Sandy Pipko came to the First Nations University of Canada not knowing what to expect.
“(I was) a child who was a part of the 60s scoop whom did not know much of her culture,” says Sandy. But, she eventually came to love this university.
Sandy graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration in 1997.
Some of the things she loved about FNUniv were the smaller, more personal classes and also having classes with the same students. This helped a lot, especially when it came to studying and working on assessments because everyone knew everyone and was comfortable with their peers.
The person who impacted her in a significant way was one of her professors, Richard Missens. He provided a lot of support to students who were struggling.
“Richard would go out of his way,” she says. “(Also asking) if you needed any extra notes.”
Sandy remembers one time that she was struggling in class and was pondering if this right was for her. She didn’t come to class for a week or so. Richard and other professors were worried and calling her at home just to check on her.
She says they were also telling her ‘to make sure that you get the notes from the previous days because the midterm tests were just around the corner.’
Sandy says lot of professors would not typically do that for their students. That is the main difference between this university and others, with smaller classes the professors go the extra mile just to see all the students succeed and reach their goals.
The Business Administration classes were even smaller than general Arts classes. The students were almost always in the same classes together, so they were able to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses; they were also able to build strong bonds with each other.
Sandy says these strong bonds helped build friendships they still have today. This was the main thing that Sandy says was the biggest difference between FNUniv and other institutions.
Sandy now works for the University of Regina as the Indigenous Job Search Coordinator. She helps students find part time jobs and also helps students through their university studies.
Sandy sends out job postings she receives and forwards them to the students; she also helps build their resumes and write their cover letters, and gives pointers on how to prepare for job interviews and whatever else the students need.