Students get connected at Kinnect conference

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On January 15, Brock students gathered in Pond Inlet to get connected to a wealth of career advice. The Kinnect conference, hosted by the Kinesiology Students’ Association, featured four guest speakers who hold various positions related to sport and health care

The conference, which started three years ago, was created to be an outlet for Kinesiology students to learn about potential careers opportunities after graduation.

“It’s so important to see other opportunities because with the programs here it’s so athletic based that you can lose sight of other opportunities,” said Kinesiology Students’ Association Co-President, Chantale Aquin.

In order to allow students the opportunity to interact with the speakers, the Kinesiology Students’ Association has endeavored to keep the event smaller and more intimate. However, they are pleased that this year ticket sales increased and a total of 100 students attended the conference.

After a quick greeting from the Kinesiology Students’ Association, the night began with a discussion from Julie Beaulieu. Beaulieu has been a High-Performance Manager at Wrestling Canada since 2017.

Beaulieu’s talk showed students that career paths do not need to be straightforward. Over the years, Beaulieu studied sports science, teaching and engineering. She worked as a coach, a researcher, an engineer and a teacher. Today her job consists of events management, national team selection, athletic therapy and much more.

“Manage your expectations. Don’t turn down opportunities because you think they are crap, diversify, knowing several languages is always useful, volunteer, network,” said Beaulieu.

“Good advice is good advice no matter where it comes from.”

The next speaker was Adam Douglas, who has worked with the Ottawa Senators of the NHL, Hockey Canada, and is now a Strength and Conditioning Specialist at York University. Douglas spent the bulk of his presentation talking about his current research study about Women’s Hockey Performance.

After a quick intermission, students had the opportunity to hear from Dr. David Levy. Levy created the first Sports Medicine clinic in Southern Ontario and worked as the team physician for various varsity sports teams at McMaster University and for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  During his talk, he spoke about his 45 years of experience on the sidelines of games. He discussed various ways in which healthcare has changed over time. Levy kept the room entertained by providing students with great insight into possible career paths, all the while showing his great sense of humor.

The fourth and final speaker was Trent Stellingwerff, an Applied Sport Scientists Practitioner. He has worked with the Nestlé research center in Switzerland, and is currently the Director of Sports Science and Medicine in Athletics Canada. His advice to students was to find mentors in their lives.

The conference finished with a question and answer session. Students were invited to ask any of the speakers anything they were interested in. During this session, the importance of lifelong learning and taking advantage of all opportunities was again stressed by Beaulieu. These sentiments were echoed by the other speakers. It was made clear that none of the speakers ended up where they had planned.

“I think the event was fabulous. Being our third time, we’ve worked the wrinkles out,” said Dr. Brian Roy, Kinesiology Department Chair.

Kinesiology Students’ Association Co-president Aquin made a point of saying that these lessons are not only applicable to Kinesiology Students. “If you’re not even sure what you want to do after your undergrad, coming out to a conference like this could give you ideas even though it’s not your main program.”

For those of you who might have missed the conference this year, the conference will be back again next year. According to Aquin, “We are already in talks for next year.”

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