BA 2010: Visual Arts


Ting Wang readily admits she doesn’t have a specific career plan. UBC Arts Co-op led her to communications-related jobs, a field she now finds interesting and rewarding. A student in the visual arts, Ting found that her design skills were a great asset to her resume. Many employers are seeking communications and marketing employees that can create visual products, especially using design software such as Adobe’s Creative Suite. Her educational experiences, which Ting describes as more theoretical and conceptual, provided a stepping stone into her “hands-on” workplace assignments. At work, Ting says, “I run into problems – then I learn how to solve them.”

Ting’s first job was with the UBC Structured Surface Physics Laboratory as a Solar Canopy Communications Assistant. Ting’s project was to help explain and promote the Solar Canopy project, which involves directing natural sunlight into buildings using “prism light guides.” Ting designed material for the project’s website, as well as a Flash-based interactive workstation, poster displays and handouts.

Building upon her first work term experience, Ting was hired by TRIUMF, Canada’s UBC-based laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. As an Outreach and Communications Assistant, Ting again gained a new perspective on how to use her visual arts skills in a career environment. Ting describes the impact her work terms have had, “I didn’t realize how much communications and the visual arts have in common until I was asked to design all those communicational materials using my design skills. My work terms have brought out my interest in communications and have not altered my passion for the visual arts.”

At TRIUMF, Ting sat on the planning committee for the organization’s 40th anniversary open house. The open house had undergone over two months of logistical planning, and Ting describes a final push to get ready for the event in the last week of preparation. With the hard work of Ting and other TRIUMF staff, the open house was a hit: over 1300 guests attended. As Ting recalls, the event “was especially rewarding because I knew how much work our team had put into making [it] successful.”

Looking back on the specific skills she has honed through Arts Co-op, Ting pinpoints three things; people skills, computer skills, and critical thinking. More generally, Ting feels much more outgoing and confident in herself after spending 12 months in Co-op work terms. She also describes an enhanced ability to problem-solve and analyze situations from multiple perspectives, which will surely be a benefit in both work and academic settings.

Ting looks at Co-op as “a taste of life after graduation before you actually graduate.” If you can “get paid while learning about a field of your choice,” Ting says, “then there’s really no reason to pass up this great opportunity!”