Nicole Cardinal (2016)

Photo by Sonia Narang

Nicole completed her practicum in the 2016W session.

1. Who was your practicum partner organization, and what did your project entail?

I was partnered with UBC Enrollment Services- Aboriginal Recruitment. My project was to interview, record and create a video about post-secondary Indigenous Students and their experience’s at university.

2. How well prepared did you feel entering the Research Practicum?

FNIS 300 & 400 prepares you in advance for the research practicum. It is overwhelming at first, the information is in overload, but it will all make sense once the research begins. Our practicum supervisor was very helpful and she kept us on track with our tight time line and the weekly check in is valuable. I was fortunate to have a supervisor on my project who had also been through the whole process; she was able to help guide me along the way. The most valuable resource I have to say is our peers. Having our own Facebook group for support was amazing. We held each other up through the entire process.

3. What is one thing you learned from your Practicum experience?

I interviewed Indigenous students from across Canada, who attend various post-secondary institutions and had very different backgrounds but all had similar experiences. Indigenous students are not your average students and it was such a wonderful opportunity to sit and hear their stories. My interviewees inspired me with their stories of their post-secondary experiences and I look forward to their success in future.

4. What was the highlight of your Practicum experience?

The highlight was presenting my findings to my peers and community in Musqueam and the First Nation’s House of Learning. To see my family, daughters and my elders in the crowd, it was a proud moment for me. It is not easy to stand in front of your accomplished professors, but I wanted to make them proud. It is all part of the journey and to take your place as a scholar and present your work gives a feeling of completion.

5. What is some advice that you would give to future Practicum students?

Trust the process! You have done the work and it may or may not be clear but you have all the tools to conduct your research. Create a support group with your peers; this was our best tool to share deadlines, support and any advice our peers needed. Talk to your FNIS professors take them up on their office hours, their advice is priceless. Finally, enjoy the process. FNIS is the only program that prepares you for your master’s and I have to say it was an amazing experience.