Conversation Cafe: Unexpected Careers (Virtual Event)Export this event to calendar

Friday, October 21, 2022 — 12:00 PM EDT

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Brew some coffee and join the conversation...

Have you ever wondered what careers you can secure with an Arts degree apart from those in industries more commonly associated with the Faculty of Arts, such as marketing, banking or in non-profit? Have you considered that working in government could mean working in various sectors? Or that there might be a place for you in the energy sector?

If so, come meet alumni who have achieved success in industries beyond the predictable route dictated by their majors. There are many avenues that Arts students can explore. If you are unsure where to look to find these unexpected career paths, join us to gain inspiration and fresh insight from those who dared to take an unconventional direction. 

Graduating with an Arts degree does not limit your potential but rather, allows you to find a career path unique to you.

Join the conversation and perhaps you will find the path for you that you never knew was there.


Alumni Guests: 

astrid smilingAstrid Millett (BA ’02, Psychology)

Astrid is a Strategic HR Business Advisor in the Ontario Public Service specifically of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She who excels in management and has worked in the United Kingdom and various ministries in the Ontario Public Service for the past two decades. Some of her experience includes working for the Ministry of Government Services as a strategic HR Business advisor as well as a Recruitment Specialist for Ipsos UK. As the sole recruitment advisor at Ipsos, Astrid was responsible for supporting the UK market of Synovate in the UK and developed and implemented recruitment strategies.

She is driven by opportunities to impact and influence leaders and supporting talent to grow their potential.

Astrid has not only supported numerous clients through organizational changes but also continues to design and deliver recruitment, onboarding, succession planning and training programs that have lasting impacts on staff and leaders. She also has a license as a Certified HR Professional.

chris smilingChristopher Richter (BA ’03, Economics & Political Science)

Chris is currently a Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Capstone Copper, an America's focused copper producer. Capstone seeks to create a positive impact while producing the copper the world needs for higher standards of living and a lower-carbon future. Chris has approximately 20 years' experience working for a number of companies in the Mining and Renewable Energy industries - mostly in the areas of Corporate Development (Mergers & Acquisitions), Capital Allocation, Strategy, and Investor Relations.

cheryl smiling at cameraCheryl Smith (BA ’88 Economics, MASc ’90, Management Sciences)

Cheryl is the CEO at Dairy Farmers Ontario, a non-profit organization established in 1965 whose mission is to provide leadership and excellence of both production and marketing of Canadian milk. With an education from other institutions:  ESCP Business School (2015) and Harvard University (2019), Cheryl has a strong background in marketing and sales and continues to do her part to achieve social change by supporting The Grocery Foundation, Kids Help Phone, Ontario Dairy Council, Food & Consumer Products of Canada and Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. She also founded the Parmalat Women’s Network and was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2012. Cheryl was also inducted into the Grocery Business Hall of Fame recently in 2021, awarded The Golden Pencil, and received a Star Woman of Grocery award in 2018.

 At the helm of the largest agriculture sector in the province, Cheryl takes immense pride in continuing to be part of such a dynamic industry that provides a healthy, sustainable and safe product for Canadians. In leading the Ontario dairy industry into the future, Cheryl is keen on bringing her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for understanding consumers and customers to building businesses and marketing brands. As an experienced General Manager of a billion-dollar business, she has an extensive background in marketing and sales leadership. Cheryl recently retired from Parmalat as a member of the executive team and General Manager of the Cheese Division.

Cheryl has held several roles as Director, Vice-President and Executive Vice-President. She has been a very active grocery industry contributor, serving on many councils, organizations and federations. Cheryl is an Institute Certified Director (ICD.D) from Rotman School of Business at University of Toronto, and has a Master of Applied Sciences degree (MASc) in Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in Economics, both from the University of Waterloo. Cheryl was born, raised and resides in Oakville with her family and served on the Board of Directors of the Oakville Community Foundation.

doug smiling Doug Spooner (BA ’08, Political Science & Business, MA ’09, Political Science)

Doug is a Director of Stations planning and Implementation at Metrolinx and has been responsible for leading a multi-disciplinary team and working with partners to deliver a Regional and GO Transit Network that get people in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to their destination with easy, fast, reliable, accessible, and safe trip options! Doug was also responsible for Service Expansion, Stations Planning and Transit Service Integration. He previously worked with the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games managing transportation projects and partnerships. While at UW, Doug was not only a part of the Varsity Hockey team, but also the Interuniversity Athletic Council. From 2014 to 2016, Doug also volunteered as the Director / Board Secretary Director For Youth Initiative which strives to provide programs and services to teens and young adults living in low-income neighborhoods in Toronto.

sophia smilingSophia Tsang (BA ’05, Economics)

Sophia works as the Head of People for the HR department at Indellient Inc where she uses the skills of strategic planning, coaching/mentoring as well as people Development and Employee engagement. Sophia brings to over 15 years of HR experience working for high-growth tech companies in the GTA emphasizing the importance of creating an empathetic learning organization and fostering a people-centric work environment. Throughout Sophia’s career she has gathered a plethora of experience, working as a People and Culture Manager for Limelight Software, an HR and Leadership Development Advisor for Non-Profit Organization as well as the Head of People for Tjene Corp.

However, nothing beats Sophia’s essential role as a mother of three very active and curious kids and the joy of "growing" them to become curious, empathetic, and trusted human beings.

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