After tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan, former military corporal finds new career path at NAIT
When retired Cpl. Kevin Dunsford was told in 2008 that he would be released from the Canadian Forces for medical reasons, he wasn’t sure what his next move would be. Thirteen years of service as a combat engineer, including tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan, had taken a toll on his body.
“I thought, ‘what am I going to do now?’” said Dunsford.
Dunsford, who was posted to 1 Combat Engineer Regiment in Edmonton, considered finding work in Fort McMurray, or moving back to his home province of Ontario, but he didn’t want to uproot his young family. After careful consideration, he enrolled in NAIT’s Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management (BTech) program, which would allow him to earn a degree.
This week, he will become the first former Non-Commissioned Member of the military to graduate from the BTech program, which NAIT began offering in 2007.
Dunsford said NAIT helped him build upon the skills he had gained in the military as a section commander, which in the civilian world would be equivalent to a mid-management position. BTech graduates with relevant work experience are well-prepared for a wide range of careers as production managers, project managers and more. Nearly all BTech grads find work within a year of leaving NAIT with starting salaries around $60,000.
Dunsford has become an ambassador for NAIT, regularly speaking at military education fairs and information sessions about his experiences at the polytechnic. His message for others leaving the military? “Consider getting a degree. Why sell yourself short? Why go into the civilian world at an entry-level position? Build upon the skills you’ve learned.”
NAIT's 50th Convocation is held on Friday, May 10 (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday, May 11 (8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) at The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 - 87 Ave. More than 7,100 students will graduate this year.
Dunsford will be at the Friday Convocation, proudly accepting his degree. “I’ll be the one screaming on stage,” he said enthusiastically.
Visit NAIT’s Flickr page (www.flickr.com/nait) to download a photo of Dunsford suitable for publication.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year concludes its 50th anniversary celebrations.
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