Alumna Story — Jackie Reiners
A self-proclaimed lover of learning, Jackie Reiners decided to return to university to acquire new skills and advance her career. She had been working for seven years as director of housing for a long-term care community in Abbotsford, BC, during which time she completed an MSc in recreational therapy from Indiana University.
UBC’s Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) in Seniors Care appealed to her for its unique combination of seniors care and nursing classes through the School of Nursing and business and leadership classes through UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School.
Seniors care classes integrated diverse perspectives
The seniors care classes built on Jackie’s knowledge of the field acquired through her years of work experience, master’s degree in recreational therapy and commitment to ongoing professional development.
“I enjoy being in school and interacting with others who like to challenge themselves,” she says. “And this was a challenge in terms of both workload and content. I appreciated the diverse backgrounds of the other students in my classes, who included a kinesiologist, dietician, recreational therapist and nurses from many different disciplines, and I found that their perspectives were insightful and valuable.”
Business classes expanded knowledge
Jackie describes the MHLP’s business classes as “wonderful.” They enhanced her perspectives on organizational leadership and expanded her knowledge in areas such as finance, where she didn’t have the same level of familiarity with the material.
Students in the MHLP attend business classes alongside students from the Master of Engineering Leadership program, and Jackie says that this contributed to her experience of personal growth. “The engineering students brought different perspectives and thought processes to our classes,” she says. “There was a lot of group work, and it was interesting to collaborate with people who had such a diverse range of backgrounds and skills.”
Hired as an executive director
While completing the 12-month program, Jackie maintained her three-day-a-week work schedule and attended two full days of classes at the UBC campus. Nine months into the program, she moved into a new position with a new employer, and is now the Executive Director of Augustine House Society in Ladner, a not-for-profit society providing care and support for seniors.
“This program certainly increased my confidence,” she says. “I’m taking the skills and knowledge I developed over the year – in health care, finance, leadership and staffing – and integrating this learning to collaborate effectively with my team and make decisions with confidence as I lead an organization of 100 employees.”
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