BA 2010: Sociology

Where did Simon work?

Work Term 1 (8 months)
Research Assistant, Aboriginal Relations and Negotiations Department, BC Hydro

Work Term 2 (4 months)
Treaty Analyst, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Work Term 3 (8 months)
Negotiations Analyst, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

What did Simon accomplish? 

BC Hydro
As Research Assistant for the Aboriginal Relations and Negotiations Department, Simon was part of two major capital generation projects in a field highly related to his Sociology studies. For these projects, Simon was responsible for conducting grievance analyses, archival research and First Nations community profiles to support BC Hydro Coordinators in their negotiations with First Nations communities.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)
In his position as a Treaty Analyst with the DFO, Simon’s research and analysis provided fisheries negotiators with a deeper understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the BC Treaty Process. This informed DFO negotiators on how to move forward with the BC Treaty Process from a fisheries standpoint. He also conducted valuable research on fisheries co-management best practices in Washington, USA, and New Zealand to consider how fisheries in BC might be best co-managed by the government, First Nations and existing commercial fisheries.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
At AANDC, Simon had the opportunity to represent Canada at two leading Agreement-in-Principle treaty negotiation tables. These negotiated the transference of land, money, governance and wildlife management to BC First Nations. He conducted community profiles and specific claims research, and assisted in negotiating several chapters in these agreements—exciting responsibilities which, in his words, “helped shape history in Canada.”

What would Simon tell others about Arts Co-op?

Simon advises, “Make the most of your co-op terms while you are there.” Co-op gave Simon the opportunity to build his skill sets—such as public speaking through BC Hydro’s Toastmasters program—and to develop himself as a professional. Post-graduation, these transferable skills gave Simon the confidence to successfully seek employment abroad.

Where is Simon now?

After graduation, Simon continued work at AANDC as a Communications Officer before moving to London, UK. He is now a Cluster Mobilisation Coordinator with the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

How did Arts Co-op benefit Simon?

A Strong Network
During the economic recession in 2008/09, Simon learned first-hand the value of networking. Facing increased competition for jobs, Simon struggled to acquire his final co-op work term. Through persistence and a contact made during a previous interview, he finally received a last-minute job opportunity with AANDC after four months of hard searching.

Complementing Classes with Career
Simon credits both his classes and co-op for preparing him for the workplace. The knowledge he gained from Sociology equipped him with an understanding of how to navigate the workplace environment and communicate his perspectives in a professional setting. Through his co-op terms, Simon learned skills in project management, communications, and research and analysis—skills which continue to be valued in his new work abroad.