Every month we are profiling one of the Web Services Department’s team members. This month we hear about Dana who is a co-op student with Web Services.

How did you enter this career? 

My journey on this career path started when I got a summer job back in 2018 at a communications company. Even though I didn’t know much about communications, I got the position because of my passion for writing.

I learned pretty quickly that my writing skills could be useful in the field of communications, and I started to get a knack for writing social media posts, web copy, newsletters, and other forms of web communications.

I never saw myself in communications before (I thought I was going to become an English teacher!) but found that I fit in pretty well and I hope to continue exploring what my future in this field might look like.

Where else have you worked? 

Web Services is my third work placement through Carleton. I’ve also worked at a small communications company in Perth (my hometown) as a content and social media coordinator and at Global Affairs Canada as a digital advocacy support officer. I couldn’t have asked for better placements, really.

I’ve also worked in a health food store, a bar, and a chocolate shop!

What are some of the technologies you have used along the way? (What are you passionate about?)

I’m passionate about writing, social media, and communications :)

What are the best things about your program?

I feel at home in the English program. When I’m in a study term, I feel like I’m going to book club every day. I get introduced to literature I would often never explore on my own and then get to really know and understand it. I’ve discovered some of my favourite novels through English courses.

I’ve also recently transferred into the creative writing stream of my program, which feels like one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve become part of such a lovely little writing community.

I’d say the best thing about my job, both in past positions and present, has been that I’ve had the opportunity to satisfy my creative side while still learning technical skills that can help me advance in the world of the web. I like to have multiple projects on the go at once that engage my brain in different ways, and I find this is a great field for that.

Do you have some exciting projects you are working on right now?

I’m very excited to be a part of the CU Theme Update project!

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I like to think that I have a pretty eclectic taste in music. I have a soft spot for folk music so I’m often listening to artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan, but I also vibe with Lizzo and I like a lot of ‘90s bands like R.E.M. and No Doubt.

When I was a kid, I used to play a game with my dad in the car where he would quiz me on the songs playing on classic rock radio stations. Thanks to him, I’ll always associate bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd with my childhood.

(I usually do pretty well on music questions at trivia night!)

At this moment, I’m pretty much listening to Wilco’s Summerteeth album on a loop.

What are you reading at the moment?

Right now, I’m re-reading Lois Lowry’s The Giver for (what I think is) about the fourth time. It’s probably been my favourite book since I was 12, and I have to re-read it every once in a while to make sure it still stands the test. It’s never failed me though!

I’ll read just about anything. I don’t like to box myself into one genre so I’ll read fiction, memoirs, autobiographies, self-help books and whatever else I can get my hands on, but my favourite genre is probably historical fiction.

Here are a few books that are on my want-to-read list for 2020:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  • Split Tooth, Tanya Tagaq
  • Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
  • Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In 2019 I read 21 books and this year I’m aiming for 30!

What do you do outside of work/school to amuse yourself?

I pretty much take every opportunity I can to sneak away and curl up with a book and a cup of tea. My passion for books has naturally fed into my love of writing. I write short stories and poetry in my free time and have recently started submitting my writing to literary magazines and other publications to try and get published. So far, I’m lined up to be published in two lit mags in 2020!

I also play my guitar, very poorly might I add, for my roommates and whoever else can hear me through my thin apartment walls.

I play trivia on Monday nights with friends, experiment in the kitchen with vegan/vegetarian recipes, and I also like to paint watercolours, sketch, and embroider.

I LOVE British television shows, so I’m often catching up on new seasons of Doctor Who, The Crown, and Call the Midwife, or re-watching Downton Abbey for the millionth time.

Currently, I’m also helping one of my family members edit/write a book about the unsung female heroes of guitar. I’ve been working on that project for about a year now and absolutely love it.

What exciting plans do you have coming up in the next year?

Between school and co-op placements, there’s not a whole lot of room for much else! I’ll finish my last work placement at the end of summer 2020, and then will start my final year at Carleton so I can graduate in 2021!