December Alumni Profile: Jessica Scott

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jessica ScottIf you’ve joined Peace and Conflict Studies in the past three years, there’s a strong chance that you have Jessica Scott to thank. As a PACS Alumni and previous Conrad Grebel Recruitment and Conference Coordinator, Jessica has strong connections to the PACS Department.

During her studies, Jessica tailored her PACS major and Religious Studies minor to focus on interpersonal conflict, including aspects such as social work, and learning how those applied to PACS. After finishing her Bachelor of Arts Jessica continued on to Laurier for a Bachelor of Education degree.

The goal was always to apply my PACS degree within the context of working with people and interpersonal conflict, or something along those lines: social work, mediation, teaching...”

For 2 years Jessica worked as Conrad Grebel’s Recruitment and Conference Coordinator. Planning conferences during the summer months, events during the school year, and year round recruitment for PACS, Music, and Grebel residence kept Jessica busy for those two years. This position also allowed her to work for something she believed in.

I loved being able to work for a mission statement that I could get behind. ‘Seeking wisdom, nurturing faith, pursing justice and peace’, I just thought that was perfect, and it gave me to motivation to do the work that I did.”

Currently Jessica is working for the University of Waterloo’s Housing and Residence Department as the Customer Experience Specialist. Jessica describes her main role as ‘helping people with change’, and sees strong connections between her work and the skills she gained from PACS.

The biggest thing with almost any interpersonal issue is listening. So in my job you always start with active listening, people can tell if you are really paying attention or not. I find that so many big problems are actually small misunderstandings, and you just have to be able to unpack a story to really understand that small misunderstanding. PACS taught me how to listen to people and how to unpack those stories.”

Going forward, Jessica wants to continue to work with university students in the realm of student services. A large part of her plan is to continue connecting with students on the university campus and making sure they are finding what they need in order to be successful. On a personal level Jessica has many words of wisdom for current PACS students currently navigating their way through university and beyond.

…students need to explore their strengths when figuring out how they want to use their degree. Discovering my strengths has been invaluable to me in figuring out where I need to go with my career and application of conflict and peace studies. People don’t often focus on their strengths, they focus on what they are interested in, and say ‘but I wouldn’t be a good lawyer’ or ‘I don’t want to be a social worker, I just think it’s interesting’.  When you take your interests and your strengths and combine them, you learn a lot about where you need to be going.”