From retail to radio
by Heidi Riley
Faye Saunders worked at Eaton’s Department Store in Charlottetown for 13 years. When the store closed in April 1998, she didn’t know what to do next. “I thought it was the end of the world, but I knew I had to consider my options,” says Faye.
Faye had worked in retail her whole life, and was ready for a change. Not knowing what type of job she wanted to do, she met with an employment officer. “I wanted to learn how to type. Computers were getting more popular, and I knew I needed that skill base to get into some other kind of work.
“We started looking through programs to discover my options. Academy of Learning College was one of the schools I researched. I met with a woman there who I had worked with at Eaton’s.
“We talked about what the college offered, and the Administrative Assistant program caught my eye. The program offered office procedures, business math, English, and of course, typing. It was exactly what I was looking for.
“When I started the course, my worst fear was that I would never learn to type. I can remember Katherine McQuaid, Director of Training, telling me it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice. Now I can type up to 120 words a minute.”
After graduating, she did on-the-job training at a local law firm, and then worked there as a receptionist under a wage subsidy program. She went on to work as a receptionist with Academy of Learning College. “That was a wonderful job,” says Faye.
“When the receptionist job at a Charlottetown radio station came up, I submitted my resumé, not even thinking I would get the job. But, here I am. It’s my 15th year in radio, and I love every minute of it.”
Faye works for Newcap radio stations Ocean 100/Hot 105.5 in Charlottetown. She is the Receptionist and the Traffic Manager. She schedules all the commercials heard on those two stations, and on a Kentville, Nova Scotia station as well.
“This is a very detail-oriented job, and it’s very busy. I have to be very organized and be able to multi task. One minute I am answering the phones and greeting people, and the next I am processing orders and scheduling commercials.
“I have the best of both words as an Administrative Assistant. I get to have that light side when I make so many people happy by handing out prizes and having lots of laughs. And then there is the very serious side of radio where I have to follow deadlines and ensure all commercials are placed properly when they go to air. It is a very rewarding job.
“I love what I do. I love people. Newcap Radio has been so good to me! It is very interesting work, and things change all the time. I need to be open to change and go with the flow. I think you have to do that in most jobs if you want to succeed.”
Advice for people choosing an education program
“When choosing a program, look outside the box – that’s what I did. When I took the Administrative Assistant program, I never thought I would end up doing what I am doing today.
“Don’t be close-minded. You never know what life is going to put in front of you. When you start somewhere, it always leads to something else. Experience is so important.
“My advice when choosing a program is to do what you feel is best for you. Whatever you take, and wherever you go, there will always be growth.
“I would recommend the Academy of Learning College Administrative Assistant program to anyone who is organized and is interested in working with people. There is so much opportunity.
“If I could turn back time and do it all over again, I would still take the Academy of Learning Office Administration program. I have never regretted my decision. It was the perfect program for me, and I graduated with honours. The things I learned in their English program I still refer to in my mind almost every day.
“It was such a wonderful program. It helped me learn to do so many things I do now, such as filing, telephone etiquette, and business math. That program formed the basis of where I am today.”
Click here for more information about the Academy of Learning College, call Katherine McQuaid, Director of Training, at 902-894-8973.