Recruitment & Liaison Officer, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change
Bachelor in Geography 2017
Bachelor in Education 2019
About Brittany Giglio
Brittany is the Recruitment & Liaison Officer of our very own Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change. She has been on the York campus for the past 10 years in various roles (peer education, recruitment & admissions) as well as completing her education. She is graduate with an Honours BA in Geography. She also completed her B Ed at York and is currently pursuing her Masters of Education. Brittany has a beautiful baby boy named Theo and a fur baby named Maggie!
What made you choose your program at York?
I chose to come to York because I heard great things about its community. I liked that it was a self-contained campus and was community focused. My original goal was to become a teacher and I knew that York had a great education program that I wanted to take after my undergraduate, so I began at York in the Geography program for 4 years before starting my BEd (2 years). I loved taking Geography in Grade 12, I remember my final project – I created a volcano model and presented it to the class. I even won a prize for my presentation from my teacher!
I enjoyed my time in my undergrad because I learned that there are more aspects to geography than the physical realm. In my studies I explored how humans and physical geography are interconnected. I learned about migration, economic development, society, culture and so much more.
Do you have a favourite memory from your time at York?
Yes! I remember in my fourth year of the Geography program, I took GEOG 4170 with Professor Ming-Jun Kwai learning about immigration, ethnicity, and race. I remember in class we were talking about how Japanese-Canadians had undergone discrimination in Canadian History. I felt a personal connection to this topic because we learned about Japanese Internment Camps, and I have a close family friend whose family experienced this. This sparked my research project where I examined the history of British Columbia with a focus on Japanese-Canadians experiencing discrimination in the early 20th century. I conducted primary data by interviewing my family friend and learning more about her experience as a survivor with the Japanese Camps. She shared with me her experience in the Internment Camps, evacuation and how the Government issued a formal apology to Japanese-Canadians. She provided me with photos of her family, letters from the government and news clippings over the years. This, in combination with finding secondary data, took my learning to a new level. I was able to get hands-on learning ‘in the field’ through my friend’s lived experience and it allowed me to validate academic research with my own.
What advice would you give to current students or incoming students?
As a student, I recommend you explore opportunities beyond what academia can offer. Take advantages of opportunities outside of the classroom. If your program offers you an opportunity to take courses abroad or if there is a learning opportunity outside of classes – go for it! For example, in my first 2 years of undergrad, I only went to my classes. In my 3rd year I discovered the work-study program that York offers. I ended up working as a work-study student for the Career Centre. This experience helped me understand more about the post-secondary industry and other career paths. Being a work-study student not only helped contribute to me funding my education, but it helped me network with others while being able to balance my commitment to school as well.
My second piece of advice is don’t be nervous to ask questions. I learned that while the University has a lot of offer it often feels overwhelming with all these options. The best thing we can do is to start asking question as this will help set us up for success.
Tell me about your career path and what’s a typical day like for you now.
As I mentioned, while I was in school, I worked as a work-study student for the Career Centre. This opportunity allowed me to learn about diverse types of career paths and to dive deeper into the higher education industry. After I finished my BEd, I decided to stick to higher education because I got an opportunity to work as a Recruitment Officer for York University. I enjoyed sharing about York to prospective students, and after some time in the central office, I am now grateful to go back to my home faculty as the new Recruitment Officer. I love that I can now combine my love for geography, education, and community building by supporting the faculty in recruiting the next generation of changemakers.
Every day is different for me as a recruitment officer. Sometimes we get peak periods so in the summer I am making sure that I am connecting with new students, making sure their applications are complete, and helping them enroll in their classes. In the fall it gets busy, so I am on the road talking to both international and domestic students, I travel across the GTA to bring awareness to the program, our resources, and any scholarship opportunities. I help prospective students by sharing information on how to apply and hosting information sessions. As the first (and sometimes only) point of contact for new students at EUC – it is important that I provide as many resources as possible and the correct information.
What interests do you pursue in your spare time?
Beyond work, I am finishing my Masters in Education, and I am always planning my next adventure with my son Theo! As a parent, I want to set a positive example for my son and other young minds that learning never stops!