Have you found an exciting career since graduating?
We want to hear from you. Help encourage other students to succeed by sharing your story.
Donna Baker, Architectural Drafting Technician, 1984
“I have been able to work and raise a family in a small, safe city.”
I started working at Watson Land Surveyors 21 years ago and I expect to be here ten years from now. For the first five years I completed land surveys using the drafting skills I learned at Loyalist. I don’t draft anymore but have taken on the role of office manager. Computer Aided Drafting is what we use now. All the math components that I learned back then, I still use daily. Nothing is ever the same. I come to work every day and never know who will walk in with the next exciting project.
I have never stopped going to school. In the next year I’m considering university to obtain my CGA. I took many night classes, in-house training and completed the facilitator’s certificate online through Loyalist. The college then rewarded me with six years of part-time teaching contracts.
To prospective students considering the Architectural Technician program at Loyalist I would say – never stop learning. Always look for more ways to continue learning, whether from your co-workers or night classes. Don’t expect that you are going to walk into the perfect job after graduating. A career is an ongoing process. You need to learn life skills within your work environment, such as getting to work on time, learning how to become a team player and learning to recognize how valuable your position can be within an organization. Understand that if there is no profit in your company, you might be out of a job. Show respect to the owners and senior employees and look for ways you can learn from them. Most importantly – BE NICE! Everyone you will meet will know someone who knows someone you know.
There are other benefits to a career other than monetary value. If I have to leave for appointments during the day, I am accommodated. I never work weekends and I have been able to raise a family in a small, safe city without the threat of having to move. We, the employers and employees, have grown together, raised our kids together and have become friends. We spend 40 hours a week together. It may be hard for a young person today to understand employment perks that may become invaluable to them in the future.
Watson Land Surveyors offers placements to Loyalist students. We all feel strongly about educating students in the work place. Almost everyone who currently works here are Loyalist graduates. I have been given the opportunity to further other career goals while working here. Our motto is: If the employee is happy, the employee will stay.
Finally, the advice my father gave me – if you must leave, leave on good terms. You never know when you may need a favour from your past employer or how your paths may cross in the future.
Jennifer Matthews, Survey Technician, 1997
“I enjoy my job because it allows me the flexibility to put my family first.”
Immediately following graduation, I was employed at the City of Toronto in the Survey and Mapping Department. Being from a small town this was quite a change from me. I learned a lot and was able to draw on the field work skills obtained from Loyalist College while working in and around the City of Toronto. Although time has passed, I still keep in touch with my former boss there.
From there I went to Stantec Consulting Limited for about three years and worked in the drafting department. I was able to use the computer skills I had learned at Loyalist and adapt them to the specific drawings that we prepared in this office. It is no surprise that computers are a valuable tool in today’s job market and I was periodically sent on courses to upgrade and improve my knowledge. This benefited both the company and me.
After getting married (I met my husband while attending Loyalist College) and having children, we realized we wanted to raise our children in a small town. With both of us being from small towns, it only seemed right. We packed up and moved from Pickering to Belleville. When it came time for me to look for a job, the first phone call I made was to Watson Land Surveyors Ltd. where I had done a co-op placement while in college. I have been here ever since and plan on being here indefinitely. Primarily I do drafting and calculations for the field crews but I also look after severance applications and sketches in all four municipalities in the area. This involves dealing directly with clients and local planners. I work with two other graduates from Loyalist and I currently sit on the Building Sciences Advisory Committee at Loyalist. I enjoy my job because it allows me the flexibility to put my family first. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I get to work outside the home and when I need to, I can take the time off to be with the kids if something comes up.
Upon graduating from Loyalist I received the following awards, Association of Ontario Land Surveyors Award, Fletcher Foundation Award, Ontario Land Surveyors Eastern Group Award and Hastings and Prince Edward Land Surveyor Award. I was prepared for the workforce and have since taken courses to remain current with the times. It is very important to have the support of my employer while doing this. Whether it be in the form of a course, a half day seminar or an opportunity to sit on a committee, it is very important for me to stay actively involved in the direction of my career.
If I could give the students at Loyalist any advice it would be to take in everything that you can at every stage of your career. You might not think it’s important at the time but I have used information and contacts from all the jobs I have had in my current position.
Christie Perry, Business Administration, 2001
“I strongly believe that having teachers who had worked in the manufacturing sector themselves really offered a different, yet very positive kind of teaching.”
Upon graduation, I worked two part-time jobs for the summer months while I was trying to find something of interest in my field of Business. I knew I didn’t want just anything that came about but I wanted something that was going to challenge me. So I scanned newspapers and websites, posted my resume with headhunters and various other career websites and I was hired at Strathcona Paper as a Logistics Assistant six months after I graduated. In this job I provide customer service to both Canadian and American customers, arrange daily shipments and back up the sheeter scheduler and customer service specialist. Within the first few years I was very fortunate to be exposed to a variety of jobs within the department. In May of 2005 I landed the position of Paper Machine Scheduler. I believe I was awarded this position through my hard work and dedication. This position is very challenging from day to day, therefore always interesting in some way or another. There is never a dull moment here at Strathcona Paper!
At first upon graduation, I was unsure as to how to make the transition to the workforce. But as time went on I realized that through my courses and the placement at Proctor and Gamble I was indeed job-ready. Courses like Strategic Planning and the latest computer software were very important preparation. As well at Loyalist I had learned to prioritize my workload to ensure that everything was completed on time. These skills made a smooth transition to the world of business.
I strongly believe that having teachers who had worked in the manufacturing sector themselves really offered a different, yet very positive kind of teaching. It wasn’t all necessarily from a textbook. They offered insights from their own experiences and shared the challenges that they faced day to day.
I believe that concentrating on the now is the best approach but I do hope that through my desire to continue learning and growing that I will have the opportunity to hold a management position someday. Further education is a part of my future goals. I am hoping to start working towards my APICS certificate from the Association for Operations Management in the New Year.
The Business Administration program at Loyalist College is one of the best. It’s a springboard to many different avenues you can take in the business world, whether accounting, human resources or production management. There is always something exciting out there for a graduate to look
Hilary Long, Photojournalism, 2005
“At Loyalist, you don’t get lost in the crowd and one-on-one help is never hard to come by.”
When I finished Loyalist’s Photojournalism program in 2005, I applied for jobs at newspapers and magazines because those were the areas I was most interested in. In June of that year I accepted a part-time position at Carmen’s Foto Source in London. In August I contacted the publisher of the Goderich Signal Star. I had worked in that newspaper chain during earlier summers so we had a good relationship. He informed me that there was an opening at the Mitchell Advocate in the same newspaper chain. He forwarded my resume and portfolio and within the day I had an interview. I accepted the position as a reporter/photographer at the Advocate, a weekly publication. I have been here since September 2005 and could not be happier. I am doing what I love and what I went to school for.
I was well prepared for the work force upon graduation. My work experience in the summers and the training I received from Loyalist gave me great knowledge of the industry. I was able to confidently enter the newspaper business straight out of school. All that I learned at Loyalist is relevant to the work I do today. I use my camera daily. I use Photoshop daily. I no longer have FOF (fear of flash) – other photojays will know what I mean. I write stories and layout pages every day. All the skills I learned in my two years at college, from shooting to writing to production, I use at some point during the week.
Our Photojournalism program required that we do a placement at the end of the second year. I completed my placement at the Woolwich Observer in Elmira. I gained a lot in the three weeks that I was there. I learned just how tough and demanding the industry was because there were two competing papers in the town. I learned to be constantly aware of what I was doing and to make sure I came back with a variety of shots.
The best part of my job is telling stories whether it is with photos, words or a combination of both. It always fascinates me that complete strangers will let
a reporter into their world to create an intimate portrait of them for the whole community to read. There is also the excitement on children’s faces when I take their picture for the paper. Most rewarding is just knowing that the work I do matters to someone and this philosophy drives me to do my best. It doesn’t matter if you are covering a council meeting, a school play or a curling tournament. It is important to someone and deserves my best effort. The satisfaction of a job well done is rewarding. Compliments don’t hurt either.
For students considering the Photojournalism program at Loyalist, I would say – be open minded. In this course there are a lot of things to do and learn. As long as you try and put your best effort forth you will do well. Creativity helps and don’t be afraid to try new things.
In ten years I see myself traveling around the region capturing stories of this community with my camera and my writing. And I will consider further education if the technology changes dramatically or if I choose to become a publisher.
I would just like to say that I am so glad I decided to take the Photojournalism course at Loyalist. I don’t think I would be where I am if it was not for the training and the support I received from my instructors, Frank, Doug, Bill, Gord and Scott. Their vast knowledge and genuine caring for their students made it a great and valuable two years. Just because the college is small and in a small city, doesn’t mean it has less to offer. At Loyalist, you don’t get lost in a crowd and one-on-one help is never hard to come by. The skills I learned and the friends I made will last a life time.
Jess Uddenberg, Social Service Worker Accelerated, 2006
“Get to know your teachers as they are linked to the resources in your community. They can offer you valuable guidance and support that will prepare you for the workplace.”
After graduating from the Social Service Worker Accelerated program at Loyalist College in June 2006, I worked as a probation and parole officer until last month. I have just started a new position as a Child Protection Worker with Hastings’s Children’s Aid Society.
While at school I did my placement at Probation and Parole. It was a fantastic opportunity and within three weeks I was hired on as a contract worker. I remained there for eleven months. This experience helped prepare me for my current job at Hastings’s CAS.
I have my B.A. from Carleton University in Criminology and Criminal Justice and I wanted the practical skills that the Social Service Worker program offered. The three courses in Interviewing and Counselling were very helpful. Every day I deal with people so being taught some of the finer points of interviewing have proven very valuable to me. Also, both of my jobs since graduating have been linked to the criminal justice system. It’s been a big advantage for me to have learned specifically about the judicial system through the course in Social Service Legislation. As students we called it the Law course.
In December of 2006 I was accepted into the Masters of Criminal Justice Program at Boston University which I will be starting via correspondence in March 2007. I reached this goal with the help of a solid reference letter from one of my teachers, Bonnie Oddie at Loyalist College.
Most interesting and satisfying in my current job at the CAS is the unpredictability of each day. Every family and situation is different. I find that managing people and their unique personalities can be a great challenge. However, working with and protecting children is very rewarding when you feel as though you have made a difference.
To any student considering the SSW program at Loyalist I would advise – get involved. Get to know your teachers as they are linked to the resources in your community. They can offer you valuable guidance and support that will prepare you for the workplace.
As I look into the future I see myself teaching in the SSW program at Loyalist. I am about to start my Masters in Criminal Justice in the hopes of bringing me closer to achieving that goal. When I attended Loyalist I wrote a goals paper saying the same thing. I also hope to be invited to participate on the SSW advisory committee. I will continue to strive towards these goals.