Student Success Stories
Ida Grisoni, School of Legal, Public & Office Administration
As a graduate of the formally known MES Office Administration program (currently the Office Administration – Health Services diploma program), Ida Grisoni uses data analysis to help build research and make decisions. Her current position is Data Integrity Analyst for the Bariatric program at Humber River Hospital. Ms. Grisoni also works as a National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Surgical Clinical Reviewer.
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, she saw her career shift when she was redeployed as Patient Family Liaison at Humber River Hospital. She has been connecting patients with their family members by either phone or video calling since the visiting restrictions were put in place.
She highlights one of her remarkable moments when she was “honoured to help a family plan a physically distanced 67th wedding anniversary.” Now she is applying her skills and experience as a data entry analyst for PPE statistics, managing the PPE usage at the hospital, and reporting numbers to the Ministry of Health.
Tim O’Brien, School of Legal, Public & Office Administration
“I had no idea of what was to come. I was 57 and starting the Paralegal (Accelerated) diploma program. Twelve months of full-time school, something I had not done for … 34 years. The fact was, I had a lot of fear that this decision was a horrible mistake. A mistake that would cost me a year that I could little afford to regret. Looking back, I could never have predicted the type of personal growth that my 12 months at Seneca would provide. First of all, I was astonished at the diversity of the student population. For me, this was deep immersion into the new reality of Canada. And that alone should be worth the price of admission. And what an impressive group of students, filled with humility, intelligence and constant respect for each other.
The other major takeaway was the commitment of the instructors. This program had a torrid pace and a mountain of material, yet the instructors forever demanded rigorously formulated submissions (and thinking). There were no easy outs. For me, the push to be academically excellent was a true test and something I relished. I miss those days now. That year was easily one of the best of my life. Being a student is a privilege and to be surrounded by people who care, people who demand a lot and people from around the world is really a pretty good deal. (Today, I do a lot things; some legal service work, some business consulting, some podcast producing and some bad golf play).”
Raizelle Paz, School of Hospitality & Tourism
Putting her hospitality, travel and tourism studies into practice as a human resources partner at Toronto’s most popular new foodie destination, Eataly, Raizelle Paz loves promoting a collaborative and inclusive work culture. By developing initiatives to engage and motivate employees, she is eager to help colleagues build their careers, while also partnering with industry leaders to implement growth strategies to expand the business.
“My Seneca hospitality courses not only introduced me to customer service, they made me understand customers’ needs and what it takes to go above and beyond.”
After graduating in 2005, Ms. Paz continues to connect with Seneca by participating in on-campus Career Fairs, talking to first-year hospitality students and offering Seneca students co-op placements and internships.
When asked what advice she would give to current students, she shares, “Be patient, you may not get your dream job right after Seneca but take any opportunity that comes your way and learn from it. Make connections, put yourself out there and meet new people. This will help you build relationships with professionals who can help and give you advice about your career.”
Jañel Gotauco, School of Human Resources & Global Business
Jañel Gotauco is a third-year student in the Business Administration – Human Resources (BHR) advanced diploma program, and also works as a student ambassador with Seneca International, providing support to international students and facilitating campus tours.
Her experience in the BHR program has led to many opportunities including a role as a Career Peer for the Career Development Department, where she helps students and alumni with their resumés and cover letters. “One of my most memorable experiences was when one of the students I helped was able to get an internship she was eyeing!” she said.
Recently, Ms. Gotauco participated in an HR Case Competition hosted by Career Edge where her team placed fifth out of 25 teams. After graduating from Seneca, she plans to apply her skills in a multinational company and find ways to innovate the practice of HR.
Maria Camila Cepeda Rojas, School of Management & Entrepreneurship
“I completed the International Business diploma program at Seneca in April 2020. I am currently working full time at Kids & Company Ltd. as part of the HR team, and running my own business Salsa & Sabor — Colombian Dance Academy. Both of these different professional roles allow me to apply my professional skills, transfer knowledge, impact people positively and enjoy my passion. Each field brings me happiness and motivation to continue working hard on my goals knowing who I am and what I want in my life.
During my time at Seneca, my favourite courses were marketing, intercultural communication, interpersonal selling and transportation procedures. Courses where I was able to explore my creativity, propose new projects and apply them to real business cases. When I was at Seneca, I connected with the Seneca community by being a volunteer and part of the Student Council at SSF, volunteered as a SMILE Mentor and with the Seneca Latin Dance Club (president/dance instructor), and worked with the Admissions and Athletics & Recreation departments.
Seneca prepared me for my current job by providing the different tools, resources and connections that, combined with my personality and background, allowed me to find the professional market that I always wanted to work in.
My advice to all current students is always act with your true self, treat others with respect and equality, establish good relations with every person you meet during your life journey and always make sure that you know who you are, what makes you special and unique, because at the end of the day, that is what the market is searching for.”
Yelyzaveta Yurchenko, School of Accounting & Financial Services
Yelyzaveta Yurchenko is enrolled in the fourth year of the Honours Bachelor of Commerce – Financial Services Management degree program. During her four years at Seneca, she has been an active member of the Seneca community, volunteering during orientation, mentoring students throughout a semester as a SMILE Mentor, sharing her experiences with potential students at Open Houses and taking part in the exchange program in Beijing.
Being persistent and resilient has also enabled Ms. Yurchenko to become the President of the Student Leaders of the Accounting and Financial Services Club, where she organizes and leads events and has developed the leadership and management skills required for the continuous improvement of the club’s management and performance.
After the successful completion of her program, Ms. Yurchenko wants to secure a position in the financial services sector and work towards the Certified Financial Planner designation. She believes that “Seneca is the place where every person can find all the available resources and support to become successful.”
“I was drawn to Seneca because of the hands-on learning, and the co-op placement opportunities that would give me a chance to gain work experience in the real world. Seneca not only taught me the necessary skills, but gave me the opportunity to make inroads into industry. All the skills I acquired at Seneca, I’ve been able to apply to my current role.”
Job Title: Air Exports Co-Ordinator at DSV
“Seneca is to me more than a postsecondary place to study. It is a platform where you can expand your knowledge to reach your highest potential. The quality of professors as well as the uniqueness of its facilities and equipment are a combo for the ones who attend to impulse to get to your next step of your career. You can take advantage and enrol in as many activities as you want. The Leadership Program, SMILE Mentoring and Seneca Serves are extracurricular activities that help you develop your skills. The combination of knowledge acquired in class combined with practical skills are what makes Seneca graduates success-ready. I highly encourage you to join this dynamic community that wants to see you thrive and to experience it on your own!”
“Seneca professors are the best. They know what they’re doing and are qualified lawyers who have been practising for a long time. They offer great support, are welcoming, and they’re always there for you and that’s important to succeed and go on to greater things.”
“While in school, I challenged myself to take advantage of every opportunity. After graduation, I challenged myself to get involved in the industry: by volunteering at events; being a member of industry associations; and furthering my knowledge, education and professional designations.”
Seneca’s transfer pathways allow graduating students to move into competitive degree programs at Seneca and beyond.