Saturday, June 22, 2024

Alumni Spotlight

Where and when were you born?

Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), at Western Memorial Regional Hospital. (June 29, 1974)

 What is your current job and list some things you like about it?

Infrastructure Analyst (Network lead) – Keyano College, Fort McMurray, Alberta. It is challenging, rewarding and spontaneous. Challenging in terms of dealing with network issues that arise, rewarding that you get to help faculty, staff and students in an educational setting and spontaneous because each problem is unique. 

How does it relate to your diploma or certificate?

Part of our Programmer Systems Analyst 2 program from 1998-1999 had a networking course. It was the stream of Information Technology (IT) that I gravitated to. It encompasses what I love – IT! Operating Systems, coding and hardware changes; however, the aspect and basic principals of networking have been pretty steady. I love the back-end infrastructure of network design and network infrastructure and everything that encompasses it.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your lifetime?

Moving from my hometown of Corner Brook, NL to Fort McMurray, Alberta. I didn’t want to come out west because most of my family and friends were in eastern Canada (and still are). But I had to pay off a $33,000 student loan from MUN and start a life with my new bride, Candice. It was worth the jump as both of us have been working at Keyano College since 2003 and now have two boys (Nathaniel and Kaleb).

What’s your favourite place in the world?

I have a few:

– Boston Massachusettes

– Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

– Vancouver, British Columbia

– Gros Morne National Park, NL

– the Humber Valley in the fall and the winter.

Can you describe an experience that changed your life?

Being told I could drop dead due to having dilated cardiomyopathy and listening to my cardiac team. At the time it was very scary because my wife was expecting our second child and I had to alter my physical activity, which meant no more basketball or triathlons. So it changed how I viewed life and how blessed I am to continue to run.

What’s your favourite movie or book?

Thats a loaded question. Star Wars (4-5-6), E.T, Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, Indiana Jones (1-2-3), Die Hard, ELF, U2 Rattle and Hum, TRON, Spaceballs, Full Metal Jacket, Beverly Hills Cop (1 and 2), The Godfather, Scarface, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (just name a few ;))

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

No. My original career path was either the RCMP or becoming a firefighter. But due to the multiple heart issues, I’ve I had to change course. But you never know (even at 47 years old).

 What challenges did you face in launching your career?

When I finished my work term at the Corner Brook Regional Library in December 1999, it was so hard finding “permanent” employment. To help pay for rent and a wedding in July 2000, I had to go back to school (MUN – Grenfell). I ended up getting an amazing four-month work term at the Forestry Building (NRCAN) in Corner Brook and then a few jobs at Grenfell, but nothing permanent. Because of that, we moved out west.

What advice would you give to your CNA first-year self?

Do something that you are passionate about. Don’t get into a program where you are just a body and occupying a seat. If you find your passion, you will flourish.

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Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne is Editor of CNA Currents. Born and raised in Stephenville, NL, Ryanne moved back to Newfoundland after spending 16 years in Calgary, Alberta. Ryanne has a Journalism Diploma from College of the North Atlantic and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cape Breton University. She worked for many years as a reporter and freelance writer. She is happy to be back in her hometown and working for CNA.


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