Outgoing Execs Post-GSA Plans

Left to Right: Holly, Brittany, James, Rachel, Blake, Sejal, Joanna [Devin, VP Social not pictured] 

The 2013-2014 Geography Students’ Association Executives were like a family– both to one another and the Department of Geography. They’ve planned wonderful and exciting events including seasonal beer gardens, DIY workshops, and of course, the annual GeoGala. Some are graduating while others have filled their timetable with new and exciting plans for next year, so we’ve asked some of them to share what the future holds…

Brittany Jang (VP-Academic): “This summer I plan to continue working at the AMS and volunteering in and around the community. But with my new found free time I hope to finally get into shape and spend as much time as possible catching up with friends and family. Later in the summer I’ll be visiting Hong Kong and Tokyo with my family, before coming home to my last month in Vancouver before I leave for grad school in the fall.”

James Wang (VP-Finance): “After writing my last exam of undergrad, I just felt a huge load being lifted off my shoulders. Just like that, four years of university was over. I swear it was just yesterday that I was still in high school awaiting an acceptance letter from UBC. But alas, it is now time to move on. After finishing my last exam, I took a couple days to collect myself, to reflect on the magnificent journey that was life as a UBC student. While studying for exams, I spent some time revising my resume and cover letter and started applying for jobs. The Vancouver Aquarium was one of the places I applied, and after going through the hiring process of telephone and in-person interviews, I got the position of membership sales associate.

I will be working full time starting May 23 and I could not be happier to be doing so especially since the Vancouver Aquarium is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified institution. Being an Environment & Sustainability major, I can see myself learning a lot from one of the worldwide leaders in environmental stewardship. I contemplated taking a couple months off but decided ultimately that working was the best option.”

Rachel Schott (VP-Sustainability): “This summer, I’ll have graduated from UBC’s Geography program with a major in Environment and Sustainability. Although this marks the end of my undergraduate degree, I plan on continuing my education through graduate or law school – which I’ll be applying to later this year. In the meantime, I’ll be working at Edible Canada on Granville Island where I serve locally made food and products. I also plan on reading the Lord of the Rings series and unlocking all the characters in Super Smash Bros Melee for Nintendo Gamecube.

Blake Allen (Co-President): “This summer, I plan to spend more time developing and exploring my interest in sustainability by pursuing related work as well as continuing to write about cities and urban development. As an avid homebrewer, I’ve already made several new and innovative beers this summer, and I plan to continue improving my technique, to refine my recipe design; I hope to submit beers into Canadian homebrewing competitions in the near future. Most recently, I’ve made a Spruce Tip IPA that carries the terroir of the region with an aroma of pine and citrus that cascades through to a round yet prominent bitterness. Without question, I’ll travel down the coast to Portland (arguably North America’s craft beer mecca) for a beer safari of sorts to learn more about the quickly growing culture of craft beer.  Looking forward, I also plan to work for the next two years in a related field to my degree as well as going back to school for a graduate program in the near future!”

Sejal Lal (VP-External): “I’ve had a great year with the GSA this year! It was pretty hectic, but I met so many wonderful people through GSA events and bzzr gardens 🙂 Time for a break though! This summer I’m heading off to the Canadian Arctic! I’ll be working for Parks Canada in Ivvavik National Park, Yukon, taking visitors on camping trips and guided hikes through the park. I should be in Ivvavik just around the time the Porcupine Caribou herd migrates through to their calving grounds in Alaska, so I hope I get a chance to see them. The area is also home to other wildlife including arctic fox, moose, grizzlies, wolves, martens, snowy owls, ptarmigans, and jaegers. I’ve heard the horseflies there are monstrous as well…I’ll try to take a picture of one before I get eaten alive! As the summer season approaches, the Arctic circle will receive almost 24-hour sunlight, so I’m definitely looking forward to experiencing the midnight sun….I’m planning on taking a sleep mask with me too though! During my days off, I’ll be in the town of Inuvik, getting the chance to take a shower, try some caribou burgers, and hopefully catch some local musicians around town! See you all when I get back in September!”

Joanna Yang (Co-President): “After six years at UBC, I’m excited to embark on a new chapter in my life. This summer, I’ll be travelling to Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong to lead a GoGlobal Group Study course (HIST 482) with a colleague and history professor, Henry Yu. After four weeks with the program, I’m going to meet up with friends and travel to Myanmar, northern Thailand and my homeland in Hainan, China.

After my adventure in Asia, I plan on looking for work in fields relating to immigration settlement services, community capacity building and/or community engagement. Eventually, I’d like to make my way to a different city to pursue a master’s in degree in either planning, geography or public policy. Long-term goals include becoming a cat and dog owner and refining my skills in shooting and editing short films.