Pursuing education to go further

    • Quesnel
  • August 27, 2019
Shannon Alexanderson

Shannon Alexanderson, 34, has had a few jobs in her life. She’s worked as an office administrator, a landlord, and a customer service rep. Her last position was supervisor at a stationery and print shop in Quesnel, where she lives.  

Unfortunately, after having her two sons, now 4 and 9, the jobs weren’t worth keeping. Not because they are bad jobs but because the pay wasn’t high enough.  

"My last job was great,” Shannon said. “I liked it a lot and made so many good connections. But the wage was not enough and was never going to be enough. It just wasn’t worth having my two kids in daycare.” 

That’s when she decided to talk to Work BC about going back to school. Shannon was recommended she look into the Office Admin/Bookkeeping Enhanced program at CNC’s Quesnel campus since students have been very successful finding work. 

“I just went with it,” she said. “I’m a firm believer of things happening for a reason. Having my work experience is great, but having that on my resume, in my field, is really important.” 

It had been 13 years since Shannon had been in a classroom, so she was nervous. The quaint and welcoming atmosphere of CNC’s Quesnel campus quickly quelled her nerves  

“Everyone is high energy and happy there,” she said. “The faculty and the staff make you feel really comfortable. They are so supportive.”  

Fully funded through Work BC, Shannon started the full-time program in October 2018. She was pleasantly surprised by how much one-on-one time she got with the instructors, and how much class time she had to practice what she learned.  

“It meant I could really concentrate,” Shannon said.  

Hoping to work in customer service, she also appreciated the people and conflict management components of the program, in addition to the many computer software and applications she and her classmates were taught.  

At the end of the program, students complete 3-week work placements. Shannon did hers at the CNC Quesnel campus and worked with a range of staff and departments, from the Office of the Registrar to the CNC Industry & Trades centre in downtown Quesnel.  

She loved every second and is now excited to get a permanent position that lets her contribute to her family and help others. 

“I really enjoy working with people,” she said. “I really enjoy going home and knowing I affected someone’s day in a positive way.” 

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