Queen’s alumni share their career paths

Queen’s alumni share their career paths

As Queen’s students think about their future, they now have a new resource that connects them with advice from six alumni on how their time at Queen’s helped prepare them for success.

April 18, 2023


Photograph of graduates at Queen's convocation
The new Alumni Roadmap shows how the skills Queen's students learn in classes and extracurricular activities can be used in a variety of career paths after graduation.

Queen’s alumna Allison Williams (Artsci ’09) looks back on her time as an undergraduate as a period in which she developed the critical thinking skills that set her up for a successful career in law. But she also remembers frequently feeling uncertain about her future while she worked toward her degree. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life, and it made her anxious that she hadn’t made up her mind.

Williams knows she’s not the only student to have felt unsure about their future, and, now she’s professionally established, she wants to help current Queen’s students with advice on how to take part in campus life while also preparing themselves for exciting careers. That’s why she is one of six alumni who have shared their stories for the new Alumni Roadmap. The roadmap is a resource in which alumni reflect on how undergraduate experiences – in the classroom as well in extracurricular activities, community service, and employment – and opportunities after Queen’s have helped set them up for success in a variety of careers.   

“I wanted students to know it’s okay to feel uncertain, and that it’s good to keep yourself open to different opportunities and paths,” says Williams. “Students are often capable of more than they realize, and I hope my story shows them that you can build a lot of skills and gain confidence by putting yourself out there and taking part in the amazing extracurricular groups around campus. More than anything, the roadmap should help students realize there’s a wide network of Queen’s alumni out there who want to provide guidance and mentorship.”

Queen’s students, staff, and alumni all came together to create the roadmap. The Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA) and Career Services in Student Affairs, developed the idea for an online resource that would use alumni stories to show how skills, experiences, and relationships developed in university and after all contribute to career development. They wanted it to be something students could consult as they navigate their Queen’s experience and make the most of their time on campus. Queen’s Office of Advancement helped with finding alumni in a diverse range of career paths, including medicine, product management, and philanthropy.

The Alumni Roadmap devotes a page to each of the six alumni, whose stories are broken down into six sections that take readers on their journey and highlight the lessons they have learned along the way. The maps start with a section on undergraduate insights then move to relevant skills, community and extracurriculars, degrees, training, and certificates, experiences after graduation, and end with overall career advice.    

Empowering students to imagine life after Queen’s

The Alumni Roadmap was launched earlier in the winter term, and students are already finding the tool useful for thinking about their time at Queen’s as well as their next steps.

“It can be really overwhelming to try to imagine your path after graduation,” says Laavannya Navaratnam, a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts and Science. “In the countless hours I’ve spent researching on the internet to seek some form of guidance, nothing was able to help me as well as the Alumni Roadmap and the Queen’s alumni community. One of the great things about Queen’s is that there are so many alumni who have been in the same position and want to help. The Alumni Roadmap is also an amazing resource that really helped me think about my future and how to make the most of my time at Queen’s.” 

Navaratnam, who plans to start law school in the fall, has found Williams’s page in the Alumni Roadmap especially helpful, as it makes it clear how a wide range of experiences at Queen’s and beyond can contribute to a career path in law.

At Queen’s, Williams took on many different roles as a volunteer and staff member. She served as president of the QSAA and as social issues commissioner and food bank manager for the Alma Mater Society. She also worked as a don in residence and as a staff member in the Clark Hall Pub. Looking back, Williams credits all these experiences with building her confidence and giving her skills she’s taken with her in all she’s done since.

Career Services and QSAA plan to create a new Alumni Roadmap each year, highlighting the different experiences and paths of a new set of alumni each time.

More resources for career planning

The Alumni Roadmap is one of many supports provided by Career Services for students as they plan for their futures. Other resources include Drop-In Career AdvisingCareer Fairs, Tipsheets, Majors Maps, and Queen’s Skills Cards.

It’s also just one of many ways that current Queen’s students and alumni can find guidance and mentorship from the Queen’s alumni community. They can connect with Queen’s Alumni Chapters, branches of the Queen’s University Alumni Association, and find opportunities through the QSAA. Students can turn to the Queen’s Connects Career Network on LinkedIn, where they can seek career advice, ask questions, and learn from industry experts, the alumni community, and their peers.

Find the Alumni Roadmap and more resources on the Career Services website, and stay tuned for an Alumni Roadmaps Launch Event.

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