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Student reinvents herself at SAIT

Like many young people, Stacey Pettipas didn’t have a particular career in mind when she went to university. “I thought it would come to me, but that never really happened,” says the Cape Breton native.

After graduating in 2012 with both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts, Pettipas worked as a research assistant and had a few jobs in customer service.

“I wasn’t really using my education and I kept thinking, ‘This isn’t good enough.’ It was the uncertainty and frustration of not knowing what to do next that made me get serious about finding a career.”

So she used the research skills she learned in university to find the Medical Radiologic Technology program at SAIT. She applied and was invited to come to Calgary for an interview. “I wasn’t sure if I could get in. I took a chance, but it quickly started paying off.”

The first sign that Pettipas made the right choice was a perfectly timed SAIT Entrance Award.

“I had my bags in the car and was getting ready to fly to Calgary when my dad got the mail and found a letter from SAIT. When I opened it and saw it was a scholarship, I had a whole new sense of confidence about heading across the country and living away from Cape Breton for the first time — I knew I had made the right choice.”

And the good news kept coming. Her first semester gradepoint average was 4.0 and she was awarded the Dean’s Award for Innovation and Change in recognition of the many contributions she makes in her Cape Breton community.

“I don’t regret either of my degrees — I’m building on the skills and knowledge I have in biology and human anatomy. I’m really excited and optimistic,” says Pettipas.

Her advice for others considering personal reinvention? “Don’t feel like you’re stuck or like you have to do what might be expected of you — and don’t go to university without a plan just because you think you should. Find something that's right for you and then go for it.”