Building Connections and Loving Life in Cape Breton: Meet Neha Sharma

Yearning for a better quality of life in a new country, Neha Sharma applied to Cape Breton University’s Post-Baccalaureate Diploma program in Healthcare Management with hopes of finding new opportunities and a fresh start. Situated on the scenic Cape Breton Island, CBU is home to a diverse group of students, a factor that played a large part in Neha’s decision to relocate for a better education.

Neha is originally from the northern part of India and worked as a Sports Physiotherapist prior to moving to Canada. Now, through networks that she built during her time at CBU, Neha was able to secure a job as a Patient Sitter in hospitals in Sydney, Glace Bay and New Waterford in 2022 prior to being hired as a Residential Care Worker (RCW) at Breton Ability Centre earlier this year. She credits her education at CBU and previous experience as a healthcare worker with helping her seamlessly fit into her new position. 

“Breton Ability Centre is a residential care centre for those with physical and intellectual disabilities,” shares Neha. “I’ve dealt with people of different abilities in the past, so working at the Centre has broadened my skill set and helped me to better deal with the needs of people with varying abilities.” In addition to her role at Breton Ability Centre, Neha also works as an exam proctor at the Jennifer Keeping Centre for Accessible Learning at CBU. 

Neha is thankful to her CBU professor Dr. Phillip Eappen, who is the Assistant Director of Resident Support and Clinical Services at Breton Ability Centre, for making her aware of the many internship opportunities at Breton Ability Centre and assisting her with the application process. She was part of Dr. Eappen’s Healthcare Analytics class and says the course enhanced her understanding of the healthcare system in Canada.

“As I studied Canadian healthcare policy and its legal and ethical aspects during my program at CBU, it was easy for me to understand the nuances of working at the Centre,” she says. “I truly believe the Healthcare Management program at CBU suits the needs of future healthcare professionals. It has opened doors to a lot of opportunities and has helped me greatly in my role.” 

When asked what she liked most about studying at CBU, Neha credits the qualifications and expertise of CBU’s instructors. “I was amazed to see that courses were taught by professionals who had excellent theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject they were teaching,” says Neha. “With students and faculty from many different countries and communities, I also had the opportunity to learn about other cultures and educate others about my own, allowing me to create healthy social and professional connections.”

Neha, along with her husband, have loved their time in Cape Breton, having found their Canadian parents who adopted them in 2022 and made them feel at home. With people on the Island so “humble, caring and welcoming”, the couple plan to settle down in Cape Breton in the future.

We are so thankful to have students like Neha who are making a real difference in our community. Congratulations, Neha!