mastermind returns to Langley to help prepare students for the professional world

Langley, British Columbia—When Gord Zeilstra stepped onto campus as a first-year student at Trinity Western University, he didn’t know he would one day return to Langley as one of Canada’s most successful executives in the internet recruiting industry. But on February 17, Zeilstra, who played a key role in developing into Canada’s largest career site and is currently the National Director of’s parent company, TMP Worldwide, returned to his alma mater to help students gain the insights that have contributed to his success.

As the main speaker for Trinity Western’s Conference 2001, organized and sponsored by The Career Centre at TWU, Zeilstra, from Cambridge, Ont., shared his expertise on career management and the changing job market.

“He was very excited about coming back to Trinity Western and helping the next group of students succeed,” says Lucas Moes, a fourth year business student at TWU.

Moes, who works at The Career Centre in one of over 250 student leader positions available on campus, coordinated the conference to help his peers make a smooth transition into the professional world. And advice from Zeilstra was exactly what Moes and facilitators at The Career Centre were looking to give Trinity Western students.

“Much of what we do at the University is changing in that we’re trying to bring more of an active application to what is learned in the classroom,” says Elsie Watts, PhD, TWU’s interim director of The Career Centre. “It is extremely useful when people who are experienced in their fields can interact with students formally and informally to give the students their experiences.”

“We have a few different initiatives that The Career Centre is working on right now,” she continues. “One involves an on-line community that would allow our alumni to mentor current students. Another involves bringing in internship opportunities into every department.”

Including alumni like Zeilstra in the process is a step that Watts believes is critical in helping students make a successful transition into the workplace.

“There are some ways to function in the professional world that are wiser than others,” says Watts. “And students don’t have to learn all of these things for themselves. They can glean from the advice and experiences of leaders in various fields.”

In addition to Zeilstra, students at the conference had an opportunity to hear from TWU alumna Erin Mussolum, filmmaker and co-founder of Vancouver’s Artizan Productions Inc., TWU alumna Judy Vankevich, professional image workshop facilitator, and Abbotsford’s Mary Plett, a leading authority on debt elimination.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling 2,850 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2012-08-21
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