Joint major: Business and Communication, 2014
Simon Fraser University graduate Sean Hougan’s joint major in business and communications helped her land her a job in marketing shortly after graduation – and she is confident that her education has also given her the platform to succeed with her own ventures in the future.
Sean works as a marketing specialist for downtown Vancouver start-up Lambda Solutions, where she is responsible for leading a variety of marketing initiatives. The role encompasses a range of skills and knowledge honed through her joint major, including online marketing, content creation, and marketing campaign strategy.
“I wear a lot of different hats in my role, and my business and communications joint major definitely prepared me for what I do today” says Sean. “One of the biggest things I took from communications was writing skills and an ability to communicate clearly. My business education gave me a great foundation for working in a startup, where you have to navigate business issues characteristic of a quickly growing company. In particular, my marketing classes gave me a lot of theoretical knowledge and practical experience – in some ways it was a test run for my career.”
Sean augmented her learning at SFU through a range of co-curricular activities. She completed two co-op positions, one as a Communications Assistant for SFU’s faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, and one as a Constituency Assistant in the office of a politician.
She also played active roles in a number of student clubs, one of the most notable being Internal Communications Manager and Event Project Manager for the SFU chapter of Global Agents for Change, a global non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities affected by poverty.
Her involvement in case competitions, meanwhile, extended to both competing and organizing: she was Co-Chair of the annual SFU Social Innovation Case Competition, and was a member of both the 2011 SFU JDC West team, and the BC CMA Case Competition.
“My co-op experience was very educational – they had tasks they expected me to complete but also gave me the autonomy to craft my own experience,” she says. “Co-ops, case competitions, and student clubs all helped me learn about the tacit skills one needs to excel in an organization, but more importantly, these experiences allowed me to put my education into action.”
Sean strives to one day run her own social venture. Passionate about mental health, she envisions making mental health services more accessible in B.C. It is a goal that she says her SFU experience has both inspired, and paved the way to achieving.
“I don’t think I would be the person I am today if it wasn’t for SFU,” she says. “My joint major provided a foundation for viewing the world critically from multiple perspectives. I am deeply humbled and grateful to SFU for opening my mind and providing me with the opportunities necessary to become competitive in today’s job market.”
-Written by the Beedie School of Business
Published in May 2016