FREDERICTON – After two Master’s degrees, a Fulbright Scholarship, a 10-year career in communications technology and a 10-year stint at the American embassy, Silvia Moreno of Ecuador still felt she had more to learn. She was bringing up two children on her own, her job at the embassy had been eliminated and her sons wanted to study in Canada.
“I found myself in the position of raising my children by myself and thinking about what to do next,” she said. “My youngest son was accepted to NBCC, but he decided not to go there because he wanted to be close to his brother (in Newfoundland). So I decided to go instead!”
With both sons safely enrolled at Memorial University, Moreno could step into the next stage of her life. She enrolled in the Information Technology: Business Analysis program at the Fredericton Campus and quickly fell in love with her new city.
“This has been a wonderful experience, not only academically but also personally,” she said. “Canadian people are so nice, so inclusive. I love this place. I have been around the world, visiting so many cities, but this one really stole my heart.
“I love the river, all the greenness, the changing colours of fall….even the white of the snow on top of the houses. It’s beautiful.”
Even with her considerable educational background, Moreno found the course work challenging and interesting. She also found her classmates to be hardworking and dedicated. When the class was finishing up its final projects, she was fascinated by how quick her classmates were to lend each other a hand on their assignments.
“They all have their own personal struggles and I see how driven they are, how hard they work to succeed. They’re inspiring,” she said.
“The academic level here is very high, even compared to my Master’s. Because this is a one-year program, it’s very intense, I would say equivalent to my Master’s. The instructors are very good, because they have experience not just in the classroom but also in the field.”
For Moreno, one of the best parts of the program was the opportunity to complete a work practicum at the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. She’s grateful for the opportunity to gain real-life work experience before graduation.
Following graduation, Moreno hopes to make Fredericton her permanent home. She has a strong desire to contribute to New Brunswick’s economic and social prosperity. Being part of the Atlantic Canada Study and Stay program has helped her adapt to life in New Brunswick and will aid in her search for a career.
“We came here for a reason,” she said. “We have to do whatever we can to make it stronger. We were very fortunate to be able to come here. Not everyone has this opportunity and we need to make the most of it.”