What advice would you give to current students?
The main advice that I would give to students is for them to be aware that, while they are developing very specific knowledge in their courses and research, they are also developing skills that are transferrable to many different jobs. Sociology students are fortunate to have the opportunity to receive great training in both quantitative and qualitative methods and should take advantage of it. This breadth of knowledge in research methodology sets them apart from graduates of other disciplines and is very useful in the workplace.
How do you apply what you learned at UWaterloo?
The most important things that I learned at UWaterloo are related to research methods and statistics. The knowledge and skills that I obtained from my coursework and mentorship in these areas serve as a foundation for every project that I work on. My dissertation research also provided me with the "hands on" experience with data that is necessary to truly understand the challenges of working with large data sets. Additional skills such as communication (writing and oral) skills, project management, and the ability to synthesize research literature are also important in my work.
What do you love about your current career?
The best part about my career is that I am able to do research that is relevant and accessible to the Canadian public. My career provides me with the opportunity to develop policy-relevant research projects with individuals from various government departments, but also allows me to continue to be engaged with the academic community through conferences and academic publications. I also enjoy the atmosphere in my division where I'm fortunate to work with a group of very talented and positive people in a collaborative environment.