Madison Penton heads to Washington with Ecosystem Management Technology class

groupMadison Penton and her 31 Ecosystem Management Technology classmates boarded a bus to Washington, D.C., on January 22 for the Science, Business, and Education of Sustainable Infrastructure: Building Resilience in a Changing World conference.

The conference, which was presented by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), is a component of the Urban Ecosystems and Ecosystem Health courses. The event gives students the opportunity to see how a conference is organized and brainstorm ideas for their own conference, which they will host on March 24 at Fleming’s Frost Campus.

Madison and her Urban Ecosystems course team also presented a scientific poster at the conference, which is one of the project options in the Fleming College course. Her team presented on How to play with fire and not get burned: an evidence-based approach to wildfire risk reduction in California.

washington“I think one of the biggest things I gained from this experience was confidence,” said Madison. “During the conference, we really had to put ourselves out there, push past our comfort zones and take chances. Presenting a scientific poster on an international stage was nerve-racking but rewarding. Although it was scary when scientists and professionals approached us, we felt confident enough to answer their questions. Also, because the conference topics were so relevant to our learning, I felt confident to talk to anyone!”

While the conference gives students the opportunity to listen to scientists and environmental professionals discuss topics they are learning about in the classroom, the Fleming College group also had the opportunity to explore the history and culture of Washington.

“I had a great experience in Washington. Not only was the conference an incredible opportunity for networking and professional gain, but having the opportunity to explore an amazing new city was equally worthwhile,” she said.

Madison chose to take Ecosystem Management Technology at Fleming College after completing the Ecosystem Management Technician program, as she said the extra year will benefit her educational pathway to Trent University.

“My experience in the Ecosystem Management program has been nothing but rewarding. I have gained so much knowledge and passion for the environment I live in,” said Madison. “The opportunities I have had through field trips and out-of-classroom experiences, like the Washington trip, have been incredible for my personal gain. These experiences also provide opportunities for team building and have provided me with an opportunity to build friendships that I will treasure forever.”

Fleming is a family experience for PSI student Crystal Dudgeon

Fleming faculty member and ASIS Toronto Education Committee member Brine Hamilton (left) presents Crystal Dudgeon with the ASIS Friends and Family Scholarship
Fleming faculty member and ASIS Toronto Education Committee member Brine Hamilton (left) presents Crystal Dudgeon with the ASIS Friends and Family Scholarship.

Congratulations to Protection, Security and Investigation student Crystal Dudgeon, who won the ASIS Friends and Family Scholarship! ASIS International, a leading organization for security professionals, awarded Crystal with the scholarship based on a letter she wrote about her career aspirations, an essay related to security, a faculty recommendation and her transcript.

The name of the award, ASIS Friends and Family Scholarship, is fitting for Crystal. Unlike many college students, Crystal’s return to school meant spending more time with her family.

Crystal’s daughter Emily is a Customs Border Services student who recommended Fleming’s Law and Justice programs to her mother, who was living in the Netherlands and looking for a new direction in life. Crystal enrolled in the Community and Justice Services program and Emily was happy to give her mother a campus tour and introduce her to some faculty members when Crystal returned to Canada.

“When my mom said that she was coming to the college to take a Law and Justice program, I was really happy,” said Emily. “I think my mom is very smart, she had a lot of knowledge to share. Plus she’s a fun person, having her at the college is great!”

In addition to her daughter’s support, Crystal said she felt very welcomed by the Fleming community. “The students and faculty, particularly in the Law and Justice programs, are vibrant, fun and an engaging part of my experience,” she said. “I have learned a great deal from my fellow students and they have been very accepting of me.”

She decided to switch to the Protection, Security and Investigation program after faculty member Norm Killian presented on the topic in the Strategies for Success class.

“I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” she said. “I have a background in frontline security and the presentation really invoked my interest to return to the roots of my career.”

One of her favourite – albeit most nerve-wracking – program experiences is doing live surveillance exercises, where she follows former CSIS agents downtown Peterborough pretending she is not following them.

Not long after Crystal started Fleming College, her youngest daughter Jamie also decided to enrol.

Crystal (centre) with her daughters Emily (left) and Jamie (right).
Crystal (centre) with her daughters Emily (left) and Jamie (right).

“I was really proud and inspired when my mom was accepted into Fleming. It made me want to move forward with my own education and see us all be successful together as a family,” said Jamie, who is now in her second semester of the Police Foundations program. “She’s going to graduate with honours, which is something I am trying to do as well. She always told us that education is really important and now she is showing us how it’s done.”

Crystal shared that in the beginning she was concerned about navigating her daughters’ boundaries, wondering whether she could sit with them when they were with friends, talk about them to her peers, or tell faculty that she was their mother.

“It turns out that I was over-thinking the entire situation,” said Crystal. “Attending college with my daughters has been a dream come true for me. We get to experience the same challenges and excitements together as a family. Exam weeks can be a tense time in the Dudgeon household but at the end of the week, we also get to unwind and appreciate the support we’ve received from one another. Perhaps the best part, as a parent, I am always on hand for them– now academically as well as emotionally. And hey, what college kid doesn’t want to have mom’s cooking every night?”

Crystal, who is now in her fourth semester, plans to continue her studies at Fleming and earn her Emergency Management graduate certificate, hoping to find a career that allows her to interact with the public in a positive way. Her long-term career goal is to study and possibly teach the history of espionage and spy networks during historical conflicts.

Within the walls of the Haliburton School of Art + Design, Christina Dedes feels like she belongs

christina-dedes-blogThe first time Christina Dedes encountered the bright red doors at the Haliburton School of Art + Design (HSAD), she stopped in her tracks to read the quote “Within these walls, the walls within disappear.” Nervousness washed over her as she entered the building, and ever since that day Christina has felt a resolute sense of belonging.

“Within these walls, I’ve had powerful breakthroughs, emotional breakdowns, and moments of complete silence and meditation. Collectively, these emotional experiences have allowed me to grow into myself. Coming to HSAD has been a self-revealing experience, rooted in truth and authenticity,” she said.

Christina began her post-secondary journey in the Visual and Creative Arts Diploma program and is spending her second year in Integrated Design. She plans to receive both diplomas in 2019 after three years of study.

“It was inspiring to see my classmates develop and grow throughout the semester, and we supported each other through all the long days and sleepless nights.”

She describes Visual and Creative Arts as challenging but said it helped her develop a strong work ethic. She also gained a better understanding of materiality, form, composition, and digital programs like Photoshop.

“It was inspiring to see my classmates develop and grow throughout the semester, and we supported each other through all the long days and sleepless nights,” said Christina. “I am really proud of the VCAD class for all of our collective accomplishments, and for allowing ourselves to grow into new and wholesome human beings. By the end of VCAD, we were all a little less terrified of what was to come and a bit more confident of our abilities to create a better future.”

A self-portrait of Christina Dedes.
A self-portrait of Christina Dedes

Looking back, Christina said those long days and late nights were some of her favourite HSAD moments, including ordering pizza to campus to enjoy with her classmates while working on projects. And despite feeling exhausted, Christina said she wouldn’t change a thing.

She decided to continue her studies at Fleming’s Haliburton Campus by enrolling in the Integrated Design program, which helps students discover what kind of designer they are meant to be.

“The creator of the program, Barr Gilmore, has created a diploma that gives a well-rounded view of the design world. Whether you’re learning about the history or applying the theory into your own design drawings, you can be confident that the skills you are building in the classroom will benefit you in real-world scenarios in the future,” said Christina, who enjoys using the Maker Space on campus, which features a laser cutter, plotter printer, and two 3D printers for students to use.

“The Haliburton School of Art + Design is unlike any place you’ve visited before, and it’s likely you’ll never come across a place like this again.”

She started the program on a high note, winning the MacBook Pro contest Fleming College hosted. Since most of Christina’s assignments are done through Adobe programs, having a laptop has helped her work on-the-go.

“The Haliburton School of Art + Design is unlike any place you’ve visited before, and it’s likely you’ll never come across a place like this again. Regardless of your skill level, you will be welcomed into the HSAD community, where you will meet many like-minded individuals who come from all over Ontario,” said Christina. “I cannot stress enough how fortunate the students are to be surrounded by so many compassionate and skilled artisans, designers, and creatives during the school year. The building itself offers space for every type of creative pursuit, and the beautiful, meditative campus will keep you grounded during your studies.”

Entactus Fleming President encourages students to get involved

dylan-photo

Dylan Trepanier, President of Enactus Fleming, encourages all Fleming College students to get involved on campus. The leader of the entrepreneurial student club said the more involved you are on campus, the stronger your resumé will be after graduating.

“My advice is the same to every student: get involved and you will become more employable,” said Dylan, who is entering semester 5 of the Business Administration – Marketing program this fall. “We are all here for the same reason – to become more employable – so why not take full advantage of that while you can? Get recognition for getting involved and develop your Co-Curricular Record (CCR). Your experience is what’s getting you the job, the diploma only gets you the interview.”

Enactus Fleming is a student-led entrepreneurial club that provides innovative programming initiatives. The group gives students an opportunity to apply their skills to entrepreneurship, participate in workshops, impact the economic growth of international communities, and start a business on campus.

“I am involved with Enactus because I believe I have the ability to make real change happen on campus and Enactus provided me with a network of support to enable me to do that,” said Dylan. “I believe that I can help other students to feel empowered to make an impact of their own on campus.”

Through Enactus, Dylan participated in the Enactus Central Canada Regional Competition, a pitch competition with participating colleges and universities in Central Canada. His team discussed obstacles and advice for strategic short, medium and long-term planning, and had the opportunity to listen to keynote speakers Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, and Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s daughter Swati Dlamini.

Enactus Fleming also attended the Enactus World Cup, which featured business students from 136 countries around the world competing in a pitch and showcase-style presentation. Dylan participated in workshops hosted by business industry leaders and experts, and networked with Coca-Cola’s Vice-President of Sales Scott Lindsay to discuss water usage reduction strategies and employment opportunities at Coca-Cola.

At the Enactus World Cup, Dylan and his team discussed the importance of a collaborative approach to reach the Sustainable Development Goals issued by the United Nations, which is an important issue for the Fleming College student.

“Sustainability is important to me because I like this planet and a lot of the people on it. I have the ability to influence how people perceive sustainability and their ability to improve their lives to be more sustainable, so I will,” said Dylan, who explained that the three pillars of sustainability include an economic, social, and environmental component.

Dylan said sustainability is especially important in his career path, as marketing professionals can influence how a generation thinks and acts towards sustainability.

“I appreciate that there is such a strong and influential corporate social responsibility component involved in our courses at Fleming, as it has had a major impact on the way I act and react to products as a consumer and an entrepreneur,” he said.

Dylan, who is a First Generation student, is enjoying his Fleming College program. He came to Fleming to improve his employment prospects and develop entrepreneurial skills, and credits the faculty, staff and his peers for helping him develop his professional abilities and step out of his comfort zone.

“I enjoy attending Fleming every day and I almost always look forward to going back the next day,” said Dylan. “I think my experience is very unique because of my involvement on campus and I encourage more students to follow suit and get involved themselves.”

International student Hannah Le impresses at Field Placement

Hannah Le (left) with Jennifer Seeley
Hannah Le (left) with Jennifer Seeley

While many students leave the nest for college, Wireless Information Networking student Hannah Le moved to a new country for her studies. Raised in Vietnam, Hannah booked a flight to Canada to learn electronics, telecommunication and programming at Fleming College.

She describes Peterborough, Ont., as a peaceful, quiet city and appreciates the design of the Sutherland Campus building.

“I have had a wonderful experience at Fleming. My classes were so great with lots of excellent teachers, who were not only enthusiastic in class or lab but also gave timely responses to my email questions with very useful information,” said Hannah. “Fleming also had many activities inside and outside the campus, which gave me good chances to meet, communicate and connect with other students.”

The Wireless Information Networking graduate certificate focuses on the design, planning, implementation, operation and troubleshooting of wireless networks. For hands-on, real world experience, Hannah also completed a Field Placement at Genpak, a food packaging company.

“When I searched on the Internet about Genpak and knew that it has many plants in both the US and Canada, I thought this would be a great chance to see how this company handles their business,” she said. “Besides, I can still stay in Peterborough and meet my friends, while exploring the real workplace environment and working culture of the company.”

Hannah describes her colleagues at Genpak as nice, helpful, kind, supportive and encouraging. She said Field Placement has improved her communication skills, programming VBA skills, problem-solving, time management, and productivity. She added that Field Placement and Fleming College has also taught her a lot about Canadian culture.

“Field Placement is a great opportunity to gain experience in the real work environment. In the real world, not everything will be set up and fixed, so you have to face a lot more challenging problems and find the solutions to them,” said Hannah. “Field Placement helps me connect and apply what I have learned to the particular situations and develop my skills.”

Jennifer Seeley, Quality Assurance & Food Safety Coordinator at Genpak, was impressed with Hannah’s work.

“Hannah is one of those students that it just clicks with,” said Jennifer. “She took the placement very seriously in terms of her attendance, promptness and focus. She brought a lot of new ideas (to us) to the table with a number of the small projects that she worked on. Her friendly and curious outlook encouraged us to work a little deeper on some things, so that she could see and understand how things worked and why.”

Hannah had the opportunity to work in four different departments at Genpak: I.T., Engineering, Materials/Inventory, and Quality/Regulatory. Each supervisor was happy with Hannah’s work, writing in their feedback that she is:

  • “very knowledgeable and puts that knowledge to work in not only solving issues, but also learning” – I.T.
  • “always focused on her work and was great at noticing small details that needed attention” – Engineering
  • “pleasure to work with and eager to help” – Materials/Inventory
  • “we all benefitted from her help. She grasped concepts quickly, not only worked well independently but thought about what she was working on and could make valuable suggestions along the way. Hannah is definitely someone who can go far in her field” – Quality/Regulatory.

Fleming College offers many programs that feature Field Placement opportunities. Hannah’s advice to other students who want to excel on placement is to be confident, punctual and respectful, follow the responsibilities given in the Field Placement offer and be prepared, work hard and take it seriously, and do not hesitate to ask your teacher or supervisor for help.

Brooks Paget lands two jobs from Human Resources field placement

brooks-pagetBrooks Paget may balance a busy schedule of classes, field placement and being a single mother, but for the Business Administration – Human Resources Management student it is worth it.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you really put your mind to it,” said the third-year student.

Because of her hectic schoolyear schedule, Brooks opted to do her 70-hour Field Placement at HRS Group during summer break. And it worked out well for Brooks, who was not only offered a summer job, but a job once she graduates from Fleming College as well.

“I enjoy going into work every day,” said Brooks. “The people I work for and with are incredible people and I like to think we’ve become very close over the past few months. They treat me like family and have been a wonderful company to work for.”

This summer Brooks is working as the Training Content Development Assistant at HRS Group, where she edits training manuals, writes documents and certificates, communicates with clients, and is working towards becoming a trainer. Brooks said once she graduates from Fleming College she will take on a more administrative role.

“I worked hard to get where I have and I believe that shows,” said Brooks. “I was offered a job before I was even finished my placement.”

Brooks credits Fleming College with helping her develop a strong work ethic. She said she treats school like a job, staying on campus 40+ hours per week regardless of whether she has class.

And in addition to the skills and knowledge she gained in school, Brooks said she is grateful for the in-class mock interviews for preparing her for the real thing at HRS Group.

“My experience has been eye-opening and like none other, not only from an educational standpoint but on a personal level too. I have never pushed myself so hard before,” said Brooks.

She also appreciates the support her professors provided. “The professors believe in helping those who want to help themselves and achieve greatness,” she said. “If you are looking at being successful and want to work hard, there are a ton of people willing to help you get to where you want to be.”

HR student Taylor Rea lands summer job thanks to program placement

taylor-rea-photoField placement worked out pretty well for Business Administration – Human Resources Management student Taylor Rea. Thanks to her 70-hour program placement at Nefab Inc. in Peterborough, Ont., Taylor secured summer employment.

“Placement was an amazing experience for me,” said the third-year Fleming College student. “I learned lots about my field, I met tons of connections, I got a deeper insight into what I am doing at school by putting it into action.”

Best of all, Taylor also got employed as an HR Assistant. She will spend the summer working on projects for different departments at Nefab Inc., gaining tons of real world experience in her field.

“I think I turned this into a job by being very reliable and punctual. I showed my managers that I wanted to learn and I was always willing to try something new,” she said. “I always paid attention to what I was being told to do, asked for clarification, as well as continually asked to be exposed to new things that related to my field. I think asking questions is very important, it shows that you care and take pride in your work, as well as you want to learn.”

In her summer position, Taylor helps recruit new employees, assists with payroll, creates and updates new policies, switches over benefits packages, answers phones and files.

“This Fleming education did help,” said Taylor, adding that the most applicable skills to her role are accounting, recruitment, management principles, payroll, occupational health and safety, and marketing.

“My manager is also a Fleming HR graduate, and has helped me with her own personal advice and experiences,” she said.

Taylor decided to take the Business Administration – Human Resources Management program at Fleming College because of her interest in business. After reading about the HR program on the College website, it seemed like a great fit.

“My experience so far has been great,” said Taylor. “At Fleming you don’t feel like a number, the teachers take the time and care about how you are doing with your studies.”

Taylor plans on doing her next field placement at Nefab Inc. because she enjoys the environment.

“I think just being appreciated and having someone put their confidence in you to get the job done is one of the best things so far,” she said. “It shows that the hard work you put in all year is finally starting to pay off.”

Her advice to students applying for placement is to apply everywhere and do your best.

“Don’t be shy to go and talk to people. Although it’s intimidating, it goes a long way,” Taylor said. “Always be willing to learn and try new things. Don’t shy away from something because it’s unfamiliar, face it head-on. Be confident and ask questions!”

Lyndin Belleau eagerly enters Human Resources field after first year at Fleming

lyndin-belleauLyndin Belleau could not wait to enter the Human Resources field and gain real-world experience. After completing his first year of Fleming’s Business Administration – Human Resources Management program, Lyndin secured summer employment as an HR Assistant.

The Fleming College student is working at Garden River First Nation, near Sault Ste. Marie, where he prepares packages for Chief and Council when hiring new management or senior-level positions, attends meetings related to HR matters, files staff personnel files, and sits on the Health & Safety Committee.

“I found that Human Resources Administration really helped me be prepared for what I am currently doing today in the office,” said Lyndin, who begins his second year at Fleming this fall. “Classroom case studies and real world scenarios helped me prepare to work independent or in a team, as well as have the knowledge of some Human Resources practice.”

Lyndin said he also felt prepared for this summer position thanks to his on-campus job experience with Fleming Career Services, where he worked as the Career Services Assistant.

“Career Services gave me that on-the-job experience, from maintaining files to helping create projects, and plan for events around campus. They even helped me with my resume!” he said.

Lyndin is very excited about this opportunity and especially looks forward to learning from his boss, who once served as Chair of the Human Resources Research Institute (HRRI).

“She is one of only six fellows to be given out by the association. As well, she owns her own consulting firm,” he said. “It may sound weird that I’m excited about my boss, but I’m excited about everything that I will be able to learn from her and the vast knowledge she has in the profession.”

This job is also an opportunity for Lyndin to return home to Garden River for the summer. Lyndin’s home, he said, was a factor in deciding to attend Fleming’s Sutherland Campus in Peterborough.

“I decided to attend Fleming because it felt a lot like home,” he said. “Knowing Fleming is small and has those one-on-one connections with professors and staff was a big reason as to why I came to Fleming.”

Another deciding factor was that Fleming’s Business Administration – Human Resources Management program offers all nine courses required to write the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) exam, and that Fleming has education pathways to continue studies in Canada and abroad.

“My experience so far has been amazing at Fleming. I have met so many great friends through my program that I know will be lifelong friends forever,” said Lyndin. “We are a great school community that may be small but we are powerful once we have the opportunity to go out in the world and be a force of nature.”

Mackenzie White goes ‘behind-the-scenes’ at Fleming thanks to student jobs

mackenzieMackenzie White is not only experiencing Fleming College as a student, but as an employee as well. The Accounting graduate (Class of 2017), who starts Business Administration – Human Resources Management this fall, has been working at the college for more than one year.

“I believe I have had a very unique experience here at Fleming College,” said Mackenzie, who has been a student worker for three departments. “It hasn’t just been the typical classroom experience, but rather behind-the-scenes.”

Mackenzie is spending this summer in Human Resources, and has previously worked for Facilities, and Advancement and Alumni Relations.

“I believe Fleming tries to give their students opportunities to learn and grow further than just the classroom,” she said. “I am thrilled that when I do graduate, I will already have HR experience to add to my resume.”

As the Human Resources Office Assistant, Mackenzie updates job boards, creates brochures and documents, does data entry and research, social media postings, assists with projects, and more.

Mackenzie came to Fleming College in January 2016 as an Accounting student, believing this was the right career for her. But after a Human Resources course in spring semester, she wanted to make a change.

“I wanted to continue to learn and pursue further learning around HR. It was after that term, I knew I was going to complete the rest of my Accounting diploma and make the switch over to HR,” she said.

The transition is made easy, Mackenzie said, thanks to Fleming College’s Education Pathways. Through the pathways option, the Accounting graduate is able to complete the Human Resources Management advanced diploma with just one additional year of study.

“In spring 2018, I will graduate again and be presented with a three-year HR advanced diploma in addition to my two-year Accounting diploma,” she explained. “I am extremely proud to be able to say I will have two different diplomas in less time than it would take me to complete both programs.”

And with payroll being such an important aspect of Human Resources, Mackenzie knows her accounting skills will still be put to use.

“The Accounting business program has given me a great head-start in being successful in my future,” she said. “With a variety of introductory courses, I have a good background in the different aspects of the workplace. Not only just accounting, but marketing, economics and – of course – human resources.”

HR student Samantha Rivers spends summer gaining real world experience

samantha-riversSamantha Rivers, third-year Business Administration – Human Resources Management student, is building her resume this summer at the Municipality of Port Hope. As the Human Resources Summer Student for the small municipality, Samantha has a range of responsibilities that will help her gain real world experience in her field.

“Almost every class I have taken I can apply to some aspect of my job so far,” said Samantha. “Having the knowledge from the programs I’ve taken helped me through the interview and also through each task I get assigned.”

Samantha’s tasks include: scheduling and conducting interviews, reference check calls, managing online training for employees, research, rewriting policies and job descriptions, meeting minutes, organizing incoming resumes and employee files, reviewing collective agreements and more.

The Fleming College student is excited she is already making her mark at the Municipality of Port Hope. After noticing that the Human Resources Policy and Procedures Manual was long, tedious, and divided into separate topics that were repetitive, Samantha created one standard Code of Conduct Policy.

“I spent some time doing research on it and made up a breakdown of what it could potentially contain,” said Samantha. “From there I took it to my boss who took it to council and now I am responsible for creating this policy. It is an amazing thing knowing that my creation could be in a policy manual for years to come.”

Samantha is happy she decided to pursue this career path after waiting four years past high school to apply to college.

“There were so many choices that all lead to a different future,” said Samantha, who was unsure which college program to take. “When I decided to go into Business, I looked around at a range of colleges and I always came back to Fleming as one of my top choices. It was one of the colleges I had toured while I was in high school and the environment of the Open House really left a great mark on me.”

She took the common first year in the School of Business to be exposed to different business disciplines and then chose the three-year Business Administration program to see what she liked. After her third semester, Samantha made the decision to move into Human Resources Management.

“Now, having completed one 70-hour placement and going through the motions of my summer job, I am even more confident that this is the right field of study for me,” she added.

Samantha is also confident that Fleming College was the right choice.

“At first coming in, being out of high school for four years, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go,” she said. “But after my first couple classes, I really noticed the environment at the college was everyone from every walk of life gaining experience together. I have met some amazing people and developed forever friendships at the college. I couldn’t ask for better support and encouragement from my peers and my coordinators.”

Samantha recommends Fleming College to those interested in learning both theory and applied skills. “Being able to do the pen to paper work with reading and studying and then doing the hands-on projects and presentations where you get to apply what you learned is an amazing opportunity,” she said.

According to the Business Administration – Human Resources Management student, the Business Entrepreneurship Exercise is a great example of the hands-on learning Business students experience. In this exercise, students apply the basics of product sales and marketing to fundraise for the School of Business. “In first-year, that really gets you out of your shell and involved in the school, which I think is an amazing opportunity,” she said.

And for those currently attending Fleming College, Samantha highly recommends making use of the Peterborough Sport & Wellness Centre. “It is the perfect stress relief during a busy college schedule.”