What have you been doing since graduating from Ryerson?
I did a bit of contracting in consumer research, observing shoppers and doing research for different companies. It paid decently but wasn't steady, so I decided to apply to the Research Analyst post-graduate certificate program at Georgian College in Barrie, since that had been recommended to me when I was at Ryerson. It was a challenging eight months in Barrie, but I was able to specialize some of my skills for the private sector, and I ended up with a great internship with the market research team at Spin Master, a multinational that extended my contract and gave me a bump to Jr. Research Associate by the time we parted ways.
I'm currently providing research consulting and assisting in the organization of the Pages UnBound arts and literature festival, as well as working as a research assistant at the private sector consulting company Consulting Matrix.
How are you using your Sociology degree in your current activities?
My Sociology degree gives me an understanding of how to design and conduct research, as well as how to interpret published research, that others might not have. When questions come up about how happy festival attendees are with art exhibits, or the best way to ask questions in online surveys, I'm able to provide meaningful input and help work towards answers.
The ability to take the important questions my bosses are asking, design frameworks to get at answers, and then properly carry-through to get meaningful and actionable answers, all rely on the skills I learned in Ryerson's sociology program.
What was your favourite sociology class at Ryerson? Why?
My favourite class was The City and Social Problems, not so much because it helped me in my career, but because it helped me become a better citizen. I learned more about the root causes of social problems, their natural progression if unaddressed, and the history of interventions, efforts, and politics around how to address them. The knowledge and perspective that I gained has allowed me to better understand Toronto's challenges, and the challenges of urban living in general, and I am better equipped as a voter and a civic actor as a result.
What advice do you have for current Ryerson Sociology students?
I would encourage students to keep their options open, and to remain flexible. I did not anticipate doing a post-grad when I was at Ryerson, but because I had the grades, post-graduate options were available to me. The economy is uncertain and it's hard to know what will happen in terms of openings, connections, and so on, but a flexible base built on a solid education at Ryerson can allow you to spring into opportunities as they arise.