Amy and her dog

Finding her fit in Canada’s far north

October 19, 2023

From Classroom to Career: Amy Badgley

Born on the East Coast, Bachelor of Tourism Management graduate Amy Badgley now calls Yellowknife, NWT, home. Amy is working for the federal government as an economic development officer. She chose to study at VIU because she wanted to be near the ocean, mountains and forest. She will also remember VIU for “the small classroom experience and professors being there trying to help you succeed.” Oh, and the bunnies of course.

What made you decide to attend VIU?

Amy with a baby in her arms and her two dogs

I wanted to be near the ocean. I got accepted into VIU and a university in Alberta close to a few friends. I ended up convincing one of my friends to apply and come to VIU instead so we both could live on the Island and near the ocean, mountains and forest.

What did you enjoy most about studying at VIU?

The bunnies on campus were memorable! I loved the small classroom experience and professors who did their best to help you succeed. I feel like that’s something I wouldn’t have gotten at another university. My program had lots of great hands-on experiences too. While I wish there was more due to the type of degree it was, I’m still thankful I got out on the land to explore and learn at the same time.

What VIU services did you access to help you get career ready?

My program had a requirement for co-ops each summer and our co-op professor was amazing. He helped us connect with employers and shared job opportunities that may be interesting to us. I think being able to say I’m a VIU alum now really helps in finding jobs in certain places thanks to the work they do and the co-op program. The co-ops also really helped me gain applicable experience in the field of study to help me get a job post-university.

After you graduated from VIU, what career or occupation did you move into?

I am currently in the public service sector with the federal government. I work directly with grants and contributions for small- and medium-sized businesses. On my team I’m also the tourism expert and receive most of the tourism files due to my background and expertise. Unfortunately, I graduated in June 2020 at the early stages of the pandemic and a tourism degree wasn’t as useful as I had hoped. Now with the industry recovering, I’m hoping I can move more into the tourism field with my experience and education.

What do you miss most about your time at VIU?

Now that I don’t live in Nanaimo, I really miss the ocean and the clear rivers, mountains, forest and natural landscape that Vancouver Island has to offer. I miss being able to drive one or two hours to find countless hikes, tourist attractions, small local farm shops, farmers markets and so much more. I think attending VIU just to be able to immerse yourself in the Vancouver Island lifestyle is worth it.

How did VIU prepare you for your career of choice?

While my recreation governance course was boring at the time, learning about government and how government can affect recreation, how boards work and how to write grants is very useful for the work that I do. You wouldn’t believe how many people apply for government money or grants and get turned down not because they have a bad idea but because they don’t know how to read a formal government form and how to tell their story within the form.

Do you have any advice for VIU students looking to prepare for their careers?

Do all of the things that you can do. Go to all the networking events, go to the pub with your friends after classes, go to the on- and off-campus events, attend your classes (most of the time) because once it’s over, it’s over. Once you’ve finished the program, you continue to move forward in life and you can’t just go back and redo it to gain that one experience or meet that one person who offers you your dream job. You never know who you’re going to meet at these events or what you’re going to learn. It could quite literally change your life and career path so just go to the events and do the things. Oh – and go early to find parking.

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