On January 18, 2023, Ying “Ali” Chou, Class of 2010, spoke with the Grade 8 classes about post-secondary education and her own career journey.
To chart her nonlinear career path, Ms Chou first attended McGill intending to complete a degree in biology. After doing that for a little while, she decided that she was more interested in chemistry and completed her Bachelor’s degree in that subject. Next on her path was attending University of Alberta for chemistry while volunteering and working part-time.
One of her main messages to Grade 8 students was the power of having connections, and she encouraged us all to volunteer to make those connections. After receiving her Master’s degree in chemistry, Ms Chou continued to work as a research assistant in Alberta and followed her artistic passions in visual design and project management at Northern Alberta Insitute of Technology.
After that, she spent time working as a communications specialist and research scientist, then as a communications associate for a nonprofit.
Finally, she returned to the lab as a research scientist in biotechnology while also designing logos for businesses in her free time.
Ms Chou emphasized the importance of having passions and setting goals for yourself. She had us draw where we wanted to be in 10 years, reminding us that our careers and futures do not need to be fully planned and that our journeys will be full of ups and downs.
Ms Chou’s talk was informational and also an important reminder that our career paths can follow our passions and interests.