As the university semester comes into full swing, UofMosaic’s inaugural Peace Professional Development Program wrapped up its summer sessions with a timely discussion about pursuing passionate career paths. Featured speakers were Hussein Hirji, Desk Officer for the West Bank and Gaza with DFTAD; Andrea Russell, international law professor at the University of Toronto; Dr. Arne Kislenko from Ryerson’s History Department; and Lauryn Kronick, communication specialist with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

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SAC members exchange views on careers and personal passion

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Arnke Kislenko                  Andrea Russell                 Hussein Hirji                  Lauryn Kronick

Speaking on their diverse career paths, the panelists provided students with an honest and refreshing outlook on the challenge of balancing passion and practicality. Russell, drawing on her extensive experience working in law firms in New York and in Switzerland, expressed that landing in the “just right” career may take several trials and errors. “It’s a matter of balancing passion and personality,” she advised students.

The session proved to be a valuable learning experience for UofMosaic’s student ambassadors as many are considering how to translate their own desire to be “change agents,” in Canada and the larger world into practical career steps consistent with their values and priorities. ” I was  very happy with the diversity of perspectives the panelists brought to the table. I’ve considered academia, law school, communication/PR and the public sector as possible paths, so hearing the panel speak about their paths and choices helped me think more clearly about my career decisions and left me with the feeling that I am moving in the right direction to achieve my goals,” said Senka Omercic.

Students’ voicing their concerns about the value of a humanities degree in securing post-graduation  employment added a critical discourse to the evening. Against the backdrop of cultural commentary about the lack of jobs for humanities graduates, Prof. Arne Kislenko challenged this notion by pointing to essential skills such as effective communication, critical thinking, and analytical problem solving as the cornerstone for successful career advancement, and highlighted the advantages humanities and social science graduates gain through their educational pursuits.

The Peace Professional Development Program of UofMosaic is a multi-part certificate training course for students between 18-25years of age. Over the course of the summer students have participated in workshops and seminars on the advancement of leadership skills. The initiative is a training ground for students working towards becoming local and global agents of change.

The UofMosaic Program is the Mosaic Institute’s innovative peace building and leadership development program on Canadian university campuses. The program delivers programming for students in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, and is made possible by the generous financial support of BMO Financial Group.