Find your way through the UBC Arts career ecosystem

By Carli Fink, Arts Career Strategist

The start of a new academic year can bring lots of feelings: sadness about the end of summer, excitement about what lies ahead, and curiosity about how you might achieve your goals.

The Faculty of Arts and UBC Vancouver have many resources and services available to support you in your career exploration and growth. Read on to learn what they are, and how to access them.

Department- and program-based resources

Some career resources are designed specifically for students enrolled in a particular department or program. Because the Faculty of Arts has so many departments and programs, the list below is not exhaustive. That said, it can be a helpful starting point and reminder to look into what else may be available within your departments that will help you explore and achieve your career goals.

Classes about career opportunities:
Political Science, Creative Writing, and Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice offer academic courses that explicitly prepare you for a career related to their disciplines.

Field schools:

These courses offer the opportunity to apply the research methods you’ve learned in class to real problems in the field.

Department- and student association-led programming:
Most departments have a staff member and/or student association that coordinates programs to support their students’ career development. Follow relevant departments on social media or subscribe to their email lists to stay in the loop about what they’re offering this year.

Arts alumni and industry professionals can help you learn more about graduate studies, jobs, and the world beyond your Bachelor’s degree. The Psychology department has the Diversity Mentorship program for students from marginalized backgrounds, and the BFA in Film Production has a mentorship program that connects final-year students to graduates now working in the industry. Investigate whether your department or program has (or could create) a mentorship program, too.

Faculty of Arts-wide Resources

These resources exist specifically to serve students in UBC’s Faculty of Arts, and are available to students in all Arts disciplines:

What Can I Do with My Arts Degree?
This page contains information for each major in Arts, describes what skills students in that major will develop, and links to on- and off-campus opportunities to gain experience related to that discipline. Remember, you’re not limited to only using this information for your major—you can draw upon this resource for any major that aligns with your interests and goals!

The Compass: Arts Student Engagement Hub
The Compass contains “pathways” of programming designed to support Arts students. The career-specific pathways are Arts Career Conversations, the Arts Career Design Studio, and Entrepreneurship for Arts Majors, though all pathways have some links to career development. Compass programs are also a great way to make new friends in all Arts majors and class years.

Drop-in career advising for undergraduate Arts students
Available on Zoom every Wednesday afternoon from 1-3 PM Pacific time. Click here to access the drop-in advising Zoom room, or find the full details on the webpage above and in the event listing in CareersOnline.

Arts Undergraduate Society – Professional and Academic Development department
This department of the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) plans workshops and events that support Arts students’ career development. Stay tuned to the AUS website and social channels to see what they have in store for this year!

Arts Co-op Program
Undergraduate Arts students who meet certain criteria can apply to join the Arts Co-op program. Co-op allows you to take on four- or eight-month paid work terms during your Arts degree.

Centralized UBC resources

A “centralized” resource is one that’s available to all students, so the programs they offer tend to be the most general. At UBC Vancouver, these are:

UBC Career Centre:
If you’re looking for one-on-one advising, a group workshop to explore your options or strategize your job search, or opportunities to connect with alumni and employers, the UBC Career Centre is for you. Explore their extensive collection of online career resources, use CareersOnline to book an advising appointment, register for workshops and events, and browse job and volunteer postings.

Centre for Community-Engaged Learning (CCEL):
Apply your knowledge and skills to help address the most critical social and environmental issues through collaboration with diverse community partners.

Entrepreneurship at UBC (e@UBC):
e@UBC can help you develop the tools and relationships you’ll need to start your own business and bring your ideas to life.

Go Global:
Explore different career paths by studying, conducting research, or participating in conferences and special programs abroad. Gain international perspective and develop intercultural fluency, which are valuable in many fields of work.

LinkedIn Learning:
As a UBC Vancouver student, you have free access to a library of online courses you can take to learn new skills. Challenge yourself without the fear of a low grade showing up on your transcript!

Now that you have a stronger understanding of the career development landscape, take a step forward in your own career journey: come to a Compass event, try LinkedIn Learning, or sit in on a class in a discipline that sparks your curiosity. Through these and other experiences, you’ll learn new things and meet new people—and open doors to opportunities you might not even be able to envision today.

Have questions or want to have a career conversation? Sign up for an appointment with Arts Career Strategist Carli Fink through CareersOnline, and clicking the “Advising” tab at the top.