This profile was part of the Faculty of Public Affairs’ Generation FPA series, which highlighted up and coming alumni who graduated between 2008-2018. The series was published in 2018.
Keisha Derrick is a Pension Expert for the Canadian Armed Forces.
You were one of the first graduates of the Bachelor of Global and International Studies degree in June 2018. What attracted you to the program?
At first, I chose a double major in Journalism and African Studies, but it wasn’t the right fit for me. When I read about BGInS, I was immediately interested. I liked that I didn’t have to choose just one other subject, but could get a really well-rounded education in subjects like political science, law and economics.
I chose the Africa and Globalization specialization because my family is from the Caribbean and I’m interested in the African diaspora and how it has shaped the production and spread of culture, knowledge and identity. In particular, I was interested in literature and music, but became more focused on economic relations and livelihoods towards the end of my degree.
What was one of the highlights of your experience?
The most impactful experience for me was my study abroad experience. I went to South Africa with Professor Blair Rutherford as part of the African Studies 3100 course, which is held in a different country each year. We joined a class of doctoral students at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and did their readings, lectures and fieldwork for a month.
How did you get a job in the federal government?
I applied through the Federal Student Work Experience Program, known as FSWEP. I worked for a year and a half as a co-op student and I’m now full-time indeterminate in the Government of Canada Pension Centre.
How do you use your degree on the job?
It gives me a chance to use my research skills, time management and critical thinking skills. I am still considering an advanced degree, but am hoping to take some time to develop my marketable skills first in the workplace.
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