Seasons Greetings everyone! This year, PACE students started celebrating the holidays with the spirit of giving. The 2017 Global Holiday Party kicked off with our own performance of the 12 Days of Christmas (turned into the 12 Days of Giving). Students, staff, and faculty were encouraged to donate non-perishable goods to the food bank. We collected an amazing amount of food and started the holiday season off right!
The Global Holiday Party started right after classes on a brisk Friday afternoon. Everyone got together for dancing, games, food, and some delicious hot chocolate.
With everyone involved, the music selection was not only from all around the world but also out of this world. Music was chosen from every part of the globe, and it was fantastic! Popular music from dozens of countries was mixed in with some classic (and not-so-classic) Christmas carols, making it a holiday party to remember.
After a day’s worth of rigorous scholastic activities, everyone was hungry. The Global Holiday Party was the place to be on an empty stomach. I would highly recommend visiting the restaurants that sponsored our food choices. We had delectable hotdogs and sliders from Big Deal Catering, an amazingly delicious assortment of rice rolls and spring rolls from Bahn Mi King, and incredible sandwiches from Stella’s.
We tested everyone’s Canadian knowledge by having a Trivial Pursuit-based game. Canada has two national animals; do you know what they are? I’ll be honest, it took less than a second for someone to yell out, “beaver!” it took a few minutes (and a few hints) for someone else to yell out, “horse!!!!” If you knew the second national animal of Canada was the Canadian horse, then you, my friend, are a trivia master.
With everyone full of food, chocolate, and good times, to make the night a complete success, we handed out some presents. I was lucky enough to get some mouth-watering tea that I can’t wait to share with my class.
I hope your holidays have started off as exciting as ours. If not, there’s still time to share with your loved ones and keep the spirit of giving alive this holiday season.
Written by Stephanie Fung
Public Relations, Marketing, and Strategic Communications Class of 2018
I’ve always considered myself good with finances. I set up budgets and stayed within my limits by tracking my purchases. It wasn’t until I had my twins I realized how much better I could be with my money. When I was on Maternity Leave I became part of a close-knit group of other parents with multiples (twins & triplets). Many multiple families have 3, 4 or even 5 plus kids and often these households have only one parent earning an income. Over the years I’ve learned many handy money saving tips from these families and I’m here to share the wealth (literally!)
PC Points – easiest way, ever to earn money! This is a points card with Real Canadian Superstore (No Frills included) you receive points based on your purchases. Each Thursday they give you deals that if you purchase you get extra points (it’s through an app). You can earn extra points if you do your banking with PC and use your debit or MasterCard to make purchases. Most of the deals are small – for example if you purchase oranges you received 500 points which is .50 cents but trust me this adds up. And pay close attention for the big deals – for example if you purchase $200 in groceries get 20,000 points which is $20. I signed up in late 2013 and to date have cashed in on $930!!!
PC Financial Banking – it’s completely free to bank and has no annual fees with their credit cards. Most people don’t know PC financial is owned by CIBC so you can do your PC banking at their branches. Plus, you’ll receive way more PC points when you use PC Financial cards
Checkout 51– this is an app that has weekly deals (similar how PC points works) and if you purchase those items you’ll get money put into your account. Once you hit $20 you get a cheque mailed to you. All you have to do is purchase the products listed in their weekly deals, upload your receipt through the app and you get money back. I’ve joined about a year ago and so far am at $98.
Ebates– is another app similar to these. It’s useful if you do online shopping. You find the stores you wish to shop at (for example Sport Check) and go through the Ebates site to buy products. You earn a percent back based on your purchase. I tried it once for a Xmas gift and just received a $6 cheque in the mail the other day.
Price matching– many grocery stores price match. So if you find a really good deal in a flyer, you can take the flyer with you to a different store and ask the cashier to price match. Superstore, No Frills, Wal Mart, Toys R Us are a few stores that do this. ****No Frills often has incredible deals. (For example 24 pack bottled water $1.00) so I always keep an eye on their weekly flyer and then use it at superstore where I do my grocery shopping
Flipp – this is a price matching app. You can search popular items such as cheese or chicken breast and it will populate all the grocery stores flyers with their current prices. You can use this to price match by taking screen shots (as long as the date is showing) and showing the cashier to price match.
Couponing – I’m not big into coupons as I find it time intensive but this is a great save to save big bucks. There are many coupon groups on Facebook that post great deals. What people do is find coupons for a certain product then go on flipp to see where that product is on sale and in many cases you’ll get the product for free or next to nothing. For example- I saw someone post a deal for Frank’s Red Hot Sauce there was a $3 coupon and was on sale at Wal Mart for $2.95 and Wal Mart actually paid this person the .05 cent difference
Stacking – this refers to doubling on deals. So for example a few weeks ago I found a great sale on diapers. That week I had a deal show up on my PC Points for 1000 points for every $10 I spend on diapers. I bought 2 boxes (over $60) so got $6 back on my PC Points and Checkout 51 also had $6 off when buy 2 boxes so I’m now up to $12 off plus the saving from the original sale ($5) I decided to go online to Huggies website and print off a $2 coupon so in total I saved $19 off diapers
Save money in Winnipeg – great Facebook group for daily deals around Winnipeg. Saw this deal the other week- Giant Tiger was blowing out packages of bacon for $1.44
Buying used – there are some great options for buying items used. kijiji is a common website. I’d also recommend Plateo’s Closet they sell high quality used clothes. You can also use these to sell your unwanted items and earn some money
The word student seems to be synonymous with the word stress. Life as a post-secondary student, contrary to what some may think, is not easy. Being a student comes with its own unique stressors and challenges, including managing deadlines and time, worrying about grades, relationships, finances, work schedules, bus schedules, instructors and the list goes on and on…. Over my many years as a student, I realized that in order to be succeed academically, I needed to take care of myself on many different levels, physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. Here are some strategies that helped me cope with the many stressors of being a post-secondary student:
Acknowledging & Taking Control of Your Stress (STOPP)
One of the most useful strategies I learned was to make time for myself, no matter how busy I am, and reflect on how I’m feeling, and where I am at mentally. Once I made the time to check in with myself when I felt overwhelmed, I recognized the power of my own negative thoughts. I started to allow myself time to acknowledge these thoughts, and quickly take control of them by using a cognitive-behavioral technique, STOPP:
S: STOP! Just pause for a moment
T: Take a breath. Notice your breathing as you breathe in and out
O: Observe (What thoughts are going through your mind? Where is your focus of attention? What are you reacting to? What sensations do you notice in your body?) Image retrieved from clipartsign.com P: Pull back & put in some perspective (What is the bigger picture? What is another way of looking at this situation? It will pass)
P: Practice what works (what is the best thing to do right now?)
Allotting time to check-in with yourself, and recognize that the situation/event will pass, and that you are in full control over how you respond and react to this situation. For example, I remember feeling stressed about having to do my first presentation in University, worrying about what others will think if I slip up, or what the instructor will do in front of the class. After using the STOPP technique, I realized that I was able to control my stress and anxiety by focusing on my breathing and changing my perspective. I thought about the great learning opportunity, and how practice will help me overcome my fear of public speaking. Once I finished my presentation, I reflected on the situation, and how it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Next presentation, I felt prepared and confident.
Holistic Approach to Stress
Lastly, understanding how stress affects you can also help you manage your mental health more effectively. The stress cycle represents four separate components (Intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical) which are all influenced and impacted by your levels of stress.
When you are stressed…do you worry, engage in negative thinking, lack concentration and motivation, and find it hard to make sound judgments? (Intellectual)
When you are stressed… do you see your future as bleak, doubt your ability to succeed, feel as though life doesn’t have much meaning? (Spiritual)
When you are stressed…do you pull back from your friends & family? Lack confidence? Feel depressed? Feel alone and sad all of the time? (Emotional)
Image retrieved from jemedic.com
When you are stressed… do you get headaches? Get sick more often? Feel tense and find it hard to breathe? Feel tired and sore? Do you eat more? Drink more? Smoke more? Yell more? (Physical)
It is important to notice changes in yourself relating to your thinking, emotions, spirituality and physical health when you are stressed, as the first step in managing your stress, is to acknowledge how it is affecting you.
Not all techniques work for everybody, and some techniques need practice. Don’t feel discouraged if a strategy that works for someone else does not work for you. Continue to try new techniques, and remember, being a student is not easy! You are not alone in your experiences, and reach out to a friend, classmate, instructor, staff member, family member or mental health professional if you need additional support.
Kelly Carpick, Academic Advisor for PACE Full-Time Programs
Coming from a very competitive business environment, where the pursuit of present profit, or the trade off for future higher one were always the drivers in decision making. I was hesitant to the idea of applying for an internship position at Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), as part of the concluding step of my Project Management Program at PACE.
Motivated by the positive comments of many that knew the organization, I was easily persuaded to apply. But my doubt did not stop with my application, and it continued until I started interacting with MPI staff.
I was thoroughly interviewed, tested, and background checked. I started my internship without big expectation, only with the curiosity of someone that is both: Taking his new set of knowledge for a spin, and of one that is eager to work after putting work life on hold to study full time for a year.
I was greeted on my first day, by very friendly staff. They stressed more than me while seeing the amount of learning modules I had to read and get tested on before I could start using the company’s work system (74 modules in total).
Once I started working and got to sit down with the Project Management team at the Physical Damage Research & Training Centre, I was impressed by the amount of projects focus on safety driving, imposing safety standards, complying with vehicle inspection, earning and keeping a repair shop licence, training, and many others.
Research is being conducted on the new materials vehicles are using, and if body shops in Manitoba are keeping updated on new repair techniques, so vehicles are not sent back to the streets without being properly reconditioned to meet the standards.
The impact of self-driving cars as a safety issue, and going into details such as: Working with the fire department to know how are they going to cut open an electric vehicle, that has charged wires all over its structure in case of a catastrophic accident, without putting the life of our first responders, and passengers in danger.
The frequency of vehicle inspections: Auditing the process to guarantee that all drivers are complying with the mandatory requirements. Coming up with new systems that will ensure a safe, easy, and smooth transition to the future, by understanding today the impact new issues will have on driving tomorrow.
During my time at MPI, I also attended the weekly auction of vehicles and parts. The auctioneer, a guy in a cowboy hat with a red handkerchief around his neck that looked as if it was brought out of a movie, sold a car every 15 seconds, with the help of his team.
My internship experience has been excellent. I learned a great deal about the industry and changed my impression of the work MPI does. After reading this blog, as you drive home today, know that a very well trained group of people are thinking a step ahead what can be done to improve safety, and service while keeping the industry lowest insurance rates.
I encourage other students to take advantage of the professional internship program, as you will meet interesting people, expand your professional network, learn about a different business model than the ones you have been exposed to, and gain a much needed Canadian work experience.
The UWinnipeg PACE 5th Annual Cultural Evening took place on January 29th, 2016 at Eckhardt Gramatté Hall, the biggest event organized by the PACE Student Life Committee. As the event planner, I work with a large multi-talented team to make sure we create a beautiful experience for everyone involved: performers, volunteers, sponsors, and especially the audience. PACE students are the stars of the evening as they perform, emcee or work behind the scenes. We invite the best of the best in town to share the stage with them, like the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the talented Indigenous performer Leonard Sumner. Each year, we attract more and more fans, from the university to the larger community. As this one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment grows bigger, the bar raises higher each year.
Our goal is that our audience enjoy a glamorous multicultural celebration held in a distinguished venue. The audience is encourage to dress up in their cultural fashions, sample a variety of global delicacies, win some amazing prizes (which organizing team gets envious of, cause they can’t have them), all of these at no cost. Who didn’t say no? -/+ 300 attendees!
As an event planner, just “wow-ing” the crowd doesn’t make a success. So here are some other points worth mentioning that counts towards what we call a “success:”
• Sold-out and standing room crowd.
• Diversity on the stage – representing 18 cultural groups.
• Indigenous talents – performance by Leonard Sumner garnered many cheers from the audience. He is gifted with amazing music talents.
• Instructors with talent – nothing like watching your role models perform. Brent Scott, the IT Guru, surprised students with his guitar and singing talents while Stephen Hayes, the diversity instructor, enlightened the crowd with what it means to be in a diverse community.
• Re-unions – alumni came along to meet their old classmates. It was fun to see the 2011 Project Management Team in one place! We heard you went to Garbanzos to continue your evening of fun! 🙂
•Little things that make your heart sing – it was rather a touching moment when PACE student Vasundhra’s dad shared Vasundhra’s Parks Canada Photobooth pictures on Facebook from back in India!
Then, a couple who is getting married this February sent a lovely note all the way from India wishing success for the event. They said they met during a dance performance at the Cultural Evening, 3 years ago.
PACE Alumna and former Cultural Evening Planning Committee member, Rajinder Singh attended the event with his new bride. Who doesn’t want a picture with this beautiful couple? 🙂
PACE Cultural Evening has created so many wonderful lasting memories, friendships, and relationships. We can only imagine the stories to be told in the future!
• Stars of the night – the committed and hard working student volunteer team represented eight different countries.
•Staff volunteers- As well, PACE Staff contributed a range of talents to the volunteer team. It was Friday, but staff still had time to attend this event after a full week of work in the office. Another reason why #IloveUWPACE!
And most of all….
• Angel Volunteers – in business, “Angel Investors” are the ones who come with just what you need at the right, but unexpected time. The Cultural Evening attracts some angel volunteers; they are somehow linked to other event staff, which their names not always get mentioned. Here is the list:
Many thanks to:
Neil Aseron, Marie Aseron’s brother
Cristiano Goncalves, Carol Goncalves’ husband
Adrienne Matias and Randy Salangsang, Melissa Matias’ cousins
Alex and Fiji, Victoria Elusakin’s friends
Breazy Wilson, Ashlie Wilson’s daugher
Rachel O’Connor, PACE Alumna
Milanyila Vargas, PACE Alumna
Erin Moorley, PACE Alumna
Ying yao, PACE Champions Toastmasters Member from the Red River College
UWinnipeg’s Virtuosi Concerts, for giving away last minute door prizes
Andy and Evan, UWinnipeg Media Services
UWinnipeg Physical Plant Staff
UWinnipeg Marketing Office
UWinnipeg Security Officers
My heartiest thanks to all who supported the successful staging of PACE Annual Cultural Evening!
PS: Please accept my apologies, if I have missed your name, but please let me know.
PACE Student Life Coordinator
Sorry for being a spoiler! Some of you arrived here in Winnipeg during this fall season experiencing its splendid colours and breeze. This is just to prepare you for the crazy winter weather that’ll sweep the city soon!
But what I’d really like to say is “Congratulations on your daring decision to move recently!” I was just like you two years ago. That mixed feelings of excitement and fear for new people, places, and phenomena that you brought yourselves into, I’ve been there!
While Winnipeg is a city of never ending snow, it’s also the city of opportunities. You can start shoveling, rather uncovering yours here at PACE!
Indeed, opportunities knock with my new credentials from PACE. I recently got two job offers, one from the provincial government and another from a crown corporation. With my background in social services, I decided to gain real-life experience in marketing and communications through completing my internship in this department at the University of Winnipeg. I haven’t had enough time yet to contemplate on my whole-year PACE experience. Thinking about what makes ours a great class is a good starting point.
A PERFECT CLASS CHEMISTRY FINDS NO ROOM
If you’re looking for a perfect class chemistry, you can’t find it here. Simply because you don’t have time. You’re in a very intensive program where sleepless nights are normal even for those who thought that they’ve perfected their time management skills already.
Everyone entered the program for a specific purpose. In my case, I wanted to be integrated into the Canadian system quickly. In your coming here for varying reasons, your ultimate measure of success is whether you’ve achieved that purpose or not. Having a great class, that bunch of special people whom you’ll share the ups and downs of this program with and whom you can call your family and friends, is only a bonus! I’m very grateful for accomplishing both during the year with my beloved classmates!
ENSURING A POSITIVE CLASS CHEMISTRY
Who doesn’t want a positive chemistry? We strive to have this in all human relationships. If we fail to, some choose the easiest way out, TO QUIT! Although I’ve thoughts of this sort during the program, I’d never advice this. My goal is to encourage you as much as possible while giving you a clear picture, including the good and the ugly, of what it’s like in the program.
Ensuring a positive class chemistry will go a long way in keeping you in your senses all throughout the year. Here’s how:
Be open. Most of our classmates came into the program with wealth of experience. They’re on to their first to third degrees or aspiring to move up after a number of years in their careers. As well, half of the class came from different continents. It’d be great listening to their unique stories and understanding their diverse perspectives. Being open to their ideas and their ways of doing will contribute to your professional as well as personal growth and development.
Be patient. Another step towards a positive class chemistry is being patient particularly when waiting for your classmates to be in the same page with you. Apart from not having English as a first language, the industry where they thrive on maybe different from yours. You should also be mindful of their learning curves and their ability to adapt to their new environment. Moreover, they maybe entangled with other out-of-school responsibilities and commitments just like you. Always endeavour to give as much leeway as possible when you decide to work together as a group.
Be available. This is an area where I had the most difficulty. With two part-time jobs for weekday-evenings and for weekends, I ended up sneaking-out my break times for doing future assignments. I didn’t have much time with my classmates for personal chats and if given an option, I did group projects on my own. Halfway through the program, in February 2015, I let go of my jobs and devoted all my waking (and sleeping hours) to the program. That’s when I realized the time I lost in knowing my classmates more.
My advice to you then is to spend some time with your classmates. Strike some personal conversations, if you feel it’s the right time. Go out and relax together. It’ll be very refreshing to breathe some out-of-school air in between. In addition, be vulnerable to ask help when you need it and be willing to extend a hand when you have the capacity to. Availability also comes with willingness to divert from our regular school life patterns.
Furthermore, being available for school-related activities will reap many benefits. Whether you’re new to the city or not, this is a venue for expanding your networks and your horizon beyond the classroom setting. Some are arranged by PACE and still others are through a third party. Attend those that’ll fit-in with your goals and with your schedules. PACE has a committee taking care of student life events. Your first event will kick off in October 9th, your Thanksgiving Potluck. This will highlight your traditional clothes and recipes from your home countries. Student Life events is where you’ll meet students from other classes and the staff. Your first steps to learning about big group chemistry start here.
MAINTAINING A POSITIVE CLASS CHEMISTRY
Let’s face it, we can’t evade downward slopes along the way. As all relationships, our one year in school was replete with struggles, with others and ourselves. Here’s some ideas on maintaining a positive class chemistry, if not avoiding all obstacles:
Have a class agreement. It may not be as explicit as engraving it on stone or the like but having a brief conversation on what are expected of the class will help guide you throughout the year (e.g. respect one another, help each other, etc.).
Be aware and sensitive. Knowing your classmates’ personality types and work styles will bring out the best in your class. It’ll also help you mitigate conflicts that may arise from lack of a fit.
Make the most of every opportunity. Grab any chances of strengthening your group dynamics like in-class group exercises and your group projects. Also, flag those class topics that will surely drive success to your future team efforts. Examples are Tuckman’s Five-Stage Theory of Group Development in your Organizational Behaviour class and the Five Dysfunctions of a Team in Essential Skills for Managers. Remember that PACE is here to equip you for the real world of work out there.
Have a BIG HEART. Be ready to have a big space to contain new friends and extra spaces for those who will test your limits. Also, find those who will be there to give you listening ears when you’re stressing out to the highest level (mind you, this is normal!). Those who see through your beauty as well as your flaws. Those who have the courage and ability to check and correct and who will turn you into a better and stronger person in the end.
MAY YOU MAKE IT TO THE NEXT SHORE
I remember one class presentation about an analogy of a boat applicable to any groups or organizations. It’s your responsibility as a class to continue moving forward, come high or hell waters! If you don’t have the time or willingness to look after your classmates, then your share is simply not to be the one who’s going to sink it.
You’re about to embark on a challenging but rewarding PACE experience. I can assure you that starting off with being open, patient, and available and applying some of my suggestions above will help you make it, BECAUSE MY CLASS AND I DID!
All the best to your 2015 PACE program!
P.S. Message me on Facebook if anyone needs mentoring. I have books for sale as well!
I hope you are all really excited for your big move to Canada! It may be bit nerve-racking to leave family and friends (and weekend hangouts) behind, but we are busy preparing for the start of your program and are excited to get your arrival information.
You are not alone! In 2012, Canadian Immigration and Citizenship issued 100,000 study permits and this trend continues to grow. Every year, thousands of international students begin their new life in Canada and add to the growing globalization of our population.
In the coming weeks, you will arrive here in Manitoba. Here are some tips and essential information on how to prepare for the trip and for your first months in Canada.
Packing is not everyone’s forte and it’s definitely not mine for sure. Read the post, Packing for Canada for some smart tips. PS: Don’t forget to bring at least one of your traditional wear. We have a big cultural celebration at PACE in January.
Did you know that UWinnipeg International Student Services offers free airport pick-up service? If you have not already booked this service, please be sure to complete the Airport pick up application right away.
Health Insurance – You can deal with this in the first week in Winnipeg
Banking – Scotia, CIBC, RBC, and TD Canada Trust are popular with the international students. Research before you sign up for the plan and be sure to inquire about student banking fees to get the best service plan. All these banks will a downtown branch, which can be found on this map.
Groceries – A sure-fire way to reduce your living expenses is to avoid eating out whenever possible. Try to cook healthy affordable meals and this should help you cut some expenses. You may hate your own cooking in the beginning, but gradually, this may change as you master some recipes. Who knows, you may even begin to invite your new friends to dinner. Safeway, Superstore, Dino’s East and West Indian Food are some names you can Google for your grocery needs.
Electronics – There may be some student deals in August, September. Check out Staples, Best Buy or The Source for laptops, TV, video games and all.
Housewares and furniture – Winnipeg has Ikea, Walmart, Jysk and other affordable stores to stock your new apartment with the essentials to make it a home Gently-used housewares, furnishings and electronics can also be found on Kijiji.
Exploring Winnipeg – Start collecting memories since the day one. So you can share with your family and friends back home. They are waiting to hear all the fun you have. Since most of you will be here before the end of August, you will have some time to enjoy the city. Make sure to check out these sites for upcoming events in Winnipeg during that time.