What can you do with your degree?

What can you do with your degree?

A career exploration panel series

Learn how you can make the leap from university to a rewarding career.

  • Hear from industry experts about career options in specific industries—and how they broke into their sectors
  • Learn about the current job market
  • Get meaningful advice on your career plans
  • Figure out your next steps after graduation

PLUS Attend the 1-hour panel to hear from all speakers—stay after to connect with panelists one-on-one!

Register for this event (in the LIM calendar under the 'events' tab) or stop by on the day.

If accessibility accommodations are needed for this event, please let us know at UVicCoopCareerEvents@uvic.ca as far in advance as possible.






Wed, Oct 24
5 - 7 p.m.

Turpin A102

Working in banking, finance and investment

Business, Science, Social Sciences
Thurs, Oct 25
5 - 7 p.m.
Turpin A110

Working in international development, community development and the non-profit sector

Business, EPHE, Humanities, Human & Social Development, Social Sciences

* All students are welcome to attend any session.

About the panelists

Working in banking, finance and investment (Wed, Oct 24)

Dale Hughes - Manager, CIBC

Kira Hewitt - President and Portfolio Manager, UVic Investment Group

Simon Philp - Market Vice-President, CIBC

Sydney Uhlmann - Associate, CIBC

Patrick Woo - Assistant Branch Manager, RBC

Working in international development, community development and the non-profit sector (Thurs, Oct 25)

Shannon WhissellManager Community Development, Greater Victoria coalition to end homelessness

Shannon is a writer, a communications strategist, a teacher, and a community builder. After completing an Interdisciplinary Masters Degree at UNBC, Shannon taught academic writing and business communications at both Camosun College and Royal Roads University. Wanting to expand her impact beyond academia, Shannon redefined her career, working with non-profit agencies in Victoria, BC and then in Kingston, Jamaica sharing communications and collaboration best practices. 

On returning to Victoria, Shannon took on the position of Community Development Manager at the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, working with all levels of government; private and public funders; housing, health and social service providers; and individuals committed to ending homelessness in the Capital Region to ensure the system of care that prevents and responds to homelessness is as efficient and effect as possible. Her role also includes considerable work in community engagement and education, building understanding of what it will require to end homelessness in the capital region.

Rachel Barr - International Aboriginal Youth Internship (IAYI) Project Coordinator, VIDEA

Hey All! My name is Rachel Barr, I absolutely love rap and reggae music and will always be the first one on the dance floor. I hold a degree in Gender Studies from Uvic (yay!) and a diploma in Sexual Health Education. While at Uvic, I got the opportunity to take part as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar through CAPI and head to India to do an internship which solidified my passion for working in the international development sector. Currently, I work for a rad organization called VIDEA, which focuses on human rights and gender issues through a number of different programming. I am a project coordinator for the International Aboriginal Internship Program through VIDEA and everyday I feel lucky to work with amazing indigenous youth leaders

Kendal Alston - Manager, Community Supports, BC Ministry of Health

Kendal Alston is the Manager of Community Supports at the BC Ministry of Health. In her role, Kendal oversees multiple files including: Assisted Living, Home Support, Better at Home, Adult Day Programs, and Respite. Most of Kendal`s career has been spent working at the Ministry of Health, focusing predominantly on policy related to services for seniors and vulnerable adults. Outside of work, Kendal is the Local Coordinator for Special Olympics Victoria.  Kendal holds a BA in Recreation Health Education (UVic), an MA in Kinesiology (UVic), and she is currently pursuing a MBA through the University of Warwick.

Alex Harned - Community-Engagement coordinator

Alex Harned is a practicing community-engagement coordinator with over a decade of non-profit experience. She has been the creator of most of her jobs - from founding the Oaklands Sunset Market (2012 - 2015) to the role of Food Access Coordinator at the Fernwood NRG (2016 - 2017).  She has worked in the realm of food security amidst coordinator roles at CRFAIR, Farm to Cafeteria Canada, and was awarded 40K through Vancity Enviro-Fund for her project "Helping Hands" - a food recovery program wherein surplus produce is gleaned and redistributed to communities experiencing food insecurity. She completed her Master's in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (MSLS) in Sweden in 2016. Alex was awarded the 2015 Vancity Youth Award through the Victoria Leadership Awards for the demonstration of leadership in the Capital Regional District that creates significant societal change for marginalized people through social justice and environmental stewardship

Karen Christie - Retired Diplomat, Global Affairs Canada

Karen Christie began her international career teaching in Australia and then later as a volunteer teacher in Ethiopia with the World University Service of Canada.  The latter assignment launched her into 7 years of international program management with 2 NGOs in Ottawa, followed by 6 years in election administration with a multi-national organization in former Yugoslavia. She joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 2003, and represented Canada on diplomatic postings in Afghanistan and Haiti as part of her work for Global Affairs Canada.  Karen retired in 2016.

Dennis Saw

Dennis has done some front line work at a long-term care facility with elderly individuals, a rehabilitation facility with youths, and a group home alongside individuals with disabilities. Dennis also has done some teaching at a summer bike camp and as a teaching assistant at UVic. Currently, Dennis works with a talented and passionate team at a local coffee roaster, with a "Dad" that truly cares about the people who grow coffee for a living.

Words of wisdom: advice from past panelists

Jessica Woollard (English, History) – Communications Officer, Greater Victoria Public Library

One piece of career advice you would give to your undergraduate self?

I would tell my undergraduate self to take advantage of opportunities to gain professional experience at university. I focused on my studies — which is very important and helped me get scholarships for graduate school — but I wish I had made time to write for the school paper, have a radio show, run for student union. Once you’re in the working world, these kinds of opportunities are harder to come by. At university, they are there for you on a platter. If, for example, you ever think you’ll be interested in doing a radio show, don’t wait till you’re out of school and “have more time to fit it in” — you won’t. Do it now!

How did you end up on your career path? What was most helpful in guiding you along the way?

I had been leaning toward a career in education when a chance encounter in my undergraduate degree set me on my path to work in communications. I took a film studies class in second year and met a mature student auditing the class. I bumped into this woman at a Blockbuster the summer after the class had ended, and she offered me a job on the spot. It turns out she owned a private business school that helped people start their own businesses, teaching them about writing a business plan, marketing, bookkeeping, accounting, and everything you’d need to know to become an entrepreneur. She remembered how I conducted myself in class and the kind of work I produced and felt I’d be a great fit with her office. I became a marketing assistant for the school and worked there for three years before I moved out west to go to graduate school.

What has been most helpful to guide me along in my career is to always put my best foot forward — be professional, be reliable, produce good work, accept criticism with grace, and yearn to learn more.

How difficult or easy was it for you to land your first co-op or your first job after graduation?

Once I finished my Master’s, I started freelance writing to build my portfolio and gain more experience in professional writing, so I could land a job in communications. Then, an opportunity came my way to teach high school at an independent school. I thought carefully about the chance that had presented itself. I didn’t have a teaching certificate, and I was being given this opportunity. I said yes. After my year of teaching, I decided my instincts had been right; I wanted to work in communications. My first job in the field? Working for an independent school, a job I might not have gotten if I hadn’t had the year of teaching experience at an independent school.

Nathan Müller (Engineering) – Mechanical Engineer, StarFish Medical

How did you end up on your career path? What was most helpful in guiding you along the way?

The ability to integrate new practices into what was a standard degree. I followed my passion and adjusted my mechanical engineering path to include biomedical, and this opened new doors and got me where I am today. 

Who has inspired you? Were there any important mentors you had along the way?

My professors through school and my managers at my co-op placements and beyond. I appreciate their patience with my unexpected questions and their willingness to pass on their knowledge and advice.

How difficult or easy was it for you to land your first co-op or your first job after graduation?

Difficult to get a lead, but I was lucky that my previous co-op placements suited my passions in my field, and this lined me up to get my current job during an informational interview.  

What kind of personality do you like to hire as an employer (or if not applicable, what personality traits do you think have helped you in the workplace)?

The ability to work together in a team to accomplish difficult and challenging projects to a finished state, with a satisfied client, is the goal. Traits include the ability to work with people from all backgrounds, encourage others ideas while advocating their own, confidence in their own abilities with the drive to learn more. 

Register soon!

Once the panels are set, you'll be able to register for sessions through LearninginMotion—just sign in with your Netlink ID and visit the events calendar to register for your session!

More industry sessions in spring 2019.