BA 2006: Major Interdisciplinary Studies, Ethnic and Intercultural Studies

 

After changing her major five times and completing four co-op work terms, Rosalyn Cua found her niche in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on ethnic and intercultural studies. “What was really valuable was…having the opportunity to work in a number of positions before graduation [which] gave me a clearer idea of what I wanted to do,” says Cua.

For Cua, “it’s the process of discovering who you are and what you love that is enjoyable and exciting.” Through her co-op terms and many years’ of involvement in student leadership on campus, Cua found herself drawn to the field of equity, diversity and peace education and naturally developing her skill set in communications and project management.

Most of Cua’s co-op experiences were in writing and communications in the public and private sectors and she still finds herself doing similar work today. On her co-op work terms, Cua worked with organizations such as Silicon Chalk Inc. (which was later acquired by Horizon Wimba), Statistics Canada and the Tec de Monterrey-UBC Joint Academic Program. From writing press releases to building websites, Cua feels that the experience she gained from her work terms is now helping her “bring [her] communications, business development and project management skills to the non-profit world”.

Cua serves on the Board of Directors of Anti-dote: Multiracial Girls and Women’s Network, a grassroots, not-for-profit organization in Victoria that supports the needs of racialized minority and Indigenous girls and women. As the President-Elect (incoming president), she is in charge of the communications and outreach strategy for the organization and supports all areas of non-profit management including strategic planning, grant writing and volunteer management. For Cua, the most fulfilling part of her work with Anti-dote is “having an intergenerational network of girls and women who all support each other – it’s like having a huge extended family! Seeing the younger girls gain more confidence and becoming more empowered as a result of being involved in our programs – it’s something you can’t put a dollar figure on.”

The organization is a perfect fit for Cua as it puts into practice the feminist, anti-racist frameworks that were the focus of her academic career. “I am proud to be working with such amazing and inspiring girls and women, and I probably would not be the incoming president of an organization if I didn’t have the right combination of skills and sensibilities that I have spent the past several years exploring and developing in myself,” says Cua. She is also doing communications and outreach work with another non-profit organization – the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society’s Multicultural Environmental Education Program. Her passion for social change and her natural skills in business development has led her to community economic development, a growing and exciting field that fits beautifully with her dual passions. She is currently enrolled in an SFU certificate program for community economic development professionals, and her future career plans include completing her MBA and starting her own non-profit organization and consulting business. Cua continues to stay connected to UBC through the Alumni Association and hosting student send-off events in Victoria for UBC Bound!

Cua’s best advice to students is, “Know yourself and then be true to yourself. Self-knowledge, while it’s not the focus of an academic degree, can take you farther than the grades on your transcript. See your career development as a journey where you’re creating your own roadmap, not following someone else’s. And it’s not a straight line either.” Cua goes on to say that “You make the best choice you can make at any given time, and if it turns out to be the ‘wrong’ choice, you can make another choice.”

When sharing her final insights, Cua left us with this quote: “Real achievement occurs in our energy, in our chemistry, and in the way we hold ourselves when no one else is looking.” (from This Time I Dance: Creating Work You Love by Tama Kieves)