Associate Director, Communications
When Bradley Fehr was hired for an intriguing-sounding communications job at University Canada West in 2017, he walked into a single campus on West Pender Street with 400 students.
Things have changed considerably since then. Nowadays, University Canada West has more than 11,000 students, has expanded its curriculum and added an entire second campus, which is part of the architecturally stunning Vancouver House development. And Fehr, who was recently promoted to UCW’s Associate Director, Communications, has been fortunate to have seen it all.
“Working at University Canada West has been exciting in terms of watching the University grow and being part of the changes,” Fehr says.
A graduate of Langara’s Journalism Program, Fehr had worked as an editor of the Hinton Parklander as well as the Journal of Commerce newspapers. However, a downturn in the news media industry had Fehr rethinking his career goals. While looking at options, a job posting for a Communications and Media Coordinator at UCW came up.
“Besides my 10 years of journalism, I had also done some communications work for various organizations, and it was always something I enjoyed. This was a chance to build on the skills I acquired through journalism and apply them to a different field.”
At the time, UCW had a lower profile but had been recently acquired by Global University Systems (GUS) and was embarking on ambitious plans to grow and expand.
Initially, the Communications Department was just him and marketing was done out of GUS’ London office.
“There was almost no domestic marketing,” recalls Fehr. “We had 400 students. We were working hard to establish ourselves as a university of choice for business students.”
The next few years saw remarkable growth for UCW. The University successfully went through several accreditation processes, programs such as the Associate of Arts degree were added and students kept filing in, which has kept Fehr very busy.
“There was a lot of work about establishing the reputation of UCW,” he says.
He is no longer alone in his department — recently promoted to Associate Director, Communications, Fehr works with the Marketing and Communications Department. The team is responsible for communicating to students, faculty, staff and the general public, everything from simple signage to informative brochures to intricate messaging.
Fehr enjoys the diversity of the job, which can range from crafting complex communications strategies to staffing a Pop Up Shop. He also loves the diversity of students, faculty and staff.
“It’s interesting and challenging. It is always different. You get to talk to people from all over the world. You get to take part in celebrating various cultural holidays. It’s a very inclusive and accepting environment.”
Another satisfying aspect of the job is that UCW is a student-focused higher education institute.
“Students are here to improve their career prospects and get ahead in life, and it is highly rewarding to help them reach their goals,” says Fehr.