knew I enjoyed most every course I had taken, from C.B.MacPherson and Christian Bay to Peter Russell and Walter Burns, to Prof. Matthews on international relations, to being introduced to Wittgenstein as well as Plato, and I feared that graduate work might be rarified and career prospects limited in either political science or philosophy. But I really had no idea what to expect from law school, which I viewed (rightly, as it turns out) very much as a new bachelor's degree, rather than as vocational training. My studies in both political science and philosophy underscored the challenges of social organization, including relations between people and between individuals and government authority, and more importantly, the challenge of individual responsibility. Law offered the opportunity to continue to grapple with
these issues in a more focused context.
I am now in my third or fourth career. Law school naturally led to articling and a brief period of private practice. After returning to school for an LL.M. (at Columbia, focused on international law and human rights), I had the privilege and good fortune to have been invited back
to U. of T. as a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law to teach international law and
international human rights. I did feel somewhat pretentious, however, purporting to teach an area of law so dependent on what nation states and governments actually do without ever having "practiced" in the field, so I turned down further teaching opportunities to join what is now the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In 20 wonderful years, my work largely focused on law-related areas, including as lead counsel for negotiating and drafting the North American Free Trade Agreement, as Counsellor for Congressional and Legal Affairs at Canada's Embassy in Washington, DC, and ultimately, as Assistant Deputy Minister for Trade, Economic and Environmental Policy. My most recent move was to the Department of Finance, as Senior Assistant Deputy Minister.
My Current Job
I am the senior Government of Canada official responsible for international financial matters. I serve as Canada's "G-7 Deputy" - together with counterparts at the Bank of Canada and from the other major industrialized countries, to help ensure cooperation among Finance Ministers, and between them and the international financial institutions, especially the World Bank and international Monetary Fund. I also serve as Deputy to Minister Paul Martin in his chairmanship of the "G-20", a group of Finance Ministers from industrialized and emerging economies whose goal, put most simply, is not just to make markets work better, but rather, to help create the
conditions for the benefits of globalization to be shared more equitably. Success depends on building partnerships: between developed and developing countries, to promote good governance and thus an environment that fosters business activity to create jobs and improve
people's standard of living and that respects democracy and participation; with the private sector to promote business activity with corporate social responsibility; and with NGO's and the not-for-profit sector at home and abroad.
Advice: There are at least two lessons from my career. First, take the time to enjoy and take in everything that undergraduate study has to offer. Innis, by not requiring a major (at least at the time of my B.A.), on the one hand, but providing counsel and advice, on the other hand, allowed me the opportunity to explore a rich array of disciplines and approaches, and ultimately, by fostering a broad liberal arts education, gave me both an intellectual foundation and the humanist values that have guided my professional life since. Second, don't
underestimate the satisfaction of government work. The opportunity to participate in making public policy, and to represent Canada, is unique. Although some have a disparaging view of public servants, the dedication, competence and skills of my colleagues in government service
are unmatched. It's great to go to work knowing that you will learn something new every day, and that your efforts might, in some small way, help people and contribute to making the world a better place.
Kim, see English
Mark, see EAST ASIAN STUDIES
Samantha, see CINEMA STUDIES
Joshua, see NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES
Pauline, 33, graduate: Specialist in Political Science, Hon.B.A.(1989).
After graduation, Pauline travelled to Europe for a year. Upon her return, she worked in her family business for two years doing office management. Having gained some experience there, she looked for another position because she felt confident that she possessed more marketable skills. Pauline worked for the next two years with Orvitek Industries Ltd., an engineering and manufacturing firm as the Controller. From there she chose to work in a younger, more energetic setting, Snowboard Ltd., as a Customer Service and Credit Manager. Pauline is currently employed as a Senior Process Consultant with Proud Foot Management Consulting. She feels that she has built her career slowly and is continuing to build it.
Advice: Itís better to be decisive earlier rather than later in undergraduate studies. Donít give up, just keep trying things until you find something that you like.
After undergraduate studies, he went into a Masterís program in the United Kingdom. He then returned to Toronto where he found work as researcher for an academic project at U of T. He is now a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at NorthWestern University.
Advice: Get involved with student politics and campus life. Being socially conversant is an important part of finding work later on
Upon graduation, she intends to find employment with an organization such as the Metropolitan Conservation Authority, where she can work on environmental policy issues. Later on she may pursue a degree in Environmental Law, International Relations, or a graduate degree in Political Science, and then work on such things as environmental boundary disputes.
Michael is involved in environmental advocacy, public/media relations and event coordination at the Toronto Environmental Alliance and the David Suzuki Foundation.
Jonathan, see PHILOSOPHY
After completing her Hon.B.Sc., she plans to attend graduate school. Her area of specialization will be one of neuroscience, behavioural or biological psychology. Ultimately, sheís interested in conducting research in the field of psychology, possibly focusing on the brain, chemistry and pharmacology.
He has been self-employed for over twenty years as a consultant and trainer in customer service and stress management. Prior to that, he worked as a school-based child and family worker.
Advice: Self-employment avoids bad bosses. Meet people in working your area of interest and ask many questions. Take courses in assertiveness, effective listening, and sales regardless of your chosen field.
Mae-Yu, see MUSIC
Sarita, see MICROBIOLOGY
Sevil, see MIDDLE EASTERN & ISLAMIC STUDIES
Lisa, see ENGLISH
Robert, see GEOGRAPHY
Jacqueline, see ARCHAEOLOGY
Sylvia, see HUMAN BIOLOGY
Emma, see POLITICAL SCIENCE
Mia, 28, graduate: Major in Sociology, 3-Year B.A.(1998).
After graduation, Mia served as a consultant with a human resources firm named Businessfit. She worked on various recruitment projects over a period of six months, and found the work interesting because of her interaction with various people. She then completed an eight-month Information Retrieval Specialist Post-Diploma Certificate Program at Seneca College. While she doesn't really believe that her degree helped her to find employment, she does feel that the sociology program gave her a framework for thinking about things. Her long-term goals include continuing to work with people and possibly applying to an M.A. program in Communication and Culture offered at Ryerson Polytechnic University.
Advice: Ask everyone lots of questions in order to get information. This is important in order to survive at U of T in general.
Karen, graduate: Major in Sociology, Major in Urban Studies, 4-Year B.A.(1992).
I was able to get a job in a local government after completing my degree. For about three and a half years after graduation from U of T, I worked in the Community Development Department at VanCity Credit Union in Vancouver, B.C. I thought it would relate to my interest in social planning issues and would give me related experience in the field I hoped to work for one day, i.e. doing social planning for a municipality. I also worked for the Corporation of Delta which is a municipality in the Lower Mainland (near Vancouver, BC) for two and a half years as a Planning Assistant. I conducted research on zoning, land use contracts, and worked with a consultant on a heritage study. As well, I worked on Delta's GIS system to make sure all planning data was accurate and useful. I started my M.A. in Urban Geography in 1998 at Simon Fraser University focusing my coursework and thesis on community planning and affordable housing. I have been juggling a full-time position in the local government planning department at the same time. (This can be stressful at times!) I just have my thesis left to complete and have received approval to take about two months off work this fall to write it. I began a new position at the City of New Westminster in Dec 1999 and am really enjoying it! It is very challenging and I am able to increase my experience a lot! Although it is key to get "the basics" in planning when you first start, I felt I needed more experience writing reports to Council, recommending policy and working in my area of interest, social planning. In only three months at New Westminster, I have conducted research and drafted reports to Council on the following: secondary suites, historic theaters and sister-city relationships. I got this job offer because I volunteered to write a funding application to ACT (a CMHC program) to support an affordable housing project the City was interested in. It took 40 hours or more of meetings with architects, research and writing but was worth it as they offered me the position of "Planning Research Assistant".
Ekua, see African Studies
Jane, see CRIMINOLOGY
Jessica, see HISTORY
Kim, see English
Preston, see EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
Sasha, see LINGUISTICS
Vishal, see HUMAN BIOLOGY
Claudia, see INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Paul, see ACTUARIAL SCIENCE
Joshua, see NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES
Katherine wants to do community development work after graduation. She would like to work in a community service agency where she can form policy around social welfare issues. At present, she is doing a placement with a Metropolitan Toronto councillor, and she is especially interested in studying how the city works and inclusiveness versus isolation.
Jacob is a planning and design consultant for Bermuda-Caribbean Engineering Consultants Ltd. He has been working on projects such as Wonderland Adventure Cave, a show cave that recently opened in Bermuda. His position requires that he liaise with the planning department and numerous local and international contractors. As well, he has been designing a new thirty lot subdivision in an old quarry on the island, South Whale Estate, while working on a phasing sequence for another quarry that is in process. He has had to develop solutions to problems such as the noise of blasting and dust dispersion. Another project that Jacob is involved in is the development of an artificial dolphin habitat off the coast of Bermuda for Dolphin Quest. In the future, Jacob plans to do graduate studies in architecture.
Advice: He feels that the multidisciplinary aspect of the Urban Studies program was most beneficial. He has found himself involved in everything from political to economical to environmentally based projects which many of his coworkers are unable to explore because of their more focused areas of study.
Jessica, see HISTORY
Tamara currently works in Yellowknife as a Planner for Land Development Initiatives, with the Community Operations, Municipal and Community Affairs, Government of the Northwest Territories. Her duties include serving as an advisor to municipal governments seeking administrative authority of municipal lands, ensuring that housing programs are not negatively impacted by land reform initiatives (such as increased land lease costs), making land pricing policy amendments, serving as an advisor to regional planners and lands officers, conducting financial process planning and analyses and much more. As well, she serves as a sessional lecturer for the Planning and Lands Administrator program at the Arctic Colleges.
Advice: Try to work in the private sector prior to working in the public sector. Seek employment at the municipal/regional level in order to gain understanding of the issues at the local level. Important skills needed for this field include negotiation, facilitation and conflict resolution and public speaking. It would be helpful for students to do volunteer work that develops their comfort level in teaching, organizing, and managing programs and projects. Cross-cultural experience with aboriginal groups is important in understanding self-government and land claims.
Chris, see URBAN & ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Nola, see HISTORY
Winston plans to study to become a chiropractor or an optometrist upon completion of his B.Sc. degree. He has already applied to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Alternate plans include taking a few more prerequisite courses at the University of Waterloo next summer, and applying to that universityís School of Optometry. If accepted, he would complete the four-year professional program there.
David, see East Asian Studies
Susan, see BIOLOGY