I know a lot of people whose educational path was like a bullet train — a straight path that was followed from beginning to end, arriving at each stop along the way at a predetermined time.

I don’t know if that was your experience, but it certainly didn’t unfold like that for me!

From my early 20s and up to this day, my education was more like a voyage at sea.  I’d let the wind take me and then I’d spend some time in various ports when I needed to take stock, stock up and then set off on a new heading.

I wouldn’t have the unique skill sets and experience that I’ve acquired if I’d opted for the train.  There are a lot of ways to get a good education — this has been mine.

By October, 2015, I had made the decision to begin the transition from consultancy to full-time employment.

Part of what came with that was a desire to deepen and broaden the skill sets I had acquired through my 12 years as a freelance facilitator and instructional designer.

The MCATD program at Schulich continues to be touted as the most respected program of its kind – and it did not disappoint!   The curriculum and instructors were excellent and the sense of community I felt amongst my fellow classmates really had me looking forward to working as part of an on-going team again.

During my time working at York (1997-2004), I completed my B.A. on a part-time basis.  Free tuition was a perk I wasn’t about to let go to waste!

Along with my courses in theatre, I thoroughly enjoyed the elective courses I had to take outside of my major in order to fulfill my degree requirements.  I have a wide range of interests and simply enjoy learning.

The skills I developed here as an actor, some 25-odd years ago, still sit at the core of my work as a facilitator, and presenter.  It’s about having a deeply attuned:

  • emotional and physical awareness of one’s self and of others,
  • sense of presence and focus,
  • understanding of how to authentically engage and persuade people.

Back in 1991, passing a 3-Phase certificate program was required in order to become a licensed real estate sales representative.In the program, the focus was not on sales itself, rather, it focused on the legal and financial side of things, i.e. property and contractual law and mortgages.  In general, this gave me an appreciation for the importance of attending to the details inherent in regulatory requirements.

After graduating high school in my hometown of Toronto, I headed down the 401 and went to Queen’s.

My first year was focused on political studies and I was a member of the youth wing of one of our national parties.   I’ve been a fairly avid watcher of all things political ever since.

In my second year, my interest in becoming an actor piqued and that’s when I morphed my area of studies into what I called the Ronald Reagan double-major of Politics and Drama.

I had a great time at Queen’s and even though I left after second year to go to theatre school, I still consider myself a Queen’s alumnus.

© 2023 Brie Barker Consulting