Finding Her Passion

Recent Alumni, Sarah S. is one of our very favorite students. She visits us regularly and sits and has coffee in my office where we have genuinely good conversation. In helping her create a cover letter one day, I found myself in tears at how remarkable her passion is in caring for the elderly. To be honest, all in all, I have never met a more genuine, selfless, giving group of humans in my life and all of the stories they tell me are amazing The level of care they have astounds me. This instance with Sarah, is just one of the many  stories from our students that instantly brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.

We didn’t know where to start with the cover letter, so I asked her to simply start talking about why she chose the program, and to pursue a career in Healthcare. Prior to her attendance at Cambria College, Sarah lived with her roommate’s 91 year old grandmother, with whom, she quickly became a daily living companion to. Sarah offered to help with her friend’s grandmother’s daily living activities including, running errands, morning and evening routines etc. She continues:  “But honestly I mostly enjoyed the jokes and the conversation. She always said that it kept her young. It was in this moment and experience that I became completely devoted to health care for the elderly. This is where I found my passion.”

Sarah’s most recent experience in Dementia care has provided her with the wonderful opportunity to care for the elderly with this condition.

“Why do you like working  in Dementia care so much Sarah” I ask.

“It is endlessly challenging which makes it endlessly rewarding.”  “I love being in the moment and living that moment to the fullest with them.” she says. “Being able to enjoy a simple moment with someone, and re-living it, and then finding a new moment, is everything to them.”

After wrapping up our letter, it was very clear to me that Sarah brings an inspirational approach to caring and can find the beauty in the day to day while caring for the elderly. 

She is just one of our many talented alumni here at Cambria College and we look forward to seeing all her wonderful successes to come.

November Events to Keep Your Spirits Up!

Ah November… when Victoria begins to see its first signs of snow, the smoky autumn air turns chilly, and you swap out all of your shoes for a cozy pair of water proof boots. Classes are in full swing, and the word “mid-term” lurks closely at the end of the weeks’s agenda. Before we know it, we will be bombarded by colorful streets lights, bells and ringing, and the endless, ongoing cacophony of Christmas songs. During this lull in seasons, I thought I would put forward a few ideas to keep our spirits up in the month of November. So here is a fun “to do/to see” list around Victoria.

Vintage Fair – November 11

Enjoy the retro flair at the 8th annual Vintage Holiday Fair. Browse 40+ booths to take and enjoy some live music. You can even indulge in “classic four slideshow” of photos in an old-fashioned photo booth.

Festival of Trees at The Bay Centre – November 15 – January 2

Ok, so this is a bit Christmas-y. The Victoria Festival of Trees is a wonderful tradition that also benefits the BC Children’s Hospital. This year, the event will be exclusively at The Bay Centre, all the trees are unique in their own way–from eccentric to exquisite. .

Out of Hand Artisan Fair – November 24 – 26

The annual artisan fair, Out of Hand,  provides an outlet for local artists and vendors of natural goods to display their fall bounty. Enjoy gourmet food, a pop-up Etsy boutique, and offerings from craft distilleries and wineries while you ponder your purchases.

VIDEA’s Fair Trade Fair – November 25

Get some shopping done while supporting a worthy philanthropic cause at VIDEA’s Fair Trade Fair. Browse through more than thirty vendor booths offering a vibrant array of unique, ethically sourced products.

Whether you choose to embrace the looming seasonal experience of enchanting colors and holiday shopping or merely stating a home with a textbook and coffee; I hope you enjoy the rest of November and you can enjoy a bit of happiness this month.

Take good care everyone!

A Beautiful Analogy

There are great lessons in the game of life that can be learned from sports analogies.
One of my students came to see me the other day and he ended up staying for over an hour to share some memorable stories from his practicum experience along with this one beautiful metaphor and sports analogy about his life.

“It’s like Soccer,” he says:  ” Everyone is trying to score a goal, but you need your team, your mentors and strong leadership to help you win the game.”

He is referring to his experience as a Health Care Assistant and the wonderful team he has made here to complete this great journey. He feels that he has won because of the great friends and Instructor that he met through Cambria.

He continues: ” And, if you are a referee, you just get to point out everyone’s errors and you never get to score a goal or be a part of the team”

As in, you need to join the experience: The only place you can win a game is on the field, the only place you can lose it is in our hearts.

In the game of life, we fail most often when we lose heart and no longer believe we can achieve our hearts desire. That is why it is essential that we keep our mind filled with positive optimistic thoughts and read stories of triumph over tragedy, so we never forget the strength and power of the human spirit. The strength of the team is each individual member…the strength of each member is the team.

In life, we will all depend on each other. It is in community that we gain strength or are encouraged when we are experiencing trials. It is a privilege to encourage the people in our lives. We never know when we will depend on the kind word or support of another.

Everyone will have setbacks in life, it is the individuals with fierce determination that will get up one more time than they are pushed down that end up living a successful life.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.
~ Vince Lombardi


Health Care Scattergories!

We had a lot of fun yesterday at Cambria College. From Costumes contests and games, to abundance of treats plus a random Dinosaur Attack! It is never a dull day!

Some major laughs occurred during our Health Care Scattergories game. It was so fun, that I thought I would share some of the “creative answers” that were given. Congratulations to our Winners Carmen and Ivon for the funniest ones!

Here are the Directions to start: ( in case you want to play at home)
1. Divide people into small groups of about 3-4 (game can also be played individually).
2. Provide each team with a pen and a piece of paper.
3. Read aloud the list of categories below (and come up with a time frame for answers)
4. Points are awarded only for unique answers, so creativity is encouraged!

1. Hospital attire, something you would see worn in a hospital
2. TV shows which take place in hospitals
3. Things that have wheels in a hospital
4. Things that have buttons in a hospital
5. Noises you hear in hospitals
6. Ways to kill time in the hospital
7. Something that grows in hospitals
8. Name a book about Healthcare


Congratulations to the Health Care Assistant Graduates of 2017

‘What counts in life, is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead’. -Nelson Mandela

The difference we have made to the lives of others – to our families, to our friends, to strangers we have met – define who we are. Graduation is day of great celebration. After the fast and challenging pace of the HCA experience, it is a day for turning back momentarily and allowing a heartfelt joy to realize everything we have achieved.

All the hard work and sacrifice, long days, long nights, the tests, quizzes, the training, and all the emotional and physical challenges along the way.

I hope that our students find a moment to think of their loved ones who are unable to be here today whose support, sacrifices, and dreams for your futures have guided you to this point. It is your achievement; it is their achievement.

Each of us will have our own personal and unique thoughts of those who have supported us along the way and we shall, I am certain, treasure those always.

We hope that here at Cambria College we have contributed to educating your minds and your hearts – and encouraged you, at all times, to be kind to others and to tread thoughtfully in pursuit of your own dreams.

It has been our responsibility as staff here at Cambria College to accompany you on your journey so far – not as your friends but as your guides, charged by your families and friends to help steer you to Graduation.

This is undoubtedly an exciting time for our graduates, with new paths ahead, important challenges on the horizon. For all of you, in some sense, it is a journey into the unknown, into risk – towards life’s uncertainties. What you learn about yourself and your friends along the way is at the heart of the experience – and I am certain that the invaluable friendships forged here with fellow students will nourish you for many years to come.

I have a personal connection to this group of Graduates as well. You are my first Graduating Class, I enrolled each and every one of you. From the day I first met you, to now, when you graduate, I admire you and I am proud of your accomplishments. I am amazed by how strong, smart, determined and hard working you all are. You make the College great.  And now, you are a part of the legacy. You are the first Spring session graduating class at Cambria College and you will set the tone for the future.

Congratulations to the Health Care Assistant Graduates of 2017!

In Celebration of Health Care Aide Day!

In celebration of Health Care Aide Day, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate all the kind and wonderful students we have here at Cambria College. Each and every student, current grad, and alumni has respectively blown me away with their strength, determination and consistent, compassionate care. Our Health Care Assistants are the most hardworking, caring human beings I have ever met. I have the utmost respect and admiration for them.

At Cambria, we are in the business of caring for humans, and as a business, we care for our students-which makes them better caregivers, and in turn, our students will be better Health Care Aides to your family members.

It’s skilled and compassionate health care assistants who make it possible for children, individuals with illnesses and the elderly to live longer, more fulfilling lives.

They represent the best of humanity as they give themselves to a cause without want of recognition or reward.

Having observed the numerous tasks an HCA undertakes, I think it is important that we acknowledge the remarkable time it takes for an HCA to provide Companionship, Practical Care, Personal Care, Dementia Care and Specialist Care.

So let’s take a moment today to celebrate our Health Care Aides. Many of us have not yet had the experience of meeting one, but one day-you or a family member may need one. The tasks they undertake can be tedious and tiring but by doing them, they are positively affecting peoples’ lives, which at the end of the day, is what matters.


Upcoming Events!


Cambria College has a busy event schedule planned for the rest of this year! In addition to our education and career training events, we are also hosting events at the home of some of our recent alumni! These are great opportunities to learn more about our program in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Take a look and see if we’re heading to an event near you! If you have any event queries please do not hesitate to contact us! We hope to see you soon! We will also have updates on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest pages.

October 12th, 2017-GT Hiring Training and Education Fair
Thursday from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
3962 Borden St, Victoria, BC V8P 3H8
Borden Employment Services Centre

Oct. 26th, 2017-Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair
Thursday All Day
1767 Island Hwy, Victoria, BC V9B 1J1
Juan de Fuca Rec Centre

November 1st, 2017-Victoria WorkBC Job Fair, GT Hiring
Wednesday from 10am to 2pm
2723 Quadra St, Victoria, BC V8T 4E5
Beacon Community Services

November 26th, 2017-Information Event-Hosted by one of our Alumni!
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
For Location, Details and to RSVP, please contact us at

6 Steps to an Amazing Cover Letter

Photo: Copyright Peepo / E+ / Getty Images

Cover letters. Every time you sit down to write one, you probably think, "Ok, where do I even start?"

Here are a 6 steps to get you started and to help get you writing that amazing cover letter.

1. Start With a Template

Browse cover letter examples online. Here is an easy, downloadable cover letter guide will walk you through, step-by-step, how to create a great cover letter!

Selecting a template will help you get started and you can plug in some of your own information right in there, just make sure not to copy the whole thing.

2. Remember that the Cover letter must be different than your Resume.

Don’t repeat yourself and your tasks, use your cover letter to describe additional details that you weren’t able to squeeze onto the single page of your resume:

“By resolving client concerns,  I learned how to interact calmly and professionally with angry customers.” A cover letter gives you the freedom to use full sentences—instead of bullet points—so use them to expand upon your resume points and tell the story of why you’re the perfect fit for the company.

3. Showcase Your Skills

Use the same keywords used the job description. When you know you have the skills and training to do the job—but you don’t have a lot of work experience—try focusing on your skills, instead. Here’s a template that helps you do just that.

4. Highlight the Right Experiences

Not sure what past jobs and experiences you should be including? Find the skills and experiences that link the two. Skills are transferable from any job, read this previous blog to help you learn more!

5. Create Custom Cover Letters for each position

Address it to the Hiring Manager and make sure to list the specific position. Most companies want to see that you’re truly excited about the position and company, which means creating a custom letter for each position you apply for.

6. The Body Breakdown:

Now, follow the directions below to create a thorough, well-written, appealing covering letter to accompany your resume.

  1. Use standard letter format, Ariel or Times New Roman Font, and size 11 or 12 only; include your return address, date, inside address, salutation, and signature block. If possible, write to a specific person. Do not use the salutation “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”. If you do not have a specific person to write to, then use a subject line instead of the salutation, for example, “Subject: Application for Position XXXX”. 
  2. In the first paragraph, apply directly for a specific position, and indicate the source (i.e. newspaper, college posting, recommendation) and file number (if applicable).
  3. In the second paragraph, explain/describe how your academic background has given you the skills for this position. Refer to keywords in the ad, and explain how you have applied what you learned; do not list courses you took. Describe special projects and work prepared in teams. This may require an additional paragraph.
  4. In the third paragraph, explain/describe what you accomplished and skills you developed through your work experience. Again, refer to keywords in the ad. This section may require an additional paragraph.
  5. In the last paragraph, close politely by stating your resume is enclosed (do not state what a resume is or what it does). Indicate your gratitude for an interview. State where and when you can be reached. Reinforce your interest in contributing to the organization. Thank the person for considering your application for this position or another position that may be available.
  6. Include specific details to show that you are qualified
  7. Be thorough (a full-page letter) but concise; maintain a positive tone without being brash and show you are enthusiastic about your field
  8. PROOFREAD, always proofread and spellcheck. Try a FREE online grammar checker such as Grammerly or Polish my Writing.

Best Resume Tips and Templates

Here are the best resume tips to help you easily create a clear and professional resume that will hopefully get you that interview!

In General

  • Keep it 1 to 2 pages max.
  • Use these Fonts Only: Times New Roman or Arial
  • Use Black Ink on White Paper
  • Your Font Size should be 11 or 12 only
  • Keep your font and formatting consistent throughout. To ensure this, use a template!
    Resume Template1
    Resume Template2
    Resume Template 3


  1. Your resume should not list every job you’ve had. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the jobs, accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for.
  2. Put the Best Stuff “Above the Fold” which is the first half of the first page!This means you should make sure your best experiences and accomplishments are visible on the top third of your resume. This includes, education, skills and training, and your most recent work experience.
  3. You don’t need a Profile, Career Objective or Objective StatementThe only occasion when a profile or objective section makes sense is when you’re making a huge career change and need to explain why your experience doesn’t match up with the position you’re applying to.
  4. List 5 skills or areas of expertise, use keywords and qualities that you have that match the job description.
  5. List your education and work experience in (Reverse) chronological order-Meaning- List your most recent education and experience first!
  6. For every Job or place of employment, list no more than 5 bullet points of accomplishments, goals or tasks. Try to use action verbs, numbers (statistics) if possible.
  7. Don’t add your hobbies or personal interests to your resume
  8. When you’re sending an email resume as an attachment, always name it with first and last name. (ie: JaneSmithResume.pdf)
  9. Always list any and every volunteer experience!
  10. Only list references if requested

7 Online Job Search Websites-that you need to sign up for now

Finding a job in a new city without many contacts can be an overwhelming process. Most of our students at Cambria either work full time, or in need of some part time work while they are completing their studies.

As part of our training we offer career strategies, resume building, interview coaching, and cover letter writing assistance. We also have a job board with the most up to date health care and caregiver positions in Victoria. In addition to this, we offer assistance insearching for jobs online. There are hundreds of job boards, both generic and niche, as well as social media channels, apps and networking groups to choose from.

In hopes to help you with your search, we have created a list of the best job search websites in Canada.

Whenever possible, it is always a good idea to enter in your email address and have specific job listings sent directly to your email. This prevents you from having to search everyday, and all the latest listing for your chosen field will be sent directly to your inbox.


CareerBuilder is one of the biggest job boards, and its search bar allows you to filter bylocation, degree required and pay range. CareerBuilder partners with news media around the country and collects job listings from them. It also provides career advice and resources for candidates.


Eluta is a Canadian search engine that features job postings from more than 10,000 employers’ websites across Canada. Eluta provides links back to the original employers’ job postings. Candidates can sign up for email alerts that notify them of new jobs that match their search criteria.


This site compiles listings from many job boards in one place. It also compiles information from various company career pages and allows you to search locally or globally. This page allows you to have jobs sent directly to your email.


Glassdoor has a large database of company reviews and they are all submitted by employees. Glassdoor promotes itself as giving job seekers insights into a company’s work conditions, interview processes, salaries and benefits.


This is one of the largest job sites because it includes one of the largest number of job listings of any website. It also allows you to upload your resume and offers networking boards, as well as a search alert service so you can get targeted posts delivered via email.

Simply Hired

This search engine offers an email alerts service and lets you save your job searches. Candidates can sort their searches to focus on companies that appeal to them. For example, you can select companies that hire veterans, have a high rate of diversity and abide by eco-friendly practices, among other criteria.


This large site offers weekly job alerts, job search advice, a resume builder and, of course, job postings. It also allows you to upload your resume for hiring managers and recruiters to search.

After exploring the above list of the best job search websites, you might consider registering with more than one site since each offers a slightly different experience and list of benefits.

We wish you much success, good luck!

NEW ESL Tutoring Services in preparation for Your Health Care Assistant Studies!

At Cambria we know that some of our applicants need a little extra help to achieve their goals to train to become a health care assistant. In hopes to help overcome these hurdles we are introducing…

New English Tutoring Services in preparation for you Health Care Assistant Studies!

We have also brought in a specialized tutor! Meet Kyle, our private tutor and teacher who has a degree in Linguistics from the University of Victoria.

His classes and tutoring sessions are designed especially for ESL students to improve their English by providing one-on-one coaching, tutoring and test preparation. We offer these services in our office; a calm and supportive atmosphere that will help you get prepared and feel confident.

And the best part is, you can start at anytime!

Kyle will assist you in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing and help you improve and upgrade your skills where needed.

Classes are only 10$ per session.

Contact us to Join!


To Our Teachers...

The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.

As teachers we have the ability to rebuild the world for our students. By our sincere efforts we can make their world more rewarding, more gratifying, and perhaps…even more significant.

Our Teaching should always be artfully crafted. It should impart something that is in itself sacred to our senses of our students.

If we are truly effective teachers, then we are creating autonomous, independent and self directed learners.

It’s the little conversations that build relationships and make an impact on each students.

An exemplary teacher will not just enlighten the student, but will also empower the student.

-Robert John Meehan

Dear Teachers at Cambria and for all those others making a wonderful, impactful difference in the lives of others:


What Makes US So Special!?

College is hard. Getting to know what really makes a good College is also hard. There’s no real way of knowing if it’s going to be a good fit until you start attending.

When I came to Cambria College, like most other people, I knew very little about the programs or what the College itself, was all about. I reviewed the website, checked out the Facebook Page, and gathered all the important, relevant information.  Then one day I read on our Facebook Page “Come see what makes us so special!” I thought, well, what DOES make us so special….

Having been here now for over 4 months, it has become abundantly clear what makes us so special:

1. The Campus Culture: We are an inclusive family who takes care of one another. How?

  • We make coffee every day. Who needs coffee? We. All. Do. And we brew it for our students.
  • We share our food. Who needs Food? We. All. Do. And we usually have fruit and veggie platters, or meals in the fridge. Some of our students even cook and make dinner for the class! How awesome is that!
  • We have regular student appreciation days with refreshments and networking. We have a  friendly, welcoming, and accepting environment where we share stories and laugh with our friends. (There is also some school work mixed in from time to time)

2. We teach the power of relationships.

We spread human connection, and we focus on the Student Experience. We have built a community of strong hard-working independent people who strive for success. Every student here has a powerful and inspiring story. Everyone deserves to be here, and we are very proud of all their achievements. The Cambria team builds strong relationships between instructors and students in an environment where diversity is welcomed, collaboration is embraced and enthusiasm thrives.

3. The Location

We are located right in the heart of downtown Victoria (on the bus route), and our classrooms are up on the second floor, with expansive views of the city from our large windows. Our bright sunny classrooms not only keep us alert , but they also keep us inspired.

4. College is Hard-We make it Easier!

Cambria assists one on one during the application process, and the financial aid process. It’s tricky…very tricky, and there are a lot of little steps to make things run smoothly. Cambria takes care of all of that. We ensure your paperwork runs smoothly and you don’t miss a step!

5. Freddie the Dog

We have our very own sidekick, Freddie, he is a Saint Bernese and a registered Emotional Therapy Dog. He joins us for our Inter-personal Skills Day as we walk in beautiful downtown Victoria. He’s also known to come visit the Director and rest his head on her arm while she is trying to work. She doesn’t mind though.

6. Our reputation precedes us

We have a 100% Graduation rate and have been reviewed to have “the strongest overall class” in  clinical placement! We intend to build and maintain that reputation.

Cambria College has so much more to offer than the reasons I’ve noted here. We have small class sizes, a 28 week program, day and night classes, a top rated training facility, and over $15,000 in Financial Aid options. We have a ministry approved curriculum and a lovely staff and faculty to get to know. But the best parts are when you are a student….and you finally become enrolled.

So…come see what makes us SO special!