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Christa Wilson, BEng Scty '06

Engineering Physics & Society | Merging Engineering Physics with Circus Acrobatics

While earning her degree in Engineering Physics and Society, Christa Wilson combined her engineering courses with a minor in Psychology, so she could consider the profession from a social and environmental perspective.

At the same time, she was also training and competing at the National level in ice skating – a sport she began at four years old.

She reached the fork in the road between the athletic path and the engineering path in 2006 after she had graduated with her degree and retired from competitive skating.

“I began to apply for engineering jobs as well as professional performing jobs, and as it turned out I got the performing job first,” she says.

“I thought that I would return to engineering when my student loans were paid off, but I was hooked. I spent five years performing and traveling with ice shows and then began training and performing circus arts when I met my husband. We now travel and perform together.”

As a professional freelance artist, she has performed professionally in more than 50 countries around the world. In addition to skating, she now also works as an aerialist and acrobat.

“This is definitely not what I thought I would be doing but I am very grateful to be able to,” says Wilson, who adds that skills learned at McMaster, including critical thinking, time management, and networking, continue to serve her well.

 “And in fact, there is a lot of physics in circus arts, which I also enjoy,” she adds.

Looking back on her university days, she says she wishes she knew not to take herself so seriously.

“I worried so much that I wasn't at the same level [as] my peers when I should have spent more time focusing on what I was good at,” says Wilson. “We can be our own worst critics, so try to treat yourself as kindly as you treat others.”