Two Durham College (DC) graduates returned to campus on February 5, meeting with students to discuss their careers and life after graduation during the annual Alumni in the Pit event.
This year’s event featured Melissa Farrow, who graduated from the college’s Social Service Worker program in 2009 and the Child and Youth Worker program (now Child and Youth Care), in 2011. Joining her was James Hammond, a 2006 graduate of DC’s Business Administration, Management and Operations program (now Supply Chain and Operations – Business).
Melissa Farrow is a program co-ordinator at Hospital for Sick Children where she provides direct service and care for kids and their families in the Psychiatry Day Hospital Program. Her role includes counselling through individual, group and family therapy following a cognitive behavioural therapy informed approach, developing individualized care plans, completing psychosocial assessments for psychiatry program referrals and coordinating placements for post-secondary students studying in child and youth counsellor programs. In addition, Melissa supports her alma mater and its students by acting as a field practicum advisor and professor.
Noting the importance of networking, she urged students to take odd jobs, connect with people in their field and volunteer, not just for their resume but for the sake of learning and giving back.
James Hammond is the managing director of Cleeve Technology Inc. (Cleeve), a high-tech, innovative company in the electrical interconnect sector of the aerospace and defence industries worldwide. There he oversees all business operations within North America.
Having started at Cleeve during his program placement, he was subsequently hired upon graduation and started working in the purchasing department. Thus began his 13-year career with the company as he climbed the ranks to his current position.
Given his own career path, James emphasized the importance of lifelong learning and keeping an open mind, of not being too proud to learn the basics and listening to your gut and leaning on your strengths. He also reiterated the role of networking in successfully navigating your career.
Alumni in the Pit is part of DC’s backpack2Briefcase program, a series of events designed to help students and recent alumni make a smooth transition from college to the workplace. Events and workshops are held throughout the year to offer opportunities for both personal and professional development that will enhance the skills and training students learn in the classroom.