Experiential learning highlight of grad’s four Brock degrees

When Jake Scott (BKin ’19, MSc ’21, MPH ’23, MBA ’23) applied to Brock University nearly a decade ago, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do for a career but knew he enjoyed health sciences.

Experiential learning opportunities at Brock offered mentorship, knowledge and skill development that helped shape his eight-year educational path and set his sights on a career in health policy and administration.

The 26-year-old from Kingston, Ont., was one of nearly 1,000 Brock Badgers who crossed the stage Friday, Oct. 13 during the University’s 114th Convocation.

While most graduated with their first or second Brock degree, Scott celebrated the culmination of four degrees, each completed with first-class standing. Having already graduated with a Bachelor of Kinesiology in 2019 and a Master of Science in 2021, Scott received a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) on Friday, which he completed concurrently over two years. He was also inducted into the Goodman School of Business’ Beta Gamma Sigma chapter as one of the top 20 per cent of the School’s graduate students.

Scott’s journey hinges on a pivotal moment during the third year of his undergraduate degree when a teaching assistant encouraged him to consider graduate studies and explore research opportunities on campus.

That summer, thanks to a National Science and Engineering Research Council Undergraduate Student Research Award, Scott worked in Professor Stephen Cheung’s Environmental Ergonomics Lab assisting with health research.

“The award kick-started the rest of my Brock journey and helped build my resumé,” he said.

Scott continued conducting research into his fourth year and received mentorship from Cheung and two other former Brock professors who taught him about being diligent, meticulous and thorough.

He especially enjoyed the “free-form aspect of learning” that came with research. He often took the initiative to learn how to operate research equipment on his own, and the professors he worked with would encourage him to share and discuss his ideas with them.

“I really enjoyed the conversational, feedback-oriented, one-on-one style of learning,” he said.

Scott continued his research during a graduate program in Health Sciences. As he was nearing the end of that program, he decided that although he enjoyed research, he wanted to continue his education on a different path.

He learned that Brock was the only university in Canada offering a Master of Public Health and Master of Business Administration double degree program and was excited to apply his years of education in personal health to population and organizational health while also earning a business degree.

As part of his MBA co-op placement, Scott worked for Brock’s Office of Government, Community and International Relations under the mentorship of Meaghan Rusnell, current Interim Vice-President of External Relations.

“She gave me projects she expected would be difficult for an intern, but she was confident I could do them because she trusted me and believed in my abilities,” he said.

Among Scott’s projects was a writing assignment for a government grant application on behalf of Brock Nursing to receive funding for enhanced equipment, including high-fidelity simulators and software, a code blue simulation bundle and a virtual reality simulation package.

For his MPH practicum, Scott was one of eight students across Canada placed with the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Scott exercised his coding and data analysis skills while working in the pharmaceuticals department to fulfil health data requests. While there, he also benefited from the mentorship of a leader who believed in his potential.

With his education complete, Scott is looking forward to pursuing a career in health administration where he can positively impact people’s overall well-being by helping to create an efficient health-care system.

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