Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), 1986
…you’ll find as you get older the fear of not having a job recedes, and the desire to be seen as a more knowledgeable and educated person increases.
As a self-professed news junkie, Andrew Laing has made a career out of his talent for observing patterns in the world we live in. He is the president of Canada’s leading media research firm—and what makes this his dream job is that he has a front row seat to watch how society works and reacts to the steady stream of news and information we receive each day.
Researching topics as broad as the impact of Rob Ford on Canada’s image globally, to how public opinion and media coverage impact flu immunization, Laing leads a highly sought after company with a specialization that has garnered clients around the world.
“I always felt I had a bit of a talent to see patterns within issues and topics,” says Laing. “I’ve been tapping into that kind of thing all my life. So now combined with a bit of a stats background it’s allowed me to be very creative in a very analytical way. And that’s what people are looking for—insight.”
For Laing it’s the ability to think critically rather than relying on more traditional technical skills that has set him apart from his peers and made him so successful. This is something he directly attributes to his education at King’s.
“Starting to understand how the world works, how issues affect how people decide things, how policies are created, all of that starts with the understanding that comes from a liberal arts background,” he says.
A lifelong student, Laing’s formal education continued through a master’s degree at Queens, and MBA from Royal Roads University, and a PhD from York. But it’s his time at King’s that he identifies with the most.
“Anybody should want to take a liberal arts education for the very simple fact that you want to be an educated person. You want to run with educated people. You want to be thought of as an educated person,” he says.
“And you’ll find as you get older the fear of not having a job recedes, and the desire to be seen as a more knowledgeable and educated person increases. You want to increase your knowledge and awareness of the world. To deny yourself that opportunity in those first years of university life is a shame.”