This firefighter is all business

October 07, 2004, vol. 31, no. 3
By Diane Luckow

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Delta firefighter Remi Trudel spends his workdays putting out fires and answering emergency calls for assistance.

Now, he's also qualified to put out fires in the corporate world.

Trudel graduates this October with a master of business administration with a specialization in marketing.

“I wanted to go back to school to stimulate my intellectual curiosity,” says Trudel. “Between calls and at night, there's a lot of downtime in the fire hall. I thought I'd make better use of my time and also open up doors for a career change, or to move ahead in the fire department.”

Trudel is no stranger to career change. He became a firefighter after six years in the Canadian Football League playing defensive back with the B.C. Lions and the Ottawa Roughriders.

Too many concussions and injuries, however, told him it was time to move on. He joined the fire department, also a dangerous job, eight years ago because he felt the camaraderie would be similar to what he enjoyed in sports.

“I love the work when we're busy,” he says. “You get to contribute to society and give back a little bit. I could never do a job where I'm just in it for the cash.”

At SFU, Trudel also enjoyed the camaraderie of his MBA colleagues. “The group was totally interesting and from all over the world,” he says. “That really added to the program.”

To get into the MBA program, Trudel first had to complete the graduate diploma in business administration, an online course for people who hold an undergraduate degree in a subject other than business.

Trudel's first degree was in science. “The diploma was really convenient since I was working full-time,” he notes. To complete the MBA, Trudel had to sign up for a lot of evening and weekend shifts.

Now that he has his MBA, Trudel is considering a PhD in business. “Who knows what lies ahead?” he asks.

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