As an alumnus of the Bilingual Office Administration program, Tracey Paul Kirkpatrick has applied her skills and knowledge to excel in her career as an office manager with the RCMP while helping others both locally and abroad. Hailing from Kingsclear First Nation, Paul Kirkpatrick was awarded the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and was identified as an emerging leader in Atlantic Canada. Read more about her journey after graduating from NBCC.
Why did you choose NBCC?
In 1997 I enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration Program at a local university and quickly realized that it was definitely not for me. I felt like I was not taking any courses relating to "Business Administration." Everyone assured me that all of the "good" business courses came in the fourth year, however, I didn't have the patience to wait that long. I asked my father, Ken Paul, who was the Head of Education for Kingsclear First Nation at the time, to help me find another program which was more hands-on, and he directed me to the Bilingual Office Administration diploma program at NBCC Fredericton Campus.
Tell us about your time at NBCC ... funny stories, fond memories, teachers who made a difference, etc.
During my time at NBCC, I made so many friends that I still keep in touch with today. The teachers were excellent and really gave me exactly what I was looking for. I left those doors feeling like I could accomplish anything relating to Bilingual Office Administration! I felt like we all worked really hard towards our goal of graduating with that diploma and the teachers did their very best to give us all of the tools we needed to succeed and to also exceed other’s expectations of us!
What path did you take since you left NBCC? Describe your profession now (title, employer, description of job).
I completed my four week on–the-job-training with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Fredericton and I am pleased to say that I have been with the organization ever since! I worked from June 2000 until June 2010 with the RCMP in Oromocto as a Detachment Assistant, and from June 2010 to present as the Office Manager with the Federal Policing Program in Fredericton. I currently provide administrative, financial, and operational services to the Officer in Charge of the Federal Policing Program and all branch unit personnel.
What have been your personal and professional accomplishments and community involvement since leaving NBCC?
I started a holistic wellness program, called “Keeping Our Spirits Strong Together,” for female youth ages 9-11 in my home community of Kingsclear First Nation. The program helps build self-esteem & self-worth and teaches about wellness and our traditional teachings. In 2010, I was nominated by the RCMP and awarded the Public Service Award of Excellence in New Brunswick and in 2012 I was nominated by the RCMP and awarded the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal, both for my work with youth. I feel strongly that NBCC gave me the tools I needed to succeed in my career with the RCMP along with the tools I needed for the administration of the youth program.
In 2012, together with a co-worker, Rachelle Cormier, we embarked on a humanitarian trip with Habitat for Humanity to Cluj-Napoca, Romania. We put in many hours helping to build a home for a very deserving family. The experience was truly amazing and was one that will never be forgotten.
It was a huge honor to be chosen by the NBCC Alumni to speak to the 2013 NBCC graduating class on behalf of NBCC Alumni. It was one of the most intimidating moments of my life, but I felt so strongly that I had a wonderful experience to share with the attendees that all fears were overcome.
My latest accomplishment was being nominated by my local MLA and selected to attend the 21inc Emerging Leaders of Atlantic Canada Summit in Digby, Nova Scotia this past October. I consider it a major accomplishment to be viewed by others as an emerging leader in Atlantic Canada for the work I am doing with the youth in my home community.
What is the best kept secret about NBCC?
I feel that the best kept secret about NBCC is that if you work hard to graduate from any one of their programs, you can hit the ground running! No matter what field you study in, the courses are designed so that you leave those doors and you can step in to any workforce and feel confident enough in your skills to impress any future employer with the knowledge you have gained.
What would you tell a prospective student about NBCC?
If you are looking for "hands-on" learning, you have come to the right school. You will graduate with way more skills than are outlined on the course syllabus.
What is your favourite thing about your life/job now?
I am 35 years old and I feel that I have accomplished a great deal since graduating from NBCC! I am a very successful Office Manager, an avid volunteer in my community, I have a wonderful & loving husband, David Kirkpatrick (who is also NBCC alumnus), and in September 2014, we will welcome our first child into the world. I feel that I have worked very hard for this next year off to start a new journey in my life - the adventure of motherhood! :)