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From star student to star employee

Nicole Mastnak

Nicole Mastnak | Class of 2008
Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Science (Honours)

Nicole gives full marks to UOIT for preparing her to adapt to the constant change that's an integral part of her role as an educator.

"Change and transition are a given in the world of post-secondary education," she says. "Being among the first cohort to attend UOIT, I lived through a lot of shifting sands. This helped me develop the life skill of accepting and managing change, for which I am forever thankful." Nicole also gained invaluable exposure to cultural diversity through her involvement in campus activities and collaboration with peers, professors and mentors.

The skills she acquired led to her dream job – teaching full time at Durham College and participating in student- and employee-focused events. It's obviously a good fit. Her colleagues nominated her last year for the Employee Award of Excellence and she also received an Applause Program Gold Star for her work on the college's Key Performance Indicator Student Satisfaction Survey.

Nicole also volunteers as captain of the Durham College Cares Run for the Cure team. "I believe I have a duty to better the lives of others," she says. "The world of education is full of learners who long to be inspired by knowledge and leadership; that is why I chose a career in this field."

Nicole believes the university experience is a pivotal step in every student's future. She says obtaining good grades is important in post-secondary education. "However, the most crucial thing you can do in your studies is connect with people," she adds. "Your professors, administrative staff, colleagues – these are the memories that not only last a lifetime, but also may lead you to your next step in life."