Alumni in the Field

Michael MacDougall
STU Degree: BA '02
Major: History
Job Title: Manager, School of Business at Humber College
Location: Toronto, ON

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
My job as Manager of the Business School at Humber College requires the completion of many different tasks each day. My responsibilities include marketing business programs, managing the support staff on two campuses, managing finances for the business school, managing the facilities for the business school, and representing the business school on various committees throughout the college.

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
When I was a student at STU, I was involved with The Aquinian and with the house committee for Harrington Hall. Although neither of these positions helped me directly in my current role, they did teach me how to work with other people and, most importantly, how to work within a university environment. I studied History at STU and now I work with post-secondary students every day. I find that I can relate to the students much better because I’ve been in their situation in the past. Sometimes, students will come in with an issue that to them feels like the end of the world and being able to relate to them based on my experiences at STU is an effective way to help them find a solution.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
STU and my liberal arts education has helped me a lot in my career. Although I did go on to obtain my Bachelor of Education degree, I have no doubt that the lessons I learned both inside and outside of the classroom at STU have had a major impact on the person I am today. I originally went to STU because I was interested in their Criminology program, but I fell in love with History during my first year. My fascination with the past fuelled my desire to travel, which led me to accept an English teaching job in Japan for two years after graduation. My experience overseas, combined with my teaching experience, helped me secure a position at Humber College working in the Business School as a program manager for a Chinese/Canadian partnership program. From there, I applied and was hired to be the Business Manager for the school as a whole. If you track my career backwards from my current job, you can see that it all began in my first semester of my first year at STU, sitting in History 1006.

Rachel Bennett
STU Degree: BA ’02, BEd ’03
Major: Education
Job Title: Vice Principal at Sussex Regional High School
Location: Sussex, NB

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
My role as Vice-Principal at our high school is to help ensure success in learning in a safe and positive working environment. This includes supporting the Principal, my District, our staff, our students, their families and our community to the end that our students succeed in their educational efforts. I listen, trouble-shoot, problem-solve, teach, support, mediate, set and work toward goals, work as a member of a team, lead, and most importantly I’m an advocate for our students.

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
The best way to prepare yourself for a role like mine is to learn to work well with others by taking on leadership roles, volunteering with kids, taking an active role in campus life, and living in residence.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
My education at St. Thomas was invaluable to who I have become and the successes I've achieved. My liberal arts education helped me learn how to think outside the box, work with others, communicate effectively, plan and execute presentations, be flexible, and instilled in me a drive to succeed. It also helped me make life-long friends, lasting educational connections and allowed me to meet my husband. All of which have undoubtedly helped me in my career. I truly believe that I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for St. Thomas University.