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!

Kelsey

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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HIVEX Conference

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

Have you ever attended a conference? Until now, I hadn’t. I was extremely shy about this – people around me seemed to be attending all of these amazing conferences and meeting all of these awesome professionals in their field, and gaining this valuable life experience. I sat and watched, thinking to myself, what do they have that I don’t? When I was asked to volunteer at the ‘Business of the Local’ session at the 2014 HIVEX conference, it was just around the time that I had begun collaborating with Experiential Education to start this blog. In deciding to take a leap and accept the volunteer position, I finally, after 5 years, answered my own question. Continue reading

Hey Mac!!

Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
Anthropology ’14

When I think back to my very first year at McMaster (longer ago than I’d like to admit!!), the one thing that resonates with me is that I wish I had had a mentor. Someone to guide me through the hard parts, tell me when I’m doing a good job, and give me a few tips to make it all easier. Let me tell you a little bit about myself; I’m back at McMaster for a second degree. Currently, I’m enrolled in Sociology level III, but I’m shadowing the Department of Geography and Environmental Science to change programs at the end of this term. My first degree is in Physical Anthropology and Archaeology. I’ve been very active throughout my undergraduate time at McMaster, volunteering extensively for the Society of Off-Campus Students and the McMaster Anthropology Society. I’ll never forget the day after my convocation. I remember sitting in my room, so proud of myself that I was finally done. I could finally move on to bigger and better things. But then I thought to myself – what does that all mean? Where do I go, and what do I do? How do I get there? What does this piece of paper with a fancy stamp actually mean? Continue reading