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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 25, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Graduate Testimonial: Vanessa Pritchard

As a Masters student in the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, I was able to take advantage of the many unique opportunities that the Graduate program has to offer. As WLU is part of the Tri-University system, I was able to select my courses from not only those offered at WLU, but from the history graduate courses offered at the University of Waterloo and the University of Guelph as well. As a result of this unique program structure, I was able to take courses that related to my fields of interest, such as Canadian history and War & Society, which provided me with the background knowledge that I required for my Major Research Paper (MRP). Courses in the second semester are designed to let graduate students have an opportunity to do their own research with primary sources. I thoroughly enjoyed these research courses because I found it very gratifying to conduct my own research, draw my own conclusions, and discuss my work with other students and professors. Since WLU offers both reading and research based courses, I found that I was able to enhance my knowledge and research skills, providing me with the foundations I needed in order to successfully complete my MRP.

At the end of the program, I defended my MRP and discussed my work with several professors. I found it extremely rewarding to share my research with experienced and knowledgeable professors. Their feedback expanded my thinking and contributed to a well-rounded product. The defence is a fulfilling culmination of one’s hard work and highlights the knowledge and skills that one has gained and improved over the duration of the year.

Obtaining my Masters in History from WLU has prepared me for future employment. I have been able to translate my research and analytical skills gained from this program and apply them to my current job at a public library. My position often requires that I help patrons locate specific research materials and lead educational programs. My Masters degree in history convinced my employers that I was capable of successfully completing these tasks. WLU has a well-rounded program that is structured for the students’ success, both within the program and afterwards.  

Vanessa Pritchard, London Public Library