Alumni in the Field

Angela Roy
STU Degree: BA ’10
Major: Political Science and History
Job Title: National Recruitment Coordinator, University of Alberta
Location: Edmonton, AB

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
As a National Recruitment Coordinator at the University of Alberta I have many diverse duties and responsibilities. I’m responsible for leading a recruitment portfolio targeting incoming undergraduate students. I ensure the dissemination of information about the University of Alberta to Canadian high school students, their parents and school counsellors, as well as functionally supervising Student Recruiters involved with my portfolio.  

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
I encourage students to make the most of their time at STU.  They should get involved in as many things as they can.  For me it was being active in my residence community (house committee, residence advising, etc.), and the Students' Union as Welcome Week Chair and Grad Class President. All of these boosted my résumé when it came time to apply for jobs.  Students should look outside of campus as well—there are plenty of ways to become involved in the Greater Fredericton Community.  Employers are looking more and more for well-rounded citizens.  You need more than the proper education to stand out.  Students should seize any opportunity that will broaden their horizons and help them develop professionally or personally.

For students specifically looking to work in post-secondary recruitment, they should apply for any open recruitment positions upon graduation.  New grads are the most common hires for these roles.  I also recommend getting involved with specific on-campus initiatives relevant to recruitment, like becoming a Campus Tour Guide, Open House Volunteer, part-time employee in Admissions/Recruitment, etc.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career? 
I would not be where I am today if I had not attended STU.  It was at STU that I became involved in the activities that have shaped me into the professional I am today.  I learned how to think at STU.  I also learned how to work harder than I ever had before.  This was important moving forward.  I’m fortunate to say that my first role in recruitment was at STU.  Had I not gotten my start there—and been afforded the opportunities and experiences I was—I would not be where I am now.  I have the career I do today, in post-secondary recruitment, because STU prepared me for it.

Dr. Anne Dance
STU Degree: BA ’07
Major: History
Job Title: Postdoctoral Fellow
Location: St. John's, NL

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
A postdoctoral fellowship is a research job. It also involves making time for all of the activities I should have completed during graduate school but did not have time for (like publishing, conferences, and other scholarly activities). I am very busy mentoring graduate students, adapting my PhD thesis into a book, participating in reading groups, sharing my research with the public, and applying for tenure-track jobs. For me, a postdoc is a chance to figure out what sort of academic I want to be, and how to develop the networks and skills I need to meet this goal.
 
How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg.
volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific
courses)

Students should learn how to communicate clearly and effectively through writing and presentations. There are some neat workshops available to support oral speaking skills at STU, and if there is a request for additional training, St. Thomas is the sort of place where the administration will make the effort to provide this. Another useful skill future researchers can cultivate is listening to other people. Rather than constantly thinking about our own needs and profile, getting involved in the university and city community is tremendously enriching. All sorts of extra-curriculars are available at STU and my time with Theatre St. Thomas, the Multicultural Society, Students for Sustainability, the choir, and many other organizations was fantastic. STU also does a great job with international exchanges, and I benefited from an eye-opening semester at STU’s ‘sister’ school, the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.
 
How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
When I started at St. Thomas I was very shy and lacked confidence. Meeting welcoming and kind STU students helped me tremendously, and many would become good friends. As well, because of STU’s small class sizes I was able to get some really useful feedback from my professors not only in History but in other departments like English, Creative Writing, and Political Science. They gave me a nuanced, entertaining view of academia that proved very valuable during grad school (especially for grant writing and applications). As I enter the wider academic job market I can still turn to my wonderful STU supervisors for advice and guidance, and I am immensely grateful for their help.

Dr. Dave Snow
STU Degree: BA '07
Major: Political Science
Job Title: Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph
Location: Guelph, ON

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
As an Assistant Professor, my time is split between research, teaching, and university service. Throughout the year, roughly 40% of my time is spent on teaching-related activities, 40% on publishing peer-reviewed research (journal articles, books, and book chapters), and 20% on service to the university (primarily committee work).

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
My most important piece of advice would be to hone your writing skills. Even at the PhD level, many students aren’t aware of the extent to which much of their job as an academic will consist of creating original research and publishing peer-reviewed content. Yet many students - again, even at the PhD level - still make fundamental writing errors. Learning the proper rules of grammar, the basics of argumentation, and the process of submitting peer-reviewed papers is crucial, and it’s important to address any shortcomings early.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
My ability to become a university professor was in large part due to my undergraduate education at St. Thomas University. The small class sizes and frequent presentations helped me develop my public speaking and presentation skills earlier than many students at large research-intensive universities. In addition, my professors - particularly in the department of Political Science - demanded high quality papers, which helped facilitate my research skills.