BA 2007: Political Science

In terms of helping him to find satisfying work experiences, Greg Eidsness calls UBC Arts Co-op a “game-changer.” A 2007 Political Science alumnus, Greg currently works in international trade. And yet, not content with just a day job, he and a fellow Co-op graduate, Jason Carroll, have also created their own start-up company.  All this is a far cry from Greg’s jobs prior to joining Co-op, which included everything “from mowing lawns, to selling knives door-to-door, to catching chickens.”

Between his study terms at UBC, Greg worked for Canada Customs and Revenue (now Canada Border Services Agency), the National University of Singapore, Western Economic Diversification and Time Warner Hong Kong.  The latter position even led to a contract upon graduation that included aspects of corporate social responsibility, international public relations and intellectual property rights. But Greg has been exploring career options in the past few years, moving to different positions “fairly frequently.”  UBC Arts Co-op, he says, introduced him to the vast diversity of opportunities in different industries that are available.  Reflecting on his career trajectory, Greg notices that because of these experiences, he’s much less likely to stay in a job “simply because it’s stable or pays a decent wage.”

Befitting of someone who says that he’s not content to remain doing any one thing for too long, Greg notes that he has a “tendency towards entrepreneurialism.”  Recently, he has co-founded a business called Speed Renting Canada, which “brings some of the principles of speed dating” to the matching of roommates.  Participants in Speed Renting can congregate at a public event advertised through the Speed Renting website, meeting potential roommates in a casual environment.  Greg bets that Vancouverites looking for a place to rent – or a roommate – will appreciate this new approach.  After all, the concept has already proven to be successful in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

Talking to UBC Arts students, Greg says that he “can’t recommend the Co-op program strongly enough.” Within Co-op, there are all kinds of opportunities, and Greg suggests students “test-drive” a variety of sectors:  “Yes, get that experience with the federal government – it’s valuable. But also go and work for that tiny non-profit or small business where you will get to take on a range of tasks that you wouldn’t get at a larger organization. And hey, while you’re at, try your luck at a big corporation. You might decide never to work for one again, but at least you will know a little bit about how they tick.”