Alexis Pronovost

alexis.jpgGraduated 2019

Double Major in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature and the School for Advanced Studies in Arts and Humanities

Hometown: London, ON

After SASAH: MFA Creative Nonfiction from the University of King's College, Halifax

What attracted you to this program?

When applying to Western, I looked for a unique program that promised to both challenge my beliefs and captivate my creative mind. SASAH was the reason I chose Western's main campus over the other options I had at the time. I was excited to engage in aspects of the arts beyond writing and visual arts in a program that encouraged interdisciplinary learning.

"You feel both connected to every student while at the same time know your opinions and beliefs may be challenged, but this is all done in a positive and supporting atmosphere."

What are your thoughts about life as a SASAH student? What makes it unique?

The focus on small cohorts with students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds makes the program unique. You feel both connected to every student while at the same time know your opinions and beliefs may be challenged, but this is all done in a positive and supporting atmosphere. While I felt a similar like-mindedness in many other arts and humanities classes outside of SASAH, the connection to my fellow SASAH students wasn't common in the other classes I took. The professors in the program make you feel like more than a number in an industrial academic system.

How did your relationships with other SASAH students positively affect your experience at Western overall?

The students I met in SASAH are some of the most intelligent people I know. The relationships I fostered, especially in my first year, have grown into friendships that have lasted past graduation. My cohort was only the second one, so there was a certain camaraderie between us as we helped shaped the program into the best it could be for future students. I knew I had the support system in SASAH to fall back on when life outside of the program inevitably got tough.

How has SASAH prepared you for the job market and/or graduate school?

The skills I learned in SASAH, from time and team management, to critical analysis, rhetoric, and a second language have all prepared me for graduate school. I'm able to handle a large workload while keeping the rest of my life balanced. I know the level of difficulty I can handle and also where to toe the line so I'm not overreaching myself. I have yet to enter the workplace (besides a part-time job), but I believe those skills will transfer over to any area of my life.

What lessons and skills contributed to your success after you graduated?

When I got grades below my expectations, it was a valuable lesson on not focusing too much on the numbers. There are no grades in the real world, but you do have to own up to your responsibilities. How did achieving below your expectations teach you about the assignment? What can you learn from the experience? What will you do differently next time? Those are the questions that transfer into success after graduation.

As an experienced graduate, do you have any advice for current SASAH students?

A few things. 1) Don't be afraid to say no. A few times in my undergrad, I took on too much, and ended up breaking down in tears from the pressure. Make sure you take care of yourself first. You're only as good as your accomplishments if you can balance all of your priorities, including yourself. 2) Sleep! You don't have to pull all-nighters to be successful in university. 3) Visit your professors. One of my regrets is not visiting my profs as much during office hours. Soak up their passion and brilliance for their subjects. Get to know them outside of the classroom setting and you'll have a much more enriching class experience.