On the Move with Nattasha Wray

It was a challenge for me when I started Academic Upgrading at Sheridan College. I was managing a young family while attending school and that was no easy feat.  But my teachers were patient, understanding and very encouraging. They were unwavering in their support. They believed in me.”

Nattasha Wray graduated from Sheridan in June 2014 and currently works as a visual merchandiser. She recently discussed her experience in the Academic Upgrading program with Program Assistant Erica Harris.

Why did you choose to attend Academic Upgrading?

I wanted to successfully complete my high school equivalencies and go on to college and get a well-paying job.

(Photo: Bryan McGowan - B.E. McGowan Photography)

(Photo: Bryan McGowan – B.E. McGowan Photography)

How was Academic Upgrading beneficial?

Without Academic Upgrading, I couldn’t get into college. You have to be prepared for college and get assignments done in time. If I didn’t go to Academic Upgrading, I would not be successful in college; it’s all about time management, refreshing your memory in subjects that you have not taken in years, and getting prepared to go to college.

How did Academic Upgrading prepare you for postsecondary education?

In college, you have projects and presentations to do and in one of my subjects in Academic Upgrading I took a mandatory course called Strategies for Success. In this course, you have presentations and you have to present them in class. This was good practice for the presentations in postsecondary.

Describe your postsecondary experience.

It was very challenging. I am a single mother with two kids. It was hard work; you need to dedicate yourself to it — you have to love what you’re doing. If I didn’t enjoy doing it I couldn’t see myself committing to this goal. You have to enjoy what you’re going to college for, that’s the main thing.

What’s happened since graduating?

I graduated in June of this year (2014) but have been working since April at Harry Rosen, overseeing three locations, including a Winnipeg store, as a visual merchandiser.

At graduation I was awarded the “On the Move” award for most outstanding student in my program. I was shocked, everyone else knew about the award except me!

Would you recommend the Academic Upgrading program to others?

For sure, it is a definite choice for someone like myself, coming from another country, even if you don’t know what you want to do. It’s where to get started if you haven’t finished high school, especially if you haven’t chosen a career path. Because if you don’t have your high school, there’s not much you can do.

Image: http://bryanmcgowan1.wix.com/bemcgowanphotography