Lorna Millard

Growing up, my deepest interests were in reading, creative writing, and the natural world. Taking the path of least resistance, I completed a BA in Honours English at UBC and fell into a series of summer jobs, from ice cream vendor to garden centre clerk to student employment centre staffer/manager.

For the federal government, and later for one of their contractors, I was trained in employment and career counselling, overseeing projects or working directly with groups and individuals entering or re-entering the workforce. I stopped out to do a Master of Arts in Education at SFU, and shortly after that I started working at VIU (then Malaspina), first running various employment training contracts, then working in career and co-op education, teaching in Hospitality Management, and now working in the Advising Centre. Advising requires constant research, analysis, synthesis of information, and – the best part – connection and communication with students and prospective students from all walks of life. Working with students and with talented colleagues, in the Advising Centre and across VIU as well as in the larger community, keeps the work interesting. It is different every day.

Throughout my career, I have developed my ‘inner compass’ – turning toward ‘more of this’ and ‘less of that’ as I picked my way through different long and short term work and educational options. Learning the skills of education and career planning and job search/job obtaining have been among the most important lessons of all. These gave me freedom and choices. When I made wrong turns, I knew how to change direction again.

I think it is really important to see each student holistically – and to help each student look at educational planning in a holistic way. Good educational planning should help a student uncover and weigh the factors of most importance as we look down the trajectory of a life and the place of education within it.