“The weekend delivery format has been an absolute game-changer”: Kelsie Olynyk’s experience advancing her career while being a first-time mom

Category: Student Profiles

As we navigate through different chapters of our lives, sometimes unexpected opportunities arise, urging us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace new challenges. Kelsie Olynyk, a seasoned professional and new mom, did just that last fall when she enrolled in Durham College’s (DC) Human Resources (HR) Management Graduate Certificate weekend delivery program while on maternity leave.

Before joining DC, Kelsie had already developed a successful career path, holding a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology and Justice from Ontario Tech University. With nearly a decade of experience under her belt, including seven years at Investigative Solutions Network Inc., Kelsie’s decision to pursue a graduate certificate at DC was a natural progression for her, given her passion for HR and her desire for continuous learning.

“Throughout my professional experience in operations and administration I have had the opportunity to engage in HR activities and have always enjoyed those responsibilities,” she says. “When I saw the weekend delivery option at Durham College, I thought it was a great opportunity to tackle during my maternity leave, providing a stimulating outlet for my mind while temporarily stepping away from my 9 to 5.”

Balancing the responsibilities of motherhood with an academic workload presented its own set of challenges for Kelsie. However, with effective time management and unwavering support from her family, she developed a new routine.

“Balancing family life and motherhood while being in school requires effective time management, communication, and a strong support system,” she shares. “I prioritize tasks, establish a structured schedule, and communicate openly about my commitments and needs. It is not easy, but I remind myself that this sacrifice is temporary, and that my efforts now will benefit our family’s future.”

As she prepares for graduation this spring and looks ahead to her post-graduation goals, Kelsie remains focused on her commitment to personal and professional growth. “Immediately upon completing my studies, my objective is to obtain the Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation,” she says. Additionally, Kelsie is excited to contribute to the mission of She Connects, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering women through mentorship, where she volunteers her time as a Board Member.

Reflecting on her experience as a DC student, Kelsie emphasizes the program’s delivery format and the quality of its professors. “What I enjoy most about being a DC student is the structure of this program and the caliber of professors,” she says. “They have extensive real-world experience and bring a wealth of practical knowledge to the classroom, and the weekend delivery format has been an absolute game-changer.”

Kelsie also shared that she has found a lot of joy in forming connections with fellow students and professors. “Initially, I hadn’t anticipated such meaningful relationships, especially in an online setting,” she says. “However, the collaborative nature of our interactions, whether within the class environment or while collaborating on group projects outside of it, has truly exceeded my expectations.”