Video: Why Study History? An interview with New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote

August 12, 2016

New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote on the Value of a History Degree

New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote, who holds a BA in history from SFU, is accustomed to putting his degree into practice. In his role as Mayor, he’s constantly making decisions that will affect the future. Understanding the past, he says, has armed him with the ability to effectively do just that.

Cote says his history degree instilled the writing and critical thinking skills that set him up for success at work. Studying history uncovers the challenges that societies have faced over time, and Cote taps into his history knowledge frequently when dealing head-on with the decision making he faces in his role as Mayor today.

Using the communication skills he acquired during his undergraduate years, Cote is able to engage with residents and stakeholders in a meaningful way, understand their concerns, and take tactful direction in those areas.

Cote, who used to work in insurance sales, urges undergraduate students not to over-plan their futures. He says students should follow their heart and pursue their passions, and that developing talents in the areas they care most about will lead to them on a journey towards a fulfilling career. 

Watch the video to hear more!

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