Six Years of Involvement at CBU
During her time at Cape Breton University, Master of Business Administration (MBA) student Brittany Erickson has become a familiar face around CBU. Over the past six years, Brittany could be spotted at society meetings and events, helping out with volunteer groups, and even working in various areas around campus including the External Department, the Communications Department, the Political Science Department, and as a student intern. More recently, Brittany can be seen with her nose in the books and a pencil in hand as she gets closer to finishing her Major Research Essay, marking the achievement of completing her MBA.
Although it has been six years since Brittany, who was born and raised in Sydney, N.S., made the decision to attend CBU, she can still remember it like it was yesterday. “Many of my friends went away for university, but I never had the urge to leave,” she recalls. “I wanted to be close to my family and I loved living in Cape Breton so much, that it made sense to me to attend CBU. Plus, I heard great things about the campus.”
Brittany began her CBU experience as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) student in 2007 and graduated four years later with a BA in Political Science. The following fall, she began the MBA in Community Economic Development program. “When I first heard about the MBA, I felt it was a great fit for me and combined my passion for this community, my background in Political Science, and my interest in Business.”
The unique opportunities and experiences Brittany has had while being part of the CBU community has proven that she made the right choice to stay close to home. She says, “These opportunities would not have been available to me on a larger campus.”
Brittany felt the benefits of a smaller university early on in her academic career, when she realized that she would never be just a number at CBU. “The biggest thing for me is the amazing sense of community that hits you when you walk through the doors of CBU. The classes are small; which allowed for great relationships between students and professors, and the quality of the education is second to none.”
The great student-professor relationships she speaks of played a large part in the recent chapter of her education — her research experience. This summer, Brittany worked closely with Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett, Associate Professor, Communication and Dr. Keith Brown, CBU Vice-President, External.
Alongside Dr. Brann-Barrett, Brittany has been working on a study that looks at youth ideas of civic engagement in the community. “I help her with work shops and interviewing and transcribing in interviews,” Brittany explains. Additionally, earlier this summer Brittany worked with Dr. Keith Brown and an independent Task Force (of which Dr. Brown chaired) which recently proposed recommendations to Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke and council.
Looking back at her varied experiences, Brittany says she would highly recommend getting involved in research at CBU. “It is the type of job where you learn something new every day,” she explains. “I know that the skills I have obtained through my research jobs have better equipped me for the world outside the doors of CBU.”
Although these two positions plus working part-time has kept Brittany quite busy, she says the skills she has learned and memories she has made have been worth all her hard work.
“It is great to know that you are taking part in something that will make a difference. I have learned so many things, such as interpersonal skills used for interviewing, which are beneficial to my own research within the MBA,” she says. “These opportunities have also allowed me to connect with many people in the community who share a similar passion.”
Brittany, who regularly volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and New Dawn Enterprises, will graduate in the fall, and hopes that the next chapter of her life won’t bring on too many changes. “This community is my passion,” she says. “I hope that with the skill set that I have developed at CBU, I will be able to stay in Cape Breton doing what I love!”