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Student Spotlight

Jessica Marto


Bachelor of Arts - English (Class of 2018)


Favourite Book?
While it is definitely difficult to choose one favourite book, I would have to say that my favourite book is 1984 by George Orwell because of its continuous relevancy in society and its way of relating to world events both on a large and small scale. I also really love Midnight at The Dragon Café by Judy Fong Bates and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I am currently reading and alternating between The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche.

Favourite Course?
Definitely ENG 640 “Literature of Asia and Its Diasporas”. It not only gave me the opportunity to delve into wonderful literature pieces which have now become some of my personal favourite texts; but it also mixed theory with culture. This, in turn, made my experience in the classroom educational as well as exciting. I also really loved my ENG 520 “Language of Persuasion” course; along with my CMN 450 “Participatory Media and Communication” course. They each combined theory with hands-on course work, thus giving me skills to take away from each class.  

What minors did you take? What made you want to do a double minor?
I minored in Professional Communications and Sociology. I decided I wanted to do a double minor in my second year, when I realized that I had more interests than just my major. I needed to find a way to integrate those interests into my academic life and thought, what better way to do that, than to obtain a double minor. Minors are great because they almost act as a further specialization to your degree.

Getting a minor can sometimes be difficult. Any suggestions for someone who wants to get one – or two?
Getting a minor(s) alongside your major is definitely more challenging. It requires you to always be on top of your work. All of the courses you will be taking will essentially have a bearing on either your major or minor; you cannot think of any of your courses as classes to just finish your degree. There is some added stress because you need to make sure that all of your work reflects you as a student so that each aspect of your degree showcases that through your grades. A suggestion I would give to someone who wants to get a minor – or two, would be to make sure that they are really interested in their minor, because that makes the added stress worthwhile. Another suggestion would be to really master your time management skills. Your minor(s) are another specialization included in your degree, and it is important that you allot ample time to handing in your best work and effort. Ultimately, if you want to obtain a minor, be prepared to take it seriously.

How have you changed as a student since starting university?
Since starting university, I have become a much more organized student. This has immensely helped in my personal life as well because I have taken my organizational and time management skills and displaced them into my daily habits. Staying organized in my day-to-day life has in turn, made me into a calmer person. I can better control my life and thus remain less stressed.

What are some of your highlights of your time at Ryerson?
Some of my highlights would include taking part in school events or conferences that I was interested in. I was able to attend workshops for career paths that I was intrigued by and meet a plethora of like-minded people. Also, being that Ryerson is at the core of downtown, made it a hub for entertainment at every corner, which always bettered my undergrad academic journey.

What are your plans for after university?
My plans for after university are to travel and immerse myself in different cultures. From past experience, I have found that travelling really opens up my mind to different interests and actually helps evolve me as a person. I always come back feeling refreshed and with a somewhat tweaked frame of thinking. So, I would love to travel and give myself time to pique different interests. This goes hand in hand with getting some work experience and interning at some companies related to my degree. Stepping out of my comfort zone through travelling will act like a domino effect for me in all the decisions I make, and could potentially change my career choices. In the future, I always want to follow through with more schooling. This is once I have acquired some work experience and have been able to sift through what I like and what I don’t. I really enjoy learning, and would love to start another academic journey to better focus on what I want to pursue in a more specialized way