Alumni Engagement

News, Profiles and Events

“Emerging Leader” credits Creative Communications experience for kick-starting a career in law

September 28, 2022

For many people, career changes can be drastic – a sharp turn into the unknown. For Red River College Polytechnic alum Michael Badejo, though, moving from a career in communications to one in law has felt less like a swerve, and more like a straight line of experience.

“In the world of law, especially if you’re going to be a litigator, how you marshal the facts and create a narrative is central to your arguments and finding effective answers,” says Badejo, a graduate of the Creative Communications joint degree/diploma program who earned his J.D. from the University of Manitoba (UM) this past spring.

“Doing that effectively is based on getting the message across.”

Communicating a message is a central lesson of the Creative Communications program, but it’s not the only through line for Badejo’s change in career. The other is his personal commitment to the communities in which he’s learning and working.

In June, Badejo was named a recipient of the UM’s Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes “students who support the university’s educational mission by contributing to the social, cultural or economic well-being of communities on or off campus; encourage cross-cultural understanding, and demonstrate sustained leadership and initiative worthy of recognition.”

One of three recipients in the Faculty of Law, the award came after Badejo served as President of the Manitoba Law Students’ Association (MLSA) through a pandemic, working to rebuild student connections that were frayed due to distance learning and the lack of in-person camaraderie so central to the university experience.

Badejo was nominated for the Emerging Leader Award by a past president of MLSA, as well as a senior faculty member.

As MLSA President, highlights for Badejo included reinventing professional development events for the new normal, as well as signing a memorandum with the Faculty of Law to renovate student spaces. This included a first-of-its-kind agreement to build a gender-inclusive washroom in Robson Hall.

“I’ve always been a big believer in giving back,” says Badejo. “Even while I was studying at the College, our year-end project in my second year was based around working with and supporting [the Red River College Polytechnic Students’ Association].”

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Enter to win tickets to Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

August 18, 2022

An exclusive opportunity for RRC Polytech alumni: enter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience at the RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg. We’re giving away three pairs of tickets to lucky RRC Polytech alumni to be redeemed by September 4, 2022.

Immerse yourself in the world of Vincent Van Gogh like you’ve never experienced before. Beyond Van Gogh is a rich and unique multimedia experience that takes the viewer on a journey through Vincent Van Gogh’s life and more than 300 iconic works of art, including instantly-recognizable classics “The Starry Night”, “Sunflowers”, and “Café Terrace at Night”, now freed from their frames.

Don’t miss your chance to see this incredible exhibit in person!

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New online career portal connects students and alumni with employers and industry

August 12, 2022

Earlier this month, RRC Polytech launched Career Bridge, a new online job board that aims to connect job seekers with employment opportunities. Open to all RRC Polytech students and alumni – both job seekers and employers – Career Bridge helps smooth the transition from school to workplace.

Just like its predecessor, Job Central, Career Bridge allows students to search for specific jobs and career fields, or simply browse all postings on the site. New employment opportunities are posted daily, including full-time, part-time, term, and seasonal positions – all of which are plentiful, as RRC Polytech students and graduates continue to be in high demand in a multitude of industries, both in the province and beyond.

Career Bridge is free for students, alumni, and employers. Students can use their RRC Polytech login credentials for six months after their last class. After six months, they can switch to an alumni account to continue to have access to the site.

A major perk of Career Bridge is the ability for applicants to upload and save resumes, cover letters, and application packages directly to the site. This creates a much more streamlined and effortless application process, allowing students and alumni to put their best foot forward in starting (or continuing) their career journeys. Job seekers can also keep track of applications and manage upcoming interviews, centralizing each step of the job search and application process in one easy-to-use platform.

Career Bridge offers employers immediate access to RRC Polytech’s current students and graduates, all trained for the future of work. The College offers more than 200 full-time and part-time hands-on degree, diploma, certificate, and apprenticeship programs, with students and graduates all eager to get to work in their respective industries.

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Apply to join RRC Polytech Students’ Association Board of Directors

August 2, 2022

The RRC Polytech Students’ Association (RRCSA) is accepting applications to fill its opening for an ex-officio alumni position on the Board of Directors. All interested alumni members are invited to submit an application!

The RRCSA is run by a student-led board of directors. The alumni representative on the RRCSA board brings industry knowledge and experience, and provides insight, direction, and mentorship to the team.

“The alumni representative plays a vital role on the SA board. We’re lucky to have the guidance of a graduate to help with planning and making decisions,” said Manpreet Kaur, President of the Students’ Association for the 2022-2023 school year.

The SA board oversees a $3 million budget for projects, initiatives, trust funds, and donation requests, all to support and enhance the student experience at RRC Polytech. Decisions made by the board impact the RRC Polytech student body, the entire RRC Polytech ecosystem, and the wider community. The alumni representative will help guide the creation of the SA’s Strategic Plan and sits on the trust fund committee, which oversees capital projects.

Last year, RRC Polytech graduate Jerri-Lynn Orr (Honours Graduate, Aboriginal Language Specialist, 2007) held the alumni ex-officio position on the board.

“Being able to give back to RRC Polytech by working alongside and supporting students is a really rewarding experience — especially those students who have stepped up to be a part of the RRCSA. It was amazing to see what they are capable of and help cultivate that possibility,” said Orr.

This volunteer board member position is a one-year term from September 2022 to September 2023, with an opportunity to extend per interest and approval. Meetings are held in-person monthly, with nine meetings a year.

The deadline to apply is August 19, 2022, at 3 p.m. For more information and to apply, visit the RRCSA website.

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RRC Polytech’s mentorship program helps student land refreshing summer job

July 29, 2022

Stars were aligning for Sehajdeep Singh in early 2020 – a Business Technology Management (BTM) student finishing up his first year, he had a summer job lined up at a credit union in a different city and was looking forward to putting what he was learning in school to the test.

But, the COVID-19 pandemic turned his plans upside down.

Due to lockdowns, Singh’s summer job fell through and he had to go back to the drawing board. Unsure if he’d be able to find a similar placement in Winnipeg, Singh began working his network.

As a member of the RRC Polytech Café, the College’s mentorship and networking platform that connects students with alumni, Singh had access to graduates from a variety of industries.

That’s how he met Dennis Cunningham, a 1991 graduate of the Creative Communications program.

“I heard about [the platform] through an email from Alumni Engagement and I liked the idea of being a mentor. I’ve been out of the College since 1991, so I’ve got a fairly decent network in the city,” said Cunningham, who works at Assiniboine Credit Union as the Manager of Environmental Sustainability.

The pair exchanged emails and Singh told Cunningham about his placement falling through.

“I said, I know a couple of people that work for either an IT company or someone that owns their own business that might be looking for somebody and I’m happy to connect you with those people,” Cunningham said. “That’s kind of how it happened. Classic Winnipeg: somebody knows somebody, and when you know them, I kind of know them, too.”

One of Cunningham’s running mates, Darryl Stewart, happened to be the right connection.

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Making their mark at Brandish

July 26, 2022

To borrow a stock market term, it’s fair to say Brandish is bullish on RRC Polytech.

Among the 35 staff at this young and growing Winnipeg branding agency – it was founded in 2015 – are 10 RRC Polytech graduates.

And they’re bringing serious skills in communication, design, and strategy to the table in helping clients shine and Brandish itself earn national recognition.

Case in point: Alexandra Martin (pictured above), a 2015 graduate of the joint communications program through The University of Winnipeg and RRC Polytech. An Advertising major, she gained experience in copywriting, project management, and business intelligence with several local agencies. A chance meeting with Brandish co-founders Lee Waltham and Derek Elliott at a conference led to her joining the agency in 2017.

“Including me, there were just four of us,” she said. “As the company grew, I started to lead the brand discipline as a whole—consulting on research, strategy, creative, or campaigns. I’ve been fortunate to hire some strong people to build a team.”

Now the Director of Brand at the agency, Martin enjoys helping clients bridge the gap between their brand and their customers.

“We love to partner with organizations ready to transform themselves,” Martin said.

“Today, telling an effective story is so essential. Strategic thinking and research come first. It takes time to get it right.”

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Join the RRC Polytech Café for your chance to win!

July 18, 2022

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

More than 3,200 current students and alumni members have already joined the Café, and more than 17,700 connections have been made so far since launching in 2020.

Learn more about how the platform works >

Contest Now Closed

Accelerate your personal and professional development – sign up to become a member of the RRC Polytech Café between July 18 and 29, 2022 for your chance to win one of 10 $25 digital gift cards for Goodlocal! This contest is open to all current students and RRC Polytech alumni.

The contest closes on July 29 at 3 p.m. and the winners will be notified by email. Forgot to enter the contest? You can join the RRC Polytech Café at any time to start working your network!

Visit Contest Rules and Regulations for the official contest rules.

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Free Event: Celebration of Indigenous Cultures, Arts, Languages, and Entrepreneurship

June 10, 2022

RRC Polytech alumni are invited to a Celebration of Indigenous Cultures, Arts, Languages, and Entrepreneurship, an RBC Reaction by Collision Event on June 20th from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. – the perfect precursor to your National Indigenous People’s Day and Summer Solstice festivities!

This is a great opportunity for alumni to network with fellow RRC Polytech community members, meet Indigenous entrepreneurs and community organizations, and explore Manitou a bi Bii daziigaeWhere Creator Sits, Brings Light in Anishinaabemowin – our newest building at our Exchange District Campus, which features Indigenous elements, art, and inspiration, and is designed as a hub for technology, collaboration, and community.

Settle into the newly opened Roundhouse Auditorium, with incredible artwork by Anishinaabe/Nêhiyaw/British artist KC Adams, for the opening Pipe Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. with RRC Polytech Elders-in-Residence, followed by intimate Teachings and Storytelling. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of elegant, top-rated, and high energy performances, a panel discussion, and special guest speakers in the main Agora. Explore pockets of Indigenous makers and entrepreneurs, and connect with community groups and special guests throughout the near net zero efficiency space. All are welcome to this community celebration that highlights Indigenous knowledge, talent, and innovation.

You are also invited to join us for a special announcement at 3:30 – 4:00 p.m. to celebrate and honour the partnership between RBC and RRC Polytech. RBC’s investment in students today will put RRC Polytech in front of what’s ahead.

Check out the lineup of special guest performers and learn more >

Globetrotting Hotel and Tourism Management grad thrives in fine wine career in New Zealand

June 10, 2022

There’s no question a Hospitality and Tourism Management diploma from RRC Polytech can take you places, as grads and practicum students alike land in workplaces as varied as mountain lodges in Banff, Alberta, to northern outposts among the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.

For Mitch Hyndman, though, it’s hard to beat a career in as far-flung a place as New Zealand, where he’s excelled in hotel and wine tourism for much of the last 16 years.

RRC Polytech graduate Mitch Hyndman

“I’m from small-town Manitoba, just north of Brandon,” says Hyndman, who graduated from RRC Polytech in 2007. “Back when I was studying, they said you can go anywhere in the world — and my mom’s uncle was down here. I decided to go check it out.”

Today, Hyndman is working at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the second largest alcohol and wine producer in the world. He’s the Brand Home Manager at Church Road Winery — located in picturesque Hawke’s Bay, just a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. Church Road offers wine tastings, winery experiences, large-scale events, and also features a restaurant, with Hyndman overseeing all of it and maintaining consistency in customer experience.

“It’s quite multi-faceted what I do,” says Hyndman. “I’m leading a team, including HR and payroll, but it’s also quality control, keeping everything up to what our standards need to be. We’re also a marketing business in some capacity, so it’s ensuring that everyone who comes through the door has the best brand experience possible.”

Before landing in the current role, which he’s held for eight years, Hyndman bounced back and forth between New Zealand and Canada — working more than half of the time at hotels, including the Delta and Fairmont in Winnipeg, and a luxury lodge back on the island. There were some challenges along the way, including coming to New Zealand’s capital for a practicum and having it fall through on arrival.

“In New Zealand, there’s lots of transient people, a lot of people that come here on a working holiday visa. I was supposed to do a practicum up in Auckland, but it fell through because I came in May — you’d think that would be a great time to come, but it’s the start of winter here — so the hours for the tourism sector were declining at that stage. There wasn’t as much happening as in the summer.”

“So the first practicum fell through, which I had lined up before I came. I had to find something else when I got here. With that, I got an exception and was able to graduate with the rest of my class.”

Hyndman says his RRC Polytech experience laid a solid foundation for the learning he’s done since, with each workplace adding to the skillset he now needs to perform in a management role.

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Creative Communications alumni find success in unexpected places

May 24, 2022

A new series on RRC Polytech’s RED Blog celebrates alumni career successes and the—sometimes wayward—journeys our alumni take post-graduation. The series features a variety of RRC Polytech programs from the viewpoints of different alumni, each with an amazing story to share.

In April, two Creative Communications graduates were highlighted: Lucasfilm lore master and Distinguished Graduate Award winner Pablo Hidalgo, and grad-turned-instructor Doug Darling, CEO of Tripwire Media Group.

Distinguished Graduate Award recipient Pablo Hidalgo

Pablo Hidalgo took what he learned in Creative Communications at RRC Polytech and combined it with his love of Star Wars to become the resident Yoda at Lucasfilm—seemingly all-knowing and the go-to guy aspiring Padawans approach to learn the history and lore of the force. When J.J. Abrams had questions during the production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Hidalgo was the master with all the answers.

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