Professional Profiles

SFU helps language aficionado find her dream career

Sonia Visconti, a graduate of the Certificate in Business Communication and Professional Writing.

By Amy Robertson

A simple web search can be life-changing.

A few years after finishing her bachelor’s degree in Toronto, Sonia Visconti was still looking for a career that fit. She’d spent a few years in investment banking in Calgary, but it was uninspiring.

Her true passion? Language.

She’d written and edited for her university’s newspaper as a student and completed a copy editing internship at an online magazine after graduating, and loved both. Thinking perhaps she could become a book editor, she looked for work in publishing—but it was scarce. Visconti wondered where else to look.

A move to Vancouver gave her an opportunity to try something new, and so, after a securing an administrative job, she began to Google schooling options.

“I thought, ‘What do I really want to do with my life?’” she said. “It was always words. I loved writing and reading and editing things. I would edit all my friends’ papers in university, and I just felt like, ‘Why can’t I do something like this?’”

When she stumbled upon SFU Continuing Studies’ Certificate in Business Communication and Professional Writing, something clicked.

“It just made sense,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh! Yeah! This is it…this is pretty much exactly what I want to do!’”

Visconti enrolled, and found the program a great fit with her work schedule. She worked from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kitsilano, and was downtown in plenty of time to do a little reading before her classes began.

She loved what she was learning so much that she began taking on extra writing and editing projects at work. Several months later, a communications position at her organization opened. Having finished most of her coursework, she had no problem landing it.

Today, Visconti’s passion for what she does is palpable. She keeps her course notes in binders at work, the bulletin board beside her desk is decorated with grammar jokes, and her face lights up when she talks about writing and words.

“I’ve always loved writing a really good sentence, or editing something to make the message really shine through,” she says. “I just always loved language. I thought, ‘Why did it take me this long to figure it out?’”

She says one of the best things about her job is the variety. On a given day, she might help a colleague craft a message, send an email blast, edit guidelines, proofread a document, or plan an event or photo shoot.

She also loves that she doesn’t know where her skills will take her—years from now, she could be working in law, natural resources or entertainment. Eventually, she hopes to teach or consult.

For now, she’s grateful to have found her way to a career she loves through SFU—and that web search.

“It made me realize what I’m really good at.”