I started at Douglas College in April 2017 as a Student Recruiter Advisor in the Future Students’ Office. There has been a lot of exciting changes over the past two years – our department is now focused on developing more student recruitment strategies and programming.
I started working in higher education after I completed my Bachelor of Communications Studies and have been working in higher education for five years now. It is the values of Douglas College that inspired me to apply for the job; they speak to my own story and beliefs. As a dyslexic high school student with a mediocre GPA, I didn’t think post-secondary was an option for me. Had I known about Douglas College, an institution that valued access to education, diversity, and understood the many different pathways of students, it may have inspired me to start my education earlier.
In my first year, I had the opportunity to plan and implement the Fall 2017 orientation programming including Jumpstart, Parent & Supporter Orientation, Mature Student Orientation, New Student Orientation and the New Student Update, which is an informative communication campaign welcoming new students to the College. It was fun to plan these large scale campus events and welcome all the diverse and excited students to the College.
I have also developed a new Campus Tour Model, have written proposals to expand our recruitment initiatives and established a new Student Assistant role that I now supervise. I attended conferences across Canada to learn about other institutions’ recruitment tactics and build my professional network. I’m empowered in my role to take initiatives within the office as well as the broader community such as sitting on the Pride Advisory Committee.
I feel that my inquiry on why Douglas College hasn’t participated in Vancouver Pride Parade led to Douglas College marching in the 2018 parade. It just shows that all it takes is to make a suggestion to see changes here. These changes demonstrate how inclusive, diverse and adaptable the institution is. Everyone can be involved in a project they are passionate about. As a member of the Queer community, I want my workplace to be proud and inclusive, and had the opportunity to be a part of the process of how Douglas more visually displays its inclusivity. The Pride Advisory committee decided to host a Queer 101 workshop during the College-wide Professional Development Week that I conducted with a colleague. I feel that every day brings a new challenge and project allowing me to gain new experiences and grow as a professional.
It is the students that inspire me to come to work every day. One of the students in our student leadership group remembered me from a visit to her high school, and now she is attending Douglas College and involved on campus. She is making a difference in our community and will be joining us at high school visits this Fall. She is one of the many students who have found their passion and are thriving here at Douglas College. Being able to help students achieve their academic and career goals is what makes me proud to be a part of Douglas College; not to mention being a part of their growth and development into to professionals who are doing what they love.