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!

Kelsey4

…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