Angela Mashford-Pringle

Name: 
Angela Mashford-Pringle
Grad Year: 
1998
Degree: 
BSc
Program: 
Psychology
Sociology
Title: 
Program Consultant
Organization: 
Public Health Agency of Canada

“I manage and guide community-based organizations that deliver the Community Action Program for Children and the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program in Ontario. I am responsible for conducting literature reviews, following emerging issues, reviewing budgets and cash flows, meeting the general public, and connecting with various levels of government and other key stakeholder groups,” says Angela.

“The rewards of the position are getting to meet people from across the country and understand the social determinants of health that each participant brings to the table. We have flexible start and end times that allow you to balance your work with your personal life.”

She says her job requires tact, judgment, an ability to communicate in writing and orally in both French and English. A good understanding of public health and a working knowledge of financial documents are also necessary.

“I didn't need to do a job search because I had a contracted position based on my last undergrad course. I was also pregnant upon graduation and was not looking for a full time position at that point,” she says.

“When I did look for a full time position, I sent resumes out to companies and organizations that I thought would make best use of my skills and education. I was hired at the federal government because I was flexible, willing to learn, understood key concepts, and used my education effectively.”

While completing a senior undergrad thesis, Angela was instructed by a professor to get current statistics for Aboriginal people. She contacted Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and from her inquiry, she received a contracted position for two years.

“This helped me to understand the government and get my foot in the door,” she says.

Angela is a member of the American Sociology Association and volunteers at her daughter's school council as vice chair. If she could do anything differently, she says she might have entered grad school earlier.

“I'm still attempting to get accepted to grad school in Sociology at this time. I would have spent some time while I was an undergrad to understand what employers in my field were looking for (Masters/PhD) and would have tried to keep in touch with professors after I left school,” she says.

”I would have also liked to have taken courses at downtown campus and become known there as well. I would have made my presence known better had I know that professors can be helpful in and out of academia.”

Angela says you have to create your own opportunities.

“Opportunities don't knock on your door. Always network and learn more about people you meet (casually, personally or professionally). At some point in your future, these people may be influential in your career or academic development,” she says.

“I believe that no situation is bad, you have to use the situation as a learning opportunity and decide how you can make it better. A lot of my success has been my resilience and resolution that I cannot fail unless I will myself to fail. Everyone must create their own destiny. Life is what you make it and you can make it great or just mediocre. It’s your decision.”