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CUE Alumna: Kelsea Gillespie

What is your occupation?

Research Assistant in the Strategic Policy Unit of Strategic Services and HR Transformation, Public Service Commission, Government of Alberta

What steps did you take to become a Research Assistant with the Government of Alberta?

At Concordia, I took full advantage of all the opportunities for students! I made sure I was always volunteering, part of student leadership and politics, involved in student journalism, the Model United Nations Club, and any major Concordia projects that I could be a part of. It’s important to remember that it’s not just an English degree helps with post-graduation employment – it’s your English degree and the experience you bring.

I applied for a Summer Student position with the Government of Alberta. From that application, I was selected for an interview with the Public Service Commission. I was given an incredible opportunity to work in a policy unit for the Government of Alberta.

Even though my official title now is “Research Assistant,” the majority of my work involves research and analysis, the development of policy options or recommendations, and most importantly, writing.

How did your English degree help you get to where you are today? 

CUE’s English courses were the foundation of my educational experience at Concordia. Pursuing English meant that I was constantly challenged to improve many of the skills that are valuable in a knowledge economy: critical thinking, research capacity, creativity, and verbal and written communication skills. Post-secondary degrees are extremely valuable to employers, especially when students can also demonstrate meaningful work experience and involvement in their community.

If I could impart any advice to current and future CUE students, it would be to take risks and jump into everything head first. Your time at university is an amazing opportunity to experience failure, rebuild and recreate yourself, discover your own limitations, and uncover what you’re really passionate about. You will thank yourself for this later!