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Connor McConnell is career climbing at Franz Josef Glacier Guides in New Zealand



It is no secret that Outdoor and Adventure Education graduate Connor McConnell loves nature.

Instead of studying in the hustle and bustle of a big city, Connor opted to do his post-secondary education on 150 acres of land at Fleming’s School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences. And instead of taking a 9-to-5 office job after graduating, Connor chose to move to New Zealand to lead hikes on the Franz Josef Glacier.

As Trainee Guide for Franz Josef Glacier Guides, Connor is responsible for groups of up to 11 people, providing safe, fun and informative three-hour hikes.

The Class of 2015 Fleming graduate credits his college education with helping him secure this dream job. Connor took the Outdoor and Adventure Education program, which teaches students how to plan and lead outdoor adventures, provide educational and interpretive programming, and help others develop their skills and confidence while sharing an appreciation of the outdoors.

“The main skills I’d say that have really helped me is communication, problem solving and quick thinking. With these skills I have been able to adapt to almost every situation I have been put in,” said Connor.

Connor decided to attend Fleming’s Frost Campus in Lindsay, Ont., because of its environment. “It is a very welcoming, open and relaxed school. Made me feel right at home, like I belonged there the moment I arrived on the first day,” said Connor.

“I find that Fleming College is a great stepping stone, whether that is for a future job or continuing higher education in the future, such as university,” he said. “I enjoyed every minute of my time there. Made great friends and loved the whole outdoors vibe the campus gives off.”

His advice to current students is to dream big and work hard to achieve it. “Always shoot for the stars, no matter how hard or far away it may seem,” he said. “Aim as high as you can and give it all you got, and you’ll find you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”