UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 5 | May
Co-op Made the Difference for Wesbrook Scholar
Experience included communications and talking turkey.
By Erica Smishek
Alicia Miller didnt know a thing about farming when
her Arts Co-op work term took her to the B.C. Ministry of
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries in Abbotsford to write profiles
of farmers for a non-farming audience.
But six weeks taking care of her boss five-acre hobby
farm while he and his family went on vacation changed all
I have a huge sense of appreciation for it now,
says the energetic and engaging Miller, 23, who tended to
a racehorse, two steers, five chickens, a dog, cats, gerbils
-- and 40 turkeys, which she had to retrieve when they escaped
through an electric fence into tall grass.
They are so stupid. I never enjoyed eating Christmas
turkey so much as I did that year.
Miller, an Arts Co-op student with a major in English and
minor in Canadian Studies, achieved an exceptional record
of academic, professional and community excellence during
her undergraduate degree. This years C.K. Choi scholar
and a Wesbrook scholar, she was a Ubyssey staff writer and
a founding member of the UBC Arts Co-op Students Association,
and helped create a highly successful peer mentorship program
for Arts Co-op students.
She also gained varied experiences, working in communications-related
positions with a small internet travel publisher in West Vancouver,
the Canadian International Development Agency in Ottawa, and
Harbour Publishing, one of B.C.s foremost book publishers,
based on the Sunshine Coast.
Co-op was a deciding factor in why I came to UBC,
Miller explains. You have a conception of what certain
jobs are but you dont know the day-to-day realities
of them. You also see the relevance of your academic studies,
which is easy to lose sight of in Arts. You gain writing,
reading and analytical skills but it is not always a one-to-one
relationship with jobs like in some other faculties.
Miller rounds out her busy life with swing dancing, campus
aerobics and athletics, reading, writing, piano, guitar, hiking,
kayaking, travelling and photography. This term, she worked
part time at UBC Press and also trained for the UBC Sprint
Distance Triathlon in early March, her first, which she completed
in one hour, 55 minutes.
She will begin a permanent full-time job at Harbour Publishing
later this summer following a five-week French immersion program
in Quebec and a trip to the Maritimes and New York.
Its a really exciting time to be joining the
company. They are growing, they are expanding their distribution
into the U.S. Plus I just have a real passion for books. Ill
be working with different ideas and a whole variety of topics.
Its the perfect marriage of what Im interested