Learning is the adventure of a lifetime

Fri, Apr 15 2016


Analyst. Volunteer educator. Avid learner.

Hailing from Vancouver, Cydney Peck may not have immigrated from as far away as her English as an Additional Language (EAL) students, but she feels a connection with them. They are, after all, trying to find their bearings in a new city.

“I kind of feel like we’re all in it together,” she says. “Some of them have gone through some amazing things. They’re just so happy to be here—and we complain about the snow together.”

Before becoming a volunteer EAL instructor at an Edmonton charity, Cydney taught English in Japan and Vancouver. Even after she started her master’s degree in education and was hired by MacEwan University, she continued to volunteer and work with students, inspired by the people she gets to help.

“As a teacher, that's what I always hope for, that someone can learn, and be empowered and effective.”

“ I try to approach any learning opportunity with enthusiasm because I really believe that there is always more to learn.” 

Empowering and supporting students is a key part of her role as senior business systems analyst at MacEwan University—though, unlike in her teaching role, she does this without actually conversing with the students. “So many people are bogged down with manual business processes, like filling out forms,” she says. “We try to make everything as automated as possible for our students.”

As a business analyst, Cydney works behind the scenes to support students and staff members. She is part of a team looking for opportunities to improve on areas within the university’s student system. “My background is not anywhere in IT, but with a master’s in education, I am really focused on students. It’s all about them.”

Becoming a business analyst was new to Cydney. She admits she never thought about business systems the way she does now, but learning drives her—when her coworkers recommended the Business Analysis certificate through the School of Continuing Education, she jumped at the chance, though she was already in the midst of her graduate studies.

“I try to approach any learning opportunity with enthusiasm because I really believe that there is always more to learn,” she says. “No matter how good you are at something, you can always keep learning and improving.”

Learning has also been a catalyst for meeting new people—often hard to do when you move to a new city. “I like the connection it gives me to other people, and I think it helps in all aspects of my life: my work, my relationships and my personal life goals. I'm not from Edmonton, so sometimes it’s hard to meet people, but I've met some really great people through the courses I’ve taken here at MacEwan.”

Her fellow students are the same people her work aims to support. “I remember being in class one day and some students were talking about the new School of Continuing Education registration system, which I had worked on, and I had a great sense of satisfaction overhearing their conversation.”

Cydney Peck is a student in the School of Continuing Education. Find out more at MacEwan.ca/SCE.