Double Major in Philosophy and the School for Advanced Studies in Arts and Humanities
Hometown: London, ON
Current Activity: Teacher in China
What attracted you to this program?
I joined SASAH as a second-year student. I met Dr. Faflak after he gave a guest lecture in one of my first year courses. At the time, I saw joining SASAH as a chance to join a new, exciting program. I had already chosen philosophy as my major, so taking on SASAH as my second major fit perfectly.
"My peers in SASAH really challenged me. They studied art history, English literature, ancient history, and so on. Everyone else knew things that I did not. They were all able to draw from their own unique experiences in order to frame powerful arguments."
What are your thoughts about life as a SASAH student? What makes it unique?
The SASAH professors really encouraged me to develop my own natural talents as a writer. I like how they brought me to see essay writing as a form of art, whereas before, I saw it as just another homework assignment. This change in perspective allowed me to enjoy my courses much more.
How did your relationships with other SASAH students positively affect your experience at Western overall?
My peers in SASAH really challenged me. They studied art history, English literature, ancient history, and so on. Everyone else knew things that I did not. They were all able to draw from their own unique experiences in order to frame powerful arguments. They were all brilliant, and I constantly dealt with engaged classmates. Oscar Wilde says, "I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects". Obviously, the SASAH students are friends, but this idea should resonate with every SASAH student regardless, and I interpet that resonation as a positive thing.
How has SASAH prepared you for the job market and/or graduate school?
SASAH has prepared me for the market in many ways. I will briefly describe two. Firstly, it gives me confidence in my abilities to speak, think, and write. This confidence allows me to take on more responsibility and move into leadership roles. Next, it teaches me patience. Valuable skills are learned gradually, over time, so I must not be too hard on myself. As an English teacher in China, I am getting better and better at writing lesson plans and managing the students. Moreover, my Chinese language skills are getting better and better. I try not to let the magnitude of the task overwhelm me and instead, just focus on slowly improving.
As an experienced graduate, do you have any advice for current SASAH students?
In my opinion, letters of reference are far more valuable than money. I started to work as a front-end clerk in a grocery store and worked there for five years, which qualified me to work as a front-end host in Milestones, a nice restaurant. After working there for a year, I applied to work at Ceeps & Barnies. The bosses hired me on as a server-busser and after proving myself over the course of a summer, they promoted me to barback, a position in which I made good money during my last year of University. My time at Remark provided a foundation for my success because my five-year tenure proved that I am both loyal and reliable. Now that I am in China, I intend to work for the same company throughout my entire visit in order to demonstrate my loyalty and reliability. Although I could make more money working for other companies, I know that my long-term success depends upon my character, so I would rather work for the same company and sacrifice other potential benefits in order to secure this letter of reference, which will open the door for the next stage of my career.