Part-time CBU student Sara Burke is currently working toward a Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development (MBA in CED), meanwhile holding down the responsibilities of being a full-time mom and working a full-time job.
Having had a career in the in the business and hospitality industries throughout Canada and the United States, Sara decided to expand her career possibilities by earning an MBA.
“The MBA at CBU was the best choice for me as the program provided me the flexibility to attend classes while working full-time, raising a family and being actively involved in volunteer work with local community service groups” says Sara.
In fall 2014, as part of a Cultural Tourism course taught by Canada Research Chair Marcia Ostashewski, Sara had the opportunity to participate in primary data collection and analysis for a research study focused on the Celtic Colours International Music Festival.
The data collection involved surveying Festival attendees at a variety of venues through out the Island. This one-on-one surveying allowed for festival attendees to share experiences with Sara and her classmates that went beyond the survey questionnaire.
This aspect of learning provided all student participants with a unique learning experience that went beyond traditional classroom teaching methods.
As a native of Cape Breton Island, Sara has attended past Celtic Colours Events; however, this experience provided her with an opportunity to see the festival and its importance through different lens.
“Having the opportunity to speak with festival attendees at three of the concert venues, I had the chance to hear how important this festival is to its attendees, how far they traveled to come to the festival and how much they enjoy the quality of the festival and the Island’s hospitality,” she says.
Sara’s favourite part of the research was working with international students in her class. She enjoyed travelling with her classmates to venues throughout the Island, learning about their cultures and background and sharing hers. Sara says she thoroughly enjoyed watching the students experience the festival for the first time and their reaction to Celtic music.
“Seeing it through their eyes makes you realize how lucky we are to have such an amazing event in our own community.”