BA: Major in Geography

Where did Maddy work? 

Work Term 1 and 2 (8 months):

Student Initiatives Engagement Co-op Student | UBC Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL)

What did Maddy accomplish?

Main Tasks

At CCEL, Maddy’s main tasks were based on communicating with students at the Centre, including promoting events and workshops, and coordinating CCEL’s many student-led initiatives. Additionally, she was in charge of a UBC series of events called “Change Making,” which highlights that there is no right way to create an impact on a community and advocates for creating change in your community. Lastly, she was a lead in a global-research competition called “Map the System,” which asks participants to think differently about global change.

Major Accomplishment & Greatest Challenge 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maddy had to deal with a lot of change during her 8-month work term. However, her greatest challenge ended up being her greatest accomplishment. As the lead educator for “Map the System,” she had to coordinate a large scale event run by the University of Oxford that included a UBC, Canadian and global competition. Therefore, she had to run all communications between the Canadian division at UBC and the global division in England. When all plans were finalized, 2 days later, physical distancing measures took effect; all UBC staff were asked to work from home and events could no longer take place as planned. This huge in-person event had to be moved fully online.

Maddy had to quickly transition months of work online in just a week and a half. However, her coworkers at CCEL helped her and as a result, they ended up getting a lot of excitement from attendees about the online event. “It was amazing to see how fast the team could turn around, and have 20 teams competing,” she stated. Although it was a lot of work, she had a lot of fun doing it!

How did Arts Co-op Benefit Maddy? 

Link between Academics and Work

Maddy revealed that she now feels more prepared to be in an academic setting, having participated in the Arts Co-op Program. Firstly, it was a good break from focusing solely on her studies. “It was nice to interact with non-students and get some perspectives on things that aren’t school,” she stated.

Secondly, she feels more dedicated to her education because she understands real-world examples of why her academic learning is important. As a Geography major, Maddy feels that what she’s learning can seem broad and difficult to envision in a real-life setting. In her position, she conducted research and environmental scans on what other universities are doing, which gave her a sense of clarity for what she wants to do in her future jobs. “I see the value of education a lot better and understand what I want to do more now,” she proudly claimed.

Preparation for Post-Graduation

“I feel extremely prepared having done so many experiences in one work term,” declared Maddy. In her position, she tried new things like working for the City of Vancouver and working alongside Masters and PhD students. Having these experiences and mentors, Maddy now feels more prepared going into job interviews, because she knows what employers are looking for.

What is Maddy’s favorite part of Arts Co-op?

Freedom in her job search was Maddy’s favourite part of the Arts Co-op Program. “I really valued the number of opportunities that were out there,” stated Maddy. Although she opted for CCEL, she mentioned that she had so many opportunities to choose from. She enjoyed how the Arts Co-op Program gives students a lot of freedom and choice in their job search. “You can do whatever you want to do and have a lot of support while you’re at it.”