Q. What is your name?
A: Dana Allison Kerr.
Q. How old are you?
A: I am 20-years-old.
Q. Where did you grow up?
A: I was born and raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Q. What’s your role at SAIT? Program? Year?
A: I am in my second year of welding engineering technology and I am going to be graduating this spring. I also work on campus.
Q. What do you do on campus?
A: I am in a desk assistant position, so I mainly file paperwork.
Q. What do you like about your desk assistant job?
A: It gives me good business experience.
Q. How long have you been at SAIT?
A: I have been at SAIT for a year and a half and am currently in my second year.
Q. Where would you like to work after you graduate?
A: Preferably I would like to work in New Zealand or Australia, because I know they need trades people there. But I am open to going up north. I really just want work.”
Q. Where do you want to live after you graduate?
A: Somewhere else in the world. I want to travel before I settle down.
Q. Describe something you remember from your first day of classes here
A: It was the first day of orientation and there was a mom in my program and her baby sitter didn’t show up, so she brought her five-month-old to orientation. She refused to miss the first day of school and I thought that was super amazing. I got to hold the baby so it was an extra bonus. Our teachers were really cool, which is what I like the most. They were saying things like, “We understand that family happens, life comes first,” which was nice. They are really accepting.
Q. Where do you feel most comfortable on campus? Why?
A: This year I feel most comfortable in my room, because I have a single bedroom and it is my own space. Last year, I probably felt most comfortable in the library, because it was quiet. You can read and kind of have your own zone.
Q. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since coming to SAIT?
A: Educationally, I’ve grown. My knowledge is much larger and I understand my field so much more. There are so many more opportunities possible for me than I thought before. Personally, it is just really helping me grow through the challenges of not living at home and trying to balance work and school and personal life.
Q. What’s the craziest (legal) thing you’ve done on campus? Why did you do it?
A: I wouldn’t say it was the craziest thing, but when I was working someone set off a fire extinguisher in a stairwell and I had to vacuum seven stories worth of stairs, that is 14 flights of stairs. My vacuum died halfway through, so then I had to sweep and I was up till 4 a.m. and it was probably the longest night of my life. It was crazy, because there was so much going on and I was a CA (community assistant) last year.
Q. What is one thing you’d change about your SAIT experience if you could?
A: I would want students to have better communication with co-ordinators. I have found that there is a lack of organization with those in higher positions, like those above my professors.
There have been a lot of changes in my year that have happened and the school is trying to make the program better, but it feels like my program has to suffer through a bad professor, a bad class, a lack of scheduling, or advice from people up above that is not relatable. I was told to not drop math class even though I was failing it, because I should still get the education. It lowered my GPA significantly. So definitely better communication and organization through the faculty because the professors are amazing and the class is amazing, but the organization is lackluster.
Q. Why did you choose welding?
A: I chose welding because in Grade 9, I accidently got put in the welding class by CTS and I clicked with it instantly. I just fell in love with it. I aced it. The first day, he just told us to do a basic weld bead across the metal and I got bored with that, so I welded three pieces of metal together and I showed my high school teacher and he said “you scare me, you’re going places.
It’s such a challenge for me, but it’s a learning type of challenge. It’s very simple for me, it just kind of clicked. I love it.
Q. Are you excited or nervous about the future?
A: Both. I’m really excited to graduate, move forward, get more certificates, learn more and grow more in my industry. However, I’m also terrified because finding a job is really scary, but it’s really exciting to be able to grow and get more education from what I’ve got here [at SAIT].