Tag Archives: recruiting

Junkets that were both work and fun

The graduate programs in English at uWaterloo have been expanding in recent years, but we are always interested in enrolling more students. Recently some members of faculty and staff went on trips to recruit more graduate applicants. For those who went on the recruitment trips it was an opportunity to see different parts of the country and to talk to colleagues and students from other universities.

Professor Ken Hirschkop and Graduate Co-ordinator Fiona McAlister went East. They visited the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, St. Mary’s University, Acadia University, and Mount St. Vincent University. There was positive reception from students and faculty alike. And they had fun! Fiona writes: “Special thanks must go to two very enthusiastic faculty members who were a lot of help: Theresa Heffernan at St. Mary’s and Karen MacFarlane at Mount St. Vincent. We had great weather. We spent a lot of time in used bookstores, wandering around and eating seafood. Lobster rolls are overrated but clams and chips are a national treasure. Halifax is a great city for wandering around, as it is very compact. There is a chain of fair trade coffee shops, which serves great hot chocolate and, according to Ken, great coffee. I learned that Mount St. Vincent, a small Catholic university in a working class area of Halifax, houses a large collection of lesbian pulp fiction. St. Mary’s is football mad (Go Huskies!).”

Some photos: 

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Professor Kathy Acheson and Professor Shelley Hulan went West.

Arriving at Calgary airport

Writes Shelley:

Love and Salt Water

I snapped this photo on a rainy but warm morning in early November on English Bay. If you’ve read Ethel Wilson’s novella Love and Salt Water, you’ll recognize these cargo ships twinkling in the Vancouver harbour, a favourite literary opening of mine. One of the greatest things about researching Canadian literature is that you begin to see the national geography, already stunning, through the imaginations of Canadian writers. And that means that you never see just one vista in front of you. You see your experience layered with those of the narrators through whose eyes you are privileged to look.

Vancouver harbour

Vancouver Harbour

My colleague Kathy Acheson and I were on the West Coast to spread the good word about the English Department’s Master’s programs at universities in Vancouver, Victoria, and Calgary. Some of you pursued your MAs at uWaterloo and know that we’ve long had two MA streams, one in Rhetoric and Communication Design (formerly Rhetoric and Professional Writing) and one in Literary Studies. Since students in the two streams take a combination of Lit. and RCD courses, there’s a fair degree of cross-pollination between them, which grads consistently tell us was one of the illuminating aspects of their degree experience here.

Last year we added a third MA in experimental digital media (XDM) that gives students the opportunity to “use…digital media as a critical tool combining theory and practice in the production of objects-to-think-with” (go to http://english.uwaterloo.ca/MA-XDM.html for more information). Like all our MA programs, XDM is available as a co-op degree; uWaterloo is, after all, a leading North American co-op university. English students earn money and gain valuable work experience at such companies as RIM, Microsoft, Design2Learn, and Google to name a few.

So Kathy and I talked, and then we listened to some great questions from the floor. We so enjoyed meeting all of you who came out to hear us. Special thanks to our terrific hosts Lee Easton (Mount Royal University), Adam Tindale (Alberta College of Art and Design), Bart Beaty (University of Calgary), and Amy Machin and Joy Poliquin (University of Victoria).

Most memorable? I’ve been to Calgary and Vancouver before, so I knew enough to look forward to being in beautiful places. But I didn’t expect the cappuccino in Calgary to be so great—that was a welcome surprise!

Your admin’s comments: Common themes? Fabulous hosts, keen students, harbour scenes, and coffee.

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English co-op students and English grads get jobs!

It’s a sad fact that many people (including Arts students themselves sometimes) think that English graduates will not get good  jobs. Besides all of the other things that an English degree teaches you–how to be a better citizen, what it means to be human in all of our diversity and complexity, how literature and language shape our knowledge and our sense of what is real and true (including self knowledge), how literature and language express emotion and can foster empathy, why the human imagination is important . . . . Oh, and yes, how to read carefully and with a critical eye, how to assess what we are reading, how to synthesize enormous amounts of information, how to interpret language and other sign systems, how to communicate effectively in oral, written, and digital fora , how to use our own imaginations for the greater good–English is also excellent training for a variety of jobs.

Um, perhaps that long sentence is not the best way to make my point!

Here’s the thing: our English students are much in demand, even by (perhaps) unlikely employers. For example, RIM (Research in Motion, of BlackBerry fame, but you know that) can’t get enough of our students for co-op and other jobs. They even come to us recruiting, as happened yesterday in the English department. With pizza! Pictured here are co-op students in English (both undergraduate and graduate) meeting with hiring managers from RIM and learning about available positions.

RIM recruiting meeting

RIM hires dozens of English co-op students every year for positions in technical writing, editing, website design, and other areas.

Did you know that English co-op has one of the best placement rates for students on the whole uW  campus?  Also, uW is one of the few universities that offers a co-op option for English Masters students.

We rock! And we get jobs 🙂