A Métis Success!

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Melissa Hoffart - Media Coordinator

I successfully graduated from BCIT with a Diploma in Marketing Management - Communications. This achievement would not have been possible without the assistance from Métis Nation BC. I’d like to share with the team at MNBC how the financial assistance enabled me to succeed and why it is important that this funding continues for future students.
Returning to Post-Secondary
When I graduated from High School, I had no idea what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do with my life. I made the decision to find work rather than pursuing a post-secondary education. I worked in the service industry as a waitress for a few years, then moved into retail. It wasn’t until a friend suggested I work in the travel industry that I found work that truly interested me.
For seven years I worked at Flight Centre, which enabled me travel extensively and to live and work overseas in Australia. When I was living in Brisbane, I was introduced to marketing. I worked as a Product Specialist in the marketing department of Flight Centre’s global head office and I loved what I was doing. Finally, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to pursue a career in marketing.
I left Australia and returned back to Canada and I made a plan to go back to get a post-secondary education at BCIT. I looked at the costs of going back to school full-time and winced at the price tag. How could I justify quitting my job to go back to school? I lived on my own with no relatives in BC which meant the cost of living for two years would add a substantial amount to my financial debt.
Then I heard about MNBC from the Financial Aid department at BCIT and that’s when my life was forever changed. I now had the opportunity to go back to school and achieve my goal of obtaining a post-secondary education. Now I could pave my path and start a career in marketing. 
Seizing Every Opportunity
With the assistance from MNBC, the financial burden and stress was significantly reduced which allowed me to focus solely on my studies. In the classes that I struggled in, such as math, I could spend my weekend studying and learning from a tutor rather than working. I could join extracurricular activities at the campus and open doors to opportunities that never would have been possible.
During my time at BCIT I was very involved with the courses as well as outside of the classroom. I was nominated to be the Set Representative in the first year, which is liaison between the students and the faculty. I joined a few clubs which helped me to network and develop additional skills. In the second year I was selected to be a Case Lead for the Marketing Association’s Case Team where our school placed third at the American Marketing Associations Case Study Competition in New Orleans – the only Canadian school to place. 
Because I didn’t have to spend my evenings and weekends working, I could be involved with Aboriginal Services at BCIT. I was asked to be a Mentor in my second year and I made fresh lunch once a week for the other Aboriginal students, I held LinkedIn and Resume workshops, and organized Gixstan language lessons with one of our Elders. At the end of the year, I was asked to give the graduate speech at the Aboriginal Graduation ceremony. I was incredibly honoured.

Not only did I have success outside of the classroom, but I excelled in my courses. In the final semester and in the capstone course of the program, our team won the Industry Project. We had to develop a comprehensive marketing campaign and compete for the client’s business with a pitch presentation – the client chose our campaign. 
With the skills that I learned at BCIT from the courses and the extracurricular activities, I was able to land the internship that was my first choice: Jungle Media. I spent the last two months of my program as an intern, applying all that I had learned as well as continuing my education with the company. 
Finding Employment
Through the internship with Jungle Media, I worked hard and made strong connections during my time there. At the end of the program, the VP of Jungle Media approached me and offered me fulltime position as a Media Coordinator! 
The funding from MNBC has assisted me in accomplishing my goal to obtain a post-secondary education, which opened multiple doors for me. I was able to work on my personal and career development, network with industry professionals, and land the job that I wanted. All of this was made possible because of the financial support that was provided to me.
Thank you to the whole team at MNBC for giving me this incredible opportunity. I will forever be grateful of this generosity and kindness. Thank you for allowing me to reach my potential. You have forever changed my life. 
Melissa Hoffart 

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