Meet the SFU Public Square Team: Ina Pace

Mon, 18 Sep 2023

Gabrielle Parent
Communications Lead, SFU Public Square

Meet Ina Pace – the new Communications and Research Volunteer! Ina is an international intern from England and University of Victoria (UVic) alumni – a major in History and English Literature. She is now in Vancouver to build experience with the team at SFU Public Square through the InternEx program! Her multimedia background includes research for TV documentaries and social media marketing. Most recently, Ina has worked in International Higher Education project management, for which she helped facilitate programs designed to refine, for example, academics’ teaching skills and to empower women's leadership. Happiest when being creative, Ina looks forward to furthering wider community engagement efforts at SFU Public Square.

Gabrielle: What drew you to InternEx and inspired you to work with SFU Public Square?

I am in a transitionary phase in my life, in which I’m looking to combine my transferable skills and direct them towards a career in multimedia journalism. In the new year, I shall be returning to the UK for 6 months to do a post-grad in journalism, but first I thought a bespoke internship to gain direct international experience would be a massive preparatory advantage. By working with SFU Public Square, I’m bridging a gap in my career switch! 

Can you tell me a bit more about your various travels and how it has impacted your journey to this internship?

Glad you asked, becasue I have not shut up about British Columbia since I finished studying at UVic back in 2014! Since then, I have come back for a two week holiday, but it’s not the same as living the lifestyle. You have everything here from the beach and nature, to glamorous bars and restaurants! I wanted to keep my student memories in Victoria, and chose to pursue new opportunities in Vancouver. Currently, I’m on a two year multi-entry work visa.

Regarding my experiences travelling and working abroad, I was a foreign language teacher in South East Asia in 2017. I also did a work holiday in Australia in 2018-2019, during which I worked in TV sales and hospitality. These experiences made me realise how much I love connecting with people and engaging with diverse cultures and communities. On a more pragmatic note, these experiences have taught me a thing or two about being street-smart and about budgeting.

When I decided to return to Canada, I knew I didn’t want to work again in the customer service or hospitality industries, which is quite typical when you have this type of visa. Instead, I’m doing this internship as a way to develop professional Canadian experience, which (I hope) may lead to more professional opportunities here in Vancouver.

You have a very interesting background in communications, research and marketing! How do you think these tenants intersect with community enagement and the mission of SFU Public Square?

What I love about research and communications is that it’s all about learning without the academic pressure! Research allows for unexpected deep-dives, usually into a sector you’d otherwsie know little about. You learn how to condense information from new subject matter and make it accessible to your market; you can enhance and even enrich niche and general comnunities through your storytelling with all kinds of media. Connection is key, and engagement brings with it a sense of belonging. I feel that SFU Public Square’s programs are inherently about developing a sense of belonging; they create spaces and platforms that are open and accessible, and are executed through a lense of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

We're excited to have you on our team and bring your skills to the office! What are you most eager to tackle this semester?

I’ve not actually done much with events before so this is a new format for me. I’m eager to get creative with social media content and to write features and blogs about important subjects and notable people. I like to participate in projects that inspire and motivate others to make a difference – even the smallest efforts can be mighty, especially when they produce a snow-ball effect. I’m excited to see the breadth of projects that SFU Public Square covers, particualry those outside Higher Education.

What book have you recently read and enjoyed? And what are you listening to currently? 

Two books that have stood out to me in recently have both been classics: George Orwell’s 1984 and Richard Adam’s Watership Down. I read them during the pandemic and found them alarming and emotional. Fun fact, I studied Latin in “high-school” and took university electives in Classical Civilisation. Both these books draw heavily on Classical tropes, so I liked the combination of my learning from academia with my personal reading. Timelessness is a concept I find pretty fascinating. 

I’m not so keen on lighter reads with less substance. My attention span is short, and to be very honest I don’t read nearly as often as I used to or would like to anymore!

As for music, I listen to anything involving Indie and Taylor Swift. You can imagine how I felt when Folklore came out as her surprise album! I’m going to see her next year at the Eras Tour in the UK, as well as Coldplay here at BC Place in a few weeks!

Outside of the internship, what's been keeping you busy these days?

Making the most of the last of the summer weather! I went to Kitsilano Beach and Bowen Island lately, and swam in the sea (or ocean as you say here!) I’ve also had a couple of reunions with Canadian friends I’ve not seen for the last 7-10 years. It’s been quite an emotional whirlwind so far, and I‘ve only been back two weeks! I'm so excited to explore more and more, both in my professional and personal life.

Please join us in welcoming Ina to the SFU Public Square team!