Rachelle graduated with a Bachelor of Science with an Honours Specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics in June 2018 from Brescia University College. Currently, she is completing a Diploma in Public Relations from Western University at Western Continuing Studies. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she was involved in multiple student leader positions. In March 2018, at the OHEA Annual General Meeting Rachelle was elected to the Board of Directors as the Vice President Communications.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I’ve been a residence assistant at Brescia for the last two years. Through my post-degree program, I have to run a blog for one of my classes so I write about my experiences being a student and residence assistant, called Simply Busy.
How long have you been an OHEA member and why did you decide to join?
I’ve been an OHEA member for three years, starting my membership in my second year at Brescia. During that time, I held a position with the student association called the Students’ Human Ecology Association (SHEA). Through my position, I acted as a liaison between the students and OHEA. I was intrigued with the field of home economics during June Matthews’ Professional Perspective course.
I joined OHEA to get involved, explore the field further and develop my network with professionals and students. That year was also the first OHEA conference I attended and have kept renewing my student membership before applying to be a New Graduate member and receive my Professional Home Economist (P.H.Ec.) status.
How do you feel that being an OHEA member and a P.H.Ec. has benefited you thus far?
I feel like I never stop talking about OHEA! Being a member has allowed me to attend conferences, meet people from across the province with similar interests, volunteer my time and expand my network greatly. The networking piece alone is so beneficial to students or new graduates looking to start their career or who are considering their options. Now being a board member, I’ve been able to collaborate on projects with other members, give my input on issues or opportunities, volunteer on committees and build strong relationships, all while creating a phenomenal portfolio piece.
Where do you see the profession going in the next five to 10 years?
Over the next five to 10 years, I see this profession continually gaining exposure from the amazing work of our members and related organizations like the Manitoba Home Economics Association (MAHE) or the International Federation of Home Economics (IFHE). I also see a lot of opportunities arising for P.H.Ecs to demonstrate their expertise and advocate for changes in our communities and policies. We are already seeing opportunities in today’s environment.
What is your goal and how does it tie into Home Economics?
My goal is to pursue a career in public relations with the hope of focusing on healthcare. Professional Home Economists have been essential in breaking complex ideas, like design and family relationships, into concepts the public can understand. P.H.Ecs. have always focused on the importance of two-way relationships which is the definition of public relations. I want to continue this trend into communicating with different stakeholders through a variety of mediums in the healthcare sector.
What advice do you have for new, or aspiring, P.H.Ecs?
I would encourage students or new graduates to get involved and reach out to the community. The field of home economics is constantly adapting and there are so many ways to find a career which fits your passions. OHEA has so many opportunities to get involved whether that be:
These experiences give you access to a network of over 300 individuals who are passionate about this field. If you are a student or new graduate, you also have access to the other students. Leverage that! Get to know them, ask them about their careers and experiences, and find a way to leave an impact.