Academic Integrity Coordinator
Griselda Banegas already had a few careers under her belt when she landed at University Canada West in January 2022.
Born and raised in Honduras, Banegas knew from an early age that she wanted to strike out on her own and build a life abroad.
“When I was 13, I went to Denver, Colorado and I saw the city and the lifestyle that people had. I said, ‘This is what I want,’” she says. “So that was my goal.”
However, her mother was adamant that she had to complete her undergraduate degree closer to home. So she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration – Tourism and Travel Services Management degree at Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana, and then started applying to schools in Canada and Australia.
In 2018, she moved to Sudbury, Ontario to pursue a graduate certificate in Human Resources Management at Cambrian College International. She graduated in 2019 and started working as a hiring manager for a nursing agency for long-term care homes.
“It was really fun,” she says. “My job was to build up the pool of staff members in Ontario. So I would travel to Toronto and around Ontario for hiring blitzes, before COVID happened.”
During the height of the pandemic, Banegas says, she burned herself out “just trying to drown [herself] in work” and later in 2020, she made the decision to move to Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
“I worked there as a freelance makeup artist and also as a manager of one of the only hair salons up there,” she says. “I think there were only two in town.”
Banegas also found a job working for a company that builds ice roads during winter where she worked as a personal assistant to the CEO and office manager.
“The ice roads are essential for the region during the winter months,” she says.
During the warmer months, floatplanes delivering goods and supplies can land on the lake. However, during the winter when the lake freezes, it becomes an important roadway for the community.
“But you have to maintain it and keep it safe for all the vehicles.”
During her time with the company, Banegas says, she had to travel between Yellowknife and Vancouver.
“I fell in love with Vancouver,” she says. “After exactly a year of being up in Yellowknife, I said, ‘Absolutely not [another winter], minus 35 degrees is not for me.’ So here I am.”
Banegas moved to Vancouver and started working at University Canada West in January 2022 as an Administrative Assistant to Graduate Programs working in the MBA Department of Quantitative Studies.
“I’m basically the connection between the department chair and faculty members from the Quantitative Studies department and the Academic Department,” she says. “So any questions that they have regarding the Academic Department, I’m here to answer them.”
Banegas says there was a bit of a learning curve when she first started working at UCW, but she found everyone, from the department chair to faculty and staff, to be helpful, supportive and welcoming.
“Everyone at UCW has been great,” she says. “Very welcoming and willing to help, especially when you are a new person trying to figure everything out.”
Looking to move up in her career, while staying at UCW, Banegas recently started a new position as the Academic Integrity Coordinator.
“So that’s my next step,” she says. “Just keep on growing.”