Jennifer Bouley is thirty-four and currently living in Toronto and working as a recruitment coordinator. She already possesses a Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations (Post Diploma) from AU and is working towards the University Certificate in Career Development. This is her story.
Can you give us a little bit of background information about yourself? Who are you? Where do you live, where do you come from?
I currently live in Toronto. I am originally from Truro, Nova Scotia. I have been living in Toronto since 2003, I came here once I finished high school. I am an alumnus of AU, I did the Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations (Post Diploma). Currently I am studying the University Certificate in Career Development which I hope to finish in 2019. I am thirty-four years old, married for about six years (since 2012), no children and I currently work part-time as a Recruitment Coordinator for a company called Tutor Doctor.
Why did you choose to move to Toronto? Do you miss the Maritimes? What do you like most about living in Toronto?
I choose to move to Toronto because of more opportunity and when I was eighteen and moving here it seemed very exciting. I do miss the Maritimes, and am looking to move back soon. I like the conveniences of living in a big city, though I dislike how expensive it is to live in Toronto.
Describe the path that led you to AU. What was it that made you realize you wanted to go back to school, and what pushed you into the program you’ve signed up for?
When I first enrolled in AU in 2008 for the BA Human Resources & Labour Relations (BAHRLR) program, I wanted to do a program that was flexible. I was interested in the job market and this program covered both HR and LR. I choose to go back to AU because the certificate in Career Development was an interest of mine since I saw it when I was studying before. I also liked the flexibility.
What was your experience in the “real world” with your BAHRLR from AU?
As soon as a got my degree I was hired in a recruiter role by Bell. I also worked at Bell during the time I was working on my degree; I worked on HR projects at Bell.
What do you do like to do when you are not studying?
I work, hang out with friends, I am really interested in YouTube beauty and fashion videos. I also am involved a lot in my church.
What are your plans for this education once you are finished?
I am hoping to eventually work in a college or university in career development, or for a non-profit organization.
Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
To be honest it has been myself, I am the first and only in my family to hold a bachelor’s degree. My parents and sister went to college and my parents said that I must at least go to college and complete something after high school.
Describe your experience with AU and online learning so far. What do you like? Dislike?
I really like to flexibility, but I miss the in-person lectures and interaction when learning. Both have their ups and downs.
Have you ever wavered about continuing your education?
I never wavered about it. I knew what I wanted to do and did it. I am currently really struggling in one of my courses and hired a tutor through the company I work for to help me out. Once again that in person interaction. The AU tutors can only go so far.
Which course are you struggling with? What are you finding difficult about it?
Right now I am working on PSYC 381 (Psychology of Adult Development). There is a lot of memorizing which is making it difficult for me.
Could you describe the course to students?
The course is interesting. It has a lot of memory work involved. There are seven quizzes, one paper and a final exam. If you take this course be prepared to do a lot of reading and studying.
Any advice for students that are struggling in a course?
Reach out to your tutor they can be a lifeline. Read things slowly and make sure you know how to apply the concepts.
What’s your most memorable AU course so far, and why?
My most memorable would be Career Development theories. I got an A+ in that course and it introduced me to a lot of interesting things in the world of career development.
What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?
I gave up a full time pay cheque, though I think it is important because education in the long run will get you further.
What famous person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why?
I would like the have lunch with Abraham Lincoln because he changed the course of history by outlawing slavery in one of the most powerful nations in the world. I have had a strong interest in the anti-human trafficking movement sine 2008.
Describe one thing that distinguishes you from most other people.
I do a lot of volunteer work with the homeless and underprivileged here in Toronto. I don’t tell many people about this. I was also on a board of directors for four years. I tend to keep quiet about my volunteer work.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life?
Keep going no matter how hard it is.
Have you traveled? Where has life taken you so far?
I have been to Cuba, Ecuador, all over eastern USA and Eastern Canada.