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Discovering new interests

After moving to Calgary, post-secondary learner Erin Hill worked towards a degree at Bow Valley College.

Erin Hill calls it the conveyor belt theory: graduate from high school, get an education, get a job. 

“Keep moving. Do what society pushes you towards,” says the recent graduate of the Business Administration Diploma, General Business Major. It’s a pressure she felt after graduating from high school in her hometown of Ottawa, when she pursued and completed a two-year diploma in theatre arts at Algonquin College. 

However, when Erin moved to New Zealand to experience a place other than the one she knew, she learned that gap years are supported in other countries, like the United Kingdom. 

“I think you're supposed to take some time to get to know who you are as a person after adolescence to decide what you like,” she says of that experience.  
 
Erin applied that approach to her post-secondary path the next time she returned to school. 

Trading New Zealand for Halifax, she enrolled in open studies at Saint Mary’s University, where she studied commerce for two semesters and arts for one semester. She then moved to Calgary for a change (“I’m fairly nomad,” she says), and wanted to continue working towards her degree. Being new to the city, Bow Valley College appealed to her for its smaller size, which she figured would make it easier to meet people and find opportunities related to marketing, her eventual field of interest. 

After completing a two-year diploma in the Chiu School of Business, she is transferring to Mount Royal University to start in the third year of a degree program. Bow Valley College has university transfer opportunities with a variety of degree-granting institutions across Alberta, allowing students to transfer credits towards a bachelor degree.*   

Erin found many of the opportunities she was looking for at Bow Valley College. At Saint Mary’s, she had been a member of Enactus, a community of entrepreneurial leaders that engages students to start social enterprises to help their community. Bow Valley College was looking to start an Enactus chapter, and when Erin arrived, she connected with Craig Elias, entrepreneur in residence at Bow Valley College. Erin knew that this extra-curricular involvement was important to help her stand out after graduation. 

Awarded a part-time position as Enactus student ambassador, an administrative position which involved working with Enactus Canada, Erin kicked off the newly formed Enactus chapter by speaking to 106 classes on campus, approaching learners in the hallways, and attending many College events to try to recruit people to join. 

By the end of the 2017-2018 academic school year, the Bow Valley College chapter won the first-place spirit award in its division, which recognizes the chapter that puts the most effort into trying to effect positive change in the community. 

This fall, Erin will continue her studies at Mount Royal University to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in marketing or marketing psychology. She doesn’t yet know what she’d like to pursue as a career afterwards, however, a faculty advisor once gave her some valuable advice to face that intimidating topic: Don’t choose a career; choose the skills you want to use, and follow a career path that allows you to grow those skills. 

For Erin, that will mean making sure she’s excited to go into the office every day. 


*Admission to a degree-granting institution is competitive and based on the institution’s admission requirements and is not guaranteed. 

Is your story waiting to be told? If you’re a learner with an interesting story, we may want to tell it on bowvalleycollege.ca. Email us at newsroom@bowvalleycollege.ca.


Posted on July 19, 2018


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