A Taste of the Real World

A Taste of the Real World

The Office Administration (OA) program at GPRC is 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

Kendra with her work experience mentors from Trans Dynamic Services Ltd.

“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

Shelby with her work experience mentor from Deck It Towing and Hauling.

“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

Robyn with her work experience mentor from Canadian Natural Resources.

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
  • Aquatera-Eco Centre
  • Calfrac Well Services
  • Carter, Lock & Horrigan
  • CDN Controls
  • Cenovus
  • City of Grande Prairie-Community Social Development
  • Deck It Towing & Hauling
  • Canadian Natural Resources
  • Crown Prosecutors
  • GPRC – Business & Office Administration
  • GPRC – Community Relations
  • GPRC – Nursing
  • GPRC – Student Services
  • GPRC – Students’ Association
  • Justice and Solicitor General: Community Corrections
  • Healthy Village Wellness Centre
  • KMSC Law
  • PDQ Notary & Process Services Inc.
  • Roy and Kali Family Dental
  • Seven Generations Energy LTD
  • South 40 Dental
  • Thru Tubing Solutions
  • Trans Dynamic Services Ltd.
  • West Grande Prairie Dental

More photos here.