It was perfect timing: only months after joining Queen’s Alumni herself in 2009, Amey Stranak landed a job working in Alumni Relations.
“I was looking for a job I could grow with,” she recalls. “Working at Queen’s, I knew I’d have opportunities to expand my horizons.”
Stranak, a Kingston native, had worked for a telecommunications company while studying for her degree in Health Studies. While she didn’t mind the work, she says it felt like a job and not a career. She knew she needed more of a challenge – and she’s happy to have found it.
Her first job with the Office of Advancement saw her working in with the Alumni Education and Travel unit, who organize programs like MiniU and educational travel adventures for Queen’s alumni. “Because it is a small unit, I had lots of opportunities to coordinate directly with our travel partners, and to learn new, complex software,” she says of the position. “I really enjoyed that.”
As a sociable person, Stranak says she also loved the fact that her position allowed her to work with lots of different people. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to talk to people from all over,” she says warmly, describing experiences like having forty-five minute phone conversations with people who graduated from Queen’s fifty years ago.
With that experience in-hand, Stranak recently moved into a new position as an Administrative Assistant in the Branches Unit. “We work with the volunteers at the various alumni branches,” she explains. While branch volunteers organize events like softball tournaments and whisky tastings to bring alumni together, Stranak handles the behind-the-scenes administrative work that keeps it all ticking along.
Whether she’s running event registration online, making sure collected revenue gets distributed properly, creating an online survey after an event, or answering a myriad of email inquiries, Stranak’s work all contributes to making sure Queen’s Alumni have a streamlined experience, no matter where they are or what kind of event they’re participating in.
Though she enjoys her work, Stranak is focused on the future, too. She is currently taking some distance learning courses as she gears up to start working towards a Master’s degree -- something she is hoping to pursue while she continues to work full time.
She laughs when she thinks back on herself a few years ago. “When I graduated with my undergrad degree I thought I wouldn’t read another book again! But I realized, of course, that I want to keep on growing and learning,” she explains. She describes being able to pursue a degree while she works as “an amazing perk” that helps make Queen’s such a special place to be.
“There are lots of opportunities here,” she says. “They are very supportive of any personal growth that you want to pursue.”