Dennis Ngo interviews and reports | Tracy Stojanovic
After having graduated from Mohawk College in the
Marketing, Travelling and Tourism program, Tracy
Stojanovic worked as an administrator for many years
in the private sector. Her career at McMaster officially
began in 1999 when she was contracted for four
months of employment. However, her excellent work
and dedication eventually led to a permanent position
within the university, which she has held for 16 years.
Her experiences prior to McMaster has made her a jack
of all trades and she now she plays a role in many key
areas of the Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
department – ranging from finance to human resources
to directly assisting the Chair in her role as Chair’s
Despite being at McMaster for over a decade, Tracy
never became complacent in her role and still strives to
enhance the McMaster community through volunteering
for various McMaster initiatives. I was very fortunate
to have opportunity to talk with Tracy about her
experiences at McMaster.
Why is McMaster special to you?
McMaster is an amazing community in itself and it’s also a
beautiful campus. It offers so many opportunities for individuals
to learn and succeed. The best part is that they also treat their
employees really well, for example, my kids can have their tuition
covered through bursaries if they attended McMaster and could
potentially cover up to a PhD. That is amazing! McMaster also has
one of the best work environments with its gorgeous views and
wonderful and friendly students and professors.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Getting to interact and work with all the students trying to get their
undergrad, graduate, or post doctorates degrees. Everyone in the labs
are amazing! You get to see all these students come in and learn so
much and grow as individuals. They go from learning in classrooms to
defending their thesis. It truly is an honor to see the students graduate
and move on, even if it is a little sad to see a lot of them leave. It is
definitely the most heartwarming and rewarding experience anyone
can have. My job here has also opened up my eyes to a completely
different world – the world of academia, which is strikingly different
from private companies.
What advice would you give to students?
Planning and building an early relationship with a good mentor is key.
Finding someone with experience and knowledge can be exceptionally
helpful, while planning ahead of time helps alleviate stress later on.
For example, I’m already encouraging my children to build an interest in
science and engineering by bringing them to special events at McMaster.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really love to spend time with my kids especially in the outdoors doing
things like camping and hiking. I really enjoy going to local farms to pick
cherries and strawberries when they are in season. I also spend a lot
of time volunteering at McMaster in many different committees. For
example I am part of a project that encourages children and youth to
go to University by hosting an event where a professor from McMaster
will deliver a lecture about their specialty, but in a kid-friendly way.
Although much of Tracy’s work is hidden from sight,
her dedication to her job reminds us that passion comes
in many different forms and we need to appreciate those
who keep the engine purring as we race for the frontier.
Tracy Stojanovic (left), with Dennis Ngo, 3rd year Biochemistry