afterwords: Jana Petrone

afterwords: Jana Petrone

Launching in celebration of UBC Okanagan’s 15th anniversary in 2020, alumni UBC’s afterwords is a digital conversation series that shares the stories of some of UBC Okanagan’s extraordinary alumni in 15 questions.


Meet Jana Petrone

1. What education did you receive at UBC?

BA – major International Relations

2. Why did you choose to study at UBC?

Smaller campus with high quality education

3. If you could start University again, would you do anything differently?

Seek assistance in understanding graduate school and career pathways. I also would have engaged in more experiential learning.

4. What was your first official job after graduation?

Recruiter for Summer Jobs Program that is funded by the government.

5. What is your current profession?

Senior Manager, Student Experience Office

6. What is the best part of your job?

Creating possibilities and Engaging students in Practical Learning opportunities.

7. What are some of the challenges you have faced in your career?

Accepting that my Career was not linear and not what I had anticipated when graduating from my Master’s degree. Convincing myself my degree had value and relevance in my career. Understanding and accepting all career journeys hold value at different points within the journey.

8. What would you like to share with current students who will be graduating in the coming years who have concerns with the current work climate?

The work world as we know it is and will be in constant change. Industry Partners are seeking soft transferable skills. They want you to be able to show how you are resilient, motivated, solution focused, and adaptable. COVID-19 is an example of an uncertain time with a work environment that is unknown but using the time to grow personally and demonstrate that you did not binge on TV series but instead took an online class, volunteered, gained a new skill, and engaged with a new challenge. Those experiences will be a true testament to who you are and what you will bring to the team and company.

9. What’s the best advice you can give to help plan a career?

Determine what types of challenges you want to solve as opposed to what career or job you want. Future careers/jobs are unknown as the world continues to change rapidly. Understanding how we want to impact society with the work we do is important. Then get curious, ask questions, and speak to professionals, network, volunteer, shadow so you can understand what the day to day looks like. A career choice can sound great on paper but the reality of the day to day can look and feel much different. Then research academic programs that will get you to your end goal or at least one step closer.

10. Do you have a mentor? How have they influenced you?

I have many mentors and they all influence me in many ways. Most importantly they influence me to believe in my skill set and use it.

11. How and where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in my students, they continue to push for more and expect more and that inspires me to deliver new/innovative ideas and to take risks in program delivery.

12. How do you balance your work and home life?

My work requires me to attend multiple events on evenings and weekends, my family members know this and understand it and they also attend when they can. I encourage my children to attend, listen and ask questions because I know this experience will help shape their future. One thing I do that is important is that when work is done it is done. I put work away and give my whole attention to my children or the book I am reading or work out I am doing so that I can enjoy the downtime and re-energize for the next day.

13. Do you have any books that you would suggest are a must read?

12 Rules for Life – Jordan B. Peterson
Range – David Epstein
Dare to Lead – Brene Brown

14. Who is one UBC Okanagan alum you would like to nominate for the 15 Questions series?

Michelle Lowton