A different kind of Homecoming
Lisa Chin-A-Young, Sc’93, has done a lot in the 20 years since she graduated from Queen’s. She was a Regional Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble, Director of Customer Communications for British Gas in the U.K. and is the co-founder of The Marriage Development Company, which helps professional couples apply business strategies to their home lives. During her career, she has had mentors to learn from and get career advice.
Lisa is hoping her experiences, and those of other mentors, will be able to help current female Queen’s science and engineering students when she takes part in a mentoring program with WiSE Queen’s (Women in Science and Engineering) during Homecoming in October. WiSE’s goal is to create a greater awareness of the opportunities that are available to female engineering and science students women through on campus events as well as a number of outreach programs for girls in the Kingston community.
“Instead of attending Homecoming and just meeting friends – which is important – I also wanted to feel like I was giving back while I was back in Kingston, especially as I was making the trip from London,” says Lisa, who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree and now lives in England.
“Everyone faces unique choices, challenges and opportunities in life. I’d like to give students some insight into the range of different choices they might face and see how others have navigated them.”
Lisa, along with several Sc’93 colleagues, did a similar mentorship talk when they were back at Queen’s Homecoming 10 years ago. She decided again to recruit a few of her Sc’93 alumni friends – such Bryony Suvanto, Susan Tighe, Mara Bullock, Sarah Gibson, and Helen Reeve – to share their insights, now 20 years after graduation. They were all thrilled at the opportunity to share their respective journeys for the benefit of this next generation of Queen’s engineers.
WiSE and Homecoming officials are still working out the final details of mentorship program and Homecoming event. Whatever format is selected, WiSE president Nicole Proulx, Sc’14, feels it will be good for students to get advice from women in the work force.
“I think mentorship is important because it’s good for the students to have someone to look up to and speak to when they are not sure what direction they want to go. Mentors can talk about their experiences. I think it’s really important to have a support network for students,” says Nicole, noting a survey of WiSE members found a lot of interest in a mentorship program.
Lisa’s advice to young professionals is to play to your strengths, know your values, and work somewhere that values your unique skills.
Lisa, who went on to earn a MBA, says her mechanical engineering background was an asset when she worked at Procter & Gamble , and throughout her career, because she had valuable logical thinking skills and could always relate to the technical side of the businesses she has been involved in.
She also plans to tell students it is important to balance both work and personal life.
“Work is one dimension of life. While it is a very important and rewarding one, I have found that my ‘ideal’ professional life has varied through different stages of my life. Be flexible and work hard at what you love,” Lisa says.
Some Homecoming'13 Highlights
Friday, October 4th and 18th 1pm – 9pm
Queen’s Campus & throughout Kingston
An interactive event with an exciting prize to be won! More details to come; check queensu.ca/homecoming2013 for the latest information.
Graduate Students-Alumni-Community Networking Event
When: Friday, October 4th and 18th 4pm – 6pm
An opportunity for Queen’s graduate students, alumni, and members of the Kingston business community to network. If you are interested in participating please contact Colette Steer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School of Music SHOWCASE
Friday, October 18th 7:30pm-9:30pm
$10 for adults, $5 for students/seniors. Tickets available at the door.
SHOWCASE will feature performances by: Choral Ensemble – directed by Dr. Mark Sirett, BMus’77; Jazz Ensemble – directed by Greg Runions, BMus’77; Symphony Orchestra – directed by Gordon Craig, BMus’73; and Wind Ensemble – directed by Dan Tremblay.
Movies in the Square
Friday October 4th and 18th at sundown
Springer Market Square (King St. E & Brock St.)
An outdoor screening of a movie with ties to Queen’s and the graduating classes celebrating milestone reunions. Bring your own lawnchairs!
Saturday, October 5th and 19th 9am – 11am
Queen’s Campus & Downtown Kingston
Student Clubs Exhibits & SGPS Showcase
When: Saturday, October 5th and 19th 9am – 11am
Where: Grant Hall (43 University Avenue)
Everyone welcome! Enjoy seeing and experiencing what Queen’s clubs and groups are working on and hear about the exciting research being done in Graduate Studies, including a screening of the winners of the ‘3 Minute Thesis’ competition.
Queen’s Bands Parade
Saturday, October 5th and 19th starting 12:00pm
Join the Queen’s Bands as they parade from Grant Hall to Richardson Stadium to launch the football game.
Saturday, October 5th and 19th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Tickets available at queens.universitytickets.com.
Come cheer on the Gaels as they face Wilfred Laurier University on October 5th and Guelph University on October 19th.
Queen’s Gives Back
Sunday, October 6th and 20th 9am – 11am
Students and alumni will be visiting houses in the neighbourhoods surrounding Queen’s campus to collect donations of non-perishable food for the United Way.
See the full schedule of events at queensu.ca/homecoming2013