Two-time Georgian grad turns her diploma into a graduate certificate

Feb. 14, 2023

Barrie resident Haleigh Payne originally chose to study at Georgian because she was interested in the tourism industry.  

She took a year off after high school because she didn’t know what she wanted to do. Haleigh decided to pursue the Tourism diploma because of Georgian’s reputation for delivering strong Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation programs, and because the professors are leaders in the industry.  

After graduating from the program in 2019, she pursued a graduate certificate in Event Management.  

I was responsible for coordinating small, intimate events like wine pairings and engagement parties in previous employment, but I wanted to do more. The Event Management graduate certificate really helped me prepare to coordinate larger-scale events. Now I have the skills to plan and execute sizable fundraisers and develop and maintain community relationships.  

Georgian grad Haleigh Payne stands in front of the Georgian Barrie Campus at spring graduation
Georgian grad Haleigh Payne

Haleigh says she was inspired to enrol in both programs by her father, a long-term hospitality and event professional who graduated from the same Event Management graduate certificate 10 years ago.

I spent a lot of time going to work with him, so both hospitality and events became second nature to me. Choosing Georgian for both programs was a no-brainer. Plus, it allowed me to use and complement the real-world experience I already had with a formal education in the industry.

Going to school close to home also allowed her to continue working throughout her time at Georgian in employment that intersected with her interests (radio and various seasonal hospitality positions).

She recently started a position as a fundraising and community development coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orillia and District and is currently enrolled in the college’s Advertising and Marketing Communications diploma program.  

My education in all these Georgian programs has been essential to getting me to where I am as a professional today. The combination of in-class and hands-on education really built my confidence and gave me the tools I needed to succeed.

Graduate certificates at Georgian

Have a diploma or degree? Not sure how to turn your credential into a career? Georgian’s one-year graduate certificates can fast-track you into the workplace in just nine to 12 months. Plus, you get access to built-in work placements or real-world applied learning opportunities, and develop the skills employers are looking for. MORE benefits:

  • build on your existing diploma or degree
  • gain specialized knowledge and skills in a particular field
  • get an edge on the competition to move up in your current field or tap into a new career or industry
  • take advantage of broadened career outlooks
  • continue work full-time while studying with our part-time graduate certificate programs

Ready to apply for a graduate certificate?

You can also apply for FREE at an upcoming Get to Know Georgian virtual info session!

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