Alumna Linda Barry begins career in health and safety after completing COHSES program

After sustaining an injury in the workplace, Linda Barry unexpectedly had to seek an alternative career path to the one she had planned. When she took inventory of past roles she’d held, she reflected on her time as a First Aid Instructor and her wish to contribute to health and safety in a more significant way. This desire led her to begin working towards becoming a full-time safety practitioner.

After researching health and safety programs, she came across the University of Fredericton’s Certificate in Occupational Health, Safety, and Environmental Systems (COHSES). She knew it would be the perfect first step toward helping her reach her goals. The UFred program came highly recommended and was delivered exclusively online, which was ideal for a mature student like Linda looking for financial and program flexibility.

Unique program benefits

While furthering your education, sometimes the things you did not expect to learn in your courses can be some of the most valuable lessons. Beyond expanding her knowledge on various health and safety topics, Linda said that one of the most important things she gained in the COHSES program was confidence in herself and what she could do.

“The most important thing I learned throughout the process was believing in myself; that you can accomplish your dreams at any age.”

Linda also felt a strong sense of support from both faculty and administrative staff at UFred. Their guidance and assistance served as a reminder she could lean on her support system and trust that they would help her in her journey in any way they could.

“I learned that the faculty and support staff really are there to see you be successful. The support I received helped me realize that my personal support system will also help me achieve whatever I desire.”

Future goals and advice for students

As a recent graduate from the COHSES program, Linda shared some advice she has for current and future students:

“My advice would be to develop time management skills and make detailed plans to ensure you complete your course assignments and projects on time.”

Since completing the program, Linda has gained employment with Interior Health as a Workplace Health and Safety Advisor. Moving forward, Linda plans to return to UFred to complete the Diploma in Safety, Health, and Environmental Management and the Associate Degree in Occupational Health and Safety.

“There are many achievements to be had heading into my 60th year around the sun, but I know that when you reach for the stars and believe in yourself, anything is possible.”