Alumni Profile Joelle Lavallie


Bow Valley College alumna inspires others through her work in HR

Bow Valley College grad and proud Indigenous woman Joelle Lavallie knew she wanted to make a change in her life and go back to school. Working for a restoration company and feeling unfulfilled, she knew she wanted a change but felt like she couldn’t take the leap. As a mother and a provider, taking time off work for school seemed impossible.

My friends said – just do it, Joelle says of her decision to return to Bow Valley College after years away. Joelle completed a Dental Business Administration program at the College in 2009. It was an easy decision to choose Bow Valley College because I had taken classes there previously and because of the location. The instructors played a big role in my success as well. You aren’t just a number at Bow Valley College.

Joelle enrolled in the Human Resources Certificate program which she completed in 2020. She realized she wanted more of a competitive advantage, so she enrolled in the Human Resources Diploma program and completed that in 2021, noting that it was a challenging program which she completed entirely online due to the pandemic. It was harder to finish the classes online. But we finished,” notes Joelle.

I like working with people, and I want them to succeed, to figure out where they want to be in the organization, to reach for promotions and do their best work, shares Joelle about one of the reasons she loves her job as an HR Advisor. One of the biggest reasons I like HR is because, as an Indigenous woman, I did experience a lot of discrimination. Learning the legislation, and what’s allowed to be said to you, and what isn’t, was huge for me both personally and professionally.

A major part of her motivation, Joelle prides herself on creating a healthy workplace for herself and her colleagues. I know I still have a lot to learn and to continue to grow myself. Bow Valley College allowed me to do that, Joelle the impact the College has had on her career. My managers and supervisors often come to me for my knowledge of the law and regulations and for advice on how to handle situations.

Joelle credits her time at Bow Valley College for preparing her for her exciting future for herself and her two children. Bow Valley College set me up for success. I am so grateful to all the staff and instructors. They don’t get the credit they deserve.

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