Featured alumnus of the month

Maria SkyersName: Maria Skyers

Kwantlen Program: Career Choices and Life Success (16-week Citation Program)

Grad Year: December 2013

Employer: City of Surrey

Employed as: Development Services Project Supervisor

Employer Website: www.surrey.ca


What are your primary responsibilities at your job:

My primary responsibilities in this role include reviewing design drawings for various land development projects, evaluating project estimates and specifications, and reviewing and outsourcing servicing agreements. I also support intermediate technical and administrative team members with the completion of various city engineering activities and projects, specifically related to land development.


What is your favourite part of your work?

Definitely the challenge and the learning curve. I am learning something new every day. Also, I love the process of working through a project from the early stages through to construction.


How do you like to unwind/handle stress?

I like to stay active and to spend time outdoors – I enjoy hiking, running, yoga and listening to music. If I am dealing with stress during my work day, I take short breaks to recharge, and make “to-do” lists to organize and prioritize my tasks 


What influenced you to attend Kwantlen?

I had just moved to the Lower Mainland from the BC Interior. It was a very spontaneous move for me, I left a great job, friends, and family behind to start over and explore the opportunities of a new city. I didn't have a plan, and was just taking one day at a time... I really wanted to relax for a couple of weeks and take some time off for myself. But I barely lasted three days until I was filling out a student registration form for Kwantlen on the Langley campus, after attending an afternoon information session! I had no intentions of going back to school, but after seeing an advertisement in the local paper about an upcoming career exploration course for women, I decided to go check it out.  As I was in the midst of a career evaluation myself, I was interested in seeing what this course might have to offer. By the end of the two-hour session with 25 other women who were also looking for some ideas and inspiration, I decided to register for the program that same day!


Favourite Kwantlen moment.

There were countless moments throughout my time at Kwantlen that were so inspiring. I met so many wonderful women in the program, and we learned so much about ourselves and each other during our 16 weeks together. Although the program was only part-time (three days a week) the in-class material and practical assignments were challenging, and they provided us with opportunities to make big decisions and gain confidence.


Who is the most famous person you've ever met?

Paul Brandt. I went to see him in concert a few years ago, and I got tickets in the second row!


If you had a time machine and could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Nelson Mandela


Where does your inspiration come from?

I am inspired by people who have overcome great odds or adversity to accomplish what others thought was impossible.


Greatest advice for life.

This quote has always encouraged me in my life:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”


What's the last book you read?

Quiet by Susan Cain