Samantha Jung, BA’11
What was your first job after graduation?
My first job after graduation was a Receptionist/Administrative Assistant for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN), a federally funded clinical trials network based in Vancouver, BC, that facilitates clinical trials for HIV and related co-infections. Through this position, I worked closely with the Communications department. This job led to my current position, which is the Communications and Administrative Coordinator for the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), an interdisciplinary research collective based at St. Paul’s Hospital. I manage our social media, update our website, create our newsletter, promote research, organize events and lectures, draft press releases, and perform other related tasks.
What was your “aha” moment?
My “aha” moment came when I was in my last year at UBC. I had gone through my entire life thinking that my “career” had to have a prestigious, packageable, one-word title that “put my education to good use”—which was why I had focused all of my efforts on becoming a Journalist. I was finding that despite having good work experience, it was extremely difficult to break into the journalism industry, and I was becoming discouraged. Moreover, I was taking a few Political Science classes, and as a result, I was strongly regretting my choice to major in English Literature and Psychology. I was feeling frustrated with my life choices up to that point.
That’s when I had my “aha” moment! I realized that your job can be anything you want it to be, and that a variety of skills and work experience can lead to a variety of positions at various companies if you know how to apply yourself. It was so freeing to realize this. Now, when contemplating my future, I open myself up to different possibilities. In addition, I keep my eye out for networking opportunities—no matter what industry the other person comes from.
What was the best advice that you received?
The best advice I have received was from my mom when I was young. In high school I used to worry a lot, had trouble making decisions, and I had tunnel vision when it came to assignments and projects. My mom told me two things: first, that making a pros-and-cons list was extremely helpful in making decisions; second, that sometimes thinking outside the box was essential in completing activities and interpreting instructions. Now, I always make a pros-and-cons list and remember her advice to think differently when I am stuck on something. Thanks Mom!
How do you make the best of all situations?
I haven’t done this yet, but I recently heard Harvard Social Psychologist and TED 2014 Speaker Amy Cuddy talk about her empowering study that found that if you form a “power pose” stance (i.e. make yourself bigger or adopt a “Superman” pose) before you have to do something that makes you nervous, such as a job interview, the physical act of assuming that stance will boost your confidence levels. I hope to do this every time I face a stressful situation.
What is your best memory from your time at UBC?
I have two memories that come to mind. First is participating in Day of the Longboat with friends. Paddling on the cold water at Jericho was just exhilarating! A second amazing memory is when I ran as a torchbearer in the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay on campus, an opportunity I received as a result of my position as News Editor of The Ubyssey Student Newspaper. I got to pass the torch to George Hungerford, a Canadian Olympic gold medalist in Rowing.
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