Lynn Verge (DIA Community
Services), Angyang Xu (DIA Community Services and Para-Public Administration)
and Samantha Aiton (DIA Health Care)
Lynn Verge is a former Newfoundland cabinet minister, Angyang Xu is a
Chinese forestry official, and Samantha Aiton was the provincial revenue
auditor for New Brunswick.
What these three people have in common is that they are all students in
Concordias Graduate Diploma in Administration or Diploma in Sports
Administration (DIA/DSA). The program offers training in the management
of organizations in the non-profit sector, including health care, the
arts, community development and sport.
Dr. Clarence Bayne has been the director of the program since 1989; he
also teaches in the Department of Decision Sciences/Management Information
Systems at Concordias John Molson School of Business. His position
as director is fully in keeping with his cross-disciplinary interests
and commitment to community. All his life he has been involved with non-profit
agencies and civil liberties organizations. This program is ideal
for people who want to know where they fit in the larger scheme of things,
for people who are moved to collective action and are more comfortable
in the non-profit sector.
Lynn Verge was elected to the Newfoundland legislature five times from
1979 until 1996. During that time she served as minister of education
for six years and minister of justice and attorney-general for four years.
In her late 40s, she has always liked working in the public service as
well as in voluntary organizations.
I found myself energized by different kinds of volunteer work, in
political campaigns, arts organizations, the womens movement.
The fall of the Progressive Conservatives in 1996 in Newfoundland turned
into the opportunity to work as a lawyer, travel, study French and do
volunteer work. When she saw an ad for the DIA/DSA, it looked like the
right choice at the right time.
Tailormade for career goals
Samantha Aiton has a Bachelor of Commerce with a joint major in accounting
and management from St. Marys University, in Halifax.
Now in her late 20s, she saw the program as an opportunity to make a career
move. Halfway through her accountancy degree, she found that accounting
didnt really suit her. She finished the program anyway, moved back
to New Brunswick and started working as an accountant. After four years,
she was looking for a change.
I knew I was interested in the health sector, so I researched the
options, Aiton said. This program seemed tailor-made for the
kind of career I had in mind.
Angyang Xu is senior engineer of the forestry department of Heilongjiang
Province in China, specializing in wetland conservation and nature reserves
management. Last year, he managed the Sanjiang Wetland Conservation Project
for the United Nations Global Environment Facility.
Xu, in his late 30s, has been involved in environmental work since he
graduated from university in 1985. In recent years, he has participated
in wildlife conservation in co-operation with international conservation
organizations in Japan, Russia, the United States and, of course, China.
I have become more and more interested in the non-profit sector,
he said, and this is a sector which is just in its early stages
in China. Friends told him about the program at Concordia and he
feels it is exactly what he was looking for.
The program is flexible and allows students to participate on a full-time
or part-time basis. Built into it is an internship (three-month minimum)
in the field of your choice.
Finding the perfect match is the task of Chen Huang, assistant director
and internship coordinator for the program.
Students are becoming more and more specific about what they want
and we have been very successful in placing them in organizations most
suited to their goals, she said. Usually the organizations
are so impressed with the students we send, that they keep them on, and
even want us to send more students.
Concordia DIA/DSA grads have found work at the National Research Council,
with Les Grands ballets canadiens, the Canadian Council for Refugees,
Open City Productions, the Cirque du Soleil, in health organizations,
environmental organizations, and with the National Hockey League.
Sometimes there are more internship opportunities than there are
students to fill them, Huang said.