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!”

It’s down to the last details for Hotel and Restaurant Management grad Brittany Stewart

brittany-stewartBrittany Stewart, Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate (Class of 2015), returned to campus on Wednesday to speak with Fleming College students about event planning, education, and gaining real world experience through placement opportunities.

Brittany is the owner of local event planning company Down to the Last Details, where she plans weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, holiday parties, and fundraising events. Down to the Last Details has welcomed many Hospitality field placement students to gain real world experience and recently hired Fleming College student Tavlyn Evans as an employee after her placement ended.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Hospitality program coordinator Jennifer Rishor welcomed Brittany back to class to discuss her career journey as well as placement opportunities with Down to the Last Details.

“There is no better way to learn about industry ins-and-outs than by working from the ground up,” Jennifer told her students.

Brittany agrees and was happy to spot many familiar faces in the classroom for her guest presentation, as many Hospitality students have already started earning work experience hours through Brittany’s event planning business. Although some event planners are hesitant to take on students due to the 12 to 15 hour event days and hectic schedule, Brittany, who is a certified wedding planner through the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, welcomes the help and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others.

“I like working with a team. You need someone to talk to and to bounce ideas off of,” said Brittany on the team dynamic of event planning.

Brittany plans events as a sub-contractor for The Ranch Resort in Bethany and Down to the Last Details has a number of corporate clients. She is currently planning a Bridal Show in Peterborough and a fundraiser for the Ashburnham Dog Park. With all that is on the go, Brittany is looking for extra hands to help. “You really end up working as a team base to get things done,” she said.

Her interest in event planning was sparked by the 2001 movie “The Wedding Planner,” and although Brittany claims real event planning is not quite as glamorous as Hollywood portrays it, she did share that real event planners do often smile and pretend to be calm around clients while in the midst of a crisis.

This scenario rang true when Down to the Last Details secured their first contract, which was a destination wedding in Mexico. “The average destination wedding is 20 to 30 people, but we doubled that. I had to start big,” she laughed, recalling that the banquet hall’s air conditioning broke before the reception and she scurried to get it repaired before guests noticed.

With five years of event planning experience now under her belt, including a six-month contract position at Peterborough Musicfest, as well as a Fleming College diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management and a graduate certificate in Event Management from Algonquin College, Brittany said she is always learning something new. “Every time you have a wedding or event, you’re going to learn from it,” she said.

This includes an array of handy items Brittany has accumulated for a tool belt she wears on event days. “For one wedding, the photographer wanted the bride to walk off the trail in Jackson Park. The bride was laidback and fine with it but her heels were very thin, so I pulled out shoe stoppers from my pack and offered it to her,” said Brittany on the importance of small details when planning an event.

The small details are where Brittany starts with teaching her placement students, which includes proper email etiquette and place settings. “Sometimes you have to go back to the basics.”

Ruixin (Rayna) Li feels like a ‘true Canadian’ after Fleming 50th Anniversary Night at the Peterborough Petes

Ruixin (Rayna) Li, left, beside SAC Student Services & Clubs Coordinator Sarah-Jayne Riley.
Ruixin (Rayna) Li, left, beside SAC Student Services & Clubs Coordinator Sarah-Jayne Riley.

Ruixin (Rayna) Li was excited to attend her first hockey game ever at Fleming 50th Anniversary Night at the Peterborough Petes, but it was made extra special for the Fleming International student because she got to perform the ceremonial puck drop.

Fleming 50th Anniversary Night at the Peterborough Petes was September 21st and recognized the College’s 50th Anniversary. Rayna, who is an International Student Ambassador at Fleming College and a Director on the Fleming College Student Administrative Council (SAC), was asked by Fleming SAC to drop the puck on the ice at the home opener game.

“I thought I just got free tickets, I didn’t realize I got to drop the puck until a few days before the game,” said Rayna, who moved from China to take Fleming’s Business Administration – Accounting program. “It’s like winning the lottery for me. My first hockey game and I get to drop the puck? It’s like a miracle.”

To prepare, Rayna researched hockey online and watched YouTube videos of the game. “I didn’t know how to drop the puck. Should I throw it like a basketball?” she said. After her research, Rayna felt ready.

“The act is simple but it’s so special to drop it in that moment because it is the College’s 50th Anniversary. Dropping the puck felt like a fresh start in that moment for the next 50 years of Fleming College,” said Rayna, who is in her second year of studies at Fleming College.

She thanks the College and Fleming SAC for the incredible opportunity. “I never thought I’d get to walk on a red carpet like a movie premiere,” said Rayna, referring to the red carpet laid on the ice for the ceremonial puck drop. “I called my mom and friends in China, and they’re all proud of me.”

Walking in front of a large crowd at a hockey arena would’ve been out of Rayna’s comfort zone just one year ago when she first came to Canada.

“When I was in China I was the quiet girl, and my first month here my English was so bad so I was quiet here too,” she said. “I stopped at the SAC Office asking how I could get involved. I wanted to improve my English and I was lonely because it was only my boyfriend [a Frost Campus GIS graduate] and I here.”

SAC helped Rayna get involved on campus and in the community through volunteer opportunities, which she said helped build her confidence. She took the Leadership program at Fleming, got hired as an International Student Ambassador, became a SAC Director, and got a part-time job at Burger King to earn extra money.

“Now I am very outgoing. It has also built up my time management skills,” said Rayna, who enjoys having a lot on the go. “I got the highest GPA in my first year and I do not find it stressful, it is a driving force for me. My English is good now, and Fleming College and SAC really helped me.”

In addition to thanking the College for helping her gain confidence, Rayna also credits Fleming for making her a hockey fan.

“I like it because it’s a fast-paced game and it’s a very Canadian game. The audience cheering feels very enthusiastic and positive,” she said. “My friend said I’m a true Canadian now.”

Hospitality graduate Alexander Molnar puts passion for travel into action

alexander-molnar-web-photoAlexander Molnar is excited to explore Ontario this fall as a Grad Recruiter for Student Recruitment at Fleming College. Grad Recruiters travel locally and across the province speaking to a variety of audiences – secondary school students, young adults, parents, teachers and school guidance counselors – about Fleming programs, services and facilities.

The travel aspect of the job is well-suited to Alexander because he is a 2017 graduate of Fleming’s two-year Hospitality diploma program, which is aimed at students who want travel, adventure and meeting new people as part of their career plan.

“I am looking forward to being on the road and getting to see the parts of Ontario that I have never seen before,” said the Grad Recruiter. “We live in a beautiful province filled with so many great places and attractions that I have never gotten a chance to fully explore. Although I will be busy talking to folks while I’m out there, I am going to take advantage of every opportunity to visit sites and explore cities.”

His love of exploring is also why Alexander recommends Fleming College to prospective students.

“No matter the course, whether it be in business, trades or arts, all have components outside of your typical classroom,” he said. “One of my favorite days at college was traveling to Toronto with Hospitality and the Tourism students to go see the inside workings of hotels. We got to go underneath the Fairmont Royal York and explore their massive tunnels that run under their facility, as well as visit the penthouse apartment at the Trump Hotel. We got to see what we were getting ourselves into and really immerse ourselves in the world of hospitality. The hands-on and applied learning that Fleming College offers gives you a new way to learn that you won’t get anywhere else.”

Alexander wants to help spread the word about Fleming College because he hadn’t heard of it when starting his post-secondary journey. It was Alexander’s move to Peterborough for Trent University that led him to the local college.

“Coming from Ottawa, the school was new to me when I came to Peterborough,” said Alexander, who switched to Fleming College after the move. “I am so glad I did attend Fleming because the knowledge and experience I gained here I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

The Hospitality graduate praises Fleming as a great school with a friendly campus environment. “All the staff are very approachable and everyone is super friendly,” he said. “Anytime I’ve had a question about classes or need guidance of any sort I’ve always been able to find someone to talk to, whether it’s an instructor or another member of the faculty.”

Alexander gives a special shout-out to the staff at Breaktime, which is credited as his favourite spot on campus. “The ladies there are amazingly nice, always talking to you about your classes or how your day was. They remember you over breaks, even summer, and are the sweetest people,” he said. “Also if you remember your coffee card and get to the free coffee they’ll even do a happy dance for you, which is always great fun.”

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.”

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.”