As the director of experiential learning and career development, I see first-hand how the experience students have at Mount Allison provides the foundation for future careers and a pathway for the next steps in their life. The work resonates with me in a personal way. It is the education and experience I had at Mount Allison that provided the foundation for my interests and shaped my career.
Mount Allison grads often speak of their experience as life-altering. I ran into a fellow graduate at a work event and after a minute of conversation we realized we had taken the same course, Gender Studies, with Dr. Erin Steuter. He said, “That was the best course I ever took, I learned so much,” and my response was, “Exactly, that course changed my life.” Not only did it ignite curious thought and reflection about the systems of the world, it contained a project that required the class to engage with community partners to develop, produce, and distribute a resource guide for local agencies. In pre-internet days, this was an incredibly useful tool for these organizations and something that connected our class outside of the classroom.
Experiential learning builds on students’ academic and personal experiences, and connects them with the local community, the workforce, and the world. These connections take on a variety of forms including field trips, case studies or projects, workshops, community service learning, and internships.
At Experiential Learning and Career Development we are working to support these types of experiences at Mount Allison. This past year we have seen a number of new initiatives including:
- Exploring Science-Based Business in New Brunswick, a course where students participated in a case-like competition to solve the business challenges of two small local businesses
- An internship program with a number of local partners
- MtA Days of Caring, where students volunteered at the Saint John Newcomer Centre and the Humanity Project in Moncton
- The Reisman competition, which has so far enabled eight students to develop and run their own businesses
These projects are just some of the examples of the excellent work taking place on campus. Every step of the way, we’ve aimed to put students at the centre of our approach and decisions. This is truly the MtA way and the secret ingredient for our successes.
Krista Steeves (’97)
Director of Experiential Learning and Career Development