Nicole Isaac has obtained her high school diploma a month early as well as her fourth class power engineering. Photo Submitted

Student earns fourth class engineering and diploma semester early

Her first ever job is a power engineer

A Red Deer high school student, who graduated before most of her classmates, is looking forward to her first summer job as a power engineer.

Nicole Isaac, just turned 18, and will graduate from high school a semester early, and also will have earned her fourth class power engineering from NAIT.

Normally students graduate high school, then attend post secondary school and start working on career but Isaac was enrolled in a dual credit program through École Secondaire Notre Dame High School, which allowed her to complete high school and get a year of college under her belt.

It wasn’t a quick or easy process.

Isaac has had her sights set on power engineering since meeting with a Careers Next Generation representative at a career fair back in grade eight.

“He told me that Notre Dame would possibly be offering the course by the time I reached high school,” she says. “I researched what it meant to be a power engineer and found that it would be a perfect fit for me.”

The selection process for the course is based on a student’s current high school grade, references from teachers and an interview.

“I have always loved science and I’ve always been drawn towards subjects that allow for problem solving and mathematical thinking,” says Isaac. “I also enjoy working with my hands. Power Engineering combines the satisfaction of hands-on work with the captivating challenge of critical thinking.”

There were obviously challenges along the way, but Isaac turned it all into a learning experience.

“The biggest challenge for me was time management,” she says. “I’m the type of person that likes to get everything done at once. In order to avoid burn out, I had to learn how to slow down and not rush. It was good to learn the importance of pacing myself because I believe it is a skill I will often use in my future career.”

Isaac had nothing but positive encouragement for others thinking of going the same route.

“I feel as though I was given the chance to fast track my career and I can take comfort in the fact that I will be going into my first summer as an adult with my career planned and ready for the job market.”

She suggests prospective students talk to some power engineers in order to obtain a first hand account of the carer.

“Thanks to this course, I have the ability to start a lifelong career for myself fresh out of high school.”

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