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 Congratulations to our very own Supreet Kareer who we selected as our Grad of the Quarter for the Mississauga campus. Supreet graduated from our Paralegal program in 2012 and became a licensed paralegal the same year. Supreet went to work for the firm where she did her placement. In May 2012, when things were winding down at her work, she came to volunteer and then work for ACA part time. One part time responsibility led to another and she is now our full time Manager of Education and Paralegal Coordinator. Along with these duties Supreet also teaches many of the IT, business and legal courses.

A Bit About Supreet

After high school, Supreet was thinking about becoming a lawyer. She went to University of Toronto and obtained her Bachelor of Arts with a double major and double minor. To manage this in the time given, Supreet did a full course load all year long including summer school. At that point, her ambition was writing the LSAT and going to law school. On her graduation day from U of T, she attended her graduation ceremony and that day had to write the LSAT exam. She wrote the exam in her fancy graduation clothes and fully made up! Her family went to the Eaton Centre in all their splendour to wait for her. After the exam, they all went to celebrate her graduation.

Her parents suggested that she take the Paralegal program to get insight into law and find out if she likes it enough to do law school. Supreet did her research and chose ACA because she really liked the idea of finishing in less than a year and the possibility of taking two courses at once, morning and afternoon. Supreet graduated and was licensed in under a year.

As Supreet was working in the legal field, she soon learned that she was more passionate about the business and the IT field so instead of going to law school, she pursued her Masters of Business Administration degree where she specialized in IT.

Placement

Supreet found her own placement site because she wanted to make sure she got experience in the areas in which she was interested. She had been advised by ACA that the more the student invests in the placement process, the more the student gets out of it. She was looking for volunteer opportunities near the school so that she could volunteer while taking the Paralegal course and stumbled across a licensed paralegal that operated close to the college. Supreet transitioned from being a volunteer to an employee at the firm.

Supreet and ACA

Supreet was working part time in the legal field – she wanted something else to fill her time. She came by ACA and asked if she could help out as a volunteer where she could gain experience and give back to the school. ACA brought her in to assist with the administration and the paralegal coordination. Her first working opportunity came a few weeks later, where she was asked to research the online travel and tourism program. This was followed by her filling in for the business instructor teaching computer courses. And that was the start of her following in her parent’s footsteps!

Supreet then took on the role of the Paralegal Administrator where she looked after the backend of the program and was eventually promoted to Paralegal Coordinator. The title and responsibilities of the Education Manager was soon given to Supreet. With this new role she is responsible for all programs, student warnings, probations, and attendance.

Supreet has a 24-hour response policy – if you call and leave a message she will get back to you within a day. “Everyone at ACA is here to support our students and graduates, you are not a number, we are going to help you from the beginning to the end. We do this because we want our students to succeed.”

The development of curriculum for a few programs including Legal, IT and Business was something else Supreet got involved in. Her teaching evolved, from teaching just computer courses such as Microsoft Office courses to instructing business courses such as business law, business communications, and international law. She really expanded her scope of work based on her educational background and work experience.

Supreet has helped out with the PSW and the MOA curriculum and is an invaluable IT consultant to the college.  She supports all the staff and faculty and students across the different programs. She dips her fingers into everything, from overseas paralegal placements, to OSAP to help support Emilia as registrar, to assisting the Admissions Reps if they are too busy. Supreet is truly a “Jack of All Trades” and an excellent resource for us to have on board.

Best Thing about Supreet’s Job

Supreet loves it when she has students come back and say their lives have drastically changed since taking the program, that they are grateful for the support and that they never thought they could make it. Some of the stories are so moving and filled with hardship and yet the student made it through. Having these students come back to say they have a job, have a better life, have accomplished something, a diploma and a career is fulfilling.

It is the success stories that really make what Supreet does worthwhile - knowing you have made a difference, no matter how small a part, in making that student successful is why our staff and instructors come to work.

Words of Wisdom

Supreet advocates that education is priceless. This idea coincides with a quote by Jiddu Krishnamurti that “There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”

Students often ask, will my education be wasted? Will the program be worth it in the end with its time and financial investment? Supreet tells the students that education can never be wasted - it all depends on what you do with the education you have. You can take that education and pull it apart and use it in so many ways if you are willing to invest to get to the end goal. Although Supreet is not directly working as a Paralegal, she has continued to use her Paralegal knowledge in all aspects of her work.

We have so many success stories with our students that result from the student being willing to work for it. ACA offers ongoing services to our graduates - what can we do to help you obtain a job?  Our help goes a lot further when the graduates put everything they have into it as well.

Supreet’s Plans

The biggest thing for Supreet is to continue to grow and develop as a person and as a professional. Supreet expressed an interest in our medical faculty and has been getting more involved there. She is taking a course in Medical Terminology to improve her medical knowledge.

Supreet is always asking how else can I help to fill in. The more you know the better an asset you are. Supreet is constantly expanding and growing and getting a complete insight into the entire business.

Supreet is a big believer on further educating herself and developing in a personal and professional manner, so in the future plans to pursue her PhD.

Rebecca’s Remarks

“Supreet is never too busy to help a student or a team member, she will always take the time to make sure you are looked after.  Supreet’s ‘calm under pressure’ approach to dealing with daily operating tasks is instrumental in ensuring the smooth operation of the school.”

For more information about any of our college diploma programs including Paralegal and Business Management, click on this link:  http://www.algonquinacademy.com/programs

The blogger, Mary Soye, is an owner of Algonquin Careers Academy and, among other things, handles the social media for the college.