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Alumni professionals help students map out career path

March 26, 2014

Employment prospects are not as bleak as you think. That’s the message Tracy Ashton brought to students at the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology mentoring evening on March 25. The 2001 Chemical Engineering Technology Co-op grad is a project leader at pharmaceutical company, Apotex. She was joined by industry professionals who provided snapshots of their experiences and advice for navigating today’s work world.

“It's not an easy job market. But if you are interested in chemistry, there are jobs out there. I want students to know that the future is not so scary,” said Tracy.

Your Sheridan diploma will allow you to work in almost any lab, giving you invaluable experience on the floor, added Tracy, who has worked for Apotex since graduation. Moving from a junior to a senior chemist, she is now leading efforts to enhance the quality and safety of Apotex products, while reducing waste.

As they build their careers, new graduates should remain in learning mode, advises Tony Ijzerman (Mechanical Engineering Technology, 1983). “Your first job – even a very good one - is just the start of your journey. Continue to add value to your skills by expanding your knowledge,” said Tony, who has earned several extra credentials over the decades, and has most recently returned to Sheridan to study project management.

Now a consultant, Tony has hired many people, particularly during his 22 years with pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca where he held senior roles in building automation and engineering services.

Tracy, agreed with Tony, advising alumni to continue taking pride in their current work and its role in the bigger picture of the company as they plan their future.

Both Tracy and Tony are happy to share their experiences with the next generation of alumni. “I wish I had the opportunity to pick the brain of someone who graduated from my program,” Tracy said.

Thanks to all the mentors who lent their time and talent to the mentoring event. Make a difference in the life of a student by becoming an alumni mentor. Please contact alumni@sheridancollege.ca.