My name is Brandy Schlemko; a former student and graduate of Sprott Shaw College. I would like to share with you my experience at Sprott Shaw, as well as some of the trials and tribulations I conquered leading up to my success.
I am a single mother of two, a high school drop out with a Grade 12 equivalency and no formal post-secondary education. I have been working on and off at a countless number of dead-end jobs, struggling to hold down any sort of steady employment to make ends meet. I moved around a lot and my past has been – well let’s just call it “checkered”, to say the least.
When I first enrolled at Sprott Shaw College, it was for all of the wrong reasons. I was depressed, feeling hopeless and unsettled. I never actually had any intention of completing the course. I almost quit on a dozen occasions. I balled my eyes out and vented in Norbert’s (our school director) office at least three times. I was miserable. I complained and fought through every day of attendance. I’m surprised the teachers even put up with me for so long.
When I started my course I was completely computer illiterate and felt very overwhelmed, but as time went by, I got used to getting up early and learning to meet deadlines for assignments. I was seeing the positive reactions from teachers and fellow students to some of my work. I began to feel a sense of accomplishment and for the first time, I saw the glimmer of hope for an actual future.
I graduated with nothing less than a “B” and managed to achieve a 3.75 GPA. The biggest obstacle that I had to face and learn to overcome was myself. One day, through all of this, I had to make the decision to retrain my pessimistic way of thinking into positivity and optimism. I had to take a long hard look in the mirror and decide what I wanted out of life. I learned to believe in myself and realized that the way I viewed myself was exactly how others would, in turn, view me.
I sent out about 25 online applications in two weeks. With my education and new skills inventory, I managed to receive 8 requests for interviews for various positions in my field of study. I was offered the position for nearly every interview. I was able to pick and chose the right fit for me.
I am now the Marketing Director for the Vancouver Night Life Magazine. I am responsible for maintaining and creating relationships and writing proposals to clients and sponsors for our company. I am a Private Contractor and I am able to make my own schedule and eligible for any number of tax breaks and write-offs. I also work part-time for Fitness world as a Club Controller. I am still receiving responses to my previous applications.
The practical and life skills that I learned during my studies at Sprott Shaw College are invaluable. I intend to further my education and continue to work towards achieving my ultimate career goals. I could not have made it through this challenging experience without the help and support I received from my professors, the staff, and my peers at Sprott Shaw. My journey has only just begun, but now I have a solid foundation and a clear vision of where I want to be and how I’m going to get there.
Brandy S. (Surrey Campus)