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Discovering Careers as a Mature Student (Career Conversations | Networking Event – Employers Event)

Brought to you in partnership between the Career Centre and Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students (ACMAPS).Connect with accomplished professionals who were Mature Students at York University!Meet alumni that are currently enjoying their careers and get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work in the field. During this panel, professionals will share their personal stories about breaking into thefield, how their career paths took them from graduation to where they are now, what knowledge, skills, and experience helped them succeed in their jobs. The panel discussion will be followed by an open forum where students will have an opportunity to ask the panelists their own questions.

Meet the Panelists:

Christine Santos Christine Santos Profile
People and Culture Manager, CON-TEST
Founder, TV Producer & Youth Coach, EPIC Generation
BA ‘03, Psychology & Human Resources 

Christine is a seasoned professional with over two decades of diverse expertise in HR, media, and youth coaching. In 2019, she established EPIC Generation, a venture dedicated to children’s coaching and media production. Christine’s impactful endeavours encompass creating TV series for kids and teens, securing funding for youth mental health-themed media content, and serving as a video journalist. Her creative innovation and media excellence have earned her accolades, including a nomination forExcellence in Media at the Golden Balangay Awards and a first-place win at York University’s ELLA business pitch competition in 2021. With a commitment to public service, Christine ran for MPP in 2022  while seamlessly maintaining her corporate role. Today, she remains committed to advancing youth  development, fostering media innovation, and engaging in community initiatives, while serving as a senior HR Leader, effectively driving positive change within both the corporate realm and the broader community. 

Sandra Milley Sandra Milley Profile
Director of Care, Revera Inc.  
BScN ‘14, Registered Nursing 

Sandra returned to school full-time in her late 30s after almost 20 years in the field of non-profit public relations and fundraising. As a mature student who still needed to support her family, Sandra worked 3 part-time jobs while completing her studies. Despite this, Sandra graduated in 2014 with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from York University. Sandra became a resident, family and community-focused Registered Nurse and has gained extensive experience in residential care environments. Sandra worked her way up from being a PSW during school to her current role and is now the Director of Care at a long-term care home in Simcoe County.  

Zuzana BalazovaZuzana Balazova Profile
Director of Team and Operations, Teach For Canada – Gakinaamaage 
BA ‘20, Educational Studies 

With over eight years of experience in the education and non-profit sector, Zuzana is passionate about supporting teachers and students in rural and Indigenous communities. As a Director of Team and Operations at Teach For Canada—Gakinaamaage, she uses her skills in communication, HR, IT, and workplace learning to lead and empower a diverse and dynamic team. Motivated by Teach For Canada—Gakinaamaage’s mission to make education more equitable and inclusive, Zuzana brings her perspectives and experiences as an immigrant, a learner, and a teacher to the organization. In her current role, she manages departmental strategy, oversees and supports the hiring process, and leads the operations and legal portfolio, and all HR components of the organization. 

Philestena McLeodPhilestena McLeod Profile

Director of Operations, AGATA Resource Centre Inc.  
BA ‘09, Sociology 

Philestena is the Owner and Operation Manager of AGATA Resource Centre. Inc., established in 2018, with the outcomes centered on mental wellness. With an oriented approach, our service is dedicated to meeting the needs of Black and vulnerable families and individuals who have a loved one or themselves experiencing an emotional challenge. Our mandate is multi-dimensional due to their intersection aligned the ebbs and flows of the various streams in which we operate.

Philestena graduated from Humber College in Developmental Services–emphasis on cognitive and behavioural challenges. The decision to pursue sociology was in relation to her interest—how behaviour shape society. After graduating from York University, Philestena returned to the teaching profession, and taught the Social-Community Services curriculum for 8 years. At the same time, Philestena worked as a consultant supporting families and individuals who were experiencing or exhibiting sign or symptom of a cognitive disorder. Philestena’s calling to the mental health profession is due to seeing one of her family members experience severe mental illness, and the emotional strain it had on the family. Due to this heroic experience, it left Philestena with the compassion to help inspire those in need of mental health support.

Philestena is also a featured writer for the Caribbean Camera, writing from a critical lens on everything relating to mental health. Philestena enjoys sewing, being out in nature and listening to music.

Registration: Experience York, open to mature and part-time students only.


Mar 20 2024


5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Online (Register through Experience York)


Career Education & Development

Other Organizers

Faculty of Graduate Studies
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