It’s Off To School We Go!

It’s Off To School We Go!

September 23, 2019

20 Minutes


About the author

Taya is Pinnguaq’s Marketing and Communications Lead, also managing Pinnguaq’s day-to-day social media. She is a graduate of Durham College, where she received an advanced diploma in Music Business Management. Taya has previously worked with emerging artists and small businesses in helping them brand and develop an online presence. When she’s not online, she enjoys listening to music on vinyl and playing old school Mario Kart.

It’s a new school year, so we decided to send a couple of our staff off to college!

As any committed organization does, we aim to create an atmosphere where our staff are encouraged and supported to continually grow and learn new skill-sets to achieve their professional career goals and dreams. With that in mind, we introduced an Educational Leave Policy.

Our Office Administrator, Hailey Bennett and the Iqaluit Makerspace’s “Techy Intern”, Mac Pavia are off to college! During their employment, these employees’ roles within the company have grown tremendously since first being hired. Alongside their natural talents and drive, we were able to provide them with the opportunities and resources to grow their professional and digital skills; working side-by-side with industry professionals and mentors. Now we’re supporting them to attend post-secondary courses so they can further their education, to expand and build their credentials.

The progress of Hailey and Mac’s professional journeys, as they reach this next milestone in their respective learning cycles, is an embodiment of the Pinnguaq Life Cycle:

Now, a few words from our staff…

Hailey Bennett

An illustrated portrait of Hailey.
A portrait of Hailey Bennett; commissioned by Pinnguaq’s 2D artist, Ian MacLean.

Over the last two years, I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to work alongside everyone at Pinnguaq. I started off as a social media intern, who was only supposed to be hired for about 3 months or so, and from there have built my way up. I have provided support for my colleagues, spent countless hours testing apps and games to make sure they were good to be put out into the world, helped with tech camps and over the last year or so I have taken on the general duties of an Office Administrator. Halfway through last year, Ryan had brought up the idea of me going to school to further my education and career within the company, and with that, I decided it was time to go to school. While at Pinnguaq I had the opportunity to be exposed to how the web works through WordPress, Squarespace, and Pinnguaq’s proprietary learning space which inspired me to go to school for something to do with web design. When deciding what program I potentially wanted to do, I was torn between something to do with the graphic design half, and the web design half. Through further research, I found the Interactive Media Design program at Durham College, which incorporates both graphic and web design. I hope to come back with a better understanding of how web design and coding work to be able to collaborate with the web team, as well as have a little bit more of an understanding for graphic design and everything that goes into both. I also hope to potentially be a mentor to other colleagues after some time too.

Mac Pavia

portrait of Mac Pavia, one of the 2019 school attendees
A portrait of Mac Pavia; commissioned by Pinnguaq’s 2D artist, Ian MacLean.

I will be taking Graphic Design at the Mohawk Fennell Campus in Hamilton, Ontario. One of the main reasons I decided to take graphic design was because of my time spent growing up in my family’s sign shop. When I lived in Alberta, I was online schooled for 3 years, during this time I was able to make signage and help out with the family business. I got to see my mom use the design process from start to finish with customers. When I moved to Iqaluit, I started to toy around with Adobe Photoshop and from there I taught myself to create photo composites (combining two images into one). It was one night after I had spent three hours working on an image that my mom suggested that I should become a graphic designer- I thought about it and agreed. As for future plans (and this is very far into the future) I want to open my own sign shop. I hope that through my studies I will be able to produce better photo composites and learn more about the process of graphic design. I hope to follow in my mom’s footsteps and get the opportunity to learn more about the creative design process that companies will use when marketing products.

On behalf of the Pinnguaq team, we wish both Hailey and Mac all the best in this next chapter of their lives. We are all so very proud of what you two have accomplished with your time at Pinnguaq. We know you two will do great!

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