Natalie Hargott

"I liked SFU for a number of reasons, but the two biggest factors were: 1) that I could continue working while attending, and 2) the friendliness of the program instructors."

I'm Natalie Hargott. I work at BCIT full-time and I'm also taking the M.Ed. Educational Leadership program at the SFU Surrey Campus. My interests are in mature student services and program design, particularly for those who need to start a second (or third, fourth, fifth) career and use higher education for re-training purposes. Good examples of this demographic are military veterans and first responders such as police, fire, paramedic, etc.

What attracted you to come to SFU?

I liked SFU for a number of reasons, but the two biggest factors were: 1) that I could continue working while attending, and 2) the friendliness of the program instructors. As a newlywed with a husband who is also a full-time student and not working, it was important that I could work and have an income while also going to school. (Funny story:  I actually had my heart set on SFU for my undergrad degree but went to UVIC instead, so being able to complete my graduate degree at SFU, it's like I've come full circle.)

Who is a faculty member that you have enjoyed working with at SFU and why?

Michelle Pidgeon was a big influence in my coming to SFU. I talked to her before applying to the program and she put a lot of my fears at ease about taking this next step. Michelle was also a great first semester instructor. Her patience with all of my cohort members as we adjusted to being a student again after 5, 10, 15, 20 + years of being out of the game was so appreciated.

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school at SFU?

To anyone who is thinking about coming to SFU, if you want to build your body of knowledge as well as your professional network and career, I definitely recommend completing your graduate studies here. I’ve completed two semesters of my program and I'm already applying theories and knowledge I've gained from my studies to my work.