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Written by: Cassie Pilon
Published in the Winter 2018 Business & Tourism Newsletter
Picture1Cassie Pilon is a transfer student in her final year of the Bachelor of Public Relations program. Last fall Cassie completed her third Co-op as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Department of Business & Tourism at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Growing up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and 15 minutes from the most easterly point in Canada (Cape Spear) is something Cassie is proud of. “The East Coast is a special place where people take the time to enjoy life and get to know others around them.”

The Mount encompasses that East Coast way of life. It’s a small university that mimics the framework of a small town. You know your classmates, professors, and catch on to campus life within your first few weeks here. Not to mention, everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand.

Previous to coming to the Mount, Cassie had never heard of PR or MSVU. Cassie was working as an assistant for an event planner and attending Memorial University when a co-worker suggested she apply for the PR program at the Mount. After some research and consideration, she applied in July, moved to Halifax, started at the Mount in September 2015 and has never looked back.

Cassie explains that one of the most fulfilling experiences has been the Co-operative Education program. “Co-op helps you recognize your professional skills, career choices and often you realize ‘Oh this is why we talked about this in class.’ You also come back to school with a greater understanding of your program.”

Cassie has happily completed three successful co-operative terms with Eastern Health, Environmental Damages Fund – Environment Canada, and the MSVU Department of Business & Tourism. During her work term with the Department of Business & Tourism, Cassie hit the ground running. Some of her many tasks included planning the Learners & Leaders Conference, attending Chamber of Commerce events, moderating Career Week panels, partaking in and coordinating Learning Passport activities, and participating in the New York City Study Tour.

Her involvement in and promotion of the Learning Passport made her no stranger to students. “I think by December they were sick of my e-mails.” Cassie jokes.

Aside from her work, Cassie also built relationships with the brilliant faculty, leaving her Co-Op with quite a few mentors. “They genuinely care about their students but I think that is obvious from the number of student events they host,” Cassie comments “The Learning Passport program takes a lot of hard work and the faculty spend months planning the events and activities.”

According to Dr. Sandi Findlay-Thompson, “Cassie Pilon has been an incredible and delightful addition to the Department. Upon Cassie’s arrival in late August, one of her many assignments was to organize the annual Learners and Leaders conference, the mandate of which is to bring together students and industry for a remarkable day and evening of networking and learning. As the lead faculty member involved with the conference, I worked closely with Cassie but it seemed every time I asked her to do something her reply was ‘already done.’ Her initiative, intelligence, positive attitude, and keen sense of humor are second to none. As a result, we had an incredibly successful conference and that is attributed directly to Cassie’s efforts and willingness to go well beyond the call of duty, often working late nights and through lunch to get things done. In short, Cassie is an amazing young woman, and I will be very disappointed to see her leave us in December as she moves on to her final semester of studies.”

In agreement with Dr. Findlay-Thompson, Cassie is sad to leave the department. “It’s bittersweet to be entering my last semester, I will most definitely miss everyone in the Department.” Her parting advice to students is, “Get to know the faculty and attend the events! Everyone is awesome and the opportunities are infinite.”