Convocation 2008 – Graduate Interviews

This is the last of a three-part Voice series featuring interviews with some of AU’s 2008 graduates.

For many graduates, convocation weekend was the first time they had seen the beautiful grounds and buildings of the AU campus, and they attended the ceremonies from places near and far, including Athabasca, Alberta, and Beaverton, Oregon.

The Voice would like to offer its sincere congratulations to all this year’s graduates, and knows that their accomplishments will encourage all those students who are still completing their studies at AU.

Carla Spadafora
Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations

Carla travelled from Edmonton, Alberta, to attend convocation, accompanied by family.

The BHRLR program took Carla around four-and-a-half years to complete and She’s enjoying her career in Human Resources?and there’s always the possibility of pursuing a master’s.

As Carla says, AU’s flexibility is an important factor in allowing students to balance work and family while still earning a degree.

?As long as You’re committed and dedicated, this is the best program I’ve ever seen,? she adds.

Since completing her degree, she says that some of her co-workers have become interested in AU as well.

Along with celebrating her achievement at convocation, Carla marked the completion of her degree in 2007 with another special event?a trip to Cuba!

Congratulations, Carla!

Melanie Doyle
Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations

The BHRLR program took Melanie approximately seven years to complete, and she travelled from Edmonton to attend convocation.

Melanie’s advice is to ?read all the material thoroughly before you attempt to begin an assignment or make any decisions about what the course is going to be about.?

For Melanie, the highlight of the program was the academics, and she says that, with the program’s focus on both sociology and business, it provided a broad knowledge base That’s relevant even outside her field.

Although she hasn’t made any final decisions on a program, a master’s is likely in her plans for the future.

Congratulations, Melanie!

Morley Hewison
Bachelor of Management

Morley made the trip to convocation from La Ronge, Saskatchewan, accompanied by his family.

He worked full-time while completing the Bachelor of Management, which took four years, and one of the highlights of the program for Morley was ?the quality of the courses.?

They were ?right in the line of what I was looking for,? he adds.

Morley works with the Ministry of Health in Saskatchewan, and found that the flexibility of both AU and his employer contributed to his success in the program.

After a short break from his studies, Morley plans to continue with his long-term education goals and is looking at options for a master’s degree.

Congratulations, Morley!

Verna Landry
Bachelor of Management

Verna completed the Bachelor of Management program in six years, and is looking forward to a well-earned break from her studies.

She travelled from St. Alberta, Alberta, to receive her degree, and celebrated the end of her program last year with a holiday.

For Verna, the highlight of the program ?was the satisfaction of knowing that I can do it.?

One of the biggest challenges for Verna was balancing her time commitments, but she found that once she ?made a schedule and stuck to it,? it made a real difference.

Her advice to others in the program is to review the course material carefully, and she offered another message to her fellow grads: ?Have fun and enjoy your success.?

Congratulations, Verna!

Eric Barfoot
Bachelor of Commerce

Eric travelled from Newmarket, Ontario, to attend convocation, and combined the trip with a holiday to visit friends in Edmonton and Calgary.

He’s exploring future educational options, including an MBA, but first he’s looking forward to relaxing?without any textbooks.

After beginning his studies at the University of Toronto, Eric completed his Bachelor of Commerce at AU and says the highlight of the program was the sense of achievement in completing his degree.

The key to success in the program is organization, Eric says. Although AU’s individual-study option allows a great deal of flexibility, It’s important to be ?very self-motivated and organized,? skills that students build during the program.

Congratulations, Eric!

Dale Bencharsky
Master of Business Administration

Dale’s family accompanied him from Boyle, Alberta, to attend convocation, but when his applied project was complete they celebrated with a longer journey?to the Mayan Riviera.

Dale is looking forward to taking some time off from his studies, and for those still in the program he says the key to success is that ?you have to want to do it for you. You have to have the personal drive.?

The program took three years for Dale to complete, and one of the highlights was the collaboration with fellow students.

As Dale says, ?The most benefit that I got was interacting both through Lotus Notes as well as during the electives,? and he enjoyed meeting people and sharing the ?different backgrounds [and] different experience? everyone brought to the discussions.

Congratulations, Dale!

Peter So
Master of Business Administration

Peter completed the MBA program (in Information Technology Management) in two-and-a-half years.

He travelled from Vancouver, British Columbia, accompanied by family, to receive his degree.

For Peter, one of the highlights of his experience at AU was the ?exchange of knowledge? with fellow students, and he was pleased to find that aspect was one of the cores of the program.

As Peter says, while the students are instructed and guided in how to use the material, they do so collaboratively and much of their learning comes from ?knowledge we share with each other.?

Peter strongly encourages others to check out the MBA program, and notes that AU’s flexibility provides opportunities for those who may not otherwise be able to pursue their education.

Congratulations, Peter!

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