CS2AC Episode 4: A Bahamian Graduate with a Degree in Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University Explains How Embracing Change and New Experiences While Studying Led to Great Opportunities After Graduation

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Caribbean Students to Atlantic Canada Podcast

CS2AC Episode 4: A Bahamian Graduate with a Degree in Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University Explains How Embracing Change and New Experiences While Studying Led to Great Opportunities After Graduation

On this session of  the Caribbean Students to Atlantic Canada Podcast we talk with Kenya Dames, a recent graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She pursued a Public Relations degree with a minor in Marketing.  

Kenya, who is from Grand Bahama, Bahamas, graduated from Grand Bahama Catholic High School  and headed to university after graduating. Kenya delves into the details of her degree, apartment set up and job advice . She also talks about how her co-op work experience through MSVU led to a full-time position with the Canadian government after graduation.

“...Me even being here was a sacrifice , and I refused to allow myself to be miserable for four years, getting a degree in something that I wasn’t passionate about…”

In this session you will learn:

  • What it was like for Kenya to switch universities
  • Why she chose an apartment off campus instead of on-campus accommodations
  • How she utilized Kijiji and Bed Bug registries when hunting for a new spot
  • How the MSVU International Office made a huge first impression on her 
  • About how she received $2,500/ semester from the MSVU bursaries program
  • Why she chose to work while being a student and her job-hunting tips
  • The importance of honing your people skills
  • How volunteering can be a great resume builder for international students
  • How MSVU walks students through the co-op process ( A Co-op work term combines what was learned in the classroom with job experience prior to completing one’s degree. )
  • Snow management tips for international student *Hint: Say No To Sheepskin Ugg Boots!*

A CAREER IN PUBLIC RELATIONS

  • Public Relations (PR) is about managing reputation
  • It refers to the relationship between a company and the public
  • See Details about MSVU’s Bachelor of Public Relations Degree here 

About the City

About Halifax:  As a Caribbean student in Halifax, you will not be disappointed while taking a break from the books!  The Halifax waterfront boardwalk is found alongside the world’s second largest ice-free harbour. There are also lots of restaurants, cafes and galleries for you to check out. Read more about Halifax (here).

Resources Mentioned In This Interview

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CS2AC Session 2: From the Shores of Trinidad to a degree in Finance, an MBA, and a Soccer Scholarship at University of New Brunswick

CS2AC Session 2 : From the Shores of Trinidad to a degree in Finance, an MBA and a Soccer Scholarship at University of New Brunswick

On this session of the Caribbean Students to Atlantic Canada Podcast we talk with Keagan Marcus, a Trinidadian making strides as a businessman and entrepreneur in New Brunswick. Keagan obtained both his Bachelors in Finance and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of New Brunswick .  Listen as he walks us through his time as a student athlete (on a soccer scholarship), how he earned spending money as a student and how he went about finding pre-owned appliances for his dorm room.

In this session you will learn: 

  • The existing partnership between University of New Brunswick and UWI- Roytec 
  • What was needed to set up Keagan’s first dorm room at Aitken House
  • How he utilized the classifieds website Kijiji to purchase appliances
  • How Keagan balanced being a finance student and a soccer athlete
  • What he did to earn spending money during his undergad
  • Why he chose the path of entrepreneurship and what its like being an entrepreneur in Atlantic Canada
  • What advice he has for caribbean students combating the snow for the first time

We have a great article on what Kijiji is and how students can use the platform to navigate the various stages of university.

ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP

What is entrepreneurship ?

Entrepreneurship is more than just starting a business.

 “Entrepreneurship is much broader than the creation of a new business venture…At its core, it is a mindset – a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value.”~ Bruce Bachenheimer

UNB & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

How UNB supports entrepreneurship

For Entrepreneurs and Innovators

  On its campus, UNB has the Pond-Deshpande Center . Founded by two  tech entrepreneurs that are also graduates of the school ,  this center’s main goal is to facilitate innovation/ entrepreneurship in New Brunswick.

 If you see yourself as someone with great ideas, you have this great resource right on campus !

About the City

About Fredericton:  As a Caribbean student in Fredericton, you will not be disappointed while taking a break from the books!  Located along the Saint John river, there are lots of walking/ bike trails and museums. The small town atmosphere makes all feel welcomed. It is not uncommon for students to switch up the scene and hold meetings or study sessions in one of the many coffee shops around town. 

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ALSO FOR YOU

See Scholarships Offered By These Schools

Also Recommended For You :

College in Atlantic Canada: 10 Helpful Links for International Students Before and After the Acceptance Letter

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Deciding to leave your country and pursue higher education is a big step!

Whether you are applying to Cape Breton University (4 year programs) or Holland College (2 year programs),there are so many new avenues to navigate as an international student from the Caribbean. 

The question is where to start?! Here are a few links to get you started. 

Before the Acceptance Letter

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! Language tests, visas and essays are all apart of the college application process for an international student. We’ve listed some basic resources below for you. 

1. Official BusinessThe Government of Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship Canada (CIC)Website – As an international student, no matter the country, you will spend a lot of time here.  This site is where you will apply for a study permit , a work permit (when necessary) and a travel visa or eTA for accompanying family members. 

2. Transcript Assessment WebsitesWorld Education Services (WES). Depending on your program, your future college or university may need to assess how the credentials you obtained outside of Canada compare  to theirs. Your school will tell you if this this is necessary. 

3. English ProficiencyInternational English Language Testing System (IELTS)– When applying to a program taught in English and English is not your first language, proof of English proficiency is necessary. For example, Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, requires an IELTS overall score of no less than 6.5 if english is not your mother tongue. 

Your institution will inform you of the score they  require. Other proficiency exams include TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). 

4.  Learning About CanadaEducanada, well, educates you about life in Canada. The site features a student life section, an international scholarship section and a work after graduation section.  

After the Acceptance Letter

Once you’ve been accepted and all immigration paperwork is squared away , you may start thinking about  travel and what life in your future home will be like. The links below are a great start.

5. Booking your tickets – Sites like kayak.com are really helpful platforms for price comparisons.

6. International Foods at the Canadian BorderThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency – If your mom is like ours, she may try and send you with the entire contents of the kitchen cupboard. But, it would be wise to check and see if the sweet bread, frozen conch and beef patties  she is sending are border friendly. If they are not, border patrol will dispose of the goods and may even enforce a fine. See the list of things you can bring into Canada. 

7. Keeping Up with the WeatherEnvironment Canada– Maritime weather is like no other and when winter rolls around, you will want to know what outside feels like before stepping out . Environment Canada provides official weather forecasts, warnings and storm tracking for all of Canada.  You can type your east coast city or town in the ‘Access City‘ box (found at the top right of the website).  

8. Local NewsCBC News – This is one of the best ways to stay in tune with what is going on in your town, city or province. Each city has their own dedicated page, so specify your location from the dropdown list under the ‘Local’ tab.  Also, this is another great way to keep up with the local weather!

9. GroceriesAtlantic Superstore– If you don’t have a meal plan or you are opting for an apartment, chances are you will be needing groceries. Check Atlantic Superstore’s website for weekly discount flyers.  

10. Previously Used Appliances & Furniture– Kijiji is a great place for a used microwave or mini fridge. Check out this article on how international students can use it for other things like hair and tutoring services . 

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How UNB Is Helping International Students Cope With Winter

The one consistent thing that Caribbean newbies want to know  is…”How do I deal with winter!?”.

Well, the University of New Brunswick’s International Students Advisor’s Office (ISAO) is providing a great resource for winter items that international students may have missed while shopping.

This is really helpful and very encouraging to any one facing an east coast winter for the very first time.

Their video shows how they are helping to keep fingers and toes warm 🙂