How Bow Valley College gave this new Canadian hope for the future

After receiving advice from a peer, Damilola was set on a path at Bow Valley College that would change her life.

A human resources professional in Nigeria, Damilola Agbaje moved to Canada with her family nearly seven years ago, and despite extensive experience in her field, struggled to enter her profession in a new country. She spent a few years working in customer service roles to help pay bills while keeping an eye open for the opportunity to return to her previous career, but frustrated by the challenges she faced, Dami began to question whether she should move back to her home country. 


A career counselor suggested Dami consider taking a human resources course and after talking to people in the same field, she decided going back to school to understand the fundamentals of human resources in Canada would give her the best chance of success.


Dami researched schools in Calgary and chose the Human Resources Certificate program at Bow Valley College for the small class sizes and one-on-one support she valued as a mature student. That decision, Dami says, changed her life and allowed her to envision her bright future in Canada.


“Knowing that Bow Valley College offered quality education with smaller groups compared to universities made it my first choice,” she says. “Bow Valley College has teachers that want you to succeed and will support you as long as you're ready to take that step. It's a safe space, where everybody has the opportunity to express themselves and ask questions.”


During her time as a student, Dami was given the opportunity to represent Bow Valley College at the Human Resources Case Competition, where she designed case studies and came up with solutions. She says the experience, as well as the class assignments and projects, equipped her with the skills she needed to thrive outside of school. 


Now a human resources management system analyst at TransAlta, Dami is excited for her future and grateful for the role education played in helping her succeed. 


“When I took the Oath of Citizenship and became a Canadian, it was overwhelming for me, because Bow Valley College is what made me take that oath,” shares Dami. “It helped me see Canada in a new light and was the turnaround that I needed to completely change my life. And sometimes it goes beyond the educational aspect of it. Sometimes it's more about the community and the support. Bow Valley College did that for me.”

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