This summer Conestoga was pleased to have two of their recent graduates, Ryan Meier and Megan Bos, accepted into a Masters program at the University of Calgary. Both Ryan and Megan completed the four-year Bachelor of Applied Technology - Architecture: Project and Facility Management Program .
When a student of the APFM bachelor program expresses an interest in pursuing graduate studies, program faculty and administration work with the student to help them identify potential programs and assist in developing their applications, explains Program Coordinator Catherine Kilcoyne. Catherine says this often involves finding the right fit between a student’s interests and the graduate studies offered, while also making graduate institutes aware of the background Conestoga’s students would bring to Masters level studies. The interdisciplinary approaches to architecture, small class size and support from faculty were some of the things the students enjoyed the most about their time in the program.
“I came to Conestoga because of this program” says Bos. “I enjoyed learning the life cycle of a building and the project based learning was really tailored to my learning style.”
The program also offered a co-op placement each year, which for Bos, gave her the chance to work for North American Construction in Fort McMurray, Alberta; Aecon in Kitchener, Ontario and PCL in Vancouver the past two years, working on the broadcasting center used for the Olympics.
In order for Ryan and Megan to apply to U of C, their application process involved submitting a detailed and comprehensive design portfolio, a transcript, a statement of intent describing their intentions for research and why they should be accepted into the program, an undergraduate thesis and three professional or academic research papers. This, along with achieving a particular GPA, went into allowing the University of Calgary to evaluate their applications.
Both students were introduced to the basics of architecture at a young age, which laid the groundwork for them to develop a growing interest in the field later in life.
“My entire life I have been interested in buildings, how they are constructed, the design process and how people use them,” says Meier.
With a grandfather who was both a Structural and Mechanical Engineer and an inventor, Ryan was always watching him sketching and working on his next project or invention.
For Megan, she was influenced by her father, who is a carpenter and has brought her along to construction sites since she was five years old.
The University of Calgary appealed to both students as it focused on the kind of knowledge learned at Conestoga, while also allowing them to select courses from many other faculties in order to apply the resources to their thesis. Having made the move to Calgary August 27, both students are now looking forward to the new challenges ahead of them and enjoying the mountain scenery.
“I am most excited about making a major change in my life” says Meier. “I have grown up in Waterloo all my life and I have always wanted to have the experience of moving a great distance away. I believe a change in scenery can open your eyes to how good your life truly is and how good your relationships are.”
He has been working as an Assistant Construction Coordinator in the Facilities Services Department at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board since graduation and hopes to either work at a large interdisciplinary consulting firm, for the government or possibly go into research or teaching. Megan has her sights set on staying in the facilities management industry and possibly working for a research department.
Catherine enjoyed teaching both students throughout the program and believes they will represent Conestoga well in their future studies. “Ryan and Megan were very pro-active and committed in their pursuit of admission to the University of Calgary’s Master of Environmental Design Program. The quality of their admission packages reflects the strengths of organization and insight that made them outstanding students of the APFM program.”
Written By: Ryan Metivier