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Everyone makes mistakes, but most of us don't like to talk about them.  Last month, the Vancouver Alumni Chapter invited three Waterloo grads to turn their biggest blunders into talking points. The Mistakes That Made Us event featured a discussion with startup founder Ian MacKinnon (BMath '06, MMath '08) and life leadership coach Gloria Eid (BA '11). Moderator Matt Manuel (BASc '93), principal PM manager at Microsoft, shared some of his own flubs too. In this episode, you'll get to hear that conversation, where they share the unexpected obstacles and lessons learned in their careers so far.Learn more about Waterloo Alumni Chapters, and find one near you!
In 2008, David Kennedy (BMath '02) and his co-founders launched a website where users could create comic strips about themselves and their friends. From the beginning, people had a special connection with the animated characters that looked like them. Eventually, those characters became what we now know as Bitmoji — emoji that look like you, and represent your emotions in a more authentic way than a yellow happy face can. As a computer science grad with strong interests in the arts, it's no surprise David helped to create a product like Bitmoji. He joined the podcast to share his career journey, explore his long-time interest in human nature and offer some human-centric advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Arda Öcal studied math at Waterloo because it would lead to a stable career. But he was more interested in media. He wrote for Imprint and hung out at CKMS, Waterloo's student radio station. After graduation, he followed that passion, and today he's the host of Sportcentre and NHL on ESPN. So, How did Arda find his way to ESPN? Mostly, by saying yes. Over the years, he said yes to any opportunity, gaining new skills and experience along the way. With each "yes," Arda stepped into a new challenge. And now, he says his job is a dream come true. He joins the podcast to talk about his many jobs in broadcasting, offer advice to those who want to break in, and explain how a math degree prepared him for sports media.Follow us on social media to meet more alumni like Arda.Instagram:
In a future that promises opportunity and waves of disruption, great leaders will need more than technical expertise to deliver results for their organizations. Rose Patten is the Special Advisor to the CEO of BMO Financial Group and Chancellor of the University of Toronto, and just last week she joined the UWaterloo community to discuss her new book, Intentional Leadership: The Big 8 Capabilities Setting Leaders Apart. In today's episode, you'll hear that discussion with UWaterloo President and Vice-Chancellor Vivek Goel, where Rose revealed why Leadership needs to be intentional and the top skills required for success. Join us at a future event: more about Rose's book:
If you're an international student or new grad, this episode is for you.Job Search Club is a new program for international visa students at UWaterloo. Every week, students gather for online sessions that will help them prepare for their post-graduation job search. In today's episode, you get to be a fly on the wall in one of these sessions, where four international alumni share their experience starting a career in Canada. You'll meet financial analyst Limei Chen (BMath '21), entrepreneur Marium Kirmani (BSc '17), sales professional Shreena Maistry (BES '22) and engineer Sumesh Gupta (MEng '21). Together, they cover a lot of topics, including work permits, interview tips and cultural differences in Canadian workplaces.Join the Zero Work program to take your career search to the next level: more about the Job Search Club:
Michael Cao came to Waterloo's Kinesiology program thinking that he might become a doctor or physiotherapist. At that point, he had no idea that his bachelor and master's degrees would give him an edge as a user experience (UX) professional, or lead him to work at TheScore. Today, Michael is a UX researcher and leader, whose work plays a vital role in how I -- and thousands of other fans -- get the latest news about our favourite teams and players. Michael joins the podcast to talk about that role, how he got here, and how his Kin background makes him better at his job.Follow us on social media to meet more alumni like Michael.Instagram:
For most of us, when we think sustainability, our minds go to the environment. In fact, your mind might go to one specific sector -- oil and gas. But there's more to sustainability, and ESG, than those things. In today's episode, we're talking to Kris Kolenc, an ESG professional who specializes in commercial real estate. In 2021, Corporate Knights named Kris a Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader, and he joins us to explore the challenges and opportunities that come with real estate. How can today's investments make tomorrow's buildings better? And how can we all contribute?Follow us on social media to meet more alumni like Kris.Instagram:
During her time as a communications officer for an Indigenous school board in Manitoba, Tracelyn Cornelius (MEB '21, PhD in progress) witnessed the devastating effects of what happens when business and environmental concerns aren’t aligned. These instances inspired her to pivot her career into exploring the relationship of business, sustainability and inclusivity.   Tracelyn completed the masters of environment and business program and is now a PhD student in the sustainability and management program at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on the importance of knowledge mobilization for equity, diversity and inclusivity and how equality is core to sustainable development.  As the anti-racism communications manager at UWaterloo, she challenges oppressive narratives by implementing strategies to develop better understanding and inclusivity. Tracelyn joins the podcast to discuss the importance of inclusive language in communications and explore the intersection of sustainability and equality.  Read Tracelyn's story in Waterloo Magazine: more alumni in Waterloo Magazine:
The holidays can come with a lot of excitement, but also a lot of pressure. If you're hosting friends or family in the coming weeks, you know there are a lot of moving pieces that come with holiday feasts and food.  Elizabeth Kerr, a Waterloo alum and chef, joined Alumni Know to share advice on the topic. For years, Elizabeth was a passionate home cook, exploring different cultures and flavours on her own time. But in 2020, she decided to go professional and entered a culinary program. Today, she works in professional kitchens — at local top restaurants and a culinary school — while maintaining her home cooking passion. Watch the video for tips to make your holiday food more special and less stressful.  Follow us on social media to meet more alumni like Elizabeth.Instagram: 
Around the holidays, we hear a lot about giving. No matter what you're celebrating this holiday season, you're sure to be inundated with messages of spending time with loved ones, giving thoughtful gifts and giving back to others. These are the things that make December the most wonderful time of the year, right? According to science, giving really does make us feel good. Today, I'm joined by Sara Konrath, Associate Professor at Indiana University, who researches the science of empathy and generosity. Sara will explain how giving makes us happy — and how it brings a bunch of other benefits. Plus, she's got some tips to help you get (and give) the most this season.Join Giving Tuesday at UWaterloo:
As an person ages, their needs change. They require different health care, new opportunities for socialization, altered living accommodations. Over the coming years, young grads might find new and plentiful work opportunities in these areas.Because our country is getting older. As of 2021, 1 in 5 Canadians was 65 or older, and the number of persons over 85 had doubled within 20 years.*Today, we're listening in on a conversation between two alumni who know a lot about working with seniors. Tiffany Moraes is a Therapeutic Recreation grad who has worked in senior living for 12 years. And Rebekah Churchyard, a grad in Social Development Studies, works in home and community care support services. She's also the founder of social enterprise Green Care Farms, a program for people with dementia. Tiffany and Rebekah discuss how they ended up in this field, the challenges that come with it, and why they love working with seniors. Keep listening.  Read key takeaways from this episode: us on social media to meet more alumni like Tiffany and Rebekah.Instagram:*Statistics Canada (2021): 
In the Data + event series, alumni join a group of Waterloo experts to explore the power and responsibility that comes with data. This episode is a recording from the latest event in the series, Data + The Arts. Hosted by Craig Kaplan, Associate Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science, the event featured a panel of artists who use data in their practices. They discuss different ways that artists can use data, how the meaning behind data might informs their art and more. Keep listening.Watch the full event recording, along with images of the panelists' works: Get invitations to upcoming events for Waterloo Alumni:
A lot of people go to university with one career idea, but leave with a different plan. Dan Micak (BA '06) did that twice.A hockey and baseball fan, Dan entered Waterloo's English Rhetoric and Professional Writing program with dreams of becoming a sports journalist. But after some time working with UWaterloo's student newspaper, those aspirations faded. Still focused on a career in sport, Dan went to law school. Maybe he could manage players. Dan did become a lawyer, but he doesn't work with athletes or sports teams. A decade into his career, he manages a team of lawyers at Lightspeed, a global software company listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. He joins today's podcast to explain how he got here, and offer advice for aspiring lawyers and those studying the humanities.Read the show notes: 
When Swati Matta (BCS '10)  came to Waterloo to study bioinformatics, and knew that she wanted to work in health care. She also wanted to start a company someday. Some young, ambitious grads jump into their dream job right away. Getting thrown into the thick of things can be great. But for Swati, it was better to take one step at a time. After years of work in the health tech world, and an MBA, she was ready to take the leap and start her own company.Her startup is a direct result of this patient approach. Born out of her expertise in digital health and her frustrating experience with pre-natal research, Koble is a platform for expecting and new parents, offering vital services and credible information. Swati joins the podcast to talk about each step in her career journey, and her future hopes for family health care. Starting a family? Learn more about Koble at KOBLE40OFF for a discount on an annual membershipHeard in this episode:(2:01) Swati explains each career step, starting with co-op(5:53) Why do an MBA?(7:08) What is Koble?(8:20) Creating a product for the modern family(13:20) A personalized product for family decision-making(14:40) What can parents expect from Koble?(17:05) How can we better support birthing people and families?
Today, public agencies are under pressure to collect and interpret data that reveals exactly what happened when a policy was implemented. Andres Arcila joins to explain how this is changing public policy, and help us understand the truth behind public data.Andres is a senior research data scientist with AB Inbev, where he develops demand estimations and economic forecasts in the brewing industry. He also holds a PhD from Waterloo, specializing in policy evaluation and applied economics. This fall, Andres will return to Waterloo to teach a data analytics certificate program for public servants and business professionals, offered through WatSPEED. Learn more about the Data Analytics for Behavioural Insights certificate:
Jeff LeJeune studied Computer Science at Waterloo, and got his first full-time job through a co-op term.  He's been working in the Canadian tech sector ever since. But over time, Jeff's career took him further from the actual tech and more entrenched with the people who build it. Today, he's the VP of Engineering at Magnet Forensics, where he leads a team building software to help investigate cyberattacks and digital crime. Jeff joins the podcast to walk us through his career journey, offer advice for aspiring managers, and explain the influence co-op students have at Magnet Forensics.Get your co-op hiring package:
In the Data + event series, alumni join a group of Waterloo experts to explore this topic. This episode is a recording from the second event in the series, Data + Health. You'll hear a panel of alumni and faculty members discuss how data has changed health care. What have we learned so far, and how could data assist in making health a human right around the world? Keep listening.Register for the next Data + event:
In the Data + event series, alumni join a group of Waterloo experts to explore the power and responsibility that comes with data. This episode is a recording from the first event in the series, Data + Climate. Hosted by Chris Fletcher, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Environment, the event featured a panel of alumni who use data to explore climate issues and create solutions. They discuss the evidence that our climate is changing, and how we know humans are responsible. Plus, they suggest solutions to reduce emissions. Keep listening.Register for Data + The Arts and other events at Alumni Black and Gold Day:
Brigette Lau (BASc '99) is a mother, poker player and co-founder of venture capital firm Firework Ventures. But she didn't set out to become a startup investor. Her story begins as the daughter of hardworking immigrants who chose Waterloo's computer engineering programs because she knew it would get here a job. While working hard to build a career and life, she fell into a lot of really great opportunities that led to her current success. Firework Ventures is clearly inspired by her journey. Brigette joins the podcast to walk us through her career and share her hopes for the future workforce.Read more about Brigette in Waterloo Magazine: notes and links:
Despite working for it for years, graduation can feel unexpected. It's the end of an era, the beginning of a new one — a big, surreal transition. No one knows this better than Ola Idris (BA '22) and Safyya Cissé (BSc '22). Members of Waterloo's Class of 2022, they joined the podcast to look back on their time as students, share the advice they'd give to their younger selves, and discuss that surreal feeling of being a new grad.Show notes:
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