Have You Met……Amber Nicholson?

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Have you met Amber, Career Development Officer in the Faculty of Arts? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.

Where is your favourite place on campus?

I guess I have two. I have a favourite building, which is the old Arts building. This is probably a very typical answer but I just think those old brick buildings are just beautiful. To me it looks like a quintessential building on a university campus with the ivy growing up the side. I think it’s quite beautiful. But if I need a quick break at lunch, I like walking up Saskatchewan Drive. I like where campus is situated, right on the edge of the River Valley and just being so close to access nature and decompress at times. I really like that as well.

Tablet or paper?

It depends on what I’m doing, but I’m going to say paper primarily. I go old school.

Name one thing you’ve brought to work from home.

Photos of my son and his art work. I find that things like that brighten up my workspace and it makes me happy to look at them.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

I’m going to say my morning latte. I actually get a headache if I don’t get my morning latte. I will actually go to significant lengths to get my morning latte.

If you won airfare to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Well, there are a couple of places that I would love to go. Currently because I’m coming out of a very busy and stressful time, I’m going to pick what looks like one of the most relaxing places I can imagine — Bora Bora. I just see those photos of the little huts over the water and I just think it looks absolutely idyllic. But a dream place for me to go would be on safari in Africa. I would absolutely love to do that.

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

Although I knew my grandparents very well growing up, I would have really loved to have sat around a table with them when they were young — I guess in their twenties or thirties — and found out more about them at that stage in their lives: what were their hopes and aspirations and dreams.

On the famous person side, Michelle Obama. She is on my mind right now because I recently watched a documentary with Michelle Obama on educating girls around the world. And I find her to be ferociously intelligent and compassionate and so articulate. I find her a really fascinating person to sit down with.

Plus I guess if the cast of Game of Thrones wanted to invite me to dinner, I wouldn’t say no.

If you could switch jobs with someone else on campus for a week, what would you do?

There are so many fascinating things on campus. I guess harkening back to my undergraduate days, the career path that I have always found very interesting and that I wouldn’t mind trying out for a while would be a psychologist. So maybe somebody in counselling services. I still volunteer in that area and I think it’s so important — mental health awareness.

What does “uplifting the whole people” mean to you?

Well I think it speaks to the transformational power of education, not only for the individual but also on society as a whole. So I think we’re educating individual students, but those people are then in turn going out into society and society is uplifted as a result of the education that they received.

If you could solve any problem in the world, what would it be?

I’m going to go back to equal access to education regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, where you live in the world. Reflecting back on the last question, education really has an impact on so many facets of people’s lives. The power of being educated could in turn potentially have impacts on some of those other problems like the cycle of poverty, allowing people to gain a better understanding of each other and potentially reducing some of the seeming hatred and other awful things that seem to be very prevalent in our world at times. So there’s definitely a lot to tackle, but if I was going to pick one thing, that would be it.

What 3 words best describe your U of A experience?

I’m going to say energy, possibility, and discovery.

About Amber Nicholson

Amber Nicholson is the Career Development Officer in the Faculty of Arts. She has worked for the University of Alberta in student experience focused roles since 2000. In her current role, she enjoys working with students to help them to explore and develop their career goals. When she’s not at work you’ll find Amber spending time with her young son, family and friends.