Oct. 17, 2018

Alumni Spotlight: Tonie Minhas BA'15 (Political Science)

Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment.

Since graduating in 2015 from Political Science, Tonie Minhas has worked with agencies that serve our community including the Calgary Police Service. Currently at HomeFront Tonie helps to build a safer community by eliminating domestic violence through direct client services, justice coordination and facilitated community action. While on campus Tonie was an active volunteer with the Faculty of Arts Students' Association, serving as president in 2015, and with the Canadian Political Science Students' Association. She has also co-founded the Sat Rang Foundation, a non-profit organization with the mission of bringing light to issues of domestic violence in South Asian communities in Calgary.

Meet Tonie in her upcoming Alumni Coffee Chat, learn more>

What is your favourite University of Calgary memory?

Ordering Dominoes to TFDL during all-nights to finish papers. 

What was your favourite campus hang out spot?

Machall food court. No competition on that.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student completing the same degree that you did, what would it be?

Volunteer! Get involved! Your degree and what you learn from it is important, but the opportunities you will get to learn how to write a proper email, how to network, how to engage with diverse audiences, learning a new skill, or even just understanding what your passion may be, are opportunities you’ll likely only find by getting involved. And this will all lead the path into a field you care about when you graduate. Getting the relevant experience before you’ve completed your degree is key.

How has your career evolved?

I have had very distinct career changes since graduation, but they have all kept a theme of agencies that serve our community. My career has evolved and put me in a place where I look forward to work and everyday I do something I haven’t done before.

What is the best thing about your job?

I get to care for strangers and work in an agency where everyone cares just as much as I do.

How did your arts degree help you get to where you are now/your current career?

My arts degree equipped me with the qualification to get in the door initially. After this, I was able to use the skills I had learned in my degree like working through large amounts of information, articulating arguments and recommendations, having a large scope of information but also attention to detail, were all incredibly important in any role I’ve been in. 

Do you have advice for students looking to pursue a similar career path?

The same advice as before. Get involved. Figure out what you care about and then throw yourself in to get the experience. Even if you think you aren’t qualified or don’t have the skills. You’ll find guidance and mentors, but only if you try.