Alumni Engagement

News, Profiles and Events

Join RRC Polytech’s Animal Care Committee

November 9, 2022

Red River College Polytechnic’s Animal Care Committee (ACC) is seeking applications to fill the role of community representative – all interested RRC Polytech alumni members are encouraged to apply!

The ACC is dedicated to setting and maintaining high standards for animal use and care at RRC Polytech. The ACC community representative brings an outside perspective to the committee, providing insight, direction, and unbiased feedback.

Who should apply?

  • You’re an RRC Polytech alumni member who has a love for animals and care for their wellbeing.
  • You want to provide feedback and assist in the approval of Animal Use Protocols that we follow at the College.
  • You care about the Veterinary Technology program and want to make sure the program continues to receive accreditation by the Canadian Council on Animal Care.
  • You are passionate about volunteering for a good cause.

By joining the ACC as the community representative, you’ll gain valuable experience on a committee that is essential for the operations of our Veterinary Technology program. The community representative will sit as a volunteer on the committee and attend two to three meetings per year. Community representatives on the committee cannot be employees of RRC Polytech or employed in the Veterinary field.

The ACC seeks to fill this role before the next committee meeting, scheduled for early December. To apply, send a short biography and describe your interest in the role to Curtis Aab, Chair, RRC Polytech Life Sciences.

Deadline to apply is November 21, 2022. For more information, please contact Curtis Aab at

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Creative Communications a full circle journey for Convocation alumni speaker

October 25, 2022

The opportunity to speak at your alma mater’s Convocation is an honour coveted by many. For Sara Calnek, a graduate of the College’s Creative Communications program, that opportunity came about in an atypical way – it came from wanting to win an RRC Polytech sweater.

“I’ve always wanted one,” she says with a laugh. “You know, you’ll see alumni sweaters around all the time – but when I was just out of school, it was expensive, and I didn’t have permanent job at the time.”

The contest in question, run last fall, asked alumni entrants to say what they love about the College. Calnek’s submission was a heartfelt one – talking about how the program allowed her to diversify her now-15-year career in newsrooms and corporate settings, her gratitude for the education, and the “wide breadth of knowledge” that came with her diploma, which she earned in 2007.

Months after Calnek hit “Submit,” alumni engagement staff at the College reached out to her about an opportunity to speak at the Spring 2022 convocation – the first one planned to be in-person since the onset of the pandemic.

“So, I didn’t win the sweater, but I got one of the best experiences of my life, which was speaking to grads.”

In her speech, the Senior Multimedia Specialist at Canada Life encouraged students to be life-long learners.

“Since graduating, I’ve presented to students about how the program got me to where I am. That included all of what I talked about – making contacts, being fearless, learning to push myself and learning from those in my industry.”

Calnek also talked about the career path that brought her to her current role with Canada Life, which began somewhere familiar for Creative Communications grads – starting a job with your work placement employer. For Calnek, who graduated from what was then known as Broadcast Production, that employer was CTV Winnipeg, and her first role was videographer and editor.

In what started as weekend work “mostly chasing ambulances around,” Calnek moved up the ranks and earned a permanent role at CTV in 2007.

“I had my own gear, my own truck, and was able to do some travelling, too.”

Out-of-city gigs included covering the World Women’s Curling Championships, the Canadian Hockey League Memorial Cup, and even a 24-hour trip to Disneyworld along with Make-a-Wish Foundation kids.

Calnek continued her newsroom career at CTV, then at CBC Manitoba, for eight years before government cuts left her at a career crossroads. She started to look at crossing over into corporate work and found a landing spot at Canada Life (then Great-West Life).

“Luckily, I had this great education. The thing about a Creative Communications education is it gives you so many skills, so you can make that pivot easily with the training you have.”

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Free Virtual Event Highlighting Careers in Climate

October 20, 2022

You’re invited! We’re excited to bring you a special series of virtual events called #CareersinClimate, in partnership with Ten Thousand Coffees. This two-part series kicks off on October 27th at 2:00 p.m. CT with a discussion on how Canada’s largest organizations are building a more sustainable future.

Join Ten Thousand Coffees founder and CEO Dave Wilkin and guest speakers Tewfik Atia (Senior Vice-President, WSP) and Madeline Oliver (Talent Acquisition Specialist, Golder) as they discuss how companies are adapting the ways they operate and measure success in light of climate change, as well as job opportunities in environmental impact and how to make your application stand out.

Why you should register:
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, presenting both a challenge and incredible opportunity to make positive change for future generations. Change can happen at any level – from the choices that individuals make on a daily basis to the commitments that large organizations make towards a more sustainable future.

Learn how you can make an impact with your career – click here to register for #CareersinClimate on Thursday, October 27 at 2 p.m. CT.

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“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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RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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