Laura is a 3rd year student in the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) degree program majoring in Kinesiology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In reflecting on her program, she states “the program has taught me extensive human anatomy and physiology which I really enjoyed”. It has also allowed her to develop customer service skills, critical thinking skills, and collaborating with peers to create a workout program for clients.
For the past 2 years, she has worked at the UOIT Career Centre working closely with students and employers. She has also been involved with Ask Me at UOIT which runs during the first week of school. The purpose is to help answer questions that first year students have and ease their transition into university. Laura enjoys these positions as it allows her to give back to the school.
Laura is a health advocate, outgoing, a good communicator and enjoys helping others. Not only does she volunteer as a Therapeutic Riding Assistant helping students and adults with disabilities ride horses, but she also volunteers at a chiropractic clinic which has validated her career choice of becoming a Chiropractor. She really enjoys the practical experience she is obtaining and seeing the theory and knowledge she has gained in the classroom come to life in a real world setting.
Since high school, she has played rugby and was a member of the UOIT rowing team. She also enjoys travelling and hopes to see more of the world. With all of this experience, Laura is hoping it all adds up to a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree at Canadian Memorial Chriopractic College.
Mahad is a 4th year mechanical engineering student in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He greatly enjoys the hands-on, practical application of his program through making prototypes and being a research assistant with a professor on campus. As a research assistant, he developed skills in working well under pressure and working well with others which he believes is great preparation for his future.
Mahad has been an International Student Leader for UOIT’s Student Life department. Speaking 5 languages has certainly helped him in this role. He enjoys helping his peers “because I’m an international student myself. I know what they are going through so I enjoy being able to help them make the transition a lot more smoother”. Mahad is also involved with UOIT through being the UOIT chapter president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), participating in student clubs such as the Engineering Society and Engineering without Borders. He also volunteers with the National Institute of Special Education. He feels he has benefited greatly by being involved as it has increased his interaction with others and enhanced his interpersonal skills.
Life for Mahad is not all work. He enjoys having a balance between school and life commitments. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and cricket, cooking and reading. Mahad is hoping he adds it all up to receiving a P. Eng. designation and having a well-rounded career in engineering.
As a 4th year Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) student majoring in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology, Kara is greatly enjoying her program. She enjoys having smaller classes which allow her to interact more with her professors. She has credited her program with honing her presentation and problem solving skills and feels more confident because of it. These skills also help her in current position as a vice president of the HR Association at UOIT.
Kara loves to work with members of the public and this is evident through her work and volunteer positions. Previously, she has worked for four years as a customer care representative and as a summer aquatics lifeguard. She has volunteered with her church as a Sunday school teacher and assisted with running Bingo games at a senior’s home. She currently works as a Peer Employment Advisor at the UOIT Career Centre. In this role, she loves helping with students with their employment goals and hearing about their success. These opportunities have strengthened her leadership and communication skills.
In her spare time, Kara loves to swim, workout, read, drink tea, have bubble baths and spend time her family and her 3 dogs. She is hoping to obtain her Certified Human Resources Professional designation (CHRP) and work in recruitment or teach overseas.
As a 2015 graduate of the Bachelor of Education program, Karista Smeets is adding it all up to a teaching career! Karista reflects on her time at UOIT with fond memories. She enjoyed her small class sizes and working with her peers who shared her love of teaching. She felt her classes built a great sense of community and taught her the importance of communication and team work skills.
Working with kids has been something that has always come natural to Karista. She taught kids karate for 14 years, assisted youth at her church, and was involved with before and after school programs with the YMCA. Working with kids makes her happy and gives her a sense of purpose. In her spare time, Karista enjoys playing badminton, creating art, and spending time with her niece and nephew.
While being in school, Karista felt that she had to overcome barriers in order to succeed. As she is on the autism spectrum disorder, she often found interacting with others to be a bit overwhelming along with choosing extracurricular activities. She overcame this obstacle by being more confident in herself and using her strengths to the best of her ability. Through trial and error, she chose activities that were directly related to teaching and she was able to find a good balance between multiple priorities. With all of these skills, Karista is currently working as a Teacher, where she teaches children in grade 2 and is looking forward to the rest of her teaching career!
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