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Vanessa Linehan



Bachelor of Recreation (Co-op, 2005)
Co-ordinator, M.S. WALK
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Atlantic Division

My experience with the School of Human Kinetics and the Recreation Program

Throughout my degree, I learned a lot about the different areas of recreation and the type of work I would be able to do once I completed my degree. I found the selection of courses provided complemented what I expected from a Recreation Degree. There was a lot variety amongst the courses and the professors and instructors where great in answering questions, as well as providing support and advice. I feel I have benefited from the Recreation courses I took and they have helped me in the field of work that I currently
am in.

My work term learning and career path

During my first work term I travelled to New Hampshire, USA to work as a Camp Counsellor for 4 months. On my second work term I worked for the Department of Parks and Community Services with the City of Mount Pearl as a Special Event Coordinator and then for my last work term I went back with the City of Mount Pearl and was their Daycamp Coordinator.

Throughout all of these experiences, I learned more about myself as a person, as a professional and as a student. I learned to take new challenges, to take initiative in making decisions, to multi-task and to better organize myself to ensure all my tasks got completed in a timely fashion. I also gained valuable interpersonal skills and interpersonal skills and from this I am more effectively able to communicate with staff, other business people, and participants. The work terms I had helped me in craving the careers I have chosen, as the role and responsibilities I had during my placements match very well with the job descriptions I have held since completing my degree. Since my placements, I have only further developed my work place skills and knowledge. I have grown as a recreationalist and am pleased to be a part of that community. Without a doubt, my work term experiences have helped me to get to where I am today.

My experience with the co-op program and staff

Diane, Julie and Gail are 100 % there for their students. Whenever I had questions, needed advice and/or support I could count on them to help me out. Their doors where always opened, literally! I also held a MUCEP position with the Co-op department and found their leadership and guidance very helpful. I’ve had a very positive experience with the Co-op programme and staff.

My Career

Since graduation, I have worked full time in the non-for-profit sector. From January 2006 till September 2007, I worked as the Lifestyles Promotion Coordinator with the School Milk Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. When I had accepted this position, my employer mentioned that one of the reasons she had hired me was because of the work place skills and knowledge I gained through my work term experiences. I knew then that I definitely made the right decision in doing the Co-op program ☺ I thoroughly loved the challenges this career position provided and the learning experiences I gained was invaluable. I traveled the province delivering presentations, I assisted in developing several projects, I was in charge of School Milk Programs for schools across NL and Labrador, and though all of this I was able to grow and build upon the skills and knowledge I had gained during my work term placements.

Then in Sept. 2007, I had decided to move to Nova Scotia to be with my partner. I realized instantly the challenges I would face trying to get a job in another province, yet with persistence and determination I found a job with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Atlantic Division, as the MS Walk Coordinator. Yet again, my background experience in both my previous job and my work term placements directly linked to what the Society was looking for. As the MS Walk Coordinator, I am responsible for coordinating 13 Walks that take place all over Atlantic Canada. There is a high level of work, organization, detailed planning, and management that is involved in this type of job and I contribute my capabilities largely in part to my past work experiences. I enjoy working in the non-for-profit sector, and especially in this particular case, knowing I could be a part of something big … I am helping to end MS.

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