World literature and sociology graduate Ken Ip is now completing his last two terms of an MA in English—but not without already having multiple jobs under his belt.

FASS News, Graduate students, World Literature, Sociology & Anthropology

Flexibility to explore options a blessing for world lit and sociology student Ken Ip

January 16, 2020
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Drawn by the opportunity to freely choose his courses to meet program requirements, Ken Ip has nothing but good things to say of his academic journey at Simon Fraser University (SFU).

Along with his main studies in world literature, Ip relished the chance to dabble in cognitive science, sociology, communications, and other disciplines—a flexibility and openness unique to SFU and, in particular, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Now a graduate of world literature with a minor in sociology, Ip is working on his last two terms of a master of arts degree in English, and has an impressive number of jobs already under his belt: he’s worked as a humanities teacher at an independent school, a student academic advisor at SFU, and also a teaching and research assistant at UBC—all within the past five years.

“My studies at SFU taught me a lot about effective communication, and prepared me for my work in educational contexts,” says Ip. “Without seeing good teaching in practice during my undergrad, I would have been much less prepared to teach in classrooms.”

Ip enjoyed being part of a close-knit community with the Department of World Literature and took part in the department’s student conference for several years. He was also the designer for Lyre, the world literature student magazine.

He credits a series of volunteer experiences during his undergraduate years at SFU for his success. Two of his most memorable experiences were volunteering with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as part of the First-year Learning Committee, and with SFU’s Student Learning Commons as a peer educator.

“My SFU experience was excellent,” says Ip. “The staff and instructors from whom I had the pleasure of learning were genuinely supportive in their dealings with students. Multiple times, I saw student suggestions become reality.”