Into the Unknown

20161025_170900“When I began my journey…I did not have a fully mapped career path in my mind. I always told myself that I had time to figure it out and then in the blink of an eye, I found myself in the fourth year of my undergraduate degree.”

Written by: Crystal Lobo
Political Science Level IV

When I began my journey in Political Science, I did not have a fully mapped career path in my mind. I always told myself that I had time to figure it out and then in the blink of an eye, I found myself in the fourth year of my undergraduate degree. Like many of my peers, the tensions of the future got to me at the beginning of this academic year. I decided attended the Careers in Business Panel hosted by the Experiential Education office to see how my education could help me be successful in the job market.

The panel occurred on October 25, 2016. It consisted of three professionals who prided themselves on being McMaster Social Sciences alumni. The three panelists were from fields of consulting, human resources and corporate affairs, and policy and research analysis. Each of the panelists gave us students a description of their background, their education, and how they used lessons from the Social Sciences to carve their paths into fruitful and worthwhile careers in the business industry. Students then got the opportunity to ask panelists specific questions. Subjects of these inquiries included the value of an graduate-level degree, the transferability of skills obtained in the Social Sciences to careers in business, interview advice, and gender inequality in the industry, among many other topics. The panelists provided students answers bearing sources from their experiences and what they had seen over the years.

I learned two valuable lessons from attending the panel. First, I learned not to sell my Social Sciences degree short. The panelists helped me realize that this discipline effectively enhances skills in communication, innovation, and leadership. These skills not only impress employers but also craft successful careers in the business sector. Second, I learned the value of assessing our reasoning when making career decisions. For example, one of the panelists told us his reasoning against pursuing a graduate-level degree based on assessing that it would not specifically enhance his career growth or income in his role, but in other instances it might.  I may not pursue a career in business, but I still found this panel to be valuable because it made me open my mind to all the various opportunities my #SocSci degree will give me when I graduate.

Your Social Sciences degree can take you anywhere – including Dubai, Johannesburg, Manchester, Oslo and more!

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…to be successful you must maintain a positive attitude no matter what is going on around you. Focus on your previous successes rather than your failures, and use this energy to plan the next steps you need to take to fulfill your goals. Do not linger on the distractions that may be thrown your way, and always remember that anything is possible.”  – Kelsey Johnson

 

One of the things we love about working in the Office of Experiential Education is getting to know our students and seeing where their career and education paths lead. We were recently in touch with Kelsey Johnson, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in Political Science & Health Studies as well as a Mohawk Affiliated Certificate in Leadership and Management in the Not-for-Profit Sector.

What’s she up to now? She’s in Johannesburg, South Africa; New York, USA; Dusseldorf, Germany; Manchester, UK; Oslo, Norway; Cairo, Egypt; and Manama, Bahrain – and that’s just July! Kelsey is a Cabin Crew member with Emirates airline out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Shortly after receiving her degree, she accepted a four month internship position with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in Ottawa then relocated to Toronto to pursue a postgraduate certificate in public relations at Humber College. After completing the internship portion of the program she made the life-changing decision to move to Dubai after being offered a Cabin Crew position with Emirates.

To document this journey, she created a beauty and travel blog, Lipstick and Luggage. In her most recent post, Kelsey talks about her recent promotion and the dedication and perseverance you need to reach your goals. Check it out here: Lipstick and Luggage.


Thanks to Kelsey for sharing with us! Are you a recent grad? We’d love to hear about your career path! We’d also love to hear from current students about your amazing summer jobs and experiences. Contact us at exp.ed@mcmaster.ca or connect via our #SocSciSummer contest!

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#SocSciSummer contest is here!

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McMaster Soc Sci students are amazing! You have a unique way of viewing the world that includes a deep appreciation of the diversity of people, cultures and experiences and the value of community engagement.

Every September we hear stories of the interesting, fun and just plain awesome things you did over the summer. This year we want to share those stories as they happen, because the Office of Experiential Education loves to hear about great experiences!

How to Enter

To be entered into the contest just tell us what you are doing with your #SocSciSummer.

  • engaging in a rewarding volunteer experience?
  • working in a unique summer job?
  • exploring food and culture around the world?
  • studying abroad?
  • conducting research?
  • attending cultural events?
  • getting ready to come to university?

Whether you are currently part of the Soc Sci family, about to join us in September or have just graduated, we want to hear what you’re up to!

Tell us what you are doing or where you are this summer in a social media post that includes a pic and #SocSciSummer.

t: @McMasterEE

f: McMaster Experiential Education

i: @McMasterSocSci

Prizes

We’ll be giving out prizes each week via random draws. Contest ends August 26 at 12 p.m. with a grand prize draw for a $100 Campus Store gift card!

Looking to be Insta-Famous?

We’re looking for students to do a @McMasterSocSci Instagram takeover for a few days, showing us your #SocSciSummer. Contact us if you’re interested!

Students Learn Lessons from Premier Kathleen Wynne and Local Leaders

BAES Kathleen Wynne


“Overall, it was an inspiring feeling to be seated in the same room as some of the most important business and political leaders in our community.”

Written by: Cam Galindo
Political Science Level IV

On June 21st I attended the Bay Area Economic Summit hosted by the Hamilton and Burlington Chambers of Commerce at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The cost of attending was covered by an experiential grant called the Hamilton Matters Fund offered through the Office of Experiential Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The theme of this year’s Bay Area Economic Summit was “Leading Change in a Regional Age”. The idea was to further strengthen the cooperation between neighbouring communities as shared interested are advanced in a global economy.

Discussion topics included world economic trends, inspiring stories of regional collaboration, driving innovation in the public and private sectors, and lots more. Much of the information was conveyed through panel discussions, breakout sessions, and several key note presentations. The conference took place throughout the entire day, and concluded with an address from the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne.

Her speech touched upon several points including the importance of local businesses and organizations working together to achieve similar goals. Not surprisingly, the Premier reinforced her support for Light Rail Transit in Hamilton and other transportation infrastructure projects in the GTHA that include the expansion of the GO Transit system. She even spoke to her government’s commitment to provide free tuition to low income families by mentioning that, “Brainpower is not determined by a family’s purchasing power.” Thus, once again reinforcing her government’s commitment to creating equal opportunities for students. Overall, it was an inspiring feeling to be seated in the same room as some of the most important business and political leaders in our community.

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My Love for Anthropology

Written by: Taylor Noble
Anthropology Level IV

“By far the most valuable lessons I have learned from studying social sciences are about humanity. I feel humbled and privileged to be given the opportunity on a daily basis to analyze the world around me…”
– Taylor Noble, Blogger & Social Sciences student

socscibuttonThere is something captivating about studying people from the past. Since I can remember, I have been fascinated with learning about societies and the marks they have left in the landscape of our world. I think it began when I watched “The Mummy” for the first time. Seeing the Hieroglyphics on the screen and watching the characters explore the grand pyramids in Egypt sparked curiosity in me for learning about the people of the past. I would go out of my way to gather library books on all different ancient societies in attempt to learn about what I couldn’t quite understand. While I didn’t know it at the time, all of the reading I was doing was related to the field of Anthropology. Many years later, I went on my first tour of McMaster and decided here would be the perfect place for me to pursue my interests in the subject. Continue reading

Swag Bag, Door Prizes, Career Prep & More!

Written by: Sabrina Douglas
Experiential Education Intern
Social Psychology ’15

Soc Sci students! If you haven’t already heard, the Career Countdown Conference is happening on February 6! The EE Team has been hard at work planning an awesome full-day conference for you with interactive and informative breakout sessions, an amazing swag bag, a ton of door prizes, food, and a fantastic keynote speaker. Working behind the scenes in the EE office this year, I can tell you firsthand that you do not want to miss this!

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As a former student who attended the Career Countdown Conference last year, I know personally the great value that it holds for students and how much it can help prepare you for what comes next after graduation.

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Ambitious Student. Ambitious City.

By Cam Galindo
(Political Science)

Every so often, students at McMaster University are offered the opportunity to experience something new and go beyond the books. Last month, I did just that. Through my Experiential Education (EE) office in the Faculty of Social Sciences, I was made aware of an event that was being hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce called Ambitious City 2015, Is Hamilton Canada’s Brooklyn? The cost of attending the event was covered by an experiential grant, called the Hamilton Matters Fund, offered through the EE office. I’ve always been one to experience as much as possible so I accepted the offer and attended the event with a friend.

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The event was more of a spirited panel conversation between experts on the movement fuelling Hamilton’s fresh identity and new economy. The discussion ended up being moderated by none other than Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s the Agenda, and someone whom I look up to as a Political Science student. Also in attendance was the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Scissura, and a few local notables.

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Do you remember your first McMaster experience?

Written by: Ruthanne Talbot
Programming and Outreach Manager, Experiential Education

This past Saturday I attended Fall Preview – the day when excited, ambitious and sometimes tentative high school students visit Mac. Our job as staff is to help them fall in love with our campus and academic programs and, ultimately, see themselves as part of the McMaster and Social Sciences family. We also want potential students to see the great value in their Social Sciences degree and the benefits of participating in Experiential Education (EE) programming.

20151121_141040We were thrilled learn that one potential Social Sciences student who attended Fall Preview, Felicia, actually wrote a blog post about her visit to Mac. She attended one of the Social Sciences info sessions and is already well on her way to being a member of the Soc Sci and EE family! She’s got a plan for her degree program, she knows about EE internships (we’ll tell her about all of our other great EE stuff when she gets here), and she WANTS to be here at McMaster (who wouldn’t?).

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Did You Know? EE Programs You Need to Participate in!

Written by: Sabrina Douglas
Experiential Education Intern
Social Psychology ’15

EE has so many awesome opportunities for Social Sciences students and some of them you may not even know about! Here are 4 wonderful EE programs that you need to participate in (in no particular order):

1. Career Placements – Did you know that EE has multiple Career Placements per academic year for you to participate in? These job shadow experiences give you the opportunity to explore different career options within a particular field! First year to final year – these career placements are beneficial for everyone! Apply by Friday, November 13 for a career placement with Human Resources Services here at Mac where you will meet with professionals in various departments! Check out our website for full details! You do NOT require SOC SCI 2EL0 to participate.

2. Undergraduate Student Research Awards – Are you thinking about grad school or considering a career that involves research? You need to apply for the 2016 Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)! As a Social Sciences student, you can apply to receive $6,500 to cover a full-time research experience over the summer. Register now on OSCARplus for the USRA Information Session on November 18 and learn more!

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Valuable Lessons from the Career Networking Breakfast

Written by: Claudia Aparicio
Sociology Level IV

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Career Networking Breakfast for the second time as an undergrad. As I had expected, the staff from Experiential Education did a great job at putting the event together and inviting very receptive and experienced professionals from different fields in the Social Sciences. I myself had the chance to visit the Communications and Development, Research and Analysis, Social Services and Graduate Studies tables where I not only learned some of the specifics of the guests’ jobs and fields, but also some general but valuable lessons that I want to share with all of you.

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I learned that if an organization or company calls you for an interview, they already think you have the experience and qualifications for the job. Therefore, the interview is not just meant to assess your skills but whether your values, personality and real-life experiences are a match for the organization.
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