Best of the blog: A 2017 recap

Tanya Kostiw
Tanya Kostiw (MA, Literatures of Modernity ’13) is the editor of the Alumni Blog and the Marketing and Communications Liaison for the Ryerson University Alumni Association (RUAA). She is the Associate Creative Director at Mayk Ideas.

Whether you’re a new graduate, an established professional or somewhere in between, lifelong learning is something we can all aspire to. Now in its second year, our Alumni Blog has become a valuable source of career advice for alumni, by alumni – a platform to share ideas and build connections. As 2017 comes to close, we’re looking back to our favourite lessons from the past year.
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6 steps to get your dream career

Elis Halenko (Nutrition and Food ’10) is the CEO & Founder of Halenko Creative Agency.

After years of unintentionally complicating my career path, I learned some valuable lessons. I studied Food and Nutrition at Ryerson and went on to work as a clinical dietitian, and later, still within the food industry, in PR/communications and business operations. All the while, even though I enjoyed many aspects of these jobs, I felt lost and unfulfilled. I also had serious misconceptions about the possibilities of my degree.
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4 reasons why collaboration is the way of the future

Jaclyn Patterson (Fashion ‘15) is a self-starter, creator, marketer. She is Co-Founder & Creative Director for UnCo – a fashion startup based in Toronto.

The post-grad real world is both exhilarating and challenging; I’m constantly growing both professionally and personally. Although I graduated in 2015, my learning continued outside the classroom. One of my top takeaways is to think about collaboration more seriously in the workplace. Continue reading “4 reasons why collaboration is the way of the future”

10 hiring tips from an HR insider

Monika Monga (Business Management ’00; Human Resources Management MA) is a HR professional who has worked in both the public and private sector where she gained experience in recruitment.

People are the foundation of any organization and are essential to the bottom line. I began my career in finance, but after taking a few Human Resources contract roles, my passion grew because of the value it brought to an organization. Continue reading “10 hiring tips from an HR insider”

How new grads can demonstrate value beyond their degrees

Marc Herscovitch (Sociology ’10) is a Senior Market Research Analyst at BrandSpark International, a research consulting firm.

When I am hiring for an entry-level position and see a degree on an application, my first reaction is, “Good. What else?” The reality is that a university degree is simply no longer very unique. There are, in fact, more than twice as many students attending university today as there were in 1980, and the proportion of Canadians with a degree continues to rise sharply every year. While a university degree has always been proven to be an effective baseline for the job market, it is becoming increasingly necessary for graduates to prove their value to employers above and beyond their degrees. Continue reading “How new grads can demonstrate value beyond their degrees”

Creativity beyond the 9-5

Marijana Miric (GCM ’13, MDM ’15) works in Ad Operations for GroupM Canada and Jamie Kwan (Architecture ’13, MDM ’15) is an Experience Designer with FORREC Ltd. They are the co-founders of Studio Bud.


When we’re young, we’re taught to be curious, creative, and confident. Before we “choose” a path, we’re all budding scientists, artists, and innovators. This doesn’t need to end just because you’ve started your career.

In our first year post-graduation, we’ve both been fortunate to have started careers in successful companies that fall within our respective industries. We studied hard, worked hard, and now we’re left dealing with “life” once 5 p.m. hits. That’s why we’ve become advocates for what we call the “creativity happy hour” – the time spent pursuing passion projects in the other 40 hours outside of work. Continue reading “Creativity beyond the 9-5”

So you want to sell online? 6 must-dos

Jackson Cunningham (RTA ‘05) is the E-commerce Director at Wiivv and co-founder of several successful e-commerce stores.

Over the past decade, I’ve learned a lot about building e-commerce businesses. When I graduated from Ryerson, looking for ways to cover the rent, I wanted to establish an automated, passive source of income. My original goal was to make $1,000/month, but after only a few months of work, I started to realize the potential was much greater.
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Life after Ryerson: 3 career tips

Jeff Aylen (Retail Management ’12) is the Marketing Coordinator for International Ski Federation (FIS) in Switzerland which organizes the World Cup and World Championships for skiing and snowboarding.

During those final months before graduation, the career world can feel both infinite and elusive, making it difficult for any new grad to know exactly what they want to do and be. It may be tempting to seek advice from the most accomplished professionals in their field, but is it the wisest decision? Is the job market different than it was 20 years ago? Definitely. The economic and technological landscape has changed drastically, so shouldn’t the advice you seek also have evolved?
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Corporate Entrepreneurship: Turn irony into opportunity

John Bell
John Bell (Business ’68) is the retired CEO of coffee/confectioner Jacobs Suchard. He is a former strategy consultant and the author of Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World.

Not too long ago, a business professor friend invited me to address a luncheon of university students enrolled in his class on entrepreneurship. I was honoured to have been asked, but not sure I was the right person for the task. Continue reading “Corporate Entrepreneurship: Turn irony into opportunity”

Don’t worry, new grads! Your career can be a journey of reinvention

Jaclyn Broughton, MCA (née Bristow; Criminal Justice '09)
Jaclyn Broughton, MCA (née Bristow; Criminal Justice ’09) is a certified counsellor and a social services case manager. Her writing has been featured in Psychologica, The Justice Report, and Running Room magazine. In her spare time she enjoys fitness, arts and culture, and volunteering.

As the first person in my family to attend university or college, I once believed that further education was a means to an end. A chance to develop one specialized skill set and get a stable career with a company where I could dedicate all of my working years. For some people, this is still the dream. But for me – and many others – a love of change and life-long learning drives us to take on new and different roles throughout our careers. Continue reading “Don’t worry, new grads! Your career can be a journey of reinvention”