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Out of Ivey and into the Wild

  • Megan Harvey
  • |
  • Oct 5, 2017
Out of Ivey and into the Wild

Current student Megan Harvey, HBA ’18, is pursuing a dual degree, pairing business with Media, Information, and Technoculture (MIT). She spent her summer working at Parks Canada as a member of the Northern Engagement Team, where she worked to raise awareness about Canada’s northern national parks, Inuit culture, and the effects of climate change. It’s not exactly a common job for Ivey students, so Megan wrote about her experience and how her education helped her succeed.

You might be familiar with Parks Canada from camping at a national park or touring a national historic site, but it’s definitely not a typical summer job for an MIT and HBA dual-degree student.

Parks Canada aims to protect places across Canada of natural and cultural significance. Originally, I wanted to work at Parks Canada to explore my passion for the outdoors and share it with others. However, I quickly found parallels between what I was learning in the classroom and the challenges of engaging young urban Canadians about the areas Parks Canada protects.

As an MIT and HBA dual-degree student, I have been exposed to a variety of different (and sometimes opposing) perspectives on societal issues. My ability to approach a challenge through different lenses has contributed immensely to my success at Parks Canada. In fact, many of my outreach ideas have been inspired by class discussions on experiential marketing.

This summer, I helped create an Inuit storytelling activity that highlighted how closely connected the Inuit way of life is to the northern landscape. By immersing the public in a storytelling experience, we had meaningful conversations about the northern areas Parks Canada protects and the impact it has on Inuit communities.

To gain a better understanding of the North, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a Students on Ice Foundation expedition to the Canadian Arctic and Western Greenland. This life-changing experience showed me the very real impacts of climate change caused by those living in the south and how it is adversely affecting those living in the north.

In workshops, we had discussions that reminded me of those that took place in Ivey classrooms about corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. These discussions demonstrated how connected we are through our relationship with the earth, but also how distorted this relationship has become for those who take advantage of it. It made me realize that by establishing national parks or national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada is not only ensuring the ecological integrity of the land, but also contributing to the continuation of Inuit culture.

This experience opened my eyes to the complexity of Canada’s north and will enable me to share a more nuanced perspective when raising awareness about the northern Parks Canada places and sharing the lessons I’ve learned from the Inuit on becoming better stewards of the earth.

Those interested in applying their business knowledge to a ‘non-traditional’ summer job should definitely apply for the Parks Canada northern engagement team and can join the Parks Life community to learn about more opportunities with Parks Canada.