For this month’s alumni highlight as part of the Alumni Association centennial, we’re profiling College of Law graduate Joni Avram (LLB’91). Joni is the principal of Cause & Effect Marketing, a Calgary-based brand and engagement consultancy.
Cause & Effect Marketing won a 2016 SABRE North America award for its work on Alberta’s province-wide #IBelieveYou campaign, promoting the power of a compassionate response to sexual assault survivors, and its role in creating safer and healthier communities.
Tell us about the campus when you went to the U of S; how is it different today?
The campus was relatively small back in the early 90s, and I spent most of my time at the College of Law, which its own little microcosm. As an observer over the years, it seems that universities generally play a bigger role in the larger community – connecting students with community and business leaders in a more focused way.
What’s one of your favourite memories you had outside of the classroom?
Visiting the Saigon Cafe – I have yet to find better Chinese food!
Overall, how was your U of S experience?
I enjoyed my U of S experience – it’s a gem of a school in a beautiful city. I made lasting friendships and am proud to be part of the school’s great heritage.
How did going to the U of S shape your career?
I got a law degree but chose to work as a public affairs and marketing consultant. I often say that I work in the court of public opinion. Every job I’ve ever had was because of that law degree. Having owned my own business for 10 years, it has definitely helped differentiate me among my peers. It’s also been invaluable in helping me analyze problems and frame issues in a way that affect social change. It’s also been great to connect and do business with all the other “Saskatchabertans” living in Calgary!
What did you wish you would have known on your first day at the U of S?
I wish I had a clearer career trajectory because it took me a while to find my niche. At the time, I didn’t have a great sense of career options – it took a fair amount of digging on my part to discover all the opportunities a law degree offers. I also wish I had known how much bigger the world was about to become. I graduated in 1991 – just a few years before the Internet opened up endless possibilities. When I look forward, I’m focused on continuous learning, and am grateful for the foundation of inquiry I received at the U of S.
Check in for monthly Q&As with alumni from all the U of S colleges, as we sit down to talk about their life after the U of S and how being on this campus shaped their careers. In case you missed any previous features, you can read them here