The Office Administration (OA) program at GPRCis designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in a business or office setting. Graduates of the program attain knowledge and skills in communications, office professionalism, interpersonal relationship management, and office technology.
An awesome component of the OA program is the work experience placement, during which local sponsor companies give GPRC students practical experience in their field of study, offering mentorship and guidance along the way.
Students are able to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world during a 120-hour practical placement, where they get a taste of what a career in their desired profession would be like.
On April 13, the department was able to celebrate the year-end with their students and work experience sponsors with an awards ceremony and luncheon. OA students and work placement sponsors were able to speak to how important this component of the program is to them.
Here’s what the students thought about their experience:
“The work experience module is not a requirement to graduate, but I wanted hands-on experience before entering the workforce. I had an excellent placement that focused solely on bookkeeping where my mentors strived to help me succeed. They were very accommodating with my school schedule and always thanked me for my contributions. During my last week of work experience, I was offered a position in the firm after completion of my studies. I am very thankful for the experience I’ve gained and the friendships I’ve made during the work experience program!” – Kendra Sharp
“Being able to experience an office administration position really helps put all the schooling we worked so hard at into perspective. Everyone at my placement was great; helping me get settled, learn the office ways, and get comfortable with all my responsibilities. I even got to show off my software knowledge and teach a few of the ladies some new tricks and tips with Microsoft Word and Excel. After I completed my hours I was even offered a full time position. I am super excited to start my new career!” – Shelby Schack
“I was very nervous to start my work experience, but after a few days at my placement, I loved it! I was placed at CNRL (Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.) and they are amazing people; they are always friendly and willing to help you no matter what you need help with. I think one of the most valuable aspects of the OA program is the opportunity to get hands-on work experience. It allows students to put the skills we learn in class into practice in a real world setting. Overall I have enjoyed my year with the OA program and am grateful for the work experience opportunity.” – Robyn Hanson
Here’s what some of our work experience mentors had to say:
“We’re very passionate about teaching and training people with the tools they need to be able to work for themselves,” said Jasmine Ganther, Manager at Trans Dynamic Services Ltd,who has been mentoring GPRC students for over five years. “These work placements are so important because they give the students an opportunity to see what a career would be like.”
Wendy Saban, who works for the City of Grande Prairie, Community Social Development department, has been mentoring GPRC OA students for the last three years. “I think it’s awesome to be able to give the students this experience,” she said. “It can be hard to find a job being new out of school with no experience, but these work practicums allow students to get their foot in the door.”
Canadian Natural Resources supervisor Cheryl Gawley has been mentoring GPRC OA students for over five years and has even hired a few graduates from the program.
“We appreciate having the students help us with the projects that need to get done,” she said. “These work placements are important because they give students a chance to see if this is the career path they want to take. It can open their eyes to multiple different opportunities within the field that they may not have thought of.”
A special thank you to all our work experience mentors for enriching our students’ education at GPRC:
Aquatera-Water Treatment Plant
Aquatera-Distributions and Collections
Calfrac Well Services
Carter, Lock & Horrigan
City of Grande Prairie-Community Social Development
Deck It Towing & Hauling
Canadian Natural Resources
GPRC – Business & Office Administration
GPRC – Community Relations
GPRC – Nursing
GPRC – Student Services
GPRC – Students’ Association
Justice and Solicitor General: Community Corrections
For the last two years, I’ve spent more time at GPRC than the comfort of my own home. I come here before the sun comes up every exam day to stick with my study habits (and it worked) and leave after everyone has already left.
For every Sunday that I have spent in the empty study halls and hallways trying to make sense and catch up with the topics from my classes, GPRC has always been there to support my crazy study techniques.
As my last days at GPRC near, I start to reminisce about the experiences that made me who I am today as a student, and for every story I remember, this College always plays a big part. Every class I’ve been in and every person I’ve met, has and always will be a special part of my life. As I walk through these halls for the last time as a student, I begin to realize that being a GPRC student has become my norm. However it is time to move on and start living life outside my comfort zone. From the stressful days of midterms and finals to the joyful nights in dorms and Howlers, these are the moments that will forever be embedded in my memory. Life as a college student is rough but my friends, my instructors and the college itself has made it way easier. As future alumni of GPRC all I have to say is thank you.
Submitted by John Raymund, GPRC Student Ambassador.