By the time she heard that fateful radio ad for Yorkville University’s Bachelor of Business Administration program, Pamela Parent had all but given up her dream of going back to school to further her career.
“I had talked to all the local universities – Concordia, McGill, Sherbrooke, you name it. Two of them only offered the part-time program in French…and the other two were telling me it would take six to seven years to graduate as a part-time student,” said the 46-year-old Edmundston, New Brunswick native.
“By that point, I had basically given up…Then I heard on the radio that Yorkville takes into consideration your past college and university credits, and that I could possibly finish my BBA in two-and-a-half years, which was an ‘aaaaahhhhhh’ moment for me.”
Shortly after hearing the ad, Parent – who’d previously attended both New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and the University of Moncton – got in touch with one of Yorkville’s “super nice” admission advisors, who walked her through the process of enrolling in the BBA program with advanced placement.
“I was shocked that Yorkville was willing to take all my experience into consideration,” said Parent, who enrolled in the BBA program in October 2017 and now, two years later, is just six credits shy of her graduation.
“It’s amazing. (The transfers) were significant enough that I could finish my degree within two-and-a-half years, versus the six to seven years it would’ve taken me somewhere else.”
And Parent is far from a unique case – many prospective students, both past and present, have benefited from Yorkville’s practice of granting credit transfers to those who apply after having completed a diploma or degree program at another post-secondary institution.
In fact, Yorkville recently signed a new agreement with Parent’s alma mater, NBCC, that will provide just such a new pathway for graduates of that school’s two-year Business Administration Diploma – allowing them to enter directly into their third year of the BBA program at Yorkville.
“We know that the world of work is changing…making it more important than ever for our students to be able to transfer skills and credits with ease,” Mary Butler, President and CEO of NBCC, said of the new partnership with Yorkville.
“Pathway agreements like this give our graduates more options as they leave us and enter their next phase of career growth.”
Parent, who graduated from NBCC’s then-Office Technology Diploma program in 1995, echoed that sentiment – urging NBCC Business Administration graduates not to hesitate in taking the leap from diploma to degree.
“Absolutely do not do what I did and wait almost 25 years – just do it and finish it now, because your career can go in a totally different direction just by doing that extra schooling. The cost is nothing compared to where your career can go with a degree,” she said.
“I lost out on many opportunities earlier in my career because I hadn’t gotten my bachelor’s degree. So, if you’ve got the chance to do it now after that two years at NBCC, don’t lose out on that opportunity – take it now.”
Now making up for lost time herself, Parent said her aim in enrolling in Yorkville’s BBA program is to advance her 20-year career in aerospace and supply chain management.
Since relocating from Edmundston to Montreal in 1998, Parent has worked her way up the supply chain ladder at a number of different aerospace companies, ultimately landing at Pratt & Whitney Canada – an American aerospace manufacturer, where her current roles include Logistics Lead and Account Specialist – five years ago.
“I hope to stay with Pratt and retire with Pratt, because it is an amazing company to work for, but I’ve come to a point now where I can’t advance any further without a degree,” Parent, who aspires to become a manager, said of the impetus behind her decision to come to Yorkville.
Encouraged and supported by her husband, Parent enrolled in the BBA program in October 2017 – a daunting challenge with a demanding job and three of her four boys at home.
“I can’t say it hasn’t been tough. People have this misconception that, because it’s all online and you don’t have to be in a physical classroom, that it’s easy, but it’s not,” she said.
“It’s all very disciplined. You have to learn pretty much on your own, you have to read on your own, and you don’t have a teacher in front of you all the time reminding you to do your work – you have to motivate yourself.”
Now that she’s got two years of hard work under her belt and the countdown is on to her June 2020 graduation, Parent said she regrets all those years she spent procrastinating.
“I kept postponing and postponing because I kept questioning my ability to study again, I kept asking myself, ‘Can I do this?’ But the truth is, you’ll never know unless you just go ahead and do it,” she said.
“I personally never thought I could make it, but now, I’m almost there – I see the finish line and I’m excited. Even if I don’t get a manager’s position, the achievement of getting my bachelor’s degree at 46 years old is an accomplishment all on its own. It’s one of those moments in my life that I’ll be able to say I’m proud of.”