Office Administrator with Technology program: experiences and tips from a grad

We love catching up with our alumni, to talk about life after BCIT, their careers and what tips they might have for prospective and current students. In this Q&A, meet Office Administrator with Technology (OAT) grad Nicholas Demers. “It ended up being a really wonderful experience that helped me accomplish what I wanted to do.”

Interested in learning more about OAT? Ask your questions during the Online Info Session on September 14. Or join us during Big Info – our largest program expo and information session at BCIT – on October 11!

What made you decide to enroll at BCIT?

After dealing with a recurring work injury, I was looking for a career change. After nearly a decade in horticulture, I needed training and technical knowledge to prepare me for a new work environment.

Before starting the program, I doubted myself. I was unsure if I could adapt to a new sector after so long spent in another career. Ultimately, the Office Administrator with Technology (OAT) program gave me the confidence and technical skills to enter the administration field.

What could have been a stressful and scary experience wasn’t. It ended up being a really wonderful experience that helped me accomplish what I wanted to do.

What were your first impressions when you came across OAT?

After searching for similar programs in the lower mainland, OAT at BCIT stood out because it sounded well-rounded and seemed exactly what I needed – to set me up to enter the workforce in an office setting. Also, the five-month program length was perfect for me, and the Downtown Campus was very convenient.

What was a highlight during the program?

There were many highlights throughout the program for me, but one would have to be the instructors. They were all a truly supportive. I also had a great group of peers to go through the program with.

How did you experience the OAT work term?

Going through the work term prepared me for the various tasks I have and will continue to experience in my administrative career. The practicum is there to help get your mind accustomed to using the technology tools and applying them to the real work environment.

How is life after graduating from OAT?

The OAT program at BCIT gave me a great foundation for starting a new career in administration. I’m on a term contract as an Administrative Clerk with the Government of Canada. In this role, I support biologists, researchers, and other relevant stakeholders to help make huge global impacts. I’m happy with where I’m at right now, but I’m eager to continue to grow and thrive.

What kind of advice would you give prospective students?

Allow yourself to experience the program fully. Take advantage of getting certified for as many applications as you can. Everything in this program is designed to help you succeed in the administration field. Take lots of notes, ask questions, and most importantly, enjoy the journey!

When you graduate, be patient and try not to get discouraged when sending out resumes. Keep an open mind, use different avenues for your search,  network, make connections, and chat with friends. You will be surprised where you’ll find unexpected opportunities.

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