By: Lorelei Kenny

Midterms are here and you’re probably questioning whether your art degree is worth it. These three women are here to tell you it is. So hang on, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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brenna

Name: Brenna Doucette

Major(s): English

Minor(s): Religious Studies

Year of graduation: May 2016 BA

Where do you work now, and what does this job entail?

I’m now working at Startup Zone as the Operations & Communications Manager, which means I’m responsible for the management of the facility and for communicating Startup Zone activities, news, and resident company updates to the public.

How did your UPEI Arts Degree prepare you for your current job?

Would you believe me if I said the biggest skill I took from my Arts degree is how to write? Or is that too cliche? It’s true! Through both formal lessons and practice (papers on papers on papers), Arts students get ample writing experience, and that’s the biggest thing I took with me to my first (post-grad) Communications job. Working in communications requires you to be able to convey messages in clear, understandable language. Having spent 4 years writing papers for, let’s face it, a department of grammar police, I feel like I’m pretty well prepared for a career of content creation.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m going to shamelessly plug Dr. Shannon Murray’s Capstone in Arts (Arts 401) course here. If you’re an Arts student doubting the value of your degree or unsure of what post-graduation might look like for you, TAKE THIS CLASS in your final semester. It’s fantastic. (Bonus for English majors – it counts as one of your 400-level requirements!)

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via

Name: Via Reyes

Major(s):  English

Minor(s): Though I was aiming to minor in History or Sociology alongside my English degree, I realized by the end of my third year that there were so many different Arts courses I wanted to take that I just took them all! Though I mostly spent my time in English class, I benefited from a lot of other courses ranging from Religious Studies to Physics.

Year of graduation: May 2016 BA

Where do you work now, and what does this job entail?

I work as the Student Engagement Coordinator for Chartwells UPEI. Although it’s a part-time gig, it keeps me busy and motivated. The job involves organizing and promoting events that will engage students, mostly in the residence community. I’m also in charge of keeping all social media platforms up-to-date, creating posters and digital content, and connecting with contacts.

How did your UPEI Arts Degree prepare you for your current job?

I am definitely appreciative for all the writing I had to do during my undergrad which has really helped not only with what I have to do for my current job but also with applying to different jobs and reaching out to professionals. Instead of only focusing on whatever new material was being presented in class, I was constantly learning how to improve my writing with every new assignment. Though copywriting was never really something I did in classes, I still found that I was able to effectively market products because of the writing skills I developed.

A UPEI Arts Degree was also really good for pushing me to be creative in all aspects. Though it involved a ton of research and required readings, being constantly challenged to think and question beyond what was directly in front of me trained my brain to think critically and make decisions effectively.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Although I am definitely not where I want to be yet and sometimes joke about how much a business degree would have made this post-grad transition easier (it still probably wouldn’t have for me), I am immensely thankful for my arts degree because of all the invaluable lessons I have learned about the world and its people, and for molding me the way it has.

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shannon

Name: Shannon Moore

Major(s): French and Psychology 

Year of graduation: May 2014 BA and May 2015 B.Ed

Where do you work now, and what does this job entail?


I currently work at Montague Consolidated School and I teach grade three French Immersion. Last year I worked my first full year as a permanent teacher and I taught grade 6 (at the same school). The school goes from kindergarten to grade 6 with about 420 students – it’s a great time!

This job entails lots of hours thinking of my students, making lessons for my students, meeting with parents for my students and working with my colleagues for my students. Everything that I do is for my students, all 24 of them that I love so much. Teaching requires a lot of hours (typically I spend a full day per weekend working at the school to try and stay on top of things).

 

How did your UPEI Arts Degree prepare you for your current job?


My Bachelor of Arts really allowed to explore different fields so that I could finally find a field where I felt like I was in my element. I was able to take Child Psychology classes where I created and used a Healthy Relationships Curriculum in schools.

I was able to take part in a Human Services class that allowed me to go into schools and work with a psychologist/guidance counselor to see the school system from that perspective. I was able to sharpen my French, and became aware of various resources, reading about famous French authors and playwrights, as well as listening to music, watching movies, and being exposed to French culture in so many different ways.

In addition to all of this, I was able to, like I previously mentioned, find what I was passionate about and good at (to some degree); focusing on helping to raise children in society and spreading the love of the French language in the world.

In so many ways, I was able to learn about myself at UPEI – learning about my love of languages while taking Spanish and French classes, learning about my love of teaching my becoming a Teaching Assistance for Philip Smith, Stacey MacKinnon, Annabel Cohen, Eva Kovacic and Vickie Johnston, and exploring these fields in any way I could with all of the opportunities at UPEI (going to Psychology Presentations on Friday afternoons and attending French Tertulias on Thursday evenings, for example).

Anything else you’d like to add?

I loved my time at UPEI and would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a Bachelor of Arts – there are so many passionate people that inspire you – history professors like Ed MacDonald, James Moran to Religious Studies professors like Father Grecco. Basically, all of the essentials of my life – basic Canadian History, fundamental math skills, practical social psychology, and many more learnings are all thanks to my Bachelor of Arts at UPEI.

My arts degree did prepare for my job and in fact, made me more knowledgeable about my surroundings at work more than I ever could have imagined! I still have support from UPEI, often e-mailing French professors about grammar before teaching my own students or asking Psychology professors about professionals that can help my students in any way possible. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.