Sarah Kent graduated in 2015 with a BA Political Science major and Biological Sciences minor. She is currently a third-year student in the medical program at the University of Alberta. Sarah gets involved in the Edmonton community by volunteering with different organizations and enjoys exploring all that our city has to offer like the farmers markets and river valley.
What was your favourite part about having studied in the Faculty of Arts?
I loved the diversity of courses that Arts offers to students. After my first year, there were so many courses that I loved and I had a difficult time deciding what to pursue as my major. What I discovered later in my degree is that even though I chose political science, I was able to still take many courses in other areas, that counted towards my degree. The faculty is so flexible so I was able to minor in my other passion, biology.
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What was the most rewarding moment of your degree?
In my fourth and final year with the Faculty of Arts, I was able to conduct an independent research project where I looked at the gender inclusivity of government sexual health advertisements. This project allowed me to combine both my academic interests of political science and biology. I think this project was the motivation behind my application into medical school as I realized where my true passions lie.
What advice would you give to current Arts students?
Experience as much as you can! Whether it’s joining clubs, student government, or volunteer groups, I think the more activities you get involved with, the more amazing people you get to meet and the more opportunities you will have as a student. This advice also extends into your academic journeys. Take a diversity of classes, even on subjects you are hesitant about, because this is how you will find out what inspires you to learn more.
Did you take advantage of any unique opportunities on campus or abroad during your degree that you would recommend?
My favourite program I got involved in was the Ambassador program. It’s a volunteer group run out of the Office of the Registrar that helped to develop so many of my professional skills, such as public speaking. Leading tours on campus made me so proud to be a U of A student, and I developed many close friendships. The Ambassador program is also linked to a variety of initiatives on campus, so you are able to become involved in many other activities.
Where do you see yourself in four years and how will you have utilized your Arts degree?
Four years from now I will be in my residency training, specializing in a particular area of medicine. Medical education is dedicating more time every year to learning about different populations and the social determinants of health. Our duty in medicine is to serve all members of the public, and I think my background in political science will help me seek out changes in the healthcare system to make it more beneficial for all Albertans.
Edited for length and clarity, Fall 2018.