Tak­ing the time to find the per­fect ca­reer fit

En­rolling in a pro­gram is like find­ing your soul­mate: you’ll just know

The Coast - Career Minded - - ADMINISTRATION -

Jas­mine Boudreau was ner­vous to re­turn to school at age 25. When her peers were get­ting go­ing in their ca­reers, she’d be start­ing over. But her fear of be­ing out of touch was im­me­di­ately si­lenced when she started her classes at Univer­sité Sainte-Anne. She felt right at home.

Boudreau had al­ways found the idea of pick­ing a ca­reer stress­ful, and with­drew from a univer­sity pro­gram early on in her life. She didn’t want to waste money on a pro­gram that wasn’t go­ing to lead her into a sta­ble ca­reer, and so af­ter high school she tried a few dif­fer­ent ca­reer paths. “I liked the idea of learn­ing a trade and start­ing work right away,” says Boudreau. She started as a hair stylist, and switched paths into the bank­ing in­dus­try. Af­ter four years, when she re­al­ized her heart wasn’t in it, her fa­ther rec­om­mended she look into pro­grams at Sainte-Anne.

“I was shar­ing my thoughts with him on find­ing a ca­reer, and since I had never at­tended col­lege, I was in­ter­ested in try­ing it,” she adds. Boudreau en­rolled af­ter hear­ing many suc­cess sto­ries from those who chose pro­grams with Sainte-Anne. Af­ter com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the help­ful and pro­fes­sional staff at Sainte-Anne, she knew that the Gov­ern­ment Of­fice Clerk pro­gram would be right for her.

Her pro­gram in­cluded tak­ing three com­puter cour­ses fo­cused on Mi­crosoft Of­fice Suite, fi­nan­cial math, ac­count­ing, busi­ness English and French, ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. “Each course in­cluded a lot of hands-on ap­pli­ca­tion, which was won­der­ful. Once I started my work term, and even af­ter in my job, I ac­tu­ally felt pre­pared and con­fi­dent,” says Boudreau about the ben­e­fit of com­bin­ing class time and work place­ments to learn and ap­ply knowl­edge.

Sainte-Anne’s down­town Hal­i­fax cam­pus was con­ve­nient for Boudreau, and most of the classes were done via video con­fer­ence since the pri­mary cam­pus is a three-hour drive away in Church Point. “It re­ally didn’t feel like my pro­fes­sors were in an­other city. They were con­nected with the stu­dents and made sure we were com­fort­able with the pace of the course,” says Boudreau about the na­ture of her small classes. The down­town cam- pus al­ways had a fa­cil­i­ta­tor on­site ready to set up the classes and to be there if the stu­dents had ques­tions.

Boudreau was of­fered a per­ma­nent po­si­tion at Health Canada right af­ter her work term, and felt that the pro­gram pre­pared her on all lev­els to be­gin her ca­reer. “I was con­fi­dent and able to hit the ground run­ning. I’ve seen so many op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause of this pro­gram,” says Boudreau. She is thank­ful that she found an al­ter­na­tive to the big four-year univer­sity pro­gram, and adds that it works for some but it wasn’t her path or call­ing.

Sainte-Anne made her feel right at home, with class­mates who shared sim­i­lar goals. “Sainte-Anne re­ally is a place for ev­ery­one, and when I think back on my time spent there, I see it as the one thing that re­ally changed me from be­ing a con­fused young per­son to a con­fi­dent adult,” Boudreau says. Now she works in a sta­ble job where she is pas­sion­ate about go­ing to work every day, has pur­chased her first home and feels like all of the puz­zle pieces of her life have fallen into place.

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