Posts Tagged ‘post-secondary education’
Three 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.”
Many kids dream of playing professional hockey and making it in the big leagues. They spend countless hours at the rink perfecting their skills, and for some of them, the hard work pays off. But what happens when injuries sideline a promising career?
James Sanford can tell you. Over the course of his 14-year career, he played in several leagues, including the American Hockey League, British Elite Ice Hockey League, Central Hockey League, ECHL, Federal Hockey League (winning a championship with the Danbury Whalers), Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey, and in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he played for the Victoriaville Tigres and his hometown team, the Moncton Wildcats. He was also a defenseman on Canada’s under 18 team 2002.
But his aspirations of playing in the NHL, seemingly so close to being realized, ended when he sustained a herniated disk in his neck and had to undergo extensive surgery. At that point, he returned home to New Brunswick.
“For the next two years I did dead-end jobs,” he recalled in a recent interview. “You live a certain lifestyle as a hockey player. It’s your whole life. You’re with the same 20 guys every day, so it takes a big adjustment to get acclimated to being back in the regular world.”
Realizing that he was going to have to return to school if he wanted to improve his career options, he decided to apply to the two-year Golf Club Management program at Holland College.
“I always thought that I would like to be a golf pro when I retired from hockey, and I had some friends who had gone through the program.”
The golf program gave him the kind of focus he hadn’t had since quitting hockey, but the adjustment wasn’t easy.
“As a hockey player, you get instant approval and gratification from the crowd; when you get out in the real world, you don’t get that very often.”
Jeff Donovan, James’s instructor for the last two years, said James overcame his reticence early on, and his confidence improved as he developed his skills.
“Sometimes it’s a little harder for people coming back to school when they’re a little older, especially if they have already had a career and are retraining; but James, who was 30 when he came into the program, settled in quite quickly.”
James graduated from the Golf Club Management program this spring and is working at the Bell Bay Golf Club in Baddeck, Cape Breton for the summer. Cape Breton’s golf courses are drawing international attention, making the region the fastest growing golf destination in the world.
“I’m the assistant pro, so I’m responsible for overseeing the golf academy’s programs and the pro shop. I teach, as well. I’m getting to use all the skills I learned in the Golf Club Management program in the day to day operations of Bell Bay. This year, we are hosting the MacKenzie Tour event. I’ll try to qualify, but even if I don’t, I’ll get first-hand experience as part of the organizing team.”
Eric Tobin, Pro at Bell Bay, said James was a natural choice for the golf club.
“I was very pleased when I saw James apply to be my assistant golf professional here at Bell Bay Golf Club. His background with professional sports is something that caught my eye early in my decision to bring him on board. His dedication to hockey in his past career was evident, and I am excited to see this transition to the golf industry. Holland College has given him the opportunity to step into a leadership role after only his second year. The education he has gained at Holland College made him an easy choice for this position. I am looking forward to a long relationship with James,” he said.
James will return to Holland College in the fall to take the one-year Professional Golf Management program.
Jeff Donovan said demand for graduates from the golf programs at Holland College has never been higher.
“This past year we could have placed each of our students three times over. There is a huge demand for young professionals in the golf industry. Employers are contacting the program and looking for graduates who are able to go to golf facilities and handle the day to day business demands and deliver the type of programming that will drive new membership and participation,” he said.
The Culinary Institute of Canada welcomes guest Chef Warren Barr The Pointe Restaurant, Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Vancouver Island
Chef Warren Barr and some of the students he worked with during his visit to the CIC
Although Tofino, B.C. and Charlottetown, P.E.I. are about as far apart as two communities can get and still be part of the same country, there are more similarities than differences between the two island towns, making the 75-room Wickaninnish Inn a natural fit for students and graduates of The Culinary Institute of Canada.
Chef Warren Barr, Executive Chef at The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, spent five summers as executive chef at the Inn at Bay Fortune, in P.E.I., before making his way west. He says the experience helped him to define principles of culinary integrity to which he has adhered ever since.
“At The Inn at Bay Fortune, we had a ‘strictly Canadian’ policy, and worked almost exclusively with local and regional farmers and producers. It gives you an accountability for what’s on the plate. As a chef, you develop a respect for the ingredients when you know the individuals who produce them. You’re a lot less likely to be wasteful with ingredients when you understand how much time and effort someone put into growing them.”
During his summers on P.E.I., Chef Warren developed an interest in The Culinary Institute of Canada, and gained an appreciation for the way the chef instructors prepared students for the profession.
“The students and graduates come into the kitchen ready to roll up their sleeves and take on any task that they are given. They don’t have ‘great expectations’ about where they will fit in the kitchen hierarchy. They are prepared to work hard and learn as much as they can from the rest of the team,” he says.
Chef Warren was back in P.E.I. last weekend to discuss employment opportunities with students seeking summer internships and those preparing to graduate this spring. He brought the Wickaninnish Inn’s Human Resource Manager, Melody McLorie with him.
Melody says the CIC’s students have an exceptional level of talent, and the way the semesters work at the college means that they can stay in their internships until the end of the busy season, whereas students from other cooking schools return to the classroom at the end of August, leaving their employers short-staffed for the busy fall months.
The Wickaninnish Inn employs up to 160 staff and provides staff housing for as many as 88.
“Tofino has a population of about 1,800, so finding housing in the summer would be difficult. We’ve purchased several homes in the area, and set them up as staff residences,” Melody explains.
Each house has a staff member who oversees the daily functioning of the house, sort of a residence assistant, ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible in these communal living spaces.
Tofino is not for everyone, Melody adds. The town is five hours north west of Victoria, Vancouver Island, and about three hours from Nanaimo, so access to some amenities is limited. But, as Chef Warren points out, if you’re into bonfires on the beach, and hiking around the beautiful Pacific Northwest, it may be just the place for you.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hosting a very distinguished alumnus of Prince of Wales College, Dr. Lewis Woolner. At the age of 101 (he’ll be 102 next month), Dr. Woolner must surely be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, living alumnus of Prince of Wales College. We thought he might be interested in taking a tour of the Charlottetown Centre, originally the location of the Prince of Wales College. The building was constructed in 1932 to replace the previous building, which burned down in 1931, and would have been about four years old by the time Dr. Woolner graduated.
Dr. Woolner usually gets around with the help of a walker, but with all of the construction work that’s going on in the main entrance and in the old auditorium (which is being transformed into a performance hall for the college’s School of Performing Arts, a partnership with Confederation Centre of the Arts), we deemed it safer to show him around in a wheelchair.
The retired pathologist, who spent his career at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota after earning a medical degree at Dalhousie University, returns to his native Prince Edward Island just about every year to reconnect with his family and his roots. It was an extraordinary experience to watch Dr. Woolner sifting through his memories, and to see his face light up when something struck a chord.
Some parts of the Charlottetown Centre remain almost as they were when the building was first opened. In one of our Accounting Technology classrooms, there is a beautiful set of floor to ceiling cabinets and drawers. This area used to be a physics lab back in the Prince of Wales College days, and so was certainly a space in which Dr. Woolner would have spent a great deal of time.
He remembers walking to the college from West Royalty, where he roomed with his aunt and uncle, and he remembers walking past the 1911 Jail every day on his way here. The wheelchair proved useful, as once he had seen the Accounting Technology classroom and the performance hall, he wanted to go around the outside of the building to see the doorway through which he would have entered on most days, on the Kent Street side of the building.
Finally, we showed him the newer part of the Prince of Wales Campus, the lovely courtyard and the quadrangle bordered by Glendenning Hall, the Centre for Applied Science and Technology, and the Centre for Community Engagement.
The Prince of Wales Campus has been a busy spot since Dr. Woolner’s visit. The first year students were here for an orientation. There were more than a thousand students from campuses and centres across the province in the Centre for Community Development and in the quad and courtyard getting to know each other and soaking up the college’s vibe. The average age of Holland College is about 24, although there are students as young as 18 and there are many mature students as well. They will spend the next year or two honing their skills and acquiring the knowledge they need to enter their chosen fields; most of them will look back at the time they have spent here fondly, and will form friendships that will last for decades. But it’s doubtful that many of them will be back to visit the campus in 80 years! We hope that Dr. Woolner will visit us again next summer.
Terry Hashimoto crouches down in the club house of Belvedere Golf Club and unrolls what looks a lot like a doormat with a USB cord coming out of one side. He hooks the USB cord up to his laptop, and in less than a minute, his team’s latest invention, the BodiTrak is ready to go.
BodiTrak helps golfers improve their stance for all of their different swings by pressure mapping. Last semester, Holland College Golf Management and Professional Golf Management students and their instructors used the mat. The group has seen a marked improvement their games.
“I’ve been teaching golf for 20 years,” says Golf instructor Blair MacPhail. “Without a doubt, this is one of the best things I’ve ever seen.
Instructor Jeff Donovan agrees.
“In only a month, I was hitting further, higher, longer – I would not have made the changes to my stance if I hadn’t seen the traces produced by the mat,” he says.
Terry says that the BodiTrak is an affordable, portable alternative to force plates, which are expensive and cumbersome. The system has been on the market for a couple of years now. The next step is to develop curriculum to train golf pros to use the system.
Jeff Donovan explains how the Holland College Golf Programs have become involved.
“We are working with Terry to refine the process for trainers using this product. Doing so is a great fit with our program. We already train golfers and many of our students are skilled players, so we’ll be able to use our expertise to engage our students in activities aimed at developing the most effective drills to use with the product. We’ll also look at how to apply the data that is gathered by the system to create a personalized training routine.”
Program Manager Tim McRoberts said the project is a great way for students and faculty to remain connected to the cutting-edge nature of training within the golf industry.
“Throughout the college, programs remain involved with industry partners to develop products or methodologies that can be applied in the real world. This project allows industry to make use of our expertise while providing students with valuable learning opportunities,” he explains.
Over the past few months, Terry says there have been several exciting developments for the Boditrak team.
“Jim McLean Golf Schools will be carrying and using the BodiTrak golf pressure mat as an integral part of its golf education programs at Trump National Doral, and Liberty National. We have signed Michael Breed of the Golf Channel’s Golf Fix Fame to a 5-year endorsement agreement, and CORE Golf, home of Sean Foley, Tiger Woods’ coach, has signed on as an educational partner. BodiTrak continues to expand its professional use both here in Canada and at golf courses such as Merion, Congressional, Baltusrol, Glen Abbey and the like. Additionally, manufacturers such as Foot Joy, Bridgestone, and Taylor Made are using and testing the systems.”
Journalism student/Communications intern
As East Coast Music Week leaps into action with busy artists, staff and volunteers a few recognizable faces will be helping to create an explosively successful week at the Delta in Charlottetown.
Holland College students are helping with ECMW as part of their class projects.
First year Marketing and Advertising Management student Bhreagh Gentile is working with the ECMW social media team. She and classmates will be tweeting live at the shows and taking photos.
“We’re tweeting the artists coming up, if our venues are at capacity, just sort of the goings on and taking crowd photos, photos of the performers and just genuinely capturing the whole essence of East Coast Music Week,” Gentile said.
The class will be sending their information out to the public through the ECMW accounts.
“We’re really providing instant coverage of things that are happening around town,” said Michelle MacNeil, who is also in the Marketing and Advertising Management program.
MacNeil is from Cape Breton and said she’s always excited to see what the artists from her area are doing.
Journalism students will also be at the venues capturing video, photos, and organizing interviews to share personal stories with the Island.
Deserie Murphy is working on the broadcast side of journalism and said she’s excited to be a part of the project.
“For today, it’s the first day of ECMW and I’ve just been working on getting footage of the set up and all the stages and seeing how everything is being put up,” she said.
Murphy was scouting out the rooms at the Delta Prince Edward, one of the many venues for ECMW events, to see where she wants to take her piece for the project and what angle she wants to tell her story from.
“We’re just working right now on the groundwork for the rest of ECMW so it should be a great show. A lot of video is being taken, a lot of b-roll and that’s just today – we’re just getting started,” she said.
The journalism students will be posting their work on the Holland College Surveyor as well as directly through the ECMA sites.
Business Administration program hosts Colonel Gray High School students from new Academy Diploma Program
By Katherine Baird
The Holland College Business Administration program welcomed 25 students from Colonel Gray’s new Academy Diploma Program in Business and Innovation for a half-day visit on November 26. The visit featured program shadowing and student presentations.
The Academy Diploma Program (ADP) is a newly launched, provincially approved program that focuses on helping high school students with the transition into post-secondary education and the workplace. The program emphasizes specific, sector-related skills designed to prepare high school students to pursue their career of choice after graduation.
The ADP enables students to customize their education based on talents and interests while still meeting acceptable educational standards for high school diplomas. Students are also given opportunities to job shadow and volunteer within the community to gain experience in a variety of sector-related areas.
“The field trip to Holland College’s business department provided a valuable experiential learning activity for our students,” said Kevin MacLeod, coordinator for Academy Diploma Programs at Colonel Gray. “Now that we’ve met with administrators and instructors of Holland College’s Business programs, we plan to call on their expertise in the future as guest speakers and perhaps advise us on various projects.”
During their visit to the Business Administration program, Colonel Gray ADP students were given a program presentation from faculty, a department tour, and a presentation from second-year Business Administration students. ADP students also attended a business studies class and had lunch with current students.
“The Academy Diploma Program is an innovative addition to Colonel Gray’s curriculum,” said Brian Murray, a business studies instructor at Holland College. “Students will leave the Business ADP with a clear focus toward their goals in the business sector. It’s exciting to see high school students passionate about pursuing their careers.”
Pathway exploration is an important component of the ADP in Business and Innovation. Students enrolled in the program connect their learning to potential post-secondary opportunities in the business sector to help them make more informed decisions about their chosen career path.
Learn more about Colonel Gray’s Academy Diploma Program in Business and Innovation here.