Why did you choose Seneca?
I chose Seneca because they offered the unique program that I was looking for, Fire Protection Engineering Technology, which also had a strong reputation for developing students into successful industry professionals.
How would you describe your experience at Seneca?
My experience at Seneca was exactly what I was looking for. Located on a large campus (Newnham) in a large city, yet I was exposed to a close-knit community of students and faculty.
What influenced your decision to continue your education after completing your diploma?
I had always aspired to achieve a higher level of learning in my field. I was presented with an undeniable opportunity when I learned that I could apply the credits that I had earned for my diploma towards a Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati. I was going to be able to achieve my personal goal of obtaining my degree, with the added incentive of saving time and expenses – compared to starting an entire degree program from the beginning.
How did your Seneca program prepare you for your degree program?
My diploma program provided me with the foundational knowledge of fire protection to allow me to be successful in the degree program. Previously, I had never been employed in the fire protection industry – yet the hands-on learning, and interactions with a faculty of industry professionals, I completed the Seneca program feeling a strong sense of the industry.
What are you up to now?
Upon the completion of my degree program in the spring of 2008, I was hired as a risk consultant by one of Canada’s larger commercial insurers. Fire protection is one of the key components of evaluating a property risk.
Over 9 years later, I am still with the same organization. After taking on several roles within our risk management department, I am currently the regional manager of our property and casualty field team.
From experience, what do you think the value of having both a diploma and a degree is?
The diploma program allowed me to really get a sense for my industry, which gave me the insight to decide if this was something I wanted to take further – in terms of education or employment.
Additional, the tactical education of the diploma program supported the more strategic learning provided by my degree program. Learning how to think about the ‘bigger picture’ is what is going to prepare me to take on new challenges throughout my career.
Any words of advice to students who are currently in the program you graduated out of at Seneca? And considering transferring to a degree program?
If you are considering whether transferring to a degree program is right for you, I would urge you to consider your longer-term goals. If a degree in the field of your diploma program is something that you want to achieve, give yourself the option by enrolling in the degree program and complete courses that will apply towards both programs.
What knowledge do you know now that you wish you knew before starting the diploma to degree process?
To better prepare myself for the degree program, I would have begun thinking earlier about how the different courses and subjects of my diploma program were connected as a field of study. Also, I would have enrolled in the program earlier to allow me more flexibility with course selection and scheduling.