Student Reflections on First Course

The Corey Gill Story

A Unique Education for a Diverse Career 

What does a Master’s level student look like? Sometimes, like Corey Gill, he is a happily married father of three, “an avid do-it-yourselfer with a basement renovation underway,” who stays involved in his kids’ lives, swimming with his daughter and coaching his sons hockey team.

Corey began his professional career in corporate security, moved to video game development, then IT management, and finally technology sales. Today, he holds the position of Vice President & Deputy Head of Sales for Canada at a multi-national systems integrator. He knew that a Master’s level education would be highly beneficial to his career momentum.

Cutting Through the Uncertainty and Unfamiliar Workload

Corey is the epitome of a life-long learner:

“I graduated high school and went on to earn a Certificate in Adult Education, two Diplomas – one in Law Enforcement and another in Network Engineering – and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies,” he said.

The challenge for Corey was finding a program to suit his busy personal and professional life:

“I was interested in a program that provided the best balance value, reputation, accessibility, and curriculum. I try to remain active in the lives of my children and found the location and onsite time requirements of many Executive MBA programs limiting. I discovered UFred about 2.5 years ago, and investigated it as thoroughly as possible.”

Online learning proved unfamiliar territory for Corey, as he had only ever taken “hybrid courses; classroom courses with online tools to support them.” His sister had taken a structured online program in the past and she attempted to set expectations for him. He remained skeptical, but was finally won over by, “the combination of curriculum, including the focus streams, the online format, and the rave reviews of the program,” he said he found at the University of Fredericton.

He was apprehensive at first glance of his course work with UFred:

“When I first looked at the Master Table, I was immediately concerned about workload, my ability, and even the online format. I recall the difficulty in writing my first research paper; it seemed like an insurmountable challenge. However, with the great online classes, the supportive nature of Dr. Don McCain, and the comradery of my classmates – each assignment felt a little more natural (never easy, but certainly doable.)”

As he worked through his course work, Corey found that his early apprehension regarding structured online learning was unwarranted; “The tools used were intuitive, logical, and easy to access on any device (I use a laptop, tablet, and phone),” he said.

A Memorable Experience

Frequent travel is often a part of a busy career and with that can come unexpected circumstances. Corey endured one such event, and with the flexibility of the UFred online program, was still able to attend his class despite the maelstrom that was once his well-planned itinerary:

I was due in Montreal for business and had a flight booked Tuesday afternoon. I had booked it early so I could check into the hotel and be available for vClass the night. An ice storm set in that day and my flight was canceled; however, I still needed to be in Montreal. The flexibility of an online course saved the day. I emailed Dr. McCain and explained that I would be in transit…I was able to connect to the class and spend the entire class driving through the freezing rain to my destination.

Reflections on his First Class

In reflection upon completing his first course, Corey was surprised to find useful lessons that were immediately applicable.

“I found the first course to be very relevant to my past, present, and future. The information covered helped me to identify past experiences and better understand why certain experiences unfolded the way they did. It also helped me look at my current role in a new way; providing a better understanding of my boss, peers, and subordinates.”

He is looking forward to continued benefits of the upcoming classes leading up to his degree and pleased to share his positive experience with others:

“After completing my first course, I knew I made the right decision and would confidently recommend the UFred program to anyone interested in obtaining an MBA or Executive MBA.”