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Student Q&A

Yusheng Zhao from China
Graduate of Hospitality Management – Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism

What do you enjoy the most about studying your program?

“I learnt practical skills and so much about the hospitality industry. My favourite classes were the wine tasting and cooking classes. The teachers at the School are very knowledgeable and helpful.”

Have you participated in any field placements/industry projects?

“During my studies I completed a field placement at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Whitby working at the front desk and as a room attendant. This experience led to me getting a full-time position at the JW Marriott Muskoka Resort and Spa during the summer.”

Have you had access to any special learning facilities in your program?

“I had the opportunity to learn in the new Centre for Food facilities. We had access to the cooking, hotel and wine laboratories which were amazing. My class even had a chance to work as servers and cooks at the staff and student run restaurant, Bistro‘67. We learned hands-on skills to prepare us for careers in the restaurant industry.”

Do you have a favourite teacher?

“My favourite teacher is Tricia Wiseman who is our hotel operation professor. She has assisted me with my studies and helped me with my career planning. She delivers the most exciting classes and provides us with the most up-to-date industry information.”

What activities are you involved in outside of College?

“I volunteered as a tour guide for the open house of our Centre for Food building. It was a great chance to practice my communication skills and show the visitors our new facility. I also volunteered at the Children’s Wish community event. Volunteering is a great experience and can help you with your future career.”

Did you use any of the Durham College student support services?

“I used the career services to find out about the careers in the hospitality and management industry. I also attended the study and work permit workshop held by the International Student Office which was very useful.”

Did you find anything challenging when you moved to Canada?

“When I landed in Canada I found the language barrier the most challenging. I spent several months at the ESL school which is located on campus. This was very convenient and helped me improve my English.”

Do you like living in the Oshawa area?

“I like living in the Oshawa area because there are always a lot of things to do. There is Lakeview Park where we hang out all the time and lots of local events and activities to enjoy. The Oshawa Shopping Centre is also good for shopping and meeting friends.”

Where are you living?

“I rent a house with some friends which is a 5 minute walk from campus. The house is very well taken care of and quiet so that we could focus on studying after school.”

Sijy Varghese from India
Graduate of Animation – Digital Production

What did you like about your program?

“I liked how the program focused on every aspect of production in the animation pipeline. This really helped prepare mefor the work environment.”

What is your job title?

“Animator/ Digital Artist.”

What company do you work for?

“Toon Rush Inc. in Ontario, Canada.”

What are your roles and responsibilities?

“My main role is to animate for TV shows/movies but I also do illustration and designing jobs on the side.”

What job do you want to be doing in 10 years time?

“I would like keep doing what I am doing right now in 30 years time, if that’s possible. Getting paid to draw and work on cartoons is a dream job that many artists would love to have. My most immediate career goal is to finish the pilot episode for a cartoon series that I am co-creating.”

What was the best thing you liked about studying at Durham College?

“The support and resources available to students. My teachers were very encouraging and we were given unlimited access to the labs to work on our demo reels.”

Do you feel Durham College prepared you for your job/career?

“Yes, the College helped sharpen my skills in animation and drawing and gave me good exposure to the work habits of the industry, which helped me become more employable.”

Dharshini Hettiarachchi from Sri Lanka
Graduate of Business – Accounting

What is the best thing you like about studying at Durham College?

“I enjoyed the hands-on learning and the additional student support facilities the college offered.”

Do you feel Durham College prepares you for a job?

“During my studies I completed a communications course which was very helpful in preparing me for work. As an international student it was good to learn these skills and find out what I needed to do to prepare myself for employment after graduation.”

What scholarship did you receive?

“I received a $500 scholarship. I used the money to purchase my text books and study materials.”

Do you have a favourite teacher? If so, why?

“Kate Sperry was one of my favourite teachers and taught the Taxation for Entrepreneurs course. She made a subject with lots of content a very interesting one. Her style of teaching was engaging the class in discussions and constantly getting us to work on calculations and real world examples. She gave good explanations and was helpful which made it easy to understand the taxation process for entrepreneurs.”

Were you involved in any sports/clubs/societies?

“I was a member of the Accounting Society.”

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?

“I joined the YMCA gym in Oshawa, walking the dog, running, watching movies and cooking. A few of us are currently training for Mudderella, an obstacle race that will be held in Kitchener.”

Did you use any of the Durham College support services?

“I have used the assistance of Career Services with writing my resume and creating my LinkedIn profile to network and find employment after graduation. The staff at the career services were very helpful and gave me advice in the areas that I could improve.”

Do you have a part-time job?

“I volunteered part-time at Mortgage Intelligence to write blogs and undertake PR work for the Oshawa office. I worked one day a week.”

Di Sun from China
Current student studying Business – Operations

What is the best thing you like about studying at Durham College?

“I love the teachers at Durham College. They are all really kind and friendly. They offered me lots of help in my studies and are very patient. They answered all my questions and even asked me whether I had questions when they felt I was confused.”

What do you enjoy the most about studying your program?

“I enjoyed group assignments. I made lots of friends and we could share our ideas. I also learnt about the importance of teamwork.”

Have you had access to any great learning facilities in your program?

“The student learning facilities are great. I used the study rooms frequently and there are lots you can book. You can use them when you need a quiet place to study or you can share the room with others for group assignments.”

Do you feel Durham College prepares you for a job?

“Durham College prepares you for employment as the teachers not only have academic knowledge, but can also show you how the skills are applied in the work place. I learnt communication skills, computer skills, teamwork, problem solving and time management. All are very important when searching for a job.”

What scholarship did you receive?

“I was surprised to receive a scholarship for academic excellence after my first year of study. The award helped me to buy text books for my courses.”

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?

“In my spare time I like to use the Fitness Centre on campus to stay fit and healthy. Sometimes I meet friends for a workout and other times I play badminton with my partner. During the summer holidays I hang out with friends, watch movies and explore the beautiful scenery, such as the cherry blossoms in High Park.”

Did you use any of the Durham College support services? Which ones and how would you describe their helpfulness?

“I used the Student Academic Learning Services (SALS) a lot in my first semester. When I first arrived at Durham College,I was not confident with my English. SALS advisors helped me practice my English and corrected my mistakes and helped me with my confidence to make friends.”

Did you find anything challenging when you moved to Canada?

“The food in Canada is very different compared to China. When I first arrived I didn’t know where to buy Chinese groceries,however it is not a problem anymore as I have found out where to shop.”

Do you like living in the Oshawa area?

“I like living in Oshawa as it is a quiet city and the people are very friendly. I have felt very welcomed since I arrived.”

Where are you living? What is your accommodation like?

“When I arrived in Canada, I lived in the on-campus residence. It was a very nice place and I made friends with my roommate.Now I am settled in, I have moved into a house with friends. It takes me 10 minutes to get to school which is great asI don’t have to wake up early in the morning to get to school!”

Emeka Mark Akonu Jr from Nigeria
Graduate of Environmental Technology and Advanced Law Enforcement and Investigations

What did you like about your program?

“The best thing I liked about studying at Durham College was the cutting-edge science equipment we got to use and the helpand support provided by my professors.”

When did you graduate?

“In 2014.”

What country/region are you living in/working in now?

“In Oshawa, Canada.”

What is your job title?

“Recreational Facility Supervisor.”

What employer/company do you work for?

“City of Oshawa.”

What are your roles and responsibilities?

“I maintain recreation and other facilities in order to ensure clean and safe amenities for the community. I keep facilities running efficiently by overseeing staff and equipment and am also responsible for maintenance and repair.”

What are your career goals?

“My career goal is to work in any sector of law enforcement as a Border Security Officer, Environmental Officer or a PoliceOfficer.”

Did you participate in any field placements/industry projects during your program?

“I completed a field placement during my studies working in By-Law Enforcement with Municipal Law Enforcement Officers for the City of Oshawa. This was an invaluable experience as I learned about what it takes to work in the law enforcement field,how to deal with a range of scenarios and engaging with the local community.”

Would you recommend international students consider studying at Durham College?

“Yes I would. The College provide great student support and orientation services.”

Taeseuk Roh from South Korea
Current student studying Electronic Engineering Technology

What is the best thing you like about studying at Durham College?

“The support and help Durham College provide students with is outstanding. Staff helped me with everything that I needed to know about studying and living in Canada. I had assistance with finding accommodation, getting a new cellphone and found out about all the facilities and services available for students.”

What do you enjoy the most about studying your program?

“I enjoy the electronic laboratory experiments we get to undertake. I learnt how to use, read and understand the outputs of equipment used in industry. It is really fun to build something with my own hands and to see it work effectively. It is great to get to practice the theory you have learnt in lectures.”

Do you have a favourite teacher?

“I can’t thank Professor Pravin Patel enough for his advice about how to study and what I have to do as a first year international student.”

Did you use any of the Durham College support services?

“During my studies I have used a range of student support services including arrival services for a free airport pick up and accommodation services. The help I received was great for me as I came to Canada alone and needed some help to settle in.”

Do you like living in the Oshawa area?

“Oshawa is lovely place to live and study. It has kind people, a peaceful environment, a lower cost of living and good transportation to get around.”

Where are you living? What is your accommodation like?

“I share a house with other students which is 15 minutes away from the College by bus. I pay $500/month including all utilities.”

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