Working At Bow Valley College Is A Dream Come True For Determined Graduate
Last June, Shorena Esartia arrived at Bow Valley College’s Human Resources office in her convocation cap and gown. “I was offered the position the day before convocation,” she says.
Shorena was on her way to graduate from the Business Administration Diploma when she went to accept the position of international education support at the College. “I remember rushing to school already wearing my cap and gown because I had to go straight to convocation after submitting the papers.”
Shorena started as a student in the General Business Major in January 2017. Originally from Georgia, she had been living in Russia for more than eight years before joining her sister in Calgary in December 2016. “My sister was telling me how nice it is to live here,” Shorena says.
Shorena had a bachelor’s degree in international relations and affairs from Georgian Diplomatic Academy, a Certificate in International Studies from the University of Wyoming, and a master’s degree in international studies from Georgian Diplomatic Academy, but she wanted some Canadian study experience. She wanted to take a short business program that would lead to a job in project management, as she likes working with people. After looking into three schools, she chose the College. She was attracted to its positive reputation and downtown location, as she lived downtown and didn’t have a car.
During her first year, at a friend’s suggestion, Shorena ran for a council position with the Students’ Association of Bow Valley College (SABVC). She was elected, and spent that year engaging her fellow students to be more active in life at the College and promoting SABVC’s services. In her second year, the students of the College elected her VP of External Communication for SABVC, where she advocated for her fellow students when they struggled with their grades, worked with external organizations to promote student rights, and chaired the Mental Health Committee of SABVC. “I’ve always had a passion for working with people and here at Bow Valley college, I had the opportunity to work with students who were facing the same challenges and issues as I did. I am happy that I could help them,” she says of the experience.
In this role, Shorena also launched a program that offers free feminine hygiene products to female students, faculty, and staff of the College. The program has received positive feedback from students and is still carried on by SABVC.
Since Shorena enjoyed studying and working at the College, she thought she’d one day like to work at the institution. “International Education was the department I was always interested in,” she says, as she had studied international education before moving to Canada.
She was keeping an eye on the Careers at Bow Valley College page on the website when she saw the opening for the international education support role. “When I read the description, I remember telling my sister that it was the job I was looking for all my life,” says Shorena. “Finally, I could combine both of my educational backgrounds: international relations and business administration.”
After interviewing for that position as well as other positions within the College, the International Education team invited her to join them. “It was the best day of my life!” says Shorena of getting the news. “The job was related to my education, my employer was Bow Valley College, and I was truly very excited and happy for the job offer I received on my convocation day.”
As international education support, she assists the director and managers with overseas representatives fair registrations, campus tours for delegations, and project development support. In the future, she would like to be more involved in international student recruitment. But she confirms that she’s happy with her position for now. “My position is very diverse. While working in it, I'm learning new skills, which I really appreciate.”
Interested in a General Business Diploma? Check out our program page.
Or, if you’re ready for a job, take a look at Careers at Bow Valley College.
Posted on October 1, 2019
Story by Julie-Anne Cleyn, photos by Chris Bolin