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Committees

Steering Committee

Program Development and Administration
Photo of Jay Gosselin

Jay Gosselin

Founder & President, MentorU & Discover Year

MA (incomplete), Educational Counselling (University of Ottawa); BA, Honours, Economics and Political Science (Queen's University)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Make time in your life for the things that pique your curiosity, regardless of how "practical" they seem. Curiosities lead to passion, and passion, combined with your unique talent, will create purpose. Purposeful people make a living doing things they would do for free. As they say, "do something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life."

Photo of Lauren Skye Wallis

Lauren Skye Wallis

Regional Chief Mentor, Discover Year; Career Counsellor

Honors BA Kinesiology (Western University); Master of Science, Physiotherapy (McMaster University); Master of Arts, Spiritual Care & Psychotherapy (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

Recognizing my passion wasn’t aligning with my career, and going back to school to transition from Physiotherapy to Counselling.

Photo of André Clermont

André Clermont

President, Jeun'Espoir Inc.; Retired teacher

Master of Education; Bachelor of science; Bachelor of Education

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Volunteer work in Jamaica, Benin, Ecuador, and El Salvador.

Photo of Adam Mowrey

Adam Mowrey

Manager, Business Development and Special Projects, Escape Manor

BA, Major in Sociology and Minor in Law and Society (Dalhousie University); Graduate Certificate in International Business Management (Algonquin College)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

During the winter/spring of 2015 I lead a team responsible for refining and presenting a customer service and event delivery training program at TD Place (a sports and entertainment venue). The effectiveness of this project was tested during the first major event of the 2015 season at TD place - the FIFA Women’s World Cup Tournament. The staff members who participated in the program were successful in their new roles. I am most proud of having overseen this project from a concept to its execution.

Photo of Barbara Fischer

Barbara Fischer

Lead Teacher, Cooperative Education, Ottawa Catholic School Board

M.Ed; Master in Education Administration (OISE - University of Toronto); Teaching Degree (Queens University); BA, Honours, French and History (University of Western)

What motivates you the most in your work:

I am passionate about ensuring and promoting that youth of today know that they have MANY valuable options after their high school graduation. The enormous pressure on them, to decide what they want to do right after high school, causes an unbelievable amount of anxiety and stress. Knowledge about the variety of choices and options they have, is critical for them to succeed in their future decision making choices.

Photo of Matthew Simpson

Matthew Simpson

Senior Legal Counsel, Sinopec Canada

LLB (University of New Brunswick); BA, Honours (Queens University)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Develop a wide variety of sustained interests and activities. This will help you figure out what you truly enjoy, what your career aspirations are and how best to get there.

Photo of Renée Michaud

Renée Michaud

Liaison Officer, University of Ottawa

B. Sc., Major in Biology and Minor in Communication (University of Ottawa)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Healing from depression has made me value the people around me as well as my own health and happiness.

Photo of Scott Sorg

Scott Sorg

CO-OP Program Coordinator, University of Ottawa

MBA, Marketing (McGill University) ; BComm., Finance (Concordia University)

What motivates you the most in your work:

To have a real impact on others’ lives by guiding them to make great career choices or just as importantly, saving them from bad career choices.

Photo of Silvia Bonaccio

Silvia Bonaccio

Associate Professor, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

PhD Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Purdue University); Masters in Science in Administration (Concordia University); BA, Psychology(McGill University)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

Teaching in all of our programs, from bachelors to MBA, in professional and research programs, and in English and French. I am also proud to have received tenure and been promoted to associate professor (the first major promotion in academic careers) before I turned 30.

Photo of Stephen J. Brown

Stephen J. Brown

Program Officer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Masters in Political Science (University of Ottawa); BA, Double Major in History and Political Science (McMaster University)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

I would say the first time that I went backpacking through Europe. To realize and understand that there are thousands of students just like me throughout the world who will be competing with me in the workforce motivates me everyday to continue to work harder and hone my craft.

Education Committee

Critical Skills Workshop Delivery
Photo of Cindy Gosselin

Cindy Gosselin

Director of Communications, Kuper Academy;

B.A. Political Science and English Literature (McGill University)

Most important skills in your line of work:

Interpersonal skills, writing ability, being perceptive and thinking win-win. It's also so very important, in any line of work, to be able to get along with people and to try to understand where they may be coming from in order to move ahead with work projects, meetings, etc.

Photo of Daniel Lavoie

Daniel Lavoie

Executive Director of Public Affairs, RCMP (Retired)

BA Communications Studies (Concordia University)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Working in a summer camp where my personality was able to develop and bloom. I was able to carry a lot of the skills (judgement, decision-making, perseverance, leadership, planning, interpersonal relationship among others) into the workplace.

Photo of David Campbell

David Campbell

Branch Manager, Scotiabank

Diploma in Business Administration (Algonquin College)

Most important skills in your line of work:

The genuine desire to help people.

Photo of Howard J. Gosselin

Howard J. Gosselin

President, H. G. S. G. Associates Inc.

MBA (Queen's University); Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Banking; BA (St Patrick's College, Carleton University)

Most important skills in your line of work:

The ability to sell myself. Generally speaking, one can have all the technical skills in the world but one will never achieve her/his potential unless they know how to sell themselves.

Photo of Karena Carneiro de Souza

Karena Carneiro de Souza

Creator and Consultant (The Karena Arena)

BSc. Mathematics & Computing (University of Westminster)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I ended up where I was intended to be”. Start with a plan. Be willing to adjust it as new opportunities come your way. To live the long life that turned out exactly as you imagined it when you were 15 would be a boring thing! Remain excited and curious, embrace challenge and change. Best advice I received when I graduated: Make Great Memories. It is guaranteed that you will have some periods in your life when things do not go your way. Remember the days that are highlights – they will get you through darker times.

Photo of Mustapha Amraoui

Mustapha Amraoui

Founder and consultant, Intercultural Intelligence Consulting

MBA (Université de Sherbrooke)

What motivates you the most in your work:

Making a difference in creating inclusive communities by helping people develop an inclusive mindset, see better, feel better and become a better version of themselves beyond their personal and cultural barriers. People sharing their feelings about how my contribution helped them see better feel better and become better.

Photo of Scott Robertson

Scott Robertson

Associate in the law firm of Nahwegahbow; Corbiere practicing exclusively in the area of Indigenous Law;

Member of the Indigenous Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Advocates Society. Year of Call in Ontario; University of Ottawa, LLB; Queen’s University, B. Ed.; Carleton University, B.A.

Most important skills in your line of work:

Listening, compassion, respect and a thirst for knowledge.

Mentor Committee

Career and Educational Mentorship
Photo of Adam Kourakis

Adam Kourakis

Owner/Operator, Velofix Ottawa

B. Sc., Honours, Specialization in Human Kinetics (University of Ottawa); Professional Bike Mechanic (Winterborn Bicycle Institute); Professional Bike Mechanic (Shimano Technical Institute)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

Working in London for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Photo of Afton Maisonneuve

Afton Maisonneuve

Associate at Kelly Santini LLP

B. Soc. Sc., International Development and Globalisation (University of Ottawa); LL.L, Civil Law and LL.B, Common Law (University of Ottawa)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

Paris, France. Because everyone cycles there (everyone also eat croissants, which ain’t too bad either). Also, the south (a.k.a. paradise) is only a few hours’ train ride away. And #obvi the fashion.

Photo of Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan

Camp Director and Public Speaking Coach, Spice! Leadership

B.A. Political Studies (Mount Saint Vincent University); LL.B. with Certificate in Environmental Law (Dalhousie University); LL.L. in Quebec Civil Law (University of Ottawa)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

Starting my own business

Photo of Billy Rogers

Billy Rogers

Owner/ Co-founder, Escape Manor,

B. Comm. Major in Hospitality Management (Ryerson University)

What motivates you the most in your work:

Since my very first job I have always dreamed of what it would be like to never have a boss again. It took 36 years, and I now run a currently successful business, and other than my enjoyment of making people happy (and being able to provide a healthy lifestyle for my family), I never intend to work for someone else again. I go to work every day, push hard to create new opportunities and start new projects, because the idea of working for someone else again terrifies me.

Photo of Brett Dean

Brett Dean

1st class Firefighter, City of Markham

Bachelor of Commerce, Honors Degree. major in Marketing, Minor in Economics. (Queen's University), Pre-service Firefighting Diploma (Durham College)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Choose a career path based on interest in the field, your potential to succeed in that industry and personal fulfillment you will receive in that line of work, not monetary reasons.

Photo of Carl Michaelson

Carl Michaelson

Co-Owner of Westlake Hockey Development; Co-Owner M4 Burritos; Director of Regional Sales for Flood Barrier American & Barricade Environmental Inc. (flood mitigation industry)

BA Economics (Hobart College)

What motivates you the most in your work:

I believe when you have the opportunity to work in pursuing your greatest passion, the “work” you put in becomes viewed differently. It is not a chore, nor inconvenient to spend hours upon hours working on your craft. So, what motivates me is the realization that I have this opportunity in itself.

Chantal St-Denis

Chantal St-Denis

Communications, Canadian Labour Congress;

Diploma in Public Relations (La Cité collégiale); Honours B.A, Public Relations (University of Ottawa )

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why?

I tend to fall in love with most of the places I visit, so I'm not sure I can single out one that I loved more than others. Maybe I can say that my favourite travelling experience was going to Italy alone. It was the first time I'd gone oversees - I was meeting up with friends eventually, but that whole first week I was on my own. When things went wrong, I had to figure it out. That whole trip showed me that I'm tougher than I had given myself credit for, and certainly more self-sufficient and adaptable.

Photo of Chris Bisson

Chris Bisson

Owner/Partner, Escape Manor

B. Comm., Administration (University of Ottawa); Social Media Marketing (Algonquin College)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Live what you love, but realize that what you love will change throughout your life.

Photo of Chris Judge

Chris Judge

Head of Operations, Novozymes Canada Limited

BA. (Hons), Business Studies (Hull College)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Your first “job” may not even be close to your dream job. Don’t be disheartened…you will learn from it and gain valuable experience. Don’t give up on your dreams.

Photo of Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Owner, Remember Me Roofing Inc.

Business Administration (Algonquin College)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Moving out west to Calgary had the biggest impact in my life. When I left Ottawa I was a college drop out with little direction, I came back with a career and a work ethic. What I didn’t know at the time was that I needed to be broken out of my comfort zone and separated from my routine. I would recommend to anyone moving away even if just for a bit to gain a new outlook on life.

Photo of Cody Sorenson

Cody Sorenson

Senior Account Manager, Small business and personal, Royal Bank of Canada

MBA; B.Comm., Honours, Economics

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

I wouldn’t be where I am today without sport. I think that even if I had not qualified for or competed at the Olympics, sport would still have played a crucial role in my career development. We often forget what sport can do to build confidence, inspire and develop interpersonal relationships.

Photo of Corey MacDonald

Corey MacDonald

High Performance Consultant, Sportsmind; Assistant Coach, Le Sommet International Hockey Academy

M.A. Sports Psychology (University of Ottawa); B. Sc. Psychology (University of Ottawa)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why?

Port au Prince, Haiti. This trip acts as a constant reminder of the things that really matter in my life.

Photo of Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor

Owner of Incorporated Psychology Practice, Daniel Taylor Psychology Professional Corporation

PhD, Psychology (University of Windsor); MA, Psychology (Lakehead University); BA, Honours (University of Guelph)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

You don't have to have all the right answers for your life but you want to do your best to ask the best questions.

Photo of Dan Trommater

Dan Trommater

Self employed speaker, facilitator and magician

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography (Rochester Institute of Technology)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

You don't need advice. Just go fail.

Photo of David E. Lefebvre

David E. Lefebvre

Food Toxicology Scientist; Health Canada

PhD in Biochemistry; University of Ottawa (2007), BSc (Honours), Biochemistry, University of Ottawa (2002)

Most important skills in your line of work:

The ability to interpret and apply current scientific issues and methods, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, patience, writing and communication.

Photo of Emily Beekmans

Emily Beekmans

Business Owner and Lead Photographer & Videographer at Emily Beeks Creative

Diploma Photography, School of Media & Design at Algonquin College - Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: Carleton University

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

If I can absolutely only list one place: Bali, Indonesia. I found my bliss here. It’s the first place that I finally felt like myself. It’s actually where I initially decided to change my direction and pursue my creative instincts, full-time.

Photo of Emily Kathen

Emily Kathen

Communications Intern at Universities Canada; digital writer for Ottawa Life Magazine

Honours BA in Communication with a minor in Business Management (University of Ottawa)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

My gap year! My decision to take a year off between high school and university truly shaped me into the person I am today. My gap year taught me some of the most important lessons I may ever learn, altered the way I approach challenges and set-backs, and changed my outlook on life in general. It also gave me that pesky travel bug that just never seems to go away! Taking a year off gave me the opportunity to meet wonderful and interesting people, make incredible memories, explore beautiful cities, and learn a lot about myself along the way.

Photo of Garry Tutte

Garry Tutte

Co-Founder of Hello My Name is: World Trav'ler; Owner/Operator of Cinemafotographic

TV Broadcasting Diploma (Algonquin College)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Discover the world as far beyond your own backyard as possible to grow your life experience, knowledge and personal potential before making critical life choices.

Photo of Greg Reid

Greg Reid, PhD

McGill professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (Retired)

PhD; M. Sc.; B. Ed., Physical Education

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Imagine possibilities and seek varied life experiences.

Photo of Ian Affleck

Ian Affleck

Vice President, Plant Biotechnology, CropLife Canada

Masters in Science, Crop Physiology (University of Guelph); B. Sc., Plant Science, Minor in Pest Management (Nova Scotia Agriculture College)

What motivates you the most in your work:

Playing a role in the development of technologies which will support global food security.

Photo of Isabeau Morin

Isabeau Morin

Human Resources Assistant at Department of Justice Canada

B.A. in Communications (University of Ottawa); Currently pursuing Masters in Global Affairs (University of Toronto)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

A few years ago, I participated in a humanitarian trip where we built houses for people in Jamaica. It was incredibly humbling for so many reasons. One important lesson I learned from the experience is that happiness isn’t a commodity you can buy – it’s a state of mind.

Photo of Jenepher Lennox Terrion

Jenepher Lennox Terrion

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa

PhD, Communication (Concordia University); MA, Communication (State University of New York); BA, Communication (University of Ottawa)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

I love Athens, Greece. I spent lots of time in Greece when I hitchhiked through Europe after undergrad, and then got to return to teach a graduate course there as an invited professor.

Photo of Jenny Mitchell

Jenny Mitchell

Certified Fundraising Executive, CFRE

Doctorate of Musical Arts (State University of New York); Masters of Music Piano Performance (Manhattan School of Music); Bachelor of Music Honours Piano Performance, Minor in Economics (McGill University)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Worry less about the future. Focus on the activities, tasks and people that bring the most joy to your life, and always say YES to a new opportunity.

Photo of Jesse Perreault

Jesse Perreault

VP of Marketing, CoverageCorp Dealer Solutions

AdWords certified, analytics certified, LLQP & OTL licenses

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Don't rush yourself, go in the direction of passion and don't let others influence you too much in what you feel is right.

Photo of Jessica Londei-Shortall

Jessica Londei-Shortall

Intern (consultant) for Optimum Talent

BA Psychology, Concordia (Montreal); Ph.D. Organisational Psychology, Université de Montréal (in final year)

Most important skills in your line of work:

Asking good questions, digging deeper, caring for people and wanting to always keep learning.

Photo of Jonathan Allsopp

Jonathan Allsopp

Recruitment Officer, Algonquin College

Public Relations Practitioner (Algonquin College); Correctional Worker Diploma (Algonquin College)

What motivates you the most in your work:

Satisfaction: in sustaining a comfortable living, coupled with assisting the community. This community includes my employer, our partners, and our clients.

Photo of Julia Myer

Julia Myer

Director, Public Engagement, Plan Canada

BA, Honours, International Development Studies with Major in Sociology (McGill University)

Most important skills in your line of work:

Innovation, creativity and public speaking.

Photo of Julianne Upton

Julianne Upton

Communications Coordinator, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Government of Canada

Honours Bachelor of Arts, Major in Communications, Minor in Business Administration (Co-op) University of Ottawa

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Enjoy the present rather than worry about the future. Focus on doing what makes you happy, work hard, and the rest will fall into place (maybe not necessarily right away – but eventually!). Patience is a virtue.

Photo of Kara Stonehouse

Kara Stonehouse

Business Owner, Principle, Aha! Graphic Facilitation

BID, Industrial Design, Co-op, Minor in Business (Carleton Univesity); MSc, Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (Blekinge Sweden)

What motivates you the most in your work:

My vision to make Canada sustainable in my lifetime; Positive feedback from clients.

Photo of Keddy Declan Uzor

Keddy Declan Uzor

Account Executive, S.i. Systems

BA, Major in Communications with Minor in Business Administration (University of Ottawa)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Understand that you need to keep on feeding your brain with information, don’t stop reading. Read about anything, it doesn’t have to be about a serious topic like the war in Afghanistan or the political inequality of society, just read about whatever you enjoy and feel like reading. Constant stimulation of the brain increases its potential.

Photo of Kimberly Barclay

Kimberly Barclay

Strategic Change Consultant, Deloitte Canada

MBA, University of Ottawa, 2017; BA, International Development Studies and Political Science (Dalhousie University)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

I have loved many places that I have visited, however, having lived in South Korea for over six years, it will always have a special place in my life. Korea is a very interesting and unique country in terms of geopolitics, business and culture. The food is to die for!

Photo of Kris Zawadka

Kris Zawadka

Principal Engineer, TripAdvisor

High School Diploma

Most important skills in your line of work:

Endless desire to learn new technologies.

Photo of Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson

Director of Product Management, Revision Military

MBA (John Molson School of Business); Mechanical Engineering (Queen's University); Certificate in Project Management (McGill University)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Get a degree, but follow your passion. Our business leaders have backgrounds in film, biology and design. Choose a field that interests you and be willing to work your way up.

Photo of Magda Badran

Magda Badran

Psychologist; Counsellor, Public Service and Procurement Canada

Doctoral Studies in Psychology (L’Université du Québec en Outaouais); M.A. Counselling and Spirituality (St-Paul’s University); B.A. Liberal Arts, Major in French, Minor in Psychology (The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA) with Junior Year Abroad in Montpellier, France (Université Paul Valéry)

What motivates you the most in your work:

Meeting people authentically, one on one, and knowing that I can collaborate with them to help them feel better, see themselves in a better light and understand themselves and their relationships further.

Photo of Maggy Ashby

Maggy Ashby

Owner / Therapist at Ashby & Associates Massage Therapy

BScH Honours in Biology, Minor in English (Queen's University); Diploma from the Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy; Registration with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario

Most important skills in your line of work:

Sincerity: You must care about people and their experience of life. Analytical abilities help. You must be intuitive, and be able to develop a strategic plan. A good business mind helps too.

Photo of Marc-André Daoust

Marc-André Daoust

Associate Director, CO-OP and Careers, University of Ottawa

(M.Ed.), Specialization in Leadership, (B.Ed.), Integrating technology in the classroom, (M.Ed.), Specialization in Leadership

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Try before you buy.

Photo of Mark Dumalski

Mark Dumalski

Partner - Tax, Deloitte

B. Comm. (University of Ottawa); Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Losing my vision as a young child has presented me with my greatest challenges, and provided me with my greatest opportunities. Being blind has forced me to develop my problem-solving skills and memory, and has allowed me to experience things, and meet people, that would never have otherwise been possible.

Photo of Mark Fossen

Mark Fossen

Singer-Songwriter; Musician; Freelance Live Event Technician

B.A., Arts, (UOttawa); Recording Technology & Music Production (OIART)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

I spent a year travelling around India when I was eighteen, and it changed me forever. The people, the food, the sights, and the extreme diversity of cultures and climates within one nation are all truly remarkable. India taught me to constantly check my privilege, to know the difference between my needs versus my desires, and bestowed upon me some street smarts that I likely never would have developed otherwise.

Photo of Mark Sutcliffe

Mark Sutcliffe

Writer/broadcaster/entrepreneur with 1310 NEWS, CPAC, Great River Media, Sutcliffe+Whalen

High school, working toward BA from Carleton

What motivates you the most in your work:

Looking at things clearly and dispassionately to get to the heart of what's really happening, making a difference in other people's lives.

Photo of Matt Archibald

Matt Archibald

Assistant Director, Student Services Centre and Lecturer, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

Masters in Business Administration (Dalhousie University); B. Comm. (University of Ottawa)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

Being able to do what I love, which is teaching and being a part of the educational environment.

Photo of Meghan Stewart

Meghan Stewart

Corporate Lawyer, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Masters of Law (London School of Economics); B. Comm. (McGill University); Bachelor of Civil Law/ Bachelor of Common Law (McGill University)

Most important skills in your line of work:

Ability to listen, attention to detail, organizational skills, logical reasoning.

Photo of Michaela Kealey

Michaela Kealey

Freelance Copywriter / Consultant

BA: Major Psychology / Minor Business (Carleton University)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

The loss of my father. The saddest most difficult period of my life, was also the place from where I began rebuilding myself. Only this time, without preconceived notions of what I “should” be doing… because nothing was as it “should” be anymore.

Photo of Mike Gagnon

Mike Gagnon

Controller, Shopify Inc. (retired)

Bachelor, Administrative and Commercial Studies (University of Western Ontario)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Getting stuff done. It’s a Shopify core value and taking things from a brainstorming session to fruition is inherently rewarding. Juggling multiple ongoing priorities of this nature stretches you and makes the days go by incredibly fast.

Photo of Nadae Oukrid

Nadae Oukrid

Head Mentor and Secondary 5 Mentor at the Regional Mentoring Center, University of Ottawa

Honours Bachelor in Health Sciences, Honours BA in Communications (in progress) at the University of Ottawa.

What motivates you the most in your work:

The most motivating thing to me is seeing a student successfully finish their first year at university and know that I helped them work through the problems I had to face by myself during my first year.

Photo of Natalie Brett

Natalie Brett

Manager, Games Operations and Delivery at the Canadian Paralympic Committee

M. Sc., Sports Management (Bournemouth University); B. Sc., Exercise Science, Major in Athletic Therapy (Concordia University); DEC Natural Science (John Abbott College)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

When one door closes, another one opens. It may not be immediate but it will be right for you. Be patient, don’t give up, and be open to alternatives.

Photo of Natalie Rowe

Natalie Rowe

Assistant Director, Workforce Planning and Development, Canada Revenue Agency

Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) (Ottawa, Ontario); M.Sc. Economics, B.Sc. Economics and Accounting (University of the West Indies)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

I have been privileged to visit many beautiful places. The place that captured my admiration the most was Disneyland in Orlando, Florida. My admiration was simply that all that I witnessed – the people from all over the world, the sights, and the seemingly endless experiences – started in the mind of one person. It showed me the power of a vision, and how impactful its realization can be.

Photo of Neil Schwartz

Neil Schwartz

Co-owner and General Counsel for Escape Manor Inc.

J.D. Law (University of Ottawa); B. Comm. Major in Hospitality Management (Ryerson University); College Diploma, Hotel Management (Algonquin College)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

I spent 6 months living in Auckland, NZ while on exchange during undergrad. Beyond the sheer beauty of the country and the folks that live there, who were welcoming and generous in all respects, my visit to New Zealand was impactful because of the introspection that naturally resulted from being so far from home. You learn a lot about yourself and your values when in a faraway place; where currency, accents, rules and customs are markedly different from those you’ve come to know. By taking a step back, I learned a lot and gained perspective on my life in Canada. I also learned to play cricket, terribly!

Photo of Nick Arsenault

Nick Arsenault

Deputy Director, The Boundless School

M.Sc., Environmental Management & Policy from the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (Lund University, Sweden); BES Environment & Resource Studies, BA Spanish & Latin American Studies (University of Waterloo)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Journeying deep into the Amazon, high into the Himalaya, far into the Canadian wilderness and in sitting quietly with myself. By this I mean, disconnecting from all distractions, stepping into the unknown, facing fear, being uncomfortable. Seek and be curious.

Photo of Pam Coburn

Pam Coburn

Owner, PDC Web Services; Salesperson, Coldwell Banker Coburn Realty, Brokerage

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Double Major in Marketing and Personnel / Labour Relations (La Salle University); Web Technologies Certificate Program (International Webmasters Association)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

It’s OK to NOT know what you want to do or be for the rest of your life! Chunk it out in 5-7 year increments. Play to your strengths. Try something, if it clicks, great! If it doesn’t, approach it differently and give it a second try. Then try something new. Don’t be discouraged. It’s about learning and growing as a person and making a worthy contribution.

Photo of Paul Lemelin

Paul Lemelin

Real Estate Broker, Keller Williams Distinction

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Specialization in Theatre Performance (Concordia University)

Most important skills in my line of work:

Mind set, staying positive, networking/lead generation, listening, communicating, acting, absorbing and applying new information, kindness, organization, resolve, determination, endurance, consistency, discipline, self-control and will power.

Photo of Rachelle Thibodeau

Rachelle Thibodeau

Coordinator of Academic Support, Program Evaluation, and Research, Centre for Initiatives in Education, Carleton University

B.A. (Honours); M.A.; Ph.D in Psychology (Carleton University)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

I volunteered for the Peace and Environment Resource Centre for several years. I developed many important work skills there that I hadn’t developed through school or other work experiences. It was life-changing.

Photo of Ross Finnie

Ross Finnie

Professor and Director of the Education Policy Research Initiative, University of Ottawa

Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison), M.A. (University of Wisconsin-Madison), B.A. (Hons), (Queen's University)

Most important skills in your line of work:

Being able to think innovatively, then execute projects/actions with a focus on quality.

Photo of Russell Willis

Russell Willis

Regional Campus Director for Adult Programs & Support - Brenau University

Master of Education (Ed.M), Administration, Planning & Social Policy, Harvard University; Master of Education (Ed.M), Human Development & Psychology with a concentration in Adolescent Risk & Prevention, Harvard University; Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Speech Communication, The University of Georgia

Most important skills in your line of work:

Listening with full attention given to the person or people with whom I am meeting.

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Ryan van Asten

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Calgary Flames Hockey Club

M. Sc. (University of Calgary); B. Sc., Honours (Queen's University); BPHE (Queen's University)

Career achievement you are most proud of

012 & 2014 Stanley Cup Champions with the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club.

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Samantha Santoni

Special Projects Manager at Escape Manor, Instructor at Algonquin College

M.Sc Neuroscience, B.Sc Honours in Neuroscience and mental health

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

The “grind” will pay off, but it won’t necessarily make you happy. Work hard, but be sure to leave plenty of room for what you love.

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Sandy Rita Tannouri

Founder & President of The International uOttawa; Junior Analyst at the Department of Foreign Affairs,

Trade and Development Canada

Career achievement you are most proud of:

The career achievement that I am most proud of is founding The International uOttawa. Created in September 2014, The International uOttawa is a non-profit student club with the purpose of promoting multiculturalism and increasing the demand for culture and global citizenship. It's a club created to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism at the University of Ottawa through campus events and activities. We also strive to use our knowledge and expertise in event planning to raise money for humanitarian causes locally and around the world

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Sarah Saska

Co-Founder & CEO, Feminuity

PhD candidate (2016), Women's Studies and Feminist Research (Western University); Masters of Arts (University of Ottawa); Honours Bachelor of Arts (Queen's University)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

I’m proud to have been named as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network, and I’m also proud of myself for hacking the traditional graduate school process to make it work for me in a way that feels authentic to my path.

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Scott McLaren

President, Festival Promotions

B. Comm. (University of Ottawa)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

Designing and providing all non-sponsored branded merchandise for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

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Scott Urquhart

Senior Manager, Merchandising for Converse

B. Sc., Biology (University of British Columbia)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Traveling helps me remember that the world is a huge place with millions of different people and cultures. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we lose sight of this. 

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Scott Westberg

International Fellow of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bay of Plenty District Health Board (New Zealand)

FRCSC, Orthopaedic Surgery (University of Alberta); MD (University of British Columbia); Hon. BSc Human Kinetics (St. Francis Xavier University)

Most important skills in your line of work:

Communication and collaboration. 

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Shawn Smith

Founder and CEO of Don’t dis-my-ability consultation services Inc.

Master of Education in Counselling Psychology (University of New Brunswick); Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology (St. Thomas University); College Diploma in Social Sciences (John Abbott College)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Try to find more than one part time job instead of one full time job. The more experiences you have the quicker you will realize what aspects of different jobs you enjoy and want to pursue. 

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Stacey-Ann Morris

Curriculum Design Specialist, Carleton University

M.Ed. with Specialization in Technology, Education and Innovation (Harvard University); BA Communications and Human Rights (Carleton University)

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

In 2007, I visited the Elmina Castle in Ghana. During the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Elmina Castle was used as a fort to inhabit African slaves before shipping them to different colonies. It was an incredibly moving and humbling experience to witness the suffering they endured. I also remember that specific moment in time, where I fully understood and appreciated the strength and courage of my own ancestry. 

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Steve Harding

Director of Creative Strategy and Business Development, Xactly Design and Advertising

Masters in Management, Concentration in Sports Management (University of Technology, Sydney); B. Soc. Sc., Honours, Leisure Studies (University of Ottawa)

What motivates you the most in your work:

Meeting business owners, building relationships and trust & creating successful advertising campaigns, Closing the SALE.

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Steve Wilson

VP Sales & Marketing and Co-Owner, Escape Manor

Honours in Hospitality Management (Algonquin College)

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Make a concerted effort to discover your true passions so that they may form the underpinnings of an amazing roadmap to your eventual success. You won't find your Mecca immediately (and this is good), as you need to explore and make mistakes along your journey, as this is what will eventually guide you to true happiness and success.

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Terri Legaarden

Clinical Director, Terrace Wellness Group; Executive Clinical Director, Ottawa Autism Therapy; Clinical Associate/Counsellor, Terrace Wellness Centre; Mental Health Consultant, Snapclarity

BA Psychology (Carleton University); MACP Counselling Psychology (Yorkville University)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Travel!!! I left undergrad for 5 years mid-way through my degree to travel and experience the world beyond my backyard. I was looking for where I wanted to be, looking for who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do. I saw and did more in that time than most will do in 3 life times, and I learned more about myself and the way the world actually is. I acquired a global lens that gave me perspective beyond myself.

Life Path Coaches

Individual Educational and Career Coaching
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Billy Anderson

Founder, The Courage Crusade; Program Leader, Box of Crayons; Program Leader, Footprint Leadership.

Adler Certified Professional Coach - Adler ; Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing Major - Carleton University

What motivates you the most in your work

Helping people be the absolute best version of themself and make a difference in the world.

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Britt-Mari Sykes

Individual and Vocational Counsellor in Private Practice

PhD, MA, BA – University of Ottawa – Psychology, Religious Studies

Most important skills in your line of work

Compassion, having an open-mind, the ability to listen and hear, empathy, a love of people, a sense of humour, curiosity, humility, respect for others, discretion, resilience.

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Carolyn Robertson

CO-OP Program Coordinator, University of Ottawa

M. Ed., Counselling; Bachelor of Education​; BA, Psychology

Career achievement you are most proud of:

I am most proud of completing my M.Ed. while continuing to work full time raising a family. As well, I have helped over 2000 students get their first real world work experience and watching them start their careers  is amazing!

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Cathy Holuk

HR Consultant, Leadership Coach and Family Business Advisor - Holuk Consulting & Coaching

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Public Administration, Carleton University ; Bachelor of Public Administration, Carleton University

Career achievement you are most proud of:

I am most proud of having the courage to pursue my passion for coaching by starting my own Consulting & Coaching business. Quitting a steady job and venturing into the unknown was not easy and is not within my comfort zone and has tested me in ways I never would have imagined. It has been an incredible journey of self-discovery and whatever the outcome, has already been one of my most valuable experiences.

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Dave Urichuck

Certified Life Coach , B.I.C.E 2015;

Bachelor Degree in Geography (University of Ottawa); Social Science Degree (Heritage College)

Career achievement you are most proud of:

I wrote a book.

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Gabby Reid

Pathways Navigator/Mentor focusing on Ensuring Equitable Access to Post-Secondary Education, CYC (EA), Ottawa-Carleton District Schoolboard;

Bachelor of Arts, Geography and Sociology (Mount Allison University); Advanced Diploma, Child and Youth Worker (Algonquin College)

Most important skills in your line of work:

Communication, Creativity, Flexibility, Engaging in Conversation, Networking, Advocating on behalf of others.

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Judy Laws

Vice President, Foursight Consulting Group Inc.

PhD in Education; MA in Education; B. Comm., Honours

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Build your toolbox with both technical and soft skills. Never stop learning…you are never cooked.

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Leon Tarasoff

Owner Active Play Toys and Games Inc.

B-Comm, Queens, Certified Project Management, Algonquin, Certified Core Passion Coach, Demers Group, Certified BankCode Trainer, Licensed Vehicle Tech, SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology), Certificate in Condo Management, Ottawa Real Estate Board, Certificate of Appreciation, Co-op Education Program Ottawa-Carlton Public School Board

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

When I hired my first coach. This gave me a broader outlook on life and taught me to look deeper inside myself, among many other benefits. This is also the reason I became a coach and help others with their discoveries.

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Linda Cousineau

CEO, LPC and Associates Inc.

Diploma, Adult Learning, St. Francis Xavier University; Certificate, Labour Management Relations, Ottawa University; Certificate, CORE Passion Coach, Demers Group (sold to: Rayner Institute); Diploma, Resources Humaines, CEGEP de l’Outaouais; Certificate, International Consultant in Negotiation and Influencing Skills, ENS International (Australia) (Certified to deliver their CPDSO courses); Certified as a BankCode Trainer (B.A.N.K.: personality based, people focused, profit driven – proven system); Certificate, Program Facilitator for SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

22 years ago, I was traveling at night with my boss and a co-worker. We were going to a conference. Around 11pm, our car collided with three moose. Life as I knew it, changed! It took years to get back “to normal”. That experience turned out to be one of the greatest experience of my life. It thought me many things such as: facing adversity in the face, believing that anything is possible, pain can be overcome, time and patience are key in anything, life is precious, being grateful, and so many more…

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Lori A. Stephenson

Founder: Pivotal Learning - leadership coaching, career coaching, facilitation and professional development training, Co-Founder: My Big Sky - student-focused post-secondary coaching

Post-Graduate Certificate, Public Relations, Humber College, Certificate, Adult Education, Sheridan College, Certified in the following assessment tools: The Birkman Method EQi 2.0 EQ 360

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Focus on the topics and areas that interest and excite you. You aren’t deciding what you will do for the rest of your life. You are simply deciding where you would like to start.

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Morya McWilliam

Leadership Initiative Coordinator, Canada Revenue Agency; Coach/Facilitator, Starfish Performance Coaching

A, Honours (Carleton University); Certified Executive Coach (Royal Roads University)

What motivates you the most in your work:

Feeling that I make a difference. Since we don’t always know the impact we have on others, I strive to make every interaction meaningful. A life mantra of mine is “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care”.

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Parvin Kolahdooz

Founder and Coach at Inner Potential Coaching and Public Service Employee

Certified Integral Master Coach™, Integral Coaching Canada - Certified Applied Information Technologist (AIT), Information Technology Institute - Bachelor in Medical Science (BSc), Osmania University

Career achievement you are most proud of:

I am proud of my company (inner potential Coaching) and all it has achieved helping people create a better life for themselves.

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Peggy Wareham

Margaret Wareham Consulting – Principle, CHEO – Learning Specialist

Bachelor of Nursing, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Adult Education Certificate, St. Francis Xavier University, NS, Associate Coach Certification™, International Coaching Federation

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

Value higher learning and education and remember that it comes in many forms not only from the classroom and textbooks.

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Priscilla Jabouin

Holistic Coach & Yoga Teacher; Founder of MMtH; Career Coach, CareerJoy

Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Counselling Psychology; Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Child Study, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) Primary/Junior, Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Psychology

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why:

The city that left a mark in my heart was Barcelona, Spain. The atmosphere and Gaudi’s very unique art must have sparked a connection with my creative energy. I also tend to appreciate city’s that have both an older feel (i.e., architecture/ neighbourhoods with a piece of history) as well as modern developments (ex. The Olympic Stadium).

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Sean Keogan

Senior Account Representative, Behr Process Corporation

Bachelor of Commerce 2002, Program - Management and Enterprise development, minor in marketing, Ryerson University and Copenhagen Business School

What is your favourite foreign city/country that you have visited and why?

Thailand - super friendly people, awesome natural landscapes and the best food.

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Serge Brissette

Manager of Common Services Legislative Policy & Regulatory Affairs Branch

Social Sciences and Mathematics, Collège de l’Outaouais, Hull (Québec) - Certified coaching program by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) - Project Management principles & practices, Priority Management Group - CRA Advance Leadership Program by ACERRA, Algonquin College - Intersol, Engaging People - Coaching for High Performance - Powerful Executive Communication and The Art of Persuasion (Telfer School of Management), Ottawa University - Analytical thinking and problem resolution workshop - The Science of Lean for the Public Sector, Centre for Continuing Education.

The single most important piece of advice I would give to students leaving high school:

Run many experiments (try new things) and become aware of the world, others and mostly you (self-aware). Learn how you learn and make learning a quest!

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Yvonne Havlicek

Bilingual Corporate Trainer & Coach at Brookfield Real Estate Services, Toronto, Canada

Leadership certificate (in progress) - University of Toronto – Toronto, Canada, E-learning certificate (in progress) - University of Toronto – Toronto, Canada, Coach Training - Erickson College International – Vancouver, Canada, Certificate in Adult Education- Canadian College of Educators – Toronto, Canada, Bachelor’s Degree – Human Resources/Industrial Relations - McGill University - Montreal, Canada

What motivates you most in your line of work?

Helping others and constant learning!

Ambassador Committee

Former DY Graduates and Family Members Sharing Their Stories
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Alma Harris

Discover Year mom

What impact did the program have on your son:

I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical about Discover Year when Josh first mentioned it. After attending the first few meetings, and seeing the calibre of people who were involved, I had a change of mind. Now that the program has come to an end for Josh, I look back and can say without any doubt, that this was an excellent choice for him. I have seen my son grow so much in so many different ways and I am so very proud of him. I know that the knowledge and exposure he has received, will help him through his years at University and beyond. I hope that young people and their families will see the value the program has to offer and will benefit from it just as Josh did. Thanks to the Discover Year team, my family and I will forever be grateful.

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Kate Gallagher

Executive Assistant, Client Relations - OLLIP P.C.; Media Relations - IPVisibility; Co-owner of a Digital Marketing Agency

B.A in Social Sciences with a Minor in Psychology (University of Ottawa)

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Discover Year (and I’m not just saying that!) Having a full year to work on myself and network with a community of really generous, successful people was very impactful.

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Joshua Harris

Joshua Harris English Teacher with Funbulous: Jiu Qu English

Pursuing a B.Sc in Computer Science (Carleton University); Discover Year Graduate

Single most important piece of advice to students leaving high school:

The people that care for you - your friends, family, coaches and teachers - have all given you great guidance. They’ve picked you up from your lowest days and supported you in your greatest achievements, but now you have to make a decision. You have to search deep within yourself and find what you want to do the most and strive for it. You now have to pursue your dream and not the dream of those around you. Only you can find what you want to do and it is you that will make it a reality.

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Michael King

Worker at Nicastro’s

Pursuing a B.Comm (Carleton University) ; E.S.C. Pierre-Savard (high school, 2016), Discoverite with the 2017 D.Y. fellowship.

What activity or experience outside of your career has had the greatest impact on your life:

Taking time off from studying. Figuring what I was learning, why it was impactful, where I was the most motivated. Discover Year was the best choice for this. It would take more than the passing of time to gain the skills similar to the ones introduced in the program. Learning is a life-long experience, and I will need to continuously engage these skills to progress.