Adria Young applied to King’s to study journalism. However, after completing the Foundation Year Program (FYP) and one year in the journalism school, she changed her major to English. Adria had become fascinated with English literature during FYP and wanted to learn more. She decided to use the History of Science and Technology (HOST) courses at King’s to complement her English courses at Dalhousie. “To understand English literature, I needed to understand the science, religion and natural philosophy of the 1700s and 1800s,” Adria explains.
King’s encouraged Adria to focus on her strengths. “King’s was a place where I could figure out what I was good at and then focus on the opportunities I wouldn’t have seen otherwise… when you’re doing what you’re good at, opportunities come from that.”
She employed this mentality outside of the classroom, too. When Adria wasn’t studying, she devoted her time to administrative roles in student government, editing student journals, and as Vice-President of the Day Students’ Society, where she organized events and community-building activities.
Building upon her knowledge and understanding of the 18th Century from HOST courses at King’s, Adria went on to do her Master’s in English at Dalhousie, focusing on 18th Century literature. “I once again relied a lot on what I had learned at King’s,” she explains.
Upon completing her Master’s, Adria decided to return to her first passion – journalism. “I ended up, after all this, going back to journalism,” she says, “I had such a strong foundation in writing that I easily transitioned to journalism again.”
Launching herself into the world of journalism, Adria worked freelance for VICE, The Coast and many other magazines and publications. She was even the guest editor for our very own Tidings, the King’s alumni magazine. “I guess I kept my connection to King’s in that way,” she says.
In 2017, Adria won the East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for Media Person of the Year.
The award was a significant achievement, and a meaningful point in her career after five years as a journalist. “I would say all of that built on what I had learned at King’s; working to deadline, being a really strong writer, turning things over fast and also just being really thorough.”
After winning the award, Adria decided it was time for a change, while she continues to write and publish longform journalism on occasion.
In 2017, she got a job with the Nova Scotia government; first in the Department of Justice, and then the Office of Strategy Management. Her current role supports Cabinet decision-making, and she articulates and implements the strategic vision of the government.
“You have to be good at communication,” Adria explains. “It’s like being able to see the whole picture of something, and then focusing in on one piece and having a long-term vision. I really feel like King’s gave me that sense of understanding – to make complex topics or ideas really accessible.”
Adria also employs her communication skills as Secretary of the Alumni Association Executive at King’s. “I didn’t expect to feel so close to King’s as many years on, but it’s still very much like home base. King’s was always home base, and it still feels that way, so it’s good to continue to have that involvement.”
And Adria’s advice for any King’s student today? “Be open, be adaptable and flexible. See how your skills can transfer to areas you may not have thought.” Whilst it can be challenging to not see a direct career path ahead of you, Adria’s journey is a perfect example of following opportunities as they arise and embracing your strengths.
Date Posted: December 2020