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 as far in advance as possible.






Tues, Feb 27
5 - 6:30 p.m.

Clearihue A203

What can you do with a degree in English?

Weds, Feb 28
5 - 7 p.m.
Turpin A110

Working in the bio-medical and health sector

Business, Engineering, Health Information Science, Nursing, Science

Tues, Mar 13
5 - 7 p.m.

MacLaurin D288

Working in environmental sustainability and green technology

Business, Engineering, Science, Social Sciences

Weds, Mar 14
5 - 7 p.m.

Turpin A110

Working in marketing, communications, public relations and new media

Business, Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences

* All students are welcome to attend any session.

About the panelists

What can you do with a degree in English? (Tues, Feb 27)

Kathleen Assaf - Director of Data Policy, Integrated Data Office, BC Government

Kathleen Assaf is Director of Data Policy for the Integrated Data Office at the Provincial Government. She leads complex multi-stakeholder policy projects that involve comprehensive research and analysis leading to development of strategic policies that respond to current and emerging trends in data management.

Cameron Butt - Director of Development, BC Green Party

Cameron Butt is the Director of Development for the BC Green Party. In the 2017 election, he was in charge of rebuilding the Green Party's fundraising program. Much of his job entails engaging BC Green Party supporters and connecting them to donation opportunities.

Sonya Chwyl - Communications Coordinator, Glenlyon Norfolk School

Sonya Chwyl is Communications Coordinator at Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS), where she works as part of the GNS marketing and communications team. She graduated from UVic in 2016, where she studied English and Professional Communications. In the past, she has worked for the Government of BC and the Department of National Defence.

Wesley MacInnis - Marketing and Sales Coordinator, Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites

Wesley MacInnis is Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites. The position merges communications, business development, and computer science in the tourism industry. He acts as a liaison between the hotel management and sales department; between the sales department and operations staff; between the hotel and industry partners; and most importantly, between the hotel and its guests. Accordingly, the position requires social tact, networking, flexibility and collaboration.

Brittany Vis - Associate Director/Curator, Maritime Museum of BC

Brittany Vis is the Associate Director/Curator at the Maritime Museum of BC. In addition to working with the collections and exhibits, she is also involved with operational and development duties, such as grant writing and oversight of public activities.

Working in the bio-medical and health sector (Weds, Feb 28)

Sophie Bannar-Martin - Manager, STOP HIV and Bloodborne Diseases, Island Health

Sophie graduated from the UVic Kinesiolgy Co-op Program in 2006. She worked locally as a Kinesiologist for a year before moving to Australia to complete her Master of Public Health (Tropical Health) at the University of Queensland. She has over eight years of experience administering public health programs within developing and developed country contexts including Australia, Canada, Fiji and Nigeria. She is passionate about improving the health of vulnerable and marginalized populations through harnessing multi-sectoral partnerships to deliver practical, responsive and community-driven programming. Sophie returned to Canada and joined Island Health in 2014 and is the Regional Manager for STOP HIV, Bloodborne Disease and Harm Reduction.

David Bond - Research Operations Leader, Deeley Research Centre (BC Cancer Agency)

David earned a B.Sc. from the University of Victoria in Biology and Microbiology in 2003. Through the experience gained in co-op placements he discovered a passion for molecular biology. David subsequently pursued research positions in protein biochemistry, virology, and cell signaling. In 2013, he completed a Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta, where he then trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Experimental Oncology. David returned to Victoria in 2016 to take a position as Research Operations Leader at BC Cancer’s Deeley Research Centre, where he oversees operations and manages various projects including the Immunotherapy Program.

Amanda Malone - Chief Scientific Officer, Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Malone has worked on the development of drug delivery systems for over 10 years. She is a founding member of Eupraxia Pharmaceutical’s team, and has guided the scientific programs through the pre-clinical and manufacturing process and into the clinic. Prior to joining Eupraxia, Dr. Malone was the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of a drug delivery company that was granted over $9 million from the U.S. National Institute of Health and had over 15 products in its pipeline. She graduated with High Honors from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California with a degree in engineering and was the inaugural PhD student in Stanford’s Bioengineering Department. While at Stanford, she received both a National Science Foundation Fellowship and a Stanford BioX Graduate Fellowship.

Haley Moore - Senior Health Business Consultant, TELUS Health

Haley Moore graduated from the University of Victoria with a B.Sc. in Health Information Science (HINF) in 2010. One of her favourite parts of her degree was participating in the HINF Co-op program, which took her to Toronto for work terms at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital. Since graduating, Haley has been based in Vancouver working in business analysis and project management for large, complex technical implementations for health care organizations. She has led change management and application activities for several challenging project rescues. Haley currently works as a Senior Health Business Consultant for TELUS Health.

Nathan Muller - Mechanical Engineer (EIT), StarFish Medical

Nathan is passionate about the applications of biotechnology and biomedical science in product development, with core competencies in biomedical-mechanical design and material sciences. He has over four years of professional work experience in industry, primarily in product development but including biomedical research and wet laboratory experience, building systems, and turnkey solar power systems.

Working in environmental sustainability and green technology (Tues, Mar 13)

Usama Aftab - Software Engineer, Carmanah Technologies

Usama Aftab is a software engineer at one of the leading solar lighting manufacturers in North America. At Carmanah Technologies, he works closely with the product development and management teams to develop software for embryonic technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy. He also focuses on full-stack development using Angular 2 and Java. His expertise range from mobile application development to information security. Mr. Aftab is an alumnus of the University of Victoria, where he received his master's degree in applied science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mr. Aftab has experience in Android, iOS and the Internet of Things, which led him to author two books by the titles "Learning Android Intents" and "Building Bluetooth Low Energy Systems".

Caetano Dorea - Associate Professor, UVic Department of Civil Engineering

Caetano Dorea is an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria where he runs the Public Health & Environmental Engineering (PH2E) research group. His interests and expertise are at the crossroads of environmental and public health engineering. This includes the development and evaluation of water and sanitation/wastewater technologies, field- and operator-appropriate water/wastewater/faecal sludge quality analytical methods, and functional ecology characterisation of biological treatment systems for safeguarding the health of the public and the environment. His activities are focused both on developing countries and in industrialised countries with projects ranging from the development of methods for the online monitoring and control of disinfection by products in Canadian municipalities to the delivery of safe water and sanitation for humanitarian relief. Over the past 15 years he has been involved in water and sanitation related research in both development and humanitarian contexts. In addition to research activities Caetano is also active as a consultant delivering technical advice and bespoke trainings for NGOs and agencies such as Unicef, Oxfam, Goal-Ireland, Canadian Red Cross, etc.

Arif Lalani - Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture

Arif Lalani has been the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Business Development Division with the Ministry of Agriculture since September 2015.

The Business Development Division is responsible for providing provincial and federal-provincial agricultural risk management programs and funding of programs and trusts as well as regional sector support in business development, youth development and innovation and technology.

Arif Lalani has a Bachelor’s of Arts (Major Political Science and Minor in Economics) and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Victoria.  Arif comes from the Ministry of Children and Family Development where he was the Executive Director of Provincial Services within the Policy and Provincial Services Division. 

Arif’s approach to strategic leadership is focused on excellent ethics and integrity, pragmatism in approaching change management, and maintaining a mindset geared to achieving results.

Susan Kerr - Sustainability Coordinator, UVic

Susan Kerr is a Sustainability Coordinator with the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability, VP Finance and Operations. Susan joined UVic in January 2015. Sustainable transportation makes up a large part of Susan’s portfolio as well as engagement and outreach in sustainability leadership, sustainability reporting, student and employee support and working on Campus Planning projects. Prior to UVic, Susan also worked at Royal Roads University in their Office of Sustainability.

Before working in higher education, Susan was employed as a Project Scientist for an environmental consulting firm, working primarily in contaminated site assessment and emergency spill response. She has completed countless hours of travel and bush whacking and across British Columbia, and conducted umpteen digs in urban centres.

Susan has holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences, a Diploma of Technology in Chemical Sciences, and an Advanced Certificate in Environmental Management. She also holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, which focussed on Sustainable Community Development, Environmental Education and Communications and Intercultural Communications.

Rahul Ray - Senior Planner, Environmental Dynamics

Rahul Ray is a Senior Planner with Environmental Dynamics. His social science, planning, and facilitation work is enhanced by his education and experience in the biological sciences. He has prepared socio-economic baseline studies, led Aboriginal community engagement programs, and conducted impact assessments for many major projects across western Canada. Rahul is a Registered Professional Planner in British Columbia and a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. 

His project approach has allowed him to connect with a diverse range of people across Canada, each time allowing him to build strong, respectful relationships focused on understanding issues and developing solutions. He is a strategic planner in profession and personality. He has experience as a project manager, technical specialist, engagement lead, business owner and operational leader for a team of 25 professionals.

Jill Robinson - Executive Director, Habitat Acquisition Trust

Jill has a BSc in biology from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia and went to Memorial University of Newfoundland for an MSc in seabird biology. Originally from Shanty Bay, Ontario, she has previously been involved in a multitude of wildlife research projects in many remote corners of the world. Jill studied seabirds in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and Newfoundland, monitored shorebirds in Churchill, Manitoba, studied sea turtles in Naples, Florida and collected data on forest biodiversity in tropical rainforests of Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Jill has also been heavily involved in stewardship and public outreach programs, having worked in environmental public education at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre in BC, Newfound Harbour Marine Institute in the Florida Keys, as well as in Ecuador. Before joining on at HAT, Jill worked for Raincoast Conservation Foundation and is a member of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society.

Working in marketing, communications, public relations and new media (Weds, Mar 14)

Andrea Bava - Director, Blitz Media and Events

A UVIC Business alum, Andrea Bava has 15 years’ experience in the Communications field. Getting her start as a scrappy and eager intern for the Vancouver Canucks she held a number of internal and external PR and Community Relations roles with leading Western Canadian brands. In 2007, she founded Blitz Media & Events, a full-service PR, Social, Influencer and Event Communications agency.

After 15 years building her career in Vancouver, Andrea, along with her husband and two small children, relocated this year to Nanaimo, BC.

Ben Fast - Programs and Member Services Coordinator, BC Museums Association

Ben Fast is the Programs & Member Services Coordinator for the BC Museums Association. He graduated from UVic in 2014 with a BA in History (honours) and a Professional Writing Minor in Journalism and Publishing and later graduated with an MA in Tourism Management from Royal Roads (2016). Ben has transformed his passion for history, education, and collaborative innovation into work at cultural organizations around Victoria, in Whitehorse, and in France (a HUFA co-op placement), often in education and digital communications positions.

Ben is a musician, photographer, kayaker and curler who enjoys travelling and visiting the world’s greatest museums.

Don Genova - President, Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch

Don Genova is the president of the Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch and also works for CMG as an Organizer, recruiting new members for the Freelance Branch. Outside of his union activity, Don is also an award-winning freelance food journalist based in Victoria, BC. He has written for the Globe and Mail, National Post, and many other newspapers and magazines. Don’s many radio features about food were heard across the country on CBC Radio. His first book, a BC-best seller, Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, was published in April 2014 by TouchWood Editions.
Don earned a Masters of Food Culture from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy in 2007. He also holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and is an Honours Graduate of the Humber College Radio Broadcasting Program.

Caroline Mitic - Freelance graphic designer

Caroline Mitic completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UVic in 2005, and went on to pursue a career in graphic design.  After spending ten years working in-house for various organizations including Camosun College, she decided to venture into the world of the great unknown as a freelancer. Caroline now does contract graphic design for a number of clients, most of who are located in Victoria. She specializes in branding and print design, and she especially enjoys working with small businesses.

Caroline loves the world of freelance because it allows her to keep a flexible schedule and work with a diverse list of clients, including UVic. She is passionate about design, art, writing and photography. She has also become an expert at time-management and personal finance.

Hugo Wong - Reporter, Black Press

Hugo Wong is a multimedia journalist with the Peninsula News Review, a Black Press publication in Sidney, B.C. He graduated in 2017 with a major in political science and a minor in journalism and publishing. Throughout his degree, he volunteered and worked at the Martlet and CFUV, and completed a work term at Parks Canada.

At work, he has a passion for explaining the ins and outs of government. Outside of it, he is a keen photographer and a clumsy rock climber.

Jessica Woollard - Communications Officer, Greater Victoria Public Library

Jessica Woollard is a communications officer with the Greater Victoria Public Library. Storytelling is her specialty, whether she communicates through marketing copy, social media, public relations, or feature writing. Over the last decade, she has worked as a researcher, teacher, communications professional, and freelance writer.

Her work has appeared in BC Business, the West Jet in-flight magazine, and BC Ferries’ OnBoard, to name a few.

Words of wisdom: a sneak peek from our 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!