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Strathclair student strives for success at Skills

Strathclair student strives for success at Skills

Written On: 25 May, 2017
Category: Academic Awards Events Student Spotlight
Related programs:  Office Management Office Skills

On May 31 to June 3rd four Assiniboine Community College students will be part of the annual Skills Canada National Competition taking place in Winnipeg at the RBC Convention Centre. The event brings together more than 500 students and apprentices to take part in more than 40 hands-on skilled trade and technology competitions.

Kristen Rozdeba (Office Administration)

The name of the position has changed from the antiquated “secretary” to office administrator or administrative assistant.

And along with the nomenclature, the job itself has moved into the 21st century too.

Office administration, like everything else, has been forever altered by advances in technology. While good typing skills remain as vital today as they were in decades past, there’s a whole lot more involved than dictation, transcription and filing. 

“I think people probably underestimate the workload,” said 18-year-old Kristen Rozdeba, a first-year Assiniboine Community College student. “Looking back at the software programs I’ve worked with, it’s a lot of work, and it can be difficult. It’s working with spreadsheets and databases and not just anyone can pick it up and do it.” 

Rozdeba, who recently won the gold medal in the prestigious Skills Manitoba competition, was born and raised on a farm near Strathclair. She attended Kindergarten through Grade 12 at Strathclair Community School, and then headed straight to Assiniboine to pursue a diploma in Office Admin. 

“I’m a very organized person and I’m a hard worker, so I thought that it would suit me well,” Rozdeba said of her decision to seek employment as an office worker. “And I thought I’d be able to use it at least as a start for my career. So that’s why I chose it.

“At this point, I’m focused on graduating, and then I’m going to figure out how to build on from there.”

But Rozdeba will also be concentrating on taking her already impressive abilities, as evidenced by the Skills Manitoba win, to the next level. She’ll be competing as Manitoba’s representative in the Skills Canada competition, where she’ll go up against other talented students of office administration from all across the nation.

But the wise-beyond-her-years Rozdeba isn’t particularly fazed by the prospect. While she said she was “a bit surprised” to win top honours in her field in the provincial contest, her serenity and practicality are allowing her to approach the Canadian competition in a relatively relaxed fashion.    

“I had confidence going in (to Skills Manitoba) because I had gotten good grades in each of my classes at ACC, so I thought that I would do pretty well,” she said. “And I’m a bit nervous, but more excited about nationals. I’ll be practicing all this month.”

When the country’s best meet in Winnipeg for Skills Canada,  Rozdeba will be showcasing her talents in spreadsheets, data base, Word and PowerPoint.  

“It’s all software, so I’ll be practicing different exercises from each category,” she said.

Rozdeba chose to attend Assiniboine because what the Office Administration program had to offer seemed tailor-made to what she was looking for.  

“I looked into different schools but I thought this program would suit me and start me off with a job,” she said.

And she was impressed by what she learned in only her first year. 

“I think the program was really good,” Rozdeba said. “The instruction worked for me very well, obviously, since I did well. They use different types of instruction, like visual or lecture. I like that it’s hands-on – that really helps me know what I’m doing.” 

The instructors were helpful and knowledgeable, she said, and the courses broadened her horizons and expanded her skill set. 

“I would for sure recommend the program to other people,” she enthused.   

With her attention firmly fixed on preparing for Skills Canada, Rozdeba has yet to find employment for the summer. She’s hoping to secure something in Brandon that will allow her to remain in the Wheat City until it’s time for classes to resume in the fall. But she agreed that it certainly won’t hurt her job prospects to be able to put “Skills Manitoba Gold Medal Winner” on her resumé.

And just what does she hope for in a career?

“I’d like to have a job where I’m happy to go to it, that’s for sure,” she said emphatically, and then smiled. “And good pay wouldn’t hurt either!”