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Making it happen

How SAIT grad Melinda made the switch from nursing to butchery

How SAIT grad Melinda made the switch from nursing to butchery

Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The idea of going back to school can be a daunting one at any age, but the decision to make the investment in yourself and your future is worth taking the plunge.

After 16 years in nursing, Melinda Hubbard decided it was time to put her happiness at the forefront and pursued an entirely different career as a butcher.

Melinda, 47

Butchery and Charcuterie Management graduate

What were you doing before SAIT?

I was a nurse specializing in diabetes education.

What made you want to pursue the Butchery and Charcuterie Management program at SAIT?

I enjoy food but didn’t like the hours of a chef and I liked the idea of becoming a butcher and trying to educate the public on using the whole animal and not just the popular cuts like ribeyes, pork tenderloin, etc.

What was your experience like at SAIT?

Going back to school after many years away was awesome. The amount of resources SAIT offers their students is amazing. I utilized Chinook Lodge a fair bit as I am Métis. I love that Chinook Lodge has an open door policy and you feel welcome right away. Also, you can get some very good bannock there once in a while. Yum!

SAIT definitely tries to set up every student for success! It was a great experience to say the least.

What would you say to someone either thinking about attending SAIT or contemplating a career change?

Go for it! Man alive, I was scared, nervous and a million other emotions, but  if you can afford to do it or seek help through student loans or student awards, you won't regret it. After 16 years of nursing I was burnt out, unhappy and depressed. The only thing keeping me in my career was the money and benefits. Once I realized that doesn’t make a person happy or fulfilled, I took the jump and don’t regret one decision I made when changing careers and going to SAIT. Ultimately I am going to make less money than when I was nursing, but I am so much happier, alive and content.

What's next for you?

I am staying home with my kids until the social distancing measures relax. Once things open up I plan on getting a job as a butcher for a year or two, then ultimately opening up my own butchery shop and deli.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience?

You are never too old to go back to school.


Melinda’s story is part of the Making it happen series featuring stories of career changers who chose SAIT to help pivot their profession. Read Danica’s story.


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