In conversation with graduates: Diana, Ganise and Christina

Diana Idibe, left, with Ganise Clermont and Christina Ganotakis Photo copyright Black Ottawa Scene


14 June 2019

Friday 14 June

Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

Immediately preceding the African Caribbean and Black post-secondary graduation celebration hosted by YLAC , Black Ottawa Scene caught up with three of the graduating class of 2019, Diana Idibe, Christina Ganotakis, and Ganise Clermont.

What program did you graduate from?

Diana: I graduated from the Public Affairs and Policy management program at Carleton University

Christina:  I also graduated from the Public Affairs and Policy management program at Carleton University

Ganise:  I graduated from the Communications and Med francais at the University of Ottawa

What are your plans after graduation? Graduate school or that fancy job you’ve been dreaming of? Get  a nice car or travel or whatever?

Diana:  I will be going to graduate school here at the University of Ottawa, a short trip away from Carleton University, to study education with a concentration in leadership, evaluation, curriculum and policy studies.

Does that mean you want to go into teaching?

Diana: Not teaching in particular but educational policy, I am interested in the moving parts of the  educational system.

So you plan  to be in the background doing research to improve the educational system?

Diana: Yes especially educational outcomes for Black students is of particular research interest to. I think it is very under researched so  I am looking forward to doing some of that work.

Christina: I will be working a one year contract with the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada as a Junior program officer. I deferred my offer to do my Master’s degree in England to next year. I’ll be studying migration mobility at the University of London

Ganise: Currently I am taking a break from university and I am working. I have been looking for work actually. My last job, I worked as an executive assistant with the government, so I’ll be looking for another opportunity before going back for my Master’s. So I am taking a year off to try and figure out what I want to do. Before going for my Master’s I want to take a year off.

What kind of work are you looking for?

Ganise: Right now mostly administration, anything that has to do with helping with organisational support, just to take that year to figure whether or not.  I really want to go for a Masters.  I have to figure out exactly what I’d like to learn, when I go for my Master’s it will probably be something related to language.  I love to read and we’ll see where life takes me.

Are you aware that jobs in Administration are really hard to come by as they are so generic? There are so many people out there looking for work and they all say they want something in administration. What exactly do you mean by administration?

Ganise: I would prefer to work within a university helping students, orienting students to help them find programs, and resources they are looking for. That’s more specifically what I would like. I would love to get into academia more,   doing a Master’s and maybe eventually doing a PhD. My past job opportunities have been mostly the government. I’ve worked in communications and human resources,  so now I really would like to focus on university administration plus helping students.

One of the barriers graduates particularly in the Ottawa area is the knowledge of French. Are you bilingual?

Diana: I am working on it, practising French every day. I am not currently taking a course. But I was in the past few years of university, now I’ve opted for online resources.

Christina: I don’t have official testing but I have taken courses and I do work in French at work for the government, and so I do have some working knowledge of French. But I am better at reading and writing than speaking. It takes a bit more for me to get more comfortable in my conversation but I am looking forward to getting opportunities to take language classes while working for the government.

Ganise: I am bilingual. I speak French, English, Creole and a bit of Spanish.

So you really do have a number of advantages

Ganise: Yes I do love languages so much.  I love the colours and the cultures associated with languages. I am currently learning Spanish. I look forward to developing that language more.

Do you have any preference as to which town or city you want to work in?

Ganise: My undergraduate was at Ottawa U so I am looking forward to going to another university to do my Master’s. I know I want to get into academia. My dream job would be to be a professor, I am hoping to get more experience. I am taking a year off in Ottawa and then maybe I’ll go do my Master’s elsewhere but I’ll have to think about it first.

Finally, do you have any message for our readers at Black Ottawa Scene?

Diana: Community is really important, that we need each other, continue your readership and connecting with each other.

Christina: I’d like to say that Your path to success is not linear and to not compare yourself to your colleagues. Where you find yourself in life is where you are supposed to be.  Take pride in that. Take courage and ensure that you are willing to learn and grow and never stop believing that you can do more.

Ganise: I hope that they continue to read and support Black communities and the work of Black people in Ottawa, because as you mentioned, community is very important.





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