Going Back To College

Nancy BryansGoing back to college was a big deal for me. At 49, with 3 kids still in elementary school, a puppy-ish dog at home, and a husband who worked shifts, it proved to be an adventure with challenges on multiple levels. The laundry, the dishes, making meals and housecleaning, dropped in the level of priorities, however, I was still able to juggle attending parent focused events at my children’s schools and participate as needed.

In addition to attending full time during regular semesters, I chose to continue on during the summer, plus find an on-campus position to earn some extra money. I began as a team member, then a team leader for the Leave the Pack Behind Program (LTPB). There were many nights I said goodnight to my kids and stayed up until I saw the sun rise, in order to juggle everything. Thankfully, my spouse was supportive, my kids let me do my homework in peace and my dog was on hand for snuggles when I needed them. Continue Reading

Personable Campaigning

bbq burgers

Who would have thought? Apparently there are municipal elections that DON’T involve Rob Ford!  The local and Toronto media focus a lot on the marathon municipal election campaign in Toronto.  I’ve seen a few tidbits of information about candidates for Hamilton city hall, but nothing too memorable.  I’m active in the provincial and federal political scene but the only time I notice that we have politicians in Hamilton is when my taxes go up, Gore Park gets torn up again or street signs get bigger!

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Immersed in Culture at McKeil Marine

alumni-blog-entry14.1The only constant is change. Cliché I’ll concede, however also true in practice. I’ve recently made a career move that finds me joining the team at Hamilton based McKeil Marine. McKeil is a name familiar firstly to those in the marine transportation industry and has also risen in prominence in the community due in part to its relationship with Mohawk College. The McKeil School of Business links the company to one of the city’s major academic institutions. Blair McKeil has made a personal commitment to supporting post-secondary education and fostering growth in local entrepreneurship. This is a relationship being brought to life in many ways; actively participating in events, development activities and visiting the school to mentor students and provide support for business programs. Continue Reading

When I Grow Up…

Alumni-Blog-Entry5What do you want to be when you grow up? Throughout the course of our adolescent and teenage lives we have all been asked this question over and over again. I, like many when they were younger, just thought of the coolest jobs I could think of: dolphin trainer or rock star; the latter to which I am still hopeful for. However, over the years the answer to that question is expected to get more serious. When I was posed with that question (again) at 25 years old I knew it was time to nail down what I wanted to do for a career. After attending Mohawk College in the evening, part time, taking business classes while working, I made the most terrifying decision of my life: I was going to quit my job and attend Mohawk as a full time student. So, I enrolled in the Business Marketing program. I didn’t know it at the time, but this turned out to be the best decision I could have made.

So, there I was having the ‘college experience’, meeting new people and getting the education I needed to land my dream job. I could write 200 blog posts to tell you all of the ways my experiences at Mohawk helped me get to where I am now (and where I’ll be in 5 years from now), but who has that kind of time. So I’ll settle by telling you about the one thing almost all of those experiences have in common – my professors. Whether it was learning the ins and outs of retail with Pat Koledjeski, discussing the market mix with Deborah Weston or evaluating integrated marketing campaigns with Janice Shearer each and every one of my professors inspired me to do the very best I was capable of doing.

Jen Elson 2009

Jennifer Elson, 2009 Ontario College Marketing Competition Winner

Not only did Mohawk offer me such great opportunity for learning in class, but I was lucky enough to be involved in Mohawk with extracurricular activities within the marketing department as well. I took part in the Ontario College Marketing Competition as well as the BDC Case Challenge in Montreal.

Fast forward to 2012 and I find myself living in Winnipeg, MB with my significant other and son. Moving to Winnipeg was bittersweet for me. I grew up here and missed my family; however, it was far away from Toronto and, I thought, far away from where I saw my career. To my surprise, Winnipeg houses an award winning marketing communications firm and this is where I go to work every day. Creative briefs, marketing campaigns and client satisfaction is part of my everyday life and I owe a big thank for to Mohawk for helping me get here.

I hope to bring some laughs and insight to the Mohawk Alumni Blog. I’ll be writing about life as a working mom and my experiences working within the marketing industry.

JenniferElson– Jen Elson
Business – Marketing (Co-op) ‘10
Follow Jen @JenJeae