Sabrina Jalees motivates students to follow their passions and live with authenticity


At this year's Last Lecture Sabrina Jalees shared her journey of being a former first generation student who followed her passion for comedy at only 16-years-old.

The saying rings true for a reason – following your passions and being truly authentic will lead to a more fulfilling career and life.

This sentiment is one of the many messages that Sabrina Jalees shared with students and alumni at Last Lecture on Thursday, April 6, 2017. On top of being a successful comedian, actor, and television writer, Sabrina Jalees is also a former first generation student who followed her passion for comedy at only 16-years-old. By the time Sabrina was in her twenties, she was working in mainstream Canadian media as a comedian, producer, and television host. 

Though Sabrina found early success in her career, travelling all over North America, England and South Africa as a comedian, she eventually found her opportunities drying up; however, when she embraced her individuality and stopped trying to hide what was “embarrassing,” she achieved greater success and satisfaction in both her life and career.

“When you live an honest life, everything is deeper,” said Jalees. “Your life is deeper. Your relationships are deeper.”

Sabrina’s message hit home with a number of students on the cusp of graduation who are making decisions about what will come next. She concluded the evening with some advice on how to work through those next steps, whether it’s making career decisions, facing personal challenges, or heading into the stress of exams and academics: “Find people to lean on and who understand.”

For students and alumni who are trying to navigate their professional path, the Student Success Centre offers one-on-one career counselling to both undergraduate students and alumni, up to ten years post-graduation, as well as career planning groups and industry events to explore career pathways.

Later this month, students and recent alumni have the opportunity to register for industry-specific tours at the Hamilton Employment Crawl, taking place on April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Last Lecture is an annual event and part of Light Up the Night. This year’s Last Lecture was sponsored by McMaster Centre for Continuing Education and Avtek Productions.

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