Trade and Investment Officer, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation
Darlene Sponagle first chose to study at Cape Breton University (CBU) because of its close proximity to her home. She was living in Bateston and raising a young family, so her ability to attend a local university to obtain her education was of great importance. Darlene was also impressed by the variety of course options that were offered at CBU, and thrilled that there were French language selections that would allow her to learn the language.
Darlene began her journey at CBU by first working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree and then decided to switch focuses and concentrate on Hospitality Administration from which she graduated in 1989. Always wanting to challenge herself, Darlene returned to CBU nine years later and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies degree in 1998 followed by a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2000.
Darlene says, “Cape Breton University provides the opportunity for individuals to build upon their previous education and offers a flexible schedule to those who are parents and for those individuals who are working full-time. It really made getting an education easier for me.”
Darlene notes that some of her most memorable moments at CBU were when the hospitality students worked together to prepare French cuisine and other dishes each week, and to prepare meals for invited guests at the end of the school year.
Today, Darlene works as a Trade and Investment Officer at Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and has been an active member of the Cape Breton University Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for the past four years. Of her volunteer role Darlene notes, “I feel that it is important to give back to CBU. Without the quality education and the guidance I received there I would not have had the opportunity to work in the variety of fields that I have been very fortunate to be employed in.”
Darlene also gives generously of her time to the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, a Management Committee for the International Business Development Agreement, as well as other sector focused groups. Darlene currently resides in Albert Bridge.