Ava Cramp, Communications Superstar & Travel Fanatic

Meet our August Leader in the Spotlight, Ava Cramp! Ava is a BA student majoring in Communications and minoring in Business at Carleton University. While juggling school, Ava has also worked as a hostess, a ski lift operator and volunteered in fundraising at the Headwaters Hospital. In our interview, find out more about the field of communications, the lessons she’s learned from managing several commitments, and her tips for financial independence.

1. What does it mean to major in communications? What interested you about this field of study? What job prospects are out there for communication majors?
Majoring in communications means that there are several areas that I can pursue a career in. This is the main thing that interested me about this field of study. Many people have the idea that communication studies is related only to telecommunications, more so focusing on television broadcasting and media. I find myself more interested in Public Relations as a future career, as this position gives someone the ability to do many different things on a daily basis. Other job prospects include advertising and marketing, which I find can be included within Public Relations.
2. You mention that you moved to Ottawa from a small town north of Toronto. How has the transition been for you? What do you like about Ottawa?
My move from a small town to the city of Ottawa has been amazing. Ottawa is a great city, that has a small town feel, which makes this transition smoother. The fact that I moved right onto the campus of Carleton University made this easier as well. The campus is secluded from the city, giving it much more of a community vibe, that makes it easy to meet people. I love that Ottawa has a lot to offer for jobs as well as a plethora of fun things to do. Not all schools are positioned on the largest skating rink in the world 🙂
3. Your profile states that you have worked 2 jobs, while managing a full time school workload. What sorts of lessons have you learned from this experience?
From my experiences working full-time jobs while having a full school workload, I have learned how to manage my time very well. I tried to make sure that I fit in enough time outside of work to get my schoolwork done, and then any time outside of this was spent with friends, and beyond this, time alone. Time management is an easy thing to get a grasp of if you’re forced into it (with minimal spare time outside of work and school).
I definitely blocked off times in the evening that I knew would work for me to be able to get some school work done (ie. Monday before I went to work at 5:00, I would have about an hour and a half to start some work). My schedule at my job stayed pretty consistent so I knew which nights I would get off early. Then, I could sneak in some time for school work before I went to bed. The hardest part of this was having to give myself time slots to get a specific project done, and that I knew I could not procrastinate during that time. Otherwise my project/paper/presentation would never get done.
4. What tips do you have for students on financially supporting themselves through university? 
My best tip for students who financially support themselves through their university career would be to get a part time job that you can even work one to two times a week (but that doesn’t interfere with class schedules). Many places in university towns or cities understand that school comes first to students and therefore have no problem working around their schedule. Having this little bit of extra spending money removes some stress (as University alone puts enough stress on any individual, regardless of your program). Not having to worry as much about making ends meet on an exact budget means that you can have dinner with friends or get a ticket home if you get homesick.
5. What has been the best experience of your university career thus far?
Going to Australia! That was definitely the best experience I have had since I started university, although it happened during my summer break. I think it is so important to be able to travel and educate yourself from real life experiences, in different parts of the world. Being able to relax on some of the most beautiful beaches, and have my first experience holding a koala was something I’ll never forget. Although the trip was expensive, it was something I really wanted to do. So, I saved the money that I would spend on things I didn’t really need, and got to create one of the best experiences for myself.
Holding a koala in Australia!

Holding a koala in Australia!

Academic-wise, some of my best experiences was during the beginning of my second year. Second year is when classes begin to get much more interesting. Also, most people have left university residency and have found their way around the city much more. Beginning this next chapter of my life is a close favourite to Australia.
Want to ask Ava a question? Schedule a chat with her today! Ava is happy to answer your questions and offer advice on the university experience and working.

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