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

How did you enter this career?

SarahYou might not expect an English and History major to be working in Web Services, but I like to think that my majors equip me to work all kinds of different jobs. This is my third co-op position, and I’ve really used my co-op terms to explore as many different career paths as possible. My first position was with Giatec Scientific, in Content Marketing, while my next placement was a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Internship, where I researched the historical neighbourhood of Baldwin Street in Toronto, using the vast archives of alternative publications stemming from that area. My career path is more of a fun, amorphous squiggle than a straight line, and I’m happy to stop by Web Services along my way.

Where else have you worked?

Aside from my co-op terms, which I’ve mentioned above, I have worked several other jobs. With Carleton, I was a Student Ambassador this fall, helping to run the Fall Open Houses. I’ve also been a Research Assistant with the Landon Pearson Centre and a First Year Mentor with the Student Experience Office. As well, I worked with Professor Michel Hogue to redesign The Historian’s Craft course for online learning. Outside of Carleton, I worked for a time at Bulk Barn and thoroughly enjoyed the employee discount on candy! I also volunteered for the Ottawa Public Library on the Teen and Readers Advisory Groups, and currently volunteer with Library and Archives Canada on their Youth Advisory Council.

What are some of the technologies you have used along the way?

A lot of my positions have involved some sort of web content creation, so, in that area, I’ve worked with many different flavours of web software, including WordPress, Wix, Google Sites, CuLearn and CuPortfolio (Mahara). I also have some experience with audio, video, and graphic editing using Audacity, Lightworks, the Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, Canva, and Paint. And, of course, with working from home, I’ve gotten pretty familiar with Zoom, though I’m still (re-)learning MS Teams in this co-op placement (I’ve already mastered preventing my “:)”s from turning to emojis, though, so I would say I’m fairly proficient).

What are the best things about your program?

Looking at previous responses to this question, I realize mine is wholly unoriginal, but it’s still true: the people! I’ve had many great professors in my courses at Carleton, as well as met some really good friends in my program. My theory is that if you put a bunch of people who are really interested in some subject (say, English or History) in close proximity, they’ll have fun and learn along the way. Or perhaps start a fistfight (but that hasn’t happened in any of my courses yet!).

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

I’m writing this on my third day at this job, so I’m still just learning the ropes. However, I’m looking forward to training others on how to use our websites. I love teaching, so I’m always grateful for the excuse to plan and present content. I also hope to get to know some more of the staff and faculty through these training sessions, as well as become aware of cool goings-on outside of my own faculty.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I listen to a little bit of everything. Some recent favourites are Otyken, Dodie, and Jackfruit, while some of my long-standing musical loves are Ezra Furman, Mitski, Hozier, and The Mountain Goats. I’m also an avid follower of Spotify’s curated Discover Weekly playlist which somehow always finds at least a few new songs for me to add to my collection.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently in the middle of the novel Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve. I highly recommend it as an amazing stand-alone urban fantasy story! I also have a list of books to read that’s 792 titles long (which – I did the math – will take about 15 years to complete if I read a book a week). Some of my other go-to recommendations are Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, the Lumberjanes series, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, and Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton. However, if you have your own list of almost 800 books to read already, you are absolutely exempt from adding these to the pile.

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

As my answer to the last question suggests, I read a lot for fun. I also listen to several podcasts (at the moment, I’m catching up on Critical Role, with a smattering of Red Web and Queer as Fact to supplement my listening), play Dungeons & Dragons, and make all sorts of crafts. I’m currently working on trying to wrangle some socks out of a pair of knitting needles and a ball of wool, to middling success. I’m terrible at completing tv shows, so I’m also in varying states of progress through She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Pose, Arcane, and Loki. Finally, I’m finishing up a second playthrough of the Dragon Age video game series, with the occasional side foray back into an old favourite: Stardew Valley.

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

I started learning Ancient Greek last semester, and I’m excited to continue it when I return to a Study Term in the fall. I am a little concerned that, in the intervening year, I’ll forget everything I’ve already learned but I had such a good time learning the language that I’ll happily re-learn my declensions, cases, and tenses. I’m also looking forward to making a dent in the 792 titles in my to-read list. Hopefully :).