Rochelle Byrne, Fleming
Ecosystem Management Technology graduate (Class of 2012), is proud to stand up
for what she believes in. To raise awareness of plastic pollution, Rochelle stand-up
paddleboarded 430km across Lake Ontario.
‚ÄúI wanted to do this
stand-up paddle to raise awareness of plastic pollution because, after doing
hundreds of litter clean-ups along the shores of Lake Ontario, I found that
plastic was the most common thing being found,” said Rochelle. “Some
of it is coming from unexpected sources and a lot of it is completely
Rochelle is the founder of A
Greener Future, a non-profit organization that promotes environmental
preservation through organized litter cleanups, educational programs and
events. This includes the Love Your Lake series, comprising 100 organized
litter cleanups along Lake Ontario. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, A
Greener Future was not able to host this event series in 2020.
Still committed to raising
awareness about pollution in Lake Ontario, Rochelle decided to use her stand-up
paddleboard and document her journey on social media to help educate others.
‚ÄúI saw raw sewage in the
lake, there were some smelly areas and dead fish,‚ÄĚ said Rochelle, who spent 92
hours stand-up paddleboarding. ‚ÄúI‚Äôll be sharing the full paddling journey
through my personal Instagram (@rochellebyrneagf) over the coming months.‚ÄĚ
While Rochelle always cared
about nature and animals, it wasn‚Äôt until her experience at Fleming‚Äôs School of
Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences that she developed a passion for
‚ÄúI took Fleming‚Äôs Ecosystem Management
program and that‚Äôs where I became aware of the impact I have on the
environment. Before attending classes at Frost (Fleming‚Äôs Lindsay campus), I
really didn‚Äôt know the impact I had,‚ÄĚ Rochelle explains. ‚ÄúThat was really a
starting point for me on protecting the environment. It also gave me the
opportunity to network and meet like-minded people.‚ÄĚ
Rochelle is a proud Fleming
College graduate and welcomes any like-minded people to volunteer at A Greener
Future. To apply to volunteer, please visit A Greener
A passion for research and asking questions is what drove Kelly McLean on her education journey, earning diplomas, a bachelor‚Äôs degree, master‚Äôs degree, and now working towards a PhD. But achieving this level of education was not what Kelly had in mind when she started her post-secondary studies at Fleming College.
‚ÄúI had never planned on doing a master‚Äôs, let alone a PhD,‚ÄĚ said Kelly. ‚ÄúI struggled academically in high school, and it wasn‚Äôt until I started at Fleming and began studying something I was interested in that I began to achieve good grades and consider university as an option.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúMy interest in doing a PhD has been a cascading effect from my Fleming co-op, as this project is in partnership with my co-op organization,‚ÄĚ said Kelly on her PhD research which is a collaboration between the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Wildlife Service.
After her co-op placement, Kelly worked two summers as a Federal Student Work Experience student with the Canadian Wildlife Service as well as various contract positions, which included conducting crane surveys.
For her PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, Kelly is researching the spatial ecology and habitat selection of sandhill cranes in Ontario and Quebec under the supervision of Dr. Brad Fedy. Sandhill cranes have grown in population and geographic range in the past decade, after being nearly extirpated from their historical range in Ontario in the early 1900s. Since this species forages in agricultural fields, this increase in population raises concerns of potential crop damage.
Kelly is working with the Canadian Wildlife Service to equip 80 cranes with transmitters to determine fine scale habitat use, migration timing and strategies, and help answer ecology questions. This research will help determine which agricultural fields are more prone to crop depredation, and potentially determine methods to prevent or mitigate crop damage.
‚ÄúScience is all about asking questions, and I think that asking and answering relevant questions is very important in wildlife management,‚ÄĚ said Kelly. ‚ÄúI was once told that in college, you learn what sort of things you can ask questions about; in your undergrad, you learn what sort of questions you can ask; in your master‚Äôs, you learn how to ask those questions; and during your PhD, you actually answer the questions.‚ÄĚ
After graduating from Fleming College, Kelly used Fleming‚Äôs education pathway to Trent University and earned her Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 2016. She then spent four months working as a Student Migratory Game Bird Technician for the Aquatic Assessment Unit of Environment Canada‚Äôs Canadian Wildlife Service, followed by another eight months working as a Wildlife Biologist.
This experience working for the federal government inspired Kelly to earn a master‚Äôs degree, wanting to open doors for herself in policy and decision-making positions.
For her Master of Science and Forestry at the University of New Brunswick, Kelly studied wetland buffer width and the persistence of black ducks in New Brunswick under the supervision of Dr. Joe Nocera. Kelly worked with the Canadian Wildlife Service Atlantic Region and Ducks Unlimited Canada Atlantic Region to determine the effects of commercial forest harvesting on the distribution of breeding black ducks.
‚ÄúThe field and logistical planning skills that I learned at Fleming were vital to this component of my masters. I had to navigate in dense forest and identify waterfowl daily, just like a typical day at Fleming field camp. It was the kind of position that Fleming excels at preparing students for, except this time I was the one in charge,‚ÄĚ said Kelly, who had the help of a Fleming Fish and Wildlife student on co-op placement and a Fleming graduate working as a technician.
‚ÄúThe knowledge I gained at Fleming is a great foundation that I continually build on,‚ÄĚ she said.
For those considering an education pathway from Fleming College, Kelly recommends taking the opportunity.
‚ÄúYou do not have to be the smartest person in the class to continue your education. Hard work and a good attitude are just as important as your GPA,‚ÄĚ said Kelly. ‚ÄúThe pathways program is a great way to effectively and economically get the best of both worlds and be very employable.‚ÄĚ
Joseph Gentile is putting his Environmental Technology skills to use by delivering essential environmental services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
As one of
six summer student technicians in the Environmental Monitoring & Protection
Unit of Toronto Water, Joseph is responsible for environmental water quality
monitoring of surface waters in the City of Toronto.
seeing the piece of the puzzle my co-workers and I contribute to the larger
picture, on a daily basis, has made me aware of just how important it is to
continue environmental monitoring, even during a global pandemic,‚ÄĚ said Joseph,
who monitors stormwater outfall and public beach surface water.
‚ÄúContinuing these efforts is crucial
in providing the public, specifically Toronto‚Äôs three million residents, the
information they need to make informed decisions about where to safely swim,‚ÄĚ
he said. ‚ÄúConsistent environmental monitoring also allows councils and other
decision-making authorities to access concrete, reliable data for making
informed decisions about the fate of projects and how to best re-evaluate them
in the future.‚ÄĚ
Performing environmental service
duties amidst the pandemic requires Joseph to be adaptable and to follow media
sources closely for information, as the situation is evolving daily. ‚ÄúMy team
and I had to be aware of the timely decisions made by politicians,‚ÄĚ he
explains. ‚ÄúIn the month of June, we received confirmation that beaches would
re-open, hence the kickstart of the 2020 beaches water quality monitoring
program. We continue to work and communicate with public health officials, city
council and leaders from other departments to ensure this program is being
fulfilled while adhering to new protocols and procedures.‚ÄĚ
Working as a summer student
technician has been a fantastic experience for Joseph, who enjoys trekking
through dense vegetation and exciting terrain to access waterways, managing
datasets, and assisting with data entry and technical reports.
His favourite experience thus far is
working in a watershed within East York, sampling stormwater discharge from
remote stormwater outfalls. On route, Joseph and his colleagues spotted a
family of deer, a Blue Heron, and several rare wildflower species. For an
ecosystem within the Toronto area, Joseph is amazed at the diversity it offers.
He is grateful for this career
experience and feels confident performing duties thanks to his Fleming College
education. ‚ÄúFrom sampling effluent water exiting stormwater outfalls to
collecting beach water samples and analyzing them in the lab, the Environmental
Technology program has prepared me to work in this dynamic workplace
environment quite well,‚ÄĚ said Joseph, who has been passionate about protecting
the environment since childhood.
Joseph chose Fleming College‚Äôs
Environmental Technology advanced diploma program for its mix of field and
laboratory learning experiences, and the variety of careers he could pursue. He
highly recommends this program to anyone interested in learning about the
natural environment and monitoring and protecting it for future generations.
experience at Frost has been nothing short of amazing!‚ÄĚ said Joseph, who
graduated in 2020. ‚ÄúThe people on campus
‚Äď professors, faculty, and peers ‚Äď are all friendly and will know you on a
first-name basis. This program is really dynamic and has supplied me with some
amazing certifications and interactive learning opportunities, which allow me
to feel confident in my ability applying my acquired knowledge in a real-work
Joseph will be continuing his
education this September in Trent University‚Äôs Water Sciences degree program,
which he applied to at Fleming College‚Äôs annual Education Pathways event. ‚ÄúThe
Environmental Technology program has exposed me to so many fascinating
components of our natural environment and is allowing me, as a graduate, to
specialize in a component that I find intriguing,‚ÄĚ said Joseph.
‚ÄúMy time at Fleming has certainly
played a role in preparing me for my next chapter at Trent University,‚ÄĚ he
said. ‚ÄúWhile I am sure some parts will be new, I know that the experience ‚Äď not
only through academics, but practical experience also ‚Äď I have gained will help
me make a seamless transition to university.‚ÄĚ
Jasmine Madalena‚Äôs climb up the Knocknarea mountain serves
as a metaphor for her study abroad experience in Ireland.
‚ÄúI met people along the way, I wanted to give up many times,
I got to see the most breathtaking landscape and, at the end when I got to the
top, I felt proud, excited and ready to see more,‚ÄĚ Jasmine explains.
After graduating from Fleming College‚Äôs Hospitality
‚Äď Hotel and Restaurant Operations program in 2017, Jasmine decided to
continue her studies and have an amazing adventure in Ireland by earning her
Bachelor of Business in Tourism with Event Management at IT Sligo. Jasmine
received credit recognition for her two years of study at Fleming College,
which she applied towards her degree.
‚ÄúMy number one goal in life is to travel to as many places
as this world has to offer,‚ÄĚ said Jasmine, who grew up travelling with her
family and especially enjoyed their trips to Disney World.
Jasmine enrolled in Fleming‚Äôs Hospitality ‚Äď Hotel and
Restaurant Operations program for a career that could take her around the world,
and decided to start her independent travels by studying abroad.
‚ÄúStudying abroad gave me that opportunity to travel Europe
and get my bachelor‚Äôs at the same time,‚ÄĚ said Jasmine, who visited Belfast,
Giant‚Äôs Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher, kissed the Blarney Stone, enjoyed a Game
of Thrones Tour and more during her time in Ireland.
‚ÄúIt was amazing, an unforgettable experience of learning–
not just the program, but what Ireland has to offer as well,‚ÄĚ said Jasmine.
‚ÄúThe program can be difficult, but it taught me a lot. Most of the projects
were in teams, which allowed me to meet new people and make new friends that I
am still in contact with.‚Äô
‚ÄėI do believe that the things I‚Äôve learned at both Fleming
and IT Sligo are very useful knowledge that I use daily. It did help me get a
job after college, and I‚Äôm sure it will help me even more in the future.‚ÄĚ
Jasmine says she didn‚Äôt enjoy school growing up and it
wasn‚Äôt until Fleming College that she began to love learning. She explains,
‚ÄúGrowing up, I didn‚Äôt really enjoy school. But going to Fleming, learning
something I wanted to learn, got me excited to continue my studies. I also got
to meet some pretty amazing people.‚ÄĚ
Jasmine enjoyed the Hospitality ‚Äď Hotel and Restaurant Operations
program – especially the class field trips to visit different hotels – and is
appreciative of the amazing faculty at Fleming College.
‚ÄúI‚Äôll never stop learning,‚ÄĚ said Jasmine. ‚ÄúMy only plan is
to find the right career and to see the world, and I know I‚Äôll be able to with
the mindset that I have. By loving myself and staying positive, I know that
everything I want in life will happen.‚ÄĚ
Lotton graduated from Fleming College two years ago, she never imagined working
alongside her mother at Ross Memorial Hospital. Nor did she imagine working
amidst a global pandemic. But working in healthcare is right where Mackenzie
wants to be.
is nothing more rewarding than going into work knowing that you are able to
make an impact on someone else‚Äôs life,‚ÄĚ said Mackenzie. ‚ÄúThe good days outweigh
the bad, and the bad days are what make me a stronger nurse.‚ÄĚ
was inspired by her mother ‚Äď a nurse for 30 years now – to become a nurse, as
she grew up seeing what a rewarding career it is to help others, impact lives,
and learn something new every day.
She chose Fleming College‚Äôs Practical Nursing program for her post-secondary education because she heard positive reviews about the program and the student experience at Fleming College, and the Sutherland Campus is commuting distance to her home in Lindsay, Ontario.
‚ÄúI would recommend Fleming‚Äôs
Practical Nursing program to others,‚ÄĚ said Mackenzie, who graduated in 2018. ‚ÄúFleming
helped me achieve my goal to become a nurse in a manner that I don‚Äôt believe
any other school could have. It prepared me for the real world of nursing the
best that it could.‚ÄĚ
Mackenzie now works in the
Emergency Department at Ross Memorial Hospital, working as part of a healthcare
team to care for patients in the best possible manner.
‚ÄúTwo years ago, I never thought I
would be working in a hospital in my hometown, let alone working in a busy
emergency department alongside my mom,‚ÄĚ said Mackenzie. ‚ÄúThere have been many
ups and downs over the last two years of my new career, but I would not change
a single thing about it.‚ÄĚ
Mackenzie shared that she has
learned so much from her colleagues and feels incredibly supported by them as
she grows her career. This strong bond with her team is one of many reasons
Mackenzie believes it is important for her to continue working amidst the
‚ÄúEveryone is working long hours
and we all need that extra support of knowing that we are never alone in any of
this and there is always help with you need it,‚ÄĚ said Mackenzie.
She shared that her biggest goal
is to be able to help patients and provide comfort, explaining, ‚ÄúMany of these
patients that are coming into the hospital have to face all of the
uncertainties alone, so if I can make a difference in someone‚Äôs hospital visit
then I can leave my shift at the end of the day knowing I did my job the way it
needed to be done.‚ÄĚ
Mackenzie said her work routine
has changed amidst the pandemic, which includes: wearing street clothing to
work, wearing a mask, entering through a specific door, answering multiple
questions and having her temperature taken by a screener, and changing into
provided scrubs in her department.
‚ÄúWork has changed from the minute
I start my day until it ends due to rules that have been put in place to
protect everyone,‚ÄĚ she said.
Mackenzie‚Äôs advice to everyone is
to be patient with frontline workers, who are doing their best to keep the
community and themselves safe.
‚ÄúWith some restrictions being
lifted, please keep in mind that we all still have to be smart with what we do
in our everyday lives,‚ÄĚ said Mackenzie, advising to handwash frequently. ‚ÄúThe
number of cases is beginning to decrease; however, this will only continue if
we all work together as a community and country.‚ÄĚ
the shift to essential services began in Canada, Qwhery founder
Matt Pietryszyn noticed the struggle many people faced with finding localized
COVID-19-related information. The Fleming College graduate decided to put
his Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
skills to use and launched a platform to help keep the public informed.
working on another project (ProjectPandemic), I met
Sabrina Tang, owner of SaFuture Inc. We discussed how there was so much
information about COVID-19 cases on the Internet, yet many people still didn‚Äôt
know where to get it, in terms of their own communities,‚ÄĚ said Matt. ‚ÄúWe
decided to collaborate on a solution that would send that localized information
directly to anyone who registered for the daily or weekly notifications.‚ÄĚ
platform, which is a collaboration between Qwhery and SaFuture Inc., enables
people to receive local COVID-19-related data directly to their phone for free.
Subscribers receive alerts or daily and weekly summary notifications for
confirmed cases, recoveries, tests and deaths within their health region in
Canada or county in the United States. The COVID-19 Alerts System utilizes
data curated by Esri Canada provided by Health Regions across Canada and Johns
Hopkins University for American data.
felt it important to keep this a free service because we wanted to be able to
help get this information out to everyone who wanted it, with no restrictions
or barriers,‚ÄĚ said Matt. ‚ÄúWe were able to secure a grant from Twilio, a leader
in SMS technology, and have been able to support and sustain the COVID-19
Alerts System at a very low cost.‚ÄĚ
response to the platform has been positive, with people subscribing from all
over North America. ‚ÄúAs subscribers to our service continue to receive their
daily notifications, they get a better understanding of the pandemic and what‚Äôs
happening in their own communities,‚ÄĚ said Matt.
GIS graduate said he entered the industry in 2003 with confidence and a
head-start thanks to his Fleming College education, which trained him on
industry-standard tools and software and encouraged him to be creative with
projects and assignments.
believe that my experience at Fleming gave me the confidence to enter the
workforce and provided me with a strong network of peers and mentors that
helped me since I graduated,‚ÄĚ said Matt. ‚ÄúThe faculty was very knowledgeable of
the industry and having that insight shared with me at the beginning of my
career really helped me be confident in my decisions to pursue various roles in
working for the City of Brampton, Esri Canada and the City of Hamilton, Matt
founded Qwhery in August 2019 as a creative outlet to experiment with ideas and
develop solutions to benefit a wide audience. Qwhery is a leader in
implementing voice technology and geographic information systems. Their flagship
product, Q11, connects smart home devices
and voice assistants to local government open data portals, and the Qwhery
cloud helps cities connect their services to residents through smart home
technology, open data and community engagement.
is currently focused on connecting Amazon Alexa and Google Home with Municipal
Open Data, location-based information and services to efficiently provide
citizens with information from their municipality– without needing to search
on a website or call 311.
working in GIS for 17 years and founding Qwhery, Matt continues to use his
Fleming College skills and knowledge and highly recommends the program to those
interested in this career path.
enjoyed my time at Fleming College very much. I got involved through a job at
the computer lab and really immersed myself in the program,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI would
absolutely recommend the GIS program to others, and I do every chance I get.‚ÄĚ
For information about Qwhery, Location Intelligence and Voice Tech, please contact Matt Pietryszyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberly Coe felt anxious when the COVID-19 pandemic began,
but now the Registered Practical Nurse feels comfortable with her new normal.
‚ÄúI feel safe and surrounded by a good group of people,‚ÄĚ said
Kimberly, who works in the Palliative Unit and Complex Continuing Care at
Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC).
In Kimberly‚Äôs new work routine, she wears street clothes to
work and changes into uniform at the hospital. She also wears an N95 surgical mask,
face shield and gloves as a protective measure.
But adapting her work routine is worth it because Kimberly
loves being a nurse.
‚ÄúI love it. Is it hard? Yes. But I find caring for people to
be a privilege,‚ÄĚ she explains. ‚ÄúIn Palliative Nursing, it‚Äôs not just about the
patients, it‚Äôs about the families you touch.‚ÄĚ
One special moment was when Kimberly received a private
Facebook message from the daughter of a patient who had passed away.
Three months earlier, Kimberly had painted that patient‚Äôs
nails. ‚ÄúIn the message, she said it took her three months to find me,‚ÄĚ Kimberly
explains. ‚ÄúShe told me, ‚Äėmy mom may not have known you were painting her nails,
but I did. And that mattered to me. That made a difference to me.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Kimberly loves helping others and has always spent time
caring for her family, friends and neighbours. She decided to pursue her dream
of being a nurse at 51 years old when, after a late summer night chatting with
a friend, she felt encouraged to apply to Fleming College.
Unfortunately Kimberly was not accepted into the Practical
Nursing program, but she was encouraged to consider the General Arts and
Science ‚Äď College Health Science (GHS) program (now called Pre-Health
Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas). GHS is a pathway program
that prepares students for admission to college programs in health sciences,
biology or chemical sciences.
Nursing coordinator at the time said the GHS program would be a good thing for
me to do because I had been out of school for a long time,‚ÄĚ said Kimberly. ‚ÄúShe
said it would help get the wheels going and that really appealed to me. I
enrolled and it was the best thing for me!‚ÄĚ
Kimberly balanced her studies with personal
responsibilities, including being a single mom to a 16-year-old and home
ownership, and is happy with her decision to return to college. She encourages
anyone considering a nursing career to take the Pre-Health program because it
prepares students for college and helps with the transition.
‚ÄúEverything in the GHS program is all useful stuff and it‚Äôs
a really great way to figure out what you want to do for your career,‚ÄĚ said
Kimberly. ‚ÄúI loved (coordinator) Susan Hyndman‚Äôs biology class; she is a
phenomenal teacher and it was an unbelievable learning experience.‚ÄĚ
Outside of class, Kimberly worked at the Fleming Campus
Store and enjoyed taking study breaks in the Steele Centre. ‚ÄúI would go there to
relax and listen to music, talk to friends, and close my books for a minute,‚ÄĚ
she said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs important to take breaks and have fun too.‚ÄĚ
To support her studies, Kimberly used Fleming Tutoring
Services and highly recommends this academic support. ‚ÄúI never failed. My marks
were high and I made the Dean‚Äôs List for the first time in my life!‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúPeople think you only use Tutoring when you‚Äôre failing, but you should go to
Tutoring right from the start to help you succeed.‚ÄĚ
After completing the GHS program in 2017, Kimberly enrolled
Nursing and, during her last year at Fleming College, she was joined on
campus by her daughter. Kimberly‚Äôs daughter is studying in Fleming‚Äôs School of
Trades and Technology and Kimberly is proud of her for pursuing this
While her daughter continues studying at Fleming College,
Kimberly is proud that her education led to employment. After completing
consolidation in the Palliative Unit at PRHC and graduating in 2019, Kimberly
was hired immediately as a Registered Practical Nurse.
She highly recommends Fleming‚Äôs Pre-Health program to others
and said she really enjoyed her Fleming College experience.
‚ÄúPeople asked me when I started, ‚Äėare you going to the
Orientation?‚Äô and I said, ‚Äėof course I am!‚Äô I loved that day; I had the most
fun! And I wear my Fleming College buff from Orientation to the hospital!‚ÄĚ she
laughs. ‚ÄúI loved those days and I want to go back– I‚Äôd love to return and
volunteer in the GHS program.‚ÄĚ
Fairhaven Long-Term Care is a special place to work. For Human Resources Coordinator Emily Campbell, it feels like a second family.
‚ÄúOur home has a great atmosphere. Everyone works together as a team,‚ÄĚ said Emily. ‚ÄúI love being part of a team that positively impacts other lives. Whether I am an employee‚Äôs shoulder to lean on when they are having a difficult day, or simply taking time to listen and hear employees or residents, I love making residents and staff smile.‚ÄĚ
As the Human Resources Coordinator at Fairhaven Long-Term Care, Emily is responsible for recruitment, onboarding and general orientation. She also does Human Resources data entry, serves as education coordinator for the e-learning database, and analyzes and records for the attendance support program.
And amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily is also responsible for implementing Human Resources changes to maintain the health and safety of staff and residents.
‚ÄúThere has been lots of change to my job and work routine,‚ÄĚ said Emily, who ramped up recruitment to ensure Fairhaven is fully staffed and hired pandemic cleaners for above-and-beyond cleaning of the building.
Job interviews are now conducted online via Zoom instead of in-person, general orientation is compressed into a half-day to help limit the amount of people in the room; and face-to-face interactions amongst employees is very limited, as employees are required to stay in their home unit for their entire shift.
Although there are challenges working amidst the pandemic, Emily loves working at Fairhaven Long-Term Care.
She began working at Fairhaven in May 2018 on a temporary contract immediately after completing Fleming College‚Äôs Business Administration ‚Äď Human Resources Management program. This was followed by a contract in Human Resources at Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board. In April 2019, Emily returned to Fairhaven for a permanent full-time role as Human Resources Coordinator.
‚ÄúMy most memorable experience at Fairhaven was our 2019 Fall Carnival,‚ÄĚ said Emily on her best work experience. ‚ÄúEvery year, Fairhaven has a Fall Carnival for residents, staff, and their families. The Fall Carnival event includes horse wagon rides, petting zoo, bouncy castle, and barbecue.‚ÄĚ
Emily is happy she chose to pursue a career in Human Resources and highly recommends Fleming College. ‚ÄúMy overall experience as a student at Fleming was amazing, one of the best life experiences I have had! I gained many friendships and mentors along the way, which I am very grateful for.‚ÄĚ
Emily also developed many skills at Fleming College, including self-confidence, presentation skills, and effective organizing and planning.
‚ÄúWhether it was in-class courses, simulations or placements, Fleming College gave me the knowledge and skills needed in order to succeed in real life, on-the-job situations.‚ÄĚ
For those currently studying at Fleming College, Emily‚Äôs advice is: ‚Äúdon‚Äôt be scared to make mistakes– that‚Äôs how we learn. Make sure you ask questions. Get involved in the community and keep smiling!‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúMy experience at Fleming was awesome. There‚Äôs an ambulance
so you can practise driving, you can practise skills and scenarios anytime,
graduates come back to give students feedback, and the faculty are fantastic.‚ÄĚ
Josh decided to pursue this career after experiencing a
hockey injury that led to paramedics arriving to help.
‚ÄúI cut my leg badly playing hockey and the paramedics that
came did an amazing job,‚ÄĚ he explains. ‚ÄúTo see how well they did their job and
calmed everyone down made me want to do that one day.‚ÄĚ
He took the General Arts and Science ‚Äď College Health
Science certificate to build a strong foundation before entering the
competitive Paramedic program. He said this certificate helped him feel more
prepared for the Paramedic program.
Now that Josh is working as a paramedic, he is certainly
experiencing challenges amidst this global pandemic, however he feels confident
in his skills and knowledge.
‚ÄúI still enjoy it, but it is more stressful,‚ÄĚ said Josh on working
amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. ‚ÄúBefore, I wouldn‚Äôt feel stressed by normal
calls, it would be car accidents that would bring stress; Now, every call is
stressful. We‚Äôre trying not to bring anything home to family and friends.‚ÄĚ
Josh explains that 911 dispatchers do a COVID-19 screening
call and, when paramedics arrive, they ask a series of questions to determine
whether additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required, such as
face shields, masks and gowns. If the patient may have COVID-19, paramedics
report to the hospital and bring the patient to a designated arrival area by
Another change due to the COVID-19 pandemic is that family
members can no longer ride in the ambulance with patients.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been a learning curve,‚ÄĚ said Josh. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre not running
into scenes; we‚Äôre making sure we‚Äôre okay first by screening and wearing PPE. I
think some of these changes will stay now that we‚Äôve experienced this.‚ÄĚ
His advice to others is to continue to be cautious. ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt
go out unless you need to, wash your hands and, if you‚Äôre sick, stay home and
get a family member to run your errands.‚ÄĚ
Sophia Darling, Executive Meeting Manager at
Fairmont Royal York, always knew a career in hospitality was the right path for
her. But with so many areas of hospitality to work in, Sophia wasn‚Äôt always
sure what area to focus on.
working in food and beverage, Sophia believed she should move into culinary as
a pastry chef. ‚ÄúBut after exploring this idea, I realized that my true passion
was working with people rather than cakes!‚ÄĚ she laughs.
navigating the Fleming College website, Sophia discovered the Hotel and Restaurant
Management program and realized it was a great fit for her. ‚ÄúI
saw that the classes offered ranged from Business and Accounting, to Travel and
Tourism, Revenue and Hotel Management, as well as Food Service and Restaurant
Operations,‚ÄĚ she explains. ‚ÄúThe diversity of the classes piqued my interest and
I decided to enrol.‚ÄĚ
said Fleming helped prepare her for a career in the industry. As Executive
Meeting Manager at Fairmont Royal York, Sophia said she uses skills from
Fleming‚Äôs Accounting course to provide estimates to clients, knowledge from
Revenue Management to quote meeting space prices, and often uses skills
developed through sales and client relationships discussions at Fleming
‚ÄúFleming College allowed me to learn about so many different
fields of the hospitality industry,‚ÄĚ said Sophia. ‚ÄúI think this helped me
understand how multi-faceted this industry is and the benefit of having
experience across different industry segments. Through the interactions with my
classmates and professors, I also learned the importance of developing
relationships and learning from the people around you ‚Äď group work doesn‚Äôt stop
when you graduate. You will always have to work with others as a team, and
success truly comes from collaboration!‚ÄĚ
As a Fleming College student, Sophia participated in the Student
Work Experience Program and worked at Fairmont Banff Springs during the summer
of 2014. After graduating from Fleming College in 2015, she continued her
education at the University of Guelph through Fleming Education Pathways and
earned her Bachelor of Commerce Honours in two years.
‚ÄúFleming College truly provided the hands-on learning experience
that helped me transition into university,‚ÄĚ said Sophia. ‚ÄúI learned so much
from my fellow classmates and from my program coordinator, Jennifer Rishor. As
a student navigating my education and career path, I was fortunate to have
Jennifer as such a big proponent to the growth and development of not only
myself, but of all of the students in our program!‚ÄĚ
Sophia continued to grow her career with Fairmont. She
participated in the SUMMIT Leadership Development Program ‚Äď Food
& Beverage Management from 2017 to 2018, and worked as Catering Sales
Coordinator, Catering Sales Manager, and is now the Executive Meeting Manager.
advice to current and prospective students interested in this industry is to
get involved and network. ‚ÄúYou never know who you will come across or work with
in your career after graduating,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúLearn as much as you can about all
of the different areas of this industry‚ÄĒthe more experience you have, the more
of an asset you will be!‚ÄĚ