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Alumni Engagement


Free Virtual Event: Alumni Training – How to Make the Most of Ten Thousand Coffees

August 17, 2021

Join alumni across the country for tips on how to maximize Ten Thousand Coffees in a free Office Hour event on Tuesday, August 24 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. CT.

The Red River College Café, powered by Ten Thousand Coffees (10KC), is RRC’s free online networking and mentorship platform that connects Red River College students and alumni through virtual ‘coffee chats’ and exclusive nation-wide events with career development experts.

Close to 3,000 current students and alumni members have already joined the Café, and more than 13,400 connections have been made so far since launching in early 2020!

Learn more about how Ten Thousand Coffees works >

Whether you’re new to 10KC, a seasoned 10KC veteran, or a member who hasn’t used 10KC very much, this free Office Hour event, hosted by Ten Thousand Coffees guru Sadaf Virji, will have valuable information for you!

Join Sadaf to learn how to use the 10KC platform to its full potential. In this Office Hour, you’ll explore the platform’s many features, as well as the awesome networking and mentorship opportunities available to you. You’ll also gain insight on how to mentor others and grow your leadership skills in this session.

Not able to make it this time? No problem – register anyway to receive a video recording of this training to watch on your own time. We hope to see you there!

Free Virtual Event: Should I Start a Business or Get a Job?

June 30, 2021

You’re invited! Ten Thousand Coffees is hosting a panel discussion on July 15, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. CT to answer the age-old question so many of us have asked ourselves: should I get a job or start my own business?

Let the great debate begin! Join Ten Thousand Coffees for an exciting discussion to help you decide if you should go out on your own or accept that job offer. Whether you’re navigating your next steps as a fresh graduate, or you’ve always wondered if starting a business and being your own boss is the right move, you’ll get a chance to hear from a group of experts who will weigh in on the benefits and challenges of either option.

Ten Thousand Coffees CEO Dave Wilkin will chat with an entrepreneur, a venture capitalist, and an early career leader for their take on this debate. The event is free and open to all Red River College students and alumni. Whether you’re already a member of the Red River College Café or new to our mentoring and networking platform, you’re invited to listen in and ask questions!

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Free virtual event: Foundational Skills for Career Success

May 6, 2021

You’re invited! Ten Thousand Coffees is hosting a free webinar on May 20, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. CT to help you build essential skills for career success.

We focus a lot on building technical skills for the workplace – school is where we match theory with hands-on, practical learning so grads are set up to meet industry needs (which is awesome!). But we could all use a little extra work on foundational skills: the skills that set us up for long-term career success. These are often called ‘soft skills’ but there’s nothing soft about them – the ability to work effectively in teams, resolve conflicts, solve problems, have empathy, and think critically are all human skills that are not just nice-to-haves in today’s market, they’re need-to-haves.

In a study conducted by LinkedIn, 91 per cent of companies responded that it’s a struggle to find candidates in the marketplace that not only meet education and experience requirements, but also have well-developed soft skills.

Join Ten Thousand Coffees co-founder and CEO Dave Wilkin and Harpal Sekhon, Head of HR for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Canada, for this Office Hour to find out which foundational skills are the most in demand in Canadian workplaces. This session will cover why these essential human skills are necessary for career success and how you can grow your own skillset to become a superstar in the office (and in life).

The event is free and open to all Red River College students and alumni. Whether you’re already a member of the Red River College Café or new to our mentoring platform, you’re invited to enhance your networking skills at this workshop event.

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Free virtual event: Master Networking Skills to Launch Your Career

April 1, 2021

You’re invited! Ten Thousand Coffees is hosting a free workshop on April 8, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. CT to help you master networking skills that will launch your career or take your career to new heights.

We all know the best time to network is when you have a job (instead of when you want to find a job!). In today’s virtual reality, this is hard to do, particularly if you don’t know how. In addition, we know that fear and nerves can get in the way when trying to network at a first job or internship. At any stage of your career, networking can be challenging, especially when we can’t meet face-to-face.

Join expert networkers for this Office Hour on how to master networking skills to launch your career. This session will cover why it’s so important to build networks that will catapult your growth and career success. You will also have the chance to workshop the skills to become a superstar networker in a virtual environment – an essential soft skill that will be handy forever!

The event is free and open to all Red River College students and alumni. Whether you’re already a member of the Red River College Café or new to our mentoring platform, you’re invited to enhance your networking skills at this workshop event.

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Free virtual event: Challenging Workplace Norms for Better Roles and Opportunities

February 17, 2021

You’re invited! Ten Thousand Coffees is hosting a panel discussion on March 5, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. CST to celebrate International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge. Ten Thousand Coffees is on board, choosing to challenge and call out gender bias and inequity in industry, while choosing to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can help create an inclusive world and workplace.

From challenge comes change. Ten Thousand Coffees invites us all choose to challenge our workplace norms and build an environment where women can thrive. Join students and alumni across the country to hear from speakers who have already chosen to challenge the world around them.

This event brings together an illustrious group of women from major brands like RBC, adidas, and IBM to share how they #ChooseToChallenge and how everyone who joins the webinar can do the same. The event is free and open to all Red River College students and alumni. Whether you’re already a member of the Red River College Café or new to our mentoring and networking platform, you’re invited to listen in as these experts discuss how women – and everyone – can thrive in the workplace.

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Free virtual event: Will Mentorship Get me a Job? A Fireside Chat

January 12, 2021

You’re invited! Ten Thousand Coffees is hosting a country-wide event with two special guests from RBC on January 21, 2021 at 2 p.m. CST.

The event is free and open to all Red River College students and alumni. Whether you’re already a member of the Red River College Café or new to our mentoring and networking platform, you’re invited to listen in as two experts chat about how mentoring helped them get ahead in their careers.

Join RBC Olympian and Professional Athlete, Sam Effah, and RBC’s Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Mary DePaoli, as they share industry tips for landing a job at a top brand like RBC, and how to stand out in a pile of resumes. Learn directly from Sam and Mary as they give inside tips and advice on finding a mentor and job in 2021, and learn the importance of becoming a mentor yourself in this critical time.

Why join?

  • Hear tips to land a job at a top brand like RBC
  • Learn how to find a mentor—and why you’d want one
  • Ask our hosts your top questions about mentoring
  • Network with hundreds of students and alumni across the country

Don’t miss this intimate conversation hosted by Ten Thousand Coffees for Mentoring Month 2021. Registration will be closing soon, so reserve your spot now.

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Manufacturing Technician grad tapped for Air Force One clean team

July 5, 2019

For the second year in a row, a Red River College alum has been hand-picked to join Air Force One’s Detailing Team, whose members will spend the next week restoring a fleet of historic aircraft on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Crisanto Aquino, a 2004 Manufacturing Technician grad now working at Dr. Shine Auto Spa in Winnipeg, is the only Canadian detailer to be selected for the task — by no less an expert than the man who’s overseen Air Force One’s restoration efforts for the last 16 years.

“He’s perfected his skill at cleaning and polishing paint and metal,” says U.S. detailer Renny Doyle of Aquino.

“When I chose him for the team last year, I was confident he was qualified for the job. After a year on the team, he’s proven he has the experience needed to continue our work, and he has the leadership skills to help us coordinate new team members and show them the ropes.”

Each year, a team of detailers from Canada, the Caribbean and the U.S. is selected to restore, maintain and protect Air Force One — which served as a flying Oval Office for former U.S. presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon — and more than a dozen other historic aircraft, including the first ever Boeing 747, the Concorde Alpha Golf and the first Boeing 727-022 commercial airliner.

Recent additions to the fleet — currently on exhibit at the museum’s Airpark Pavilion — include a solid aluminum WWII B-29 Super Fortress bomber and a badly deteriorating Vietnam-era B-52G Stratofortress bomber.

All told, Aquino will spend eight days working on the aircraft under Doyle’s direction.

“I am just as excited about being chosen for the team … but I think I bring more to the table this year than last,” he says. “It is an honor to be stewards and caretakers for all these iconic aircraft — especially Air Force One.”

Doyle and his team were first tapped to restore Air Force One in 2003, when a Bush administration exec learned of his expertise restoring classic cars. Though it no longer sits on an open tarmac, the jet still requires a cleaning every year, as the open-air pavilion where it’s displayed leaves it exposed to dampness and cold that causes paint and brightwork to become cloudy.

Programmed to succeed: Information Technology a family affair for trio of RRC grads

June 13, 2018

Talking to computers wasn’t a completely foreign concept when Stu and Heather Charles entered Red River College’s Computer Analyst Programmer (CAP) program in 1977.

Almost everyone was familiar with the phrase, “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

The CAP program, now Business Information Technology (BIT), had debuted in 1968, the same year 2001: A Space Odyssey introduced the HAL 9000 computer. But when Stu and Heather first met at RRC a decade later, programming languages like COBOL and Assembler were still mystifying to most people.

“Going to school, when people asked, ‘What do you do?’ we had to think of a term to use,” Heather says. “You couldn’t say, ‘Oh we code in Assembler and we use Hexadecimal.’ It was, ‘We write computer programs.’ What’s that? ‘It’s how you talk to a computer.’ ”

Flash forward four decades and the Charles family is still ahead of the computer literacy curve, particularly since Stu and Heather’s daughter Nyssa Charles, 29, graduated in 2012 from BIT with a major in application development.

“We actually have dinner conversations between the three of us that are fairly technical,” Heather says. “So if you were a layperson beside us you probably still wouldn’t understand necessarily what we’re talking about.”

Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since CAP students wrote programs on punch cards that are considered vintage today. Stu, a 1979 grad, recalls that one assignment was infamous for how frequently students dropped their stacks of meticulously ordered cards.

The evolution was already well underway in 1980. When Heather, a 1981 grad, returned to RRC after taking a year off to explore other career options, the punch card system had been replaced with brand-new Hewlett Packard computer terminals.

“That was my first step into the new world … all the labs had the modern HP computers and we did all the development on those. So I saw that change even in that year.” Read More →

Bird Construction launches new scholarship; channels alumni pride into student support

December 18, 2017

Last month at the College’s annual Technology Awards Reception, longtime industry partner Bird Construction launched a new scholarship that exemplifies what it means to be a proud RRC grad.

The first-ever Bird Construction Employee Red River College Alumni Scholarship for the Construction Management Degree Program was awarded to Philipe Bras, who’s currently completing his final year of studies.

Terry Jacobson (shown at right), an RRC alum and 40-year Bird Construction employee, presented the $1,000 award, along with Dom Costantini, the company’s vice-president and district manager.

The new scholarship — the fourth RRC financial award to be made possible by Bird Construction — was created to give company employees a chance to have a positive impact on the lives of College students. It will be presented each year to a student who has achieved outstanding academic success in Construction Management, and is enrolled in their final year of studies.

Bird and its staff — 60% of whom are proud RRC grads — play a vital role in fostering positive relationships with the College through long-term investments in the development of both students and programming.

Many past and current Bird employees volunteer on RRC advisory committees, and the company helps students build successful careers by facilitating project site visits and taking part in the co-operative education program each year. Read More →

UX marks the spot: College to host top tech designer’s January tour stop

December 12, 2017

Red River College, in partnership with North Forge Technology Exchange, will host a two-day UX Workshop at RRC’s ACE Project Space on Jan. 18 and 19, 2018.

The workshop facilitator, Willy Lai, is an award-winning user experience design leader with over two decades at top tech companies in Silicon Valley including Apple, Samsung, PayPal, Intuit and eBay, and tickets for his only Canadian workshop are going fast.

Just a few of the 40 participant spots are still available and the College would love to see those remaining spaces filled by RRC alumni.

For more information or to register for the event, visit: