Skip to main content

Job Jam 2023

A group of people sit in a large colourful room with on a variety of seating. They are listening to a presenter speak.
An illustrated image of a jar with the words "Job Jam" appears on a yellow backdrop.

Want a career that inspires you?

Connect with UVic alum, and local business leaders about their unconventional career paths and learn how UVic can inspire you to build a future you love.  

Presented by UVic and KWENCH

When and where

Date: November 4
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.  
Location: KWENCH (2031 Store St, Victoria, BC). 

Here's how to get to KWENCH by bus from UVic and parking info if you're coming by car.

Schedule at-a-glance


    • Coffee and treats
    • Interactive sessions: Learn from local leaders working in everything from interior design to virtual reality and sports coaching. 
    • Flash talks with writers working in entertainment, industry, sustainability, plus graphic designers and strategic marketers

Noon to 4 p.m.

Stop by the Career Corner to chat with UVic career educators about your career opportunities. There will also be a session run by ReImagine Work.

1 p.m.

Panel: Soft skills are superpowers - how to use your strengths to make a difference

2 p.m.

Panel: How following your passion can lead to unexpected career paths

3 p.m.

Panel: How tackling big problems can lead to bright futures

4 p.m.

Mingle (a pay bar will be open) 

Session details

Noon to 1 p.m.

Flash talks

These flash talks will feature some of Victoria's most creative minds sharing their career experiences and tips. 

Flash talk speakers will include:

  • Kristina (Kris) Campbell, science and medical writer from Victoria who has spent the past decade covering microbiome science and gut health for online and print media throughout Europe and North America.
  • Kaytee Davis is the founder and Designer at Ok Thanks Studio in Victoria, BC. Kaytee is a multi-disciplinary designer with a knack for branding and web design that intertwines the two to create fully branded, user-centric web experiences. Kaytee founded Ok Thanks Studio in 2021 after leaving her comfy Product Design job in tech to have a more immediate hand in helping small and medium sized businesses, while also aligning to her vision for flexibility and authenticity in her work and life. In the short two and half years, Ok Thanks Studio has had the opportunity to work with local clients including Sheringham Distillery, Elate Cosmetics, Sherwood, Cook St Liquor and larger names such as Esther Perel, Wool and The Gang, and Girlboss’ Sophia Amoruso.
  • Lucas Kavanagh is a science writer and media producer. He is a co-founder of and the content director at Avo Media, a science-focused production and consulting company. Lucas’s background is in earth and ocean science, with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria and a master’s degree from McGill. For more than a decade, he has distilled complex scientific concepts into engaging media. Working both with organizations, and directly with scientists, he’s helped facilitate clear communication through writing, curriculum, mobile apps, live webcasts, podcasts, and videos. Combined, these projects have reached over ten million of people worldwide.
  • Gillian Easdon, freelance writer who has worked as a copywriter, content specialist, marketing manager and more.
  • Julie Gordon  Julie Gordon is a writer and communications leader who works at the intersection of public education, storytelling, engagement, and strategy to support projects that advance social, cultural and environmental justice . With more than two decades of experience working with governments, not-for-profit groups, Indigenous communities, and education sector clients, Julie aims to help clients to articulate their unique messages and realise their communications goals.
  • Shelby Levesque is a writer and creative thinker who has written on topics as diverse as technical subjects, cybersecurity, sleep science and more!
  • Barbara Myers is an urban planner and writer who has written and researched in the areas of sustainability, high performance buildings and professional practice. 

Flash talk speakers will include:

Interactive sessions

Topics and speakers include:

Noon to 4 p.m.

Career Corner: 

UVic's team of career educators will be on-site to give you support around career planning. They can help you figure out what steps to take to carve a career that you're passionate about.

There will also be a session run by ReImagine Work run by Human Resources Consultant and Career Coach Jocelin Caldwell.

1 to 2 p.m.

Panel: Soft skills are superpowers—how to use your strengths to make a difference

Panelists include:

As the founder and CEO of Rifflandia and one half of music label Amelia Artists, Nick Blasko is a music and entertainment powerhouse. He'll share some of his experiences carving out a career in an ever-changing entertainment landscape.

With two decades' experience as a naval architect and professional engineering, Callum Campbell is the founder of Greenline, a ferry company with a mission to unlock the coastal transport systems that BC needs to thrive. He'll share his experience bringing his passion into focus.

Jam was born at an early age in Toronto, Canada. He has spent most of his life as an educator and organizer, creating sustainable programs in remote communities across Canada, Afghanistan, the West Indies and Southeast Asia. Jam is an avid slow traveller exploring places to connect with people and learn from others; he loves hiking, reading and art havens.

He currently works as an Education Learning Specialist, listening to Knowledge Harvesters and Elders across Canada to weave a curriculum on Indigenous Science for educators and students.

In his spare time, he studies Indigenous Language Documentation at UVIC and writes a personal memoir called MinutesofYearsPast.

Dr. Kate's Sunguine is a veterinarian, small business owner, and mentor who has firmly embraced the squiggly career path. She has practiced veterinary medicine in Canada and globally on all sorts of creatures for over 10 years.  Currently she leads a Veterinary Mentorship Program to help teach veterinarians the capabilities, skills, and behaviours necessary to thrive in clinic practice as a human and a clinician. Much of this program revolves around building the non-technical competencies that are foundational to any person in relationship with other people. Like many folks who reside on the island, she loves trail running in our forests and mountains. Nature is her favourite artist and regular connection to awe. 

2 to 3 p.m. 

Panel: How following your passion can lead to unexpected career paths

Panelists include:

After starting his career leading several world-class research labs, Michael Kuzyk decided to combine his science background with his true passion--brewing new and innovative batches of beer. As Category 12’s head brewer and founder, the UVic alum has been brewing beer for over 25 years. He'll speak about his experiences pursuing his dream career.

Jean-Marc Perelmuter began his career as an astrophysicist studying the university under Edwin Hubble's protege Allan Sandage, before switching directions to found Ruume, a next-generation virtual meeting platform that reduces screen anxiety and eliminates fatigue.

Over the course of his 30+ year career, UVic alum Michael Rensing helped guide BC to reduce its carbon fuel emissions and explore alternative energy options through his various roles in the public service. Today, he leads works as a consultant providing strategic guidance to companies looking to support the low carbon economy.

Ann Squires Ferguson is a true cross-pollinator, raised off the grid in Northern BC on the banks of the Stikine River, and spent her childhood homeschooled in a log cabin, transiting the winter snows by homemade dog sled. She has twin degrees in Electro-Mechanical Engineering and Interior Design, coming to the design industry via the Canadian Navy, where she specialized in shipboard weapons and the audio engineering field, with a focus on the Asian Karaoke market. As CEO and owner of Western Design+Build, and a LEED Accredited Professional, Ann relishes both the creative and the technical.  Ann is an ovarian cancer survivor, having raised thousands towards early detection and research, and as a passionate advocate for diversity in construction, mentors her female-led team to advance in the industry. She is past Chair of the Vancouver Island Society of Interior Designers, has twice been elected to the Board of Directors for the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and sits on both the Ambassador Committee and the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advancement Committee. Ann is a proud military spouse, supporting her husband of 24 years in his Naval career as well as the adoring mother of musical theatre obsessed thirteen-year-old twins Daring and Danger.

3 to 4 p.m. 

Panel: How tackling big problems can lead to bright futures

Panelists include:

Patricia Barkaskas (UVic '05) has practiced law in the areas of child protection (as parent's counsel), criminal, family, as well as civil litigation and prison law. She is Métis from the Lac Ste. Anne Cree/Métis and Red River Métis communities.

She has worked closely with Indigenous peoples in their encounters with the justice system and has worked for Residential school survivors as a historical legal researcher for the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Patricia is currently the Strategic Advisor to the Dean for the National Centre for Indigenous Laws at UVic and the Academic Director of the Allard School of Law Indigenous Community Legal Clinic at UBC.

Jayesh Vekariya (UVic '19) is one of the founders of Joni, a Victoria-based company that offers organic, sustainable menstrual products that uses 5% of sales to improve access for communities across Canada. 

As someone dedicated to creating medical devices that have a true impact on patient outcomes, James Jackson is both a toolmaker and designer. The Vice-President of Engineering and Innovations at Rocket Science Health has helped design and develop products for clients like Logitechn, Olympus and Welch Allyn. Most recently, he's been working on transforming drug delivery to the brain.

Sarah Rhude is a lnu’sqw, Mi’kmaq/Algonquin/French woman on her mother’s side, and mixed European, settler ancestry on her father’s side. She is one of the co-founders of Aunty Collective, which provides a digital platform for Indigenous artists and professionals to highlight their specialized skill set and creations. As an artist, medicine maker, educator, student, mother and community member, Sarah is rooted in land-based teachings and Indigenous ways of being and knowing.


Sarah Rhude is a lnu’sgw-Mi’kmaq/Algonquin/French woman on her mother’s side, and mixed European, settler ancestry on her father’s side. Sarah was born in Sioux Lookout and was raised in Anishinabek territory, in and around Northern Ontario, as well as many territories within what is now known as Interior British Columbia.

For the last twenty-four years, Sarah had the honour to work, live, and learn in and amongst the Coast Salish, Nuuchahnulth, and Kwakwaka'wakw territories and peoples. Developing relationships with and learning from and with the land, plants, animals, water, and people, and working with traditional materials from the land to make art, medicine, and regalia affirms her strength as Mi'kmaq visitor who carries their own Indigenous laws while honouring the laws of the lands in which they are a visitor.  

Sharing teachings, artistic and culturally based skills, and the knowledge and stories Sarah carries are paramount in all the work she does.

Sarah, a two-spirit mother, grandmother, sister, auntie, artist, educator, academic, performer, advocate, and activist is passionate about furthering Indigenous governance, particularly with regard to our right to access land-based education and the enactment of our sovereign creative practices. Sarah is an owner and managing partner of Aunty Collective Art, Culture and Learning Hub here in Lekwungen territory. 

Our sponsors

A big thanks to our amazing sponsors:


We are committed to create events that are welcoming for all.

KWENCH is a fully accessible space that includes an elevator and gender-inclusive washrooms.

Please let us know in advance if we can make this event more accessible for you. You can also connect with our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team at any time.


 Questions? Email us and we'll be in touch soon.