Alumni Feature: Meet Ritinder Matthew

February 01, 2021

SFU Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts - Major in Communication, extended minor in English, 1999

"I graduated from SFU In 1999 with a major in Communications and an extended minor in English.

In my current role I manage the communications office for the Surrey School District.

The Surrey School District serves the City of Surrey, the City of White Rock and the rural area of Barnston Island. It is the largest and fastest growing school district in British Columbia with approximately 74,000 students, 20 secondary schools, 103 elementary schools, five learning centres, an online school, and a variety of satellite programs. A rich mosaic of cultures is represented within the student population. Surrey Schools has more than 11,700 employees, including 6,200 teachers. The district’s vision is to prepare our learners to think creatively and critically, communicate skillfully, and demonstrate care for self and others."

What drew you to your area of study?

"I was initially interested in journalism, but was able to take part in a communications internship immediately after graduation. This is when I realized how critical communications is to an organization, and what a communications department encompasses, including media relations, issues management, strategic planning, community engagement, internal communications, etc. This is what appeals to me most about my role – it’s never boring and I’m always learning."

What is your favourite memory of your time at SFU?

"Definitely the people I met. I made lifelong friends and have really fond memories of my time there."

What advice do you have for SFU students going through their degree?

"My advice would be to try gain work experience in the fields that you are most interested in - whether its through through co-op terms, volunteer opportunities or internships. Working in the sectors you are most interested in will help you learn more about your interests and the jobs that appeal most to you."

Connect with Ritinder on LinkedIn.

Our alumni go on to engage their community in a variety of ways. Read more alumni stories here.