Why did you choose Humber?
I chose to attend Humber College because Humber and their professors all emphasize technology, creative business, health and wellness, entrepreneurship and social innovation in their program delivery. Humber offers its students opportunities to collaborate with not only their classmates, but students in other programs. I had previously attended another post-secondary institution for an Occupational/Physiotherapist Assistant program in which I graduated but I felt as though I was left desiring more. That’s when I saw the Bachelor of Health Science degree program specializing in Workplace Health and Wellness being offered at Humber. I immediately applied because I saw a unique opportunity to attain a Bachelor of Health science degree, delivered with the hands-on learning of a college.
What are your career aspirations?
This question made me laugh. If I was asked that when I first arrived at Humber College, I would have sat up a little straighter and said with pride “I am going to be a pharmaceutical sales representative”. Fast forward four years, I am about to graduate and I have had a complete and total change of heart. It was only as I progressed through the Workplace Health and Wellness program, that I began to realize there is a real need for workplace wellness professionals in a business of any size. It really just becomes a question of designing a health program that is relevant to the employees, as well as cost-effective to the business owners. I have been fortunate that my current employer was open and receptive to having me apply some of my classroom teachings to a real-life organization, and the business saw the value and benefit to having a workplace health and wellness professional as a part of their team. I am excited to continue my work as a Workplace Health and Wellness professional upon graduation.
The reason I say I laughed at this question is because I think my experience can resonate with a lot of other students in similar positions, but also provide comfort to those that may be just beginning their post-secondary journey. Post-secondary is a journey of self-discovery and as you progress, it’s okay to change your mind, your professors are there to support you. You may have an idea of what you want to be when you grow-up but as your skills and character traits develop through this experience, you may notice that more doors become available to you.
How have the faculty helped you on your road to reaching your goals?
My professors were instrumental in my success here not only here at Humber College, but professionally as well. I knew that no matter what whether it was course related or professionally, there are multiple professors that have lent me their ears and offered their guidance. While there are many examples of exemplary professors and staff within this program, there are two specific individuals I want to acknowledge. The program coordinator has been an unbelievable mentor for me over my 4 years here, making herself available for her students and she really does get to know students unlike any other professor I have had. There is another professor that has also gone beyond the classroom to assist me both academically and professionally. In second year after taking the HR and Occupational Health and Safety courses, I realized there was an opportunity to apply these teachings in my current workplace. The professor helped me by reading over the policies I was proposing, and guided me on how I could leverage my skill set towards a promotion. She continues to assist when I have questions or if I have an idea to run by her which has helped me in my professional development and growth within my current place of employment. All the professors at Humber play a role in my success; these are just two examples of how invested all of Humber College’s professors are to their students’ success within and beyond the classroom.
What would you say has been the single best learning experience in the program you are in?
It is difficult to narrow it down to just one, I would have to say academically the best learning experience was the capstone project. In this program, we were asked to design a health program for another program’s faculty within Humber. This was by far the largest and most difficult project we as students had to undertake in our program, but at the same time it was a lot of fun. It provided an opportunity to tie all of our previous learning together, it felt as though by completing this project it was like completing a rite of passage. Our professors helped us so much through these 4 years, and were there to support us when times got tough. Even though we didn’t interact with other faculty members as closely as the professors in our program, this was an opportunity to give back to Humber. Humber College has prepared us for success upon graduation and this project was our way of saying “okay, Humber professors, you have helped prepare us, now we get to showcase our skills and abilities in a meaningful and relevant way”.
I just want to note, for myself and all the other Humber Students who began their four year journey back in 2017, it’s been a challenging one for multiple reasons. I want to acknowledge that this 4 year journey was not the easiest, not for the students or the professors. The 2021 graduating class is and will historically be remembered as the most resilient graduating class. I know this resiliency is a skill and experience that I will draw on 20, 30, 40 years down the road, and I hope this resonates with other students.
What elements of the program are best preparing you for your career?
For my future career, specific elements include: business communication, creating business cases for health and wellness programs along with the Human Resources and Occupational Health and Safety courses we took as part of the core course of the program. We learned in an environment where we were constantly being taught the concept and then sent out to find real-life applications. Once we found a real-life example, we were always asked “using your skills as a workplace health and wellness professional what would you change or how would you improve this program”. I believe that this process prepared us to face unique or unordinary issues, and provide a just as unique solution. The largest take-away from my experience in this unique program is when you tie together all of the individual skills taught in each course, the results are just as unique as the process.
Would you recommend this program to others, and why?
I would recommend this program 100%. This program was not only unique in being the only workplace health and wellness degree program in the country, but the professors at Humber are committed to both academic and professional success. As a person who relishes in collaborative environments, I quickly found that Humber was a place that encouraged that style of learning. Candidly, prior to Humber I was a solid C student, never made honour roll or any Dean’s list, and I believe it is the environment created by Humber College that has driven my academic success these past 4 years.
My experiences in this program allowed me to build on my previous experiences and has prepared me to enter the workforce with the confidence to make lasting impacts wherever it is I go. If you are reading this testimonial and you have an interest in health sciences and a drive to help people in unique ways outside of a typical clinical or healthcare setting, this program is for you!