Jan. 5, 2016

Alumni Spotlight: Chris Thomas, BA'97 (Psychology), BA'97 (Sociology)

Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment.

Chris Thomas graduated with a BA double major in Psychology and Sociology. He is a Senior Consultant with The Classic Business Consulting Group. It is a firm that works with organizations to optimize their operations via their people and their people via their operations.

What is your favourite University of Calgary memory?

I have two of them, the first one involves the numerous lecture hall debates with academics on why theory doesn’t necessarily translate into practical experience in the real world and my second one happened during my first day on campus, when Murray Fraser the UCalgary President came over to introduce himself, it left a real impression on me about what a university could be.

What was your favourite campus hang out spot?

In between classes it was definitely the loop between social sciences and the science buildings. After classes anywhere off campus was best.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student completing the same degree that you did, what would it be?

Be prepared to explain how your program and your courses are going to benefit the employer. Be prepared to talk about the skills you have and what you can do for an employer vs thinking about what the employer can do for you.

How has your career evolved?

By looking for challenges and looking to do things differently than the norm or the status quo. Instead of always asking why, ask why not.

What is the best thing about your job?

Never knowing what is coming up next. James York a mathematician that specializes in chaos theory said “the most successful people are those who are good at Plan B” and I fully subscribe to that theory.

How did your arts degree help you get to where you are now/your current career?

In a world of business specialists they do need the insight and opinion of a generalist. An arts degree helps give you the education to become that person.

How can I steal your job?

By doing more research and being more committed than your competition.