Holland College Blog

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Archive for November 2016

Holland College student trades hockey stick for paint brush

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DylanThree years ago, Dylan McQuaid’s résumé would have led one to expect that the 20-year-old would pursue a career in business or sports. After several years of playing hockey, the last three in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League and the Island Junior Hockey League, he seemed destined to follow the path of many other former hockey players into the business side of sports. But a combination of circumstances changed his path.

“I started drawing again to distract from the stresses of hockey, which shifted my focus as my hockey career was winding down. At the same time, I noticed that something wasn’t right with my health, including rapid weight loss and fatigue, along with other symptoms,” he recalls.

Following a series of tests, Dylan was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The diagnosis further sharpened his focus.

“It put things into perspective for me. I thought, nothing’s a given, so I should go after what I want,” he says.

“My aunt was a graphic designer, and she suggested I check out the Graphic Design program at Holland College.”

After investigating his options, he decided to take the college’s one-year Fundamental Arts program before going into the two-year Graphic Design program.

“I didn’t have much confidence,” he explains, “so the Fundamental Arts program helped me to prepare for the Graphic Design program, including helping me develop an understanding of industry terminology.”

Over his three years at Holland College, he demonstrated the characteristics that lead to a successful college experience, and a successful career, and earned him the Governor General’s medal when he graduated last spring.

In addition to his exemplary work ethic and keen design sense, Dylan has a strong belief in community involvement. He participated in many worthwhile causes during his time at Holland College, and even garnered Most Dedicated Player and Hurricanes Scholar-Athlete awards for his role in the Holland College Hurricanes Men’s Baseball team.

Recently, he was named the regional winner in BMO’s Invitational Student Art Competition, winning $5,000 and a trip to Toronto for the opening of a display of the winning works from across the country.

He did his on the job training at Carta Worldwide, a payments processing company, and now has a full-time job as a graphic designer in their Charlottetown office.

“I enjoy working at Carta Worldwide, and I’m strengthening my skills there. Eventually, I’d like to move elsewhere and work at a design firm and continue to learn and improve my design skills.”

 

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Written by Sara Underwood

November 21, 2016 at 9:28 am