Alumni Profile Zoe Crane

BA Psychology Major, Counselling and Human Development Minor, Certificate in Liberal Arts (2019), Simon Fraser University
Human Resources Management Certificate (2020), SFU Continuing Studies
Connect with Zoe on LinkedIn here

1.      Where do you currently work and what is your position? 

Currently, I am the Manager, Talent Management for Aritzia's Concierge division. After completing my Psychology degree in 2018, I completed a contract with the Vancouver Canucks in their Top Prospects Internship Program. There, I discovered my passion for People and Culture, so I went back to school to complete an HR Certificate. Since then I've worked as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator with PepsiCo, HR Coordinator and later HR Business Partner with BC Emergency Health Services, and HR and Executive Operations Manager with Transportation Investment Corporation.

2. Why did you decide to study psychology?

My AP Psychology class in high school was my favourite academic course but I enjoyed my natural sciences courses too, so I originally was planning on completing a Behavioural Neuroscience major. After learning more about the different perspectives from which behaviour and cognition could be studied, beyond just the neurological, as well as how applicable the content was to real life settings, I decided to adjust to a Psychology major. 

3. What were your favourite courses / who were your favourite professors at SFU psychology? 

I was quite an engaged undergraduate student. I was the captain of the SFU Athletics Dance Team, I worked in Student Central, and I volunteered as a FASS Peer Mentor, Research Assistant, and through the Student Ambassador Program. It is these extracurricular experiences that really shaped my experience at SFU and ultimately my life. That being said, I did enjoy many of my courses, especially Sports Psychology (PSYC 491) with Dr. David Cox and Developmental Psychopathology (PSYC 356) with Dr. Martin Davidson.

4. What did you originally plan to do with your degree in psychology during your undergrad, if you had any ideas at that time? Is that different than what you do now? If so, how?

I considered a lot of different paths in my first few years as an undergrad, but by my final year I was set on pursuing a master's degree in Sports Management and a career in the sports/recreation industry. I dedicated my final academic year to improving my grades and submitting applications to a few different schools in Ontario. I was accepted into those programs but ultimately decided to pursue an internship with the Canucks instead. Human Resources is obviously different than Sports Management, but I enjoy them for similar reasons such as cross-functional work/projects, strategic business planning and decision-making, leadership, stakeholder relations, and creating positive experiences for client groups whether it be fans or employees. 

5. How did your time at SFU change you and influence your career?

During my time at SFU, I really learned what my true interests are and what I wanted as I entered the workforce. Being part of the dance team and studying psychology made me realize that I wanted a career that involved events and/or projects, relied on teamwork, and required a deep understanding of and connection with people to be successful. My time at SFU undoubtedly shaped who I am because of the friendships I made, experiences I had in and out of the classroom, and lifelong skills and knowledge that I can apply to pretty much all facets of life. 

6. What advice would you give to students that you wish you knew in your undergrad? / What was important to you then and what’s important now?

During my undergrad I thought having a long-term, tangible goal in mind was the most important thing, whether that was what grad program I would complete or what job I would hold in 5 years' time. In retrospect, the thing that became most important to me and resolved any anxiousness I had about the future was to be happy with where I was in the present moment and know that, even if what I was doing didn't push me towards a specific goal, it was pushing me, period. I value lifelong education, growth, and development (there's got to be a self-actualization Psychology joke in here somewhere), even if I'm not sure where it's going to take me in the future.

So, the advice I would give to students is to experience life as a constant learning opportunity and allow yourself the space to change and grow. Having long-term goals can be great, but don't get so fixated on those that you forget to enjoy yourself along the way!