“What I’m meant to do”

What happens when we ask one of our students to participate in a provincial Vocational Olympiad?  Stuff that makes a great story!

When Erma Robidoux, Secretarial Studies teacher/coordinator asked Jennifer Durand to step up to the plate, here is what happened, in her own words!

This experience has been one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done.  

Erma Robidoux, my instructor and coordinator, approached me with this offer in mid-April.  She informed me that it was all in French, it was in 3 weeks and it was in Quebec City.  I was so nervous I wanted to turn it down.  But a part of me really wanted to try this.  I thought about it and decided that I wasn’t about to let my fear and insecurities stop me.  So with the help and support of my teachers, parents and classmates, I began my journey.

I was accompanied by one of my teachers, Judy Murphy.  We drove to Quebec City on Wednesday, May 7 and attended the opening ceremony.  It was amazing to see all the different regions that had come together for this.  There were 300 participants and 36 different professional and technical courses represented.  Afterwards we got to see where we would be stationed and got to set things up. 

The first day was the most difficult part because everyone was much more prepared than I was and I suddenly became very overwhelmed by what lie ahead.  Later that night after a good talk I calmed down, had a good night’s rest and was ready for the competition on Thursday.  It was a very interesting experience.  We were taking on the role of an Administrative Assistant.  We had our list of tasks to do and we had to manage our time to be able to get them completed.  On our break we had the chance to see some of the other competitors.  They were all working so hard.  It was amazing and very inspiring to see.

I look back at when I was ready to turn this down and I am so happy that I went for it.  It was hard and stressful and I didn’t win anything, but in the end it was worth it.   It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.  It showed me that this is what I’m meant to do.  If I was given the opportunity I would certainly do it again.”

Jennifer Durand
Administrative Assistant (Secretarial Studies) student
NOVA Career Centre

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