A smiling person stands in front of a building.

Stacey Melnikova came to Humber thinking she would pursue a career in psychology but, now about to graduate from the Bachelor of Behavioural Science program, a different career may be in the cards.

The international student from Russia graduated from high school and was interested in a career in psychology so she began exploring pathways into the field. When she found the Bachelor of Behavioural Science program, it seemed like a perfect fit. It offered her many different possibilities for her future – she may use it to continue into psychology but says it opened up other possible careers including those in wellness, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, human resources or organizational development.

She enjoyed how the courses covered a variety of different topics including psychology, counselling, organizational behaviour management, and working with individuals with autism, among others. In the program she connected with professionals from a number of different sectors and that further opened her eyes to possible careers she hadn’t even considered.

“I can definitely say that coming to Canada and specifically studying at Humber was the best decision I made for my education,” said Melnikova. “I’m super happy with my degree, my work experience and the job I have right now (as a lead consent peer educator at Humber). I made a lot of friends here and I found my partner here, so it’s a place I really love.”

Melnikova’s work-integrated learning opportunity was at a Mississauga behavioural agency that works with children with autism and developmental delays. Within a month, she was promoted to a part-time paid position as a behavioural instructor.

She was part of an interdisciplinary team that included occupational therapists and language pathologists. She wasn’t just shadowing sessions but was conducting them and working directly with youth. It was a tremendous opportunity that allowed her to gain real-world experience.

A person wearing headphones sits on a seat while working on a laptop.

Humber has supported her during her time here, providing valuable financial resources, such as renewable entrance and academic scholarships, and assistance related to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. When she was dealing with an emergency during her final semester that required her to travel home, she received a great deal of understanding plus accommodation from Humber that allowed her to keep her studies on track despite being back in Russia for a month.

Melnikova also found a position as a consent peer educator with Humber’s Consent Peer Education Program through the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. She would eventually be promoted to lead consent peer educator and says it’s a job she absolutely adores. Getting to work with students really motivates her and has her considering a career in the sector.

“I love it so much and I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. This role opened my eyes to the fact that I could work in wellness as it’s something I’m good at. I’m super passionate about working with students and I enjoy providing guidance and supporting them.”

Her dream job would be working in post-secondary in wellness promoting sexual health and education or in diversity and accessibility services.