Kelsey Dawson, Admissions & Records Assistant, is typically the first point of contact for prospective students. She’s a recent graduate herself and passionate about the U of A!
Ashton Paulitsch (AP): How long have you worked for the Masters Programs Office?
Kelsey Dawson (KD): I started in February 2017. Before that, I was a student completing my Bachelor of Science in Animal Health here at the University of Alberta, majoring in Companion and Performance Animals. I chose it because I really wanted to work with animals, but through my extracurricular activities, I discovered that my true passion was working with new University students.
AP: What attracted you to your role?
KD: The reason I pursued this job after I graduated was because of my extracurriculars during school. I was an Orientation Leader and Open House Ambassador for three years, and nothing brought me more joy than seeing someone move from a timid, overwhelmed prospective student all the way to a mature and confident fourth year student. Volunteering with new students and showing them the ropes at the U of A made me realize that’s what I want to do for a career. My career goal is to become a student advisor so this job was a great stepping stone towards that future goal.
AP: Tell me a bit about your work experience and how it complements your current role.
KD: I worked several summer jobs during my undergraduate degree in the records and administration field. I knew how to keep track of files and maintain databases. I enjoyed the work, but I found I missed interacting with people external to the company. This job is perfect because I can use and develop my administrative and records skills, but there is also a customer service aspect in interacting with new and prospective students.
AP: What surprised you about working in the Masters Programs Office?
KD: How much fun everyone has in the office. It’s a great environment to work in!
AP: What’s the best part of your job?
KD: Interacting with the students and seeing how excited and interested they are in the University of Alberta.
AP: What advice would you give to prospective students?
KD: Read the website fully before calling or emailing us, especially the comprehensive FAQ section. As well, in your application try to show how you are unique compared to the hundreds of applications we will receive each year. It’s cool to see so much diversity in the program. As well, when it comes to University, you get out what you put in. The more you’re involved and make an effort to meet people, the better your experience will be. Don’t be afraid to get outside of the business building and try out other University of Alberta clubs and meet people from different faculties too.
AP: My final question is…what do you eat for breakfast?
KD: I don’t typically have time for breakfast. I get a bagel from Tim Horton’s later in the morning. I guess you could call that brunch!
Interview conducted by Ashton Paulitsch