Ashley Harold (BBA ’22) is crossing the Convocation stage twice this month, first in Canada and then in Ireland.
The Brock University employee is one of several staff members who graduated during Brock’s Fall Convocation ceremonies on Friday, Oct. 14.
Harold, who began working with the University’s Goodman School of Business as its Global Growth Co-ordinator shortly after completing coursework this past May, received a Bachelor of Business Administration Co-op International Double Degree from Brock and will fly to Ireland later this month to attend Dublin City University’s convocation ceremonies to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Global Business.
Goodman’s double degree programs grant students two degrees, one from Brock and one from a European partner university, while giving students work experience on both continents.
Dublin City University was an easy choice for Harold, who’s been an Irish dancer since she was three years old and has family in the Emerald Isle.
“Living in Ireland has always been a dream of mine,” she said.
The double degree program allowed Harold to immerse herself in two universities and gain an extended international experience with a group of like-minded students.
She says her favourite part of living and studying abroad was stepping out of her comfort zone.
“I was able to experience different parts of the world from both an academic and professional lens that translates back to what I am now doing in Canada,” she said. “On a personal level, it allowed me to become more adventurous, resourceful and independent with a new perspective.”
While studying at Brock, Harold was highly involved in student leadership positions with Goodman’s Business Students’ Association, including the Brock Marketing Association, the Brock Innovation Group and DECA U. She also competed in several international academic case competitions with DECA U, JDC Central and the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, among others — her teams bringing home three first-place finishes and other accomplishments.
Beginning in January, Harold will be taking courses towards completing Goodman’s accelerated Master of Business Administration.
“I hope to utilize my education and experiences to support others and ultimately make a difference in my area of work,” she said.
Like Harold, Sarah Burger (BA ’16, MEd ’22) hopes her education will make an impact in her professional roles.
The Graduate Recruitment Co-ordinator with Brock’s Faculty of Graduate Studies graduated with a Master of Education in Administration and Leadership.
Burger was intrigued by the program’s diverse approach to public sector studies and thought it would appeal to her interest in organizational studies, community engagement, and public administration and policy.
Her interest in Brock’s graduate community has led to her current role with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and her role with the Graduate Students’ Association as their Vice-President, Communications and Advancement.
“I want to show students that grad studies is not as intimidating as it may seem,” she said. “I want to break down barriers and make grad studies at Brock approachable and attainable so students can hone their passions or discover a new interest. We have a great support system of faculty and staff here at Brock that can help guide them along their path.”
For Christine Richard (BEd ’22), pursuing a second degree at Brock was an opportunity to contribute to her personal growth.
Last year, Richard took a pause from her longtime role as an Alumni Relations Officer to work on secondment with Brock’s Student Life and Success team as their Co-Curricular Engagement Co-ordinator, all while continuing coursework towards a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education.
“I’m continually looking to expand my knowledge and strengths in providing the best and most relevant programming and support to Brock students and alumni,” she said. “The Adult Education program allowed me to develop my knowledge and skills in coaching, training and adult skill development, which has had a positive impact on my professional contributions to Brock.”
Richard’s favourite part of the program was learning from her peers, who she said had a variety of professional backgrounds, perspectives and career aspirations.
Although she is happy to end a five-year chapter of completing her undergraduate degree part time, Richard is looking forward to continuing her studies and plans to enrol in Brock’s Master of Education next fall.
“I’ll never stop learning,” she said. “Brock offers many opportunities to grow professionally and personally, such as the employee mentorship program, which I was part of, and its tuition waver program for employees. They’re both excellent examples of the University’s commitment to offering a transformational and accessible academic experience.”