Jessica, a recent alum, is building an impressive career. She’s currently working in public relations at Home Hardware. The path that got her there has been a winding one filled with memorable experiences and personal development.
Growing up with a conservative Mennonite background, she was the first of her immediate family to attend post-secondary education. Jessica made the decision to study English at the University of Waterloo. She was also the first person on her father’s side of the family to ever go to university. “I made the decision because I really enjoy English. Basically for me, university was geared for me to learn and figure out what I would like to learn.”
Jessica’s university experience was all about trying new things and learning new skills. “I love to challenge myself by trying new things, like French. With my upbringing, I didn’t have a French background. When I came to the University of Waterloo, I had to learn French from scratch.” Jessica went on to graduate with a minor in French even though she had no experience with the language prior to university.
One of Jessica’s memorable moments at the University of Waterloo was attending the Festival of Faith & Writing for her Modern Literature class with Professor Wriglesworth. “He was so passionate about literature. He asked the class if anyone would like to join him to the Festival of Faith & Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He said he would do everything he can to make sure students can go. He pulled a lot of strings and many of his students attended the festival.” Now, it has become Jessica’s annual traditional to attend the Festival of Faith & Writing.
“When you have a professor that’s so excited about literature and deeply in love with what they’re teaching, it makes you excited to learn.”
Early in her university career, Jessica was stuck in the idea that being in English translated solely to being a teacher. By meeting with professors, she was able to see the different paths her major could take her. When she graduated, she was interning at Alternatives Journal Magazine, gaining experience in the publishing world and honing her writing skills.
Jessica’s passion for writing is one of the reasons why she started her own personal blog. “I established a blog platform when I was in University just to capture my adventures. When I graduated, I started using it as a platform to keep me writing as an English major and now I use it as an online resume. My blog allows me to try different things and demonstrate that I have those skills.”
Jessica’s blog, Laces and Lattes, covers a variety of fitness topics including training, healthy living, and personal experiences at races. The online publication is supported by many brands including New Balance, Goodness Me, and Genuine Health. Outside of work, she’s an avid marathon runner – something she’s done for a long time. At UW, the cross country team was a big part of her experience.
From working in sales at her father’s Home Hardware store in Wellesley, to working at the Home Hardware Head Office as a Public Relations Coordinator in St. Jacobs, Jessica has thoughtfully developed her career. Jessica recognized that a job in public relations was the right fit for her because it would allow her to use her writing skills in more ways than one and she’s poured her passion for writing into that role.
Visit the Faculty of Arts website or visit the University of Waterloo’s undergraduate admissions site.