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Continuing education

Graduating after kids, a career change and a relocation

Campus and Community

By Moira Baird

It’s never too late to finish your degree.

In 2005 Jamie Regular set out on a career with the Canadian Coast Guard following the completion of a four-year nautical science diploma at the Marine Institute.

At that time, she also started a bachelor degree in maritime studies, but set those studies aside as her career got underway. A job change, two children and a move to Ontario later, she resumed part-time studies last year. On Oct. 17, she’ll officially graduate during convocation ceremonies at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Ms. Regular says it will serve her well as a training and development specialist with shipping company Algoma Central Corp. in St. Catherine’s, Ont., where she’s lived and worked since 2015.

“I learned so much from the technical writing – it helps my technical communications,” she said. “The management courses and learning more about the different flag states and regulations worldwide that we have to comply with is also very helpful. It’s a lot to take away and bring back to my job.”

Marine career

Ms. Regular credits her time as a sea cadet in her hometown of Burin and a high school co-operative education program with the Coast Guard for developing her marine interests.

During her nine-year career with the Coast Guard based in Newfoundland and Labrador, she spent seven years at sea serving mainly on the icebreaker Henry Larsen and the search and rescue vessel Sir Wilfred Grenfell.

Jamie Regular, second from left, completed a nautical science diploma at MI in 2005.
Photo: Chris Hammond

“I travelled to the Arctic for four years on an ice-breaking vessel. It’s a completely different world and it was great to be able to see the Arctic and to have those experiences,” she said of her time at sea.

“I miss it, but I’d miss my kids more now.”

Changing paths

At Algoma, Ms. Regular oversees the training, certification and development of the company’s shipboard employees – ensuring they are fully certified through Transport Canada and scheduling training for crew members who live all over the country.

“The original vision was definitely a career at sea. That changed as I grew up and had my children,” she said. “A career at sea for myself and my husband, who worked on ships as well, just wasn’t going to be feasible for us raising two small kids. My career path went a different way and it’s progressing very well here. It takes a lot to run a shipping company behind the scenes.”

She finds time for long-distance running, though, and completed four marathons, including races last year in Boston and earlier this month in Chicago.

And she’s considering another step in her continuing education with a master’s degree in maritime management.

“I haven’t decided when I’ll start, but it’s definitely on my radar.”

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