From high school diploma to Masters degree, Sarah Healey uses Fleming’s education pathways for continuous learning

sarahhealeySarah Healey never expected to love learning. When she started the Specialist High School Major (SHSM) in Business in grade 11, her only goal was to skip a year of college.

“Naturally, at 17 years old, skipping a year of school seemed like a great idea,” said Sarah, who was told the SHSM program would count towards first year in the International Trade program at Fleming College.

“This high school to college pathway was my main priority. Additionally, I truly didn’t believe in myself that I was capable of achieving higher learning until I was attending Fleming,” said Sarah, who took the SHSM program in 2010 to 2011. “Here, I quickly learned that I am able to be successful when I set my mind to it and, to this day, I’m still surprising myself.”

After high school, Sarah enrolled in the International Trade program and participated in the Fleming International Learning Experience (FILE) trip to Europe with the School of Business. During her time at Fleming, Sarah said she matured, developed a passion for learning and business, explored new languages, and made lifelong friends.

“My experience was clarifying,” she said. “I entered Fleming a completely different person than I did leaving.”

One course in the International Trade program that impacted Sarah was Corporate Social Responsibility. “The entire course changed my outlook on education and, as a result, my life,” said Sarah, adding that she decided to continue her education after Fleming to become a stronger candidate in the workforce. “By furthering my education, I believed this would provide me the opportunity to advocate for businesses becoming more sustainable and transparent in their practices.”

After completing her advanced diploma in International Trade in 2014, Sarah used a Fleming education pathway to enter the third year of Trent University’s Bachelor of Business Administration program. She said she was prepared for the transition to university because she developed time management, project management, teamwork and leadership skills at Fleming College.

“I was highly involved with extra-curricular, which definitely aided my experience,” said Sarah, who was part of the Trent Business Students’ Association and served as a delegate at JDC Central, a prestigious business competition focusing on academic, social, athletic and debate-based competitions. “I won awards for my leadership in the school and traveled across the country – literally, Winnipeg, British Columbia and Alberta – advocating for our students and the Business School.”

She completed her undergraduate degree in 2016 and is now earning her Masters of Arts in Sustainability Studies, CSR Strategic Planning at Trent University.

“I would say Fleming was my primary motivation, the CSR course was a pivotal moment in my education,” said Sarah on why she wanted to earn her Masters degree. “While at Trent I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to learn about the overarching field of sustainability, which most people mistake for only surrounding the environmental field. Sustainability is a diverse sector that branches out across all fields.”

Her career goal is to work in a senior management position to create strategic sustainability partnerships for corporate businesses.

“I used to think if I didn’t go straight to university from high school I’d never make it there,” said Sarah. “Seven years later I’m graduating from my Masters degree in April and will have nine years of post-secondary education in less than seven years. If I can do it, you can too!”

UNB master’s student Kelly McLean credits Fleming Education Pathways for achieving education goals

Kelly holding a rare male northern pintail during winter banding with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Chatham, Ont.
Kelly holding a rare male northern pintail during winter banding with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Chatham, Ont.

Kelly McLean credits Fleming College’s strong pathway agreement with Trent University for helping her achieve her education goals.

“The transfer agreement with Trent was key to me achieving my schooling goals because I was able to complete a four year degree in two years. If I had to complete all four years I likely would not have gone to university,” said Kelly, who is now completing her Master of Science and Forestry at the University of New Brunswick.

Kelly is a graduate of Fleming’s School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences and completed the Fish and Wildlife Technician (2012), Ecosystem Management Technology (2013), and Fish and Wildlife Technology (2014) programs.

“When I started at Fleming I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but the professors were very inspiring and we were exposed to so many different topics that I was able to explore my interests and begin to build a career that I am very passionate about,” she said.

After graduating from Fleming College, Kelly decided to use the education pathway to Trent University because of the strong agreement between the two institutions. She liked that Trent was also small and environmentally focused, and that some of her Fleming peers were also going to attend Trent to add a degree to their resumé.

“Fleming students were well-known at Trent for our field skills, so we were often called upon by our lab coordinators to lead lab work.”

“It was great to have the support of peers going through the same process,” she said. “Fleming students were well-known at Trent for our field skills, so we were often called upon by our lab coordinators to lead lab work.”

Kelly said the administrative process of moving from Fleming to Trent was “very smooth and seamless” and felt very prepared for university courses thanks to her college education.

“In fact, my thesis supervisor recently commented that I have above average writing, a skill that I attribute to the projects and reports that I completed at Fleming,” Kelly added.

After earning her Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology (2016) from Trent, Kelly spent four months working as a Student Migratory Game Bird Technician for the Aquatic Assessment Unit of Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, and spent another eight months working as a Wildlife Biologist.

“Having a combined field skill set from college and university has provided me with very employable skills.”

She is now working on a research-based master’s degree at the University of New Brunswick, studying wetland buffer width and the persistence of black ducks in New Brunswick under the supervision of Dr. Joe Nocera. She anticipates completing her Master of Science and Forestry in 2019.

Kelly’s end goal is to work in government science and influence policy around harvested wildlife species. “Having a combined field skill set from college and university has provided me with very employable skills,” she said.

Earth Resources Technician Co-op is a gem for Fleming graduate Crystal Smith

helicopterCrystal Smith was stuck between a rock and a hard place when considering her post-secondary options for geology. As a kinesthetic learner, the applied approach of college appealed to Crystal; but industry professionals recommended a university degree. Luckily for Crystal, Fleming College’s Earth Resources Technician Co-op program offers the best of both worlds through Education Pathways.

“I still haven’t stopped talking about my experiences at Frost Campus, so I would say it was great! The programs at Frost Campus offered so many opportunities to learn outdoors and gave me the confidence I needed going into outdoor and industrial workplace environments,” she said.

Crystal recommends Frost Campus to those wanting to gain skills for resource and environmental industries, and to those who prefer an outdoor learning and working environment.  “Also with the new GeoCentre being developed, it’s a great time to take the opportunity of using new labs and modern equipment,” she added.

After graduating from Fleming College in 2016, Crystal used Fleming College’s Education Pathway to Acadia University in Nova Scotia and entered into the third-year of the Bachelor of Science in Geology program.

“Nova Scotia has an amazing geological history and the variety of rock types in such a small province makes for a great place to study,” she said.

Crystal said she shares the knowledge and skills she gained at Fleming College with her peers at Acadia, and that Fleming prepared her for university in terms of time-management and hard work.

“I would recommend the Education Pathway to any Fleming grad that thrives to learn more about geology and would like to travel and experience the East Coast,” said Crystal. “Since I have been at Acadia, I have developed a greater understanding of petrology and continue to learn in detail about igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, along with their economic importance.”

This summer Crystal put her knowledge and skills to work as a Field Assistant (Summer Student) for the Department of Natural Resources, Geological Division, where she stayed with three geologists and two other students.

As a Field Assistant, Crystal conducted soil sampling, surficial mapping, operated vehicles (including off-roading vehicles), and navigated using GPS, compass and maps. Once samples were collected and dry, they were processed in the lab; Crystal’s lab duties include splitting samples, sieving, operating a portable XRF for geochemical analysis and performing clast lithologies.

“Exploring by helicopter was hands-down the most exciting thing I did all summer. My field supervisor allowed me to navigate to a site using a GPS and a LIDAR map while in the helicopter and the best part of it all was flying around with the door open,” said Crystal.

Crystal credits Fleming College for preparing her for this job. Through Fleming’s Earth Resources Technician Co-op program, Crystal learned how to navigate using GPS, compass and maps. And through the program’s Digital Image Interpretation course, Crystal learned how to use LIDAR images and remote sensing images, which helped her navigate and interpret results.

“One of the biggest skills that I continually used in the field and lab was safety awareness, mainly on trenching sites,” she said. “Safety awareness was constantly stressed to students at Fleming College and after being in the field I am grateful that I know what to watch out for.”

Crystal’s advice for current students is to know when you need motivation and to seek it. “I’ve always felt inspired to learn more after listening to professional geologists tell their stories and share their great adventures in the field,” said Crystal. “My favorite was a lecture told by a Fleming graduate who also transferred to Acadia, who came and gave a speech to undergraduate students. I could relate to the academic route and at the same time the worldly adventures that person had throughout their career gave me enough inspiration that moment to gladly study more.”

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.”