More than once, Addy Shoichet, BA(Hons)’13, mentions how happy she is to use both her intellect and her creativity in her current professional position. Her path to this point has been an exciting exploration of both: powerful educational and career moves punctuated by the kind of travel and life experiences many of us only dream about.
Shoichet is a Senior Public Affairs Consultant at FTI Consulting EU, advising multinational companies on their engagement with European Union institutions and policy makers. “I help businesses understand existing European laws and contribute to the development of future EU legislation,” she explains. She works in the company’s Strategic Communications segment and, within that, she specializes on technology, media and telecommunications issues. “I’m one of the coordinators of what we call our “Future of Tech” cluster and I lead a cross-office taskforce on the metaverse. There are aspects of this work, and specific clients, that require forward-thinking and creative, out-of-the-box problem-solving. That’s when I’m happiest.”
Shoichet came to King’s and the Foundation Year Program from Toronto with two things in mind—to read all the books she’d always wanted to read and prepare for law school. “Law school was the plan early on,” she says. “But while at King’s I realized that I had some pre-conceived notions about what kind of jobs are good and bad and so I decided to explore that— and that ended up becoming the subject of my honours thesis in Sociology.” Working on the thesis, Shoichet explains, ultimately influenced a decision not to pursue law. “I think that my research on occupational prestige, or how we as a society value certain jobs over others, was also a way for me to challenge the idea that I was supposed to become a lawyer.”
With law school off the table, Shoichet embarked on a gap year to figure out her next steps, and whole-heartedly embrace her love for travel and adventure. “I went on a two-month backpacking trip around Europe. While on that trip, I became fascinated by Berlin and decided I wanted to live there—so I went back to Toronto […] and started to save some money to fund my move to Germany.”
Shoichet moved to Berlin in 2016, where she worked primarily in a hostel bar. At the same time, “I was particularly drawn to Cold War history and the experience of former Soviet and Soviet-influenced countries as they transitioned out of the Cold War period. Learning about that was what ultimately motivated me to apply for grad school.”
She did an MSc in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, focusing on nationalism and ethnic politics. A career fair brought her to Brussels and to her current position.
She says life in Brussels is rich and exciting: “Brussels is the heart of the European Union. It’s a global city that draws people in from all over the world and because it has that character of everyone being from somewhere else, it’s easy to feel like part of the fabric of the city, even as a foreigner. In a way it feels like Toronto, with its diverse neighborhoods and immigrant communities.” Beyond work, Shoichet maintains her life-long love of theatre and performing, acting with different English-language theatre companies.
As for FYP, Shoichet cites it as a powerful influence on not only her career but on her life in broader ways. “The Foundation Year Program is exceptional, and the professors at King’s are also exceptional people who really engage with students, caring about both their well-being and their ideas. They don’t just want to teach, they also want to learn,” she says.
“My year in FYP was the most academically enriching, stimulating and inspiring year of my life. At its core, FYP is about the study of ideas, these immense ideas that changed the world, influencing history, inspiring revolutions and enabling new ways of thinking. And what’s really special about this program is that you are not required to agree with all of the ideas that you are exposed to, but you are required to consider them and the impact they had upon the world. You learn how to process these new and challenging concepts, to question them respectfully and engage in respectful discourse and debate. And that kind of respect for ideas has been immensely useful in both professional and personal ways,” she reflects. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled a lot and to have met people from all over the world whose values or beliefs I have not always shared. If I had approached those interactions combatively or defensively I would not only have missed out on some really interesting conversations but also some really amazing opportunities. FYP helped me develop a great respect for other people: their perspectives, ideas and realities. I am forever grateful for the experience.”